Whether you’re preparing for fluctuating food shortages, natural disasters, family gatherings, or just want to be prepared, it’s good to maintain a fully stocked kitchen. After all, having food is essential for survival. Not only that, it’s nice to have some of the more common items for cooking always readily available in your kitchen. When you choose to keep the right foods in stock, meal planning becomes a lot easier since you have some of your family’s bigger staples readily in stock at almost all times. Consider purchasing the following foods in bulk so that not only your kitchen, but your household can thrive.
Grains and Pasta
Rice, oatmeal, and pasta are some of the most beloved staples in any household as they can create dozens of common meals. From spaghetti to bread to red beans and rice, your family probably has a couple of favorites that are made from grains. That’s why it’s a good idea to always keep a variety in stock, both in order to be able to make a wide selection of meals and be ready to make any of those meals when planning your meals for the week. With rice, always stock brown rice, white rice, and yellow rice for a number of dishes. Elbow macaroni, spaghetti noodles, and Fettuccine noodles are some of the best classics to draw from on a weeknight. As for oatmeal, this works whether you’re trying to make a bowl of overnight oats for breakfast or transform rolled oats into oat milk for your iced coffee drink.
Some other grains to get that might be nice to have on hand would include items such as whole-wheat bread, which is much healthier than white bread, and popcorn for movie nights. Having either of these readily at hand also allows for spontaneous midnight snacks and well-fed get-togethers.
Dried Beans and Legumes
Beans are incredibly versatile. Not only do they vary widely in types of flavor, meaning there’s something for even the pickiest of eaters, but they can also easily be seasoned in different ways. For an easy add-to for nearly any meal, work on collecting different types of dried beans in order to have them available for use in various ways. Lentils, black beans, and kidney beans work beautifully in stews, chilis, and vegetarian burger substitutes. Chickpeas are notoriously delicious in hummus spreads and dips. Coffee beans make the world go round as many people love to make coffee beverages at the start of their day. By picking up a 2 lb bag whole bean Colombian coffee, you’ll make sure your household doesn’t go stir-crazy due to a lack of dried beans in the house.
If you or someone you like to cook for deals with dietary restrictions, then both beans and legumes can serve as an alternative source of protein; not to mention the wide variety of recipes you can make with them, meaning there’s always something you can make for them. This way you can continue to cook for them, and they can still feel a part of the meal.
Frozen Protein Sources
If your household consumes a lot of meat, focus on purchasing frozen meats and fish in bulk so you always have it ready. Many big-box retailers sell prepackaged frozen salmon and other types of seafood. If you’re purchasing certain cuts of fresh meat because they’re cheaper, focus on properly storing them in the freezer when you bring them home in order to make them last longer. Make sure you store them in a way where you don’t have to defrost the entire package if you don’t need the whole cut. This could include cutting up and portioning out what you think you might need. A lot of families might even choose to dedicate a freezer in their garage for a lot of their meat storage, that way it’s out of the way and in a large enough space until it’s needed.
When frozen produce gets picked, it’s typically picked at its peak ripened state. This means that you’ll still get all of the nutrients you desire when you’re preparing your smoothies, stir-fried meals, and more. Whether you’re making a fruit compote or topping your oatmeal with blueberries, frozen produce typically doesn’t take long to defrost and use. However, it can last in the freezer for a considerable amount of time.
Do your research in order to learn new ways of preparation and storage, especially if you think it might help with organization. There are also many other items you might want to make sure are well-stocked in your pantry, such as canned goods or favorite snacks so they’re always on hand when you need or want them. Having these different staples in bulk also allows you to find alternatives to any recipe problems you might run into. If you’re unable to get eggs at the grocery store, know how to make egg substitutes with ingredients like flax seeds. Canned goods such as evaporated milk will work amazingly well when you don’t have any fresh milk in the refrigerator. As you learn how to prepare foods with the substitutes and non-perishable items you have in bulk, your household will never suffer from hunger or lack of things to eat.