Saturday, July 12, 2008

Help with my Pantry! Coupon Giveaway!

Since I began stockpiling and really shopping almost exclusively with coupons and sales, my pantry has gotten a little out of control. I am looking for your suggestions to help me get this a little more organized. I have uploaded several pictures of our pantry, and I am hoping you can help me out a little on getting things a little straighter! I don't think there is much hope. I am going to giveaway a package of coupons on Saturday (July 19) to the person who makes the best suggestion or the most creative one. I have several packages, so I may give away more than one. Help!!!! Leave me a comment with your suggestion and either your blog address or email so I can get in touch with you if you win!



Above, left hand side. Hot water heater is to the left, so there is not any room there to use.

Above, middle to right hand wall. There is a two-shelf bookshelf holding the cereal that could come out I guess.

Above, top cereal shelf and above.
Above, right wall of pantry. Just added these shelves!
Above, shelves closest to ceiling. This is above the shelves on the right wall.

41 comments:

The Frugal Homemaker said...

Wow, I am doing a coupon giveaway at my blog, too, but I didn't think of such a cool way to qualify for it.

Ok, hmmm.....I see you have a lot of new shelves and things, and that looks really great. In honesty, I don't think your organization skills are lacking. The pantry looks pretty good in those pictures.

My only thought other than to take a break from stockpiling to dip into your reserves, would be to have a big party and cook for everyone :-) Seriously it looks good to me!

TLC said...

wow oh wow!! You have a lot of stuff! I think that you've done a great job for all the stuff you do have (I'm so jealous!!)

I did see a rack system for sale (how much money do you have to spend on redoing the pantry?) online a few weeks ago. The items in your pantry (cans) go in on their sides (kinda like soda dispensers for your frig) and they have them all different sizes for different size cans.


I have also started stacking my cereal boxes on their sides (the fat side not the skinny side) by expiration date. You look like you have tons of cereal boxes. I'd definitely do that on some of your taller shelfs that you can stack lots of boxes. You can see what they are by the top opening which will still show. You could also do this with some of your other boxes of products.


I also think that if you have a garage that doesn't get too hot or too cold you could keep some things in it in the bigger tupperware like storage bins - Marking them for what's inside, ie: shampoo, dishsoap, feminine products, etc. Also I've found opening the boxes of some items and putting like items together takes up less space than all those boxes or packaging!! Good luck. And my site is: http://tlctnt.blogspot.com/

Candace said...

Hello Samantha,

I don't think you need more space - I wish I had all that storage!!!! I would suggest you take a few weeks off shopping. I have found I've gotten a bit overloaded and am really only shopping for fresh items and specific things I need to make a meal. (Except for a few deals too good to pass up!)


It has been such a wonderful break to put aside the coupons and just make 1 quick trip to Aldi.

I've been using my extra time to go sit by the pool at the Y and read and watch my little guy play in the kiddie pool!

I would challenge you to see if you could take the summer off! Give yourself a vacation and just use what you have! Great job with the stockpile!

By the way - you could either use the money you save to do something special with your girls or still spend your grocery budget and buy extra meat, produce or things you might not normally be able to fit into the budget.

Sonia said...

WoW you have a lot, wish it was mine lol
If you lay your boxes down, you would be able to stack a whole lot more, than just 2 boxes as you have now, lay juice bottles down, you can stack them also, most tall items you can stack if there not glass to make much more room, Good Luck!

dolls123 said...

Stop shopping for a while to get your "inventory" down.
Lay big items/boxes on their sides.
Put similar bagged items in clear marked storage bins/baskets.
Keep things where they are and organize by expiration date.

luckydolls123[at]verizon[dot]net

Jacqueline in Atlanta said...

I stack boxes on their flat sides with just the top end showing so I can read what the product is. I do this with cake mixes, Jello, cereal, rice and pasta mixes, etc. I can stack a lot in a small amount of space. I can stack boxes in the back and still put stuff in front of the stack, stuff that is easy to move, e.g. a couple of bulky bags of potato chips. Then if I need a rice mix or cake mix, it is easy to run your finger and eye down the stack and find what you are looking for.

Also, are you really going to use 3 bottles of yellow mustard before the store runs another sale? Really? No you aren't. You are like I used to be, afraid that if I did not stock up in a big way I would not get the chance again. Nonsense. The stores run those sales, especially for staple items, on a cycle. I used to buy 4 jars of Hellman's when they were BOGO. Now I buy two ONLY if I do not still have one in the pantry. At some point your groceries are running your life and you are there, Sweetie.

I was there. I began planning my menu around my pantry and my freezer so I could use that stuff up and get it out of my way. You know what? I do not have anything in the floor of my pantry right now except a couple of bottles of vinegar that will not fit on the shelves and a big ol bag of napkins. I can actually sweep and mop the floor of my pantry!! Yes, I know. It is amazing.

This may sound harsh, but you have to walk away from a darn good sale sometimes when you know you do not have the space for it and frankly, you don't need it. If you have a coupon that will be doubled and you are going to get it nearly free, and you just can't stand it, then buy it and donate it to the church food pantry.

I also keep things that vermin cannot get into (like tin canned goods and things sealed in glass - spaghetti sauce) in a cupboard out in the garage, just outside my kitchen door. That might be an option if you have a closet somewhere else. But be careful that you do not use that as an excuse to just keep accumulating.

Trust me, you will feel so much better when you can look in your pantry and see everything at once. You will not want to go back. Same thing for your freezer. My freezer is getting there. (For my freezer I keep a list on the side of the frig with what is in the freezer so when I sit down to plan meals I know what is in there. I make a note of the date I put the item in, so I can try and use up the oldest meat first.)

Thanks for the giveaway and best wishes with your project!!

breezyrainstorm said...

WoW excellent job shopping! Coupons are so much fun. I gotten that much stuff before. its easy to do when you can get 100$ in grocery’s for 30.

The first thing I did was go though the expiration dates on all of them if they have 1-2 months left on them and you have others with later dates. Take them to the food pantry. they don’t get many donations this time of year. They have a surge around thanksgiving then have people for get they need food all year round. they are badly needing it right now with more family’s coming because of the rising gas and oil prices.

Take a break from shopping for a while. You organization seems good. Better than mine. :) The Alpo in not in with the soup that’s good cause if I was tired I might pour my self a bowl of Alpo. The bags I would lay flat stacked cause the always seem to fall over and never stand upright there such a pain.

The coupon giveaway is a great idea I cant stand to see a good coupon expire. it pains me lol. like throwing money in the garbage.

Anonymous said...

I think a great thing would be to donate to a local shelter. We have a shelter/food pantry in the town I work in and they are always having a food shortage. That would be a great way to give to the community and those who are less fortunate:)sarah@kgiddings.net

corrie71 said...

Honestly, it looks pretty organized to me. The only thing I can suggest (and it's a hefty investment) is to get roll out shelving for the shelves. DH and I did this for our very deep townhome pantry and it made it much easier to see what we have and stop letting things go bad. But it was over $300 so it kinda eats up any coupon savings for a while.

FunkyFrum said...

i stack my pantries in the weirdest way. i put all the glass jars on one, all the cans on another, all my baking supplies on one, all the snacks on another, and breakfast foods on another. that way when i am looking for things, i at least know where to go. i also have shelves like yours, and i bought son bins that i throw bags of beans in, pouches of tuna, and smaller things. i also have "pantry cleaning days" where for a week at a time i refuse to buy groceries and instead we just eat out of the pantry, that helps clean :)

Marin... said...

I agree with some of the things already mentioned. I have those can dispensers in my pantry and they are FABULOUS! I also have lazy susans for jars, baby food, etc. Stacking extra cereals on their side make them less likely to fall over and you can stack a lot on tall shelves. I donate food I get for cheap/free to our local family services. Their stockpiles get low in the summer and they have a free lunch program as well as a food pantry.

Samantha said...

I actually do a lot of donating to our Christian Food Bank. I make sure that I pick up extras when they are on sale to donate. I also send extras to soldiers overseas. This is just what is left for us!

Anonymous said...

It really isn't that bad. The cereal would be the quickest way to straighten up, and everyone has already told you that. Other then that, sort it the way you use it. I separate by snacks, breakfast, baking, spaghetti/tomatoe/mexican (yes we eat lots of this in various ways), quick fix and then canned. You would adjust by the way that you eat/cook of course, but this allows me to keep tabs on what is low, what needs to be used up and what I have way to much of that I should donate. Maybe that will help! kris tohappy2h8 at yahoo

Anonymous said...

Great job stocking up your pantry. Get some little helper and any volunters to pull everything out. Literally pull everything out. Then make categories {cereal, pasta sauce etc} group them out. Put the cereal sideways so you can see what you have arrange them by dates. It does not help to stock pile if things will eventually go to waste. Keep all your stuff neatly arranged according to categories. See if you can donate anything that your family might not like. Lets bless others with our blessing. Best of luck. I think you just need to group everything out you do have a rack system that you can work with. Play grocery store with your kids and turn it into your store organize it like a store. jenny solisjenny@yahoo.com

Chris said...

Your pantry looks very well organized. Like some of the other comments, I wish my own pantry looked as neat. :)

In order to scale down a bit and maybe move along some of your inventory that could be coming up on experation dates, you could have a coupon trade with your freinds and family. Make trades interesting for both parties and you'll be accomplishing two things at once!

Lacy Reyes said...

Looks great actually! The only thing I could even think of suggesting would be maybe taking the cereal out of boxes and putting them in the ziplock sort of cantainers with the lock tops on them! I also take my pasta's out of their boxes and put them in zip loc bags then sqeeze all the air out and store them all together in a larger tub....I don't need the directions because after you've read them once....you pretty much get the idea on pasta! uhm...other than that I think it looks really good!
lacy.reyes@yahoo.com

Deal Mama Belle said...

WTG on such an awesome stockpile!! You are such an asset to your family.

What I do in my pantry is kind of apply to it Dave Ramsey's principles of an emergency fund, only an edible emergency fund. I try to identify what I will use for 3-6 months and store only that in my pantry. Anything else I have gets stored in another place to be donated to friends and family or our church food pantry.

I have an issue with not recognizing what things are open and what needs to be consumed first. The food that needs to be eaten relatively soon I put at eye level. It is the first thing I see right when I open the door, no matter what it is-- bag, box, jar, etc...

Then I just arrange like objects. Boxes together, jars together, cans, bottles, etc.. I love the idea someone had about putting things in order of expiration dates.

Good luck and I cant wait to see the end result!

Sara L said...

You could remove those seldom used kitchen cookware/appliances to make more room in your pantry. Is there a door on your pantry? What about installing some shelving there? Keep a running list of items you have so that when you are making a grocery list you know what you DONT need to buy. I would probably pull a bunch out and keep in on a shelf in the basement/storage room. I like a tidy pantry and this one is a bit overwhelming with all the items.

I like to stockpile too - but the same sales will come around again. I "banned" myself from buying cereal - I bought 45 boxes during a great sale. Until we eat those - no more cereal. :)

charles and sara at hotmail dot com

Megan said...

The best thing I can suggest is to get some of the rubbermaid bins with lids, lable them and then stack them! Have one for cerel (boxes and bags) one for pastas, and so on. Just keep a few things on the shelf and as you need more, go to your "overstock bins"

BTW You have done AWESOME! :)

Rhonda said...

I see you have several snack sized items & boxed foods. They take up less space if you take them out of the boxes. You can buy plastic drawers at Walmart or similar store. Put snacks in a drawer, packets of Koolaid, taco season, hot choc mix, etc in a drawer also. You will be amazed how much space it clears up. Also, how about containers for pasta? I have some old tupperwear I've had for years (earned free for having a party). I can fit 3 lbs of angel hair in the spaghetti keeper & I have containers for elbow mac, wide egg noodles, etc. You're stockpile looks awesome (I'm soooo jealous). Good luck & don't forget to post pics of the finished pantry!

Wendy said...

When I moved into my new home last year, I decided that I would have an organized pantry. Here is my solution (and it has really worked great for over a year now).

I think the biggest problem with pantries is just the visual clutter of all the labels and various food items. Before I organized my pantry I used to get claustrophobic just looking at all the stuff! Here is what I did to combat the problem.

Pull everything out of the pantry. Discard anything that is expired or donate food you know that you will never eat to a foodbank. Then group foods by like items.

Get small plastic bins that will fit on your shelf. At Walmat, I got something similar to this:
http://www.containerstore.com/browse/Product.jhtml?CATID=71223&PRODID=69607
Label each bin for a particular type of item (ex. canned tomato products, baking supplies, snacks, etc.). Then place the items in the appropriate containers. The containers have several advantages. They provide a more uniform appearance--I actually like looking in my pantry. Also, I can't overbuy --I have just enough room in each bin to hold what I can use in a reasonable amount of time.

I also put all of my flour and sugar into plastic jars. For my cereal boxes, I got large white baskets (almost laundry baskets) and put them on the floor of my pantry.

I labeled my bins with a label maker and packing tape (the labels weren't sticky enough on their own so I put the tape over them). It took me a couple of months to get all the categories worked out. FOr example, I originally had a general category for canned veggies but I realized that i need more space; so I broke it into several smaller categories.

Good luck and you will have to show us how you end up organizing it!

Anonymous said...

I also had to reorganize my pantry because I had so much stocked up. I have a lot of cabinets so I moved all my baking stuff in my cabinets. Target and walmart have metal shelving systems for pretty inexpensive. I would invest in some of those and line them up against the wall next to your other shelves. Hope that works better for you. rytiffcoop@hotmail.com

The Femmes Frugal said...

My best tip? Stack the cereal boxes differently.

Right now they look like this
_ _ _ _ _
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
|_|_|_|_|_|

I find stacking them like this much more efficient.

_________
|_________|
|_________|
|_________|
|_________|

You can see what kind each box is, and it is a more efficient use of space.... This also works well for pasta, and other boxed items.

Good luck!

Princess Golden Hair said...

i think you are a lot more organized than I am. maybe you need to come help me instead of visa versa. what are my suggestions? make sure when you put things in your pantry that you keep in mind what grocery stores do. Put those newer items in the back so the older items get used first.

Dasilva said...

I like to have a lot of non-perishable foods on hand. The way I organize is to keep 2 or 3 of each item (depending on what it is, and how often I use it) in my kitchen pantry. The rest of the food storage, I keep on a couple of utility shelves that I put up in my basement storage room. When I run out of an item upstairs, I just go down, and bring up a couple of that item to replenish. Any non perishables that I buy at the grocery store, for the most part go directly downstairs, and then I draw from it as needed. This really helps me keep my kitchen pantry clutter free, and I can see what items I have to work with at mealtime. I don't know what kind of space you have for storing in a separate place, but you can usually squeak some out or rearrange if you work at it.

One way to keep track of expirations etc. is to use a black permanent marker and write the month and year of purchase directly on the top of cans, or outside of packages. Do this right as you're unloading your groceries. It takes almost no time at all. Then organize the items on the shelves by those dates. Most recently purchased go in the back. I have found that they usually go in the same order as expiration dates printed. That way, it is a lot easier to see the dates, and not have to pick up each individual thing and search for the fine print for the expiration date. Every 6 months or so, I just recheck that the things are in the right order, and organized.

I hope this helps you! It is really nice that you have such a great amount of food stored. It gives peace of mind that if you have a hard month or couple of months, that you don't have to worry about getting out to the store, just living off of what you have at home. Good luck! (kgdasilva2002@yahoo.com)

orangetriangle2 said...

When you take everything out of your pantry as others have suggested - paint the inside a pretty color, something like a nice yellow or whatever you like. If you decide to keep the wooden bookshelf with the cereal, paint it a nice bright color too (could be matching or contrasting).

From the pictures it looks like you have done a great job using the available space. Could you put shallow shelves on the inside of the door, or hang one (or 2) of those 3-wire-mesh basket things from the ceiling?

It looks like you might have some bags sort of sliding around in the corner -- try coralling those in a clear plastic bin for improved stackability. Perhaps you could put things you rarely use into clear bins on the floor so you can stack on top of them.

Best of luck!
orangetriangle2 AT yahoo

isaacsjuarez said...

I don't know what photos thes other folks are looking at, but Girrrl...You need help! Not w/couponing, you need help with organizing all of your bargains.
You've got a lot in there but as long as you can still close the door there's still room for more! Okay, here goes...
#1 - Take those small appliances out of there & store them close to where you use them (i.e.-under a kitchen cabinet). If that's not an option, then put them all on the highest shelf.
#2 - Delegate the next to the top shelf as the "Cereal Shelf". Store cereal boxes on their sides w/top labels pointing out & all in the same direction and easy to read(like books on a library shelf)- bags should be stacked. Keep only open boxes down low.
#3 - The bottom full length shelf (second to top shelf) make this your "Packaged Foods" shelf. This would be boxed/bagged dinners: tacos; pastas, rices; cake mixes; brownies; etc. (not small items like gravies, dip mixes, soup, jello).
#4 - On the shorter (can't tell if only 3, or if 4 shelves) shelves... Top Short Shelf- Store staples here: sugar; salt; flour; coffee. If you use it everyday...keep it at eye level. Second Short Shelf- Start here with the canned items (So, the soup gets to stay!) Follow down to the next shelf with the rest of the canned items and jarred items. Just sort them by "Fruits"/"Veggies".
#5 - On the top of the bookshelf - put the baskets here. In the baskets store the small stuff: gravies; mixes; jello; kool-aid packs; etc. (You may wany to get the clear shoe box containers to use instead for more storage space since you could probably stack them three high.)
#6 - Bookshelf Area - Make this the "Snack Section": chips; cookies; crackers; nuts; etc.
#7 - Store the tall bottles of stuff (sodas/juices/water) on the floor space below the bottom shelves. Liquids should always be stored on the lowest level. If they are too tall, lay them on there sides (Added bonus: you'll be able to store more if you turn them on their sides.)
#8 - Higher Wall Baskets w/condiments- Keep these for the condiments. Just regroup them: all bbq sauces in one; all ketchup in one; all mustards in one; all marinades in one; etc.
#9 - What are those bags for? Does it pertain to your food storage area? If not, get it out of there, it's blocking your view to the lower wall baskets. Get an over the door hanger & hang them there. Then, you can install more of these wall baskets & space them for holding taller items.
#10 - Lower wall baskets - Use this area for extra seasonings; frostings; smaller canned items or single items like the ALPO (Do you have a dog? If not, then donate it to someone who has a dog. I only ask b'cus I've used free coupons to get dogfood & I don't have a dog. I always get the freebies & then pass them on to others who can use them if I don't have a need for it.); move those bags & get the Pringles out of the floor!

While working with what you've got, this is the way I would re-organize your pantry.

My main suggestion would be to have All labels facing out (condiments)where you can see them. How many times have you gone into the grocery store & had to turn items to see the front label? None. Keep this in mind ... This is your own "little grocery store" with everything facing out it's going to seem a lot less cluttered and a lot more organized.

Also, every month check the expiration dates & use, donate or pass along what you can't use before the exp. date. Another thing to keep in mind, is if you by products w/ Box Tops on them remember to donate them to a local elementary school. And, if you have pre-school/kindergarten children - think about sending some of the extra boxes to the classes fo snack time.

Hope you can use some of this to get you pantry in order. Be sure to post the "AFTER" photos.

isaacsjuarez[at]bellsouth[dot]net

Kelli said...

You have a lot of stuff and sometimes the experts are the best. If you have a container store or an IKEA nearby that's where I would head. You can spend a fortune but you can be frugal about it too (might even find a coupon) to find shelves that are really useful. My one idea, that my mother uses in her huge basement, is to make shelves where cans can lay on their sides and she organizes them by date of purchase so when she uses one, the next one rolls down behind it. She can also keep track of types that way. It works well but maybe not in your pantry. Best of luck!

Lov2sav said...

Lock & Lock storage containers!!! I had the same problem and lack of space as you seem to have. I found Lock & Lock at my local Walmart & Target, they work great at keeping thing organized and fresh. If you have several boxes of the same item...cereal, pasta, flour, etc...combine them in one large container and label the outside. I have 2 shelves in my pantry (back wall of my laundry room) that are lined with Lock and Lock containers. Good Luck!!

liz taylor said...

Holy Cow! That is quite the stash you have there. The only thing I can think of is to get clear tupperware type containers for the smaller condiments and like someone else said, keep all the labels facing out and keep them in order of expiration dates. Keep up the great stockpiling efforts!

Perky said...

I have to second what everyone else is saying --- you have a well-stocked and pretty well-organized pantry as it is. You've already gotten some great suggestions for a few basic organizational improvements (stacking, bins, etc....), so I'll give you a suggestion to think about AFTER you've made those changes......



Your pantry is so well-stocked that what you need to focus on now is USING the food you've purchased and organized. To that end, I'd suggest that, after you make a little more space using the other suggestions, group some of your food into meals and have them in a separate area. In other words, take a small container (either a plastic one or a shoebox or similar) and put together the basics for a meal in the box. You could have the following boxes:

* PASTA MEAL: Dry pasta, pasta sauce, canned green beans

* CHICKEN CASSEROLE: Packet of chicken gravy, noodles, bread crumbs, canned peas and corn

* CHILI: canned beans,canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili seasoning, noodles or rice

Yes, it will "waste" a bit of space, but it will save you a ton of time (and therefore money). Especially on those days when you really don't feel like cooking!

If you really want to be organized, you can add an index card to each box that lists the fresh ingredients you need to complete the meal -- (chicken breast, ground beef, milk, salad, cream cheese, whatever.....!)

I bet you could put together a few weeks' worth of meals with everything you have there!

Mel said...

The organization looks good, but it seems like there is simply too much of every single item.

Why don't you take inventory and decide what your family will truly eat over the next 6 months(e.g., my family eats MAYBE one bottle of mustard in a full year). I find that with freebie and cheap deals using coupons, I buy whatever I can get but don't have a plan for using everything I buy.

Then from all the rest of the items, give at least 1 item to a local charity and at least 1 to a family member or friend who might have a need. Simply clearing out some of the excess should help you "feel" more organized!

I like shopping but don't use all the items I buy, so I have asked my immediate family members and close friends to give me their preferred lists of food and toiletry items. That way if there is a big sale and I end up with too much of one item, I get to surprise a family member or friend with something they really enjoy!

racurac2 said...

First: check expiration date. If the date is close and you know the food is not going to be used, please donate it.
Second: Don't buy more food until you have only one extra item. I have one item in the fridge and the other in the pantry (less money and more space).
Third: We, as floridians, have hurricane season, so we usually stockpile, but after the season is gone I use or donate everything from my pantry.
I use clear Plastic boxes for cookies, cereal, rice, pasta. Only one size, so it is less wasted space.

Megan & Ryan Reed (see our blog too!) said...

The only things I could think of are:
1. Buy some large plastic cereal containers and fill those up with the different cereals(all those boxes have are and waist sapce)Soemtimes you can get a couple of boxes in one container.

2. Get some wire pantry baskets.(One for every type of bagged product, i.e. potatoe chips, mixes, jello/pudding, baking items, etc.

3. If you don't already have it you can get a door storage rack for extra storage.

4. You can cut plexi-glass to the size of each shelf to make those wire shelves more sturdy and prevent stuff from wobbling and falling through the cracks.

5. Also see if there is anything you really won't use and donate them to your local second harvest or like group. I know they are struggling to get enough food with our bad economy. Every week our church has a certain thing they ask us to bring to donate to our Baptist Center that helps needy people. Every week it's something different, but they encourage us to bring things that aren't on the agenda too!

6. I use spice racks that rotate to store my spices and another to store cake decorating stuff/spinkles.

7. I try to keep all like canned food items in groups (soups, veggies, milks, beans, etc.) You don't have to get extremely specific, just in basic grouping.

8. Keep big things or things you don't use as often on the highest shelves and smaller /less used items on the lower shelves.

9. If you store the root veggies in the pantry (like potatoes & onions)you can get those stackable open bins and put at the bottom. This way you can see what you have easily and they will be at easy reach.

Megan & Ryan Reed (see our blog too!) said...

My email is rprmsr@gmail.com

SnellvilleShops said...

I use a Sharpie marker to clearly mark the expiration date on my stockpiled things so I can see it and not let anything go out of date.

I would also advise that you put things that would not be damaged (too much) if your water heater to the left leaked. So I'd put canned goods on the bottom areas, and anything chips, rice, dry mixes, etc on the very top shelves, because they will store the best if kept high and dry.

I do highly recommend the Tupperware Modular Mates, to be able to get some things, like macaroni, rice, etc out of their boxes and bags. It is an expense, but they will last for 50+ years, so that makes it an investment in my book. It's really inexpensive to sign up as a personal use Tupperware consultant and get 25% off all your Tupperware. I have a really small pantry and those Modular Mates are a Godsend.

darla.dixon[AT]gmail.com

BudgetQueen said...

Although I think you've done a great job, I can give you a couple of suggestions. I didn't make it through all of the previous posts so forgive me if these are duplicates.

First, the type of shelves you have, have the crossbar (if that's what you call it) for support. These look like they get in the way of some usable space. If you just used a single support bar on each level, then you'd save on some of the room. The support bars for each level would be lined up with each other in order to add extra support to the entire system. Does that make sense?

Secondly, I don't know if you have this problem, but I have a problem with the kids getting into stuff....even just playing with it. I now have my pantry ordered in a way that has the kid-friendly stuff all in one spot. That way, they aren't making messes in all areas of the pantry and they aren't climbing the pantry to get to what they want.

I wanted to re-iterate what some others said about using your garage. You can buy totes to put things in and then just do monthly shopping out of the garage....or depending on attic space, you can put lighter weighing items up there. You can get plywood for a reasonable price now-a-days and then screw it into the bottom boards of the trusses.

And, of course donating some would be great, too. If you are feeling unorganized, it is possible that you are missing some expiration dates or coming up on some quickly. You may want to pull things out just to make sure anyway.

Good Luck!

ADDAmy said...

I do a few things differently. I use clear shoe boxes for small things that can be taken out of their box and put in categroies like spice/dressing/marinade packets, cereal bar, grits, oatmeal packets, popcorn, fruit chews etc. When I get them I clip the box top and toss the box. It makes grabbing snacks easy and takes less room. On my cereal and stock pile I stack differently. I keep current in reach and future up high and on its side. When what is open gets low and they open another/different I pour what is left in a tupperware and it is an "assortment" kind of like a trail mix of dry cereal for snacks that way I chunk those boxes faster as well. I also use tupperware for my spagetti noodles. three packs will fit in one and I find we eat 3/4 of a pack per meal (to have 1 leftover meal for Mr J) my other pastas I stack on their sides like my cereal. I had a flat shelfless wall in my pantry and the door itself so I removed my broom holder and put it on the door with a foil/bag holder and then added small can shelving to that area. I put dressing, condiments on top bc they are tall and then "cooking" cans on the others like cream soups, diced tomatoes etc that way they dont get lost with the fruit and peas and carrots (our other veggies are frozen).
Not sure if your area does Triples but ours does and I charted out when it is "runs" along with the seasonal sales and I do my stockpiling @ that and try to eat out my pantry and freezer in prep. of stockpiling more. If/when you org it why dont you inventory it and run a contest for menu planning whith what you already have! I bet you could drop your bill to just dairy, produce and meal for a month if you tried. Good luck!

Melody said...

My suggestion is to use a plastic shoe organizer with clear pockets(meant to hang on the wall or behind a door) to organize some smaller items like seasoning packets, and single-serving snacks for kiddos -- especially helpful for little ones if you hang it on their level!

You might also invest in some sturdy plastic baskets to use as pull-out "drawers" so you can group canned goods, mixes, cereals, etc. A 3X5" notecard taped to the front makes a great label :-) Hope these ideas help!

Katie said...

I just wish I had a pantry. :( You have gotten a lot of great ideas and the only thing I do to make room is donate to my church's food pantry or bring it to my moms group to see if anyone else needs it. Good luck.
Or you could have a big party and use up some of your stock pile.

Anne said...

Great idea!

So it appears that there's not a lot more space for all of the stuff. If it were me, I think I'd put some of it elsewhere (the garage?). If you got some clear plastic bins, you could store canned and jarred items in them. I'd write the purchase date on the tops in permanent marker (I do this anyway) and then organize them in storage with the oldest the easiest to access so you'll use those up first. I'd decide how many of "X" I want in my pantry... 3 cans of peas, 2 corns, 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, etc., and when it's used, I'd go to my extra stash and replace it. You could even keep a running inventory on a paper taped to the top of the bin to easily find stuff. Or if there are a lot of bins, number them and keep an inventory on the computer so you can search for, say, "carrots" easily and see they they are in bin #4. I'd only store things in the garage or basement that can't be penetrated by bugs. Ick.

As for things that CAN be penetrated by bugs, I'd either store the extras on the least accessible pantry shelves and leave the most accessible for things you use more OR if you have spare room at the top of a linen closet or something somewhere in the house, transfer some of the extras there. Sure it's weird to have cereal in a linen closet, but who cares? It's your house. Do what works for you.

Hope you find a solution that works!