Leslie Pantry April 24th, 2018 - 11:52:10
One of the often overlooked aspects of kitchen design; until you dont have one, then youll wish you did, is the pantry. A properly situated kitchen pantry adds valuable storage space and will increase the functionality of any kitchen. Even if you have a relatively small space to work with, including a pantry in your kitchen will improve the overall utility of the space. Traditionally, a kitchen pantry provided space for all of the food storage required for preparing the family meals. A pantry can be as small as 2 feet by 2 feet square. With floor to ceiling pantry shelves, you can store a lot of items, and remove some of the clutter from other areas of your kitchen. If you have the space for a walk-in pantry then you can store almost anything you want, and have it within easy reach to make life easier for you. After all, when you build a new kitchen, you want the finished product to suite your lifestyle and make your life more enjoyable.
Pantries are enjoying an upsurge in popularity, and for good reason. They are a great place to store both bulk foods bought at the store (saving time and money for todays busy families) and home-grown or home-preserved foods produced in our once-again-popular home gardens. Three Pantry Designs There are three main types of pantry designs: walk-in pantries, pull-out cabinet pantries and butlers pantries. A walk-in pantry is like a small room lined with shelves, drawers, and perhaps a countertop. Because the interior doesnt have to look as pretty as the main kitchen, you can use cheaper open shelving to create a great deal of storage space for less cost then by using regular cabinetry. Some people do choose to finish the pantry to the same standard as the main kitchen though. A walk-in pantry is great if your household buys certain foods in large quantities and needs to store big bags, boxes or other containers, or large quantities of smaller containers. Its also good for storing some non-food items like paper goods, which come in large packages.
Keeping The Pantry Well Organized Now that you have your pantry cleaned and organized, you will want to follow these few easy tips to keep it that way: 1. Dont buy things that wont get used; this will save money! 2. Do buy only according your tastes, budget and needs. 3. Look for coupons and sale items to keep in your pantry 4. Use your pantry regularly, checking your inventory to be sure that you are not overstocked. 5. If possible, items such as paper towels, paper plates, napkins, etc. that will not expire or become stale, purchase in larger quantities. The Wrap-Up If possible, try to buy reserve quantities of the staple items that you use the most. This will avoid "out-of-stock" items. Having an extra jar of mayo or some reserve cans of chicken and/or tuna salad can come in very handy with a surprise visit from a friend. Be sure to add these items to your shopping list when you break into your reserves. With kids in the house, you might want to consider making a special area and/or basket where you can keep quick snacks and treats handy. This will help keep the kids out the pantry! Homemade trail mix is a great snack and easy to store!
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.