March 23, 2019
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When I first got into prepping I did what a lot of new preppers do. I went out and started buying as much extra food as possible. It didn’t take long for my pantry to start to fill up, and within a month or so I was pretty proud of the 30 day(ish) stockpile I had amassed.

The problem was, that while I probably did have around 30 days of food stored, I would have had to go through all of it to know what I actually had. The bulk of my food preps were just a mish-mash of various canned goods and pastas that I picked up on sale without any real plan of how I was actually going to use them if I needed to. Realistically, while I probably did have a months’ worth of calories, I was far from having a months’ worth of actual meals.Here are 23 survival uses for honey that you didn’t knowabout.

I figured out at some point that it was time to get organized and make a plan to get my pantry under control. Today we’re going to discuss the 5 steps that I took to properly set up, stock and manage my stockpile.

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1. Location, Location, Location

It would seem like the location of your pantry wouldn’t be THAT much of an issue. Actually, the location of your pantry is one of the most important parts of your stockpile.

The best location for your pantry is going to be a dark area that has a fairly consistent temperature. This could be an extra closet or an area in your basement or wherever you have some extra pace. Here are several other considerations you should take when deciding on your pantry’s location:

  • Consistent temperature – Heat and cold can seriously shorten the shelf life of your stored foods. Make sure your pantry stays around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Dark – too much light can also damage your preps and can raise the overall temperature of your pantry. If you decide to set up your pantry anywhere that’s out in the open, be sure that no sunlight reaches it and that it stays dark the majority of the time.
  • Moisture – If you have a basement that gets water sometimes, your pantry shouldn’t go there. Even if it’s off the floor and no actual water would ever touch it, moisture in the air could eventually ruin your entire stockpile.
  • Accessibility – You want your pantry to be easily accessible. This means not putting a bunch of food into bins and then stuffing them in the back of a closet. Although that might seem convenient now, it won’t be when you need to use it.

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2. What’s on the menu?

This is probably the most overlooked area of prepping food. A couple cases of green beans and a few buckets of beans and rice is not a food stockpile. If you were in a disaster scenario that made buying food literally impossible, do you really want to survive on beans, rice and canned goods? Survival situations are extremely stressful. I can guarantee that after a long, stressful day of surviving off-grid, the last thing you’re going to want to eat is a bowl of beans and rice.

Before you even start buying food (or you could do this by integrating what you have already into new meals) you want to make a menu. This menu should consist of at least 10 different meals (that you actually like) that you can make with long-term storable ingredients and off-grid cooking methods.

The easiest way that I’ve found to make this menu is to turn meals that you already eat regularly into long-term storable meals. There long-term storable alternatives for nearly any fresh ingredient you come across. Some are pretty good, some not so much. What you’re going to want to do is experiment and find recipes that are not only storable, but enjoyable.

3. If you build it….

The next step in our quest for the organized pantry is actually building our pantry. Now that you have the location and what you’re going to be putting into it, you need to decide the best way to actually store these foods.

There are hundreds of shelving options out there that you could use for your pantry. However, there are a few rules you should stick to:

  • Your pantry needs to be very sturdy. You’re going to be putting a lot of weight on these shelves. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in a nice, well-built pantry organizer, then you should probably build your own instead of using cheaper shelving. You don’t want all your food to come crashing down just because you skimped on the shelving unit.
  • Make sure the shelving space is adjustable. Your preps are going to include cans, boxes and bottles of all different sizes. Make sure that your shelving is adjustable so that everything fits on the shelves and you do not have to put all the tall bottles and whatnot on top.

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**Money saving tip**

You really don’t “need” to buy a shelving unit, and as mentioned above, if you’re not going to buy something nice, then don’t buy a pre-made pantry or shelving at all. Some repurposed cinder blocks and 2×4’s will work just fine as a shelving unit until you decide to put money into a permanent unit.

4. “I’ll take 50 cans of SPAM please”- Buying food

Now that we have the location and materials for our pantry and a solid plan of what we’re going to put into it, it’s time to start building that stockpile.

Do yourself a favor and do a quick search for any store or manufacturer coupons for any of the preps you’re planning to buy. You don’t have to go full-on Krazy Coupon Lady with trying to find the best deal, but a quick Google search will probably bring up numerous coupons that you can use to save at least a little money when stocking your pantry in bulk. That’s money in your pocket that you can use to buy other preps!

If you haven’t actually tried a specific food or ingredient, don’t buy a bunch of them. Buy one or two, take it home and actually use it in your meal plan before buying it in bulk. There are tons of options out there and it doesn’t make any sense buying a bunch of something before you even know if you’ll like it.

5. First in / First out – FIFO and YOU

One of the biggest mistakes you could make with your pantry is not using it regularly. It’s important to consistently use and replenish your stockpile to make sure everything is well within its shelf-life. If you’re eating meals that you usually eat and enjoy anyway, there’s really no reason not to dip into your pantry on a daily basis.

In the food service industry there’s a pretty standard procedure that kitchens use to organize food. It’s called First in / First out or FIFO. It’s a fairly simple concept that we should all be using for our pantry. All you have to do is make sure that you are using your oldest foods first and putting anything new into the back. It seems very simple, but there are tons of people out there with 10 year old cans of food in the back of their pantry simply because they didn’t put the new cans behind the old ones.

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A lot of the popularity of firearms is due to the fact that anyone can use them effectively, not only the strong and agile. The young, the old, men, women and child can take up firearms in defense of home and family and do so effectively.

But what do you do if you can’t use a gun – or if you don’t have a gun — to protect yourself?

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