How To Stock Your Pantry

In the past, my grocery shopping strategy was something like this—draw up a menu for the week, make a shopping list, then buy all those items, along with whatever else I ran out of last week. The problem with this method is that most weeks we’d end with a pretty bare fridge, as well as having to make several last minute trips to the store during the week.

But then I remembered that my mother (and grandmother and aunts and all their friends) used to keep a well stocked pantry. Not only did we rarely run out of things, but my mom was always able to throw together a last minute meal from whatever she found in her pantry or freezer.

This seems to be a good principle outside of the kitchen as well. Joanna Goddard recently wrote about stocking up on household goods like toilet paper and toothpaste and it just dawned on me how unnecessarily stressful it is to run out of these things on a regular basis.

As I did a bit of research, I found that keeping a stocked pantry is actually a much more frugal way to live, as you can stock up on items when they’re on sale, you make less last-minute trips to the store, and you eat out less often.

Keeping a well stocked pantry is simple ::

  • Make a list of the 10 meals you make the most
  • Make a list of every single ingredient needed to make those 10 meals
  • Fill your freezer, fridge and pantry with these items at all times
  • **Use the same concept to stock your household goods (shampoo, kleenex, toilet paper, etc.)

I’m fairly certain it will take me awhile to get in the habit of cooking from my pantry, but I’m excited about saving money and relieving a bit of stress on my family. I plan on relying heavily on Aldi for lots of cheap home goods and nonperishables, but a wholesale store like Sam’s or Costco would be a great place to start. I also like the idea of Boxed, an online wholesale company that ships your items right to your door.

Here are some more resources on stocking a pantry if you’re interested in learning more ::

Pantry Essentials Checklist

Healthy pantry staples

Customizing a pantry staples list for your family

How stocking your pantry can save you money

What about you? Do you keep a stocked pantry and linen closet? Why or why not? What are your biggest challenges when it comes to grocery shopping? Any tips for saving a few bucks or relieving stress?

(Top photo of Mandi Johnson’s jaw-dropping kitchen renovation via A Beautiful Mess)

Posted by Aanna on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

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