This is a guest post by Autumn from oldfashionedfamilies.com
Organizing your kitchen is one of the best time savers and believe it or not money savers too! Money saving you ask? Yes, and I will tell you why! Remember when you were searching high and low for those 2 cans of tuna that you just know you had and you simply could not find them? And then out of no where a couple days later you realized that they were back behind the can of chili, container of oatmeal and bag of rice? I bet you know where I am going with this. If your pantry, cupboards and freezer were simply organized a tad better you would be able to walk right to the item you were looking for, grab it and start or continue making dinner for your family. I am going to show you some easy tips and tricks to keep yourself, kitchen, pantry and freezers organized for you to save you time and money in the future!
Tip #1: Begin by creating an inventory of ALL of the items you have currently in your cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer(s). There is an awesome site that has FREE templates for exactly this! A Virtuous Woman**www.avirtuouswoman.org** (just scroll half way down, on the left you will see Free Printables) Go ahead and print a couple for you, I use one per area, ie: cupboards, pantry, etc. While you are inventorying your areas, be sure to start organizing your items where and how you want them to be. Remember, organized is time saved and money saved! A special tip: Be sure to use pencil when creating your inventory lists!
Tip #2: After you have created your inventories on all of your areas in your kitchen (and/or freezer in your garage or basement) and you have organized all of your food items take note of what you do not have in those specific areas. Yes, here you can make your shopping list so you will know what you need come grocery day. And look! You already know what you currently have in your cupboards, freezer(s), pantry and fridge! No more buying a block of cheese, coming home to put it away and discovering there is a whole block of cheese never been opened! See the money savings already?
Tip #3: Dinner Menu’s are a great way to save time and money for yourself as well. Start out by grabbing another Free Printable from A Virtuous Woman**www.avirtuouswoman.org** (same place on website for Tip #1), grab your inventory lists, newspaper ads (from grocery stores) and any compilations of recipes for dinner (lunch, etc.) and go to town! Find a recipe that you would like to have for the week, check the local ads for sales specific to the ingredients in your recipe, check your inventory lists for specific items already at your home, and place it on your menu! Regardless if you choose to create a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly menu, you are still saving time and money!(Check out this post for more information on Dinner Menu’s**http://thriftyhearts.net/archive/category/menus/**)
Tip #4: As you are creating your monthly menu by utilizing your inventory lists, local grocery ads and recipes, create a grocery shopping list for yourself. (Saving time once again!) And if you by chance are like me and know exactly what aisle everything is huddled together in, you will be able to organize your shopping list to maximize your time and trip down each and every aisle. A special tip: Do not go down the aisles that you do not need to! If one of your items is not down there, turn around! (Money AND time saver!)
Tip #5: When you get home from your grocery shopping extravaganza, help your children and/or hubby with where each item goes, stacks, etc. This way each person in the family will know how the organizing system works and this helps to keep your areas nice and neat. And do not forget to inventory each item before it gets put away! This way as you cook through out the week you will be able to erase your item off your inventory sheet, or place the correct number of that specific item next to it. You will NEVER guess again whether or not you have that item somewhere in your home!
These 5 tips on organizing your kitchen will not only be a time and money saver for yourself, but also a stress saver! You will not have a care in the world when you are standing in aisle 8 at the grocery store wondering if you actually have that bag of rice at home for your Cheesy Broccoli and Rice meal because you know that by looking at your list you did not need ‘rice’ as it is not on there! Already you have a couple extra dollars, or $3.86 to be precise in YOUR pocket; not sitting on your pantry shelf because you’ve made this common mistake 2 or 3 times!
I hope you have enjoyed these tips on organizing your kitchen, now get to work! 🙂