Submitted Date 09/12/2019

Meal Planning: Awesome Benefits Keeping A Well-Stocked Pantry

A well-stocked pantry offers you plenty of opportunities for planning, preparing, and cooking delicious, nutritious meals. Having ingredients on-hand helps you make delicious dishes easily. This also helps to save time in creating meals during busy days.

Benefits of Keeping a Well-Stocked Pantry

There are many benefits of keeping a well-stocked pantry in the home. Let's take a brief look at a few of them:

路 Having food stock available during times of disaster (floods, excessive snow amounts, so forth)

路 Pantry items are available during times of family emergencies (sick family member, financial crunch time, spouse off of work, and like situations)

路 Can decrease the amount of money spent eating out (when used with an action plan of creating meals at home based on available food items)

路 Reduces the number of times you need to go to the grocery store; with more items on hand you can shop less often

路 Buying in bulk can help your family save money and stretch budget dollars

Store Foods by Category

Store ingredients with the family pantry according to categories for better organization. Group ingredients in some of the following ways:

路 Protein sources (tuna, chicken, salmon, and other canned meats)

路 Flavor sources (condiments and spices)

路 Vegetable products (canned veggies, fresh produce such as potatoes and onions)

路 Canned fruits (pineapple, apple sauce, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears)

路 Soups (a variety available for recipes and quick eating options)

路 Mixes (gravies, taco seasoning, chili seasoning, ready muffin mixes)

路 Cereals (dry cereal, hot cereal mixes, and fast snack packets for children)

路 Boxed food items (instant potatoes, boxed side dishes, and the like)

路 Grains, beans (rice, pinto beans, kidney beans, northern beans, so forth)

A System for Raw Ingredients

Create a system for storing raw ingredients. Be aware of how soon they need to be used. Moreover, check the pantry regularly to see what fresh ingredients you can use with meal prep for the week.

Make sure that you have sufficient ingredients on hand. Use a pantry checklist if needed. So, you do not run out of the essential elements for your scheduled meal plans. Also, have enough back stock for intermittent times of unexpected emergencies.

Tips for Building a Well-Stocked Pantry for Delicious, Fast Meal Planning

Develop a List of Family Meals

Create a list of recipes, including dishes you and your family love. Have a master list of pantry items needed for these meals. So stock the pantry with these items regularly. When you do this, you know the necessary things you frequently need to store in your pantry for these recipes.

Identify Family Essentials

Each family uses specific pantry items routinely. Purchase in bulk or buy them when they are on sale. This helps you keep the pantry full of items needed. Use a pantry essentials checklist. This also saves hours and bucks for the family.

Include Seasonings & Baking Ingredients

Have you ever started preparing a meal, only to find you don't have the seasoning you need?

Create a list of ingredients regularly used by food category. Here are some thoughts to get you underway:

Pantry Seasonings:

路 Salt

路 Parsley

路 Pepper

路 Thyme

路 Oregano

路 Chili powder

路 Cumin

路 Paprika

路 Lemon pepper

路 Celery seed

路 Cinnamon

路 Pumpkin spice

路 Apple pie spice

Pantry Baking Ingredients:

路 Flour

路 Baking powder

路 Baking soda

路 Sugar

路 Brown Sugar

路 Sugar substitute

路 Yeast packets

Pantry Nuts, Seeds, Beans

路 Pecans

路 Walnuts

路 Sunflower seeds

路 Chia seeds

路 Flax seeds

路 Pinto beans

路 White northern beans

路 Black eye peas

路 Kidney beans

路 Almonds

Canned Pantry Items

路 Tuna

路 Salmon

路 Chicken

路 Green beans

路 Kidney beans (for quick prep)

路 Corn

路 Creamed corn

路 Spinach

路 Carrots

路 Peas

路 Peaches

路 Pears

路 Applesauce

路 Pumpkin

路 Mixed fruit

路 Pasta sauce

路 Tomatoes

路 Tomato sauce

Other Pantry Items:

路 Bread crumbs

路 Vegetable stock

路 Chicken stock

路 Beef stock

路 Bouillon cubes or packets

路 Quinoa

路 Canola oil

路 Olive oil

路 Oatmeal

路 Cereals

路 Hot Cereals

路 Muffin mixes

路 Honey

Consider Freezer Items

Although freezer items may not be considered pantry items, you can store foods for quick meal prep. These may include side dishes, cubed meat, and leftover shredded chicken. Besides, quick bread, muffins, pancakes, frozen veggies, frozen fruit, and other items are great to have.

Freeze precooked meat in single or two cup portions. Mark the freezer bags or containers accordingly. This allows a quick view of what is stored in the freezer container.

Organized Storage Spaces

Create organized storage spaces and shelving systems. Keep like foods together. Create a system which helps you stay organized. Use durable shelving for canned goods or other more substantial items.

Regular Pantry Cleaning

Schedule regularly cleaning of your pantry. This can be once a month, or a timeframe which works for you. Make cleaning time regular and consistent. Check expiration dates of food items. Throw away old spices and mixes. Use items which are quickly approaching an expired date. Alternatively, consider donating those items to the local food bank. Organize items within the pantry into your favorite food categories. Make notes of items needed.

Develop meal plans to use any remaining pantry items. Then, plan your next pantry restock 鈥 shop sale items for those products you use consistently. Only purchase needed items for the pantry to lower food pantry costs over time.

Making it Happen as a Busy Mom or Dad

Life can be crazy as a busy mom or an active dad. Take one step at a time in the process of creating a well-stocked pantry for your home. Create family meal lists which can be reused. Use free pantry lists to take regular inventory. Stock items over time if you are on a strict food budget. Shop the sales for the best deals you can find.

Plan your pantry spaces in a way which works for you and your family. Use pantry categories for better storage placement. Routinely take time to reassess and repurpose the use of older pantry items. Restock with newer products as needed.

Enjoy Time with Family!

By having a well-stocked pantry, you gain the ability to create meals more easily. This helps you save time and money. Moreover, it can be a lifesaver during times of emergency. So, consider making an action plan today to work towards an awesomely stocked pantry!

Barbi Green


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  • No name 4 years, 5 months ago

    Definitely something I should look into!

    • Barbi Green 4 years, 5 months ago

      Thanks, Kiersten! Let us know how it is coming along for you!