30 Things You Need To Stock

30 Things You Need To Stock

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Today I’m going to talk about 30 things you need to stock when things go back to normal. Here’s the deal, this is a simple list that made me aware of how quickly things can disappear on the grocery shelves.

The last few months have made a lot of people aware of the need to stock up supplies. Some families were well stocked, and a few had bare shelves. Either way, it has impacted all of us.

I have stocked my pantry for over 50 years. Some years they were lean, and some years I was blessed with an abundance on my shelves.

If any of you purchased my book, “Prepare Your Family For Survival” you know why keeping my home grocery store stocked is so important to me.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart if you bought my book, it means a lot to me.

This Is Why I Stock Up

Let me explain what I wrote in my book about being prepared. When I was 16 years old, I was asked to help my aunt who had just had a baby and needed some assistance.

I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and never owned a coat. Then I moved back East near Chicago where they had snow and ice storms. That’s where I bought my first coat, winter boots, and gloves.

One ice storm was extreme, the streets and roads were not drivable for about two weeks. My cousin and I had to walk to the grocery store and we were only allowed one pound of hamburger a week and one quart of milk.

My mother always had a pantry filled with food. Not overflowing, but enough for our needs growing up.

We cooked from scratch and made bread every week. It was a way of life for us. She taught me the skills I needed to raise a family.

Well, my aunt grew up wealthy and was unfortunately not taught the skills I was blessed with. When I searched her cupboards they were bare, maybe a can or two of a few things, that was it.

She was used to going to the store every day or so to buy groceries for a few days.

Now, the stores were limiting the items you could buy. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it? This was 54 years ago, I turned 70 this year.

So you can see we must prepare for the unexpected, whatever it may be. Now onto the items I found in my area that was in short supply the last few months.

**Note: Water is a given in this post, let me make that clear, I did not add that to the list.

30 Things You Need To Stock

Pantry /Refrigerator Items

1. Rice

I went to Costco, Albertsons, Harmons, and Walmart to check out their rice shelves. Mark and I had heard there was a shortage, and yes indeed, there was and still is a shortage today.

Oh my goodness, just think of all the recipes we make with rice, right? I can’t find my favorite Jasmine rice, I have some, but I always like a little extra in the pantry.

2. Pasta

At my home, we love bowtie pasta in a spinach salad. I bought the last two boxes in the store, and some spaghetti.

We don’t eat a lot of pasta, but it feels good knowing we have some in #10 cans and some on my pantry shelves.

The funny thing is I couldn’t find any egg noodles, you know the kind that we make tuna noodle casserole with? There were none to be found.

3. Beans

As of today, you can’t buy any large 25 bags of beans where I live. I used to buy large bags when I had kids at home, but not anymore.

But large families would love to have them. Thank goodness, there are several cans of different kinds of beans available.

I wouldn’t say there are a lot, but there are a few cans on the shelves. My daughter in California called me one day and mentioned her roommate tried to make chili one night.

Read More of My Articles  11 Foods To Buy On A Cheap Budget

Well, he had to go to three stores in order to get six cans of beans to make chili because they had a limit of 2 cans per store. I really think we will laugh looking back at these stories. Two cans per store, who would have guessed?

4. Cheese

One thing I noticed, I couldn’t get my Tillamook brand of mild cheddar cheese in the 2 lb. size block. I use it for grilled cheese sandwiches and sliced with crackers, and so much more.

You can imagine when my grocery store pickup said two of them were available for purchase.

It felt like Christmas, I’m not kidding. When you try for six weeks and every store is sold out, it makes for a celebration of sorts, right?

5. Canned Goods

You know I have talked about canned goods before. I wrote a few posts on the subject, in case you missed them. How to Save Money on Canned Goods and Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store

Baking Staples

6. Flour

When there is a bread shortage, people start making bread. So, then we had a flour shortage. I’m not sure they were just making bread, but we need it for bread, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and tortillas.

Please remember, white flour has a shelf-life of 12-18 months. All my recipes are FREE and no-fail if your ingredients are fresh.

7. Yeast

Because yeast was in short supply I wrote a post on how to make a sourdough starter and sourdough pizza. Stay tuned, I’m going to show you how to make pizza with the sourdough starter.

Here is the post in case you missed it. How To Make A Sourdough Starter + Bread and Soda Bread: Step By Step How To Make It

I freeze a few packages of SAF Yeast in my freezer because I’m an avid bread maker. When it becomes available again I suggest you do the same, if you make bread very often. Bread is a real staple at our house.

8. Eggs

Here’s the deal, eggs became in short supply for a few weeks. Now, I can skip scrambled eggs for breakfast, and use one of my egg substitutes I wrote about in this post: What Can You Use as an Egg Substitute?

I actually mentioned to Mark, maybe we need that little hobby farm I’ve wanted for years. Just think we could raise chickens, rabbits, and possibly have a cow.

My farm hero is Janet Garman from Timber Creek Farm. She is the real deal, my friends.

9. Milk

I understand that powdered milk and instant milk quickly disappeared off the grocery shelves. One day milk was $5.00 a gallon in the dairy section.

Mark uses it for his cereal and bananas in the morning. And you could only buy one gallon, which was fine for the two of us.

But what about large families? Once it comes back in stock I highly recommend you pick some up a dry form of milk for your pantry, just in case.

Pet Supplies

10. Dog Food

I hadn’t heard about a shortage of dog food, but where I live it was curbside delivery only. So, here again, please stock up at least 90 days of dog food.

Better safe than sorry, we don’t want to change out their food during a disaster.

Personal Hygiene

11. Toilet Paper

Need, I say more? I’m still not sure why there was, or still is, a TP shortage. Did the pandemic make people think “I need TP” because of the pandemic or just because they felt secure knowing they had toilet paper stocked? We may never know.

Did you see that Costco had a HUGE sign saying NO RETURNS on toilet paper at the entrance? I got the giggles, because one day I went to pick up a prescription there and EVERY CART had 1-3 packages of toilet paper, I kid you not!

Don’t forget about Family Cloth-How To Make Reusable Toilet Paper For Survival

12. Paper Towels

Paper Towels

This was and still is a product in short supply as far as I know. A few years ago, I wrote a post about giving up paper towels, except for draining the bacon I cook.

Here it is in case you missed it How To Save Money On Your Paper Products

13. Menstrual Pads

My family comes to visit occasionally and I like having those monthly items the females might need, so I stock a few. Well, one of my granddaughters told me they were not available anywhere in her hometown.

So, I checked where I lived, sold out. Here again, stock up when you can.

Read More of My Articles  My Favorite Kind Of Food Storage

How To Make Reusable Menstrual Pads

14. Tampons

These had the same story as the menstrual pads. I thought maybe we could buy some online through Amazon. It took three delivers to get the three boxes I ordered.

Interestingly, even Amazon had trouble stocking them. Lesson learned for all, stock a few boxes for that what-if moment.

15. Bars of Hand Soap

Just so you know, I don’t like the word, hoarder. I saw on Facebook a few people mentioned that some prepared folks were hoarders, nope, nada. No way, it’s called prepared for the unexpected.

I may or may not have 20+ bars of hand soap. It’s called preparedness, so please stock up if you need to when supplies become available.

Cleaning Supplies

16. Laundry Soap

Wow, then laundry soap or detergent was in short supply. When you get the supplies, I highly recommend making your own detergent. Here is my recipe How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent. It’s good stuff, cleans well, and saves you money.

17. Clorox Wipes

Oh my goodness, thank goodness for these wipes. Luckily, I had enough to hand out to family and friends so they could keep their surfaces clean. Please stock up when available.

18. Kitchen Dish Soap

Who would have guessed that the grocery stores would be depleted of kitchen dish soap? If nothing else, I hope a few families learn from this experience, please stock up items you use frequently.

19. Bleach

Some people are totally against bleach, I am not. If you have ever cleaned up a sewer mess you would understand. I lived through a flood in 1983, and sewer water was everywhere in our neighbor’s basement.

Bleach is one of my best friends. Bleach: Everything You Need to Know

Yes, in 1983 we had commercial clean up crews in the neighborhood, but we needed bleach to clean down the sewer backups before they got to certain homes. Glad I had N-95’s to hand out back then too.

20. Lysol Spray

I’m so glad I found a few cans of Lysol in my stash, with sickness going around, I use it almost daily.

OTC Medications/Vitamins/First Aid

OTC Medications

21. Fever Reducers

If we encounter the Influenza, a Pandemic or whatever, a fever is fighting the infection, which is a good thing. But when the fever goes too high we need to be prepared to reduce the fever.

This is why we stock up and rotate as needed.

22. Emergen-C

My daughter ended up in the hospital a few years ago from being dehydrated with the flu. She was in the hospital for three days and probably should have stayed a few days longer.

Anyway, the doctor recommended she always have a few packages of Emergen-C on hand. Our entire family stocks it now. It’s high in Vitamin C, but does include sugar, just giving you the heads up.

23. Vitamin C, B-12 Vitamins, Multi-Vitamins

Who would have guessed that all the above vitamins would be stripped from the grocery store shelves? Even the Costco where I live didn’t have any of Vitamin C for weeks, yes weeks. Zinc is another one I was glad I had in my preps.

24. First Aid Supplies

We all need first aid supplies. If you need a list, here is one of my lists First Aid Kits-What You Need To Survive. Please stock up when these items become available.

25. N-95 Masks

This one is really quite sad, I have family members and friends working at hospitals where the masks are in short supply. Then all of a sudden, there are a million patterns online to make them.

But the fabric stores are closed. Another reason we need to learn to make them or stock them.

26. Thermometers

You can’t get any thermometers in my town. I lent mine to my grandson who is going to school in my town. So, I thought I would pick up another one, none are available where I live. I found one on Amazon for $100.00. Yeah, that’s not happening.

Baby Supplies

27. Disposable Diapers

I you haven’t stocked up on cloth diapers, I highly recommend you do. My girls were raised with cloth diapers and rubber pants.

Now they make really nice cloth diapers. Yes, they are expensive to start with, but will more than pay for themselves over time.

28. Baby Wipes

These are not only great for babies, but great for mini-showers for you when the water is shut off. Please stock up when you can.

Garden Supplies

29. Garden Seeds

Some seed stores, even the one where I buy my Non-GMO seeds from, Seeds Now, is overloaded because the local stores are unable to sell garden seeds. If they can sell them the garden seed section is empty.

30. Vegetable Plants

It’s interesting that some stores taped off the garden centers. Yes, indeed they did in some states. Who would have ever guessed this?

Final Word

I hope you realize this post about 30 things you need to stock is just the beginning. I have written many posts on items to stock up on. Today you may see some items you forgot about.

Either way, it’s my friendly reminder to be prepared for the unexpected. You only need one can at a time. Please only stock what you will eat and rotate it. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Blue Pitcher Deposit photos_24071893_s-2019

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  1. Yesterday, I made a list of things that I need to stock up on when this all settles down. I didn’t get all the things you listed. I will be tossing my list and printing yours. Thank you for this. We did already have a stock of most items, some just fell through the cracks.

    1. Hi Deborah, I feel I’m very prepared but even I should have stocked up on a few jars of mustard. LOL! Since there are only two us now I buy little containers of condiments. I had one small container in the frig. Of course, it does make us think about things. I had two tiny bottles of ketchup and mayo. Yes, I could get by without them, but it did make me think, “why didn’t I pick up a few last time I went to the store?” Yes, things fell through the cracks for all us, I think. Stay well, Linda

    2. Good for you Deborah! I think anyone’s who’s honest had cracks and holes in their preparedness.

      1. Hello Linda from Florida,
        Zinc tablets help to fight viruses and improve healing. It is especially good when you are taking antibiotics. So we have added zinc to our preparedness storage. Again thank you for this great blog.
        Patricia Dolan

        1. I had hubby order me some Zand brand Elderberry and Zinc cough drops. They really help with coughs. I’ve had a dry, unproductive cough for several years now. I have COPD, GERD, and allergies. It cause a tickle and I cough. They do help.

  2. I think more folks need to raise chickens rather than stock eggs. You’d be surprised how many places will allow 6-8 hens even in cities. Now HOAs well that’s just you trying to have your cake and eat it too. It doesn’t work. That being said look up water glassing eggs on modern refugee on YouTube. Backyard chickens is a good forum to help you start and they’ve got local sections too for folks in your area.
    Soap – I love Dollar Tree. Every payday I do a prep. Sometimes money’s tight. You can get a 2 pack of soap for a buck. So $10 was that checks prep. Next one I did $10 in 30hr. candles. Next one was flatware, chemlights, salt, canned goods, paper goods and so on.
    Seeds- end of season is when you buy seed not the year of planting. Prepare. I learned that from my farming grandparents.
    We’ve got a ways to go but things are coming back online in the stores so look at your weaknesses from this event and get to work. I’ve got me a few holes to plug myself.

    1. Hi Matt, you always have the best comments, my friend. The dollar tree stores rock! I was just talking to Mark that I feel we need to raise chickens, our HOA won’t allow them. I will for sure check out the YouTube! Thanks again, Linda

      1. Linda, all over this country people are fighting for the right to raise chickens. Take your arguments to your HOA board. And here’s another tip. They cannot keep you from having pets. Name your birds and call them pets. Most neighbors won’t complain about hen noises–it’s roosters crowing that gets some folks upset. Also, your HOA probably doesn’t have any prohibition against Rabbits–which can also be dubbed pets, if necessary. If your HOA resists, start a campaign/petition among your neighbors to change their attitude or run for a position on the board yourself.

        Oh, I’d like your permission to share this wonderful article with my Newsletter readers. Full attribution as always.

        1. Hi Ray, you can always share anything I write, you are awesome, my friend! I know several families who have tried to have chickens and rabbits, it’s not going to happen. I have seen bloggers write on how to get your HOA to allow it. My HOA takes pictures of garbage cans left out for more than 4 hours. I see that commercial on TV about HOA’s and I swear they are filming my neighborhood HOA!! I giggle every time I see the woman saw the mailbox off because it’s 2 inches too tall! Stay well, Linda

          1. Linda, thanks for the ongoing reprint permission. I always give you full attribution. Oh, I also just gave you a 5 Star review on Goodreads. Your articles are so helpful and useful and I like the sense of humor that you infuse them with.

            But OMG, you really need to get control of your HOA. Aren’t those people elected? Start petitions to recall them is they don’t get reasonable. Local politics like that are the easiest for you and me to influence. It really does work. But stories like yours are why I will never live anywhere that has an HOA. The pet thing I mentioned does work.

          2. Hi Ray, unfortunately, our neighborhood has taken 20 years to sell only 1/2 the building lots. SO, the builder has control of the HOA still. I have been an HOA president, I assumed the lots would sell faster and the homeowners would take control. Until at least 75-80% of the lots are sold we will never have control of the HOA. The subdivision was started in 1999 and it’s the worst investment we have ever made on a home. What development does not sell out, right?? I will get off my soapbox. Anyway, thank you for the 5 stars, that means so much to me! Stay safe, Linda

          3. Linda, try to convince your builder, who still has control of your HOA, that allowing people to raise chickens, etc., would actually help his marketing efforts as it would attract more people like you. He surely couldn’t object to that. 🙂

          4. Hi Ray, you are so cute, it’s crazy, we tried to vote it in but we will never win because there are not enough lots built to vote on the request. They get 2 votes for every unbuilt lot. We will never win. If I had high blood pressure it would go through the roof just thinking about the builders and the HOA! LOL! The first two builders went bankrupt. There are no words for this subdivision. Linda

          5. Linda, I guess your options are down to praying or selling and moving and it sounds like praying is the most likely. Curious though, what is the penalty for violating HOA prohibitions?

            Hmmm, or start a GoFundMe page to buy the developer out, then takeover the HOA (as the new owners) and sell the lots to urban homesteaders.

          6. Hi Ray, I love your comment!! LOL! The penalty is $25.00 to $100.00 a day depending on the violation. We built a custom shed that was built off by two feet. We had to pay $1100.00 to have it moved. Life is not fun where I live. When my husband dies, if he dies before me, the for sale sign will be up within the week. Linda

          7. Is there some employment or family reasons keeping you and your husband there? Life is short so why wait to sell and move someplace that does not have onerous regulations. My best to you both and keep on prepping.

          8. Hi Ray, you are so cute, I look every day for some property. I totally agree life is too short to stay here. I will keep you posted. Linda

  3. I happily ordered your book and avidly read your posts. What a super ‘discovery ‘ and I’m grateful to be led to your advice. I have taken on the role of Hunter-Gatherer and can sure relate to going from store-to-store to find items – visions of Russians lining-up at stores for hours after rumors of bread arrivals. I’m considering this upheaval a compassionate dress rehearsal for something bigger, to teach us what not to do – to ‘make ready’. Again, thank you.

    1. Hi L.M. oh my gosh, I love your phrase a compassionate dress rehearsal for something bigger! I LOVE it! Thank you for buying my book and following my blog, it means so much to me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Stay well, Linda

    2. Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about how this is a good practice dry run. Who would have ever thought you couldn’t buy a can of diced tomatoes anywhere? I don’t use them typically, but when I went into meat stretching mode, I went through a case in nothing flat. And, I’ve been shocked at how reliant I am on the internet. My beans were a little old, and I had to google for help. It’s been as good wake up call, even for the prepared.

      1. Hi Karen, I agree who would have thought? Dice tomatoes, beans, rice, flour, and yeast nowhere to be found. Yes, it was a good practice dry run. A huge wakeup call for all. Linda

  4. I’d like to stock up on the cute pitcher & napkin in your photo! Can you tell me where you got them? BTW, I’ve been following you for quite a while & really enjoy ALL the valuable info you provide! Thank you.

    1. Hi Rita, thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to me! I wish I had that little pitcher!! I bought this stock photo for the post. I thought it was so darn cute! Linda

      1. I searched online for the pitcher and came up with a couple that were close. Just type in blue ceramic pitcher and you will find one that is close. I tried green ceramic pitcher and came up with one as well. Not exact, but close.

  5. Absolutely great post today, especially with the links to your other posts that were included. I will be reviewing all of those because my list is not near as complete as yours. This current stay-at-home thing has shown me several short-comings in my preps, but we are making do and thriving in place. I just wish you were my next door neighbor. I will be sending you a private email in a few minutes.

    1. Hi Harry, I wish YOU were my next door neighbor!! I’m so glad I met you through my blog!! I think we all found a few shortcomings in our preps, I know I did. But such is life, we all be ready for the next one. Stay well, and stay!! Linda

  6. I try hard to not have disposable anything, especially when storage space is limited. So I would add a menstrual cup and homemade sanitary pads, a Bidet (or peri bottles) and reusable TP to my emergency storage.

    1. Hi Renee, thank for these great ideas! I forgot about the menstrual cup. I need to add my link on how to make menstrual pads. I want to look into the bidet when the prices come back down. Great comment! Linda

  7. Okay Linda,
    I thought I had your private email address, but it bounced back. So, be watching your mail this week for a little gift.

  8. Linda –
    I also have found some holes in my preps!! As we all have, no doubt. We are fortunate in our area to have no lock down on gardening supplies (at least a couple of weeks ago when I went locally). I was able to purchase seeds, plants, etc. So, I stocked up on various seeds for planting as well as for sprouting.

    I watched a Youtube video the other day about microgreens – fast easy way to get some vegetables growing and on your table. I am planning to grow my sprouting seeds for this for salads and to add to recipes: alfalfa, clover, radish (sandwich mix) and I am growing lettuce from seed that are now ready to harvest as microgreens!

    For those who are interested in possibly growing microgreens – go to Youtube and search for microgreens and a number of videos come up. I initially learned from Epic Gardening. Anyway, this is just a thought!

    1. HI Leanne, I have been hearing a lot about microgreens, thanks for the reminder. I looked yesterday at the garden shop and they have seeds for sale, I walked in and walked out, I just wanted to know. It looked pretty empty so I’m assuming people have been buying them. Thanks for the tip! Linda

  9. Those menstrual pads and tampons can be put to use other ways, too–hopefully never, but still. Think of them as super wound dressings. I’m on a farm, either I or one of the animals could get hurt (and horses always seems to get big hurts, like one I’m having to bandage daily right now!)–those pads and tampons could, in a pinch, be very good wound dressings. I’m not sure if they are truly sterile, but they’re at least clean, and very absorbent.

    I love it when something can do double duty!

    1. Hi Rhonda, it might come to needing them to save a life even if they are not sterile. Of course, we would be careful but they are a great option for sure! Thanks for the tips on the horses!! Linda

  10. Cat food and Kitty litter are important to have if you have cats. Hamster/guinea pig/rabbit food and cedar bedding if you have those cute little critters.
    Since we never know WHERE we are going to be when a disaster hits….
    Kitty litter can also be used for ice/snow traction for your car/truck/RV if you get stuck and for traction on the sidewalks and driveway.
    Cedar bedding can be used for traction as well as for starting a fire if you need to.
    Another good thing for traction if you are stuck in the mud/snow/ice are the inexpensive “rag” rugs . You could maybe find some at the thrift shop, if not, Walmart has them. Just put one down behind each wheel and gently give your vehicle some gas.

    1. Hi Trish, I love the trick about the cedar bedding, I used to live in snow country. I store a lot of kitty litter for emergency toilets for one thing. It’s a great one to have stored! Linda

      1. You can use the cedar bedding for the “porta-potty”/luggable loo, too. Cedar helps with the odor, and absorbs a bit of the liquid. 🙂

  11. I have used menstrual pads for horse wound for years. They wrap around a leg and then hold in place with vet wrap.
    Thanks for a great post Linda. I learn so much from you.

  12. Keystone all natural canned meat roast beef, chicken, ground beef, no water added, no preservatives fully cooked. I buy the 28 oz cans. the latest roast beef I bought last week expires Sept 5, 2024. chicken expires July 9 2023. I buy these At Walmart.
    You can also order these online from Walmart. you can also buy smaller cans of these on line.
    I like buying the big packs of paper towels and toilet paper At Costco. Went into Costco a month ago and they were totally out of toilet paper. I buy one large pack a month and store it in my basement.
    They are now back in stock. Now have extra bought to last quite a while.

    1. Hi Brenda, thank for letting us know about the Keystone meats! I Like those expiration dates!! Great tip! I’m so glad that toilet paper is back in stock for those that need it! Linda

  13. We are very well stocked, but we are also in a rural midwestern area that has not been heavily affected at least not yet by covid19 so our stores have still had most of what we needed. However, I wanted to buy some flour and yeast to bake for the kids and our stores were sold out. I had to pick up some lambs one day so I stopped in a rural Amish country store and they were fully stocked. They had many types of bulk flour and yeast. I stocked up. At the time I couldn’t even get flour or yeast on Amazon so I was very excited. I bought all of my groceries including a 10 lb. box of frozen locally raised ground beef. Beef had been sold out in our local grocery too. This Amish store was very clean. They even provided hand sanitizer and clorox wipes to wipe down the cart. Also, it was not crowded and easy to get in and out quickly. This store is only about 30 minutes from home, so I will be going back. Smaller rural groceries and country stores are another option if not too far of a drive.

    1. Hi Faith, wow you were really blessed to find what you needed!!! I love the Amish stores, I have visited them only twice while on vacation. I love their stores! Great comment, Linda

  14. I’m really surprised no one ever mentions having a rocket stove on hand. Not that you could carry it in your GHB! We decided to test ourselves this w/e and cooked on ours. A lot more trouble than I would like, but we ate! And I found many “holes” in our preps. Esp. regarding equipment. Will address them promptly.

  15. I did notice one thing I want to add to my stock pile incase this happens again. Gatorade- it
    is good to keep on hand for anytime, that way you can keep it “fresh”. I was able to find it on
    sale so I bought some.
    You guys were talking about the Amish, I also found a great buy at an Amish store near by.
    They had 40 pounds of chicken breasts for 54.00 or if you get 4 or more you got for 50.00 a
    case. I called my Best Friend and she went to work on the phone. Long story short I am going
    down to pick up 8 cases of Chicken Breasts. I also noticed when I was there a few days ago that
    they had plenty of yeast and flour. I love shopping there. Oh I got my tomato plants down there

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