Since we have been eating and living a Paleo-ish lifestyle, we have found that our grocery costs have been extremely high. One reason for this is the fact that we are making all of our food. With the baby having a dairy allergy and myself having a gluten allergy, this has turned into a necessity for our family. I am making breads, coffee creamers, salad dressings, plus all the breakfasts, lunches and dinners…you get the idea! So trying to make things cost effective, we started researching ways to keep the cost of groceries more reasonable. Ordering from Amazon for bulk products has significantly help reduce the cost of a lot of the baking ingredients we use. Going to Costco to get bulk items has helped. Buying a bag of onions from Costco is much for cost effective for us!
Another way to save is to have a well organized pantry. By having an organized pantry, I will be able to “shop” the pantry before I go to the store. I can take a quick scan of what items are in the pantry so I won’t be buying more than what we need.
I started organizing the pantry by taking everything out and then categorizing the items into groups. While I was categorizing, I was looking at expiration dates and discarding products that had well exceeded those dates. It’s surprising how much goes to waste when it’s hidden in the back of a pantry.
Taking my bins, I put the sorted items or categories of items into bins and labeled everything. Not only does this make it easier to find things, but it makes it easy for my husband to find whatever it is he is looking for. It also makes putting things away easy, as I just have to find the bin that holds those items. Then things don’t get lost or I forget that I have them in the pantry.
Putting all of the bins away can be tricky, but I always try to keep like categories on the same shelf. My top shelf is for canned good and oils. The next shelf is all my baking items. I use the OXO Pop Containers to keep all of my flours fresh! Then I have all of my spices and veggies on the next shelf. I keep my onions, sweet potatoes and garlic in brown paper bags with hole-punches to keep them fresh. Finally, I have my kiddos snacks and coconut milk on the bottom shelf. We order the coconut milk from Amazon and get it in bulk so it’s easier to keep it on a low shelf seeing as there is so much that come in one shipment. On the floor, we have a bin for the dog’s food and storage for our crock pot.
I don’t put anything behind the bins as that is when things get lost. On the baking shelf I do store the flour jars behind one another, but every other shelf I try not to. Seeing as our pantry is so deep, I have been utilizing that space for storing extra, empty bins. I will also store extra bulk items. For example, I have two containers for my coconut flour since we bought that in bulk. I keep one container in front and the other container in the back. I labeled the container 1/2 so I know that there is another container hiding out in the back!
And there you have it! As we try to keep the cost down on our Paleo-ish lifestyle, having an organized pantry to store bulk items has come in very useful. I use bins with labels to make finding things easier, along with grouping like items. I also keep tabs on my bins for things like flour by labeling the bins based on how many I have to help remind me that there might be some hiding in the back of the pantry!