Thursday, November 1, 2012

Paleo and Primal Natural Disaster Pantry Prepping: Building a Stockpile of Nonperishables

I realize that golfing and hang-gliding may also be strong contenders for this title, but earlier this week, while waiting out the storm, I unofficially dubbed the combination of disaster preparation with a paleo lifestyle as potentially one of the most expensive hobbies I could imagine.

Of course, if you're really, really invested in getting back to nature, maybe you've got some ammo and/or some good crossbow equipment stowed away; you've probably already learned how to use it and gone on a few hunting trips. You're probably also the type to have read all of the memoirs of Bear Grylls and Les Stroud, and also multiple books on the edible flora and fauna of your region's ecology. If that's the case, then you might be set preparation-wise. (And incidentally, can we talk? Because I might want to be BFFs with you if a catastrophe goes down.)

Me, though? I'm still just 2.5 years into this whole foods lifestyle - that's still not so long that I don't remember my pre-paleo disaster prep shopping trips, which involved bagged/sliced bread, cereal, and other processed foods. In fact, rumor has it that Americans' buying patterns on average spike for beer and Pop-Tarts when a storm approaches. By now, I've been through a few inclement weather sessions in the last two and a half years - enough to get a better idea for how fast our family might go through certain staples, and to know what makes for good eats in the absence of power.

As the initial warnings about Hurricane Sandy started to reach a steady hum last Friday morning, I headed to Wegmans with my youngest daughter. Meat and produce filled my cart...but yes, also a couple of carefully selected treats - as in, the kind I might indulge in once every couple of months - hard apple cider, and one pack of gluten free dairy free cookie dough.. (It was, after all, supposed to be the storm of the century!) The handy thing about being trapped at home in a storm was that limited indulgences remained limited; it's not as though I was able to drive 20 minutes through all manner of rain and wind to Wegmans to get more cookie dough. When that batch of cookies was gone, it was (sniff!) gone.

Thankfully, despite my jokes about paleo disaster prepping seeming expensive, it doesn't need to be. It undeniably costs more than creating a stockpile of pasta and cereal, but there are a lot of ways to save money on paleo-friendly nonperishables. Amazon saves our family time and money because we buy a lot of these nonperishables through its Subscribe & Save program, which delivers directly to our doorstep on intervals that we chose. Using this program, we've gradually built a nice stockpile of nonperishable paleo-friendly staples that have been complementing the fresh foods I grabbed at Wegmans - including many that work with my 2 year old's GAPS diet, too. Almost all of our nonperishables have been bought at the lowest prices I've been able to find online or in stores, via's Subscribe and Save program. Often the Subscribe & Save items come in bulk quantities, which has saved us a lot of money over the long run, especially when compared to the marked up retail prices on individual packages at the store. We don't receive these items every month - they are each on a staggered schedule, so we might get one item every other month, or another item every 6 months, all depending on our family's ability to use it up and our food budgeting priorities.

Here are some of the nonperishable items we've bought and enjoyed in the past that are available on Subscribe and Save:

Nonperishable Snack Foods and Lunchbox Staples*, nice for when power is out:
*One of our daughter's schools has a nut-free cafeteria but a nut-OK classroom; the other's school does not exclude nuts at all. Sunbutter, apple chips, and raisins are just some of the nut-free choices out there. Remember to shop according to your particular lunchtime destinations' parameters and your family's own dietary needs.

Nonperishable Bulk Baking and Cooking Supplies:
Convenience/Transition Nonperishables:

Oils for Dressings, Sauces, and Mayos

What primal and paleo nonperishables have you been stocking in your pantry? After Hurricane Sandy, are you planning on stocking your pantry in case of more inclement weather later this winter?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Shopping Amazon through Primal Kitchen affiliate links supports Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you, so thank you!!


  1. Thank you for putting this list together. Living in South Florida I have had to prepare for many storms, but I know that this year I was completely rethinking what we normally get. I joked that I would be the one person in the store stocking up on meat and produce while everyone else goes for the bread and junk. This list will be really helpful in the future. Thanks again!

    1. Glad it's a good starting point for you!! :) Good luck with your prep.

  2. I learned to can. I have lost count of how many jars of lard, tallow, chicken stock, bone broth, tomato sauce, green beans, pickles (cucumbers, beets and watermelon rinds), applesauce, rhubarb chutney and apple butter are in my basement. Oh, we also canned an entire turkey a few weeks ago, so there are about a dozen jars of those down there too. I also have three large boxes of winter squash stashed down there, too - they'll keep until February, when any that are left will be roasted and canned, as well.

    We wont talk about our two refrigerator/freezers and the 24 cubic-foot freezer in the garage that are stuffed with grass-fed beef, pastured pork and poultry, locally caught fish and locally grown fruits and vegetables. We're buying a generator in the next couple of weeks.

    We don't really do this because we fear inclement weather, but just so we can eat locally and sustainably as possible. I do know people who would like to introduce us to a nice psychotherapist, though.

  3. I was just thinking about doing this! Thanks for the great list!

    1. Glad you like it. Good luck prepping! :)

  4. Hi! I'm in California and found your blog through another blog! Thank you for taking time to share with all of us about your family and food journey! I am a single mother of one five year old who has severe ulcerative colitis. I have done my research and read all the books for the SCD, Paleo, and GAPS diet among others. My point is, that it's nice to hear from someone who sounds human and is putting in all the same kinds of efforts that I am doing for my child's health (and my own). It's a lot of work as a single mom and often feels very lonely...since not many people around me understand why I'm doing what I'm doing with our diet. Thank you for all your is REALLY helpful! And comforting :)
    God bless you and your entire family!
    Miss K and Shyloh Star Sassy Pants

    1. Nice to hear from you, Miss K!! I wish I could beam you a hug because OH YEA it is tough to implement a countercultural diet for yourself and your little one. I hope that you continue to see terrific progress for your little one as you press on.

  5. We went out and bought a generator big enough to support the computer (our only media source), the freezer, and the refrigerator (plus a fan if the weather's hot). We have a fireplace, so heating isn't really an issue. Life will go on pretty much as always around here, just with the added motor noise in the need for shambling around like a zombie looking for a working outlet to charge a phone with, or scurrying from one store to another in a furtive quest for Oreos, Pop-Tarts, and Gatorade.

    Apocalypse--BRING IT!


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