Adopt these organizational strategies so your pantry is always stocked with the foods you use most often.
- Keep a running grocery list of what you need. Post it in the kitchen so it's handy to write down items as they run low.
- Think ahead about which meals you will be cooking the following week. Prepare a menu and add any ingredients you will need to your list.
- Watch newspaper ads and inserts for weekly specials and manufacturer coupons so you can shop and save money at the same time.
- Plan your shopping trip when the market isn't overcrowded. This will allow you plenty of time to read nutritional labels and seek out new foods to try.
- Purchase in small quantities so your food is always fresh.
- Consider purchasing shortcut items, such as a rotisserie chicken, frozen meatballs, and pizza shells, that can shave time off your meal preparation.
- When you return from shopping, take time to clean out your cupboards and refrigerator. Dispose of any dated items.