We laughed about people stock-piling toilet paper, but did you find yourself contemplating what you would do if you actually ran out? Would we all be shredding our old t-shirts into tiny squares?  Yucky.  Hope it never comes to that.  My mamma said she would wash her butt off with the outside hose before she stripped apart 3-ply toilet paper (a plan shared with her by a friend).  Honestly, would you not get poop on your hands if you were using a single ply of toilet paper?!  I don’t blame her for her personal hose plan, except I can’t follow her lead, as I have neighbors.  What would they think?  In this post, I will show you how to stock your pantry for COVID-19 and other emergencies.

Most everyone has experienced less than optimal buying options, either unavailability or higher cost.  This is not likely to change anytime soon and could get worse.  Read this article from The Washington Post.  I love a good steak or burger hot off the grill, but my family also enjoys vegetarian meals.  Check out this link for ideas if you’re wanting some protein-packed meatless dinners.  Vegetarian recipes by photo.

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You Can Make Your Own Bread

We were unable to get our hands on yeast for ages!  So, my husband made a sourdough starter and has made us quite a bit of tasty bread!  If you follow my blog, you may remember my previous posts when I made Freddy Farter Sourdough Starter.  I eventually killed Freddy Farter by neglecting him for a bit too long.  I didn’t have the heart to create a new baby.  We finally found yeast, but we haven’t used it as we continue to enjoy the sourdough a lot!


I stock my pantry to feed my family nutritionally sound meals and snacks when we aren’t able to get some of the items we normally have.  Here’s a look at what my pantry looks like (I straightened it all nice and neat just for you).

My Pantry

If you are a critical person, you probably noticed the Captain Crunch hiding behind the pretzels.  Yes, sometimes I buy crap for my kids, but they only eat cereal about once a month or even less.  If you can get past the fact that a dietitian gives her kids Captain Crunch, you may notice I have lots of beans, pasta, rice, lentils, quinoa, and oats.  Psst..sometimes I buy them Cheetos and Oreos too.  STOP…your homemade granola is not that good and (whisper) nobody’s eating it.

I keep canned soups, dried fruit, nut butters, nuts, and seeds on hand. You will also see canned vegetables (not my favorite but, will do in a pinch). 🤏 

Tip: pre-rinsing canned vegetables will reduce the sodium content by 30% or more. 

Add canned salmon to salads or make salmon croquettes.  The soft bones can be smashed into the mix for tons of calcium in addition to the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Canned sardines provide the same nutrients.  You can’t have Ceasar dressing without them.  Canned tuna packed in water is always on my shelf.  I use it for tuna salad and tuna casserole.

 Other Items You’ll Find in My Pantry:  Beans and Rice

Together, beans and rice make a complete protein, meaning they provide all 9 essential amino acids. Essential amino acids must be obtained from eating foods that contain them.  Stock up on dried and canned beans like chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto, and white beans.  I mix black beans in a skillet with olive oil, garlic and 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning.  I spoon the seasoned beans over pre-cooked Basmati rice and have a tasty, cheap, and healthy dinner!  Try my Vegetarian Taco Soup with loads of beans, tomatoes, herbs, and seasonings!  Top with avocado slices, cilantro, low-fat sour cream or queso and you’ll be sure to please your quarantined crowd!  Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite books; it will give you a desire for beans you’ve never experienced before! How to Live Well

Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters

Pistachios have recently joined the list of complete protein foods, making these crunchy nuts a popular replacement for meat. I roughly chop pistachios and sprinkle over pasta dishes.  Sometimes I use pistachios in my pesto.  Click this link for a great pistachio dressing.  Nuts and seeds provide high-value plant protein.  The combination of protein and fat can help control blood glucose.  I love sunflower seeds on my salad!  I always have a bag of pepita seeds in my car for a quick and fulfilling snack.  Flax seeds are a superfood that goes perfect in cereal and oatmeal!

Peanut butter and other nut butters make excellent protein sources!   Try almond butter on apple slices for potassium, magnesium, and healthy fats with complex carbs.  PB sandwiches are often a win for picky eaters.  Try almond butter and apples in a pita pocket!  Extra points if the pita is whole grain!

Whole Grains

A good supply of whole grains like brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa, barley, farro, whole grain breads, and crackers is a must!  Whole grains provide fiber and complex carbohydrates for energy, not to mention loads of phytonutrients.

Put oats on your grocery list.  Add them to smoothies and pancakes for iron and B vitamins.

Canned tomatoes can be added to soups, used for salsa, and homemade pizzas for a boost of vitamin C and lycopene.

Low-sodium stocks and sauces are always in my pantry.  I add them to soups, cook rice in them to replace water, and to pasta for flavor.

Popcorn kernels or “light” microwavable popcorn is always a crowd pleaser!  Don’t ruin it by telling them that it’s a whole grain.  I like to add a bit of nutritional yeast to mine for cheesy umami.

Leave a comment letting me know what your pantry looks like since COVID-19 became a pandemic.  Have you done anything differently to keep your family healthy?


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  1. A minister’s wife once told me she had to be careful what she said & did at home because it was highly likely to be shared as part of a sermon to a large congregation. Apparently, one must be careful of the same with a blogger daughter. She just might share your plans for your hose pipe! LOL! I don’t really care.

    My pantry looks quite similar to your pantry, except mine isn’t as large, and there is a shelf & a half of your daddy’s multi-flavored chips & many cookies & candies. 😳😏 Blog on, my baby! I love you!

    1. Sorry, Mama! But, it is awfully funny and it makes perfect sense at the same time! I love you!

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