Finding cheap food storage methods doesn't have to be difficult. With a little time, creativity, and careful comparison shopping, you can come up with solution for creating an organized pantry.
Reasons for Stocking Up
There are many different reasons why people choose to accumulate a stockpile of food. For example:
- To take advantage of coupons, sales, and special promotions at local grocery stores
- Be able to plan meals on a budget
- Have extra items on hand to feed unexpected guests
- Create a stockpile of food to use during times of unemployment or when the family's budget is strained by an unexpected expense
- Be ready for a natural disaster
Finding Cheap Food Storage Methods
When searching for cheap food storage methods, there are several strategies to consider.
Many times you can repurpose items around your home for cheap food storage. Think beyond the original purpose of the item to see if you can come up with a way to use it for creative food storage. If your child has a bookshelf that isn't being used, for example, you could move it to a spare closet to make shelving for a pantry. Wicker baskets received as gifts could be repurposed to hold chips, crackers, and other snack foods.
Plastic buckets can be used for food storage as long as they are equipped with a food-grade liner; never use trash can liners as these products are often treated with harmful pesticides.
A dollar store can be a great place to look for cheap food storage. There are often plastic containers available in many different sizes. Just remember to check to make sure that the lids seal tightly. You don't want to have your food spoil because the containers weren't properly sealed.If you find a container you like at the dollar store, buy as many as you possibly can. Because dollar stores offer such affordable merchandise, their selection is constantly changing. It's unlikely you'll be able to pick up the same item again at a later date.
Shopping at thrift stores can be a hit and miss proposition, but they're worth checking out when you're looking for inexpensive food storage ideas. If you have a fairly clear idea of what you're looking for, consider leaving a request with a store representative. In many cases, someone from the store will be willing to call you if an item matching your description arrives.
Many Web sites selling kitchen appliances and other housewares have frequent sales on food storage items. Even Amazon has a fairly large selection of containers suitable for organizing your kitchen pantry. To find the best deals, check bargain hunting Web sites such as Retail Me Not and Deal Taker for notices of coupons, sales, free shipping offers, and other special promotions.
General Organization Tips
Finding the right cheap food storage methods is only half the battle when it comes to creating an efficient kitchen pantry. As you're getting organized, keep in mind the following tips:
- Consider investing in a label maker from an office supply store. Label food items with their name and the date purchased to make it easy to keep track of your supplies.
- If your family has certain meals that they eat on a regular basis, such as lasagna, spaghetti, pancakes, or homemade macaroni and cheese, consider grouping all the items for these dishes together in handy "kits" along with the recipe. This will make it easier for other family members to begin meal preparation if you happen to be running late one day.
- Get in the habit of going through your pantry once per month to take a brief inventory. Check food expiration dates and make a note of what items you may need to replenish from your stockpile during your next grocery shopping trip.