Eating From the Pantry Stockpile

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Good morning! This is Merissa’s mom writing to you today. I’m sure as you read this you will see the uncanny similarity between mother and daughter. I, too, am a stockpiler, although somewhat different in some of the things I stockpile. I will give you a little background. I am a homeschooling mother of 4 children, of whom three of them are still living at home. I am actually educated as a Registered Nurse, but several years ago, felt the calling to become a “stay at home” mother. This, of course, was the start of learning to do without and re-learning to live within a different means of a one income family.

We do not live right in town, so we don’t have immediate access to some things. It is only a short drive, but we make it a goal to try to simplify and live on what we have and can raise. It is a slow process, but slowly can evolve into something more. We do raise our own beef and have chickens. We use the eggs from the hens and usually only butcher once or twice a year on the chickens, using mainly older hens for stock and soup. Our family has always had a large garden, of which we use for stockpiling home-grown food. I’m sure that you can clearly see in my picture of my pantry that we have our own canned items, plus several “stockup” groceries from the store. It is my goal to regularly eat from this stockpile of pantry foods, fresh and canned garden items and also things that have been frozen.

Here is part of our week of eating from the stockpile. I will finish our weeks menu in Part 2 of this post next week.

I am only including our main meal for the day in this menu. I have included (*) things that are from the pantry/canned and also recipes.

Here are some of our regular meals for breakfasts and lunches:



pizza roll ups




Homemade meatballs

Potatoes (mashed)


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. dried bread crumbs or crackers*
  • 1 t. basil (I used fresh from the herb garden, could use from indoor hydroponics in the winter)
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder*
  • 1/8 t. black pepper*
  • salt to taste*

Mix all together and brown in pan. Simmer until done. Before serving, add in one can of Cream of Mushroom soup and diced tomatoes . Also add in approx. 1/2 c. of milk. This will make a gravy to serve over the meatballs or potatoes. You can also make your meatballs ahead of time.

Taco Salad



Using fresh ground beef and seasonings, garden lettuce (indoor hydroponic for winter) and tomatoes, shredded cheese (from freezer), homemade canned taco sauce.



Homemade pizza

Made a quadruple batch of pizza dough to be able to use one for tonight’s meal and put three dough balls in the freezer for future meals.

  • Homemade pizza sauce*
  • Browned ground beef with Italian seasoning
  • Mushrooms *
  • Olives *
  • Diced green pepper
  • Diced yellow squash (from garden in the summer)
  • Shredded cheese (from freezer)

cheeseburger soup


Crockpot or StoveTop Hamburger Soup

  • Brown 1 pound ground beef (I used the leftover taco seasoned meat from Sunday eve)
  • One quart canned tomatoes*
  • One pint canned tomato soup*
  • One pint canned pork and beans*
  • 1 can mixed vegetables (or any combination of vegetables you like)*
  • 1/2 t. chili powder*
  • 1-2 T. brown sugar (to taste)*
  • Salt and pepper*

I also added in a couple fresh potatoes from the garden that I had already washed up and peeled.

Cook until tender on stovetop or can be put in the crockpot all day on low.

Serve with garlic toast.

Make sure you check out, Eating from the Pantry Part 2 also!

What are your favorite “from the pantry” meals?


This blog post on Eating Cheap from the Pantry was originally published in February 2015. It has been updated as of January 2023.

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  1. Hi Julie, thanks for the ideas and a glimpse into your pantry and lifestyle! I really relate to your values of simplicity and self-sufficiency! A favorite from-the-pantry (and freezer) dish of ours is mac ‘n cheese. We buy pasta in bulk from Azure Standard and a small nearby store orders cheese in bulk, which we freeze in chunks.

  2. do you have a recipe to make the cream in cream of (mushroom) soup without the mushrooms, and without any kind of flour? Can you send me an e mail at [email protected] with the answer, as I tend to lose where I ask questions, thanks Linda

  3. I struggle with eating from the pantry and freezer. It’s one of my goals to work on this summer!

  4. Merissa, I loved this post from your mom, and thanks for sharing it with us at Treasure Box Tuesday! Julie, thank you for sharing your invaluable ideas and experience! 🙂