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How to Build Your Emergency Pantry Stockpile from Scratch!

With pandemics, fires, and ice storms all happening within the past 12 months, it's become very clear that a pantry stockpile is necessary for my family! Honestly, there were some moments over the last year that I was concerned about whether would there even be enough food for my big family (there's 7 of us!) to have a week's worth of groceries available at the store! So after some research, I am sharing with you How to Build Your Emergency Pantry Stockpile from Scratch just like I am doing for my own family!

How to Build an Emergency Pantry Stockpile

There are so many lists out there that will tell you ALL the things you should stockpile in your pantry for emergencies. And while I think those are a super place to check out to get some ideas, it's also really important to have food that your family will actually eat. It would be silly to stockpile items that your family won't even use - you'll lose money and waste food! 

So, How do you begin to stockpile food your family will actually eat?

That's easy my friend! You just have to take a look at the foods your family likes and tends to use. Grab your Family Favorites Meal Checklist by clicking the image below!

Free Printable Family Favorites Meal List


How do I create a Family Favorites Meal List?

Once you have your "Our Family Favorite Meals" printable out and ready, grab your favorite recipe book, or your phone/computer to check out Pinterest Recipes. 

Most families have a few meals the whole family loves & get made so often there's no need for a recipe. These are the meals that should top your Family Favorite Meals List! Shoot for 4-6 of these meals on your list.

PIC OF....

The next thing I would suggest is to be thinking about meals that are super low cost, are simple to make, and will fill the bellies of your babies.

Things that include rice, quinoa, beans, potatoes, and oats. These foods are very budget friendly, will keep your family fed for pennies on the dollar, and will store very easily. Try to find 3-5 simple meals that include these stockpile friendly ingredients. 

My goal for my family, is to have 7-10 different types of meals that I can easily make from my Pantry Stockpile. And also to have a minimum 2-week supply of the majority of those ingredients at any one time in my pantry to feed my entire family, plus any others that could shelter here if needed. 

**This will require keeping track of your Pantry Stockpile! The easiest way to do this is just like they do in the grocery store, put the newest items toward the back of your pantry. When you need an item, take it from the front, that way you are always using up the oldest items first and replace it on your next shopping trip.

I've got my Pantry Stockpile Recipes, now what??

Now you are going to list out all of the ingredients from those recipes that are non-perishable (there's room on your "Our Family Favorite Meals" list!). Remember that if items can be frozen, they should definitely go on the list too (if you have freezer space!). Canned, boxed, seasonings, and any other ingredient that doesn't have to absolutely be fresh should go on this list.

Try to get creative and find non-perishable substitutes for your perishable items for your stockpile! 

What foods should I stockpile for emergency?

  • oats
  • beans (dry or canned)
  • rice
  • pasta
  • coffee/tea
  • powdered milk
  • powdered juice mix/electrolyte drink mix
  • canned fruits (peaches/pears/etc)
  • frozen fruits (berries/peaches/bananas/etc)
  • canned veggies (corn/green beans/tomatoes/
  • canned meat (tuna/chicken/etc)
  • meat for the freezer
  • protein bars
  • flour
  • yeast
  • sugar (or alternative sweeteners)
  • spices of all kinds
  • peanut butter
  • Peanut Butter Powder 
  • oils for cooking

Now that you have your list of items, you'll need to begin actually purchasing (and storing!) your stockpile of food!

How to add Emergency Pantry Stockpile items into your regular shopping trip 

Adding items and ingredients all at once to completely fill up your Emergency Pantry Stockpile is very, very expensive. There are a few ways you can approach stockpiling, but honestly I would recommend adding just a few items to each grocery trip. You will be surprised how quickly your Emergency Pantry Stockpile builds up!

Other ways to Stockpile Foods for an emergency on a budget:

  • Use $5-$10 each shopping trip that is dedicated solely to filling your Emergency Pantry Stockpile.
  • Pick 1-2 types of items and "fill-up" on those each shopping trip. Maybe one week it's flour & sugar and the next you buy enough yeast and oil for your stockpile. 
  • Use Store Ads to Shop Sales - Buy One Get One (BOGO) deals are perfect for this!
  • Collect coupons for the specific types of items you are looking for
  • Add a line item into your Budget* just for your Emergency Pantry Stockpile

*grab budgeting worksheets in our Printables Library (it's free my friend!)

How to store Emergency Stockpile Foods

First of all, you are going to need space for these items. Your kitchen is probably the most preferred location - since that's where you do all your cooking! But you can get creative with this too.

You'll want to store your Emergency Stockpile in a place that won't have drastic temperature changes. A garage may be great for space, but depending on how hot your summers get, it may not be ideal for storing food.

Here are a few food storage ideas that may work for you:

  • garage (depending on temperature control)
  • coat, linen, or other interior closet
  • basement
  • laundry room if you have space for shelving dedicated to your Emergency Stockpile 
  • large, low profile totes slid under beds (not ideal, but possible if you are short on storage space!)
  • sneaky storage - like using a sideboard in a dining room or dresser in a entry hall


I'm a biiiiig fan of containerizing all the things, so I would also recommend that you have like items grouped together and even in their own storage container if possible. A great example of this is these can organizers for pantry. They will make using and replacing your canned items a breeze!


 Now that you've got your "Our Family Favorites Meals" List made, your ingredients listed out, and you've got all the know how on building your Emergency Pantry Stockpile, I can't wait to see what you do with it! Feel free to share other items you are adding to your family's Emergency Stockpile below! 

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