Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Our Home Pantry September 17, 2013

Filed under: home canning,homesteading,pantry building,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 8:16 pm
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I have been receiving questions lately about the home pantry.  The main focus of the questions has been on what I stock up on and how much I store for our family.  First, let me state that we eat a predominately vegetarian diet.  Most of the time our diet resembles more of a vegan style, but we do use eggs, cheese and yogurt from time to time.  My husband is definitely a meat eater.  He eats meals containing meat when he is out on the truck away from home and sometimes here at home as well.  So, this brings it back around to what we store.  Most of the food stores are vegan in nature.  By not storing animal products, I eliminate the need for a freezer or refrigeration.  I am careful to not make extras of any meal unless it can be home canned into jars for another meal later on.  This also eliminates refrigeration.  In fact, on any given day, the only items we keep cold are drinks, opened jar of jam, salads in the summer and the rare times I buy eggs, cheese, or butter.  As I write this, my chilled items are eggs, jam, and a small container of milk.  For this reason, I am looking for a small propane refrigerator such as what you might find in an RV.  Using a large refrigerator is a waste of energy in our home.  The only time it is actually coming close to being full is during the holidays.

The following is a basic listing.  The amounts that I have beside each will last our family of 4 for about 8 months unless otherwise specified.

Baking Items:

White flour (30 lbs per month)

White sugar (10 lbs per month)

Dry Active Yeast (I buy a twin pack of 2 – 1 lb bags at Sam’s Club for $4.00 which lasts over a year)

Flax Seed Meal (2 quart jars will last nearly a year, use as egg substitute in baking)

Cornmeal (2 gallon size jars will last about 6 months)

Sea Salt (a quart jar will last about a year and costs only $1.65 at the health food store bulk bin)

Baking Powder, 60 oz tin

Baking Soda, 13.5 lb box (use for cooking and making cleaners)

Cornstarch, 35 oz. container

Brown sugar, 14 lbs. (nearly a year’s supply)

Powdered Sugar, 7 lb., (year’s supply)

Powdered Milk, 10 lbs.


Seasonings: I purchase all of the seasonings at Whole Foods health food store in their bulk bins.  The cost is far less than a grocery or other store.  I use the clear plastic deli containers to store the dried herbs in.  One reason for using the deli containers is due to the easy stacking for storage.   I have never had any problems regarding quality of the herb by storing them in this way.


Quart size containers:


Cinnamon sticks


Pint size containers:





Sweet Basil

Herb de Province

Italian Seasoning

Ground allspice

Ground Nutmeg

Ground cinnamon

Ground cloves

Whole peppercorns

Cream of Tartar


There are other herbs and spices that I use less frequently, which I do buy in much smaller amounts, such as a baby food jar size container.  Some of the small jars also contain my own spice mixtures marked with an (*).


Red Pepper Flakes

Ground Cardamom


Pumpkin Pie Spice*

Taco Seasoning*

Onion Powder*

Onion Salt*

Garlic Powder*

Garlic Salt*

Vanilla* (this I am making in a larger bottle, but less than a pint)



This is the largest portion of my pantry.  We eat grains daily in one form or another.  Nearly every day, we eat some type of bean, lentil, or legume.  Note: a gallon jar (free from a sandwich shop) will hold 6 pounds of dried beans.


Pinto Beans, a 5 gallon bucket will last one year

Northern White Beans, 2 gallon jars

Black Beans, 1 gallon jar

Garbanzo Beans, 1 gallon

Lentils, 2 gallons

Dried Split Peas, 2 gallons

Kidney Beans, 2 gallons

Navy Beans, 2 gallons

Barley, 1 gallon

White Rice, 5 gallon bucket

Quinoa, 2 gallons

TVP (Textured vegetable Protein), 1 gallon

Egg Noodles, 14 pounds (2 lg bags from Sam’s Club)


Grain Mixes

Falafel Mix, 1 gallon

Hummus Mix, 1 gallon

Nature Burger mix, 2 gallons

Dried Soup Mix, 1 gallon


#10 cans of various items

Crushed Tomatoes, 4 cans

Tomato Sauce, 6 cans

Tomato Paste, 2 cans

Spaghetti Sauce, 4 cans (I use as a base, adding veggies to make my own)

Pizza Sauce, 2 cans

Apple sauce, 4 cans


14 oz cans of Vegetables

Whole Kernel Corn, 4 flats

Creamed Corn, 2 flats

Green Peas, 4 flats

Green beans, 4 flats

Waxed beans, 2 flats


Extra Food Items

Tahini, 2 jars

Peanut Butter, 12 jars

Jams of various flavors, 12 or more jars

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 6 quarts

Butter flavor Crisco, 2 lg cans

Vegetable Oil, 1 gallon

White vinegar, 1 gallon

Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 bottles

White Wine vinegar, 1 bottle

Red Wine vinegar, 1 bottle

Farina Cereal, 4 lg boxes

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, 5 gallon bucket



This is the bulk of what I am working towards. It does not include the home canned soups, stews, fruits and veggies that I put up in jars,  which are based upon cost and availability.  I home can items such as the following:

Ground beef – plain, as taco meat, in spaghetti sauce, and as sloppy joe mix

Meatballs – various types of meat, canned plain to be added to anything later

Chicken – boned and skinned, shredded in BBQ sauce, or in chunks with some broth for a soup base

Stew Meat – in beef broth, in a stew, in BBQ sauce, or in a soup

Turkey – done the same as chicken

Carrots – both as whole baby carrots or sliced

Potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks

Cabbage – cut into chunks or wedges

Various homemade soups and stews

Baked Beans with lil’ smokies or ground beef

Fruit if price is low enough to make it worth while









3 Responses to “Our Home Pantry”

  1. Scarlett Says:

    A couple of questions for you. I can many of the same items. Hubby? loves fried potatoes and they fry so quick and easy after being canned. I have never canned cabbage, how does it turn out? Is it like plain old boiled cabbage at that point? And the meatballs. When I can ground beef, I generally cook it first and rinse off most of the fat. Are you cooking the meatballs first or during canning? Do they hold together well?

    • The cabbage is like boiled cabbage if done plain. Sometimes I add a tomato sauce and browned ground beef to it and it tastes like stuffed cabbage that way.

      The meatballs are perfumed to about 3/4 way done, basically cooked but not browned. They hold together very well. I do them plain with no liquid and in spaghetti sauce.

  2. Scarlett Says:

    I didn’t realize you could can meats with no liquid! It makes perfect since though, since I bake breads such as banana bread in a jar and seal it right out of the oven with no liquids. Works great in hubby’s semi!

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