Stockpile on a Budget
Are you thinking you need to stockpile on a budget? With the recent scare of the coronavirus, stores are having a difficult time staying stocked. In fact, the teacher at my son’s school requested sanitizing wipes because half of the class had the flu last week.
I was lucky enough to grab the second to last multipack. Yep, that is all they had left – Two multipacks.
Not to mention, Costco was out of toilet paper and most stores are out of hand sanitizer (although I found some at Walmart in the Easter sections, but don’t tell anyone!)
This leads me to my next post…What should you stock up on if you are stuck inside for a long period of time?
Now I will start by saying, I have been following Covid-19 it for a while because I teach English online to Chinese students (by the way, great stay-at-home mom gig and you can sign up here if interested). Many students in China were affected at least by schools closing and it looks like the USA is following suit with social distancing to help people remain healthy and safe. (Praying you and your family stay healthy.)
I personally don’t recommend going out and wiping stores clean of supplies. In fact, this was one of my pet peeves when I used to coupon more. Many people would “stock up” and leave nothing for the rest of us. But I have to ask, what if I am stuck inside for two weeks or more? What will we eat if we can’t make it out to the store due to illness or low supplies? And let’s note, this is a real concern for me because my husband works at a hospital.
Not to mention, you all know I love to save money! So I am looking at the budget, nonperishable foods to help you make a complete dinner if you are stuck inside.
I am going to list the top things I am personally buying and if you purchase these items, you will have plenty of food for your family.
Since I try to meal plan, I already have several of these items so I am lucky. I hope you are able to grab some things or order from your favorite store if they sell out, which I have already seen here in Michigan.
Check out my top meal plan post here
Let me remind everyone, this is just a framework and this list will not work for everyone due to dietary needs. I also don’t recommend going overboard and clearing shelves. Take your fair share and let other people have a chance to buy needed items as well.
Don’t forget to check out this service and get a 30-Day free trial to have groceries delivered to your house.
So let’s get down to stockpiling:
Top non-perishable foods to add you your stockpile on a budget in case you are stuck inside:
1. Tuna – Buy your tuna in bulk to save. Click here to check prices. I love this tuna noodle recipe and it is around $3 per an entire meal.
2. Deluxe Mac and Cheese – Again, buying this in bulk will save you money. Click here for prices and see my favorite brand.
3. Noodles -(Egg noodles, macaroni noodles, spaghetti noodles are all great!) It is great to find noodles on sale. I like to pay around $0.50 per box, yet if you are in a pinch most pasta boxes only cost around $1 anyway and it would be better to just spend the extra money so you have something to feed your family. Also, you can usually get them at a lower price if you buy them in bulk.
4. Pasta Sauce – Noodles and sauce is always an easy delicious meal. If you are low on meat, veggie spaghetti is always doable. You can also make some homemade bread to go along with it.
5. Canned Chicken – We eat this all the time. We make chicken quesadillas, but this could also be used to make a casserole dish with cream of chicken soup and egg noddles. It’s a good alternative if you can’t find fresh or frozen meat.
6. Canned Vegetables – I usually buy frozen veggies, but since I have limited space in my freezer, I bought some cans of peas and corn. I will use the peas in my tuna noodle recipe above.
7. “add water” pancake mix and syrup (or make your own with the baking list below.)
8. Tomato sauce – This and tomato paste can be used to make your own spaghetti and pizza sauce if you were not able to stock up on it.
9. Tomato paste – Again, this can be used in pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce.
10. Instant Potatoes – Instand potatoes are great because they last for a very long time and many pack are “just add water” so they are easy to make. They also keep you full which makes them a great alternative if you are running low on food.
Other budget food posts:
- Cheap Meal Plan for Two – One Week Under $30
- How to Buy Organic Food on a Budget + Free Printable
- Eating Healthy on a Budget: Helpful Ways to Make It Affordable
- Keto On a Budget: 35 Cheap Keto Meals
- How to Slash Your Grocery Bill
- Ibotta Review: Save Money on Groceries without coupons
- Aldi Meal Plan – One Week of Dinners Under $35
- Budget Chili Recipe
- 50 Cheap Melas That Will Fill Up Your Family
- 55 Cheap Meals to Try When You Are Broke
1.Cream of Mushroom – This will be used for tuna noodle, but can also be used in many other recipes.
2. Cream of chicken – Works great with canned chicken and noodles.
3. Cheese soup – Can be used as a cheese substitute, but obviously won’t taste as good as the real thing.
4. Chicken Noodle Soup (Of course you can make your own and freeze,)
You can make so many things with the six items listed below including bread, homemade pancake mix, pizza crust, and
4. Baking soda
5. Baking powder
Here is a great pancake mix recipe from Food Hero that doesn’t use eggs.
Your frozen food selection will depend on the size of your freezer. If you have a large deep freezer then you are in luck and can prepare better. We don’t have room for one so we are limited to how much we can freeze. It helps to take things out of boxes (like breadsticks) and write the directions on the plastic bag with a permanent marker to save on room.)
2. Frozen Pizza (Of course you can make your own, but you may want a few frozen pizzas on hand.)
3. Cheese (Let thaw in the fridge. It may have a slightly different texture but is still great for cooking and baking.)
4. Bread (Let thaw on the counter)
5. Milk (Let thaw in the fridge and shake before you use because it will separate a bit,)
6. Frozen vegetables and fruits – If you are not able to get fresh veggies and fruits frozen are a great alternative. You can still have some healthy foods on your plate.
Easy Dinner Ideas When You Stockpile on a Budget:
So with the above foods, you have plenty to make some easy dinners for your family.
1. Tuna Noodle – Click here for the recipe for this three dollar meal.
2. Pasta and sauce – Quick, simple and easy! If you have a large freezer you could also stock up on meat and freeze it for spaghetti with meat.
3. Soup is always an easy meal. You can also make your own soup and freeze it. YUM!
4. Pancakes are easy enough. I like the “add water” packs for stockpiling. Then you don’t have to worry about having fresh eggs and milk on hand. Yet, I prefer to make these for dinner with eggs or bacon so I have a protein, but your sides will depend on what you have at the time.
5. Cheesy chicken pasta – Just make your noodles (egg noodles work great for this) and mix your canned chicken and cream of cheese soup together. You can also make this with tuna.
6. Deluxe mac and cheese is quick, easy, and nonperishable. Make sure to buy the box that includes the cheese sauce.
The best part is if you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can order all of these items and have them shipped to your house. (If you are not, don’t worry, you can start a free trial here.)
I also use my Target RedCard to get free shipping and just ordered some foods to be shipped to my house. The only problem is Target doesn’t ship all of its food so you have to look through and see if it is eligible. It also estimated delivery at ten days, but I actually got my delivery after six days. You can also do a store drive-up order so you don’t have to go into the store.
Now I have to admit, the above dinners may not be the healthiest of foods, but if you are in a pinch or sick and can’t make it out to the store because you are self-quarantined these simple easy dinners will do the trick until you are back on your feet and are better than having nothing at all or spoiled food.
Non-perishable food list to Make Dinners at Home Final Thoughts…
I’m praying you and your family stay safe during these trying times. If you can’t leave your house for an extended period, these foods will help you get by until this mess is over with and stores and shopping are back to normal. Stay healthy, everyone!