You know you’re a grown up when…you have a well-stocked pantry

Confession time: We bought breakfast on Saturday. Not to splurge, but because there was literally no breakfasty food in the house. (There wasn’t a hell of a lot of any other kind of food in the pantry, either.)

This hasn’t happened too much lately, but it definitely happens more than it should. Groceries aren’t cheap, and our budget allows us to shop for a week at a time and no more.

We don’t have the cupboard space or money to stockpile items, but I’m starting to think it might be worth cutting back on a week of saving to stock up on a few things like canned veges, sauces, oil, and pasta. Bread could be frozen (eliminating the no-breakfast dilemma, assuming we keep our spreads stocked up as well), and so could milk (although T would no doubt still tear through it, eliminating the purpose entirely). He tends to use things up if they’re there, so that’s something we’d have to watch, too – building up a pantry is great, but not if it only results in swelling the weekly spend.

What other non-perishables – that don’t take up too much room – do you keep on hand?

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9 thoughts on “You know you’re a grown up when…you have a well-stocked pantry

  • Reply Melissa July 1, 2010 at 05:53

    We also do the week-by-week shopping, and I can completely relate to what you’re saying here.

    Our trick is to always have a few fall back staples. This is mainly pasta, because it’s versatile. With sauce, with veggies, with butter and parmesan–you can do a lot with a little. But we also always have rice, soup and oatmeal.

    If breakfast is routinely a problem, I’d suggest pre-mixed pancake/waffle boxes. It sounds blasphemous, I agree, but it’s solved our brekkie woes in a pinch.

  • Reply Kara July 1, 2010 at 06:55

    We also grocery shop once a week, usually for the perishable stuff like milk and produce. Otherwise, we buy in bulk and freeze stuff. We buy ground beef and chicken at Costco and freeze it and we stock up on a lot of canned soup, tomatoes and “just add water & meat” dinners in a box for days when we either a) Don’t feel like cooking, or B) Have nothing in the house. And we freeze our bread too. It just goes bad if we don’t!

    I swear by buying in bulk! Costco is my favourite place!

  • Reply Fig July 1, 2010 at 09:07

    I grocery shop once a week too. I buy the perishable stuff each week and I also add to the collection of stuff that can be kept for a long while – anything frozen. I keep frozen waffles around for breakfast in case I don’t feel like making anything. And then since I eat a lot of vegetarian meals (healthier and cheaper) I keep a lot of canned beans and pastas. Definitely try keeping bread frozen, or at least in the fridge. You can always heat it up. 😉

  • Reply Carrie July 1, 2010 at 13:26

    i pretty much always have a couple extras of cereal, pasta, and sauce. with those i’m covered for every meal, they’re pretty cheap, and they keep well.

  • Reply The simple math of grilled cheese « i has good grammar July 1, 2010 at 13:45

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  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair July 1, 2010 at 14:36

    I stock up on canned items and things about ever 1.5-2 months. For just me, this usually runs me about $100, when Eric was here also it was closer to $200-$300 as he eats a lot more canned/processed things than I do. Then I spend anywhere from $30-50 a week on fresh produce. It works well for me!

  • Reply Benjamin Bankruptcy July 1, 2010 at 14:45

    It’s not as simple as it sounds though. Most Aussies, I assume it’s similar in NZ, though out 25% of the food they buy. You might not but maybe it’s actually cheaper to keep understocked and eat a little bit of take away. Staples like, flour, rice, pasta, skim milk powder, don’t go off so they can hang around for ever.

    Personally I think it’s better to run understocked.

    • Reply eemusings July 1, 2010 at 14:48

      Guess that makes us unique – we pretty much NEVER throw anything away!

      The exception being the odd bit of produce that we don’t finish before it goes off. We cut it pretty close to the edge, eating everything we buy in a week.

  • Reply Veronica July 1, 2010 at 22:15

    I like to keep cans of tuna, and boxes of pasta (especially the kind that only requires water to make it.) I also like to keep stocked up on cans of fruit. They are great in a pinch when you are hungry but don’t want a full meal… and generally awesome when you want that sweet snack.

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