How to Build a 30-Day Emergency Food Supply…Fast

How to Build a 30-Day Emergency Food Supply…Fast

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you may be feeling on edge.  You may feel as though time is running out for you to get your preparedness supplies in order. You may be new to prepping, and feeling like there’s too much to accomplish.  The stress in our country is at peak levels, as we watch the bumbling efforts of officials to contain the spread of Ebola, as the war drums beat louder, as riots break out again in an American city, as the economy freefalls, and as a terrorist group declares Jihad on anyone who doesn’t share their religious beliefs.

This feeling of urgency can make you feel hopeless and panicked, and that’s not productive.  There’s no time for a lack of productivity. It’s time to focus and create your food supply…fast. If an event occurs during which you are unable to leave your home, you want to make certain that you can do this without assistance. Such an event could be a mandatory quarantine, self-imposed isolation due to a pandemic, civil unrest in your town, martial law, or even a terrible storm that leaves you stranded, with no access to the store.

Generally I write about healthy food. I write about focusing on whole foods without additives, and I firmly believe that is the very best way to build your food supply.  I believe strongly in the value of a pantry that you will use day to day to nourish your family.

food storage pantry

However, if you do not have a food supply waiting in your pantry, now is the time to focus on creating an emergency stockpile quickly.  You can then add healthier options at your leisure. The quantities in this article are per person, so you’ll need to multiply this by the number of people in your home. You can order these items online and get them to your door within a couple of days.

Alternatively, you can shop around and try to find duplicates locally. You can also create a food plan, make a list, and go shopping, purchasing the highest quality items available, and repackaging them for longer shelf life.

However you opt to build your food supply, please don’t hesitate. If a worst case scenario occurred, the goal is to be able to feed your family for at least a month.

How much do you need?

There are a few different ways to calculate food storage, but I find breaking it down by serving size to be the most practical. Don’t rely on what a package calls a serving size – consider the appetites of your family. You might have a couple of big eaters and a couple of people with birdlike appetites. The lists below are based on serving sizes for an average adult.

Be sure to get a variety of different foods:

  • 3 protein servings
  • 5-8 fruits and vegetables
  • 5 starchy carbohydrates

On a 2000 calorie per day diet, strictly based on long-term storage food, the LDS Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) says the average adult would need:

  • 5 pounds of beans
  • 25 pounds of grains
  • 5 pounds of sugars
  • 2 pounds of fats
  • 8 pounds of dairy

These are purely subjective numbers, however.  For example, if your family is gluten-free, you might eat more protein and produce than starchy carbs.  You must take into account your family’s health concerns, special needs, allergies, intolerances, likes, and dislikes.   These are simply guidelines. Try to stick as close to your normal eating habits as possible, to lessen the stress of an already highly-wrought situation.

It’s also important to consider cooking times. If you never ever cook from scratch, will you suddenly want to make pots of beans and homemade bread? If the power goes out, will you have a way that you’ll be able to cook these foods?

cooking fire

Create a stockpile with emergency food kits

If you’re trying to build a food supply quickly, consider ordering a kit with a month’s supply of meals in it.  These aren’t going to be the healthiest or tastiest meals, but they’ll stand between you and starvation.

You may look at the prices of these items and say, “Oh, I can’t afford this.” But you have to remember, this is enough food for an ENTIRE MONTH.  At $150, that means you’re spending only $3-5 per day on food.  It honestly doesn’t get much cheaper than that.  There’s a variety of price points below, with the pros and cons of each. These were the prices at the time of publication.

You’ll notice on the list of extras that I recommended a gentle laxative. Some people, when dependent solely upon MREs or dehydrated foods, become constipated.  I also recommended a high-quality multivitamin to help ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need.

(Note:  A reader pointed out that some of the prices of these products have changed since the article was published. Amazon reserves the right to adjust prices at any time, and if an item is in high demand, may possibly raise the price.  At the time of publication, these prices were accurate and all of these products were available. I’m sorry for any inconvenience.)


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The Eat Tomorrow Foods 1-month Emergency Food Kit contains 100 meals for one person (that’s more than 3 meals per day!). This is the best mix of quality and affordability on the market. Meals are freeze-dried and packed in heavy mylar pouches before being sealed in an FDA approved food bucket. This creates the most effective long-term food product you can get, preserving food for up to 25 years if stored correctly. With the recent advances in the freeze-drying process, these meals also taste great and continue to maintain a high level of nutrition. To prepare them you only need the ability to boil water – this could come in very handy during a grid-down situation. While most food resellers package a lot of drink mixes, desserts and side-dishes as “meals” in their supply kits, Eat Tomorrow Foods provides only full “main-dish” servings in their bucket. All of their food is low fat and certified MSG free, GMO free and contains no trans fat or cholesterol…super healthy! There are 10 different meal choices, each in a resealable mylar pouch holding 10-servings of a particular dish. This bucket is about $150 (that’s $1.50 per serving!). You can buy directly from them online at The kit contains:

  • Fettuccine Alfredo (10 servings)
  • Macaroni & Cheese (10 servings)
  • Creamy Potato Soup (10 servings)
  • Italian Pasta Marinara (10 servings)
  • Tex-Mex Corn Chowder (10 servings)
  • Homestyle Pancake Mix (10 servings)
  • Stroganoff (10 servings)
  • Brown Sugar Oatmeal (10 servings)
  • Real Texas Chili (10 servings)
  • Granola Crunch (10 servings)




Gluten Free choice:

gf bucket

If you must have gluten free the Relief Foods Gluten Free Emergency Food Supply Bucket  is a good choice. This is certified to be free of gluten, MSG, and GMOs. It does contain 100 servings,  but some of which are not real “meals”. This bucket costs $112.


  • Enchilada Beans and Rice – 18 Servings
  • Cheese and Broccoli Bake – 12 Servings
  • Classic Chili Mix – 18 Servings
  • Creamy Potato Soup – 12 Servings
  • Corn Chowder Soup – 6 Servings
  • Cheddar Broccoli Soup – 6 Servings
  • Orange Drink Mix – 8 Servings
  • Powdered Milk – 8 Servings
  • Oatmeal with Brown Sugar – 12 Servings



#10 Cans:


If you happen to have an LDS cannery or self-reliance store in your area, you’ve got a great resource. You can also order supplies online.  These #10 cans are sealed and will last for 10 years or longer.

A 28 pound starter kit contains wheat berries, oats, rice, beans, and flour for only $33.50.  The downside to this is that most of the foods require extensive cooking times and would make for quite bland eating if you relied solely on this.

Add some variety and nutrition

If it’s in the budget, adding some fruits, vegetables, desserts, and dry milk can go a long way towards fighting food fatigue. These foods can be found on Amazon and at various food stores:

Freeze Dried Vegetable Variety : 160 servings for $67

Lindon Farms Mixed Freeze Dried Fruits: 150 servings for $108

Emergency Food Supply Whey Milk: 250 servings for $75

Steel Cut Oats: 4 pound can for $16

Instant Vanilla Pudding: 68 oz. for $25

Alpine Aire Gourmet Reserves Apple Almond Crisp: 4 pound can for $23

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix: Just add water, 45 servings for $16

Organic Multi Vitamin: 60 tablets for $25

Nature’s Secret Soothing Coconut and Aloe Natural Laxative, 60 Count: 60 count for $15

Don’t forget to add an assortment of spices and condiments to make your emergency meals tastier.

You don’t have to be a prepper to build a 30-day food supply.

Up until recently, preppers have had something of a bad name in the media. However, as disasters strike America over and over, people are beginning to see the value in the way we do things. It’s been proven time and time again that when issues occur, you’re completely on your own.