Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ten Reasons to Prepare a Pantry/Food Storage ~ Pantry Series

The Pantry by Michael Pickett

"The pantry door stood wide open,
giving the sight and smell of goodies on the shelves…"
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods

Since many think of "food storage" in huge plastic containers with fancy lids and five years worth of provisions, the idea can be very overwhelming. However, when you start small (which is what the home pantry does), you will still reap many rewards.

Here are some of our reasons for preparing a well stocked pantry:
  • More Affordable ~ It is cheaper to purchase in bulk because you are not paying for the fancy packaging, expensive store space and merchandising. You are paying for the actual food itself ('tis a novel concept).
  • Saves on Gas ~ The least often you go to the grocery store, the less money spent on gas (along with wear and tear on your vehicles).
  • Saves You Time ~ The least often you go to the grocery store, the more time you will have to live your life.
  • Economical ~ Because you are preparing during the good times (right now though it may seem like hard times), you can accumulate your pantry foods during sales and harvest abundance (by canning, freezing, drying foods in season). This eases the financial burden allowing you to slowly build up a reserve without overwhelming your budget.
  • Convenience ~ When you want to prepare something, a proper pantry will provide what you need to accomplish your culinary goals.
  • To be Prepared is Better than Panic ~ If a natural disaster strikes, computer malfunctions, severe power outage, act of war occurs, most stores have a limited stock and will be sold out in a few hours. You will be that much more prepared if you have a well stocked pantry.
  • Healthier ~ You will be encouraged to cook healthy grains and legumes from scratch because that is what is surrounding you. Without a pantry, you may have the desire to purchase convenience foods or take out (which is packed with preservatives and very expensive).
  • Steadfast Storage ~ In the event of an economic crisis, financial hardship, food shortage, etc., you will be that much more prepared to get through the rough stages.
  • It's Pretty ~ Imagine beautiful jars and canisters full of nourishing food, gleaming in rows. What more practical but pretty decoration can you think of for your kitchen space? 
  • It's Fun ~ It is like owning my own general store. I think of our pantry as a homemaking hobby. I love to scout the thrift stores/garage sales for creative containers and challenge myself to find the most nourishing food at the best prices.
Do you have any other reasons to add?

Most people feel secure in having car insurance, life insurance, homeowner's insurance and a savings account. Think of a well stocked pantry as your source of food insurance. It will never be a waste or loss if properly tended to. It is tangible and everything your prepare can and will be used on a daily basis. Food may never be as affordable as it is today, so I encourage you to create a well stocked pantry.

49 comments:

  1. Store water. Since we live in the middle of the city I don't store food to the extent as I would like too because if anything major did happen we would flee. But water is precious. Since we can, the easiest way for us to store water is to refill those canning jars as they are used/emptied (after being washed)and filled with water, then put back on the shelf. Our power went out several times this year during the hurricane and blizzard we experienced this past fall/winter in the northeast. Having a stocked pantry has been useful. Also another thing to think about is an alternative power source for cooking. We have an electric stove/oven and when it went out we pulled out the propane stove. A grill sized propane tank can fuel a camp propane stove for about a month if used wisely.

    Katie
    www.simplefoody.org

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    1. Absolutely! I mentioned that in our BUYING IN BULK/SHELF LIFE POST. Water is very necessary in the pantry and we have lost access to ours a few times so I can appreciate what you say. We have a propane cooking stove too as a back up along with an indoor BBQ in our patio. Good points :)

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  2. Hi JES,

    This has been a true challange for our family. It is something that does require constant care. We have been well stocked and felt "prepared" and now we have used most of our stores and are starting to rebuild. One of the things that I find hardest to keep stocked is paper items such as toilet paper and paper towels. Also feminine products. I am looking into more sustainable options. Thanks for this encouraging post...it is a great reminder to get busy and not be stressed about it.

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

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    1. Yes, the paper products are a doozy. You can hardly keep up and they add up. We have managed to quit purchasing paper towels (2 years now) by using cloth napkins. However, some of the other personal items are tougher. Good point on the getting busy and not getting stressed. All we can do is our preparation part and God is there to do the rest :) Have a wonderful week!

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    2. I only buy toilet paper twice a year..(that is about the extent of our paper products as we use cloth diapers, mama cloth, and hankies), and I buy it at Costco buy large quantities of it and storing it in the garage or under beds. Last year I only bought it once that year and when the time came around to stock up again I was aghast at the increase in price.

      Katie
      www.simplefoody.org

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    3. Yes, the price increases are one of the top ten reasons… We don't know what tomorrow will bring but one thing is for sure, it will less likely get cheaper. We do the hankies too instead of kleenex :)

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  3. A well-stocked pantry also makes it easier to practice hospitality... easier to make a bit more food at a meal for an unexpected guest; easier to share from ones own abundance.

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    1. Excellent additions! Thanks for sharing ;)

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  4. I will chime on your 'healthier' point, and say that we have a 5 year old with an allergy to food coloring. When I cook from scratch I don't have to worry about what is in our food. I've learned a lot since his diagnosis a year ago, and been surprised by some of the items it gets slipped into. Sometimes I feel a bit outraged at the amount of foods containing food coloring that don't need to. But then I challenge myself to make a better version for my family. It helps to have an abundance of our most commonly used ingredients on hand. Blessings, ~Melissa

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    1. Absolutely! It can be very disturbing to read the ingredients that pass for food. It all sounds like one big chemistry experiment… We too like knowing that our food is really food!

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  5. It's funny for me to see this post now! Just this week I have been working on our pantry, as far as keeping stock and making it more presentable!

    I plan on posting some of the projects I have done to do so. The easiest ways to store things are in baskets and pretty glass jars. I just love it! So cost efficient, too!

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    1. Yes, pretty but practical :) Truly my way of thinking too!

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  6. I love thinking of it as food insurance! Thanks for the tips, and I LOVE the pantry painting. :)

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    1. I am glad you like the painting as much as myself. So warm and homey :) Thanks for sharing here today!

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  7. Love your phrase "food insurance." It's just comforting knowing there's enough to feed the family. And definitely pretty. Love-love-love the picture!

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    1. Thank you Meghan for sharing your thoughts here today :)

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  8. I just found you through Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways and wonder if you've ever visited the "Preparedness Fair" at preputilityvehicle.blogspot.ca? I'm sure the blog's author would love for you to add some of your pantry series and other posts to her relatively new link party.

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    1. Hi Nicole, thanks for your visit and suggestion. I will have to take a peak! Have a wonderful week :)

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  9. Thank you for encouraging others to keep a stocked pantry! I firmly believe in keeping a stocked pantry for today, tomorrow and and beyond! We have been "pantry Keeping" for 30 years. It is a daily convenience, but there have been times, when times were hard, that we have had to rely on the pantry to put food on the table for an extended period of time. If I have anything to say about it we will always have a daily, 3 month and Long Term Storage pantry. I have enjoyed your blog and am following it. I am going to post it on my blog list at www.aviewfromthecottage.blogspot.com . Have a great day!

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    1. Thank you for sharing this and confirming the importance of a pantry. After 30 years of pantry keeping, I am sure you have a lot of experience! Your encouragement is much appreciated :)

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  10. Love the look of your blog. Found you through Jill's Home Remedies. While you mentioned it saves time and that is is fun I would also add it is a good use of your time. I am finding that while my boys are getting older they can do much of their school now without me. Homemaking in any form is a great use of time as it can slip away and be wasted so very easily.

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    1. I agree! I think I was trying to say something like that when I said "homemaking hobby" but you said it more clearly :) Thank you for sharing here today!

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  11. I also have a very prepared pantry. It is a timely homemakers essential with the times we are living in. I also love to hear what others are doing to have their pantries stocked.
    Blessings, Roxy

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    1. I agree. Wouldn't it be fun to go on pantry tours like they do garden tours? And get all sorts of ideas :)

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  12. Good points. thanks for sharing at Wildcrafting Wednesday.

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  13. When the stock market crashed in 2008, it took me 3 1/2 months to find work and we were living on my husband's part-time income. We ate almost exclusively from the pantry during this time (we spent around $10/week for milk and produce). It kept us well fed while our income was low. It made it so much easier to go job hunting without worrying that we'd starve.

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    1. Wow, thank you for sharing that! You just verified reason #8!

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  14. I have an aunt that buys so much in bulk and is so well-stocked that she occasionally uses her nearby self storage space in Houston as stock room of sorts! I think she goes a little overboard, but reading this post helped me understand more of the benefits of keeping a regular, well stocked pantry. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Wow, that is quite the pantry! Thank you for sharing here today :)

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  15. I stopped back by this post because I saw a photo on Flickr that I wanted to compare to the pantry photo in this post. Check it out here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dawilson/3177967853/in/photostream/ Looks like someone took this photo and made it look like a painting? Interesting. Blessings, ~Melissa

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    1. Looks like maybe they got it from Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm? That is interesting… but even the photo on Flicker seems a bit unreal… That is interesting. You have a good memory! His other photos of the pantry were really neat looking too!

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  16. I always gain wisdom from your posts, Jes.

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  17. I love the "it's pretty" reason. I feel like a nut for saying this, but an overflowing pantry is a beautiful and satisfying thing to look at.

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    1. Yay! Glad to hear of another human with these same thoughts! :) Thank you for visiting Jerusha!

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  18. I realized that my stress level went up as my food shelves got empty. It's such a good feeling to know that there is an abundance of food in the house. Best wishes!

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  19. I learned from my mother and dad, who went thru the Great Depression, to keep a well-stocked pantry. And...we do keep our freezer full. If electricity went off for an extended time, we'd have to eat fast to keep it from ruining...lol
    Here from The Enchanting Rose...hope you will come over for a visit.

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  20. I just shared this beautiful post on my DRAH FB page! I've been writing something like it, but now that would be copying ;) I will wait to put it out there for some time...tempted to 'steal' the gorgeous painting :) Love you, JES!!

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  21. Thanks for this post and I look forward to reading through it. I think it is so important to stock up and have been wanting to but have not made the time to. Your post will give me that "push" I have been needing. And that picture is so pretty. Very country, warm, and cozy. Have a blessed day.

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  22. Sweet friend, what an excellent list! I love the fact that you even said a well-stocked pantry is pretty *smiles* Having a well-stocked pantry is so important and you have given us lots of motivation to make sure our shelves our fully stocked.

    Thank you, dear one, for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Happy Wednesday!

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  23. What a great post Jes and full of wisdom. I have just about finished bottling our summer harvest and it is wonderful to see the jars on the shelves. I only have some apples to go now. The other day I made a casserole from our own sausages, canned corn, carrots and tomatoes, and it was lovely. Having a stocked pantry is such a wise thing. Blessings

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  24. I love this! I just finished converting a closet into a pantry for several of these reasons. Really looking forward to filling it this summer with items canned by myself. I also really like the idea of "Food Insurance" and stocking up when times are good to accommodate the need when times aren't so good.
    Thanks for sharing, Ricki

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  25. I love shopping from my own pantry!

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  26. Great advice! :) Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop! Hope to see you again this week. :)

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  27. As always, another great post. Congrats on being chosen as a featured post on this week’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you'll join us again and share more of your awesome posts.
    http://www.herbanmomma.com

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  28. Great post I think a well stocked pantry brings great peace of mind.
    I wanted to stop by and let you know your post was the most visited on the HomeAcre Hop :)
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, peace of mind is always good! :) And thank you for letting me know about this pantry post. Sounds like others are in love with pantries as much as myself :)

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  29. Thanks for posting on Front Porch Friday. I've been thinking about my own pantry this week and the need to restock, so this was timely and a great reminder. We're featuring you this week!

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    1. Thank you so very much for the feature! :) I am also currently restocking...

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