How to Prepare for the Next Food Shortage | 12 Foods to Stock Up on Now

What you should stock up on now in order to get ahead? It’s better to be more than prepared when a food shortage happens!

The COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine recommendations that went along with it led to panic-buying by most of America. As everyone prepared to stay home for at least two weeks, they stocked up on everything they would need to sustain themselves.

Store shelves emptied. Then, as the virus spread, plants shut down and supply chains were interrupted. This meant stores were unable to restock for weeks and even months.

Many items are still in short supply or being rationed by stores to prevent the same empty shelves from recurring. So what were the first items to leave shelves? What should you be stocking up on if conditions deteriorate again as we enter flu season?

For the most part, Americans have become overly reliant on restaurants and prepared food options. The ease and speed of putting together a meal are possibly the most important considerations for the average person when they are shopping.

For Preppers, making sure to stock items with enough calories to sustain life is a priority as well, which means lots of pasta and potatoes to fill you up.

1. Ramen Noodles

Ramen is not exactly the healthiest choice, but there’s no denying how easy, quick, and handy they are. The cup o’noodles even eliminate the need for a bowl.

For 30¢, you can have a meal by simply adding boiling water. If ramen has been restocked in your store, be sure to buy it while you can.

2. Macaroni & Cheese

Again, not the healthiest choice, but macaroni and cheese is easy and can be made very quickly. You can even skip the butter and just add dry milk and water if your supplies are limited. Most children will be placated by macaroni and cheese, making it an ideal choice for parents.

3. Dry Milk/Boxed Milk

Milk has been in short supply throughout the pandemic, as it is a household staple for most of America while also having a short shelf life. Shelf-stable milk options are an item to stock up on while you can unless you have consistent access to a reliable dairy farm.

4. Canned Fruit

There is no cooking or preparation needed for canned fruit, and no need to dirty a dish. It is delicious and nutritious and a sweet pick-me-up.

5. Mashed Potatoes

Boxed potato flakes are a great, efficient way to add extra calories as you’re cooking meals. They can be added to soups, stews gravies, and sauces as a thickener, especially if you don’t have access to milk or cream.

6. Canned Chiles

Chiles are another item that does not need to be heated for consumption and can easily add flavor to your meals. They can be eaten directly out of the can.

7. Noodles

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Any and all types of pasta are a great item to stockpile. They provide the necessary calories and require only boiling water to prepare. They can be used as a main course, side dish, and be added to soups and stews.

8. Minute Rices

Regular dried rice takes a significant amount of time to prepare, but minute rice is much faster and easier to cook. You will need only boiling water to have a filling dish.

9. Canned Soups

Traditional canned soups do not contain enough calories to sustain life, but a chunky soup over rice or with boxed potato flakes added to it can provide a quick, easy, and flavorful meal.

10. Canned Tomatoes

Although they are lacking in calories, canned tomatoes are a versatile and popular item to stock up on. You can use them to make Italian food, chilis, soups, and stews.

11. Drink Flavorings

Not a necessity by any means, but many Americans do not prefer plain drinking water. Even if you do not personally consume drink flavorings, you may want to stock them as barter items.

12. Paper Towels

Again, paper towels are hardly a necessity. American culture is one that wastes and prefers single-use items, and paper towels have become a symbol of that culture. They will continue to be in short supply despite the fact that rags and towels work just as well and can be washed and reused.

These are the actual items that were hard to come by in 2020, so you can expect them to be sold out again if we face another crisis. With stores mostly restocked, now is a good time to stock up on these pantry staples and be prepared for a food shortage!

Do you have anything to add to our list? Do share your tips and ideas for food shortage preparation in the comments section below!

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