Organising your Food.
Welcome to Organising your kitchen! This is one of 3 blogs relating to the Kitchen, be sure to check the other two out. We are starting with Food this week
I hate food waste! Such a poor use of precious resources. So I regularly go through my food stores, both my fridge and store cupboards.
First, bring all the food out of its storage places. If you want, you can split it between food that has to be kept cold and food that is at ambient temperatures. Go through it all and look for expiry dates and discard those that are past it.
There are two types of expiry dates. Use by should NOT be used beyond the date, whilst Best Before often can be used, but just won’t taste as good. However, I would say that if you haven’t eaten the food by the expiry date, that it is unlikely that you are going to and you should go ahead and get rid of it. In the future, make sure that you don’t buy it again, or (if it is half used), buy a smaller amount.
The rest of the food, that is within date, take a long hard look at and decide if it is something that you are going to use. Sometimes we buy things because they seem like a good idea, but the reality is that we simply don’t use them. Occasionally we are gifted an item that we won’t use. If the items are unopened and in date, then take them to a food bank. If they are opened, but within date and you will not use them, then see if any of your friends or family might like them (but do not take them to them without prior permission!). If it is food that is opened and that is within date, but that you cannot rehome, then go ahead and put it in the food waste and try to take a lesson from it and not buy it again.
At the end of Kitchen Komono, we will touch on menu planning and lists as a way to reduce our food waste.
When it comes to putting the food back in the cupboards, try to remember to store like with like to make it easier to find things. If you have children and they have things that they help themselves to, try to make sure that these things are within reach to foster independence. In my fridge, I recently started the Lunch Tray which is a fridge box which has the sort of things that they put in their sandwiches. Corralling it together keeps the fridge tidier and helps them to find what they need and put it away in the correct spot.
I’m a great one for decanting pantry supplies. Not things like breakfast cereal (which my kids go through so fast that there’s not much point!), but flour and pasta. I like the way it looks and it helps me to keep on top of what is in the cupboard and what is not. I store the back-ups in another cupboard and know that when I have taken the last back up out of the cupboard to be decanted, that it is time to put it on the shopping list again.