With all of the stores like Sam’s Club and Costco selling giant-sized products at reduced prices, it is no wonder people have all kinds of stuff crammed into their pantries. In order to make the most of these discounted products and reduce your stress, a system needs to be in place.
The first thing you should do is take a look at your grocery budget and see if you are actually saving money by buying in bulk. Are you saving? Or are you buying things that take up valuable storage space, but do not use or need, just because the price is so low?
If you have a basement or a large pantry, it makes things a lot easier. Shelving is a must to keep everything in an orderly fashion. You need to be able to find these things easily to use them.
Grocery stores rotate their products, placing the oldest items in front. You should do the same, if only to make sure that food does not expire while on your shelves. Even canned goods have expiration dates. In order to keep everyone in the family healthy, you need to use food before it expires.
Do not be fooled by cheap prices on bulk items that are impossible use in time. A gallon jug of mayonnaise, for example, is only worth the price if you use lots of mayonnaise.
Bulk items are generally large and can be really heavy. Try to store the heaviest containers on the lower shelves to make sure the shelving unit does not fall over.
Paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning products are easier to buy in bulk because they do not expire. A bargain price on toilet paper is ideal if you have the space to store it.
If you have a hard time carrying big containers, you might have to break things down into more manageable sized containers to avoid hurting yourself. An injured back is not going to save you anything in the long run. You can use clear glass jars or plastic containers with tightly fitting lids. Add a sticker with information about what is in the container and the expiration date.
Try to keep everything up off the floor. Improperly stored food – and even paper goods – can attract rodents. Once they find their way into the house for the food, they will shred paper goods for nesting. That is the last thing you want.
Go through your food regularly and remove any bulk food that you cannot identify or is expired. Give away or donate anything that is unopened and about to expire. Every time you go shopping, rotate older items and check expiration dates. An orderly pantry makes cooking meals much easier and reduces anxiety.