I went grocery shopping the other day and decided to reorganize my pantry upon my arrival home. When I was done, I was shocked to find how much money I’d wasted buying things I’d forgotten I already had. A disorganized pantry will do that. In all, I totaled nearly $100 in unnecessary grocery purchases since the last time I’d organized my pantry.
Now I’m on a mission to reorganize my pantry and save myself some money in the future! Here are some of the best tricks and tips I’ve found in my search for pantry organization and money saving perfection.
Clean It Out and Group
The first step to organizing anything is, of course, cleaning out the area. Clear off your kitchen table (and counters, if needed), and pull everything out of the pantry. Don’t just do this shelf by shelf – take everything out at once.Try to organize things as you go to make it easier to see what you have, and don’t forget to wipe down the shelves during this process, as well.
Make an Inventory
Once you’ve pulled everything off and wiped down all the shelves, pull out a pen and paper and write down what you have. This will allow you to see what you can maybe skip buying your next grocery trip, and also allow you to begin a meal plan to use up what you have.
Like things should be put with like things, and labeling can help you keep that organization as time goes on. Use one shelf for cans, one for baking items, one for boxed things, and so on. Label them as you go – this will also make it easier for your kids to help put things away or get things out for dinner.
Your labels don’t have to be anything fancy, but you can have fun with them if you want to.
Invest in Canisters and Containers
Because cardboard boxes and small tears in items like sugar or flour bags can attract pests, which can then get inside the boxes and bags and create a need to throw out those items, it’s a good idea to invest in canisters and clear containers to store those things in instead. This will also help with organization and save space in your pantry.
Create a Tier
To help maximize your storage space for things like canned goods, create a tier in your pantry. This could give you twice as much storage space, depending on the size of your pantry shelves. Be sure to take measurements of the depth of your shelving before attempting to create a tier of some kind. You can use a pre-built tier from the store, or you can DIY it with materials you have around your home.
Consider the Extras
Now that everything is organized and labeled, you should be able to easily see what you have. Personally, when I was finished, I found I had more than 30 canned vegetables, almost all of them either corn, peas, or green beans. Being able to see what I had meant I was able to cross those things off my list the next time I headed out to the store, and thus save myself some money!
If you find you have a wee bit too much to comfortably fit in the space you have, consider donating the overflow to a local food shelf.
Install a Dry Erase Board
Head to the local dollar store and grab a dry erase board. Hang it on the pantry door and use it to keep track of things you’re running low on. When you use the last of something, write it down. This will help keep your grocery list more accurate, and possibly shorter, too.
Organizing your pantry is a very easy way to help save money on your grocery bill. It doesn’t need to be fancy, and can take as little as half an hour. I hope these tips help you get and stay organized in your home. Do you have anything you do to keep your pantry looking great that we didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share these ideas with your family and friends!