42 Must Have Food Pantry Items Preppers Should Stockpile – Updated 2021

pantry essentials

If you’re getting prepared for an emergency or disaster, I’d say food is one of the first things you should be stocking up on.

While this is a list of food items to stockpile, it’s important to keep in mind that water must also be stockpiled. Rice uses water. Dried beans uses water. You need water for hygiene, drinking, cleaning and eating purposes.

So don’t forget the water!

I always recommend at least 2 gallons of water per person, per day.

One last tip, many of these items will need to be stored properly in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. For instance, if you buy a bag of flour, transfer it to a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber.

In general, these items will be great for everyday uses, as well as emergency purposes.

Let’s get right to it then!

Here are 42 must have food items for your pantry:

  1. White rice (can store brown, but it will go rancid quicker)
  2. Dry/canned/boxed pasta
  3. Dried beans, lentils, quinoa
  4. Oil (such as olive oil)
  5. Flour (white or wheat)
  6. Sugar; white, brown and powdered
  7. Cocoa powder
  8. Protein powder
  9. Raw honey
  10. Raw maple syrup
  11. Tomato sauce, paste, chunks, etc.
  12. Canned meats; tuna, chicken, turkey, roast beef, spam, etc.
  13. Canned vegetables; corn, carrots, green beans, etc.
  14. Canned beans (uses less resources than dried beans, nice to have around)
  15. Baking soda
  16. Baking powder
  17. Spices; salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.
  18. Canned fruits; peaches, pears, etc.
  19. Drink mixes; coffee, tea, tang, protein powder, lemonade, electrolytes, etc.
  20. Powdered milk and buttermilk
  21. Just add water pancake mix
  22. Just add water hash browns
  23. Oats
  24. Popcorn
  25. Cornmeal
  26. Sauces such as soy, mayonnaise, mustard, teriyaki, etc.
  27. Freeze dried #10 cans and meals
  28. Corn starch
  29. Cream of soups; cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, etc.
  30. Snacks of your choosing
  31. Yeast (can be stored in freezer for long term storage)
  32. Bouillon cubes and/or canned stock and broth; chicken, beef, vegetable
  33. Vinegar; white and apple cider
  34. Coffee
  35. Tea
  36. Crackers
  37. Peanut butter
  38. Condiment packets
  39. Ramen
  40. Canned chili
  41. Granola/protein/cereal bars
  42. Bread crumbs

These are just starter ideas. The type of food you store will vary depending on what you eat. Store what you eat. If you don’t like spam, don’t store spam. If you have health concerns, keep those in mind.

Again, store what you eat.

It’ll be stressful enough in an emergency or disaster, you don’t want to have to force yourself or others to eat something you don’t even like.

Also, this list will change depending on if you have children or pets.

For newborns/young children, you’ll want to store formula and baby food.

For pets, you’ll want to store at least an extra bag of their normal food. You may also consider storing extra canned foods for them depending on their regular diet or what you think they might eat without making them sick.

Once last piece of advice; learn how to cook with your food storage. Create a menu plan and cook with your preps at least once a month to get an idea of what all can be made from your food storage.

Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!

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Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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  1. More info on hand pumps,etc for well pump?
    How it operates? Requirements to operate?
    Brand recommendations & or cost comparisons?

    Bought& filled the big blue water storage containers you recommended some time back & filled milk jugs galore— so glad we did! Whew! Fill those milk jugs People! Fill’m up!
    Had our 1st test w/ a lightening storm that took out all our power/water/hvac/& had a septic issue pop up all @ same time,etc. back in May. It was such a blessing to have water stored! Lotta Prayer,Faith in GOD,Lotta patience&trying to keep a level,cool head,esp. w/ one another—but we made it. Learned alot…esp. to ‘Celebrate the Simple Joys.’ Still don’t have HVAC,but discovered-just like we did w/ our tv-you don’t need it & other very do-able alternatives& done just fine w/o it. You just have to mentally commit that you can do this-think strategic,be wise,be cool!
    Not happy about what I’m hearing is coming for sure across America w/i next 60 days..but will pull together &cope w/that as well —as best we can…just as we did in May. Hope we can do as well or better when the real thing hits the fan.

  2. Great ideas and also good stuff as far keeping things squared away for the pantry.In my area where I live 65 miles north of NYC (unfortunately)boxes of pasta and can and packages of tuna are on sale stocked up pretty good packages of tuna fit well in my get home bag in my vehicle. Always look forward to your Sunday info!!

    1. Thanks so much! Glad this was helpful! Always good to have some extra supplies around for everyday needs. Thanks!

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