Stocking up your pantry is a wise move, especially if you have the means to do it. This will save you a lot of time and effort every week or month. Plus, you’re guaranteed that you will never go hungry in case of emergencies and will allow you to cook healthier dishes.
However, it has to be done right so you won’t pour your money down the drain for food or ingredients you don’t eat or need at all. To prepare your pantry properly, especially if you’re moving to a new home, here are some tips that might help you.
Use Air-Tight Containers
One of the first things you need to secure when preparing your pantry is air-tight containers. Remember, you’ll be “stocking” your pantry. This means you need to ensure that your food or ingredients won’t spoil or be infested with bugs.
To ensure that everything in your pantry will last long, using air-tight containers are helpful. This will keep your food and ingredients safe from bugs and moisture that could damage or contaminate them. The best part of it is that you won’t have to worry about spills too.
Buy in Bulk
The idea of buying in bulk is often overlooked as consumers think that it would cost them a bigger amount of money. But, it turns out, buying in bulk will save you more money in the long run. It can even save you time and effort; plus, reduce your waste.
One of the things you can stock up on is rice. It can even last up to 30 years. You can buy dry beans in bulk as well. They too have a good shelf life if stored properly.
If you buy in bulk, you won’t need to go to and fro the grocery frequently and will save your money for transportation. You can lessen your carbon footprint too. So, the next time you go on a grocery run, consider buying in bulk.
Don’t Forget the Building Blocks of Flavor
Creating a meal just to fill your empty stomach isn’t the only goal. Of course, you also have to make it flavorful so you can enjoy every bite. Hence, don’t forget to stock up on the ingredients that will make your food tasty.
There are five elements that you need to shop for: umami (meaty or savory flavor), texture, bright acid, healthy fats, and heat.
For the umami, shiitake mushrooms and nori can be combined for a delicious vegetarian broth. For the texture, on the other hand, you can stock scallions, shallots, and nuts. For the bright acid, you can shop for tamarind and lime. Meanwhile, for the healthy fats, don’t forget your butter. As for the heat, ginger garlic, onions, and horseradish should be added to yoru cart.
As you add more stuff to your pantry, it will surely get messy if you don’t organize them, this, of course, will cause hassle when you’re cooking as you’d have to rummage through your pantry to find certain ingredients.
Hence, as preparation, you should also get some baskets ready. This will help you store smaller items, so they won’t easily get lost in your shelves or cabinet. It will also help keep your pantry aesthetically pleasing.
There are actually no rules when it comes to the number of baskets you need to use for your pantry. As long as they fit your space and keep your storeroom neat, you can use as much as you want.
But, ideally, it would be better to use transparent ones, especially if you have tall shelves. This way, you can easily see if you’re running low on supplies.
Select Recipes You’re Familiar with
If you’re not much of a foodie, it would be more practical to base your stocks on the recipes you love. This way, you’re sure that you’re only buying products that you will consume and you won’t waste your money on food or ingredients that will only be left collecting dust in your pantry.
If you can, try to list down all the dishes you’re familiar with. Then, study them, so you’ll know which ingredients to stock up on.
Get Canned and Jarred Food
Canned and jarred food also make a good addition to the pantry as they can be stored longer unlike the dishes made from scratch. In case of an emergency, such as storms or the possibility of quarantine, they will always come in handy.
Be careful, though, as not all canned and jarred food can give you the right amount of nutrition. But here are some that can give you a good amount of vitamins and minerals:
- Del Monte’s canned spinach
- 365 Everyday Value’s refried black beans
- Bumble Bee’s canned mackerel
- Thai Kitchen’s coconut milk
- Sunsweet’s prunes
- Fresher’s Aztec Ensalada
- Dr. McDougall’s split pea soup
- Bumble Bee’s pink salmon
- Amy’s Light in Sodium’s spicy chili
- Bush’s reduced-sodium pinto beans
- Ortega’s fire-roasted diced green chiles
- Market Pantry’s diced green chiles
- Libby’s pure pumpkin
Filling your pantry means more food items. And sometimes, some products tend to look alike, such as salt and sugar. And if you’re not careful enough, you might end up drastically changing your dish.
Therefore, don’t forget to prepare your labels too. There are some stickers sold online that will help you label the items in your pantry or you can easily do it yourself. Regardless of which one you go for, they will all make your storeroom more organized.
As a result, you won’t mistake one ingredient for the other. Doing this will also help you find the right products you need and save time and effort on cooking.
Scan Your Pantry
If you’re going on a grocery run, don’t forget to scan yoru pantry too. Doing so will help you see which items need some restocking, so you won’t end up doubling them or forgetting to buy added supplies.
Having stocks in your pantry not only makes you feel secured for the coming days and unforeseen situations. And to ensure that you have everything you’ll need in case of emergency, the right preparation is key.