In today’s post, I’m going to reveal a super effective and super simple strategy for getting your pantry organized without re-organizing it. What the what (I miss Liz Lemon, dearly!)? That’s right!
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 stuff and is helpful for beginners and seasoned organized folks alike, but today I’m revealing a simpler strategy: meal planning straight out of your pantry.
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: 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 without one because when I don’t have 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. But honestly, I stink at always writing things down or putting them in my phone reminders, so some things are left to memory. And because I’m such a busy lady, 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 with more than I need. And 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. I could also just re-organize the pantry, but time’s tight for me this week. I realized it would be easier if I tried to plan as many meals as possible with the items I already have on hand. This way, the pantry may not need to be re-organized if there wasn’t so much stuff in it!
And it was easy! I came up with five not completely boring dinners without even trying that hard to get really creative. Not only does that show that I’m a fast menu planner, but also that I have too much in my pantry!
Five meals was good, but I’m going to try for more to whittle down my pantry stock.
Here’s the meal plan for this week so far:
Spaghetti (I know, boring!) and mozzarella sticks (make it a little less boring, right? At least the kids think so.)
Chicken tacos, black beans & rice and veggies (I love dump & go recipes in crockpots. So easy!)
Mexican Pizza (this isn’t the exact recipe I use, the one I use includes ground turkey and more toppings, but you get the idea)
Asian Mandarin Salad (I couldn’t find the exact recipe, sorry!). So yummy and simple.
So the next time your pantry needs to be organized, put it on your To Do List for the following week and meal plan right outta your pantry! It’ll save you time and money. And there you have it. Pantry organization made that much easier.
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