Flour or Wheat, or Both – In a long-term crisis, in which supply chains are completely off-line, the baked goods we take for granted will immediately become a luxury item. Flour and wheat are just as useful for baking as they would be for bartering.
Rice – Dried rice has an incredibly long shelf life, making it ideal for storage. In nutritional terms, rice is rich in starch and carbohydrates. It’s also a good source of Vitamin B, iron, and protein.
Beans, Lentils, Black-eyed peas – Legumes are a great source of protein, iron, and dietary fiber. Like rice, which they’re traditionally served with, dried beans have an exceptionally long shelf life.
Oats, Pancake Mix, Cornmeal – Starchy carbohydrates may be a no-no according to most dieting books, but these foods are a filling source of energy. Plus, they are comfort foods.
Condiments – Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, and other dressings will come in very hand when you’re living on a limited survival diet.
Pasta – Pasta stores well, has a long shelf life, and it’s loaded with carbohydrates. It’s also easy to prepare. Not to mention, pasta pairs well with lots of other items on this list.
Peanut Butter – Hoarded by everyone from college students to doomsday survivalists, and for many of the same reasons, peanut butter is a tasty, shelf stable source of protein that pairs with lots of other items.
Jams – When shopping for jellies and jams in a survival situation, you won’t be looking for the most organic option, but the one with the longest shelf life. Since refrigeration may not be an option, single-serving restaurant packets are a good idea.
Vacuum-Sealed Nuts – Peanuts, pecans, cashews, etc. can be a savory snack that’s high in protein. Canned or vacuum-sealed nuts have the longest shelf lives.
Dried fruits, such as raisins, apricots, and papaya – Dried fruits are a great source of nutrients, calories, potassium, and fiber. They can also be added to nuts to make delicious trail mixes.
Energy bars – Since these bars are typically loaded with carbs and protein by design, they’re actually a good choice for your survival storage (maximum nutrition with minimal effort and prep).
Canned soups and chili – Canned soups are easy to prepare and offer a nice variety of ingredients for the effort. Look for low-sodium options. Premium brands may be healthier, but value brands will make your money go further.
Canned veggies – When the farmer’s market is not an option, canned veggies are a good source of the same nutrients.
Canned chicken, tuna, or turkey – Canned meats can be added to pasta, rice, etc., to add flavor, iron, and protein. These canned meats have a shelf life of 2 years, as odd as that may seem.
Tomato Sauce – Canned or jarred, tomato sauce delivers a lot of convenience, calories, and nutritional value. Combine this with your pasta or canned meat.
Your Family’s Favorite Drink – Powdered sports drinks and teas are easy to store, and they’ll offer you a little variety. Plus, many of these contain electrolytes and added B vitamins.
Crackers – When it comes to eating items like peanut butter or canned tuna, you’re going to need something to “put it on.” Since breads don’t store well, crackers are a great alternative. Wheat and vegetable-based crackers can add nutritional value.
Packaged Meals – Just-add-water style meals will offer both variety and simplicity. You’re probably thinking about Macaroni & Cheese or Hamburger Helper here, but there are a ton of options on the market, from Cajun to Thai.
Comfort Foods – Comfort items are important psychologically, especially if your family includes young children. Popcorn, Candy (hard candy keeps longer than chocolates), sealed pudding containers, fruit snacks, etc., are all options that store well and can give children something to look forward to.
TIP: Ideally, you’re food stockpile will match your regular eating habits, so that you can consistently rotate through items before they reach their expiration dates. Plus, if you’re going to make a disaster food supply, why the heck wouldn’t you give yourself some tasty options?