Posted by The Frugal Diva on 21st August 2012
Clean Out Your Pantry, for Better Health and Savings!
This is a guest post from the folks at Vita Cost who help you get healthy and save money with a Pantry Makeover.
Toppled bottles, expired cans, scattered remnants of a bag of rice that fell on its side. We’ve all been there. After months of hurried meal making, rummaging kids and intentions to eat well falling by wayside—your pantry is a mess. You’ve got stuff you’ll never use, stuff that’s stale and stuff you may not even be able to identify.
Cleaning out food cabinets every once in awhile isn’t just necessary for sanity’s sake, or to keep bugs at bay. It’s also a great way to get back on track with healthy eating habits—and to shave a little off your family’s food bill. Staying organized helps prevent waste, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Roll up your sleeves, slide the trash can close to the door and follow these simple steps for a budget-friendly, healthy pantry makeover:
Clear the Way
First, remove everything from your pantry shelves. Glance at labels as you do, and toss anything that’s expired or has a funky smell. Divide what’s left into two piles: things you know you’ll use in the (near) future and things you’re pretty sure you won’t. Chances are if it’s been stacked in the back since last Thanksgiving, you should get rid of it. Donate these items to a food pantry or soup kitchen.
Make It Shine
Skip the harsh (and expensive!) cleaning solutions. Make your own wood-shelf cleaner by filling a spray bottle with ½ cup water, ½ cup vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. Add six drops of essential oil for scent, if you’d like. Shake well, spray shelves and wipe with a soft cloth until clean.
Before you start lining up spice jars and arranging cereal boxes by height—stop. Take a good look at what your family is eating. Are smiling cartoon characters dancing on your cracker boxes? Do you have enough canned soup to survive a month-long power outage?
Start weeding out unhealthy staples and snacks, replacing them with whole, unprocessed foods that actually nourish rather than harm health. For example, trade white rice for brown; vegetable oil for olive or canola; processed peanut butter for natural. Avoid anything with “hydrogenated” on the label, and always buy fresh and frozen over canned.
While healthier foods can be more expensive, you’ll find great discounts at online health food retailers such as Vitacost.com. You can also buy in bulk, watch for sales, use coupons and sign up for emails from (or “like” the Facebook page of) your favorite natural food brands, which may offer exclusive deals for subscribers and fans.
Ever open a snack package, stick it back in the cabinet and forget it exists until it’s no longer edible? Of course you have. The best way to avoid food waste is to keep things well sealed, clearly labeled and easily accessible. Buy a variety of large glass jars or canisters and BPA-free plastic storage containers, and label them with permanent marker or decorative tags. When you buy something—say, a bag of whole wheat flour—dump it in, seal the container and place it with similar items on the shelf.
Once you’re used to labeling foods, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to start. Just like your entire pantry makeover—stop putting it off, you’ll feel fantastic when it’s done!
This article has been provided by the folks at Vitacost.com. Vitacost.com has been selling discount vitamins since 1994. Since then it’s grown into one of the biggest online marketplaces for healthy living essentials-with vitamins and supplements being just one of their many helpful categories! Get the best price on vitamins, nutritional supplements, health foods and diet products. Want to read about chia seeds benefits or just want some green cleaning tips Vitacost is the place for you. Vitacost.com’s customers mean the world to them, and it’s their goal to provide you with the best nutritional supplements, natural foods and sports nutrition to help with your health and wellness. Vitacost.com is not affiliated with this blog, and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.
By: +Rebecca Chopin writer for Vitacost.com