Let's say you want to start storing up food for your family that will last long term – where do you start? And how do you know the amounts you need of each item? These expert tips can help you get your pantry established with the best options to stay safe, prepared, and well fed no matter what happens.
Prepper pantry list
Step One: Get enough water.
Before you even start spending money on all sorts of gear for survival, be sure your family has enough water. You won't live more than three days without water and in a prepper's pantry water is essential.
For example, you'll need a gallon of water just to boil pasta and clean up the mess afterwards. Plus, you'll need water for soaking dried beans, making rice, reconstituting dehydrated foods and mixing up your ready made freeze dried meals. Water is essential in the prepper's pantry!
Remember that the water you store isn't just for drinking. You will also need safe, potable water for cooking, plus water to wash clothes, clean dishes, irrigate your garden, bathe, and more. Water meant for different things needs to be stored differently, so be sure to do your research about how to bottle, store, keep, and use water in your prepping efforts.
Step Two: Buy shelf stable foods your family enjoys today.
Before a crisis, take note of important foods to buy and stock up on them when they go on sale. Buy canned meats, beans, and soups, plus convenience foods, such as protein bars, cereals, crackers, nut butters, dried
fruits, rice and pasta.
Certainly you should try new canned foods and consider adding new shelf-stable foods to your pantry, but it's important to remember the prepper philosophy, which is “try before you buy” too much (or you'll have too much expired food on your hands).
Step Three: Clear a closet and set up a stock rotation system for your food.
All the food you amass needs to go somewhere. That's why a prepper's pantry goes beyond the foods stocked in the kitchen cabinetry. Prepper's are an ingenious bunch and find space in just about every nook and cranny of their home.
This means newbie preppers need to get busy!
Clear closets to make an extra pantry or two for your foods. Next, rotate foods with the oldest to the front and the fresh shelf stable items get pushed to the back. When food goes on sale: one goes in your kitchen and one goes in your closet.
This is a good place to get creative about how and where you store your food. A visit to your local superstore to walk around the storage boxes, bins, and speciality items could give you a whole world of ideas, even just to re-create them by DYIing it at home!
Buy what you eat. Rotate. Repeat.
This simple family survival system will serve you well, and it all starts with organization of a closet pantry.
Need a little extra space? Take advantage of can racks and stackable kitchen shelves, pictured right, to make the most of the space you have.
Step Four: Set up your prepper's kitchen (manual tools).
Make sure you have proper prepper kitchen tools and a cook stoves. In the event of a power grid failure, make sure you have fuel and equipment with which to cook. Preppers who stock hard wheat in their pantry will require a grain mill for example. You may need to cook indoors, so don't rely on your barbecue to do the cooking.
Step Five: Consider adding freeze dried foods to your pantry.
Cans of food at the grocery store have an expiration date generally good for just one or two years. Mostly, this is to satisfy the manufacturers to ensure the quality meets their standards, but if you buy a whole year's supply of canned food, then you'll quickly see your money go down the drain because you'll have to start over again in a couple of years.
A better solution is to buy freeze dried foods in buckets or #10 cans. Freeze dried foods last upwards of 25 years or more, and there are several good brands to conisder for your preparedness planning.
Step Six: Buy in bulk.
Economies of scale happen when you buy in bulk: the more you buy, the more you save. Start with popular prepper foods, such as dried beans and rice. Purchase in bulk online or your local warehouse food store.
- Buy Buckets of emergency food.
- Powdered milk is a good item to buy in bulk if you have kids.
- Consider also buckets of grains.
Read more — Prepper pantry list
What products do you store already – or do you plan to bulk up on in the future? Have you ever tried freeze drying your own food for a DYI solution?