How to Stock a Pantry for a Year

Stocking a pantry for week or even a month can be a formidable task, especially if you have multiple children. It seems you buy groceries for the week, and next thing you know, the kids tell you there’s nothing to eat. Stocking your pantry for a year can seem like an almost impossible task to achieve. However, you can do it. Stocking your pantry with an entire year’s worth of staples can be overwhelming at first, but all it takes is a little organization and maybe a little math.

Write down on a piece of paper all the staples you use for a month. Include any nonperishable items on that list, such as spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, flour, white and brown sugar, baking supplies, pasta, cereal, canned soups and vegetables, beans, flavorings, oils and condiments.

Write down next to each item about how many packages you go through in a month. Write down "4" next to spaghetti sauce if you go through about four jars of sauce each month. Continue for the remaining items on your list doing the same thing.

Plan on doing a lot more baking instead of buying packaged cookies. Buying the ingredients takes up less space than buying separate packages.

Add things to you list such as chocolate chips, nuts and any other occasionally used items so you can completely stock your pantry.

Figure out how many of these items you go through in a year by multiplying the monthly figure by 12.

Clean off your pantry shelves in preparation for bringing home a lot of new groceries. Make sure everything is ready for you to unload and stock your pantry.

Plan your shopping trip. Plan to go with a friend so you can have help pushing carts. Plan to go at a non-busy time, staying away from lunch hours, early evenings and the first days of the month.


  • If your pantry is not large enough to hold food for a year, consider buying some shelves to put in your basement or another unused room in your home. Make sure you buy some heavy-duty shelves that can hold up the weight.

    Having a garden and fruit trees can be a big help in stocking your pantry for a year. If you put up produce from your garden, you are automatically saving food for the future. If you do not have much space, consider planting a few things on your porch in large containers. If this is not possible, consider growing herbs indoors. You can dry the herbs to save for use throughout the year.

    Buy in bulk if you are looking to save a lot of money by stocking your pantry for a year at a time. This also prevents you from clearing off the shelves in regular grocery stores.