The Best Way To Stock Up Your Pantry

Photo by Taryn Elliott

The term “pantry” is archaic but has a timeless meaning: cooking is easier and faster when you already have the supplies. They are elements that, for the most part, last. Don’t wait to replenish your supplies of potatoes or lemons when you run low. Put them on the shopping list instead so that you always have access to them. You can even grow your own food or shop seasonally and preserve your own food to help it last longer in the pantry.

Do a clear out
Take a good look at your pantry with everything out, then decide what you can get rid of. Be brutal. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. You can also clean all the sides then.

Keep whatever smells and looks decent
Dates such as “best by,” “sell by,” and “expiration” are not reliable benchmarks. Some ingredients, like canned fish, can be preserved properly for years; however, other ingredients, like dried herbs, begin to lose their quality as soon as they are sealed in a container. Always research as some things like honey never expire and some can be kept in different ways to make them last longer like pickles. But look at things like can beer go bad and look at when so you aren’t stockpiling things you won’t use in the time you have.

Analyze what is left
After that, arrange information in a logical order that makes sense to you: There isn’t a solitary best system. Your nut butters may be located near the condiments, breakfast goods, or baking ingredients.

Fill in the blanks with ingredients that will improve your cooking
The following grocery lists are suggestions, not directives. If you exclusively enjoy red beans, there is no need to keep black beans on hand. Everything in this room doesn’t have to be accessible at all times. When you often only need one or two fresh items to make one of our recipes from home, your pantry is adequately supplied for your needs. Or better still, none.

The Expanding Pantry 
For the cook who is proficient in the fundamentals but wants to be able to expand their palate to include new alternatives and flavors. Here, traditional items like limes and lemons, jasmine rice and long-grain, almond butter and peanut butter are stocked alongside long-lasting, punchy components like tahini, hoisin sauce, coconut milk, sherry vinegar, and capers.

The Specialist Pantry 
For the cook who enjoys experimenting with new techniques, international cuisines, and popular dishes. The cheeses get funkier, the chocolates darker, and the chillies spicier here. Only a small portion of the available ingredients are included here, but by keeping them on hand, you will be able to prepare practically any recipe you come across and try your hand at coming up with your own.

Ideal Techniques 
Once you have your supplies, keep in mind that cooking will inevitably result in chaos and change. Spices may never reside in matched containers, tomato cans may never match, and your hot sauce collection may always want to take over the condiment shelf.

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Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton is the Chief Blogger and Editor of He founded in 2013 to provide information about LGBTQ friendly events of interest, and to support LGBTQ entertainers and supportive artists who visit our community. Earle is a successful businessman in the Pacific Northwest with a long history of support for and involvement in, the Northwest LGBTQ community. His personal interests include: music, theater, pets, culinary arts and technology.

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