If you want to start up a stockpile of food for you and your family then this is a great place to start. You can easily begin adding items to your pantry that can last you for many years to come. Here are a few great places to start. All these items make excellent sources for nourishment in a disaster or SHTF situation.
Veggie and Fruit Juice
Often overlooked, both veggie juices (think V-8) and fruit juices like pineapple juice all have great amounts of vitamins and nutrients. You can also easily store them. Veggie juices also make great bases for soup. You can also buy powdered fruits and veg blends that you can either add to water or to soups, stews and pasta dishes for extra nourishment.
Dried/Powdered Dairy and Eggs
Although it might not taste the very best, it's great to have dried or powdered milk, powdered buttermilk, and even infant formula on hand. It's also great to add powdered whey and eggs. These items can all be used as ingredients or in a pinch you can use them to make something to drink.
Canned Meat and Meat Based Meals
Canned foods often have a great shelf life and in some situations you can pop the lid off and heat it up right in the can. All you need to do is clearly mark expiration dates and then rotate your stock regularly. You can get canned meats like chicken or things like soup and stew.
Stock and Broth
These should be staples in any pantry (prepper or not). You can use them to cook rice, as a base for soup, create simple gravy and even use them as a way to make cooked meat more juicy. Should you become ill you can even drink broth. There are countless things you can do with these items.
Dried Veggies, Rice, Quinoa and Pasta
I love these items because you can make so many different things with dried pasta and veggies. They have a wonderful shelf like too. All you need is a little water and you are set. One of my favorite uses of these two items is throwing them into a dutch oven with a little broth, some chicken and some seasonings. You'll have a hearty meal in about 20-30 minutes.
I like to stock up on a variety of types of rice and Quinoa too. These come in large bags or you can buy them by the scoop at stores like Whole Foods.
These days you can get dried mashed potato flakes, dehydrated hash browns, Au Gratin Potatoes and Dehydrated Potato/Veggie blends. These items are easy to stock and last for a very long time. Plus they will fill you up fast.
Jams, Jellies and Canned Foods
One of the best skills you can learn in canning your own food. With the resources on the internet, it's easy to get recipes for everything from peach jam to canned homemade salsa. Although you can go to the store and stock up on canned foods, doing it yourself in Mason jars is not only rewarding but you can limit the amount of salt in them. Plus it's often much more cost effective to grow and can your own foods.
You want to have a variety so think of getting a little bit of everything. This would also include tomato paste and tomato sauce.
Beans and Legumes
Buy in variety and bulk. I like to have a supply of single types of beans and then a mixture that I buy pre-made in the store. This not only gives you many flavors, it gives you variety in protein and nutrients too. Beans are easy to store and last for a long time.
Nuts and Nut-Butters
I also like to keep a variety of nuts and nut butters handy because they are not only kid friendly, they just have a level of comfort that you might really need in certain situations. They are loaded with good protein too. One hint with peanut butter is that you'll get a much better shelf life when you buy your natural peanut butters instead of those that have lots of added sugar and chemicals. Look for those that have peanuts, salt and oil. Plus these are much better for you than those that are loaded with sugar.
Don't overlook Almond Butter and Cashew Nut Butters also. They are tasty and full of protein.
Seasonings and Salts
I like to keep a number of salts and seasons on hand because they can take simple things like pasta and rice to a whole new level. Plus they last for along time.
Dried Baking Staples: Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Sugar, Shortening and Yeast
You can never have enough of these. One of the best skills you can learn is how to make bread yourself. It's easy, tastes great and you can make a variety of dishes with a bread recipes. Once you master breads you can easily learn to make pie crusts (think chicken pot pie or apple pie) and even biscuits. Stocking your pantry will let you be able to whip up bread in a matter of a couple hours. You can even learn to make pet treats with them too.
Many people don't even have Vinegar in their homes let alone stocking up on it. Vinegar has so many uses from cleaning to making simple salad dressing for a salad. I keep apple Cider Vinegar and white Vinegar on hand always. When it comes to Apple Cider Vinegar my favorite is Braggs. You can easily go through one gallon of Vinegar in a month so I like to keep about 6-12 gallons of White Vinegar alone in the pantry.
Fruit Leather and Dried Fruits
You can get just about every fruit in dried form. You need to choose however between dehydrated and freeze dried. I like to keep both personally. These are all really good in oatmeal. You can also use them chopped in breads, cereals, baked goods and just as a snack on their own if you like. Some of my personal favorites are freeze dried strawberries, mango and blueberries. Also think of dehydrated apricots, banana chips and coconut.