An organized pantry is a key ingredient to a well-run home—especially if you are a busy mom. When your shelves are haphazardly crammed with items, it can be hard to see what you actually have. Spending just an hour cleaning and rearranging your pantry can improve your effectiveness in the kitchen—and save time and money.
Imagine being able to pull out a recipe, and, within seconds, know exactly what ingredients you are missing. A well-stocked and planned pantry allows a cook to take a quick inventory and avoid harried, last- minute trips to the grocery store in the midst of meal preparation.
Here are a few quick and easy tips for organizing your pantry.
1. Remove everything and wipe down the shelves.
2. Check expiration dates and throw out anything too old to use.
3. Purchase airtight/sealable jars for sugar, flour, pasta, cereal, etc.
4. Organize your shelves according to frequency of use and group items in sections. (spices, oils, vegetables, etc.)
5. Make a list/inventory of what you have and what you need.
6. Reserve a special place for items that you can buy in bulk. (paper towels, tissue, etc.)
My top ten pantry staples:
4. Olive oil
5. Tomato sauce/diced tomatoes/frequently used canned vegetables
6. Chicken broth/soups
9. Peanut butter and jelly
Consider going to a large discount warehouse and purchasing certain products in bulk. Remember, this saves money only when it is an item that you use frequently and one that will not spoil quickly. I just stocked up on a case of canned tomato sauce because I know that I use it almost every week. However, I do not buy perishables in bulk unless I know that I will have company. I also do not buy large cans of soups and broths because once they are opened they expire in a matter of days.
Easy “Pantry-Style” Chicken Tortilla Soup
You will need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cans (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 pound chicken breast, cooked and chopped
1 can (14.5 oz.) favorite beans (I use black), drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups crushed corn tortilla chips
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, dried or fresh
Heat oil in medium pot and add onions. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, chicken breast, beans and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. To serve, ladle into bowl and top with crushed chips and cilantro. Enjoy!
* I keep a bag of chopped onions and chicken breasts in my freezer, which makes this soup extra easy and quick!
Spring is here, so set aside a day for spring cleaning. Throw out the things that you have not used or donate them to a charity or shelter. Whether it is your pantry or your closet, let this change of seasons motivate you to get organized.
As always, thanks for reading.
i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above?
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am
Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
I WISH I COULD COOK.
COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER?
I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE.
19 SPENCER WAY
KINGS PARK, NY 11754
HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am
You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition.
Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm