Why I have a well stocked & organised pantry

budgets less waste what if? Mar 07, 2022

I am proud of my pantry, and it helps me save time and money, and stress less about my shopping.  It helps to answer the questions What If there is a cyclone and we are cut off for a week?  and What If we can't get to the shops because we are sick or busy?  Or What If we can't afford to do a full shop this week?

I grew up on a farm, that was 40 minutes away from the major town in the wheatbelt of Western Australia.  We had a lot of fresh veggies and meat from the farm to eat, and we used to shop irregularly "in town".

I remember we used to get a delivery of bread each week in a box of other goodies.

As a single income family with 3 kids, we used to get by, and there was always enough food.  However, as the shops weren't close by, there was a need to have some extras in the pantry, that you could make a meal out of, when required.

As an adult, my partner and I moved to a cyclone affected area, in the North of Western Australia, and each summer started a "be prepared" activity of buying a couple of extra things to put in the pantry.  Some rice, some tinned food, some things that don't need heat or freezer space to store, that would last for a while.  After cyclone season finished, it felt good to have those items in the pantry, but we would shop from the pantry first before going to the shops.  In April and May, after cyclone season had finished, we would halve our shopping bills as we used up some of the extras to get back to normal levels.

It makes me feel safe and secure, knowing that I have more than a week's worth of food in the pantry.  Yes, I love having food in the freezer too, however in cyclones and living remotely, you can't always rely on having power to keep the meat frozen and the icecream hard.

When we moved, I had to open my eyes to the amount of duplicates we had, as well as what we were realistically going to eat.  That tin of chilli mince for nachos was probably not going to be eaten, and neither were the 10 year old spices.  By throwing them out (or donating them) we created space in the pantry for those things that we can use, and do want to eat.

Now I have created a pantry that works for me, and we have enough food to cope for a week without shopping.  With a few organisational accessories, I now easily know where my pantry items belong (where everything has it's spot) and  to create a shopping list is easy, because it is the holes that need to be filled.

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