What’s in Your Pantry?


This afternoon we had some really drastic weather in the Midwest.  During the lunch hour, a tornado warning was issued in the downtown area that I work. Having grown up in Ohio and also having lived in Miami, FL for several years, I am no stranger to tornadoes or hurricanes. In fact, Dayton, OH even had an earthquake for the first time in 200 years this summer. What I have learned in all those situations is that when you are without power, basic human necessities really come in handy. Batteries, toilet paper and non-perishables are a must.  A generator is great too! But somehow, no matter how often I go to the grocery, I find my pantry is stocked with some of the stupidest stuff. It certainly wouldn’t save me or my family in a life or death situation.

I recycle I swear

Over the weekend, I had planned to write a post about dumb stuff in my pantry because I came across an excessive amount of paper towels. I had in bulk not one, not two but three jumbo sized packages of paper towels. There were probably 36 rolls.  I think out of habit, I just buy a pack whether I need them or not. In the grand scheme of things, towels aren’t such a nonsensical purchase because I have a clumsy husband and two toddlers.  Just last night, my husband spilled an entire half-gallon on milk all over the kitchen floor. The towels were put to good use in that instance.

The next odd stock pile that I uncovered was canned tomatoes. I had a few varieties: stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoned cubed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes—you name it; I had it. I don’t even like tomatoes.  I never have. 

Tomatoes of all shapes and sizes

But for some unexplainable reason, tomatoes continue to appear in my Lazy Susan in mass quantities.

The other excessive food supply I found was Mac ‘n’ Cheese.  I had several of the five-pack family size packages on the shelf in the closet. In total, there were probably 15 individual boxes of Mac ‘n’ Cheese.  If you believe that a box really serves four people that amounts to 60 servings of Mac ‘n’ Cheese! (Although, I think I could eat an entire box by myself if I was hungry.) Mac ‘n’ Cheese as a non-perishable is really not that helpful of a food. If a tornado hit and the power went out, I would have to just crunch on the hard little noodles because I wouldn’t be able to boil any water, the milk would be sour and the butter would be all melted. I could dip my finger in that little dry powdered cheese but that’s about it.

The shelf of Mac

Discovering my food hoarding made me recall that in my childhood my dad was a food hoarder.  He had a penchant for olives.  I don’t know why but we always had an ample supply of olive jars.  It was as if we may need to entertain at a moment’s notice and break out the olives and toothpicks. But, we never did. I can remember my mom looking for something in the kitchen cupboard and saying under her breath, “Here’s another damn jar of olives!”  It really annoyed her. She’d have to move all those olive jars out of the way to get whatever ingredient she needed that had been pushed to the back.

I am curious to know what other people keep on hand in their houses—especially the things that are totally odd, like olives.  Do you buy them because you really think you’ve run out? Does your partner buy them because they don’t inventory the supply before hitting the grocery? Or, do you just feel like an extra stash of [insert food item] will come in handy if a hurricane hits?

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About bizemom

I am a busy working mom (get it... "Biz e-Mom"?) of three kids under the age of four. I have a white-collar day job, I have a night job as a mom, and an "in between" job as a freelance writer and blogger. What can I say, I am a glutton for punishment and I don't go to bed until 1 a.m. No matter how much I complain, I like being busy. That must be the Sagitarius in me--we get bored easily. Now on to the next adventure (I mean... venture!)
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3 Responses to What’s in Your Pantry?

  1. kluckmeister says:

    Wow I wish I had that much food. I’m living with my uncle and my share of the pantry consists of Nutrigrain bars and 7 lbs of peanut m&ms… I’m not prepared for a disaster to say the least! (that is unless the disaster destroys the current currency system and somehow peanut m&ms gain value in which case I’d have a decent start!)

    Once I move out on my own again I usually keep Olives, Cheetos, random canned and bagged soups/pasta, lots of pasta and pasta sauce (I never seem to eat it but it’s always there), and swiss cake rolls. This blog is making me re-think my food storage priorities…

  2. Gee says:

    I usually buy all this perishable healthy food so I can make better choices, what happens is I order take out for a whole two weeks because there is “nothing to eat”. Meanwhile the cottage cheese has morphed into something I really cannot eat!Kleenex, I have this fear of running out of Kleenex, I am not sure what would happen if I run out, but every stop to CVS has me coming out with some sort of lotioned kleenex, I am also a tissue snob…but we will not get into that today…

  3. bizemom says:

    Nothing wrong with having some Kleenex but I am totally down with the M&Ms idea!!!

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