11 Ways To Make Your Pantry Sustainable
Here are 11 ways to make your pantry sustainable. Here’s the deal, a sweet relative called me yesterday to ask me which bread machine, bread mixer, wheat grinder, electric, and hand-crank to buy. People understand the need to learn to make bread as soon as possible. Yes, it has carbs but today It’s about being able to feed our family.
So, I decided to write about the basics of stocking a pantry. Please remember no one will deliver food or water to our homes after a disaster, it’s a fact, that we must be self-reliant.
Of course, we know we all need water, I suggest 4 gallons per person per day but please do what you can do, and do it a little each month. So now onto the need for a pantry to feed your family.
I will mention that yes, we may need a hand-crank wheat grinder if we make whole wheat bread, but we must live today. Please get an electric one and enjoy making whole wheat bread every week. If you are new to making bread, start with sourdough bread or white bread. Then learn to grind wheat and make whole wheat bread if you decide you want to.
11 Ways To Make Your Pantry Sustainable
1. Learn To Make Bread
If you can learn to make bread, you can feed your family now and after a disaster when the stores are closed. People get angry when they are hungry, this is one item that goes well with soup to keep the belly full.
Items To Make Bread
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Bosch Bread Mixer
- Zojirushi Bread Maker (I do not bake it in the machine, only in the oven after mixing)
- 1/2 gallon Silicone Bags for Ingredients
- Bread Pans
- Dough Cutter
- Bread Bags For Storage
In case you missed these posts, Bread Machine Bread-How To Make It and How To Make My No-Fail Homemade Bread or How To Make A Sourdough Starter + Bread
Ingredients for the Bread Machine Recipe (2 Loaves)
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry instant milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon Saf Instant yeast
The recipe is here, Bread Machine Bread-How To Make It
2. Learn To Make Biscuits
I grew up on biscuits and gravy, biscuits with butter and jam, these fill the belly with soup or Cream Chipped Beef.
Items You Will Need
- Biscuit Cutter
- Rolling Pin
- Mixing Bowl
- Danish Whisk
- Cookie Sheet
In case you missed this post, Easy Homemade Biscuit Recipe
Ingredients for Homemade Biscuits
- 4 tsp. instant SAF yeast (please store in freezer)
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups buttermilk (How To Make Buttermilk)
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 1 cup shortening or softened butter (I use butter)
- 5 cups white bread flour
3. Spices You May Want To Stock
It doesn’t matter what you cook, bake items, or prepare a fresh salad or vegetables, spices make things taste better. I wrote this post, 33 Essential Spices I Recommend Stocking Up On. Some of you may have missed it, so I will gently remind you to stock up on your favorite spices.
- 33 Essential Spices I Recommend To Stock
- 1. Basil
- 2. Bay Leaf
- 3. Black Pepper
- 4. Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
- 5. Cayenne Red Pepper
- 6. Celery Salt
- 7. Cinnamon (Ground)
- 8. Chili Powder
- 9. Chives
- 10. Cream of Tartar
- 11. Cumin (Ground)
- 12. Curry Powder
- 13. Dill Weed
- 14. Garlic Powder
- 15. Garlic Salt
- 16. Ginger (Ground)
- 17. Himalayan Pink Salt
- 18. Italian Seasoning
- 19. Mustard (Dry Powdered)
- 20. Nutmeg (Ground)
- 21. Old Bay Seasoning
- 22. Onion Powder
- 23. Onion Salt
- 24. Lemon Pepper
- 25. Oregano
- 26. Paprika (Ground)
- 27. Parsley Flakes
- 28. Red Pepper (Crushed)
- 29. Poppy Seed
- 30. Sage (Rubbed)
- 31. Seasoned Salt (Similar to Lawry’s Salt)
- 32. Sesame Seeds
- 33. Thyme
4. Stock Canned Meats
One thing we all may want is some protein, I wrote a post on the Canned Meats I Recommend to give people some ideas. Here’s the deal, everyone has food they will enjoy eating or cooking with, I get it.
This is why it’s critical to go to the grocery store, the dollar store, Costco, or Sam’s Club to name a few, and choose the ones your family will eat.
Of course, we all would love freshly sliced deli meat, but after a disaster, the stores may be closed. These cans of meat will fill the belly with homemade bread or crackers.
I have to laugh I’m looking at those Vienna Sausages, I can still remember eating those when I was little. Not so much now.
5. Store Canned Vegetables
Now we’re onto canned vegetables. I try to buy the low-sodium ones but I also realize I can rinse off the liquid and hopefully consume less salt.
As I look at these cans, I think to myself, I love my garden’s fresh vegetables, But I must be realistic. Where I am living now, the weather is much colder, and I know I must have ready-to-eat vegetables to feed my family when needed.
6. Stock Canned Fruits
I love fresh fruit, frozen fruit, and even. canned fruit. These are the ones I recommended to stock. Every family has their favorites, choose those. Canned Fruit I Recommend
7. Baking Supplies
When you love to bake, you stock supplies for cookies, bread, muffins, cakes, and anything sweet or plain and simple. Please stock those baking items you use often. Please remember to keep your SAF Yeast in the freezer. It will last for a few years, trust me I know. In case we lose power for an extended period of time. please print your favorite recipes.
Are you a snacker like me? You can see below a few of the snacks our family loves to stock. I love Oreos and dark chocolate, what’s not to love? In times of stress, it’s nice to have some snacks for those around you to munch on. You can play board games and have a few bowls of treats available.
9. Breakfast Items
In case you missed the post, Emergency Breakfast Food. I stock instant milk, cereal, freeze-dried bananas, as well as dehydrated bananas. I make homemade bread so we always stock peanut butter and jam. Life is so good with hot bread just out of the oven, right?
10. Dehydrated Food/Freeze-Dried Food
By now you know I love to dehydrate food. I also purchase dehydrated food as well as freeze-dried food. It all depends on what my pantry needs. Some of it has a shelf-life that is short-term and long-term. It’s important to have a variety of food storage items, we must be able to feed our family today or after a disaster.
Please remember no one will deliver food or water to you immediately, that may sound harsh, but it’s the truth, my friends. After an unforeseen emergency, depending on the severity, it could be weeks.
11. Pet Food/Supplies
If you have some small or large pets/animals we all know how important it is to have the food they need to eat. It’s been hard to get some dog and cat food the last couple of years. My veterinarian warned me one day when I took my dog to be groomed, that it is getting harder to get any animal food. Just giving you the heads up if you haven’t heard it yet.
How To Make Food More Sustainable
- Grow a Garden (This is where I buy my garden seeds: SeedsNow)
- Eat what’s in Season
- Stop the Waste (Freeze or Dehydrate)
- Eat more Plants (Farmer’s Market, if available)
I hope you enjoyed my post today on 11 Ways To Make Your Pantry Sustainable. My goal is to help others be prepared for the unexpected. May God Bless this World, Linda
31 thoughts on “11 Ways To Make Your Pantry Sustainable”
“Yes it has carbs” I had to laugh even though I understand why you had to explain it. We’ve got it so good in this country….
Hi Matt, LOL! The carbs, LOL! I don’t count carbs or calories, and I doubt I ever will. I make bread every single week and have for 60+ years! I’m going to teach a friend how to make bread. It’s easier than people realize. You got me laughing, I love it! Linda
I make bread every week, too. I don’t know why so few people do. I have made it since I was first married (back with the dinosaurs). It is an important skill. Plus, it tastes better and costs less.
Hi Janet, I’m in the dinosaur bread-making club as well. LOL! I taught a bread-making class at a church function where I live now. Only ONE person picked up the recipe and instructions out of maybe 30 who attended. It’s all good. My friend Melissa Richardson (author of “The Art Of Baking with Natural Yeast” https://amzn.to/3TVXfAA) said she sat in Costco and people walked right past her picked up a book and glanced through it and went back and bought loaves of bread. We both giggled over that for years! Linda
The main reason I don’t bake bread is because I eat it – all of it, smothered in butter!!! I grew up on homemade bread and I love love love it!! Mom always had a loaf coming out of the oven when the bus pulled up to let us kids off after school. There was a dish of homemade butter (we had our own milk cows so butter, cheese, milk, cream, etc.) and a dish of home jarred jam or jelly. I generally just wanted it with butter when the bread was hot! When it was cool and sliced, then I wanted jam or jelly on it. So, IF I make bread, as soon as I can handle the loaf (sometimes using oven mitts) I cut or tear off a big chunk, slather on the butter (not homemade sadly) and devour it! I have been known to eat half of a loaf while it was hot! So, I have chosen not to make bread, at least very often. The last time I made bread was last Thanksgiving as I was tasked with taking all the dinner rolls for 30 people!! I enjoyed it but of course I taste tested one or two!!
Hi Leanne, you made diner rolls for 30 on Thanksgiving! I love it! I can almost smell them coming out of the oven! Linda
Thank you for so much great information. It truly is valuable, especially in these times!
Hi Bethany, thank you for your kind words, we must be ready for hard times. Linda
Love this post, Linda! My grandmother made biscuits every day until after my granddaddy died. She made pinch off biscuits instead of cutting them. They were so soft and fluffy. I never learned how to make them.
One meat that we stock that you didn’t mention is BBQ pork. I think hubby got it from either Walmart of Amazon. It’s pretty good. We make pulled pork from it.
Hi Deborah, thank you for your kind word, my sweet friend. I forgot you mentioned that BBQ pork!! I want to go get some, thank you for the reminder. I love biscuits, I love hearing you grew up on them as well!! Linda
As you and I have discussed, we need to make sure that the spices we store are not tainted by toxic heavy metals as reported in Consumer Reports after a study. The article can be read at this link: https://www.consumerreports.org/food-safety/your-herbs-and-spices-might-contain-arsenic-cadmium-and-lead/
Hi Harry, oh thank you for the link! It makes you wonder what else is in our food! Thank you, Harry, Linda
Our world is headed for a very dark place, that I am not sure any of us can truly prepare for. We can only do our best, but I fear even that will come up short. Please stay safe and healthy.
Fresh bread and cookies always brought my kids into the kitchen fast, no matter where r they were outside. Those smells are always amazing!!
Hi Cheryl, I LOVE this! You are so right there is nothing better than something yummy baking in the oven! Linda
Thank you for all you do for us! Always learning from you.
Do you have a good / favorite Sourdough recipe for a soft “sandwich bread”?
Hi Laura, my sourdough recipe will make soft or crusty bread. It’s how it is baked. You just don’t bake it with in a Dutch oven with a lid. That’s what makes it crusty. I need to write a post to show people how easy that is. Great reminder, Linda
I love your posts and I always read all the comments. I’ve never seen a biscuit recipe with yeast. I’m anxious to try it
Hi Cindy, thank you for your kind words, my friend. I love biscuits, I try new recipes all the time. Linda
HA! You laugh at those Vienna Sausages but I still eat them. I add a can of them to a can of Bushes baked beans and heat them together! So good! And don’t even get me started on Spam! (bacon flavor).
Hi Bill-Bill, now that’s a great idea to put the Vienna sausages in Bushes Baked Beans! Now I need to check out the SPAM in bacon flavor, I think Matt mentioned that once, oh happy day! Linda
I’ve given away so much sourdough starter lately, it’s good to see the interest in home made bread, especially younger people taking it up. Overnight rise sourdough rye is my all time favourite. I’ve experimented with home made crackers as well, like the fancy ones with all the seeds. I like having canned corned beef around. When the frozen hash browns are on sale I grab a couple of bags for a very quick corned beef hash. That biscuit recipe looks good!
I’m just getting a garden set up here, there wasn’t one before. One of the things I want to plant is a bay laurel because I use a lot of bay leaves and it’s nice not having to buy them. My son has one at his place but he always forgets to bring me some.
Hi Alice, oh my gosh, you make overnight rise sourdough rye bread??????? I grew up on corned beef hash!!! You are an inspiration, thank you for sharing!! Linda
I’m lactose intolerant. What can I do to store milk for people like me?
HI Nina, this is a great question. I know I had a grandchild that was lactose intolerant and my daughter bought Rice Milk in boxes that did not need refrigeration. They are not for the long term but I’m guessing possibly a year. I just looked on Walmart.com. and they have some shelf-stable milk such as almond milk, and rice milk. You will have to check each case of the brand you decide on to see the expiration date. I have made oat milk, I know people make almond milk themselves, but you would need a blender. Linda
I can’t wait to be able to make bread! Love all of these tips and thank you so much for sharing, it’s appreciated!
Hi Jess, you. will love making bread, I promise!! Linda
All ways to be sustainable!! I still am of the mind that I need to store what I eat and eat what I store. With this method, I don’t have to worry so much about Best By dates.
Harry – thanks for the link – Food for thought for sure.
Nina – if you buy the best shelf stable milk of choice, use it! Unfortunately, shelf stable does not always translate into long term storage. I am lactose sensitive (not intolerant but really sensitive) but I have found that if I cook regular cows milk like in a soup, I do ok. But I also know that if I eat cheese tonight and have milk in other forms in the morning I could have issues!!
I keep Rice A Roni on hand a lot – especially when it is 10 for $10!! Not often now but in the past it was a monthly special at one of the stores I shop at. Just checked my favorite store and it is $1.59 a box!! Yikes! $1.28 at Walmart!
One meat that I like to keep on hand is Hormel Smoked Ham – 5 oz. Not cheap but it is versatile. It is packed sort of like canned chicken and tuna. I make ham salad for sandwiches, stir into my fried rice, make breakfast casseroles out of it and add it to navy bean for ham and bean soup!
Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, I am going to pick up some Hormel Smoked Ham in a can!!! I would use it in so many ways! Great tips, thank you! Linda
Right now I have to be very cautious about what I eat since I had bariatric stomach surgery a few months ago. If the SHTF in the next 6 month I could be in for a world of hurt, after everything heals I’ll be fine. Right now carb are like poison, but healing is taking place every day. We do have it so good here and can make all kinds of eating choices. My oldest daughter is a vegetarian and my youngest is a vegan. Neither will be survival in a long term disaster situation unless they are prepared with a small farm or homestead to grow and process their own food. The oldest wants to do that. The youngest is too clueless and I worry about her when she graduates from college.
For my son-in-law’s birthday I am making a 72 hour emergency food bag for their family. I am going to get one of the Augaston farms super cans with 4 packages to feed 4 people, a black bean burger mix, then add can of soups or spaghetti-o, cans of fruit, packets of oatmeal and etc. I bought a zippered reusable grocery bag to put everything in. He is the only family member that appreciates my prepping. Everyone else rolls their eyes and indulges me. When he was in high school a tornado destroyed their house and about 1/4 the town. They are related to half the town but he realized how bad it could be. I think my daughter might get an electric wheat grinder attachment for her kitchen aid for Christmas with some wheat berries and recipes.
Some one posted asking about milk for lactose intolerance. Amazon has lactose free powdered cow’s milk plus a selection of powered non-dairy milks. Worth a look.
Hi Topaz, good for you on your surgery, I will pray for a speedy recovery!! What a great idea for the 72-hour kit for your SIL’s birthday. Thanks for the tip on milk/lactose intolerance. The wheat grinder attachment is a great idea. Linda