Have you participated in a pantry challenge? A pantry challenge is an attempt to spend as little money as possible on groceries and to eat what you already have in your home. I've seen a lot of people sharing their experiences on social media with some going as much as a month without purchasing groceries. Are you regularly using the food stored in your pantry? If not, why not? Is it a lack of organization? Getting organized can actually help you save on groceries.
One of the areas that families have a lot of control over their budget is food costs. Your mortgage is set in stone, there are few opportunities to reduce your utility bills, but your food bill is well under your control. One of the best ways to minimize your food bill is by keeping an organized pantry. Being able to easily see what’s in your pantry and keep it well-stocked makes meal prep easier and reduces or eliminates the need for spur of the moment take-out.
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Your pantry should make great use of its real estate. From lighting to shelving - you'll want to maximize the space.
Your pantry will be more efficient with clear containers that are labeled. Keeping things in their boxes can make it hard to see when the contents are running low. Visible containers that stack and help keep track of contents make it easy to assess what you need when you grocery shop.
A key to meal planning is variety. Storing up on items that are canned, dried, or have a longer shelf life make it possible to create varied meals, so families don’t get bored with the same thing all the time. From pasta to beans to canned fruits and veggies, a well-stocked pantry makes making soups, stews, and casseroles simple.
If your kids take their lunches to school, the pantry is a home base for lunch prep. Having bins or baskets full of parent-approved lunch items makes opening that sack or box a happier time. Encourage kids to be a part of their lunch planning by making their own lunches with the variety of food in the pantry.
Note: Depending on the size of your pantry, you can add features that enhance the functionality. A chalkboard to keep a list of items as they run out - lunch bags and other things kids need to make their lunches all in one spot. Your family’s specific needs can dictate what items should be stored in your pantry.
Having a pantry that is organized and well-stocked can make meal planning simpler and save you money in your food budget, plus the aesthetic is a bright spot in your home. Your family can enjoy healthier meals and take out can be saved for special occasions rather than emergencies.
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