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Shop Your Pantry

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

It’s mid-November. You’re settling into your fall routine. Your daily walks in the park are made more enjoyable by the crisp colorful leaves under your feet.

Then you get the call from a distant relative. They’re coming for Thanksgiving Dinner… SURPRISE!

Many people panic and rush to the store to buy everything they think they need. But not you- you’re a savvy, waste-conscious shopper. You take a minute to collect yourself and complete three important steps to save money, time, and resources as you prepare one of the biggest meals of the season.

First, you begin researching recipes and making a menu. Knowing what you want to cook is the first step in preparing your shopping list. Then you can use the Guest-Imator from to help estimate how much food you’ll need to keep your guests full.

Second, you shop your pantry. Now that you have a list of everything you need, you scour your cabinets and pantry for all the supplies you have on hand.

Third, you make your list. You find coupons and deals and begin shopping. You aren’t triggered by in-store marketing because you have your list. You don’t spend extra time in the store because you’re a pro and know where to go to get what you need.

Wasted food stops with us! Following three simple steps can help you reduce food waste and save money this holiday season:

1.) Make a Menu.

2.) Shop your Pantry.

3.) Use a Shopping List.

Iowa State University's 5-Day Meal Planning Worksheet

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