I am not an expert on how to stock your pantry, but I do have a friend down the street that is. So I thought I'd take a moment to post on the subject so I can refer back to it when I need to.
My friend, Julea, must have 6 or 8 (I can't remember the exact number) cans of green beans, corn, macaroni and cheese, etc in her pantry at all times. She's funny like that, but she is on to something. She can plan any meal at a moment's notice, no matter the number of guests that drop by.
So here is how it's done, and brace yourself, it is very easy. First make a list of recipes that your family eats on a regular basis. This step alone is awesome for meal planning, grocery shopping and for those nights when you have no idea what to eat and you can think of anything. Then go through each recipe, and list all the ingredients in each recipe. This will be your master list.
I noticed when making my list that many of my recipes had the same ingredients: cream of chicken soup, Rotel, cheddar cheese, tortillas, celery, etc. Then I divided my list by items that can be purchased at Costco and the grocery store. This can even be broken down into every week list (milk, eggs) and every two weeks.
The last step is to go through your breakfast foods, snacks, etc and add them to the list. We also included paper towels, paper plates, etc. When you want to plan your trip to Costco you can go through this list and only get what you need for your household, which helps to stay on budget.
You still have to make a grocery list each week but this master list is awesome. It has made my life so much easier, since teaching again and raising kiddos. If I don't menu plan for the week I can still look in my pantry and put together a meal easily (well if I have the energy).
Thank you Julea for my new system! You rock.
So what are your tips for the pantry/frig? I always love new tips.