Being Organized

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.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Penless Thoughts says:

    I try and keep things well organized throughout my entire home. I have a saying, “Everything has a place, and everything in its place.” It surely does simplify life.

    For sure we don’t want to be wasting money by having things spoil and go to waste.

    You have inspired me in this area to do a post on this!!! Just as you talked about the other day on how do we organize our blogs.

    Loving your blog, Lynn!!!!

  2. Because it’s not very easy to find the expiration dates on cans and bottles, I’ve start dating the them as I bring them into the house with a sharpy marker. I just put the date I purchased the item, on the top of the can or bottle. I even have started doing this with product and leftovers in the frig. Have a great day SKOB

  3. I agree. I need a way to keep my cans organized in my pantry, too. Let me know if you come up with some good ideas!

  4. This is great advice. It prevents over buying because things get shoved in the back. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Thank you for sharing! Even throwing out leftovers because they got forgotten, too. :( I try to find ways to be creative with them, so they don’t seem like leftovers. 😀
    Thanks for sharing!
    Have a great Frugal Friday!
    Frugal Friday – Yellow Cake From Scratch

  6. I have a big pantry/stockpile from couponing and keeping it organized is definitely a challenge. I try to be good about rotating things, and one of the things that I do is write the exp date in big, black sharpie as I am putting things away. This helps me know which pack of juice boxes to grab first as it isn’t always the order that you buy them in!

    Good luck in your endeavor!

  7. Marking things with a black shapie is a great idea. I may try that. Thanks.

  8. Great advice! The sharpie marker works! :) I have even used the sharpie on my laundry detergent so that I know how long a bottle is lasting me do that I know how much is a safe amount to stock up on.

    Also keeping a running inventory list can be helpful. :)

    Thanks for stopping by! :)

  9. You can’t go wrong w/a deal like that on tomato sauce.
    I know how you feel. My kitchen is really small too. I am having a problem finding a place for my canning.

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