There are so many reasons to stockpile food and have food in your home for your family. Whether it be sudden job loss, natural disaster, power outage, unexpected health issues or some kind of pandemic.
I’m all about a practical way to stockpile food. I know it’s a topic that’s been overtalked about, but when 2020 hit, I became more aware of what I should be doing to help my family in ways I’ve never experienced. And every year since then has given me more reasons to want to have some food on hand for anything that this world may bring.
What I’m not about is emptying shelves, panic buying and taking away from others. When you stockpile food, you need to be smart about it. Start small and slowly build up your stock.
Stock food you will eat
For me, the first thing I think you should do, instead of buying a bunch of freeze-dried food that will last 25 years or more, is to buy food that your family already eats and loves. Do NOT just buy a bunch of rice and beans (though those are good to have in your home as well). Buy things that you would find in your pantry already.
I like to call this food part of my extended pantry. Others have called it their rotating pantry, but I always rotate food in my pantry, and this is just an extension of my pantry.
If your family likes peanut butter, then make sure you have some peanut butter in your extended pantry. Make sure it’s well rounded with a variety of food.
If your family doesn’t like something, but it’s on one of those “lists” from other preppers, don’t buy it!!! It’s a waste of money. Spend your hard-earned money on something your family will eat.
The first thing you should do is take inventory of what you already have. Take rice for example. Let’s say you just bought a big bag of rice (I’m talking 25 pounds) and you haven’t use much of it yet, then you know you can probably focus on other areas of food.
If you’re on the last bit of flour in your house, then you’ll know to grab some flour for your pantry and also more for your extended pantry.
Knowing what is in your home will help you to know where the holes are in your pantry. Not to mention making meal prep and planning meals so much easier.
Rotate Rotate Rotate
The only way having an extended pantry will work is if you rotate the food.
You don’t want or need your food to expire and go bad, wasting money.
When I run out of something in my pantry, I go to where I keep my extended pantry food, grab what I need and take it to my regular pantry. I also will write down on a piece of paper that I have taped to the door of what I took so that I can replace it the next time I go to the store.
This way I always have food that is good and I’m always replacing the food so that I won’t just use the food and eventually run out. Which would defeat the purpose.
Pantry food to stock up on
Most of these foods will last at least a year on your shelf. If you’d like to extend the life of the food you can preserve the food in other ways. Here I talk about mylar bags and how useful they are and what you can store in them.
You can also use a vacuum sealer and vacuum seal food in canning jars. I use a vacuum sealer similar to this one.