Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prepared Pantry

Something I've been wondering about lately is bulking up our pantry a little bit more. Really something I should just do in case of any emergency! I have my big buckets of wheat and then just little bits of everything else. So, I was really curious about this Pantry Tool that I read about via Money Saving Mom.

I decided to spend a few minutes seeing how long what we have would feed our family, and of course, I get a free $10 gift card for posting about it. Go here to find out how you can earn two $10 gift cards.

It was a little hard to actually tell how good my supply is based on the analyzer because I don't happen to normally buy things like freeze dried cheese, butter powder or dehydrated eggs. But, it was still worth a few minutes to me for the learning experience and the gift card to help add to my pantry.

How do you decide how much to keep in your pantry?


Nicole said...

Hi Monica, your subject of pantries is enough to make me delurk. *wink* I have been reading your blog for a while.

Okay, my mom raised me to always have a stocked pantry, to the extent that many of our friends and families are shocked at how much food we keep in there. We are self employed and our stocked pantry has fed us through very lean times for months.

I usually always have a good supply of rice, quinoa, flours, pastas, canned beans of all varieties,canned fruits, dried fruits, powdered milk and loads of sauces and ingrediants to make basics like rices different as often as possible. :) I also use my freezer only for meats, usually buying in bulk from Costco or when our grocery has an amazing deal.

One other thing that I have started adding to my pantry basics are seeds. I figure that it is always good to have a supply on hand if I can forcast out our budget and realize how tight things look, and then I can go out and prep a bed for growth. Which also takes some planning in the spring summer and fall. Lukily I had great crops this summer and was able to can a bunch of our garden, and I all ready have three beds of winter greens in the ground, which should be ready in mid Nov. I live in Texas, so our winters are typically mild with barely a frost, but I am ready for one with plastic tarping in case a front should move through.

After all that jabbering, my point is that I try to focus my stock pile on grains and canned proteins, with my freezer acting as cold storage for meats. My garden is always a back up plan ( granted months down the line), but with a careful eye on our finances and with planning, i can count on a bounty from it.

It's a Mom Thing said...

I just went to a coupon seminar by Jenny of It was great. And hopefully in six weeks I will have a full pantry. I've never done anything like this before, so I'll see how it goes.

Montserrat said...

To figure out how much food I wanted to keep in my pantry I kept track of everything I used for a month - how many cans of olives, beans, corn, etc. every cup of flour and sugar, how much ground beef and chicken we used - everything. I found we usually eat the same types of meals in a one month rotation so this worked for us. Then I decided how many months of food I wanted to store (3 months, 6 months, 12 months) and multiplied everything by that number. I slowly built up our storage buying extra cans here and there and then finally just bought it all in one fatal swoop. Now when we buy anything for the pantry it is just to replace what we have used from it.

We store a year's supply and use these shelvesfor our canned goods. We LOVE them!

Monica Wilkinson said...

Ok, even reading these few comments - I feel overwhelmed! :) We are very low on storage space and that is definitely a concern for us, but it is still something I want to work on! Thanks for weighing in!

Megan said...

Oh. You would post this on the night I get home from my big monthly grocery shop. I bought so much I don't even have enough room to store it!

Curious to know what it would say about me right now...


Mrs. K said...

I am actually in the opposite camp as most of your commenters. God has really put it on my heart recently that we have too much in our pantry. We seem to just buy here and there on a whim and then never use most of our food. Then I find myself buying more and when I get home I have duplicates.

Although I know there is coming a time when we are going to need to be well stocked because we won't be able to buy anything. So it's a fine line.

Right now we are going to try to use up as much as we can and then slowly restock with dried and canned beans, dark brown rice, canned meats, and I'm not sure what else. I'm off to this website to see what I might need.

We do have a freezer full of pork since we just butchered our hog and my dad is getting ready to butcher his steers but I feel the need to can some of that meat as well just in case we lose electricity for an extended amount of time.

Patty said...

I have always had a full to bursting pantry; not so much for having a 3 month or 6 month food supply but because I have always been a bargain shopper so I buy a lot when I find a good deal.

With this being said, stocking up a pantry isn’t hard as long as you begin buying a few extras as you do your normal shopping. Finding space can be hard but it isn’t as hard as you might think. We use a cabinet in our living room for extras but I have heard of some people storing canned goods under their bed or the floor in a closet. We also have two extra refrigerators and two freezers; all of which have paid for themselves over and over again.

I keep a supply of basics on hand at all times; sugar, flour, wheat, oatmeal, salt, yeast, baking powder/soda, spices, dried noodles, rice, beans, and so on. All items that attract bugs are stored in the fridge or freezer along with bargain priced meats.

After Christmas I stock up on baking chocolate, chocolate chips, nuts, canned milk, coconut flakes and anything else my local store has marked down really cheap. Throughout the year I used these in my normal cooking and gift giving.

Amy Dacyczyn talks about storing bulk goods in her book The Tightwad Gazette; she has a lot of space to work with but she still gives a lot of good tips. Jonni McCoy talks about stocking up with limited space in her book Miserly Moms.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Julie Willis said...

We did a crazy thing, although my Grandma and mother seem to think it was a good idea. We moved our 2 eldest chickadees together and turned their old room (8 x 8) into a pantry. It had been a toy "trash" room and exercise room before it became the pantry.
I haven't posted on it because even though I knew we were supposed to do this (we felt the Lord leading), I was freaked out by what others might think. Sad,I know, I'm still human...
Anyway, I stock everything here. T.P. in closet with all stored clothes in boxes.Toiletries,paper products, gifts for giving. It's our little store.
Then we converted old dressers and shelves into storage units. Our canning season is just getting started here, so maybe I'll post some pics when it looks pretty again.
I store canned veggies (even though we usually eat fresh). We decided we would donate what we don't use in rotation. So many others could use it if we don't. Fruits, pasta, codiments, grain buckets,beans, oil, sugar,rice, baking ingredients and anything else we might use. My goal was 3 months and build from there. We also use a deep freeze and extra fridge.
Our law enforcement agency has had huge cut backs. My husband still has a job, but has lost a part of his salary. So we thought we should be prepared if he did lose it and it took some time to find another position.