Updated: Aug 30, 2022
I'm a lucky woman to have a partner who was trained as a Red Seal Chef. I can't tell you how much I appreciate having someone willing and very able to prepare exceptional meals while I sit here at the kitchen island sipping wine and writing my weekly posts.
Tonight, it's meal prep for the week, so I have lovely lunches to pull out of the freezer and reheat when I have very short windows of time between non-stop meetings.
Cutting Down on Food Costs (and Waste)
Have you thought about the fact that organizing your kitchen isn't just about having it look great, but will also cut down on food costs and waste?
There's a professional kitchen organization method called FIFO - or first in, first out. Basically, using absolutely everything in your kitchen before you buy more or it expires.
When we cleaned out the pantry cupboards today, I saw that I had rice in 3 places; one, a very nicely labeled storage jar and two other bags, both partially used. This is a prime example of not knowing what I had on hand and buying more when I didn't need it. Fortunately rice will keep for a long time, but imagine if this was something that has a shorter shelf-life. Into the bin it would go.
With FIFO, simply keep your oldest items at the front of the cupboard or fridge to make sure you use them first. You'll rarely, if ever, need to throw out expired food using this fool-proof method.
Keeping Track of What You've Got
An ingenious idea my partner suggested was to keep a simple list of what we have in the pantry on the inside of the pantry door. Now we keep a list of all items we have in our pantry on a regular basis, with a couple extra spaces to add other items we might need from time-to-time.
Every time we use that last item on the list, we add a checkmark. By the time we get to grocery shopping, we have most of the list done. Just add your fresh items to the list and you're good to go. Never again will you have multiples of an item, unless you want them.
I've added a downloadable version of the list we have at home to get you started. It's broken out into categories, with an example of a food item in each. This system has made a world of difference for us. We're saving money every week and I'm not wincing as we wastefully throw out expired foods because we forgot all about them.
Here's to an organized pantry and some extra cash in your pocket!
Interested in more kitchen-related content? Read my next post about easy meal prep.