Building a Whole Foods Basics Stockpile

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I get asked often how you go about creating and building a first-time stockpile. Obviously most of us can’t afford to do it all at once and even if you could would you know where to start?

Building a Whole Foods Basics Stockpile

Below is a list of basic things that I think should be in every self-sufficient family’s stockpile.Try and set aside a small amount of money each week (even $5 to $10) to work on your stockpile. (More in this in my article on How to Build a Stockpile for $5 a Week)

How much you stock up on depends on the size of your family and how much you feel like you need to stock. I wouldn’t recommend buying more than you can use in a year unless you plan on further preserving these goods in some kind of mylar bag storage. (Which we personally do not.)

My mom’s pantry stockpile. Beautiful isn’t it? Her’s is mostly home canned foods.

The Very Basics

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Yeast
  • Unsweetened Cocoa
  • Dried Onion
  • Dried Garlic

Non-Food Items

  • Lids and Rims for Canning
  • Candles/Wick
  • Essential Oils
  • Water Storage Containers
  • Self Sufficiency Books
  • Natural Healing Books
  • Citric Acid

Other Good Items to Work On

  • Buttermilk Powder
  • Milk Powder
  • Wheat Berries (or flour)
  • Honey
  • Oil
  • Dried Herbs

Like I stated above, these are the very basics to first work on stockpiling. I’m not much for stockpiling because I think it’s more important to be more prepared and to be self-sufficient. (Know how to garden, save seeds, canning and preserving, ect)

Important Notes on Stockpiling

A few notes on what I listed above….

  • Even if you don’t eat sugar in a crystal form you can use it for canning so it’s a good item to have on hand even just in a small amount. If you don’t eat any sugar at all, make sure honey or maple syrup is a part of your stockpile instead.
  • Also, don’t stockpile much flour, it goes rancid too fast. If your family eats a lot of flour-based products, focus on getting wheat berries and purchasing a good grinder instead.
  • Make sure you get the yeast in the vacuum-sealed packages, not the little packets and store it in the freezer. It will last much longer.
  • Don’t feel like you have to get every essential oil in the book, get a few of the good basics instead.
  • I also listed citric acid because of it’s uses in canning and making fresh cheeses.

buying in bulk buckets

Here’s how we store our larger amount of pantry goods. I talk more about this method and where I actually get these tips of stockpiled foods from in my post on What to Order from a Bulk Coop.

More on this topic:

That’s all for now!


I’m a wife and mom of 3, trying to make the most with what we have! You can read more about our family here.


This blog post about stockpiling basics was originally posted on Little House Living in January 2012 but I’ve updated it as of January 2020.

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  1. So glad I found this post. I am trying to build a food storage but I wanted to use as many items as I could of whole foods. I heard brown rice will not store for long periods. Is this correct and what other whole rice food will be better to store long term?

    1. Yes that’s true. If you want a long storing rice without too much work you would have to use white rice. Otherwise you could vacuum seal brown rice.

      1. hmm, how about if you soak and sprouted the brown rice? I soak mine… and store it in the frig for weeks but I don’t know how long it would last otherwise. I wonder about basmati rice, it’s healthier than white (if you are eating a lot of it that is).

        1. I think sprouted rice needs to be stored in the freezer or the fridge for any length of use. And I actually store the basmati rice, it seems to store well!

  2. I do LOTS of canning of fruits, veggies, meats and pickles etc. I do try to keep flour, sugar etc on hand as well. My daughter once said (after looking at my stockpile)..Mother you have enough food here to feed the whole town for months!

  3. Mary Beth, it’s a great feeling isn’t it? I love knowing I have enough food to get my family through the winter even if we are snowed in for months on end:)

  4. A friend of mine put her 5 gallon buckets on a shelf that rolled out! I thought it was so smart!

  5. I order them from my co-op but you can also get them from most hardware stores(just make sure they are food grade).

  6. I saw your stock pile picture on Facebook and had to check out Azure. I had never heard of them before, and kept thinking, as I was going down the list of items they have; “This is nice but I really wanted Bob’s Red Mill.”

    To my surprise, they carry that brand! I’m opening a coffee house but was not able to get shipments directly from BRM because of the layout of our property. It won’t handle their trucks.

    I called Azure and found out about their drop points and I am now set up as a wholesale customer for the coffee house. I love your blog. In addition to our coffee house, we actually live in an attached apartment, and are going to homestead in the city and raise veggies for the coffee house. I’m a fast food junkie that is going to transform my life, so I have a lot to learn from people like you.

  7. Pingback: Prepping For Higher Food Prices - Little House on the Prairie Living