Organizing Your Pantry

It's never a bad idea to go through your food pantry and do some clearing out. Dig into the depths and discover ingredients that you didn't even know were there - like that obscure spice that you bought one time to make that recipe that ended up looking so much better in the picture. We've all done it. Food runs the risk of getting moldy, crusty or bug-ridden so make sure to venture into the pantry and give it a clean sweep sporadically. Here's how you should go about doing so:

1) Set up three zones in your kitchen: keep, throw away, and donate.

2) Take all of the food out of your pantry and place each item in one of the zones. Remember to check the expiration dates and consider whether or not you'll use the ingredient again. Act accordingly.

3) Head over to the "keep" zone and divide items into "like" groups. For example: baking supplies, condiments, snacks, grains, etc.

4) When you put the food back into the pantry, think about how often you use each category. Place the frequently-used groups onto the most accessible shelves and less-often used items higher up or lower down. If you have children, think about what items you want them accessing and place those lower down.

5) Put all of the food that you want to donate into a bag and find a local food bank using this handy tool. Throw away the items that you decided are no longer good and bring the bag straight to the trash.

6) Feel free to label the shelves (think about those categories that you created earlier) so you'll know exactly where to put new groceries away and have no trouble finding ingredients that you know are in there.

You're good! Your pantry is great! Things are lookin' fly.