My 25 years of experience of long term food storage comes handy now more than ever during these turbulent times. I am not a doomsday prepper, yet these top 10 prepper pantry tips could help you start one of your own.
The year 2020 has been more turbulent than ever in all our lives. It pays to invest a little in long term food storage.To have some food security for our family and our loved ones is a must, now more than ever.
REASONS TO START A BASIC PREPPER FOOD PANTRY
Early in March 2020, I shared Tips to prepare for any emergencies, where I prioritized the most important things you needed. In case you are curious, click on the link above which takes you there.
Some of the main reasons to start and plan a basic prepper pantry are
- In preparation for unforeseen emergencies- like natural disasters, epidemics, personal emergencies like loss of employment and long term illness.
- To save money, as bulk buying saves money in the long run.
- Peace of mind.
- To stay well nourished and healthy during such emergencies.
- Time and fuel saving – you don’t need that many trips to the grocery stores.
A very basic prepper pantry planning and organization is actually easy. Ideally having a food storage for at least a month to three is ideal, this is in addition to your Kitchen pantry. What I do is just store the same stuff I have in my kitchen pantry with a little few extras.
Many may be overwhelmed by the need to start a prepper pantry on a short notice. Therefore, I prepared my top 10 prepper pantry tips to prepare you for any emergency which may be relevant in your life.
TOP 10 TIPS FOR PREPPER PANTRY PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION
1. TAKE SMALL STEPS TO START A PREPPER PANTRY
First of all, make a list of what you normally eat and stock a little extra on every shop. You don’t need to buy everything all at once that is in the canned goods section. This would be panic buying, like what we saw early in march this year.
Start with a little at a time. Buy a little extra on every shop, that way you will not feel the pinch in your grocery budget. I normally buy only what I cook and what is my family’s requirement.
Stocking extra water is advisable. We have a Katadyn hiker water filter for such emergencies to filter water from our stream.
2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT STORAGE SPACE
Allocate the right space to store your prepper food pantry. Choose an area where you can fix a lot of heavy duty shelves. Ideally, a cool and dry room is the best.
Luckily we have a cellar space, where we fixed a lot of IKEA shelving units. We also have a dehumidifier in the cellar to remove the moisture during the summer months.
Make sure your prepper pantry is pest and vermin free, because they will destroy your food.
Do not use your garage, because they are not well insulated and can get very hot in the summer months and very cold in the winter. During winter your food can freeze and when it thaws it could destroy it.
3. MAINTAIN AN INVENTORY OR A SYSTEM
Maintaining an inventory is practical, this helps you stay on top of everything. Personally I don’t really have an inventory, because we don’t have a huge storage.
We usually stack food one behind the other which we can see according to the use by date. Longer shelf life food are behind and so on. I use the plastic storage tubs from IKEA which I label and this gives me a good overview.
On the other hand, if you want you can make an excel sheet and maintain your inventory.
4. STOCK YOUR FAMILY’S DIETARY NEEDS
Often, we get caught up in buying up things we may not eat, just because it was on offer. Trust me I have made that mistake and was forced to finish it off.
Of late, our family has special dietary needs, because of food intolerances. We are also vegetarians, so I stock up a lot of beans and rice to make wholesome meals.
Early spring, we saw supply chain disruptions and our special dietary foods were off the grocery stores for weeks on end. Because of my insight into prepper pantry planning and organization, we could still eat those foods till they became available again.
Foods that were out of stock were spelt flour, spelt grains and organic whole foods. And our family relies very much on these speciality foods.
5. STOCK UP VARIETIES OF FOODS
Since I cook all my meals from scratch, I stock up varieties of whole foods anyway. Don’t forget spices, herbs, honey, canned fruits, coffee and teas. Of late, I have started to store some canned goods and pasta sauces which do not need cooking, in case of a power failure.
During our garden season, I also preserve a lot of our homegrown vegetables and fruits.
By stocking up many food varieties, you will not get bored if you have to resort to eating up your prepper pantry stock. I would also add some ready to eat healthy wholesome cookies, granola and nut bars for quick energy.
You may be out of electricity, hence foods like healthy snacks and canned foods will come handy for such emergencies.
6. STORE CALORIE DENSE FOODS IN YOUR PREPPER PANTRY
Since our diet is plant based, I stock up on a lot of pulses, nuts and nut butters. Nut butters and nuts are energy boosters and need no cooking.
We need to be eating healthy and not empty calories and food devoid of nutritional value. So choose wisely.
We also like to stock up a little chocolate for the sake of my daughter and the occasional craving for us adults too. And at any given time, I always have a good stock of dry fruits which makes an ideal healthy snack.
7. DON’T FORGET YOUR SUPPLEMENTS
Food supplements, vitamins and other homemade remedies also belong in the food pantry according to me.
I prepare a lot of herbal concoctions for common ailments like a cold, cough or stomach ache. Therefore, I also store those too in my food prepper pantry.
8. STORE SHELF STABLE FOODS IN YOUR PREPPER PANTRY
Relying on the freezer is not a good idea in case of emergencies. There may be a power failure. So it is wise to plan your prepper pantry with shelf stable foods.
Personally, I have very little stored in the freezer other than some frozen berries and cut coconuts. Since, we cook every meal from scratch, I don’t store any cooked food in my freezer.
Examples of shelf stable foods are pickles, ghee, honey, jams etc. These last for years and ghee has medicinal value too. They don’t go bad quickly. Salt is another item which is vital and can be kept for years. Store salt in humid free conditions.
Stocking up on white rice is better than brown rice. White rice can easily be stored for a couple of years.
I also store blocks of Himalaya pink salt which I can easily crush. When I got them, it was from our left over stock from our online shop. I have them since a decade and I carried it over to our pantry stock. There they remain for emergencies.
9. TOP PREPPER FOOD PANTRY PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION TIPS
Keeping an organized pantry with proper storage containers is vital to keep foods in their optimum quality. Everyone has their personal preference, so choose what works for you the best.
Personally, I don’t repack the dry goods because, I don’t have a huge storage. We store for a maximum of 3 to 6 months at the most, and that includes the kitchen pantry storage. Therefore, I prefer to leave the food in their original packages.
I have developed a system, where I organize the foods into categories. This works well for our family. And this system enables other members of the family to easily refill the kitchen pantry when we run low there.
Some long term preppers, store food in special packaging like Mylar bags, and add oxygen absorbers for longer shelf life. Personally I never needed so far, mainly because I see no need for it. My requirements range for a maximum of 6 months at the most. By then I rotate the food and buy new stock.
10. PLAN MEALS USING YOUR PREPPER PANTRY STOCK
As a trial run, why not cook and plan a whole week of meals using only your prepper pantry food stock. This will give you an idea of what you will need in case of an emergency.
This trial will also make you creative in planning menus and accustoming your family for the meals they can expect during emergencies. Kids especially are fussy eaters, so slowly changing the menus can help too.
PREPPER PANTRY TOUR VIDEO
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