[00:00:00] One way to save money on groceries is to start shopping your pantry. It sounds kind of crazy, but when you start looking at what you have in your pantry and making it a goal to use those items up, you’re going to save a lot of money because most of us are guilty of having expired and forgotten food lingering in our pantry.
[00:00:23] In fact, 15% of food waste is from expired food now expired food. It doesn’t mean like you have to throw it away just because it’s expired. You can kind of gauge if you think it’s worth taking the risk if it’s, you know, it depends on the item as well. Like some things like you can get bottled water that is, you can expire like expires, which is crazy because water should not expire, but you’ll have to look and see what you are okay with.
[00:00:57] But if you go through and you look at. [00:01:00] What needs to be used up and making it a goal to use that first before going to the grocery store. That will really help you to save some money and help on food waste. So before you go grocery shopping, see what you have on hand and try to figure out what meals you could make with those items that you need to use up.
[00:01:22] So shop your pantry, your fridge, your freezer before you go grocery shopping. That way you’re going to cut. On your groceries and your food waste. So it’s really important to know what you have in your pantry, and you can do that by actually having it organized. And I am not the queen of organization.
[00:01:43] I’ve gotten much better over time. And. Organizing my pantry has made a massive difference for me because I can see where things need to go. It also helps my kids and my husband to [00:02:00] know where to get different items, and it just simplifies things so much and that just makes my life so much easier. So it’s really helpful to organize.
[00:02:13] Your space. So that way you don’t have forgotten food. And some of you, you might have a pantry that you can have cans that go back further than your arm. And when you have that, and it’s just hard to get to spaces, it’s really easy for things to get forgotten. So here’s some easy ways to start organizing your space.
[00:02:36] One of the biggest shifts for us that helped us stay a lot more organized is an over the door pantry shelving unit, so you can have it attached to the backside of your door. So when you open your pantry, it’s inside of it, and it uses that dead space between. The back of your door and your shelves, you can get them at home Depot, at Lowe’s, [00:03:00] um, bed bath and beyond all kinds of different places.
[00:03:03] And it’s typically about $30 or less. And that has given us so much space and that’s where I store like all of our spices, um, cereal, um, condiments. Things that you don’t have to have refrigerated, like sauces. I’m like, honey, uh, what else do I have in there? Like oil and different things like that. Just my GoTo stuff that I use pretty frequently and that has really freed up a lot of space for us.
[00:03:31] And we also decided to have bins in our pantry, so the items had places to stay because when I didn’t have bins, I just kept having to rearrange things depending on. What I had at the time, and my pantry always seem to be moving around and it never seemed to look nice or organized and it was just hard for anyone to find anything in it until I started having bins.
[00:03:58] And what I did is I [00:04:00] just measured how long the shells, how wide they are. And I wanted to have three bins. So I just went to, I ended up going first to the dollar store and I didn’t find any bins I liked and I wanted something that would hold up a little bit better than just dollar store quality. And so I went to Walmart and I found they have rubber maid.
[00:04:25] It’s like the bins you use to wash dishes. And I brought a tape measure to the, to the store and measure to see if all three of them would fit without like being super snug in my pantry. And I figured out I could put three of them. Side by side. And so then I took a picture while I was at my house of my pantry so I could have a better idea of how many shelves, how many I’m going to need.
[00:04:52] And so I, I bought the amount of bins that I needed and I brought them home. And I then try to figure out like, [00:05:00] what. How should I store these? So like one I have as my breakfast items. And so the breakfast items, it’s not cereal, it’s in there, but it’s like our oats are oatmeal packets, steel cut oats and pancake mix.
[00:05:16] That’s in the breakfast band. I also have one for individual’s snacks, and this is like my daughter goes to school and she packs a snack for school each day. So inside of there would have like granola bars and, and different things that are just individual snack items. And that way the kids know like this is the, the snacks spot.
[00:05:39] Um, and then I have an area for like dry rice and beans and that kind of thing. So. By having all of those areas organized, that has made it a lot easier. We have also used a label maker, so that way it’s labeled in, you know, my daughter can read it, but [00:06:00] my son can’t, uh, and and see what, what should be inside each of these bins.
[00:06:06] And it just helps us all to just find out where things need to go and put things away nicely and putting stuff in a bin. It just makes it. Look better overall, and when it looks nicer, it’s just, it’s just, it feels good. So I would just definitely recommend figuring out some way to organize your pantry so you know what you have.
[00:06:28] And then we also use old Mel crates for our deep chest freezer. You can buy an upright freezer. We have one that’s a chest freezer, and so it’s easier for things to get lost in there because you can’t see it all. And so by putting in the milk crates. I’m able to stack them on top of each other and have it be more organized.
[00:06:51] And that’s really helped us to make it more accessible so you can get things that are at the bottom of it. So when you are starting [00:07:00] to organize your pantry, here’s some things to start out with. The first thing is to, with your food is to figure out which area is overwhelming you the most. And which one is overwhelming you the least amount.
[00:07:13] Some people love to just tackle the thing that is driving them crazy. Some people, it’s a lot easier to just do whatever is least overwhelming and gain some momentum. So whatever works for you. For most people, I think starting with something that’s not overwhelming is the best way to go. So if your pantry is not as overwhelming as going through your fridge and pulling out every single thing, do your pantry first.
[00:07:41] Okay. So the first thing to do is to clear and clean the space. So pull out every single thing out of your pantry, everything wiped down the shelves, clean it all out, and then start from scratch. And then. If you have this, if you’re [00:08:00] doing this in your fridge, that means taking everything out of your fridge, wiping down the shelves, the sides, like everything the door, and really making it super clean.
[00:08:11] And then for your freezer, if you do this with your freezer, you might need to clean up any of the frost buildup that you have. The next thing you’re going to do is you’re going to get rid of all the old food, the food that you. Noah’s expire it’s way past its prime and you just need to pitch it. And then there might be some food items that you know that is still good, but you just know you’re not going to eat them.
[00:08:37] Go and donate them to the food bank and that way you feel good about it and you’re not storing up stuff that’s taking up space that you’ve never gonna use. The next thing is to make sure that you get organized, so create a system in your space so it will stay organized. For me it was the bins for you, it might be something totally different, [00:09:00] but figure out a way that will help you to stay organized and maybe it would be for you, like your fridge, maybe you actually label the shells that you put the dairy products on this shelf.
[00:09:13] You put leftovers on this shelf and that way it just makes it easier to navigate when you open your fridge. All right? The next step is when you. Start creating meal ideas and shopping lists based on going through what items you have and what you throw away. So that will give you a better idea of what you actually need to get.
[00:09:36] And it will also give you some ideas of like, maybe you have a ton of black beans and you didn’t realize it. Like how are you going to start incorporating black beans into more dishes? So that way you’re not throwing it away. Okay. Next thing is you’re gonna put everything away. Make sure you have it in a designated spot, and then the next thing you’re going to do is tackle the other areas.
[00:09:58] You don’t have to do this all in one [00:10:00] day. You can do this over several weeks, whatever you need to do, but having an organized kitchen space will make it so much easier for you. So I highly recommend doing that.