Preparedness Gift Ideas for the Kitchen to help you gift the gift of preparedness to your family and friends for Christmas, birthdays, weddings and more!
Note: These are not items for the already PREPARED family. These are ideas for folks who are not prepared or don’t have the means to purchase for themselves the things they might need.
Small Budget Preparedness Gifts for the Kitchen
($25 and under)
Canning lids, rings and jars
Not just for the canner, but for stocking dry goods, leftovers, salads, and more. These Ball half-gallon sized storage jars are great for stocking dried foods in the pantry. And they make a pantry Pinterest pretty, especially with the new colors of jars they have.
Pro Tip: Be sure to go with the wide mouth jar to make filling easier!
Manual Can Opener
Whether you decide to go with an ordinary manual can opener or give a P-38 can opener for putting in emergency bags, this is great gift for a brand new family starting a home. One of the worst things to happen to families is to rely on canned goods to get you through an emergency, only to find the only way they have to open those cans when the power goes out is an electric can opener. Maybe this is a gift you’d just throw in as a stocking stuffer, but it is a great preparedness gift for the kitchen – both practical and preparedness specific.
Pro Tip: Do not buy ones from the dollar store. While they may be useful, they are not practical in the long-term because they are so cheaply made they actually can bend and break.
• More info: Off-Grid Alternatives to Everyday Kitchen Tools
Bamboo cutting boards and utensils
While new plastics maybe better than old plastics, I love bamboo utensils and cutting boards for a sustainable source of material for the kitchen that are easily to maintain and clean, and don’t require a ton of water to clean them.
Everyday food items in bulk
Do you remember pound parties? Families would give showers to new couples of a pound of flour, a pound of salt, a pound of sugar, and so on. You can give bulk foods as a way to help build a prepared pantry of foods that are used everyday. Look alternatives like chocolate, beans varieties, wheat berries, flax seed, dried milk, freeze dried meats and fruits/vegetables, freeze dried eggs or butter, and oatmeal.
Manual coffee grinder
Not only is this great for grinding your own roasted coffee beans, it is great for grinding your own seeds for spices and beans for small servings of flours, it’s great for powdering dehydrated foods, especially greens to add to smoothies for a punch or kick up your nutrient quotient in other foods.
Food Saver, Ziplock and other brands are now coming out with hand-held vacuum sealer machines that work with zip top type bags and deli containers and don’t require the use of a huge machine. The bags are generally reusable and can be a great addition to a small home that has no space for a large machine. It can help store produce, dehydrated products, items to extend the growing season, seeds, and more! The prices vary between brands, but since I love my Food Saver, and I know the items will last longer than a season, I’d suggest them over no-name brands.
A mandolin is a great tool to prepare foods, especially if doing lots of them, to slice for dehydrating or canning or even serving as snacks. While knife work makes quick work of small quantities, sometimes a mandolin makes slicing and shredding even easier!
No, it’s not a romantic gift, but definitely one that many homes do not have in their kitchen. Because the majority of house fires actually start in the kitchen, it’s a great way to introduce the preparedness concept to family members to get them started!
Cast Iron Skillets
Cast iron is a must for all families, not only for the benefit of iron added to your diet, but because it’s a great utensil that can be transferred between a typical kitchen set up to an outdoor set up if need be. But it does take getting used to, and not everyone will love your thoughtfulness. However, if you have a budding chef, someone really interested in outdoor cooking, or someone willing to begin to make that transition to a preparedness lifestyle, this is a great gift idea! Be sure to pick only American made cast iron (such as Lodge) instead of imports from China.
• More info: My 5 Must Have Cast Iron Favorites
Food Storage Containers
Whether bulking up supplies of zip top bags, investing in a pantry storage system or reusable storage containers, this is an area that new families are lacking and would be a good boost to help them in food storage. I really love using the tall cylindrical canning jar type containers, but the round shape wastes space if you’re trying to pack it all in. But these containers are fabulous AND they include a vacuum sealing gadget that lets you remove the excess air and makes food last longer (this is also a great introduction into vacuum sealing food for long-term!
Fermenting is another way that’s really gaining in popularity to preserve foods from the garden. Many are afraid to start because they just are overwhelmed by the process, but this small fermenting kit can be a great way to get started fermenting for anyone.
These lids are wonderful for helping store food items. Gamma lids are made to create an air-tight seal on 5 gallon buckets where yous store bulk grains, excess foods, emergency supplies and more. We’ve begun using them in creating a 5 Gallon Bucket gift pack for family and newlyweds.
• Read More: The Emergency Bucket Gift
No, we aren’t preparing for a football game, but coolers are awesome for emergency preparedness! If your power goes out, coolers are a way to help preserve foods until you can eat them or process them before they go bad. They’re a great way to transport food during an emergency, and great for car trip to have your own food in case you get stuck on the road with no access to store-bought or local restaurants.
Can you cook with it? No, obviously not. But since we spend most of our time in the kitchen when we’re home, this is the perfect place to have a weather radio to help monitor the weather situation when we are home. I don’t rely on my cell phone for alerts because cell towers can easily go down during bad storms.
I don’t know about you, but I hate to cook in a dark kitchen! If the power goes out, Dominos may not be able to deliver, and you’ll want to begin to think about how you’ll use up the food in your fridge before it goes bad. Ideas would be candles, hurricane lamps, oil lamps, flashlights, etc. Our favorite is this adjustable folding lantern that can be placed in a few different positions to give you task lighting or room lighting, whichever you need. It is battery powered, powerful, and our go-to light in an emergency.
Mini Heat Sealer for Bags
This mini bag sealer seemed like a gimmick item when these first came out years ago, but since I’ve adjusted my thinking about how to preserve foods, this is an amazing little gadget!!! It reseals bags! Think of potato chip bags and the like. Instead of just using bag clips to try to keep bags closed, remove the air and reseal them!!
First Aid Kit
Sure, we all keep first aid kits in our bathrooms or linen closets, but how many of us have one in the kitchen? Instead of walking all through the house to find a bandage or other supplies, having a small kit in the cupboard can really help immediately. Include a few bandages, some pressure dressings, alcohol wipes and the things to help you stop bleeding until you get to your big kit or head to the hospital for stitches <grin>.
Greens are hard to get in the winter when you don’t have a winter garden planted, and selections aren’t great at your grocery store. Growing them in a home is super easy with a sprouting kit. And you can grow sprouts from a variety of seeds like lentils, broccoli, and more. (thanks to Prepare America for the suggestion to the list!)
Meals in Jars / Freezer Meals
If you are already doing meals in jars from your dehydrated/freeze dried foods (see this post for a ton of ideas to create them), make extras to give to friends. Additionally, if you do freezer meals in bulk, consider giving those to a family to help them build their pantry. These are wonderful gifts from the heart that might not cost you much!
While it may be a bit weird for those folks who can’t imagine not cooking in their kitchen or the big grill out back, a backup cooking system is a must, especially for those households powered only with electricity and no working fireplaces. This small rocket stove is a great way to cook meals using very little in the way of materials. It just takes a few twigs to get a good soup pot going. It’s definitely not the norm, but can be a great alternative. You can read more on my review and how I used the rocket stove here.
As an alternative, a simple propane burner will be a little more familiar for some. These sit right on the edge of the budget, but are so easy.
Here is a list of books that are great to have for a prepared kitchen. Some are cookbooks/process books, some are books how how to be prepared for your family as it deals with the kitchen and the rest of your life. They are all books that are in my Prepared Library.
- Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford – love this book from a Mom’s perspective.
- Putting Food By by Hertzberg, Greene & Vaughn
- The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff (reviewed here)
- Dehydrator Bible by MacKenzie, Nutt & Mercer
- Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook by Mary Bell
- Ball Complete Guide to Home Preserving by Judi Kingry
- Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival by Angela Paskett (read review here)
- The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months by Daisy Ell (read my review here)
- Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning by Sharon Peterson
- The Organic Canner by Daisy Luther
- Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
If all else fails, give a gift certificate for them to purchase their own gifts. This is good for families who may have already gotten a start on their prepared life, but still have a ways to go. You may give it to Thrive (for freeze-dried foods), a store that sells preparedness items (beprepared.com), a grocery store to stock up their pantry, etc.
Preparedness Gifts for the Kitchen for larger budgets:
Of course, there are gift ideas for those with bigger budgets that would be perfect for the Prepared Kitchen that can also help someone more to more self-sufficiency:
- Dehydrator – What better way to preserve garden produce or great grocery deals that doesn’t require an oven. Just slice, dry and store! My choices are the Nesco FD-80 for mid-range budgets and the Exaclibur 9-tray for larger budgets. READ MORE … 101 Dehydrating Recipes
- Instant Pot – not only as a way to better even a slow cooker for preparing meals, but making yogurt, awesome bone broths and more!
- Emergency Food Buckets – Having a 3 day supply of foods available in an easy to store container is a great boost for families just starting out on their preparedness journey. It’s an instant step up.
- Berkey Water Filter System – While the pitcher water filters systems are good for everyday, the day may come when the water isn’t usable from the faucet and you need something bigger. We choose to use it to filter out contaminants now (like flouride), but when water is iffy from a localized disaster, the Berkey helps remove even more.
- Emergency Preparedness Bucket – A 5 gallon bucket full of the basics of emergency preparedness items to get an individual or a family started on their preparedness journey. You can get a list to fill an emergency preparedness bucket here.
When we started giving our extended family these gifts for Christmas, it was never with the idea of trying to convince them to be more prepared, but as a way of giving them a really useful gift that we love to have in our own home. We started with the Energizer folding emergency lantern, and I know they were used for projects around the house by our families. Little do they know I had an alternative reason for giving it to them!
Have you given gifts of preparedness for Christmas to unsuspecting family members? How were they accepted? What did you give?
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