First Time Shopping List For An Emergency Food Supply

Disaster professionals with FEMA and the American Red Cross recommend that every family have a reserve and short-term food supply. Most everything you need is available from your local grocery store!

Emergency food isn’t the same as your parent’s bomb shelter supplies. We’ve come a long way in understanding essential nutrition, proper food packing science and ways of prolonging food sources.

Readers of this website know that I am always challenging them to get food stuffs in order because we never know when the next emergency will hit or how close for that matter. I thought I would simplify things and provide you with a shopping list to start your emergency food supplies. Print this list out and give it to family members or friends who can begin their own preparedness efforts.

The shopping list below was based on the food amounts needed for 1 person for a 6 month period from the Latter Day Saints food storage calculator.  To add more family members, go to the calculator to see how much food your family needs.  These foods are easy to find at supermarkets and most of these items have a long storage lifetime if properly stored.  Buying these food items now would be a good investment on your part, as global food prices are hitting record highs.

First Time Shopping List for an Emergency Food Supply:

1.  10 lbs. of white or wheat flour (both would be better.  Remember the Prepper Golden Rule: 1 is none and 2 is 1).  Those of you who have wheat allergies, click here for alternatives.

2. 10 lbs. of corn meal

3. 5 lbs. of oats

4. 20 lbs of rice (white rice stores better than brown rice)

5. 12 lbs of pasta

6.  20 lbs of beans (pinto beans are usually packed in heavier quantities)

7. 5 lbs of mixed beans (lentils, mixed bean soup, black beans, etc)

8. 5 lbs of sugar

9. 2 lbs of salt (this is a multipurpose prep item, click here for more information).

10. 1 gallon of cooking oil

11. 2 large containers of peanut butter

12. 5 lbs of powdered milk

13. 1 lb of baking soda

14. 1 lb of baking powder

15. .5 lbs of yeast

16. 1 gallon of vinegar

17. 1 gallon of drinking water per day  (*I would round up here.  You can never have too much water)

18. 1 gallon of bleach for sanitation and treating water

Don’t Forget To Add More Nutrition!

The above listed items are a very basic food supply.  A person needs to add vitamins and nutrients to this emergency diet to maintain bodily functions and overall health. To add a variety to this emergency diet, you can begin accumulating different types of canned goods or can your own.  Concentrate your efforts on goods that provide you with loads of vitamins and proteins.  Canned goods such as canned meats, canned beans, soups, canned vegetables and fruits.  And remember to buy foods that your family normally eats.

Another way to include essential vitamins and nutrients to your food supply is to stock up on sprouting seeds.  In an article  I wrote about sprouting, I mention that these tiny sprouts may be minuscule in size, but they are jam packed with with essential vitamins.


Once a seed has germinated, it begins to sprout.  Within these sprouts contains vitamins A, B, C and E, and K, as well as, Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Chlorophyll, amino acids, and up to 35% protein.  Inside these small biogenic (living) foods lies essential nutrients and vitamins that can assist in providing a good portion one’s daily requirement of nutrients.  Sprouts can grow anywhere, during any season, and require minimal work.

In addition to food, many preppers also buy powdered drink mixes, tea bags, and coffee to add a variety to just drinking water.

Emergencies arise all the time.  Sometimes they affect a large population and sometimes they are felt on a personal level and only affect one household.  That being said, start with a simply investment of food supplies and add an extra 10% of your monthly budget toward your food storage. Remember, you are investing in your piece of mind.  If an unforeseen emergency occurs, your stress level will not be as heightened because you know that you are prepared for it.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on February 3rd, 2011