Friday, October 2, 2009

The Pantry Principle - Re-run

This is one of my most popular posts originally posted almost exactly 2 years ago. I'm amazed that I've been blogging for over two years now! I wanted to read this post myself in order to get inspired to start preparing for the winter of 2009/2010 and thought you might like to read it again too.


The name of this Frugal Friday post is straight out of the Tightwad Gazette, II and is updated in the Tightwad Gazette III. The lesson is "to save the most money and time when buying food, you should shop to replenish your pantry, not to make specific meals". In the Tightwad Gazette III there is a list of what the author keeps in her pantry. I have also seen Pantry Lists on other blogs. My plan is to read several of these pantry lists and include the things I would use in my pantry.

One point that I'd like to make is that you don't have to have a special room or closet for your pantry. You can make a pantry anywhere that you can put up some shelves or use a closet or even under a bed! I have made my pantry in a corner of the laundry room in an old pie safe that was on the way to the landfill, but was rescued many years ago. This is a picture of the outside of it. As you can see there are baskets on top and underneath is a wicker picnic basket, plastic bin and beside it is a potato and onion storage box. It is full of buy one get one free potatoes and waiting for the sweet potatoes that are being harvested around here this time of year. In the picnic basket I sometimes "hide" items I don't want my family to find and go through too fast! LOL. The plastic bin is great for produce items, etc. There are also hooks on a shelf on an adjacent wall that has a recycle bag for plastic grocery bags. I am planning on making some cloth bags to hang on some of the other hooks to store food items.

My pantry had gotten bare and so I started working on restocking it in preparation for fall and winter at lunch yesterday and these are the things I've gotten so far:

4 cans of mixed vegetables
2 cans of cut green beans with whole potatoes
4 cans of cut green beans
2 cans of cheddar cheese soup
2 cans of light red kidney beans
3 2lb bags of rice
2 cans of spaghetti sauce
1 can of sweet peas
1 large can of Folgers Coffee

That's a pretty good start, don't you think! Next week I plan to stock up items other than canned goods, such as flour, sugar, teabags, etc.

This is a picture of the inside of the pie safe with some of the products I purchased already stored there. There still room in there and definitely in the baskets, etc.

All of the national brand items were purchased on sale and/or with a coupon. Some of the store brand items are tried and true favorites. I'm not brand loyal. But, if a store brand isn't of good quality, I definitely won't buy it just because its cheaper. I have experimented with some store brands and have found some good ones.

Please visit Life as Mom for more Frugal Friday ideas!



DarcyLee said...

I love your pie safe. What a great way to keep your stock of food. It reminds me of my grandma's pantry. She grew up during the Depression and always had a stock pile, even when it was just her-in her laundry room, too. Thanks for sharing your frugal idea.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Of course, it doesn't hurt to build a separate room in your garage (insulated, with a/c) to have a large pantry. We've done that twice now, and after needing to live on what we had in our pantry for the last 2 years, I'm really glad we did it! Before, we kept things under beds, and added extra shelves in bedroom closets. Should you find yourselves needing the food, you'll be glad you have it, no matter where you keep it--and, it will save you money, too!

Pen Pen said...

This has been on my mind this week too... must be the cooler weather. I made a trip to start restocking my pantry again. It's such a warm, rewarding feeling to see all the "extra's" lined up in the pie safe, isn't it?

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Now THAT is a great idea! Thanks for sharing.


Stop over and see me sometime over at Free2BeFrugal.

Anonymous said...

Great post at a great time.

I've been working overtime :( Needless to say I don't take time to shop frugally.

I worked 10 hours today and then went to Walmart. What was I thinking? I was straving and it was a very crowded Friday night. I spent about twice as much as I usually do!

Between your post and my horrible shopping trip, maybe I'll get my act together. :)


Lyn said...

Debbie, I like how you have everything organized in your pantry area. It's really cute and practical at the same time.

Rose Mary said...

What a great pie safe! I love the way you have everything organized inside of it. I try to stay stocked up, as we are so far from a grocery store. I usually do one very large shopping trip, then pick up sale items and mile through the rest of the month.

Maisie said...

I work on a similar principle over here in UK. I run a pantry and only purchase to restock that.

I have a storage cupboard which can hold a months worth of tinned goods, I then store tp and toiletries in the bottom of my closet, and excess laundry products in a cupboard in the garage.

Add to that my large freezer and we are good to go.

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