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Effortless Meal Planning: Navigating Your Pantry for Quick Wins

Today, I’m about to unveil a game-changing strategy that’s not only super effective but also brilliantly simple for whipping your pantry into shape.

And the best part?

You won’t need to carve out anytime to reorganize every nook and cranny.

Picture this: a perfectly organized pantry without the hassle of rearranging items like a grocery store shelf restocker – sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Now, brace yourself for the double whammy because this strategy isn’t a solo act.

Nope, it pulls double duty by seamlessly integrating with another essential aspect of our daily grind – meal planning.

We’re diving into the realm of not only organizing, but taking what you have and turning them into meals, right from the heart of your pantry.

And if, like me, you’re feeling a Liz Lemon-sized nostalgia pang, fear not – this strategy is about to make you exclaim, “What the what?” in the best possible way!

So, buckle up for a journey into pantry perfection that won’t require a complete overhaul, but sets the stage for a beautifully organized space.

A Different Way to Declutter and Organize Your Pantry

This post isn’t going to be your typical post talking about first removing everything from the space, then culling out what is expired or you won’t use, and then putting everything back in the pantry, like with like.  

Nope, not today.  

That’s always good organizing advice and generally what I usually recommend.

That advice is super helpful for beginners and seasoned organized folks alike.  

But today I’m revealing a simpler strategy: meal planning straight out of your pantry.  

What am I even talking about?

The past few weeks have been pretty hectic for me.  

The kiddos went back to school about two weeks ago which meant the rush has been on.  

All the usual making sure all school supplies had been purchased, school activities were calendared, and there was food in the house for lunches, et cetera, et cetera.

Now, I do always make shopping lists when I go to the store.  

It’s dangerous to go to the store without one.  

Without a plan, a whole bunch of stuff I don’t need ends up in the cart.  

With the list, I’m better (not perfect, mind you!) at buying what we need.

I stink at always writing things down or putting them in my phone reminders, and some things are left to memory.  

Because I’m so busy (who isn’t?), my memory fails me sometimes.  

I’ll think we need something when maybe that purchase could’ve been postponed for a bit.  

So, I occasionally end up buying more than I need in.

The past few weeks, I’ve erred on the side of tossing it into the cart now, so I don’t have to worry about making another trip out to the store later.  

And that’s exactly what my pantry looks like- a whole lotta stuff that I have to use or lose.  

Using What You Have to Create a Meal Plan

I could also just re-organize the pantry, but time’s tight for me this week and so it’s time for a different strategy!

Take a quick inventory of what’s in the pantry and planning out some meals that can be made from what’s there.

You’ll also want to take a peek in your refrigerator and freezer for complementary ingredients. too.

I realized it would be easier if I tried to plan as many meals as possible with the items I already have on hand.  

Once the surplus items have been removed, then the pantry may not actually need to be reorganized if there isn’t so much stuff in it.

Because more often the not, a space is cluttered because there’s just too much stuff in it.

How Many Meals Can You Make?

In the end, creating a meal plan for several days by just looking at what was in my pantry (and fridge and freezer) was easy!  

I quickly came up with a meal plan for five not completely boring dinners.  

I didn’t even try that hard to get really creative.  

Not only does that show that meal plans can come together quickly and not take a ton of time or brain energy, but also is proof of just how overstuffed my pantry was!

Five meals was good, but I’m going to try for more meals to whittle down my pantry stock even more.

This will free up space and make reorganizing the space when there’s more time much easier.

And it seems like a game, which is always a fun way to approach organizing any space, especially one that’s overrun with clutter.

Over to you

So the next time your pantry needs to be organized, put it on your to do list to create a meal plan right out of your pantry.  

The added bonus is that it’ll save you time and money since you’ll be using what you have on hand and won’t have to go to the store and purchase much to feed you and your family for a bit.

Pantry organization, simplified and wallet-friendly.

Hope you enjoy this organizing strategy!

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