So, I’ve been taking a long, hard look at my Pantry Principle posts up til now, and I’m forced to admit that they fail on a couple of counts.
- They aren’t funny. Oh sure, they’re jammed full of knowledge, but I think we can all agree that edutainment is my preferred modus operandi.
- They are way too long. I realized this when I mentally zoned out while re-reading my own flippin’ post.
There’s no point in any of us being here if we aren’t having fun and learning something, and when I don’t even care for the sound of my own voice, well, something drastic needs to happen. Toward that end, I scrutinized my intended post for today and decided to break it up into 6 posts. Yes, six – I’m a wordy Fat Girl. As we go along, I’ll update each post with links to the others. This should (hopefully) make them short, sweet, useful, amusing, and less of an ordeal to read/write. A win win win win win/win?
Better than they have been, at least.
Over the upcoming weeks, I’m going to be specifically addressing building your own pantry, from scratch. Luckily, these basics will also help those of us with existing pantries, since pantries (by their very nature) should always be evolving. Look forward to dissertations short and meaningful posts on the following:
- Analyzing Your Space (and some helpful hints at finding/utilizing odd crannies) – This is literally, and necessarily, the very first step. The space you have to work with, and the conditions it presents, directly impact every other decision you’ll have to make about stocking it intelligently.
- Discovering What You ACTUALLY Eat (so you can stock stuff you like and know how to use) – A classic rookie mistake (that I made HUGELY) is shelling out big bucks for pantry-sounding stuff like ‘dehydrated apple slices’ or ‘whole wheat berries’, which you then proceed to never touch. Until the most dire of emergencies. At which point you realize that, while this crap may indeed have nutritional value, you have absolutely no idea how to make anything even remotely edible with it. This is usually compounded by the fact that you’ll also not bother to store even one extra bottle of, say, ketchup or ranch dressing, which are legendary for their ability to rescue inedible messes. Yeah.
- Determining Your Budget (so you don’t CAUSE an unforeseen emergency by PREPARING for an unforeseen emergency) – It’s possible to build and maintain a pantry on less than $10 a month. I’ll focus here on describing scalable purchasing, and some basic financy-type budgeting-crap, too.
- Sales Cycles & You (so you can buy more and spend less, or, Extreme Couponing for Real People with Lives that Don’t Revolve Around Coupons) – Not that long ago, I used to consider any grocery trip where I paid more than the bottom of the receipt reported I’d saved during that same trip a loss. I’m more realistic now, but the basics are useful enough that I’ve drilled them into Fat Hubby’s head. You should devote a few brain cells to the matter, too.
- Building Your Pantry Evenly (or, Facing the Zombie Apocalypse with Nothing but 48 Cases of Green Beans Will Suck) – I’ve got a fairly developed sense of OCD, so I understand the need desire to finish stocking your year’s supply of, let's say, green beans, before moving on to stocking up on, oh, bacon. Unfortunately, life’s one giant game of Starcraft. That means that you’re way better off building your pantry in such a way so that if you had to rely on it exclusively as of, hmm, tomorrow, you won’t die of malnutrition with 32 cases of green beans left (and thereby confuse the devil out of archeologists 5,000 years from now).
- FIFO (or, as I’ve always called it, LILO, though apparently I’m the only one) – While a simple concept in theory, like most simple things, the application of ‘First In, First Out' (or 'Last In, Last Out' if you live in FatGirlTopia) can be incredibly tedious/mind-numbing/temper-tantrum-inducing, especially for the n00b. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be, and in a well-built-and-maintained pantry, it’s actually quite a bit easier than doing it any other way.