A Well Stocked Pantry Makes for Better Meals
A well-stocked pantry is key for quick, healthy meals. Utilizing a wellstocked pantry can save time, money and frustration, and may make the difference in a home-cooked dinner and a call for take-out.
For a dry food pantry, look for a space that is dry and cool. Some possibilities include a kitchen cabinet, shelving in the basement, an under-used clothes closet, under-bed storage and plastic storage bins. Flour and grains can be kept in airtight containers.
To help get started, here are some suggestions:
- Write down your family’s favorite meals. List the ingredients and keep these staples in stock.
- Buy what your family will eat.
- Buy in bulk, but primarily when items are on sale to realize better savings.
- Only buy quantities that are practical to store in your own home situation.
- Go for healthier options — skip the chips and soda.
- Don’t forget these commonly forgotten items — dried herbs and spices, supplies for baking, sauces and oils.
- Consider storing water for an emergency.
Suggestions for dry or canned foods to store include pasta, rice, spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned beans, canned tuna or salmon, canned chicken, soup, whole wheat crackers, nuts and raisins.
In the refrigerator, keep bag salad, fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, and cheese. Freezer pantry storage could include chicken, ground beef, whole grain bread, fruit and vegetables.
Robert J. Hawk II is the County Extension Director for Jackson and Swain counties and can be reached at email@example.com.