Pantry Tips

There's a lot of knowledge involved in building, using and maintaining a well-stocked pantry and in my ongoing attempt to make 
A Working Pantry a useful sight, I'm sharing tips I've learned over the years here ...

Never turn down ‘free’ food!  If someone offers to bless you from their abundance, say ‘thank you,’ bring it home and preserve it.

Keeping a well-stocked pantry and saving money is a skill just like learning to ride a bicycle.  It takes time and you just keep getting back on when you fall off until you’ve learned the technique of riding (stocking your pantry/saving money).
Be content with what you have in your pantry, not what you wish you had.  Do your best to keep your pantry well-stocked and be content to eat from it.

Organize your pantry. Find an organization method that works for you and implement it.  It'll make finding what you're 'sure you have' much easier!  
Your attitude can be a BIG hindrance in building and maintaining a well-stocked pantry.  If you think you can’t, you won’t! 

Be ‘intentional’ in keeping your pantry well-stocked.  Make it a priority.  Make a plan and work your plan.  It’s the best insurance policy you’ll ever ‘purchase.’

Don't waste your pantry!  Don't waste the food or other items you've worked so hard to stock in your pantry. 

By keeping a well-stocked pantry one doesn’t HAVE to shop weekly for groceries to feed the family.  You, instead get to take your weekly/monthly grocery budget and shop sales.  This is way more fun and not HAVING to pay those high prices to keep food on the table is a much sought after benefit. 

You don't have to have an 'official' pantry room in order to have a well-stocked pantry. 

Knowing what you have in your pantry is one of the most effective ways of getting the most out of your pantry.

Home-canned foods, properly canned and stored, will last for years.

The single most important thing you can do for the effectiveness of your pantry is to Rotate! Rotate! Rotate!

Only stock your pantry with the things you and your family will eat or use.  Anything else is a waste of time, space and resources.


  1. Patsi, I love the idea that we should not indulge in 'pantry envy'. I apologise for paraphrasing your idea there. You said 'Be content with your pantry', and I am not so good at that. I look at my lovely blog friend, Annabels pantry and free fruit and wish and wish that were me. In doing so, I forget that I have lush herbs at my doorstep, a mango tree laden with fruit and a passionfruit vine the same. Lemons and Chilli, and Macadamia nuts as well. Abundant rain and good soil. All such an asset. Thankyou for helping me see my own abundance. Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi, great advice to look at what we have in our hands to work with!

  2. Do you have a beginner's guide? I used to garden and can with my grandmother as a child, but I'm 20 years removed from that and fully engulfed in a "busy consumer" lifestyle. I want to do what you do but I can't even fathom how to begin!!

    1. Check out my series on 'This is Why!' here ...

  3. Honestly, not pantry envy, more curiousity, what in general do you keep in your pantry; i.e., how much, and for how many people/animals?
    Thank you.
    Alison :)

    1. Alison, we generally try to keep at least a 3 month supply, using, replenishing and rotating it all the time so that nothing gets wasted. As for what I keep in my pantry that varies depending on what we grow, can find on sale, barter or are given. (It's always something that one or both of us will eat though, I don't waste my time or money on stocking something neither of us like.) We have home-canned meat, home-canned vegetables, frozen meats, frozen vegetables, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated herbs, home-canned pie fillings, home-canned as well as store bought canned fruit, herbal remedies and so on. It would make this post too long to list every thing we have in our pantry.