How to Stock a Prepper Pantry

by | Jul 24, 2019 | Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 45 comments

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    This article was originally published by Tess Pennington at Ready Nutrition

    The overall goal of our emergency food pantry is to have a wide array of nutritious foods stored away in order to carry us through an emergency. In my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, I wrote how firmly I believe in each household having an emergency food pantry.

    Whether those emergencies are from Mother Nature or if we have hit a rough patch in our lives, having food on hand will be less burdensome and will help free up money for other living expenses. The key is to a well-stocked pantry is to have lots of nutritious shelf-stable foods at your disposal. Foods filled with lots of nutrition will carry you farther in an emergency than lots of junk foods.

    The Meat and Potatoes of a Prepper Pantry

    Over the years, I have made recommendations for the best types of foods to put in your pantry, how to save on emergency food stores by learning how to can and dehydrate your own food sources, as well as provided the best rules to go by when creating an emergency food pantry. Ideally, you want the food you put in those coveted pantry spots to be versatile and serve many uses.

    I like to start with shelf-stable basics like wheat berries, rice, an assortment of beans, dry milk powder, peanut butter, drink mixes, etc., and then add-on to my pantry with home canned and dehydrated foods. This creates layers of different types of short and long-term food stores and gives me more functionality in my pantry. Having layers of different food sources as coincides with the prepper rule of having back-ups for your back-ups. Here is a shopping list that first-timers can use to get a pantry started. Keep in mind this is for one person. If you have additional family members, use this calculator to add-on appropriately. Another way to add essential vitamins and nutrients to your food supply is to stock up on sprouting seeds. Inside these small biogenic (living) foods lies essential nutrients and vitamins that can assist in providing a good portion of one’s daily requirement of nutrients. Sprouts can grow anywhere, during any season, and requires minimal work.

    Where To Get Bulk Pantry Foods

    As many of you know, preparedness is an investment and doesn’t always come cheap. One of the best places to buy bulk shelf-stable foodstuffs that I have found is at the LDS food storage warehouses. I am not Mormon, but this church has opened its doors to non-members in order to create a more prepared community, and I am very thankful for this. I am able to purchase cases of canned beans, rice, dry milk, etc. and it’s already packed and ready for long-term storage. This frees up so much time! Here’s a link to their locations. As well, purchasing the larger, bulkier bags at Sam’s or Walmart is also very economical, but make sure you transfer your food items into long-term storage containers to protect your food investment. As well, don’t forget about storing water or having a way to treat it – this is crucial to survival.

    Other Food Pantry Items

    As I mentioned earlier, we like to layer our preparedness pantry. I buy meat on sale and freeze or can it for a later date. As well, we stock up on freeze-dried foods. For my family, freeze-dried foods are our last resort. If we run out of our pantry items, and our garden fails, only then do we turn to our freeze-dried food supply. My purpose in this is that I don’t want to solely rely on this type of emergency food source. I’m thankful it has a 25-year shelf life, but there are a lot of preservatives in freeze-dried foods that can cause constipation and stomach upsets. Therefore, I want to have enough of the natural foods my family normally eats before I turn to my freeze-dried foods. In addition, I also have garden seeds on standby so that we can grow a garden immediately if there is a widespread event.

    Hopefully, this primer will get you started on your food pantry endeavors. As well, here are some additional articles to help you create a long-lasting and dependable food pantry.

    11 Emergency Foods That Last Forever

    Five Family Friendly Food Pantry Organizing Tips Anyone Can Do

    Prepping With Wheat Allergies

    5 Ways to Stretch Your Meals SHTF Style

    Food Pantry: Take Care of Your Basic Needs

    72 Hours Without This Will Kill You: Survival Water Fundamentals

    Those of you who plan to take the first steps toward preparing for emergencies may feel a bit overwhelmed at first. After all, there is a lot of food to choose from at the grocery stores. We all know how confusing it can be getting started and luckily, there are lots of articles from Ready Nutrition and other great prepping websites to help with that.

    When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years! –The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals


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      1. Pretty good basic information. I don’t think there are many newbies on here. I don’t think there are many oldbies on here anymore either. Most people don’t worry about SHTF anymore since Trump’s MAGA came to town. They got other stuff occupying their minds like getting over a million sheeptards to crash Area 51. Their minds are surely elsewhere…out in the ozone.

        • JRS,
          There are certainly not many newbies here.
          I’m going to harvest a #1500 steer in August.
          I harvested a pig earlier in the month.
          The damned rats got into my seeds.
          All my potatoes died due to excessive rain this spring.
          My avocados, tomatoes, papaya, and banana are all
          becoming ripe at the same time.
          I’m digging the first post of my 10.6 kW solar
          array today or tomorrow. I’ll report on the post hole
          Even if MAGA is going strong, some of us still suffer from
          having a GAS factor.

          • I guess you have a lot of sausage now. Did you get any lard or scrapple made?

            • No sausage. Smoked it.
              Shared it with the extended family.
              It is a Hawaiian thing.
              Very small community.
              Look up the word “Hanai”.

              • Tradition. I get it. Traditionally, here in Dutch country, they make lard, cracklins, sausage, head cheese, souse, pudding, paunhaus, scrapple, and cured ham and hocks, along with the regular cuts of pork, at a butchering. They sometimes cut the vage out for the newbie as a joke. The only thing they throw out is the squeal. Cheers.

          • Rellik, good luck with your new solar project! You will be flipping the switch on your new solar system before you know it.

            I am putting up six new panels that will be facing exactly where the sun comes up on the shortest day of the year, December 22nd. I want to be making good power as soon as the sun comes up over the mountains. If the sun is out anywhere in the sky, anytime of the day, we are grabbing those photons. We live off grid.

            I have nine 300 watt panels facing due east and of course twelve 300 watt panels facing south, another twelve panels facing east of south. I had to upgrade to a Outback FM 100 charge controller to handle to south facing array. The FM 80 is rated at 80 amps 150 volts, the FM 100 is 100 amps 300 volts.

            Prices on panels from santansolar dot com in Arizona continue to be very good. They are selling several lots of used panels that are only a few years old. Panels lose about 1% a year. I saw 250 watt panels for 60 bucks.

            For anyone thinking about solar now is a good time to buy. Get together with a few friends and order a pallet full to save on shipping.

            • Red,
              I’m putting up 44 panels 60 cell 240 Watt Hanwha panels. I payed $0.60 a watt delivered to my shop in Hawaii, Thanks to advice from another SHTF’er.
              I’m saving battery selection till the last, but Genius convinced me to go with Forklift batteries.
              I’m still looking at Charge converters. I did not know there is a FM 100. I will look it over. My non-grid tied system is a little bigger than most people here are used to.
              I’m setting up to take two homes and a 2400 sf work shop “off grid” with no perceivable difference from grid connected houses and shop.

              • Jealousy regarding these posters, you guys have it going on. We live in suburbia and have no such resources. Although I have been looking at solar for dummies, exactly where I need that to be, for like all in 1 kits and inverters and such. Looking a lot at invertersrus, but have never actually bought. We have wild rabbits everywhere, I figure if things get tough, I’ll capture some and breed rabbits or something. For prep foods, we tried that and eventually just gave away all those beans and rice in long term storage bottles. We’re more practical focused with a year or more supply on the shelf from costco, and we rotate out as we need them. About 3 to 4 times a year we drop a grand at costco, not going hungry anytime soon. We’re going to subscribe to eldorado water services so I can constantly stack up some extra bottles. They have the 3 gallon in glass option which I like for long term storage. Has a 20 dollar per bottle deposit. But 10 years later, looking at all those 5 gallon jugs in plastic in my basement, I think I’d have to run all of that through a berkey before I’d even dare consume it anyways. Probably better for wash water and we’re going to get into glass 3 gallons for better long term storage ability. Dreaming of the day we can bounce to a semi rural location and have 5+ acres to ourselves. Mortgage getting close to the finish line, soon.

                • I fell into that trap once. Envy turns to jealousy which then becomes covetousness when things get hard. Had to step back and figure out where I was lacking so I could fix that now and didn’t end up planning an assault to get what I “need” post-shtf.

                  Just my experience. I’m sure you meant that as a compliment, but wanted to throw that out there for you.

                  best of luck

                  • Hi there. Just being positive regarding people whom are better prepared. Right now it’s all about paying off this mortgage, and we chose a half length term so to speak. Costs a lot more but actually saves in the long run. A decade of paying non stop municipal services bills, dealing with punitive city codes, and such, a little light bulb went on for me. That’s why people like well, septic, greenhouses. It’s the east and west coesters whom have the most jealously. They live 5 per apartment at ungodly rental prices, then when just one of them visits a place like Colorado, they tell all their friends, and next thing you know, their whole family and extended family comes with them. They’re californicating and new york toxifying CO right now, it’s a damned shame. We ruined our home state with progressive politics, and heard you guys have something better going on. They’ll only have the best of both worlds for a limited amount of time, things are a changing.

        • “Most people don’t worry about SHTF anymore since Trump’s MAGA came to town.”

          noticed that. its a pretty typical cycle of political contentment. you see it with militia membership as well. Sadly no one realized they are being intentionally lulled.

          stay frosty gang 🙂

      2. I would stock more canned foods but Justice hoarded them all lol. Stock some death metal cd’s so you can have a shtf soundtrack! The stores I shop at here are FULLY stocked, I think walmart is low because they lowball their suppliers so badly. Learn to reload ammo, it will save you a fortune.

        • “Learn to reload ammo, it will save you a fortune.”

          I thought that once, now I know it save you nothing, just lets you shoot ALOT more! LOL

          • Agreed, NEC. I got started learning to reload on 9mm, and there’s NO way you’ll save money on that. Better to collect .556 range brass and reload them….THEN your talking savings!

            My feeling is that the actual skill is more valuable than the money saved on reloading. I was just commenting to a buddy at the range today that NOBODY is going to turn away a traveler from their SHTF compound who has reloading skills (and maybe a Lee press in tow ?)

            God bless


      3. Good News. muller testifying before congress is a collossol flop for the democraps. He is a doddering senile fool.

      4. repr if yer out there I have a question for you. Have you ever had a brand of sugar that didn’t work very well? How long is refrigerated yeast good for? If I add corn sugar it will take off for a while then dies again. Thanks.

        • Gen,
          “How long is refrigerated yeast good for?”
          Not very long! Maybe two years or so.
          I’m switching to sour dough starter.
          It is a pain in the behind, but like any pet
          you have to feed it, if you do it will always be there.
          BTW off subject what do you think of a FM 100?
          pretty pricey. I’m inclined to stay with the FM-80.
          but 3kW vs 1.2 kW is a strong argument to pay twice
          as much for a FM 100.
          Most people on this site aren’t dealing with the amount of power I’m talking about. They should be.
          Most modern homes need at least 18 kWh per day.
          If SHTF there is no reason to go back to living like you are in the 15th century.

          • I still can’t find a cell phone I’m willing to commit to. What’s your preferred state of choice? I’m thinking of bouncing to NW Colorado but have also considered Wyoming. Finding it tough to make the transition, so much on the line. Really, our primary motivation is just to escape the busy city, we feel like strangers in the place we grew up. Our county just flipped blue and it’s a shame. This site is interesting, reminds me of 10 years ago before monetization of conspiracy theory took so much hold. I’m surfing the apocalypse with rense by my side on the shtf website, in between tabloid drudge report addiction and ever so entertaining infowars binges. I’d better get back to work. Gears5 out in 2 months, that out to keep me numb for another year or two. Cheers.

            • Colorado is becoming a suburb of Kalifornia. Idaho and Arizona have constitutional carry. Wyoming is cold and windy and miserable in winter. Nevada has no income tax. Utah is mormon run and has wierd laws. Coastal states are not part of the US. Verizon has the best rural coverage. Harbor freight solar kits are junk. Look on ebay for small solar components. Cheers!

              • VT has constitutional carry as well, but that’s if you can stand the sea of liberal stench that emanates from it.

                • My old friend lived in utah. He said that when he went to the bar, he’d have to bring his own bottle, give it to them unopened, and then pay for drinks and they’d keep it aside with his name reserved on the bottle. On account of something about them only being licensed to serve, but not by the actual liquor. What could go wrong? Colorado just allowed full strength beer at the grocery store. They’re undercutting at under cost to drive the mega liquor guys out, and it’s working. It’s convenient but next thing you know it will be just like CA with captain morgan shooters on the shelf immediately next to the slurpee machine. What could go wrong? Counties in CO actually submit their final numbers for presidential election vote counts, based on a 10% sampling and sometimes we get our record of actually having our vote counted like months later. Ready for the state of Jefferson I guess, what other choice is there?

          • relik, It boils down to the amperage. A 100 is 25% more amps hardly worth paying double. Voltage just means you can use a longer string of panels but the amperage is the real limit. I would only use the 100 if I had a lot of low wattage panels. Stick with the original plan, it would be foolish to waste money on higher voltage controllers.

            I store dry distillers yeast in the fridge and ya it is probably over 2 years old. It was working but puked out on me after a couple of days. I guess I will need some fresh stuff. Aloha!

            • Some confusing stuff in the specs….
              FM100-300VDC Specifications:
              Nominal battery system voltage: 24, 36, & 48 Volts DC
              Charging range output: 20 – 68 Volts DC
              Controller type: MPPT
              Minimum battery bank size: 100 Amp-hours
              Maximum continuous output current: 100 Amps
              Maximum input current: 64 Amps
              Maximum array power (24V / 36V / 48V): 3000 / 4500 / 6000 Watts
              Maximum PV system voltage: 300 Volts DC
              Operating input voltage range: 30 – 290 Volts DC

              They say 64 amps max input yet say 3K at 24 volts input. 3000 divided by 24 is 125! DOUBLE the max input???

              Lets say you have a string of 250 watt 24v panels. Thats 12 panels to make 3000 watts. Say the amperage rating is 9 amps and say the Voc is 36 volts. Thats 432 volts, OVER the limit! See what I mean? Something is really fucked up with these specs. The wattage adds up to 3888 at 30 volts operating. Steer CLEAR of this NEW controller!

              • Ok lets do it this way…

                Using 2 strings of 6 gives you 216 volts. and 3Kwatts.
                Using an FM80 with 3 strings of 3 gives you 108 volts at 2250 watts (within the 2400 watt limit).
                So is the small increase worth it? Besides pushing the controller to it’s max limit.

                • Correction: I just looked at the latest specs on the FM80 and it says 2K watts input max at 24V. I could swear it used to be 2400. Maybe go with the Midnite instead. Here is a tool to calculate what you need……
                  ht tp://

                  I ran what I figure is close to what you have and it checks out ok for 3 strings of 3 panels each. Sorry I was wrong about the specs of the FM80. Midnite 150’s will put out up to 94 amps at 24 volts.

              • Gen,
                I crunched the same numbers and agree.
                I’ll stay with FM 80’s.
                You know this is what SHTF plan is supposed
                to be about.

                • relik, read the post above, I was wrong about the FM80 specs.

                  • If you don’t require arc fault protection and only need it for solar this is the lowest price model ht tps://

                    If you need arc fault you want this one..

                    • If you need arc fault then get this one… ht tps://

                  • My last 2 posts “dissapeared”. I just wanted to let you know that there are 2 types of midnite 150’s. 1 has arc fault protection and one doesn’t (the sl model) If you don’t need arc fault the sl model is cheaper.

                    • Please let me know that you got this message, thanks.

            • Sounds like your yeast is weak in the poop. I’m not sure how long it’ll last in the fridge (where I keep mine). I know I’ve used some that might be 4 yrs old and was still good. I do start mine in a tall sanitized beer mug. Here it is: 1/2 cup of 110degree water in sanitized jar, add two teaspoons of sugar into the water and mix thoroughly, add two packets of yeast or one tablespoon if using bulk yeast. swirl the glass to mix yeast in water and sugar, let sit for ’bout twenty minutes and it will double in size. Once it has doubled add it to your mash and areate.I use a small boat paddle to areate in a 15 gallon tund. and do that for about 15 to 20 minutes.

              • Thanks! I did start mine in 95 degree water, the sugar must be the kicker. But it was working then puked. Time for fresh I guess. Cheers!

                • One thing I forgot to mention. Are you keeping the room/place at least 70-75 degrees where you keep your tund while its working? If it gets too cool the yeast can fall flat on its face and not finish.

                  • I checked the temp and it was 76.

        • I use the same tub of yeast for my wine and bread that has been in the fridge for at least four years. But I always proof my yeast before I add it to the primary. YMMV.

        • How much sugar are you using? I use for 15 gallon tund eight lbs of white sugar and eight lbs of corn. and use just regular bread yeast. The corn is put in a nylon bag to keep it from getting loose and the bag is washable.

          • In 4 gallons of mash is 8 cans of corn and 22 cups of sugar. It has always worked in the past. Distillers yeast will handle high ABV when it works lol.

        • I’m still using yeast I put in the deep freezer 5 years ago. Once its opened or exposed to light in the back of the fridge, maybe another 18 months.

          get the big blocks vac packed in the opaque plastic. way cheaper and easier to keep.

          just my .02

      5. I don’t think it’s practical to prep for an end of the world catastrophe. Most people don’t live on acreage with extra buildings for storage.

        For someone new to prepping, stocking up on 100 different types of pasta (which has a shelf life of a year or two) is more practical than stocking up on wheat berries with a 25 year self life.


        • HP,
          You nailed that pretty good.
          I suppose if we can convince
          people to leave cities and become somewhat
          self sufficient, the SHFTplan
          is successful.

        • 10 types of pasta


          • And if you have excess fruit make wine out of it! Easy and fun and GOOD! 😛

      6. Another excellent source of healthy bulk food is Azure Standard, especially for those in The Redoubt. A few local families can combine their orders to easily meet the minimum purchase amount and become their own private ‘drop point’. Little driving. Better OPSEC.

      7. I consider everything within the 300 mile radius as my preps. Your preps will be greatly appreciated by the trick or treaters. There is no point in stockpilling at all, you’ll need to go foraging soon enough regadless of how many tons of beans stugots and the survivors will be the psychopaths that can hunt without conscience, from day 1.

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