Perfect Pantries: Frugal & Stylish Ideas


Country Living

I will admit I’m not much of a gourmet cook, but I do like to have a pantry stocked with some of our family basics for quick, frugal and healthy meals. I’ve found that if I keep enough ingredients on hand, I don’t have to worry much about meal planning during the week. We may have a couple of planned meals and the rest end up being “pantry dinners.” We don’t cook a lot of fancy or creative things from our pantry, but it is nice to be able to put together something easy and nutritious (if not delicious) with what we have on hand.


Country Living

We are fortunate in my own house to have a small pantry with shallow shelves right off of our kitchen. But in previous houses, we’ve created pantries in basements and wherever we could find space. This week I felt a little chill in the air, reminding me to do a little pantry nesting and fluffing for the season ahead. In preparation, I’ve gathered a few ideas to share with you all.


Cottage Living

Southern Living


HGTV

Storing goods in clear glass containers makes it easy to see what is there and when it needs to be replenished.


HGTV

I love shallow shelves to make the most of a small space. If your pantry shelves are too deep, it is easy to lose things in the back.


Country Living

Really short on space? Create mini-pantries on the wall! Charming containers make this part pantry a part of the kitchen’s ambience. Containers on the counter keep everything within easy reach.


House Beautiful

Free standing cabinets can be perfect pantries.


House Beautiful

Why not stash pantry goods in cute boxes or containers?

Deep cupboards can be customized with pull out pantry racks!


HGTV

HGTV

Incorporating recycling areas into your work spaces saves precious time and makes recycling a part of the daily routine.


Country Living

I took a quick look in our pantry to see what we have on hand. Something so comforting to see a pantry with some good basics for a meal. You can see we don’t keep a lot of fancy things, but this pantry saves us lots of time and money because we always have something to eat. Combined with some basics such as shredded cheese, plain yogurt, fruits or vegetables, tortillas or bread we can make quick meal in a matter of minutes!

rice
pastas
canned beans (black, pinto, kidney)
canned corn
canned tuna & canned wild salmon
canned mandarin oranges
vinegars: red & white wine, balsamic
extra-virgin olive oil
soy sauce
Dijon mustard
salsa
baked corn or black chips
taco shells
capers
fresh garlic
dried herbs
peanut butter
chicken and vegetable broths
mustard
vinegars
whole and diced canned tomatoes canned
crushed stewed tomatoes
tomato paste & sauces
Organic soups from Trader Joes (we love roasted red pepper!)
Chicken Broth
Annie’s Mac and Cheese for the quick kids’ meals
pasta sauce
honey
brown sugar
cocoa
granulated sugar
whole wheat pastry flour
powdered sugar
vanilla
baking soda/powder
oatmeal
semisweet chocolate chips/dark chocolate chips
maple syrup
jelly, preserves & marmalade
slivered almonds
walnuts
popcorn

Our grocery list tip: Everyone has a different way of handling their grocery lists. Some people write their needs as they find them on a charming kitchen chalkboard and then transfer the items to a shopping list, some folks have organized and detailed preprinted computerized shopping lists they can simply check off the needs before shopping, and then there is my family. We use a calculator paper roll hanging from a ribbon. Not too glamorous, but it works great for us! We add items as they are running low, then we unroll, rip off and take it to the market! Simple, easy and effective.


Country Living

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Comments

  1. Wow–I love this collection of kitchen pictures. We’ve just started remodeling (and blogging about!) our kitchen. It’s a little smaller–like 25 square feet!–so I don’t think a pantry will fit. But those wall displays and chalkboards you found? Love ‘em!

    Katies last blog post..The Way Things Were: Kitchen

  2. Redecorating my kitchen is last on our list after the bathroom and back garden but these pictures make me want to run in there with a sledgehammer and some white paint! It’s functional enough at the moment but is overwhelmingly bland and beige (a legacy of previous owners with little imagination!) I am toying with the idea of getting creative with a jigsaw, some gingham fabric and chicken wire for the cupboard doors cos a complete new kitchen is way way out of my budget. Any suggestions?

  3. Love the idea about the calculator paper roll…simple. I need someone to come in with a sledgehammer and knock my kitchen down…and start from scratch…but have no money…badly designed..but it works for now. Just irritating. But hey..at least I have a kitchen. :-)

    annes last blog post..Outing with friend in Oxford…

  4. I have a small pantry in my kitchen, and I have so many kitchen cabinets that I use one of them for spices/flour/oil, and another for small box goods and tomato products. I dream of some day having a large walk-in pantry! One of your pictures has a space that looks like a converted closet that has a pantry, a small countertop, and a microwave. What a great idea!

    Things That Inspires last blog post..Update

  5. Such beautiful photos and awesome ideas. I started adding cooler weather staples to my kitchen last week. Currently I’m stripping down the cabinets to repaint them, so the kitchen is a mess, but I’m getting lots of inspiration for making everything look neat, pretty, and especially organized. Wonderful post!

    Suzann @ Lavender and Rosess last blog post..The Nightmare In My House…

  6. I covet a pantry and, if I had one, I’d want the screen door look. It charms me. Also, I agree with you on shallow shelves. There’s nothing worse than digging to the back of some deep closet. Things are too easily lost.

    Am I the only one who really doesn’t care for the look of large blackboards used as message boards? Must be my years as a teacher having to use those dastardly things. I do enjoy my wee blackboard, though.

    Vee~A Haven for Vees last blog post..The Grands in Autumn

  7. I LOVE my walk-in pantry. It’s not as fancy as the ones in the photos but it’s very functional. We made sure we had one when we built our house!

    Now, I do question whether or not it’s a good idea to store dry goods in those glass jars. Do they have a tight enough seal so that bugs can’t get into them? I also wonder if exposure to too much sun/light would affect the dry goods stored in those jars. They are very pretty to look at.

    Astrids last blog post..Egg Carton Birds

  8. What great ideas. I love having a stocked pantry also, but mine is very deep. I need to look into those pull out shelves!

  9. I love the red and green screen door pantries and the first two white ones with chalkboard doors! We have a pantry in the basement, not beautiful, but a real blessing to know that if we run out of flour or sugar or vanilla we can go shopping at home rather than run to the store. We have been stocking up getting ready for winter. In these uncertain times, as we watch food prices go up weekely, it pays to shop the sales and stock up. It’s giving a much better return than out 401k at the moment!

    Kathys last blog post..A Murder of Crows

  10. Having my pantry well stocked makes quick weeknight meals a breeze! I just make sure to always restock each week as I use things. We often get snowed in for a day or two in the winter, & have never had to worry!

    Unfortunately, I am a victim of the “too deep shelves” & have been known to lose things in the pantry now & again!

    Jinxs last blog post..Rainy Autumn Afternoon

  11. I love each and every one of these pantries.
    How beautiful it is to be organized!
    Thank you so much for sharing :)

    Summers last blog post..a merry way to dry dishes

  12. Lovin this Melissa. Thanks. Great pictures and great tips and I can’t wait to improve my pantry style. Oh the fun.

    Jans last blog post..I have a voice

  13. I have pantry envy now! Our pantry is soooo small! I someday hope to have a walk in pantry big enough to hold everything nicely! Someday please show us tiny, narrow pantries, so I can get some ideas. Thanks

    Darlenes last blog post..Garage Sale Finds

  14. oohh how i love organized spaced like these!

    sheilas last blog post..

  15. I love the paper roll list idea!!!

    Karas last blog post..A Lil Rocker

  16. For a gal with major OCD these pantries are awesome!!! I wish I had a Crate and Barrel close by so I could do some major organizing. Love your blog! Smiles, Paula

    Paulas last blog post..Weather Predicting….

  17. Sugar 'N Spice & Mostly Nice says:

    I love the look of the old farm screen door on the pantrys. Makes me wish I had one!

    Sugar ‘N Spice & Mostly Nices last blog post..our weekend at the farms

  18. I have a corner cabinet in the kitchen and a free standing oak cabinet for a pantry. I would love to have a whole closet to walk into but this works for us. I too keep staple items, and I also keep my pastas and rice in glass jars. It looks nice and is practical.

    If we every enlarge our kitchen I would love to incorporate a butler’s pantry!

    Deannas last blog post..For In These I Delight

  19. I love these uses of space! So many great organizational tips. This makes me *really* want a walk in pantry!! :) I also love how you posted your pantry’s contents… great blog.

    Laurens last blog post..teeny kitchens

  20. Those are all beautiful inspiration pantries. I’m afraid mine doesn’t look all that great. We have not one, but two pantries. I’ve also taken over half of the laundry room closet to store all my small kitchen appliances. The builder of this house included FOUR linen closets, one for each bedroom. However the house is still missing the most important pantry of all – – the butler’s pantry!! I want one so badly that I’m thinking of adding on.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

    the Farmer’s Wifes last blog post..Autumn Leaves for the Pie

  21. Your pictures really make me wish we had a real pantry! Our kitchen is in serious need of remodeling (it’s on the list!) so we use a short, free-standing cabinet as our pantry. It’s small, but since we’re a family of 3, it works for us.

    Jeni @ Peace & Carrotss last blog post..Take Heart

  22. I love all the pictures of pantries! It’s really inspiring. I want to add a pantry to our kitchen and I think I have a good idea of what I’m wanting! I love the idea of having the doors painted with chalkboard paint…what a handy place to have your shopping list! Thanks for the ideas!

    jennykates last blog post..Flower Arranging

  23. Wow love the pictures- totally gave me some ideas-
    but I have to share a little silly- When I first glanced at your post title I thought you were saying “Perfect Panties” …. don’t mind me it’s early, and I didn’t have my reading glasses on :}
    Great post!

  24. Great group of inspirational photos…..makes you want to head off to Home Depot and install some new pantry doors….I love the screen doors and the green kitchen is the best…My eight light French door is going to have to go!

    Sues last blog post..SCENES FROM A CITY……………….

  25. I never thought pictures of pantries would make me drool with envy… Our pantry is the stupidest, least thought out cupboard imaginable. It’s really wide and about maybe 4 inches deep. Not kidding. I can just about put a box of pasta in there sideways.
    Since it’s so shallow and wide there’s no way to organize anything properly and thus chaos rules. So sad.
    One day, one day I’ll have the pantry of my dreams and it’ll be gorgeous with boxes of Macaroons and Sables. Because that’s the important stuff, right?

    Jessica (from It’s my life…)s last blog post..My budding little artist is into accurate representation

  26. We don’t have a walk-in pantry, but the shelves are tall – perfect for accomodating big canisters of pasta and grains. Labeled canisters create such a gourmet look. I love the photos you shared, very classy. I’m due for a little pantry makeover, so this is good motivation.

    I save the small glass jars from artichoke hearts and salsa and use them to store bulk spices and herbs. I’m all for a well-stocked pantry, and I completely agree – it makes spontaneous meal preparation easy. We have a magnetic notepad on the fridge, and I add to the list as soon as we are low on, or running out of something.

    Annas last blog post..My Love List – Part Three: Touch

  27. Ah, my dream come true would be a large walk-in pantry. My grandmother had one, and I would love one just like hers. Unfortunately, this house won’t accommodate it.

    But, I love looking at all of the pictures and dreaming.

    Beverlys last blog post..While Walking In Our Woods

  28. Great pantry inspiration, Melissa!

    Pats last blog post..~Beautiful Missouri Botanical Garden~

  29. Hi Melissa,
    How funny I was ripping apart my pantry this morning, of course in front of the back door, right before school bus pickup. But mine still doesn’t look anything like those pics. Love your ideas! Have a great day.

    Dawn-Hydrangea Homes last blog post..Pink October Shop Hop!

  30. Just looking at the pictures makes me happy! I would love to turn my pantry door into a chalk board…I wonder if my landlord would mind?

    Connies last blog post..The Connie Diaries ~ September 1985

  31. I’ve never seen shallow shelves like this……LOVE the idea!

    Tamaras last blog post..We’re going to Brazil

  32. Hi, Melissa, haven’t been by in awhile…I just realized your blog was not updated on my bloglines, so now it is! You’ve been very busy with your new design layout and it all looks great, so professional. I see that you and the Nester have collaborated too on both your sites. So many new things to see.

    Lots to catch up on, I don’t see how you do it all! Wish I had a bigger pantry, but I’m thankful for at least a small one. I think I have most of your list in my pantry too!

    Rhodas last blog post..Weekly Finds

  33. Hi Melissa!
    This post puts me in the mood for Fall nesting and cooking! It is getting me thinking about how I can better put away all of the stores for the winter. Lovely photos!

    katiedids last blog post..Photo Op: Sacramento Farmers Market

  34. OH, I just love all those pictures of perfect organization! Great post!

  35. I love organized pantries. And glass jars. And chalkboard grocery lists. And nice job on the pantry staples! I talk to people all the time about how to easily you can prepare dozens of meals with a well-stocked pantry, so thanks for sharing that with so many!

    Kendras last blog post..Drumroll, Please…

  36. Some nice and interesting layouts/decor.

  37. I literally groaned as I looked at this post. We are fortunate, we have a pantry! Oh my gosh, I want it to look perfect like this, instead of messy (ok alot messy!), this is soooo motivating to tidy up and beautify!!
    Thanks Melissa, as always an amazing post…I am looking longingly…at all that organized food….do they have teenagers?
    Blessings,
    Debbie

    Debbies last blog post..Tablescape Tuesday!!

  38. Melody from ~Pennies In My Pocket~ says:

    I puffy heart all these pantries, but LOVE LOVE LOVE the 1st one. I SO want a chalkboard on mine! I need to get better at my grocery list. I usually just wait until I go to the store and write the list 5 minutes before leaving. I always leave something off…go figure! lol

    As always, gorgeous post! ;)

    ~melody~

  39. Great tips, my dear BFF(who I miss terribly, these days:))! Maybe I should have you come over and help me organize my pantry. We actually have a “butler’s pantry” complete with lots of cabinets, but I always manage to stuff it silly! Someday, when I find the extra energy, I will try to pull it together. You motivate me to want to do that! You are always the greatest motivator!

    I hope that things are going well, and that the “newlyweds” are getting settled into their new life together. Franc says hello, by the way…

    Love you, sweet one,
    Deb

    Debbie/Four Angel’s Mommas last blog post..Wandering into the Lives of a Few Blogging Friends

  40. Too funny, did anyone else notice the photo with huge bins labelled macaroons and croissants, now that is my kind of storage! Can never have enough of the good stuff on hand for those kinds of emergency dinners.

    Living in a tiny townhouse these days I miss pantry days, stocking provisions and fresh canned produce, it is warm homemaker feeling to know you have provided for your family.

    Pearl Maples last blog post..Road Less Travelled

  41. I love the chalkboard ones, how sweet! I need to reorganize my pantry, I have the deep shelves and it’s so easy to forget what I have and don’t have. Came here today via YouData!!! How cool is that??? :)

    Bella
    PS: Yes, you’re following me on Twitter! lolololololol ;)

    Bella Casas last blog post..Pillsbury Savorings GIVEAWAY!!!

  42. Beautiful collection of ideas. Now I’ve got the urge to reorganize my kitchen!

    Shannons last blog post..Stuff

  43. I LOVE that red screen door inset pantry. That is just the coolest idea!

    Debs last blog post..Beware Your Nod

  44. I think the calculater roll of paper is a great idea! Love the pictures of the pantries- I think I am going to look for a neat old screen door for mine! THanks for the idea!

    My parents were always one’s to have a great stocked pantry and I have always done the same. It is amazing how many friends I have who have very little on hand in their kitchens. I think with the coming days we should all be thinking about having a little bit more stocked on our shelves as the prices keep going up not down!

    Blessings to you,

    Mary

    mary (megardengal)s last blog post..My Own Little Space for Shopping!

  45. Oh this is so funny! I just posted about some storage ideas I saw this weekend at our Parade of Homes in Raleigh and after posting I came over to your site and saw this! We are on the same page yet again! Your pictures are beautiful. Thanks for the tips!

    Sarahs last blog post..Little Gems from the Parade of Homes

  46. I only wish mine looked like even one of those…sigh….

    blessedmamas last blog post..I’ve been boo’d!

  47. One of the things that made me want our house that we bought was that it had a small walk-in pantry. I want it to look pretty so most of the things are in glass jars that I’ve bought 1 or 2 at a time (or else it can get expensive). I actually prefer glass to plastic as I found with plastic that my flour etc would get moths. They would actually climb up under the screw lid as I would find nests in the side of the lid. I’ve never had a problem with moths since changing to glass. I also keep things in baskets on the ground. Now I just have to find a way to pretty up cereal boxes as I can’t find any glass containers big enough, although cereal boxes are a convenient skinny size.

    I plan my menu for the month and shop accordingly so I know that whatever the meal is, I already have the ingredients at home. (I’m one who uses a computer tick list although I do like your paper roll idea.) I always have a few extra things like tinned tomatoes and pasta though so I can make something like a pasta sauce in an emergency.

    Esthers last blog post..My pretties

  48. I like all the different ideas and pictures. Thanks for sharing them. I also like your grocery list calculator tape idea. I think I’ll try it!
    Laurie

    laurie millers last blog post..Baby Alert!

  49. karen hill says:

    Walk in pantry’s are the best, enjoyed looking at all the pretty and organized ones you shared. thanks so much!
    Blessings, Karen

    karen hills last blog post..Making Pillows

  50. I am hyperventilating looking at this post!!!! I want it all NOW!
    ♥Jen

    jens last blog post..General Conference~ Oct. 2008

  51. I love all those pantries! Great tips, too! I have deep pantry cupboards and really need to get those pull-out shelves to make life easier. I love the chalkboard paint on the doors!

    Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolatess last blog post..Short and Sweet

  52. Hi Melissa – do we get to see what your pantry looks like?
    IF we re-do our kitchen (not a good time, economy wise!), I’ll put in a nice pantry, hopefully. For now, mine is pretty small and I utilize cupboards in the garage! It works!

    Happy Day!
    Sandy

    Sandys last blog post..Beautiful Apple Butter!

  53. oh i love the one with the red B on the wall.
    i have to tell you about my friend’s pantry. they just built a new house with an open kitchen to the living room/dining table area. the kitchen is a fair size…not too small but not big. she has a one tall cabinet and then her regular over the counter ones. you open her tall cabinet and it’s a hidden room! a big pantry ROOM that opens to her garage!!! so she can dump her groceries right in there and not lug them through to the kitchen. it is so amazing! such an awesome idea. you would love it.
    ok…talk to you later!

    meg duerksens last blog post..much happier now.

  54. Great post!
    So many fantastic ideas.
    I can’t wait to use them for inspiration.
    As always, thank you for sharing.

    xo
    Brooke

    Brookes last blog post..Big Daddy’s Antiques

  55. Thank you for sharing these kitchens with us. They’re all so warm and inviting!

  56. Sweet Cottage Dreams says:

    I wish I had a pantry to make all cute and functional like the ones you shared. So many wonderful ideas – but I see a common thread by using glass containers for storage. Brilliant!

    xo
    Becky

  57. What a great pantry post.
    I love, love, love pantries and any talk concerning them so I was happy as can be when I got linked to this post. :)

    I also enjoyed reading about the different pantries in the comments section.

    When my husband closed in our carport to make it into a sitting room, there were three rooms adjoined to it. He turned one into a laundry room, one into my much longed-for walk-in pantry, and the third is still waiting to become a half-bathroom.

    Cajun Cottages last blog post..Happy Birthday, Chelsea Leigh-Ann

  58. Boy do I love this post! So timely for me. My husband and I are currently working on revamping our pantry to make it more space effective. We’re about 3/4 of the way through. Almost there!

    Ambers last blog post..A few of my favorite things…

  59. This was just an excellent post! Some beautiful pantries to inspire us to use the space we have, and some practical advice on how to make our pantries work for us.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Alesha

    Aleshas last blog post..Friday, October 10, 2008

  60. Melissa, This sooo inspired me. Check out my blog for your shout out and to see how I used your post! Thanks, you NEVER disappoint!
    ♥Jen

    jens last blog post.."Chalk" full of fun

  61. I love the beautiful pantry ideas, especially the ones with the screen doors!

  62. Be still my beating heart!!! I love to browse pantry ideas, this is a plethora of organizing genius ……someone bring me a napkin to wipe up the drool.

  63. I just found this site today, it’s great! Lisa commented above about taking a jig saw to her cabinents and getting creative. Here is what I did to TOTALLY redo my kitchen for only $3700! I had a friend who was redoing her kitchen, her cabients were builder grade, but much better builder grade than mine (and newer). So with my measurements and the cabinent measurements, I figured out how to work all of them into my kitchen and made a new layout. I sanded them down and re-varnished them. I did add a few unfinished shelves that I stained to match and on the ends of cabinents that ended up exposed, I put beadboard that I also stained. I worked with the local tile shop after I selected my tile and found out it was way out of my budget, they found me comperable styled tile at a fraction of my original choice. I used 1 inch glass tiles as an accent around the backsplash so I only needed 3 sheets of it since it was still really expensive. I did go with laminent countertops from a local fabricator maybe some day I’ll upgrade, but in my townhome, just having a newer kitchen will be a huge selling point. I asked for help from friends and paid them in beer and pizza (hold off on the beer until after they finish!). We installed the cabinents in a day. Not only did I get an amazing kitchen for a steel, it was more enviornmentally kind than the cabinents going to the dump! So, where can you score free cabinents? Try craigslist, a friend of mine found her’s used there, or talk to friends, another friend did the same as me, we started asking friends if they knew anyone redoing their kitchen and managed to find her great cabinents for free also!

  64. It’s nice to meet a fellow pantry fan! That really inspired me to post a picture of my walk in pantry….watch for it this Monday…I’m totally going to do that!
    Caio!

    Anne Maries inspiring blog post..Re-think the t-shirt….

  65. I love all the beautiful pictures of pantries. I grew up with a well-stocked pantry as my Mother grew and preserved much of what we ate(not everything-it was the 70’s and we lived in the suburbs. A good pantry is essential to feeding my family of six. I have a 24×24″ pantry with heavy wire pull-outs in my Ikea kitchen. In my basement, I have three 30″ wide pantries that are 60 ” high and about 12″ deep. In the basement pantries I store all the multiples of my supplies and dishes I use for entertaining. I belong to a food buying co-op that allows me to restock staples easily. My pantry list is very similar to yours. I plan on blogging about pantries soon.

    Jenifirs inspiring blog post..Vintage Goodies

  66. We used to have a pantry in our old apartment. I loved it. Our latest apartment has plenty cupboard space so no need for a pantry.
    I saved your list such I’m stocking our new kitchen cupboards.
    Thanks for having such an informative blog. I really enjoyed my visit.

    Ronas inspiring blog post..Target.com – Free Shipping When You Spend $50

  67. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information?

  68. I need ideas for a small pantry door…16 wide 78 long!! I want to take the door down that is there now…but I have no idea what to replace it with. Any ideas??
    Thanks
    Beth

  69. I love all of these ideas! I feel like you read my mind about re-doing my pantry! We are nearing the end of our kitchen remodel and our food is all in giant rubbermaid containers. I am so excited to get it all back out and in the pantry!
    Thanks for all the great inspiration!!

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