Responsibly build up a stockpile of food you normally eat to prepare for the next pandemic or major emergency. I'm talking about food security for the average person who lives in the city and has no plans of leaving.
- Considerations when stocking your Prepper Pantry
- Starting Your Food Stockpile
- Prepper Food List - foods to stock up on before the next crisis
- Protein for the prepper food pantry
- Assorted Cheeses
- Oils and other cooking fats
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Condiments and Sauces
- Grains, Crackers, and Breads
- Herbs and Spices
- Add a few freezer items to your prepper food list.
- Baking Supplies
- Shelf Stable Extras to add to your Prepper Food List
- Simple Pantry Worksheet
I had never before seen anything like what in the photographs above that we experienced in March 2020. Empty shelves are scary, period. People panic buying out of fear just made it worse for the average person. What we as a country experienced with the Pandemic, and the fragility of so many things in our daily lives, many of us will forever be changed.
Considerations when stocking your Prepper Pantry
- Long Shelf Life: I look for food that has at least a one-to-two-year shelf life and avoid things like MRI, freeze-dried foods, and prepper food buckets. Any self-respecting Urban Kitten isn't going to eat from a bucket! I only buy foods that I know I will eat and enjoy.
- Storage Considerations: You want durable packaging. Canned foods are perfect for the prepper's food list, you can get a lot of great food in cans, like tuna, salmon, beans, soups, etc.
- Food Preparation: Food that can be eaten straight from the can is best. If you don't have electricity or gas you won't have any way to heat or cook food. Food prep for the urban apartment prepper is another post.
- Dietary Restrictions: Consider your personal needs, don’t stock up on food that will be bad for your health.
Starting Your Food Stockpile
Before you start your food stockpile you should really think about your goal, is it to prepare for a two-week power outage or on the other end of the spectrum; prepare for the next pandemic or other major crisis that might affect the supply chain.
This article is about stocking a food pantry for those apartment Preppers who really want to be prepared for the next emergency. How much you decide to stockpile will be a personal preference, personally, my goal is to always have a three-month supply of the healthiest non-perishable foods on hand.
Before buying anything for your prepper food list it's important to determine what types of meals you want to cook, do you have access to any fresh produce from your garden, what type of space you have available and how long do you want your stockpile to last.
Prepper Food List - foods to stock up on before the next crisis
Water is the number one concern during a crisis. You can go weeks without food, but just a few days without water and it's all over. With exception of a Zombie Apocalypse, I believe cities across the nation will keep water flowing out of the taps. However, that being said, all we need to do is look back on the recent crisis around the United States to find out that the water supply can and has been disrupted.
In a major water emergency, cities will have a plan to get potable water to residents but I wouldn't wholly rely on someone else to look after my needs. The standard recommendation is one gallon of water per adult, per day. Also, don't forget about your pet's water needs!
I stock 12 one-gallon bottles of water on the bottom shelf of my kitchen pantry and always have 6 Zero water replacement filters, and a small pack of water purification tablets. I've used my Zero water pitcher for years and love it.
tip: don't waste stored drinkable water washing dishes, keep disposable cups, plates utensils on hand.
Protein for the prepper food pantry
This is a highly personal choice, you may be a meat and potatoes person or a vegetarian. There are good proteins available both types of people and everything in between.
Beans- keep a combination of dried beans and canned beans in your preppers food pantry. If the power goes out, cooking dried beans really aren't practical. In the early years I stocked every type of bean there was and now know there are a few beans I always eat and a few that I use just occasionally.
One of my all type favorite bean combo is the 15 bean soup mix made by Hursts. You can also buy bulk beans and make your own soup combination.
- Dried Peas for making a quick and easy split peas soup toss in some frozen carrots for an easy pantry meal.
- Dried Great Northern Beans are well,great cooked on their own with just a little salt and pepper.
- Kidney Beans, canned - these are great for making a nice kidney bean and rice dinner or added to assorted soups and chili's. yes, it's versatile bean :
- Cannellini Beans, canned - these are great used in quick bean soups or over rice.
- Baked Beans, canned
- Refried Beans, canned - great for more than burritos. You can make nachos, and bean dip for snack.
- Peanut Butter - is great for PBj's, making classic peanut butter cookies, making peanut sauce, or just spreading on a saltine.
Meats & Seafood - there aren't many beef,pork, or canned chicken products that I would normally eat so I tend to stay away from those. If you are a fan of tuna and salmon these two items are perfect for the apartment preppers food pantry.
- Tuna -is a high protein healthy food, just don't eat it every day. I purchase Yellowfin canned tuna, smaller tuna species will have less chance of mercury showing up. Keep a variety of packed in water and packed in oil canned tuna. You can make tuna casserole, tuna and rice, tuna tacos, tuna appetizers on crackers, tuna and avocado snacks, and tuna salad sandwiches.
- Salmon - I mainly use canned salmon to make salmon patties. Smoked Salmon also has a long shelf life and is very tasty too!
- Canned Ham - DAK makes little canned hams are very convenient and you can roast them up, make some mashed potatoes with a side of red-eye gravy for a fabulous Sunday dinner.
You may like to have other types of canned meats including Vienna Sausages, canned chicken, mackerel, anchovies or SPAM. I tend to try and stay away from overly processed goods and keep the salt content as low as possible.
Waxed hard cheeses are great to add to your pantry, they are easy to find in most supermarkets cheese sections. Probably the most recognizable is Parmesan. Most of the time the clerk at the cheese counter would be happy to give you a taste of cheese before you buy it.
I keep several block of Cracker Barrel or Tilamok Cheddar Cheese in the refrigerator at all time. The shelf life is pretty long but never last more than a couple months in my house.
Oils and other cooking fats
Olive Oil is my main cooking oil because I make tons of pasta dishes and have stockpiled a nice supply of different olive oils, some for cooking and others for dipping or salad dressings.
Vegetable Oils should be neutral flavor and have a high smoke point. Buy in smaller containers because once opened they begin to break down and you do;t want to cook with a rancid oil.
Butter has a lot of cooking uses and you should keep some frozen for use in baked goods. The shelf life of refrigerated butter is at least 4 months according to the package I purchased yesterday.
Shortening - I have a little tub of Crisco in the pantry, I don't use it much but it really does make a nice flaky pie crust and classic for frying chicken.
Keep a variety of oils in your pantry for different cooking or baking uses.
|Type of Oil / Fat||Smoke Point|
|Ghee or Clarified Butter||450ºF|
|Pork Fat or Lard||370ºF|
|Chicken Fat or Schmaltz||375ºF|
|Vegetable Shortening like Crisco||360ºF|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||325-375ºF|
- Apple Cider Vinegar has so many uses, check out the Bragg site to get an in-depth look at this glorious vinegar.
- Balsamic Vinegar is great for dipping bread or sprinkling on your tuna tacos.
- Distilled Vinegar is not only used for pickling but also great for cleaning.
- Red Wine Vinegar can be sprinkled on salads for quick dressing.
Fruits and Vegetables
Since you probably live in an apartment, freezer space may be limited so choose your frozen goods with care.
Celery, onions, green peppers, and carrots freeze really well and can be used in soups and stews. Either buy already frozen and break up into small portions or buy fresh and freeze your own.
Keep a variety of canned tomatoes on hand. The canned variety actually has better flavor in cooked foods.
Frozen berries are good for making homemade muffins, scones, fruit smoothies, and heated and used for a pancake or ice cream topping. I keep frozen blueberries, triple medley, cranberries, and peaches.
Keep a variety of dried fruits on hand. Dried apricots, blueberries, and apples are great for baking and snacking.
Canned Fruits are great for pies and also the ones packed in water are great for snacking. Oregon is my favorite brand of canned fruits, they have a nice selection and are available online or on grocery store shelves.
Canned vegetables like corn, peas, and carrots go well with mashed potatoes and in soups and stews. Before using rinse the vegetables to remove excess salt.
- Marinated Mushroom
- Marinated peppers
- Green Chiles
I'll normally stock less canned fruits and vegetables because for the most part they should be easy to find. Even during the height of the Pandemic most farmers markets stayed open for business on a limited basis.
If you have space on a sunny patio or balcony consider growing some cherry tomatoes and leafy greens for a constant supply of salad fixings. Also depending on your space, there are several dwarfs or smaller versions of vegetables that can be grown in containers.
If you are like me you use a ton of canned tomatoes. The canned ones are actually more nutritious than fresh, something to do with Lycopene and the canning process. In addition to canned tomatoes you should have tomato powder in your pantry, it really packs a punch and easily adds
A jar of sun dried tomatoes is also nice to add to pasta sauces and stews.
- San Marzanos
- Sun Dried
Condiments and Sauces
- A-1 Steak Sauce
- Garlic Chili Sauce
- Liquid Smoke
- Soy sauce
- Tartar Sauce
- Better than Bouillon Stocks
- Packaged Gravy Mixes
Grains, Crackers, and Breads
- Rice is a staple that just about everyone should have. Just stock the type you prefer.
- Instant Oatmeal is probably better in a prepper pantry simply because its so easy and quick to prepare.
- Cornmeal belongs on your prepper food lists and cornbread is so easy to make especially with this small-batch recipe that comes one out perfect every time.
- Saltines are good for eating with soups or
Herbs and Spices
- Salt- Both the fine and coarse textures should be in your pantry. The coarse salt is mainly used to salt my pasta water and for cleaning out my cast iron skillets. Fine kosher salt is perfect for cooking and sometimes you need a plain iodized salt like the classic Mortons.
- Pepper - Black Ground and whole peppercorns should cover all your cooking needs.
- I love sprinkling a little Celery Seed in my tuna salad or any recipe that requires celery.
- Ground Cinnamon is good in baking or sprinkled on a little buttered toast.
- If you bake have some Ground Nutmeg in the pantry.
- Dehydrated Minced Onion, I had the hardest time finding this in stock and now keep several jars in my Prepper food pantry
- Another basic to have on your Preppers food list is Garlic Powder, not garlic salt. Use in soups, stews, seasoning for chicken, and pasta sauces.
- Basil, dried, and if you have space grow fresh on a window sill or balcony.
- Oregano, dried. I don't use it enough t grow fresh but it's a wonderful herb to add to pasta sauces and chicken.
- Chili Powder, dried is the main spice in making Chili.
- Paprika, dried. There a several types of paprika, Sweet, Hungarian
- Old Bay Seasoning, dried is used in a multitude of fish dishes and really takes your salmon patties to next level of tasty.
- Jerk Seasonings, dried is perfect for chicken, fish or beef
- Capers, jar - these a spicy berry that adds a little kick to recipes.
Add a few freezer items to your prepper food list.
I like to have freezer items on the list for those emergencies that don't involve the breakdown of civilization and dissemination of the grid. If I lose my job I don't want to rely solely on canned beans and jarred pasta sauce!
- Dinner Sausages, sausages are freezer friendly and make amazing stews or used in a simple cabbage, potatoes, and sausage casserole.
- Breakfast sausages fully cooked should be on your list, they can be quickly cooked up.
- Frozen potatoes was another food that was really hard to find.
Keep the basics on hand.You want to be able to throw together cornbread, biscuits or sweet treats.
Sugar, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, baking chocolate, cornmeal, instant active yeast, nutmeg,cream of tartar. Dried fruits come in handy here also.
Shelf Stable Extras to add to your Prepper Food List
- You can buy Milk that will last unopened in the refrigerator two months, what a world, huh!
- Canned Milk, both evaporated and condensed sweet.
- I keep a couple of small boxes of shelf stable Whipping Cream from Trader Joes.
- Maple Syrup is good for baking and of course on pancakes and waffles.
- Store Honey is also good for sweetening everything from coffee to scones.
- Coffee and Tea
Don't forget to stock the wet bar because if the "shit hits the fan" SHTF you will want a nice stiff drink. It's also nice to have wine around in small half bottles for cooking with.
Simple Pantry Worksheet
To make the most efficient use of your space and money I've included an Excel spreadsheet to help you get your pantry and prepper food list organized. Search for recipes that you want to be able to cook up and list all the ingredients. Review and see exactly what you need to stock
As a quick reference print out and tape to the inside door of your pantry.
Did you find this post helpful then you might also enjoy the Apartment & Condo Prepper. and Prepper Supplies List: Portable Car Battery Charger.If you have any tips, please leave a comment!