Prepper Book Festival 9: The Pantry Primer

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019

What makes the up a prepper’s perfect pantry?  If you think I am going to tell you that boxes of MRE’s and cases of freeze dried foods are the way to go, you are wrong.  It is not that those items do not have their place, but rather that they are supplements to the perfect pantry.

So what makes up the perfect pantry?  The perfect prepper pantry is composed of foundation items such as grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and scratch-cooking basics!

The Pantry Primer | Backdoor Survival

With that introduction, I would like to present the last book in Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9.  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, written by my friend Daisy Luther.  This the book that will get you started as you build your pantry from the ground up, step by step, and on a limited budget.

For those of you with a good memory, you might recall a similarly titled book in an earlier book festival. True enough.  Since then, the book has been completely rewritten and expanded to almost triple the amount of content with greater attention given to the how’s and why’s of pantry basics.

Naturally, as with all book festival entries, one copy has been reserved in a giveaway.  So sit back, enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Daisy Luther, Author of The Pantry Primer

One question on everyone’s mind is what they would do if a disaster or even a collapse occurred in their own back yard. If that happened to you, would you bug-in or bug-out and why.

For most disasters, I’d bug in. My place is set up to be a retreat and is complete with security, my supplies, a well, and the tools I need for self-reliance. However, it’s really important to keep an open mind. When you become too rigid about your plan, you’re unable to think on your feet and adapt when necessary.

For example, last year, we were right on the edge of a wildfire that destroyed thousands of acres of forestland. We were ready to evacuate at any second because nature just about took the choice right out of our hands. Always be ready to move to Plan B without hesitation.

If you did decide to hunker down and bug-in, what items would you include for comfort? Or would you?

Chocolate and coffee are well-stocked here. Don’t come knocking. There are some things I just won’t share. *wink*.

In all seriousness, I do have chocolate and coffee but probably the most important items we have that makes our home comfortable in a bug-in situation is a vast library of books, both fiction and non-fiction. We load up at yard sales and thrift stores. Many of our books haven’t been read by us yet, which would provide hours of entertainment post-disaster.

Home defense and protection from the bad guys is a big deal. That said, not everyone is prepared or even qualified to use firearms. What do you recommend in that case?

Well, I do strongly recommend learning to use a firearm and practicing until you are comfortable. However, if you absolutely can’t or won’t do that, a large dog is a good deterrent. (We have a 165 pound livestock guardian dog who roams our property.) Next, I recommend things like pepper spray or wasp spray. Wasp spray is nice because it has a long range for a spray and the stream can be directly targeted to someone’s face. Don’t try to use a knife for defense – it’s very likely to be taken away from you by a stronger opponent.

These days, it seems as though a new book about survival or preparedness is released daily. How is your book different from the others and why should we read it?

My book is based on 20 years of preparing for a rainy day.

Preparedness can be incredibly overwhelming, both financially and by the sheer amount of “stuff” we feel we must acquire. The Pantry Primer discusses personalizing your supply instead of using the generic formulas that many books offer.

As well, it goes into detail about properly storing the food, suggesting places to put it, focusing on nutrition and food quality, and finally, doing this on a normal person’s budget. I’m a single mom and have always been on a tight budget, so I completely understand the need to prep when your income isn’t in the 6 figure range.

How is this book different from the first edition?

The new Pantry Primer has been greatly revised from the first book. The first edition was a collection of blog posts about our own experience that readers had asked me to compile into a book. We had moved from Canada to the US and because of Customs, weren’t allowed to bring our food supplies. We had to start absolutely from scratch. The first book was our experience rebuilding our stockpile.

The reviews were mediocre and when I sat down to revise it, I read all of the negative reviews to learn where the book fell short. I realized there wasn’t enough detail – no specific lists, no advice about personalizing your supplies, no instructions of proper food storage.

The 2nd edition has all of that information and more. It is more than twice the length of the first book, professionally edited, and well-organized. It’s gone from being a first person account to being a specific how-to. I’m very pleased with the new version.

What is your favorite survival, disaster, or post-apocalyptic film or TV show?

Contagion.  That movie is epic, particularly after the Ebola scare of last fall. I could watch it again and again and learn something every time. It clearly demonstrates two very important lessons: How quickly and easily a virus can spread (via awesome special effects) and the importance of hunkering down in such a situation. The one thing I don’t like about the movie is how the world is saved by a vaccine. Sort of propaganda-ish.

It is said that everyone has a book inside them. What advice do you have for the budding author?

I’ll give you the advice my father gave to me, right before he passed away. Writer’s write. If you don’t write, you aren’t a writer, you’re a dreamer. The best way to become a writer is by writing. Do it every single day and the words will flow. You’ll become faster, better, and best of all….a writer. Start with a blog to give yourself a place to share your thoughts. The next thing you know, that book will come pouring out of you.

The Giveaway

Daisy has reserved a copy of The Pantry Primer for this Book Festival Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

When it comes to building a survival pantry, we all have to start somewhere.  I advocate starting with the foods you know and love, then adding grains, legumes, and other bulk foods a bit at a time.  I also advocate learning to cook with these items.  It never ceases to amaze me to have someone ask how to cook rice without using a rice cooker!

Putting together a proper prepper pantry from the ground up can be terrifying if you are starting with nothing and have a limited budget.  That being said, there is no reason at all to freak out.  With books such as The Pantry Primer, and my own article, 20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan, you will be well on your way to a one-year food supply in no time.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight:  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget

A one-year food supply means freedom. It means that you are less subject to the whims of the economy or personal financial emergencies. You can handle small disasters with aplomb. You aren’t reliant on the government if a crisis strikes. You can’t be manipulated because your family is hungry.

Pantry Primer Daisy Luther Banner Ad

The second edition of The Pantry Primer is nearly triple the size of the original book. It has morphed from a book about our own journey to replenish our pantry after a cross-continental move, to a detailed compendium of all things food storage. Geared towards preppers, it teaches you:

  • Why everyone needs a food supply in their homes
  • How much food you need
  • How your pantry is directly related to your health
  • The components of a perfect pantry
  • Prepping for those with dietary restrictions.
  • A thrifty new way of shopping so you can afford to build your pantry
  • How to store the food you purchase to extend the shelf life for as long as possible
  • A week-by-week plan, complete with shopping lists and menu ideas
  • How to save money by making items most people purchase ready-made at the store
  • Pantry inventory and maintenance
  • Where to store all of that food
  • Bonus: 25 frugal and delicious recipes

If you’re new at this, you can take the most important step today…the step of getting started. You’ll have a year’s supply of food in no time at all!

For your convenience, here is a list of all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival.

Prepper Book Festival 9 – Non-Fiction

Chickens from Scratch: Raising Your Own Chickens from Hatch to Egg Laying and Beyond
Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies
Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide (PrepSmart Volume 3)
The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource
The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget

Prepper Book Festival 9 – Fiction

Cascadia’s Curse
Apocalypse by Government
New Recruits (The Shadow Patriots Volume 2)
The Line of Departure: A Postapocalyptic Novel
Holding Their Own: The Toymaker

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook print version is available.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!




Start a $90k /year Woodworking Business for Under $1,000?

Even in small spaces with no equipment! Step-by-step guide.

Learn More →

Updated Jul 1, 2019

Aff | Wood Profits
Start a $90k /year Woodworking Business for Under $1,000?Learn More →

64 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 9: The Pantry Primer”

  1. I appreciate the simple, no-nonsense approach you take….yet there are enough details to give good guidance. It helps balance reality. Good job!

  2. I like the approach the book is taking. I’ve always been a “why” person and this second edition will answer some of those questions. Another thing I think most people won’t realize is they will need to be able to diversify their meals enough to not fall prone to appetite fatigue. I wonder if that occurs with chocolate? Sure hasn’t happened to me after (and I won’t reveal how many!) all these decades!

  3. My three prepper pantry must have items would be spices (to add verity in flavor and keep the food interesting), canned fruits (for the sweetness and comfort), coconut oil (for cooking and so many other uses). Beyond those three basics I can add meat by hunting and veggies by foraging or gardening.

  4. If I have any sort of warning, at all. The two things. That would send me running are fires, and floods. When I was pregnant with my firs driving me home. As we sat at the stop light, we were picked up, car and all, and we’re pushed into the intersection, by a sudden rush of water. When we got across the street, I got out of the car, onto a high curb, and walked the rest of the way, because it was up some inclines, I figured I was safer than her. I lived at the top of a hill. I refused to leave home until the rain stopped, and the ground was bone dry. Her book would have come / in handy.

  5. some form of communication, heat, and since my husband is working out of town right now, I need him to be HOME!

  6. sounds like a book i need to read! Its overwhelming sometimes, not knowing where to start…

  7. Must haves?? Chocolate, sun oven, warm blankets/clothing

  8. Chocolate, to, and coffee.

    • That’s tp I meant to say.

  9. I believe salt, coconut oil, and canning jars in my pantry.

  10. Beans, salt, sugar and lead

  11. My three things…. beans, flour, and rice.

  12. Pantry items? I believe salt, leavening items, cooking oils.

  13. tea – lots of tea, herbs & spices, and plenty of dehydrated hashbrowns are my choices.

  14. Beans, rice, canning jars w/lids

  15. rice, pasta and beans

  16. Great interview – you two are the first ones I look for each a.m. when I turn on the computer. I definitely agree with the comfort foods & books. Also yarn to keep my hands busy.

  17. I feel really stressed when thinking about getting a food pantry prepared in case of a disaster.
    I’d love to get this book!

  18. Peanut butter, chocolate & tea

  19. First as many freeze dried foods as I can afford, second, lots of beans, and third is a toss up between canned meats and chocolate.

  20. Obviously, rice and beans, but I tend to look at it from the view of breakfast, lunch and dinner for x amount of people for x amount of time. Once that’s covered, add the goodies and luxury food items.

  21. Beans, rice and wheat.

  22. Only 3? LOL!!! Pasta, oatmeal, dried fruits. Mostly because of special needs grandchildren who bulk at ‘new’ or strange’ and so I have what they eat. For Husband and self, coffee, hard candy, chocolate!

    • Comfort food/items, right? Because there is everything under the sun stored!

  23. Must haves? Beans, rice and tomatoes.

  24. Salt, pepper, and flour.

  25. Pantry must-haves: coffee, chocolate and peanut butter.

  26. 3 items, honey, coconut oil, and spices.

  27. Must have: Several types of dried beans, rice, yellow peas, other grains. Peanut butter, chicken and beef stock, tuna, sardines and canned tomatoes fill in the gaps.

  28. salt, flour and beans

  29. Spices/seasonings,pasta and canned goods.

  30. White rice, beans, and applesauce. Interesting to see what are necessities to others.

  31. Spices, flour, salt. Is chocolate a staple????

  32. Soup mix, flour and sugar. Plus cans if fruits and vegetables

  33. Coffee, tea, and can goods are my 3 essentials.

  34. Beans, salt, honey and a prayer for the strength to continue my mini garden…

  35. Canned fruit, peanut butter, and rice are the top 3 items I have….though now that I see them together, that doesn’t seem like a very nutritious meal.

  36. Three pantry items that would sustain me, giving me energy and not need cooking and assuming I had water would be oats, coconut oil, and protein powder. Even when I feel ill I can eat these, not have to cook and get through the day with some nutrition.

  37. I keep rice, dried beans, tea and coffee. It’s important to have a complete protein source and because I make kombucha, tea is a must have.

  38. Top 3 pantry items…pure, unrefined cane sugar, unbleached flour, lard (all items that would’ve been in the pioneer woman’s pantry or on a wagon train, and the unrefined means you still have the nutritional value intact…you can make many many tasty recipes with basic ingredients….and my living pantry…my chickens, who lay wonderful eggs…for our own use or to barter. 🙂

  39. My top 3 pantry must-haves are flour, peanut butter, and sugar.

  40. I think wheat berries, rice, and powdered milk might be a good start.

  41. My three basics would be sugar, flour and salt.

  42. Beans, peanut butter, and pasta. Kids would go crazy if we didn’t have pasta or noodles of some sort.

  43. Canning jars, meat that I have canned, canned fruits and veggies (either purchased or home-canned).

  44. Yet another cool giveaway ….. I’d love to win this book for my wife.

  45. Must haves: elderberry extract, epsom salt, tea tree oil. Sardines are great too!

  46. I’d say applesauce, flour (grain), and yeast.

  47. Other than the basics, wheat berries,beans, oatmeal, rice and powdered milk I would need Salt, pepper, seeds to grow herbs and spices.

  48. How do I narrow it to three? I have been adding food to my storage and rotating it for a very long time, so at this point we have approx 3 years supply. But just as important I believe is my sun oven, silverfire stove, our first aid box, survival tools, cast iron pans and dutch ovens.

  49. I have been working on trying to build up food supplies, but without an income am finding it extremely hard to do. Where I live, grocery prices are also very very high. Any information is helpful. Thank you for what you do!

  50. My three “must have” items are beans, dried organic, non-gmo corn (for grinding), and organic, non-gmo brown rice.

  51. I would have salt, baking soda, and beans.

  52. My very basic 3 are salt, wheat berries and beans. But next are rice, pasta, canned veggies, fruit and neat, I also think it important to have ready-to-eat items, sauces and gravies. Seasonings make the difference in staying alive and actually enjoying ones food.

  53. what if you gave a party and no-one came? you still have cake.

  54. 1. Canned veggies
    2. Canned meat
    3. Rice

  55. Beans, quinoa, and fats. Having grown my own beans, I have no idea how beans are so cheap to stock! I still grow them for nitrogen fixation and the novelty of eating my own homegrown beans, but for the amount of work growing, harvesting, and shelling them, you get very little in terms of meals. Since dried beans are so cheap in the store, it makes sense to stock up on those.

    Quinoa, because it’s gluten free and loaded with protein. Whole Foods 365 brand of organic quinoa is actually very economical, given that quinoa can run high. I can grow it, but in our area, quinoa is a really hit or miss crop.

    Most people overlook fats. We have an avocado tree — yet to produce — and a bunch of hazlenut shrubs and trees, but things like coconut oil, ghee, nut butters, fish oil, lard, etc. will offer good calories and fat ratios for better brain function.

    We have chocolate and coffee, too, but honestly, I know I’ll feel better without chocolate in my life, so LOL, that’s a perk I’ll eventually do without.

  56. We are very new to prepping. In fact I have copied your 12 months of prepping but have not finished the first month yet. We did however just get a Food Saver so we could have a better way to store the food we eat. So, this book would go along way for us to learn how to properly store food. Thanks.

    • Oh yeah, beans, rice & canned food.

  57. Hard to narrow down to just three, but coffee, spices(including salt and pepper), and either beans or peanut butter….

  58. oatmeal, rice and beans.

  59. beans, powdered milk, flour

  60. Beans, rice and toilet paper.

  61. I know the feeling…


Leave a Reply