Getting Started: THRIVE

THRIVE allows you to easily create an emergency food supply on a budget. You can start small and add more ingredients later. I have some basic suggestions when buying, storing, and using THRIVE foods:

  • I prefer Pantry Cans for long-term emergency use. Opened cans are more susceptible to contamination from the elements, animals, or insects. If a smaller can is compromised then less product has to be discarded. Ingredients in the smaller cans is used more quickly and will remain fresher.
  • For everyday use I normally buy a pantry first and then purchase that product in a #10 can. I use the pantry can and then refill the pantry can from the #10 can. The larger #10 cans are more economical than the pantry cans.
  • I use pantry cans exclusively for ingredients that last a long time. For example, I use small amounts of spinach and asparagus so I always purchase pantry cans and I do NOT refill them. Using the smaller pantry cans keeps the ingredient fresher.
  • For your daily use products use the oldest can first and then replace that can with a newer one. This way you constantly rotate your stock of emergency supplies for added freshness.

Breakfast Foods

Basic breakfast foods are inexpensive and easy to prepare. You can use a number of other ingredients to enhance breakfasts after starting with some basics.


Proteins are used in a number of meals and they are normally the most expensive ingredients. Those on a budget can start with lower-cost ingredients such as TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) products, beans, lentils, etc. Add the more expensive ingredients as your budget permits.

  • Good: If you are on a budget then consider some TVP ingredients. These taste decent (not exceptional) and are very economical. If you can afford the real protein ingredients then skip this step.
  • Better: Add some versatile, healthy, tasty, low-cost proteins such as red or black beans. You can use these in both main dishes and side dishes. These are very economical and high in protein
  • Best: Add items such as chicken, pulled pork, turkey, and beef to your inventory. These ingredients are versatile, good tasting, and can be used in almost any meal.


Some food basics are very handy and can be used in a variety of recipes. You will probably want these for both preparedness and for everyday use. Use the oldest ingredients first. Rotating your supplies help to ensure the longest shelf life.

  • Good: You can use these low-cost basics in a wide variety of recipes. These are also nice for everyday use. When you are in the middle of food preparation and you find that your fresh milk is bad or gone then you can use the powdered milk and save a trip to the store. Suggestions for basic ingredients include: Instant Milk, Butter Powder, Honey Crystals, and Cane Sugar.
  • Better: Flavorings such as Chicken Bouillon and Beef Bouillon can benefit a large number of recipes.
  • Best: Add some longer-term ingredients including flour, yeast, and other ingredients to make bread and other baked goods.

Starch & Grains

When creating meals you ill need grains and starches to add nutritional value and bulk. You will use a fair amount of these inexpensive items so you may want to order them in #10 cans.

  • White Rice can be a side dish, or a component in a main disk. Combine with other ingredients to make fried rice, use it as a simple side dish, or use it as a base with main dish on top.
  • Brown Rice can be used much like white rice but has more nutritional content and has a heartier taste.
  • Macaroni or pasta can be used in a main course or as a side dish.
  • Mashed Potatoes or Potato Dices can be used in a main course or as a side dish.

Fruits and Vegetables