Whether you have a pantry that’s large or not, this small but mighty area of the home is a great spot to store … well, anything!
But it can be overwhelming to know where to even start with stocking a pantry, and you may be unsure how to fill it with tasty, yet healthy nibbles!
But fear not–we’re sharing a few tips on how to stock a healthy pantry so YOU can do so with confidence.
What is a pantry?
Sometimes referred to as a cellar, closet, cupboard, or storage room, a pantry is an area within the home that often sits just off the kitchen. This is a perfect space for non-perishable, shelf stable food and beverage items.
A pantry allows busy homeowners (and apartment renters, too!) to grab their favorite eats on the go and even stock up on bulky products (like paper towels and toilet paper).
Stocking your first pantry
These days, a lot of people are buying homes for the first time, and this may be the position you’re in. We totally understand that buying a home can be a little scary! Plus, you may not be used to having soooo much more space.
The upside to having more space is that you have more freedom to stock up on the foods and drinks you enjoy most! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when adding supplies to your first pantry.
Assess how much space you have: we recommend bringing out your inner math nerd for this one ;) – get out a ruler and measure the size of your pantry, then write it down. This is practical for a couple of reasons. You may think, “I don’t have enough space to build a proper pantry!” But upon measuring the space, you’re shocked at how much room you have. This helps you determine how many items you can comfortably stock up on in advance–so you’re not met with unpleasant surprise trips to the grocery store!
See what you can order online: We are so lucky to live in an age where you can click a button and poof! The item you need is at your doorstep within a few days. As it relates to stocking your pantry, order items online for ultimate convenience!
As a starting point, ask yourself if there are any heavy or bulky items you can get delivered? Those are great things to get online.
If you prefer to do your grocery shopping in person, another option is to call your grocery store or order what you’d like online ahead of time. Then, the grocery store compiles everything on your list, and all you have to do is pick it up! This is an easy option for busy parents or those with demanding professions.
Patience is key: Know that obtaining all of your pantry items may not happen overnight, and that’s okay! Take the time to mindfully think through what items you actually want and need versus filling up the space just to fill it up. This helps cut down on food waste and impulse purchasing for items you may not need or use as much as you thought you would.
What are the best basic pantry items?
Versatility is key! We’d recommend thinking of 10 favorite recipes–you know, the ones you’re constantly rotating between on those busy weekdays or weekends! Or if you’re new to cooking, brainstorm recipes you’d like to try.
Then, look up those recipes and write down the ingredients you’ll need. Are there any common ingredients that are popping up in several recipes, like flour and salt? From there, circle which items don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator, and voila! You have your first few pantry staples!
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few of our favorite basic ingredients:
Salt: There’s a reason why “salt” is the first word listed in Samin Nosrat’s famous James Beard award-winning cookbook (and Netflix series!). Salt adds flavor to ANYTHING. Whether your dish is sweet or savory, adding a pinch (or more!) of salt will infuse a nice pop of flavor.
Extra virgin olive oil: This is a lovely alternative to cooking spray, as many cooking sprays have yucky preservatives in them! Extra virgin olive oil is extremely versatile and easy to buy in bulk.
Flour: all purpose flour is a common type of flour used in many recipes. However, for those with food sensitivities, alternative baking flours might be the best fit! We love using oat or rice flour in baked goods, and in most recipes, you can easily swap in alternative flours instead of all purpose flour.
Vanilla extract: This liquid is extremely flavorful, so a little bit goes a long way (and is therefore great for your budget!) We enjoy adding a dash of vanilla extract to an ordinary fruit smoothie for a smooth burst of flavor.
Proper Good Build Your Own Pack: Ahhh, the ULTIMATE comfort food … our soups, chilis and oatmeals are like a warm hug and ready to cheer you up on a gloomy day. If you’re looking to stock up your pantry but keep things filling and healthy, our 6 best sellers pack could be a great solution - enjoy tasty meals such as our Red Pepper & Meatball Soup, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Cream of Chicken Soup, Southwest Chili, Blueberry & Coconut Oatmeal, and Apple, Cinnamon & Walnut Oatmeal. Yummy! Or, build your own pack to select your favorite meals!
Building your pantry grocery list
Now that you’ve done all the prep work getting your pantry ready and brainstorming what staples you’ll use most, comes the part that many people get tripped up on. Grocery shopping! With aisles upon aisles of tasty looking food, many people don’t know where to start, but here are a few tips to set your next grocery run up for success.
Don’t forget how much space you have: Remember when you measured your pantry and wrote down those measurements? The amount of space you have in your pantry will now be key in determining how far in advance you can get pantry staples to fit that space.
Search for deals & coupons: when you get your morning paper, do you skim over the ads for your local grocery store? Next time, try taking a peek at the coupons. You may be surprised at how many coupons pop up for brands you use every day, including basic pantry staples you may already have on your grocery list!
While stocking up your pantry may be a process, it doesn’t have to be hard! We hope the tips shared in this blog post inspire you to stock your pantry with healthy, yet scrumptious, foods and drinks.