Turning Groceries Into Meals, Part 1: Pantry List

I’ve been posting all month about groceries, but what the heck did I actually do with them?

The answer is:

  • added them to existing inventory of groceries
  • used combination of storage and new groceries to make meals
  • ended month with just as much in cupboard and freezer as before!

I have tried to make meals “from the pantry” and use up what’s there, but I’ve decided its self-defeating: when I run out of things completely, I then have to replace them at the going price. I like buying a moderate amount of stuff when it’s on sale, and if I never run out, that’s OK, as long as I don’t leave everything past expiry!

On the other hand, it’s not my goal to have One of Everything at home, because I do meal plans by the month, so I know if I’ll use something in the next month or so.

Here’s the pantry stuff I like to have on hand, no matter what the meal plan says each month:

Dry goods: lentils, split peas, brown and white rice, couscous, dried pasta, crackers

Canned goods: chick peas, kidney beans, corn niblets, diced tomatoes, emergency soup (usually make own), spaghetti sauce (occasionally make own)

Breakfast: oatmeal, 3 kinds of boxed cereal (Weetabix, shredded wheat, bran flakes), peanut butter, honey, coffee, tea, marmelade, jam and maple syrup (usually get last 2 homemade from relatives)

Condiments: ketchup, mustard, relish (green pickle), curry paste, soy sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce, pickles (cucumbers and beets – usually homemade from relatives), olive oil, salad dressing, savory herbs and spices, balsamic vinegar

Baking supplies: whole wheat and white flour, white and brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, spices

Baking or snacks: raisins, nuts

Frozen: blueberries, peas, green beans, lima beans, various vegetable mixes, french fries, sweet potato fries (usually make own), meat pies (ideally would make own), 1 loaf of emergency bread

From there I buy fruit, veg, bread and dairy every week, and meat and fish every month as needed.

In my next post I’ll share a month of meal plans, along with lists of the pantry staples and fresh foods needed to put it into action!

Do you have any suggestions for non-perishable stuff I should always have in stock?

I will be trying quinoa for the first time this month!

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