Years ago the pantry adjoined the kitchen in most households where food and kitchen items were stored. In today’s modern times, the pantry area has become a small area in the kitchen or a few shelves in the cupboard. If you are not fortunate enough to have an area where you can keep your pantry items, set aside space somewhere in or near the kitchen in which to store extra canned and boxed grocery items. Years ago when I first started out in my own place, living in a one bedroom apartment, I used my hall closet as my pantry area.
How To Stock Your Shelves
When your feeding a household, it’s always wise to keep a good supply of your basic pantry items on hand. When you get yourself to a point where your organized enough to start using your meal plans on a regular basis, you’ll find that you can eliminate items like flour, salt, vinegar, coffee, and butter from your grocery items for a particular meal, because you already have them opn hand.
If stocking the shelves in your pantry is something you’ve never done before, start now. Start small; try buying three to five extra items every time you grocery shop, or more if you can afford them. This past weekend, we went for a drive and stopped into Winco where kidney beans and garbanzo beans were $0.68 a can. I bought a flat of each. They are normally $0.99 a can at our local grocery store. If you have a certain amount you budget out for groceries, don’t try to buy everything in one week or in one shopping trip or you’ll drain your food budget. Always check the dates on your pantry items. Things like flour or flour-based items go stale if not used quickly enough.
Where’s The Pantry?
Stock food on your shelves in an organized manner so that you can find them easily. I keep like items together: all cans of corn or stocked up on top of and beside each other; all cans of beans, tomatoes, and fruits grouped similarly. I do the same with the peanut butter and jelly and cans of tuna or chicken. I do the same with all boxed products which are sorted according to type. Micellaneous items are on another shelf. This enables me to see at a quick glance which items I am getting low on and can make my shopping list accordingly.
It’s always a good idea to rotate your stock. When you purchase new items for the pantry, put it at the back of the group it belongs to, not in the front. That way, all your old pantry items will be used first. If you don’t do this on a regular basis, you’ll find that you tend to grab the closet box or can in the group, while the older one just sits there on the shelf till it spoils. Try and use both canned and boxed goods by the suggested date.
This is a handy checklist I’ve created to help you with stocking your Cupboard Shelf Items and will help you prepare your grocery shopping list.
Next time, we’ll talk about our cooking sessions and continue making lists to stock our pantry.