What You Need In Your Pantry To Save Your Life

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I need your help today because we must get people to place food storage in their pantries to save their families’ lives. There is no way to dodge this topic, my friends. I thank you from the bottom of my heart if you are trying your best to help people understand the need to be prepared for the unexpected. My readers will see your comments and see the need to start with one can at a time. Or maybe one gallon of water at a time. I personally had to turn off the TV today, I could no longer look at the violence that’s going on in so many areas of the world and see the families who have lost their homes because of the hurricanes.

I think I told you before, I can’t get the picture I saw on TV of a sweet dad asking the TV reporters when the food and water would be delivered. He lost his home and everything in it. I realize this country has not had such horrific storms in many years. I was glued to The Weather Channel and it was heartwrenching to watch, to say the least. If I was his neighbor I would have food for him and his family. If Mark and I lose our home from an earthquake I may have to dig for my food and water. Thank goodness I have several shovels.

But, let’s be real today, we need to continue to stand on our soapbox to get people to do their part. If you have empty water containers, please clean them and fill them today, not tomorrow. Remember to use a Lead-Free Hose if you fill them outside. If you don’t have food for 7 days get with it, people. Two weeks would be better, three months would be fantastic. Please remember to use Water Preserver so you only have to rotate your water every 5 years.

Read More of My Articles  How To Organize Your Pantry On The Cheap

What You Need

The word “need” means something essential or very important. Well, here is a good start to what we all need to survive a few days if we have an unforeseen emergency. Please remember, I am not a Doomsday Prepper or Survivalist, I am a mom and grandma teaching the world to be prepared for the unexpected. We can’t count on the government to deliver food and water when WE need it. It’s not going to happen.


Instant Milk


Pancake Mix/Syrup

Cans of Soup

Cans of Meat

Mayo/Miracle Whip






Baking Powder

Baking Soda

Cans of Vegetables

Cans of Fruit

Cans of Beans



Spaghetti Sauce

Cans of Diced Tomatoes


Survival Food Storage by Linda

Skills We Need To Learn

Now, you can call these vintage skills or pioneer skills, it doesn’t matter. When I say vintage it seems hilarious because I have been doing these vintage skills for over 60 years. It makes me seem older, well, I guess I am.

Cook from scratch

Learn to make bread and teach others how to make it. Linda’s No-Fail Bread Recipes

Plant a garden

Plant some fruit trees and learn how to prune them

Plant some berries

Learn to sew and teach others

Learn to quilt and teach others

Learn to preserve food by canning, pressure canning or dehydrating foods

Learn to cook outside

Learn how to build a fire

Learn to use tools and do your own home repairs (I can’t tell you how many homes my family has tiled, and finished so many basements)

Read More of My Articles  Sam's Club-10 Items I Recommend Buying

Save money by doing your own painting, it’s really a fun family project

Learn to use a chainsaw, my family cut and stacked cords of wood for years for our woodburning stoves

Learn how to clean and season some cast iron pans

Learn some medical skills, however basic. I highly recommend this book for every home: Medical HandBook

Please purchase the hard copy of my book “Prepare Your Family For Survival” You’ll need it, I promise. Please study it with your family. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world.

My favorite things:

Excalibur Dehydrator

Lodge Cast Iron Pans

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  1. Love your thoughts. I can”t understand how someone can NOT have a pantry and food storage. I’m older, that’s the way I was raised!!I would rather kii my friends with FOOD than KINDNESS.

    1. HI Bebe, I think you and I were raised the same way. I have more food than my single mom had in her pantry but we were never without food. We need to teach the world to get with it like you! Thanks for your great comment, Linda

  2. We had a Stake Preparedness Fair on Saturday…an interesting fact I heard was  60% of the food that is sold at the Cannery is bought by people who are not members of our church! They are better prepared than most of us. 

    1. Hi, Rita, I interview different faiths all over Utah because I teach classes and I always ask if they teach anything about preparedness, food storage or water storage. Interesting that 60% of the food is sold to NON-LDS people. I believe it because I have talked to some LDS (Mormon) leaders and they are telling me that only 10% of the LDS are prepared for the unexpected. What’s crazy here in Utah we have the places you can purchase food storage and water storage containers cheaper probably than anywhere else in the country. I have heard the exact thing you commented about. Thank goodness some of my neighbors are starting to be prepared because I can’t feed and hydrate the whole neighborhood. It’s not going to happen. I would need a warehouse and I sure do not have the money to fill a warehouse! LOL! Great comment, Linda

  3. Our food delivery system is called “just in time”, which means that the stores have food, just in time to sell it. There is little extra, sitting in their back room. A problem in one part of the country, can cause shortages far away.

    It makes sense to store up for an emergency. It is also nice not to run out to the store every day because I need this or that. I know we don’t want to think that bad things can happen, but if we prepare, we don’t have to worry.

    1. Hi, Janet, this is so true, we can sleep at night knowing we have the food, water, and skills to take care of ourselves. I’m worried right now about the fires in California. If the roads are gone the truckers cannot deliver food “just in time”. I love the statement, by the way. Great comment, Linda

  4. I’m needing to rotate my water, so I appreciate the water tips. I’m paid tomorrow, so this is on my list to purchase and do. Here in the pacific northwest, they have changed our preparedness to 2 weeks food/water. For many people this seems just like too much. I feel like the government is very conservative, at least a month! But considering they use to say three days, I think even the government is seeing the need.

    Perhaps it’s just me, but it feels like the world is just exploding with disasters and terrorism. Including home-grown terrorists like what we saw in Vegas. If not now, when? Totally true, we must prepare.

    1. HI, Gayle, I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and graduated from high school there. That terrible incident is so horrific, I cannot even comment on it. Mark and I do the St. George, Utah Marathon every year, passing out T-shirts (we are not runners-LOL). We volunteer for two days to help hydrate the runners and get them their t-shirts and medals. I was just telling my sister this morning, I remember last year seeing the policemen with rifles and weapons walking around the event. Mark remembers they hired snipers for the tops of buildings as well as every kind of security person available to protect the Salt Lake City Olympics back in 2002 to watch for situations that might arise. I’m feeling exactly like you, I feel like the world is exploding with disasters and terrorism. I remember the 72-hour kits, baby we need 2 weeks if not one month. May God bless all of us, we are going to need it. Great comment, Linda

  5. I wish there was a way to get all these prepping ideas to the islands and to everyone who has become victims of disasters. If most people were prepared, even if the place is in ruins, they would still be able to find things even if they blew all over the place. If we could just make everyone know how important it is to have a to-go backpack for each person, they would have water filter sticks, food, their meds, ways to make fire, first aid, radio, walkie- talkies, tools, Mylar tent to warm themselves and keep off the rain and all the other things critical to surviving disasters. All these things fit in a decent backpack. If it is a family they can share some of these things and therefore carry more different things. I often think that when I watch the news of say, New Your Black-outs where the people are freezing, Why don’t the news people give them ways to help themselves. there are things you can use to at least, warm yourself somewhat. I can really get into this but will just say, a can of Crisco with a decent wick can warm a tent beautifully if wind is blocked and burns a really long time. So, bundle up, make a tent in a room and sit in it with a couple of these and keep yourself from freezing. I live in Montana and my power goes out in winter storms. I Have a cat and get litter in those 20lb. jugs. I always have 2 of them full of water in each bathroom behind the toilet. After a few “goes” you can pour some in the bowl and it will flush the toilet beautifully. Yes. I am somewhat older so I know a lot about surviving. Always lived in the country and had it rough for a lot of years. You learn to survive and I did.. So many things one can do to eat, be warm, find water etc.

    1. HI Lady Di, oh how I love your comment, I always lived in the country and had it rough for a lot of years. But you learned to take care of yourself and you have the skills to do it. I love the kitty litter bucket by the toilet. I’m on it! That is a great idea! Montana has some bad snow storms I guessing. You are amazing, thank you for sharing your tips, we will need them, yes we will. Linda

  6. I have a question about water storage. I have a few 7 gallon containers made for water. I have chosen not to use our well watter because of the high iron content in it. So I have been storing distilled water. After 6 months or so, it tastes fine. Do I need to add something to preserve it?

  7. a few years ago I bought food saver vacuum sealers for both my brothers and my mom. my brothers loved them. my mom not so much. yes she does store food. but she prefers to wrap her meat in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags the freezer. and she puts flour and sugar in gallon bags and stores them in buckets. she buys can veggies by the case. but she keeps very little water storage. I keep telling her she needs more than a case or 2 of liter bottles.she is 81 and lives in the house my sister bought but is mostly by herself as my sister works in Alaska .I don’t understand why she refuses to keep water on hand. About a year ago the neighborhood she lives in had an issue with their water treatment plant and they had no water for several days. and had to boil the water for several more after it was turned back on. I have offered to go with her to get more water, the 2.5 gallon jugs would be great. but she says she can’t lift them once we get them home. So I offered to help her get several cases of the smaller bottles . still she won’t do it. I’m at my wits end. when I stayed with her for 9 months during her cancer treatments , I would keep gallons of water. I just don’t understand how she can be so prepared in other ways and not for water storage.

    1. Hi JudyP, here’s the deal, let’s look at this way, she buys cans of veggies, there is water in those. So, she can drink that. Is it perfect, no but at least she does have a little water. I must tell you I live in a neighborhood where I just taught an emergency prep class and one beautiful woman came up to me after and said, I hope I just die if things get that bad She’s 89. Now, I didn’t talk about anything bad, I just explained if we have a disaster, we must not depend on your next door neighbor or the government for food or water. You may want to give her some of the smaller WaterBricks that hold 1.6-gallons. Put some Water Preserve in them and they won;t need to be rotated for 5 years. The 3.5-gallon WaterBricks weigh about 27 pounds when full. Another option would be the BlueCans. They come in boxes of 24, if you live near a distributor, they are awesome. They are like a can of Pepsi. They store for 50 years and up to 145 degrees. I bought 12 cases for myself. You can stack them in closets. I hope this helps, Linda

  8. Like everyone else, I’ve watched what’s been going on in the world and have been both saddened and horrified. One doesn’t have to be rich to “copy can” when grocery shopping, to put aside a little bit here and there. It all has to start somewhere. I’ve been doing it for years and I must admit I’m getting a bit complacent. I have alot but if it came right down to it, it is enough? I have neighbors and Ward family that I would share with and all the food would go fast. I have alot of household items, too – I will NEVER get caught without toilet paper! LOL. One thing I don’t see mentioned in alot of these blogs is pet food and supplies. I have a rescue cat, a Maine Coon and a golden retriever. I also feed several feral cats that keep me rodent free (too bad they don’t frighten that sneaky raccoon who’s been hanging around!). Thanks yet again to Costco, I have a generous supply of pet food and litter on hand should an emergency arise. I think it’s important to think of our furry family in emergencies too.

    1. Hi, Robbie, oh how I love that statement “copy can”, that is totally what people need to do! Oh, the toilet paper, oh my I cannot EVER run out of that either. I do have some family cloth made out of flannel if it gets bad and it’s months before I can go to the store. I swear I have one year worth of that stuff! I usually add pet food, I buy mine at Costco too! Darn that sneaky raccoon, he better stay clear of that pet food! Great reminder about pet food! I Love it! Linda

      1. We put dog food, etc. in metal trash cans to keep out rodents, coons, possums, etc. And yes, they get in our shed where the food for the dogs/cats is kept so we have to do this. We live in the boonies. We deal with varmints all of the time. Raccoons and possums have wiped out our chickens in the last year even with us putting out live traps and shooting them if we see them plus our Great Pyrenees guard dogs will kill them if they see them. Seeing them is the catch. We’ve lived off grid at one time. Even with the grid, we know to stay reasonably prepared to be without it and/or unable to get out of our place. July 2016 a storm system swept through our state and left it looking like an ice storm had hit. Power lines and trees down all over the place. We were without power for 19 days while we had record setting heat going on at the same time. We’ve learned what to do and we lost no food, slept with ac at night, had the computer and tv running, had water, food, etc. A good generator helps a bunch. At night we unplugged the freezer and used the generator to run the 110 ac in the bedroom. The freezer will stay plenty cold for the night. Had two bad ice storms in 2000, one followed two weeks after the first. We were trapped in here without elec for a week. Trees were down on the road and power lines all over the place including the 1 1/2 miles of road from our place to the next house (no neighbors). We grew up on rural farms so we are used to having to “do for ourselves” which used to be the way everyone lived. I remember watching my late rancher’s wife mother-in-law sewing up livestock that were hurt. No need to call a vet when you can do it yourself. It constantly leaves me in amazement at how people today are so totally dependent on the government and so helpless. We raised our kids to be independent and able bodied. Our youngest son has 8 kids and he’s even delivered one of them (home births) because the midwife wasn’t there, yet. She was surprised that he knew what to do…but he grew up delivering lots of livestock/animal babies. He wasn’t bothered at all. That baby is now a tall strapping boy who will be 17 before we know it. And he’s a big help to his dad in their business. Sorry for the long rant – the raccoons got me going. Ha!

        1. Hi Anita, oh I love your long rant. LOL! I didn’t think it was a rant probably because I feel exactly like you! You and I have raised our kids not to depend on the government, that never entered our minds. We’ve learned skills to take care of ourselves. I love the vet story because I rarely go to the doctor, I can figure out what is wrong with my body and Mark’s (within reason) and take care of it. I have never delivered a baby, I love that story. So many young couples have opted to deliver their own babies themselves or with a midwife. It’s becoming more common. Thanks for your awesome comment, I wish we could teach others to quit depending on the government because WE are paying their rent and buy groceries for them. I have SEVERAL families within a mile of my home that cannot keep a job and they have been on Government assistance going on 15 years….. it’s a way of life for them. There’s my rant! Hugs, Linda

  9. Hi, Linda. Good lists that everyone can personalize. Today’s the day to do one thing, just one thing for preparedness and filling or buying water is an excellent place to start. Everybody I know carries a water bottle so why not graduate to something a bit bigger and put it away, just in case? (Do you remember when we all got so thirsty? When I was a kid my mom never stopped for drinks. “We’ve got water when we get home?” ha ha)

    In our county Master Food Preserver program we actually use a Utah Extension publication as it’s about the most extensive we’ve seen (and I work for Oregon State University Extension.) Here’s the link: Anyone who isn’t sure how to start making a plan – no excuses! Take one step today from Linda’s book or a website and each day take another. This isn’t that hard.

    1. Hi, Debbie, I do remember hearing we’ve got water when we get home! LOL! I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, my parents always thought I had migraines. Looking back now I think I was dehydrated from the heat there. Good point about the bottles we carry around, let’s shout it out “start storing larger bottles” if you want to be prepared! There are no excuses, people come one, get with the game of preparedness. Love this, Linda

  10. Linda ~
    Another skill that people don’t think about is knot tying. If/when S**t hits the fan, if your to go bag has a mylar blanket or two and some rope, you have a shelter. It isn’t always easy in a survival situation to remember the right knot for each use. When I had my girl scout troop (many years ago), I made knot tying kits for the girls to keep. They included a knot direction sheet that I had covered with contact paper and included a small cardboard piece that had holes in it for practice. My daughter still has hers and is now teaching her kids how to tie knots. There are a lot of knot tying sites on the internet and I think if a person found one with very good, clear instructions on how to tie knots and when to use them, they could create a practice board for themselves and their family members. I have one in my to go bag as well as in my stay in place preps. I want to be as prepared as possible.

    Amazon has a number of books on the subject of knot tying. That being said, if you search for knot tying and see the pictures, there is one that I used – 40 Knots – a Visual Aid. Back in the day, I printed enough of these for my troop and used contact paper to laminate them. Not as sturdy as actually having them laminated but a lot less expensive. Then, I also included the strip of cardboard within the “lamination” with holes to practice with. I added to the kits, various sizes of rope, twine, etc., so the girls could practice tying the knots, tying two different sized ropes together, etc. They had fun and it was fun to see them use their skills to set up tarps when we went camping.
    ~ Leanne

  11. Great article. Thank you for helping everyone get prepared the right way. We posted on our social media … and tagged you. Regards.

  12. I want to make a comment about Oil and Peanut Butter. I learned from a food preparedness class from Wendy (can’t remember her last name) who is LDS and she travels all over the US (at her expense) said if you use Crisco Oil, to take it out of the can, put it into Mason jars and it will extend its life 2-3 more years as well as the Peanut Butter. Well I am hear to say it works. I have had them stored since 2012 and they still taste great. Of course I keep it in a cool dark room. Now, coconut oil this is healthier for you, the one I use is organic, I keep it it its original container and store it like the Crisco Oil. However I am going to experiment with putting it in the jars.

    1. Hi Judy, oh I love hearing this! Judy, did she use a FoodSaver to remove the air from the mason jars? Can you remember? Are you talking about the hard Crisco or the liquid Crisco oil I am assuming the liquid? I store a lot of organic coconut oil too. Linda

  13. Please listen to Linda! We live in the Napa Valley in California. I’m sure you’ve seen on the news what’s going on here! I am so thankful that many years ago I started storing food, water, and anything else we may need in an emergency. Boy has it come in handy this week! Power went out about 2am Monday morning. No power for us meant not only no power in the house for our refrigerator and very full freezer, but no phone, no TV, no internet. Also the cell towers burned down, so we had no cell service either!! Talk about “dead in the water” – that’s the way we felt. I went out to the storage shed (on our property) and brought the Coleman percolator into the house and made our morning coffee. We have a gas stove, so we had our coffee that morning. If our stove had been electric, we’d have pulled out the small butane camp stove. We had no need to go the a store for food or water. We have plenty to last probably about six months.

    I started out small – a few cans here and there, and built it up over time. I bought water in 1 gallon bottles, one or two every time I went to the store. We have about 90 gallons. The only thing we had to go out for was a generator. We’ve been talking about getting one for quite a while, but for some reason we put it off. Now, we’re ready for (almost) anything. Again, please listen to Linda!!

    1. Hi Kathie, oh you melt my heart! I’m glad you are safe it sounds like. That’s a great idea to grab 1-gallon jugs of water every time you go to the store!! I love that idea! I’m so glad you started out small, that’s all it takes, I love your comment! Hugs, and be safe, Linda

    2. Here’s what we have for phones – cell phone, landline at home with cordless office phone…and a ROTARY phone on the wall that is also on the landline. Why? Because when the power goes off, the cordless phone won’t work, either. Needs elec. Not the rotary phone – it keeps working no matter what. Four years ago I had appendicitis out of the blue at 60 years old. We live in the boonies. My husband was gone for the day. He had a cell phone with him but he doesn’t always get reception. I ended up having to call an ambulance (appendix had perforated before I called). If our phone had been not working because of the elec. being off (and it does that on a regular basis for one dumb reason or another) and my husband’s cell not getting reception, I would have been helpless here and could have died. In that case, the rotary phone would have saved me as it would have been working. For many years we did not have a phone at all. When we did get one, we had a party line and a rotary phone. We don’t have party lines anymore but we still have the rotary. Don’t count on the electrical stuff to be working when you need it.

      1. Hi Anita, wow, that’s a story, glad you could grab your phone to call an ambulance for yourself! What a surprise at 60 years old, yikes! Oh, I laughed when you said party lines, my family had those when the phones first came out. We had to pick up the phone and see if “the phone” was available to use. Life is good with your own phone! Great tip on the rotary phone. I have one as well! Linda

  14. Hi, Linda – What kind of Reverse Osmosis water filter system do you have and would you recommend it? Do you fill your Blue Bricks with better-tasting RO water or do you somehow filter outside hydrant water (using lead-free hose)? If so, with what filter?
    I looked through your PREPARE YOUR FAMILY FOR SURVIVAL book and your Water Storage posts but didn’t find an answer. Thank you.
    Our city water tastes … awful. I’m using filter pitchers and have empty Blue Bricks, but must find a way to store better-tasting H2O. Thanks for your insight and experience!

    1. Hi OkieLinda, I do talk about filling water containers in my book pages 21-31. If your water tastes nasty, I would buy water that is reverse osmosis at a grocery store. Here’s the deal with most home RO systems. They only “clean” about 4 gallons of water at a time. Which is fine for everyday use. I filled my water containers with a lead-free hose with a spigot with our local water from outside. I will not be drinking that water. I have certain water for drinking (BLUE CANS). some water for washing clothes, water for cooking, and a Big Berkey to filter the water for drinking. I hope this helps, Linda

      1. Aha! Brilliant. I wasn’t thinking in water-use divisions. In fact, until I found your blog, posts, site, etc., I wasn’t thinking much at all!

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