Problem: I was fearful of running out of things, I was over-buying, but would suddenly run out of things I over-looked.
This pantry system has been refined. I first started it in CA where I had hardly ANY room. Most of my food was tucked in 3 areas in my garage (NOT a great place to store food). I moved it here, and we have a great, shallow pantry that allows me to store things REALLY well.
So, what I did was make a pantry excel spreadsheet with all my pantry needs. I just started out with all the things I liked to store. I try to store all my canned goods on the left, and then other good on the right, just to make it easier for my family to find things.
That excel sheet is refined each month. I notice that we’re not going through things like I thought I would so I will decrease the needs I have for each item.
I also clean out the entire pantry about once a year. I take each item out, wipe underneath and then replace the items with the furthest date at the back, and the closest at the front.
I use shelf liner under my cans, although I’m not exactly sure why. Our pantry is just painted wood — worst case scenario, I repaint. 🙂
After going through each area (I do this about every 4-6 weeks) I then plug the “have” numbers back into my spreadsheet.
I then go through the spreadsheet and highlight things we need immediately in red, orange things I should probably buy that month, but should keep an eye open for a sale, and yellow items are things I need to just monitor and also keep an eye out for a good sale. I can live the month without them.
Red items go immediately on my grocery list. I will buy them next time I am at the store. I usually buy about 1/2 of my “want” number. I will likely not be buying this item on sale (unless the frugal Gods are smiling at me), but we need it, and life will go on.
Orange and yellow items go on a separate part of the grocery list, so I can glance at them when i’m looking through the ads.
I will talk more about the grocery list when I talk about grocery shopping.
That’s my pantry system. Does it look like yours? Have you found anything that helps yours run more efficiently? Come tell me on my Facebook Group! 🙂
I tried doing something similar (keeping a pantry list) at one point, and yet I would always run out or low on things when they weren’t on sale. My timing was just a little too “off” for it to work!
I recently just reorganized most of my cupboards though, and not only found a full and unopened box of bisquick, but an unopened syrup as well – I was excited, only to remember I don’t have eggs to actually make the pancakes with xD
I have powdered eggs for just such an occasion. 🙂
Laura Sue Shaw says
What a great idea! I’m always either running out of things or buying too much. With a small kitchen and no real pantry, things are stored in several different places. I think a spreadsheet will definitely help m keep track of what we need and what we have. Thanks for sharing!
That’s how our last house was. I had so many different niches I had stuff in. I hope it’s helpful!
looking for new ideas
Hilary Erickson says
I hope this helped!