The pantry is probably the key zone in SHTF prepping, as every survival blog on the internet suggests, water & food are number one priority.

Yep, makes sense, I guess it depends on what your idea of SHTF is, for natural disasters like an earthquake I can see the need to store water.
water would most likely be cut off, but my idea of SHTF is more on a global scale, like economic or some kind of major war, but most likely an economic collapse.

So in my scenario, water wouldn't just stop, appart from something crazy like the water being contaminated, it would still be flowing from our taps in suburbia for a while.
water containers are more important, as at that time you would want as many water containers as possible to fill up whilst the going was good.

I do keep some water on hand though, some bottled 500ml's and two 20lt plastic jerry cans. I fill 'em up and refresh every few months since the're just sitting there, may aswell be full.

But as far as hundreds of litres of stored water, like many preppers I see, I think the pantry space can be used for better things, there's many ways to store water, large water tanks outside collecting rain water is one, rainwater tanks are a lot cheaper these days then when we had that drought period, I picked up a 2300lt slimline tank for a good price, I keep it full and cycle the water when it rains, keeps it fresh enough, if I had to drink it I'd just treat it, maybe boil it, can use the water to fill the toilet cistern if the water was switched off and keep the vege' garden going.

What do you drink? I'm a coffee drinker so water is important for that, aswell as needing water for cooking and washing, but I don't drink plain water alone.
Since my aim in pantry prepping is stocking what I actually like, I keep other drinks like fruit juice and cans of soft drink.
Just enough so I can keep up with the rotation, I don't want so much that I need to use up 5 gallons of juice because the use by date was next week.

That's with almost all food I stock in the pantry, the qty I keep is a balance between the use by date and how quickly I can use it up.
no point in having 30 bottles of tomato sauce if I only use one bottle every couple months, I like tomato sauce but I just don't use a lot,
so if I had 30 bottles and they have a 12 month use by date, in 12 months i'll have 24 bottles of sauce needing to be used up.
Instead i'll stock maybe 10 bottles, but build that 10 bottles up over two or three specials, so by the time I have 10 bottles on the shelf, the use by dates will be staggered,

Some food items are a lot easier to stock up on, canned food usually doesn't have a "use by" date or even a "packed on" date, but they can last many years if stored in a cool dark pantry.
I think it's about 5 years in the can and it will still be perfect, but 8 years would still be edible, so long as the can itself looks in good condition, no dents or swelling.

Spam is probably the number one pantry prepping item..

Spam has a long history in SHTF times and has probably satisfied the hunger of millions of people.
it's the perfect package really, an easy to open can, a big chunk of meat, if your a meat eater then living on rice just won't cut it, by day 5 you will want meat!
well, spam is the next best thing. if your not into pork then it has to be corned beef, same deal as spam, a chunk of meat packed into a tight can.

I actually like spam so it's a no brainer for me to stack it in qty's, the secret is to buy a little more then you will use until the next special.
that way your stockpile will keep growing with fresh stock over time, it might take you a year but aventually you'll be fully stocked with spam,
enough to eat when wanted and enough incase shtf in the mean time.

I don't think long term food storage is necessary really, I mean 15 years or 20 years is not my idea of long term food storage.
where are those people going to be during that 20 years? in a cave? surely it's not hard to rotate some rice, beans or flour without having to store it in a can for 20 years.
I don't know, it just seems ridiculous to me, I think it's pointless to store so much food that can't be used up and rotated fresh as you go.

Make no mistake, if you really start to stock up a serious prepping pantry, it will cost a small fortune, even if everything you buy is on special, it adds up real quick.
so it's a balance of adding as you normally shop, taking advantage of special prices and keeping the food rotated.

Most importantly, it's buying food you actually like to eat!

That's not just the food itself but the brand too! for example, I like canned beetroot and a brand was on special, I bought heaps but it turns out I don't like that brand.
beetroot may be beetroot but this brand is too sweet for me, so whilst i'm going to use them all up I try not to make that mistake too often.
lot's of alternative brands of things these day's and it's easy to be attracted to the special prices etc, now if I see something different i'll buy one or two cans,
take them home and try one, if i really like it i'll go back and stock up, otherwise i'll just wait for my favorite brand to go on special, everything goes on special eventually.

Prepping your Pantry is an Investment..

Hey thing's go up in price all the time, fuel prices are going up, meaning delivery prices go up and everything goes up.
your spam, your rice and baked beans, in time they go up so your pantry becomes an investment aswell as an insurance policy.
if you spent correctly and bought a lot of your food on special, like 25-50% off then imagine the replacement value if there was no more specials.
say you spent $1000 on food that was half price, you own $2000 worth of food and paid $1000, in 2 years time say, that food will go up, maybe worth $2400
but you paid $1000, so it's an extra profit.

That's if everything runs smoothly as we know it, But come SHTF time, the money value of your pantry will pale into insignificance compared to it's value as a life saver.

Grow your preppers pantry too!

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is not only rewarding for your kitchen, picking your own produce is personally rewarding too.

Come SHTF, your ability to grow some of your own food can make all the difference, those skills can be taught to your neighbors, seeds you collect can also be traded.
the food chain can also be extended with animals, chickens in my mind are the number one pet come SHTF.
I'll talk about chooks and growing food in the backyard of suburbia in another post soon.

Bartering pantry items..

Having read through some of the real case history articles from people that lived through their own shtf situation, Bartering seemed to of been a key topic.
It's impossible to prep' for every shtf situation as sometimes you might need other things aside from food like maintenance or something built, or fuel,
could be anything, but one very likely possibility is money won't buy it, if the economy is in the balance then paper money will not be worth much.
I doubt money would buy anything, maybe gold and silver, but only if the person you paid gold to knew what they were buying, most people have no idea about gold.

So what's left? what can you give up for something you need? food is number one, a can of spam can go a long way in a trade if there's no meat around, spam is easily recognised and easy to put a price on, I guess it depends on how far into shtf your in, the longer it went the more valuable your pantry becomes.

Alcohol would be a good barter item but it's expensive to stock up on, cheap booze will not cut it I believe, there will be lots of bootleg booze, moonshine etc about, if one needs to get drunk they will get it but it's the top shelf stuff that's the real barter item.

Top brand booze, johnny, jack or jim, it don't matter so long as it's a good one, best is to buy the next best from the standard version, so jim beam black, johnny walker blue etc.
single malt whiskey, good quality rum and vodka, the worlds most popular booze is vodka, good vodka would be your star barter item if you stocked alcohol.

I don't drink much spirits, only on special occasions, I do like a glass of wine from time to time and so do most I know so I keep cask wine in the pantry.
I'm no wine connoisseur, I just like a sweet white or sweet red sometimes and cask wine is good enough for me, I buy it on special, when the're about $30 for 3 casks.
If your a wine buff and good wine is something you really enjoy then i'd consider some kind of wine cellar as part of your prepping pantry.

The biggest thing in pantry prepping is to prep for sanity..

In extreme times, when everything seems to be going to crap, the one thing that might keep you from going crazy is a little normality.
Simply eating the things you would eat in good times will help make you feel normal, grabbing a packet of chips off the shelf to share with the family after dinner
may sound like a basic thing to do but in shtf it could be all the difference, ignorance is bliss as they say, even if it's obvious shtf at least in your household, it's kinda ok,
'cos you got a pack of chips going

I'm going to be adding some pic's as I go, my pantry had a bit of a makeover recently and i'm yet to get in there and set it up properly but i'm close.
would like to share that with you all and hopefully over time other keen preppers will log in and talk prepping with us.