"Laura returned to the front room... She knew it must be the pantry door, but she stood in surprise and then in delight, looking at the pantry. All one wall was covered with shelves and drawers, and a broad shelf was under a large window at the pantry's far end…
One whole wall was shelved from the ceiling halfway down. The upper shelves were empty, but on the lowest was a glass lamp… At the end, where this shelf was above the window shelf in the corner, stood a row of cans of spices.
Beneath this shelf were many drawers of different sizes. Directly below the spices, and above the window shelf, were two rather narrow drawers. Laura found that one was almost full of white sugar, the other of brown sugar. How handy!
Next, a deep drawer was full of flour, and smaller ones held graham flour and corn meal…"
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, These Happy Golden Years
How I appreciate a well organized pantry, one that is loved with it's orderly arrangement while providing the family with nourishing meals! It speaks to me of preparedness, blessings, sustenance and provision. When properly maintained, it is like a private grocery store located in your own home *dreamy sigh*.
Here are some ways to get started (from easiest onward):
- The first simple step which requires little work but some investment is to build up a surplus of dry goods. By simply storing bulk grains, you are that much more prepared for a rainy day. This is also very cost efficient since you won't be paying for all the individual, small portion packaging. (Here is our printable "stock your pantry" list.)
- The second step is to stock up on items that you use often when they are on special. Just make sure your family will be able to finish the products prior to their expiration dates. For example, a surplus of whole canned tomatoes, honey, certain oils and vinegars will always be a good thing because of their variety of uses and excellent shelf life.
- The third step which requires some time and effort is to plant a garden and preserve the abundance by freezing, fermenting, drying and canning your own food. If you can make goals for yourself during the harvest to put up at least one batch of food per week, you will be building up an inventory and your grocery store bill will start to decrease.
- Do you have any fruit trees on your property (or a does a family member and/or friend)? We have our fig trees that we make into jam, our pomegranate trees that we juice and freeze in ice-cube trays for smoothies, etc… Our neighbor gives us loads of lemons when they are season. Here is what we did with them to increase our pantry inventory. I think you get the idea. Create items for your pantry using your own resources. Don't buy these products when you can produce them frugally.
- The final step is to forage your fields and see what wild plants you can preserve and utilize (this is something to do when your garden is not producing). For example, we have loads of chamomile flowers (soothes stomach and nerves) and stinging nettles (excellent for allergies) which can be dried, stored in jars and used for tonics, teas and tinctures. We also have lavender plants which we use in many ways. Be resourceful with what you have to increase your provisions without spending a dollar!
This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: Modest Mom Monday's, Make it Yourself Mondays, Homestead Barn Hop, Natural Living Tuesday's, Teach Me Tuesday, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Wise Woman Link Up, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Simple Living Wednesdays, Farmgirl Friday and Deep Roots at Home. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these.