Are you sick of making meals in a hurry? Are you winging most mealtimes with something you’ve excavated out of the bottom of the freezer? We discuss how to save money on your grocery bill and get super organized with my fabulous pantry inventory and freezer inventory templates!
I was sick of staring blankly into the fridge every evening, hoping that a healthy home-cooked dinner would jump out at me, so I decided it was time for drastic action! I got together a basic pantry list, an inventory of staples that I use regularly and needed to keep in my kitchen at all times. They are the essential ingredients to all my recipes. I created a pantry inventory template to tick off and pop in my purse, ready for the next grocery shop and it changed the way I shopped for food.
In this post, I will share all the ingredients you will need for a well-stocked pantry, and I will share my awesome pantry inventory printable template, fridge staples list, and grocery list so you can start your journey to a more organized pantry.
My life at home is very hectic, and I juggle work, a busy after-school schedule, and weekend sports activities. My spouse works most weekends, goes out early in the mornings to work, and gets home at approximately 9.15 pm most evenings due to his long commute. This means that I often cook in a hurry and prepare meals that fit in with my family’s routines. To feed everyone healthy home-cooked meals, I’ve had to up my game when it comes to meal planning and organizing the family meals.
What is meal planning?
Meal planning is a whole lot more than just writing a list of things you’d like to eat each week. With a few carefully honed tips, we will discuss how to get organized step by step and get healthy meals planned and cooked with minimal effort.
Stocking up on basic pantry supplies.
In this post, we will discuss grocery shopping for your pantry staples, focusing on the items you need to keep in your pantry to whip up a healthy meal in minutes.
Having a well-stocked pantry and a simple food inventory is the foundation of all successful meal planning.
If you’ve got all the essential pantry supplies you need in the pantry at all times, you should always be able to knock up a quick, healthy meal within minutes and should always be able to feed unexpected guests at any time.
I will also discuss the simple method I use to put away groceries to make sure I use everything efficiently and avoid
Why Do You Need A Pantry Inventory Template?
Of course, it isn’t as simple as just popping out and doing the weekly shop, bringing it home, and putting it away! That would be too easy! That way also leads to overspending on unnecessary food you will never use and will also lead to lots of food wastage. Did you know that the average family in the UK throws away 24 meals a month, totaling £60 a month!
Download your master pantry inventory list, then use it every time you write your shopping list! Tick off what you already have in stock before you go.
How To Save Money On Your Grocery Shopping
Follow these simple steps to prevent foood wastage and begin saving money!
- Clear out your fridge the day before you shop
This tip really is a game changer! Empty the fridge, discard anything out of date or anything you know you won’t use. Then give it a thorough clean down inside and out, so it is always clean and organised ready for your fresh food to go in! organising starts before you go shopping!
- Schedule the same day each week to do your weekly shopping
✔️ Budget and spend less as you know exactly what you need to buy and are not tempted to buy bizarre jars of stuff you’ll never use!
✔️ Avoid mid-week emergency shopping trips, huge amounts of money are spent on impulse purchases when you on each shopping trip. If you nip to the express supermarket the chances of you coming out with only the item you went in for are pretty slim. If you’re anything like me you’ll probably come out with arms laden with unnecessary items! cutting down on the number of supermarket trips will almost certainly save you heaps of money in the long run!
✔️ Keep your fridge clean and organized as you
regularlyclean your fridge the night before you shop!
✔️ Unpack your shopping quickly and easily as everything is organised and not overflowing with lots of stuff you don’t need!
- Juice any fruit and vegetables which may be past their best
drag the juicer out from the back of the cupboard and let’s give those sad bits of fruit a new lease of life! I often use apple juice to sweeten Ragu sauce, and I use orange juice for carrot and orange soup. Make soup or stock with any vegetables which are needing to be used up. Soups can be frozen and used for lunches, and stock as a base for thickening sauces or stews and make a healthier addition to kids’ meals.
- Make a note of all the things you need to replenish
Make a note of all the things you need to replenish your pantry supplies and add it to your grocery list.
- Write down a quick list of the meals you’re going to be eating over the next week
don’t worry too much about getting it perfect, you can read my meal planning post by clicking the button below! Jot down all the ingredients you’ll need for your recipes for the week on your household shopping list.
- Stick to a budget
Try to create a weekly or monthly grocery budget and stick to it. Shop from your list and do not buy unplanned items.
- Stack your fridge and cupboards as you would if you were stacking a supermarket shelf.
To stay on top of your meal prep and organize, it’s not as simple as just unpacking the shopping and shoving it anywhere in the fridge. The next stage is crucial to avoid waste. Follow these simple steps to putting food away.
Stack your fridge and cupboards as you would if you were stacking a supermarket shelf. All the longer-dated stuff goes at the back!
- As you put each item in the fridge note down the day it expires
Note down the day it expires on your planner, this is a crucial factor in meal planning, without this stage, you will struggle to stay organised no matter how much you plan! We cover this in-depth in my meal planning post.
- Declutter your cupboards regularly
If you spot something in the cupboard you never use, bin it, declutter as you go! do you have out-of-date canned goods or packets, if so get rid of them then write out your kitchen inventory of food items. If you are really organized you can save your inventory sheet to google sheets for later.
- Meal prep like a boss!
Chop carrots, onions, cauliflower, celery, cucumber before putting in the fridge, this makes it easy to grab throughout the week for meals and snacks, and it also reduces waste. Store in an airtight container. Find out how to meal prep like a boss in this post
- Get grating!
Grate a large portion of cheese and stock in an airtight storage container for quick grab sandwich fillers, salads and meal toppers. we use a lot of cheese in our house so I grate the whole block before I put it away. I also grate feta cheese for salads and to stir into pasta!
- Get slicing!
Slice tomatoes for salads, sandwiches, and sauces for throughout the week. For more information on how to do some basic meal prep click here
Pantry inventory template
To download your printable pantry inventory sheet, click on the button below to be taken to the printable pantry list!
Fridge inventory list
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Shopping trolly bags like these ones are fantastic for organizing your groceries into the fridge, freezer, pantry, and vegetable sections, ready to unpack at the other end! Handy for speed packing at Aldi!
My pantry staples list printable is perfect for people with a large family if used in conjunction with meal planning and batch cooking. It will help you cook large batches of meals to freeze and serve in a hurry and will also help to reduce your food wastage.
Yes, our pantry staples list
For advice about portion sizes for children and adults, go to https://blog.myfitnesspal.com