Make It Easy and Organized in the Kitchen — and Save Money, too

Again, these are tips I first posted on my publisher’s FB page a couple of weeks ago when we were gearing up for the launch of ORGANIZED FOR MURDER. If you didn’t catch them then, here’s your second chance 🙂

We have a deep pantry with bi-fold doors, and things can get easily hidden in the shadows of all the other containers. Food can easily go bad if it’s there too long, or I don’t realize I have something and buy more when I don’t need it. For these reasons, keeping the pantry organized helps me save money and time.

To combat the design issues, I use box flats or the lids for file boxes – so there’s only an inch or so lip around the cardboard. Then I put all my cans on these flats. I can stand at the pantry opening and slide out a whole flat at one time, and quickly see all the cans that would normally cower in the back.

I also make sure one section is for tall boxes, like cereal, so all those big containers are together and don’t hide the pasta I need for dinner.

I have always separated bananas as soon as I bring them home from the store, and placed them in a bowl on the counter. I learned early on that keeping fruit in the plastic bags makes everything ripen faster than I like. This is due to the naturally occurring gases. Since bananas grow so close together, separating the fruit from each other helped even more.

I always did the same with apples and oranges and pears and grapes, too. I washed the fruit and set pieces out in a bowl on the table, or in the case of grapes and oranges, kept them in a refrigerated bowl on one of the middle shelves of the fridge.

In the case of bananas, I realized my family ate that fruit much more readily when a bunch was separated and placed in a bowl on the counter, right in the busiest line of traffic, and all they had to do was grab one out of the bowl and peel. That realization was driven home in a funny way recently when my mid-20s daughter moved home for a week while waiting for her new apartment to get final renovations completed.

She grabbed a banana each day and on the third day said, “I wonder why I quit eating bananas? I love bananas. I’ve been eating them every day I’ve been here. They always went bad at my place.”

“It’s because I separate them and you don’t have to do anything but grab them.”

Her eyes grew wide, and she replied, “Omigod, you’re right. I’m sooo lazy.”

So, laugh with your kids, and save yourself some money by thinking how to make cheap & healthy snacks easy to eat, and your fruit will never go bad again.

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About ritterames

Ritter Ames is the USA TODAY bestselling author of both the Organized Mysteries and Bodies of Art Mystery series, and lives atop a high green hill in the country with her husband and Labrador retriever. She spends each day globe-trotting the world from her laptop with Pandora blasting into her earbuds, often with the dog snoring at her feet. Much like her mysteries, Ritter’s favorite vacations start in London, then spiral out in every direction. She’s been known to plan trips after researching new books, and keeps a list of “can’t miss” foods to taste along the way.
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