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Friday, 2 October 2015

The Organized Pantry

We made it through Day 1 of the Spending Freeze and now we have completed Day 2 as well!

Gord and I have talked about our Ground Rules and signed the Commitment form so now the next assignment is to take a Pantry Inventory!  Luckily I have a pretty organized Pantry since Gord just build it for me a few months ago, but I'm going through it and writing down what we have on hand so that we are better able to plan our our meals.  

I think we will do pretty well with this aspect of the challenge because we have a fairly full freezer chocked with local meat, bread and waffles I've made and frozen.  Our Pantry is not super stock piled but I think we can make it through.  I'm excited to see how much we actually save on grocery shopping this month because I know that most of what we grocery shop for is fresh foods anyways, we don't have a lot of processed foods in our pantry. No boxes of KD or anything like that to get us through the month here!  

I did a Periscope Broadcast tonight on the way home from work about what to look for when reading labels and I thought it was fitting to share it here for anyone else who might be following the challenge and cleaning out their pantry.  Why not clean it out of all the junk too!

For tips on that check out this blog post.

Here are the steps for organizing your pantry if your following the challenge. 


1. Clear out a large space to work on. If you plan to do your cupboards or if your pantry is in your kitchen, you may want to clear off a counter. If your pantry is in another area of the house, like the basement, set up a card table, and be ready to set things out, assess, and put back.

2. Remove everything from each pantry shelf, one at a time. Check expiration dates and watch for anything that may have spoiled or is beyond salvaging. Canned items should not be bulging or leaking. Place open items in a cupboard or separate section. I like to keep my unopened items in the pantry, then place items in my cupboards once I’ve opened them or once they’re in use (like baking soda, flour, pasta, and so on).

3. As you clear each shelf, wipe it down thoroughly. You can use a multisurface spray, or try a few tablespoons of vinegar diluted in three cups of water. Add a little dish soap and a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and you’ve got a spray that will freshen and clean without chemicals.

4. Write down each item as you go. Use our handy-dandy Pantry Inventory Worksheet to keep track of all your items. This will become your go-to list when you’re meal planning. Plus, it’ll save you from running back and forth to the pantry for every ingredient. 

Get your printable pantry inventory worksheet here.
5. Put back your pantry items in a clean, logical order. You’re going to want to do it just like the grocery store: each item should be faced towards you, stacked in a way that’s easily accessible, and the most popular items should be placed at eye level. If you have several of the same item, check expiration dates and put the oldest item to the front.

6. Sit back and bask in the beauty of your clean, organized pantry! Don’t you feel calmer now? If you’re still feeling ambitious, try tackling the freezer! Use the same process and see what you have stored up.

Get your printable freezer inventory worksheet here.
I did a quick tidy up tonight of our Pantry and freezer and jotted down everything that we have.  I noted that we will need eggs and cream over the weekend which is on our list of items we are allowed to buy this month.  The only thing I'm wishing we had more of is canned tuna.... but we will do with out this month!  1 Can will have to last us!

On our "Things we have committed to paying for this month" section of the Ground Rules, I wrote down 2 kids birthday gifts and 2 parents birthday gifts along with a lunch out for a colleague.  The lunch was today so I was a little disappointed that so early in the challenge I was going to have to spend money, but I managed to use a gift card and didn't technically pay anything!  Score!  

I thought about what items I had in my gift cupboard all day and I figured I would need to purchase at least one birthday gift for the two parties Asher has this weekend! I asked the moms what the kids were interested and luckily the little boy is into Legos!  Perfect, because I just happened to have a set of 3 Star wars lego in my cupboard!!!  However the little girl was trickier because I didn't have anything in my cupboard that was girly in any way!  We decided to see what we could get for her at Costco and grab our eggs and cream while we were there. 

Eggs and cream are within our "needs" category for the month so we made a plan before we went in to only get our needs not any wants! We bypassed a few cool items but came out with only the items we went in for! I even passed up a Starbucks Advent Calendar!  

Proof that all we purchased was
Eggs, Cream and the Gift we committed to. 

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