30 survival food UK ideas! Everything you need to know

Looking for survival food UK ideas? This post is for you!

There are many different reasons why people in the UK have started prepping more and more in recent years.  Between snowstorms, Brexit and lockdown restrictions, there has been far more talk than normal in the past few years of food supplies running low. 

This inevitably makes us think more about what we can do to prepare food with just what we have in our cupboards.

However, there are many other reasons why stocking up on long-life food can be massively beneficial.  These cupboard essentials are very affordable in comparison to fresh foods, and of course, can be stored at room temperature for a long time. 

This means that if you are simply looking to save money on your groceries, stocking up on ‘survival food’ can be a great option.

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survival food uk

What is the best survival food to stock up on?

Top Tips:

  • Your survival food stock should heavily feature non-perishable items that have a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature.  This means avoiding refrigerated or fresh items and instead, going for tins and packets that are stored in the cupboard.  The aim is to create a long-lasting store of food here, so it is essential that the items you’re including won’t go off any time soon.
  • Preserve your budget by slowly adding items to your stock, rather than buying everything at once.  Begin with one or two items a week and build up a stash slowly over time.

  • Try buying your food based on what is on offer when you are shopping.  Multi-buy offers and discounts are a great way to get more food for the same as you’d usually spend.
  • Try supermarkets own brands for a more cost-effective shop.  Many of these are very similar or the same as branded products you might normally buy, but at a fraction of the price.
  • We know that not everyone has the kitchen space for a large store of food, so we recommend making the most of available storage in your space.  The beauty of non-perishables is that they can be stored anywhere in your home, such as your wardrobe, under your bed, cupboards elsewhere in the house, etc.
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  • Organise your cupboards according to what needs to be eaten first.  Place the items with the longest shelf-life in hard to reach places, or at the back, and keep the items that expire first at the front or nearest to you.  This will help you to keep track of what needs to be eaten first and also minimise waste. 
  • Make a list of what you use whenever you take from your stock, and prioritise replacing that next time you shop.  This will ensure that you never run out of your basics and essentials.
  • Dedicate a little bit of freezer space to some essentials that won’t keep fresh at room temperature.  This will help you get some essentials into your diet that cannot be stored elsewhere.  When doing this make sure that you still prioritise the basics; think loaves of bread, frozen vegetables or frozen meat and fish.
  • It is important that you still ensure you’re choosing food items that you like and know how to cook with, not just any long life or cheap items.  Your stock should consist of things that you like and know how to use well, so it can be helpful to plan out some meals and recipes beforehand.

30 ideas for your survival food collection

1. Crackers or biscuits 

Unopened, these packets can last a long time and make for great snacks throughout the day! We thought the Seven Oceans Long Life Biscuit Rations were really good!

See them on Amazon

2. Rice

Rice makes a great base for any meal – simply add an assortment of other cupboard essentials such as beans, tinned tomatoes, tinned vegetables or herbs and spices for a fast hot meal.

3. Pasta

Much the same as rice, pasta is an affordable non-perishable that can be mixed with a variety of ingredients for a quick, hearty meal.

4. Long-life milk or powdered milk

Not only do these milk alternatives not need refrigeration, but they last a long time.  This means that they can be bought in advance and used as needed.

5. Tea

Teabags can be bought cheaply in bulk and last a very long time, so you have a hot drink option when you want it.

6. Coffee

Similarly, coffee provides a hot drink and lasts a long time after purchasing, even when opened!

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7. Popcorn

Microwavable popcorn is easy to store and lasts forever, plus it makes an easy and filling snack that is easy to prepare.  This is something you can buy a lot of at once and prep on demand.

8. Flour

A great idea for your survival food stash is to have some staples that you can make multiple things from.  Flour is the perfect affordable way to do this – from basics such as flatbreads (simply combine with water and salt) to some more elaborate recipes such as loaves of bread or cakes.

9. Baking powder

Similarly to flour, it is useful to keep stocked up with things that can be used to make a whole variety of recipes.  Baking powder is a great long-lasting cupboard staple which can be used to make a whole variety of baked goods.

10. Yeast

Bread is, for most, an essential food item, but unfortunately it does not keep very long.  Keeping some dried, fast action yeast in the cupboard means you can make bread in an affordable way and have it whenever you need it.

11. Peanut butter

Peanut butter is high in protein and can be used in baking or as a snack. Keep a jar in your cupboard to have on toast, or pair with rice cakes.

12. Tinned tomatoes

Without a doubt one of the most versatile long-lasting items you can have in your cupboard, tinned tomatoes can be added to a huge variety of savoury dishes and are an affordable way to bulk out any meal.

13. Lentils

Lentils are highly filling, nutritious, and a little goes a long way!

14. Tinned chickpeas

Add to a homemade curry or stew for a filing and hearty meal!

15. Tinned beans

Whether it’s baked beans or other forms of beans such as kidney beans, these tins last forever and are super versatile.

16. Oil 

Always having oil in your survival food stash will make cooking any meal a whole lot easier and tastier!

17. Herbs and spices

Dried herbs and spices are a cheap way to flavour your food, plus they last a long time in the cupboard!

18. Condiments

Condiments, specifically ones that can be stored at room temperature, can be paired with all kinds of meals to add flavour.

19. Canned fruit

These are great options to have for dessert or to add into baked goods!

20. Freeze-dried food

Anything freeze-dried is great if you’re really looking to stock up on a survival stash – some have shelf-lives of over 20 years!

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21. Stock cubes

Add stock to any one-pot meal alongside your other essentials like tinned tomatoes and beans to add even more flavour.

22. Dried fruit

These are great to add to baking or to porridge in the morning to add a bit of variety and flavour!

23. Nuts

Similarly, nuts can be added to all sorts of other recipes for variety or eaten on their own as a snack!

24. Tomato paste

Tomato paste is a great addition to savoury meals, adding more flavour to your dishes.

25. Sugar

Tea, coffee, baking, cooking – sugar is certainly a cupboard essential

26. Fruit juice

Long-life fruit juice can be stored in the cupboard for months and is a great way to get some extra vitamins!

27. Tinned or powdered soup

This is a great option for an all-in-one meal which is a super easy to make and lasts a long time.

28. Cereal

Keep a couple of boxes of basic cereals in your cupboard, and you can add other essentials to them such as fruit or nuts.

29. Tinned fish or meat

Tinned goods are the perfect thing to have at hand – they can be mixed in with your pasta and rice dishes for protein and variety!

30. Oats

Oats are both filling and versatile, they can be made into porridge, cakes and biscuits easily. This may be one of the cheapest ways to get a hot meal in minutes by simply adding water or milk.

Of course, at any regular time, you would probably have at least a few fresh or perishable items on hand as well as these basics.  Things like eggs, cheese and some fresh vegetables will help to enhance recipes that can be made using your survival foods.  Having said that, your stock should be, in emergency situations, able to make meals without any supplementary items.

Now it’s time for you to think about what items will be in your emergency survival food kit! Making meals with essentials can be a great cooking challenge for those on a budget, and who knows, you might even come up with a new favourite meal!

If you have any questions about survival food, please leave us a comment in the section below – we would love to hear from you!

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