Tag Archive for pantry

A Year’s Worth Of Food & Supplies

Every June I start anew the annual cycle of putting aside one year’s worth of food and supplies.
The goal is to have all the food and supplies I need in my pantry, cupboards, closets and cellar by Halloween.
My practical food storage education first began in the mid 1980’s when I attempted to store a winter’s worth of food and household sundries. I live on a rural back road in the snow belt and those days it was not at all unusual for us to be literally snowed in and house bound for a week at a time.
My winter pantry proved to be such a wonderful convenience and time and money saver, that by 1990 I extended my pantry and household stores to last 1 year instead of just the winter.

Food & Supplies

Food and Supplies In A Cellar

I took a lesson from my husband’s Appalachian grandmother and coincided the beginning of my food storage efforts with each year’s new gardening and growing season. For me the food year begins with planting the garden in spring and ends with the final harvest in the fall.
What follows below is this year’s pantry & supplies list. It’s the master supply list that I will carry in my purse and use for the next 5 months to help me store or buy about a year’s worth of food and supplies for 2 older adults.


A Basement Pantry

In practice the food and supplies will last longer than a year and I almost never completely run out of anything. I always end the year with a surplus of goods that are rolled over into the following year.
In theory, by comparing this year’s household & pantry inventory with the list that follows below; and then compare both lists with my future household & pantry inventory that I’ll take at the end of next spring, those interested in such things will be able to determine quantities of food and supplies that I use in my home.
From all 3 lists you’ll have a good idea of what my husband and I eat and consume in 1 years’ time.

Cellar With Food

Cellar Pantry

Such lists are fun to look at but probably won’t benefit anyone except me and my husband.
That’s because no two households have the same food ways, food preferences, living arrangements or dietary needs or restrictions.

If you study the list below, you’ll notice that there are no tree nuts or chocolate listed. That’s because chocolate provokes migraine headaches in me and my husband, and tree nuts are a migraine trigger for me. Chocolate chip cookies, hot chocolate, chocolate cake, brownies and chocolate pudding don’t happen at my house anymore and you should keep that in mind as you peruse the list.

You also won’t find any margarine, orange juice, turkey, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals; sweeten drinks, spaghetti or pasta because we don’t eat those things.
You won’t find eggs, fresh fluid milk or beer. We keep chickens, get milk from where we keep our dairy cows and buy beer by the case when we run out.
You won’t find dog or cat food.
What you will find is lots of canned pink salmon, tomato juice and white vinegar. That’s because I eat lots of salmon, like tomato juice for breakfast and clean my house with white vinegar.
You may not clean house or guzzle tomato juice at breakfast the way I do.
That’s why it’s important to understand what is happening in your own home and what you actually eat and use. Because every household is unique, I recommend that anyone who’s serious about the storage of food and supplies do a yearly inventory.

Upright Freezer

Upright Freezer In October

The items listed below that are marked with an asterisk * are items that I will buy at the grocery store or elsewhere because they are things that either I can’t produce myself or don’t care to.
Don’t forget when you read through my list that I have quite a bit of food and some supplies leftover from last year. You are not looking at a complete food or supply list for one year. You must add what I already have in my pantry and cupboards to get a better idea of what 1 year’s worth of food and supplies looks like for 2 older adults.

So without further delay here’s my 2013 -2014 Pantry & Supplies List.

*After Note*
My home garden and orchard is the mechanism by which all food storage and production in my home depends upon. Without a garden I don’t know how to economically run my kitchen or pantry nor where to get food or how to pay for it.
The list below does not take into account the fresh fruits and vegetables that are consumed from my home garden and orchard. In my location most of the fresh food production and utilization is between the months of May – October. The “fresh food year” starts with asparagus and lettuce in May, ending with apples in October and Brussels sprouts sometime around the beginning of December. Literally hundreds of pounds of food is consumed and processed for storage during those 6 months.



6 whole chickens, *# 25 chicken thighs,* # 10 chicken breasts,  ½ pig, # 20 fresh sausage, *#20 bacon, #*10 kielbasa sausage, *5 pkgs. hot dogs, *60 cans of pink salmon, *10 cans smoked kippers,
# 10 beef suet,# 10 leaf lard, (1 Dexter steer to be processed in December- approx. # 250 beef)

 Vegetables from Garden:

56 quarts tomato juice, 63 quarts tomatoes, 18 pints red beets, 9 pints carrots, 8 quarts frozen tomatoes, 20 quarts frozen broccoli, 5 quarts frozen zucchini, 5 quarts yellow summer squash, 8 quarts chopped frozen green peppers, 8 quarts chopped frozen onions, 10 quarts frozen sweet corn, 10 quarts frozen acorn squash, 5 quarts mashed frozen pumpkin, 6 quarts frozen cabbage, 5 quarts frozen Brussels sprouts


63 pints apple sauce, 21 quarts of peaches, 14 quarts of pears, 42 quarts grape juice, 6 pints cranberry juice, 25 pints frozen blueberries;  black berries & raspberries as God provides to go to freezer, *4 cans sliced pineapple, *# 8 box of raisins, *5 boxes prunes,* 2 bags of cranberries to freezer

 Fresh Fruits & Vegetables to Cellar:

potatoes, apples, pears, onions, garlic, 2 pumpkins, carrots, cabbages, squash, tomatoes (?) apple cider

Frozen Food from Grocery Store:

*10 boxes frozen spinach,*6 bags frozen peas, *5 bags lima beans, *4 bags mixed vegetables, *6 boxes breaded fish, *6 boxes Pirogies, *10 frozen pizzas


*# 30 butter, *15 pkgs. cream cheese, *30 cans evaporated milk

Condiments, Sauces & Jellies:

24 -36 ½ pints of jam & jelly, 14 quarts apple butter, 12 pints salsa, * 3 jars sweet relish,* 1 bottle ketchup, * 2 squeeze bottles yellow mustard, * 3 bottles barbecue sauce

Canned Soups & Stews:

14 quarts lentil soup, 14 quarts canned beef chili, 14 quarts lamb stew, 14 quarts beef stew, 14 quarts beef vegetable soup, 7 quarts split pea soup, 18 pints chicken cubes

Pantry Backbone:

*3 quarts red wine vinegar,* 2 gallons olive oil,* # 2 canning salt, *4 jars Miracle Whip, *8 # 4 peanut butter, *3 jars tahini, *6 pkgs. Jell-O, *5 pkgs., liquid pectin,* 5 boxes powdered pectin, *10 boxes lemon herb tea, * 12 large cans coffee,* 3 large chili powder, * 3 large paprika, * 2 large black pepper, * #.50 ground red pepper, * 1 bottle hot sauce, * 2 large ground cumin, * 2 large minced onions, *#1 ground ginger, * 3 -1 oz. bottles almond extract,* 1 bottle Marsala wine, *1 bottle good whiskey,

Flour Grains & Beans:

*#50 lbs. all-purpose flour,*#20 bread flour, *1 box cake flour, *5 large boxes oatmeal,* 1 box Cream of Wheat,*# 3 barley pearls,* #10 black beans, * #6 red kidney beans, * #5 chick peas,* #3 lentils, #50 wheat berries, * # 1 sesame seeds

Baking Supplies & Sugars:

*# 85 lbs. cane sugar, 3 quarts maple syrup, * 3 cans cooking spray,* 2 large bags of instant yeast,* #6 confectioner’s sugar, * 1 can vegetable shortening, * # 8 brown sugar, * # 3 shredded coconut, * # 3 chopped dates,* #2 dried apricots, * # 2 butterscotch chips


*6 boxes large kitchen matches,* 10 gallons bleach,* 5 gallons white vinegar, * 1 box borax,* 1 gallon ammonia, * 30 vacuum bags, * 8 large boxes Tide, * 6 large bottles Downy fabric softener, * 1 box dryer sheets,* 14 large bottles Dawn dish soap, * 9 large boxes dishwasher detergent, * 3 bottles toilet cleaner, * 12 cans Bar Keeper Friend, * 5 bottles tub & tile cleaner, * 50 rolls toilet paper, * 24 rolls paper towels,* 4 boxes Kleenex,* 6 large pkgs. paper napkins,* 80 tall white kitchen garbage bags,* 1 box -30 gallon size garbage bags, * 1 box wax paper,* 2 boxes aluminum foil, *mouse traps, * rat poison,


*4 large bags disposable razors, *4 cans shaving cream, * 4 large boxes Q-Tips, * 8 tubes toothpaste, * 6 boxes dental floss,* 8 large Listerine, *4 roll-on deodorant, * 4 mascara, * 1 brown eye pencil, * 3 jars old lady eye cream,* 2 large Tylenol, * 2 large aspirin, * 2 tubes hydrocoritison cream, *2 large Vaseline, * 3 large cold cream, *5 hand cream, * 3 cans hair spray, * 3 large shampoo, * 4 bags cough drops ( maybe make horehound drops too)* 2 bottles cough expectorant, *2 bottles cough suppressant,* 2 bottles Pepto Bismol, bar soap, bath oil, * essential oils for soap & bath


Peek Inside My Pantry – Use This Tool To Help Plan A Year’s Worth Of Food & Supplies

Every year I “put to store” about a year’s worth of food and supplies for my family.
I begin in June when serious gardening commences and try to be finished by the end of October. My tool for planning a year’s worth of food and household supplies is a detailed and complete household inventory.
For over 25 years I’ve done a yearly household inventory and recommend the practice to anyone seriously interested in a more self-reliant life.


A Basement Pantry

By now I’m pretty proficient at estimating the quantities of food and household supplies for my family for a year or longer, due to sheer applied experience.
But when I was younger there was no such thing as the internet. Basic household management information had to be obtained by way of home economics books checked out of the local public library or by the oral tradition and histories from the 2 generations of women preceding me.
In the beginning when I started to plan for a year’s worth of household needs, I had absolutely no idea about how many rolls of toilet paper, green beans, Q-Tips, pounds of hamburger or coffee were used in my home in any given year. The way that I was able to determine that information was with a wall calendar diary and pen.
Every time I’d open a package of chicken, a box of laundry detergent, a bottle of aspirin or jar of peanut butter I’d note it on the calendar. I was determined and faithful about recording all food, supplies and ordinary household sundries. By the end of the first year I had a pretty good idea of what I was and wasn’t using and how much of each item I was consuming.
It took me 2 or 3 years of really paying attention and keeping track of what was actually occurring in my home to be able to make educated guesses so I could confidently plan for a year’s worth of food and supplies and not waste a penny. I had to learn about and understand my own family’s unique cycle of consumption.
I’m sure that there may be other ways or better ways to glean that type of personal household information, but the simple calendar supply diary is what worked for me and got me started on the road to plan for a year’s worth of food and supplies.

Upright Freezer

Cleaning Out A Freezer

With a yearly inventory I’m able to notice  possible patterns of changing food ways, behaviors or brand preferences and can make the necessary adjustments. The information I gain provides the foundation for a master household and pantry shopping list.

By planning and purchasing  household supplies and certain food stuffs ahead of when I actually need them or run out, I save time, money and gas because I’m not making weekly trips to the grocery store.
Most of the time, the only “shopping” I ever do between the months of November and June is in my basement pantry with a laundry basket.
Once I have a list to work with I know exactly what fruits and vegetables I need to grow for any particular year and how much I can expect to home can or freeze. My list also informs me as to type or quantity of livestock or poultry needed to be raised or butchered in any given year.

Freezer Beef

Beef In Upright freezer

I’ll use my master list to help me buy and then store a year’s worth of food and household supplies that I can’t or don’t want to produce myself – things like light bulbs, paper towels, dishwasher soap, lipstick, olive oil, brown sugar – you get the idea.

By spreading the purchase of store-bought items out over the course of 5 months my monthly budget is not as impacted and the acquisition and storage is easily accomplished.

 I’m almost ready to write my master household supply and pantry list for this year.
I spent 3 days last week cleaning out all my cupboards, closets, freezers and pantry and this year’s inventory is just about complete. I still need to take an inventory of all the “Personal Care & Medicine” stuff, but think I’ll wait until next week to tackle it. It will only take about 20 minutes.

 This year I had a few unexpected surprises with my 2013 inventory.

Year Inventory

Inventory Of Kitchen Cupboard

I was actually shocked at how little white cane sugar I have on hand – less than 3bs. I was also  surprised at how much peanut butter we used this past year – over 25 lbs!
Turns out I still have green beans left from 2010 & 2011 and I have more than enough canned beef and pork to go another year. I had forgotten that I canned part of a pig last year.
I should have exactly enough canned sauerkraut, vegetable beef soup and red beets to carry me through until spring and summer 2014. I will be making jams and jellies this year which is something I haven’t had to do for the last 2 years.

 Concord Grapes

A Bushel of Concord Grapes

Because I did an inventory I now have a clear understanding of what’s NOT on my pantry shelf.  I know that this summer I need to grow lots of tomatoes. I’m desperate for whole tomatoes and tomato juice. In fact I had to buy 5 cans of grocery store crushed tomatoes (hasn’t happen in 25 years) just to hold me over until the end of this summer.

I can also see from this year’s inventory that I’m still growing way too much garlic and broccoli. This summer I’ll only plant 8 or so broccoli plants, but there’s not much I can do about the surplus garlic because it was planted last October.
Hopefully our orchard will escape the predicted frost and we’ll have a good apple crop this year. If we are spared a hard frost  I’ll be able to make plenty of apple sauce, cider and apple butter, with a bushel or two of apples to store in the basement. Also it looks like my pear trees will bear heavy this year so I’m planning on canning lots of pears.

Cider Press

Waiting For A Turn At The Local Cider Press

It will take me another week or so to actually sit down and write out my master shopping list.
When I do I’ll be sure to share it just in case you are interested in perusing what types food and household supplies two middle age strangers living in western Pennsylvania will eat and use in one year’s time. After all the whole point of blogging and the internet is to be nebby.
And just in case you’re too shy or too busy to comment… no, I’m not a bit worried about other people seeing my “preps” or murdering mobs and bands of desperate starving neighbors or zombies storming my house when the economic collapse comes.
I put back extra food and supplies every year in the event of a local or national catastrophe to help those less fortunate or who have fallen on hard times and I suggest that you do too.

So without further ado, except for dish soap and a few cleaning products under the kitchen sink and in the bathroom dresser, what follows below is pretty much all the food and supplies in my house that are left over after a hard winter and a very long year.


 2013 Pantry Inventory List – May 2013

Seasoning & Condiments & Oil & Tea & Coffee & Specialty & Spices

1 bottle dry sherry + 1 cup Marsala wine
1 jar tahini
dry corn husks for tamales
4 ½ large cans coffee
3 boxes lemon herb tea
1 box red raspberry herb tea
1 large box black tea
1 jar green olives
2 cans black olives
1 jar artichoke quarters
2 jars sweet relish
1 bottle lemon juice
1 large bottle ketchup
2 medium squeeze bottles yellow mustard
4 jars mayonnaise
6 jars Miracle Whip
1 jar beef soup base concentrate
1 small can water chestnuts
4 small pkgs. Jello – 2cherry/2 orange
#2 sea salt
#4 bulk salt
4 bottles soy sauce
1 bottle barbecue sauce
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 #2 package Tender Quick meat cure
# 4 corn starch
½ 4 oz. jar powdered pectin
small bag citric acid
4 small envelopes gelatin
3 ½ quarts red wine vinegar
1 gallon cider vinegar
6 gallons white vinegar
3 large paprika
1 large red pepper flakes
1 large chili powder
1 large ground black pepper
½ large ground cumin
½ large dry minced onion
½ pound za’atar
1 12oz. garlic powder
1 3 oz. red ground red pepper
3 ½ gallons olive oil
small amount ground ginger
#1 ground nutmeg
#1 ground cinnamon
½ lb. ground cloves
ground allspice
.25 lb. ground sumac
ground mustard
ground turmeric
ground curry
½ lb. pretzel salt
½ 3oz. jar meat tenderizer
cream of tartar
# 2 baking soda
# 2 baking powder
# 1 canning salt
whole dried cumin
whole dried caraway seed
whole dried oregano
whole poppy seed
whole dried basil
whole coriander seed
dried orange peel
ground marjoram
ground cardamom
.33 lb. celery seed
whole anise seed
ground thyme
ground white pepper
whole cloves
whole fennel seed
dried cilantro
whole black pepper corns
whole mustard seed
1 oz. almond extract
7 oz. maple flavoring
7 ½ 7 oz. bottles pure vanilla extract
.75 oz. anise oil
.50 oz. peppermint oil
7 rennet tablets
# 7 honey
# 5 bread crumbs
2 pkgs. croutons
# 4 stuffing mix

Flour & Grains & Dry Beans
# 60 white flour
# 15 bread flour
1 box cake flour
1 ½ boxes baking mix
# 2 masa flour
1 ½ lbs. yellow corn meal
# 2 macaroni
# 8 white rice
# 8 red kidney beans
#4 chick peas
# 4 lentils
# 2 black beans
# 2 barley pearls
1 large old-fashioned cooking oats
#2 bulgur wheat
½ box cream of wheat cereal
# 4 rotini

Baking Supplies & Goods
#1 raisins
1 32oz. bottle corn syrup
# 2 crunchy peanut butter
#1 chopped dates
4 ounces instant tapioca
# 7 light brown sugar
# 2 confectioner’s sugar
6 ¼ bottles of dark molasses
6 cans sweeten condensed milk
3 cans evaporated milk
½ can cooking spray
1 7 oz. marshmallow creme
1 ¼ can of vegetable shortening
2 boxes food coloring
round toothpicks
cupcake/muffin papers

Grocery Store Canned Food
4 15 oz. cans of pumpkin
2 15 oz. cans great northern beans
1 28 oz. bake beans
5 15 oz. cans garbanzo beans
1 14 oz. can beef broth
2 10 oz. cans baby clams
5 cans smoked kippers
2 14 oz. cans pink salmon
5 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
3 24 oz. jars tomato pasta sauce
2 cans tomato soup
4 10.5 oz. cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 10.5 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
16 2 oz. cans tomato paste

Home Canned Food
1 pint applesauce
1 pint elderberry syrup
1 pint concentrated cranberry juice
3 1 ½ pints cranberry sauce
3 quarts black beans
13 ½ pints mushrooms
10 quarts sauerkraut
13 quarts canned pork
18 quarts canned beef
12 pints boneless chicken breast
12 quarts green beans
14 quarts yellow wax beans
2 quarts chili
8 pints salsa
21 pints of beets
10 quarts chicken soup
20 quarts beef vegetable soup
6 quarts beef stock
5 pints beef stock
22 pints tomato sauce

4 boxes of pierogies
# 22 wheat berries
1 bag of cranberries
2 quarts blueberries
16 quarts broccoli
# 3 butter
2 skinless chicken breasts
#5 yellow corn meal
#200 + or – assorted beef cuts
1 cut & wrapped lamb

Household Products
3 rolls paper towels
2 bottles toilet cleaner
1 large dishwasher detergent
11 rolls toilet paper
2 boxes Kleenex
1 box paraffin
28 light bulbs
2 boxes moth balls
6 vacuum cleaner bags
Mop refill
1 ½ gallons lamp oil
4 Aladdin mantels
2 Aladdin chimneys
2 Aladdin wicks
6 boxes large kitchen matches
100 + or – book matches
Nappa soap
Plastic food storage bags for 3 years
Canning lids, bands & jars to last at least 3 lifetimes

How To Store Food With A Vacuum Sealer

A few years ago I inherited a Food Saver Vacuum Sealer from my mother-in-law. It came complete with lots of plastic bags, a couple of canisters and a funny looking cap thing called a “jar sealer”. I figured it was just another kitchen gadget that she saw on the TV and it looked like a big waste of money to me.
Was I ever wrong.

Food Sealer

Vacuum Food Sealer With Canning Jar Attachment

The plastic bags and canisters that came with it I really didn’t have too much use for. But the canning jar sealer attachment was another story.

Walnuts, chocolate chips, baking chocolate, prunes, raisins, crackers, shortbread cookies and candy are just some of the food items that I like to keep on the shelves of my long-term food storage pantry now that have a vacuum sealer.

Vacuumed Sealed Foods

Sealed Candy,Shortbread & Brown Sugar

While most of the above foods may be frozen, I have found that the vacuum storage of those foods makes for a better use of the space that I have and frees up freezer space for other foods.
The use of a vacuum sealer in no way replaces the proper processing of food for long-term storage such as home canning.
Vacuum sealers actually remind me a little of freezing. Like freezing, vacuum sealers do not destroy the bacteria that can cause food borne illness. When a vacuum is produced in a container the oxygen is removed.
It’s the presence of oxygen in the environmental air, that promotes the reaction of certain yeasts and enzymes that contribute to the deterioration in quality of certain foods.


Chocolate Candy To Be Stored

Rancidity in nuts and the loss of quality in chocolate and other foods that contain a lot of fat, sugar or moisture, is caused by the presence of oxygen.
Remove the oxygen and the shelf life of those foods is increased.
With a vacuum sealer and the jar attachment I’m able to take advantage of sales and stock up on perishable pantry basics that in the past had to go to the freezer.

In my area of the country early fall is the time of year that foods like walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, brown sugar, chocolate and other items that I use for baking come on sale.
So last week when I saw that the price was good on some of those foods I brought them home and broke out the vacuum sealer.
I have 2 Food Saver jar sealer attachments. One is for wide mouth canning/Mason jars and the other is for regular mouth canning/Mason jars.

2 Sizes of Canning Jar Attachments

Regular & Wide Mouth Vacuum Sealer Attachments

I think it’s a good idea to have both sizes of jar sealers. Some foods pack better into a wide mouth jar (like crackers, some baking mixes or sugar), as oppose to a regular month jar.

Using a wide mouth jar can be overkill and a waste of space for things like chocolate chips or hard candy. I also use different sized jars for my storage needs. The small regular mouth 1/2 pint jars work good for things like raisins or prunes, and the large 1/2 gallon wide mouth jars are perfect for crackers or cookies.

The jar attachments are affordable. Last I checked they ran about $10-$18 depending upon where you buy them.

How To Use A Vacuum Sealer And A Canning Jar For Long Term Food Storage

Place the food into a clean Mason/canning jar. Center a clean but used canning lid over the jar. Used canning lids seem to work best. Place the hose of the jar attachment into the special port on the vacuum sealer and apply the jar attachment onto the top on the jar. The lid of the vacuum sealer is then pressed down with both hands to start the motor.

Creating A Vacuum

Creating A Vacuum In A Mason Jar Of Brown Sugar

The vacuum sealer makes a weird noise as it sucks the air out of the jar. The closer the sealer gets to creating a vacuum in the jar the higher pitch the noise becomes. The vacuum sealer will automatically stop when a vacuum has been created in the jar.
How long it takes to remove the air from the jar depends upon the type of food and the size of the jar. Most jars will seal within 1 minute.
Some jars are stubborn though and don’t seem to want to seal.
For those jars I use an extra canning lid  inverted on the top of the lid that I want to seal. I then put the jar sealer over both lids and remove the air again. It usually works every time.

Stubborn Jars

2 Lids Back To Back For Stubborn Jars

Another trick is to heat a lid and allow it to cool and dry before using it. That will sometimes help if the double inverted lid method doesn’t work. But be warned – some jars just won’t seal no matter what.
For those renegade jars the only thing I know to do is to remove the food and try another jar.

Once the jars are sealed it is important to mark and date the jar. This is an important part of long-term food storage and allows for the timely rotation of food. Twice a year I go through all of my jars to check for seals. Any vacuum-sealed jar that has come unsealed should be checked for food quality. If the food is good you may either eat it or re-seal it.

Vacuum Sealed Walnuts

Walnuts Are Sealed and Dated

With a vacuum sealed food jar, once the jar is opened you don’t have to use the entire contents.
Simply open the jar and take out what you need.
You can then re-seal the jar. It’s as if the jar was never opened.

Whatever you do don’t buy a vacuum sealer new unless you want to. Used vacuum sealers in very good condition can be found on eBay, at garage sales, thrift stores and at flea markets. Used food sealers will go anywhere from $10 – $55 in price depending upon the brand and model.
The only feature a used vacuum food sealer must have for food storage in a canning jar is the port for the jar sealer attachment.

I have found that foods like walnuts, raisins, dried apricots, prunes, dried flaked coconut, chocolate, hard candy and dry cookies will store very well for up to 2 to 3 years. With a vacuum sealer you can store all kinds of ready-made cake or corn bread mixes.
The shelf life of brown rice, sugar, pasta, grains, crackers, spices and most types of pantry staples can be extended many, many times their normal shelf life with a vacuum sealer.

How To Store Home Canned Food

For best quality canned foods should be stored in a cool, dry location. Ideally storage temperatures should be between 50°F and 70°F. Canned foods should be protected from excessive heat, from freezing and from dampness. Heat causes food to rapidly lose quality.

Store Food

Home Canned Food

All home canned food should be stored well away from direct sunlight, hot pipes, heat ducts, gas or electric ranges and wood heat appliances.

Do not store food in an uninsulated attic. Freezing cold does not cause canned food to lose quality, but may damage the seal on a jar. Remember once a seal is damaged air enters a jar and spoilage begins. Also repeated freezing and thawing may soften food or make it mushy.

If food has to be stored in an unheated area, the jars can be placed in heavy boxes and covered with a clean wool blanket, a very heavy layer of newspaper or a Mylar blanket.
Never store food in a damp area, as dampness may corrode the metal jar lids and compromise the seal.

2008 -2009 Pantry & Supplies List

Sometimes when people look at my pantry & supplies list they assume that what they are seeing is a complete list of a year’s worth of food and supplies for 2 middle age adults.
Not so. My pantry and supplies list is simply a glorified shopping and “to do” list. It’s a tool to tell me what I must can, freeze, buy and do before the coming winter months. I try to have everything on my list completed and bought before the middle of October – November 1st at the very latest. What you won’t see on my list are things like milk and eggs. We produce all of our own eggs so there is no need to list that.

Buckeye Hen

A Buckeye Hen In The Spring

Milk – we buy milk from a local dairy so there is no need to list that either.
However, I do make sure that I always have canned evaporated milk for baking and cooking. This year I don’t need as much canned milk as in previous years because I have 12 cans of milk left in my pantry. Same goes for butter. I have 6 pounds of butter on my list – not as much as last year. That’s because I have 21 pounds of butter in the freezer already. We use just over 25 pounds of store-bought butter every year. If raw cream is available we will make some homemade butter. That is taken into consideration when I make out my list.

There are other items that don’t appear on my list because they are a part of the unknown in planning. You’ll find that there is still no Kleenex on my list. That’s because I have 3 boxes of tissue left from the original 10 boxes I bought a couple of years ago. I use facial tissues only to remove my makeup.

We get few colds. So as long as no one gets a bad cold or just a short one, we’ll be ok.
But if one of us gets really sick, we’ll be blowing our noses with toilet paper or cloth handkerchiefs and picking up a box of Kleenex when we are picking up our prescription from the drug store.
Same principle applies to the apples, potatoes, squash and other vegetables that will go to the cellar.
I can’t know in June how many apples, potatoes or other fruits and vegetable will be harvested. I can only make an educated guess.


An Immature Apple

So much depends upon factors outside of my control: weather, bugs, disease and acts of God. Ultimately it is God who will determine how many apples, berries and grapes are available to us in the coming year. If you compare this year’s list to last year’s list you will notice a change in things like the amount of jelly and jams.

Homemade Jams

Homemade Jams,Fruit Butters & Jellies

This is a reflection of changing household needs and concerns. I’m too fat and plan on limiting sweets. It’s an easy way for me to cut back on empty calories.

Changing needs are also reflected on the “To Do & To Get” part of the list.
Coal is listed. Last winter was the first time we burned any significant amount of coal in the basement stove. We plan to burn some coal again this year too. That’s a changing need.

Coal Hod

A Coal Hod With Small Coal Shovel

What I really notice about this year’s list is the amount items that I can’t produce myself; especially household cleaning products and over the counter medicine.
The OTC medicine is replenishing old supplies and disposing of unused products that have gone out of date because we never used them.
The household supplies are part of a natural cycle where I had an excess in the past couple of years and now I’m down to almost nothing.

I keep a copy of my list in my purse and I methodically go through the list and purchase what I need. In the past I have set aside about $35 a week for that purpose. This year that probably won’t change much.


2008 – 2009 Pantry & Supplies List


Meat: 25 chickens, 2 lambs, 1/4 beef, (#15 canned beef cubes), 75 cans of fish, 1 deer ground (?)

#10 kielbasa sausage, #15 pork sausage, #10 bacon, #25 assorted pork cuts from McKeans

Grains & Legumes: #15 white rice, #10 brown rice,  #5 walnuts,

# 30 steel-cut oats,#20 rolled oats, # 5 red kidney beans, #5 black beans, #5 Farina cereal,# 25 hard winter wheat

Fruit: Apples to cellar and as much cider as God provides

25 – 30 pints applesauce, #8 raisins, 5 boxes prunes, 20 quarts grape juice(?), 2 quarts cranberry juice, raspberries, black raspberries & blackberries as God provides, 25 pints blueberries, 6 bags cranberries – to freezer, 8 cans pineapple, 8 cans peaches

Vegetables: 200 – 250 quarts of canned, frozen vegetables & dried vegetables: green beans, corn, broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, squash, peppers, onions, tomatoes,30 quarts tomato juice, 10 quarts tomatoes, sauerkraut

To cellar:3 pumpkins, acorn squash, winter squash, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions, garlic

Frozen food from grocery store: 8 pkgs. frozen green peas, 10 pkgs. chopped spinach, 1 box fillo dough, 4 boxes fish sticks, 4 boxes Pirogies

Dairy: #6 butter, #10 white cheese, 20 cans of condensed milk,10 pkgs. cream cheese

Condiments, Sauces & Jellies: 25 jars jams & jelly, 5 quarts apple butter, 6 pints salsa, 20 quarts spaghetti sauce, 5 jars tahini, 6 quarts BBQ sauce ( get new recipe), 7 jars mayonnaise

Soups & Stew: 25 pints of soup, 15 quarts of soup, 10 quarts beef stew, 10 quarts chili

Pantry Backbone: 10 large cans coffee, 20 pkgs. herb tea,10 pkgs. coffee filters, 2 quarts red wine vinegar, # 3 leaf lard, bottle good whiskey, #5 chili powder, # 35 white sugar, # 20 honey, #5 sea salt,1 can vegetable shortening, #7 brown sugar, 5 boxes powdered cocoa, 4 bottles dark. molasses, #2 sesame seeds, # 25 – 30 boxes assorted types pasta, 4 bags egg noodles,1 corn meal,#1 ground ginger,3 bags chocolate chips, 3 jars peanut butter, #2 black pepper,#1 red pepper, 3 boxes unsweetened chocolate, 3 quarts maple syrup, 8 cans olives, 4 jars artichoke hearts, 8 cans cream of mushroom soup, 25 cans tomato paste, 3 jars grated Parmesan cheese, # 3 confectioners’ sugar

Flour: #50 high gluten, #5 rye, #25 whole wheat,# 5buckwheat flour


6 boxes of kitchen matches, 6 boxes book matches,6 gal. bleach, 2 gal. white vinegar, 1 box borax, 7 large Tide, 8 fabric softener, 10 bottles dish soap, 6 cans cleanser, 3 pkgs. Scrubber pads, 4 window cleaner,12 boxes dishwasher soap, 6 bottles oil soap, 1 gal. ammonia, 5 bottles toilet cleaner, 5 bottles tub & tile cleaner, 12 rolls toilet paper, 36 rolls paper towels, 30 vacuum bags,4 pkgs. light bulbs,4 bottles all-purpose household cleaner, 2 box wax paper, 3 box aluminum foil, 4 boxes quart freezer bags, 4 boxes 2 gallon freezer bags, 2 mop replacement heads, 30 AA batteries, 10 bags rat poison



5 boxes Q-Tips, 5 mascara, 2 eye pencil, 8 toothpaste, 6 rolls dental floss, 3 large Listerine,4 shampoo, 4 hand lotion, 3 hair spray, 4 bags cough drops, 2 large Vaseline, 2 cough boxes suppressant, 1 large aspirin, 2 Pepto Bismol, 2 boxes anti diarrhea pills, 2 boxes Pepcide AC, 1 ipecac syrup, 1 Benadrl, 2 hydrocoritison cream, 1 box ibuprofen,1 box acetaminophen,



Check wicks & mantles

1 gallon clear lamp oil

5 gallons kerosene

Call chimney sweep

Clean oil furnace

Check fire extinguishers & smoke detectors

Pump septic tank

2 sets of sheets with pillow cases

Old zinc lids at flea market (15)



Check fuel oil level

Diverter in kitchen chimney?

New stove in living room?

Buy extra seed

Make hot bed by basement door