I feel the need to tell you that my pantries are NOT in a convenient location. They are downstairs, away from the kitchen. I go down two landings of stairs and through doorways before hauling whatever I need from the pantry UP to my kitchen.
Please don't get me wrong - I LOVE my pantries and I am NOT lazy. They are however, not close to my kitchen. And when I need one thing, it's a bit of a pain to run down, run up and repeat the cycle since I'm not as organized as you might think when it comes to WHAT I am going to cook.
One thing that saves me some trips is my lazy susan. Now, talk about lazy! All she does is spin in circles!!! Okay, there are more days than I'd like to admit that I am spinning in circles. But I'm sure none of YOU do.
Okay back to susan. I have a couple gallon size glass jars stored there for convenience. I keep a jar of oatmeal, sugar and white and wheat flours. Plus, things like oil, vanilla, maple flavoring and spices. She, susan, may be lazy but she sure makes my life easier!
I also keep a cupboard of spices that I use fairly often, like my taco seasoning that I make and save money by not buying it already made. Would anyone like that recipe? Anyone? It's so easy and I betcha you have what you need to make it in your house.
Yes, my pantry is large. But I haven't always had a huge space. I've only lived here nearly 2 years. Before that, I had a normal sized pantry. What I did then, was make use of our garage by having my DH make shelves! I stored things that wouldn't freeze there and used the space they vacated in the house for food.
I bought 25 lbs of oatmeal. I haven't bought cereal from the store since... well a few months ago. I cut down the options and the kids eat oatmeal. Or toast.
I don't care of oatmeal as a cereal. GASP! But I eat it. Enough so I can make it to lunch, anyway. So, I figure it I can eat it - anyone can. I used to gag on it. Then I had to eat it while nursing/pumping/working and now I can eat a small portion and be okay. I could toast every morning, though. And I did growing up. That and a glass of chocolate milk, made by my sweet mommy. Thanks, Mom! We'll talk about feeding me the same thing for lunch everyday another time. I was a "brown bagger."
My point is, you don't have to have a "pantry" to store food. Use any space you can to store the surplus! Under beds, closets and garages all work to store the excess and then bring in what you can store to your kitchen pantry space, cupboard, etc.
What other ideas do you have?