PREPAREDNESS SERIES – CREATING A WORKING and STOCKED PANTRY
Why We Created A Working & Stocked Pantry
Piggy-backing off a recent post about preparedness, I felt it was only fitting to follow up with a pantry stocking guide.
When I began my research for creating a prepper pantry, I also discovered the concept of a working pantry. We have combined the two concepts into a system that works best for us.
In an effort of transparency, we only began building our working stockpile pantry a year ago and it’s been an incredible investment, eliminated panic buying, and we have no excuse saying “we have nothing to eat”.
I’d also like to say, at the time of starting our pantry we were a single-income household as my photography business was impacted directly due to Covid restrictions. We stretched our budget by making strategic purchases.
Prepping your pantry for preparedness is much different than stocking up for a snowstorm if you live in an area as we do. Typically, as soon as the forecast calls for any sizeable snowfall, our grocery stores shelves are bare.
In case you are envisioning a bunker with endless MRE’s or freeze-dried options, we haven’t gone that far, yet! However, given the current global crisis at hand, it might not be a bad idea to consider thinking beyond a week or two supply of food.
If you are like us, part of our weekly routine included going to the grocery store. Especially when our weekly meals centered around animal protein. Since moving to a plant-focused lifestyle, we are able to stock up on ingredients with a longer self-life.
Again, there are a million ways to create a working or stockpile pantry. You’ll have to determine what is right for you, your family, storage availability, and financial means.
We have found creating a working stockpile pantry initially increased our grocery bills by $50 – 100. Since building our initial stockpile foundation, our grocery bill has leveled out.
When we look at our absolute necessities in life, we tend to overlook the vital ones simply because they aren’t glamourous. Spending $1000 on a new cellphone has become the norm, but going over your grocery budget by $25 – 50 a week seems to sting a bit more.
Why should you consider building a working stockpile pantry?
Life can throw a curveball at any time (remember, 2020). Personally, we quickly realized how unprepared we really were. Our pantry was barely stocked and we relied heavily upon always have access to grocery stores.
How we made a working stockpile pantry work for us; After initially building a foundation of items as we run out of ingredients we “shop” from our stockpile and make notes to replenish the item during our next grocery haul.
Essentially it’s One Item Out, One Item In.
STAPLES WE'VE INCLUDED INTO OUR STOCKPILE PANTRY
PASTA, LEGUMES, GRAINS, ETC
- Dry Pasta
- Canned Pasta – think Spaghetti-O’s or Ravioli
- Pasta Sauces
- Oatmeal – canisters and packets
- Dry or Canned Beans
- Lentils – in all varieties
VEGETABLES & FRUIT
- *Canned vegetables
- Applesauce – large jars and single servings
- *Canned Fruit
- Frozen Vegetables (any and all varieties)
- Frozen Fruit
FLOURS & BAKING MIXES
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Pancake/Waffle Mixes
- Instant Potato Flakes
- Boxed Plant-Based Milk
- Fruit Bars
- Stocks (vegetable, chicken, etc)
- Canned or Pouches of Tuna / Chicken
- Peanut Butter – large jars and single servings
- Honey, Jellies, and Jams
- Canned Coconut Milk
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Energy Balls
- Trail Mix
- Nuts and Seeds
- Dried Fruit
WATER & HYDRATION
- Cases of water – yes, this is an ongoing debate about single-use plastic – a debate for another day
- Shelf Stable Almond Milk, Milks, etc.
- Instant Coffee
- Powdered Creamers
- Water Flavorings
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Green Powders
- *Protein Powders & Bars
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR GROCERY HAUL
- Create an overall inventory list (we use a household binder to keep ourselves organized)
- Update the quantities for items you were able to source and make note of items you still need.
- Write the use-by date on the tops of cans/boxes
- Newest items in the back to keep your pantry rotating – Remember -it’s One Out, One In.
- Portion Grab-and-Go Food & Snack Kits you can throw in your car should you need to evacuate.
Option: You can purchase food supply containers that are great, are on the pricier side and could be a challenge to source currently.
You can also get super technical and assemble grab-and-go bags based on specific meals throughout the day, but honestly, calories are what I would focus on.
Especially if you need to bug out or become stranded due to weather or car trouble.
We’ve all seen tv shows and movies – where help seems to magically appear – Let’s save that for the screens because more than likely this won’t play out like a Hallmark Christmas Movie! 🙂
When space is at a premium in your home, apartment, or RV storing extra or bulk items can pose a problem. Especially if you are into minimalism or having only the absolute amount of items you might not. Try as I might, this just isn’t us.
We have multiple zones in our home dedicated to stockpile storage. Again, each home will find a system that works best for them. I’ll share a few storage items we’ve come across that have given us extra space and allowed us to not feel like we are living in a superstore with endless aisle of items.
A few closing thoughts, if this feels overwhelming, it is. However, there is no wrong way to prepare unless you aren’t prepared. Do the best you can with the budget you have and the resources available to you. Build your stockpile pantry over time if need be. Ask your family to get involved and really make an effort to prepare yourselves for these uncertain times.
THE COMPLETE PREPAREDNESS SERIES
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