(HealthyExaminer.com) – Stocking the pantry is an important part of meal planning and even emergency preparedness for power outages and natural disasters. You don’t have to be a prepper to make sure your pantry is stocked with all the essentials you need. Here’s how to get started.
How to Get Started
Stop before you shop! The first thing you’ll need to do is go through your pantry and get rid of expired products and anything you haven’t used in the last year. You’ll need to clean out the pantry before stocking it and then organize it in a way that makes sense to you.
If you’re a fan of well-organized spaces, consider labeling the shelves and items in your pantry, sorting the goods by expiration date, and even keeping a running list of your supplies so you’ll know when you need to restock.
It’s also important to determine what ingredients you regularly use for cooking and baking. This will help you decide the pantry essentials that are essential to you and your family that may not be on the following list. These may include oils, spices, and other items that regularly feature in your meals.
30 Pantry Essentials Everyone Needs
The following food essentials aren’t just good for your baking and cooking needs. They’re also great in emergencies, including power outages. You’ll want to consider nonperishable items or items with a longer shelf-life. The following items are considered pantry essentials.
- Canned fruit
- Canned vegetables
- Canned soup and soup mix
- Breakfast cereal
- Pasta sauce
- Dried fruit
- Powdered milk or non-refrigerated milk alternatives
- Snack bars
- Baby food and/or formula
Between these and your family’s preferred spices and food ingredients, you’ll have a well-stocked meal-planning pantry as well as some necessary supplies for emergencies.
There are some non-food items you should consider stocking in your pantry, too. These items are recommended by FEMA and other emergency preparedness organizations for handling natural disasters and other emergencies.
- Bottled water
- Prescription medication and glasses
- Diapers and baby wipes
- Canned or dry pet food
- Toilet paper
- Feminine hygiene products, if applicable
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Pain killers and over-the-counter medications
You can keep your emergency supplies separate from your food pantry, or you can organize your pantry to include all that you need for feeding your family and surviving an emergency. A well-stocked pantry can help you take control of meal planning. Thanks to the organization step, you can even help your budget by knowing exactly what’s in your pantry to avoid duplicate purchases.
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