My grandmother had cabinets upon cabinets of canned and boxed foods. It seemed like every time the family space in her kitchen alloted to storing food grew with it. Perhaps it was an after effect of the Great Depression. Or maybe it was a side effect of a "largish" poor family growing up. I like to think it was her way of knowing she could always take care of us...that there would always be family meals when we needed them.
There is a part of me that wants to be like grandma. I want to know that there is always enough to make a family meal. I want to know that my families favorite things to eat are available if they want a snack. And, personally speaking, I want to know there will always be another Pepsi... I have issues.
What I don't want is that moment after grandma died where several people took several hours throwing things away that had expired and determining what to do with an overabundance of things no one really wanted to eat anymore.
So I have adapted to my environment and budget. My rule is usually have what you need and then have one more. Open a can of formula and have one still closed up in the cabinet. Put a case of Pepsi in the fridge and confirm there is still one on the floor to put in next. Never run out of frozen chicken nuggets. I keep extra frozen meat and extra staples in the pantry.
It doesn't just apply to foods. It also applies to the things this little family can't really function without...you know like diapers. There is always a half a case of diapers more than the one that's open. There is always an extra diaper genie refill. There is always extra wipes. There is nothing worse then worrying about getting baby necessities before payday.
It's a huge blessing when money gets tight and I have to stretch a pantry meal or 7 out of what we've already got. It's also a huge blessing when people stop by and end up staying for dinner. When is it not a huge blessing? Well...how about when you have a small kitchen and it's really hard to find someplace to put it.
So right now there are cases of drinks on the kitchen floor and the pantry is stacked in a way that's very hard to look through. It bugs the crap out of me.
Next on my to do list...find a place with a more usuable kitchen. Because I need a cabinet for food...and then one more.