8 Cheapest Emergency Foods

Emergencies and natural disasters are completely unpredictable, but just because most things like hurricanes, earthquakes, and pandemics happen unexpectedly, it doesn’t mean you cannot be prepared. Thanks to the innovations of modern-day preservation techniques, you can now hoard food for an indefinite amount of time. Which is the ideal thing to do during disasters that might strike at any unspecified moment.

While there are plenty of things to do in order to prepare for natural disasters, the most important aspect of surviving is having the correct nutritional food. However, storing food for such an event does not necessarily mean you would have to break the bank. In most cases, when preparing for disaster, stocking up is done over a long period of time.

However, if the situation is rather sudden, as is the nature of a disaster, and it just so happens that you did not prepare for it before, as would be the case for most of us, then a smart shopping plan would be ideal to have. Some of us might not know what foods to stock, and even less so be capable of deciding which are the cheapest options to go for. If that is the case, then you might find this article very useful.

Here we will be discussing what foods are top priority to hoard. We will mention not what we would want the most, but rather what is essential for nutritional survival, is most affordable, and would be a good choice to stock in a survival pantry.

Cheapest Emergency Foods

1. Water

Most people don’t consider that it might be a good idea to stock up on water for an emergency, mostly because we take for granted the generous supply that we have on tap in our homes. However, it is vital to keep water in stock for emergencies.

Water is vital for life, but during a natural disaster like earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, the tap supply will run dry, if it is not contaminated or could become toxic. Luckily you can stock up on water, and it is not that expensive.

Of course, we are not suggesting special waters like gourmet or flavored water. Nope, the best sources for hoard water would likely be distilled water in sealed containers. Distilled water is the purest form of H2O, and you can also consider stocking up on canned carbonated water. Just keep it unflavored, since some of the water you stock up on would be used for cooking. Water in sealed containers will keep for some time and is most vital to have.

2. Preserved Meat

Vegans might not enjoy this suggestion, but the No. 1 foodstuff to hoard for a natural disaster survival pantry would be canned or dehydrated meat. Although it might be among the most expensive suggestions on this list, it remains a priority for its nutritional value.

The best options would be canned meats such as corned meat, canned ham, and canned fish like tuna and sardines. It is high in protein and is also the greatest source of iron and the one food source that is higher in energy when canned and preserved. Meat is a vital source of food for omnivores like humans, and during times of disaster, it will become scarce, causing a shortage or a hike in the price.

For example, during a nuclear fallout, it would not be possible to hunt, so stocking up on canned meat would be the most ideal thing to do. Thus, stocking up as much as possible on canned meat would be an important suggestion on this list of survival foods.

3. Canned Foods High in Moisture

Even though stocking up on water is vital, it will, at some point, run out. For this reason, it is important to consider that stocking canned foods that are high in liquids, or even canned liquids would be equally important. The most important reason for this is that it will satisfy your hunger and be a much-needed source of hydration.

Options for this include canned fruits, which are most commonly in the form of pineapples, canned fruit juice, vegetable juice, and other canned liquids such as condensed or evaporated milk, and canned coconut milk. You could also opt to stock up on canned beer since this is a great substitute to cook with, which will help preserve your freshwater supply.

Cheapest Emergency Foods

4. Dehydrated Eggs and Whey

Another important source for nutrition will be dehydrated eggs and whey powder. Eggs already preserve for a long time, and while they are good to have, it would be better to stock up on dehydrated egg powders. Not only are they important for baking, but they can also be used as a vital food source and are not that expensive.

Whey powder is high in nutrients and amino acids and also dissolves easily and quickly. These can be used to create tasty protein shakes that will fight hunger and hydrate when water is in scarce supply. Also, consider including dried milk powders. You will have an even better nutrient shake that will be an excellent supplement for breakfast cereals and will be far less expensive to stock.

5. Tea and Instant Coffee

Tea has been around for a very long time. Although the preservation of water is essential during a survival situation where water is available, but in poor quality, tea will be an important resource to have.

It is ideal for making water taste better if it is poor quality, and if you need to hydrate but can’t wait for boiled water to cool down, flavoring it with tea would be most ideal. Coffee can be stocked for the same reason, and the additional caffeine will provide you with mental alertness and a boost of energy when you need them the most.

In addition, tea is also an inexpensive source of antioxidants and helps to prevent cancer, which would be vital to have, especially during a nuclear fallout. Both tea and coffee are also excellent ways to keep morale up. Coffee provides mental vitality, and flavored teas such as chamomile and peppermint will help fight common ailments such as the cold and digestive problems.

6. Baking Supplies

Baking supplies would be important to stock up on for any emergency since it will provide you with the second-best source of food since during a survival situation, bread and other confectionery items will not be readily available.

These supplies would include cooking oils in any way you prefer, whether olive oil (although that may not be the cheapest option), sunflower or coconut oil. It will also include premixed packaged flours for pancakes, bread, muffins, and the like, but buying the mix separately would be much cheaper. You will have to include flours; you could either opt for wheat or a gluten-free option, like potato flour.

Wheat is the cheapest and healthiest option since it comes in bulk and is packed with protein and is high in fiber. This is also where powdered eggs will be an important option to include in the list since it is an essential ingredient in any baked foods.

Preferably, it would be much better if you could stock up on whole-grain wheat flour since this is high in vitamins and has several important minerals. Potato flour is also a highly recommended option, not only because it is gluten-free, but in general, it provides baked foods with longer shelf life and is just as healthy an option as whole grain wheat. Potato flour can be used for everything, including as a thickener, binder, and for baking.

7. Rice and Pasta

Rice and pasta are essential hoarding food, both because they are very filling and preserve for a time when stored correctly. They are also cheap and affordable and come in a great variety. Pasta should be stocked in high quantity and can be the go-to food source for any emergency.

It may require some water to cook, but there are plenty of ways to cook pasta by using shortening methods. One option is by adding coconut milk, which will preserve the water supply by reducing the need to cook pasta in high quantities of water.

8. Assorted Canned Foods

Canned foods were created for two reasons. First, to preserve it for an indefinite amount of time to survive any unforeseen food shortage due to natural disasters, famine, or war. And second, to reduce the cost of food production.

Thus, the most critical emergency food to keep in high stock in a survival pantry would be canned foods. These include soups, vegetables and fruits, beans, and any other that you could think of. These are great to use in meal preparations, but if the situation calls for it, they can be consumed right out of the can.


These are some of the most important food sources and vital resources to stock up on for any unforeseen emergency and are selected for both importance and affordability. Although listed in no particular order, the most important foods would be both canned meats, pasta, and canned foods of a greater variety, including veggies and fruits.

You could also stock up on sweet snacks such as chocolates, snack bars, or protein bars since it will keep morale up. In the case of protein bars, they make for great supplementary fillers in between rationed meals and are stocked with vitamins and other beneficial ingredients.


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