Being unorganised is sometimes unavoidable – or so it feels. But the problem with disorganisation is that it spreads into every sphere of your life. But being unorganised in your pantry really cost you more than just time and energy looking for food scrunched up the back of the pantry it also wastes money. So are you wasting money in your pantry?
First we will look at how being unorganised can cost you money in the supermarket. By having a cluttered and overfull pantry you are not using the ingredients you have to their capacity.
- You waste money by not using things before their used by date and having to throw them out.
- You waste money by buying items you already own because you didn’t do a shopping list (or meal planner) or you couldn’t find them in your crowded pantry.
- If you haven’t done a meal planner you buy food “just in case” and then you don’t use it and waste it.
- You don’t store your food properly and waste items because they go off quickly.
Don’t get me wrong all of these things I am guilty of – I have 3 full jars of tomato paste in my pantry as I type this – but I am committed to cleaning up my pantry in an attempt to stop wasting money on food I already own (tomato paste) and have an organised pantry. I am pretty good and meal planning but I am very guilty of buying food “just in case” and then wasting it.
Ways to SAVE money before you hit the supermarket.
- Clean and organise what you already own. Throw out anything past its used by date. Any other items that are in date but you know you wont be using (EG that can of water chestnuts…) donate. Most supermarkets have a donation bin out the front for food donations to local charities – donate any food you know you won’t use here.
- Store food properly!!! Not just the pantry but also the fridge – bags and elastic bands are not a storage system. If money permits a thousand times over I recommend tupperware! I started my ‘glory box’ (yep giant NERD) at 17 and a lot of stuff was Tupperware when my mum or sisters had parties I would buy. I then also sold Tupperware which is an awesome way of getting free Tupperware. BUT I understand not everyone is as into Tupper as me! Haha so if that’s you I suggest glass. Glass jars are cheap and easy to find. You can keep when you buy food in them – wash them in the dishwasher and fill with food. You can also buy them from Ikea, Kmart and even Op Shops – wash and use. Just make sure they have a proper sealing lid! Another cheap and easy to find option is formula tins! Paint the outside, wash the inside and you’re ready to go!
- Come up with meal ideas with what you already own including food that may be close to their used by date.
- Write a meal plan for you & your family for the week – include what you already own. Put your food plan on your fridge to remind yourself what the plan is and stop being asked “what’s for dinner” a thousand times a day. Check out these printable planners on my Pinterest
- Write a list and shop what you need for your meals.
- Store your food properly when you get home. Wash vegetables and fruit – start preparation, like cutting up vegetables etc. Put the newer food at the back and food to be used up at the front so nothing gets wasted. If you have space you could do something like below to get ready for the week ahead.
- Serve up your left overs – I find if I leave the leftovers in a large bowl they stay that way until it rubbish day. But if I divide it up into lunch boxes they magically walk out the door. (The times it doesn’t it get’s put in the freezer the following night).
- Have a whiteboard on the fridge so you can keep a list of leftovers that need to be eaten – great if you have teenagers. The more leftovers that are getting eaten the more money you are saving.
Here are some cheap and cheerful items to get your pantry organisation started.
I hope you can use some of these tips to get your pantry organised and stop wasting money!