Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Well Stocked Pantry

Photo Credit: krossbow
Having a well stocked pantry is essential when you're trying to control your grocery budget. It means no last minute trips to the store, helps when you need to make substitutions, and means that you can make your own mixes and other things that you use often.

My goal with the following items is to have at least two of each of them in my pantry at all times. But when these items go on sale, they are the first ones that I add to my stock up list, so that I never have to buy them at full price. If you see a quantity noted behind an item, that means I recommend that quantity instead of just two.

A note on price points. I'm not going to suggest stock up price points. Grocery prices have been changing so quickly lately that it's impossible to keep such a list updated. Further, stock up price points are increasing. I have missed several opportunities to stock up lately because I've thought a particular item would go on sale for a lower price, later - and then by the time it goes on sale again, the regular price has risen so much that the previous sale that I skipped was a really great deal.

My last point before I get to the list: I am in the process of rebuilding my stockpile after missing stock up opportunities, and some times when money has been tight. The last reason for having a well stocked pantry is so that you can use it to feed your family when money gets tight. I have, at times, had as much as a years' worth of food in my pantry. The quantities listed here are basic stock quantities. See Building a Long Term Stockpile to help you figure out how much food to have on hand for a long term stockpile.

Paper Goods:
Toilet Paper (One roll per person, times three)
Tissues (Two normally, four during fall and spring)
Paper Towels
Paper Plates (We get extended power outages often because we're rural. The less dishes I have to wash during these times, the better!)
Plastic Forks
Plastic Knives
Plastic Spoons (4; during an extended power outage I'm cooking many meals for convenience-canned soups, raviolis, and cereal for breakfast)
Pads or Tampons (2 packs per woman who uses them)

Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
5 lbs Flour
5 lbs Sugar (more if you drink sweet tea, etc)
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Butter (stored in freezer)
5 lbs Whole Wheat Flour
Cooking Oil
5 lbs Cornmeal
Brown Sugar
Powdered Sugar

Frozen Vegetables (variety-what does your family eat?)
Frozen Fruit (variety-what does your family eat?)
Quart Diced Onions (huge time saver on busy evenings!)

Honey Mustard (OK, this is only essential in our house, but you get the idea!)
Favorite Salad Dressing, or ingredients to make it

Canned Goods
Tomato Sauce
Diced Tomatoes
Favorite Pasta Sauce, or ingredients to make it

Packaged Goods
Macaroni and Cheese

Granola Bars (These are great if you forget it's your day to send snack at school!)
Fruit Cups
Raisins, Banana Chips, etc
Peanut Butter

This list is not all-inclusive. In fact, I have already added items to it since I first wrote it. Your own list will probably vary from mine. However, it makes a great starting point for you to be able to craft your own list!

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