30 Staples to Stockpile Now

There's an interesting article that claims Costco executives are warning of a looming recession because of the current buying habits of Americans. 

People are switching to lower priced meats and stocking up on canned goods with a longer lifespan. The statistics are sobering.

For the record, long before the covid hysteria, I read Costco was doubling down on their own shipping lines to make sure there wasn't a shortage at their stores.  They were predicting problems months before anyone else had brought it up. They knew what was coming.

I like that. I like a buyer who thinks long-range. Of all the stores we visited during that drama, they seemed the least affected. So if they're now talking about a future recession, I'm paying attention.

You can weather a broody economy by stockpiling now.

This is my formula for stockpiling:

  • Start small. There's no need to overdo it.

  • Concentrate on shelf stable products.

  • Stick to basics. Expand the list when you can, but start with the basics.

  • Don't forget the medicine cabinet.

Shelf stability is the most critically important. There's no point in stocking up on stuff you won't use up in a timely manner.

So what are the 30 most important items to stock up on? This is my list.

  1. Seeds.  I put this first because you can also grow your groceries even if it's in a flimsy plastic pot.

  2. Salt

  3. Pepper

  4. Sugar (or sugar substitute)

  5. Raw Honey. You might think it deserves to go under sugar but honey is a nutritive sugar. It's also anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial. Best of all, it NEVER expires.

  6. Vinegar

  7. Fats.  Most fats are not shelf stable, but coconut oil and Crisco shortening have the longest lives.

  8. Flour

  9. Yeast.  This also has a short lifespan unless you freeze it.

  10. Milk.  The only way to store shelf stable milk is to buy dry milk. Canned milk has a limited lifespan.

  11. Dehydrated Eggs (protein)

  12. Rice

  13. Pasta (unless you make yours from scratch)

  14. Beans  (protein)

  15. Dehydrated Potatoes

  16. Jellies or Jams. You'll want something sweet.

  17. Peanut Butter (protein)

  18. Canned tuna or other fish. (protein)

  19. Canned tomatoes

  20. Dried Fruit (or buy a dehydrator and dry your own fruits)

  21. Pain Relievers. Tablets appear to have a longer shelf life than capsule form.

  22. Alcohol

  23. Hydrogen Peroxide

  24. Adhesive Bandages

  25. Soap (bar soap is more stable)

  26. Non-latex Gloves

  27. Toothpaste (stock up on toothbrushes and floss too)

  28. Antibacterial ointment

  29. Garbage Bags. These have a multitude of uses.

  30. Water. For drinking, washing, and cleaning.

All of these items are either shelf stable or can be made shelf stable. If you see a sale on any of these things, especially those that never expire like honey or toilet paper, stock up. 

If a recession comes, reduce your spending, pay off debt, and build an emergency fund. Forewarned is forearmed.


Maria Narkis said…
Okay ... when I first saw "alcohol" I was like, yeah, baby, will need that booze when the recession hits! ... and then I realized you meant "rubbing".

Re: the rest -- yes. I always thought I was very prepared, and then covid hit. And I realized I didn't have things like flour and yeast. In theory, you can make something like a sourdough starter for yeast, but flour you can't make from whole cloth.

It's a good list. And I think I might still grab a little tequila. And vodka is good to use for making vanilla or other extracts, so I should definitely have that on hand...
Maria Zannini said…
Maria: Drinking alcohol is never a bad idea. Even if you don't drink, it makes for a good bartering item. Hard liquor has a long shelf life and vodka is often used to clean chrome, porcelain, and glass.

I read that some professional cleaners use cheap vodka to clean toilet bowls.

re: thinking I was prepared
I was the same way when Hurricane Rita hit us. You don't realize what you need until it's taken from you.
Lynn said…
Excellent list, Maria. I'd just recommend adding extra pet food to it if you have furry ones in your household. We keep an extra 45 days of dry dog food on hand year-round. Check the dates on canned stuff if your pet prefers wet food.
Dru Ann said…
Thanks for this list. My cupboards are normally bare, but this will be a good start for me.
Maria Zannini said…
Lynn: Pet food! Of course!

:slaps head:

I'm so used to stocking up on pet food it's literally invisible to me. It's like part of the furniture.

But absolutely, pet and baby food first. Thank you for adding it to the imperatives.
Maria Zannini said…
Dru: When I was growing up, we lived in a 4-story walk-up in Chicago. The kitchen was tiny, yet we managed a table big enough for six kids and cupboards floor to ceiling. It was our job to monkey up that countertop and bring down (or put away food).

My mom cooked from scratch but since there were so many of us we always had dozens of eggs on the countertop and lots of canned tomatoes, dried beans, rice, and pasta.

That little kitchen was packed but with so many mouths we polished off everything within a week and my mom had to start all over again.

To this day, I'm not sure how she did it. We had lots of soups and stews.
Great list, Maria!

I would also items like feminine hygiene products, that sort of thing.

And peanut butter is our go-to - eat it on bread, crackers, just on a spoon. Also, granola bars. :)
Maria Zannini said…
Madeline: That tells you how old I am. LOL! I totally missed feminine hygiene products, but in my younger days I regularly stockpiled these. Nothing is worse than finding out you're out of tampons.

Granola bars are a good addition too. We generally buy loose granola, but if you're on the road, bars are much handier.

Good ideas!
Mike Keyton said…
I am an infant in comparison. I stockpile sardines and baked beans, my go to snack food. Tampons I can take or leave
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: You never know about the tampons. A paramedic once told me they use tampons to stop the bleeding from bullet holes.
Mike Keyton said…
It’s how you know you’re in Texas 😀