Updated 28 January 2019.
Your pantry is overflowing with food; you can never find what you are looking for, and there is never any room to put groceries away.
Lurking in the dark corners of the pantry lies food that is mouldy and well beyond its expiry date, ready for the bin. All this disorganisation leads to waste, wasted food, wasted time, wasted money and an overall feeling of overwhelm every time you open the pantry doors.
It doesn't need to be like this. In this post, I'm going to share with you some tips on how to maintain an organised pantry.
Are you ready?
So let’s begin with getting some new storage containers to store all your food in.
Often when you think about organising your pantry, you think of purchasing storage containers. Yes, storage containers are useful, but they aren't the secret ingredient to maintaining an organised pantry.
In my experience.
The key to keeping your pantry organised is to keep it as minimal as possible.
Think about it.
It's easier to keep things organised with fewer items than with large quantities of stuff.
5 Ways To Keep Your Pantry Minimal & Organised?
1. Use what you already have.
Before you venture to the supermarket, get into the habit of looking in your pantry to determine what food you already have in it. You may find that you already have what you need.
2. Plan your meal.
Planning your meals is essential, as you will know what food you are preparing for the upcoming week. Once you know what meals you are going to have, you will then know what ingredients you need to make them. Check if you already have the ingredients, and if you do, then there is no need to purchase more. If you don’t have an item, then add it to your shopping list.
3. Use a shopping list.
Using a shopping list will keep you on track to purchase only the things you need. Also using a shopping list will make sure you don't forget anything. You can do this the old fashion way with pen and paper or use an app. A shopping list app will make this much easier for you as the list can be reusable. Some apps will also allow you to import recipes and once added you can transfer ingredients to a shopping list, and items you already have can be quickly ticked off.
4. Stick to your shopping list.
Once at the supermarket stick to your shopping list. It can be tempting to walk down every aisle of the supermarket adding items you think you may consume.
DANGER! Supermarket Specials
Avoid getting too caught up with supermarket specials. If something you use often is on special buy a few more, but set limits and don’t overdo it.
In my experience.
When it comes to specials supermarkets are predictable, what was on special this week will most likely be on special again a few weeks later. How many times have you seen 95g tinned tuna at half price at the supermarket? A lot. Set limits based on how often you use the item that is on special.
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
5. Remember the supermarket is near by.
For most people, the supermarket is not too far away, so avoid the need to overstock the pantry. In the instance that you do need something and it's not in the pantry, you can most likely quickly head down to the supermarket to get it.
You might be wondering.
All this planning seems time-consuming.
Planning at first might seem to be a bit of an effort, but over time it will become an ingrained habit that will make your life easier. Your trip to the supermarket will be more efficient; you will get in, get what you need, and get out.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Minimal Pantry?
1. It’s a time saver.
A minimal pantry makes it easier to access the food you need when you need it without having to rummage through mountains of food. Also, it makes putting food away quicker as there is space to store it.
2. It reduces waste.
The less food you have in the pantry, the less likely food will be hiding from you at the back of the pantry left to die. Also as you are only buying what you need, there are fewer chances of food not being eaten and going to waste.
According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian Consumers throws away around 3.1 million tones of editable food each year.
3. It saves money.
Buying only the food you need will ensure that you are not spending money on food you won’t use and will end up in the bin.
As it turns out:
The average Victorian household throws out approximately $2,200 worth of food each year (Sustainability Victoria).
4. Food will taste better.
A minimal pantry will ensure that the food in your pantry is always fresh. Moreover, meals are more enjoyable when they are cooked with fresh ingredients.
5. It reduce stress.
Minimal pantries are easy to maintain and keep organised; organised spaces tend to be less stressful than disorganised ones. You can easily find what you need without feeling overwhelmed with clutter. More importantly, it makes the kitchen a positive space. When it’s time to prepare a meal for your family, friends or just yourself, opening the doors to an organised pantry will put you in a better mood than opening the doors to a disorganised one. You may even be more motivated to cook more healthy food than spending money on unhealthy takeaway.
Of course, the content of your pantry will vary depending on the needs of your household. A single person living in an apartment will most likely need less in their pantry than a family of five. However, the principles of maintaining a minimal and organised pantry are the same, use what you already have and only buy what you need. Once your pantry contains only the items, you need you can now consider how to use storage containers to help support you in maintaining an organised pantry. I will also be posting a future blog on tips on how to declutter and organise your pantry.
If you need any help getting your pantry organised post a comment, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0401 149 185 (Australian residents only).