Five Tips For Organizing Your Pantry
If you are looking for a great end of summer project for the entire family, consider re-organizing the kitchen pantry? Americans throw away $3.5 billion dollars worth of food each year that has expired or become rotten in the refrigerator. That is enough food to feed 200 million adults meals! Wasted food is not only expensive, but a true tragedy when you come to the realization that a starving child somewhere in the world would gladly eat the “left-over’s” from your home.
A great way to prevent over-purchasing groceries and goods is to stay organized in your home pantry and fridge. The following tips will help you to maintain a clean and organized kitchen so that less food is wasted and the proper food is purchased to save your family money!
Pantry Organizing Checklist:(Inspired by Real Simple Magazine)
- Assess the Contents: The best way to start your organization project is to take inventory of what you have. Check dates and throw out expired items. If you know your family will never use it, place in a donation box to be taken to your local food pantry (homeless shelter).
- Store Foods Methodically: Store most used products at eye level. Stack canned goods and heavy items on lower shelves to prevent injury, and lightweight items such as cereal or pasta can be stored on higher shelves.
- Food Storage: Store bulk baking items (flour, sugar etc) in BPA free plastic containers to maintain freshness. Glass containers are also great to use, but tend to break more frequently.
- Storing Spices: Store spices in carefully labeled, airtight jars to maintain freshness. Spices should be stored in a dark cabinet for a longer shelf life.
- Stash a Step Stool: For those hard-to-reach shelves, be sure and hide a step stool somewhere in your kitchen. Retail shops often sell collapsible stools that can easily fit under the sink or in the bottom of the pantry.
Once your pantry is organized, take time monthly to maintain each food group. It’s also a great idea to keep a shopping list posted on your refrigerator door or inside your pantry so when an item runs out, it’s very easy to record it for purchase. We hope these tips help you and your family stays organized and waste less food this coming school year!