Get that pantry stocked!

There is vague talk of another shelter in or lock down or what ever it shall be called this time. Here in California Gavin Newsom says it is something to be avoided but if we don’t use just a bit more caution they, the powers that be, will be forced to revert to the rules implemented in March. Yes, it’s that blurry but we all shutter when we think of what happened in March.

I always say take what you like and leave the rest when it comes to my advice. I also will suggest, strongly, to do your own research as I’m no master of things. I get tid bits here and there and run with them.

The one thing I do have going for me is my intuition. Even that can be off or just a hormonal day in disguise. However, I knew a couple years back that times were changing and we should be prepared. These times are here.

I felt like I needed to get my family in a different location and to be sure to have some land to grow food. We have that now and I feel a lot of relief. And when we got here we worked like crazy people working on a tight deadline. We put in a huge vegetable garden, fruit trees, chopped up dead trees and stacked wood. We were in quarantine back then and used the time to build and prepare.

Recently I’ve been feeling that jittery feeling of “get things done now” and we are at it again. Bali just drove to the desert to pick up a free gas generator from our friend along with a tiller she didn’t want. I’ve been making a pantry list for days, writing down items as I think of them.

The other day I put in my first large order with Azure Standard. I put in a small order with Nuts.com and last night Bali and I compared weights and prices and products from Sams Club. We would choose Costco but Bali’s boss has a Sams Club membership and it’s in the town Bali works. I was able to find my powdered potatoes, this was a big thing as I’ve been looking everywhere. Simple things are a bit of a challenge to find these days.

The normal grocery money allotted for the month has been all spent with in the past two days to wisely stock the pantry.

Here is what I’m stocking up on:

This is from Azure Standard:

50 lbs of wheat and white flour, 25 lbs pintos and black beans, vital wheat gluten (for my faux chicken and steaks), herbs, salt, pepper, and seasonings (I’m growing all my herbs but they won’t be ready for some time), powdered potatoes, powdered milk, 5 lbs of nuts and dried fruits, carob chips, nut butters, brown rice, canned green beans (corn was sold out but I can do the U Pick farm and can my own).

From Nuts.com (I found them to be very expensive, sometimes double the cost at Azure and not even organic).

3 packages of yeast, 5 lbs of powdered cheddar (gotta have that mac and cheese).

From Sams Club:

Gallon Dawn dish soap, a huge box of cheap Surf detergent (had rave reviews for getting out grease and garden dirt), 2 boxes Pull Ups, 2 gallons vinegar, big bottles of vitamins for us and the kids, 2 big bottles of shampoo, 18 packages of variety pasta, double pack of huge Ranch (we are dippers), 3 bottles ketchup, 2 cans Maxwell House, plenty of powdered creamer for the husband, 10 lbs powdered potatoes, and a huge supply of Worcestershire.

Our total was $668. Give or take. That would have been a months worth of groceries since I’ve been really into the vegan alternatives. But this is six or more months worth of pantry goods.

When shopping, you think “scratch cooking”. When I buy packaged foods and meat and dairy alternatives I spend so, so much money. Here I took my one month budget and just created a pantry that will last us half a year or more.

I will be making ALL our breads, crackers, tortillas and cookies. I will make faux meats and plant based milks from my soy and oat supply. Our eating will be a bit simpler.

Now my next project is to travel to this huge U Pick farm in the Sacramento area and load up on tomatoes and corn. I am growing a tiny crop but I don’t know that it will be any more than just daily eats. I can pick 100 lbs of produce at .35 cents a pound. I’ll have to plan a Saturday when I leave at the crack of dawn to get there early. It is a very fun thing to do. Then you spend the next day canning. It is a very productive feeling.

We are eating plenty out of the garden but it is mostly squash and greens and salad. I’m not buying any produce but root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots, then celery, and for fruit we buy bananas, apples, watermelon and all fruits in season right now.

We gave up sugar a few weeks ago with the arrival of our foster child. She has some dental issues and it was a fantastic opportunity to give up our sweets. Since then all the cravings for junk have left us and our diet has become very simple and plant based. The children still enjoy cheese and yogurt and eggs from a local farm, but I’m really into my plant based diet and I feel slimmer as the days pass.

Our diet is mostly beans and Indian bean or lentil stews, homemade breads, homemade tortillas, homemade potato fries I bake in the oven with olive oil and salt, brown rice, sauteed veggies and greens from the garden, bowls of chopped up carrots, celery, apples, plates of watermelon and cucumbers, and homemade peanut butter and oat bars.

I leave a pitcher and bottles of water in the freezer as we have no ice machine or ice trays for ice water. Of course there is always my mug of coffee in the mornings and lately my afternoon cup for the second shift.

I hope this gives you all some ideas. Try to stock up for 6 months to a year in both the food pantry and toiletries and cleaning products. Grow as much food as you can.

For my cleaning supplies I only buy; laundry soap (now a cheap powdered brand instead of the expensive Tide), Dawn soap because I use it in every homemade cleaning solution and I can water it down many times, vinegar by the gallon, huge bag of baking soda. I do love my Ajax and I always have a gallon of bleach.

I’m linking this charming video about a woman that feeds a family of 5 from her small garden in town. She lives in Nova Scotia with a very short growing season but she feeds her family plenty over 7 months. You will be so inspired by this.

27 thoughts on “Get that pantry stocked!

  1. Good morning Kate, When we went into lock down we were in our summer and early autumn, just in time for all that preserving. But I ran out of time to stock up lids for my jars.So a gentle reminder to check what you may need for your preserving and pickling.
    Kate I enjoy your blog. You help keep me organised. I am also making hand towels out of old pillow cases and anything else old and worn, because the material is thin they dry faster. They can be used once and then washed.I think we are going to have a tough winter. Some decisions have not been wise.

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    1. Thank you! and I agree with bad decisions. I will try and do another pantry stock blog and add more things as I think of them and what you suggested, very wise. I better check my supply as well.:)

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  2. You are inspiring. I do not have a huge pantry, but I have dried goods; different types of beans, lentils,and Rice to last us at least a year in a dark close. There is some canned goods, hygien articles and cleaning things there as well. It feels good to know that I will always be able to feed my family.. And the garden is growing ☺️ I added some fig trees this week.i really enjoy reading your inspiring posts.

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  3. We are very well stocked here. We were caught a bot short the first time around because we had been out of town for 4 out of 6 weeks right before the last lock down and I do not intend to let that happen again. The one thing I have to keep on top of is bread flour since it is a limit of one at Sam’s so I be sure to get a bag each time we shop there. I have been so thankful that we live out of town and have been here for 26 years and now with a paid off house.

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  4. I just found 40 pound bags of corn and oats at a local feed store–already cleaned. I will pick up a couple of each and pop the contents into storage buckets in the pantry. Our oatmeal and cornmeal needs are filled for quite a while. Now I just need a good source of wheat. I have a batch of copycat Dave’s Killer Bread rising on the stove–second recipe I have tried today. The fist batch didn’t turn out well–the yeast may have been too old. This batch is with a brand new jar of yeast, and it’s turning out well so far. If it’s as good as I think it will be, I will text you the link to the recipe. Good post!

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  5. Hi Kate,
    Great post about stocking up on pantry & other household items etc…I agree wholeheartedly about the 6 months to a year stockpile of necessities! It’s getting to be insane & a crazy world out there. We live a little up in the hills of the Daniel Boone forest in Kentucky so we are pretty secluded. I keep our cars filled with gas, we have a generator & not only a propane but charcoal barbecue ( plenty of charcoal) also we have a cistern ( free rain water for the horses, garden too..investing in rain barrels is a good idea.. I still have to do a little more stocking up & hopefully will get in to this Super Saving year soon. Not doing too well lately with things having to be fixed, but all seemed to be necessary spending NOT frivolous spending ( have to keep an eye on my husband though, he wants this and that lol )
    Keep up those wonderful blogs and enjoy the family…
    Cheers from Kentucky

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  6. Very good post Kate. I have my pantry well stocked at most times well before all this crazy. The only thing I can not find is regular yeast. I did notice the quick rise yeast was in this week so hoping next week I might see the jars I normally get. In the meantime a friend will be gifting me some , what do you call it, friendship dough/sour dough the kind you keep in a jar on your counter and feed everyday. Anyway my vegie garden is growing quite nice now with the odd aphid infestation (using a neem oilrecipe for that) I have shared my bounty of greens a couple times now as well. I spotted a few flowers forming on my potato plants so they will be starting to form underground too. Love my little garden this year. Thankyou for the share
    —Shawne (Nova Scotia)

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  7. I have always tried to keep stocked up and since this Covid situation came up early this year I make sure every time I shop I buy a few extra things ! I have always done that but I’m doing an extra amount now every week.
    David has to have another , even more serious back surgery in October and my goal is to not have to shop for the three months after his surgery and that would probably be possible now but I’m gonna make sure I have everything for six months by October. I wasn’t hit as hard as some people because I had toilet paper , and I had paper towels , and I had a lot of the things that people couldn’t get but not as much as I normally would have had , so that taught me to keep stocked up and not get lazy about it. I am going to check out Azure foods. I appreciate your sharing what you were able to find and where !
    I had to give up on our garden for this year because David’s just not up to it so not sure what’s going to happen to all the plants I’ve got in my greenhouse because I’ve got nowhere to put most of them.I probably started too late anyway and I doubt next spring we will be planting a garden because he still be recovering. So whatever I can do in a pot I’m doing and that’s about all I can do for this year and probably next , but I’m excited to watch your garden and see what you’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time!Thanks for another wonderful blog post!😁

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  8. Because of you, we are always stocking up. Wow, Prepper Princess is a fabulous friend. Thank you, Kate. I have noticed that you are getting slimmer.

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  9. Someone above mentioned the feed store….excellent resource for cheaper goods. We used to buy baking soda in 50 lbs bags there much cheaper than anywhere else…we used it in our pool…but awesome for cleaning/laundry too. We just stored it in a big blue tote bin in the garage.the bags of corn are a steal too…if you dont know how to use it…here’s an awesome article about it. Take care Kate…you are doing a fantastic job!!
    https://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/corny-ten-different-ways/

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  10. Kate, another great post, thank you! Most every day I open my bookmarks and check to see if you have written anything new 😉

    I had started topping off my pantry a few weeks ago but your recent topics had me doing an inventory. We couldn’t do six months but three months would be possible as long as our sense of humor lasted ;). We live in Arizona and our numbers are going into the rathole as young folks (anyone younger than me 😉 head out to bars…I fully expect lockdown announcements soon and the start of another draconian few months.

    We have a small chest freezer and that is a wonderful thing! I think it cost $140 or so, new, but I have saved that much by being able to buy meat/fish/dairy on sale and store. I don’t know if you have one, if not, you might want to see if you could swing it.

    As you have said in a prior blog, it takes time and effort to make this work but it is possible! Yesterday for lunch I smiled…we were eating homemade soup and whole wheat bread, and banana bread for dessert ;).

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  11. Kate, thanks for sharing your pantry shopping list. Do you have Azure ship directly to your home, or do you go to a group drop-off point to pick up your order? Thanks again.

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  12. Perhaps I’m living in fairyland, but the only thing that frightens me now is the lack of police protection. I believe there will be another lockdown to get this virus under control, but based on the first round, food is available and we didn’t starve. (I only have to look at my waist to remember that. 😉 ). Having said that, I would never have predicted that toilet paper, yeast, and flour would be hard to get. This summer it has been above ground pools. Weird. I’m sure we will all get through this. It makes us never take anything for granted again, right?

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      1. Reading Samantha Price series right now. Love Amish fiction, I signed up for ebooks from the library. ( You can download on any phone or computer the Kindle App or get a Kindle) Free & abundant reading.
        Lots & lots of Amish fiction there. And anything else you wish to read !

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    1. Kids are home from school, parents home from work. Say from maorning to afternoon, the kids were using the restrooms at school, now at home. Parents, say 8>30-5:30 for discussion, were using work restrooms, so are now home.TP stash at homes were quickly being used up. Many turned to baking for recreational reasons and some due to lack of availablity of bread at stores. Lots of pools, swing sets etc have sold out, early, as folks hunkered in at home and needed to come up with stuff to do.

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  13. Thanks Kate for the urban garden YouTube. That was pretty interesting how she did that in such a short growing season.Yes, I kind of agree with you I think there’s going to be second wave also here in Ohio. I a
    Have been slowly replenishing my items. Next trip if for cough and cold remedies and that sort of thing. Thank you for taking the time to do your blog. Absolutely love it!

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  14. I’ve always kept a pantry, the “pantry principal” is something I grew up with. Back in the Fall, I just had a feeling and moved from a 3-6 month pantry/stock up to a year’s worth of all commonly used ingredients (food) as well as personal care, paper products, cleaning/laundry. I went thru the home and anticipated needs as the situation unfolded. I reviewed tools, sewing supplies, canning supplies, clothing. I bought purposefully. Sadly, my feelings were spot on. I am in CT, we closed down early. Fast forward, and while we are one of the few states who seem* to have this under control, I see many taking risks, which could impact my own family. Nov-Jan was spent topping up everything. Now, as we use supplies, they are replaced, so as to maintain the 12 month supply of needs. Meanwhile, my project list was shifted, based upon emerging priorities and I cleared some of my land (.7 of an acre in a city, technically but with a very suburban feel), have a 25 x 25 fenced in garden. Planted only a week (getting fencing supplies proved difficult), I lost a month of my shorter growing season but still have a full garden to compliment my 2 raised (as in like tables on legs), cedar planters, one of which has a green house cover so I was able to plant my greens early: chard, kale, spinach as well as radish, scallion. I haven’t had to buy salad stuff for at least a month. Everything seems to be up in the garden, it’s chugging away, and I have plans to really expand my home canning. I invested in a heavy duty steel shelving unit (2 actually) to contain all of my home canned foods.

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