Trial and Error: Road Life Pointers Part 2

Part 2: Packing the Pantry

I don’t know about you, but I live to eat. Adapting to a tiny kitchen with limited energy to cook, limited ingredients, and prioritizing manageable recipes, the shift from a conventional home kitchen to Lady Loam’s single-person cooking area has been a huge learning curve for me. So, I thought it may be helpful to share some things I’ve learned while living on the road, in case it helps you too!

Our food and kitchen tool storage encompasses about half of the trailer’s storage space, and that’s what works for us.

Living with minimal storage, for me, meant seaking out new foods and ways of storing them in their preferred environment. Some useful things I’ve found (they may be no-brainers to you, but each person operates differently in their home) include things like buying the little bottles of lemon and lime juice and seeking out dehydrated/freeze dried foods like powdered coconut milk and instant rice/grits/oatmeal/cream of wheat. I have also had to get out of the habit of buying in bulk, and into the habit of buying only what is reasonable to store and use within 2 weeks until the next grocery trip. Learning what actually needs to be stored in the fridge is also very useful. Most of my condiments like tahini, oils, and parmasean are just fine on the counter in moderate weather! If we take a grocery trip and don’t have room for things in the fridge, I eat the food that doesn’t fit that night.


We have a dual chest freezer/fridge, with a little bit of storage space on the fridge side, and a lot of room on the freezer. We started out the other way, with the larger side being fridge, but found that when we had more frozen food storage, we took less grocery trips, and the mechanism tended to run colder on the left side compared to the right as well.


  • condiments, pickled vegtables
  • lemon and lime juice, carrots/radishes
  • small increments of meats and cheeses
  • space for leftovers


  • flash frozen raw produce (spinach, corn, butternut squash, black eyed peas, edamame, potatoes, berries, and homemade pastes frozen in ice cube trays including garlic, ginger, tumeric, galangal, and cut green onions)
  • pre-cooked produce (baked potatoes/sweet potatoes/carrots, cooked pumpkin, all slow cooked in foil on the campfire and saved for a later time)
  • frozen meats (raw or cooked meatballs, beef stew chunks, sausage patties, shredded rotisserie chicken or turkey, fish filets)
  • frozen baked goods (raw pizza dough, sliced bread, tortillas)
  • processed food (sliced bread, frozen burritos, dumplings, leftovers)

Dry Storage

We have ample pantry storage, and I organize it about monthly to tidy up and take inventory. A number of the food is kept tidy with storage poptop jars to standardize space. We can definitely sustain ourselves on our pantry goods for a while, but balancing these ingredients with fresh/unprocessed frozen foods seem to give us the most balanced meals.

More specifically, we keep…

  • cans and jars (diced tomatoes, all kinds of beans, puree pumpkin, fish in tomato sauce, emergency chicken soup, our family jams and chutneys)
  • dried foods (oats, lentils and beans, nuts and seeds, rice, grain pasta, rice noodles, dehydrated potato gnocci, pancake mix, coconut milk powder)
  • spices and dried herbs (spice blends and whole/unground)
  • processed food (instant rice, hotpot ramen noodles, instant grits, cream of wheat, instant oatmeal, non-dairy self-stable milk, quick mac and cheese, carton of vegetabe soup like tomato bisque or lentil soup, and canned mackerel in tomato)
  • beverages (whole teas and herbs, matcha powder, instant hot cocoa, instant coffee)

Counter Snacks

  • granola/cereal, crackers and chips, meat sticks, chocolate bar, snacking seeds and nuts, marshmallows, dried fruit

Counter Produce

  • apples, oranges, pomegranates, citrus, potatoes/yams, alliums, pumpkins/hard squash

COOKING in any unfamiliar environment can be stressful, and cooking in the tiny home is no different. Sometimes the propane runs out mid-boil, or bread gets too toasted and smokes up the entire house, or the food cooking on the fire takes an extra hour to cook… the situation is simply unpredictable. But learning to adapt and improve has made all the difference. In the end, learning to balance cooking with “cold meals” like a cheese plate or fruit and nut plate, seeking out quick-cook and no-heat foods, and getting creative with ingredients makes the process a lot easier.

If you have any advice on cooking in a tiny home or with limited resources, don’t hesitate to contact me!

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