Pantry & Refrigerator Clean-Out

20180319_182341Spring is right around the corner and it’s a perfect time to renew and re-energize all parts of our lives. The first thing I urge you to do is to clean out your refrigerator, cabinets and pantry. Don’t just toss things out to start over – not just yet. The following steps will help you eliminate junk foods and outdated foods, save money, plan a week or two of simple meals using up what you have and clear space for fresher, healthier items.

Grab a trash bag, (and a recycle bin if you love recycling) a pen & paper and a bucket of sudsy water and a cloth.

Step 1 – Go through one shelf/cabinet at a time. Check dates and toss expired items. (if boxed, remove from box and recycle box, toss contents). Wipe shelves down with your wet cloth – wiping out shelves is part of the purge the bad stuff activity.

Step 2 – Write down what items you have left, try to keep them categorized for quick reference.

Step 1 & 2B – Repeat the steps for your refrigerator.

Step 3 – Decide on the coming week’s meals using what you have on hand. Search through recipe books and the internet to find recipes using the ingredients you have. Plan on a few crock-pot meals to make meal-time quick and easy during your busiest days.

Step 4 – Commit to making the chosen meals – commit to eating clean and – commit to being frugal by using up what you have on hand before shopping for more.

When you have used up all of or at least most of your stock and it’s time to shop again, buy the foods that will help you stay on track with a healthy diet and don’t buy in bulk. By buying only what you know you’ll use up, you will save money and time in the future.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be confusing or time consuming. Getting back to basics and stocking up on only what you will use keeps your closet, your trash barrel and your mind uncluttered and it keeps your wallet fuller!

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