Only you know how much is enough to stockpile for you family. First you have to ask yourself, what are you stockpiling for? Natural disaster prep? Rising food prices? Zombies? (Sorry, just had to throw that one in there!) Once you have a good grip on what you are stockpiling for, you will have a better idea of what you need to have in your pantry. If you aren't sure what you want to stock your pantry for, plan to stock up at least 3 months worth of food. 3 months is a good starting place as it should get you through most natural disasters or other emergencies such as the loss of a job.
Many people make the mistake of stockpiling things like cereal or store canned food. But what happens if your family decides they don't like the cereal in a few months? Or what if you have stockpiled more than you will be able to eat before it expires? That's not going to do you any good.
Another mistake people make is buying freeze dried foods. Now, this might make some people mad but before you hit that unsubscribe button, hear me out. If you are going through a natural disaster and you are stuck inside your home. Stress is high. Would you rather serve your family a freeze-dried, reconstituted meal from a Mylar bag ...
...or would you rather serve your family a fresh jar of stew from a previous year's garden bounty?
There is nothing wrong with having a small supply of serious emergency foods, but personally I'd much rather preserve and stock my pantry with foods that will last a long time and will always have the same great taste and healthy flavor. But maybe that's just me.
My plan of action behind stocking my pantry is to stock it with healthy foods I know we will eat, I know will last long, and that are bases for meals. In other words, staples.
So you've decided to start filling your pantry with staples and you want to get to 3 months. How and where do you start? Here's my suggestion....for one month, write down how much your family eats. How many pounds of oats you go through, how many pounds of flour you use, ect. Write all those things down, and at the end of the month, add it up.
Then it's time to stock up! It's very possible to stock up using your existing budget. Just be aware and take advantage of good deals and don't feel like you need to stock your pantry in one shopping trip or even in one month. Take your time and build your pantry slowly.
To help you on this journey I've created a simple Pantry Needs Checklist and Chart. With this chart you can write down how much you need and how much you have stored in your pantry. It has my list of recommended pantry staples and room to write in others that I might have missed. Just click the link below to download!
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