A food stockpile isn’t very useful if the food expires before you can use it. I recommend doing a purge of your stockpile about twice a year. Do your freezer items in one quarter and your pantry items in another. If you find your grocery stores are empty as they are at the moment, or you can’t get out for some reason, you’ll still have part of your stockpile in place.
Spring Food Stockpile Cleaning
This is your opportunity to save money with all those great deals you’ve been buying for months at a time. Go through your freezer or pantry (whichever you’re cleaning out) and organized everything. The things that expire first go in the front and the ones that are still good for a while go in the back.
How do I clean my pantry?
My plan is to always organize from soonest expiring back, but in reality, I sometimes throw things into the pantry haphazardly. So, my first step is always to organize. If I come across something expiring in the next week or two, I go ahead and set it aside to use immediately.
- Start by pulling everything off your shelves. You can’t really see what you have with it all crammed in there together.
- Wipe your shelves down with bleach and clean dust off any canned goods.
- For your freezer, throw out anything with freezer burn and organize things in like groups.
- Organize items by soonest expiring.
- Group like items you typically use for meals (pasta sauce next to pasta).
- Set aside anything expiring in the next month so you can use it immediately.
- If you have so much of one thing that you know you’ll never use it all before the expiration date, take some of the items to your local food pantry.
- Make a mental list of the main items you have for meals and do some meal planning.
Sources for Recipes from Food Stockpiling You Have on Hand
Now, you have to figure out how to use up what you bought. Things such as pasta are pretty easy. You can use up veggies, make a quick alfredo sauce and create a delicious meal packed with a few extra nutrients. Add some chicken for protein.
I have a recipe on this site I call hobo stew where I use up all those extras. You can literally throw almost anything that makes sense into soup and come up with a delicious meal.
Get my easy recipe for hobo stew to make your leftovers stretch further and use up whatever you have in your fridge, freezer or pantry.
There are also several sites where you can search for recipes based on what you have on hand.
You can also try experimenting a bit and see what you come up with. Just keep in mind the tastes that go well together. Savory doesn’t do well with sweet and vice versa. If you are cooking fish or bitter vegetables, a splash of lemon goes a long way.
Figuring Out How Do You Deep Clean and Organize a Kitchen
Staying on top of organization isn’t easy for anyone. We all lead busy lives and it’s easy to let things get in disarray. However, that is also when food goes bad and you wind up wasting what you have. Again, you don’t save money on groceries by stockpiling if you fail to use the deals.
Here are a few tips to help keep your kitchen, freezer and pantry organized and saving money:
- Get your family involved. Teach your children to help organize your food stockpile. You may even want to make this one of their regular chores and tie it to their allowances.
- Place new items in the back. A good habit to get into and one I’m still working on is putting the newest items in the back. That way, the first expiring are always in the front for you to grab first.
- Take it one shelf at a time. If organizing an entire pantry seems overwhelming, you can certainly take it one shelf at a time instead of spending an hour or two block cleaning.
- Buy aids. There are so many wonderful tools that will help you stack cans and keep things organized. You can even make your own out of old shoe boxes and such.
- Put things where it makes sense. If you use a particular spice every week, put it in a cabinet near your stove instead of the stock shelves in your extra bedroom.
Stock Your Pantry for Future Disaster or Food Shortages
I actually let up on my food stockpiling and deal gathering about two years ago. Our daughters were grown and out of the house. With just Scott and I, it seemed a little senseless. Then, this past week hit where people began wiping the stores out of nearly everything in our area and many other areas around the United States. I miss my stockpile!
When this scary time passes, and you can be sure it eventually will pass, I am getting back into the habit of buying my loss leaders and couponing more diligently. My husband even told me I need to build my household items and food stockpile back up and he used to hate it. Those of you who have stuck with it probably aren’t worried at all at the moment. I hope you can keep what you have organized and stay calm during this difficult time in our country.
Think about how to stock your pantry for a year. What foods would keep? What can you buy more of when it’s on sale because it won’t go bad for a long time? Once you get in the habit of keeping certain things on hand, such as rice, flour and dried beans, you’ll notice sales and deals on these items and be able to save even more.