How to Build a Stockpile of Food With $5 a Week

Being prepared and building a stockpile of food can seem overwhelming and expensive. However, did you know you can build a stockpile of food storage for as little as $5 a week? That’s the same cost as one trip to Starbucks, snacks from the gas station, or one impulse purchase at the grocery store.

Prepping and stockpiling food can be cheap and easy if it is important to you and you make it a priority. Use our $5 a week buying guide below to help you start stockpiling food so you’ll be prepared to feed your family no matter what happens in life.

Jump down the page to see our 5 Dollars a Week Buying Guide

Where to find the cheapest foods to stockpile?

To help take pressure off of your budget find the cheapest grocery stores, the best places to buy bulk food online, and even find deals at an Amish bulk food store near you.

Why Should I Use My Budget to Stockpile of Food?

You never know when disasters, pandemics, supply chain issues, shortages, or other unforeseen events will transpire and leave grocery stores with empty shelves. There are many reasons you want a stockpile of food including:

  • Grocery stores shut down 
  • Loss of job that limits funds
  • Trucking companies unable to make deliveries
  • Grocery store shelves are empty
  • Grocery prices rising causing foods and brands to be unaffordable
  • Natural disasters that temporarily limit deliveries
  • Supply chain issues
  • Food shortages (see how to prepare for food shortages)

All of these events happening can cause a great amount of stress if your pantry shelves are empty. If you no longer have access to food or can no longer afford food, having a stockpile is a great piece of mind and could be life-saving.

6 Tips for Stockpiling Food on a Budget

When done right, having a stockpile of food can be done affordably and not wastefully. Here are 6 tips to help when building your stockpile. 

1. Stock things that you know you and your family will eat

When you are building your stockpile make sure the foods you are storing are food that you and your family will eat. Storing 50 pounds of lima beans that you won’t eat even in an emergency does no good and uses up valuable space and money that can be used for other things (see our guide to building a 3-month food supply).

2. Stock things that have a long shelf life

Storing foods that have a long shelf life is a great way to have a lasting stockpile. Foods such as flour, sugar, rice, and beans have a very long shelf life. But canned foods such as soups, vegetables, fruits, and more have up to a 5-year shelf life. These are also considered longer shelf-life foods and are great to buy when stockpiling foods.

3. Buy double when buying ingredients for weekly meals

My favorite way to stockpile on a budget is to buy one for now and 2 for later when purchasing food for my weekly meals. When I am not able to shop case lot sales for deals it is easy to purchase one or two extra items to stockpile to make the same meal again at a later date.

4. Have proper containers for food storage

When stockpiling foods it is important to make sure that you are storing foods in the proper containers to help them last. Foods such as canned goods are fine to store on their own. foods such as rice, flour, sugar, and beans should be moved from their original packaging and put in either 5-gallon buckets with oxygen absorbers or sealed in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to extend the shelf life even longer. 

Important things to consider when looking for containers to store your food storage include:

5. Rotate foods

When you stockpile food it is important that you are constantly rotating the food so that it doesn’t expire. Stockpiling food is not just getting the food and holding on to it. The oldest foods should be used first. When storing food the oldest food should come to the front and the newest food should go in the back. These can rotators are a great tool to help not waste food.

6. Buy store or generic brand foods

When you are stockpiling on a budget buying name-brand food will use up that money really quickly. Brands such as Kroger, Great Value, Food Club, Signature Select, Kirkland, Member’s Mark, and many others are great ways to get the most for your money when building a stockpile. 

When on a budget it’s good to know the cheapest brands and find the cheapest grocery stores to shop at to help save money. We also like to take advantage of deals at Amish bulk food stores (Find an Amish store near you).

prepare and stockpile food with only $5 a month

5 Dollars a Week Buying Guide to Building a Food Stockpile

When planning what to spend your $5 on each week where you live and the current price of groceries will determine what you buy. This may mean that you buy a 10-pound bag of flour instead of a 25-pound bag of flour. Or Multiple smaller bags of sugar instead of the largest bag of sugar. Having a smaller amount on hand is better than not having anything in your pantry.

Week 1 – Flour

Week 2 – Sugar 

Week 3 – Salt

Week 4 – Yeast

Week 5 – Baking Soda

Week 6 – Baking Powder

Week 7 – Brown Sugar

Week 8 – Pasta

Week 9 – Beans

Week 10 – Rice

Week 11 – Powdered Milk 

Week 12 – Oats

Week 13 – Honey

Week 14 – Pasta Sauce

Week 15 – Pancake Mix

Week 16 – Cocoa Powder

Week 17 – Cornmeal

Week 18 – Canned Soup or other canned items

Week 19 – Vegetable Oil

Week 20 – Shortening 

Week 21 – Peanut Butter

Week 22 – Jam

Week 23 – Canned Vegetables

Week 24 – Canned Fruit

Week 25 – Whole Wheat Berries (Stores like Winco offer purchase by the pound)

Week 26 – Pasta Sauce 

Week 27 – Canned Meat (tuna, chicken)

Week 28 – Mac and Cheese Boxes

Week 29 – Flour

Week 30 – Sugar

Week 31 – Canned Vegetables 

Week 32 – Canned Fruits

Week 33 – Spices

Week 34 – Brown Sugar

Week 35 – Rice 

Week 36 – Honey

Week 37 – Powdered Milk

Week 38 – Oats

Week 39 – Pancake Mix

Week 40 – Canned Soup or other canned items

Week 41 – Vegetable Oil

Week 42 – Peanut Butter

Week 43 – Whole Wheat Berries (Stores like Winco offer purchase by the pound)

Week 44 – Canned Meat (tuna, chicken)

Week 45 – Jam

Week 46 – Sauce (BBQ, Worcestershire, soy sauce) 

Week 47 – Pasta

Week 48 – Beans

Week 49 – Canned Vegetables

Week 50 – Canned Soup or other canned items

Week 51 – Rice 

Week 52 – Flour

Total: $260 per year

Monthly Cost: $21.67

Food storage items that may cost more than $5 a week but may be worth considering include:

Non-food Items to Also Budget For and Stockpile

Once you get started, and you want to be more serious about building a stockpile of more than just food, here is a simple way to add those extras necessities such as

Once a month plan to spend $20 on other necessities in addition to the weekly $5 on food storage. For $500 a year you can have a solid stockpile of all the necessities you and your family could need. To purchase bigger items save the extra $20 per month till you have to total amount. Physically setting that money aside if you need to.  

Weekly – $5 on food stockpile

Once a month – extra $20 on items listed above

Total: per year $500

Kaycee Blair

I'm Kaycee Blair, co-owner of EZ-Prepping with my husband Colton. My family is the most important thing to me in this world. I couldn't bear watching my two little boys go hungry so finding easy and practical ways to be prepared for the future by building food storage and gathering other emergency preparedness items has become a passion to me.

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