So the first place I started was my pantry because I do have financial goals - you know, a budget - after all we did go from two incomes to one income. So in order to cut my grocery bill from $800 to $300 a month, I first needed to know what exactly I have available in my pantry.
I WAS SHOCKED: I found 2 jars of opened Nutella, 2 others new, 3 jars of new peanut butter and 2 jars already open - how much peanut butter do I think we need?! I had a whole bunch of tin muffin cups falling all over the place. SERIOUSLY, how did I ignore this?!
I issued myself an Organization and Budget Challenge:
"Organize your pantry, go grocery shopping in your pantry BEFORE you go to the grocery store and make a list of what you need. If you don't have space in your pantry for something, then you don't need it. Stay within $300 grocery budget and $150 household budget."
Boxes, bags, and multiples of everything and no discernible organization method! I can't believe I lived like this!
To get organized, I purchased 2 Interdesign 4-Piece Fridge and Freezer Storage Bins and 2 boxes of these cute Mikasa Set of 2 Stacking Storage Baskets Steel Wire 13.5x10.5x7.9 Organizer! All within my 'Household' budget line item.
The result, is huge! I had a ton of food that could easily last us for a month!
Here is what I did to organize my pantry to help stay within a $300 monthly grocery budget
(and yes I know they sound simple and logical, but you know what, I didn't do it and I bet a lot of you are in the same boat - no judgement, just saying take a couple of hours and save yourself some time and money. So, here you go :) ):
- Compartmentalize: designate a shelf for a purpose and use the Kitchen Binz to further compartmentalize. For example: one shelf I have designated for side dishes: vegetables, rice and pasta. On that shelf within a Binz I have powder soups and rice packages, the vegetables are stacked within a Benz can holder. At a glance, I can tell what we have readily available for dinner, sack lunches, snacks etc.
I did the same for a baking shelf. It is so handy to simply pull out a Binz and take it to the kitchen to make brownies!
- Make snacks visible - ditch the boxes. Put the snacks in clear containers instead of leaving them in a huge box. I used the stackable metal baskets for snacks. This way I know at a glance what remains and whether I actually need to purchase more AND the kids know what they can grab and how many is left.
- Donate staples that you know you won't eat. I've stubbornly held onto a box of granola bars I bought at Costco for about a year because 1)the kids said they'd eat them and darn it they are going to and 2) it was like 40 bars! The reality - even I didn't like the granola bars. It was time to consider it a sunk cost and give it to someone who might actually like them.
- Use wall space. I used baskets were not actually meant to hang on the walls, but they were sturdy metal, so I installed brackets and screwed them on giving extra visible snack bins.
Pin for Later!
I've seen lots of organization posts that show baskets with labels or shelves with labels - I thought about doing that, but after a week of living with this pantry reorganization I found I don't need labels - everything is visible!
Next Grocery related project to tackle: KITCHEN!
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