“Waste not, want not.” – My mother
Think of your food storage in three stages – what you normally buy and eat, mid-range storage and long term storage.
- Most grocers offer “twofers” (2-for-1 specials) or buy-one-get-ones (BOGOS). Buy what you normally eat, saving one of the bargain buys for the prep pantry – eventually you’ll have everything you need and more importantly – what you like to eat! Monitor the “best by dates” on the labels so as to rotate your stored foods regularly to keep things fresh. These food items may also include foods that were grown, prepared and canned at home.
- Mid-range storage meals are meals that are shelf stable much like a lot of the prepackaged foods in your daily pantry, but these will last up to five years or so – think self-heating emergency meals. These will come in handy if a disaster situation runs longer than planned and stores are closed. Click here to jump to the Products page.
- Long term storage foods include dehydrated or freeze dried foods – these are foods packaged for long term storage of over ten years.
- Consider growing a vegetable garden using non-GMO, open pollenated, organic seeds – you can enjoy fresh meals and save the seeds from the fruits and vegetables you grow to plant the following season. Click here to learn more about starting your own vegetable garden.
Plan for no electricity, no refrigeration and no leftovers. If you don’t have a grill of any sort, click here to watch videos on how to make a rocket grill. They’re easy to make, will burn almost anything for fuel, boil water fast, and with some planning make a great addition to your backyard bar-b-que area!
The checklist below presents ideas / things to look for when you’re planning your preparedness pantry. Any brands are fine – suit your taste!
Preparedness Pantry Shelf List
- Individually packaged condiments (sweeteners, mustard, catsup, etc.)
- Powdered coffee creamer
- Shelf stable or powdered milk (needs no refrigeration)
- Breakfast bars, granola bars, protein bars
- Individual servings of apple sauce, fruit cups, boxed breakfast cereals
- Canned tuna, sardines, herring, smoked oysters, chicken, turkey, ham
- Canned beans, soups, spaghetti, vegetables
- Rice, pasta
- Beef jerky, turkey jerky, dried fruits, raisins, nuts, trail mixes
- Shelf stable meals
- Peanut butter
- Honey – requires no refrigeration and is anti-biotic
- Crackers and cookies in small serving packaging
- Gatorade, sport drinks, protein drinks, flavored drink powders
- Dog and cat food (if you own pets, do not forget them!)
- Canned pumpkin (If your pet gets an upset stomach, a couple tablespoons fixes it – and it will fix yours too!)