How to prep a year’s supply of food for your family for less than $300
By Virgilio Marin // Feb 23, 2021

Stockpiling a year's worth of food supply is easier said than done. Each member of the family has to be accounted for with adequate meals and water throughout the entire year. It's going to cost a lot of money if you have to purchase all of that wholesale. And keep in mind that you still have to stockpile other survival essentials like toiletries and survival gear. Fortunately, there's a way to prep a year's supply of food for less than $300. (h/t to


Year's worth of survival food for less than $300

A bowl of bean soup and rice are some of the most affordable yet filling dishes for your family. Granted, it's not going to satisfy all of your wants, but it's going to be a luxury considering there will be little to go around when SHTF.

The food and storing supplies listed below will cost you around $296. Keep in mind that the cost will vary depending on the brand or store where you buy the items.

Food items

You'll need to stockpile the following ingredients to last a family of four for a year:

  • 90 pounds (lbs) of white rice
  • 22 lbs of kidney beans
  • 22 lbs of barley
  • 22 lbs of yellow lentils
  • 5.5 lbs of split green peas
  • 5.5 lbs of chickpeas
  • 1 lb of salt
  • A large box of beef and chicken bouillon

If there are more or less than four of you in the household, you need to compute how much you should add or deduct based on how much your family consumes in a week.

Food storage

You'll need the following items to store your food supplies:

  • 8 five-gallon buckets
  • 8 large Mylar bags
  • 8 oxygen absorbers measuring 2,000 cubic centimeters
  • 8 gamma lids
  • A handful of bay leaves

Once you've secured these items, follow the steps below to prepare them for use:

  1. Insert a Mylar bag inside each bucket.
  2. Place 2 to 3 bay leaves on the bottom and fill the buckets with the food items. You'll need 3 buckets for the rice and 1 each for the kidney beans, barley and lentils. You can combine the split green peas and chickpeas in 1 bucket and put the rest of the items in the remaining bucket.
  3. Add more bay leaves after filling a third of the bucket and again until it's full.
  4. Label the buckets.
  5. Wrap the ends of the Mylar bag and then slowly and smoothly run a hot iron over the bag to seal all except the last 2 inches.
  6. Press out as much air as possible before sealing the remaining 2 inches.
  7. Cover with a gamma lid.

This food storage method can protect your food for up to 25 years. Mylar bags protect against light, moisture and insects, and create a good oxygen barrier, extending the shelf life of the food. And while they're not rat-proof, the sealed buckets effectively keeps rodents away. Mylar bags are also reusable, so after you've emptied their contents, you could use them again three or four more times. (Related: Proper food storage: 6 Ways to preserve food at home.)

How to make bean soup

For two days' worth of bean soup, use your measuring cup to get the right amount of each ingredient:

  • 2 oz of red kidney beans
  • 2 oz of pearl barley
  • 2 oz of lintels
  • 1 oz of split green peas
  • 1 oz of chickpeas

Boil six to seven quarts of water in a stockpot and then add the rinsed beans and peas. Add bouillon to taste. If you're able to store any meats, vegetables, potatoes or seasonings, you could also put these into the pot for a more filling and tasteful meal. Bring the soup to a boil and then let it simmer for two hours. Serve with cooked rice.

When SHTF, you'll be eating this hearty meal everyday over a long period of time. So at some point, you and your family will probably look for something else. If you have money to spare, you could stockpile other flavorful and healthful ingredients like onion and soy sauce.

Sources include:

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