Constantly wondering “what's in my fridge?” It's time to kick the habit! We have all the tips you need to clean out and keep track of the food you have in your kitchen. Cut out waste while using our handy, free printable to track what you've got!
If you've followed along for long, you know we LOVE our freezers. Yes, plural. We have several of them, and they are packed to the BRIM with food. The same goes for our fridge and pantry! Our freezers are one of the main tools that allow us to keep our grocery budget so low, and still make healthy, homemade meals for our family!
Aside from learning how to buy extra food items that are on sale (to build that freezer and pantry stockpile), the real trick is to inventory your kitchen so you know what's in there and rotate the food regularly.
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Lucky for us all, we have a gorgeous kitchen inventory printable on ShelfCooking.com that will knock your socks off! So keep on reading to see how to inventory your food and use that beautiful inventory printable. No more wondering “what's in my fridge?” on a daily basis for you!
HOW CAN I EASILY KNOW WHAT'S IN MY FRIDGE, FREEZER, AND PANTRY?
Obviously, the best way to know exactly what you have is to use the kitchen inventory printable. However, you can't just start adding items to it with your next grocery pickup order. You need to completely go through all of the food in your kitchen!
It may be a big task if you have a lot of food, but the first time is the hardest. Once you've gone through all of your food, then you just have to worry about keeping it up to date any time you add or use items.
This is a great time to CLEAN AND ORGANIZE your pantry, fridge, and freezer! Don't worry, we've got some great tips for you on doing this… We're going to focus on cleaning out the freezer, but apply these tips to anywhere you keep food in your house!
TAKE EVERYTHING OUT OF YOUR FREEZER
Choose one side or area of your freezer and completely empty the contents to the floor. Keep a garbage can close by and toss anything that is super old, funky looking (or smelling), or something that you will never use.
Keep your stuff in a pile, it won't thaw out fast enough to do any harm to anything! But if you're worried, keep a cooler nearby and put the food in there.
CLEAN OUT THE CREEPY GUNK
Don't skip the cleaning part! You never know when your freezer will be empty again, so take advantage of it. Use a vacuum to suck out what you can, then move on to the elbow grease! Ecloths are our favorite way to scrub all of the gross stuff out of the fridge and freezer!
PUT IT ALL BACK & WRITE IT DOWN
Put everything back, and try your best to make it make sense! Write down every item as you go. Here's how we do it:
- Start with the least-used, bulkiest stuff at the bottom.
- Try to make each side or area of your freezer make sense. For example, here's how we organized our kitchen pull-out freezer:
- Left side: Frozen meals/soup, meat, purees, salsa, etc.
- Right side: Veggies, fruit, dairy, baking goods, lunchmeat, etc.
- Top mini drawer: Small, random items, and items we use regularly, such as butter, cream cheese, string cheese and bagged cheese, yogurt, breads, frozen sandwiches, ice cream, etc.
- Write down everything as you put it back in your freezer and make note of what side/area it's on. Try to write it down somewhat in the same order as how you put it back in your freezer, along with how many you have.
USE YOUR KITCHEN INVENTORY PRINTABLE
Don't forget to use your kitchen inventory checklist from ShelfCooking.com so you're no longer asking yourself “what's in my fridge?”!
Remember, at the end of the day the purpose of having all this glorious food is to make your life easier and save you money… So USE IT! Plan your meals around what you have, especially on those weeks where money is tight.
DO A SPENDING FREEZE
Wanna get reeeeaaaaalllll crazy?!
Now that you have all this newly discovered food in your life, do a one- or two-week spending freeze! It will not only force you to use what you have, but it's a great way to save a LOT of money in a short amount of time. It's liberating, motivating, and empowering; like a juice cleanse for your body or something.
In one week you could save enough money to completely pay for Christmas. Buy a few kitchen staples before the freeze, but otherwise don't spend a dime and focus only on what you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer!
That's it! Super easy, super useful, super quick project that will make you feel oh so good. Now, get out there and enjoy having a romantic date with the food in your kitchen!
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Want some more great ideas?
- Get our best grocery shopping tips and tricks to help you save money and feed your family on a budget!
- Once you finish organizing the food in your kitchen, move on to your closet and easily organize it with these great tips!
- Start doing your laundry the unconventional way and you'll never go back to doing it the other way again!
- Check out these ingenious freezer organization ideas Shelf Cooking!