Over-stuffed Pantry!

I got home from Costco yesterday with a good haul and when I opened the pantry door I realized there was no room for what I bought. Well, that’s not entirely correct– there was room but things were so disorganized and shoved in there that I couldn’t put anything away. So it was time to pull it all out and put it back.

My pantry isn’t a separate room, (that would be awesome!) its several cupboards in my kitchen.

BEFORE:

messy pantry

This is my “staples” pantry. Ahh! Disorganized mess. Canned things spread across all shelves, stuff put in sideways!

snack pantry mess

This is the snack pantry before. I keep snacks for the kids in here and quick fix meal items in here. Unfortunately there are things in here that don’t belong. Some are stale, expired, etc.

AFTER:

organized pantry

All sorted out! Canned goods are sorted by type and lined up neat and tidy! There is actual space left on the shelves!

What? Oh, were you expecting color coordinated baskets with tons of labels? Nope. That’s not what this blog is about. I’m all about “home and garden for REAL people”.

I took over the upper cabinet next to the oven for more space. I like to keep basic canned goods like beans and tomatoes on hand and I’m planning on doing more canning of my own this summer. I also moved things into smaller containers and sorted out things that were expired. Happily, there were only a few expired items. I hate throwing out food. Snack cupboard looks about the same (but is organized) so no photo.

And then there’s this: My baking cupboard

I still have this to tackle!

I still have this to tackle! Flour goes in that big container. Yes, I have two 10 lb bags of sugar open. That’s what happens when you get disorganized!

I have a 25 pound bag of flour that needs to be divided up into containers. I also have sprinkles, cookie cutters and other decorating items in yet another cupboard that need to be organized and moved over with the baking stuff.

One of the best things about periodically reorganizing the pantry is reminding myself of exactly what I have. I now have ideas for all of next weeks meals without needing to go to the store again!

Remember that they don’t have to look perfect, with matching containers and color coding. Just get it organized so you know what’s in there! So, have I inspired you to tackle your pantry or cupboards? Let me know in the comments – I love to hear from you!

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Coupon Binder Project

Here are some photos of the coupon binder I made.  You can find pre-made coupon binders online, but I think it’s cheaper to make your own.  You can also customize it for the number of categories you want.

I had a 3-ring binder laying around so I didn’t need to buy that.  I purchased sets of 8-tab dividers from Target.  I tried to find the 9-per-page baseball card holders locally at Target, Michael’s and WalMart.  I couldn’t think of any other place to check –and I couldn’t drag the kids into another store anyway.  So when we got home I ordered them on Amazon.  I have an Amazon Prime account ($79 per year) so most things I order come with 2-day free shipping.  If you order from Amazon on a regular basis or even just during the holidays, you can save a lot.

I went to the Krazy Coupon Lady site to get her suggested 36 coupon categories.  I had 32 tabs (4 packs of 8-tab) so I changed/combined some of the categories to fit my needs.  Then I took the clipped coupons I had and arranged them in my binder.  And here is the finished product. 

My next step is to consistently get copies of the paper each weekend so I can take advantage of good prices when they come up.  I know this sounds like a lot of work, but since I’m home with the kids saving us money is my new job.  And believe me, we spend a lot on groceries right now, so it’s a great target to try to cut our spending.