Getting the Most out of Your Pantry: Make a Plan

It’s plan time! This week we’re looking at putting your pantry to work for you. By decluttering and organizing your pantry, freezer and stockpile, you’ll save on your grocery bill – something we could all use these days.

Why? Because you will know exactly what you have.

organized-pantry
source: natala007
  • You’ll know which food is getting ready to expire so that you can plan to use it before it does.
  • You’ll know exactly what ingredients you do and don’t have, so you won’t be making last minute trips to the store, which always end up costing more than the single item you’re missing.
  • You’ll know when you’re running low on your family’s favorite foods in time to catch the next store special and restock your stash.

There’s no doubt that the investment of time you make into organizing your pantry, freezer and stockpile will pay off again and again on your grocery bill.

To get started, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

source: R.B. Boyer
source: R.B. Boyer
  • How much space do you have designated for your pantry? Is it enough? Should you keep your stockpile in a separate storage area? If your feeling cramped, can you rearrange your kitchen drawers to free up some more space?
  • Which food items do you use most often? Which need to be accessible – or inaccessible – to your kids? What makes the most sense to you as far as “categories” for your food?
  • Are you willing to spend money on organizing your pantry? Would stairstep shelves such as these make your life easier? Could you create more space in your pantry with a hanging door organizer? Do you want to buy glass or tupperware storage containers for your cereal and basic ingredients, or do you prefer to just keep them in their original bags and boxes?
source: JenWaller
source: JenWaller
  • Do you stockpile enough food that you need to set up a separate food storage area, or will you keep it in your regular pantry? If you’re setting up stockpile food storage in a separate area of your home, is it protected from pests?  Is it in a location that’s convenient enough that you’ll take the time to rotate and check your stockpile on a regular basis?
  • Do you have a second freezer or chest freezer? If so, which foods will you keep in it? If not, which contents of your freezer need to be most accessible on a daily basis? Would these be good items to keep in the door or in a small pull-out bin in the freezer to make them more accessible?

I know this is a lot to think about! But remember, planning ahead is one of the keys to success when it comes to getting organized and staying that way. Only you know what will work best for your family!

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