To get started with The Pantry Principle Project I’d suggest picking something from the list that you currently buy that is stored at room temperature. For instance, you could start with dried beans. You already buy a cup or two from the bulk bins at the food store. Try buying a couple of pounds and storing it in an airtight container. To expand on this, buy a few more containers and repeat with a different kind of bean. Next you could add rice to the mix. And a few extra cans of tomato in the cart. This should help you save some out of the weekly grocery budget. During this time cook out of your pantry. You probably already have a number of things in there that are not on your raw ingredient list, maybe not on your real food list, but your family is familiar with them. You can help get them used to the change by serving the old standbys mixed with new items made from your new pantry.
When you have a little saved up begin looking for a freezer on Craigslist. With the saving from the weeks following that purchase start building up some inexpensive meat cuts and bones in the freezer and learn to cook them with minimal waste. Now your weekly savings is becoming rather substantial! Take care that the savings remains budgeted for our project.
With this under your belt you can move on to some more intermediate type projects that take a little more extra money to get going. Things like buying your dairy locally, making your own fresh ground flour, and fermented foods. So to sum up:
Steps to get build a pantry
- Buy extra of what you already buy that is on the raw ingredients list. Make sure your choice doesn’t need to be frozen.
- Next, buy a freezer, used or new.
- Begin to stock the freezer with less expensive cuts of meat.
- With the savings you’ve accumulated pick an intermediate type project to begin according to your budget and preferences. This project could be:
- Find a local dairy farm and begin purchasing your dairy from them.
- Buy a grain grinder and begin making your own fresh flour.
- Buy a stand mixer. This will help with so many projects it’s hard to do without.
- Get a fermentation jar. You can do this with any regular jar but the ones designed for this are a big help.
- And lastly simply continue to choose intermediate projects to do as time and your budget permit.
Links to this series:
- Part 1 – How to save gobs of time cooking for your family.
- Part 2 – What you’ll need to get started: your initial investment and where to find space.
- Part 3 – What you’ll need for the raw ingredients for the recipes on this site.
- Part 4 – How to get the ball rolling within the budget you have to work with.
- Part 5 – How to maintain your pantry.