When searching for the best stores to buy survival food, you’re likely to run into a few big-name companies.
However, as you probably already know, making your own MREs and building your own survival food stockpile can be just as effective – not to mention a much more affordable alternative in some cases.
Plus, a well-planned at-home stockpile can provide you with nutritious and sustainable meals that can beat the popular brands in quality, variety, and price.
Still, where can you buy the best and most affordable survival food to add to your supply?
This list is designed to help you decide which stores to visit to buy the best cheap survival food for your stockpile.
Costco is a membership-based warehouse club. While they do offer ready-to-go emergency food kits, they also have bulk, wholesale food items to add to your stockpile. The benefit of buying survival food at Costco is that you can buy a lot of great prepping items at an affordable cost than you would find in a grocery store.
Related: What Happens When You Eat Only Costco Cans For 30 Days?
This is because you’re effectively cutting out the middleman costs of transporting food from the warehouse to the grocery store.
So, buying essentials for your survival stockpile at places like Costco can be a huge money saver, especially if you have a larger family or a bigger stockpile.
For some people, Walmart sometimes falls under the category of “necessary evil” – especially when it comes to buying survival food.
Where else can you buy a new toothbrush, a fishing license, and a 20 lb. bag of flour all in one store?
Whatever your opinion about Walmart may be, one thing’s for sure – It is a super cheap place to stock up on emergency food items and supplies.
To its credit, Walmart usually has a pretty impressive selection of food products at low prices. For example, they have a variety of canned foods as well as everyday items like sugar, flour, beans, and rice. They’re typically sold in a variety of sizes too — ranging from 3 to 50 pounds — so you can buy the right size for your stockpile needs.
Although Walmart is an affordable place to shop, the shipping, storage, and handling practices aren’t always perfect. So, checking for damage and other safety issues may be a good idea.
Depending on where you live, grocery stores can be a good option for survival food purchases.
Grocery stores usually carry MREs in the form of powdered milk, powdered peanut butter, freeze-dried meals, and other foods.
However, grocery stores also carry things like oatmeal, dried meat, rice, sugar, flour, and plenty of other shelf-stable food items for your emergency survival stockpile.
Although grocery stores aren’t necessarily the cheapest places to buy survival food, you can usually save a good amount by using a combination of free store cards and discount coupons in most cases.
Sam’s Club is a great option for those looking to purchase bulk emergency food items at a discounted rate. As a membership-based subsidiary of Walmart, Sam’s Club offers its members access to wholesale food items at prices that are even lower than what you would find in Walmart stores.
Many people prefer to buy cheap survival food at Sam’s Club since prices tend to be cheaper than they are at Costco, especially for larger or bulkier stockpiles.
This is another great option for those with larger emergency food stockpiles or those with big families.
Ethnic Food Markets
When looking for cheap survival food, markets that sell food items from other countries can be an unexpected survival food gold mine. From Hispanic and Asian to European markets, these kinds of stores tend to carry a variety of survival food items that are way off most people’s radar.
Related: 10 Long-Lasting Foods From The Chinese Store
This can work to your advantage when the usually frequented store shelves are starting to look a bit bare.
At these stores, you can usually find things like canned fish, dried meats, fermented foods, canned items, and more.
Culture-specific markets can supply you with a variety of low-priced, high-quality survival foods to add to your SHTF inventory.
Farmer’s markets are a great place to buy food directly from the source while supporting your local farm community. Most farmer’s markets typically specialize in fresh produce, like fruits and veggies. However, a lot of markets also offer canned foods, dried meats, and other shelf-stable products.
Additionally, buying fresh produce to freeze-dry, can, pickle, ferment – or otherwise process at home – is often a healthier alternative to using store-bought produce for the same purpose.
Alternatively, you can grow your own vegetables, which would be even cheaper. For more helpful information, check out this guide on how to make a year-round self-sustaining garden.
When you purchase fresh produce at a farmer’s market, you can make your own canned, pickled, or fermented foods without all the unnecessary additives and preservatives required by the FDA just to sit on a shelf at a grocery store.
Buying produce at farmer’s markets allows you to make more types of foods specific to your own tastes.
This allows you to make things like fruit leather, veggie chips, unique dried powdered spices and herbs, and other similar items that cost less to make than the store-bought version.
In North America, dollar stores – such as Dollar General, 99 Cent Store, and Dollar Tree – can be an unexpected source of ultra-cheap survival food.
Dollar stores typically get their food from brand liquidation sales, lesser-known brands, or directly from global food manufacturers.
As a result, dollar stores are able to offer already discounted food at even lower prices. These kinds of stores can be a gold mine for shelf-stable foods such as canned items and dried products like pasta and rice.
So, the next time you’re looking for cheap survival food to add to your prepper pantry or emergency food stockpile, consider a trip to the dollar store.
From freeze-dried meals to canned goods and dried grains to dehydrated fruits and veggies, there’s plenty of cheap survival food to be found in stores – even if it isn’t necessarily marketed that way.
With a little planning and some frugal shopping skills, making your own survival food stockpile can be surprisingly affordable.
However, the stores mentioned on this list are just a handful of places where you can buy cheap survival food to add to your stockpile. What stores would you recommend for buying cheap survival food?
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