Perhaps you have a large pantry in your kitchen, yet you feel like you’re always running out of ingredients on busy weeknights. Or accidentally letting food expire, or over-buying items when you already have plenty. If you’re ready to set up optimal food storage solutions for your household, you can find the complete online class here.
Here’s how to manage spreadsheets to evaluate your inventory and organize your pantry in a way that suits your
needs, and cook with ingredients well before they expire.
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6 Steps To Organizing Your Pantry
Keep Track of Your Inventory
No matter what you keep in your pantry, it’s a good idea to track your inventory levels -especially if you have a big family! You never want to run out of ingredients that you really need. This is particularly crucial if you live far away from a grocery store. To assess how much of a particular item you have in your pantry, and determine when you need to restock, you use a
spreadsheet. With a handy conversion tool, moving content from PDF to Excel couldn’t be easier. Go here for more Food Storage Inventory tips.
Use Organization Strategies
You’ve taken inventory of your pantry, and now you know exactly what you have – but how should you organize it all? Better Homes & Gardens recommends dividing food up by its purpose on different shelves. For example, different shelves could contain snacks for entertaining, baking ingredients, essential staples for weeknight dinners, canned goods, and breakfast items.
Stock Up on Staples
Of course, you’ll stash snacks in your pantry. But you’ll want to double-check that you always have certain cooking staples available. There’s nothing more frustrating than chopping up all of your vegetables for a stir fry. Then you realize that you’re out of rice. Find out if you’re low on staples, and the next time you hit the grocery store, make it a point to include them on your list.
Maintain Food Freshness
Nobody likes wasting food. Yet sometimes, you reach for a snack out of your pantry and take a bite, only to realize that it’s stale. There are a few tricks to keeping food fresher for longer. Pioneer Thinking recommends storing dry goods in air-tight containers and carefully resealing any opened packages with clips or sealers.
Clean Your Pantry Regularly
Just as you need to clean out your fridge, you need to clean out your pantry, too. It’s easy to skip cleaning out the pantry since it’s full of dry goods, but it’s important to tackle this project every few months.
To start, you’ll need to empty all of the shelves, toss out any products that have expired, and wash your shelves with soapy water and dry them off. If you have any extra non-perishables that you don’t need, drop them off at a food bank! This is also a good time to update your inventory spreadsheet.
Monitor Expiration Dates
The final step to organizing your pantry is to make sure to keep an eye on expiration dates after you’ve reorganized your pantry. Letting products expire wastes food and money! You may want to use a label maker to place clear, large labels on products so that you can always see the expiration dates. Keep food that’s close to expiring near the front of your shelves so that you’ll be reminded to use it up.
Ensuring that your pantry is always organized and well-stocked isn’t easy! But with the right systems in place, you can keep your pantry clean and make sure that your family has the right ingredients on hand. With these tips, you’ll be able to create a pantry spreadsheet, organize all of your ingredients and staples, and keep your food fresh.
Do you first need to build up food storage supplies prior to organizing your pantry? Turn to The Merrill Project! Sign up for our free mini-class on food storage strategies today.
Thank you to our guest writer Sharon Wagner for a wonderful piece.
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