Pantry 2009: Thoughtful Pantry Planning

I wanted to put together some ideas and thoughts in regards to the importance of the home pantry.  I am continually amazed at farm life.  It has shown me out to be a spoiled softy who doesn’t know near enough about how to survive without a grocery store.  We are so “convenient” and “impatient” as a culture…can you imagine the chaos if the local store wasn’t open 24 / 7 to meet all our needs and wants.   
I love to read and I read a lot about amazing women who had their head on straight when it came to overseeing the needs of their family.  We recently spent some time reading about the Pilgrim women.  Think about how difficult your life would be if you were transported back in time and suddenly you were required to throw out the option of heading up to Kroger to pick up a few groceries for supper. 
I don’t intend on boycotting the grocery store or local market, however I am wanting to rethink how dependant we are on the 24 hour-get-whatever-you-need stores.   I’m talking about spreading some wings and taking control over some crucial areas of home management that have been lost in our convenience driven society. 
It is hard to imagine thinking about meal planning and food preparation 6 months or even a year out.  I am beginning to see a huge change in the way I view these topics.  I opened my freezer the other day to take a mental inventory of the meat stock I have.  I realized I need to quickly get some calves out on the field and be watchful over when and if our sheep are going to lamb again.   
I am encouraged to do some thoughtful pantry planning.   I am working on a 2009 pantry outline to use this year to help me build my home pantry store.  Here are some thoughts I wrote down:

  1. How much beef? pork? lamb? chicken?
  2. Compile a list and cost of grains, rice, beans, oats etc. 
  3. Compile a list of herbs and garden veggies.  Ideas.  Things I would like to focus on.  Gardening plot ideas.  Potted herbs and window pot ideas. 
  4. Compile ideas and pictures for expanding shelving and storage in the kitchen and laundry room.
  5. List of basic canned food needs. 
  6. Overall list of home pantry supplies we will be needing:  tissue paper, diapers, tooth brushes etc. 
  7. List of medicinal herbs to buy and grow. 
  8. Compile a list of hearty meals that I can make with ingredients stocked in my pantry – print recipes for notebook. 
  9. Print meal planner sheets for notebook.
  10. Keep a purchased when /cost recording sheet for recording when I bought certain items. 



  • Becky says:

    Hello Beth,
    Would you mind sharing the titles of the books you’ve read regarding Pilgrim women and pantry management?
    Thank you,

  • Carmen says:

    Great ideas! I am kind of an oddball…I hate to work outside yet I enjoy having a garden and reaping the benefits. I do, however, have a husband and mom (she lives with us) who love to work outside and 7 kiddos that love to help! So I guess it all balances out! I am in the process as well of getting ready for 2009…budget, garden, pantry planning, recipes, etc. Care to post some economical recipes for a large family? We love the “Vaughnsire Pancakes”! They ask for them by name!

  • BethTN says:

    We had a great Thanksgiving with some friends of ours…and we had a list of women and men that we were studying about before we went to Thanksgiving supper—the kids played a “Who am I” type game so we needed to study up on who was who… we googled a lot of their names for more information.

    Check out this link for some neat info about “Plimoth Food”

    There is Bradford’s account…. in the huge Of Plymouth Plantation which really is an amazing description of what they were doing, why and a journal of happenings. Also, in Memorable Women of the Puritan Times (2 volume series) although these books are not specifically about the pilgrims or homemaking—they highlight some amazing woman—One account of Mrs. Margaret Tindal Winthrop (wife to the first governor of the Mass. Bay Colony) –I intend on writing more about this woman soon and highlighting the her devotion to her husband in the beautiful letters she wrote.