How to start a prepper pantry – without a garden

What’s a prepper pantry

Let’s talk about how to start a prepper pantry if you don’t have a garden and you don’t’ raise animals. There are many reasons why I chose to start and have a prepper pantry. Things like job loss, blizzards & ice storms, hurricanes, and even earthquakes are all things where having a stocked pantry has been vitally important to not only survival, but getting through very tough times more recently in our state with Hurricane Ida.

There are three types of prepper pantries. One would be a working pantry where you’re continually using the product that you have stocked. Another would be a long-term pantry where you’re stocking 5, 10, sometimes 20 years’ worth of food for a long-term emergency, and the third type of prepper pantry is one where peppers are storing food for a complete and total collapse of the economy and they would use their stored goods as a form of currency. This would be a very extreme situation.

Now the type of prepper pantry that I have and that I use is a working pantry. Everything that I stock are all products that I use on a continual basis. The only exception to that is my water. I recently invested in a Berkey Water Filter so I’m a lot less worried about access to clean water.


Stocking a pantry involves looking at what do you actually use in a certain amount of time.

How much should you store?

You might ask how much time should I plan for my pantry storage to last? I like to stock six months to one-year pantry for a working pantry setup. When I buy an item I buy a one-year supply of that item. However, because this is a working pantry, I’m continually using that item so it immediately starts depleting. Somewhere between the six month and probably nine-month mark I starting to look for sales for that particular item. I will go out and I’ll buy additional supplies to bump it back up to one year. At any given time, I have a six-month supply everything on hand but I could have as much as one year and in some cases on items that I don’t use as much.

getting started – what do you use

So, the first thing that you should do when building a prepper pantry was to write down every single item that you used over the course of a year. That’s a lot of work! I got an Excel spreadsheet and I categorized all my items. I wrote down everything that I used and then I started eliminating items that I don’t use very often. It’s very important that when you are starting your pantry that you consider the amount of space that you have. The more items that you have the more space you’re going to need, and more things that you need to keep track of when you’re replenishing those supplies.

Another thing that I considered when creating this document are items that can be used for different things throughout the house. An example would be vinegar. Vinegar is something that I use for canning and cooking, but it can also be used as a cleaning product. So again, trying to find items that you can use for multi purposes is something that’s really going to help lessen the number of overall items you need in your pantry.

getting the best price

After knowing what you need in your pantry, start writing down all the prices that you could currently get those items for and then price compare with other stores and bulk suppliers. I typically find the cheapest price or notated the cheapest price for all those items and that’s the store where I purchased that particular item. I found that a one-stop-shop just doesn’t happen. You’re going to find that shopping around for the best price at multiple stores will be the most cost effective

For me the bulk of my items come from a coop called Azure Standard. Since Organic is important to me I tend to use Costco, and occasionally Whole Foods, to supplement anything that was sold out of Azure I have a recent video explaining this here. However, when you’re first getting started I recommend to just build the muscle of buying in bulk at whatever store is most affordable for you.


What about bulk meat?

Meat is something that I like to store by canning and freezing. We buy our meat in whole animal form on a yearly basis, and get it butchered to our liking. It is an investment on the front end, but saves us thousands of dollars over the course of a year. Not to mention you can render the fat for cooking oil, or use the bones to make notorious gut healthy bone broth. This year we bought 2 hogs and 1 whole steer to fill our freezers.

next steps…

Now that you have your list of items and where to get them in order to start a prepper pantry. Before you head out a buy everything, you’ll need some bulk storage options because when storing long term sometimes Ziploc bags aren’t quite enough. Check my next post for How to store your Prepper Pantry. In the mean time check out this post regarding goal setting….its an oldie but a goodie!


Disclaimer: I only recommend products, services, or companies I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for supporting my page.

Leave a Reply

Previous Post
Keto-friendly very berry macarons