create a pantry stockpile
One of the things our new house has in abundance is storage – even in the kitchen. My pantry is a room unto itself with floor to ceiling shelves and a sliding door. It’s a great place to hide if I’m eating chocolate and an even better place to store my kitchen stockpile.
Before we moved I made every effort to use up the last of everything in the freezer and the pantry. It meant there was less to move and ultimately gave me a fresh culinary start.
I’ve never been one to consciously stock-up on perishable food items. I’ve always felt that a good month’s worth of food was enough and have shopped accordingly. But ever since I read Rhonda Hetzel’s The Simple Home, I’ve been slowly building my pantry stockpile and noticing a shift in the way I shop and the way I cook – it’s a really basic, easy step towards simplifying your kitchen and your cooking.
So how can a cupboard full of dry goods help you live more simply? Firstly, there’s contentment in knowing that even if something unexpected happens, you have your stockpile on standby. It’s basically an insurance policy for your kitchen – and insurance always settled the mind.
But ultimately, it means less trips to the shops which means more time doing what your heart desires. That once a week frantic shopping trip is in the past and so too is the twice-weekly top-up shops when you realise that you’re missing ingredients (and you inevitably come home with much more than you intended).
For the budget-conscious, it’s also a savvy way to save money. “If you look for specials, buy in bulk as much as you can, shop at the cheapest supermarket and plan your menus and your shopping list, it will save you money. You’re not at the mercy of price fluctuations due to shortages because your stockpile will generally hold a perfectly suitable alternative. If it doesn’t, stockpiling usually gives you the mindset to do without until the price returns to normal,” says Rhonda
Granted, created a three-month stockpile isn’t going to happen in a week (for most of us, anyway). Instead, it’s a matter of building it up over time, looking out for specials and buying in bulk where possible. If you’re particularly budget-conscious and willing to go to a few different shops, trolley saver is a great app to download.
Personally, I under-estimated just how much the children’s appetite increases over winter so I’ve been dipping into my stockpile a little too frequently. But come the new financial year when a tax return is hopefully on the horizon, stocking up on the basics is a priority. The peace of mind is priceless, as is knowing that those annoying top-up shops aren’t necessary.
Fellow blogger Reannon Hope recently created a proper three-month stockpile and admits that it’s a great way to shop for her single-income family. She suggests the following:
- buy multiples when a product is significantly reduced and always add a few extra staples into your fortnightly shop (tinned tomatoes, pasta, lentils, flour).
- write a master list for your pantry, fridge, freezer, laundry and bathroom and check each list before you shop so you don’t forget anything. The point of a stockpile if to save time and money and these lists help you do both.
- hide stockpiled “goodies” in big containers so the older kids (or dads!) don’t eat them.
And once you have created a stockpile take the time to look after it.
- add new products to the back and take from the front
- keep a written record of your freezer stockpile
- put dry goods in the freezer for two days to kill and bugs and then store in the pantry
- regularly check for pantry moths and treat quickly
Feel free to share your tips in the comments…I’d love to hear them!