To make meal planning easier, and to ensure you aren’t wasting food, keep your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer decluttered. Start by decluttering your food supply (step one) or skip ahead to some best practices you can implement to maintain your decluttered food storage spaces (step two).
Step One: Declutter
1. Remove all the food from your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer (do one space at a time).
2. Clean out the empty space.
3. Discard any spoiled food.
4. Donate or give away any food you won’t eat.
5. Combine duplicates.
6. Return items by grouping similar items together. Be sure to separate any items that need to be used quickly and keep them front and center so you use them up.
Step Two: Implement Best Practices To Keep Your Space Decluttered
Modify recipes so you use up any specialty ingredients you wouldn’t finish otherwise.
Limit your spices to the ones you use most often. If a recipe calls for something you don’t typically use, just skip it or exchange it for something similar that you have.
Plan your meals each week by starting with what you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.
Plan to have a leftover meal. I normally do this once a week. I’ll pull out all of our leftovers and my family takes turns selecting their meal for the evening. This is also a great way to finish up small portions of food.
Avoid buying things in bulk unless you use up the portion before your next trip to the store.
Stick to your list when you are grocery shopping.
Use clear containers so you can see what you have.