“Well, hello March. We meet again. How are you doing my old friend… or should I say foe? (Insert squinty eye emoji) I know I cannot be the only one reminiscing about this time last year. Most of us saw our world shutting down around us. A few of us probably saw the writing on the wall ahead of time. There were mad-dashes to the grocery store, lots of empty shelves, and toilet paper gate. (Has anyone gotten to the bottom of the tp shortage? I’m still perplexed.) Seeing pictures of those empty shelves was a little jarring and eye-opening for me and it was unsettling to not know when supplies would be replenished.

This uncomfortable feeling lead me to researching a prepper pantry or a working pantry. A prepper pantry is a pantry where you store all the food you need in the event of a disaster. You would have enough stockpile for up to a year or longer. A working pantry is a pantry you can use even if there is not an emergency. This type of pantry has a lot more in it than a regular pantry, though. You would have enough stockpile for maybe a month or longer. After much research, I decided to go with a prepper pantry due to space limitations. (This would be separate from our emergency food supply.)

Since prior to 2020, I did weekly grocery shopping with the occasional midweek run for forgotten items, it took some rearranging and planning to make it work for our home. Here’s how I planned and created my working pantry.

  1. I identified a space to store extra stockpile. Identifying a space ahead of any purchases, ensures stock will not only fit in the space, but also reduces the chances of “lost” or wasted food.
  2. I monitored our family food consumption for one month, especially as it related to staple items. I kept track on a notepad.
  3. I created a master recipe list. The list included family favorites and seasonal meals, as well as ingredients needed for them.
  4. I started meal planning monthly instead of weekly. This would help to eliminated midweek grocery runs.

Once I had completed the above tasks, I combined all the shelf stable food on one list with the amounts needed for a 2-3 month supply. I also created a “buffer” for certain items (flour, sugar, oils…) since I was cooking all our meals at home. Next, I purchased a small inexpensive deep freezer for meats, cheeses, and the like. Last, I purchased a water filtration system to eliminate the need to run to the store for water. All that was left now was to buy our stockpile.

Having this small working pantry has proved to be a small source of comfort during this time of uncertainty. Did your family start a stockpile in 2020?

Check my free resources page for stockpile download.



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