Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Very, Very Well Stocked Pantry

I have "tendencies" towards hoarding.

I've always loved to play Grocery Store.  Every since I was a little girl when my mom would give me empty cereal boxes and rinsed-out cans of vegetables, I've been stocking and re-stocking my shelves. 

Today, as a Home Economist in Training, I am taking that love of playing Grocery Store to the next level....in my basement. 

My rules in keeping a Well Stocked Pantry are:

(1) Only purchase and store what you know your family will be consuming in the next 6 months, making sure to rotate older items to the front as you buy new to replace them. 
(2) When you find a good bargain, and if you can afford to do so, buy 2 or 3 of the same item.
(3) Try to keep everything visible so that you know what you have.
(4) Visit your pantry regularly, especially when you're putting together your shopping list and when you're planning your weekly meals. 

My goal in keeping a Well Stocked Pantry is three fold: 

(1) If the need arises for an emergency cake or snack for entertaining, you're all set - no need to waste gas running to the grocery store for an unplanned run; 
(2) If you have a well stocked pantry and freezer, you'll be able to make many more meals (if not all) at home instead of eating out, thus saving lots of money; and
(3) If your pantry and freezer are really well stocked to suit your family's needs, there will be some weeks that the only thing you need to buy at the grocery store is fresh bread, eggs and milk.  That translates to BIG savings if you can imagine cutting out one week's worth of a grocery bill out of your monthly budget.


  1. I really love this idea. What sort of items do you keep in the kitchen pantry to consider it well stocked?

  2. life lessons learned..my "well stocked" basement has helped us make it through six months of unsteady work, my family, my animals (all 9 of them) and my friends have all been well fed and clean due to my "hoarding".

  3. The last few months i have been learning to coupon....we are on the unemployment line and have been for a while...together with you tips it has not been as stressful as it could have been! at this very moment i am making your recipie for Chicken and Dumplings....low cost comfort food! it is smelling wonderful! i just wanted to say thanks....this site has been so helpfu! My pantry and freezer are full...a very good feeling indeed!!!

  4. I look at the basement pantry and think two things: 1. Awesome! and 2. Mice. How do you deal with the possibility of mice? Not a problem in your home/area? We had a huge issue less than a year ago. All of our things are in plastic boxes (no cardboard, nothing left out) in the basement because anything else was a mouse-house. Thoughts?

    1. It has never been an issue for me (and I hope it never is)- perhaps because our basements have always been completely finished. Plastic boxes are a good idea if you have this problem...and maybe a couple of cats! :)

    2. fabric softner sheets keeps mice away :)

  5. I do want to say that, if you are interested, you can store eggs for up to 9 month I think. It is an emergency prep thing I learned. You can take eggs and rub them in mineral oil and store them in the carton in a cool, dry area away from light like a basement. They last up to 9 months and its a good way to stock up on eggs when they go on sale.

  6. A plus also is if a lay off happens you can survive awhile on your stock until a job comes along. We just went trough this and I had to buy very few grocery's during the unemployment time. I was even able to pull of a pretty terrific Christmas meal for the family.


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