Food Preservation

Hidden Stockpile | Reloading Your Stockpile After Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving is a perfect time to start stocking up on some seasonal food items at majorly discounted rates. Check out our tips on reloading your stockpile!



The day after Thanksgiving is a perfect time to start stocking up on some seasonal food items at majorly discounted rates.

Check out our tips on reloading your hidden stockpile!

RELATED: How To Build A Six Month Food Stockpile On A Budget

The Budget-Friendly Way to Reload Your Hidden Stockpile

closeup-photo-big-baked-roast-stuffed Hidden Stockpile

Stocking Up On Seasonal Items

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A typical grocery store only has enough food for 72 hours, if you are lucky enough to even get there in time before the shelves are picked bare. Don’t wait to start stocking up on storable food items!

The holidays are a time for cooking things that are otherwise not seen throughout the year. Stores tend to buy a major excess of the seasonal items that they are then stuck with unless they can offload them.

Luckily, what may be bad for the stores is a windfall for the practical prepper. Check out the shelf lives of popular seasonal items in the list below.

Shelf Life of Seasonal Items:

  • Canned Pumpkin: 2-5 years
  • Cranberry Sauce: 12-18 months
  • Apple Pie Filling: Up to 3 years
  • Pie Crusts: Up to a year (frozen)
  • Canned Green Beans: 2-5 years
  • Boxed Stuffing: Up to 18 months
  • Shelled Pecans: Up to 2 years (frozen)
  • Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken Soup: Up to 5 years
  • Canned Sweet Potatoes: Up to 5 years

RELATED: 18 Items To Stockpile For Emergencies

Holiday Sales

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Taking advantage of a store’s excess holiday inventory doesn’t have to be limited to food. Many paper goods and disposable dishware come in a limited seasonal print that just doesn’t sell well outside a given holiday.

Also be sure to keep an eye on sales for heavy-duty foil roasting pans, pie pans, plastic forks, spoons, and knives. Odds are, the store will run into an excess inventory on these, and within a few weeks of the holidays will end up with some type of sale.

Watch this video from World of Appolonia to see their own version of an emergency food stockpile:

Check-in at your local dollar stores for great deals on these items, like the ones that don’t sell in the big chains will tend to be purchased by the smaller dollar stores and sold at a discount there.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 16, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Janet

    November 21, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    How wonderful, another perfect way of making the most of what you have.
    As a debt and credit counselor, my objective is to help people see the opportunities to leverage their current assets. Holiday specials are the easiest way to save. Most people see holiday shopping as a time to spend, but if they are looking toward securing their future, they will see that holidays as a time to take advantage of the merchant’s specials and stockpile necessities. After the holiday’s is another time to help the poor merchants clear their shelves. This article is a timely reminder of opportunities that we all can take advantage of. Thank you for sharing.

    • Judy

      November 21, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      November is the month I wait for to buy certain stock items, both for the coming year & for stocking up. Evaporated milk has gotten more expensive but in November, one store puts it about 1/2 price for a week or 2 every November, along with chicken broth & other seasonal food items & staples.

  2. Schneewitchen

    November 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Another overlooked item is fresh turkeys. After the holiday, your grocer will unload them at unbelievable prices. I bought 8 fresh turkeys a couple of years ago for .19 cents per pound. I seasoned and roasted 2 at a time and then processed them in canning jars in their own juice. We opened one to test and it’s like opening Thanksgiving all over again.Now our shelves have 1 quart jars of qwesome turkey for an emergency.

    • DZ

      December 22, 2012 at 10:36 PM

      How long does it last? Needs to be frozen/refrigerated?

      • Penny

        November 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Canned food will last forever. Some will say less but after opening great grandmas stuff that was very old pressure cooked food (meat) and it was all good. It was probably 30 years old. I would taste and smell it first of course.

    • gena

      November 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      And you can save some money on meat even if you don’t plan to can it by buying a couple extra turkeys and freezing them for awhile and having another nice turkey dinner at a fraction of the price. Use the money saved on meat, which is about to skyrocket, to buy other needed items, also on sale. The period for best prices is from right after Christmas until sometime the first week of Jan when they will be practically giving turkeys and hams away. The store chain Iusually use in S Texas has,in the past, had full or half hams, cooked and sliced for $10 off after Christmas rather than store them or repackage them. Usually the same with the fully cooked turkeys. Toss them in the freezer for use later. And save your turkey bones for turkey soup, ham bones for various uses or just for your dog(s)to have a late Christmas gift they will love.

  3. Conrad

    November 22, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    My wife and I are on a limited income due to an accident she had six months ago, to day she has to walk with a walker and we also lost our Assistant
    Living Business, so now we go to a food bank once a week and pick up the large #10 cans for free and it was good to know how long a shelf life each “Food” can last, I have taken frozen Vegetables and dried them in a dehydrator ( 5lb. bag ) for 12 hours and 30 min. and you end up with one quart of dried food, drying food is a good way to go, I have dried 50lbs. of onions, 5lbs. of potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, strawberries, and also have made my own home made butter. Like the old saying, “Better a thousand times careful, than one time dead” You also might check on the web, the Latter Day Saints have a “GOOD” number of web sites that will help you stock up on food for one year, by saving a little bit here and their each week. Good Luck!!

    • gena

      November 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      Conrad, does that only work with frozen foods or can you dry canned foods that way as well. I recently bought a dehydrator and haven’t used it yet. Need to read more about it and start using it.
      Might I ask here, please. If you buy dried fruit at the store, is it edible if you try to rehydrate it before eating it? Are there any that rehydrate better than others? How hard is it to dehydrate apples and is it more cost effective to buy bags of apples and dehydrate them yourself or to buy them already dehydrated? I do not think I could eat most dry fruit without some rehydration due to lack of some teeth and inability to wear dentures due to malformation of bone on top of mouth. The bottom teeth are good, dentist says I might not be able to get dentures for top jaw that I would be able to use.

  4. John N. Smith

    November 22, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    How long will a case of unopened bottled water last?

    • Joe

      November 23, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Commercially purified water will have a best buy date somewhere on the package but it should keep indefinitely. Just make sure that you store it in a cool dry place. Also if you drink it and it seems a bit off, pour the water into another container . This will aerate it and help improve the flavor

  5. Evangeline Williams

    November 22, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Conrad, What a good idea. Had never thought of drying potatoes or onions. I will certainly try some of that. Just a while ago potatoes were very low here. Thank you. I make my own silver solution and have recentlt made about 2 gallons because my daughter is coming and I supply her. You would not believe what that did for her about 2 years ago when she got MRSA infection. Drs were setting up amputating her arm,instead she went back to work the next week with only a band aid on her arm.

    • susy b

      November 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      is it possible for you to share your solution. i myself am a bit sickly and sure could use it. ive had bronchitis for a month. gotten meds. not going away. im kind of afraid it may be something else. my voice hasnt been normal for that whole time. i would really appreciate it.

      • Mike

        November 28, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        Susy B,

        Try this, it’s worked for me. 1 Tsb apple cider vinegar 3-4x a day. 1000 mg garlic 3-4x, oil of oregano 3-4x, 4000-5000 mg Vit C. Also drink plenty of clean filtered water.

        • gena

          November 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM

          I use the apple cider vinegar, on tablespoon, which I put in apple juice to get by the taste of vinegar, and it helps with congestion and stomach/digestive issues. It helps with my allergies and keeps me from coughing from all the sinus stuff going down my throat. You also get a good dose of vitamin C by putting it in apple juice. You have to buy organic with the “mother” in it.

      • Donna

        December 7, 2012 at 6:05 PM

        Silver solution is good for bacterial infections. In the old days before refrigeration my great grandma put a silver dollar in her milk from the cow she had to prevent spoiling.You can get silver solution at emergency essentials or find ASAP 10 on the internet.

        • dodger

          April 15, 2013 at 1:13 AM

          I have used colloidal silver, what you refer to as “silver solution”, for several years from Purest Colloids, Inc. They call it Mesosilver. However, be careful NOT to buy “ionic silver”! That can be made at home with the right equipment, but it is DANGEROUS. It will also turn your skin blue (a condition named “argyria”) with regular usage. Here’s a link to more info about colloidal silver vs. ionic silver and blue skin:

          • gena

            November 25, 2013 at 12:12 PM

            Dodger, that is the brand I buy, Mesosilver. It is said to also disinfect water but you have to use so much it is not practical if you have any other means to do so. The company had to quit selling it for that purpose under threat from the gov’t due to a lack of sufficient testing or some crap.

    • gena

      November 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      One of my neighbors had been bitten by a cat and had a nasty infection that the antibiotics wasn’t touching and I gave her some colloidal silver I had bought to put on it and it fixed her up really quickly. Another thing that works well, which is no longer legal for human use but legal for use in pets, and illegally used by many athletes is DMSO. It works for aching joints and muscles and will stop and reverse a stroke quicker than anything allowed for human use. My vet said the FDA outlawed it under dubious reasons because it worked so much better than many items that were making the big pharma companies billions of dollars a year, and since it cannot be patented anymore, it would have cost them too much profit. She used it on one of my dogs that I thought was dying for sure and she came right out of it and it kept her alive until she was 18 1/2 years old, this last Jan,and pulled her out of at least 15 strokes. And cayenne peppers eaten or the power consumed during a heart attack will often turn off the heart attack in five minutes or less. I was just discussing these with a holistic practitioner earlier today on facebook. And he and my vet and I were discussing the benefits of oregano oil as an antibiotic as well, that it can take most bacteria head on and knock them out. Although the practitioner said that it might need be diluted some as it is strong enough it might leave a burning feeling if used straight. We were talking about applying it to the gums for dental infections, along with colloidal silver solution.

  6. Joe

    November 26, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    You want to be very careful feeding chicken and turkey to your dogs.
    If they get the bones and chew them, the bones can splinter and get lodged in their throats and in their intestines. I personally will not feed my dogs ANY bird bones. Its just a bad idea. And tough way to see your pets suffer and possibly die.

  7. Al

    November 26, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    I have kept dry boxed stuffing and things like dried potato au gratin type items over 3 years after the “best used” by date and they seemed fine. Of course you would have to check critically and decide for yourself if any expired item was safe to eat.

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