The Pantry Principle: What It Is

A pantry is a place you store food and possibly other household items. The pantry principle means that you stock your home with food (etc.) that you regularly use. You don’t live straight from the grocery store to the table. You have extras of everything in stock and you (ideally!) never run out of anything.

In a more general sense, “pantry” means all food storage. So, the pantry principle involves kitchen cabinets, pantries, cellars, freezers, and even refrigerators. “Pantry” is more about what it is than where it is—although a real pantry is convenient to have.

The Pantry Principle: What It Is and Why You Need It

Here’s What the Pantry Principle Looks Like

Never run out of any basics

Because you have at least one extra of everything, when you run out you just go to your pantry and get another one. If your stock is low, you add it to your list for your next shopping trip. No more running out of (or making an emergency trip to town for) salt, oil, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper, flour, sugar. It’s wonderful!

Shop less often

There is no need to go to the grocery store more than once a week. In fact, you can shop for non-perishables as infrequently as once a month—or even less.

Shop for your pantry

Rather than shopping for what you need right now or for your upcoming meals, you simply restock your pantry with anything that is getting low. You only need to give special attention to unusual items.

Cook from your pantry

You don’t cook from the grocery store, you cook from your pantry. You can make almost any meal you ever eat straight from your pantry without ever having to think about a shopping list or a grocery store!

Why Have a Well-stocked Pantry?

It’s convenient and time-saving.  Because it enables you to buy things when they are on sale, it can also save you money. It’s also more secure, because a storm, illness, or other emergency that prevents you from going to the grocery store won’t mean you have nothing to eat or lack other necessities.

Do you follow the pantry principle?


  1. I must have a well-stocked pantry. And in the case I do run out of something, my neighbor also has a well-stocked pantry. 🙂

    1. That’s doubly convenient! 🙂

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