Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pondering Stocking...Pantry and Homestead Needs

Becky over at Becky's FarmLife has had her list posted for a starting reference for those unfamiliar with pantry stocking. I like lists. I have blended her list, as well as an LDS List for some time, to plan what I might need/want in the pantry. There are several lists I look through, actually....Arkansas Soaper's List, and this one, and this one. This Well-Stocked Pantry series of articles shares several good tidbits, too, including a nice software download for shopping list creation.

Here's Becky's List, with my notes in red:

With the list below and our garden food, cow meat, our milk cow, chickens(meat and eggs) will give us over a years supply of food. I’ll buy things here and there, but not much. I cook from scratch, so you may or may not use what’s on my list. Over the years I have found lots of ways to make different things, with a little in store. Example: elbow noodles can be used in soups,mac and cheese, spag. I have other things stored, but this is our MUST HAVE list. And I have been stocking up now for over a year, so please don’t let this overwhelm you and you feel it’s to late, because it’s never to late. Just start slow and easy, buy a few extra things here and there. Some stored food is better than none.

This doesn't include meats, which ideally would be solved by raising chickens and meat rabbits on the homestead, hunting and fishing whenever possible, and saving for larger meat purchases to add to any regular purchases.
The best money we spent was on the 300# of meat we bought from a local butcher. Doing it again, I would go for 200# of stew chunks as they can so nicely and have a lot of menu uses, and I'd go with 200# of their sausage as we used it in place of regular ground meat, and stick to just 100# of ground. We canned all of it but 10# of stewing chunks, which makes it twice as handy ;o)
We also did up a lot of bacon when bought on sale (those 10# boxes for $1/pound).
Tuna is something else I'd stock, several normal store cans, as well as several of the large cans from Sam's.
I stock chicken, beef and ham base (the large, 1# containers) and we use it alot. I make up our own cream soups as needed for recipes, add it as stock to cooking and just for flavor enhancing in a lot of meals. I need at least 4 chicken and 4 beef in the pantry each year, and usually 1 ham will get me by. I need to get more on top of canning my own stocks, though.

Yeast: 3 lbs. ( this should last us over a year, used to make bread) This would only be about 1/2 a year, maybe, for us. We easily use 6# yearly here, I like to have 8#. I buy at Sam's, when I open a package, I have a container in the fridge for daily use, and a canning jar to hold the rest in the freezer. Kept in the frezer, I've had yeast go well over a year with very limited trouble in proofing.

Flour: 35- 5lbs. bags ( we don’t have a grain grinder yet, but it’s on my wish list, so for now I buy flour. And I will most likely need to buy more before years out, due to not lasting for more than a year.) Hmmm...I try not to buy 5# bags if I can help it, just because we use alot of flour. I buy Prairie Gold in 50# bags, and we keep wheat berries in the pantry for grinding, though I prefer the finer texture of the store bought PG to my grinding with the Family Mill. I need to get over that. On average, I'd say we need to stock around 7 bags for our use, and if I had money and wishes, I'd go for closer to10# for a more permanent storage supply. We freeze all grains for a week in the chest freezers, then store in 5 gallon buckets.

Sugar: 42-5lbs. bags ( yes, this is a lot of sugar, but not really when you start making jellies and will most likely need more before the year is out.) If I buy regular sugar or fructose, it's in 25# or 50# bags, and we go through about 4 yearly (with leftovers...maybe 3 bags total usage). I need to get away from the white sugars, period. I'd like to get more used to honey and molasses in our baking, and raw sugar. Still, iced tea just has to have white sugar :o)

Lard: 50 lbs. I can go through 60# of lard in just under a year. I would still want some regular canola or olive oil.

Salt: a full 5 gallon bucket ( we try and keep extra, in case we need to salt down meat to keep it good. I would like one more bucket, well it’s on list.) Honestly, aside from what she mentioned about salting down meat (which might be something we do as a preparedness thing later) we don't use alot of salt, period. A 5 gallon bucket...oh my, I'd have salt forever! We buy sea salt, regular little "morton salt can" sized, and it will last over 6 months here.

dry powered milk: 10 big boxes= 50 made gallons (there is so much you can do with this, and we LOVE the hot cocoa mix.) I never have enough powdered milk here. And the prices just went up $2 a box on the large ones I noticed. We have the goats, but powdered milk is just plain good common sense in the pantry, so definitely at least 10 large boxes.

instant oatmeal packets: a full 5 gallon bucket (you say instant? Well they were on a great sale and well mine like a little flavor now and then)I might be willing to put in some of this, but we buy oatmeal in 50# bags and I could easily use 4 bags in a year, between eating and baking. It is a main breakfast staple here. The bags are put in the freezer for a week, then kept in 5 gallon buckets.

rice: 60+ lbs. We could use plenty of rice, though I tend to buy white rice most often. I'm moving us slowly to brown rice (weaning us to it with half white/half brown in recipes. I have a starch-eater group here, rice and pasta and potatoes we never keep enough of on hand! And it's a great meal-stretcher. Easily 60# in the pantry.

elbow noodles: 30 lbs. ( use this for mac &cheese, soups, spag.) Starch-eaters...we make egg noodles, I'm getting better at making other pasta's with the hand roller, but elbows? I would buy every time I found a good sale, and work toward having A LOT of boxes stored away of elbows, bowties, shells and spaghetti just for variety. At least 2 boxes weekly...

fruit cocktail: 10- #10 cans ( these were a blessing from someone)

tomato sauce: 15 oz. cans- 30 ( used in homemade spag. sauce, chili, pizzas, soups) I try to keep at least 8 #10 cans of tomato 'stuff' iinthe pantry...diced, sauce, crushed, etc. We found a deal on mixed spaghetti sauce and I still have 4 cans in there, same with some premixed pizza sauce. The largest supply in my gardens is usually tomatoes as we use them in virtually everything.

lemon juice: 9- 1qt. bottles (use in making cheeses, putting fruit in, making jams) I like a good dozen of the largest bottles I can find.

mixed vegetable: 14 oz cans=30 and #10 cans=4 ( we love beef veg. soup, so in late fall I make big batches of soup and can it for the winter. I use our beef ribs as meat for soup, as we like the pork ribs better. And the beef ribs take up more room in the freezer. I use these veg’s. to save a little time, and it still works out cheaper then buying soup in cans.) I could never grow enough to keep this group in veggies...#10 cans are all I stock in the pantry for uses when the homecanned are gone. Corn, peas, green beans, mixed...I would try to keep at least 12 cans of each if I could. Each #10 can works out to 2 meals of veggies for us if eating plain.

tomato juice: 18= 46 oz cans ( for drinking and adding to soups) I can tomato juice, V8 blend, and diced tomatoes, even if I have to use farm market tomatoes. Juice can be used in so many things. If I made chili once a month just in the winter/autumn months, I would need a dozen of the large cans, so for a year supply, I'd at least double that.

pork and beans: 20 cans I tend to keep 4 #10 pork-n-beans or Bush's Baked Beans in stock, and about a dozen of the #10 chili beans.

kidney beans: 24 cans ( just for chili, hubby is only one who eats it.)

molasses: 6- 12 oz jars ( cooking) we bought 5 quarts from the Amish last year, and I found 3 quarts at another farm market...we used it all in short order. I think we would need to keep a dozen quarts at least. Right now I can't find any...anywhere. I need to check with the Amish again, but the stores simply don't have anything aside from the small jars of Brer rabbit or Grandma's...they just don't last at all here in that small amount.

cocoa: 8 lbs.( for homemade brownies, hot cocoa, cookies, cakes) I buy the large ones at Sam's usually. We use 2 a year just in baking. Count in hot cocoa and I would need to have about 8# as Becky suggests. It keeps very well, so I'd like to stock more.

cans of fruit(peaches, pineapples, etc.): 29 cans I usually only buy peaches in the #10 cans unless I have some canned up myself. We used to be able to find apple slices and blueberry in the large cans as well, like for pie filing. They made terrific cobblers. Without my own fruit trees, or a neighbor handy to get fresh, I would stock at least 6 #10 cans for desserts.

tomato paste: 2-#10 cans and 6 little cans ( used in soups, spag. and sauces)

bisquick: 16 lbs.( I know a boxed a mix, but hubby makes breakfast and he like using this for only pancakes and a chicken coating. And if I can come in from milking to hot cakes, it’s ok.)

ketchup: 4 bottles I buy ketchup, mustard and even BBQ sauce in the large commercial tubs at WalMart or Sam's and store it in jars in the fridge once opened. I suppose it might be more practical for long-term storage to do smaller bottles, though. A year would probably be 3 or 4 of each in the large tub size.

pancake syrup: 9 bottles we make our own syrup for breakfast, but I do buy syrup for the granola (the homemade tends to be runnier in granola and it doesn't have the same taste. we could get by with 4 or 5 bottles a year and still have leftovers, unless I started making granola far more often.

rolled oats: 25 lbs. ( used for baking, eating and cookies) it's listed up there with the other oatmeal...we do 50# bags here.

peanut butter: 17 jars ( life is good if you have enough PB&J) I could buy 7# tubs back north, and we used at least 5 a year. The large Peter Pan commercial cans at WalMart aren't bad, and they keep a long time (if you can keep PB a long time...we usually can't). Between eating and baking needs, I would like to put in at least 6 large containers in the pantry....and try making my own at least once ;o)

spag. noodles: 20 lbs.

baking soda: 15 lbs. (see below)

corn starch: 12- #10 cans ( someone gave us, but stores just about forever, I will not use this much in a year, maybe not even 5 years.) baking soda and baking powder are something we use alot of. Soda gets used with so many things it's foolish not to keep plenty of it on hand. I buy the large bags at Sam's and we can go through at least 4 of them a year without even trying hard! Baking powder is used fairly often as well, with our baking, and I tend to keep at least 3 of the large containers from Sam's on hand. Cornstarch isn't used as often. I have 3 of the large plastic containers from WalMart in the pantry...that's a good year's worth for us.

powder sugar: 8-#10 cans (someone gave us, and will not use this all in a year, but stores a long time.) I've made my own, using the coffee grinder, in a pinch, but for frostings that just isn't the same texture. I usually keep 4 bags from Sam's in the freezer.

BBQ sauce: 15 bottles ( on sale at $ .50 each, this was all that was left. Used for BBQ – Ribs.)

honey: 3 qts.( cooking and eating) let's just say I need some fruit trees and some bee hives myself. We use alot and it's just plain expensive! If and when I can, I buy 2 at a time at Sam's. I could easily have a dozen here and still need more in a year. What does that say about us...we like things sweet. Need to work on that, too.

can potato slices: 24 cans ( if you drain them, then fry in butter and onions, on very good. a good sale on them.) I have a mixed issue here... I can buy #10 cans and they are great for potato salad, etc. however, I can buy 50# bags of potatoes and can up my own. I would stock the #10 cans, maybe 6 a year, if the budget opened up, but my money is better spent for 50# bags...and no, I can't grow enough for what we use here. I'd have to devote at least an acre to just potatoes. We are big on starches...but we are changing that.

pop corn: 10 lbs. I buy the large bags (25#?) at Sam's and we use them mostly for grinding for cornmeal (delicious buttery flavor) and it's autumn...we like carmel corn :o) I would think we could get by with 4 bags a year, but if that's the only cornmeal I had, I'd want maybe another bag.

grits: 5 lbs.( should last a year, hubby is the only one to eat them.) umm...none. I'm not a grits kind of person.

barley: 2- #10 cans ( used in soups, and side dish) I need to incorporate this more into our soups and stews.

spag. sauce: 15- 26 oz cans ( this is the smaller can and we always doctor it up and add more, it’s used a a base.)

pizza sauce: 9 jars ( time saver. I make the Mozz. and crusts for homemade pizzas. The jar is only a dollar and makes 3-4 pizzas) I lump this in with tomato products (above) but she has a good point -- if I'm making cheese and crusts by scratch, the canned sauces on sale would be a good deal and a time-saver. And it saves on my already-strained tomato needs here.

hash browns: 4-#10 cans

instant potatoes: 2-#10 cans

chocolate pudding instant: 4- #10 cans ( someone gave us, and it’s ok)

can peas: 10 ( the only way to get my family to eat peas is in soups and to make cheesy peas( using my canned cheese sauce).

mayonnaise: 5 jars

sweet relish: 3 jars

can mushrooms: 7 I can use a ton of mushrooms here. They used to have #10 cans for a decent price at Sam's but like everything, that's gone up. Storage-wise, unless I have something major planned, or a week of menu goodies I could add them to, the #10 can isn't practical. But, a few cases of the large store can buttons/slices would be great to have.

evaporated milk: 18 cans I like to keep some on hand, and 18 cans sounds like a good number. We use little for baking really, but it is good in an emergency.

both vinegar: 8 gallons I use alot of vinegar -- the chickens get some in their water daily during the hot months, so do the goats. Smart-mouths get a spoonful around here. It's a good thing to have on hand. I could easily see needing 8 gallons...probably more.

veg. oil: 10 bottles I use olive oil most often, and could use several jugs in a year. I would like to have 12 jugs in the pantry, but could probably get by on less if I watched my usage closer.

shortening in cans: 6

vanilla: 6 bottles My mother just ordered vanilla for me...it was a slight mistake, and cost $45 for the gallon! I don't spend $45 on a gallon of vanilla. This is some Madagascar Bourbon vanilla...oh wow does it smell absolutely heavenly....still, $45 a gallon? That bottle will last a l-o-n-g time because at that price, it's going to be handled very frugally! Normal, run of the mill vanilla, I can use 2 gallons a year.

baking powder: 6 cans (noted above)

onion powder: 8 bottles ( we use powders instead of those mixed with salt, you get more for your money. And we use them daily. I might have to buy more. To spice up a grilled cheese add the onion and garlic powder, it’s a great change.) Dewey bought several spices in those large containers (1# I believe) last year, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, etc. We use them alot. I also have 4 oz jars of cayenne pepper (they were $2 each...check out the spice section at WalMart, bottom shelf, it's a glass jar and way cheaper than buying the mainline spices like Tone's and such). I need to put the dehydrator to work because we use tons of dried, minced onions here. And minced garlic. I keep 4 of the containers of minced garlic in olive oil on hand.If I had a 50# of dried onions and minced garlic it wouldn't be enough here.

garlic powder: 8 bottles

cinnamon: 8 bottles

seasoned salt: 5 bottles

spray Pam bottles: 6 ( don’t usually buy, but they were on a great sale)

Hershey’s syrup: 5 bottles

dried potato slices, instant mashed potatoes: 14 boxes ( used on busy nights )

box cake mixes: 15 ( these were on sale too) we prefer cakes from scratch, however, sometimes around a big baking season, cake mixes hit rock bottom sale prices and I will buy several -- yellow, chocolate, spice, etc. Very rarely do I buy frosting, but if it's on a great sale, I'll get some.

tubs of frosting: 6 ( I have not master this from scratch yet, and will need to buy more)

powdered Gatorade( big cans, makes 6 gallons each): 7 ( this is so great for everyone, for when their sick or out in the sun) My stock up here would be at least 4 of these, and plenty of tea bags for iced tea...chamomile and other flavors to blend into the regular tea as well.

Off one of the other lists, here is the non-food prep items listed:

  • one manual can opener
  • two bottles of camp stove fuel I don't need this, however, I need kerosene or lamp oil. I need to find a good way to store kerosene longer term than just a gas can. The gallons are a bit pricey, but during heating season, I do stock the 1 gal. Klean Heat kerosene from Home Depot. We use this in our oil lamps for the main lighting during the winter.
  • 100 rounds of .22lr ammo I'm not going to say much beyond stock plenty. Stock for what you currently have and use, stock other popular rounds for barter later on. 'Nuf said.
  • 25 rounds of 12 ga birdshot or small game loads
  • 20 rounds of Monarch 7.62x39 ammo
  • a spool of 12lb test monofilament fishing line practical and needed. Stock more than you think you need of all your fishing supplies.
  • 2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks.
  • artificial lure
  • two packages of soft plastic worms
  • three Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
  • A package of tea lights I wouldn't, but I might be tempted to put in a decent supply of the emergency candles and even some of the insta-heat gel burners.
  • 50 ft of para cord
  • a roll of duct tape more than a roll, that's for sure. there are just too many uses for it.
  • a box of nails or other fasteners
  • a flashlight the practical side of tradtitional flashlights is ok, but long-term, go for a solar charge or hand-crank one.
  • two D-batteries, four AA or AAA batteries or two 9v batteries think barter and stock plenty.
  • a toothbrush and tooth paste I stock at least 3 per person each year. When you go through an illness, get rid of the old toothbrush when you are over it. Toothpaste is fine, but there are other things you can use (like that baking soda...) without all the chemicals and sugars in it.
  • a bag of disposable razors and plenty of single-edge blades...they have several uses.
  • eight bars of ivory soap (it floats) lots and lots of soap. I'd go for Kirk's Castile as it has a myriad of usess (shampoo, body, laundry and dishes), maybe some Lava...stock all the Fels Naptha you can find, if you can find it.
  • a box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies I'm not altogether on this band wagon just yet, but seriously, with 5 daughters on the homestead (albeit young ones still) you are talking about stocking ALOT...would be far healthier and more practical for long-term to go cloth.
  • two gallons of bleach you need to keep more bleach than just 2 gallons, jsut for the practical uses. yes, there are other cleaners to use, but this is something handy for water storage as well.
  • needles and thread all sewing supplies need stocked, even if you don't sew. Needles, thread, buttons, snaps, good ol' Velcro...fabrics, of course, if you are a stitcher. Repairs are needed alot of a working homesteader's clothing.
  • a ball of yarn I'm a crocheter...socks, hats, mittens, blankets, shawls, etc. I need some sheep and someone to teach me to spin my own, but in the meantime, I'd stock some here and there.

OTC Medications (at Dollar General)
  • 2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
  • 2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
  • 2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)--also available at walgreens under "sleep aids."
  • 4 bottles 500 count 325 mg aspirin
  • 2 boxes of generic sudafed
  • 4 bottles of alcohol
  • a box of bandages (4x4)
I'm not big on OTC's in general, however they do serve a purpose and the barter potential is high as well. Tylenol, baby aspirin, Benadryl, triple antiobiotic ointment, peroxide, alcohol, bandages of all sizes, stretch wraps in various sizes, qtips, cotton balls, etc. Buy a little of everything in a good first aid box and be prepared. Potassium, fish oil, garlic pills, vitamins...that's about all the OTC's we have on hand here usually. I have several of the largest bottles of hand sanitizer in stock as well as several small ones. I'd like to get a garden going (yeah, wouldn't I!) for herbs to make up needed salves and such as well.

And as several sites have suggested, if you are looking at stocking up for preparedness' sake, don't forget the animals...and the fun stuff for free time, yourself and the children...
I can only stock so much hay in the barn, so a more practical effort would be in setting up some pasture area here to at least gather some of our own. Same goes for feed needs. You can only stock, and keep well, so much grain and feed.
Fun stuff...puzzles, games, word searches/crossword puzzles, lots of books, some crafting bits and pieces. I would go more for the sorts of things that will encourage and spark personal imagination than I would actually "toys" though. Toys aren't all bad, mind you, but if your children can't take the simple, most basic items and create their own fun, they have problems, and they will get bored...very quickly...and expect something new to entice them. Get out of that trap as fast as you can and build their confidence with their own creativity and imaginations.
Don't know how to get creative yourself? Here are some great references to have on hand for when you don't have (or want) the internet to do the work for you:
The American Boy's Handy Book,
The American Girl's Handy Book,
The Field and Forest Handy Book,
The Book of Camp-Lore and Woodcraft,
Handy Farm Devices and How To Build Them,
Mountain Man Crafts and Skills,
Primitive Skills and Crafts,
The Boy Mechanic books

Share your ideas with me, too!


Dana said...

Your list and hers is very impressive!!

I do try to stockup but have never put a number on what I need to take care of my family. But I should.

Right now I have been looking at and working on getting us somewhat stocked up on groceries as well as ready made meals either frozen or canned since we are due to have a baby in December and I want to make things as easy as possible for us.

My line of thinking is that if I get stocked up then I won't have to be out in the cold with a newborn lugging groceries as well as if I get a good many meals made up ahead of time I will be able to have an easier time of putting dinner together while settling into life with another child in the family.

Thanks for the great posts and I hope to continue to learns lots and lots from your posts!!


LizBeth said...

Are you serious? Do you really use lard? Tell us more.

Love barley. I grind up a little pearl barley with my white winter wheat for bread mix. Great flavor.

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Preparedness Pro said...

That is quite the impressive list! Many things you mentioned are completely indespensible for me. Powdered milk is a must -- it's amazing how far it's come and how versatile it is. Lemon juice, also. For my fruit and vegetable stash, I use freeze dried foods. They come in the #10 cans and will last for 25 years unopened. I actually prefer it to dehydrated or canned produce as it retains more of its nutrients that way. http://bit.ly/i1m1u


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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