Despite running a minimalist home my pantry always seems to be in need of rearranging, sorting, and cleaning.
While my stockpile saves my family thousands of dollars annually and allows me to give generously to my local food pantry, I must admit it is one of the most neglected areas in my home. Which is why I gave my stockpile a much needed Fall Cleaning yesterday afternoon.
So if your home pantry is in need of a sprucing up before the start of the holiday season or as part of this month’s No-Spend Challenge, here are a few tips to get you started.
1) Rotate your stockpile. “Rotating your stockpile” means rotating your stockpile per season. You will need to place goods in order of expiration date, my seasonal usage, as well as keeping climate into consideration; you may need to start storing it in one location for summer and another location for winter, in terms of baking tools, cans, chemicals, etc.
2) Long Term Storage: If you plan to store any item for longer than a week or two, you need to know its long-term storage requirements. Some items will only last months or longer if stored in a cool, dry place. Some items must be stored in a refrigerated or frozen environment in order to last longer. Make lists, and create sub-areas in your stockpile; examples are canned goods, cosmetics, paper products, etc.
3) Take Note of Patterns: Start a list of your product usage, this will allow you to see what you need, will use in a years time, and what should be donated accordingly. Unused goods are cash wasted.
4) Last Forever Items: Nothing lasts forever. Even goods such as bottled water, start to have an altered taste after a decade, so keep this in mind.
5) Canned and Preserved Goods: Keep inventory and note the dates of home-preserved items; a rule of thumbs is to only keep items no longer than two years.
6) Pests: Pests love your stockpile, almost as much as you do! Be sure to check goods monthly, especially in Summer, and any goods that look altered, chuck immediately!
7) Dehumidifier: Humidity can alter and mold many goods, so consider running a dehumidifier twice weekly to lessen your chances of losing food to mold spoilage and canning ruptures.
Now I hope these tips will help you in cleaning out your own pantry at home. Remember, the best way to save on your food budget at the store is to first have a proper, written inventory of what you already have on hand at home.
Here’s to saving,