Use these easy organizing solutions to minimize waste and maximize savings. ALL YOU Savings Star Kelly Hancock, founder of Faithful Provisions (faithfulprovisions.com) and author of Savvy Saving: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending in Half and Raise Your Standard of Living...and Giving! helps you streamline your pantry with her best strategies.
1. START FROM SCRATCH
Pull everything out of your pantry and set it on a counter so you can see what you have. Then clean the shelves, sweep the floor and separate the items you want to keep and donate from expired items you can throw away.
2. CREATE MORE SPACE
- Use every inch. Add inexpensive wire shelving near the top and bottom of pantry walls (often wasted space).
- Cover the door. Attach over-the-door hangers for grocery bags and a shoe organizer for items such as plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
- Think outside the kitchen. If your pantry is small, store nonperishable items in the garage or basement using an outdoor cabinet.
3. MAKE A SYSTEM
- Label everything. Put tags on shelves and bins so everyone in the family knows where foods belong—and when you’re running low.
- Think placement. Put heavier items such as bulk purchases on the floor in waterproof, pest-proof bins. Keep breakable containers and products you use less frequently toward the top, and group like items—such as canned goods or kids snacks—together.
- Organize by expiration. If you have more than one can or box of the same item, store the older ones in front.
- Stash away. Extend the life of nuts, grains, flour and other dry goods (and keep pests at bay) with airtight containers.
4. TRACK IT
Tape a list to your pantry door that notes the quantity, expiration and location of everything within. Download the free template at faithfulprovisions.com to keep track of when you use and add items.
BONUS TIP: When you finish a glass jar of pasta sauce or bottle of juice, wash it, relabel it and use it to store bulk-bin buys.