Crazy Jar Lady
Month of organization and inventory.... and... weight loss? Nah....
I'm seeing alot of folks doing a pantry challenge this month; meaning that you eat ONLY from your pantry for the entire month, no purchases. I've considered doing this, maybe next year. I recently stocked the pantry to a level that I'm comfortable. By next year, I will have more items that need using up and there will be enough variety to keep us content for a month of pantry eating.
There's also a great event on YouTube going on called "Canuary". These are videos of folks that are canning often during the month and posting them all month long. Several creators are participating. I know I will be watching alot of them!
My aunt had a great saying that I replay every now and then when brain starts up on the size of my pants and life is being stressful; "Now is probably not the best time to worry about your weight." January is never a good time for me to worry about fitness. It's usually filled with darkness, food and paperwork. These are all activities that aren't conducive to worrying about ass size. Once the garden season starts up (big plans), I won't have to worry cause I will be outside doing and making vitamin D in the sunshine. Brain won't even think about weight loss then....
Inventory and going through the pantry is always a good idea, doesn't matter what month. I'm behind on getting the shelves that Handsome built restocked. While you're going through everything, organize by expiration date. (Don't throw away the expired items unless it's extreme; the food is most likely still good!) Take time to inspect each jar/can/box to see if you might have a failed seal, pantry moths, etc. I have ideas about going with an electronic inventory; I'm not sure it will help as I'm the type of person that has to leave everything sit out in front of me or I forget about it. I do better walking into the pantry and seeing what I have versus looking at or keeping a written list. Going through your stock also puts those items back into the brain inventory so you "know" what you have. Also, dust.
Start a list of items that you're long on. We currently have an excess of peanut butter, saltines, macaroni and cheese, and ketchup. I've been researching recipes to use them up. I will probably find some new recipes that I will use often. How did I end up with this glut of ingredients? I won't turn down food. Somebody is cleaning out their pantry? Bring it. If it's an item I won't use, I will find someone that will use it, find a creative recipe for it, or feed it to the chickens or dogs if appropriate. If the item is really awful (rare occurence), there's always the compost pile. Look at different items as opportunities to learn. This can even open your eyes to what you've been missing and you just might like the new ingredient enough it becomes a staple.
Make a list of items that you're short on. You know what you like to use most everyday. You know how often you need to buy flour, sugar, pasta, green beans, etc. If the stash of any particular item looks low, add it to your grocery list so you can grab a couple extra when you're there or hunt down a sale.
I purchased these baskets** to hold all the pouches/boxes of items that are in the pantry and keep them from flopping around on the shelves. They fit nicely on the shelves and hold enough to be useful without getting too heavy.