12 Tips for Stocking Your Kitchen
A well-stocked kitchen is a happy kitchen. It relieves stress. It saves money. It saves time. Think about it. You are preparing to cook dinner. You reach for sugar, cinnamon, or basil. Where is it? You are out. Your pantry is not stocked well so you now have to order takeout, run to the store and spend gas and money on other things you suddenly pick up. If you had a stocked pantry, you would have saved so much more time and money.
Here are a few ideas to help you get the basics of your pantry started. In no way are these considered the only items you need. We'll discuss what is considered needed by different people.
Know Your Needs
Not every house should have the same pantry occupants. We all cook different kinds of food. I might not use certain spices that you would use all the time. Your pantry needs to fit your needs.
Make a list of your cooking needs. What products do you use a lot of? These are the ones you need in your pantry at all times. Someone who cooks mostly Mexican foods will have different pantry stocks than those who cook mainly Asian. I am from the South. My pantry is different someone from the Southwest. We would have similarities, but there would be some major differences.
Review what your family eats the most of and what ingredients you need. This is all about your household.
There are some basic seasonings that nearly everyone should have on hand. They are ones that are used often in most meals. They could be used for preparing breakfast, a snack, lunch, dinner, or dessert. They are used to quickly make a dish you need to take to a gathering. These are suggestions to keep on hand because you might find yourself needing them. Here are a few:
- Vanilla Flavoring
- Chicken Broth
These are things you should have on at all times. If you don't use milk, keep an alternative on hand. If you are a vegetarian, have vegetable broth on hand instead. Adapt these according to your tastes and dietary needs.
Need to stock up on your items? Need to add new items to your stock? Use the sales at the store to help you.
You might not need chicken broth right this week. If it is on sale at such a price you hate passing it up, grab it. It won't expire anytime soon. This means your pantry is stocked with the item and you don't have to panic.
If you can afford items on sale, grab them. Keep your pantry stocked without killing your pocketbook. I prefer to have an extra can of something, maybe even two extra ones, instead of running out when I need them the most. Better safe than sorry.
Basic Pantry Items
We have mentioned basic seasonings and some relatives of them. That is not all you should have in your pantry. Here are a few more items you should keep on hand.
- Non-stick spray
- Olive Oil
- Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, sauces)
- Baking Powder
- Baking soda
I cannot stress enough that this is a general basic pantry list. When I was researching for this and getting ideas I had forgotten, I found things on the list of experts that I would never keep in my pantry. To some, they were needed items. To my family, no. Add to this list based on your families needs.
It is important to keep track of what you have in your pantry. I have heard a great idea of keeping a pad of paper inside the door of your pantry and writing down anything you are nearly out of. That way, you always know when you need to restock the next time you go to the grocery store.
There is nothing more frustrating to be in the midst of making a common dish in your house only to find an important ingredient is missing. You want to make sure you are on top of the stables so you don't find yourself in that predicament.