Leslie Pantry March 30th, 2018 - 15:40:25
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.
A pull-out pantry cabinet is part of the main kitchens cabinetry and can be a very useful choice if you have no good location for a walk-in pantry. Instead of a cupboard door that swings open, the cabinet front is attached to shelves on rollers which pull forward out of the cabinet so you get complete access to all shelves from both sides. These cabinets are available full height (which blend gracefully with wall oven stacks and fridges), as base cabinets, and even as wall cabinets. Their biggest plus is full, easy access right to what would normally be the back of the cabinet shelves, so you can pack them full of boxes and cans without having to move whats at the front to get at the back. They are, however, quite expensive because of all the mechanical gadgetry inside. If you have a suitable existing cabinet in your kitchen, which currently just has shelves, you can get pantry-cabinet fittings which can be mounted inside to turn the whole thing into a pantry cabinet.
2. The heaviest of items should go on the lower shelves. Especially if you have a lazy Susan installed. For example, you have a large can of Tomato Sauce, put it on the lowest shelf with the canisters for your baking goods. In the meantime, leave the upper shelves open for those items that you use frequently, and lighter weight items like beans, pasta and/or rice. 3. By using canisters you can keep dry goods and baking items such as: flour and sugar, fresh and bug free. You can keep smaller items, such as tea and coffee, dried fruits and bouillon in small baskets and/or plastic bins, which also helps keep them fresh. 4. Group items that are alike together: breakfast items, snack items, baking goods, cleaning supplies, dish linens, etc. It is important that if you take a bit of time to consider how things are arranged in the grocery store where you typically shop, you can group your pantry items similarly. Using subgroups will help to keep things more neatly stored and easily accessible. For example, all canned goods go on one shelf, organized into subgroups such as: fruits, vegetables, soups, crackers and cookies, etc.
Here are my suggested steps for getting your pantry ready for increased efficiency, order and money saving! 1. As you begin to organize your "Well-Stocked Pantry"...look for any available space you can use to store items; the back of a pantry door can be used to store spices and other small items if you hang a rack over the door. You can purchase these racks at either: Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Lowes, Target and or any other similar retail store. 2. If needed, now is the time to repaint your pantry walls and shelves. I believe that white or off-white is generally the best color for a pantry. It shows cleanliness! 3. At this point, you can lay down some easily wipe-off surface paper on your shelves. This will protect your shelf surfaces from stains.