Ask any chef, cook or foodie how they keep their kitchen organized, and running at optimum cost, and they’ll tell you that they shop their kitchen before they shop the store. This simply means taking stock of what they already have before hitting the grocery store, and ensures that their pantry is well-stocked – but not overstocked. It helps their budgets too!

We’ve all done it, right? You rush around the store, grab all of your usual groceries, and pull a face at the price when you get to the checkout – only to get home and find you already had half a dozen of the items hiding in the back of your cupboard. You end up with no room, a messy kitchen, and a whole lot of waste. Even worse, you might not remember the stuff you really need.

Well, we thought we’d share our top tips for anyone who finds themselves with an over-flowing or underwhelming pantry or refrigerator. We’re all different so what works for one person may not work for another so just pick and choose what works for you!

Clean your pantry

When you’re in a rush, it’s easy to throw things into the cupboard and worry about it later. But messy cupboards don’t help in keeping track of your groceries. So clean them up. Keep cans together, pastas together, herbs together, and so on. It will make taking stock so much easier.

Make a meal plan 


First, the fun bit! Design yourself a meal planner, or find one online (there are plenty of free printables out there, like this one from Next, decide what you want to eat for the week, accounting for breakfast, lunch and dinner. List your ingredients, looking in your cupboards and checking off what you already have. Then whatever’s left is your grocery list!

Keep a running shopping list

You have to be pretty on-the-ball for this one, and you’ll also have to make sure the whole family is on board, but writing down items as you run out of them will save you a ton of time when it comes to grocery day. A chalkboard will look pretty cool, but a pen and paper will work just as well.

Make a food inventory

Those avid list-writers among you will love this. Set up a spreadsheet on your computer, or find a sample online, and type in all of your regular foods. You’ll probably need to go through your refrigerator, pantry and freezer, as well as your bathroom cabinets. Remember to make a note of how many of each item you have as you come across them, and keep those quantities up-to-date. Then simply buy new groceries as they’re running low.

What are your top tips for keeping an organized pantry? Comment below or send us a message. We’d love to hear them!