We all should be in a good habit of having a well-stocked pantry. This Pandemic helps if you get a massive storm or snowstorm and can’t easily access the stores. We should have learned by now: You can’t predict the future!
Job Losses and all sorts of Economic times could also throw off your world, and having a well-stocked pantry can help you survive for a few weeks without having to try and do a massive grocery shop at once
Stock Your Pantry
A Well-Stocked Pantry should last a minimum of two weeks, and the goal should be longer, like a month. But it will also vary in space and eating habits.
If you are going to be serious about Stocking your pantry and freezer, Consider creating an inventory list, or purchasing a Pantry Inventory List for your home to keep organized on your stockpile.
Well-Stocked Freezer: ( Family Home)
Some of you may not have room for a freezer in an apartment, but they make small ones that can fit in a closet. I’ve been after my daughter to invest in one. We have a small apartment-sized one at our lake lot, as we found trying to live even with just weekends and company that the little freezer part of the refrigerator was too small for a family of 4 and company. It makes cooking so much easier by not having to grocery shop as often. When you have the room, you have the variety, and a freezer helps keep food fresh! It’s great to freeze leftovers, bake, and have meals.
Food Saver is your friend when it comes to freezing meat and other things to keep a long time without any air.
The Newbie Guide to Weekly Meal Planning
Frozen Meat Ideas:
Chicken pieces ( Thighs, drumsticks, breasts,) Pork products, Beef Products, Ground Beef, and lunch meat
Pork Tenderloin! If you purchase it at Costco for $40.00 or whatever you pay at your local Costco or any store ( do some price hunting; we love the ones from Costco for Quality ), We will bring this big tenderloin home and chop it up into 3 – 5 roasts depending on the size.
Purchase Extra Turkeys or Hams when they are on sale during the Holiday Season. This way, you’ll be saving on meat between the holidays and can eat for a week with a large Turkey. Turkeys and Hams are rarely on sale between the holidays, even though they can feed many people.
Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy the big rolls of it, and if you slice the whole thing into slim slices – freeze them. Not just Bologna, but Summer Sausage, Pepperoni, garlic rings, etc. – can all be chopped up and added to the freezer.
But you can freeze the store lunch meat packages as well.
Frozen Fruit & Vegetables
A Few Bags of Frozen Fruit and Vegetables are good to have and can substitute for fresh! Sometimes, when you are lazy and don’t want to chop up veggies, you can throw a frozen cup or two.
Frozen Fruit – you can always add it to smoothies if you can’t find ways to bake with it.
I loved eating frozen strawberries with sugar sprinkled on top! As a kid, I grew up on a farm, and My mom had tons of frozen berries in our freezer from the summer harvest.
If, by chance, you find Cheese Blocks on sale – Don’t be scared to throw a few into the freezer! Yes, you can Freeze Cheese.
We always try to have two loaves of bread in the fridge or freezer. when possible
Frozen Baking Cheaters
We also try to have a frozen pie shell, tart shells or puff pastry, Phyllo, for when we want to eat kings and queens. Even though these are luxury items, we try to keep a bit of stock in our freezer for last-minute baking ideas.
Frozen Stock Juice
When we make a Turkey – We freeze the Turkey stock in ice cube trays, pop them out of the ice cube trays, and then add them to Ziploc bags. This way, if we make Chicken soup or require stock, we can use the concentrated frozen stock we created earlier.
How to stock a pantry ( Dry Goods)
Stock your pantry your way! Fill it with the things you eat and like. Keeping canned goods is essential to a stocked pantry, such as canned tomatoes – a few staples like this will make meal creation a breeze.
- peanut butter
- pancake syrup
- soy sauce
Canned Fish and Meat
We keep a few cans of Tuna and a few things of Spam and baby clams! But they also have canned chicken and salmon if you prefer. It is handy to make a Tuna Sandwich ( Great for those on a Keto diet), and you can always make a Tuna Salad. I also keep a can of Clams to make my own Clam Chowder Soup.
Canned Vegetables and Fruit
I prefer frozen vegetables over canned vegetables, but I will stock a few cans of corn, mushrooms, and water chestnuts to add to my cooking. Canned Fruit would be convenient for those you can stock up with for babies and toddlers who love Fruit. I always keep a can or two of Pineapples to add to my ham dishes, my Pineapple Bannan Cake, or once in a While, when I want a Gourmet Sandwich, I’ll add it to my Grilled Ham Sandwich for a Hawaiian Tasty Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Then, canned tomatoes and everything to do with Tomatoes, such as Salsa, Diced Tomatoes, and Stewed Tomatoes.
Fresh Vegetables We keep in our Pantry are Potatoes and Yellow Onions.
I generally stock up on Mushroom and Tomato soup as staples. I will purchase cases when they are on sale! I use Mushroom and Tomato soup in many recipes, so I always ensure I have plenty of these in my pantry. But I usually keep a few kinds of soup for everyone’s favourites in the house, such as an Italian Wedding and a few others.
Dry Soup Mix – I usually keep some dry soup Mix in the pantry to help to make my soup from time to time.
Pasta & Rice
I keep a variety of Pasta and Rice in my pantry. These always make great sides, if nothing else, and are versatile for making a full meal. I also keep a few packages of Side Kicks for lazy days. But I try to keep a variety of past, including a Box of Spaghetti, Macaroni, and Uncle Bens’s Brown Rice. We also keep Rice Wraps in our pantry as they store well for an extended period.
Rice is also very versatile when it comes down to it, and it makes an excellent filler for soups, stir fry.
Chicken & Veggie Parmesan Pasta Bake
and for those of you Brand New to Cooking: Easy Macaroni Side Dishes Ideas ( Limited Ingredients)
Another Rice Recipe Idea
Spruce up your Rice by using Chicken or Beef Stock! It brings a whole new flavour to your brown Rice and is a change from the typical soy sauce!
We keep a small variety of Beans in both Dry and a few cans of beans always on hand for our family. We use Navy Beans, Chick Peas, kidney beans, black beans, and brown beans. Sometimes as filler, or to make Maple Brown Beans in the Instant Pot and use in a Sloppy Joe dish.
BROTHS / Sauce
If we do have some frozen Broth in the freezer, we still purchase a few broths at the store ( Mostly Beef Ones) just for ease of use. We also keep a couple of jars of Pasta Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, tomato sauce, hot sauce, soy sauce, Worchester sauce,
Oil & Butter
Oil is also a great staple – We keep a few kinds in our pantry – just regular old vegetable oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and many types of specialty infused flavour olive oil.
We also purchase butter when on sale; it seems to have a long fridge life and can also be frozen if you are worried about having too many in the fridge. Margarine is the same; I prefer the taste of butter.
Coffee /Tea /Hot Chocolate
if you drink tea or coffee – you may want to keep some extras in your pantry, including your International Creamer, evaporated milk, coffee mate – or whatever you fancy.
If you wonder about Herbal teas for flu and cold season and medical purposes ( spearmint, peppermint, camomile, and green tea are a few to have on hand.
In 2020, we heard about quite a few baking supplies being hard to purchase during specific shutdowns. A few baking supplies that come in handy to buy are the following:
- Quick Yeast
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- brown sugar
- vanilla extract
These dry baking goods will teach you to make bread or bake a cake from scratch.
Spices in Your Pantry
To stock your pantry for any cooking, a variety of great spices to keep on hand include the following
- Red wine vinegar
- apple cider vinegar
- chilli powder
- balsamic vinegar
- bay leaves
- red pepper
- curry powder
- salad dressings dry mix
- garlic powder
- freeze-dried garlic
- freeze-dried chives
Ensure you have extra for your pet, such as Cat & dog Food, Plus Litter.