When your pantry is full of food that you would rather not eat as long as there are other choices available.
When your pantry is full of food that is “good to have,” but your family doesn’t eat it, and you won’t use it in a normal week.
As we clear the clutter, this week we’re focusing on pantry space. When you look inside the cabinet where you store your food, you don’t want that organized space to be taken up by food that you don’t eat. Think of ways you can incorporate some of that food into your meals this week.
If you have an excess of food, save yourself grocery money this week and use up some of what you have. We’ve been trying to see if we can make it for one more day before a trip to the grocery store each week, so we can reduce some of the food that’s been sitting in the pantry for a while. I don’t know why we have so many canned goods; we don’t use them very often, but they’ve been around for a couple of months already. We’re also using up some of the ingredients that I bought when I was trying to get creative at the grocery store.
The idea for a pantry is that you will be ready to cook dinner, you’ll save money, and you’ll save yourself from last-minute trips to the grocery store. It works better when it’s organized and everything is used regularly.
I use serving platters and bowls to organize my pantry, instead of storing them away and only using them for parties. Try consolidating packaged snacks into a snack basket, and clearing out the almost-empty boxes. The canned goods are on a lazy susan so I can access all of them. (more pictures)
Some people use a pantry as food storage for emergencies. When I showed how my fridge gets rather empty before I go grocery shopping, some expressed concern about what we would do in emergencies. I don’t store emergency food in the fridge or freezer. If the power goes out, it would all be lost! I count more on dry or shelf-stable foods that we normally eat such as dried fruits, nuts, beans, rice, pasta, and peanut butter as part of my back-up plan for emergencies.
I think the foods you plan for emergencies should reflect your grocery list. This way you’ll use them regularly instead of storing them all year and letting them go to waste. So yes, in case of a blizzard, the food storage in my pantry usually looks more like peanut butter, wine, beans, and cereal, not MRE’s.
May is the beginning of moving season, so if your house is on the market or you’re moving soon, definitely straighten up the shelves and use what you have instead of moving it.
If you stock up on sales, take a week off from shopping and use what you have so you can fully realize those savings. If you’ve bought extra to have some to share and donate, drop off those canned goods and clear up some room.