10 Non-Perishable Food Preps You Should Be Buying Every Month

10 Non-Perishable Food Preps You Should Be Buying Every Month

New preppers wonder what they should be buying for their preps every month. More experienced preppers wonder what holes they should be plugging in their food storage to be better prepared. We all know we should constantly add and rotate our food storage every month to have a good supply.

Since I wrote the 10 Preparedness Items You Should Be Buying Every Month and the Top Ten Items You Need For Your Food Storage, my preparedness mindset has changed slightly. I think they are things you should be buying every month that are perishable items and non-perishable items. This list will concentrate on the non-perishable items because those are the ones most important to your food storage.

To explain what I have included on this list, I will give you the criteria. I am making this list as basic as possible. Meaning that you can go to the grocery store and buy these items right off the shelf which means the items are shelf-stable. They will not expire or go bad easily. Most of these items will last beyond their sell-by or expired date if you wish. This list is simple and for beginning preppers. However, the more experienced preppers should take a look at this list too and see if they have holes they should fill in their food storage.

If you want to, you can purchase these items in whatever manner suits you. If you wish to preserve them yourself, buy them in bulk, freeze-dried, dried, or whatever, you can certainly do that. If there is an item on this list you or your family does not eat, then replace it with something they do eat.

Because the #1 rule in food storage is: Do Not Buy Food You or Your Family Will Not Eat!

I don’t care if you think “If we are hungry enough, we will eat it.” That may be true, but why would you do that to yourself when you can simply purchase food you would like to eat ahead of time?

The quantity of each item to purchase each month is your choice also. Depending on my budget, I will only purchase 1-2 items or a case or flat of that item. I also have a continuous grocery list where I write down when I use up one item so I can replace it immediately on the next grocery trip. For example, I use up a bottle of olive oil. I write it down on my list and purchase it on my next trip to the grocery store. I will do the same thing if I get low on an item.

10 Non-Perishable Food Preps You Should Be Buying Every Month

1. Salt and Pepper. Food without seasoning, blah. You need at least salt and pepper to liven up your food. You can also stock up on other seasonings too. You might have ones you think you can’t live without like garlic salt at my house.

2. Honey and/or Sugar. If you can live without these things, great. However, most of us cannot live without something to sweeten our drinks with. I also use sugar and honey in canning jams. Honey is also great for sore throats.

3. Beans. Dried or canned whichever you prefer. I like to use both, but I will grab a can of beans first if I’m in a hurry or lazy. So I stocked up on canned beans. Beans are a meal unto themselves but are better with soups, chilis, casseroles, and one-pot meals. They also help to fill people up and give them energy.

4. Peanut Butter. This is packed with protein and fat which will help give you energy in a crisis. Beyond that, most kids and adults like it and will eat it plain or with bread/crackers. If you are allergic to nuts, look for a substitute like sunflower butter or coconut butter.

5. Canned meats. As much as we would like to think we can raise our own meat or hunt our own meat when a crisis or situation happens, this may not be a possibility. Again, canned meat such as tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, and ham will provide a good source of protein which helps give you energy in a crisis.

6. Canned tomatoes, fruit, and vegetables. While the nutritional value of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables is better than canned, eating canned fruits and vegetables is better than eating junk. You can use these in casseroles and salads too.

7. Canned soups, broths, and meals. Sometimes when you have an emergency or crisis, the easiest thing you can do is open a can and heat up the contents. Even if you are in a hurry at night and need a meal, you can save money by opening a can of soup, heating it up, and having a quick meal.

8. Crackers and cereal. Many of you will not think this is necessary, but I have teenagers. Kids like cereal and they love crackers. My kids think saltine crackers and soup go together like peanut butter and jelly. Cereals can range from cold cereal to hot cereal. I like to eat oatmeal and will make it from scratch, but when I am in a hurry or just plain tired, the little packets are awesome.

9. Pasta and rice. Let’s face it. There is very little nutritional value in pasta and rice. They are just carbs even if you buy the veggie pasta. However, they help to fill up the hungry stomachs and keep the teenagers from completely taking over the kitchen. They help to keep the meals budget-friendly. They are great to have on hand to make casseroles, soups, and one-pot meals. They help to feed a large crowd during a crisis.

10. Coffee and Tea. Water is great for hydration, but it is boring. Most people drink coffee or tea in some way, shape, or form. I like to have a stockpile of coffee, various kinds of teas, and even some instant packets of coffee and tea. If coffee or tea is not your thing, look at getting some drink packets and/or mixes to liven up the water.

Honorable Mention: 

1. Oil. Whether you use olive, vegetable, coconut, or other oils, they are good to have on hand and keep a good stock of.
2. Protein and cereal bars. 
3. Pasta sauces.
4. Ethnic sauces and seasonings (salsa, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc.)
5. Chocolate.

As I mentioned before, you can switch out items and customize this list for your household. Some things listed may not be something you would ever eat while some people could not store enough of that item because they eat it so much. This is a general guideline I use when I go to the store. This is so I can put a meal on the table whenever I need to without completely stressing out over the meal no matter what is going on. The meal may not be very exciting, but the consumers of the meal will not walk away hungry.

Some of you will notice that I did not include such items as ramen noodles, various meals in a box, and macaroni and cheese. You can purchase these, but most of them have very little nutritional value, and exceptionally high sodium levels, and feed very few adult people at once. I don’t usually include them in my food storage list for those reasons. However, if you want them in yours, you can certainly do that.

What do you like to store in your food storage?

Thanks for reading,

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16 thoughts on “10 Non-Perishable Food Preps You Should Be Buying Every Month

  1. Spam. People either love it or hate it. However, it is reasonably priced, has a long shelf life, and can be used in a variety of ways. Frankly, I can't imagine saimin (noodle soup) without it!

  2. I love spam any way. When we were little kids mama would grate it up and fix it just like she fid for tuna salad sandwiches. Yum! She called it "ham salad sandwiches".

    Very salty though.

    1. Honestly, a lot of times I can find the boxed liquid milk at dollar stores. Does it last forever? No. A year or two. I rotate them, and before they expire (2 months at least) they’re donated with cereal to the food boxes in our area. Can’t beat it when they’re like $1.

  3. Wheat flour – I try to start every winter with 50# in the freezer. I can make all my own breads, pie crusts, biscuits, cakes, cookies, etc from scratch. I haven't yet invested in the pasta maker that goes to my mixer, but Grandma taught me that noodles are just flour and an egg. Mix together with your fingers, and roll out. Dry them before cooking. Now, to make it more nutritious I might add some leftover cooked greens, or grated carrots, but egg noodles will feed a crowd, and cost little (time or money) to make. Dried oats – I try to start every winter with at least 20# in the freezer. Oatmeal cookies, granola bars, and standard breakfast fare. Frozen fruit – 20# I like to add it to my oatmeal instead of sugar. Gets one of my daily servings of fruit and veg at the top of the day, reduces sugar content, and is ready in 2 minutes in the microwave. I typically cook mine with 1/2 cup of milk, just to boost my calcium content and the flavor. I might add some spice to the mix (cardamom is great with mango or bananas) to add some flavor and/or remedy for aches and pains. Let your food be your medicine. I like having canned fish and meat on hand for sandwiches, soups or salads. I'm not a huge fan of bread these days, but I've learned to make my own flour tortillas (no gluten!). I try to stock up when things are on sale (notably the 15# turkey that is currently in my freezer!) so I have more grocery budget for things when they are out of season, but I have a taste for something specific.

  4. Be careful of anything that has or was made with oils as their shelf life is greatly reduced. Things like saltine crackers will go rancid in a few months.Rotate so you are using the oldest first and watch the best by dates. I have had white rice go rancid when stored in food grade buckets.

  5. I like to store up bullion cubes instead of the cans or boxes of broth. They take up much less room and have a long shelf life. Great base for a soup!

  6. Thanks for this list! How do I gauge the actual shelf life of these items since I’m sure they last much longer than the ‘sell by’ dates?

  7. I’ve also bought the vacuum sealer. And I know there is one for the mason jars as well. Not for the heated pressure cooking portion, just to get the air out.

  8. Very good post. One thing that I will say, however, is: Store what you eat and eat what you store.
    I do have some freeze dried long term storage but I would say that 90% of my food storage is in grocery store non-perishables. The way I got started was to purchase 2 of everything we used regularly. When I used one (say a can of beans), beans went on my grocery list and I bought 2. That way, on my shelf I had 3 cans. I used one and it went on my list and I purchased 2. Then I had 4 stored. The hardest thing was to keep the oldest cans or boxes in the front of the cupboard or shelves. First in first out!! When starting to store food for the what ifs, be sure to keep in mind that storage is critical – for example, I keep all of my boxed non-perishables in critter proof containers. Be creative with your storage areas – great if you have a dry basement but I do not. So, under the bed in a room that is kept cool, shelves in closets, etc. I do have the advantage that I live alone. It is an advantage in that I don’t have to store as much as a family does but a disadvantage as I don’t have anyone else to rely on.
    I also use my vacuum sealer for both bags and jars. Jars go on shelves but the bags go in bins.

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