Craving some chicken noodle soup but having to settle for split pea? Want some Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard but can only find French’s yellow? This is a result of pantry pandemonium! Now is the time to restore order and functionality to your pantry and save money in the process. Here are a few steps to get started and help you find what you want when you want it.
- Pull stapes from throughout the kitchen and pantry and pile them on the table or counter. Discard products that are stale, spoiled or will not be used. Add to your shopping list any food or ingredients you want to replace.
- Divide items into categories so you can keep like items together and avoid rummaging to find what you want. For example: group pasta, rice and lentils, canned vegetables, breakfast items, condiments, etc.
- Before restocking the pantry, sketch out a placement plan on paper. Decide which items should be most accessible and which are used less frequently. Place kids snacks on a low shelf ready for the taking. Potatoes, onions and other essential ingredients can be placed in baskets near the front of a middle shelf easy to reach. Cake mixes and items for special occasions are best stored on a high shelf reachable by a step stool. Baking powder, baking soda and other small containers can hang on an over the door storage unit or lazy susan.
- Use containers to store dry goods such as flour, sugar, pasta, crackers and grains and label canisters accordingly. Store small items such as teabags and hot chocolate in plastic storage containers. Square containers take up less space than round ones because they fit more efficiently on shelves.
- Label contents of the shelves to keep things orderly. This also helps other members of the household to put groceries away properly.
- Keep a pad and pencil in or near the pantry so you can list foods you need to replace before they run out.
I hope this helps bring harmony to your pantry and simplifies meal preparation. Next month its back-to-school tips…already!