R. Ann Parris on Stocking Styles


Stocking Styles by R. Ann Parris for PrepperGroups.com

Food storage is usually neck-and-neck with an evacuation and-or 72-hour kit for early prepper focuses. While some come to preparedness from a homesteading background and others are already well-established with a stocking style that works for them due to a focus on sale or seasonal background, others are more accustomed to shallow, somewhat scattered and small-scale pantries. That leaves them scratching their heads a little as their pantries move past a few days, a week, or a few weeks into something a bit deeper.

There’s basically two stocking styles.

1- We load shelves by the meal/day (stocking and loading by ratio)
We almost never see this as individual cans, boxes, jars and bags already grouped together on shelves for the meals or days they’re going to feed us (at least, not past about a week of regular supermarket or home-canned foods). It’s usually only used by people who are packing into buckets, totes, and cases.

It’s done with the goal to be good ratios, everything we need right there in the carton/tote/bucket, sometimes down to water or water purification, fuels, and preparation and eating materials. We grab the container and go.

It’s basically what companies are producing when they sell 72-hour, 7-day, and 1-month kits of pouches or cans, or things like the Augason Farms “Dinner Kit”.

2- We can separate by food groups and as we go along, specific foods and types.
This what we see in supermarkets — stuff arranged by general categories, and specifics within them, and by type of packaging or perishability.

For a prepper example, let’s take starches/carb bases.

First, carbs are their own single group on our pantry shelves and under our beds and-or in our notebook, all cobbled together so we see what our base-calorie options are. Then we start rearranging to segregate like things further; say, into carbs-grains, carbs-noncook, carbs-potatoes, and carbs-baking.

As our stockpile grows, we separate potatoes based on cut (grated, instant mashed, sliced, diced), pull pasta into its own category and eventually even into type of pasta or noodle, keep all our cornmeal and flour together and beside the various quickie “instant” mixes for pancakes, biscuits, muffins, cookies, cakes, etc, and start splitting specific whole grains and non-cook carbs into cold cereals, crackers, etc.

We see these in action from food storage companies, too, like the Augason Farms vegetable combo. Various suppliers’ offerings of meats, legumes or legumes and grains, fruits or fruits and veggies, a set of baking basics, or a variety of sides like couscous, rice, or pasta in kits are also examples.

Which fits us best is situationally dependent.
Both systems lend themselves to easy tracking in one way or another, with benefits and drawbacks to access — which also sometimes change, person to person and as our food storage evolves. We’ll look at pro-cons to each a little deeper in another post.

The amount of space we have to work with for our storage (ease of access), types of foods and preservation types, and ease of access to our food storage play big roles in choosing between them for initial supplies — either “early days” in a disaster or early in our days accruing stockpiles o’ stuffs.

How strongly we expect to be using our food storage where it’s being stockpiled can also affect which we choose, or, since it’s rarely all or nothing, how much of our storage we devote to each method.