When was the last time you took a good look at the back of your pantry?
If you’re anything like me, I tend to accumulate ingredients to recipes I’ve only used once and get pushed to the back of the pantry with hopes of using them again.
Coming from the era of the “clean your plate” club, I often can’t bring myself to throw perfectly good food away. Last week when I cleaned my pantry out I came across a box of grits I bought to make shrimp and grits only to find out my hubby can’t stand the texture of grits and a box of flax seed that I don’t even remember buying.
So how do you determine what stays and what goes to keep your pantry healthy and organized?
- Your best tools are your eyes and nose. Be sure to inspect all packaging for openings or tears (especially from rodents or insects). Make sure the cardboard or paper is dry and unaffected by mold or humidity problems.
- Make sure canned goods and jarred products are not swollen. Smell anything you can open and close smoothly and anything with lids you’ve already broken the seal
Once you rid your pantry of its long-lost items, you’d be surprised at how liberating it will feel. Take this opportunity to appreciate exactly how much space you actually have in your pantry. Maybe make some storage improvements to make your pantry organized with these handy kitchen chalkboard labels or organize your spices with these spice rack clip-n-store.
In the future, when you go out for shopping, here are some tips to help prevent food spoilage and waste:
- Keep a pantry list taped to your pantry door, so you’ll know at a glance what items need to be replaced or refilled.
- Make a habit of adding labels to things that do not otherwise have one.
- When you come home, repackage and store produce in clear containers that have snug lids to keep moisture and insects out.
- Steer clear of impulse buys at the grocery store when you don’t have a meal plan.
- Keep food stored in dark, dry, cool areas, away from the floor.
- If you buy something with a short shelf life, or with limited versatility, you best be prepared to incorporate it into your daily/weekly meal plan.
What do you do when you feel your pantry is going out of control?
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