Pantry Challenge |

Spring Cleaning Your Pantry!

The weather is warming up and if you’re like me, you’ve got the windows open and you’ve already started doing some spring cleaning! Of course, it’s great to tackle all the grime and dust that builds up in places around your home, but there’s one area that most people tend to forget about in their cleaning frenzy… the pantry!

Are you up for the challenge? Then join our Spring Cleaning #PantryChallenge! It’s the perfect time to clear out your expired food items and re-organize your food storage space to be more functional for the whole family. I’ve established a How-To-Guide on cleaning your pantry, fridge and freezer! It’s easy to follow and you can do it on your own time.

#PantryChallenge Goals:

  1. Get rid of expired food in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator.
  2. Guide your meal planning to utilize items you have on hand.
  3. Give you inspiration to make better choices for you and your family!

Let’s Get Started

Pick your zone! Start in the pantry, fridge or freezer. Where you start doesn’t matter, as long as you take the first step. Just know you will repeat these steps with each space.

Step 1: Take EVERYTHING out
I mean it… EVERYTHING! If you keep any small appliances or other non-food supplies in your pantry, clear them all out. This will help you start fresh and keep things organized where they need to be. Plus, it’s a good chance to dust off the ones you haven’t used in a while or consider donating items you haven’t used in a REALLY long while!

Step 2: Toss all expired food
I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll have some items in your house from 2017 or before. (I’m guilty, too). Toss them out and keep only the items that you and your family will eat. For non-perishable items that are not expired and you don’t see your family utilizing, donate them to your local food shelf.

Step 3: Write it down
Write down all food items that you are keeping. Find a blank notebook, scratch paper or an app in your phone… whatever works for you! Make 3 columns – Pantry, Freezer & Refrigerator. Write down all the items that you still have on hand, make sure to exclude all the items that were outdated and donated.

Step 4: Scrub-a-dub-dub!
Clean & wipe down the space. Now that everything is out, give it some good old-fashioned elbow grease and get cleaning! Get in those corners and be sure that your food is being stored in a clean place. This would be a good opportunity to add or replace shelf paper in the pantry or add a coat of paint to brighten up the space too!

Step 5: Re-stock
Put all your items back in. Keep them organized as you go by putting like items together. This is a good time to add new shelves or bins to help keep your food organized. Double check the food as you return it to the space to see if the cans or boxes may be dusty too. Wipe them down if needed so they don’t dirty up your nice clean shelves.

Smarter Meal Planning

Take the list that has all the food items you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Are you overwhelmed? It’s amazing how much food we have on hand, yet, we can still come home and think “We have no food in this house!” (I’m guilty, too!)

The last step to our #PantryChallenge is my favorite part! I challenge you to use the list of food that you have on hand and create as many meals out of it as you can! For example, if you know you have pasta and lean ground beef, perhaps you make spaghetti and meatballs one night. Or if you have a variety of canned beans, maybe you try out some chili.

The goal is to plan meals that utilize the food you have on hand to help you use up the food that’s been sitting in the cupboard for quite a while. So, get creative with your meals or find some new recipes! (We have lots of great Dietitian’s Choice recipes right here on CelebrateMore!) By planning ahead, it’s easier to plan healthier, more balanced meals for the whole family. Plus, your shopping list should be much shorter if you’re utilizing what you already have at home, saving you time and money at the grocery store!

Share your photos with us!

Take a before and after photo… You’ll be glad you did! We would love to see the progress and improvements you made in your home with the #PantryChallenge! So, show off a little on how you are reducing food waste and stretching your food dollar. Share your photos on Instagram and tag us @Coborns_Stores. We would love to know what other tips you might have when it comes to spring cleaning your pantry!

Cheers to spring!!
Amy, RD, LD