Emergency Preparedness + Food Storage – How to Keep Your Family Safe on a Budget!

Mar 20, 2021 | Finances, Lifestyle, Video

No one wants to be caught off guard and unable to help their family in an emergency. This post is all about emergency preparedness on a budget! We're going to show you that it is possible to prep when money is tight—check out these emergency prep tips STAT!

Jordan and Bubba discussing emergency preparedness, from Fun Cheap or Free

Hi Freebs! We're talking about something serious, today! The FACT is, 100% of us will be affected by a natural disaster, job loss, personal injury, or financial stress at some point. By having some necessities on-hand, you can be self-sufficient and *hopefully* provide for your family, so you can then turn around and help others. We are definitely not doomsdayers, but we DO believe that emergency prep is important!

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Over the years, I've made an effort to teach how to slowly build a stockpile so you can shop your pantry in an emergency! And Bubba has been really interested in emergency preparedness and making sure we have enough food and supplies to sustain our family in case of natural disaster, job loss, personal injury, or financial stress. We have learned a LOT in the process and decided to share what we know, in hopes of helping you and your family!

We keep it light-hearted and fun (as per usual) and try to show you that “prepping” doesn't have to be expensive, time-consuming, or stressful. So check it out and just start small in getting some basic necessities for your family!

Watch the video online or click and watch below to see how we do our emergency preparedness:

See, not too scary right?

Keep reading! We're going to share a few more resources below.


Bubba and I did this live Emergency Preparedness Q&A after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, but these tips are helpful in any emergency situation. The important thing to remember is the purpose of preparing—when you stock up on items your family needs over time, you will become self-sufficient and self-reliant and can take care of yourselves in rocky times, plus you'll be in a position to help everyone else!

We live in a time where there are so many devastating circumstances, from natural disasters–hurricanes, fires, floods, and earthquakes–to difficult financial situations that are out of our control. During times of crises, emergency preparedness is on everyone's minds! But at that point, it may be too late to prepare. Start now!

Bubba and Jordan making heart hands while discussing emergency preparedness, from Fun Cheap or Free

Note: Again, we are NOT doomsdayers! We don't believe in selling everything you own and living in a bunker in the mountains. Not at all.


In a nutshell, emergency preparedness means you have the necessities you would need to survive! And if you have some extras so that you can be comfortable, even better. This is one of our favorite resources that explains exactly what emergency preparedness is all about!


So what should you have on-hand? Let's just break it down real simple, here! You'll need:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Medicine
  • Cash
  • First-Aid
  • Children's and Baby's Needs


Buy a little EXTRA food every month that you rotate through constantly so you'll always have storage built up! We have been taught in our church that it is sooooo important to have enough food to feed your family for at least three months!


Jordan with a stockpile of canned goods on a counter, from Fun Cheap or Free

When you're stocking up short-term food storage, include nutritional food items that your family actually eats on a regular basis! Check out what I stock in my fridge, freezer, and pantry.

If you have a very limited amount of money, this post with tips on the TOP 10 most important items to stock in your pantry will help you get the most bang for your buck! But remember, it's all about what your family will eat!

Use these amazing inventory printables to help you keep track of what you have in your pantry and fridge so nothing goes to waste!


Longer-term food storage refers to food that will last for a long, long time when stored correctly. Things like rice or beans that could last up to 30 years. You may not want to eat rice and beans every day, but these foods would keep you alive! Here are some amazing emergency kits from Costco to help you stock up your long-term food storage!


Take baby steps and pull these must-haves together as best you can.


Just start with a 72 hour kit and it's amazing how much better you will feel. This way you can take comfort in knowing that you at least have the bare minimum that you will need in a crisis!


Most 72 hour kits are pretty expensive, but they are an important investment! If you cannot afford to buy a giant pre-made kit, you can easily make your own with our easy tips. Here are some other tips for how to build your own emergency kit so that you can stock up on the super basic things that would serve YOUR family!

We've created a checklist to help make packing your 72 hour kit easier, so make sure you check that out! Here's another 72 hour kit checklist that you can also use as a resource.


I've been consistently teaching this for Y E A R S, you guys! If you are meal planning and shelf cooking, you can make sure that you use a lot of your weekly grocery budget to buy items for the pantry. Shop sales and buy extra when things go on sale. It's so much easier on us financially to build our storage little by little than to go out and buy everything all at once.


Jordan with fresh foods on a counter, from Fun Cheap or Free

Learn how to shelf cook!! This is such an easy way to save money all year-long and feel confident when emergencies strike! Shelf cooking is a term that I coined that means cook by starting with what you have on-hand and then supplement with items from the grocery store. In an emergency, you might not even be able to make it to the store…or the shelves may be bare… EEEK! So this is a great skill to have.


Hand holding a savings jar with cash for emergency preparedness, from Fun Cheap or Free

You may think that you just don't have room in your budget to stock up and prepare for an emergency. One of my favorite financial principles can help you find room in your budget! It's called the 70% rule and it basically tells you exactly where every penny should go.

Take your monthly take-home income and divide it by 70%, 20%, and 10%. Here is where you put that money:

  • 70% is for monthly expenses (anything you spend money on).
  • 20% goes into savings unless you have pressing debt, in which case it goes toward debt first.
  • 10% goes to donation/tithing, or investments, retirement, or saving for college.

So easy!

With a little adjusting, this will help you throughout your life to know exactly how much to spend, save, and invest… No matter your income, debt, where you live, or stage of life. 

Want more financial tips to help you make better choices with your money? My program, Budget Boot Camp, can help you find the money in your budget to save for your emergency prepping! Use the code FCFBLOG to get 10% off!

Hopefully that makes it a little more manageable for you all! Do you have any food storage and emergency preparedness tips? Share them with us in the comments below!

Jordan with canned goods on a counter, with text that reads "food storage and emergency preparedness," from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more great tips on emergency preparedness?

Now, get out there and do some prepping! XO

Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free


  1. R

    When looking at utilizing your garage for food storage, check your state laws because the state of Idaho has a little known law that says that during emergencies, anything in your garage is up for grabs for the government to come in and take to redistribute to the people. It really made us rethink where we would keep our stuff and now it’s under beds and tucked in closets!

  2. marie watson

    So glad you did this video. Being prepared is so important. You never know what is going happen especially these days.

  3. Amanda

    So important! I love having tips for getting emergency preparedness set up!

  4. Kasey Rigdon

    Thank you for giving direction and details on how to do food storage. Food storage has always been overwhelming for me and now I feel like I have some tools.

  5. Chelsey Hackleman

    This was AH-MAZING! You guys are so inspiring. Totally motivated to do this.

  6. Maegan

    I’ve got a few emergency preparedness things, but I know I need to build my supply more. Looking forward to watching your videos and using your tips.

  7. Jessica hanson

    Loved this. I definitely need to work on increasing our food storage.

  8. Candace

    When my husband got his “real job” after college this was one of the first things we focused on amping up. It is so nice to be prepared! I like seeing how other people do it – it gives me great ideas!

  9. Cat Stabio

    I have been wanting to start gathering supplies for emergency preparedness but I just kept putting it off. As soon as this video came out I was able to start! It was the kick in the pants I needed, thank you so much!!!

  10. Jean

    My husband and I lived in AZ for most of our lives and there really isn’t disasters there. When we moved out of state it was something we had to consider, but didn’t know where to start. Thanks for all of the conversation starters that we had. Working on our month long storage.

  11. Sydney

    This concept is so hard for me! I always end up throwing my “real food” food storage away because expiration! And wonder if we’ll ever actually eat freeze dried!;) I need to be better at rotation!

  12. Sheridan jacobsen

    I love these tips! I have a tendency to get overwhelmed but need to remember to start small and even a little prepared is better than nothing!

  13. Ambur

    My husband and I have been married for 2 years and have been wanting to be more prepared incase of an emergency & these tips are very helpful!

  14. Ariane

    Ahhh I have been procrastinating my emergency preparedness forever!! We’re military and move a lot so that was always my excuse but this is super motivating!

  15. Sonya

    My husband and I live in a studio and we have canned goods in our closet and underneath our bed. Thanks to your tip of buying two more cans while you’re out grocery shopping. I cannot stress how thankful I am for your tips!!! Thank you!

  16. Jamie Crane

    So much good info here! We are saving up now to get food storage!

  17. Sara Thompson

    I’ve watched this video multiple times and I’m always so impressed with Bubba’s desire for emergency preparedness over his toys and play money-such dedication to his family!

  18. Sarah Sheapprd

    I love all the resources you linked from your video. I think this is a great thing to do, but most important to remember not to get overwhelmed as that can be easy to feel with emergency preparedness!

  19. Jen schneiter

    We just bought a generator in preparation for hurricane season later this year. We know Florida will get hit again eventually with more hurricanes, and it feels good to be more prepared.

  20. Jessica Waters

    I love your tips for something that is so important!

  21. Brittney Phelps

    This is something I need to do

  22. Leslie M

    This has been something my family has been working on and I was able to get some good ideas. Thank you

  23. Michelle

    We’ve done SOME of these things. I like being prepared-especially now with kids!
    GREAT post!
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  24. Gina Cunningham

    This is one of our goals. We do some prep, but we are hoping to do more.

  25. Alex

    Thank you! I feel so frozen when it comes to this. Starting is the hardest.

  26. Annie

    This was soooo helpful! I’m trying to get my family prepared for emergencies and also have 3 month supply of food/non food stuff that we use daily. Thank you!!

  27. Celeste

    I love this so much! It is so important to be prepared. I’m kind of a nerd and have lists and lists in google docks and this made me make an emergency preparedness list of things I need to get and when to rotate everything out. Such a good post.

  28. Kamryn Carlson

    I love this! It is something so important, and I can’t wait to start!

  29. Krista Sidhu

    Besides the silver reflecting blankets what are your tips for staying warm? We live in cananda an it gets crazy cold in the winter. What would we use to stay warm if electricity wasn’t available?

    • Miranda Bone

      A wood heater is ideal; you can store wood for it outside and you can replenish the store without fossil fuel if you must. Worth knowing how to make a campfire, too.
      But wearing all your warm cloths, eating hot food/drinks, staying active or sharing blankets all also help, often enough, as long as you have enough food. Draft proofing your house will help a lot and eave you money every day.

  30. Brooke

    Thanks for so many great ideas! I have always felt so overwhelmed with emergency preparedness.

  31. Tammy

    Haha 😂 So funny that Bubba mentioned toilet paper 🧻 becoming something to barter with…very appropriate for “2020” 🤪

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Right?! Talk about foreshadowing…


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