The development of pantries, food storage, and emergency preparedness has come a long way. But learning how to buy food is an essential principle to master.
In this guide, we will discuss how to buy food for storage. The process requires creating clear objectives, finding the best location, allocating your budget, and finding food for your home. Different storage methods are better for individual families based on things like dietary preference and available storage space.
Most individuals nowadays live within a short distance of a grocery shop, so the idea of having a home food storeroom may seem unnecessary. Back when people were living on farms, food storage was a necessity. They did this not for fun but to ensure their survival until the next planting season. Food has been one of the significant factors that ensured man's survival and, if properly preserved, is long-lasting and helpful in needy times.
Many resources are used in the selection, procurement, and storage of food. Also, time, energy, money, storage capacity, knowledge, and the market are crucial. To avoid wasting resources and buying on impulse, a solid shopping list is necessary when shopping to help you save money. Keep reading to become a master of buying food for storage.
Home Food Pantry and Storeroom Advantages
Building a food storeroom/pantry for long-term food storage has a plethora of advantages, which includes:
1. Preparedness for an emergency
One of the essential advantages of having a home food pantry or storeroom is that you can prepare for short and long-term situations. Numerous scenarios could make going to the grocery store difficult or impossible.
Even if you are not suffering an emergency, it's vital to remember that food shortages can occur anywhere and at any time. Most supermarkets have about three days' worth of food on hand. If the food supply system is disrupted, your local store may run out of food very rapidly.
Take a look at what happened during the COVID-19 crisis. Shortages! When individuals sense a shortage of anything, they will purchase more as soon as they see it on the shelf. Supply chains are quickly disturbed. Almost all of our food is procured through a convoluted supply chain. A pandemic will have a direct impact on this.
2. Make Financial Savings
A home food storeroom or pantry can help you save money at the supermarket. A large pantry allows you to buy in bulk, take advantage of weekly sales, and can food from your own garden with better ingredients at lower costs.
A well-stocked pantry also eliminates the need to run to the store every few days, saving money on gas. You'll be less tempted to make impulse purchases and other unplanned purchases if you make fewer trips to the store.
3. Food safety is essential.
Food safety is essential to tackle loss of employment or a reduction of income in your household.
A home pantry ensures food security for you and your family. If you have unpredictable income or only work seasonally, this is very crucial. Expected or unexpected outcomes are both possible. If you've built up a food storage supply, you'll have one less expenditure to cope with until you get back on your feet now that you don't have a paycheck.
If you suddenly find yourself with less money or in a dire short-term situation, storing food in the house will be a welcome relief. When you have lots of food on hand, you won't have to worry about feeding your family, relieving stress during difficult times.
Food safety is also vital during a financial or economic collapse. If things go bad enough, it could lead to difficult times, but when you have spent the past few months or longer building a long-term food pantry you are safe for the foreseeable future.
It's always preferable to start modest and gradually expand your storerooms over time.
How To Get Started
1. Think about your objectives.
First, consider why you want to store it in your home. Your objectives will have a direct impact on the amount of space you require to best store your food.
Is your aim, for example, to have a three-day supply of food for everyone in your family, or do you want enough food stockpiled to last longer in the event of an emergency?
Do you want your pantry to function as a small market where you can stock up on bulk or discount items, or do you want more room for canned goods and farmers' market goods?
These are just a few examples of common food pantry aims; yours may include a combination of them. It's critical to consider how you'll use your food pantry so that you can allocate adequate space to suit your requirements.
2. Consider the Location
Because it's the coolest in the basement, the most fantastic place for long-term food storage is generally against an outside wall. If you don't have access to a cellar then a cold, dark corner or closet will suffice.
If you live in a tiny apartment or house, dedicating an entire closet to long-term food storage may not be feasible. Instead, seek vacant locations in which you may store extra food. Start by looking under your bed and at the top of your closet.
3. Shelving can be built or purchased.
Start looking for sturdy wire or wood shelves to use in your pantry if necessary. The initial cost can be scary at first but if you go bargain hunting you can find affordable shelving options to fulfill the exact storage requirements you have.
4. Begin shopping
Shopping for an extra two weeks' worth of food all at once can be prohibitively expensive, which is why it's often better to go slowly:
- Every time you go to the store, buy a few extra food cans.
- Use double coupon days to your advantage.
- To save money, use the grocery shopping apps.
- Discount food stores are a great place to stock up.
- When your favorite foods go on sale, stock up.
- Purchase stuff that is in the season to save money.
- To get fresh vegetables, go to a you-pick farm. Pickling or canning will be required to preserve these goods, but you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself.
What Should You Keep in Your Storerooms?
Only buy and store things that you currently eat daily while stocking your pantry. There's a reason for this: if you and your family have to rely on your pantry in an emergency, you and your family will be more stressed.
If you're forced to consume meals you don't enjoy or don't generally eat, then the situation will become much more difficult to bear.
An advantage of storing up on familiar foods is that it makes it easier to rotate your inventory. You won't waste food by letting it expire or go bad if you rotate it regularly.
It doesn't make sense to buy a bunch of food you've never tried if you're using your pantry to store sale products. You would have just squandered your money if you don't like it or the quality is bad.
Things to Buy
What should you have in your pantry, then? Here's a list of foods that can be stored for a long time while maintaining optimal space inside your home for maximum storage capacity:
- Canned soups, fruit, and vegetables
- Dried beans, lentils, or peas
- Instant soup mixes
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Protein bars, granola bars, or fruit bars
- Beef jerky
- Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
- Nuts and dried fruits
- Powdered drink mixes
- Baking essentials
- Dried milk
- Pickled vegetables
- Evaporated or condensed milk
- Pancake mix
- Chicken, beef, and vegetable bouillon cubes
- Liquid sweeteners
- Liquid seasonings
- Formula or baby food
- Canned meats
Purchasing shelf-stable food may imply purchasing processed food, which may be deficient in critical vitamins and nutrients. This is why it's ideal to eat healthier canned foods or even fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to shelf-stable items.
Another critical factor to consider is the amount of water you have on hand, which should correspond to the storeroom goals you've already set. You should plan on having two gallons of water per person each day for at least three days if you're preparing for an emergency.
Two gallons of water will suffice to keep everyone hydrated, as well as to cook, clean toilets, and do some light laundry.
It's easy to become overwhelmed when you consider how much food and supplies your family consumes regularly. Keep your shopping receipts for a month, and then analyze everything you bought to make the process easier and plan better in the future.
This allows you to see what you and your family rely on the most. Consider whether you'll need to share your pantry food with neighbors or other family members in the event of an emergency. If you are sharing, you'll need other food on hand too.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Should Be Stored.
It's crucial to remember that you may keep fresh fruits and vegetables for several months if the conditions are ideal.
Fresh foods, on the whole, require a cool, dark environment with some air circulation to stay fresh. Buying or building a stackable storage box that encourages air circulation is one of the most excellent methods to keep fresh items in your pantry.
Stackable, open-air plastic or wire bins can be found at any home improvement store. You might also design your storage system or utilize a wooden orchard rack.
Always choose the healthiest fruit or vegetables when it comes to storing them. In storage, any fruit or vegetable with bruising or nicked skin will swiftly decay, contaminating other goods. Another good option is to eat foods that have been grown locally. Buying fruits and vegetables from your local farmers' market ensures that you get the freshest available produce.
Stored Foods Should Be Rotated Regularly.
Home storerooms can help you save money while also ensuring that you are prepared in an emergency. They can, however, be a waste of money if you don't keep track of your inventory.
Food that has been forgotten might rot or expire, rendering it inedible. This is why you should schedule a time to go through your storeroom/pantry regularly and rotate out any food that is ready to expire.
When stocking your pantry, place things with the earliest expiration dates on the front shelves so they get used first. It's also a good idea to write the expiration date on each box or can with a black marker, so it's simple to notice at a glance.
Examine your pantry every three months, paying particular attention to cans and preserved items. Any cans that are starting to rust should be utilized as soon as possible. Any cans that are bulging should be discarded, indicating that air or germs have contaminated the can. Any meal with an odd texture or odor should be avoided at all costs.
Other Food Storage Requirements
You may also need to store some personal care goods and household supplies. If you're storing emergency supplies in your pantry, don't forget to include other items that will allow you to cook food in the event of a power outage. These could consist of the following suggestions:
- A can opener that is operated by hand.
- A charcoal grill with many extra bags of charcoal or a propane stove with additional propane canisters
- Extra storage in the form of plastic storage containers
- Disposable plates, cups, and utensils are available.
- Other essentials in the storeroom, etc.
There are a lot of benefits of having extra food. It's not ideal to be short on food in difficult times. Fortunately, you can stockpile food by doing your own grocery shopping, growing and preserving part of your own produce, and other methods.
Your storeroom or pantry can be put to a variety of uses. It can be a simple storage space for any extra food you buy on sale, or it can be a life raft for you and your family in the event of an emergency. As a result, having a well-stocked storeroom is critical wherever you live.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker