Organization is key to saving money, and we all would love to save some extra money. The kitchen pantry is no exception to the rule because you can save money by organizing your pantry.
If you are anything like me, you probably have a mess in the food pantry and find yourself searching madly for things when you are half way through cooking a main meal. I hate it when I start to cook curried chicken and rice and finish the curry only to find there is no rice to cook. So then I am left with a rice-less curry.
Ahh so I guess you are wondering what that has to do with saving money? Well when I don’t have something, I run out to the nearest convenience store and buy rice at an inflated price.
But this is just one example of not being organized.
1. First In, First Out
The most effective way to save money in the pantry is to prevent food from going bad. The FIFO rule doesn’t just apply to warehouses and stockrooms. It can save you lots of money if you use it in your pantry as well. Basically, it means you need to use the oldest ingredients first and rotate the new ones to the back of the line. This should be a strict rule in every pantry.
2. Keep The Basics Stocked
Like my little example above in the introduction, you need to have your pantry stocked up with the basics so you don’t need run put and buy important ingredients at the last minute. Some of the basics I like to keep stocked are:
- Self Raising Flour, Plain Flour, Corn Flour, Rice Four
- Rice, Pasta, Rice Noodles
- Raw Sugar, Brown Sugar, Caster Sugar
- Canned goods like spaghetti, baked beans, crushed tomatoes, tuna, fruit
- Jars like spaghetti sauce
- Plastic Wrap, plastic containers, clip lock bags
3. Buy In Bulk But Watch Out!
I love it when grocery items are on special, in fact I have a weakness for them! It is great to get Leggo’s spaghetti sauce for .99 cents a jar, saving $2, but if it gets wasted you lose that dollar. So buying something cheap doesn’t always pay.
Make sure you do in fact need what you buy in bulk and never buy something just because it is cheap.
4. Buy Ingredients That will Last
Buy ingredients that won’t perish fast. For example dry or canned food lasts longer than fresh food. Frozen foods are also good, but they cost money when you have to run a freezer to store them in and after all that they are still be susceptible to freezer burn.
5. Take Care With Opened Packaging
When you open a fresh packet of crisps or biscuits, if not sealed up again, they can go stale very quickly. Air tight containers are a great storage idea for your pantry and help keep it organized.
One of my friends freezes open chips and crisps. You would think they would go stale, but no they don’t, they actually taste fresh and crisp still.
6. Write a Note – Organize Your Pantry
Occasionally check your pantry and see what needs to be used. Write a little note or a message on a whiteboard saying “use the coconut cream can”. You could also move the food that needs to be used first to an urgent section of the pantry.