I’ve written before about how to stockpile food on a budget, where the focus is on building a pantry store over a few months to keep prices low.
When difficult times happen though, and you don’t already have one, it pays to build a food stockpile quickly.
That way you know you can feed your family for at least 2 weeks, preferably 4 in a pinch.
There is no need in this day and age to build huge food stockpiles because chances are you can still get to the grocery store or have food delivered.
Stockpiling food has it’s advantages and disadvantages and needs to be considered carefully.
There is no doubt that the media can influence our behavior and when we see others panic buying it can set off the panic within us.
(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more here)
How To Build A Stockpile Quickly And Sensibly
Think About Your Personal Situation
Before you rush out and panic buy a ton of groceries it pays to sit down and make a plan.
If you are living from paycheck to paycheck, now is not the time to take on debt, regardless of what others are doing.
You need to do right by you and your family.
It may be that you can cut your budget in other areas to free up some extra grocery money.
Do this first before you rush to the shops.
Check out my post on the best foods to stockpile for help in planning your stockpile.
Check What You Already Have
First things first, do a pantry inventory. You need to know what non perishable food you already have in stock that will keep you fed.
You might be pleasantly surprised to see that truth be told, you don’t need any further supplies.
List out what meals you can make from existing supplies.
Your Simple Guide To Meal Planning On A Budget
55 Easy Ways To Save Money In The Kitchen
Check Expiry Dates
There is no point thinking you have enough food in and then find it’s all 2 years out of date.
When you have food in your pantry it pays to rotate your supplies to ensure you do not waste any of it.
Only Buy What You Can Afford (Avoid Debt)
When you don’t have a lot of money coming in, you cannot afford to buy too much too quickly.
The last thing you want is to be creating debt for a stockpile of food that then sits in your pantry not being used.
Granted it might make sense to spend some of next months grocery budget this month.
With the proviso that next month your budget is that much less because you have already spent it.
Advantages Of Building A Food Stockpile
- You can rest easy knowing you have enough food to last you and the family for a given amount of time (I suggest 2-4 weeks)
- You don’t need to keep visiting the stores knowing they might be out of the exact thing you need
- No need to spend further money on food, especially helpful if your income is cut
- You are in control of when you buy
- No panic buying of items you would likely never use
Disadvantages Of Building A Food Stockpile
- Building a stockpile quickly means you cannot follow the frugal rules to get the best price on all your goods
- You can end up in panic mentality and buy way too much of one thing
- You end up with a large stockpile that you cannot use
- Family get sick of eating the same few things week after week
- You end up throwing food way – not good for a frugalista!
Helpful storage products
Pantries and kitchens need effective storage. Creating a pantry stockpile requires organization. These are essential storage solutions you can use to store your stockpile and save money doing so.
53 Qt. Plastic Storage Bin Container with Durable Lid and Secure Latching Buckles
Large stackable containers with built in pull handle making easy access from a high shelf. Perfect bin storage for your pantry items.
Airtight Food Storage Containers Set, 14 PCS Kitchen Storage Containers with Lid
Perfect sizing for flour, cereals, pasta and more. Airtight, stackable and BPA-free. With re-suable labels so you always know what's in your stockpile.
Set Of 8 Refrigerator Organizer Bins - 4 Large and 4 Medium Stackable Plastic Clear Food Storage Bin with Handles for Pantry, Freezer, Fridge, Cabinet, Kitchen Countertops - BPA Free
It's not just your pantry that needs organizing. These stackable clear food storage bins with handles are ideal for your fridge and freezer.. BPA-free.
Tzerotone Glass Jars Set, Spice Jars with Wood Airtight Lids and Labels
These 6oz 12 Piece small food storage containers are perfect for storing your herbs and spices once you've started each packet.
Large Food Storage Containers 5.2L / 176oz, Vtopmart 4 Pieces
These BPA-free plastic airtight food storage Canisters are perfect for larger quantities of flour, sugar, oats and baking supplies. Comes with 4 measuring cups and 24 Labels.
Fruit Basket, 3 Tier Stackable Metal Wire Basket Cart with Rolling Wheels
Store fruit and veg to allow for air circulation with this uility rack for your pantry. Comes with 2 free hanging baskets you can use elsewhere for yet more storage.
So How To Stockpile Sensibly?
What Should You Stockpile Right Now?
Good quality, long life food is the staple of a frugal persons stockpile.
Don’t start buying processed, boxed food just because others do.
Keep your stocks to things you know you will eat and enjoy eating.
My suggestions for your basic stockpile are:
- Rice (brown is healthier than white)
- Pasta (as above)
- Flour (you can make savory items like bread, quiche as well as pastries)
- Lentils (red, yellow, green or brown)
- Dried beans
- Canned beans
- Canned protein (tuna, salmon, chicken, beef)
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned vegetables
- Peanut butter (great protein)
- Baking essentials (yeast, baking soda & baking powder)
- Cooking oil (can act as butter replacement in baking)
- Salt & pepper
- Toilet roll
- Washing powder
- Washing up liquid
Don’t Panic Buy
When panic sets in your sensible, frugal head can go out of the window.
If you need to walk away from a product because the price is too high then do it. Replace it with something else.
There is always an alternative.
If push comes to shove you could even do without toilet roll.
Might not be something you have ever done but toilet roll has only been around since 1857. Before that people used paper or cloths.
The point is, you can still use cloth if you had to. Check this article out for how to do so hygienically.
Don’t panic yourself into buying 20 cans of something you rarely eat.
We eat a lot of tinned tomatoes so it wouldn’t matter if I had 20 of them.
But 20 cans of sweetcorn, when I always buy frozen? Not clever (it tastes totally different and we prefer frozen by far).
Or 20 cans of tuna when we use maybe one a month.
Execute Your Plan
The best way to reduce your panic is to make a plan and execute it.
Once you have your emergency stockpile you can rest easy.
You do not need to keep buying.
Go back to normal, or indeed start using it and stay away from the shops, your choice.
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!
Last Updated on 4th April 2023 by Emma
2 thoughts on “How To Build A Stockpile Quickly”
I wish I read this before the shops were rationing the food! Stay safe
Hi Agnes, it is difficult now some of the shops are rationing quite strictly but some products still make it worthwhile to stockpile like rice and pasta. You can only do what you can do right now. Take care and stay safe! Thanks os much for stoppping by.