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5 “Inexpensive” Food Storage Proteins AND Recipes

Tags: beans food canned

When I teach people how to set up their short-term Food storage menu, I tell them to have each family member write down their 5 favorite meals.  Once they have that list of meals, I teach people to look at each meal’s recipe.  Does the recipe require ingredients that are shelf-stable or ingredients that are fresh?  Two types of ingredients that are often hard(er) to find in shelf-stable forms are cheeses and meats.  Then finding those economically is even more very difficult.  So today we’re going to tackle where to find (comparatively) inexpensive food storage proteins.

***There are links in this post.  Some of the links may be affiliate links. My promise to you is that I will only recommend the most economical version of the best quality items to serve you. All of these are the items that I have bought for my own family.  If you click on a link, your price will remain the same.  If you make a purchase, we may make a small commission that aids in the cost of the running of this website.***

Types of “Cheap Short and Long-Term Food Storage Meats

1.) “Cheap” Food Storage Proteins:  Single-Serve Mylar Packaged Meats

These fall on the ‘short-term’ end of the spectrum, but they are great for your short-term food storage menu!  The different types of these that you can find have just exploded in the last few years.  It used to be that all you could in these 4.5″ x 4.8″ packets was tunafish.  But now you can find all kinds of meat from salmon to plain chicken, barbeque chicken, chicken salad, Teriyaki chicken, to pulled pork in bbq sauce, and even Spam.

2.) “Cheap” Food Storage Proteins:  Canned Meats 

This is another area that has expanded a lot over the last few years.  Again, I saw tunafish all over the place, but things have not only gotten better.  We have used Canned tunafish, but I’m not a big tuna fan.

Canned Chicken

But in the last four to five years, I’ve seen canned chicken popping up all over the place as well.  I’ve purchased this at Aldi at Costco.  I’ve seen it at Kroger and at Wal-Mart and of course Amazon.  More than that, our family has found a bunch of recipes that used canned chicken that we really love.  I’ll share one later in the blog post, so make sure that you keep reading!

Canned Pork Variations

Other meats that I found that would work well for you long(er) term food storage would be canned ham.   We’ve used Aldi canned ham in soups before, and it was good.  I wouldn’t slice it and put it on a sandwich, but in a soup, it was a great addition. You can also find canned cooked ham at Wal-Mart for a really good price.

Do you like Pulled Pork?  Well, you can get pulled pork in a can from both Amazon and Wal-Mart.  This is great on sandwiches or on homemade pizza!

Wal-Mart also has Great Value canned cubed ham.

Canned Beef Variations

I’ve found seasoned fajita beef strips for $5.78 for 12 oz.  When you consider the priced of beef, this is a decent price for a ‘longer’ term food storage protein.  It’s also good because it can be combined with rice and Beans and a whole can could be divided between tacos for an entire family (depending on the size of your family.

Another beef option is canned roast beef.  I’ve found Roast Beef on both Amazon and roast beef on Wal-Mart, but the price on Wal-Mart is much better.

I camped out in WalMart’s canned meat aisle and found another surprising canned meat – corned beef.   You can find it cheaper at WalMart than you can Amazon.

3. “Cheap” Food Storage Proteins:  Potted Meats

Devilled meats and spread

Armor has a series of potted deviled meats including: devilled ham,  roast beef spread, corned beef spread, and chicken spread, maple ham spread.

Great Value also has one variation on the potted meat.

Vienna Sausages

You can also find Vienna sausages on Amazon in a ton of different flavors including: smoked, barbecue, chicken, and spicy.

You can also find Vienna Sausages from Wal-mart.  Walmart has a better deal, but only on original Vienna Sausages.  Great value also has single Vienna sausage cans as well.

4.) “Cheap” Food Storage Proteins:  Spam

I get it, you either love it or you hate it.  But that being said, we are talking about inexpensive protein sources for short and long-term food storage.

When it comes to Spam there are a bunch of different flavors.  Do you like bacon with your eggs?  There’s even a bacon version of Spam.  Besides that, there’s original Spam and Turkey Spam.

5.) “Cheap” Food Storage Proteins:  Alternate Protein Sources

Soups that are heavy on Meat

There are other sources of protein that can be found in several different soups.  Keep your eyes open for those as well, because they will be a cheaper source of that protein.  Beef Stew and Chili with meat (from Amazon) Chili with meat (from Wal-Mart) are two great sources of protein.

Beans and Lentils

Dried beans are probably the longest term and cheapest food storage option here.  You can purchase dried beans by the 25 pound bag from Azure Standard.  Azure has a lot of different dried bean options including Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, Great Northern Beans, Organic Small Red Beans.  The best way to get your family a great value on both protein AND doing it cheaply is bean soup mix, and Azure has the best price that I’ve found on it.

Don’t forget that canned beans are another great source of protein and carbs.  This is also a fairly inexpensive source of protein as well.

Powdered Eggs

Powdered eggs.  Can I just tell you that when I was outlining this blog post, I was certain that egg powder was a great way to get your protein.  Then I started looking at cost.  I am keeping this in there at the moment, but it is not nearly as cheap as it was a couple of years ago.

Protein Powder

One of the most economical ways (next to dried beans) is protein powder.  And what is better than the protein in the powder is that it some of them taste AMAZING and they have awesome flavors!  So I would highly recommend this protein powder – Optimimal Nutrition has several awesome sounding flavors like Extreme Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Peanutbutter, Cookies and Cream, Mocha Cappuccino, Strawberries and Cream, and Vanilla Ice Cream.

Protein Recipes


  • Spam and Beans – Feeds 4
  • 3 – 15oz. cans pork and beans
  • 1 can Spam
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 barbecue sauce


Mix the pork and beans, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce and pour into a 9×13 pan.  Cut the spam into slices and place the slices across the top of the pork and bean mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Ham and Bean Soup


  • 4 quarts of water
  • 4 C bean soup mix OR 4 C dried navy beans
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can ham – either cubed ham or cube the can of ham
  • 3 quarts of chicken broth
  • 2T oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C freeze dried celery
  • 1/2 C freeze dried carrots (or can of carrots drained)


In a crockpot – Place the 4 C of beans in the bottom of the crockpot.  Cover with 4 quarts of water and 2 T of apple cider vinegar.  Turn the crockpot on high for one hour and then turn the crockpot off.   Let the beans, ACV and water sit overnight.  Strain the water off and return the beans to the crockpot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours.

What About You?

Are their other protein sources that are economical that should be added to the list?  Are there other protein recipes that you’d like to share with us?  Leave a comment below with your suggestions so that we can all be better prepared.  Because, You’ve Got This, Mama!

The post 5 “Inexpensive” Food Storage Proteins AND Recipes appeared first on Are You Prepared, Mama?. At Are You Prepared, Mama?, we help preparedness-minded moms - like YOU - gain knowledge, confidence, and experience by providing you with education, practical tools, inspiration and encouragement.

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5 “Inexpensive” Food Storage Proteins AND Recipes


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