Tuesday, April 6, 2021

A Successful Pantry

 We all have our pantries and our freezers.  There are just some things we all need to remember for them to be successful for our family.  Many of us strive to have long term pantries - being prepared for anything that happen.  I hope you still see the need for that today.

Prices keep going up, supplies go down in some places and we just need to prepare for that.  
Here are a few basic guidelines to follow to insure that you are covered for any hardship that comes your way.

  • Don't buy things you and your family don't like or don't eat.  I know an emergency situation can mean eating anything - but truthfully it should be something you like.  (My only suggestion is maybe having things to barter with.)
  • Have variety - carbs, proteins, fatty foods, veggies, fruit and meat.  Also grains and dry goods.  Being able to mix and match items gives you so much more flexibility with food prep
  • Store your items properly.  Keep dry goods dry and cool.  Wrap freezer goods properly so as to avoid freezer burn.  Now remember freezer burn does not make an item non-edible - it just really  changes flavor and texture and makes it unappealing.  You can cut off freezer burn and cook - but the best policy is to wrap properly before freezing
  • Inventory - know what you have.  Keep like foods grouped together for easy searching.  Baking goods, soups, home canned, veggies, fruits, canned meats - etc.  Both pantry and freezer should be inventoried on a regular basis.  Best idea is to pantry shop - before going to the store.  That way you can see what items need replaced or restocked
  • Rotate, rotate, rotate!!!!!!  So important.  Use your oldest first.  Always place your newer goods to the back and older items up front.  REMEMBER - there is NO expiration date (except baby formula).  Those dates are 'best if used by' dates and seriously just recommend for the freshest taste.  Foods can be used many months and years past those dates!!!!!   Dates are not mandated by the government - they are put on by the manufacturer in hopes of getting you to purchase more!
  • Know of alternative ways to use what you have.  For instance know what items you can use instead of oil in baking, or what you can use instead of eggs.  Oats can be used in place of nuts and dry milk instead of fresh.  There are so many alternate uses for items.  Know what you have and other ways to use it.
  • Know others ways to prepare/cook.  You may not have use of your stove or oven - what to do?  Propane grill,  charcoal grill, wood fire, sun box..... check and know alternative cooking methods.  Also have foods on hand that can be eaten without cooking - straight from the can.   Many gas stoves today have the electronic start (that clicker spark) - many can been lit with a match.  Just the stove top - not the oven - but it is worth trying.  If only electric is out you should still have gas flow
  • Pets - make sure you have inventory for your pets needs as well.  They are family!
  • Comfort food - this is truly important.  If a situation gets grave , no matter what it is, a little comfort food can relieve a bit of stress.  Maybe peanut butter for a good old peanut butter sammy, or cocoa for hot chocolate, or some pie filling or chocolate candy put back.  It really can make a moment seem a bit better
  • Have supplies of dry goods and health and beauty things as well.  TP, shampoo, dish soap, body soap, laundry supplies, vinegar (so many uses), salt, OTC meds, etc.  ** Another reminder - one soap can work in place of many in a difficult situation.
Watch for bargains and get things as cheaply as possible.  Stock up on super sales.  Buy clearance and markdowns.  The pennies you save today are pennies you can spend later on something else.
Keep on stocking and prepping - NOT panicking or hoarding - and you know that when life takes a turn in your world - you will be prepared.
It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves - no one else's.

Your pantry and freezer's are the lifeblood of your family.  Take good care of it, manage it, and keep it stocked and tidy.


  1. Another great post with lots of reminders, Cheryl. While some items may be beneficial to have and store in bulk (pasta, rice, and the like), some items may be better to supply in smaller sizes to fit the immediate need of your household. While I keep a supply of regular-sized cans of vegetables, I've started re-fashioning my pantry with the single-serve sizes. In an emergency, were I to loose power, I'd rather open a can of what I'll immediately use, than open a larger can and have the unused portion go to waste due to spoilage. Use what you have and replace with what will work better for your situation. Yes, I'll purchase the big box of pasta or rice, but will go smaller for many other items, because that's what works best for my household.

    1. Very good point and that makes a lot of sense. Whatever works for you is what is right. We all have different needs and different size families.
      That is definitely something for me (single now) to think about too.
      Great idea.

  2. Lots of ideas that are easily put into practice. I keep a running list of what is used from my pantry and freezers. This enables me to keep an eye out for the best possible price.

    God bless.

    1. Good idea! I like that. It would make things easy for shopping.

  3. Prepping is not a one-size-fits-all. Miss Lori K is spot on...consider your own usage. We stopped buying the giant jars of sauerkraut because we couldn't eat it all within a reasonable amount of time. Seemed like a good bargain but not so if over half of it was tossed. You have taught us that we need to think outside the box regarding food combinations.

    1. Indeed - she made a very valid point. There are general guidelines and then there are realistic guidelines for your family.

  4. When I was a kid, I washed my hair with Joy dishwashing liquid more than once! I wonder how Dawn would do....it makes Delta's fur so soft.

    1. I used all kinds of dish soap when I ran out of shampoo. It sure works in a pinch. Back when I didn't have much money I used what I had!