Items to Stock

Millions of people across the nation are silently preparing. Nationwide, survival supply retail businesses are booming. Those who are preparing are doing so for a future on planet earth I don’t plan to be here to see. I have, however, made wise preparations in my own home based on indicators we’ve seen and warnings we’ve been given. There was a time when trusted pastors and teachers were telling us of food plants being destroyed and mass animal deaths, leading us to wonder if maybe our food supplies might be in jeopardy. I don’t hear as much about that now, and things seem more stable with our supply chain. That would lead us to think that all is well, but I’m not so sure I believe that. Even conventional wisdom tells us that having a few days to a few weeks of food, water, and basic supplies on hand in case of storms or other emergencies is sensible. With that in mind, I considered scenarios where we might have to endure days without power to cook or clean water to wash dishes or even the inability to seek medical treatment.

Fortunately, some of the items I purchased last year were nearly half of what they currently cost. That’s a blessing now that my husband has lost his main source of income and is planning on semi-retirement. I now purchase items to replace what I use, but I’m not stocking more and more and more. I had a clear sense from the Spirit when enough was enough.

Now, looking back at my season of filling our storehouse, I suspect my preparations were done for more than us. I know at any point one hiccup could turn our nation on its head financially and leave many of those living paycheck to paycheck in dire need, my extended family members included. Maybe I will be able to share some of the food God has provided along with the truth of His love and His desire that all would come to Him for salvation. But casting a view a little farther out, I believe any extra we do have will be used for the unsuspecting left behind, those who will be desperate for food and medical supplies after the pre-tribulation rapture. They are who I most have on my mind these days. I’ve often said here lately, “We can’t pray that Jesus comes today and not prepare for ‘them’ tomorrow.”

With all that said, I’ll share a few things I’ve learned along the way. Since I’m not a real “prepper,” I will remind you that I am only providing basic information. Beyond that, you will have to do a little more research on safe food storage and first-aid basics. I just hope to give you food for thought to get you started–pun intended.

Pantry Staples
Here are some non-perishable food items. The ones with a link will take you to greater detail on the item. If I have a link to a particular item or an article of interest, I’ll provide it. (I do not participate in “affiliate links” and do not get paid for your purchase.)

Canned meats and vegetables (Check for dents and rust when you purchase.)
Dried beans as a source of protein (requires longer cooking time than canned)
Rice (Instant will require less cooking time if you have no electricity.)
Instant potatoes – How To Make Instant Potatoes Taste Like The Real Thing
Boxed pasta
Pasta sauce
Pizza sauce and crust
Fruits, canned and dried
Soups/pasta meals
Cream soups/broth/bouillon
Crackers (Items like these get stale, so don’t overstock.)
Cereal/oatmeal/grits/breakfast bars
Flour/cornmeal/baking mix
Sugar/stevia/other natural sweeteners
Baking powder/baking soda/yeast
Cooking oil/Crisco
Vinegar, white vinegar (uses) and apple cider vinegar
Honey, maple syrup, jams, and jellies (Honey lasts indefinitely.)
Nut butters, jars and powdered versions
Powdered versions of milk, butter, and eggs
Jugs of water, one gallon and 5-7 gallon storage
Water filtration system – I have the Big Berkey System
Last priority: snacks and treats that will give you occasional joy

Article of Interest

33 foods that will last years in your pantry – Eat This, Not That site

General food-related things to consider

  • Be creative and buy a variety of foods for the different tastes and diet requirements in your home.
  • Focus on foods with nutrients, like meats, veggies, and fruits.
  • Research shelf life of foods since most last well beyond the date printed on the package.
  • Spend way less time and money on junk/snack foods. Plan for chips and snacks to be an occasional treat only.

A few nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned along the way

  • Don’t forget the protein. It’s easy to get caught up in buying canned veggies, but remember that you will do well to have plenty of canned chicken, beef, and fish on hand. Canned chicken is a common thing, but when I first began, I kept wondering what I would do about beef for spaghetti and casseroles. Walmart has a decent canned beef that I’ve added to pasta sauce and beef and noodle dishes.
  • Get what your family will eat. If you don’t eat canned tuna, then spend your money on food that you will eat. Have a few Souper Sunday meals. Let your family try soups you’ve purchased to find what they like prior to stocking up on any particular kind.
  • Canned soups contain protein and veggies as a meal ready to eat. Even with no heat source, you can eat straight out of the can.
  • Write the date on your canned items with a dark marker and place the oldest dates up front for earliest use. Canned goods will last well beyond their expiration date if in controlled temperatures.
  • Don’t purchase dented or rusted cans. If you do, plan to use them first.

Cooking: Ask yourself a few questions to determine your level of preparedness for a power outage or a shortage of fresh produce and dairy.

  • If you have no heat source, how will you warm your food? Do you have extra tanks for your grill or a wood-burning stove with ample firewood? Do you have cooking utensils that will work on a grill or fire source? Have disposable aluminum pans on hand in case you need to conserve water.
  • What if you have no refrigeration? Would you know how to prepare meals strictly from canned and dried foods? I practice meals with only pantry items on occasion just to know what my possibilities are if I’m left with no fresh produce or dairy.
  • How will you make bread? Do you have a bread maker or know how to bake bread from scratch? With no electricity, would you know how to make a skillet version of bread or cornbread?
  • If you have no water, how will you clean cookware and eating utensils? Paper plates, napkins, and plastic cutlery will be beneficial.

Basic needed supplies

  • Cast iron stove
  • Firewood
  • Cast iron cookware
  • Can openers (several)
  • Paper goods (TP, paper towels, tissues)
  • Paper plates and bowls for when needing to conserve water
  • Heirloom seeds if you intend to grow a garden
  • Personal items, such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
  • Extra food and supplies for your pets
  • Doggie poo bags (not just for doggies)
  • Dish and laundry soap
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Trash bags
  • Matches, candles, lighters, batteries
  • Oil lamps and extra oil
  • Pesticides and bug traps
  • Sewing kit with needle and thread
  • First aid supplies/OTC medications/supplements
    • Search “first-aid kit supplies” to create your own shopping list.
  • Medical how-to books
  • Prescription medications that you can purchase in advance
  • Vitamins and supplements: Be sure to have vitamin C, D, and zinc at a minimum. Additional helpful items include: probiotics, NAC, quercetin, baby aspirin, magnesium, probiotics, and olive leaf extract (known to be antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial).
  • Have print-outs of cell and home phone numbers (and addresses) in case you are unable to charge your phone and need to borrow someone else’s.
  • How-to manuals for basic skills like minor home repairs and gardening
  • Items to barter
  • Cash on hand
    This is a tough one to know how much to keep available at home. If you wake up tomorrow to a cyberattack on banks and you can’t access your money, what will you do? If the dollar collapses or a sudden shift to a digital currency occurs, most say cash will do us no good. While that’s possible, there is also the possibility that a parallel economy might emerge for those of us who refuse to comply with government mandates. If I pay cash for eggs from a neighbor, that neighbor may in turn use that cash to pay for a plumbing repair. Give it some thought and do what’s best for your family. I just know I would rather have cash here and it be nothing more than a fire starter than for someone else to take it from me.

Some additional items

  • Collect rainwater with a rain barrel.
  • Purchase a LifeStraw for each family member (allows you to safely drink from lakes, rivers, streams, etc.).
  • Grow your own garden.
  • Prepare a go-bag for each person should you need to suddenly leave due to a storm or other emergency.