View Full Version : Pantry Staples
06-26-2003, 09:48 AM
What staples do you have that you MUST have? I am trying to make a list of things to buy with my food card to keep on hand in case times get lean again. Also, what is the storage time on these? Do I need to use or toss after 6 months?
Sugar/ Brown Sugar
Olive Oil/Canola Oil
06-26-2003, 10:23 AM
You might want to add instant potato flakes (we alway have a box in our cupboard)
Pasta is wonderful. How about instant pancake mix? Just mix W/water and viola!
Peanut butter is a good protein source - you can put it on crackers for a snack or light lunch.
As far as shelf life, most packages have dates on them, flour is usally good unless you see the little flour bug black dot thingys.
06-26-2003, 11:33 AM
Flour, sugars, rice, and opened pasta, cereals, and crackers, I store in sealed canisters and I've never thought about how long to keep them. If they get bugs (which they don't because they're sealed) or if they look or smell or feel weird then I toss them, but they seem to last a *long* time. If I buy too much flour or rice and don't have a large enough canister, then I put the remainder in the freezer to keep it fresh and bug-free.
Oils should be stored in the refrigerator because they oxidize and will go rancid. I buy large bottles to keep in the fridge and use them to fill up a small bottle on the counter for everyday cooking.
Canned foods should have an expiration date on them, but I'll tell you a secret. I've volunteered at the food bank a number of times, and they use different expiration dates. Canned tomato products and tomato-based soups they will accept with expiration dates of 1997! Creamy soups they will accept with expiration dates of 2000. I don't remember what the dates were for veggies and tuna, but I wouldn't be concerned if something is a little beyond expired because the food bank accepts things when they are majorly expired and they should know.
I'd also get peanut butter, and tofu in the aseptic packages that don't need refrigeration. I'd lean toward dried beans rather than canned because they're sooo much cheaper, and I'd probably go with canned tomatoes rather than prepared soups or stews, but that's just because I could do more things with tomatoes. I do have prepared soups in our emergency supplies, and instant rice, because they will warm up quickly over a Sterno burner!
What I do with our emergency supplies, which I keep separate from our regular food, is to go through it every once in a while and cycle out the older stuff to use in the kitchen and I replace it in the emergency box. I probably should do something similar in my kitchen cupboards, but we don't have much room to store stuff so it gets rotated pretty well anyway.
06-26-2003, 11:59 AM
Some spices I always keep on hand...garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and italian seasoning.
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