Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Sub Pantries"

I know we all work on our pantries weekly.  In most cases people think of everything they buy and put back for future use as their pantry.
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!

Pet pantry
Health aids and beauty pantry
Craft pantry
Gardening pantry (seeds, etc.)
Cleaning and canning pantry (supplies)
Reference pantry (informational books and guides)
Food pantry

Here is where I do something a little different - my food pantry is divided into special areas.

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!
Part of my upstairs pantry supplies.  There are shelves above what you see and they are all about 3' deep.  Spice racks on the door for extra containers.

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
  • Salad

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.



  1. great ideas for the sub pantries...I use a copycat recipe to make Chipotle chicken and freeze it in individual portions for lazy days..perfect for quesadilla or omelette...plain Greek yogurt to mix with fruit and ground nuts...

    1. Thanks Kelley.
      I use a lot of copycat recipes. The chicken sounds great and would have so many uses.

      Mmmmmm - yogurt and fruit and nuts.
      It is amazing at the things we can keep around to fight back hunger and still be nutritious and inexpensive.

      Have a great evening.

  2. I always have homemade cake mixes made up to grab and bake. I'm not a fan of digging out the flour, finding the chocolate....I do the same with shake'nbake mix, crisp topping and pancake mix.
    Because my husband is a HUGE chocolate fiend, I can never run out of chocolate chips or cheap brownie mixes. I tried to make him homemade brownies, but he prefers the box. (It's actually cheaper.)

    1. Debbie, A Chocolate Pantry - I love it!!!!!
      There is absolutely nothing wrong with box mixes - we all keep some on hand. If that is his preference - then that is what it should be.

      I didn't realize that they still make shake n' bake. Cool. I make crisp toppings myself, as I didn't know you could buy them. Interesting to know.
      Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Even though we get a lot of fresh fish here, we also keep battered fish in the freezer for when we want fish and chips. Before we moved here we lived on a property where the nearest fast food was over 30kms away. We have always had the home made version ingredients in the freezer and pantry.
    I also have a go to area that is my gifting pantry. This is on a shelf in my craft room wardrobe. When a quick gift is needed we can shop this cupboard, rather than having to go and buy something. This has home made items as well as items bought when on special.
    Have a lovely weekend

    1. Jane, glad I am not the only one with a take out food pantry!
      A gift pantry is such a wonderful thing to have. Homemade and store bought gifts both - are great have on hand. Way to go on being prepared.
      Have a great weekend

  4. Excellent post! It's all about thinking ahead, aka be prepared! It's a money and time-saver, and healthier as well.
    Relatively new reader- I enjoy your blog so much!

    1. Susan thank you for the compliment.
      I like being prepared. You are so correct it is much healthier.
      Blessings - come again!

  5. There have been a few times that we have had soup and sandwiches this winter. I'm glad you included that. I kind of like having that so I can eat tuna fish sandwiches! The snack pantry will have to be filled for the summer with the grandkids out of school! Great ideas!

    1. Soup and sandwiches are a staple here. Soup is more of a winter item here too. Sandwiches can be anytime. I am waiting for BLT's with fresh tomatoes!

      Got to have goodies for the young-ins!

  6. That sounds wonderful to have all your items in sub-pantries. I will probably never be that organized! LOL So many things to do! Nancy

  7. I do the same thing you do! Since we live in a small town with a tiny convenience store with a very limited supply of things (hey, I am just happy we finally have a store again), I try to keep my pantry stocked. Just this week I wanted something sweet so Jeff made some brownies from one of the sale priced mixes I picked up. I did not feel like cooking last night (major fibro flare), so Jeff mixed up some tuna and made sandwiches while I cut up and apple and some carrot sticks. I was craving chips and French Onion Dip, so I got into my bulk onion mix jar and mixed some of the seasoning in with some sour cream, let that sit and then got some chips (of course bought on sale) and had it all a bit later as a reward for working so hard in the garden.