My well stocked pantry came to be out of necessity. As a working mom who traveled a great deal for my work I had precious little time for shopping, or even planning meals. There was definitely no time for running to the grocery store in the middle of a recipe preparation. I learned that my life would be much easier if I just made sure I had what I needed on hand.
So, how do you get a well stocked pantry in your home? Here are five steps to get you started.
Five Steps to a Well Stocked Pantry
1. Identify a location for your pantry. I am lucky in that I have a closet in my kitchen with plenty of shelves. It is one of the things I fell in love with about my house before we bought it.
2. Decide what products you will keep in your pantry. My pantry is the spot where I keep all my canned goods, baking goods, condiments, cereals and crackers and kitchen equipment. Once you decide what you will keep in your pantry you'll want to determine if the space you have chosen has the right shelving and storage capacity. Now is the time for you to purchase extra shelving and storage containers to help you organize the space.
3. Organize what you have on hand right now. Create a system that works for you, but to start put all like products together. I keep all the baking products together, all the canned goods together, all the condiments together, etc. Then move the things in each group around so the items you use most frequently are in the front and the lesser used items are in the back. You'll waste less time searching for the things you need. Oh, while you are doing this toss out anything that has been hanging around too long. I know you have stuff like that. We all do. Go ahead and toss the old stuff out. You'll be happy you did.
4. Find a space right by your stove or food preparation area for your spices. They need to be handy or you won't use them. It's the herbs and spices that turn a ho-hum dish into a let's have that again dish so you'll want to learn to embrace herbs and spices.
|My Spice Cabinet|
5. Start a routine of making a list for restocking your pantry supplies. Whenever I get down to half or three quarters of my supply of a specific item I add it to my shopping list. That way I always have enough of the key ingredients on hand for cooking. Train other family members to add to the list whenever they use and ingredient and you are well on your way to keeping your pantry stocked.
A simple piece of paper attached to the refrigerator works great, but I have recently started using an app, OI Shopping List, on my smart phone. It allows me to have multiple lists going at once. I keep a list for the grocery store, a list for my warehouse discount store and a list for Walmart going on the phone. Then whenever I am in the respective store I have the list at my fingertips. No forgetting it on the refrigerator anymore!
|The OI Shopping List on My Phone|
Here are some other posts you might find helpful as well:
Three Essential Spices to Keep in Your Pantry
Five Popular Herbs to Grow at Home