Let’s discuss best food to stockpile for homesteading or off-grid living. When you are living away from the habitable regions, it is necessary that you stockpile food for different seasons.
You have to keep different type of foods in pantry so that when you wish to make use of them, you don’t run short of those items. Rainy season and Winter are pretty much hectic and pretty limited on the resources. So it’s important that you stockpile the food items during the summer and before the winter begins. Here I am giving you some ideas on what you can keep as stockpile or say items in pantry.
How to choose what to stockpile?
There are ways to find out what you need and what you have to ignore in case of stockpiling food. Here’s how I’d choose what to include in your pantry.
- Find out what you eat for breakfast in rainy season, summer and winter. Make a list of that and find out what you can stockpile.
- Find out what you eat for junk food, see if you can make it homemade or find processed alternative.
- Find out what you eat for dinner and afternoon meal, see based on seasons you can drop or add the items into your list.
- Ask your friends, family members for suggestion on things that can last longer in specific seasons. Knowledge sharing for food specific to your region, helps a lot.
So let’s take a look at some of the items that you should keep in stockpile. You can use this list of stockpile food for either winter or for survival in off grid places.
In some seasons you may not get hands on the milk, unless you have animals at your own place. So for many people, getting powdered milk is the only option. You can store these packets for more than 1 year or so depending on the company. You can find some popular brands of Milk Powder online, choose the one which you like in terms of taste. Most of the time you may end up using them during the winter. If not, start using them and continue with your routine of using milk in some items.
Tea & Coffee
Unless you are diabetic, you are going to have breakfast with tea or coffee usually, if not you then someone in the house would need them. In such case having the tea powder is worth it during the off seasons. And if required you can also stockpile the coffee powder too. If you are not into the tea and coffee, and still want some refreshing drink, then consider green tea in such case. You won’t even need sugar if you use green tea sachets.
Both White vinegar and Apple cider vinegar can be useful for both food and medicinal use. There are times when people also use the fruit vinegar and keep it in the stockpile. Using them on salad and the other items can be a good idea. Apple cider vinegar also reduces the uric acid from the body. So you may want to definitely keep that one on stockpile. I have written a post on how to make apple cider vinegar. I’d recommend you to check out.
There is just no alternative for sweetness. If you are diabetic then you can store the stevia supplements at home. And if not then have some powdered sugar, which can be used for 3 months of any season or more. Sugar can be stockpiled for longer duration depending on the people in your house and the food routine that you have. I’d say keep both regular sugar and stevia based sugar at home.
I prefer the iodized tablet salt for the food. You can also keep the sea salt if you are into the dehydrating food or the items like say pickle and others. Salt like sugar is not replaceable so far. You can keep it in limit though, because you don’t want to store it too much and keep in the pantry which remains unused. Find out the brands which have better packaging. This is one items I can’t ignore in any food checklist.
Some people make use of the peanut oil and some prefer olive oil. Choose what works for you. Have enough oil cans that can last your winter season. Keep cooking oil in the stockpile. Also consider the usage of the oil that can be used for the usage other than food. So make sure to have spare can.
I wanted to include this in the spices section. But not all people prefer to have spices at home. But having chilly powder is necessity in most household especially when they often eat some food items which requires it. You have a lot of variety out there in the market for this. I prefer the Indian chilly powder as I can use this in various dishes and it can last off season easily. I recommend you to keep chilly powder in stockpile.
Some people prefer Asian spices, whereas some keep it simple. I have Indian spices sachets stored so that I can make some recipes during the winter. If you are into Chinese spices, you can get the packet too. Make sure that your supply lasts the season. Don’t overdo it either, because those spices have some sort of expiry date as well. So it’s necessary to have spices that you use in everyday life.
I prefer to have oats in the breakfast. And it can be healthy alternative to some items that we consume during the breakfast. If you are health conscious then oats is something you should keep. I personally prefer the quaker oats. You can consider making use of the flavored oats too if you are not into eating pasta or the noodles. Keep the oats in the stockpile especially if you are health conscious.
You can either keep the canned soup or the powdered soup. These are easy to make, all you have to do is add the warm water. They can be used in the winter season when you want to make something warm. I’d recommend you to avoid the soups which have aginomoto and msg in them. As they are often not good to consume if you are mid aged or old aged and those ingredients are not good for the stomach in such age group.
You can choose either brown rice or the white rice. Most people these days prefer the brown rice because it’s more suitable for those who are health conscious. White rice on the other hand is lot easily available and people prefer it for stockpile most of the time. Go with what works for you and what suits your health. Do note that there are lot of varieties of the rice out there, so experiment with different rice while you stockpile.
You may be using the wheat flour or the corn flour, some even use the rice flour. Make sure to keep some amount of that in the pantry to last the winter season. I personally prefer to keep the wheat and the other multi grain flour. If you make your own bread or other bakery items, then you should keep the necessary flour in the stockpile. You may have to watch out for the airtight packaging if you do it at home. Store it in dry place and regularly keep an eye on it.
Canned Non-Veg Food
If you have the fridge in the stockpile room, you can consider keeping the non veg food items too. For example, canned tuna or the frozen prawns can be kept as well. They taste better during the storage time period that is printed on can or the sachet. I have never tried the frozen ham or the meat, so I’d not recommend them. You can try to experiment with them on your own. It seems like chicken can last some specific period, so you may want to keep those frozen chicken nuggets in stockpile too.
There are items such as beans, peas, paste of various vegetables that you can get in the canned or sachet format. And they can last 1 season without any issues. But make sure to clean out such stock after that. Canned beans are the most in demand among those who are into homesteading. You can also keep the frozen vegetables in pantry especially if you make soups and salads. These can be useful during the winter season. Just make sure to check their validity.
Don’t feel like cooking? You can get the processed foods through the market as well. I don’t recommend this because they contain a lot of preservatives. And something you should not consume much. But there are times when you don’t want to cook or some food items are overly used and you want change. In such case processed foods can be a good option.
You may notice that dehydrated foods are among the top list of many preppers. You can learn about dehydrating various items like beans, pickles, soup, sauce etc. And store them in the fridge or dry pantry for few months. You can definitely consider them as they are home made or if you have purchased them through others or shops, then you can buy them in limited stock. But keep them in storage.
How can we forget the pets in the house? You may have to keep the enough supply that can last the winter season. If you live away from the city region, it’s better to have like 6 months or so supply of their food. And also see if they can eat some of your stuff and not remain dependent on their own pet food routine. We often make the dog and cat food at home. And it works out especially during the off seasons.
Potatoes and Onion
You have to store them as is, and not keep them in the fridge. Keeping them in the pantry in their raw form is definitely useful. Some potatoes can last 1 months easily. Onions often stay in comfortably for 3 weeks or a month. But after that they may get damaged. I’d recommend you to keep crushed potatoes or onions and then keep them in frozen form. For most of the time that is the only option that may work out.
Unlike spices, you may notice that some herbs have medicinal use as well. So each of them needs to be stored separately and different way. Herbs can be grown at home too. But often you may not be able to produce for entire family with limited space in the house. So I’d recommend whichever way you get them, make sure to store them for the off season. I may cover the herbs growing tips at some point.
Pasta & Noodles
Though I personally am conscious about my weight. I try to avoid the pasta and noodles. However you can keep them in the stockpile and consume when needed. They can be pretty heavy but they can fill the stomach. They are worth consuming during the winters as they are served warm. If you are into making your own food, you can prepare your own pasta and noodles and keep them stored for few months.
You can keep the honey for an entire year in a stockpile. And it can be used in various food items. If you are health conscious and consume lemon with honey during the winters. Then keeping the honey in the stockpile is a good option. You can also buy locally or from the farm near you to support them. If that’s not possible then you should consider buying from online stores.
When you are in need of immediate food, they can be pretty handy. Though not all people like the sugary bars. So find out if there are low sugar low carbs bar out there. I think some of the protein bars in the amazon can be purchased and kept in the stockpile. I also think that you should keep them to minimum and don’t let kids have those energy bars as often they are not good for the kids.
There are different types of sauces that you can stockpile. For example, green peas and the tomato sauce is pretty common. There are also many beans that you can use in paste form and make a sauce out of. So depending on what you wish to prepare, you can create paste or sauce of those items and then keep it in the fridge. It can remain there for like 2-4 weeks depending on how much airtight they have been placed.
Note for Homesteaders:
Your first priority should be to make these items homemade if possible. If you can’t get them locally and can’t make them your own, then go for the market products. The point is relying on your own resources first and as an alternative you have to buy the above items from online or offline retail market. Lot of these things you can’t make on your own from day one and it’d take you years for even making your own food and storing or dehydrating them.
- Make sure to keep dairy, meat and some specific vegetables in fridge of stockpile room.
- Avoid keeping the wet vegetables and the water specific items in the pantry as it’d invite bacteria or other insects.
- Watch out for ingredients of processed items. Some have side effects for those who are patients of diabetes, thyroid etc. So see if you can skip those items.
- I also recommend keeping filtered mineral water bottle as an emergency. Avoid soda, coke and other sugary drinks.
- Make sure to store the spices and the seasoning in the mason jars. They can keep things air tight and in dry place it can definitely last longer.
- Keep the water purification tablets in the pantry too. You never know when the supply runs off and you may need filtered water.
I hope the information here helps you with making a decision on what to stockpile. Let me know in contact form if you have find some more suggestion or other items that can be useful for this list.