One of the first steps to creating a stocked pantry is to store only items that you use in your everyday cooking. With the right pantry staples you can easily cook up a pot of Red Beans and Rice or a Puttanesca Sauce with ease, no refrigerated goods needed. The bottom line is that a well-stocked pantry needs to include the items YOU use for your cooking style.
When I finally cleaned out my own pantry I threw or gave away a lot of specialty items I had picked up in places like TJ Maxx, Cost Plus, etc thinking one day I might use them in a special dish.
As long as my pantry is stocked properly all I need to do is make a quick stop at the grocery store and pick up a piece of meat or fish and a couple veggies. I generally prepare simple meals, lots of pasta , rice and fish dishes. With the ingredients kept in my pantry I can pretty easily whip up a honey mustard sauce for chicken or simple vinaigrette. I mostly prefer foods on the lighter side except during Fall/Winter when nothing beats chicken and dumplings, chili or a nice pot roast.
An organized and well-stocked pantry is not only efficient it also helps you save money and avoiding waste. The tray next to my stove is a countertop pantry and reserved for the oils, balsamic vinegar, salts, and various dried herbs and spices I use most often.
Pantry Organization Tips
Keeping a smaller pantry can be difficult so organization is key.
Use the back of the pantry door to store items you use often. Use an over the door shelf to make it easy and movable.
shop pantry door organizers
Another way to organize id you have deep pantry shelves is to use pull out drawers. I installed on the lower shelves of my pantry and it really made the space more useable.
Click on the link to check out my post on De-cluttering the Kitchen.