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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:59 PM
Original message
What does your pantry look like?
Or cupboards, if you don't have a separate pantry...

We have a little closet pantry near the kitchen, and I just cleaned it out. It was amazing. Even though it's been cleaned out before, I still found expiration dates going back to 1997! We even had dog biscuits that have expired. A box of dried milk powder didn't have an expiration date, but the women pictured on the box had hairdo's I haven't seen since the 1980s.

Three huge garbage bags later, I have room for the box of Cheerios that was always hanging precariously off a shelf. I feel guilty for throwing out so much food, though. When it's in garbage bags, it seems impossible that it all fit in that little closet in the first place.

Among the unopened discoveries I kept: 19 boxes of herb teas (not to mention the dozen in the cupboard and more downstairs), six plastic bags of dried beans, three big jars of mayonnaise, three boxes of girl scout cookies (although I'm suspicious of them), and a big jug of real maple syrup. How could we forget we had a big jug of real maple syrup?!

Downstairs we have a storage shelf in the laundry room with yet more food, but I'll tackle that in a few years. :)

How about you? Do you have old stuff in your pantries, or do you go through it regularly?


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sazemisery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. no pantry, so i clean out every 9 months or so.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. Cupboards
and a pantry-like cupboard.

I go through about once every two years and if I find something that was there two years ago, it goes.
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. I go through stuff every month or so--
I can't handle the idea that anything would get too old so I move those cans to the front and try to look at my pantry when I'm planning meals for the week. But I'm like that--I also alphabetize the contents of my spice cupboard, which is extensive.

It's a rare day that I throw any edible food away. Even bread crusts get turned into crumbs. Just the way I grew up.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. We have both....
Yesterday I cleared out boxes of old puddings and jello that went way back. They might still be good but I decided to just go by the dates on the boxes.

It's given me the spurt to do something like this every day. So today I cleaned out a box of glass jars I swore I'd use to replace plastic containers. I really hoped to switch to glass but failed. Keeping the jars only left no room on one side of an under counter cabinet. The jars are going into the recycling tomorrow. The cabinet looks spiffy. :D

I also found my old electric coffee grinder and the blades are shot. It goes out in the trash tonight since I couldn't find replacement blades on the net.

Not bad for two sessions in the cabinets. The pantry - to be continued? :scared:

Good luck in the basement!
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. About once a month,
I go through shelves and the pantry, and get rid of stuff that doesn't thrill me any more. This happens with far more frequency that I care to admit, since I'm a great impulse shopper.

Fortunately, our building has an ongoing collection area for a local Food Bank, so it's just a matter of taking it with me on my way out and depositing it. That Food Bank idea has kept me on my toes, and there are times when I buy stuff that's on sale - like Betty Crocker potato mixes (scalloped, au gratin) at 10 for $10 - and just put it into the big boxes.

Funny how those things work out. What started as a twice-a-year event is now a constant. Tells you all you need to know about the state of our economy ......................................

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AwakeAtLast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. I love my pantry!
It's big enough for me to walk into and there are plenty of shelve that allow me to easily see what I need and what I don't. It also helps me see what needs to be used.

I am no saint by any means (in my last place, a can of pears exploded :blush: ), but I have learned the hard way. This means I go through everything at least once or twice a month. Right now I'm using up EVERYTHING I have before summer starts and then I will begin to build up a new stockpile. I have found that our grocery bill likes me very much by doing all this.
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. Our pantry is stocked with basics
Beans both dried and canned, rice, lentils, quinoa, couscous, egg noodles, rice noodles, pasta, tomatoes and tomato sauce, some canned Asian-style veggies but mostly canned fish & meat (crab, clams, corned beef), homemade jams & jellies, onions, potatoes, garlic, peanut butter, sesame butter, teas, coffee, and lots of dried spices and herbs (these I use up within a year, if not they get tossed). Also, sugar, flour, dried fruits, always a jumbo bag of chocolate chips, cocoa, baking needs (baking soda, powder, various salts and peppers) cornmeal, grits, olive oils, canola oil, many vinegars. I cook almost everything from scratch and we never eat fast food so because I'm in the pantry a couple of times a day things stay fresh and up to date. I shop for fresh fruits & veggies at least three times a week and buy organic when possible. I hate to throw out food, so am mindful of what is freshest and most nutrient rich and use those ingredients while they are most potent. I was not so well organized before 9/11/2001 (about anything in my life) but now I think steps ahead. I don't ever go into New York City without wearing (or taking) shoes that I can walk (20 miles) home in.
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. My pantry stays in good/timely shape......it's my FREEZER
that goes through a time warp. I could SWEAR (if I were one to swear) that I put that meat in the freezer just six months ago .... and when I go to pull it out/use it, the date stamp says "2007". :shrug:

Time goes by unnaturally fast in a freezer methinks.
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Phentex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. with my termite teenagers, I feel the opposite!
Where's the beef? :)

I'm always in shock when I think there's plenty of stuff in the freezer and then I wonder what happened. Yeah, sometimes there's a fun discovery or two but it's almost never meat.

The easter candy from last year survived the recent power outage. :)
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. My *pantry* consists of multiple smallish spaces under and behind the cushions
in my living area.

The one behind the place where I most often plant myself has the goodies and DH is forbidden to go into that special place. He has a problem controlling his intake of things like cookies, candy, chips, et.

I keep the things I want have eaten soon in a basket on the kitchen cabinet (fruits, open crackers and cereal, trail mix) and easy food in the one pantry hole in the kitchen (canned tuna, peanut butter, canned fruit, more cereal, instant or boxed soups), so DH can feed himself when hungry.

In the harder to get to places go the staples and supplies for actually meal fixings.

I go through everything frequently and try to use up everything before going back to the store.

:hi:
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'd post a pic if I had one. My pantry is a lovely antique wardrobe
that my dad found in an antique shop over 30 years ago and stripped, put some shelves in, and fixed up beautifully. It could use a couple layers of shellac to give it some gloss - it's just an oiled matte finish now, but I love it and think of him every time I use it, which is daily.

My mom used it in her kitchen in CO Spgs, which was a little short on cupboards but not on floor space. I got it 10 years ago, but it was in my living room and just ordinary overflow storage until I moved into the apartment in 2007.
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pengillian101 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. lovely antique wardrobe
Our kitchen is very small and therefore not too many cupboards. We have a lovely antique secretary - all the visible shelves hold antique glassware. But there is a bottom closed portion under the writing desk where we store onions, potatoes so they are in the dark. Extra coffee ends up there once in awhile too.

PS, shellac doesn't belong on antiques, imho.

:-)
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Varnish, maybe? The finish has NO gloss at all.
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pengillian101 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Varnish, maybe? The finish has NO gloss at all.
Gosh, sorry I don't know so much anymore about preserving antique wood.

I made a huge mistake and also had huge success. You be the judge, :-)

About 1971 or so, my new hubby and I went to our first auction. We knew the owners, and there were VERY few buyers. No antique folks in the crowd. Bought a bedroom set that day.

<In our spare bedroom I still have these two items today.>

Antique oak dresser with a beautiful beveled mirror the width of the dresser and tall, that we re-furnished in a walnut stain because it had layers of paint to match a 4 poster bed. But I still love it.

A 4-poster bed that color-wise matches the dresser. Totally untouched finish.

We didn't know any better. We paid a grand total of $15 dollars for both pieces in 1970+, and I still enjoy them!



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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 02:15 AM
Response to Original message
13. Two years ago, my daughter visited and opened my pantry
and exclaimed, "OH MY GAWD, MOM! YOU'RE A PACK-RAT!"

I explained that I might get snowed in or break my leg or they might close the grocery stores for awhile or the road to town might wash out or something and it's nice to buy stuff on sale and I might hanker for some smoked oysters or anchovies sometime.



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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 06:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. I like the way...


you plan for any emergency! I'm with ya!
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REACTIVATED IN CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. My son used to bring his friends over just to look at my over-crowded
cabinets. They were out on their own for the first time and had little more than ramen noodles in their pantries .I always buy stuff on sale and also forget what I have so I buy more. Found 2 jars of mayo that expired in 2007 the other day. Not surprisingly, my freezer is in a similar state.
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
17. I'm fortunate
I have a terrific walk in pantry built in under the stairs. I can even keep the equipment overload in there.

I usually have all the basics and more... There's always several kinds of Pasta for the SO, lots of canned soups, some canned veggies and tomatoes of course. I also have developed a collection of smoked salmon packs. You know the kind you get in those gift baskets. I'm the only one who likes it and I've been forgetting to make Salmon dip when we have guests. I better get right on that. The olive collection is dwindling though. I've been pushing the olives here lately and have been throwing them in everything.
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mtnester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-30-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
19. Separate SMALL room (closet) with door, needs more shelves
and needs to be 3 times bigger :)

I really really really really NEED is a giganitc pantry that is also a compbo butler's pantry.

Sigh, my pantry design alone would probably cost a small fortune
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
20. Dog biscuits expire??

Holy shit.


I thought they were like Twinkies.

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