New Home, New Pantry: Donations Gladly Accepted, Thank You Very Much

Dried Pasta In Jars On A Shelf

I have relocated every year for the past eight years: New Jersey to Georgia to Washington state to Kentucky to North Carolina to Piedmont, Italy to Rome, Italy to Los Angeles and now New York City.

My current home is very small, so when it comes to stocking my pantry, my choices need to be narrowed down and made wisely. Or, sometimes, not made by me at all.

Now that I live in New York my parents are close by, still living in the farmhouse in New Jersey where I grew up, and I have been visiting them at least one weekend a month since I arrived back on the east coast. My dad has a lovely garden and grows an abundance of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, and is an excellent cook, so there is always something homemade and delicious to take back on the train with me to enjoy in the week ahead. He sends along a generous care package of things from the garden that are ripe and fresh, or preserved and saved for later, plus leftovers from meals made over the weekend. In addition, my mom usually throws in some household goods, like a roll of toilet paper or two. And, she was super kind to buy me a new light weight vacuum and drive it all the way into the city for me because I didn’t have one of my own.

Considering that I am very much an adult, I feel childish and somewhat ridiculous accepting these things from my parents, fighting rebellious thoughts that pop into my head, like, “I can take care of myself thank you very much!” But hey, I’m definitely not complaining later when I’m hungry and don’t feel like cooking, or when I’ve forgotten to buy toilet paper during my last trip to the store, or when my apartment starts to collect dust bunnies and needs a good cleaning.

Also, grocery shopping has become an issue. I have two hands and now, no car. So I’ve decided to order most of my dry goods and shelf stale products, such as spices, beans, tomato sauce, pasta, quinoa and rice, online and have them delivered. Most large grocery store chains offer online ordering and home delivery services. Otherwise, I buy fresh foods at my local supermarket and at the farmer’s market.

Three tips that I learned during my many moves that will save you time, energy and money when you are restocking your new home:

  1. Gladly accept donations from family, friends and new neighbors.
  2. Check out home delivery for dry pantry items and shelf-stable groceries.
  3. Seek out the closest farmer’s market and make an outing out of it. Meet your local farmers and learn about your new food location. They’ll tell you and show you what to buy that’s good right now.

Bonus: all of the above will ease relocation stress, and you may even make some new friends or strengthen old bonds with those you love during this period of adjustment.

Do you have some pantry restocking tips you learned during an adjustment period that eased relocation stress? If so, please share them with us and comment below!

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