There are many different reasons for why a family may be wanting to take stock of their resources and do some work to make sure they have at least somewhat of a stockpile of products they use regularly.
I have compiled a list of items we have in our family pantry, and in this post, I want to share those ideas with you.
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A Prepared Family Pantry
Over the years, our family has always kept a few extras on hand. With little ones, this has made my life easier – no last minute trips to the grocery store because we’re out of something. There is always a bit of extra on hand that is quickly replaced by another extra.
Some may argue that this approach does not make sense with my attempt to be some version of a minimalist, but keeping extra necessities on hand helps me avoid stress and overspending – so for me, I would say it perfectly aligns with a more simplified lifestyle. This will look different for everyone, but this has always felt most comfortable to us.
Over the last couple of years, we have found ourselves having additional reasons for feeling like it would be wise to add to those extras we’ve always kept on hand, creating more of a stockpile than we’ve kept in the past.
We have a pantry closet in our kitchen and then my husband added shelving to our under-the-stairs closet that was originally intended to be used as a coat closet or some other type of storage. As we have minimized our belongings, spaces like this have become less needed, and we have been able to use them in ways that work better for us – like for more food storage for our growing family.
We work hard to make sure the items we are storing are:
- things we will use anyway – even if our concerns do not become a reality
- items we can donate to our church food pantry (before expiration)
- resources we can share with others who may need them along the way
Limitations to Consider:
- If you’re limited on space, avoid filling your space with specialty items or sweets and treats. Focus on staple items/necessities.
- If you’re limited on funds, simply add a few items to each future grocery order. Especially when it comes to canned goods, this can mean as little as an additional $1.50 – $5.00 per order – stores like Aldi are great for purchasing canned goods.
A Prepared Family Pantry Checklist
Remember, only purchase items you use regularly in the recipes your family loves – for us, Rotel is a must!
- canned vegetables
- canned fruit
- canned beans
- canned tomatoes/Rotel
Next up, jarred items that can be stored for several months – just like those canned goods! What jarred salsas or sauces does your family use?
- pasta sauce
- pizza sauce
- various other forms of tomatoes/tomato sauces
Next up, what about dry goods?
- dried fruit
- coffee / tea
- dried beans
- dried soups
- bullion cubes
What about items your family might use for baking – in addition to keeping your typical baking staples on hand: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, etc.
- pancake mix
- waffle mix
- muffin mix
- cornbread mix
- maple syrup
- chocolate chips
- canned pumpkin
- boxed pudding mixes
- brownie mix (Just trying to have a little fun here.)
Next up, are there any packaged meats your family would benefit from having on hand?
Now what about oils and spices?
- cooking oils
- dried garlic
- dried onion
Condiments are also smart to consider:
- salad dressings
What other items might your family benefit from keeping on hand?
Consider what your family eats regularly and the kinds of things you consistently use when cooking at home.
For example, my kids love peanut butter and also eat loads of these applesauce pouches!
These keep for quite some time, so they are a great option when it comes to thinking through which items are smart to keep on hand.
My goal with this post is not to overwhelm you with ideas but to give you a realistic glimpse into what a prepared family pantry looks like and invite you to consider your own family’s needs and what might be smart to consider storing for the months ahead.
A Prepared Freezer Space
We do have a freezer space that holds additional meat as well as frozen fruits and vegetables. Our freezer space is somewhat limited, so these are the three things we focus on keeping stocked there.
We use a lot of diced onion, so you’ll find several bags of these in our freezer.
Other Prepared Family Items to Consider:
- bottled water
- alternative sources of light and power
- alternative cooking options – Do you have a grill? A firepit? A smoker?
- disposable cooking pans
- paper goods – toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates/bowls/cups, plastic utensils, etc.
- foil, plastic wrap, Ziploc bags, etc.
- health and beauty items
- feminine products
- formula/baby food
- diapers and wipes
- first-aid supplies
- emergency supplies
Want a little help making your Pantry Checklist?
I’ve prepped some printables for you that might be helpful!
Have you thought of something we should add to this list here? Let me know! I would love to continuing adding to it so it can continue to be a helpful resource for others who are working to set up A Prepared Family Pantry.