Prepping on a budget: How to use your food supply to get through unexpected financial emergencies
10/12/2019 // Grace Olson // Views

Grocery stores are convenient suppliers of food, but when you run out of money, they are out of the picture. It is crucial then to stock up on supplies at home for emergencies. In case a disaster or financial shortage strikes, you need to have a system in handling your food supply. (h/t to

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started:

1. Stock up right.

The key to having a well-managed food supply begins with stocking. You need to choose the right foods and store them properly. For this, you need to consider the number of people in your family, the kinds of food they like, and plan those meals.

When planning meals, make sure that the ingredients can last for a long time. You never know when an emergency may come up, and you don’t want to check your pantry and see expired food. Choose the form of the food which can last for a long time (like choosing the powdered or frozen form instead of the common variety).

Pantry-friendly foods

Pantry stocks differ for each family, but there is a general list of foods that can be used in a variety of meals. Check the list below for some foods to add to your pantry:

  • Baking supplies
  • Dried goods (i.e. grains and beans)
  • Canned goods
  • Powdered milk
  • Meat and produce (place in freezer)

It’s ideal to stockpile food that you already eat. However, in a financial emergency, you don’t get to choose the foods that you consume. Observe your family meals and check the kind and amount of food you eat. Consider these questions: can you stockpile these foods? Will these foods be available in case of a shortage? If not, consider adjusting your family’s meals. It will make it easier for them to adapt during hard times.


2. Manage your food supply.

Now that your pantry is stocked, the important thing is to make sure that your supplies last. Even with planning, stocks can run out if you’re not careful.

Here are some ways to manage your food supply:

  • Make a timeline and estimate how much food your family consumes in a day. Compare it to your food supply and make meal plans.
  • Keep track of your food supply by making a list. If you use an item, make sure to note it.
  • Repackage meat and other foods into serving sizes. This makes them easier to cook and prepare in the future. This also helps you keep track of your food supply.
  • Maximize your storage space. Use old shoe boxes, plastic bottles, or plastic containers and stack them. Put names on the side to easily identify the contents of the container.
  • Stick to your meal plans. Remember that your supplies are limited, and you don’t know the next time you can restock.

3. Learn practical skills.

People underestimate the importance of knowing how to make your own food. If you have a garden or even a windowsill, these can become valuable assets in the long run. Here are some skills that you can develop in case of an emergency:

  • Baking. Learning how to bake provides you with numerous options of baked foods. Their ingredients can be easily stocked, and it provides you with fresh bread each day.
  • Gardening. Having your own garden is at the top of the list for any prepper. It ensures that your produce is free from toxic substances. They can provide food all year long, depending on what you plant. Even at the city, you can also plant in pots by your windowsill. (Related: Urban gardening survival secrets: some ways to grow food in any city even when your life depends on it.)
  • Preserving foods. If you have any excess fruits or vegetables, you can save them for later. You can place them in cans, turn them into jams, or dry them in the sun to preserve them.

Learn more tips and tricks on preparing your pantry at

Sources include:

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