20 Amazing tips to start your own prepper food pantry
Follow these simple tips to start your own prepper pantry today!
If you’ve ever wondered how to start your own prepper food pantry, keep reading and you will find that after you understand a few basics, it is very straightforward and easy to do by yourself.
There are many reasons a prepper food pantry is handy: natural disasters like blizzards, hurricanes, ice storms and even earthquakes. Financial problems like a job loss or a bad investment that causes cash flow problems; illnesses or even market products shortages due to big scale economic problems.
If any of these things happens, you can keep up with your life almost normally if you have a full stocked pantry (and even help some neighbors or family). It is vital for survival and getting through tough times, and it really does help to limit the mental pressure because you know everything will be fine, no matter what (at least long enough so you can adapt to any kind of stressful event).
Even riots or political protests can make it hard to get your groceries due to civil violence and disobedience. So it is better to be prepared!
There are three kinds of prepper pantries:
1. Working Pantry - This one is the easiest, where you’re continually using the products that you have stocked. It’s rotative and short-term.
2. Long Term Pantry - This is when you stock 10-20 years worth of food for a long term emergency.
3. Collapse Pantry - This is the kind of pantry some people keep to store food if there is a total and complete collapse. Let’s think about an economic collapse that makes money worthless - if you have stored goods, they will become a form of currency.
Below you’ll learn how to make a working pantry because it is the easiest and most common, so everything you’ll see in this article can be used on a continual basis, except for water.
A six month or 1 year pantry is pretty simple: you buy a one year supply of each product, and rotate your goods by continually using and replenishing it every three to six month. This is also a good way to save money because you can buy your products on wholesale prices and get great sales and promotions.
That means you will always keep a 6 month supply for everything you need at hand, but you can go as long as one year for items that last long enough and that you don’t use too often.
To get started here a few things you should be doing to start your very own prepper food pantry:
1. Write it Down
The first thing you will need to do is to write down every single item you will need over the course of one year. This is a lot of work (probably the hardest part), so start a spreadsheet to categorize your items, eliminate everything you don’t use often or that takes up too much space. This is also important: you want nutrient-packed items, that occupy the least amount of space possible and with a long shelf life.
Try to keep it as simple as you can, because the more items you have, the more things you will need to keep track of to make sure everything is always replenished.
2. Multipurpose Items
Documenting items that can be used for different things is always great. Rice, for instance, can be used for a meal or to create a gluten-free flour. Keep track of everything that you use as a dual-purpose to make sure it will last long enough for all the uses.
Vinegar is another great example: it can be used for cleaning, seasoning, canning, and even food washes. These multipurpose items are the core of your pantry, although it is very easy to lose track of the right amount. Pay attention to that.
3. Price Checking
The next thing you will need to do is write down all the prices for those items and start comparing and searching for the best prices. You will notice that you won’t be able to get the best prices for everything at the same place. Keeping track of the best opportunities, that will save you a lot of time and money, and going to multiple places to find different products at their best prices or on sale.
Meat can be stored either in the freezer or canned. But don’t rely only on the freezer since power outages can make your whole plan go down the drain. They will last at least one year if you do it right! Some people say they opened cans of meat jarred for five years, still tasting perfectly.
You can make your own cannings or get store-bought products, like canned tomatoes. The best thing to do is to replace all store bought items for things that you could grow on your farm, but that is not possible for everyone (especially for people who don’t own a farm).
Canned tomatoes are great because they can last several years. Potatoes are awesome because they are long lasting products in nature, but they need a cooler place and constant care. Check them out often, and get rid of the rotten ones. If you can snap off any eyes that grows, it will help you keep them fresh for a longer period.
When the potatoes start to look wrinkly, it’s time to can them and make them last even longer. Canned potatoes are fantastic for a quick mashed potatoes recipe.
You can always buy canned beans, but if you make your own they will be cheaper and healthier. Get a 25 pounds bag of each bean you use and make small batches of canned beans. Keep the beans in airtight aluminized mylar bags. There are many brands available, and they are very handy and easy to use.
They have an oxygen absorber that helps remove the oxygen from the bag and make sure there will be no bugs or bacteria infestations. They last longer than a year when properly handled. All you need to do is add the beans to the bag, put the oxygen absorber and seal it with a hot iron.
Rice can be stored in 5 gallon food-grade buckets with airtight, leak proof lids. Throw in some bay leaves to prevent bugs.
Spices are practical because they already come in plastic bags, so all you need to do is to store them in a plastic container. Spices are easy to store, since they are already dry and long lasting products. They remain fresh for more than a year without any special care.
Pasta is another pre-packaged item with a long shelf life. All you need to do is throw them into a plastic bin, and you’re done for the year.
10. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits like raisins are great to buy in bulks. Keep them in the same 5 gallon food grade buckets you used for the rice. You don’t need to store them separately, you can mix all your fruits to keep it easier. They will last for a year, and that’s great.
11. Brown Rice
Brown rice is not good, albeit being more nutritious, it will only last 6 months, which is virtually nothing compared to a 10 years shelf life of white rice. Regular cooking oils like olive oil won’t last more than a year, with the exception of coconut oil that can last up to two years.
12. Nut Butter
Nut butters are better to store than whole nuts, lasting about a year past the expiration date.
13. Processed Grains
Another item that doesn’t have a long shelf life is processed grains like flour, you’re lucky if they last more than six months, so you may want to make your own gluten free flour.
Try to keep raw items, like beans, rice, tomatoes and meat to cook your meals from scratch. But if you don’t cook, you can store the things you use like canned soups or other treats. Just make sure to stock only the items you really use so you don’t waste anything.
15. Nutrient Value
Consider the nutrient value of the items you store. There is no use storing chips! Go for tuna fish, they are canned and have a great shelf life, as well as nutritious. When you are in a crisis situation, you will need all the nutrients available.
Where and how you will store some of your food items is important, you can get food grade buckets for about $8 each in any emergency supply store, or even free at local bakeries. If you have kids, take them along as a “cute bait” and ask if they have any food or icing buckets. If you can’t get one of those food grade buckets, the regular rectangular $1 buckets will also do the trick. Make sure you get one with a good lid system, it helps to enhance the shelf life.
17. Shelves Design
Talking about shelves, you need to mind your pantry design. Canned foods are held in little jars, so you want a few shelves that can fit the jars yet makes the most of your space, as well as big shelves to store the buckets. Buckets and plastic bins can also be stacked up, but the idea is to have shelves because it is easier to move them around and keep them replenished.
18. Pest Control
You will also need to mind pests like mice and bugs. Cheap mouse traps are great, but you need to be constantly watching to replenish baits and remove corpses. Peanut butter is a great bait.
Whenever you can, use double containers. Keep things in their packs and put them on plastic bins to help prevent any mice from chewing the packages. Monitor your buckets and check for chew marks.
Bay leaves are great to keep the bugs at bay (pun intended). Removing the oxygen also helps to prevent any hatching.
19. Diatomaceous Earth
If you are considering diatomaceous earth, please test before you add it in your canned goods because many people get an upset stomach from that.
Putting your food in the freezer for about three days supposedly kills all bugs, but when you’re buying vast amounts of food, that is not practical.
20. Special Circumstances
If you live in a flood zone area, take precautions against flood damages. You don’t want all that food soaked up, so make sure it is all above ground level. If you live in earthquake regions, you will want earthquake-proof shelves or you can lose your stocked goods.
If you don’t want a 6 month or one year pantry, you can use the same principles for a 2 or 4 weeks pantry. The difference is going to be the amounts and the replenishing cycles.