This is a huge category because right now I probably have seven or eight different kinds of dry beans and lentils.
We know that legumes are a superfood in that they contain protein, fiber, and nutrients. The fact that they’re shelf-stable and a lot of other protein sources are not means that this is the category that makes me sigh with relief the most, knowing that I have a few hundred pounds in my basement.At this point, it probably should be said that you should never buy anything that you can’t actually use. That’s a waste of money and resources.
I know that legumes last a really long time, and we will use them as much as possible, especially in the winter months for bean soupschilis, and refried beans. Every Wednesday we have taco night and use half ground beef and half sprouted lentils. So that won’t be a problem either.Rice and beans are the quintessential preparedness and budget meal. So it makes sense that rice is next.
Although brown rice and black rice won’t last as long as white rice, they still have a very decent shelf life [6 months at room temperature and a year or more in the freezer] and their nutrient density is so much higher than white rice that it’s worth buying a few bags at Costco, at leastOatmeal is a definite addition to the whole grains category for our family. My kids eat soaked oatmeal at least twice a week, so I’ve always purchased it in 50-pound bags. For the sake of preparedness, I’m going to make sure I have plenty on hand.
When it comes to other grains, I stock up on those a bit less. Quinoa is a great one if your family will eat it regularly because it’s very high in protein and lower in carbohydrates. But it’s a bit more sensitive and won’t last as long.When purchasing meat here are some things to consider:
How much freezer space do you have? Be smart.
Buy meat with bones so that you can make broth if food does get scarce. Broth is a protein sparer which means it enhances the value of whatever meat you have in that soup.
Buy meat that is the most budget-friendly, as we talked about in this post over here. Consider cuts that allow you to save the fat, such as bacon, or even buying some suet to make tallow or pork fat to make lard. Tallow and lard are both very energy-rich and last a long time. Consider what canned meats your family might eat. I have been grabbing some canned chicken from Costco each time I go. It bums me out that it’s not organic, but for preparedness’ sake, I’m okay with that.I have a few gallons of olive oil (use the coupon code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that link), which we will go through to make homemade salad dressings, a five-gallon bucket of virgin coconut oil, and a few one-gallon buckets of refined coconut oil.
In the past, I’ve easily gone through that five-gallon bucket of coconut oil in two years, which is its shelf life. However, now that I’m not baking as often, I don’t go through a cup of coconut oil here and there. So I’m going to have to work hard to make sure I use it all or share it with neighbors before it goes bad.In fact, I rely on it all the time when I’m totally behind on dinner and want to save the three to five minutes I might spend dicing onion. I use dried onion in soups, stews, any Instant pot or slow cooker meat recipes, and even many beans, rice, and lentil recipes as long as I can add the onion into the cooking water with the rice, for example.

Plus onion and garlic will add another plant point and some new nutrients into your diet along with the flavor.Canned fish has always been a really budget-friendly way to get omega 3s. For the last decade or so, I’ve thought of my stock of canned wild Alaskan salmon and tuna as well-sourced as I can get it as a major mainstay in my preparedness regimen.
I love tuna salad mixed up with mayo and mustard, and I do the same with canned salmon. I also try to make these salmon patties on a fairly regular basis.