[Today is the last day to enter the Rada Cutlery Giveaway! Winner will be announced this evening.]
Keeping an organized pantry, stockpile, and freezer is essential to saving money in the kitchen. What good is that clearanced-out box of Oreos if you can't find it?
Staying organized helps you save money because:
1. You can see at a glance if you are running low on something and immediately add it to your grocery list...rather than thinking/hoping you have that item, realizing in the midst of cooking dinner that you don't have it after all, and making an extra trip to the store.
2. You can easily decide whether or not to stock up on something. Let's say your kids' favorite cereal is on sale, and you have a coupon too. You think you should buy some, but you decide to check your stockpile first. If your stockpile is organized, you'll be able to see right away that you already have three boxes of that exact cereal. Maybe now is not such a good time to stock up after all!
3. Food doesn't go to waste. If you throw things on your shelves every which way, it's easy to lose a bottle of Thousand Island dressing behind that Costco-sized box of cereal. You might not find it until after it's expired. And then you have to wrestle with the question of whether to throw it out ("What if it's still OK? Then I'm just wasting it!") or using a questionable product ("What if we get sick from eating it?"). Suddenly that 25 cent bottle of dressing might have not been such a steal after all.
4. Planning your meals is much easier if you can see at a glance what you have on hand. And meal-planning saves money, remember?
My favorite way to organize my pantry is to use Tupperare Modular Mates. Whatever doesn't fit into a Modular Mate is organized by type. For instance, all the snacks are on the same shelf, and all the breakfast foods are on a different shelf. Likewise, on my stockpile shelves, the boxes of crackers are all lined up, and the condiments are grouped together. It might not be Pinterest-worthy, but it's organized enough so that I know what I have and where it is.
Organizing doesn't have to be complicated, and it doesn't have to be cutesy (although I love to look at pictures of beautiful pantries!) It's as simple as grouping like items together.
How do you organize your pantry and/or stockpile?
Today is the last day of 31 Days of Saving Money in the Kitchen! To find previous articles and posts, head over here.