A well-stocked and well-maintained pantry is the trademark of an organized kitchen. It is important for every home to have a reserve of regularly used food items, sundries and a few special items on hand to welcome surprise guests.
What is the main purpose of creating and keeping a pantry? You want to make sure it is stocked properly and regularly will reduce stress and save money. It’s important to always have those items on hand that are necessary for your family‘s needs. For example, if it is properly stocked, you won’t run out of toilet paper, paper towels, flour, sugar, or other staple items.
Also, if for some reason an illness, job loss or natural disaster occurs, a pantry enables a family to continue eating and living well despite their circumstances.
How does someone get started? There is a standard: if you have an item that is open, there is one back up on the shelf. It’s a good idea to have at least a three-day supply of both food items and hygiene supplies to provide for your family plus at least one extra person. Always use the FIFO method: First In, First Out. When you purchase new items, rotate the older items to the front to be used first.
If you are a planner and prefer to have more supplies on hand, it would be wise to include substitutes for fresh foods. Examples might include powdered milk, protein products, dried fruits and dried vegetables. These items might simply save a trip to the grocery store if you accidentally run out of a fresh item, which means you have saved time and money!
Only purchase what you and your family will actually use and eat. Money will only be wasted if you purchase items no one eats and extra time will be taken with cleaning out all of the unused items. Each household is in a different stage of life and their pantry items will reflect those differences.
For example, those families with young children might have cold cereal, diapers, wipes, pretzels, crackers, and canned ravioli in their pantry. Homemakers who are dedicated to baking and creating meals from scratch might have plenty of flour, sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips, dried buttermilk, and oatmeal on their shelves.
Couples who are retired typically don’t eat large meals three times a day and they tend to eat out a bit more often, so their items might be limited to snack foods and a few items on hand in the event that guests arrive unexpectedly.
Organization is key to keeping a well-stocked pantry. Mount a small dry erase board or notepad with a writing utensil right in the storage area so you can add items to the list as they are used. Your shopping list will always be in process.
Any space can be used to store your items and if you have a larger family, your pantry will probably be spread over several different locations. Use boxes, baskets, shelves, plastic tubs with lids, or anything you like to store your items in an organized manner.
Store your cookbooks in your pantry too. That way, you can look up a recipe and look for the needed ingredients all at the same time.
Building a pantry isn’t difficult, it simply takes a bit of planning and organization. From then on, just keeping on top of it makes life much easier!
Carl and Debra Copeland are motivated to bringing information and resources to others regarding Food Storage, Food Safety, and Food Preparation and its benefits for everyday life. Save money by having your food last longer. More Info at http://www.Food-Storage-Info.com/