Oh the love/hate relationship with pantry clean-out eating......
At the end of every month, we are usually running pretty low on supplies to make full meals. My husband starts growling in jest when 4 different types of vegetables, a bean burrito, and some leftover spaghetti graces his plate, but in reality it makes for fun meals and it helps us stick to our monthly budget.
Clean-out eating is a great way to help you save a lot of money on your grocery budget, see what meals your family really like, and reduce waste!
But this past month I was concerned we weren't going to have enough to make it to the end of the month and I was gong to have to dip into next month's budget envelope. God always provides for us and this time was no different. This month our food just seemed to procreate in the cabinets and frige!
So here we are 6 days into March and I still have enough to plan meals until Saturday the 10th!
It's refreshing to use what we have, not let things go to waste, and to be able to see almost every inch of the frige and pantry.
I love to take this opportunity to tidy up around the kitchen as well. There's nothing like an unhindered chance to clean, purge, and take inventory.
10 Things to do at Clean-out Time!
- Take EVERYTHING out of the cabinets and refrigerator
It's so much easier to to see what you really have, get everything spotless, and get rid of what has been lurking about!
- Wash out canisters, tubs, and bins
Spilled ingredients and spices make for a messy working area and sticky items just aren't fun to work with.
- Wash down refrigerator and freezer
Take shelves out and soak if possible, get in those nooks and crannies, and chip off that frozen chunk of ice. Don't forget to change our your baking soda box.
- Wash out cabinets Now is a great time to wipe out crumbs, polish up your wood, and put down plastic shelf liners.
- Inventory food items
Make a detailed list of what you have left and how much. This will help later when it's time to make out our shopping list and menu plan.
- Throw away outdated items Obviously there is no sense keeping old food in your cabinets. No science experiments allowed!
- Record items that need to be eliminated from menu
As you are going through items you may to start getting a feel for items that aren't being used often. Maybe you have numerous bottles of the same thing or maybe you remember the grumbling at the table each time you make a certain meal....write it down, you don't want to waste money.
- Organize items
Make sure to group like items. I find it helpful to have shelves that are dedicated to certain item. Juice together, dry staples together, spices together....there's no sense in hunting down items.
- Label Items
How much easier is it to look into a pantry and see exactly what you have? But when things are in canisters and baskets, you can waste precious time searching for something you need to complete a meal, or worse buy a duplicate item and waste money in your tight budget.
- Put things back, Correctly When moving into a house, many times things just get shoved into cabinets and there was no real thought put behind where things were placed. Now is a great time to really think about how you use your kitchen and where certain things can be placed to really help you be more efficient....time is money!