Shopping in Aisle 1


Post by community member:

You probably wouldn’t think much of a grocery store that only featured one aisle. After all, what could it possibly have to feed your family? My answer–a lot!

My kids call my basement pantry Aisle 1.

It started out as a joke. If someone needed something, go to Aisle 1. Applesauce, third shelf down on the right. Salsa, second shelf on the left. The special this week is strawberry/raspberry lemonade. You’ll find it fourth shelf down on the right.

Some bulk foods and dried apples.

Aisle 1 contains my home canned and dehydrated as well as commercially canned foods. It’s also where I store my bulk foods. Why pay $3.99 for a one pound box of oatmeal when you can get 50 pounds for $18.00? Yes, we use a lot of oatmeal.

Aisle 1 also contains peace of mind. I can’t direct you to a specific shelf for that; it’s more the culmination of all the shelves. Am I preparing for some great catastrophe? Not really, just our wild and hectic lives. In February, I had surgery. I wasn’t concerned with what my family would eat. Soups and stews are on the fourth shelf on the left. Meats, veggies and fruits are on the shelves on the right.

Kosher dill pickles, bread and butter dill pickles and peach salsa.

If unexpected company arrives just before dinner, not a problem. Aisle 1 will help me handle it. Sick friend? A quick trip to Aisle 1 and I’ve got dinner in a jiffy. New mom home from the hospital with a baby? Aisle 1 will help deliver a tasty, nourishing meal.

The youngest is headed off to grad school this week. She’s making up her shopping list now. She’ll be headed off to do her grocery shopping later–in Aisle 1.

Now I just need to find which shelf holds the tissues.

You can also find kellyb at Yahoo’s Canning2.

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  1. Linda Goble says:

    Wow that looks great. I have a very small one I call my store. I love how organize it is. I am so envious of you to have the space. My daughter comes shopping in mine when she is low on cash, free food for her. Where did you get those shelves? Love all the canning you did.

  2. Sheryl - Runningtrails says:

    Wow! That’s a dream pantry! I am working on gathering the materials to make myself one, probably in the basement.

    That’s marvelous!

  3. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Oh IMPRESSIVE Kelly! Peace of mind knowing that you are stocked up for just about anything that gets thrown at you! Your hard work really shows!

  4. kellyb says:

    The wooden shelves were made by hubby and the metal shelving was purchased at Lowes but reinforced by hubby and attached to the walls. This section of the basement is organized but you should see the other section!! That’s where everything got thrown when we organized this area. Dede inspired me to get organized when she redid her basement pantry.

  5. psmflowerlady/Tammy says:

    Great pantry and I love your writing style. Thanks for the great post.

  6. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    Wish I had a basement for Aisle 1! Love it!

  7. David says:

    Very nice!

    It is such a comfort to know I can shop my “aisle 1” when I either can’t or don’t want to make a run to the super. Plus I garden quite a bit and this is where I store than bounty.

    I don’t have a basement here so I improvised. I do have an enclosed porch with AC and I installed some shelving units there. To darken then I wrapped them with dark green shower curtains held to the shelves by Velco tape.

  8. daiseymae says:

    what a pantry. I love how organized your are. And all of your beautiful jars of canned goodies. A lot of work went into Aisle 1 but it looks delicious, all of it!

  9. kellyb says:


    Isn’t it wonderful how we can improvise and find solutions. That’s why I enjoy reading posts here. Gives me thoughts and inspiration for my own situation.

  10. kellyb says:


    I am not organized but my wonderful husband is. We joke that he alphabitizes our spices. It’s almost true. I’m the canner, he’s the organizer. I’m a mess.

  11. David says:

    So true I also enjoy reading others solutions to life’s little challenges.

  12. OnMyWay2Glory says:

    When I started “Prepping” 18 months ago my 15 year old daughter made jokes about me. Now she asks me if I will go to my “store” and get her personal hygiene products such as pads, shaving cream, razors, etc…Yesterday she went to the “store” looking for gum. She couldn’t find any as I had rearranged some items…She thought that the Grand-kids had found her sweet spot…My husband seems flabbergasted when I don’t have an item that he wants in my “store.” Having a blast!!!

  13. farmer says:

    Love love love your “pantry.” Your pickles look yummy. I am having a problem finding good pickle recipes. Did you share your canning recipes for pickles (Kosher dill and dill butter) in Farm Bell? If you haven’t – would you? I’d like to make your pickles… Pleeeeeease… Farmer

  14. kellyb says:

    Dede is the pickle queen. The dills are her “clausen type” recipe that I canned. The bread and butter dill are from a friend. I’ll see if I can get his permission to post the recipe here.

  15. monica says:

    It takes a long time and effort to amass that much food! It is nice to hear that someone shares with neighbors and friends when they might need a helping hand. The world would be a nicer, gentler place if we learned to share with our neighbor once in awhile.

  16. YouNameIt says:

    I love it!! If I could only keep my husband and daughter (and their extras that don’t belong) out my storage room would look that great and I could have an “aisle 1”.

  17. kellyb says:


    Isn’t that what part of the fun is all about? Sharing your goodies with others. My neighbors just recently brought me a bushel of Lodi apples for applesauce. I took them red raspberry jelly and banana bread. My other neighbor hasn’t been feeling well so she got some applesauce and soup. It just makes all that effort worthwhile

  18. geedaisy says:

    Where do you buy your oatmeal? It would take us a while to go through that much, but for that price I could share it with my mom!

  19. kellyb says:


    I just submitted the Bread and Butter Dill Pickle recipe. I hope it goes thru. I tried uploading a picture and I’m not very good at that. I guess time will tell.

  20. kellyb says:


    Check to see if you have any Amish or Mennonite stores in your area. That’s where I get most of my bulk purchases. I just include my order when they put in their order. There are also many sites online where you can order bulk foods. Also check to see if you have a co-op in your area. All good sources.

  21. Darlene says:

    Are you Mormon? I know they have a good way to keep plenty of food.

  22. kellyb says:


    I am not Mormon, Methodist with a Mennonite background. My family always canned and preserved foods. I learned to can from helping my aunts, mom and grandmother. The house I grew up in had a root cellar where canned goods and root vegetables were stored for winter. My grandparents had a huge root cellar and smokehouse. Wish I knew 10% of what they did.

  23. NorthCountryGirl says:

    Hi Kelly! I have the very same shelves in my kitchen. Got them at Lowes, tool I love your Aisle 1. I have a closet in one room that we converted to a pantry. We stock the shelves with canned goods, dry goods, and any thing we find that is a good buy. Not nearly as big as your Aisle 1 but it’s peace of mind knowing it’s there. It sure came in handy many times.

  24. Linda Goble says:

    Kelly, we have a root cellar but I think it is to moist that it rust the lids on the jars and I think it is scary in there. We have stalagmite hanging from the ceiling. Did your family have a problem putting can goods in there root cellar?

  25. Valerie says:

    Cute posting, I adore your aisle 1. You’ve also imparted some good habits into your kids, in addition to good food!

  26. sahmcolorado says:

    ok – I MUST learn to can!

  27. Darlene in North GA says:

    Well, I have a sort of aisle 1. I have food storage all OVER this small house. I wish I knew how to organize it. I know I have a lot of food, but it’s not at ALL organized and I can’t wrap my brain around how to set it up so it IS more organized and I can easily find and ROTATE what I have! And living alone, there’s no one to help me figure it out. sigh

  28. bonita says:

    @Darlene: I had the same problem. The I bought some inexpensive plastic baskets and grit my teeth. It was a mess when I started. First spearated the cans from jars, boxes, and packets. Then separated cans in veg/fruit, tomato/beans…kept doing a little each day for a couple of months. Finally one day last winter it all came together. But every time I stock up it’s a struggle to maintain the order. Only the guilt of finding cans with an expiration date of MAR 08 keeps me going!

  29. Darlene in North GA says:

    Thanks Bonita!

    I have everything stuffed in a zillion “misc.” boxes. lol I need to just spend two days and take EVERYTHING out of the pantry shelves, (and from under beds and tops of closets; sort them as you stated and then put them back – together! In Groups!

    It’s just DOING it. Because right now…utter CHAOS. And I don’t think I can do a little at a time because it’s so mixed together. Now that I don’t have any more “helpers” at home, when I clean it STAYS clean. So in theory, when I finally get the pantry, once again organized it should STAY that way. Of course, I MISS those helpers – a LOT. But after 22 years, a clean hose is nice too.

  30. kellyb says:

    Linda Goble,

    If your root cellar is too moist I think you would have problems with rust. Ours was cool and damp, not wet. We only had home canned foods stored there as well as root veggies. After my mom passed, I found one old jar of beets that was probably 10 years old. The lid was still sealed and no rust.

  31. kellyb says:


    You will love canning. There is work involved but it’s such a delight to see all of those jars lined up and filled with their tasty contents. Check out the files here as well as the Canning2 yahoo group. Lots of wonderful people who will be willing to help you learn.

  32. Staci says:

    I bow down to you in awe! You are such an inspiration!

    I am officially jealous of your Aisle 1 and want my own Aisle 1 instead of my itty bitty end cap.

    I love those shelves from Lowes. I bought several instead of that white wire shelving for my pantry years ago.

    Here is my dilemma… I love in the deep south with minimal air conditioning and I don’t have a root cellar. The house easily reaches over 90 degrees everyday. What can I do to help preserve my canned and dry goods?

    BTW – I would love to have that dill pickle recipe!

  33. Patrice says:

    Can I come shop at your store? It’s far more organized than mine. It would revolutionize my life to have things in that neat a space. At work I have plenty of order, but home is a different story. Unfortunately,that much room doesn’t exist in my little old house!

  34. kellyb says:


    Look around your house and you will be amazed at what you can do. My hubby got the idea for reorganizing Aisle 1 after he saw pictures of Dede’s redone basement. The space had always been there, I just didn’t utilitze it to it’s maximum capacity. The space is only 58″ wide by 17′ long. A weird space to work with but it’s wonderful for what we now have there. By hubby has to walk down the aisle sideways because it’s so narrow.

    Do you have an interior closet? My SIL lives in the South and she uses her closet as a pantry. It’s the coolest room in her house.

  35. kellyb says:


    We must be kindred spirits. At work I’m organized at home, not so much. Fortunately, for me DH is the King of Organization. Once he set up the shelves and helped me get things orgazined it’s now very easy to stay that way. Now I just have to move on to every other room in my house 🙂

  36. rileysmom says:

    Wowzers kellyb! You are to be commended for a job well done! That was a lot of hard work, but I”m so proud for you! Also, a bit jealous…what great skills you have.

  37. cassondra says:

    This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen!! Oh,I only hope one day I can do something similar!! Thanks for your inspiring post! Lovin it!

  38. Ruthmarie says:

    Holy cats, what a utterly glorious sight! … first I would need a basement, which requires dynamite in my rocky area of CA. Small house for now, which means food storage is in multiple locations. Tins in the warm garage, glass and home canned goods under the bed (you have to tippytoe to get in, lol!) alongside the flour/sugar/dry mixes. Love your post … positively green over the space and organizational joy.

  39. kellyb says:


    Thanks for the great examples of where to store your extras if you don’t have an Aisle 1. It takes way more creativity to come up with your hiding places. Thanks for the great ideas.

  40. Debbie in PA says:

    Really fantastic looking! I have a couple of shelves in the basement that I purchased at Staples. They are plastic, but very, very sturdy-not the kind that bow in the middle under the weight of canned goods. I have to better organize them, however. A real mish-mosh of things.

  41. shellfromtheUK says:

    Wow thats fantastic! I just wish I had a space in my house to do that too 🙂

  42. kellyb says:


    Check ruthmarie’s post above on how to store food if you don’t have an aisle 1. She has many great examples. Think outside the box and you’ll be amazed at all the places you can find to store your goodies.

  43. Becky W says:

    I bow to you!!!!!

    This is my dream…..

  44. lisabetholson says:

    I have a pantry my father in law built in the back of the laundry room behind the washer and dryer and he put a staircase of 5″ steps. There is so much room in there, but even with my organization my canning is in the garage shelved. Your Aisle 1 is beautiful.

  45. Jayme Payne says:

    I enjoy nothing more than seeing a beautiful pantry…. yours is beautiful!

  46. kellyb says:

    lisabetholson and Jayne,

    Thank you for the wonderful compliments. Right now Aisle 1 is overflowing. At this time of year it’s hard to find space for all the goodies. It sure is comforting to know that all those goodies are there when I need them.

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