Now that cooler months are settling in, it’s very important that you have an organized and working pantry. Who wants to have to rush out ‘in the snow or rain’ just to get that ingredient you forgot to stock up on. Borrowing sugar from the neighbors is not so cool anymore with everyone on a tight budget. So, take inventory of what you have already and what you need to complete your food supply and get ready to organize like a pro.
For long term storage, think canned foods and other items with a long shelf life. Items with a shorter lifespan can still be stocked up on, you just won’t keep as many of each of those items unless you freeze or can them. It is a good idea to separate your long-term items from those with a short shelf-life.
You can retrofit a ready made shelf to hold all of your canned goods by adding more shelves. Line the shelves with a pretty shelf-paper or contact-paper for that extra pizazz that makes you want to look at it. Restocking is a breeze with this method; just count how many cans are missing from the row of any given product and replace them.
Always buy a minimum of two or more of everything. This way when you run out you have another. Place the used item on the grocery list and you remain stocked at all times. The only exception would be very perishable foods like fruit and say bread or milk. You may not want to overstock on these items as they may go bad before you use them. If your family scarfs down a gallon of milk a day, it may be more prudent to clear a shelf in the refrigerator just for milk and buy several gallons. Make sure perishables can be eaten or drunk before their expiration date.
Another approach is to group entire meals together on shelves or in cabinets. These types of meals would have to be boxed, dried etc. If frozen, group all items together for quick retrieval. For instance, you love stir-fry’s and you love to grill; so grill hamburgers on day one and then that evening take the leftover hamburgers and cut them into bite sized pieces to freeze. Place them next to the frozen peppers and onions and viola, you will be ready to grab and cook next time you want a stir-fry. This can save you countless minutes of staring at your supplies trying to find what you need.
Amazingly, these tips can give you so much peace of mind for your day of organizing and planning. The video that accompanies this article can give you even more ideas to help you get started. You’ll find you have less worries and more time.
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