Keeping an organized pantry is very important for us especially after the pantry pests in our pasta and dry beans cabinet two weeks ago.
We knew it was time to get serious and put more time into our kitchen organization since it hasn’t been a priority for us the past year.
Having a pantry full of food is great but sometimes shoppers can go overboard and simply buy too much stuff.
What happens then is you have a pantry that is an organized pantry disaster unless of course you are on top of your organization game.
I’m sure some of you say your pantry is organized chaos and you can find your way around it no problem. BUT… are you making sure you aren’t wasting food?
That WAS us but no longer and wasting food was NOT our intention as we are such a frugal couple and I kid you not use vegetable scraps to make broth.
We try not to waste anything if we can help it because we know there are people out there that are starving so why not use what we have to create beautiful food.
It was hard to pass by unadvertised deals at the grocery store and somehow we convinced each other that we needed it because it was a great deal.
Sound like you?
How many times have you pulled something out of your so-called organized pantry only to say…”Oh I forgot I had this“? I’m betting more times than you care to admit but it’s true, it happens.
We’ve since learned that a stocked pantry is only good if you;
- Shop wisely to get the best savings you can for the product you purchase
- Buy only buy what you need or will use up before it expires or creates an overflow of food in the pantry.
To our sadness when we found the flour mites we had to throw out so much food that we were forced to evaluate the way were grocery shopping and storing products in our kitchen pantry.
The one cabinet that is now empty got a complete scrub down although it wasn’t dirty more so dusty. We wanted to make sure nothing was lurking in the cracks and we’re happy to report it’s been pest free ever since.
One thing we are doing different is that we are buying less food and stockpiling only what we need. This week our combat mission was our pantry and kitchen cupboards so Mrs. CBB and I got busy and starting tearing our kitchen apart.
It was time we made sure 100% that we had an organized pantry and not only by keeping a list of what was in our pantry but by making sure we were following a few more steps to keep the cabinet chaos under control.
In the process of the war zone which WE created WE realized some things WE wanted in our next kitchen. That’s lots of we’s…Can I even say that, ha! That’s what most people would call taking ownership of a concern along with an action.
Pantry and our Kitchen Reno
Probably not this year but with-in the next year now that our mortgage is paid off we are hoping to do a full kitchen re-model as this kitchen doesn’t quite suit our needs.
I’ve been surfing the web looking at different websites and found this really cool site called Houzz which showed us some ways to keep an organized pantry with modern kitchen ideas. I’ll warn you though once you visit the Houzz website you will drool over some of the amazing pantry designs.
One kitchen pantry organization idea that we liked the most was of course the walk-in pantry but sadly we don’t have the space in our home for one. I promised my wife the next house we get will have a walk-in pantry.
Upon looking at the designs we realized that with our kitchen layout we might be able to install a pantry that would suit our needs.
What we really want is a pantry that is easy to keep organized and so that we can see all of the products. There’s nothing worse than having a dark kitchen pantry that you can’t even see what is in it.
She also would like a pantry that is big enough to store our little kitchen appliances so we can get them off the counter-top and hidden away.
This frees up space on the counters so
we I can have a bigger area to cook and prep food.
So what did we do to our unorganized pantry? We organized it!!
This is how we now have an organized pantry
We made sure we took our time to sort the kitchen and we are proud to say we now have an organized pantry!
Here’s what we did!
- First things first, we cleaned off the kitchen table that has all sorts of bits and bobs on it and one counter-top.
Then the wife got out her whip… haha! She asked me to take all of the products out of the kitchen pantry and cupboards. Since I am taller than her I brought the products out and she put them on the table.
What did we learn at this point?
We learned we have lots of crap in our pantry that needs using up. Yes we have a pantry list that tells us all of the great items we should stock and the expiry dates but lets be honest, we just had a baby.
Keeping organized is not easy and we’re the first to admit that lists are awesome but in order for them to work you have to keep on top of them.
We’re a bit ashamed to say we’ve let it go a bit but at the same time we realize that now that baby CBB is here and finally sleeping we can get our lives back to some sort of respectable normal like before.
- Next order of business was to take all of the open boxes and make sure 100% that they were sealed with clips and not past expiry. We sat all these boxes in one group.
- It was important for us to inspect the open boxes as well because you never know what lurks even if you are the cleanest of homeowners.
The products that were unopened and checked for expiry we kept in another group. If there were products near expiry I dropped them off at the Food Bank.
There wasn’t too much but we even got rid of products that we really knew we wouldn’t eat. Our diet has somewhat changed over the past year so this clear-out was good for us. It was like a big weight off of our shoulders.
- After we cleaned the pantry from top to bottom and it had time to dry we completed our pantry list and started to put the products back in the pantry.
- If there were any doubles of products we moved them to our basement cold room where we stockpile our food even though there’s not much of it these days.
When putting the products back in we made sure to space everything out so we could visually see what we had as well using the pantry list. Keeping like products together is a great way to manouver around so you grab products that go together like jam and peanut butter.
- Lastly we are label freaks so we made sure that all of the labels were facing us so we didn’t have to waste time turning them around. Time is money after all… I kid you not!
I’m happy to say that our pantry is now an organized pantry and even though it’s not our dream pantry for the time being it’s our pantry and we will make do with what we have.
Our simple pantry organization day took up about one hour of our time and it was time well worth spending in the kitchen with my wife.
How do you organize your pantry?
February grocery game challenge posts
If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you.
Join in the Grocery Game Challenge fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each blog post… here are the GGC rules!
The Grocery Game Challenge WINNER for January 2015 goes to…… #12 Angela~~ Congrats Angela. Please contact me so I can send you your coupon prize pack!
Grocery Saving Tips
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the savings process in your grocery budget today.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.
NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide
If you are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.
If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email.
2015 Grocery shop results
If you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index where recipes from CBB Home Chef Nicola Don and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out!
Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $25 per month.
- 4 x Ancient Grains Bread 2 for $5.00-50% stickers 🙂
- 2 x Neilson 2% milk $3.97 each
- Salerno ricotta $4.99-50% pink sticker 🙂
- 3 x PC Cabbage rolls Reg $13.99 Sale $6.99
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $235.00
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $20.00
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 11202
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Snap Groupon to date: $ 0
- Zweet to date: $0.50
- Cart Smart to date: $0
- Checkout51 to date: $0
GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
- Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $0
- Stockpile budget used to date: $0
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $7.51
- Total in-store discounts to date: $7.51
- Total spent this week: $36.50
- Total spent so far this month: $36.50
- Total over/Under spend this shop: $under
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: $198.50
- Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): I broke down and bought some cabbage rolls for us only because I can’t make them for that cheap. You can’t beat the price and we do love them. I have made them in the past but with me working 6 days a week and the baby it’s not possible. Beef and pork is not cheap so we thought $6.99 was well worth us eating something better than sandwiches and soup all the time. I would not purchase them at regular price though.
Get your shops posted!! I’m waiting. Happy shopping everyone.
Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.
This lovely Crest coupon was found in a pad at our Dentist office 🙂 Expiry is March 2015.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?:
YesNo, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
- Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.
You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.
This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.
If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.
Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general. If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2015!
Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.
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