Sarah Deveau: Money Matters


An Organized Pantry

Save Your Time and Money

I love my pantry. It’s not a decadent walk-in with custom shelving and natural light (that would be my dream pantry) but I’m very happy with it all the same. Sure, it’s small, and I wish the door would shut itself (the kids leave the door to it open approximately four thousand times a day), but all in all, my pantry is perfect.

See, I keep my pantry uber-organized. Not because I’m some sort of OCD tidiness freak, but because as a frugal mom, I hate wasting food or spending more than necessary on groceries. So having a very organized pantry means I can easily see what we have and what we need.

Here are my tips for organizing your pantry and how this will save you money!

  Remove absolutely everything from your pantry - If it’s not food, find another place for it. Check expiry dates and toss anything outdated. Weird half packages of things you never eat but might have bought for a single recipe? Challenge yourself to use them up in a casserole, stew or soup.

  Sort by type - Keep your baking products together, as well as your soups, pasta noodles, and lunch snacks. Keep like with like means you’ll be less likely to end up with six jars of mayonnaise. If possible, adjust the shelves to eliminate dead space.

  Don’t over shop - If you’re obsessed enough (like me) to keep a pricing binder of often-purchased items, add a column to track the dates certain items go on sale. Why stock up on a year’s worth of tomato sauce when it’s a product on sale like clockwork every three weeks?

  Use clear, stackable containers - You can buy these at the dollar store, source out vintage Tupperware at thrift stores and garage sales, or simply use empty commercial food containers. Open packages lead to food waste through spills and food going stale.

Having a more organized pantry makes preparing lunches for the kids a snap, giving us fewer excuses to send them to school with money for the concession. It also supports our meal planning system, ensuring we don’t eat out because there’s “nothing to eat” in an overflowing pantry!