Recently for some reason I have been hearing a lot of advertisements for get your 2 week food supply for $75.00! “Don’t wait, get yours now!” I hear that message over and over, so I finally took the time to look it up and learn more about this offer.

This got me to thinking about how much it would cost to put together a DIY food storage bin. While a DIY bin may not have the 20 year shelf life, some people (like me) don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on long-term food.

And I don’t know about you, but while $75.00 for two weeks of long-term food storage sounds like a good deal, coughing up $75.00 is not an easy task. I wanted to dive in and see what I would be getting for my $75.00.

This is just my opinion, but I think the best prepper food is the food you store yourself. While these pre-made long term food buckets have their place, nothing beats homemade or homegrown food.

Now I’m not going to say the name of the company, if you have been prepping for any length of time, you have inevitably seen these ads as well, and probably clicked on one or two of them yourself.

2 Weeks of Food Survival Kit (Prepackaged)

Lets break down what you get in this 2 week kit:

  • Traveler’s Stew (4 servings)
  • Creamy Chicken Flavored Rice (8 servings)
  • Mac and Cheese (4 servings)
  • Long Grain White Rice (20 servings)
  • Buttermilk Pancakes (20 servings)
  • Southwest Savory Rice (8 servings)
  • Maple Grove Oatmeal (16 servings)
  • Homestyle Potato Soup (12 servings)

This equals 92 servings of food. And this package is based on 1500 calories a day for 1 person.  And the food comes in shelf stable packaging and comes in a handy tote. I really like the tote idea, because it keeps everything together, and easy to stack.

But me being a budget minded person who is always looking to get a deal, I decided to see if I could make something like this for my family, but including foods that I know we will eat, and also to see if I could make a kit like this for less money.

And while having the 25 year shelf life food is a fantastic goal, the prepackaged long-term food is not for everyone. To keep this simple, and show you how you can do food storage affordably, and just get some sort of food tote going, I just went to the grocery store and bought what I could in person.

My Walmart Shopping Trip

Ok, so I had to do this on my way home from work. So I made my plan ahead of time, to know what I wanted before I went to the store. I also wanted to see how much I could fit in a tote (that I bought at Walmart) And I wanted to have this tote to be enough food for at least two people for at least two weeks.

As I said, I know I can’t get 25 year shelf life food, I can buy food that will last at least two years, and then we can rotate through it. The question we should all ask ourselves is what do I have more of? Time or money?

So this is what I found…

Fast Affordable Food Storage Tote

DIY Food Storage Bin for Under $50

So this is what I bought at Walmart. And to keep the meal prepping clear, I have broken it down into meals.


  • Martha White Blueberry Muffin Mix (9 servings) $2.94
  • Hungry Jack Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix (54 servings) $1.98
  • Log Cabin Original Syrup 24 oz Bottle (12 servings) $2.98
  • Great Value Instant Oatmeal, Fruit & Cream Variety Pack (20 servings) $2.98

Total Servings: 56


  • Maruchan Ramen Noodle Creamy Chicken Flavor Soup, (8 servings) $1.50
  • Maruchan Instant Lunch Cheddar Cheese Flavor Instant Lunch (10 servings) $3.60

Total Servings: 18


  • Bear Creek Country Kitchens Creamy Potato Soup Mix (8 servings) $3.48
  • Great Value Buttery Homestyle Complete Potatoes (16 servings) $3.36
  • Great Value Long Grain Enriched Rice, 5 Lb (50 servings) $2.92
  • Great Value Slow Cooker Solutions, Chipotle Beef Beans (8 servings) $2.24
  • Great Value Slow Cooker Solutions, Tuscan Style White Bean, 11.75 oz (8 servings) $2.24
  • Knorr Rice Side Dish Packages (10 servings) $5.00

Total Servings: 40

Grand Total of all servings: 114

Ok, so it is really difficult to break down serving sizes, and meals. But all in all, by making a tote like this will provide enough food for 2 people for at least 3 weeks. And if you were rationing because of extra people, or because this was the only food storage you had, you could make it last a lot longer. You could stretch it to at least 4 to 5 weeks.

And the best part is the cost. The total cost for this longer term food storage tote is about $45.00.

And the food stored in this tote will probably not last on your shelf for 25 to 30 years. But it will last at least 3 years. Not forever, but for a while. I think it’s a great starting point, or at least to stick some food away, just in case.

Please keep in mind this is a starting point. No, there are not veggies, fruits, or meat. These are things that you will have to source other ways, which is why it’s a good idea to learn how to grow your own fruits and veggies! And also consider different sources for your meat, like having your own chickens, or canned meat, or whatever you can come up with.

All these foods are easy to prepare and and don’t require elaborate grid down cooking options. For the most part, all you need is a heat source and some water.

The main point is you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot of bang for your food dollar. And if you are a coupon type person, you can save even more money by buying these things when they are on sale, and when you have a coupon.

And I really like the size of these totes. You can pack a lot into them, they are stackable and they are easy to store. You could stack them in your closet, or even put some under beds, or on a shelving unit. The possibilities are endless. I like having endless possibilities when it comes to storing food, and preparedness related stuff, don’t you?

Ok, so the food tote we just made cost around $45.00. But, what if we do it precisely like the one that got me searching for this in the first place? How much would that cost? Well, lets break it down, again using the same type of food I did before.

  • Creamy Chicken Flavored Rice (10 servings) $4.00
  • Long Grain White Rice (20 servings) $1.76
  • Pancake Mix (54 servings) $1.98
  • Southwestern Style Rice (10 servings) $4.00
  • Variety Pack Oatmeal (20 servings) $2.98
  • Mac and Cheese (4 servings) $3.98
  • Potato Soup (8 servings) $3.48
  • Travelers Stew (8 servings) $3.48
  • Storage Tote $9.48
  • Grand Total:  $35.14

Total number of servings: 134!

The only difference between doing this yourself and the fancy pre-done tote is that with the pre-done tote, the shelf life is up to a 25-year shelf life. They don’t claim that everything will last for 25 years.

If you wanted to extend the shelf life of the packaged foods you bought in this diy food storage bin, you could do this by purchasing mylar bags and repackaging the food. In this bin, all of this food has at least a 2 year best buy date and requires no refrigeration, so it will last a while.

And it is a good idea to eat what you store, and store what you eat, so you can stock up for a bit, and then use the food inside of the tote. Just remember to replace what you use!

Any ideas about what you could put in a DIY food storage bin? Or even other storage container ideas? Leave a comment below and let us know?


As a registered nurse, a mother of 5 and Dale's wife I post on this website from time to time about what I know and love, Preparing my family to survive any sort of unforeseen situations. Most of my articles will probably be based on medical needs and prepping techniques, but you never know, I may surprise you every now and then.

    2 replies to "DIY Food Storage Bin for Under $50"

    • Brian Hawkins

      Very interesting video. I love the idea of the smaller bins. I have some loaded with canned goods that I can hardly push around on the floor.

      I think for protean we can add tuna fish, canned pork or beef, and maybe other fish. I know you can get tuna fish in individual bags because I use those for hiking.

      It would probably be beneficial to toss a bottle of multivitamins in each bin as well.

      Good stuff, thank you.

    • Cygnet Brown

      I enjoyed the video. I think doing this should definitely be a starting point for anyone who wants more food security. As you said, this would last a couple about 2-4 weeks. However, because my husband and I are thinking about retirement age and how social security doesn’t look as secure as we would like, we have been thinking about our need for better food security whether SHTF or not. I have been thinking that I need to start purchasing the big six–beans, rice, sugar, oatmeal, flour, and salt. One guy said we’d need about 1500 pounds of food per year. Seventy-five dollars would go a long way toward getting those basic items including mylar bags, food grade buckets, and gamma lids.. Sure, it would need other items to make palatable meals, but having these basics would go much further than the foods in your bin and would last the 25 years.

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