Sort It ~ Professional Organizing for the Toronto Area

The Incredible Bulk

I remember, as a child, going into Bulk Barn to purchase a few items. We would buy croutons, or pasta, in clear plastic bags. We would only buy one bag of an item at a time, and we would take it home, and put the contents into a reusable container. I thought that this was fantastic! We payed a lower price for food, and we eliminated much of the packaging. Win, win. And I would sometimes get a Sesame Snap as a treat. BONUS! đŸ™‚

However, about a month and a half ago, my husband and I went to Costco with our family. We don’t have a Costco membership, although we have considered it. Now, Costco (and Sam’s Club) are a whole different ballgame. Unlike Bulk Barn, with their little child sized shopping carts, Costco supplies its customers with carts large enough for the Duggar Family (of “19 Kids and Counting” fame). They also kindly offer you “samples” which provide you with enough sustenance to do 3 laps around the store.

I understand the draw of this type of store, honest, I do. There are great deals to be had, and it is cheaper to buy in bulk (usually). And if you’re willing to wait half an hour in line, you can probably save a couple of bucks at the pumps, too. Very tempting. However, what happens when you get home with your pallet of toilet paper, and vat of mustard? You need to store it somewhere, which leads us to… The Pantry.

The pantry can be your own little supermarket. You probably have soup, beans, toilet paper, pop, pasta, and other little goodies down there. However, when is it too much? But let’s be realistic. You don’t need a year’s supply of food (unless you are Mormon or preparing for the end of the world – I believe the revised date is now October 21).

First, go through all the food in your pantry, and look at those expiration dates. Have some of them past? Are some of them looming? If the dates have past, your are best to toss them. If the food is about to expire, then plan a couple of meals around that item.

Second, decide if you will ever eat it. You have a can of lentils, but can’t for the life of you, figure out what do with them. Or, perhaps someone gave it to you, but it just doesn’t tickle your taste buds. Donate the food to a local food bank (there are bins in most grocery stores). It’s a great way to help others in need.

Third, look at the items remaining in your pantry. If you’ve already got 18 cans of chicken noodle soup, and it’s on sale for 25 cents, you can probably skip it. Remember the saying: It’s only a deal if you need it. Get creative and use the food you’ve already got on hand. My husband and I try to keep extra food on hand, just in case. When I lost my job, this came in very helpful, as we were able to stretch our grocery money further.

Lastly, organize your pantry. Keep the pastas together and canned items together – like with like. You may have more food then you realize because it is hidden away. Get a couple of metal shelving racks, and organize the items in such a way that you can see what you have, and how much of it. That way, when you’re in the grocery store and see a remarkable deal on ketchup, you likely won’t buy another bottle, only to come home and realize that you have 4 already in the pantry! (Just so you know, some of these tips come from personal experience – ketchup, anyone?)

Happy Cooking!


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