Tired of not knowing what to cook? Build your pantry! Make a list of a few things to keep on hand so you’re never without what you need to make meals.
Keeping a supply of food on hand has been a recurring theme in the last few years. Especially with the spotlight that’s been shown on supply chain issues the last 6 months. But nation-wide issues aside, I feel like we are dealing with bigger issues when it comes to our meals and our homes.
We don’t have a plan.
When you go grocery shopping without a meal plan, you’re going to grab whatever sounds good at the time. You aren’t going to grab what’s nutritious for your family, necessary for a busy day or relevant to what you’re family tends to eat anyway.
The importance of having a plan
Not only is a plan going to save you from spending too much money, it’s going to save you the hassle of aimlessly wandering store shelves wondering if you have what you need to make everything! You’ll also come home with more money in your pocket and room on your pantry shelves for things you actually need.
It’s important to note that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your pantry won’t be built in one day either. Give yourself some milestones to hit – 72 hours, 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months. Focus on your next milestone and it will make planning out your pantry that much more feasible.
No, like, REALLY small
A northern homestead, Heartway Farms, created a great video detailing how to build a pantry (you can watch that video here.) In sum, make a two week meal plan of what you and your family eat. When you go to the store, make a note of three items to buy extra of. If you and your family are eating meatloaf, rice and salad one night for dinner, buy an extra box of rice to put in your pantry. If you and your family are eating pancakes, eggs and bacon one night for dinner, buy an extra package of bacon and put it in your freezer. Ta-da! You’ve just started your one month pantry!
BONUS: Because you’re already eating these things, whatever you add to your pantry isn’t going to go to waste! You know you’re going to eat it!
Keep things simple
When creating this two week meal plan, keep it simple. Spaghetti and meatballs. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Enchiladas and rice. You can add in delicacies from abroad, but don’t overcomplicate things. The goal is to get you up and running so you have what you need in the event you need to dip in to your food stores. Prioritize your family’s basics!
Headed to the store?
Do you have your grocery list in hand? Great! But don’t walk out the door just yet! Pull up your area grocery store’s weekly flyer and quickly scan for weekly deals. Do you notice that a certain produce is on sale and can be easily swapped for something on your menu? Make the swap and save your money!
A few other ideas…
A great way to build your independence is by asking yourself – what can I make myself instead of buy at the grocery store? Think things like bread and snacks to get started. Produce is something you can buy from a local farmer or even grow yourself! And depending on accessibility, you can also get your dairy from a local farmer and begin making your own dairy products!
What kind of tips and tricks do you use when you go to the grocery store? Tell me about them on Facebook and Instagram! Or head on over to Amazon and grab what you need to get started. I recommend a note pad like this one or grocery bags like these.