This post is in conjunction with the Podcast #17 on Homestead Journey. On this episode, I had so much fun chatting about all things pantry and kitchen. More specifically, holiday organization. How and what I purchase and stock up on, and why I focus on certain ingredients, as well as where I source from.
My kitchen is a workhorse. I make 95% of our meals from scratch. We eat out once, possibly twice a month. Other than that, the food that nourishes my family all comes from these two hands typing this up, and the ingredients and items within my kitchen. Because of this, I stock up on lots of necessities like flour, sugar, salt, etc. If you don’t use your kitchen as much, then realistically, you may not need to keep the volume I do on hand. However, I do think that we all should have several meal staples in our pantries in case of issues with supply chains, stores being out of stock, and for emergencies.
Favorite places to shop:
Costco – They have a lot of organic and clean ingredient items at a great cost that you can purchase in bulk. Side note: I’ve tried Sam’s club, and was very disappointed in their organic selection. They basically don’t have one. Our Costco is an hour and a half away, but for me, it’s completely worth the drive once a month to stock up on my favorite items, from food to laundry detergent, they have a wonderful selection.
Azure Standard: This is such a great option that everyone can take advantage of. They have pick up locations all over the US. And if you don’t have one close, you can sign up to run the drop off area. They have basically everything you could imagine from low ingredient to organic products. I love to get my dry goods from them like 50 pound bags of flour, noodles, and also items like organic butter, cream cheese, you name it. I sat down when I first started using them and priced their items compared to Kroger and Costco, and found what I should purchase from where based on prices and quality.
Local famers markets: Most farmers markets end around September/October. However, once you get to know your farmers and have their info, they will likely continue to sell to you all year long.
Kroger: This is my go-to day to day shopping place for fresh fruits and veggies, and smaller items I need to complete a meal. They have a decent organic selection, and though they’re not as good as Fred Meyer back home, it’s my favorite local place to shop when I’m in a pinch or need to stock up on perishable items.
Things to work up to:
I always recommend having a chest freezer and even a secondary fridge if possible. (We keep ours in the shop) This is a great way to have space for meat when you find a deal and want to stock up, or if you purchase a half cow or pig. You can also freeze flour for up to three months, as well as butter, tortillas, cheese, you name it. I also recommend having a generator just in case you get a power outage to protect all your cold food. These are things to slowly work up to and keep an eye out for on Facebook Marketplace and at ding and dent centers. They don’t have to be pretty, they just have to work!
5 gallon storage bucket and lid
This system is great to keep a good amount of flour or other baking items in your home, while keeping the bugs out! I have two of these full of flour in the pantry. That’s about 50 pounds of flour I like to keep on hand at any one time. That amount will last our family for about 2-3 months with all the breads, biscuits, cookies, and other items I make.
This spin top sealing lid fits the bucket that is listed directly below.
This is a 5 gallon bucket, and fits about 25 pounds of flour.
There are so many different kinds of spice containers you can purchase, but after years of playing around with them, I always find myself going back to mason jars. They stack well, and hold a lot. I use both the quart and pint jars to hold spices, lentils, raisins, and dried goods.
I’ll use the pint jars for spices like nutmeg, paprika, and such. And for spices I go through a lot I’ll use the quart jars. In those I keep parsley, garlic salt, basil, sage, the real workers in my kitchen meals.
This table maker needs no batteries, and is so easy and adorable. I have two.
Like I stated in the podcast, I love this for farm fresh eggs. If I purchase eggs from the store, I’m aware the “bloom” has been cleaned off the shell, and thus, is open to bacteria. Because of that, I keep those in the fridge.
For the fridge I love this storage container:
I use these for larger items like brown sugar, pasta noodles, popcorn, oats, etc.
I hope this, along with the podcast, gives you inspiration and tangible ways to make your kitchen and pantry more efficient, for holiday organization and beyond, and thus, make your time in the kitchen enjoyable. We’re going to be in there cooking if we like it or not, we might as well try to make the space as streamline and easy to work in as possible.
Make sure you’re following along on Instagram where I share what’s happening daily in real time! And if you want to beautify your kitchen and make it more cozy and fun to be in, check out this post where I share my favorite kitchen items!