With spring upon us, its time to do a little cleaning out and restocking of the pantry. A well stocked pantry prevents last-minute trips to
the store or settling for takeout instead of cooking a healthy meal. When you have the basics, you’re ready to go with whatever fresh produce and proteins you pick up on your weekly shopping trip.
Make it a habit
Make it routine to have a thoughtful look through your pantry on a monthly basis. Set a reminder on your phone if you need to. Then post a list near your pantry with everything you have in stock. Note anything that may be missing. From there, circle items as you run out and add them to your shopping list right away. It may help to make your list on a small whiteboard or chalkboard to easily edit as needed. You could do the same for your fridge and freezer – especially the freezer. Despite our best intentions, it always seems to become a black hole.
Have a plan
Make a plan for anything you find yourself not using. Pick out a recipe to for that aging jar of apple butter or all of those wheat berries you thought were such a good idea to stock up on. If you don’t intend to use something in the near future, consider donating it to a local food shelf. At the front of the Co-op we have a bin where we collect items for the Community Cupboard. You’re more than welcome to drop off your unopened, non-perishable donations with us.
Keep things tidy
On the organizing end, there are a couple of methods that can help you keep track of your basics. Glass canning jars are awesome. You can always see what you have, and how much, without opening up and sorting through bags and boxes. Storing similar ingredients together also helps. For example, group baking supplies in one spot in the pantry; grains, beans and pasta together somewhere else; and oils and vinegar in their own area. You could even find use some inexpensive bins to separate the items by category.
What should you keep in your pantry? While this will depend on what it is you like to cook and eat, below are some basics we like to keep on hand. It’s neither a comprehensive list or one that is too expensive to acquire. But it’s a good start for a well equipped, ready-to-go pantry. Now’s the time to stock up and get organized!
Check out our Spring Pantry Refresh Sale
throughout the month of March