A lot of people talk about different layers when it comes to prepping for emergencies. Typically these layers refer to length of storage. So there is a layer that is your immediate pantry, short term storage, and long term storage. Someday in the future I’ll do a post on that, too. For now, my main focus is getting you the most information in the shortest amount of time. Deep in my heart I feel like that time is critical right now and I want you to be the most prepared as possible in the coming days, weeks, and months. Today we’re talking all about prepping your spices. It seems like such a small thing but could make an impact if you find yourself in a situation where you’re eating the same thing constantly due to supply.
First, it’s important to know that I buy all of my spices in bulk from Azure Standard. I promise I’m not affiliated with them, but I mention them often because I love the offering they have and their way of doing business. They make it super easy to get bulk goods and they are clean ingredients. Majority of what I order is organic. I realize some people have options that are local to them that might be cheaper, but, for us, this is the best option we have for organic food. I’ll get off my pulpit, back to spices.
Storing & Rotating Spices
Layer 1: Glass Jars
When I first started buying spices in bulk I bought a set of glass spice jars and added labels to them. This is what I keep on hand for daily use. I will buy the 4oz packet of spices from Azure and add them to the jar as needed. One bag will typically fill my jars two times. Azure does sell glass jars of spices so you could always buy one of those to start and then just refill it with the bulk packages. They also sell in larger increments than 4oz but for just two of us that’s more than enough for a good amount of time. Depending on your family size you may want larger spice containers or larger amounts of refill. As always, do what is best for your family.
Layer 2: 2 Gallon Bucket- Open Packages
Beyond my daily use jars I have a bucket of spices I keep in our pantry. This is a 2 gallon bucket with a gamma lid (both were also purchased from Azure). This is where I keep all of the opened bags of spices and my immediate back ups. I have either a half or whole 4oz bag in this bucket. If one of my glass jars is empty this is where I go to fill it.
Layer 3: 2 Gallon Bucket- Unopened Packages
If I empty a bag from that bucket there is another one that I store in my basement that has one unopened bag of each spice. You can see how this is already showing you the useable layer of storage (my glass jars), the short term layer of storage (my pantry bucket), and the long term layer of storage (the bucket in my basement). The key is whatever you take out of this bucket is what gets replaced. I tend to keep a running cart throughout the month with my Azure items. Some people write it down on a list. You can do whatever works for you! Just make sure when you take it out of the final bucket it gets replaced with a new one.
Spices to Stock
- Garlic Powder
- Cloves (whole or ground)
- Onion Powder
- Chili Powder
- Cinnamon (sticks and ground)
- Bay Leaves
- Garlic Salt
- Everything Bagel
- Onion Soup Mix
- Mushroom Soup Mix
- Powdered Ranch Seasoning
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Peppermint Oil
This list is, obviously, not comprehensive. As I always say, do what is best for your family. Perhaps you know that you will not need nutmeg because no one likes it. That is up to you to decide for your family. These are just the ones that we stock. Remember- some herbs and spices can also have medicinal uses too! Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar (important for diabetics) and turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties (helpful if you are trying to prevent illness).
In Summary: Prepping Your Spices
Spices can seem so small in the grand scheme of prepping but they are also one of the easiest things to prep. They are generally pretty cheap too. If you are just looking for quantity over quality you can just run down to the dollar store and have most of this taken care of. I love that it’s a quick prep item because so much of preparing for emergencies feels daunting and overwhelming. If you are just getting started this is a good one to get your feet wet! It’ll help you start to build your inventory and get the hang of how you want to purchase and store items.
What spice is most important to you if chaos breaks loose? I think mine is salt. It adds more flavor but can also be used for preservation efforts.
P.S. If you are new to Azure you can use code BriannaHart1 at checkout to bless our family in a small way.