When it comes to your family, you have to do everything you can to protect them. Since we live in times when the future is uncertain and we see day by day how our quality of life is changing, we have to plan for the worst. This means that every prepper should have a well-stocked emergency pantry, one that will assure a good meal for him and his loved ones. In this article, you will read about the foods you need to stock in it and get some tips on how to organize your pantry.
In this life you can be sure of one thing, the future is uncertain and no matter how well you think you got it going for yourself, you never know when a large scale disaster might strike. No matter the type of crisis you have to face, one thing you have to do for your family is to keep them fed and without a well-stocked pantry you will fail to provide the basics.
The food in your refrigerator will not last for long and you can be sure that the markets from your neighborhood will be looted. Your family will have to depend on what you managed to gather in your pantry and these foods will become the main components of their daily diet.
Before stocking your pantry, you have to consider a few important factors and the most important one as you can probably guess is the shelf life of the foods you’ve chosen. A good prepper knows that the best foods are the ones that will outlast him, not to mention that it’s cheaper to stockpile foods that have a long shelf life and you don’t have to replace him every year. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check the expiration dates of your foods. In fact, you should do a thorough check-up every 8 to 12 months and replace the foods that are no longer edible.
Another thing you have to consider is that you need to stockpile foods that provide a maximum nutrition value with minimum bulk. By doing so, you will save space in your pantry and when the time comes, you will eat the proper food and not go hungry, shortly after each meal.
You should avoid commodity items, items such as snacks. These items will not last long, they have a weak nutritional value and will only take up space. Sure it will be harder to do it if you have kids, but maybe you can find alternatives, for example, dehydrated foods, such as fruits could be a suitable replacement for candies.
If you have a large quantity of canned foods, it should last you in the long run, but even for canned foods, you have to check the expiration dates. I prefer to keep a journal with the expiration dates of each batch, so I don’t stress about it and know when the foods are due to expire.
Here is a list with the best type of foods to stock in your pantry:
Oil and condiments:
- Canola oil (it’s cheap and it has many uses)
- Olive oil (it’s not cheap as canola oil, but it’s much better, read here about its benefits)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
Spices and Seasonings:
- Kosher salt
- Himalayan salt (has lower sodium than other salts)
- Black Pepper
- Chilli powder
- Dried herbs (such as rosemary)
- Dried spices mix
- All-purpose flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Powdered milk
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar
- Honey (this is one of the ultimate survival foods, read more here)
- Dried beans
- Dried lentils
- Whole grains
- Assorted pasta
- Raw seeds and nuts
- Tea (especially medicinal tea)
- Dried meat – jerky
- Dried fruits (learn from here how to dry your foods)
Canned and bottled goods
- Tomatoes and tomatoes pasta
- Chicken broth
- Vegetable broth
- Granola bars and power bars
- Tuna and salmon
- Black beans
You have to make sure you stock your pantry as full as possible since a good pantry has a year worth of food. One question remains when it comes to storing your foods, what can you do to make the best use of your limited pantry space?
Here are some basic tips on what you should do when organizing your pantry:
- When you build your pantry try to avoid using fixed shelves, it’s better to install a system with sliding shelves which allows modifying the rack according to your storing needs.
- Group the foods together; baking items should be in one section, condiments in one section and so on. It will help you find what you need faster and you don’t have to move the foods around.
- Put labels on everything; the label should have necessary information such as food name, date of manufacture/storage and expiration date.
- The foods with the soonest expiration date should be put in a different section, by doing so you will keep them in mind and use them with the first occasion
- Place the canned goods together, they are designed to last longer and to stack without wasting space; they can be placed even on the floor.
- Don’t forget to rotate your foods so that they don’t expire and go to waste, do a buddy system for this job. Two people should check by rotation the expiration dates of the food
- Every year you need to do a random check on the foods that “last forever,” by doing so you will make sure the foods are not contaminated by pests and you won’t have any surprises when you have to use them
- Always keep your pantry dry and clean, you don’t want molds or other pests forming behind your shelves or containers. You will have to move everything out to disinfect the pantry.
Stockpiling on essential pantry foods should be done as often as possible since these items will help you survive when disaster strikes. Even more, some of these items will be quite valuable during SHTF and you could barter with it and get other supplies you need.
Be sure to stock your pantry the proper way and stay safe!
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