The Pantry

In this blog post we talk about our pantry. First let’s be clear, This is not an academic exercise. It is simply what we do. This pantry has been one of the best moves ever. It has kept us fed in hard times and during a family emergency.

We have our list broken down into :

Part of the Pantry

3 Months

We started with a three-month or quarterly build and buying schedule. The downside with all storage is “SPACE Available” and the energy needed to prevent freezing, vermin, and storage containers. We also have two small freezers. This allows us to stock up on items on sale. We re-package meats, and Pressure can most of our home-grown poultry.

Six months

Long-term dry goods and canned goods are built up from the three-month list. It is the same list but has expanded over time. Some items do not get eaten in three months. We keep putting things away and replacing them to round out the six-month pantry stockpile. Overlapping and keeping track of usage gives us a better road map. Remember, if you are eating out all the time, you have no idea how much food you need in your pantry.

One Year

This process requires space and a possible root cellar. While we feel we could scrape by on a year with pantry goods, foraging, sprouting, and micro greens. A root cellar will give us a better supply and more opportunities for nonenergy (Electric) storage. Our root cellar will be complete in the next year or so. The Foundation is going in soon. We plan on going back off grid. However, we will still have a solar powered freezer (s) and fridge. If the grid is available it makes a lot of scene to take it. It also makes sense to plan on not using it.

Working Toward Two Years Storage

Consider that you have a full year’s food stored up with a root cellar of fresh vegetables, canned goods, and dry goods. At this point, we will use, rotate and replace the one-year pantry supply. Some items, like spices, can last for three years or more. Other storage items must be used or fed to livestock before they get tossed out. Nothing goes to waste in this manner.

Five gal pail, 20-year packaging

Creating Menus

We have a good menu list for our family. 

We also try to cut bread but store flour. It seems strange, but it makes more sense when you cook. 

We make tortillas instead of “Bread.” We make Egg roles. Flour is used for gluten in thickeners or making bean burgers. We try to eat vegetarian one or two times per week. This type of cooking is not Vegan. We may use eggs or cheese. We also switch this menu item up from time to time. Cabbage and sprouts are essential food sources in this kind of diet. We get off this path from time to time, like most people. This usually happens when we work too much or have not planned. With good planning, A crock pot can be your friend.

We eat tacos and bean-based chilis two or more times per month. We like homemade fish tacos.

We think frozen rolls of ground turkey or ground pork work great.

Strangely we do not use a lot of pasta. If it were just Teresa and me, we would cut stored pasta out of the pantry, and I would make fresh once per month. I also make Spaghettis sauce in a per plate manor much like a restaurant. Its very simple to make for two people. I use canned or fresh Tomatoes. Once or twice per month, we will make small silver-dollar pancakes to go with breakfast. I learned a lot of this process from Teresa. I was however, insistent on storage early on.

The big killer of this method is work and family obligations. We share the cooking and cleaning chores. Full disclosure: this can break down quickly. This break down leads to pre-package food and / or eating out. Eating out leads to higher prices and much more.

Easting out has its place. A night out can be a welcome change. It has to fit the budget and time.