8 Spices Every Prepper Needs

8 Spices Every Prepper Needs

8 spices every prepper needs. Spices are something we all need, and every prepper should have a supply in the pantry! I feel like this is largely an often ignored part of prepping. Food and water are important, but I want my food to taste the best it possibly can. No matter if I’m eating filet mignon or freeze dried corn. 

This post contains affiliate links

Building flavors in food starts with spices, and I’ve compiled a list of my favorites and what I deem essential to my pantry. 

Once the Coronavirus started and I was spending more time at home, I started evaluating what were the most important things that I wanted to have more of for future problems like this. I found this especially important once we started seeing shortages and limits on things we can buy at the store. 

In a real emergency, all the freeze dried food, boxed and canned goods will get really old really quick without some love and TLC. Which is easy to give it that extra boost of love through spices! Here is my list of the 8 spices every prepper needs.


Salt is technically not a spice, it is a mineral. But it is the first thing we think of when it comes to spices and seasoning food. We taste with salt, and that is what elevates flavors in what we are eating. 

Salt has an infinite shelf life, making it a perfect prepper staple. Salt also has other flavors added to it, such as celery and garlic. But it is easy to take other dried ingredients and create a custom salt blend, such as jalapeno, cilantro, and so much more. 


Garlic is easily the most well used spice in my house. We have garlic powder, salt, and even minced garlic in jars. This is a must-have in my house. 

The health benefits of garlic cannot be ignored, and the flavor adds to almost any meal. 

Chili Powder

Chili powder is just ground up chilis until it becomes a powder. There are many varieties used to spice up food. My personal favorite is Ancho chili powder. But there are a lot of options such as Paprika that also comes in a smoked variety. Red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, the list goes on. 

These chilis add a depth of flavor, a smokey element, and even a nice heat to any meal. Having at least one kind of chili powder is essential, especially if you are a prepper who keeps a stock of rice and beans. Neither of these things season themselves! They need some help and love to be amazing. 

Steak Seasoning

I use McCormick steak seasoning in almost every beef dish that I make because it has this wonderful smoky flavor to it, as well as a bigger depth of flavor. I will say that it has a lot of salt in it, so be aware of that if you’re using it. Generally it is best to either add very little salt or skip it entirely. 

Chicken Seasoning

Just like with the steak seasoning, I add this chicken seasoning to almost every chicken dish that I make. It also has copious amounts of salt, and you’ll want to pay attention to that. One of my favorite parts about this is it has a chicken bullion quality to it, which is concentrated chicken broth flavor. 


I think good old fashioned black pepper is constantly overlooked because it is so basic. But sometimes the basics are the best. Simplicity at it’s finest. I buy whole peppercorns and grind them up when it is time to use. I personally love the smell of freshly ground peppercorns. This love has caused a few sneezing fits because I stick my face into the spice grinder and take a giant whiff of it. 

Herbs De Provence 

Herbs De Provence is an excellent additions! If you have never tried this spice blend, think Italian seasoning with lavender added in. Sounds strange, I know. But it is a wonderful addition to my spice cabinet. This ends up in all of my Italian dishes, or anything with a tomato sauce. 


Cinnamon adds a delicious warm and sweet flavor to many dishes, especially at breakfast. I add it to oatmeal all the time, or sprinkle a bit on fruit. It’s an easy way to jazz up something boring, especially if you have kids. It’s already difficult to get them eating things like oatmeal or even fruit, but in an emergency situation it may be even more difficult. 


I always recommend buying spices in bulk whenever possible. In my house we’ve gone completely to bulk containers and devoted one shelf in a cabinet to that, making storage much easier. I despise looking for tiny containers and they all fall out of the cabinet. It is messy! Bulk spices are also much cheaper. The cost of packaging small containers is definitely passed on to the consumer, so avoid that whenever possible. 

Buy in bulk

Once I started buying in bulk, I paid more attention to sales. When I get maybe halfway through a container of garlic salt, for example, I’ll start watching spice sales and then use that to my advantage. When spices are on sale, I can simply buy a smaller and cheaper container to refill the large one. This makes stocking up on the 8 spices every prepper needs even easier!

Dietary Restrictions

If you have dietary restrictions such as salt intake, I would add a salt free blend like this to your list of essentials. I have seen bulk containers of these before, but they may be a bit more difficult to find than traditional spices.

If you can find a restaurant supply store that is open to the general public, they should have an array of spices in bulk, including salt-free alternatives. The restaurant supply store is where I bought all of my spices for the larger containers as well. Stores like that will definitely have the 8 spices every prepper needs and then some more!

Spice Storage

If you are sealing foods in mylar bags for long term storage, you can add spices into the bag. I’ve heard other preppers say they put a pre-measured amount into a Ziplock bag and added it to the mylar bag and sealed it up. For example, if you’re sealing beans to use as refried beans for tacos, add in a couple teaspoons of taco seasoning and it is waiting for you when you open the mylar bag! I have yet to try this, so I have no real opinion on it besides the convenience aspect of this appeals to me. 


These are the 8 spices every prepper needs. What is your go-to spice you use the most? Tell me about your essentials in the comments! Click here to read more tips on prepping, and here for my favorite recipes.

The Prepping Wife is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, at no added cost to you.


  • Scott DeNicola

    You’d laugh if you looked at our spice cabinet. Since we were never big cookers it has been embarrassing. And then the pandemic struck and we became instant chefs. I have since visited our local Costco/BJs and stocked up on all sorts of spices. Garlic was one I did have because I enjoy it on my pizza. We also had to stock on some italian seasoning and chicken seasoning. I like the concept of seasoning before long term storage. I may have to try that with all the chicken we traditionally buy.

  • Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women

    I love your selection of spices here. You could really enjoy the vast majority of everyday dishes using these. I agree that small containers of spices all over the place can become really messy. Hence having a few good go-to spices (such as those in your list), within organised, larger containers has to be the best way to go.

  • Kay | Blowing Bubbles With Mama

    Yes, I agree with all of these except Herbs de Provence and only because I haven’t heard of it before. I’m going to look into it as I usually have a mixture of dried herbs in my cupboards so this could be a nice addition. The lavendar, has left me very interested for sure!

  • Britt K

    I’m glad that you included pepper! Honestly, if I was forced to narrow it down to just one, that would be my go-to every time! There is something to be said for simplicity and the basics. Right? My husband is big on spices and has a wide assortment here in the pantry. I can’t imagine telling him that he needed to narrow it down to 8. That being said, his love for his spices means that he always makes sure that they are stocked up, buying them in bulk and tracking when we need more lol

  • Subhashish Roy

    Even we tend to buy spices in bulk for our home as they tend to cost a little less. Moreover they stay fresh in closed tight containers. We use all the spices that you have mentioned. But got to look at Herbs De Provence which we have never used. maybe we can try it out in some Indian dishes too.

  • Kat

    I love using salt, it‘s so simple but it‘s a one-spice solution. (Guess I‘ll never be an amazing cook!) I have recently started growing my own herbs. A little kitchen garden set for about £10 has so far yielded enough herbs for two salads every day for over a month. These plants (basil, chives, coriander, parsley) just keep growing, and I haven‘t even used half the seeds yet.

    Cinnamon is another favourite, I love it on sweet dishes.

  • Smita

    Our (Indian) food has a ton of spices in almost everything we cook so my list of staples is huge – salt, chilli, turmeric, cumin, mustard, coriander, asafoetida, carom etc. etc. 🙂 I always buy these in bulk too since the smaller packs in grocery stores are too expensive compared to the bigger packs in Asian/ Indian stores.
    Herbs De Provence sounds super interesting – can’t imagine lavender together with the herbs, would love to try it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!