58 Frugal Kitchen and Pantry Items You Need

58 Frugal Kitchen and Pantry Items You Need

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As the end of the year approaches and people are considering gift ideas, are you looking for frugal kitchen and pantry items you need or could give to someone else? I have 58 frugal kitchen and pantry items you need in your cupboards or separate pantry today.

If we can teach the world to go back to cooking from scratch at home as our parents and grandparents did, just think how self-reliant our country would be.

If you don’t have anyone to teach you these skills, I want to help teach you! I’m updating this post today because it’s critical the world knows how to cook from scratch. The items listed are mainly food related and don’t include typical kitchen and pantry items like toasters, coffee makers, blenders, mixers, slow cookers, and other small appliances, or pots, pans, griddles, mixing bowls, utensils, and so many other things we think of when considering meal preparation and serving.

Whether you’re a beginner prepper or a seasoned cook, the listed items are critical to making your food preparation as simple and complete as possible. I’ve included a short description of each item on the list just in case you may not have thought of using the item for a particular recipe or part of an entree to be served. I hope the list and description prove helpful.

Those of us who spend much of our day in the “heart of the home,” our kitchen, want what you might call a working pantry. That is one that is complete enough to make meal planning and preparation a breeze. We have all the food staples that are necessary as we enter our live-in kitchen, such that frequent visits to the store are a thing of the past for us. Whether is a large assortment of spices or a variety of condiments, we are prepared.

In case you missed this post, Cream Chipped Beef, or this one, How to Make Brown Sugar

Frugal Kitchen and Pantry Items You Need

58 Frugal Kitchen and Pantry Items You Need

Do you love the smell of something cooking in the kitchen? I love it when I start a slow cooker with food in the morning because, for one thing, dinner is planned and will be ready in plenty of time.

If you can have even a small inventory of these items in your pantry or kitchen, you can cook so many meals day after day. The more we stay out of the supermarket or grocery stores the more money we save. I truly believe that having these items in your kitchen & pantry is a good thing for so many reasons.

Store what you use and eat what you store is the motto many of us try to follow every day as we add to our food storage inventory, and then use what we have. I’m excited to teach you what I know about the different items you need in your kitchen and pantry.

Items to Store

I’ve been cooking for a long time, I’ve been married for 53 years, and I’ve been able to show my children and my grandchildren how to cook. I’m leaving this list as a legacy. Anyone can refer to this list and realize the best items for their pantry and kitchen. The best part is that all of these items are budget-friendly.

  1. Flour: I store white bread flour (maximum shelf-life is 6-12 months). Of course, #10 cans commercially processed have a longer shelf life. I believe a shelf-life of 5 years for the #10 cans of flour is reasonable. Although I’ve noticed some with a shelf-life listed of 25 years, I personally would question that time frame. We can make bread, biscuits, pancakes, and cookies, to name just a few items with flour as the base ingredient. Some people like all-purpose flour, but my favorite is bread flour since it can also be used for many things besides just bread, and it has more protein. Give it a try and see how it works for you.
  2. Hard white whole wheat: you can make bread or barter the wheat if needed in your preparedness situation. I just stock up when I can and it’s there when I need it. Some people have been reluctant to store wheat and then grind it when needed. We’ve been grinding ours for years and feel confident we can make good use of the wheat in so many ways.
  3. Yeast: please store in the refrigerator for monthly use, and your excess yeast in the freezer in airtight containers. My favorite: is SAF YEAST. It is so important that your yeast, and most all your ingredients, are fresh to get the best results from your cooking and baking efforts.
  4. Baking soda: typically stores for a very long time (indefinitely), but it can be used for other things besides leavening. Be sure and check expiration dates. Another item that is best used when fresh.
  5. Baking powder: it will typically store for 9-12 months. Be sure and check the expiration on the container. You can make your own baking powder by combining half a teaspoon of cream of tartar and a quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, this equals the equivalent of one teaspoon of baking powder. I love to learn about and use substitutes when necessary.
  6. Salt: stores indefinitely, but stock up if you can because this is a cheap item that everyone needs in their pantry. We have to steer clear of using a lot of salt in our recipes due to health issues as we age, but it is included in so many recipes that it becomes a “have-to-have” item.
  7. Instant milk: I buy #10 cans that are stored for 25 years under optimum temperatures. In other words, not my hot garage. I don’t use instant milk as a drink choice, although many families do. I just like having it around and often use it in place of fresh milk in many recipes.
  8. Honey: stores indefinitely. I tend to buy my honey in small 1/2 gallon or smaller containers so I can warm it with water to liquefy it if it has hardened. Five-gallon buckets are hard for me to pry out chunks for use if they have crystallized. I also keep some small one-pint containers in the fridge so I have honey available all the time.
  9. White sugar: stores indefinitely. It may clump, but you can break up the clumps with a spoon or fork.
  10. Oil: coconut oil has a longer shelf life than olive oil. The maximum shelf-life of olive oil is 12 months, depending on how old it was when you bought it at the store. Oils need to be stored in a dark cool place. Coconut oil will store longer, depending on the kind you buy. Every manufacturer has different expiration dates.
  11. Rice: white rice stores longer than brown rice. Brown rice has a shelf-life of six months because it is so oily, and becomes rancid very quickly. I love having rice in my storage stash since it can be used in so many of my meal plans. Note that a small amount goes a long way once it’s cooked.
  12. Canned chicken: for sandwiches or casseroles. You’ll be surprised how tasty canned chicken is and it’s really inexpensive. We buy most of ours at Costco and love it. We like to make a chicken salad and then use it in sandwiches with pickles, but also as a tasty salad with crackers.
  13. Canned roast beef: for sandwiches or casseroles. Another one of my favorite meats is canned roast beef, so yummy!
  14. Canned tuna: be careful with storing tuna because it can become mushy after a year or two. It’s great for sandwiches or casseroles.
  15. Mayonnaise: for sandwiches or casseroles. Mayo can be stored for a long time, but you can also make so many dishes out of it. Mark and I debate which is best to use on a sandwich, Mayo or Miracle Whip. We enjoy them both.
  16. Miracle Whip: yep, my husband introduced me to this awesome spread for sandwiches and casseroles. Please note, I started buying smaller jars so if we do have a power outage, I’ll still have some sandwich spread if we go days without power. Please remember, ice will be non-existent within hours after a power outage. Please store some gallons of water in your freezer that you could transfer to a camping cooler, if needed, to help protect your perishable food items.
  17. Oatmeal: is a great frugal food to store. I always think of hot cereal and cookies, and we can use them to stretch a hamburger casserole. Our kids loved oatmeal for breakfast for many years.
  18. Beans: here’s the deal with beans, you can buy bulk beans, canned beans, and bags of beans. If you have a can opener, you can eat those babies right out of the can, if you had to. Talk about a frugal food staple!!! Add some spices and we are set for any meal. I recently wrote a post about how to make a 16-bean soup, you ought to check it out.
  19. Popcorn: I love popcorn freshly popped with butter and salt. Got to have it in your inventory!
  20. Lemon juice: awesome for cooking or drinking. I love it with green tea and honey.
  21. Tomato paste: you can make pizza, spaghetti sauce and so much more. Don’t forget to keep tomato paste in your pantry, it’s great for so many meals.
  22. Tomato sauce: you can make casseroles, soups, and spaghetti, to name a few meals. Tomato paste and tomato sauce are not the same thing.
  23. Tomato flakes: great for soups.
  24. Canned tomatoes: can make so many things like soup, chili, and stir-fried dishes. I have made tons of delicious dishes with canned tomatoes. Have I given you enough reasons to store tomato products?!
  25. Cream of chicken soup: I buy this one by the case. Sorry, I don’t make it from scratch. I’ve tried many recipes from scratch and they can’t beat my Campbell’s cream of chicken soup. I often use it to thicken up my other chicken soups, and it adds a real creamy texture and delicious flavor. Try it, you’ll love it.
  26. Cream of mushroom soup: is great as a soup or used in casseroles or when you want creamy soups. YES! You need to have this on hand.
  27. Black olives: need I say more? I can picture my grandkids with their fingertips covered with olives. These are great for pizzas, salads, casseroles, or snacks. Life is good!
  28. Powdered sugar: for frosting. I can smell the sugar cookies baking right now! If you don’t have powdered sugar, you can easily use your blender with regular sugar to make your own powdered sugar.
  29. Cocoa: premixed for hot cocoa or hot chocolate. This is great to use on cold days if the power is out.
  30. Unsweetened cocoa: to make your own cocoa mix or for cookies, cakes, etc. It’s amazing how many different dishes unsweetened cocoa can make!
  31. Vanilla: It is awesome to add some flavor to so many drinks, baked goods recipes, and more.
  32. Coffee and tea: to drink or barter with. Tea has a lot of health benefits, especially green tea.
  33. Paper Products: plates, cups, and plastic silverware for emergencies. You don’t want to have to use all your stored water to keep the dishes and utensils clean.
  34. Foil: can be used inside the home and outside the home. I always have two or three boxes stored. I often use it to cover items I’m putting in the freezer, particularly if I run out of freezer bags. Many oven-baked meals call for foil to cover the baking dish while in the oven.
  35. Bags: whether gallon size, quart, or sandwich size. I watch for sales and stock up for the year.
  36. Spices: rotate your spices and replace them as needed. We can make any meal tastier with our favorite spices.
  37. Pasta: whole wheat pasta has a shorter life, so be sure and check for expiration dates. I buy some pasta in bags as well as some #10 cans for extended shelf-life. We love to make so many dishes using pasta. Like rice, it is fairly inexpensive and can stretch a meal further.
  38. Peanut butter: does not store indefinitely, so watch the dates. Rancid peanut butter is not safe to eat. Kids love peanut butter, as do many adults. It is a very versatile food that comes in handy for cookies, sandwiches, and special bars when mixed with chocolate. We always have two or three small containers on the shelf.
  39. Jams and jelly: to make toast or sandwiches. There are so many different options. Mark and I enjoy jams more than jellies. He loves berry jams the most. I like peach and apricot jam on toast in the morning. It gets my day started right.
  40. Maple syrup: is great for French toast, waffles, pancakes, or Ebelskivers by FSM
  41. Ketchup: for scrambled eggs, meal recipes, and a condiment for meals. Even tastes great when used as a French fry sauce for dipping.
  42. Barbecue sauce: is great for baked beans, barbecued meats, etc. We have found Kinder’s to be one of our favorites, and you can order it online for home delivery, if your store doesn’t stock it.
  43. Salad dressings: I make a lot of mine from scratch, but sometimes if certain ones are on sale I’ll pick up one or two to save myself time and money. We make our own Ranch using fresh buttermilk and one of the packaged dressing mixes. Mark is a Thousand Island kinda guy.
  44. Vinegar: I use all the different flavors, including Balsamic vinegar.
  45. Canned vegetables: great to add to so many meals. You can eat them right out of the can if you had to after a disaster. Plus you can use the water in soups.
  46. Frozen vegetables: are my favorite to buy for a month’s worth of storage in our freezer because there is no waste.
  47. Tortillas: a must-have in my house. I have some great tortilla recipes if you can use them. Tortillas by Food Storage Moms. I could have Mexican food every night, I really could. My favorite tortilla makers: Tortilla Maker
  48. Salsa: I could put salsa on everything, I like to buy mild because my husband doesn’t like it too spicy.
  49. Chicken broth or chicken bouillon: is critical in my home. I use it for cooking chicken, casseroles, soups, etc.
  50. Butter: if I have butter I can put it on toast, scramble eggs, and use it in so many recipes.
  51. Sweetened condensed milk: did I hear caramel corn??? Here is the best recipe in the world: Caramel Corn by Food Storage Moms
  52. Corn syrup: yes, they make it without high fructose syrup now. I use it in my caramel corn above.
  53. Fresh ground beef: is great in spaghetti, hamburgers, and chili, to name just a few meals.
  54. Fresh or frozen chicken: you can cook ahead of time, chop or shred and bag it for freezing to use later in sandwiches, casseroles, chili, etc.
  55. Eggs: are frugal even at the higher prices lately. Eggs can be used in so many dishes, as well as fried, hard-boiled, scrambled, etc. I use them in so many recipes as well.
  56. Pet food: Don’t forget your pet’s food. Yes, please don’t forget your pet’s food!
  57. Vegetable spray: I use a lot of it when baking or cooking. I have to laugh, when I stayed at my daughter’s I went through two whole cans. I was there for four weeks. Gotta love it!
  58. Cans or jars of various fruits: these are great for side dishes. Of course, fresh tastes the best, but it sure is nice knowing you have some canned fruit to grab and eat out of the jar, or a can, if you are in a hurry.
Read More of My Articles  25 Items I Recommend For Your Spice Rack

Please share your frugal kitchen and pantry items you think I should add to my list, I would love it. One thing I use for keeping pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and waffles warm is this tortillas keeper gem: Norpro Tortilla Pancake Keeper.

If you don’t have many of the items on this list, go ahead and slowly start adding them. When you go to the store, you can slowly add one or two things each and every week. This is also a frugal way to build up the frugal kitchen and pantry items you need.

Final Word

If you have a thrift store near you, go grab as many of the old-time “cooking from scratch” cookbooks as you can possibly use. Let’s show the world we can cook from scratch and love it! May God bless this world, Linda

My book: Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation

Copyright Images: Easter Baking AdobeStock_255591558 by Maglara, Kitchen Supplies AdobeStock_398190817 by Pixel-Shot

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  1. I buy whole spices they keep so much longer than ground spices. I also keep a window pot year round that contain, basil, sage, thyme, rosemary. When they get over grown I either pulse them with a little water and make herb ice cubes, if I do not need any more cubes then I give the herbs to friends and neighbors. Another use for popcorn is cornmeal. Popcorn has a lot more protein in it than the field corn used to make everyday cornmeal which is made from field corn.

    1. Hi Stephanie, I’m glad to hear that about the whole spices lasting longer. That makes total sense to me. I love homemade cornbread with freshly ground cornmeal! I like to freeze my herbs in water too! Good reminder for everyone with our gardens starting to produce, thank you!! Linda

  2. While I make almost everything from scratch, I always keep a couple of boxes of complete all-you-add-is-water pancake mix in the pantry. You can always have pancakes even if you are out of milk and eggs.

    1. HI Nancy, I totally agree with a box or bag of ready to make pancake mix. I love the Costco brand where you just add water. Great tip, I’m going to go add that right now so I don’t forget. Thank you, Linda

    1. Hi Cindy, I am definitely go to go add brown sugar and chocolate chips to the pantry list! Oh my goodness, those are must have ones!!! Thank you, Linda

      1. You can make your own brown sugar with 1 cup white sugar and 1 tablespoon molasses. Use 2 tablespoons for dark brown sugar.

  3. Can you tell I’m playing catch up? Your list is very similar to mine. Two of the things I keep a lot of in my pantry, that aren’t on your list, are shredded coconut and mashed potato flakes. Shredded coconut makes a tasty addition to baked goods, puddings, and even some savory meals, as well as being good for making coconut milk. Good mashed potato flakes make tasty, quick, mashed potatoes (I can eat mashed potatoes with pan gravy as a meal *G*), but I, also, use them for thickening soups and stews, in breads, and I’ve even made potato candy with them.

    Nancy mentioned pancake mix. I make up biscuit mix in 5-gallon buckets, so I always have simple makings for biscuits, pancakes, or waffles. As Cindy mentioned, I always have chocolate chips and brown sugar in the pantry. Along the same line, I also keep jugs of maple syrup and molasses handy.

      1. The biscuit mix recipe will work right in with what I had in mind for the next post; DIY food storage. I’ll have to find my recipe, too! I make up a big batch and I have about half of a 5-gallon bucket, still. I’ll let you know when I post it and I will include a link to yours, too.

  4. My dog goes through a bag of dry dog food in about a month (20 lbs). I find by the end of the month she’s not happy to eat it anymore. Tips on type and amount to store? She’s about 60 lbs. and active. Thanks.

    1. Geni, I have 4 cats who go thru a lot of catfood per month. One month, my son did the Big shopping. He bought a 40 lb bag! (To save $) After about 3 weeks, the cats were complaining…I think it gets Stale after opening the bag. I happened upon some very old Tupperware containers at the thrift store: the kind where you press down on the center of the lid to push out the air? We haven’t bought any more 40 lb bags but do buy 2-20 lb bags (yes, cheaper per lb), which I then separate into those Tupperware. I get 2 different taste varieties, so kitties get different meal tastes. I mean, I wouldn’t want to eat Only cornflakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for weeks on end, right? ! Btw, my kitties are also farm cats, so they hunt and eat a variety of rodents too. (Ick, but that’s their job…) My male cat is over 25 lbs, female is about 10 lbs. Lol, not ‘pussies’ in common vernacular. The 2 youngest, a boy and a girl, are much smaller but both less than 6 mos old. They also hunt vermin already. But, I think with your dog also, it might be that the food loses it’s flavor. I tried eating a bowl of Kix that had been opened a month earlier, and it tasted like soggy cardboard…I suppose same happens with dry pet food.

    2. Geni, my dogs have the same problem. I feed them grain free dog food that is either salmon or beef based from an outfit called Just Right (which is a division of Purina). I alternate it with grain free Blue Buffalo dry food. Both are expensive so when they start rejecting it my wife Jane makes some chicken gravy and we mix a bit of it into the food in their bowls. Problem solved.

  5. If you sprinkle rock salt over your ice it’ll keep your food cold or a whole lot longer we learned this when rita hit where we live

  6. Along with baking soda, keep some cream of tartar on hand.  Baking POWDER has a limited shelf life.  Baking soda + cream of tartar = baking powder, and both have a virtually unlimited shelf life.  The proportions are all over the internet, just search for it.  Also, ghee (clarified butter) has a virtually unlimited shelf life and has a much higher smoke point than regular butter, so it’s better for sautéing etc.  Better Than Bouillon, a paste in a glass jar, has a much better flavor than bouillon cubes.  I use it in cooking all the time.  Keep an open jar in the fridge and it will last longer.

    1. HI, MainBrain, I really think I’m going to start a new post with all these wonderful ideas!!! I love Better Than Bouillon. I’m writing another post for tomorrow with all these fabulous ideas! Thank you, Linda

      1. I really liked the idea of baking soda with cream of tartar. Please include whatever best recipe(% of 2) you find works best.

        1. Hi Wendy, great comment, I just added this to my post. You can make your own baking powder by combining half a teaspoon of cream of tartar and quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, this equals the equivalent of one teaspoon of baking powder. Thank you, Linda

  7. Please answer this one in a hurry!! When peanut butter goes rancid WHY is it NOT safe to eat??? I have 16 jars of PNB that the best used by dare in from 6/17 to 3/18. just finished one with the date of 6.16. How long does it take before it is rancid,,AND why is it not safe to eat??? I think it will go just fine with my stale saltines I have stored…LOL

    1. Hi Lois, I just saw this comment! LOL! How big are the jars? Oh my gosh, I have the giggles now. It’s the oils in the peanut butter that go rancid. I would call your local county extension service. My motto is when in doubt throw it out. Linda

    2. Lois..I bought cases…after a few years, I’m guessing 5, I got concerned and put the case left in the freezer–they were fine…so the answer is 5 years for shelf life unopened..I eat pb and jelly almost every night before bed.
      I bought a case last year and stored it in the freezer. In a case, they stack nicely.

      Oh, my jelly turned to sugar…I lose a little here and there, but not enough to make a dent in my food storage.
      Better to have too much than not enough –learned to not store a case of jelly!!!!

    3. Hi, I’m new to prepping and cooking.

      Could anyone answer a few questions please? I keep getting conflicting information, it’s confusing.

      Which oil is best for homemade salad dressing? What oil is used in baking or cooking? When do canned tomato paste/soup/tomatoes etc. get the tinny taste? I’ve had the same problem with canned vegetables and hate to waste food.

      One other thing, I’m a pescatarian–eat seafood no animal/bird products including dairy. I have canned salmon, tuna and sardines in my preps, but now am worried about them getting mushy per above.

      Thank you

      1. Hi Stephanie, I use olive oil and vegetable for all my baking and cooking. Yes, I stock coconut oil but it’s not my favorite. Tomato products tend to go bad faster than other canned goods due to the acidity of the tomatoes. As far as canned food people say it lasts past the best-by date. I don’t agree because of the taste. I only buy canned goods for one year, it’s a personal preference. I’ve been stocking food storage my whole life, I’m 72 and have been married for 53 years and we have always had food storage. I’m sorry to tell you this but pressured canned tuna, trout will become mushy. It’s a fact. They would still be edible but the texture would be a problem for me. If you pressure can any food it’s only “good” for one year according to the USDA guidelines. Yes, I have eaten 4-year-old peaches but it’s recommended to can only what you will eat in one year and then start the process over again. Linda

    4. Lois,

      I use old peanut butter in my rat traps (outside). I don’t think the rats mind the stink at all. In fact it works like a charm so long as the ants don’t find it first.

  8. Thanks Linda, 16 are 18 Oz and 2 are 40 Oz. But what I don’t understand is WHY is it unsafe to eat. Is rancid oil poison or will it make you sick> I have 2 # 10 cans of peanuts and I was going to make my own PNB …I opened one a while back and they were rancid. I was surprised since the can had NOT been opened….Is nothing safe from going rancid or bad. I have enough food stored for the next 3-5 years for myself. when we have a blackout, an I going to starve because of stale foods>?? will my veggies have gone bad in the cans, I know quality may diminish some.but I can always make smoothies. Is my prepping in vain??

    1. Hi Lois, I can’t answer that but I’m thinking you will get sick. I know all nuts go bad very quickly. I place all my nuts in bags sealed in my FoodSaver and place them in the freezer. I only buy enough peanut butter in small jars that Mark and I can eat in one year. The size I buy 16-ounce jars. I never buy more than six jars at a time because they would go rancid. Once I get down to two jars I buy six more jars. I will tell you this, yes food can go rancid if hasn’t been commercially processed correctly. I purchased about $1200.00 worth of beans, dehydrated onions, dehydrated carrots, and dehydrated celery at a local church cannery. After a year my family started opening the #10 cans. They were all rancid. We had never done our own dry canning and it used to be run by volunteers who didn’t know anything about how many oxygen absorbers should have been used and I learned later the oxygen absorbers were totally warm and useless. It was an expensive learning mistake. Let me know the brands you purchased if they are from reputable companies you should be fine. Just remember dehydrated food does not last as long as freeze-dried fruits, veggies, and meats. Your prepping is what you need to do. I can call you and walk you through whatever you need. Let me know and I will email you my phone number, Linda

      1. Well, I feel much better about throwing those stale crackers to the birds…yep–it took many months —I just say…ouch!!!! 1200 is a lot of money for me…
        Oh, and the flour…and include the yucky instant milk—-I only buy NIDO now and keep in freezer–I had a few learning mistakes too.
        We all have I bet

        1. I purchased a can of Nido during the pandemic when I couldn’t get powdered milk only to get it home & discover it is mixed with soy. My youngest child is fatally allergic to soy so it went immediately into the box for the food bank! I now buy whole milk powder online – it makes a much richer hot cocoa mix (which my son loves!).

      1. I think, no scientific knowledge here, but if something is rancid, like nut oils, once it gets opened, I bet it needs to be ate quickly, before microorganisms can grow. Might be ok for a day or so, but think it could be bad pretty soon. In a Shtf scenario, or even a short-term disaster, better safe than sorry.

        1. I was thinking about this the other day–how hungry would we be to eat stuff we were not sure about?? Because to my line of thinking, in an economic collapse is the worse time to have food poison…

          Okay,I’m finished now.

          1. Thats what I thinking too…better safe than sorry, so it’d take me at true starvation to eat rancid anything. Heck, with food poisoning, whatever ate can come back out at both ends, so little food value anyway. But, yea, we don’t know What we’d actually do in this situation.

  9. I’ve been shopping, cooking and eating gluten free for ten years due to years of chronic health conditions that were caused by gluten/wheat and food sensitivities. My pantry has gluten and grain free flours, I use Bob Red Mills mostly, gluten free pastas Jovial is the best, coconut oil, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, organic coconut palm sugar, olive oil, grape seed oil for frying, coconut aminos and or gluten free soy sauce, avocado mayo with no soy, 365 ketchup with no high fructose corn syrup, organic corn tortillas, apple cider vinager, Pacific brand gluten free broths and cream of chicken/mushroom, Ian’s gluten free bread crumbs, arrowroot for thickening, Bob Red Mills organic corn grits.

    1. Hi, Sue, thank you so much for sharing the brands you use for gluten-free foods. I just sent your comment to my granddaughter. I LOVE hearing the brands you use!!! My readers will love this, thank you so much! Linda

    2. Two of my neighbors who are in my Mutual Assistance Group are gluten intolerant so thank you for this list of gluten free foods. I’m going to forward this list to them in case there’s something on it they don’t already use. Very helpful.

  10. Something that I learned about a couple of years ago is that you can take white granulated sugar and with a bit of elbow grease (or a high performance blender such as VitaMix) to make powdered sugar. You would need either a high performance blender or if SHTF, a mortar/pestle (aka elbow grease). Grind the sugar until it is very fine. NOTE: if using a blender, DO NOT OPEN IT RIGHT AWAY! – you will suffocate from the floating powder!!. With the “homemade” powdered sugar, you can make frosting, or any other item where you would normally use powdered sugar.

  11. One question: how long does corn/canola oil last, if the seal isn’t broken? I think your list is very comprehensive. One thing about canned meats: if a person ‘cans’ their own beef, it literally can last decades. Different process than putting in metal cans. I think this is the same for poultry/venison. One of the Really good cookbooks is from the 1930’s: The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. Literally, this cookbook shows how to can/ smoke/ dry/ freeze almost everything! The recipes are excellent also! But the book also tells ‘About’ stuff, like yeast. My friend got one on internet, so I believe it’s still published.

      1. Oh yeah, Joy of Cooking should be a staple in every preppers pantry, lol. I found mine at an estate sale for $1! I think there’s maybe more truly great cookbooks with basics, like how to safely can/ preserve meats etc , from the old times that we don’t know about. My mom passed in 2000,age 76, and she didn’t have this cookbook. She simply knew how to do stuff without a book! This ‘memory’ stuff has been lost in all the years I didn’t preserve food.

      1. Ray, for whatever reason, canned meats in glass jars do seem to last longer, as well as veggies. Maybe because if the seal ain’t right, it shows up right away? One thing I did find out, the hard way, is that a person shouldn’t stack jars on top of each other. I thought I was good since I’d removed the rings…nope, even a little pressure from weight of above jars can break the seal. I am hoping to buy mega lbs of the toughest beef cuts, minus much fat, from my local butcher this fall.

        1. I’ve stacked the pint jars, but no more than one layer high and it seems to work.

          Sometimes chicken goes on sale here for .49 per pound and we stock up then for canning.

          We get most of our beef from a grass fed ranch near town. We’ll get half a beef and have the butcher cut it the way we want it done. Lasts us for most of a year and there’s always some cuts that are only good for canning. If we had any hog farms in the area I’d be tempted to do the same.

          Good luck on coming up with your cheap beef.

  12. You can easily make yeast with flour, water and some sort of fruit – it will be similar to sourdough starter. I took a quart jar, chopped an apple (organic and DO NOT WASH THE APPLE). I placed the apple in the jar and covered it with filtered water. Then I put a coffee filter over the top secured with a rubber band. All this is for is to keep the fruit flies out! I left it sit on the counter for several days (length of time is determined by the ambient temperature of your home). The warmer you keep your home the faster you will have yeasty water. When the water was very cloudy and there was sediment on the bottom of the jar, I knew I was ready for step 2. I put the apple water through a sieve into a large glass container. I wanted to sieve out the apple. Then I placed the water/sediment back into a clean jar, covered again and let it sit overnight (12-24 hours should be sufficient). At this point, the sediment should have settled out. Carefully pour the water off and leave only sediment in the bottom of the jar. The sediment is actually your yeast. On to step 3. Weigh out 100 grams of water on your trusty kitchen scales; pour carefully into the quart jar with the yeast sediment; weigh out 100 grams of unbleached white flour and add to your jar. Stir the water, flour, yeast sediment thoroughly. Cover with coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Make a mark on your jar at the height of your 3 ingredients. Set the jar on the counter and leave until the ingredients have doubled or nearly doubled in height in the jar. At this point, you have a natural yeast with very little work. Use as you would any sour dough starter.

    I have only made this with an apple but my nephew has experimented with peaches and grapes. He did not like the peach yeast – says it was way too fruity but might be OK for use making pancakes or sweet breads. He also said the grape yeast was not as productive as the apple.

    Anyway, I thought this was something people should know about so that if SHTF, we can have risen breads!

        1. Just go to (www.) RaymondDeanWhite.com and click on the “Free Prepper Information” link. That will take you to a page where my newsletters are archived as clickable links. Beginning with issue 3 or 4 I started sharing informative articles for Preppers.

          Also, if you’d like to do so you can click on the get a free ebook link and download a copy of my non-fiction book “Bugging In: What To Do When TSHTF and You Live In Suburbia” by simply subscribing to my monthly newsletter.

    1. I forgot to ask if you think this would work if you just used apple peels. My wife and I make apple pies and applesauce from our homegrown apples and I usually just compost the peels or feed them to our chickens but if we were running out of yeast this could be another great way to use them.

      1. Ray – I think that would work. It is the natural yeast on the peels, I believe, that are key to making this. Try it for yourself – if nothing happens, you have only taken up some of your “waiting” time!!

      1. Linda –
        This is eye-opening! To think, we can survive!!! with bread, pancakes, waffles, etc. in a SHTF situation! or just a OH my we have no money situation!

        Anything we can learn to make our lives easier in the coming days – all the better.

  13. Hi Linda,
    I did a check list and I have 54 of the 58 items you have so we think alike.
    I wanted to add this comment. If people can’t understand why they need to stock up or be prepared with Food and water or other items, here is a good reason. It has been 25 years since the flood of 93. I live in Missouri and we were hit very hard. I am lucky enough to live “up the hill” from the Missouri River so I didn’t get that much flooding. My yard did have water in it but not bad. Oh of the effects we did have was no gas. I was lucky enough to have propane so no problem. It did get to the point were we could not get across the Missouri river bridge to shop. My little hometown at that
    time did not have a big grocery store. I was raised to “stock up ” on items. So during that time I had food. My point is they are saying we could have another flood of 93 again. Of course they can’t say
    when it will be, but I try to stay prepared all the times. Also we have been known to have 18 inches
    snowfalls too, so being prepared is important. Keep up the great work to get the word out.

    1. Hi, June, it’s interesting that those of us who have been involved in one or another with a disaster are always prepared. Always. We remember what happened and we prepare for the next one. Great comment, I LOVE your thoughts!! Linda

  14. Love your article, I’m new to prepping and have just begun to stockpile. My major problem, as I live in an apt. Will be how to heat food when power is out. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.


    1. HI Barbara, I chose a CampChef butane stove with extra canisters of fuel. I gave all four of my daughters each a set so they could cook inside and crack a window. I used those stoves when I used to teach inside stores. They work great for boiling water and the fuel lasts a long time. I’m glad to hear you are starting your journey of prepping. Good job! Linda

  15. Water
    Dry beans
    Unbleached flour
    Dry milk
    Potato flakes
    Yeast/Baking soda/Rumford’s baking powder
    Sea salt/Pepper
    Brown sugar
    Powdered sugar
    Dried apple slices
    Freeze dried raspberries
    Dried chopped onions
    Dried shoestring carrots
    Dried and canned mushrooms
    Tomato flakes
    Home-bottled meats and salmon
    Genova yellow fin tuna in olive oil (best price is Winco, next best price was Amazon subscribe & save)
    Peanut butter
    Home-bottled jams and jellies
    Canned tomato paste, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes / also home-bottle tomatoes
    Home-bottled peaches, pears / canned mandarins, pineapple
    Oils: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil
    Coconut, Chocolate chips, Canned coconut milk, Raisins, Nuts, etc
    Spices/herbs/seasonings/flavorings (includes soy sauce, mustard, ketchup, vinegar, molasses, etc.)
    We do store some mayo and miracle whip, but I have a fabulous easy recipe for homemade mayo
    Fresh/frozen meats
    Fresh/frozen vegetables and fruits (of which I freeze some of my own every season)

    NOW comes the magic: I have learned that many things can be made from the basics and some seasonings/flavorings, etc. Even the men in our family have liked my creations/hunted out recipes!!
    I’ll list just a few of the tons of recipes we make from the basics…….
    Big Sky wheat patties, Golden wheat patties, Mushroom patties, Lentil tacos (a fave of my men), Lentils n’ eggs, Red lentil Italian tomato soup (my fave), Red bean chili, Black beans n’ sausage over rice, Best pintos (also use this for refrieds), White bean rosemary soup, Calypso beans, Polenta and sauce (we grind the cornmeal from non-gmo popcorn we buy from Wisconsin), Of course we love buttered/sea salt Popcorn for a snack or lunch with a smoothie, Fried rice (I do a fresh one with celery and a storage one with water chestnuts), Spaghetti, Tuna spaghetti, Creamy Mac n’ Cheese (family fave), Quisagna (our recipe for lasagna using bow pasta), Homemade pizza (crust has some whole wheat flour), Peanut butter banana oatmeal, Baked oatmeal with dried raspberries (or frozen/thawed), Gnocchi made from potato flakes, Creamy potato soup (from potato flakes), Potato bread, My ultimate whole wheat bread, Best ever french bread, Whole wheat crepes rolled up with jam, Creamy wheat (my healthy version of cream of wheat), Blender wheat pancakes, Family chocolate chip bars with part whole wheat flour, Cast iron pan peach cobbler, Baked rice pudding, Walnut fudge, Magic coconut pie, Pineapple deluxe pie, Peanut Butter Texas sheet cake, BBQ on buns (we make this from bottled deer meat) topped with coleslaw, Thai coconut soup, Rajma over rice, indian butter chicken, and the list goes on…….eating well from basics……..

    Dry cream of soup mix, then add chicken flavors or mushroom bits
    Make own bisquick for so many uses, but we love a biscuit cheese loaf made with this, and sour cream muffins, and it is used for the magic coconut pie

    Chicken-fried dinner patties (made from oatmeal), Lentil chocolate cake, Lentil apple cake, Pinto ‘pecan’ pie, Cinnamon crust apple pie from dried apples (my secret weapon is a packet of the dry apple cider drink mix): I’m listing these separately because they are SO delish, and when I make them for a class, people cannot believe how yum they are.

    1. Hi Janet, I wish you were my neighbor! We would have so much fun trading ideas!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment!! Woohoo!! If people stock their pantry the meal ideas are truly endless. Good job!! Linda

      1. Hi Linda, read all the comments and I know it was a long time ago, but my understanding is that peanuts grow one of the more toxic molds around. I am sensitive to them, so pb is just rat bait around here anyway… take care and thanks for all the info you share!

  16. I have so many large cans of chicken and now only need small cans…so today I decided to allow myself to be shocked with the prices. DG only had 3 cans @1.30 each, didn’t buy and looked further and I’ve bought their cans for years–first time I’ve seen an increase and it wasn’t like a nickel–25% increase.
    I went to IGA and the generic brand was .70¢…I bought 26–all they had, because they restock daily..

    TP @ DG wasn’t to be had…not my brand..Angel Soft–DG brand was $9 for a 24 pack..I bought several and as I was leaving, manager said truck was unloading..gas costs made me not want to return tomorrow.

  17. when stocking your can goods ,try to find cans that dont have that ‘flip “open convenite yes ,but i have found they do not last as long as reg cans ! also pet food is going thru the roof ! canned & dry ,also short in stores, “hush puppies” may come back ,sage loves her corn bread, she eat any thing i do ,so no problem ,basil not so much !(cat),but he is hunter & out door ,he brings me “presents” every once in while ! so if find on sale grab it !

    1. I have forgotten about boxed milk from dollar tree–it has a great shelf life and about the same price as evaporated milk…mix one cup of water with a can of evap milk for real milk.
      Great for backup.

  18. I wish my husband believed in storage for more than a month or two. But I can’t convince him that we need to store things. I get enough for a while and then he finds it and has a hissy kinissy fit and won’t let me get more until all that is used up. I do get some here and there to make sure we have enough. I bought I think 12 bottles of Miracle Whip on time when it was on sale and also had a $1.50 coupon attached and he had a cow. I got them for nearly nothing and he complained we had 6 gallons of Miracle Whip. But we go through it so fast it isn’t funny. He just does not understand now if it is something he likes well that is another matter. Go figure

    1. Hi Jackie, we can only do what we can do. I love Miracle Whip so that’s a good one to stock 12 bottles!! I love the 6 gallons of Miracle Whip he said!! Hopefully, someday he will “get it”. Sometimes it takes a major disaster to see why er stock, hang in there my friend. All is good, Linda

  19. Linda:

    I have a bunch of old time cookbooks many hard bound or church cookbooks and surprisingly thousands of eBooks that I have gotten off the internet. One place I love to get old cookbooks in eBook form is the survival sites on MeWe. They can go to mewe.com/i/jackieschlageter and join through my link or just go to mewe.com You can find sites with survival cookbooks from the 17-1800’s

  20. Making home made Baking Powder Substitute is a great idea . To make it use 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda, 1/2 tsp Cream of Tatar and 1/4 tsp. Cornstarch or Arrowroot( optional). This equals 1 tsp. Baking Powder. To make larger batches just remember the ratio is 1 part baking soda plus 2 parts cream of tartar and 1 part cornstarch or arrowroot. This can be used to make No Yeast Dinner Rolls by mixing 1/4 c. melted butter, 1 1/4 cup plus 2 T milk, 1 T sugar, 4 tsp. baking powder and 3 1/2 c. flour. Mix roll into balls and bake on a parchment lined sheet for 20-25 min. Remove and brush with melted butter. Serve hot or warm. Makes 12 rolls. I just taught this last week at Church. The recipe is from Make Your Own Meals. Nice to have a quick roll recipe when yeast and sourdough aren’t available or when some can’t eat yeast products.

    1. Hi Cheryl, oh this is awesome, thank you! We need every recipe we can get our hands on in case we lose the internet for extended periods. I love tips like this! Linda

  21. I’d like to share something I learned from one of the prepper/normal survival sites I cruise daily. If not proper tell me and I won’t share these things…
    A fellow had a friend unloading at the port…he said he couldn’t breathe the mold was so bad….he’d leave, get fresh air, and return for a while.
    This reminds me of the season the grains stayed in the silo bins too long, were already put up damp because of the weather engineering in those parts, and mold was a huge issue that was addressed by many farmers –advising buyers to beware.
    We think of mold on food, but it can be on anything if the conditions are right(or wrong).
    God bless us –what next??

    I pretty much am on a ‘do not buy’ trip with this nation in such a mess…in more ways than one.
    I really wanted a white stove and fridge to match my year old dishwasher replaced last year…but NOPE!!!!

    1. HI JayJay, I can almost smell the mold from my home just hearing this. I know when I get boxes that were shipped from China, they put those little white packages to absorb the moisture but you can still smell that “smell”. I just bought a freezer and stove within the last month. They are so hard to get. I didn’t smell anything, but I will “smell” in the future!! Thanks for the heads up. Linda

  22. I have a 55 lb border collie and I have noticed that she prefers the gravy type of canned food. We mix 1 cup of “Taste of the Wild” kibble with 1/2 cup(or 1/3 of the can) of the “Balanced” gravy wet food from Walmart, then stir it together. We feed her twice a day. My dog gobbles it down. We go through the 14 lb bag once a month and a 6 pack of the wet dog food in 18 days. But as far as the amount of food, your 20 lbs of kibble is about the same as our 14 lbs and the cans of wet food. You can also go to https://peterdobias.com/ or https://healthypets.mercola.com/ for some other real good information about keeping your dog healthy and happy.

  23. I believe white flour might come canned in #10 cans, might be worth checking that out. That would be the most likely way, to get close to 25 years in storage out of it. BTW, if you have a cat, kitty litter is a vital item to store a bulk amount. It has some other uses too. Also an extra refill of your pet’s medication. In this Computer Age, Pharmacists cannot fill prescriptions without their computers. Winter is an essential time to have an extra month’s supply of essential Meds on hand. If a prolonged power outage happens, you won’t run out of vital medications. Humans or Pets.

    1. Hi MaryAnn, I think ThriveLife has flour that’s good in #10 cans for 5 years. I like your idea of kitty litter as well. I stock it and I do not have a cat. It can be used in so many ways. You are so right about getting prescriptions, so many can be filled for 90 days. Great reminder! Linda

  24. Thanks for the list Linda especially the ones that we can use without electricity. If the power grid goes out we will still be able to cook without it. I will put my cookstove up and will be ready for anything with these suggestions.

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