Leslie Pantry April 26th, 2018 - 13:34:37
The easiest meal for me is spaghetti and my family loves it, so you will always find spaghetti fixings in my pantry -- either the ingredients to make sauce or pre-made sauce, noodles and parmesan cheese (fridge storage). As well, I keep some ground chicken or sausage in my freezer to add to the sauce or serve on the side to accommodate the meat haters in my family. I actually like to keep pantry staples for several possible meals at the ready "just in case." I always have a jar of pesto, mushrooms, pasta, macaroni and cheese, refried beans, canned chicken, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, cans of fruit, kidney and/or pinto beans for chili, and usually a smattering of "cream ofs" are in there too. Thats how you want to think when stocking your pantry. Think about the foods your family likes to eat and meals made in a hurry -- stock those items as you can afford them. Your pantry staples may differ, but should meet your familys unique tastes.
Consider moving food items to drawers. More items can be stored in a drawer; label tops for quick identification. Install roll-out pantry drawers for easier access. Because you can see more, you can store more. Reclaim a closet. Reclaim storage between studs of wall. Take out the kitchen soffits to move infrequently used items above kitchen cabinets; make new pantry cabinet space below. Delegate pantry food storage outside of the kitchen: under the living room couch or out in the garage. Tuck pantry food items inside decorative furnishings, like a crock. Think on a smaller scale: consider a mini-version of a walk-in pantry. Take 12" out of hallway width for pantry shelves. Recycle wooden crates from wine, mount to walls as a shelf (can get free from wine stores or superstores).
I have found that it is best to try to reorganize your pantry when you are alone, or have a block of time available for you to concentrate and complete the project quickly! Remember to store cleaning products and chemicals away from your food items! Keep items that you use the most often in front and readily visible! Stack cans, jars and other items so that the labels can be easily read. Always be on the lookout for new organization aids such as: baskets, wire baskets, adjustable racks, stacking containers, and more that will improve your pantry organization. Make a "guest" or "refreshment" shelf to keep crackers, dips, chips, drink mixes and other items handy so you are ready to have an impromptu party or your childrens friends. Keep paper/pencil and/or a small whiteboard in your pantry. You could also paint a chalkboard on the back of your pantry door. You will be surprised how this will encourage family members to add what they would like to the inventory or what they have noticed is out-of-stock.
If you cant get everything into the pantry neatly, you might store non-essential items in a more "remote" storage location such as the garage or basement. Basic Pantry Staples: Baking Soda Baking Powder Corn Starch Flour Sugar (Powdered, Granulated and Brown) Yeast Stock (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable) Maple Syrup Cooking Wine Milk Butter Eggs Mustard Lemons (or Lemon Juice) Mayonnaise Garlic Hot Sauce Onions Parmesan cheese Other Handy Pantry Items: Dried Beans Pastas Spaghetti Sauce Canned Soup (Cream of Chicken or Mushroom) Various Cheeses Sour Cream Cream Cheese Frozen Vegetables (usually frozen taste better) Potatoes Celery Carrots.