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Food Storage, Expand Your Pantry for Preparedness

Food storage is more important now than it was 20-30 years ago. When I was a teenager I worked in a grocery store. We had a huge back room filled with stock for the shelves. Today, most grocery stores do NOT keep much, if any, stock in their storage rooms. It’s much cheaper and easier for them, to use their computerized inventory system to order exactly what they need, when they need it.

Food Storage, Expand Your Pantry for Preparedness

There was a time when grocery stores had weeks worth of foods in their stock rooms, but this is now the exception, rather than the rule.

At most groceries, when the cashier scans your groceries, across the laser bar code reader, to ring you up, this data is tracked in real time and passed directly to their inventory control and ordering system. If you buy 3 cans of soup, their next delivery will order 3 cans of soup to replace the ones you just purchased.

They don’t have to keep perishable food in the back, pay someone to manage and rotate it or toss out expired products (and waste money).

This is very efficient for the store. As long as the next order arrives on time, everything is smooth as silk.

Have you ever stopped by the store before a winter storm or incoming hurricane? The lines are long, the bottled water, milk and eggs are gone. Items can run out real fast.

What if something happened and it disrupted the data networks, electricity or even the fuel, for the semis that deliver these goods? Even if it was only for a couple days, it wouldn’t take long before the shelves, at the groceries stores, would be bare. Now imagine how this would go if something big happened?

What can you do?

I don’t believe that you have to buy special survival foods or stockpile tons of food, but you really should have more than a few day’s worth of food on hand.

All you need is some space and it doesn’t have to be in your kitchen!

Our kitchen’s pantry was orginally designed to be a little coat closet, on the way from the kitchen to the garage. It doesn’t hold much, even after installing more shelves, to take advantage of every possible inch of space. I needed more pantry space.

Luckily, there is always a pantrywork around.

We had some extra space in our basement laundry room. I tossed in a couple sets of chrome shelves, and used this extra space as my food storage area. We can think of this as a pantry “annex”.

We didn’t have to buy bulk survival foods. We have all the same brands and types of foods as before, but now we can buy more of the canned goods and dry varieties.

More foods means you need to be organized. You really must keep the food rotated or you’ll throw away more than you save. It’s essential to have some FIFO (First In First Out) can dispensers, which make keeping the cans rotated so much easier.

We’ve all heard the expressions “save up for a rainy day”, so why not put up a little food, in your food storage area, in case times get tough? As long as you rotate your supplies, this can be done with minor modifications to normal shopping habits.

This stored food can help get you though lean times, and not just survival. If you suddenly had to go without a paycheck or two, wouldn’t it be nice to have to the piece of mind knowing that you had some food to get you through?

It never hurts to “Be Prepared”.  A million Boy Scouts live by this rule, it just makes sense.


  1. The FIFO can dispensers leave much to be desired – my pantry is DEEP but those all look only 3 cans deep. I can rotate 3 cans by hand pretty quick. Without buying one of those mega can racks – do any of you have a better recommendation? My pantry is probably 12 or more cans deep!


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