Cleaning Out the Pantry

Since becoming a vegetarian, I have been stocking up on all kinds of fun stuff in my pantry  Some ingredients I have purchased from the bulk section of the grocery store and other I have purchased pre-packaged.  I am going to share with you some things I have learned, the hard way.

If you are in your beginning stages of becoming a vegetarian or a vegan, I am sure you are experimenting a lot with various recipes.  You have probably bought all kinds of spices, flours, sugars, and seasonings in this experimental phase. I am going to say STOP NOW. Why, because you are probably wasting money by purchasing too much of one thing or another.

For instance, I started going down this curry road of creations.  I went and bought so many variations of curries to find out that some I like, others I do not like.  But now I have this shelf of curry powders that I may never use again.  I have also purchased bags of flour and if you don’t use it quickly enough you will have tenants move into your flours.  If you don’t store them in air tight containers you will have the makings of a science project, for a young boy or girl, who has the desire to become an entomologist when they grow up.

I recently cleaned out my pantry and ended up throwing out pasta galore, baking flour, corn flour, chickpea flour and some sugar.  I invested in some mason jar bottles, of various sizes, and will be storing future dry goods in them.  However, I have just cost myself about $500 in wasted food because 1) I purchased more than I needed and 2) did not store them properly.

So, words of wisdom, from lessons learned …

  • If you are just starting out, go slow on stocking your pantry
  • If you are experimenting with various recipes, buy from the bulk section from your grocery store
  • Just buy what you need for a single recipe
  • Store your dry goods properly, keep those bugs OUT
  • Spices do not last forever, so only buy what you use often in large quantities or in bulk (by weight) – I DO NOT mean COSTCO bulk
  • Onion Salt does not last long at all, especially in humid temperatures, you end up with onion rock
  • Storing rice with a few bay leaves in them help to control the “bug” population from establishing itself

Lessons learned from a new vegetarian …