A Full Pantry {Finer Things Friday}

A full pantry.  A full freezer.  We are fully blessed, and we have a bit of a mess.

Living where we do, in the Land of No Takeout or Grocery Stores, it’s important to be prepared.  Stocking up on the basics is essential to eating well in a Tiny Town, because we don’t have the time or desire to be driving 40 miles round trip for pasta sauce, and our neighbors only have so many cups of sugar to lend.

While a fully stocked pantry and freezer are certainly a blessing, an over-stuffed, unorganized pantry isn’t doing anyone any favors.  That’s why I was thrilled when Jessica asked about teaming up for a Summertime Pantry Challenge.  I’m in!

The beauty of this challenge is that there are no rules.  No guidelines.  Just a challenge to make good use of your current food stores.  Here’s what I plan on doing during July.

  • Take inventory of the deep freeze, both refrigerator freezers, and pantry.
  • Organize our food storage spaces for better functionality.
  • Clear space for the 1/4 cow and 1/2 hog we have coming our way.
  • Plan meals around what we already have lurking in our pantry and freezers.
  • Spend less at the store to make up for the meat expense.
  • Incorporate garden produce (our own and/or what friends and neighbors share) into our meals.

Nothing extreme.  I’m not banning myself from the store.  I’m not going to ask my family to smear peanut butter on pasta and call it lunch.  I just want to be more mindful of using what we already have before I rush out to snag the next best deal.  I want to organize our food blessings so nothing goes bad and goes to waste.

Fortunately for me, I’ve got a Pantry Challenge support group.  Want to join us?  Here’s where you can find everyone else:

We’ll be writing each week, cheering you on as you tackle your very own Pantry Challenge.

A full, neatly organized pantry?  That’s a Finer Thing! What Finer Things are you celebrating this week? Link up so we can join you!


  1. This is a great idea! My pantry is a mess.

  2. Amanda Y. says:

    I need this, but more in a no-spend way. But, i wanted to say I think you’re fortunate to live so far from things. We live in the city and it takes away motivation to eat at home when temptation is by the hundreds on every block! I notice when we go home to my family in PA, even when it’s awkwardly not my kitchen, it’s easier to want to eat at home compared to here, because there’s less convenience and temptation!

    • Yes! Sometimes it’s hard when I “need” something or like today, when we really do have to go to town twice, but I’m thrilled about the “inconvenience” and all the money it actually saves us. 🙂

  3. I think what you’re doing is a great idea! Also a good lesson for your kids. I live about 15 minutes away from our tiny town of 2 grocery stores. I always make sure I get a list of all the things I need on sale and I usually go up town about once a week. My hubby works in town so if I run out of milk or something I can always ask him to bring some with. We have two local pizza/takeout places and since we don’t do that very often, it’s always a treat when we do :).

  4. I love having a full freezer and a well-stocked pantry. Even though our grocery stores are much closer than yours, I save a lot of money by stocking up when items are on sale instead of running out for them if I were to run out. Today I’m celebrating a family outing to pick blueberries at a local farm. It was a first for everyone and we all had so much fun!

  5. Thanks for hosting, I’m cleaning out my freezer and pantry for vacation, determined to shop once eat for a week. That’s a great pantry challenge, don’t ya think?

  6. One other thing I’m in total agreement with, spending less at grocery store to make up for local meat expense. I’m participating in our first meat CSA and keeping our grocery bill down is a must, so I’m always looking to use what we have. I also freezer cook to bank future meals and spend less at the store. I’m checking out your links for other ideas, thanks:)

  7. I always feel like life is good when my freezer and pantry are well stocked! I make chicken and beef stock to have on hand all of the time too.
    Everybody needs to make sure to date any packaged food that you buy with a Sharpie so you know which to consume first. Years ago we moved several times within a couple of years and I kept seeing some of the same canned goods, so that’s when I started that practice.
    I shared my recipe for Strawberry Pudding today. This is a super healthy dessert and it is gluten free and dairy free if you don’t put the whipped cream on the top.
    Thanks for hosting!

    • That Sharpie is a great idea. I tell myself “Oh, I’ll remember what it is,” and then of course after something’s in the freezer for months I do NOT remember what it is…

  8. Can’t wait to get started, working on 5 ingredient cookies and banana bread tonight 🙂


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