Pantry Inventory

If I thought the contents of my freezers was embarrassing, I really can NOT believe I’m about to show you my pantry.


Makeshift pantry in kitchen, minus top shelf where the REAL mess is.

Aside from the humiliation, cleaning out and organizing my make-shift pantries (yes, I have two) felt so good!  Hopefully I’ll remember that and keep them clean and organized.

Basement “out of sight, out of mind” pantry.  Perhaps I should move the green beans upstairs, and bring some more candy down here?

Here goes.  I’m finding it rather difficult to categorize these items, so bear with me.

Snack Foods for Ballgames and Road Trips and Hunting Expeditions

  • 2 1 bag Chex Mix
  • 11 9 granola bars (3 partial boxes)
  • 3 2 packages Keebler cookies (Found these for free and couldn’t resist the nostalgic fudge stripe.  My grandma always had those available at her house.)
  • Christmas tin of butter cookies – (A gift.  Surely there’s a dessert recipe that uses these as a crust or topping?  Anyone?!)
  • 12 bottles Gerber juice
  • 2 pkg. granola nut clusters
  • 1 box Crackerfuls
  • 2 cans Pringles

Canned/Jar Goods

  • 9 3 cans green beans
  • 1 Beefaroni (Blech!  Donating this free item to the food pantry.)
  • 2 cans Chunky Soup (Just in case I’m incapacitated and hubby has to make supper.)
  • 2 cans chicken noodle soup (Again.  Emergency.)
  • jar jalapeno jelly (Thanks, Phoebe!)
  • jar corn cob jelly (Thanks again, Phoebe!)
  • 3 2 cans chili beans
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 2 1 can pie filling
  • 2 1 cans evaporated milk
  • 3 1 jar applesauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 jar salsa

Baking Supplies

  • 1/2 gallon vinegar (baking… cleaning…)
  • 1/2 box dry milk powder (I honestly don’t remember when I used this last.)
  • 10 5 lb. unbleached flour
  • 5 lb. whole wheat flour
  • 1 container whole grain oats
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • box of Penzy’s baking spices (Thanks, Kate!)
  • 1 bag brown sugar
  • 1 bag powdered sugar
  • 5 3 boxes jello (Used 2 to make strawberry pretzel dessert.)
  • 2 lb. baking soda
  • 1 lb. baking cocoa
  • pectin mix
  • 1 chocolate chunk brownie mix (Couldn’t help myself.)
  • 3 cake mixes (How else am I going to make my favorite Skor Cake?)
  • 1 pkg. sugar cookie mix (donate to food pantry)
  • 1 can chocolate frosting (donate to food pantry)
  • 3 Betty Crocker Warm Delights (donate to food pantry, unless my hubby sees them first)
  • cinnamon
  • poppy seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • 4 partial sets of sugar sprinkles (the ones that didn’t end up on our floor a few weeks ago during our sugar cookie fest)

Misc. Food/Snacks/Condiments

  • 10 5 lb. bag potatoes (+ 2 stragglers)
  • 1/2 box whole wheat spaghetti (My family can’t tell the difference!)
  • 1/2 bag popcorn
  • 2 c. wide egg noodles
  • 2 pkg. tuna
  • 2 c. chow mein noodles
  • 1/4 box All Bran
  • 8 4 boxes cereal
  • roasted pumpkin seeds (tossed them; either I did something wrong or we just don’t like pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 box + 1 sleeve Ritz crackers
  • 1 1/2 bag pretzels (Used some to make strawberry pretzel dessert.)
  • 1 pkg. noodle soup mix
  • 1/2 jar natural peanut butter (an easy switch from the hydrogenated stuff!)
  • 2 bottles barbecue sauce
  • partial bag 10-grain cereal
  • ice cream cone cups
  • tons of peanuts in shells (from Tiny Town Christmas parades)
  • horseradish mustard
  • bottle of Vidalia Onion Vinegarette Dressing (Um, this expired in 9/01 — Yes, I tossed it.)

Junk (because there’s just no other way to say it)

  • 1 bottle A&W Cream Soda (that I bought years ago by mistake; think it’s still good?!)
  • shoebox full of old Halloween candy (seriously.  tossed that)
  • 1 box Twinkies (Won these.  My kids had NEVER had a twinkie — that I’m aware of — until I got my “prize” a few months ago.)
  • Ridiculous amounts of Halloween/Easter(yes!)/Parade candy (much of it pitched)

Other Bits of Randomness

  • jar of colored pasta for kids’ art projects
  • 2 packets Spark Energy Drink
  • partial box of Lipton iced tea bags
  • Fulfill fitness drink mix
  • Gatorade drink mix (like to have this on hand in case we get the pukes)
  • 1/2 bag dried cherries
  • 1/2 bag apple chips
  • sample granola nut clusters
  • 1 pkg. Kashi instant oatmeal

And there you have it.  Total unorganized hodgepodge.  BUT — I have since organized.  Wanna see?

Since I tend to let projects pile up and go undone, it felt so good to inventory and organize my freezers and my pantries!  We cleaned out our refrigerators before Christmas, so I’m not going to give you the full inventory there.  I do have 15 pounds of Granny Smith apples and several (7 maybe?) blocks of cream cheese at the ready.  Other than that, pretty typical refrigerator stuff.  Eggs, milk, cheese, fresh fruits and veggies, condiments, etc.

My next step in the Eat from the Pantry challenge is to create a month-long menu plan primarily based on what I already have. Yikes!  I regularly plan weekly meals, but a whole month?!  Will you help me?

If you would be so kind as to peruse my freezers and my pantries and help me come up with some meals to sustain us for the month, I would much appreciate it! I’d be happy to link to your recipes, too, in my monthly plan and as I use them.  I’ve already used up a few things in my freezer and will try to update that list throughout the month.

How is your Eat From the Pantry planning coming along?

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  1. I see all the makings for a great big pot of Chili! I use hamburger, tomato sauce, beans, onions, and water. All you need is some chili seasoning. Chili might even cover two meals!

  2. I have a question… if you eat out of your pantry for a month (which is probably a good idea), won’t you deplete your stores so badly that you need to spend a lot of money building them back up? Just curious.

    • Oh, gosh! I need to do a post, I guess, on “how” I’m doing the pantry challenge. I have no intentions of depleting my pantry or freezer. (Don’t think I could deplete my freezers if I tried!) I’m just focusing on getting organized (check!) and making use of what I have so that I’m not staring at things like 44 cups of shredded zucchini next summer when I have even more zucchini multiplying in my garden. Thanks for asking, and thanks for the post idea. 🙂 I’m sure the pantry challenge is going to look different for everyone.

  3. I’m enjoying following along with your challenge! Isn’t it amazing what we can CRAM into a space?!

    I’m feeling like I want to join in but I’ve got some organization projects of my own going on…a few key areas in my house. I need to get those done first…then maybe I’ll have a little energy left over to do some inventories! I’ll peruse your lists again and see what recipes I can pitch in later tonight!

    Thanks for sharing!

    (If it makes you feel any better…I took some “before” photos of crazy unorganized areas in my home this morning. I can’t believe I’m going to post them on the internet!)

  4. Good job Amy! That was quite a task to get everything organized and listed. Wow!

    It’s going to be a fun challenge! I’m planning my first grocery trip!

  5. Just an FYI regarding the 7 blocks of cream cheese – Did you know you can freeze cream cheese? Yep. I’ve done it several times in the last few months. One caveat – I only use cream cheese in baking & dips. I’ve never used it just straight, like on a bagel, so I have no idea if the texture would hold up to freezing for that kind of use.

    • Yes. I’ve frozen it before, and it does change texture. Since I have two refrigerators I don’t mind keeping it if I can use it up by the expiration date. Otherwise, to the freezer it goes!

  6. I just found your website (by way of MoneySavingMom) a couple weeks ago and love it! We’re being forced into pantry shopping around here, by the weather. We’re not necessarily snowed-in, but the driveway is long, uphill, and covered in more snow and ice than hubby needed to tackle on a lazy Sat. We’re pretty depleated after Christmasing and hosting my parents for 4 days, but I think we’ll manage for a few days (after picking up some milk and eggs tomorrow after church). Thank goodness for a few random pantry items on lazy winter days!
    By the way, my pantry is a make-shift utility shelving unit in the basement laundry room. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to clear out a couple cabinets in our tiny kitchen spaces so I can fix a meal or bake without constant trips up and down the stairs.
    Nice to “meet” you!

  7. Taking this challenge has shown me what an enormous amount of food we have in our house. It’s sad that I had no idea we had this much.

    And it felt so weird for me to post my photos, too! However, I now have a nicely scrubbed fridge because of the whole inventory process!

  8. TomBilliodeaux says:

    Developing IPhone scan to record your in/out pantry movements of items.
    No longer having to enter /scratch out, renumber on paper pads that generally don’t get updated.

    Same for Freezer/refrig items. Don’t need to keep inventory on Refrig items UNTIL you are using last of item and removing or adding new items.

  9. TomBilliodeaux says:

    update on Digital Pantry Inventory:
    IPhone will have data file that is shareable with your friends/relatives.
    Want to check if mom has some Thyme Seasoning? Don’t really need a whole jar that will last 5 years. Check moms inventory list on YOUR Iphone.

    let me know if your interested.

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