How to Start an Emergency Food Pantry on a Budget

by Simplify

Miranda from Flourishing Miranda and her husband have decided to build an emergency food pantry in their basement. In her latest video, she shares the best foods for an emergency pantry, as well as tips to build a beginner prepper pantry if you are on a budget. Let’s dive in!

When deciding on the food list, Miranda prioritized low-maintenance foods, but also ones she will be using in her daily life.

She has decided to rotate her pantry: instead of just keeping the same products in the basement until they expire, she has started an Excel sheet to keep track of the expiry dates of all her foods, and slowly use up each item and replace it with new ones.

Pantry items

Another consideration was buying things that would actually make a good meal, and that she would in fact grab in case of emergency.

Here is Miranda’s list: mixed vegetables (2), green beans (6), garbanzo beans (4), refried beans (4), kidney beans (2), Great Northern beans (2), pinto beans (6), chili beans in tomato sauce (4), black beans (2), diced tomatoes (2), peanut butter, whole oats, mashed potato flakes, lentils, mustard, dill relish, sweet relish, and rice.

Speaking of the food pantry budget, Miranda spent $71 on food for her pantry. However, if you are on a tighter budget, she recommends building up your emergency pantry gradually, spending only $5-10 a week, and focusing on the most bang for your buck items first.

At this pace, it would take you a month and a half to get to the amount of food that she has already stockpiled.

Emergency food pantry

Do you have any emergency pantry tips? Share in the comments!

For more shelf-stable meal ideas, discover  these shelf-stable meal ideas or the  best items to buy at Costco for emergency food storage.

To see more videos, check out the  Flourishing Miranda YouTube channel.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Fred Beene Fred Beene on Jul 17, 2023

    When did you write this? $5 won't even buy a jar of Miracle Whip.

  • Mabel Jacobs Mabel Jacobs 15 hours ago

    I started an food pantry during Covid shutdown. I was getting extra foods from neighbors as they had access to the food distributions in my neighborhood. I was in the house caring for mom with dementia, so I was not out in the neighborhood. I have my pantry stocked with no or low salt veggies. I read the labels to get the correct items. I have noticed to rotate what is in pantry by eating them now and my current shopping is restocking the pantry to keep the dates on foods fresh. I stock some cleaning products and paper goods too. Purchase when you see them on sale to save a dollar$$$. Keep extra can opener with the stock supply. Wipes to clean cans before using them.