How to Store Food Without a Pantry

If you are looking for ways to store the food you use in your kitchen, these tips on how to store food without a pantry will help. Streamline the space you have so you can add another pantry organization tip to your decluttering playbook! 

Not everyone has one but I think it is safe to say that everyone wants one. 

A kitchen food pantry. A designated spot in your home where you can hold all the food you are currently using along with extra items for future meals and snacks. 

Store Food Without a Pantry

If you have a kitchen without a pantry you may think you are out of luck, but you may need to think outside of the box a bit. A basement pantry is a great option and one that I used myself for over 10 years. Sure, it’s a bit out of the way but if you can set it up with a specific goal in mind, food overflow, you might just be surprised at how well it works out.  

Other areas where you can set up a kitchen pantry. 

  • A guest bedroom closet
  • An alcove in a hallway
  • A laundry room
  • A linen closet

Still not seeing what you can use as a kitchen pantry? No problem, we still have one more area to look at. Your kitchen itself. 

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How to Store Food Without a Pantry

Before we look at where let’s first talk about why. Why do you need a food pantry in the first place? For our family, I never know who will be here for meals or when and that means I want to have meal options ready to go. 

Another reason for a pantry is to give you room for deals. Let’s face it, food can be quite expensive so when a sale pops up it is usually a wise move to take advantage when you can. The problem is if you do not have the space to store the stock up and that is why a pantry is so useful. 

Finally and maybe the most important reason for a food pantry is to help you streamline meal prep. I am not a fan of meal planning, yes I do it but I hate doing it. With that being said, I am even less of a fan of flying by the seat of my pants like a game show contestant every day at 5 pm.

A pantry will help with that especially if you have things set up in food categories that match your family and the food they like to eat. Setting up different areas for each category will help you to find everything you need to cook a meal fast. 

Food Storage Options

Look for space in your kitchen. This means your cabinets, extra kitchen furniture, walls, doors, and shelving if you have any. Not seeing any options? Try this trick. Go into your kitchen as if you are looking to purchase your home. If you were to be this new home’s owner, how would you set up the kitchen? Don’t think of where your have things now, think of where you would put things if you were in it for the first time. 

  • Where would the dishes go? 
  • Where would the glasses go?
  • Where would your pots and pans go? 
  • Where would your food storage go? 

Not all kitchens are set up in the best way but not everyone wants to rearrange things over and over again until they find a setup that they like. This exercise will help you to see a better setup than you have now and maybe free up cabinet space in the process. 

Food Storage in a Cabinet

This is a common backup area for anyone that does not have a pantry. What you are looking for is a section of cabinets that are close together keeping all of your food in one place. 

An upper set of cabinets that are close to your ceiling are great for holding items you use every now and then. 

  • Oil
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Rice 
  • Beans
  • Extra condiments
  • Overstock or deal purchases

A middle set of cabinets are great for items you use often. 

  • Spices and seasonings
  • Boxed food
  • Canned goods
  • Food pouches such as noodles or rice
  • Pasta
  • Jarred goods
  • Cereal or oatmeal
a cabinet full of spices and seasonings next to a microwave

A lower set of cabinets is great for holding items your younger family members use. 

  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Salty snacks
  • Sweet snacks  

You can also use lower cabinets for items you use less frequently if you do not have young family members.

  • Coffee
  • Bulk items
  • Overstock or deal purchases 
  • Pet food
  • Drinks
  • Water
basket labeled coffee and a basket labeled k cups and creamer

Storing Daily Food Items

Once you have your food area all set up and stocked, you may still have a few items out that are in need of a home. These should be items you use either daily or seasonally. We will talk about the daily items first. 

  • Bread
  • Fruit
  • Coffee
  • Cooking Oil
  • Spices
  • Sweet treats
  • Meal bars

I like to use bins or baskets for these items giving each their own container. 

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Food Organizing Options 

Basket – Great for holding bread. Even though I have a walk-in pantry and a basement pantry, I still prefer to keep my bread in my kitchen. Bread is something we all love in this house to have it close by is not only convenient it is efficient. 

Wire basket – Great for holding fruit or vegetables. In the winter when produce is not in season we usually just have a basket of bananas sitting out, in the summer however we have so much more. This means two baskets are needed and that is why two-tier baskets are a great option for this. 

Bowl or Kcup tree – Great for coffee/tea. We are heavy coffee drinkers in this house so having a large assortment of ground coffee and K-Cups is what we prefer. I love the organizers for K-Cups that you can set your coffee maker on. This is a great way to free up space on your kitchen counters. 

Tray – Great for holding oil and cooking sprays. Again, we are looking to streamline your kitchen to make cooking easier so if you are an oil user when you cook this may be an option to set up. A large tray can hold your favorite oils, salt, and pepper, even a bowl of fresh garlic. 

Wall shelf – Great for holding spices while freeing up space on your kitchen counters. If you love wall organizers you can use these same options for oils, jar goods, and even meal pouches. 

Plastic bin – Great for holding sweet treats. If you like a snack every now and then, hey who doesn’t, then this may be an option you want to look into. A small container with a few treats takes up little room yet keeps you from scrounging in the pantry risking disorganizing your entire setup. 

Plastic bin – Great for holding meal bars so you know right where they are every day. If you are not a fan of an organizer you can also look for a lovely serving bowl that will not only hold your meal bars but give a bit of decoration to your kitchen as well. 

When looking for efficient ways to store food without a pantry using what you have is the best place to start. Declutter some of your dishes and cookware to free up extra space to hold the food you love and use to cook with. 

A streamlined way to hold the food you buy and use is a great way to create a kitchen you love to cook in. 

Get more food storage tips!

How to Organize a Pantry Floor

Genius Organizers for your Food

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