Pantry Organisation and Food Shopping

Over the past year or so I've slowly been building on a system where I can ensure those pantry staples are always in stock as well having a back up.  My first step was pulling everything out of the pantry, disposing of old products, wiping down shelves and repacking.  This alone took a while as I would change things if they didn't quite work.  Eventually I had the pantry sorted in a way which suits us and flows.  Baking items together on one shelf along with our daughter's supplies to make her own muesli.  Another shelf has cooking essentials such as oils, salt/pepper, pasta, canned and bottled items.  The very top shelf has items such as globes, batteries, matches which are sorted into boxes and labelled.  

This shelf is well used.

Over time I have slowly built up a stockpile cupboard which contains items we use on a regular basis.  Having everyday pantry items always available as well as a back up in the stockpile cupboard is a real lifesaver.  Nothing worse than being halfway through a cook only to realise that you've run out of an item.  This also eliminates those mad dashes to the shops which not only saves you time but also the temptation of walking out with other items too.

When thinking about items to store in your stockpile cupboard I found Rhonda's post on Homemade from the Cupboard very handy.

Once again I've found that our stockpile changed over time until I had it just right.  Sometimes I need to put something in place and then see how it works, make adjustments and eventually a system forms which works well.

Stockpile Cupboard

We also have a small stockpile section in the bathroom cupboard.

Another little system I have in place is a perpetual shopping list which I've laminated.  Everyone knows that if they remove an item from the stockpile cupboard they either let me know or tick that item on the shopping list.  That way it is replaced on the next shopping day and ensures we always have a supply.

Like anything a perpetual shopping list does take a little time to fine tune.  I'm actually going through the process of changing ours a little.  After using my initial list for a good six months or so I know which items to include and am actually trialing a new way of setting it out.  Previously I had it in order of the aisles as I walk through them.  I've just changed this and listed the items under headings such as:  baking, dry goods, freezer etc.  I will use this draft for a few weeks, make some changes if needed and then once ready I'll laminate it.  Once laminated we just tick items with a texta and I wipe it clean after the shopping.

Old list and new draft copy to try.

The night before shopping I look at our menu plan, have a quick walk around looking in the fridge/pantry/cupboards and tick other items we need.  We also have a chest freezer in the garage.  I have an up to date list pinned inside the pantry door of all the items in our chest freezer as well as the kitchen freezer.  We all keep these lists up to date.  I always refer to this list when organising our menu plan and also for the actual shopping list.

I buy general items from the supermarket however all of our fresh produce either comes from our own garden, our local fruit and veggie shop and the farmer's market.

Meat is purchased from my favourite butcher as well as the farmer's market.

A little stash from our local Farmer's Market this month.

Other items such as nuts, coconut products, nut flours plus other organic items are either purchased from our local organic shops or online.

As I have slowly been changing things over the years and becoming more and more organised I find that things compliment each other.  For example having a freezer list makes menu planning so much easier and this then flows onto the shopping list.  Knowing what meals and other items we have in the freezer, keeping our stockpile up to date and ticking items as we go means that by the time I actually need to complete the shopping list I have everything in front of me and know exactly what we need.

Having lists, up to date diary and menu plans makes everything flow so much better.  Planning and organising eliminates the need to rush out for last minute items or picking up take away on the way home which saves money, time, better for our health and it tastes so much better too.



  1. You sound very organised there, Kylie! My stockpile lives on one long shelf in my linen cupboard (which is close to my kitchen) plus I have a little set of drawers on casters in the bathroom for stuff like toothpaste etc. I like the idea of your laminated list too. Meg:)

  2. You are certainly very organised Kylie. Laminating lists is such a good idea. I did that with the Down to Earth forum ones years ago.

  3. So very organised Kylie! I have a stockpile cupboard too and I would love to get a second freezer, I never have enough feezer space! By the way, your sponge cake looked amazing.

  4. I love the idea of a laminated shopping list. It sounds like you are very thorough and organized with your grocery shopping. I love having a stockpile. Mine has really come in handy a couple of times. It's like a security blanket.

  5. Wow Kylie, can you please come and get my chest freezer, fridge, fridge freezer and pantry organised for me? LOL. Love your laminated list idea and might just give that a go if I can get motivated.

  6. Great organisation Kylie! I'm personally not sold on the idea of a stockpile. I once had a bit of a go at it, buying a 10 kg bag of rice, huge sacks of flour, and other items in large numbers. Storage was a problem, & I found having to decant heavy bags of rice and flour into smaller and more manageable containers a bit of a nuisance. So I'm currently not doing it. In scrutinising my cupboard, fridge and freezer I could get through a couple of weeks for example in the event of a natural disaster. I think just a small amount of back up food works better for my space, time, and lifestyle.


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