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The Moment You’ve all Been Waiting For. . .

I cleaned my pantry.

Then I took new pictures of the pantry.

 
 

Click over to the pantry page on my website to see 13 more images!

If you have any questions about my pantry, please ask them here.

Updated to add:

If you like my pantry shelves, you may be interested in this deal that a reader shared. Eve Keenan just wrote, “I googled Gorilla shelves. They happen to be on sale through TODAY at Ace Hardware. I called the store. They are holding two for me to pick up today. The person who helped me on the phone said the price is 34.99 today…DOUBLE tomorrow. Wow!! I’m thrilled to make this discovery for our sagging shelved storage room!!!!!” This is for January 31st. You may or may not find the same deal where you live, but I thought it was definitely worth sharing. Gorilla makes several different kinds and sizes of shelves, so make sure to do your research to get what you want. I believe these are the smaller Gorilla shelves, but that might be a better fit for the space you have. Make sure to compare!

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26 Comments

  1. Is an LDS cannery a common thing? Would there be one associated with every congregation? I tried checking the website for the church here but not much info beyond location and phone.

  2. Elizabeth, there are not that many canneries. I happen to live really close to the one in Las Vegas. You can buy lids there, or if you can items there, for each 6 cans you get 2 lids.Go here: https://www.lds.org/topics/food-storage?lang=eng and then click on “Find a Home Storage Center” for a location. Usually each congregation sets up a time for those who wish to go to the cannery to can items, and you work together as a team to can everyone’s items. I have taken many people with me who are not LDS to the cannery and we have canned together. In fact, I made a great friend because of the cannery . . . .

  3. It really is nice to say, I don’t NEED to go to the store this week. If the sales aren’t very good, or if I’m just really busy, I can just let it go. I can always go another time. It allows me to get SO MUCH done because I am not going to the store all the time.

  4. I would really love to know – how do you keep all those bags of potatoes from sprouting and in good shape? I would love to buy several bags like that but I don’t because I know they’ll start sprouting before I can use them up. Short of having a root cellar, I didn’t think you could keep that many long term?

  5. That’s not that many potatoes for my family 🙂 That’s what I have left from the ones I bought in November. I bought 4 times that amount then. My pantry is an air-conditioned (in the summer), insulated room in our garage. In winter it is nice and cool, and the potatoes last a few months. If the potatoes sprout a little, it’s not a problem; just knock the prouts off and eat the potatoes. It’s when the sprouts get long and the potatoes get soft that you have a problem, but a littl bit of sprouting is not such a big deal. We eat 5-7 pounds in a meal, so they go quickly here. They are the cheapest food that you can buy, if you get them for .10 – .20 a pound, so they’re worth having more often! I included their vitamin content and info on my potato page on my website http://theprudenthomemaker.com/index.php/recipes/potatoesa few of them might surprise you (protein, vitamin C, and potassium!)

  6. Brandy, how long did it take you to stock your pantry? And, you said you have 7 months of oil on hand-when do you determine when to buy more?thanks again! You’ve inspired me to give my small pantry a makeover! 🙂

  7. Sometimes I wish for a house that was just a little bigger….I have a single garage that is converted into a room but it houses teenage boys! Brandy, what do you do with all the white vinegar? I use a lot of ACV but not white. I use an ammonia/rubbing alcohol mix for my all purpose cleaner.Also, have you found a good place for dry milk? I understand the idea behind having it in storage but I can’t bring myself to pay more per gallon for it. Milk here runs $2.50 a gallon.I saw a few cans of soup that I assume are for when someone isn’t feeling well (I keep it on hand too) but I was wondering what is your go to meal for when you don’t feel like eating, let alone cooking but the kids and husband are starving?

  8. Thank you for posting these pictures of your amazing pantry! Your blog has been an inspiration and a learning resource for me…. I have a question about budget in general, i’m sorry if this was already asked previously… My problem is that I have a certain budget for groceries each week and it seems that all the money goes towards the food for that week and nothing is leftover for stocking up and building my pantry! My budget is not small, I live in Georgia and I budget $100 a week for a family of 4, myself (a vegetarian so very frugal meals) my husband (a meat eater but now eating more beans) and my 2 little kids who seem to be picky. I cook all of our meals “from scratch”, we never go out and I shop at Aldi/Sam’s club/Walmart. But I seem to never have any money leftover for buying extra things to fill my pantry! How did you do it in the past? Before you had your pantry fully stocked, how did you budget every week and what percentage of your budget did you allocate towards your pantry versus what you used up each week? I mean, back before 2007, before your pantry was full. I am just trying to learn how to best go about that… Thank you so much! Oh, and my $100 a week does not include anything extra, I budget for toiletries, diapers, cleaners etc separately. Thank you!

  9. That is beautiful,my husband has the lion’s share of the storage space in our basement for his collection and shop. I am really impressed, I used to be a cook/pastry chef and while I was working(slaving) my way up the ladder I had to maintain the storage and do inventory. So difficult to keep things organized when people are running in and out for things and in a big hurry. I used a p-touch to help keep everything straight. My favorite, favorite organizing tool was water soluble labels with the days of the week n them in different colors. You are practically running a BnB!

  10. My pantry has been full for many years before 2007!However, I moved into our house in 2006, so I had a different pantry situation in my last house. I did have a room in the garage there, too; it used to be my husband’s office and then we made it into a pantry. This one is fuller, however.I don’t think of my grocery budget as allocated certain ways in that way (such as a percentage towards pantry items).I just try to buy things at the best price. When something is a really good price, I’ll buy more.Looking at your budget and that it’s 4 times what I spend for half the people, I think you can certainly build your pantry within your current budget. It does take time to build a pantry; I think it takes a year to be fully stocked.To start, I would buy your rice and pinto beans in bulk. You have 3 choices of stores that you mentioned; look at the prices for 25 pounds of rice from those 3 places, and buy it where it’s cheapest. I would do the same with beans in a 25 pound bag, and flour as well.Buy those items first. If you start thinking of buying some bulk items FIRST every month, and then looking to fill in with fresh objects, it will change things. I don’t buy fresh things and then try to allocate money towards the bulk items. I do it the opposite way–I buy the pantry items and then the fresh things. Remember, I’m stocking my pantry on a regular basis–within my $100 a month budget. One month you will buy rice and beans. Another month you may buy oil, vinegar, and pasta. The next several months you won’t need those things, so they aren’t even on your list of things to buy. Because you’ve bought in bulk, you’ve saved money and made it so you don’t have to buy that item for a few months.Last year in January, I only had $50 for the month (money my grandmother gave me for Christmas). I spent $30.70 on 50 pounds of oats. I spent the rest of the money on diapers. That’s all I bought. We were almost out of oats, and it’s one of the least expensive foods we eat. It’s not a year’s worth; we go through about 75 pounds a year. However, it was a priority because we needed it, and it lasted me a long time. You don’t have to buy a whole year’s worth at once of any item. Just try to buy a lot of a few bulk items each month, and then work out the rest of your budget from there.

    1. When you live close to the edge financially, having enough money to take advantage of bulk purchasing is a tough problem. I highly recommend a book about this very subject called “Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation” by Sharon Astyk. It includes a chapter on how to build up food storage on $5/week. I love this book and have re-read it many times, so that it is full of underlines and highlights. I checked it out of my library so many times I finally bought it on Amazon (used – good condition) for less than $10. What a blessing it has been. If your library doesn’t have it, use ILL (Interlibrary Loan) to read a copy. ISBN-13: 978-0865716520

  11. I haven’t researched buying more milk yet. Oil was a bigger pirority this month. I still have some powdered milk.I have a few (very few) cans of chicken noodle soup left, but I haven’t bought any for a long time (the other is canned cream soups that we bought several years ago). I don’t really have plans to continue to buy it, either. We have used that in the past when my husband and I were both sick.I don’t usually feel like not eating 🙂 I like food :)I have been teaching the children to make some things, so that they can help. This morning my 9-year-old made oatmeal so that I could take care of some other chores. It was easy enough for him to do while he did his morning chore of putting away the clean dishes from the dishwasher. A simple fruit salad from canned fruits is a really easy and simple meal if mom and dad are both sick. I have had my children or my husband make sandwiches if I have bread. The children are also learning how to make soup.Baked potatoes is another really simple meal when no one feels well; sometimes my husband makes it and sometimes the children make it. If your children can’t use a hot oven, they can still scrob and fork the potatoes, and put them in the oven right on the rack in a cold oven, and then the oven can be turned on. You just have to be the one to pull the hot potatoes out of the oven.I’ve found that in a big family, it takes a few days for a cold to run through the family. If the children are sick and you think you’ll be next, you can always try making a big pot of soup and have it ready in the fridge or freezer. It’s a good idea to have some bread made, too; sometimes no one want anything besides applesaauce and toast, if they’re really sick.

  12. I’ll buy more oil whenever I have the funds. We bought oil this month. I’ll buy more another time when I can do that.I think it takes a year to be fully stocked, and then you just have to keep stocking it each month.Some things might last you longer. For example, I bought 25 pounds of pinto beans last year. We won’t go through those in a year, but that’s okay. If we need them we will, and if not, they’ll still be good several years from now. Many items are like that, and those items help you build up your pantry, too.

  13. Having a large pantry has certainly been a help in having a large family.I was looking at some old kit house plans last year (the kind built early 20th-century where you bought a kit and built your own house). They usually only had one bathroom for the whole house (upstairs) but they always had a large walk-in pantry. It’s certainly practical.

  14. We were in the same position as you are a few years ago. Tight budget and nothing left over to start stocking up. I think it is incredibly hard to scrap the change up those first couple of months and get started. Consider it your “debt snowball” for the pantry. We went without treats for a month in order to afford those first big purchases of food. You can also figure out which meals are the cheapest for you to make and stick to those for a few weeks. I think we bought wheat and a couple of cases of canned fruit/veggies (all on sale for a super great deal) that first trip. All the while continuing to stick to the budget for all the rest of the meals in the month. The next month was a little easier and we ended up with a little more left over for the pantry. I looked for super great deals to make sure my little stockpile money would go as far as possible.Now days I only spend about 20% of my weekly allotment on food to be consumed that week. The rest is spent on the pantry or saved for the next great sale. Someday I’ll have a years supply like Brandi, but until then I just keep chipping away with what I can.Getting started is the hardest part, but it will get easier.

  15. In our previous home in Idaho, we had a walk in pantry. It was so convenient, compared to the “cubby” we now have in a mostly finished crawl space, but the cubby keeps the food at a cooler, more stable temp year ’round, so I am learning to appreciate the storage space I have. Closer to the kitchen would be nice, but keeping the food temp stable is a huge perk.

  16. When I was a girl, my mother always had a large stockpile. She taught me to look at the weekly ads and buy several of whatever was on super good sale, not just the amount you needed for your recipe. This would be a good way to start out getting a stockpile.I continued this practice for many years–shopping every week according to the ads. Now, I shop much less frequently. I buy in bulk at a low price. My husband raises pigs for pork. He raises more than we need and sells the rest, and with the profit, completely pays for our pig, plus the cut and wrap and slaughter fee for ours. We are not ready to butcher pigs ourselves. Before he did that, I would just buy several packages on sale when it was inexpensive. When chickens are cheap, I buy at least 3.I would strongly encourage you to can and freeze food. You probably have a county extension office you could call for canning information. Around here (Oregon), they offer canning classes each summer, including pressure cooker classes. I grow a huge garden to get the food from. I also gladly go to others’ gardens and take what they have left over. We also frequent fruit and produce stands in the summer for rock bottom prices on local produce. I buy pears and apples for applesauce there. I also have a sister who has a peach orchard. We can have all we want in a good year, but she graciously allows us to take some even in bad years. The next good crop they have, I plan to can 200 quarts, since peaches are our favorite. This last year, I got 100 quarts, just by going from tree to tree and taking the leftovers no one picked. It doesn’t bother me if they are ugly. The key with getting fruit and veggies from others is to be willing to drop everything and head on over there, whenever the person says to come. When things are ripe, they won’t wait for my schedule. One day I picked my corn. I was getting ready to freeze it. My sister called in the middle of the process and said she had just checked her corn and it was ready to process. Now. So, I drove 30 minutes, picked it all, came home and processed. We got 25 pints frozen from ours and 27 pints canned from hers. I was up until midnight, my husband kindly stayed up until 1 finishing. I had to work the next day. It was tiring. BUT, we got double the corn we would have. (I have to give her credit–this was her leftover corn–it was all my garden grew:)) We have old shelves that were salvaged from a local store. They were from the cigarettes, so have labels of cigarette brands on them. (Ugly). But, who cares because they are all filled with food. I try to organize them in spring and fall.My home-canned food is in the basement, out of the light and heat variances.Before I plan meals, I see what I have. I choose ways to use home preserved food, things off the shelf, freezer, etc. FIRST. Then I might buy a few things to fill in, i.e. celery. If I notice anything getting low (only a couple of cans left, etc.) I put it on a list. Then I watch for that on sale. When I find one, I often buy 5-10 cans or boxes or even a case. If cheese comes on at rock bottom prices, I buy several bricks. They store a long time in the fridge drawer.I keep a detailed list of all my canning and freezing. At the beginning of every summer, I count what I have of each item. Then, as I can throught the season, I mark down how many I canned or froze of each item. I mark the sealed lids or cartons with the date and we use the oldest stuff first. That gives me an idea of how many we ate last year of that item, and how many I should can or freeze this year. I always can/freeze more than I need in case there is a crop failure.I know we eat beans about 2 X a week. So, I always take what I have left over, and then figure out how many more I need to make 100. That is now my goal for the year’s supply. If the bean bushes grow more than that, I do a few to have as extras. Then, I may offer them to friends. (O course,we eat as many as we can fresh)

  17. You have had some good replies, but I have something to add to the other ideas. When we were first married, our budget was extremely tight. I had it down to a science so I could feed us on it, but there really wasn’t any extra. However, once a month we spent the weekend with my in-laws. I still bought the food for those days, and that extra food went into storage. Or if there was a church dinner, the food we would have eaten at home went into storage. By doing that, it freed up enough budget to buy extra of what was on sale. A couple of times my husband bought extra four or beans or rice. And I canned anything I could get my hands on. My in-laws grew a large garden, so when we would visit them, I would can whatever was ripe that weekend. As soon as we had a place for one, we grew our own garden, too. Growing your own fruits and vegetables makes a huge difference in the budget. But my point is that when you do a little bit, that snowballs, and you can keep adding more and more to your shelves.

  18. We are working on organizing our food storage in the basement. I showed your pictures to my husband so he understood what I wanted 🙂 So others know, we found shelves with a lip on them at Menards. They are the Muscle Rack 5000 series. The other types of Muscle Rack shelves do not flip to get the lip, but this one does. Each shelf is 24 inches by 48 inches and holds 1000 pounds. The whole rack is 72 inches high. We bought the shelf last night and it was very easy to put together. We will wait for a sale and buy more.

  19. I LOVE the photos of your wonderful pantry! I’m trying to plan the one we’re building in our basement, and I think it’s not a good use of the space I have, so I wonder things like: How big is the room you have? How big are the shelves? and How much walking space did you leave between them? Thank you for the inspiration!

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