Creating a capsule pantry
For the past ten years, I have been making a conscious effort to reduce the stuff in my house and live a more intentional life. One major area for me has always been the pantry. I used to have a big pantry full of food and yet I still struggled to decide on a menu for the week.
It was like standing in front of an overstuffed closet unable to pick out anything to wear!
I spent a large part of my childhood on a dairy farm. OK there were a lot more people to feed but the pantry was about the size of my current kitchen: 20 feet long, 10 feet wide, ringed with shelves with a wide shelf in the middle. In the adjoining room where two HUGE chest freezers and an upright, plus two fridges and more shelves.
HOWEVER almost all of the food was produced on the farm. Veg and fruit were canned, meat, butter, etc., were frozen. Milk was always on tap. Literally...the barn with 70 cows in it was a short walk away!! The farm pantry would be bursting at the seams by this time of year but it would be empty by spring when the new veg began to be harvested. This was remote Scotland where it can be challenging to get to the store for weeks on end in winter. It was necessary to live like this.
BUT I now live in New Jersey. I'm 40 minutes from the center of Philadelphia, and 2 hours from NYC, I have two grocery stores within a few minutes’ walk. It's so totally NOT remote here. But I grew up with the need to be a squirrel this time of year and it's a hard mindset to break.
The picture here is my current pantry (for two people). It's what I've lived with all year. It was totally scary to start with. I envisioned major hunger pangs constantly from the lack of food!
But what I've discovered is, what looks like a minuscule amount of food is still plenty to get me through even when the week is too busy to go grocery shopping. All of the food in my pantry has a purpose and I know what that purpose is. Plus, I can see the wood for the trees now so whipping up a quick dinner is a lot easier. And I still have enough food to make it through a big storm without a panicked run to the grocery store for bread and milk!
It still amazes me when I look at how little food I keep in the house but yet putting dinner on the table is so much easier. I guess I created a capsule pantry!!
If you want to create a pantry that works for you instead of overwhelming you every time you open the door then click here to get my free guide: 10 things you can do today to get control of the kitchen.
Step one is to commit to eating up the food you already have. I used to do this for a week at a time. It became a fun game that my kids got involved in. Standing in the pantry I would create meal kits (like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron only free because I already had the food!). For the whole week we had to eat food already in the house. Download the guide for the other 9 steps you can use to go from nothing to eat in a house full of food to become CEO of the kitchen!
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