Food is the most important commodity that a prepper must always have on hand. Imagine if disaster strikes and the worst comes to you and your family, food is the number one priority for your survival. As they say, a well stocked pantry is the best pantry. Although we have also talked about having food kits as an emergency food solution, prepping your stockpile is also a sustainable measure for your survival and prepping needs.
In this article, we will be listing down the must-haves pantry staples as a prepper and how this food can make your stockpile complete and make good food. Also, we will be sharing various methods and tips for you to learn proper food storage and preparation to make these food last longer than their expected expiration date.
A Prepper's Pantry Staples
What foods should you stock up for prepping? We have our usual items on our shopping list but most of these are not enough to be considered survival food. Food storage and shelf life are two factors that intertwine and contribute to your pantry’s longevity and completeness. Then, what foods should you stockpile for survival?
We have listed down pantry staples that may be simple but will be very efficient in your prepper pantry both in nutrition and long-term storage ability. These foods can help you make meals that will last you days or not even months when unexpected disasters hit and would require you to bug out and fight for your survival. These are the items that are a must on your next grocery list:
Having dry goods are definitely a must for your prepper pantry as these pantry staples have long shelf lives. They are considered to be budget-friendly and have all-around use for survival when stored properly (which we will talk about in the latter part of the article). This means that you can have quick meals that can sustain you with these goods. Buying these items in bulk can be helpful with your budget and long term storage.
Here are the pantry staples that can help your stockpile be SHTF-ready:
Stockpiling flour puts your pantry at a great advantage. This can help you make various types of spreads such as making bread or as a thickening agent for your sauces. Flour lasts for a whole year once opened and lasts longer when stored in a seal-tight container. Preppers highly recommend all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or almond flour for your prepper pantry.
Arrowroot powder can be used as a thickener and can keep your dehydrated powders dry which can lengthen their shelf life. Preppers say that this powder is a great alternative to cornstarch and is rich in Vitamin B and gluten-free. Arrowroot powder is easily available on Amazon.
Dry yeast is one of the best items you can have on hand in times of emergency especially when you plan to make bread. You can buy dry yeast packets or in bulk from the grocery store that can last up to 2-4 months past the expiration date if unopened and 4-6 months in the fridge when opened.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder
These two items are also baking essentials, especially for bread. However, Baking soda can also help in cleaning your clothes and your teeth.
Powdered milk is very rich in vitamins that can sustain you and your family. It can also be used as a substitute for fresh milk when baking or in emergencies. Preppers highly suggest dried whole milk and buttermilk as they can be more versatile and used in many favorite recipes.
Any type of sugar will do and will last you for a long time as sugar is resistant to any microbial growth. Sugar not only adds flavor but also gives you energy. Store it in a cool dry location and you are all set!
Rice contains a lot of carbohydrates which will keep you energized throughout the day. Preppers suggest Brown Rice and Long grain white rice which are high-quality types of rice.
Just like rice, pasta can keep you full and energized. When unopened, pasta can last for two years without the need for refrigeration and freeze-drying. Any type of pasta of your choice can do! Types of pasta can include elbow macaroni, spaghetti, or even couscous.
Dry beans can be difficult to cook for a newbie prepper but they can definitely last longer than canned ones. They are also rich in carbohydrates and protein. Varieties of beans that you can choose from are black, white, kidney, and garbanzo.
Storing cornmeal long-term can highly benefit your stockpile as a pantry staple. When unopened and stored at room temperature, cornmeal can last more than 12 months. However, you can store them with oxygen absorbers in Mylar bags can help cornmeal last for 10 years. Preppers recommend bolted cornmeal as it will last longer.
A favorite breakfast staple amongst America that can last for 6-8 months beyond the expiration date if unopened.
Any type of oats will do but most preppers highly suggest rolled oats as they can last longer and are highly nutritional.
Canned fruit contains sugar and syrups that can be unhealthy but still provide sustenance. We recommend freeze-dried fruits that can still provide the same sustenance and nutrition while having a longer shelf life. You can buy dried fruit in bulk in some stores that will last long in your stockpile.
Nuts have a lot of nutrition which includes unsaturated fats, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and many more. Storing them in the freezer will lengthen their shelf-life.
Crackers and Saltines
Crackers and saltines are a staple in your stockpile. It is known to be very resilient when unopened and lasts for 6-9 months when opened. Choosing crackers and saltines with high carbohydrate and fiber counts is a wise choice for your shopping list.
Canned foods are great for long term pantry storage. Cooking is easy with these for quick meals in an emergency situation. Fruit, meat, and even veggies are only some types of canned goods that are essential to your prepper stockpile.
Canned beans have always been present in most of our day-to-day pantries but they can also help our prepper stockpile. These beans are already flavored, so it is very easy to consume with minimal effort.
Canned chicken can last for 3-5 years. This means you can stock this for a long time and provide you and your family with protein and nutrition through SHTF situations.
Tuna, sardines, and other types of fish can provide protein and last long in your stockpile.
Canned veggies can make quick meals full of flavor with minimal effort. They last for 1-2 years depending on the manufacturer and the type of preservation they do on their products. Green beans, garlic, potatoes, pickles, and tomatoes are only some canned vegetables that you often see in grocery stores.
Canned Broth & Canned Soups
Canned broth and soups, like chicken broth, are one of the best options in choosing canned goods. They can add flavor and sodium to your prepper diet which can also be a great quick meal by adding veggies, like beans and potatoes, and protein.
What is the best canned food for survival?
For us, the best canned food for survival is proteins such as fish and chicken. This can also include bacon, turkey, and any other type of meat. The canned goods can last for 3-5 years after the expiration date when stored in a dry cool dark place.
Cooking oils are a key component of prepping so it is a must for your stockpile. Moreover, you can store these cooking oils for the long term.
This has great benefits to health compared to regular cooking oil. It can be stored for more than 1-2 years after its expiration date.
Vegetable oil can last more than two years after its printed expiration date. It is high in polyunsaturated fats like canola oil and is assured of high quality.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the favorite oils for most preppers for its flavor and benefits. It can last up to 1-2 years after its best date.
This type of oil lasts for two years when stored properly. But other types of coconut oils, such as unrefined coconut oils, last up to five years. This can also be a good alternative to traditional cooking oil.
Seasonings and spices can boost the flavor and nutrition of your meals and that is why you must consider adding this to your stockpile.
Here are some essential spices that work with all types of spreads for you to consider:
Apple Cider Vinegar (this also has added health benefits and other uses which can be helpful)
Pasta sauce (pasta sauce can be added to your pasta meals)
Chocolate chips (for your comfort foods)
You may also add some of your favorite spices that fit your and your family's tastes.
Peanut Butter or Any Nut Butters
Peanut butter or any nut butters contains a lot of protein and carbohydrates which are very vital for your health and survival. It also contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids or healthy fat that is healthy and beneficial for you and your family.
Prepper Pantry Methods
Now that we have listed down the food and items that are a must in your prepper food storage, we will be discussing various methods on how to stock and store them. This is to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your prepper pantry. These methods are not only effective but are also very budget-friendly that can help you save money without the need to constantly replenish your pantry.
Here are the ways and tips that can help you prep your pantry better:
How do I start a preparing pantry?
Creating a plan is the most important step in starting to prep your stockpile. You may consider the FIFO Method in planning. In this method, you will plan which items and shelf-stable food you will include in your stockpile that you and your family already consume. This also helps with the rotation of your pantry which ensures food safety and freshness. We know that it can be overwhelming at first, but remember that you can achieve your stockpile slowly over time.
How do you stock a pantry for a year?
Planning is very essential. If you really want a long-term stockpile, there are MREs and emergency food supply kits that are readily available in the market. These MREs and kits can last up to 10-20 years that are good for long-term stockpiling.
How long do pantry staples last?
Different types of foods have different shelf lives. Most unprocessed and fresh items will spoil easier and are not recommended to be stocked. However, the suggested items in the first section in general will last up to five years when stored properly. What’s important is that you are always ready for any emergency and SHTF situation. According to the Texas Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), educating yourself on prepping can help reduce inconvenience, stress, and trouble during emergencies.
Storing foods for a longer shelf life
There are various methods that can help you ensure the longevity and efficiency of your stockpile. One method is ensuring that your items, especially dried goods, are in airtight containers. By storing your goods in airtight containers, moisture and unwanted bacteria will be kept out and ensure a longer freshness and shelf life for your goods.
You may also want to try methods like freezing, freeze-drying, canning, and dehydrating your food which can save you money, reduce food waste, and help you quicken the process of building your sustainable stockpile.
It is highly important for you and your family to ensure your safety and especially your food supply. However, you should not pressure yourself in buying these goods immediately but slowly build your prepper pantry over time. Dry goods, spices, and goods in cans are highly recommended for your emergency food supply. Food is very essential for you and your family’s survival, and following this list will help you protect against crises like food shortages. You may also make this a checklist when planning to start your doomsday prepping.