COVID19 is affecting all of us. Uncertainty makes some people want to hoard food. But that often leads to wasted dollars as well as wasted food. Remember in my previous blog post, I pointed out that we waste about 40% of our food, and that is in normal times. I recommend we “shop” in our pantries and refrigerators before going out to the grocery store. Take a close look at the expiration dates on those cans and bags that are on the shelf and in the freezer. Organize according to expiration date with the closest dates in front. Use those foods with the soonest expiration dates first.
To help make this project less overwhelming, let’s focus on one area at a time and come back another day to tackle another area. Pick an area to start first, in no particular order: a freezer, pantry, overflow space or closet.
It’s a good idea to take everything out. There’s no right or wrong way to organize a pantry. While the shelves are empty, this can be a good time to wipe down the shelves before putting food back in in order (new items in the back and oldest items in the front). Group by categories. Here’s an example, I group canned veggies, canned fruits, boxes of grains, snacks etc. Keep categories broad as not to get bogged down by details. No need for more than five categories. If you need a hand in this, I can help, even virtually.
Then organize each category by dates so the ones with closest expiration dates would be used first because they are in front.
If there’s no room in the pantry for extras, then those – with the furthest out expiration dates — can be stored either higher up or elsewhere. Remember to shop in the overflow space before restocking. Better yet, buy only what you need. There’s no reason to increase food waste and lose more money.
Let me know if I can help you get started. We can do this together virtually and get it done. Don’t let “sheltering in place” be an excuse to avoid organizing.