I am reposting and updating some of these previous posts as I think they are very important to revisit.
I am starting the deep pantry challenge again this year. I feel that is is more important than ever before to get this put together considering everything that is going on in the world right now. The crop shortages, the rising cost of food, the change in the weather.
This is part one of twelve, What a deep pantry is, why it is so important, and how to have one now.
So what is a deep pantry?
A deep pantry is insurance yes insurance. You have insurance for your home, your car, your health, even your life. I am sure none of you plan on getting in a wreck or something happening to you or your home but you have the insurance for “ JUST IN CASE”. Having a deep pantry/food storage is like having food insurance for “just in case”. What if you lose your job have a medical emergency and can’t work, have a major storm and can’t get to the store. Not only that but our just in time deliveries mean stores only have 3 days worth of food ( if that much). If there were to be a truck strike, a severe weather event, where trucks couldn’t get to the stores would you have enough food in your pantry to feed your family and maybe even help out your neighbors? How long would you be able to feed your family if for some reason you couldn’t get to the store, or had no money to buy groceries with?
Do you have to stop by the store on your way home and pick up something to fix for dinner? (I worked at a grocery store years ago and every evening the same people would come in picking up something for dinner.) You get ready to make something do you have to run to the store or the neighbors to get an ingredient that you don’t have? ( Curious George is on right now and even the man with the yellow hat has to run to town to get food for dinner haha).
Most people have one to two weeks’ worth of food in their homes if even that. So many people eat out, a lot. When they do eat at home most of it is prepackaged foods very little from-scratch cooking. Just look at places that are getting ready to get hit by a big storm the grocery shelves are wiped clean. I know if you work outside the home it is harder to make sure you have from scratch dinners but with a little planning, you can do it. I will be sharing ideas for that in the near future.
So back to the question of how long could you feed your family if you couldn’t get to the store? Wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that if something happened, like a weather event, or a job loss, riots or some unforeseen event that you have enough food to feed your family? We have all kinds of insurance for our homes, car, health, and life so why not have food insurance. Just think of the peace of mind you would have. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You don’t have to get the expensive freeze-dried foods, in fact, you want to store what you eat and eat what you store. In a crisis situation, the last thing you want to do is introduce unfamiliar foods to your family.
That is where having a deep pantry/ food storage comes in. So what is a deep pantry? Our ancestors relied on deep pantries to survive the winters. They grew a big portion of their food and stored it to get through the winters. Some people are trying to return to this, they are seeing the wisdom in doing so. We live in very uncertain times right now, natural disasters, manmade disasters, uncertain weather, The stock market is at an all-time high (what goes up must eventually come down) just like before the great depression. We have whole cities going bankrupt ( like Detroit did a few years ago, and they cut all the city pensions by 80 %. ), Our national debt is over 20 trillion dollars, Civil unrest, high unemployment, and underemployment. I feel it is a very important thing to do. It is not a matter of if, but when all this is going to come crashing down and the longer they kick the can down the road the harder it is going to be, so wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have some food and provisions set back just in case. Maybe none of these things will happen (we have to pray, but I am not going to hold my breath) then you could think of it as an investment, the cost of food is going up every day and the packaging is getting smaller. If you had bought food four years ago it would be doubled if not tripled in value today.
Having a deep pantry also means you can eat more healthy by not having to just grab something or run by the nearest takeout place. And honestly wouldn’t be a great peace of mind to know that whatever happens, you will be able to feed your family.
Having a deep pantry isn’t just having extra food but also being able to cook that food in a crisis situation such as having no power, heating your home with no outside power. Just being able to function without outside help.
So how do you start a deep pantry/food storage? One way would be to follow my weekly deep pantry/ food storage challenge that I will share on Saturdays. Another would be to make a list of the foods that you use, and buy when they come on sale, and in bulk. Start with the basics then add to that. Get a weeks’ worth than two weeks and just keep adding to it. If you don’t already, learn to cook from scratch you will need fewer items in your pantry and you will be feeding your family more healthy foods. Plan to grow a garden, get a few chickens if you can have them where you live. Some places don’t let you grow a garden, so grow a garden in containers you can grow quite a bit in containers.
In this year’s deep pantry/food storage challenge I am going to focus a little more on skills, these would be so very helpful in hard times.
So what if you can’t afford extra food, that is where cooking from scratch comes in handy it is so much cheaper to make your own instead of buying it, buy sales and plan your menus around what is on sale and pick up a couple of extras. On my deep pantry/ food storage challenge I have two items each week the first is the bare basics ( from the LDS storage chart) and not too expensive, the second is what would be nice to have to round out your pantry. I will be posting a lot of from-scratch recipes in the near future from mixes to dinners hopefully this will help you to be able to get started.
Part two will go into why it is so important to have a deep pantry starting now.