The Pantry Primer: Getting Started

(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)

You’ve been plotting the creation your stockpile.  You’ve made a meal plan, taking into account foods that can pull double duty as “right-now” meals and as “storage food”.  You know why you need to build a pantry, you know how to build it, and since the timing is getting more imperative by the day, now you just need to start doing it.

We are finally in our home sweet home after a long journey:  a 3600 mile drive, 5 weeks with dear friends, and finally, here we are!  I’m also getting started on rebuilding my own stockpile.

To get started, you need to focus on building your pantry basics so that you have everything you need to begin cooking from scratch as soon as possible.

Make a list!

For shopping trips, I recommend making a list.  However, the list is not the Gospel – it is just a guideline. If you have a whole chicken on your list, but chicken is expensive and pork is on sale, then you need to be flexible and take that into consideration. Your list should include:

  • Items that you have coupons for
  • Sale items, listed by store, that are a good deal
  • Must-have items, like milk if you have small children (there should be very few must-have items – flexibility is the key to a barebones budget!)
  • Ingredients that you require for your meal plans (again, this should be flexible – also, don’t waste money on an ingredient that you can only use in one dish if your budget is tight!)

Buy the best quality of food that you can afford.  Click HERE for some guidelines on how to shop as healthfully as possible when money is tight.

Go shopping!

A few tips to help you keep the budget under control if you are spending an afternoon stockpile shopping:

  • Eat before you go – hunger can impair your judgement because everything just looks so darned good!
  • Take a bottle of water or a cup of coffee with you so that you aren’t tempted by the coolers or the Starbucks
  • at the front of the store.
  • Go alone – it is always more expensive with a spouse or a child in tow.
  • Map your route before you go – if you have several stops to make, do so efficiently and without backtracking.  Organize your lists by store.

This week’s purchases

The first shopping trip is always the trickiest – especially if you have to repurchase things like condiments, spices, and pantry basics.  I added the following foods to my kitchen and stockpile this week.

  • 1 gallon of organic milk $7.99
  • 3 heads of romaine $2.50
  • Whole pineapple $1.99
  • Ketchup $2.59
  • Mustard $0.89
  • Linguini $0.89
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes $0.99 each
  • sharp cheddar cheese $2.49
  • square of Parmesan $2.55
  • Greek yogurt $1
  • Baking soda $0.69
  • 4 gallons of spring water $0.89 each
  • 2 pounds of hormone free ground beef $6.00
  • 1 pound of hickory smoked pork loin $1.99
  • grapes $2.99
  • 1 pound of hormone free butter $2.49
  • frozen organic green beans $3,49
  •  3 mangos $1.00
  • ground turkey $2,99
  • 1 Newman’s frozen pizza $4.99
  • 3 pounds of oranges $3.00
  • bananas $1.99
  • 6 antibiotic-free chicken breasts $7.20
  • Chicken sausage $3.19

Today’s total with tax: $70.24

  Some shopping notes:

*The chicken breasts were 50% off because of last day of sale.  I immediately repackaged them into 6 servings and put them in the freezer.   I likewise separated the ground beef. ground turkey and the sausages into servings and put them right into the freezer.  (Here are some tips on the best practices for using your freezer for food storage!)

*Because I will be making yogurt and cottage cheese later this week, we’ll be going through more than a gallon of milk this week.

*The pizza….I know, I know. Not the cheapest way to do it. I grabbed that to celebrate the first day of school.  We have a longstanding tradition of going out for pizza – this year, we’ll be having it at home.  When I debated buying the ingredients to make it from scratch, I decided I had to wait and just go with the frozen pizza this time around.

Stockpile Summary:

pantry week 1Not including milk, we now have about a two week supply of food, and perhaps a bit more if we rationed it carefully.

We have beans, peanut butter, dairy, and meat for protein sources.  (My daughter is allergic to eggs or I would have bought those also).

We have couscous, oats, rice, and pasta for grains.

Most of our fruits and veggies are fresh at this time, which is not ideal for a stockpile.

The real accomplishment is that we now have quite a few pantry basics that will make scratch cooking easier, like baking soda, baking powder, flour, and spices, and these “support items” will last much longer than two weeks.

Want to learn more? My new book is now available!

Lots of us like to have hard copies of information that we’ve found helpful.  Because of this, I’ve expanded on the information included in this series and put it all in one handy primer, available on Amazon.

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

pantry primer pic

Picture of 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

  • To all those who woke up, congradulations! Are we the lucky? I think so. But now it gets interesting. All reports show its close YES. If someone wont listen at this point, leave them in the dust, they are the ones who will get you hurt. From all comm, somethins up and close too. Daisy, we all love ya. Thank you for being a human being, for caring. Between many of us, we have achieved the truth, not simple or what we wanted to hear, but the truth. ALL of you who understand what im saying, good luck, be tough.

  • For those who have not prepared, the mormon church sells excellent 30 year freeze dried food cheap. 6 months of food for one, in 24 cans…..

    • Can a non church member purchase these items from the LDS church? And do we just contact the nearest LDS church? Thank you for this valuable information!

      • Hi Tamatha!

        You do not have to be a member to purchase items from the LDS. You can buy them online from the link provided or you can do a search for the closes LDS warehouse to your home. The warehouse has a far greater selection than the online stores.

        Best wishes ~


  • Kimo, thank you, sir, for your informative posts. I’ve been trying to prepare for a while now and progress has been slow. Went to the website you mentioned, ordered a years worth. Funny how the amount of savings I had was just the amount needed! So just when I’m struggling, the answer comes. Feels like Someone is watching out for me.:) D

  • Kimo, when you say it’s very soon now, are we talking a month or two or 6 months or more? I’m just now reading so much about an economic collapse and prepping for disaster. I’m new to it and absorbing all this info fast. I just need to know about a more precise time frame if possible. And also, is there a book out there that has all the info on surviving in case of disaster?

  • Thank you so much for this, I have recently made the switch go organic and GMO free foods. I have been trying to get my cabinets back to full, I am on my second month. It’s pretty tough but, I know that it’s worth it. 🙂

  • $8 for a gallon of organic milk? Why use milk at all? Humans don’t need to drink or eat cow’s milk or milk products and may be better off without it. I haven’t drank milk for 45 years and my kids have never drank milk in their lives (my oldest is 33). I’ve learned to cook and bake without it. If people decreased using milk there would be fewer dairy cows and it would be so much better for the planet. She said that she was going to make yogurt with the milk. That may be better than drinking milk but are the benefits of yogurt really worth it?

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive

    In the event of a long-term disaster, there are non-food essentials that can be vital to your survival and well-being. Make certain you have these 50 non-food stockpile essentials. Sign up for your FREE report and get prepared.

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