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There are few things that define the sustainable person better than having a well-stocked prepper pantry! Let me show you “How to Stock a Prepper Food Pantry” on the cheap!
It’s just a fact, stocking and maintaining a prepper pantry is one of the best investments you can make. It’s best and most self-sufficient to stock your pantry through home canning/preservation. However, this post is directed at those who may not be able to preserve their own food at this time.
At the end of the day, I prefer a well-stocked hybrid pantry, which includes both home-canned and store bought food.
There shouldn’t be judgement about how you choose to stock your pantry. Not everyone has access to a garden, or the skills to can and preserve at this time.
The point is that you take the time to prepare a pantry for your family so that when the time comes, you’ll be able to take care of yourselves!
I have kept a working pantry most of my married life, close to 30 years now. How I chose to stock my pantry has changed and evolved over the years.
Back in the day, when couponing was an effective way to save money, I was all about looking for the next great deal at the grocery store. I didn’t know how to can or preserve food, and frankly, didn’t realize how important it was to learn those skills, at that time.
Today, I grow and raise as much of our own food as possible. We raise our own beef and chicken, grow edible perennials everywhere I can and grow a good sized garden.
Stock your pantry the way YOU need to do it. It’s just too important to get hung up on the method.
Preparing Meals Directly from your Pantry Will….
- Save you a lot of money, both from spending less at the grocery and from eating out.
- Give you freedom from the daily/weekly grind of stopping at the store every time you run out of something.
- Give you food security when a storm hits or there is a temporary job loss.
- Allow you to give to someone in need right on the spot!
- Help your adult children out when you see a great sale!
So, I can already hear it….it’s the same excuse that people use every single time.
I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY!
Yes, you do. You do! I promise.
I’m going to show you how to get started stocking your pantry from the store for just $5 per week, no matter how tight your budget is!
You have an extra $5 per week…..
- Saving your change at the end of the day, everyday, for a week.
- Cutting back on a couple lattes out during the week.
- Buying a few less energy drinks during the week.
- Cutting back one entire pack of cigarettes this week.
- Carpooling and using a couple of gallons less gas.
- Give up a meal out will easily save $5.
- Don’t buy premium gas for your car, get the mid-grade.
- Give up soda for a week.
- Give up sugar and candy for a week.
- Clip $5 worth of coupons and use them at the store for things you already use.
- Clean out all your living room furniture and inside your car looking for loose change.
- Sell something on Facebook or Craigslist. We all have at least $300 worth of something in our homes that we could sell!
- Cancel cable.
- Get rid of the land line and consider a cheaper cell plan.
- Make something you can sell at the office or at school. This week, I heard about a lady who baked Pineapple Upside Down Cakes for her neighbor’s garage sale and not only sold every single one, but got another $700 worth of orders! Can you believe that?
I think you see what I’m trying to say. It’s easy to come up with $5 extra per week, every week! Everyone has fat in their budget.
As a matter of fact, chances are good that you can come up with $10 per week, or even $20. You’ll accomplish your goals faster this way, but the point of this post is to remove all excuses and get you started on that prepper pantry!
What holds people back from getting a prepper pantry going isn’t lack of money in the budget, it’s not having a plan.
That’s what I hope to give you today.
Saving $5 a week to put entirely towards the stocking of your pantry can be done many different ways, feel free to make this plan your own…make it work for YOU.
Where Will I Put This Pantry? I Don’t Have Room!
I hear you.
Most of my married life, I have lived in “space-challenged” houses. Raising a large family, I’ve spent many years analyzing “dead space” in our homes. You would be surprised to know that regardless of how small your place is, you have some room to store food.
Now, you may not have a walk-in pantry, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate some “unorthodox” methods to store food. Think outside the box!
- Under beds – They make sliding boxes that are pretty slick or you might have something on hand that will work.
- In closets – Maybe put a shelf above where you hang your clothes. You could also use a hanging/over the door shoe organizer to store some things. Get rid of those clothes you never wear and use the space for food.
- Under stairs – There is almost always some dead space under a stair case.
- In unused desk drawers.
- In linen closets.
- Coat closets – clean out all of those coats you never wear and make some space!
- Laundry room.
- Bathroom – under the sink or above the toilet.
- Decorative baskets or chests with lids – You can hide a lot of food in those antique chests or large baskets!
- Kid’s closets.
What Should I Stock in my Pantry?
Now, let’s get down to the business of stocking that prepper pantry. First, we’ll need to examine your cabinets. We are going to begin with a “Top 10 Items Used” list. Don’t worry, we’ll expand this later, but for now, let’s start with the top 10. My list looks like this….
- Peanut butter
- Marinara sauce
- Canned vegetables
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Refried beans
Yours will look different, but it’s super easy to come up with your Top 10 list, just go to your cabinets right now, take a pen and paper with you.
Open the cabinets and write down what you reach for the most. It shouldn’t take long, don’t overthink this.
Now, the next step will take little longer, but will be well worth it. We need to find the current prices of these items, preferably where the prices are competitive.
Aldi is my go-to place for basic pantry items (for what I didn’t can). Aldi is a no-frills grocery store with very low prices, if you don’t have an Aldi, you may have a Save-a-Lot or something similar. Find your store and price your “Top 10” as soon as you can.
Then your list should look something like this….
- Coffee $12.99
- Peanut butter $2.89
- Marinara sauce .99
- Pasta $1.45 for #2
- Canned vegetables .49 per can
- Oatmeal $2.39
- Coconut oil $4.49
- Olive oil $3.99
- Refried beans .75
- Tortilla $1.49 (Package of 10)
Now, each week you will use your $5 and purchase what you can of these items. Any combination is acceptable, whether you choose 5 jars of marinara, or one jar of coconut oil with one can of green beans. Whatever, just make sure you buy from your list.
These groceries will not be used with your regular groceries, but rather set aside as “extra” in your pantry.
The next step is to decide how many of these 10 items you will use within a month’s time. How many containers of coffee do you use in one month? How about peanut butter?
This will help us to determine how much extra money you’ll need to purchase one month’s worth of these staples!
Ok, here’s mine. Notice how I multiply the needed monthly quantity by the price. This tell me what it will cost for one month’s worth of this item.
Top 10 Prepper Pantry List
- 2 – Coffee beans $12.99 x 2= 25.98
- 4 – Peanut butter $2.89 x 4= 11.56
- 4- Marinara sauce .99 x 4= 3.96
- 2 -Pasta $1.45 for #2 x 2= 2.90
- 12 -Canned vegetables .49 per can x 12= 5.88
- 2 -Oatmeal $2.39 x 2= 4.78
- 1 -Coconut oil $4.49 (organic, could possibly find better price) x 1= 4.49
- 1 -Olive oil $3.99 (Organic, could possibly find better price) x 1= 3.99
- 8 -Refried beans .75 x 8= 6.00
- 2 -Tortilla $1.49 (Package of 10) x 2= 2.98
$72.52 divided by $5.oo per week = 14.5 weeks to have one month’s worth of these staples! How cool is that??? You can do this!
So, in 3 1/2 months, you could have a good foundation for your awesome prepper pantry! Woot woot!
Now, the next step is up to you. You could…
- Start a second list of the next ten items you use most often and do the same thing.
- Or, you can continue purchasing more of your Top 10 list each week.
Make sure you’re getting the best possible price on these Top 10 items. If there’s a loss leader sale at another store one week, get your items there.
Quite possibly, you could trim more from your spending and purchase even more without sacrificing your regular needs. This is how financial goals are met, even if you’re on a tight budget. Little by little, you will stock your pantry…and so will your sustainability!