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Are you stockpiling enough to meet your family’s needs through a crisis? Here’s how to figure out what you need.
Pantry Needs and Stockpiling Enough (Plus Printable!)
I talk a lot here about stockpiling, pantry items, and having what you need on hand. We can stockpile all we want, but how can we be sure that we are stockpiling enough, or are we stockpiling too much?
Need more ideas like this? Here’s How to Prepare for Price Increases with Practical Food Storage.
Why Are You Stockpiling?
Only you know how much is enough to stockpile for your 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!) Can’t get to the grocery store?
I think now that we’ve all dealt with pandemics and shortages, it helps because we have a better understanding what we might need should the occasion arise again.
Panic shouldn’t be a reason to stockpile. Here is my post on How to Prepare for Difficult Times.
Once you have a good grip on what you are stockpiling for, you will better understand what you need 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 job loss.
Tip: Find more here on Why Stockpile?
What to Stockpile
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.
On a budget? Here’s How to Build a Stockpile With $5 a Week.
Another mistake people make is buying too many freeze-dried foods. 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 (we even have some!), 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. I think there is a good balance in doing some of both.
Still not sure? Here’s How to Build a Whole Foods Stockpile.
Stockpiling Plan of Action
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.
Tip: Not sure what to make from your stockpile? Here are tips on Eating from the Pantry.
When It’s Time to Stock 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.
No room to store it? Here are some tips on Small Space Storage.
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!
More Articles About Stockpiling
- Food to Stockpile When You Need to Build a Stockpile Quickly
- Why Do You Stockpile?
- Gluten Free Long Term Food Storage
- Staples That Should Be in Every Frugal Pantry
- Organizing Your Canning Pantry (+Printable!)
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What do you stockpile for? Do you feel like you stockpile enough for what you need?
Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to freedom on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.
This blog post on Pantry Needs and Stockpiling Enough was originally posted on Little House Living in August 2012. It has been updated as of August 2023.