Are you giving your house a thorough spring cleaning? Don’t skip the pantry! With these great tips from ZipList founder Geoff Allen, you can have a well-stocked and well-organized storehouse in a snap!
1. See how many meals you can make with the items already in your pantry. Homemade soup is a great way to use of a mixture of pantry ingredients such as pasta, dried beans, canned vegetables, spices and grains.
2. When you’re cleaning out your pantry be sure to designate the items you know you won’t use for donations. It’s easy to find a local food bank via Feeding America’s food bank locator.
3. Reorganize by placing older foods first on each shelf and newer foods behind them, so that the older foods get used up first. Place the items you use frequently on shelves that are easy to get to.
4. Keep track of your pantry goods by labeling them with the date each item was purchased, especially if you are using reusable containers for your dried goods. Labeling can even help in identifying which grain is which if you’re storing in bulk containers.
5. If you haven’t used it for baking, how about some other purposes for pantry items:
- Baking Soda – cleaning your house/freshening your fridge
- Olive Oil & Sugar – make a great sugar body scrub
- Straws – ketchup unclogger
- Old cans – for biscuit or cookie batter cutter
- Coffee Filter – Serve small servings of chips/popcorn
6. Store like items together to prevent over-buying and save time knowing exactly where to look for certain staples.
7. Check the life span of staple foods you may think last forever, but actually lose their nutritional value over time:
- Olive oil – 6 months
- Whole-wheat flour: 3 months to 1 year
- Nuts and nut oils: 3 to 6 months
- Ground spices: 6 months
- Green tea: 6 months
8. Check your cans for dents and bags and boxes for tips or tears and toss accordingly.
9. If you have kids, consider creating a shelf of healthy snacks that’s easily accessible for them; it will make them feel self-sufficient and will be less of a headache for you when snack time approaches.
10. Consider services like Ziplist as part of your kitchen makeover, to help you and your family restock efficiently. Or attach a pad of paper to the inside of a cabinet door, so you can make a running list of supplies to pick up, as you run out.