Last Updated on June 17, 2020
It’s helpful to keep a stash of food and supplies for emergencies. In our area, depending on the time of year, thunderstorms, tornadoes, heat waves, or ice storms have the potential to cause power outages, while people in other parts of the United States may deal with hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, earthquakes, or other natural disasters. Whether preparing for a weather event or a viral outbreak, it’s wise to have some nonperishable food, water, and other emergency supplies for times when you are temporarily unable to cook, use the fridge or freezer, or run out to the store. You can gradually build up your supply by buying a few extra items each time you go shopping.
- Toilet paper. Because you always need it. Here are our thoughts on some of Aldi’s toilet paper options.
- Feminine hygiene supplies. Aldi sells a variety of products, and you can read more about them here.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers. Aldi sells generic Advil (ibuprofen) and generic Tylenol (acetaminophen), which are always good to keep on hand, especially during emergencies.
- Batteries. Aldi actually has decent batteries. We tested them ourselves, and you can read our thoughts here. In the spring, when camping supplies hit Aldi shelves, you can also buy a variety of flashlights and lanterns to put those Aldi batteries in.
- Bottled water. I’m not usually a fan of bottled water because of the plastic waste it creates, but I make an exception for emergencies. Aldi sells water both in single-serving bottles and gallon jugs. The CDC recommends one gallon of water per day for each person and pet in your house.
- Peanut Butter. Aldi sells several varieties, including creamy, natural, and organic options. (Of course, go with a different option if you have nut allergies in your household.)
- Crackers. To go with your peanut butter, or to eat plain or with salami. Aldi’s cracker selection ranges from imitation Wheat Thins to butter crackers to cauliflower crackers and more. They also sell some inexpensive peanut butter sandwich cracker multi-packs that my family enjoys.
- Protein bars, snack bars, and granola bars. Favorites include Millville Fiber Now 90 Calorie Bars (we’re partial to the chocolate fudge flavor), Millville Chewy Granola Bars, Elevation Bars, Millville Protein Chewy Bars, and Millville Fruit & Grain Cereal Bars.
- Canned soups/chili. Canned soups last a long time in storage and require no refrigeration, so, depending on your setup, they can be great during emergencies. We can use our kitchen’s gas stove (lit with a match) or set up a camp stove outdoors during power outages. Aldi has some decent-to-good canned soup options, including chicken noodle, tomato, chicken and wild rice, minestrone, and a chunky soup line. I’m partial to their New England clam chowder.
- Canned veggies/beans. Also good for heating on a gas stove or camp stove. Aldi choices include green beans, corn, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, chili beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, and more.
- Canned fruit. We like the mandarin oranges in light syrup, but there also are pears, peaches, and fruit cocktail. In addition to canned fruit, Aldi also sells individual fruit cups, fruit and Jell-O cups, applesauce cups, and applesauce pouches.
- Canned meat. Aldi sells several types of canned tuna, and I stick with their sustainably caught skipjack tuna. They also sell individual non-refrigerated tuna-and-cracker and chicken-salad-and-cracker lunch/snack kits in small boxes. They also have canned salmon, ham, and little cans of Vienna sausages.
- Drinks/juice. Aldi carries a variety of single-serving non-refrigerated drinks ranging from 100% juice boxes to juice pouches to flavored waters to soda. They sell tea bags if you have a means of heating water. They even sell alcohol if you really need to de-stress during an emergency.
- Produce. If you can get to the store a few days in advance of a predicted storm or power outage, fresh produce such as apples, oranges, potatoes (if you have a means of cooking them), and onions keep well at room temperature for a long time.
- Jerky. Aldi seems to be adding more flavors and varieties of jerky to its shelves lately. One of our favorites is Simms Beef Jerky. We also like Simms Mild Smoked Snack Sticks.
- Hard salami. Aldi sells bags of hard salami near the beef jerky, and this salami does not require refrigeration until after it’s been opened, so if you’re feeding a family and can use up the bag all at once, this is another good option for emergencies. Pair it with some whole wheat crackers and you’re good to go.
- Nuts. Aldi has a large selection of nuts, from peanuts to almonds to cashews to pistachios, along with many trail mix options. They’re all good, but we especially like the Southern Grove Dry Roasted Salted Peanuts and Honey Roasted Peanuts, along with Southern Grove Mountain Trail Mix and Adventure Trail Mix.
- Dried fruit. Options include dried apricots, mango, mixed berries, pineapple, a variety of raisins, and banana chips.
- Chocolate. Because a little something sweet can boost your spirits when times are challenging. In addition to name-brand candy such as M&Ms and Hershey bars, Aldi sells a range of excellent chocolate under its Choceur house brand. We love the Choceur Peanut Butter Cups, but they often sell out. If you can’t find the peanut butter cups, there are plenty of other good choices, including chocolate bars, small individually wrapped milk and dark chocolates, caramel-filled chocolates, Knoppers from Germany, and more.
- Dry cereal. During an emergency, you might not have milk to eat with your cereal, but dry cereal can still make a good snack, especially if you include it in a homemade trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate. We are fans of Aldi’s Balance cereal that compares to name brand Life cereal. View our Aldi cereal roundup here.
- Dry beans/rice. If you have the means to cook them during a power outage, such as a gas stove or camp stove, these are classic emergency foods because they last a long time on the shelf and can be highly nutritious. Aldi sells a variety of dried beans and rice in bags, or you can find boxed kits to make rice pilaf, jambalaya, red beans and rice, quinoa, couscous, and more.
- Pasta. Again, if you can cook on a stove top during an emergency, Aldi has shelf-stable pasta in all shapes and sizes, including whole wheat varieties. The grocer also sells a selection of jarred pasta sauces, from tomato-based sauces (including several with no added sugar) to alfredo sauces. They also sell boxed Hamburger Helper-type meals along with macaroni and cheese. The best mac and cheese for emergencies is the Cheese Club Shells and Cheese because all you have to do is boil the noodles, drain, and stir in the pouch of gooey cheese sauce; no milk or butter required.
- Instant mashed potatoes. Aldi sells pouches of mashed potatoes that only require water and can be prepared on the stove top or a camp stove. Read our thoughts on some of them here.
- Cookies, chips, and other comfort foods. Comfort foods can be helpful in taking the edge off of stressful situations if eaten in moderation. Some of our shelf-stable favorites include Aldi’s knockoff Girl Scout cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and Clancy’s chips. If you want something that feels indulgent but is better for you, we recommend Simply Nature Green Pea Crisps, Savoritz Parmesan Crisps, and Simply Nature Coconut Cashew Crisps.
Remember to occasionally eat through your emergency food stash before it passes its expiration or best-by dates, and replenish it with new food so you keep your supply fresh.
What emergency supplies do you purchase from Aldi? Let us know in the comments below.