Well Stocked Pantry List- Grouping Like Items Together
What is a Well Stocked Pantry?
Gone are the days of stocking a pantry for meals for several months. Back then,
food was harvested and preserved in the summer, for enjoyment in the winter.
Now with the readily availability of diverse food products in most grocery stores,
the pantry serves a different function. Having a well stocked pantry
gives you the freedom of more spontaneous, quick, easy, healthy and creative
cooking. In fact the pantry isn't really a place as much as an attitude. It's
a way of thinking and planning ahead when you shop so you always have essential
pantry items on hand.
The physical pantry in your home is any cool, dry area that you can store consumable
food items for a length of time, including kitchen cupboards, shelves -- even
a little floor space in a closet will work. Your refrigerator and freezer are
part of the pantry, too!
There are basic essential items that are needed for any type of cooking. Yet
other pantry items completely depend upon the type of cooking you do and the
amount of space you have available.
How Does it Work?
A well stocked pantry has essential pantry items for household convenience
and protection against unexpected events. Pantry items are a planned reserve
of foodstuffs, dry goods or staples, things you always have on hand, so that
the household will never run out of commonly used products. Ideally, the essential
pantry items will keep for a long time in storage, or are fresh, perishable
foods regularly used up before they spoil.
A well stocked pantry saves time, money and stress in the kitchen. Cut down
the number of trips to the grocery store, so you aren't going every time you
cook -- overcome a massive hurdle when trying to get food on the table.
The essential pantry items are those products you never think
to buy when you're grocery shopping. But there is a good chance that you'll
find yourself needing one or more of these kitchen staples at a critical time.
You don't have to buy everything at once; just buy what you think you'll eat
fairly often, and in small quantities so foods stay fresh. Build up your pantry
Once you get in the habit of keeping a well stocked pantry, your grocery store
trips may be less frequent. Weeknight meals can easily be made without having
to leave the house. Needed grocery trips become a lot quicker when you have
basic pantry items in house, as you'll only need to shop for perishable foods
and depleted pantry items. Watch your grocery bill dwindle, as you stock your
pantry with frugal finds to lower grocery costs.
Follow the well stocked pantry tips
here and you will rarely find yourself short of something you need for a quick,
last minute meal. Sure, if you are adventurous and are making a new recipe or
something special, you will need to hit the grocery store.
What your Individual Essential Pantry Items Should Be
Traditional home organization advice often specifies long lists of "recommended
pantry items", idea being that you buy them and voila! you've got a pantry.
A year and a half later, you're hauling dusty cans of french cut beans halves
to the Food Bank and wondering what ever came over you to purchase them in the
Reality check! Each family's pantry will vary according to their own tastes,
needs and standard of living. Storage space and monetary constraints also affect
your basic pantry list.
For instance, young family will build pantries with cereal, formula, disposable
diapers and child-friendly snack foods. Empty-nesters with an active social
life and his-and-hers diets will lean toward pickled artichokes, specialty crackers
and tiny jars of caviar for pick-up appetizers.
Dedicated home bakers include specialty flours, nuts, and dried buttermilk
powder in their pantries, while non-cooks rely heavily on microwave entrees
and freezer pizza. And just about every family can stockpile basics for kitchen
and bath: toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry and dishwasher detergent, food wrap
and paper napkins.
How to determine your individual essential pantry items? Your first source
is your grocery list! If you buy it, use it, and it can be stored, it's on your
basic pantry list. Remember your refrigerator and freezer real estate. Carrots,
potatoes, oranges and apples enter the pantry zone when bought on sale and tucked
into corners of the vegetable bin, while freezer convenience entrees qualify,
Bottom line: build a pantry to suit your family. Whether it's Kraft Dinner
or Wolfgang Puck's upscale condensed soups, feature your family's favorites
on the pantry shelves.
How to Build your Well Stocked Pantry & Keep it Well Stocked!
If you are just starting your pantry off, instead of running up a huge grocery
bill by buying everything for your pantry at once, simply pick up a few items
each time you shop. It's a work in progress. A beginner's pantry focuses on
convenience and contains back-up products for each storable item used in the
home. The standard is simple: for each open bag, box or carton in the household,
the pantry contains a second, back-up product, from soap to soup.Your basic
pantry items will evolve as you become more aware of what you eat and not eat.
Nothing is set in stone and you'll adjust your pantry item list to reflect your
regular eating patterns.
If there are favorite recipes that are heavy in your rotation, buy the ingredients
in multiples; that way you'll always have what you need on hand to make it a
few times. If a tried-and-true recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes, buy
three or four and always be ready.
If an ingredient is on sale, stock up and take advantage of the low pricing.
Grocery stores routinely offer tuna, tomato sauce, canned soup and canned beans
at ultra low prices to get shoppers in the door. If it's a pantry candidate
and it's on sale, buy multiples! Skim your local grocery store flyers weekly
to find your essential pantry items on sale.
Tips for a Well Stocked Pantry
- Arrange items on shelves so that the oldest ones are at the front and most
likely to be used first.
- Buy only the items you need and dont buy large quantities unless
you use the item frequently.
- Write the purchase and expiration date with a sharpie on the top of all
- Write the purchase date on bottles of herbs and spices. Throw out any unused
portion after one year.
- Use items like baking powder and baking soda before their expiration dates
to make sure that they work they way they are suppose to!
- When you use up a pantry item, write it on your shopping list right away
so you remember to replace it
Using and replacing food on a regular basis ensures that nothing gets so old
that it loses its palatability or nutritional value and that cans and jars don't
sit around long enough to rust through.
Enter a purchased date & best before date.
Suggested Basic Pantry Items
Your pantry should have similar items grouped together, so it takes minimal
thinking to get what you need out of your kitchen pantry.
- Canned Soup
- Canned Fish
- Diced Tomatoes
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Tomato Paste
- Black Beans
- Chick Peas
- Coconut Milk
- Evaporate Milk
- Water Chestnuts
- Bamboo Shoots
- Oil & Vinegar
- Salad Dressings
- Dip Mixes
- Bread Crumbs & Croutons
- Dried Fruit
- Dried Vegetables
Breakfast & Snacks
- White Flour
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Pancake Mix
- Chocolate Chips
- Chips & Popcorn
- Cookies & Treats
- Granola Bars