Friday, May 7, 2010

Food Storage Series Part 1: Awesome Food Storage Room or Not

I'll be honest. I really wish my food storage looked like this:

Unfortunately, those shelves are filled with all of Grandpa's food, leaving no room for ours. What's even worse is that all of his food is past the expiration date because he was not able to keep up with rotating it in the last few years. Sad, but true, and it serves as a sobering reminder of how not being mindful of your pantry and food storage items can really put a lot of food to waste.

So I don't have any awesome food storage system. I'm pretty embarrassed to unveil this to the entire blogging universe. Brace yourselves.

All I have is a little bit of floorspace in Grandpa's storage room. When we move to our own home, I probably still won't have any food storage shelves (at least not for awhile.. . maybe Christmas?), so we'll have to keep making do with what we've got.

As you can see, I organize my food in two ways: piles of cans and groups of grocery bags.

The cans are organized into groups that make sense to me and make it easy for me to get what I need quickly. Here are my groupings:
  • cream soups and broths
  • tomato products (salsa, spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce and paste)
  • black beans
  • assorted beans (white, pinto, refried, Ranch style, garbanzo)
  • vegetables (green beans, mixed veggies)
  • miscellaneous (tuna, French onion soup, enchilada sauce, pineapple, etc)
  • quick meals (soup, chili, spaghettios)
I keep these groups of cans in cardboard cases or plastic bins. It's easy to see what we have on hand and what we're running low on. When it came time for the case lot sale, I knew I only needed to buy a few things (full case: black beans, crushed tomatoes; half case: green beans, cream of chicken soup).

My grocery bags are filled with all the dry goods. I have the bags grouped into general categories, and each bag is filled with very specific items.

Here are my categories:

  • nuts
  • granola bars
  • crackers
  • tortilla chips
  • cookies
  • chips and junk

  • dressings & marinades
  • sauces & oil
  • spices & dry dressing mixes
Pasta (Oh, we could live for quite awhile on pasta!)
  • long noodles
  • egg noodles
  • rotini
  • elbows
  • whole grain
  • miscellaneous shapes
Processed Foods & Grains
  • rice & Ramen noodles
  • macaroni, Rice-a-Roni, Pasta Roni, etc
  • soup mixes, stuffing mixes, potato flakes
Baking Supplies
  • flour, sugar
  • cornstarch, cornmeal, yeast
  • baking chips & extras
  • cake mixes
  • cookie & brownie mixes
  • cereal
  • PopTarts
  • oatmeal

  • laundry detergent
  • dishwasher tablets
  • soap
  • paper products
It may just look like a big, messy pile of junk, but I know where everything goes, so it's easy for me to keep track.

This post is getting SUPER long, so I'll wrap up my ideas in another post.

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