If we put our pantry into categories we will be able to know exactly what we have and what we need at the grocery store so we don’t over buy. I know, I know, same thing different day. Here are some suggestions for your pantry. I keep cereal and snacks on lower shelves because I don’t want the boys calling me every two seconds to get them a snack, I want them to be able to get some things on their own so they feel independent and I don’t have to help them every two seconds. Of course this was when they were five and three but even now it helps when they just don’t know what they want to eat.
I also keep a drawer of packaged food fruit snacks, bagged crackers, and energy bars etc. The reason I do this is so that I don’t have fifty boxes of snack bags half emptied in my pantry. I take all of the snack bags out of the box and put them in their general area in the drawer. If you really want to, you can buy baskets that fit in the drawer. I don’t like to spend extra money if I don’t have to, so I put the like items in the general areas of my drawer.
The rest of my pantry is sorted by baking things on the top shelf (I purchase, I don’t bake) since I don’t bake very often I don’t need it at eye level. I keep my soups together, mac-n-cheese, side dishes, and then my boxed dinners. After my boxed dinners I have my taco “stuff”, pastas and sauces “stuff” and so on.
When you make your grocery list, first make your dinner menu for next week from your pantry. If you are overflowing in the pasta and sauce area, I say spaghetti night is calling you. If it is suppose to be really cold the next week and you only have one can of soup, pick up some more at the store. If the kids have soccer practice on Tuesday night, make sure you have box a mac-n-cheese for them to eat before or after practice. You want something quick and easy for busy nights. I also throw in crescent rolls and some yogurt.
If you make your list and menu’s from what is in your pantry you will save money at the grocery store and time during the week not worrying what you are going to make for dinner tonight. I know I seem crazy but once you get going, trust me, you will no longer be worried about what is for dinner or running through McDonalds twice a week. Don’t forget to go through your coupons to save even more at the grocery store!
Easy tip, I brown my ground beef when I buy it from Sam’s. I put the browned ground beef into Ziploc freezer bags so that when I make a Hamburger Helper or tacos I am already ahead of the game.