Before I got started on my $20 GroceryChallenge I thought it best if I went through my pantry and took an inventory of what I already have. I figured there was no point in needlessly buying something if I don't have to. As I got started I realized I needed to do more than just poke around in there. What I really needed to do was a big declutter and clean.
|All the shelves as well as the ceiling and walls got a good scrub|
I started at the top and worked my way down to the floor. The top shelf is where I typically store items that we don't use that often, but still use. At least that was my intention. I also keep our extra egg cartons up there. What I found was a lot of junk that no one uses and waaaaay too many egg cartons. I also found a bunch of cobwebs. Gross!
I took everything down and went through it purging items we don't need or use. I put a few items in a bag to donate and the rest went into the recycle bin along with half the egg cartons. Then I washed the walls and the shelf really well and put back the items I am keeping.
|We seriously have a lot of food in this house|
As I worked my way down my daughters helped me unload the shelves and we had food everywhere. Countertops, floors, everywhere. I washed the shelves, using a Magic Eraser to get rid of the silver scratches the cans had made on the melamine shelves, and wiped down the walls until I made it to the floor which got a good vacuum and scrub as well.
|A lot of this was destined for the school food pantry|
With everything all cleaned up I began to put back items onto the shelves. The second highest shelf holds my stockpile items that I get on sale (and with coupons) or free, mostly condiments, salsa, pasta sauces, etc. The next shelf is canned goods and I was happy to find that I only had one can that expired and needed to go in the trash. It was a can of pickled beets that had expired 3 years ago!
|All organized and very well stocked|
I had more than enough stuff for the holidays and loads left over
Next up was our pastas and baking items, breakfast foods and lunch stuff for the girls as well as some food storage containers. I keep my wok in the pantry as it is the only place it really fits and our bread machine too. I filled up the gallon Mason jars I keep beans and rice in and consolidated a bunch of stuff. We ended up sending a big pile of packaging out to the recycle bin.
|So, so much better! I still think I have too many egg cartons though 😉|
Once I was done I had my Sleeping With The Enemy pantry exactly how I like it. Neat, tidy and very organized. I also know exactly what I have and what I need. It was a big job, but it will pay off in big ways and help me stay thrifty when it comes to purchasing our groceries now.