Nina’s Tips & Techniques: Stocking Your Pantry

I’m nervous to stock up my pantry because I don’t want stuff to just sit there and go bad. I feel like when I do a pantry clean-out I end up throwing so much stuff away. How do I keep a stocked pantry and not waste?

Pantry stocking is all about keeping a healthy stock of common ingredients in quantities that correspond to how often you use them. Bulking up too much on items you rarely use will lead to waste. I’m guilty of this too! When I go to purchase pantry items, I sometimes over-buy thinking, “I’m sure I’ll use this. And I don’t want to run out!” Here’s a great tip to understand how much you actually use: get a clip board and hang it in your pantry. List your top 20 most commonly used ingredients. Every time you use one of them, write the date and the quantity used. After a month evaluate your usage for each item. If you use bulk containers for your staples you can do the same thing with blank  labels stuck right on the jars.

What do you keep in YOUR pantry? I want the Chef’s secrets…

Also, I consider my fridge part of my pantry! You need some fresh ingredients on hand to make food tasty!