My Pantry Building Plan

1252px-Shopping_cart_with_food_clip_art.svgOne of my goals for 2016 is to build up my pantry.  I would like to begin by building a well rounded 3 month supply for each person.  Once this is complete I will move on to long term food storage.

I have read a ton of blog post and sites on the subject.   There are many different approaches although generally the types of supplies are the same.  Most work through purchasing ingredients versus prepared convenience foods.  It makes sense.  Stretching basic ingredients would provide many meals should the need arise.

All that being said I don’t feel that the “ingredients only” model fits the needs of my family.  As you read on you may not agree with my choices but I believe it is the right fit for my family. Here’s why:

  • I have small children who have favorite foods.  I believe keeping a supply of these foods on hand could prove to be an invaluable comfort in an emergency.
  • One of my children has sensory issues with regards to food and his diet is highly limited at this time.  Having the items on hand that he will eat buys me time to plan for the long term if necessary.
  • We have peanut and tree nut allergies (severe.)  This eliminates many items that others would keep in their pantries.
  • If by chance I am the one who is ill my husband would be responsible for meals.  He can cook a bit (limited skills- he couldn’t make bread from scratch) but works long hours.  Putting a meal on the table in a timely manner would be challenging.  Keeping a few things on hand at the ready would likely stop us from needing takeout.
Why start with just a 3 month supply in mind?
  • It gives me the ability to add variety easily.
  • Gives me an opportunity to test my storage system for rotating, monitoring expiration dates, and keeping inventory before I have a large amount of supplies that would be overwhelming.
  • Space – currently we have a lack of it.  As we continue to declutter I will gain more pantry space.
  • Budget – At present I do not have a separate budget for these items.  They must all be purchased within our grocery budget, meaning smaller amounts.
What will I buy?  Each month I plan to purchase a specific set of items based on needs/sales.  I may or may not purchase all items on my list depending on budget but will maintain a running list.  In January I purchased lots of pasta, water, and canned tomato sauce.  February is national snack, breakfast, and canned goods month.  Here is my list for February:
  1. Frozen pizza.  I always have homemade sauce and dough in the freezer.  These pizza’s are my backup for my husband.  Because of the Super Bowl we should see some great deals.  I only plan to buy a few as I want to learn to make my own “premade” frozen pizza.
  2. Canned soup – I have a boatload of frozen soups.  I would like to have a few cans also.
  3. Spaghetti sauce- this is another item I make from scratch and keep in the freezer.  These other jars would again be backups.
  4. Drink mix.  Plain water can get boring.  (In the summer we usually add fresh fruit)
  5. Belvita breakfast biscuits and Nutrigrain bars (these are for my son)
  6. Sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract – I am running low
  7. Chocolate – hoping for a sale on chocolate chips near Valentines Day
  8. Water
  9. Tuna- I know there is a good sale coming at my local grocery store.  My husband is the only one who eats this so I will pick up a few cans.
  10. Canned fruit – I currently am shopping sales and purchasing in season fruits from my grocery store.  The cost can still be pretty high and the quality just isn’t there.  I hope to find a deal on canned fruit and buy a dozen cans.
Do you have a pantry purchase plan?  What will you be buying in February?

4 thoughts on “My Pantry Building Plan

  1. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU. I love this. I tried to do an ingredient only pantry stock and failed epically. I need a realistic pantry and I realized this when I got sick and went to the hospital. I had been stocking up on flours, sugar, and “ingredient only” items. So, when I got out my husband was having to take care of everything and he came in the room and said, “honey, where is the food?” I was like what do you mean?! We are stocked with food. His reply, “Yes, for when you cook from scratch!!!” So, he had to load up the kids and go to the store and buy easy things he could prepare. I learned then that it is realistic to think I will cook EVERY thing from scratch. I do try to and I love it but there are seasons, accidents, and illness that can prevent this.

    I think this is realistic what you are doing and it makes me think again at my plan. Thank you. I now feel it is okay to stock my pantry with pre-made things. I am serious….Thank you.


    • Your welcome! I decided some time ago I wasn’t going to beat myself up over this kind of stuff. My kids eat lots of fresh foods and from scratch cooking. In fact my 5 year old would take asparagus and broccoli over cookies any day (I’m not sure where he came from, lol!) I believe there can be a balance. And of course we need to do the things that fit our family and budget. The world won’t end because we ate boxed mac and cheese!


  2. My pantry/food storage is a mixture between ingredients for scratch cooking and a few items that can be made in a hurry, such as jarred spaghetti sauce, canned beans, packages of cookies, cup of noodles, etc. We like a variety. I figure that, even if a prepared item is more expensive than scratch, it will still be cheaper than going out in a pinch!


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