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This is the year that you spring clean your pantry! Spring cleaning your pantry is a great way to reset your grocery budget.
Spring clean your pantry in four easy steps this week to help you save money, eat healthier, waste less, and stick to a meal plan!
Remove all Expired Items From Your Pantry
The first step to spring cleaning your pantry, is to remove all of the expired items. Take note of what items have expired and make a list.
You will decide if you want to add them back into your inventory. Empty old contents from containers and recycle everything you can.
You may be surprised at how many things you have let expire! I know the first time I did a pantry clean out I was.
Attach a dollar amount to this so that you are more mindful of your food waste cost. By doing this, you will be more mindful of using items before they expire.
Create a Pantry Inventory
The next step will be to create an inventory of all items that have not expired.
I like to take an honest look at everything I still have on hand. Will I use this item in the future? Should I donate this item?
Give unwanted items away through your local Buy Nothing Group or Facebook Marketplace. You can also donate to your local food bank. I gave away a ton of baby formula when my eldest child turned one. It felt good to give to others who could use the items I no longer wanted.
My favorite way to inventory items in my pantry is to:
- Create a list of the types of items I have
- The number I have of those items
- Make a separate section of my list of items that will be expiring soon
It is the worst feeling when I find a hidden can of food that has expired. Keep track of each item that you have in your pantry for less food, and cash, wasted!
Organize Your Pantry
Now to the fun part, pantry organization! This is my favorite part of the spring cleaning process. Having everything in its place makes navigating your pantry so easy.
To organize your pantry you will put each item category in their own sections. First, put your canned items in one section by type. I will first put canned tomato items in one section, followed by beans, and then other canned items.
Next, I will place all baking products in one section. I like to make my own muffins each week for work. I will put baking powder, baking soda, flour, and other baking items together.
Kid’s snacks and other quick eats have their own section. Crackers, pouches, and other easy snacks my kid’s like are placed in this area for easy access. I like to organize my baby pouches and other snacks in these bins. It keeps them contained and allows me to have more food storage space.
Oils and condiments will go in their own area for easy access. Using bins like this is my favorite way to store my oils.
Pasta and other dry goods go in the last section. I like to keep rice, pasta, dried beans, and other items together so that I can pull them for a quick and easy dinner.
By keeping food in their own sections, you can easily find what you are looking for. This leads to less purchase of duplicate items. Organize your pantry in a way that makes the most sense for you.
Once you start organizing your pantry, you will wonder why you hadn’t done it much sooner!
Meal Plan From Your Inventory
The final step in your pantry clean out is to plan your weekly menu from your inventory. This a great way to be frugal with your grocery budget!
Use a meal planner to create a grocery list from your pantry clean out checklist. Use up your pantry items each week so that you can save money. I like to meal plan through Pinterest and other budget meal sites such as Budget Bytes. I have saved so much money over the years being intentional with my grocery budget.
Grab the printable below by clicking the image!
Start Spring Cleaning Your Pantry Today
By following these steps, I have been able to minimize my grocery budget so that we could focus on paying off debt and saving to reach our financial goals!
Our food expense has been one of our highest expense categories since having children. It is more easily managed when you know what pantry items you have on hand. Also, keeping an inventory will eliminate food waste. You will know what items are expiring and will use them before this date.
To get other great frugal tips check out the frugal section of my blog!