Leslie Pantry April 05th, 2018 - 12:12:01
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.
Its also nice to stock a few dinners to make for a friend if they are in need. I came home one day after grocery shopping and my oldest daughter had made soup and bread (refrigerator biscuits) for our neighbor who had learned her grandmother died. As a stay at home mom, this was one area the kids and I could serve and help others. It taught the kids a good lesson in giving. 3. Stock in your pantry: White flour hole wheat flour White sugar Brown sugar Baking powder Baking soda Cocoa Powdered sugar Nuts and seeds Popcorn Cornstarch Yeast -- if you bake home-made breads Again, gear these pantry staples toward your familys needs and tastes. Your items will grow as your recipe base grows and your family establishes a pattern of favorites. 4. I always have chocolate chips in stock, but I keep them in the freezer. Depending on where you live, you may want to keep nuts & seeds in the freezer for freshness too. Well, that should get you started with your pantry staples coupled with some basic pantry organization. To the journey.
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.
While you have all items removed from your pantry, take a second to wipe down all the shelves and sweep the floor. After your pantry is clean and all items have been categorized, consider what pantry organizers would be beneficial. If you have a lot of pots and pans with lids, a lid organizer may be a good choice. There are a variety of pantry organizers available for essentially any type of kitchen item. Taking the time to consider and investigate various pantry organizers will save you time and possibly your sanity down the road. Once you are ready to put all your items back in the pantry, start with the least used items first and put those on the top shelves and keep your frequently used items at eye level. Make sure that all items are easily visible and easily accessible to the people you use them most in your household. To maximize space, place taller items in the back and smaller items up front. Finally, after you have replaced all of your items, make sure the lighting in your pantry is adequate, which will make locating items easier in your day to day life. Small, battery operated lights can be purchased at a relatively inexpensive price at most hardware stores if your pantry has little to no lighting.