Imagine redoing your kitchen pantry so it works for you instead of acting as a cluttered holding place for unused and outdated ingredients. With Stocked, Boulder resident Kate Lacroix hopes to teach people how to eat better, spend less, utilize more and have the best pantry on the block.
"People don't know what they have buried in the freezer or pushed far back in the cabinets, and I think it takes time to bring it all out of the shadows," say Lacroix, who started thinking about the concept of Stocked about a year ago.
"The most important thing I want to get across to people is that meals in thirty minutes and fast food are not sustainable," she adds. "Shop sales, keep a stocked pantry and do meal prep."
The business works by sending an adviser, which right now is Lacroix, to your home to take a look at your pantry and assess what needs to be done. After the house call, the two of you head to the nearest Lucky's Market (one of Lacroix's favorites), where instruction on how to shop, what to buy and what to avoid will be the curriculum. Finally, you'll head home to redo the pantry and prepare a small plate out of pantry items.
"I ask about how they eat and prepare food, and it gets personal as we talk about food, diet, nutrition and kids," says Lacroix. "I see patterns — like we've started to treat the freezer as a secondhand citizen."
The freezer, she says, is your best friend, and one you should absolutely take advantage of as the cold-storage equivalent of your pantry. This includes filling ice cube trays with homemade pesto when basil is in season, prepping breaded chicken breasts for an easy "chicken finger" meal you can quickly defrost, and buying discounted or on-sale fruit, cutting it up and freezing it for smoothies, compote or desserts. This not only saves money, but saves time on the cooking end as well.
"That thirty-minute meal didn't happen because I raced home to cook," says Lacroix, who suggests planning your food menu each week. "It happened because I took the time on the front end to prepare."
Also, she adds, don't buy too many spices at once, since they lose their potency after about six months.
"Stocked was in step with where I was as a mom and a professional," says Lacroix. "I was thinking about how to make heartfelt meals for my children and save money, and it became important to me to create a career that mirrored me and what I did personally."
After practicing in her own home for the past year, she launched the business at the beginning of April 2019, and so far has the capacity to take on eight clients a week. Each session costs $99 and, says Lacroix, after implementing her suggestions, you can expect to save about $100 per person in the household, per month, by cutting down on waste, shopping smart and reducing reliance on expensive prepared foods.
Saving money is the ultimate goal of Stocked, and the final aspect of the plan involves not meal planning, but financial planning, something Lacroix feels everyone should do. For that purpose, she's teamed up with Ellevest, an online, woman-focused investment company. Through Stocked, a free Ellevest account starts you out with $50 to invest, and the idea, says Lacroix, is to add money every month from what you're saving by having a stocked and well-thought-out pantry.
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Lacroix, who has two daughters, believes financial independence and responsibility should be for everyone, including women. Stocked is geared toward women, but Lacroix says she will also happily take male clients. Each person who signs up for Stocked will have access to recipes, a monthly blog and emailed tips and tricks on how to keep the pantry up and going. Since Food52, an online store with recipes and cooking tips, is also a partner, Lacroix uses some recipes from there, as well.
"A stocked pantry is a tool," Lacroix concludes — one that anyone can wield with skill and ease.
Book a $99 session by contacting Kate Lacroix through her website, sheisstocked.com.