Building & Maintaining Your Food Storage Pantry

A well-stocked Pantry is not only an important part a preppers food storage, it also offers peace of mind when times get tough. When done properly, building and maintaining your food storage pantry can also save you money.

Pantry foods include not only the pantry, but cupboards, shelves, and anything you use on a regular basis that you would typically get from grocery shopping. When it comes to stocking your pantry the amount really depends on your storage space, but at least a months’ worth is a good rule of thumb.

This will get you through most disaster scenarios, help when you run into economic challenges, or just save money on your grocery bills in the long run. It’s also important to note that if neglected, your food storage can turn into a huge mess, and a money pit.

Lisa recently did an article and a cost comparison of pre-packaged long term food, and a DIY food storage bin. These bins are stackable, easy to store and food that gets eaten on a regular basis.

SPP277 Building & Maintaining Your Food Storage Pantry

In these weeks show Lisa and I covered everything you might need to know about setting up and maintaining pantry foods for preppers. It seems fairly simple on the surface but can get out of hand very quickly.

Pantry Food StorageBest Practices

Below are some ways to make life easier when planning your food storage pantry as well as a few articles I found that offer some great ideas. Each person’s living situation is different, so there isn’t a “one size fits all” method. The Important thing is maintaining and keeping control of your food storage.

The Prepper Bar &Grill

Think of your home as a restaurant, where your customers are your family, and try to manage your food storage and meals like a restaurant would. This may be a little easier said than done, but doing this will make life much easier.

A Meal Plan: A restaurant has a set menu which helps them keep track of what they have, and what they need. Plan out between 10 and 15 meals to help to keep things from getting boring, and help you plan out your shopping needs.

Inventory and Organization: Successful restaurants keep a very close eye on their food cost, and what they waste. To do this they do a monthly inventory and organize everything using the FIFO (First In First Out) method.

I have this free worksheet that you can use to do inventory on your pantry food, and this customizable worksheet that can help you plan out a menu for your family. It’shard to keep these foods stocked because we use them all the time, but by doing inventory and planning a menu, it’s easier to keep track of what you are using so your storage doesn’t get depleted or wasted.

Buy in Bulk: Whenever possible, buying in bulk will save you money down the line. Look for items that get used a lot such as flour, sugar, and spaghetti. Make sure these are foods your family will eat, or you are just wasting money.

If you find a great deal on canned asparagus, but no one is going to eat it, you just wasted money regardless how good the deal was. That food will take us space in your pantry until it needs to be thrown away years later.

Water & Fuel:This may be a little obvious, but don’t forget the water needed for cooking, the fuel needed, and how easy a meal is to cook. Spaghetti is a great prepper meal because it takes sauce and noodles. Other meals that take more prep time or give off strong smells may not be ideal in a SHTF scenario.

Useful Articles on Pantry Foods

15 Pantry Rules: This article from AskAPrepper goes over the basics of a well stocked prepper pantry. Many of the items on this list we went over in the show, and are good to keep in mind as you build your food storage.

50 Staple Foods: I love articles like this one from HomesteadSurvivalSite because while some of the items are obvious, there are always some that make you go “oh yeah, good idea” 

Nutrition for Preppers: We read all the time about how much food storage we need, and different options, but we don’t hear much about the nutritional value of food. This article from BugOutBagBuilder goes through just that.


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    2 replies to "Building & Maintaining Your Food Storage Pantry"

    • Craig

      Hi Dale, great article. One question about supplies, I have my own thoughts as I am sure many do but let’s say others in your area know that you stockpile but they fail to, if a bad situation occurs and they come knocking, do you help them by using your own supplies or send them packing as they didn’t help themselves in the first place.

    • Ben

      Great tips – one thing we do is every two weeks or so, we’ll buy more than what we need of a few things and set those things aside, so one full part of our pantry is considered “extra emergency” foods. Every once in a while we’ll break into them if needed, but for the most part we try not to take away anything that we know we’d want to have in an emergency/survival situation. Thanks for the tips Dale.

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