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Having a well-stocked pantry means that you always have a selection of the foods that your family uses and enjoys. This can be quite helpful on a week with a tight budget or when an unexpected storm rolls in because you won’t have to worry about going to the store. Here are some tips for building a well-stocked pantry.
1. Stock Up During Sales
When your favorite pantry items go on sale, make sure that you stock up, especially on items that last for a long time, which are mostly non-perishable items like canned goods, sauces, pasta, peanut butter, and rice.
2. Rotate Your Stock
Building up an awesome pantry doesn’t do you a lot of good if you end up throwing a portion of it away because it’s gone bad. Establish a “first in, first out” rotation in your pantry. This means new items go to the back while older items continue to get pulled towards the front to be used next.
3. Keep A Variety of Herbs & Spices
By keeping a variety of herbs and spices on hand, you can make dishes that are flavored however you like. You can take a can of chicken and season it with Mexican or Italian flavors simply by using the herbs in your pantry.
4. Baking Supplies
If you keep baking staples stocked in your pantry, you can make everything from breads to desserts without having to leave the house. Flour, salt, baking powder, yeast, and cocoa powder all deserve a spot on your pantry shelves.
5. Pack It With Protein
You might not think about protein when you are thinking about stocking your pantry, but you should. Canned tuna, canned chicken, chili with beans, peanut butter, and dried beans are all full of protein that will keep you full and give you energy. Canned beans are also full of protein and easy to heat and eat or add to a meal.
6. Canned Soups and Veggies
Canned soups like cream of mushroom soup come in handy when you are trying to make a quick casserole. Canned veggies keep for a long time and can be used as a side dish or as part of a recipe when you don’t have fresh or frozen on hand. You can wait for a good sale or check out your local discount grocery store for great deals on canned goods.
7. Pack It With Pasta
Having pasta in your pantry means you always have a quick and easy meal at your fingertips. Try to keep a variety of pasta and rice in your pantry at all times. You can use these ingredients to stretch a meal when you need to.
You can absolutely make sauces for your meals from scratch, but some days, you may not feel like putting in the effort or even have the time. That’s where having some pasta sauces, pesto, and alfredo sauces in your pantry can really come in handy. You should also keep salsa and cheese sauces in your pantry… you never know when the craving for nachos or tacos will hit.
The condiments your family uses the most should also have a spot in your pantry. Keep an extra mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, salad dressing, salsa, and BBQ sauce in your pantry, and you will never have to run to the store just for that. Take advantage of sales to replenish these items and keep your pantry stocked.
The pantry is also a great place to store your snacks. A selection of chips, crackers, popcorn, and cookies that your family enjoys will keep everyone happily snacking…in moderation, of course!
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This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.