Monday, March 21, 2011

What's in Your Pantry?

At my house we generally cook from scratch.   And we do a lot of cooking!!  Jordan (18 year old son) and I were doing the dishes after a particularly full day of cooking and dining.  He commented that we sure do have lots of dishes to wash every day, but, then we eat well, too!  He then said he knew he was probably spoiled with all the good food that comes to our table!  I guess you are not spoiled if you realize what a blessing the food you have is.

Cooking from scratch means I must have ingredients on hand to make whatever we have planned.  If we are having pancakes, instead of a mix, I need flour, oil, eggs,  baking powder, salt and milk.  So I make sure I keep a good stock up of our necessary ingredients for our day to day meals.  What a blessing it is to be able to prepare healthy meals without having to wonder if I have a certain ingredient on hand.  If I don't have a needed ingredient I simply make do with what I have, but my choices are not limited with a fully stocked pantry.

I purchase much of our food in bulk, ordering through my local health food store or through grain companies.  And when I say "bulk", I mean BULK!  Fifty pounds of oats, 45 pounds of wheat, 50 pounds of sugar, 25 or 50 pounds of rice, honey by the gallon, 50 pound bags of beans, etc.  You see, I mean BULK!  A lot of what I purchase is already packaged in food grade buckets, but some are only in bags.  I prefer buckets so I have been gathering food grade buckets from local bakeries and transferring the food into them.  It is much easier to manage that way.

I do keep food stored for "just in case" situations and we are actively maintaining a food storage plan.  I also have a freezer full of beef from a cow purchased in the fall, other meat that I buy reduced from Kroger and vegetables that I put up last summer.  We have many, many jars of jams and jellies that we preserved last summer as well.  We are now working on dehydrating and were able to successfully dehydrate sliced mushrooms this weekend. I am excited about using the dehydrator for more than our wonderful granola.  I thought I would share with you my shopping list from Sam's.  I do most of my local shopping at Sam's as I can get large quantities whose prices  seem to be lower than other places.  Buying in bulk keeps me from having to stop by the store every day or so and keeps my pantry stocked with foods that I can quickly prepare for my family.   I do not buy all of these items each time I go.  I generally rotate the items  and purchase about half of this list every two to three weeks.  I do pick up sale items at Kroger as well when their prices are lower than what I can get at Sam's.  Even if I pay a slightly higher price at Sam's it is worth it to me to have the shopping done quickly and get back home where I belong! ; )

-powdered sugar
-brown sugar
-baking powder
-epson salts
-lemon juice
-large cans of green beans
-large cans of baked beans
-English peas
-black olives
-green olives
-tomato sauce
-tomato paste
-crushed tomatoes
-canned tuna
-canned chicken
-dried beans
-olive oil
-canola oil
-peanut butter
-powdered chocolate
-herbs and spices
-chocolate chips
-dried blueberries
-aluminum foil
-plastic wrap
-freezer bags
-toilet paper
-baby wipes
-fresh peppers
-block of cheddar cheese
-block of mozzarella cheese
-frozen okra

Do you keep up a good stock in your pantry?  What ingredients are essential to have on hand for your family?  I would love it if you would share some ideas about your own food storage system or any plans you have for starting one.  The Proverbs 31 Woman looks well to the ways of her household.  She brings her food from afar, feeding her family well and within the family's budget.  She doesn't worry about the days to come because she has enough food to last for a while.  She has prepared for the future. She steadfastly tends to her household duties and is not lazy.  She is industrious and helps those in need with the fruits of her hands.   She is a busy woman, but she is content within her calling and she is very blessed.


April said...

i am intrigued, anita. so where do you KEEP all that stuff?
i just don't have space for a large pantry, though i would love to be able to do that.
we cook nearly everything from scratch too--but i only have four kids--i still am amazed at the DISHES. :)

Anonymous said...

I have the exact same question...where do you store 50lbs of such-n-such. I often find that prices at Costco/Sam's is about the same as items I buy at the grocery store when it's on sale so I often look for the sale - buy many - and can store in smaller quanties.

Just stumbled onto your blog last week and enjoying it! Thanks,

Barb J. said...

Came across your blog via the Barn Hop and loving it! One thing I've found since we moved to this rural area... there are no stores! The closet Sam's type of bulk store is about two hours away!

Mrs Adept said...

Wow - now that is bulk. LOL We really need to buy bulk too - just haven't got there yet. My idea of bulk is like 2 - 3 kg's of something. LOL

Totally hearing you on the dishes. I am astounded by how many we rack up.

Far Above Rubies said...

That's incredible. Now that is a lot.

Thank you for sharing, Anita.

God bless,


thecurryseven said...

I keep a pantry very similar to yours! I keep my grain either in food buckets in my pantry or the bags of wheat berries in my basement inside an old claw-foot bathtub. The mice can't seem to climb inside it. :-)

I tend to buy my bulk items from a (somewhat) local farmer who does a twice-a-year bulk order.

Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from the Hop.

Jami said...

I have yet to find a pantry "system" but I'm sure it would help me with my organization and meal planning. My family is always happy if there is fresh produce in the house which is a challenge. It requires many trips to the store as the produce doesn't keep very long. This post has motivated me to put more thought into this. Thank you!

Anne said...

I love reading the pantry lists of others! Thanks for sharing!

Cassie said...

Wonderful list! I had to laugh when I saw Lemon Juice on there...last week I every thing I needed to make a lunch salad except for Lemon Juice. I made a mental note to keep extra on hand. It is so much easier to cook from scratch when you have everything on hand!

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