If there was one thing that you want more of in your life what would it be?
Now that we have you thinking happy thoughts let’s keep that going… if there was one thing that you have been wanting to cut out of your diet or get off your plate… what would it be?
Having a pure food pantry will help you save gobs of time in meal prep, shopping, and aid you in making healthier food choices. I don’t profess to have it down 100% but over the years white pasta has disappeared from my pantry and even the amount of whole wheat/rice pasta is diminished.
A well stocked pantry means that you will spend less time at the grocery store and when you are there you will need to pick up fresh foods (meats, dairy, & produce). If you have really graduated you will be spending more time at the local markets to buy local meats, dairy and produce. Saving money at the market will be another helpful post.
Ready??? Grab 3 big boxes and label them
We are going to make this Pantry Spring Clean 2012 super easy with 3 steps.
1) the CUT OUT
Identify just one of these things to make room for bigger & better things…or 2-3 if you think you can handle it (you can, I did)!
- white sugar
- white flour
- white pasta
- packaged meals
- prepared cookies & snacks
2) the CLEAN OUT
Here’s the idea. With each section of your pantry you will
- empty the shelf/section
- clean that area
- sort each item into 1 of the 3 boxes
- only the best will find it’s way back to your shelf
Start with your spice rack. Take it all out and put on your counter. The only items that will make it back to your pantry will follow these rules:
- if it is something you never use and is not expired, donate it. If you think you can’t part with it, leave it on the counter ’til you use it. You may find that it is the rock star of your pantry OR wonder, “why have I been holding on to THIS for so long?
- toss: sniff it… does it have a scent? no, then toss it.
- keep it: low/no salt (like Mrs. Dash)
- keep: whole, leafy herbs & flowers – within 1-2 years
- keep: powdered or crushed herbs, roots – within 1 year- 6 months
Move to your food pantry. Clear each shelf, starting from the top down. Grab a bucket with some warm soapy water to clean as you go.
Whether you do it shelf by shelf you MUST be sure to touch every box, bottle or can and put it in one of your 3 boxes.
If it is your ONE item, that you are committing to remove from your life to make room for better things, GET RID OF IT. Do not compromise, just get rid of it. I’ll share some great alternatives for you. Don’t panic. If you need it grab a glass of wine for this.
Again the basic rules for the pantry… keep, donate, toss
- is it expired? if you haven’t used it by now, stop being silly.. GET RID of it
- is it that ONE thing you want to remove from your diet? GET RID of it, donate box is looking mighty empty.. start a party in there
- grab the next item and repeat
3. the FILL OUT
In this step, we are going to replace what you removed. The goal here is to keep things handy, fresh, easy to find and basic ingredients that make life simpler so you can shop your shelves for dinner instead of the frozen food aisle.
…to be continued…