The Pantry Primer: Expanding Beyond “Groceries”

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)


This week, I’ve expanded beyond “groceries” – the week to week purchases that are made with meals in mind – and made some bulk purchases that have substantially added to my food supply.  Because the last week’s shopping left some food for this week’s eating, I was able to focus more on storage food and basics than on items for immediate consumption. 65 pounds of fruit purchased from a local orchard have provided a great bounty for canning and some sale meat purchases have filled my freezer.

When I received an unexpected $50 this week, I was delighted to put it right into building my food pantry.  This little windfall allowed me to make some purchases that would not have been in the budget otherwise. I was also able to supplement my grocery budget by attending a garden swap and exchanging some home canned goods for lovely excess produce grown by local vegetable gardeners.

This week’s purchases:

  • 50 pounds of local pears $13
  • 15 pounds of local peaches $8
  • zucchini, jalapenos, tomatoes, and cucumbers (barter)
  • 20 pounds of sugar $11.98
  • baking soda $0.54 (2 boxes)
  • Annie’s Organic canned ravioli $1 (5 cans)
  • White vinegar $2.59
  • Soy sauce $1.97
  • Balsamic vinegar $1.99
  • 10 pounds of potatoes $1.99
  • Organic animal crackers $1.99 (2 bags)
  • Bananas $1.99
  • 9 pounds of pinto beans $3.27
  • 4 gallons of spring water $3.56
  • Whole wheat pasta $0.99 (3 bags)
  • Cabbage $1.29
  • 4 pounds of cheddar cheese $8.98
  • Pasta $0.69 (2 bags)
  • 1 lb bags of brown rice $0.69  (3 bags)
  • 2 lb of split peas $0.79 (2 bags)
  • 3 lb bag of frozen organic mixed veggies $3.48
  • 3 lbs of hormone free medium ground beef $7.99
  • Bell pepper $0.99
  • 3 heads of garlic $0.99
  • 6 pounds of bone-in chicken breasts (natural fed) $14.47
  • Baking powder $0.99
  • Assorted spices $7
  • 10 lbs of yellow onions $1.99
  • 1 gallon of organic milk $7.99

This week’s total: $127.57


Shopping notes:

*The ability to barter and attend the garden swap greatly enhanced my shopping this week.  I swapped 4 jars of home canned goodies and $11 and got tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, jalapenos, squash, and eggplant.

garden exchange

*Because I got a little extra money, I was able to take advantage of canning specials at the local orchard, netting me 75 pounds of fruit for less than $20.

*I did a great deal of canning this week, which netted me numerous meals in jars, loads of jam, and some lovely condiments – I now have 43 jars of food put up.

*I now have plenty of carbohydrate bases that stretch meals: potatoes, rice, couscous, and pasta.


Stockpile Summary

At the end of our second week, we now have just over a 1 month food supply, including (approximately)

  • 20 pounds of meat in the freezer or jars
  • 8 packages of pasta
  • 10 pounds of brown rice
  • 30 pounds of dried beans (some have been canned already)
  • 20 pounds of sugar
  • 11 pints of homemade jam
  • 10 pounds of flour
  • 50 pounds of fruit

GRAND TOTAL:  $263.55



In case you missed them, here are the other articles in this series:

The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months

The Pantry Primer: Grocery Outlet Victory

The Pantry Primer: Meal Planning While You’re Building Your Stockpile

The Pantry Primer: Getting Started

The Pantry Primer: Building Your Pantry on a Budget with Home Canning

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • I live in Oregon. Where in the world are you getting pasta so cheap? Even the discount warehouses have it at over $1 per lb around my area. Kudos to you!

    • Vivian – it is just a little local clearance place – I can’t always find it at this price but when I do I grab as much as possible!

  • Hello, I to live in Oregon too and I’m able to find box’s of pasta for free, I use coupons all the time. I can get toothpaste for 25 cents a tube. With coupons you can get a lot of things really cheap. I’m not one of them Coupon Queens or anything. I look for the things we can only use. I have a pantry that some would die for, and I’m really proud of it. The 1.00 tree now takes coupons. I can get turkey bacon ( not my best of choice) for free there too. Coupons go a long way at the 1.00 tree.
    Just something to think about.

    • Christie,

      I am not a coupon queen, but I too save money with coupons on food and other supplies.

      Every week I buy the Sunday paper for the largest city in my area. I check the sale papers and clip the coupons for items we use. I have found that many of the coupons are for items advertised on sale at the department stores (Kmart, Target, etc.) and grocery stores.

  • Need to take food prepping seriously. The best way to manage a pantry is to use it and always take inventory of dates, etc. Food is still cheap when compared to other items.

  • Hello Daisy: You are doing great on your plan to have a large larder. Congrats! The canning is a real advantage there. Wish you were closer & I’d give you a lot of my excess from the garden. I keep canning & freezing but my freezers are almost full & it won’t be long before my jars are too. Don’t really need it all but keep thinking I might have to take in family if we have an economic collapse it might come in handy.

    Keep informing us on your progress. I find it fascinating reading.

  • Hey Daisy….just love your new format! You sure lucked out on all the local fruit, and bet your preserves/jams are to ‘die’ for! I purchased just one ‘delicious’ apple a few days ago, and was shocked….90 cents! yikes!

    Sure hope I can get my hands on a bushel basket of apples from one of the local farmers around here. We do have a lead on bushel of potatoes and onions nearby.

    I did get 12 pints of mustard (yellow) beans down last week and today cornered the market on deli beef ends, so bought a bunch which I will can this weekend(when electric is cheaper) and I will be using your recipe (: take care of you and the ‘little’ one….always thinking of you. CC

  • if you going to stock up on food would can foods be good? there a store near my house that sell things like pork and beans for $0.25

    • Yes, canned goods are a great way to build your stockpile. Be sure to check the expiration dates and look for items that have at least a year of shelf life remaining.


  • I feel a bit silly now. I’ve been following your blog and thinking to myself, wow I’m going to have to get canning equipment, it sounds expensive and I’ve never seen anyone do their own canning before.
    Then I saw your picture… Glass jars!

    I honestly thought you were using cans!

    We call it preserving here in Australia, and I have two vacola boilers and boxes of jars and clips all ready to use. So thank you for sharing your ideas.

    I make my own jams and tomato/pasta sauce and jar it. I’ve never tried preserving meat before though add I’m vegetarian, but the rest of the family are carnivores so now I will give it a try.

  • When we buy any foods from the store I always try to write the expiration/best used by date with black marker so we know which is fresher.. Of course I try to reach in the back of the shelves for the fresher items..


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