Stocking a Depression Era Pantry

Does anybody else notice grocery bills shooting up? Last time I went grocery shopping, the high prices and bare shelves shocked me. As I stood in the checkout line, I decided it was time to stock a depression era pantry.

This thrifty-style pantry was still common across North Carolina when I was growing up. Both sets of my grandparents (and Papaw Cochran) kept their kitchens stocked with basic supplies, and everything they made was from scratch. Even their canned goods were usually homemade. 

Living through the great depression made people resourceful. Buying goods in bulk, proper storage, and canning helped them save money. Honestly, the food wasn’t just cheaper – it tasted better too.

I’m not sure why I haven’t stocked a depression era pantry before now. But I do know if my grandparents were still around, they’d remind me that hard times can strike at any moment. It’s always best to be prepared.

Stocking a Depression Era Pantry

Food Storage

I had to buy us some storage containers before going grocery shopping. People who lived through the depression were pros at storing food. They used hermetic jars, mason jars, and other air-tight containers to extend the shelf-life of ingredients.

Shopping List

I made a list of things to keep stocked in the pantry. Not all of it will be purchased from the store since I plan on doing some canning this year. Here’s what I included:

  • Rice
  • Dried Beans
  • Oatmeal
  • Flour & Cornmeal
  • Grits
  • Dried Pasta
  • Vinegar
  • Sweeteners (Sugar, Honey, Molasses, & Maple Syrup)
  • Cocoa
  • Jams, Jellies, and Preserves
  • Canned Fruits & Veggies
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Dried Fruits
  • Fats (Lard, Tallow, and Bacon Grease)
  • Broth, Stocks, & Bouillon Cubes
  • Seasonings
  • Oils (Vegetable Oil & Olive Oil)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Teas & Coffee
  • Canned Soups
  • Powdered & Canned Milk
  • Canned Meats
  • Baking Powder & Yeast
  • Condiments

Do you have a depression era pantry at home? If so, what do you keep stocked in yours?

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