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Remember when I opened my fridge and shared everything inside? I’m doing it again. This time we’re going to take a tour of my real food pantry. In this video tour, I share how I organize my pantry and the essential real foods that I stock in my pantry to make multiple meals.
Technically, I don’t have a pantry. I have a coat closet turned pantry. When you live in Florida, you don’t need a coat closet (or a coat for roughly 360 days of the year). This means an under-the-stairs closet designed for coats is the perfect space for a walk-in pantry. You don’t need an actual pantry, unless your home includes a formal pantry. Find a space that works for you and use it. Whether that’s a coat closet or a random space in your kitchen.
My pantry isn’t organized like a pantry from a magazine or Pinterest or Instagram. While I love admiring those staged pantries–and most of them are staged–I’m all about organizing in a way that’s functional. That’s my end goal, with both my fridge and pantry (and my entire house for that matter). The goal isn’t picture-perfect. The goal is functional.
Let’s define a functional pantry…
- Organize food so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
- Stock ingredients/foods you actually use.
- Stock ingredients/foods that can be used in multiple ways, to build multiple meals.
- The pantry space is organized in a way that makes sense for you and the space you’re in.
Watch My Pantry Tour Video Below
Resources to Help You Stock Real Food in Your Pantry
When it comes to organizing my pantry, my goal is functionality. I like to sort my food by category, as mentioned in the video. To do this, I use shelves and baskets. For example: all baking goods go in one basket, grains go in another basket, pasta related ingredients go in another basket, snacky stuff like granola bars and fruit leather are stored in another bin.
The bins in my pantry are an assortment of baskets purchased specifically for my pantry and extra baskets I found around my home (or in the garage). When it comes to organizing any space, I’m a big fan of using what you have. There’s no need to spend extra money, unless you want to or don’t have anything available to repurpose.
I keep my flour (einkorn, spelt, and almond flour) and nuts/seeds in our second fridge (in the garage). This is a preventative to keep the flour and nuts and seeds from going rancid.
The Best Pantry Storage Containers
- Glass Air-Tight Canisters: great for storing pasta, crackers, sugar, beans, etc. The canisters are easy to open and air-tight, which means no bugs.
- Glass Storage Canisters: another great option for baking ingredients, sugar, chocolate chips, seeds, and nuts.
- Glass Storage Canisters: 1/2 gallon size or 1 gallon size not air-tight, I use these for flour and oats. I keep my flour in our second fridge. The wide mouth makes it super easy to scoop out flour and oats.
- Baskets for organizing
- MadeSmart Organizer: This is what I use to store school snacks, or travel snacks: granola bars, fruit leather, dried fruit, etc. This also works well for storing and organizing cans.
What to Stock in a Real Food Pantry: Use The Capsule Pantry Method
A capsule pantry is much like a capsule wardrobe; a term that you are probably familiar with. The capsule concept was created by Susie Faux, a London Boutique owner in the ’70s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items that work together and don’t go out of style (timeless).
A capsule pantry is an intentional way to simplify. A capsule pantry is made up of essential foods (ingredients). Foods that you love and use. Foods that can be used to create multiple meals. While most of us think of a pantry as just dry goods, this concept applies across the board to the fridge, freezer, and actual pantry (dry goods).
In a day when food products are constantly marketed to us (by online influencers, commercials, etc.), a capsule pantry keeps one focused on the essential, the important, the food/ingredients that actually have a purpose.
A capsule pantry simplifies not only your pantry space (goodbye ingredients that sit for years, just taking up space and not serving a purpose), but also simplifies planning and preparing meals. When you have a pantry that’s stocked with ingredients and foods you love and use, creating simple, nourishing meals is easy. A capsule pantry, to me, is essential for creating a simplified, ready-at-any-moment real food lifestyle. Read more about a capsule pantry.
What to Make with the Real Food in Your Pantry
I know it can be overwhelming to figure out what to make with all the ingredients stocked in a real food pantry. I’ve created a list of my favorite real food breakfast meals to make from the pantry in this post. And my favorite dinner meals to make with pantry ingredients in this post.
Download My Pantry Foods Checklist
I’ve created a printable of everything I stock in my pantry, including my fridge and freezer. Click here to download my pantry printable.