I understand it's supposed to be recipe Tuesday today, but really, this is about food, so it counts. :)
Today I want to talk to you about pantries. I love my pantry, but when I first started stocking it up, I found it really hard to know what to get. So here I'm starting to compile a list of things that I personally find helpful to have in my pantry.
First off, here's my pantry.
As you can see, it's kind of disorganized right now. But it's not as disorganized as it looks. Mostly it's just small. But that's ok. I will work with what I got.
The first thing to note is that whenever possible I use fresh ingredients. But sometimes it just doesn't happen, and that's ok.
Ok, so on the bottom shelf, there's glass cylinder containers filled with various things. I got them from Dollarama. In those containers I keep:
- Dried Red Kidney Beans
- Dried White Kidney Beans
- Dried Lentils
- Rolled Oats
- White Sugar
- Basmati Rice
- Brown Sugar
- White Flour
- Whole Wheat Flour
As often as I can I buy these things in bulk. For the record, dried beans? Way better than canned beans, and it takes only a little bit of prep. You soak them overnight or boil them for about 15 minutes. And they taste so much better, and are so much more pretty.
Anyways, on the bottom shelf I also keep our instant oatmeal, which Caleb and Flash love for breakfast. We get these at Costco, $12 for the big box, and it lasts us forever. Corn syrup, which I like on just about everything, is also down there, along with my extra virgin Olive Oil. (*Note: If any of you know where to buy coconut oil in Canada, I'd love to hear it!) When I have a big thing of Carnation hot chocolate (My guilty pleasure), it also goes on my bottom shelf.
My second shelf has some instant food on it right now, Caleb's aunt dropped it off for us. I'm not sure I'll ever use it, but I keep it around because I'm bound to have a lazy day sometime. :P
As for what else is on there...
- At least 5 bags of various Pastas
(Usually whatever was on sale.)
- Egg noodles
- Peanut Butter
(We get the great value brand from Walmart, none of us can taste the difference)
- Rice Vermicelli noodles
- A couple bags of Ramen for quick meals
(I love the no name brand type, but here we have Compliments)
- Knorr Sidekicks
- Chicken Noodle Soup Mix
(Lipton full salt. The reduced sodium was just.. wrong.)
(This is the newest addition to my pantry, not sure how I'm going to use this.)
- Various Vinegars
(Right now I have Apple Cider Vinegar, and White Vinegar)
Here's my break time... Aaaaand it's Wiggles! She is humouring me.
Ok! My top shelf.
- 4 cans tomato sauce
(I get the plain great value brand kind and doctor it up with all my spices. Don't worry, well talk about those too.)
- Cans of beans
(I'm phasing these out in favour of my dried ones.)
- 3 cans diced tomatoes
(Whenever possible I use my own canned tomato's, but I recently ran out.)
(Caleb loves cereal, we like the Sally's brand from Walmart. $4 for 600g as opposed to sometimes close to $8, and it tastes just as delicious, if not better.)
- A couple cans of Campells soups
- 2 boxes of each Chicken and Beef Broth
- A couple boxes of Kraft Dinner for treat days.
So that's my pantry. I found I didn't need as much as I thought I did, and it's really easy to stock it slowly, one or two items on top of my normal groceries a pay check. And it really helps those weeks when groceries are tight.
As for my spices and things, I live off them.
I keep a decent stock of spices on hand at all times. These include:
- Lemon Pepper
- Ground Black Pepper
- French Fry Spice
- Seasoning Salt
- Club house gravy packages
(We buy them on sale for about $.25 a piece, well worth it.)
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
(Fresh and ground)
(Fresh and Powder)
- Condensed Milk
- Shake and Bake packages
- Taco and Fajita seasoning packets
- Club house pasta salad mix
(Seriously, best ever. Try it.)
*I also have a spice rack that has all sorts of spices in it.
I also keep basic baking supplies on hand.
- Chocolate chips
And some sauces(Some of these are in my fridge).
- Hoisin sauce
- Soy sauce
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Tobasco Sauce
- White Rice Vinegar
So that's my pantry folks! It's my life saver when I have tight weeks, and really it helps a lot with meal planning. <3