Stocking the Pantry is a Must in a Tiny House in the Country

It’s that time of the year when we need to start stocking up on essentials. I’m running a bit behind this year due to what we’re calling our non-move back to the city.

But last week, I started to make some vegetarian red beans and rice on one of the last cold and wet days we’ve had.

I looked in my pantry and sure enough, I didn’t have any vegetable stock.

Red Beans (800x439)

It wasn’t a complete disaster, as Dale was working in town and I could send him to his “Happy Place,” Wal-Mart, which isn’t really his Happy Place, but it’s all we have.

The red beans and rice doesn’t take a lot of time to cook, not like a pot of soup, so all was well, I fixed it after he got home, but it made me realize that I need to start stocking up for bad weather days when we can’t get to town.

In the country, it isn’t like you can stock up a lot on milk or fresh eggs, but I try to keep staples in the cupboard year around, but most especially in the winter.

Brette Sember, author of The Organized Kitchen, a wonderful book for young people setting up their first kitchen or even tiny house dwellers hoping to get more oganized, gave me some really good tips of what every kitchen should have in the pantry.

I include her tips in my upcoming book, Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet with Six Dogs, a Husband and One Remote…and More Stories of How You Can, Too, which will be released June 2016.

In addition to vegetable, beef or chicken broth, she recommends each of the following as pantry staples, but she included many more in the tips she gave me:

  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tuna

I started stocking up this past weekend. We also stock up on is canned and dry dog food, as our favorite local pet supply store is 50 minutes away.

What do you stock up on for the winter?

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9 Responses

  1. Jane Boursaw says:

    We just started cooking with dried beans again, so we always have those in the pantry, along with canned soups, canned tomatoes and sauce, black olives, oatmeal and other things. My main thing is finding time to clean out the pantry of stuff that’s been there too long. I need to get Brette’s book.

  2. You’re all so far ahead of me. Right now, we have broth and tomato paste (a start, at least). But we also have too much ice cream left over from Thanksgiving — the kind of non-staple I wish would just disappear.

    • Living Large in our Little House says:

      LOL, Ruth! I was just telling my husband, after a 70 degree day in December, that I wish we had stocked some ice cream! 🙂

  3. Kathleen Winn says:

    I like to keep an assortment of canned and dried beans on hand, and like your friend Brette, also canned tomato paste, tomato sauce and canned whole tomatoes. I also keep some Rotel tomatoes in my cupboard. In a pinch, I can throw together a pot of meatless chili with little more than those ingredients. A few of my other favorite “staples” are canned mushrooms, vegetable broth and assorted dried pasta, which, with my canned tomatoes, I can use to make a dinner of meatless spaghetti or other pasta dish. And I always keep bread frozen in the deep freeze along with frozen veggies. My sister has chickens so we are rarely without fresh eggs in the fridge. These basic ingredients give me a lot of options if we find ourselves snowed in during the winter.

    • Living Large in our Little House says:

      Thanks for the list, Kathleen, all very good things to have in your pantry and freezer!

  4. Beth says:

    I stock up on wheat berries and oatmeal. I also keep dry beans and rice. Cream soups. Tomato paste. Sugars and baking ingredients. 🙂 Your beans and rice look so yummy. Do you have a recipe you’d share?

    • Living Large in our Little House says:

      Hi, Beth! Yes, the red beans and rice recipe is available if you click on “red beans and rice” above! Thanks for asking! 🙂 Cream soups are also good to have on hand.

      • Beth says:

        You know what? I came back to see if you’d replied, only to see the recipe link. I hadn’t noticed it when I first read the article. Thanks so much! 😀