Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Master Pantry List

The Pantry by Consuelo Gamboa
The Pantry

I have been re-reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette (bought at the thrift store of course) and Terri's post about shopping based on the pantry principle and I am thinking about changing the way I shop for groceries.

Basically the pantry principle means buying what's on sale, keeping certain things on hand at all times, and making menus based on what's in the pantry. You shop to replenish the pantry rather than to buy ingredients for specific meals.

I generally plan my menu based on what's on sale (and based on ingredients that are everyday bargains), but I shop for one week at a time and only buy what's on my list.

We get paid once a month, so even though I shop weekly, my food budget is figured monthly and then I just divide it by the number of weeks I will be shopping. I'm thinking it would be better to have the whole month in view rather than a week at a time. I can buy larger quantities that way and maybe even have one huge grocery shopping trip a month with smaller weekly trips to pick up perishables.

I am currently working on a master list of all the things I would need to keep on hand to make the majority of our favorite meals. I have my grocery lists and menus for the past 5 weeks and I am going from that. Once I have the list complete I can just make copies and check off the things I need instead of making a new list each time.

Do any of you shop based on the pantry principle? Do you have any tips for me?


Thena said...

This is a link to a blog I read earlier today about a pantry list. Not sure if this is what you are looking for.

Traci said...

I love The Complete Tightwad Gazette...I read it over and over and over just to keep in perspective!!! I don't really look at what is on sale for some reason....I have a rotating menu that I use and I buy and freeze when I do happen to see it on sale...and use it when I plan that meal.

I do like making my own mixes...such as the taco seasoning, etc.....

Leslie said...

I was just thinking about this same thing today. I have really cut back in the grocery store over the last year, but I still feel like I can do better. Keep us posted on what you come up with! Sorry I can't help, I'm kind of in the same boat.

momstheword said...

I pretty much buy to restock my pantry. I try to buy at the lowest rock-bottom price and then I stock up.

Once I bought 30 boxes of cold cereal becaue it was on sale.

If a fruit or vegie is not in season I don't usually buy it. For instance, I don't buy grapes unless they're .98 cents a pound. We just do without them until they're in season and cheap.

You have to pay attention to the sales, rotate your stock, and make sure you don't overbuy. It is so easy to find good sales and want to buy more than you need. That's o.k. if you'll eat it and have room. But if it goes to waste than you've just wasted your money.

I keep a pricebook to keep track of everything.

Terri said...

I love that book! Of course, I don't think I'd go as far as dumpster diving though. ;-)

As I mentioned on my blog, I buy the same basics and then base my menus around what's in my pantry. However, there are times that I'll plan a special meal and will shop for those items. However, I find that when I do that, I almost spend as much for one meal as I did on a week's worth of groceries!

Vintage Angel said...

As a single person it's easier to meal plan and only buy what I need. Stocking up would be a waste, especially since for fruit and veg you'll need to go every week anyway.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Yes, that is exactly how I buy food. I just re-read her book recently (and the 3rd volume for the first time).

I've been writing about Deepening the Pantry after getting so many e-mails for further information. I think a lot of people are now seeing the wisdom in it. :)

Tina said...

I love the Tightwad Gazette! I read the copy the local library had, since I havent been able to find a copy. I used to do the whole pantry cooking thing, only buying things that were on sale AND I had a coupon for. Lately tho, i've been trying to eat alot more fresh produce. I've fallen in love with the Fresh and Easy food chain. They have expiration dates on EVERYTHING and every morning when they open they mark everything that is going to expire the next day down by HALF. I buy what I can and stick it in my freezer (Hamburger buns and bread for $.35, 7 chicken breasts for $1.25, etc..)

{ jamie } said...

Haven't ever read that, but I may need to look for it. Trying to get more ideas for saving money, but also for just plain better planning for meals (more than 2 hours before supppertime!).

~~Deby said...

I am trying to do a pantry stocking thing....right now, my goal is to have 30 days of food...you know in case of disaster etc..stuff we could eat right out of the can IF we had too...
I too love the Tightwad Gazette

Anonymous said...

The lady at this blog: http://www.housewifery.com/ posted a pantry list not so long ago. 2nd post down.

Haven't viewed it myself, as I just do a monthly shop anyway, but might be useful.