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It’s DAY #30!! You know what that means…… we have completed the challenge! Well, ALMOST – after today’s challenge we will have completed it. 🙂 Today’s challenge was my personal most difficult. However, super, super necessary.
Let me tell you what it is first and then I will give you the details!
Day #30 Challenge – Organize Food Pantry
This was my personal most challenging challenge because we have a lot of food. I have always had my pantry organized by sections, but over time, the sections become abstract and it is just where you can fit things! Especially now that I have kids getting older and wanting to help in the kitchen.
However, this is the most crucial task in our home to save us money and keep us on our food budget. Even though it was unorganized for a bit, I still thought I had control over what we had and needed to use. But truthfully, many things were in “hiding” and so now I have quite the menu plan going on to use many things before they go bad.
And that brings up a GREAT point! Do you have our “No-Food Waste Menu Planner” yet? If not, it is free for the next couple of days. But this freebie is being replaced by another awesome freebie. Watch for “How To Build Your $1,000 Emergency Fund in 30-Days” as the next subscriber freebie very soon.
Well, how do you get these freebies? By being a part of our regular email newsletter – a fun, informative newsletter that we send out 2-3 times per week with the latest on saving money, DIY, crafts, recipes and tips. Our regular email newsletter subscribers get these. So…. for the next couple of days while we are making the transition, you will be the rare few who get BOTH freebies. So jump on that and make sure you are part of our regular email subscribers HERE. To find out what the “No-Waste Food Menu Planner” is – check out this post HERE. It is saving tons of people tons of money!
Alright, back on track here. The long and short of my pantry story, I started this earlier in the day and basically bit it off in chunks, finally finishing after the kids were in bed. Between our regular schedule, an appointment and 3 hours of piano lessons (for 5 of us and a drive!) I couldn’t devote a huge block of time at one time to this challenge. But I am also glad that I got to break this challenge up over the busyness of the day because I probably would have pulled my hair out! Our busyness gave me a break from the task.
Here’s the before pictures:
It’s a whole mess of stuff – snacks, bulk foods, breakfast foods, mixes – all on the same shelf.
I had most of it cleaned out when we left for piano, then Alex came along and finished cleaning and scrubbing/wiping the empty shelves while I was gone! I love it when he does something without being prompted – It was very sweet! Now I need to remind him about the garbage. 🙂
Seriously though, Alex did help with several of the tasks, but if you have a personality like me, you have a certain way you need it done and sometimes someone else helping makes it more difficult. But I was so happy to come home after piano and before dinner with this part done! I could just then focus on putting it all back in order (which he helped with too!). This basically became part of our extended nighttime routine.
But guess what?!? IT IS DONE!! YAY!!!
Here’s the after photos:
This is how I have it arranged: Top left shelf are cooking oils and vinegars, top right are baking supplies. Second shelf left is breakfast, second shelf right are jars, pasta and boxed foods. Third shelf on the left are my homemade bulk mixes that replace the grocery store and bulk foods supply in glass storage, third right shelf are the canned foods. Bottom left and right are snack foods and treats. The floor is mostly my BIG kitchen supplies.
My bulk mixes and foods that replace the grocery store are back on the same shelf in their glass jars. To find recipes to replaces the grocery store, visit this part of our site and click on the “replace grocery store” tab.
I like to keep the snacks on the bottom shelf for the kids to grab snacks before we head out somewhere. This prevents us from stopping for a snack when errands or other events take longer and kids get cranky and hungry. This allows them to grab a thing or two in case we need it. This has saved us a lot of money on it’s own. The basket has a lot of our homemade snacks (trail mix and more) which is even more savings. They all also have a glass mason jar mug with a handle for water at home, and then an on-the-go water as we all get very thirsty when we are out. This also saves tons of money. I keep the snacks on the bottom shelf so the kids can pack snacks for when we are out, but we’ve had a major problem with the little one (our 3-year old) having “free-reign” in the snacks. Earlier this week, I bought a doorknob lock thingy that he can’t open. I wanted to get this figured out before I put these snacks back in place. I hope he can’t get in there now. 🙂
Finally, tucked away in the corner in the bottom is this box – in it is Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide. This stuff has some amazing uses and my health nut dad introduced me to it. I am working on an article about why this is good to have around. But in the meantime, my dad is so crazy about it – think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding…. the dad with the Windex, this is my dad, but with this. 🙂 More later!
That’s it!! And we have completed this big project and the 30-days of challenges! How does it feel? How does your home look? Is life functioning a little better? I bet it all feels super great because I know it does for us!
How is your challenge going? What did you do to solve an organization issue in your pantry?
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