If you’re wondering what one emergency food supply for a family could look like, you’re in ~ the best place. And also by one emergency food supply, i don’t mean those dehydrated meals or MRE’s (meals prepared to eat) the taste prefer chalk.

You are watching: Emergency food supply for family of 4

On the various other hand, no one wants to eat vegetables and beans the end of a deserve to for two weeks -unless you have actually no power, and also it’s a organic disaster and also emergency.

In this post, ns cover what foods items you should stock up on should you uncover yourself and your family members at home for 2 weeks or an ext and desire to continue to eat a healthy variety of foods.

I’ve additionally put with each other a comprehensive meal plan to help you chef for 2 weeks just using your pantry staples and what you have on hand.


Covered in this post:

Whether you find yourself protection in place, political unrest, or organic disaster, it’s constantly a an excellent idea to it is in prepared. 

Things to Know before You stock up (and spend a most money)

Going to the store and “stocking increase on stuff” is no a great idea. It will be expensive, a most items will go uneaten, and you’ll find yourself eat the same foodstuffs day ~ day.

1. Take inventory that the food you already have at home.

With pen and record on hand, head to her pantry, fridge, and also freezer and also write down the foods items you currently have and also can consume first. There’s no should buy an ext pasta if you already have a dozen box of spaghetti top top hand.

2. Do a list of meals you deserve to make today.

Look at the items you wrote down on your record and create a list of an easy meals your family will eat you have the right to make using the ingredients you have. Any missing ingredients can be created down top top a different shopping list.

And if you’re thinking about meals, jot down meals your family members will reap eating for added days. Meaning, if you only have enough food to chef 6 full family meals, create down 8-10 various other meals you deserve to make v a few ingredients because that the remainder of the 2-week period.

Remember to keep things simple. And by the way, repeat meals together necessary since this is temporary.

3. Repeat for every meals.

While you could associate “meals” with dinner, you’ll have to do this process for breakfast, lunch, and also snacks.See listed below for a recommended food list.

Now the you have actually the “on-hand” list, a “meals” list, and a “shopping list” v the lacking ingredients to assist you do those meals, let’s talk about what foods items to purchase to have on hand.


What Food to share Up On

Hopefully, girlfriend did the steps above to evaluate what her food demands are. Autumn up because that emergencies can obtain expensive and it’s straightforward to “run out” without proper planning.

If you’re not the “planning” type and are thinking “just give me a list of food” I’ve gained you covered.


Note the the meals you’ll be making through the ingredients listed below are no going to it is in a 3-course meal yet you’ll go past eating “rice and also beans” for 2 weeks.

1. Share up ~ above shelf-stable, meal-building, pantry ingredients.

Oats, pasta, rice, whole-grains, legumes, and also flour are constantly a great idea. This ingredients only require water to be cooked and can regularly yield more servings 보다 their measured volume.


These are also the least expensive items to purchase and also a little goes a lengthy way! here are some examples of meals you can develop with each:


OatmealAdd-in come smoothies


Base because that recipes


Base because that recipesPlain, with butterAlongside beans

Whole-Grains:Like rice and pasta, other totality grains prefer quinoa, farro, and also barley can be provided as meal builders and also sides for other meals.

Legumes:Beans, or legumes, are terrific to build meals since they are a great source that fiber, protein, and nutrition. It’s an inexpensive method of offering nutrition and can be conveniently be prepared with water and also seasonings.

Tips: if you are short on storage space, consider buying bulk beans rather of canned. While no as convenient, friend can acquire 4-5 times the quantity of servings because that the same cost from mass dried beans.

1 15-ounce can of beans = 3 servings = $1.59 (avg)1 32-ounce bag of bean = 26 servings = $1.79 (avg)

2. Stock up on Frozen Items

Freezer-space permitting, frozen counterparts to fresh vegetables carry out the exact same amount that nutrition and also can be stored in the freezer for long periods of time (1-6 months).

Frozen vegetables:Spinach, broccoli, environment-friendly beans fill a most nutrition every bite. Other favorites: carrots, brussels sprouts, and stir-fry mixes

Frozen fruits:Blueberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries, and pineapple space all great choices due to the fact that they room packed through nutrition native both vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.

Should i stock increase on Meat?

I’m a huge fan of maintaining a stash that frozen proteins prefer chicken, pork, and beef roast, in mine freezer at every times. This should match the recipes in your meal plans and not meant to it is in the bulk of the meal.

If friend buy fresh meat in ~ the grocery to freeze, think about it cut it right into smaller pieces or preparing it because that the recipe you mean to usage it in, add the flavors or seasonings, and also freeze in a labeling zip bag. Label everything.

If you are having trouble finding what you require in grocery stores or want to border trips come the store, see exactly how I’ve to be ordering chicken and also other meats online for month now. This source is coming in comfortable right currently too!

Best meats to keep in your freezer to develop meals:

chicken breastwhole chickensbeef pot roast or shoulder roastground beefpork roast, pork loins

When considering protein to acquisition to share up for an emergency, constantly buy the meats you’re most familiar with and most versatile through recipes.

Related: how to Thaw Chicken Safely

What around seafood? should I to buy Fish?

I highly recommend purchase seafood and also fish if it’s available and your household will eat it. Remember, you’re meal planning for an emergency period. Ounce for ounce, seafood is more expensive 보다 other pet proteins.

If you’re unsure whether or not you’ll eat the fish in the freezer but would choose to obtain some of the benefits from seafood, think about buying canned seafood (see list below for recommendations).

How to construct an Emergency Food Supply

The most conservative approach to structure an emergency food it is provided is come buy what your family will consume (realistically) for 14 days.

The best foods to use for an emergency food supply should require minimal cooking, limited ingredients required to build a meal, and you have the right to eat the on repeat.

Besides the over pantry staples and freezer items, canned items are constantly a great idea.

Best foods items to Stock for Emergencies

At the end of the day, remember the the ideal foods to stock for emergencies are those the you will certainly actually consume. Why waste your time and precious storage space on items you’ll never use? Exactly.

You can gain ahead the the game by preparing part meals now with the food that you have at home and also freezing it. This will save you time and open up fridge and pantry an are for new ingredients.

Tip: freezing items flat in a zip bag will certainly take up much less room. And also remember to brand the contents inside the bag.


You could want come make part breakfast muffins or various other baked goods and freeze lock too.

Related: just how to frozen Muffins & just how to freeze Pancakes

Best Canned items to stock Up On

Fruit:fruits without added sugar space a good idea. Look for fruits with a high vitamin C content, like peaches, oranges, pineapples, and grapefruit.

Vegetables:I recommend having actually some crate vegetables top top hand since they space a great source that fiber, vitamin C, and also other nutrients. Corn, carrots, peas, and also green beans are great options. Another favorite: canned pumpkin. It’s not simply for fall!

Beans:stock increase on all arrays of canned bean (that your family will in reality eat). Typically, ns recommend 2 cans per meal, because that a household of 4. Beans are simple to use, need no cooking, and also can be turned into a enjoy the meal quickly!

Recipes to make with canned beans:

Pasta:this suggestion could make your kids extremely happy and also give you a day off from cooking! many canned pasta arrays are high on salt so save an eye out for that.

Simple crate cheese ravioli space kid-friendly, offers protein, carbohydrates, and also are low in saturation fat.

Fish:love box seafood because they space a wonderful resource of omega 3s and also can be cooked in a selection of ways. Share up on:


Canned fish can be used in sandwiches, salads, and also even “fish nuggets“.

How to keep the Food

While some people have big pantries, others carry out not. When an are is limited, you’ll want to store shelf-stable pantry item in temperature-controlled rooms for maximum life-span.

Creative spaces to store food:

In bins or box under beds.In your laundry roomIn the an are under your staircaseIn your closets, high increase or in ~ ground floorIn the water heater closetUnder the couchIn the basement, if you have actually one

Fresh foods to buy for food storage – Perishables to keep on hand

While that seems prefer you’re preparing because that an apocalypse, remember you’re preparing to it is in self-reliant for a 2-week period (more with ideal planning).

Dairy:items favor fresh milk can go negative before your 2-week period, so i recommend having actually on hand what you will consume prior to the expiration date. Otherwise, acquisition shelf-stable milk or dairy-free alternatives that perform not require refrigeration.

Did you know that milk deserve to be frozen?It can! If you have actually the freezer space, buy milk in quart or half gallon sizes and freeze it. When ready to use, thaw it out in the frozen refrigerator overnight and consume in ~ 5 days.

Cheese:block and also shredded cheese last around 2 main in the refrigerator after opening so make sure to store those packages sealed tight and only open when necessary. Part cheeses choose Cheddar and also Parmesan last about a month.

Fruit:although i just said that you share up ~ above frozen and canned fruits, some fruits have actually longer shelf life 보다 others. Berries and other soft-skinned fruits have a short life-span, about 3-5 work post-purchase in the refrigerator, while others longer. I recommend girlfriend purchase and also keep in the refrigerator:

Apples (all varieties)Oranges & clementinesPearsBananas (buy green keep top top counter, peel & freeze when an extremely ripe)

I love stocking increase on bananas. When they go ripe, i makeBanana Oatmeal Muffinswith plenty of pantry staples.

Vegetables:few new vegetables will last much longer than 5 days. This is well if you’re purchasing foods for 2 or 3 weeks. The an initial week, usage up whatever fresh and also after that, hit increase the stash in her freezer.

Some longer-life veggies:

Broccoli (keep in fridge)Cabbage, green and purpleCarrots

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes:when maintained in a cool, dry location like her pantry these have the right to last approximately 3 weeks.

Onions & Garlic:they add lots of smell to your meals and can additionally last increase to 2 months when stored in a cool, dry ar like the pantry.

Eggs:eggs have actually a lengthy life in the refrigerator. It’s ideal to store them in their initial carton and also they space usually labeled v an expiration date (about 3 main from the time of purchase). Girlfriend can also freeze eggs!

Butter:essential come baking, spreading and cooking you deserve to keep this in the fridge for a few months or in the freezer because that a year.

Bread (sliced, muffins, tortillas, bagels, English muffins):no doubt, the bread you purchase today at the grocery store will have actually a printed “Best by” date. You can expand their shelf life by refrigerating the bread or by keeping it in its original packaging and freezing, climate toast or heat at room temperature as needed.

Other cooking Essentials to have on Hand

While you can only be thinking food that needs to it is in heated or cooked, over there are other essentials most human being overlook that are virtually necessary to cook meals.

While it’s not crucial to share up on these items, take into consideration having these on hand:

seasonings and spicesoil spray and also cooking oilscoffee (always a good idea IMO)condiments and sauces

Snacks to save on hand

While you could be inclined to acquisition a bunch that “single packs” for snack time, stress eating is a real thing and can hit any of us at any type of time. Those granola bars? Gone. 100-calorie packs? Gone.

Try having these snacks in your pantry instead:

Dried Fruit:a little serving is nutrition and fiber-rich; so maintaining these in your pantry is always a good idea. They can be provided to top your oatmeal and also baked goods. You can also make your own banana chips or apple chips to save them longer.

Nuts and also Nut Butter:an frequently overlooked source of protein that lasts a lengthy time is a great option because that snack time. A little handful the nuts have necessary fats and minerals. Buy a huge bag of your favorite and also remember come seal it fine to keep them new or keep them in the freezer (if you have room) because that ultimate freshness.

When it concerns nut butter you’ll only require a couple of jars. There’s naught wrong v making a PB&J sandwich and also calling the a meal, that’s comfort food because that many!

Seeds:also well-off in nutrition seeds choose flax, chia, and also hemp are good to keep in your fridge. If friend don’t frequently use seeds, skip them. Lock aren’t cheap and also while nutritious, save your money.

I placed seeds in the snack category due to the fact that they are good to peak yogurts, include them to smoothies, or include them to your morning oats.

Other Food Items to Consider

If you have actually a young son or baby, consider having enough baby food or formula, this is particularly the instance when it comes to special dietary needs.

If you have food allergies or special dietary demands in the family, make certain to have enough on hand so the you can provide safe and also nutritious meals for everyone.

If you have pets, remember having actually extra pet food for them as well.

How much is a 2 Week it is provided of Water?

The CDC recommendsthat friend should have actually at the very least one gallon the water per human being (and per pet) per day in her emergency stockpile. That means if you have four civilization in your family, you must have 4 gallons per day, and that’s just for drinking.

Do you must stock up on water? Currently, there space no limitations on water supplies.

See more: Goldie Hawn And Kurt Russell Daughter Rani With Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell

You can consider purchasing a filtration pump or LifeStraw pitcher or an individual filter to make sure you have accessibility to clean and safe drink water.

How to freeze Food because that Storage

Below you’ll uncover some helpful write-ups on just how to freeze numerous of the items said to stock up on. Ns bet friend didn’t understand you can freeze some of these!

How to do Fresh Food last Longer

If you’re wondering exactly how to make some foodstuffs last longer, like lettuce and also berries, I entirely get you! I too would love to eat fresh salads!