Country Lore: How to Store Food

Confronted with limited retail food options and wondering how to store food, these readers in rural North Carolina decided to build a large pantry.

| December 2009/January 2010

how to store food - Pantry

A spacious pantry answered the Westpfahl's concerns about how to store food, as well as reduced their shopping time and travel costs.


My husband and I live in a small rural community, isolated from large supermarkets. Our choice of quality consumer goods has become slimmer each year. Food selection is limited, and many items have become more expensive or are of poor quality. Our solution is to travel 30 to 40 miles to a larger community to shop, eliminating the frequent trips to the local market. Even with the cost of gas factored in, we have been saving 10 to 15 percent a month on groceries.

But how to store food became a problem as we were bringing home more food than we had cupboard space. So we decided to build a pantry. It is 6 feet by 4 feet by 2 feet deep with six shelves, two of which include lazy Susans. The pantry has been in use for over three months, and has surpassed our expectations. Because we have food available in the house, not only are we shopping less often, but our meals are more interesting because we have a large selection of ingredients to choose from for each meal.

The storage pantry has allowed us to stretch out our shopping trips from once a week to once every three weeks. Soon, we’ll be able to shop once a month.

John and Radi Westpfahl
Jamesville, North Carolina

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