Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Organize Your Pantry

I know not everyone has a pantry, and not all of them are very big, but the ideas I am offering here can be tweaked a little bit to make these suggestions work for your situation.  I have been doing our food this way since we got married (8+ years) and it works in a closet, in your cabinets, under your bed, in the basement, or wherever else you can think of to put your food and we have thought of some pretty random places.

There are a couple of reasons why I do our pantry this way.  First is that I HATE grocery shopping and second is that I find great comfort in knowing that if my husband looses his job or something unexpected happens, we still have food to eat.  I am also really lucky because our pantry is pretty big so I can keep a lot of food actually in the kitchen without having to use any space in the cabinets.

I like to do grocery shopping only once a month.  If you are making a monthly menu or list of meals, it will be pretty easy to figure out what you need to buy to make those meals.  Of course you will still have to buy perishables more often, but everything else can be done all at once.  I get most of our canned goods at Aldi.  Almost everything we have tried from there tastes just like the name brand stuff, but it is WAY cheaper.  The only thing I don't buy from there are their canned/jarred fruits.  Aldi does not offer (at least not at my store) a sugar free version and I don't want my family eating the heavy syrup.  I get our fruit at Walmart.  I buy the Walmart brand and I get the kind that is unsweetened or packaged in pear juice.  My kids have never once complained and I feel like it is much healthier.

Once we get home, I take a permanent marker and write the month and year I bought them on top of the can or box.  I know there is an expiration date on most things, but I like to do it based on when I buy them.  Besides it is easier to see with the date right on top and it makes rotating your supply much easier.  Then next month when you go shopping you can pull all of the old stuff forward (there shouldn't be much there), and put the newer stuff behind it.  It works like a charm.

I am to the point now that I do all of my major shopping every 6 months and then I just have to do the perishables every week.  I can do that pretty quickly...even if I have all 4 kids with me.  This is what 6 months worth of canned goods from Aldi looks like.  This leads us to longer term food storage.  I will be doing a couple of posts on that a little later.

If you have questions or want more detail just email me at pumpkinpatchdesigns@hotmail.com.  I'm happy to share and to help you get your food organized too!

I am linking up to this site.  Go check out what everyone else has done.

Organize and Decorate Everything


JOY said...

I love this! I would love to try this. Thanks for the great ideas!

Leanne said...

This is great Sarah. I hate to grocery shop too. I try to stock up for a few months so I don't have to buy so much weekly. I also hide lunchbox foods so they don't get eaten too soon. Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to everyone. Hubby and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversay. Have a beautiful weekend.

Melissa said...

Oh my goodness! I love this idea. I would love to shop for the bulk of my stuff every 6 months. I hope to be there soon. Thanks for all of this info!

Mom to Many said...

Great job! I am drumming my courage up to go down and do an inventory. I have a few things downstairs that are not in buckets. Our recent visitor in the garage (a mouse) worried me. So off I go.