Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Meal Planning Starts with a Clean Fridge and Organized Pantry~Part 1

Today I wanted to share with you how we stay organized when it comes to planning our meals for the week.  Let's face it, we are all super busy these days and as moms can sometimes be pulled in 100 different directions.  I remember the days of having to be out the door by a certain hour, homework, sports practices and such.  As a family we made it a priority to eat dinner together every evening.  Trust me, there were nights when that was no small feat and a few that just didn't happen.

The key to successful meal planning is having an organized fridge and pantry.  Knowing what you already have on hand and planning your meals around those items.  The bonus is that it not only saves your sanity, but it saves you time and money as well.  And, we all could use a little more of both!  Another key factor is taking into account your families schedule for the week.  Late afternoon practices or game nights are perfect nights for a crockpot meal.

First I am going to share our organized frig.  I know many of you deep clean your fridge only a handful of times a year.  Well, I rarely have to do that because I take about 10-15 minutes on Sunday before I meal plan and grocery shop to take inventory and wipe down things that need it.  One, it saves me from the dreaded "ewww gross" deep clean down the road and two, I now know what I need when shopping.  No more buying only to find out we had three bottles hidden in the back of the fridge.

A clean slate.

We keep most of our condiments and such in the doors of the frig.  This way we can see most things at first glance.  And, we try to keep them in the same place all the time making it easier to know when we are either getting low on something or in need of a replacement.

The top shelf normally holds small juice containers, sodas, etc.

The half shelf usually stores the few "extras" that we only use on occasion or I sometimes use it to store our meats for the week in ziplocs.

Bottom shelf holds larger bottles of juice, wine, etc.

 Butter, both tub and stick are stored on the top left side.  Followed by bread, eggs, and sometimes bacon.

The bottom left is usually reserved for larger items, such as salad greens or leftovers. And of course we use our crisper bins for produce.

Our frig drawer is used to store yogurt, applesauce, cheeses, cold cuts and the like.  I love the small white plastic bins we purchased at Target that help keep like things together.

Our top freezer drawer is where we keep breakfast items, frozen fruit for smoothies, pie crusts, and variety of nuts.

 The bottom larger drawer is where we store pizzas, bread, frozen dinners, frozen vegetables and such.

As you can see from the pictures most items are clearly visible on first glance.  It really is a time saver!

This was taken prior to our grocery shopping for the week.  Remember, we are empty nesters so those of you with larger families at home will have more to store but it can still be done!

Tomorrow I will share our organized staples pantry with you, and how I meal plan.


Katie Clooney said...

Very organized. My favorite part is the Cupcake chardonnay. Hope you finish it tonight!

Rustown Mom said...

It all looks super organized and clean! Looking forward to the day when we can store more wine...

Christy @ 11 Magnolia Lane said...

Looks great! I try to wipe mine out regularly, too, but weekly would definitely be better. You're so right about taking stock before going to the store.

Mountain Mama said...

Love the vodka in the freezer - :)

Calypso In The Country said...

You are so organized! Looks great Lauren! Thanks for letting me know about the french door fridge. You seem like you really have a lot of space in there. I keep mine somewhat organized but I could do better...maybe when I get the new one! I have the same Target baskets but I use mine for medicine and vitamins in my upper cabinets.