Get Organised: Setting up a Pantry

Welcome to a New Year. I always feel like a big overhaul at the beginning of a new year – or a new season – or sometimes a new week. Let’s use that momentum and get organised. Setting up a Pantry is the very first step in creating an Empowered kitchen – so there is no better place to start.

A pantry is very simply a place to store your food goods. It stores both opened goods (like flour, rice, etc) and unopened goods (like canned tomatoes or beans). Your pantry can be in the kitchen, or not. It can be huge, or not. Your pantry can simply be whatever you choose.

I’ve lived in many houses, and each time, I’ve made a choice as to where I’d like my pantry. I’ve considered the location and access, the size and the general ‘feeling’ of the space. A pantry needs to work for when you are both cooking and storing goods. It needs to be easily accessible, yet easy to keep tidy and closed.

Take a look around your kitchen. Do you have a pantry now? Do you use it efficiently? Does it need a tidy-out or a relocation?

The Empowered Cook shows you how to get organised by setting up a pantry.

I have always found that a pantry works best if kept a little separate from your kitchen. In our current home, I have a cupboard in the kitchen that houses a bunch of opened goods – whatever we are currently using in our cooking. But I have my pantry in a cupboard in the hallway. This is where I store anything that is unopened. The shopping all gets unpacked into the pantry, and it is only when we open a packet of something that it is transferred to the kitchen.

In my pantry I always have half a dozen tins of tomatoes, a variety of beans and lentils, and bags of dried beans, additional spices, chocolate (always chocolate) and a stockpile of things that are pricey, but that I’ve scored on special. My stockpile also has cleaning products (vinegar, soap, baking soda) and toiletries (tissues, toothpaste, etc).

Why have a pantry?

In the most basic sense – you obviously cook using the ingredients in the pantry.

But I find the pantry more than that. I open my pantry and I am inspired. I am motivated to cook and create something for my family to eat. The possibilities of what I can make are endless when I open the pantry and see canned goods and packets and jars.

You too – can feel like this.

Or if not – and you simply have a screaming toddler and a hungry partner or a teenager or both – it is possible to cook a WHOLE meal from the pantry. A healthy, wholesome dinner – straight from the pantry. No need to buy any fresh ingredients – everything you need could be in the pantry just waiting for you to bring it together.

Some examples:

  • Tomato Pasta – a packet of pasta, a can of tomatoes, garlic/onion, oregano – you can easily whip up a quick meal with just these ingredients. This was a staple for my university days – cheap and easy. There are many variations too: add chili flakes for a little heat, add broccoli for some greens, add peas for a burst of sweetness. Add any leftover vegies from the fridge. Such a fast weeknight meal.
  • Tuna Casserole – if you can whip up a white sauce (flour, butter, milk) and you have cheese, a tin of tuna and some pasta – you are set.
  • Lentils and Poached Egg – a can of lentils, and an egg. Heat up those lentils, season them and add a very simply poached egg. This is very simple, but really delicious.

So – how do I go about setting up a pantry?

I have a special bonus for you. I’ve created a free 21-page workbook: The Ultimate Guide to Setting up a Pantry.

This covers everything! From defining a pantry, to organising it, to filling it and keeping it stocked – as well as actually how to use your pantry.

Go ahead – click below and download your copy now.

Download your copy of the Free 21-page workbook: The Ultimate Guide to Setting up a Pantry.

Don’t forget to share this with all your friends – maybe we can start a New Year resolution!



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