I look at it a little differently. I figure I have SUB PANTRIES!
What do I mean?
I categorize by different items and uses.
Here are a few that you may JUST consider pantry!
Health aids and beauty pantry
Gardening pantry (seeds, etc.)
Cleaning and canning pantry (supplies)
Reference pantry (informational books and guides)
Here is where I do something a little different - my food pantry is divided into special areas.
I have my FAST FOOD PANTRY
This contains the supplies I keep on hand to make knock-offs of fast food. It saves money from wanting to make a special trip for that favorite food.
- I always keep ALL supplies to make Mexican food - taco seasoning, beans, salsa, sauces, cheese, taco shells, and wraps (I also make my own wraps)
- I keep supplies on hand for pizza night - sauce, pepperoni, chopped frozen veggies in case I don't have fresh, hamburger and/or sausage.............
- I keep seasonings on hand to make Chinese or Oriental (hubs favorite). I also always have thin pasta (for lo-mein), rice, water chestnuts, and veggies that can be used in stir fry, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, etc.
- We also love Italian food - I always have homemade spaghetti sauce, canned tomatoes and sauce, pasta of all sorts (lasagna, shells, elbow, spaghetti - all sizes), cheese, etc.
- I also keep a bag of seasoned wings, tasty breaded fish, thinly sliced ham, turkey and beef in the freezer. Once used - I replace. This enables us to have a quick 'fast food' meal without having to spend the money on take-out!
I DON'T WANT TO COOK PANTRY
There are just nights that none of us want to take the time to cook a big dinner.
You DO NOT have to cook every meal!!! You are allowed to just get lazy some times!
- I try to keep soup beans, homemade soups, maybe even a casserole in the freezer.
- Soup and sandwiches are my favorite go to. I have home canned soups, and store bought soups on hand always
- I always have some kind of sandwich fixings - even if it is just grilled cheese
- I keep bar cheese and beef sticks on hand - for those nights we veg out on cheese/meat and crackers
- Fresh veggies and dip are great as well. Always keep a bag of nacho chips on hand for salsa (chips are so easy to make from tortilla's)
- Keep tuna, hard boiled eggs on hand for making a quick sandwich salad.
- Spam and eggs are super easy and filling as well - add some toast and you have a meal
- Egg sandwiches
We all want our tasty yummy goodies and treats. Homemade are so easy and much cheaper.
- Keep the items on hand to make cookies, brownies, and cakes (Even if it is pre-packaged mixes - it's better to have on hand at home
- Learn to make trail mixes (actually about anything you might want to throw together)
- Popcorn and different salt flavorings
- Fresh veggies and dip (always keep sour cream on hand for making dips)
OK, you get where I am going with this. Make sure that you have all the supplies that you might need for any type of scenario. There is NO reason to run out and spend precious funds on fast food or 'lazy' food when you can do it right at home.
SURE we all need a restaurant meal once in a while - I am not saying never eat out. It is just so costly any more - even going to McD's, Taco Bell, or Arby's!!!!!!
I love Taco Bell - but have learned how to make most of the items they sell.
G loves Chinese, and I keep supplies on hand to re-create some of his favorites.
We both LOVE the Outback - I can do steaks on the grill and have learned how to make Alice Springs chicken myself (my fav).
YES, we do have restaurant meals from time to time (especially when we have gift cards). Yes, we do splurge once in a while.
But we have become so accustomed to eating from home, and it tastes so much fresher - that this is what we do most.
Are there any certain things that you consider "SUB" pantry??
Do you keep items on hand for those knock-off meals??
I look forward to hearing how you handle your pantries and what specialty items you try to keep on hand. I am always looking for new ideas.
PANTRIES ARE ESSENTIAL!