The UK Preppers’ Starting Stockpile Shopping List

Please note, this is supposed to be a checklist to help you remember everything, to spark your creativity and give you a reference for your own supplies stockpile. It’s unlikely to be a perfect fit for you unless you share my exact tastes and food preferences – but if you do, by all means, knock yourself out (and congrats on the sophisticated palate).

The trick is to eat what you store, and store what you eat. There’s no point stockpiling 200 jars of peanut butter as a protein source if you hate peanut butter, and there’s no point stockpiling food you do love if disaster hits 5 years down the line, you’d forgotten about the stash, and it’s all about to expire. Eat from your stockpile and replenish it to make sure it’s all as fresh as possible and to get used to eating that type of food.

This shopping list has a few elements on it that might seem a little extravagant when compared to other stockpile lists or preparedness resources. That’s by design – the entire point of preparing is so that you can continue to enjoy things that were only available BEFORE a disaster, so I don’t see the point of not including some quality-of-life boosters while you can still get them. For me, survival is as much about enjoying your life as it is about scraping by – it’s not a sin to be comfortable while surviving.

There’s an episode of “Doomsday Preppers” where a guy with a barn full of canned food shows it off for the cameras, and it’s all dog food. He’s so pleased with himself for discovering this food “hack”, and so cheery eating cans of dog food with a spoon, that I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Why choose to stockpile dog food when canned human food is still available instead?

Food is such a source of comfort and can provide a powerful psychological anchor in even the craziest days – you’re still surviving just as well if you allow yourself to make it nice. Survival doesn’t just mean choking down military rations in a freezing lean-to – you’re allowed to eat well where you can!

A Note on Stockpiling vs Hoarding

At the initial outbreak of COVID, the media had plenty to say about food shortages being caused by “hoarders” and “preppers”. There’s a distinct difference between the two that was being conflated in these reports – hoarders were participating in the runs on shops, and creating a shortage by shocking the “just in time” grocery stocking system all at once.

Preppers, by comparison, buy things a bit at a time, before there’s any mass shock to the system, making their order just a tiny blip in the supermarket stock chain no different to any other grocery shopper. The shop replaces the stock easily, and there’s no disruption.

You should prep rather than participating in runs on the shops for obvious reasons, like it being much safer and more reliable – but also for less obvious reasons, like the fact that the people buying up all the toilet paper are being dicks and the people who bought theirs all months ago aren’t.

Anyway, here’s my shopping list.

A Stockpile Shopping List for Prepping in the UK

Carbs

  • Rice (super versatile, goes a long way and can be bought in 4kg bags at the supermarket)
  • Pasta (if you can find any these days. Don’t forget lasagne sheets)
  • Arborio rice (use with stocks to make risotto)
  • Noodles (especially heaps of Super Noodles – they’re cheap, tasty and come in stackable bricks)
  • Tinned spaghetti hoops (a British classic and lockdown staple)
  • Self-raising & ordinary flour
  • Yeast
  • Rice Cakes, Oat Cakes or Corn Cakes
  • Vacuum-sealed Part-Baked Bread (keeps for ages and can be quickly baked at home)
  • Stuffing mix
  • Oats
  • Weetabix (or similar)
  • Breakfast cereals (choose a couple of your favourites for variety)
  • Tinned potatoes (never been a big fan, but needs must)
  • Powdered mash (for if things get really desperate)

Potatoes, garlic and onions all keep well in a cool, dark place – you can keep them in thick paper or canvas bags in a cool cupboard, or hang onions up in braids or mesh bags in a cool, dark room.

Canned Fruit

I’m going to spare your eyes by not writing “tinned” or “canned” in front of literally everything here, but all this fruit comes in tins which can keep for literal years.

  • Mandarins
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Prunes (ludicrously high in fibre, but also packed with vitamins and tastier than you’re probably giving them credit for)
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit (I personally don’t stock grapefruit because it just… isn’t for me)
  • Pineapple

Dried Fruit

(All of these make excellent porridge toppings by the way)

  • Banana
  • Figs
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Apricots
  • Apple

Vegetables

  • Canned chopped tomatoes (a staple in lots of sauces and soups – and full of vitamins A, B6 & C  as well as iron, calcium, and magnesium)
  • Canned sweetcorn
  • Canned spinach (so many vitamins and minerals that I can’t list them all here)
  • Canned carrots
  • Dried mushrooms

Tinned/Jarred Proteins

Like with the canned fruit, even if I don’t write the word “tinned”, you’re looking for a tin or a jar on the Tesco shelves.

  • Peanut butter
  • Baked beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Butterbeans
  • Chickpeas
  • Cannelini beans
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Sardines/Pilchards
  • Anchovies
  • Mackerel
  • Herring roe
  • Canned crab if you’re feeling fancy (and why wouldn’t you be?)
  • Stewed steak
  • Spam
  • Corned Beef

Dried Proteins

  • Yellow split peas
  • Red lentils
  • Brown lentils
  • Black beans
  • Bags of nuts

Cured/Dried/Smoked/Salted Meats

Not for everyone, and not ideal in houses with a bit of damp, but if you’ve got a nice dry larder, then curing, drying, salting or smoking are the traditional ways to preserve meat products that our ancestors used for thousands of years. Plus, they’re pretty delicious.

  • Beef jerky
  • Unopened salami, chorizo, pancetta, etc*
  • Salted or country ham*

*after being cut, should be stored in a fridge or freezer

Dairy

Note: I’ve swapped out cow’s milk for oat milk and soya milk here, since they’re cheap, easy to get used to as replacements for milk, don’t need to be refrigerated until open and last for MONTHS. If you don’t want to live without real cow’s milk, look into UHT milk and powdered milk as ways to stockpile a good supply.

  • Oat milk (for tea/coffee, cereal, porridge, cooking etc)
  • Canned condensed milk (mostly used in baking or to enrich sweet things)
  • Coconut milk (great if you’re cooking a lot of Asian cuisine or you like pina coladas, and provides useful vitamins & minerals)

Spices, Sauces & Flavours

  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Worcester sauce
  • Vegetable/Sunflower oil
  • Olive oil
  • Ground nut oil (make sure no-one in the house is allergic)
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Jars of miso paste
  • Sweet chili sauce
  • Chicken stock cubes
  • Veg stock cubes
  • Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar if you use it
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Salt (if there’s not much processed food around, salt becomes very important)
  • Pepper
  • Curry powders of varying intensities
  • Whatever dried herbs you usually cook with (Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano are good places to start)
  • Whatever spices you usually cook with (Cumin, Cayenne pepper, Paprika, Chilli, Chinese five-spice, Cajun spice mix, Ground ginger are good places to start)
  • Lemon juice
  • Jars of pesto
  • Tomato puree
  • Garlic puree
  • Canned soups (can be eaten on their own or used as bases for curries, sauces etc)
  • Jars of ready-made curry sauce (as many varieties as you like)
  • Jars of ready-made pasta sauce (for when you need an easy meal)
  • Olives (in jars – surprisingly cheap and a super-long-lasting way to get fats into your diet)

Tea Break Supplies

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Hot chocolate powder
  • Sugar or sweetener
  • Herbal teas (especially camomile, mint and ginger, they’re delicious and a little medicinal)

Sweet Things

  • A few multipacks of your favourite chocolate
  • A few multipacks of your spouses/kids favourites, too, as treats and surprises
  • A few packs of your favourite biscuits
  • Honey (keeps for literally thousands of years)
  • Nutella
  • Jam
  • Marmalade
  • Digestive biscuits
  • Box cake & icing (like Betty Crocker box cakes, delicious and super easy to make)
  • White sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Caster sugar

Pets

Enough pet food and treats to last at least one month – aim for 3 if you have the space, it’ll be one less thing to worry about

Kitchen Extras

  • Kitchen roll
  • Bin bags
  • Matches
  • Tin foil
  • Greaseproof paper (although a reusable greaseproof baking sheet is better)
  • Cling film
  • Surface spray
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Hand soap
  • Sponges
  • Steel wool
  • Drain unblocker
  • Bleach
  • Cream cleaner
  • Spare can opener

(If you have a dishwasher)

  • Dishwasher tabs
  • Dishwasher salt

Bathroom

  • Toilet roll
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Whatever toiletries you use! (if you shave, don’t forget disposable razors/blades)
  • Feminine hygeine products
  • Bags to fit the bathroom bin

Light and Power

  • Candles (ideally with long burn times)
  • LED candles (in place of regular candles)
  • AA batteries
  • AAA batteries
  • Whatever type of batteries your smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm uses

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