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Welcome to the Can You Homestead Without A Homestead Winter Stock Up edition. Usually in this series I talk about different fruits and vegetables you can stock up on during the season that they are the freshest. But this time I am going to talk about what you should have stocked up in your winter pantry! But first let's talk about how you can be a homesteader without a homestead.

But first answer these questions.

Do you have to have land to be a homesteader?

Do you have to grow a garden to provide your family with healthy food?

Can not the frugal mindset of a homesteader be used by those who don’t have a homestead?

That is what you and I are going to discuss in this blog post. Can you, a person who doesn’t grow a garden or have a homestead, still use the homesteading principles of collecting your harvest at its peak and storing it for your family for later use?

I have heard it many times from my friends, “it must be nice to have all that land to be able to grow your family all of that healthy food, or I would love to provide healthy food for my family but I live in town and rent an apartment so I just can’t, or maybe someday when we move out into the country.”

And I am going to share with you the answer I give to my doubting friends and just maybe it might enlighten you.

Is not homesteading also a mindset or a point of view.

The principle of homesteading is to, yes, grow healthy food but is it not also the mindset of using what we are given and making the best out of it?

So what, if you can’t grow your food, in the extreme that I do. So what if you only have a yard the size of a postage stamp. The main point of homesteading is to provide healthy food for your family the best you can.

And if that is only growing a few pots of lettuce and one tomato plant on your counter then that is all it is.

But what about the idea of community? As a homesteader, there is no way that I can grow all the food my family needs. We don’t have the space to grow our beef but I do have a neighbor down the road who can. So we purchase or sometimes trade what I have grown to acquire healthy beef for our family. And what about apples? I am trying my darndest to grow an apple orchard but we are just not getting enough from our trees to last us through the whole year. So I have another neighbor that shares part of her harvest with me and I pay her by watching her livestock now and then.

Homesteading is a community. We like to say we are self-sufficient but in truth, a homestead is just resourceful when it comes to finding healthy food for our families.

So what about you?

What can you do to provide your family with healthy food year-round and who can be your community?

Well first off, just because you live in a city doesn’t mean you don’t have a community around you. There may be a local community garden or a local farm or ranch outside of town that you can glean a harvest from.

But is not your grocery store or farmers market a part of your community? It is certainly part of mine. When I want to add healthy options to our plates, like say oranges or pineapple, that don’t grow well in our area. I go to my local grocery store and purchase that item when it is at its peak and when it is in season.

Have you ever noticed that when you go to buy strawberries in the spring and you find some but there are only a few packages and they just don’t look like the strawberries you purchased this spring?

The reason why is because we have fallen into the idea that we should be able to get any food item we want anytime we want. But the truth is that even though there are apples on the grocery store shelves in the middle of December, those apples were grown and harvested in the Fall. And then stored in undesirable gas filled containers so the apples do not decompose.

Apples in the Fall look better and even taste better then Spring, Summer, or Winter. And that is also usually why the price of those apples are cheaper in the Fall.

I got off on a little sidetrack but I promise this is all going to come together in a moment.

So back to you using the grocery store or farmer’s markets as means to provide your family with healthy food the best you can.

The main concept of consuming healthy food is to pick that food at the appropriate time, or when it is in season, and storing that food to be eaten when it is out of season but without losing too much of its natural nutrition and flavor.

This is my main job as a homesteader, right? So why can’t you do the same but just from your grocery store or farmer’s market?

And the answer is you can!

You can buy fruits and vegetables that are in season and usually on sale in bulk from your grocery store and farmer’s market.

You can then preserve those same fruits and vegetables in some way so that your family can enjoy those delicious tidbits all year round.

And thus become an honorary homesteader!!

And I want to help you out! So below is a list of eleven of my favorite Winter Pantry stock ups. I also share with you how you can use each of them, as well as a few recipe ideas. And don’t forget to check out this whole series where every season this year I share more stock-up ideas for Spring, Summer, and Fall!

Winter Pantry Ideas

Dried Beans and Lentils

Dried beans can be soaked overnight and cooked on the stove or in the slow cooker the next day. They can be an excellent side dish or a main dish with some piping hot cornbread on the side.

I love the smell of a pot of Ham and Bean on my stove. You can find the recipe here. But in all seriousness dried beans are a quick way to add protein to any meal and they are very shelf stable. You will need to plan ahead before cooking but they are great to have on the shelf in case there is a winter storm brewing.

Baking Goods

Keeping flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cornmeal, cocoa powder, and salt on hand can open up a world of possibilities of both sweet and savory baked goods that you can make on those cold winter afternoons.

Cookies, cakes, cornbread, loafs of bread and biscuits are baked goods that go along with any meal. Baking up something delicious can also help keep the kitchen warm.

And who says you can sneak in a little fruit to make them even more healthy, like in pies, quick breads and more. You can find my favorite pie crust recipe here.

Baking is also a fun thing for family members to do together. It helps with meals like breakfast and snacks. Plus as an added bonus keeps the family occupied for a while doing something together.

Canned Meats

Canned meats can offer a shelf stable and convenient option for high protein meals in the winter even if the electricity goes out. Canned meats are cooked and can be eaten straight from the can or jar if you want or need to.

You can choose from canned tuna, chicken, and salmon, in the grocery store. Or you can choose to make your own beef and pork canned meat. But make sure that you buy or make what your family will enjoy. If you do decided to pressure can your own meat

I like to use our canned chicken meat in my Chicken n Biscuit recipe, but there are a variety of warm filling meals that can be made with canned meats.

Canned Soups and Chilies

Canned soups can help you to prepare a quick and easy lunch or dinner even on the coldest of days. They will warm you up and they come in a variety of flavors.

Pressure canning your own soups is quite easy and satisfying. But I do suggest that you follow a recipe out of a Canning or Preserving book. You can find a long list of my favorite books in this podcast episode from my Podcast.

Keeping several different types on hand can satisfy the whole family and offer a bit of variety to choose from. Canned chili can also be a great addition and using your dried beans as your base is very versatile.

Canned soup or chili can be quickly heated up, and you have a delicious meal for your family on a cold winter evening!


Having these staples on hand will give you a lot of different meal choices. You can use oats to make oatmeal for a hot and filling breakfast or make oatmeal cookies.

You can also make a homemade fruit crisp recipe – serve over yogurt and add glass of orange juice for a healthy quick breakfast.

Nuts, Seed, and Nut Butters

Add nuts and seeds to recipes or eat them as a healthy snack. Almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds all add crunch, flavor, and healthy fats. Next time you’re craving a PB&J sandwich, substitute almond or sunflower seed butter for a yummy variation on a classic.

And when you buy your nuts in bulk you can soak them for better digestibility and nutrient value. I have found nuts are great for you only if you can digest them properly.


Since winter is the season of hearty soups, it makes sense to have some stock in your pantry – chicken, beef, and vegetables. Look for low fat, low salt varieties. And you have your choice of cans or resealable cartons.

You can make your own broth too if you want to be sure of all the ingredients and salt level. Here is a recipe for my Chicken Broth. If you want to preserve it use instructions in your Canning book to pressure-can your broth.


Winter is a great time to experiment with recipes or just enjoy some classic baked goods. But without the right spices, no recipe will taste right. The holiday season is a great time to clear out any old spice and buy new ones when they are on sale.

Dried Fruit

From baking to snacking, dried fruits are another top pantry staples. If you want to go the DIY route, you can easily make your own dried fruit using a dehydrator. Or you can simply buy your favorites.

Wondering why you should bother keeping dried fruits on hand? If you like being able to sweeten your food, they’re a great option instead of just relying on sugar. Dried fruit is great to add in cookies, porridge, salads, snack bars, yogurt, and much more. Our favorites to keep stocked include cranberries, figs, dates, and bananas.

Pasta and Rice

There’s just something irresistible about carbs, and two of our favorite sources include rice and pasta. Not only are both easy to store, but they’re also delicious and a breeze to cook with on the fly. Plus, rice and pasta are relatively inexpensive dry goods to buy in bulk so you have an ample supply to last for months to come. Dried pasta and rice can be used in casseroles, soups, stews, or served on its own with a hearty sauce. They are a great shelf stable staple that can fill out any meal. You can try my Honey Beef Teriyaki Stir Fry.


Having your favorite condiments on hand from hot sauce, ketchup, mustard to dressing will make cooking your favorite meals easier. There is nothing worse than making homemade French Fries but you don't have any ketchup and the trip to town is blocked with snow.

Now, this is just my top 11, there are many more pantry goods you can stock up on this Winter. The best way to find them out is to watch your favorite local grocery store and farmer’s market.

Be on the lookout for sales!

Be on the lookout for when your favorite produce looks and tastes the best!

Have a blessed day,


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