How to declutter your kitchen to save money.
Updated: Nov 8, 2022
To coincide with this year’s APDO’s National Organising Week theme ‘Getting Organised To Save You Money’ I wanted to show you how to do a kitchen ‘stocktake’ which will save you both cash and time.
Have you ever thought about how you manage the food that you buy for yourself or your family? Maybe you buy duplicate items that you know you probably already have but just can't find, or maybe you keep buying the same foods but they keep going out of date before you use them.
Think of all those wasted £££’s!
It's time to take control of your food cupboards.
Here's how to declutter your kitchen to save money.
Where to start?
It's impossible to know what you are shopping for when you can't see what you already have, so setting off to the supermarket without this information is bound to end in duplicate buys, impulse buys and more clutter in your cupboards.
Before you go food shopping, you need to declutter your food cupboards.
Start by taking everything out. I know this sounds like a huge task, but it's important so that you can see exactly what you have in there. You should only have to do this once as they will be easier to keep on top of once organised.
Group items together
Next, group items together (tins of beans, rice, sauces etc.) so that you can see how many duplicates you have and what is missing.
Check the expiry dates and know the difference between Use By dates and Best Before dates.
If food has a USE BY date it means it can be harmful to consume it after that date so you should throw away anything that has an expired USE BY DATE.
Products that have a BEST BEFORE date can still be eaten beyond their date but may not be at their best anymore, so check their quality before deciding whether to keep or discard them.
Donate the surplus
If there are products that you know you will not consume but are still in date then put those into carrier bags ready to donate them to your local food bank. Most towns and cities have a food bank but you can also find collections in other venues such as supermarkets and churches.
The fun bit - putting it all back
Now it's time to wipe out the cupboard and put it all back in. Store similar foods together so that you can see how many of each you have, and check that items with the longest dates are stored behind those with shorter dates so that they get used in the correct order.
Repeat this process with your fridge and freezer.
It can help to make a list to stick on the fridge of what you have lurking in the bottom of your freezer to ensure it gets used up.
Now you are organised,It's time to write your shopping list.
How to meal plan to save money and time.
If you don't write meal plans, why not try one before your next shopping trip? It doesn't have to be set in stone, but can be an idea of what you will eat, taking into account family activities and commitments during the week. Start by looking at your schedule for the week - will everyone eat at the same time? who is home for lunch?
It's useful if you have a hectic family life to have at least one day where you eat the same thing each week. If you know you have a busy day running around to various children's activities between leaving work and cooking, choose something that can sit in the oven, like jacket potatoes or a stew. Having at least one day a week where you don't have to worry about 'what's for dinner' can take the pressure off.
Once you have done a cupboard stocktake it should be easy to write a list of what you need to buy for your chosen meals, this will save you money as you won't be buying items you already have in your cupboard, and if you have written a meal plan you will only shop for what you need.
You will spend less and waste less and save time trying to work out what to cook.
That is something we all need right now.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
Make it a routine - do a quick check on your cupboards, fridge and freezer every week before you write your meal plan and shop.
If you have a local refill shop they can be a lot cheaper than supermarkets for items like herbs and spices or dried pulses, nuts and fruits so take your empty jars and fill them up.
When putting away your shopping, remember to put items in date order to reduce wastage
Please leave a comment if you found this useful or have any other food decluttering tips to share.