I am on a mission this year to reduce not only the amount of money we spend, as a family on food, but also the amount of food we waste. I was astounded to find out that we Aussie’s throw out a staggering $8 billion worth of food a year. That equates to 20% of the food we purchase or $1036 worth of food per average household. According to the Do Something campaign run by not-for-profit organisation Foodwise, 40% of waste in household bins is food, which then all ends up in landfill. Foodwise lists the most common reasons people throw out food as being:-
- We cook to much food
- We don’t know what to do with left overs
- We don’t check the cupboard or fridge before going shopping
- We buy to much because we don’t stick to a shopping list
- We often shop when we are hungry so buy more food than we need
- We buy takeaways at the last minute instead of cooking the food we have at home
Another alarming statistic they mention is that families with children are one of the biggest groups of food-wasters, but probably one of the ones who can least afford to be.
So today, I gave my pantry a big clean out and re-organise. I did this so as I would know what food items were in there, what needed to be used up soon and what if anything needed to be thrown out. I’m very pleased to say that I only threw out half a container of desiccated coconut that had gone yellow and a box of very old ice cream cones. But I did discover a large quantity of rolled oats. Looks like I will be eating porridge for breakfast and making Anzac Biscuits!
Now here are my top tips for get your pantry cupboard sorted out:-
- Empty one shelf at a time. Wipe that shelf over with warm soapy water and allow to dry before refilling.
- Check use by dates before putting items back into the pantry
- Empty contents of open packets into containers
- Fill empty containers
- Use the best quality containers you can afford as these will help keep food items fresh. I use a mix of Tupperware and Sistema containers for storage as I find these work best
- Make a shopping list of all the things you need to replace
- If you find things in there that you know you are never going to use, donate them to charity or give them to a friend
- Sit down and make a meal plan for the next week with items you can use straight from the pantry. You can download my Free Meal Planner Here
All up it took me about an hour and half to completely clean and re-organise my pantry. But it was worth spending the time to do it properly because I now have a much better idea of what is in there and I already have some ideas for dinner this week that will require only minimal other ingredients to be purchased.