One of the things that has driven me up the wall recently is how much food we seem to be getting through, especially the “good” stuff. You know what I mean, the snacky bits and fridge items. I’m pretty sure I know where those bits have magically disappeared to (my daughter has hollow legs at the moment, I predict another growth spurt). Anyway, back on track, I’m making some changes to boost my food organisation to reduce waste, to make it easy to see what I have so I don’t buy duplicates, to shop for food more effectively and to make sure I’m prepared with something wholesome when Isla-Mae comes at me with “But I’m huuuuungry”, despite having eaten an hour ago. It’s not just me, is it?
Get It All Out There
One of the smallest changes that I’ve made in terms of food organisation that has made the biggest impact is to get it all out there. By that I mean I take everything out of boxes and into containers so that I can see where everything is and what I do and do not need to buy. Cereal bars come out of their boxes, crisps out of packets, snack cheese out of the main packet and into the fridge drawer, you name it, if it is bagged or boxed up, out it comes.
Having done this I group thing together and put them in a container. So, cereal bars, mini rice cake packets, mini cookie packets, raisins and so on all go into The Snack Box. The Snack Box is always well stocked up and I raid that for when I need to make packed lunches. On top of this, I make sure that healthier snacks are easier to get to and more visible than the sweet treats!
I do the same in the freezer where appropriate, so I can see what I have rather than clawing through boxes and it gives me so much more space in there. Who knew? Clearly, my food organisation skills have been somewhat lacking.
As an aside, I’m finding it quite alarming to see how much extra packaging is around all of these things. Obviously, I recycle them but in truth, it would better if they weren’t produced in this way from the very beginning.
I’m building a stock cupboard! How’s that for levelling up as a food organisation expert? My stock cupboard is the place I put all of the extra things I buy when they are on a very good offer and are non-perishable i.e. cans, toilet rolls, kitchen roll, bags of pasta and so on. Having this cupboard stocked up means the world won’t stop turning during a lean month. This is also the place we’ll take things from to donate to the local food bank. This is something I plan to implement on a regular basis really soon, even if it’s just a case of taking a few tinned meals and a packet of tea and some UHT.
Freezer Food Organisation
My freezer wasn’t exactly a mess but it is so much better now and this organised approach makes cooking and shopping less stressful. It means that I tend to eat pretty much everything before going to do another shop, rather than constantly topping up (which is when all the unnecessary items accidentally fall into your shopping basket). I make sure that each freezer has a specific purpose i.e. meats/meals, potato/chips, veggies, odds and sods and sweet things etc. This saves time looking for what I want. A top tip for those with chest freezer, use those freezer bags you get at a supermarket (i.e. Aldi or Lidl) and place them in the bottom. You can then separate different food items into them i.e. one for meat, one for chips etc. That way you won’t have to clear the bottom of escapee frozen peas, just empty a bag into the bin!
Yup, this again. I tried and tried to keep on top of a proper meal plan when Isla-Mae was younger but it never quite seemed to work. Now though, with my kitchen better organised and my freezer a food organised haven I don’t find the planning a chore and find everything easy to get hold of when it comes to making a quick tea.
Your Food Organisation Tips
What do you do to keep on top of kitchen clutter, save money, reduce waste and stop your kids constantly complaining that they can’t find anything to eat? Any tip would be much appreciated as I’m on one of my missions!