We spent Sunday cleaning out our pantry. I love the fact that our kitchen has a pantry. I hate the pantry design. The shelves are nice and big but they are big and deep. You know how your dryer eats socks, well our pantry ate food. It would suck it into the back of the deep shelves … never to be seen again.
We emptied every darn thing out of that pantry and put it on the dining room table . We then sorted through and anything that had expired was tossed. We then got to organizing. My husband had organized the pantry some time last year. It was in OK shape but the big deep shelves still ate whatever was in there.
So I had the genius idea of putting bins in there to contain what is in there! So off to Lowe’s we went. It is the closest place to us that sells that kind of stuff and I was honestly hoping for actual kitchen bins. We ended up getting regular clear storage bins and I am OK with that because they WORK!!
So what does this do for us? So much …
- We know what we have. It is easy to see what is in our pantry and what has been used and not replaced!
- We know what we don’t need!! We sale and coupon match shop a lot. At times it is easy to buy ten bottles of marinade but we really don’t need that many since my husband makes his own more often than not. If we have a few bottles that is more than enough for our quick dinner nights!
- We limit what we have to what fits in the bins. The bottom bin is snacks and bulk dried foods. If the bin is full, it is full. The top bin is my baking stuff. Once again, I don’t need ten cake mixes. I love how cheap they can be when I coupon and sale match but I honestly don’t make them THAT often!
- We use what we have! The empty bin is pantry items being used in this week’s meals. The end of each week, it should be empty.
- We can strive to eat healthier by seeing what we have and do easy replacements such as regular pasta with whole wheat pasta.
Here is what you have been waiting for a picture! I didn’t think to take a before picture but here is the after picture displaying the end product of our pantry organization efforts … ta-da!
I say all this using our pantry as an example but the “Knowing What You Have” applies to so many areas of our lives (and budget!) You can do this with your office/school supplies, your clothes, your cleaning supplies, your tools, your kitchen gadgets/appliances, … I can go on and on and on. With the other items listed, if you have items you don’t need then you can hold a yard sale or donate them to a local non-profit. We have a great non-profit in the area getting ready to host their Christmas in July event. Some of our left over yard sale items will be going to them.
If you “Know What You Have”, you will use what you have and not waste extra money in your budget. I know our grocery shopping budget has been majorly sliced as we go through what we have instead of continuing the stockpiling method. At times, you need to go through what you have to ensure you use what you have.
So I challenge you to “Know What You Have”. Pick an area to try this in your life. Maybe it is your pantry … your fridge … your extra freezer … your clothes … your kitchen gadgets … everyone has some area they can go through. So off you go … get on it. Then come back and let me know how it goes. If you have a picture to share, I would love if you email them to me at simplybudgeted at gmail.com. If I get pictures, I will do a follow up post!
Hope to hear from some of you soon!!