Moving out of your parents’ house? Don’t know which foods are necessary and which aren’t? Or just need to learn how to stock a pantry for the first time?
If one of these questions resonates, then you’ll find the perfect guide in this article.
We’re going to show you how you can fill up your pantry with all the necessary foods. Whether you’re on a budget or just want the most complete pantry possible – here, you’ll learn all that.
So, are you ready to start stocking up your pantry like an expert for the first time?
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How to Stock a Pantry for the First Time – No Mess !!
This is not an easy job. There are many different things to consider here. But with the right guidance, you can make it possible. We displayed some steps below so you can learn the correct way to do so.
Focus on the Essentials
First off, make sure you’re looking for the essentials first. Remember, you can buy tons of pasta, but without cheese, you can’t make Mac N Cheese.
So, what are you looking for at first? These foods:
- Protein: beans, lentils, meat, chicken, eggs, and milk.
- Grains: rice and oatmeal.
- Carbs: bread, pasta, flour, and potato.
- Fruits: banana, lemon, strawberry, and apples.
- Veggies: onions, tomato, lettuce, and red pepper.
- Herbs: parsley, cilantro, etc.
- Spices: herbs, blends, ground pepper, salt, sugar.
- Sauces: vinegar, ketchup, mustard, oils, soy, and Worcestershire sauce.
All of these foods are the first ones to look for. Then, you can start looking for added foods like cereals and snacks so you can fill your pantry with even more options.
After having all the most critical meals figured out, then you can start planning your meals. This will help you have a better idea of what foods you need and how much.
To do this, you will need a notepad and a pencil. You’ll have to write down how much and what you’ll need. Here’s how:
- Start by considering how many people are eating the foods you’re making. If you’re alone, then buying food for one person will be a piece of cake. But if you have to prepare meals for two, three, or more people – then you’ll have to plan accordingly.
- Focus on foods you and those in the household like. Don’t buy things that no one likes that eventually occupy too much space in your pantry – they end up perishing without a single taste. Instead, focus only on those that everyone wants.
- Plan with leftovers too. You can sometimes cook enough food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time without changing the recipe. This will save tons of food over time – and will make it easy to stock the pantry every month.
- Decide whether you’re cooking on weekends, weekdays, or every day. This is essential. If you’re cooking food on weekends for the rest of the week, then you’ll need to plan accordingly. Otherwise, just go with the flow.
- Now, you can start planning according to what’s on sale. Look for online shops or go directly to the supermarket. Here, you can begin planning and writing directly on your notebook by taking a straight look at what you can buy for a low cost.
- Focus on weekly meal plans for the best results. Bi-weekly and monthly meal plans are for people with more experience with meal planning. But still, if you want to make a monthly plan – then don’t shy out. This will help you buy just enough food.
Remember, the whole focus on planning your meals is to know which foods you want and which you do not. If you don’t need to buy pasta because you’re not eating any over the week, then don’t buy any. But of course, make sure you buy enough of those you need.
Get Small Packages
At first, it is not necessary to buy the largest package of sugar, salt, pasta, or rice. Instead, you can buy small ones that are easier to store and place.
You can get the smallest packages possible to have for a week or two of a specific type of food. Here, we’re mainly talking about non-perishable items.
This will not only help you get to know which brands you like and which you do not, but it will also help you save some money in the short term. On top of that, it will prevent you from making an organizational mess in your kitchen.
Buy in Bulk (If you have enough space)
If you want to save time and effort going to the supermarket, you can always buy some food in bulk. Here, you will only focus on non-perishable foods and those that last a long time. But make sure you have enough space for that. Otherwise, ignore this step.
What we recommend buying in bulk? Well, these foods:
- Canned goods (beans, tomato, soups, etc.)
- Herbs (only if well-preserved in the fridge)
These are foods you may use almost every day. Buying enough for an entire month or more will be an excellent way to save time and effort while trying to stock up your pantry. Then, you can focus only on the rest.
Anything that you won’t need at first is something to take out of the meal planning and overall pantry organization.
What to leave out of the pantry at first? Anything like:
- Mayonnaise, melted cheese, butter.
- Cookies, snacks, cereals.
- Baking soda, baking powder, cornmeal, cornstarch.
- Cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon.
All these items are not necessary at first. You may add them later. For now, focus only on the essential so you can stock the pantry faster & more efficiently. Once you get experience, you can add these items.
Stock Up Within a Week
Another vital factor to consider is that you don’t have to buy everything at once. You can actually buy all the things you need within several days, so you have an easier time organizing and stocking up the pantry correctly.
Here’s how to do it:
- Buy veggies and eggs on Monday.
- Buy fruits and dairy on Tuesday.
- Buy meats, sauces on Wednesday.
- Buy herbs and carbs on Thursday.
- Buy spices and grains on Friday.
- Buy canned goods on the weekend.
You don’t have to follow this to the letter. Instead, you can use only two days of the week to buy food, and that will be enough. But still, separating the purchase in days will help enormously to keep everything more organized and make it easy.
The second time, you will already have a better idea of how much you’ll need of each type of food. And you will have an easier time organizing as well.
Learning how to stock a pantry for the first time is not an easy job. But with the right guidance and understanding, you can always make it easy.
Remember to follow our advice and steps to the letter, and you’ll have an easier time. But don’t shy out and leave creativity behind – you can always add your own touch and stock up the pantry your way. Start now!