Organizing Your Cabinets To Save Time & Money

IMG_6428I recently worked with a client to completely reorganize her kitchen storage in order to make her cooking more efficient and her wallet a little fuller. How does this simple and slightly arduous task make such a difference? Storing your food properly enables you to get a quick and thorough lay of the land as far as what you have and what you don’t.

 

My kitty, Remy, searching for his designated shelf! :)

My kitty, Remy, searching for his designated shelf! 🙂

Organizing your dry and canned goods by category and location can help you find whatever it is you need for a recipe or a snack on the fly; saving you tons of time and energy that would normally be spent rummaging frantically through your cabinets. I have a designated “morning ritual” shelf that stores my oatmeal, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, teas, brown rice syrup, and other crucial ingredients that go into my morning. That way, I don’t forget any ingredients (we’re all off our game a bit in the morning) or have to fuss with finding things. You can do this with vitamins, grains, pastas, and legumes as well. I also have a designated baking shelf with flours, baking powder, cacao powder, and other natural ingredients all in the same location.

 

The savings come in when you know what you have. I can’t tell you how many times I bought the same ingredients that I already had shoved in the back of my pantry but didn’t know it. These mistakes can add up over time if you’re on a budget. I like to buy in bulk on purpose, not by accident because I wasn’t paying attention. I also encourage you to dedicate a shelf to the food you bought in bulk or multiples. That way, when you run out of something, you can check that shelf before adding the item to your shopping list. You’ll come to love that shelf as it will save you many unnecessary trips to the grocery store! When you know what you have, you can access it quickly and get to work!

The magical "morning ritual" shelf. Above it, Remy's favorite shelf, for obvious reasons!

The magical “morning ritual” shelf. Above it, Remy’s favorite shelf, for obvious reasons!

Proper storage can be your best friend when it comes to saving money. No, not storage cabinets. I’m talking about how you store your grains, legumes, nuts, rice, spices, etc. I use and love mason jars to re-home most of the bagged bulk goods that I buy. Mason jars provide air tight storage, full transparency into what you’re storing, they’re glass so you don’t have to worry about chemical residue from plastic containers that could rub off onto your food, and they’re easy to label and store. (They also look really lovely, in my opinion). Mason jars come in all shapes and sizes, can double as drinking glasses, and are very reasonably priced. You really can’t go wrong. The point of the savings lies in knowing your food is stored properly and will not get stale, but instead, enjoy a longer shelf life. Oftentimes, the plastic bags that our

food comes in do not provide the proper air-tight environment that promotes freshness. So, prolong the life of your food and your wallet by storing your food properly. *

*If you don’t want to lose the information on the plastic bags that you’re removing your food from, take a picture of the front and back and file into your digital photo albums on your computer with the proper labeling. If you have a printer, print them out and put them in a binder to refer to, or just look them up when needed (this creates less waste). Be sure to recycle the bags when you’re finished!

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