Growing your prepper pantry is not something that happens overnight. It’s a long term investment in both money and time. It takes a lot of planning and thinking ahead, so it is important to have a plan to grow it over time. Think about it as like building a house. Start by building up a solid foundation, then add in some structure, and finally top it off with a ceiling goal. That’s how we’ll build your pantry so you aren’t caught unprepared.
What to Start With: The Blueprint for Growing Your Prepper Pantry
The best way to begin planning the start of your prepper pantry is to keep track of the things your family usually eats. Building a pantry of things no one likes is foolish and a waste of time and energy (and money). Track your normal meals and shopping lists for a few weeks to get a good picture of what is normal for you.
Now that you know what you normally like to keep on hand, start to track local sales, coupons, and even online deals. Buy one get one free sales, bulk buying, and strategic couponing can make creating your prepper pantry much easier, more affordable, and more efficient.
What to Buy First: The Foundation
Dry non-perishables are the perfect way to start growing your prepper pantry. Rice, beans, quinoa, couscous, pasta, and plain granola or oats are all examples of dry foods that will stay good long term as long as they’re kept sealed and in a cool, dry, pest proof environment. These items are very shelf stable, and are high in calories, protein, and carbs—making them a great meal option in an emergency situation.
Ready.gov recommends having at least three days worth of food on hand in case of an emergency, but I prefer to have much more than that. Since you’re just starting out, try to store enough to last about a week. From there, you can build it up to last several months or longer depending on your situation.
What to Add In: The Structure
Once you have a good base of dry goods, you can begin to add in some structure. Canned goods, peanut butter, dehydrated meats, freeze dried fruits and veggies, and pickled items last a long time and are perfect for storage. Take advantage of the coupons and sales because you can buy extra of the things you normally buy. If you need one can, buy two. If there’s a great sale, buy four. You get the idea.
Keeping these foods sealed is very important. They’ll only stay fresh as long as they remain unopened and stored in a cool, dry, pest proof area. These foods are great for a prepper pantry because they are shelf stable and highly nutritious. Whatever you buy, mark the date you bought it on the package. Rotate foods by expiration date. Growing your prepper panty is pointless if you end up with food that isn’t good anymore.
Top It Off: Growing Your Prepper Panty to the Ceiling
Knowing when you have enough is just as important as every other part of growing a prepper pantry. If you overstock on one thing, you won’t have space for other things. Your space must be well prepared and organized so you can find and store everything you need.
Have a cap-off point and stick to it. Be sure to mark specific spaces for what you want, and keep your items within those spaces. Think of your prepper pantry as a mini grocery store. You won’t know what you need, where to find it, or how much you have if it’s not organized.
Growing your prepper pantry over time is a process that requires patience. Take your time and think it through. You’ll have a pantry you can count on when you and your family need it most.