stocking your Pantry

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by daffodil, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. daffodil

    daffodil flower lover

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    Are you well stocked? For how many months could you rely on your own supplies?

    I cleaned out our pantry a couple months ago and sorted stuff and have been trying to stock up as we can afford it. It has been fun.

    I have to admit I do leave my flour in their bags so far and have not had any problems--have quite a few bags of pastry flour and then also have a separate area for bread flour. I put bay leaves around them; so far so good. Right now I have about SEVENTY pounds of flour in five pound bags and THIRTY pounds of the bread flour in ten pound bags.

    Then I have miscellaneous (sp?) flours too like bulgar and rye and cornmeal and a huge old plastic popcorn container of regular oats. The oats will no doubt last over a year, at our rate of use as it is now.

    Need to build up my rice supply.

    We use a lot of noodles; have quite a few pounds of that, but seems like that is what we really eat a lot of.

    I have SIXTY pounds of white sugar and many bags of the brown and powdered.

    This coming harvest season I am going to concentrate of canning more and having more of my own tomato stuff.

    My pantry is only half size as it's also a library on the other wall. But I do have five really large shelves crammed with food stuffs. Hubby says it looks like a little store.

    I would say, though, we have about six months worth of food there, but that would be if we relied on powdered milk, which is not tasty.

    I need to get some powdered eggs, too. I have some yeast that is good for another year, but would have to no doubt rely on a sourdough mix if we were not able to purchase yeast.

    Also, keep a lot of shortening and oils. The lighter the oil, the longer it will last.

    The easiest and cheapest thing to stock for me has been salt and baking soda and powder. Some of the spices are a good place to start as well.

    In a way, it's hard to know what you'd run out of first, if you had to rely on your own stuff. For us, I think it would be vegetables and that is what I need to work on.
     
  2. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    I have been making an effort to stock up too. This coming year I plan on learning to dry alot of my vegetables. I already can alot, but I plan on doing both. We bought alot of foods from www.BePrepared.com otherwise known as Emergency Essentials. I did get the powdered margarine and eggs too - but haven't tried that yet. All the other foods we got even the meats and tvp are really good. I don't trust the foods in the supermarkets much anymore. The vegetables have no minerals in them anymore.

    My plan is to get my grinder and then start buying the whole grains and grind as I use it. But like you, I need a supply in my pantry. My pantry is where I keep all my dishes, supplies, and food. I had my husband tear out all the cupboards in the kitchen and put in windows. I hate those cupboards where you can't find anything. My pantry has open shelves so you can see everything at once. I think you need at least 2 years supply of everything. There's only 2 of us so it's not too hard to do.

    Yes, it is fun! I love planning it out and then seeing my plan come together.
     

  3. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

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    Around here we could probably eat for at least 2 years or more, just from what's stocked up. Got plenty of everything. Plus I grow a big garden each year, and we have all the poultry, rabbits, and soon to add milk goats and feeder pigs. I have steadily added each year to our fruit trees. We got 2 different types of apples, 5 different types of oranges, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, figs, satsumas, lemons, limes, plums, grapes, sugar cane, and tons of wild berries during the spring. Will be adding kiwis as soon as they arrive. We'll be fine around here.
     
  4. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    Funny we were just rearranging the pantry. I hate not to have something when I want to cook. 50 or so pounds of flour and sugar,10 boxes baking power ,7 salt ,1lb yeast, to many canned veggies to count, syrup ,juices ,noodle ,rice,fruits,baking mix {bought real cheap}, 30 qts of pickles, lard , 15 gallons of oil, oatmeal .There might also be a body back there for all I know!
     
  5. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    I love having a full pantry. I always keep a hefty supply of nonperishables.

    I just invested in a Excaliber dehydrator so I will be able to put up more stuff. I mostly freeze stuff. I don't like to can (Too much work!). The dehydrator will give me more options.

    I would love to buy whole wheat berries in bulk as they keep a very long time. I do have a way to grind them BUT I have no local supplier for the wheat :(

    On our property we have apples, pears, plums, peaches, figs, pecans. We also have wild fruit (wild plums, persimmons, gooseberries, blackberries and three kinds of wild grapes).

    We have a year round herb garden. (some plants are in the house, some are hardy)


    We have plenty of free deer meat (lotsa deer here in GA)

    michele
     
  6. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Where in Georgia are you? I drive from NC to my folks in Georgia to buy my whole grain...wheat, oats, and corn. Outside of Augusta.

    Meg
     
  7. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    I like drying things in the oven better. Seems to me i have more room and get it done faster. Just a thought.
     
  8. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We buy flour in 50 bags at Costco, they put them in large plastic bags and put them in our spare freezer. We could probably last upward of 6 months without buying anything. We have 50 layers, 2 calves that will be ready to butcher in about 2 months. So we are pretty set for the long term if we need it. Our pantry is 12 by 12 with shelves on three side from the flour to the ceiling.

    BobG
     
  9. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    We have about 2 years of food for our household of six (three adults, three kids), but my long term goal is 3 years for 15 - in hard times, family tends to all end up clustered together.

    We've converted two closets in our house to pantry space, and lined our kitchen walls with open shelves. We store a lot of rice, wheat and oatmeal, a lot of beans and some tvp. We also do store some canned meats and fish for variety, lots of dried and canned fruits and vegetables, powdered milk, some oil, honey, sugar, spices, pickles and jams, etc...

    We also have about 30 hens, some ducks and a pair of geese, and grow a huge garden. We freeze some, but mostly try to can and dry what we can, in case of power failure. We don't store butter powder (just tastes bad to me), but are hoping to add dairy critters shortly.

    Sharon
     
  10. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    :eek: I always thought my pantry was pretty well stocked but ya'll have me beat out the wazoo! Our family could probably survive for about 2 months, maybe longer. After a week I'd be out of milk and fresh veggies. Another week or two and I'd be out of frozen and dry milk and veggies. Lots of meat in the freezers at the moment but I'm a bit low on my flour and oats. I can't imagine needing to get beyond 1-2 weeks. Our worst storms here knocked out power for about 14 days to some people. I suppose in a desperate situation we could ration and hold out longer. Dare I ask what is the point of such HUGE stocks? Ya'll planning on war, famine or the like? Job loss maybe? It's a mystery to me.
     
  11. daffodil

    daffodil flower lover

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    I worry about an outbreak of disease such as small pox. I would not want to let my kids out of the house.

    Or I worry about an economic collapse. I think we tend to think there will always be a store to go to, BUT if we are wrong, who wants to go hungry?
     
  12. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    www.internet-grocer.com has canned butter. Nestles makes powdered whole milk, tastes better than skim. Try Hispanic supermarkets (bodegaS) Meyenburg dairy powders goats milk- I have a couple from the health food stores. I didn't really drink milk after the hurricanes, but we had some long shelf life for our hot tea and coffee, and cold cereal, and canned for when I needed gravy for comfort food. I did learn for my hurricane shelf this year were less interested in 3 square meals, more interested in snack type, salty foods and crackers and pnut butters. And carbos, like donuts and snack cakes/cookies, I normally can't stand. If the power outages had gone on longer than a week, then might've wanted full meals.
     
  13. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    I just PM'd you Meg to get more info on where near Augusta you are taking about (I am 25 miles west of Augusta)

    michele
     
  14. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    With just me and DW, we could get by for 4 to 5 years on what's stored. Of course we planned for 2 years for our family in case anything drastic were to happen to the economy or something.

    We keep dozens of cases of canned canned fruits, canned veggies of various types, canned soups, canned meats, canned milk, powdered milk, powdered eggs, instant potato, ramen noodles, MREs, ect. Rice in 5 gallon buckets with airtight gasketed lids and the oxygen purged with liquid nitrogen to prevent insect infestation. Emergency drinking water in a 500 gallon tank, plus 60 and 35 gallon food grade drums with a little chlorine added to prevent bacteria growth. Then there's the pantries loaded with hundreds of various canned and dry goods bought on sale here and there. A large deep freeze filled with frozen meats, fruits, veggies, milk, and anything else freezable that we picked up on sale.

    The hardest part is rotating out the oldest for use while replacing with new. We like to buy by the case (or many cases) when there are sales.

    A few stores have balked at us buying dozens of cases during sales. Some stores, we have had to break up our purchases to get around manager imposed limits. Other stores, the manager would invite us back into their storeroom so we could load up cases from pallet loads, to save them time.

    Bob
     
  15. wormlady

    wormlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    After emptying my late mil's cupboards, I realized I need to do a better job of rotating my pantry. She had food that was about 5 years beyond the 'best use by' date. I hated to throw it out, but I didn't want to take a chance with it either.

    So, do you write dates on things? Always put the newest to the back?
    What is your method?
     
  16. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Wormlady--we do both. We write dates on it of when we purchased it, the month and the year. I put the newest in the back and we rotate it in. We do not buy anything we won't use in normal rotation.

    Consider storing your flour in large metal tins. It works well for us. We even put bags of rice, noodles, brown sugar, confectioner's sugar, dried tomatoes, etc. in tins. I keep flour in a large tin and the freezer (where they go initially to kill any bugs/eggs that might be there).

    If dried milk makes you squeemish, consider Parmalat brand of shelf-stable milk. We love it since we use it so little, buying fresh is a mistake for us. Our local WalMart carries it in 2% and whole milk cartons. It stays on a pantry shelf until you need it. To get long-term dated product you will need to order online. Very handy, check it out.

    We are currently low on a few items. I like to keep the surplus to allow us to comfortably weather bad times. We are both self-employed and if things go south for any reason, it levels out our living conditions. In other words, if checks are slow to arrive, you can still be comfortable easily without dipping into other funds to eat.
     
  17. dot

    dot Well-Known Member

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    For those in Georgia you can buy wheat and other stuff from Breadbeckers.com. They have co-op members listed in Augusta, also NC, Ala. and Fla.