No Electricity? Meals & Food For Power Outages

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Preparing for the storm and wondering what meals you can cook for no electricity? If the power goes out, what is there to eat? You’re wondering about non perishable foods for power outages. With storms approaching and a possible power outage, thinking ahead about meals to make if you have no electricity can be a smart move amidst grabbing the obligatory bread and milk from the grocery stores. Today we’re making storm prep easier with several no-power-meal ideas.

Meals for power outages

Our readers are awesome. We asked them for ideas on what to make if we end up losing power due to a storm. They answered with a lot of creative suggestions.

We’re answering:

  • What meals can I cook without power?
  • What food should I buy before a storm?
  • What can I feed my family if the power is out?
  • And, we have a handy food for power outage grocery list!

This article includes:
What Meals Can You Make With No Power? Meal Ideas for Power Outages
Food for Power Outage Grocery List

Free things to do for kids across the USA

We’ve got a great list of totally free things for kids to do no matter where you are!

Food For Power Outage: How to Feed Your Family With No Electricity

What meals can you make with no power? Use these foods for power outage ideas the next time a storm is headed your way.

Use the grill

If you have a gas or charcoal grill, fire it up and have a cookout. Hamburgers, chicken, vegetables, even cut up potatoes with a little olive oil and salt can all be put on the grill when you have no electricity in your house. So be sure to grab extra charcoal and gas if you are running low.

Charcuterie boards 

Get fancy and put together a Charcuterie board since nothing on it needs to be cooked and it’s prettier than a sandwich.

Charcuterie boards make a great power outage meal.
Charcuterie board

Tuna/egg/chicken salads

Make these ahead of time so all you need to do is get some bread and break out your premade tuna, egg, or chicken salad. I made some hard-boiled eggs just to have on hand for protein snacks but they could easily be used in an egg salad as well.

Chips and salsa

So simple but oh-so-good.


Several readers suggested peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or cold cuts you already have in your fridge. Or get fancy and make a wrap.

Overnight oats

I make this when I go camping because I’m not awesome at starting fires. All you do is put oatmeal into a container, add milk and honey and leave overnight. Eat it the next morning. No need to heat anything up. I also add dried cherries (or whatever fruit I have on hand) and a little cinnamon.

How to make coffee with no power
Making coffee during a power outage

Don’t forget the cold-brew coffee

When I was writing this story and came across this suggestion, I stopped what I was doing and made the cold brew coffee (coffee grounds and water inside a glass container and stick in fridge) because I don’t want headaches in the midst of no electricity. Excellent suggestion, readers!

  • If you rely on a coffee grinder to grind coffee beans, grind some now and store in an airtight container to use later.
  • You can also make hot coffee if you can boil water on a gas stove, camp stove, fire or grill. Steep your ground coffee with the hot water and either use a french press or pour through a coffee filter to remove the grounds.
Dutch oven cooking
Dutch oven

Make a campfire and use a Dutch oven for soups and stews

One reader suggested using a Dutch oven to cook over a campfire (tip: use the lint from your dryer or egg cartons to help start the fire). This is a good idea – just be sure to make a safe fire, using a stone ring (you can bricks or other bigger stones) and then put whatever you want to cook in your Dutch oven and put it over the fire. Here are some ideas on things to cook inside a Dutch oven.

Want it to be super simple? Keep a couple of cans of soup on hand and just pour them into the Dutch oven. When it’s hot, you’re good to go. You can also use a camp coffee percolator without the percolator parts to hold the soup while it heats up.

Use your camping stove

All of you who go camping, this is your moment. If you have a camping stove that runs on gas or a little backpacking camping stove, don’t forget about it if you lose electricity. You could pretty much cook anything on it. I personally love making rice and beans for camping so I’d probably go with that, especially since it’s easy and filling. But you could make pancakes, eggs, soups, bacon – the options are endless.

Use a camp stove during a power outage
Camp stove

No fuss, grab and go

Keep some healthy non-perishable items on hand like: protein bars, apple sauce pouches, jerky or meat sticks, peanut butter cracker packs, raisins, and trail mix.

You can do a lot without a fridge: nonrefrigerated meals

If you’re without power for a long time, you’ll specifically want things that don’t need a fridge and freezer. You can make most of the items in this list with non-refrigerated items. Ideas include sealed cured meats, single-serving aseptic milk boxes (the kind you’d put in a child’s lunch box), cereal, applesauce pouches, raisins, canned soup, and canned tuna. Buy smaller jars of salsa, pickles, etc so your family can finish them in one meal eliminating the need for a fridge to safely store leftovers once they’ve been opened.

Grocery List: Food for Power Outage

Are you getting ready to head to the grocery store to stock up on essentials before bad weather and a potential outage? Below is a convenient grocery list of items that will help you make the meals above.

Remember, if you purchase small jars or even little packets of condiments you’ll have less waste if you are in a lengthy outage with no refrigeration.

Shopping list for power outage
  • Canned soup
  • Canned beans
  • Minute rice
  • Sliced ham, cheese, or any other meats/cheeses you’d want on a sandwich
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Peanut butter & jelly/honey
  • Bananas and fruit you like
  • Milk – regular, almond, coconut or oat
  • Oatmeal
  • Olives
  • Bread or tortilla wraps
  • Canned chili
  • Hamburger meat and buns
  • Hot dogs and buns, also look for things like summer sausage
  • Ketchup
  • Chicken for the grill and chicken salad
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Mayo
  • Yogurt
  • Coffee
  • Charcoal
  • Salami or chorizo
  • Pickles
  • Protein bars or granola bars
  • Jerky or meat sticks
  • Raisins, apple sauce pouches
  • Fruit cups
  • Trail mix and dried fruit
  • Aseptic milk boxes- single serving
  • Banana bread or muffins

Had enough of all this? Book a vacation home with an indoor pool and forget about the weather!

What would you add to this list?

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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