Saturday, August 17, 2013

An Organized Pantry is a Frugal Pantry

Continuing in my series of ways to save money on food, I wanted to share about how organizing my pantry has saved me money.

I am a Type A personality. I actually love organizing things, and have thought about going into some sort of organizing business. But, like everyone, there are areas in my house that still get away from me at times. After our trips this summer, I set out to fix that. I went on an organizing rampage. I posted the before and after photos on Instagram, but I can't figure out how to get them here. :/

Basically, it was a disaster before. I was also digging through it, finding half-eaten bags of chips, duplicates of canned goods I had already purchased...ugh. I wasted money because of those things.

So, I went to the Dollar Tree and spent $4 on baskets (and used an bin I already had). I created the following baskets:
*Snacks: granola bars, almonds, fruit snacks, Craisins, etc. all go in here. This helped me realized that I didn't need to buy any more snacks when I went to the store today. And, when I'm in a hurry before work, it's easy to grab a snack from here for my morning break.
*Sides: I put pasta, rice, mac and cheese, etc. in one basket. Now when I have a main dish figured out, I can see what sides I already have. This saves me from buying duplicates and helps me throw together a quick dinner.
*Chips/Crackers: My husband knows to look here when he wants some chips and we've been way better about finishing off bags now.
*Jello: Yes, we had so many small boxes of jello that they got their own bin. Seeing all of it is motivating me to make that for dessert/snacks.
*Garlic: I got a tiny bin for garlic, since it's always floating around in the pantry. It goes bad or I forget I have it ALL THE TIME.

I put all my baking items on the bottom shelf and all my canned goods on another. The canned goods still get hard to keep track of, but for $4 I'm happy with what I've got. It's nice too, because when I'm at the store, I can picture the bins and know whether I need to buy something. Not that I've memorized it, but for example I know that I have a pretty full snack bin. So I skipped that at Ralph's the other day.

I did the same thing with our toiletries cupboard, and now I know that we pretty much never need to buy body wash for my husband or mouth wash again for the rest of our lives. So that's a plus.

Do you like to organize your home? Do you find it helps to save you money?

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