Declutter and Save Money on Grocery Bills

I am still in my organizing/cleaning frame of mind. I don’t mind when I have multiples of things I use all the time—like canned tomatoes, black beans, yogurt, margarine, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc., but when the pantry is full of partially used items or things I can’t remember how long I have had or why I bought them, it’s time to make a list and clean them out.

First, I make a list of everything I have too many of, partial packages, or specialty items that I have to make an effort to use. Then I make up menus using those items, crossing them off as I go. Sometimes I have to buy a few items to round out a meal or complete a recipe, so I also start a grocery list.

Last week it was my turn to host dinner club.  (Once a month, eight friends and I eat together. When it is your turn, you plan, prepare, and clean up after the meal. Then for 8 months you have great meals for free!)  I decided on a Tex-Mex theme to take advantage of what was in my cupboard. I was able to present a great meal while only buying 1 pound ground beef, 3 avocados, and a bag of carrots.

For the future, I am trying to write the month and year on items when I add them to my pantry. I remember my mom using a magic marker to write dates on the tops of cans and boxes. It was easy to see how long items had been on the shelf.

-pointers by Peggy

2 thoughts on “Declutter and Save Money on Grocery Bills

  1. Have you seen Sharon Astyk’s “Independence Days: A guide to sustainable food storage & preservation” (New Society Publishers 2009)? She has chapters on what she calls Pantry Eating plus how much to buy, where to store it, and how to make sure you use it up.

    One of our favorite recipes when the girls were young was bread crumb pancakes… as a way to use the bread heels or dried bread that no one wanted to eat.

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