I am very organized with my time, but I am not very organized with my stuff. My pantry tends to be a little disorganized, okay, very disorganized. This is an area that I have really struggled with.
One of the main reasons is when I see something for a really good price, I buy ten. Last spring I found tomato sauce on sale 5 for $1. I think I bought about 40 cans. I had not seen it for this price in a long time, and I knew I would use it. When I found canned beans on sale last fall, I stocked up.
The problem that I have with this is that I am bad about adding the new items with out paying attention to where they go. I might already have three cans of tomato sauce, and instead of making sure to place the newer cans in the back, I just add the new ones to the stack. I know I really need to get better about this.
I really started struggling with this when we moved into our current house. My current pantry is about 1/2 the size as the one in my previous house. I also have less cabinets in my current kitchen. I love the house that we have, but the kitchen does not have much storage space. I have put a cabinet in my dining room to help hold my pantry items. This makes things even more confusing because I have to keep track of which items I have where.
I was recently reminded that I really needed to deal with this problem and get my pantry organized. My husband was looking for some salad dressing. I have been trying to make my own, but I had not had a chance to. He decided to look for some in the pantry. He looked around and found a bottle. He thought that the color looked a little different, but he figured it must be a different brand than normal. He opened it up and it was obviously bad. It smelled terrible. He decided to look on the bottle to see when it expired. Well, it expired more than two years ago. I know some things are fine past the expiration date, but two years. I could not believe that I had something in the pantry that was that old. We threw that bottle out, and the next day I worked on my pantry. I am still working on finding a system that works, but I am trying.
When I was cleaning out the pantry I ended up throwing away several other things. Those items that were such a good deal did me no good. They were a waste of money. That bottle of salad dressing that I got on sale with a coupon, ended up in the trash. It does not matter how good of a deal it is, if you waste it, it is a waste of money.
So, my tip is stay organized. Know what you have and use it up. And, when you add items to the pantry, place them in the back or on the bottom of the stack, so you use the older items first.
For more frugal ideas see Frugal Fridays.