Maintaining a family can be hard. A huge element of raising kids and supporting your family is food. We all need food to get through the day. It serves as our fuel. You want it to be healthy and nutritious. You want it to be energy packed and filling. But preparing food for your family, three times a day, every day, plus snacks. Can quickly become draining.
It can entail countless trips to the store, picking up essentials for each meal or snack you put together. But this doesn’t have to be the way. Sure, you can head to the store for the fresh items you need, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, but when it comes to other ingredients, you can actually stock up ahead of time, saving you endless trips and even saving yourself money over the years.
So, what can you do to stock up on family food supplies the right way? Here are some suggestions that can get the ball rolling for you.
Create Storage Space
Before getting started, it’s important to make sure that you have plenty of storage space for the food you’re about to stock up on. There’s no point buying a load of frozen goods if you only have a couple of drawers of freezer space. If you are trying to stick to storing food in your kitchen, consider larger fridge freezers with plenty of drawers and shelves. If you have a small cupboard near your kitchen, you could add shelves and convert this into a pantry, which will serve as a great space to store dried, jarred or tinned goods which require a cool, dark environment to stand the test of time. If you have a garage, you may want to go all out and browse some refrigerated cases manufacturers for large fridges or chest freezers.
When it comes to foods that can stand the test of time – tinned, jarred or frozen goods in particular – you may want to consider going to a wholesaler or warehouse club who can provide options in bulk for a much lower price. Before bulk buying, just make sure to check the dates on the items you’re considering investing in. Consider whether you will actually get through all of the things you’re buying before their expiry date or best before date. You may even want to consider working with other families to find deals that you can go halves on and share.
Foods to Consider
Of course, not all foods last all too well in storage. So, it’s important that you choose options that will last well and that you will enjoy, rather than leaving to go dusty in the corner of a pantry for years. Here are some suggestions.
Dried or Canned Beans
Beans and legumes are great sources of protein and fibre, as well as being suitable for making all sorts of dishes. From bean salads to plant based fajitas, dips, stews and more. They store for a long time when tinned, so stock up on plenty of every variety. Whether that’s black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans or anything else.
Rice and Grains
Rice and grains can form the carbs – and a substantial part – of any meal. There’s a good reason that rice is one of the most popularly, commonly and frequently eaten foods on this planet. Consider a range of rices (basmati, long grain, short grain, white, brown and more), as well as alternative grains such as quinoa, farro, barley and bulgur wheat.
Stocks and Broths
Nowadays, you don’t have to make your own stock and broths. Instead, they are widely available in cans, cartons, pouches, pastes and cubes. Stock up on plenty for your soups, stews and risottos.
Canned or Jarred Fish
If you’re looking for a protein kick that can stand the test of time while stored away, you may want to try out some canned or jarred varieties of fish. Packed with protein and omegas, these can prove a healthy addition to any meal that doesn’t go off as quickly as fresh fish options. Canned tuna and canned salmon tend to be some of the most popular options, but you may want to consider alternatives like tinned sardines or mackerel too.
Fresh vegetables turn bad quickly, but canned varieties of many can last much longer, while providing you with plenty of the same vitamins and minerals that their fresh counterparts do. Canned corn, peas, carrots, tomatoes and more are great additions to have on hand as and when you need them.
Is there anything in this world more comforting than a warm bowl of soup? Canned soups taste great and are so much faster to whip up than your own soups from scratch. They’re ideal when you want something fast, warming and filling.
Many of us eat pasta on a day to day basis, with it featuring in our meal plan at least once a week. It’s versatile. But perhaps even better, dried pasta really stands the test of time, ready for consumption months after you first bought it. Choose a variety of shapes and sizes to give options each and every time you head to the pantry.
Jarred Pasta Sauce
Make life even easier for yourself with a choice of jarred pasta sauces. Tomato, white sauce, with chilli, without chilli, with olives, without olives… the list of potential goes on. Stock up on a range of pasta sauces so you have the right sauce for the job no matter what dish you decide to try out.
Cooking Oil and Condiments
Never run out of oil or sauces. Make sure your oil and condiments cupboard is always well stocked. Vegetable oil, olive oil, ketchup, soy sauce, hot sauce… whatever you enjoy make sure you have plenty to choose from as and when you need it. You may also want to stock up on gravies.
Salt, Pepper, Spices
You can never have too many spices. Salt, pepper, chilli powder, chilli flakes, turmeric, five spice, basil, oregano… the list goes on and on. Whatever spices you use, make sure you have them in the cupboard at all times.
These are just a few pieces of advice and guidance that should help you to keep your cupboards well stocked at all times!