You are currently viewing How to organise your pantry using the FIFO method

How to organise your pantry using the FIFO method

Simple, low-cost hacks to create an organised, gorgeous pantry using the first in, first out method (FIFO)

Start the year by ticking off an easy win: repack your pantry to perfection. It will make space for more creativity in the kitchen.

Let’s be realistic:

New year, same (fabulous) you. What shouldn’t stay the same, however, is the way you organise your kitchen. The way your kitchen looks will not only influence the way you cook, but ultimately how you feel in the space.

If the kitchen is a hot mess, you won’t want to step inside even to put the kettle on. But with a few easy, low-cost hacks you can create inner and outer peace — and also a gorgeous alphabetised spice rack!


Spin the wheel

If the space allows, consider adding a rotating tray to a deep cupboard’s middle shelf. A cheap and cheerful cake decorating plate that spins works just as well. This way, all you need to do is spin the board to retrieve the desired ingredient.

The name of the game

Buy a box of stick-on labels from a stationary store — they can be as cheap or expensive as you’d like them to be.

If you have pantry goods that you view from above, such as spices, sticking a label on their lids can immediately remove the time and effort spent looking for something. Adding labels to the front of your containers gives each storage station a purpose, like keeping all the flours together, and reminds everyone of what needs to go where!


Transparency is key

If you need to invest in containers, opt for clear ones. This will allow you to check on stock levels without having to haul out the contents of every storage bin.

Writing a shopping list will become easier and when you unpack the grocery bags there won’t be a fight for space between the tins of beans and the bottle of chutney.


Pack the essentials

When packing, prioritise eye-level shelves for commonly-used ingredients like salt, black pepper and oil. Although they’re special, keep some niche or expensive ingredients higher up.


Make it happen

Remember the glass jars, plastic ice cream tubs or shoe boxes you vowed would come in handy one day? Well, today’s their day. Glass jars can store pantry goods such as flour, spices or nuts.

Keep fresh produce in plastic containers once they come out of their original packaging. And shoes boxes, of all things? Use them as organisers in cupboards to group together unopened staples.


Cupboard chronicles

If you’re looking to revamp your spice cupboard, think about switching to a lie-down system. Purchase a spice jar divider that you can pop into one of your top drawers.

This way, your spices will already be facing you and will be easy to identify. Not that much space in your pantry cupboard? Try installing a spice rack against your pantry or kitchen door.


The FIFO system

The ‘first in, first out’ system is used in all food businesses to make sure that the food which goes off soonest is used first.

Make this happen by grouping the same products together. Order them according to expiry date, with the items expiring soonest at the front. It will save you food and money.


Pantry prepper

Keep grocery spending low by having a decent stock of affordable pantry staples. They should keep for a long time, be versatile and live happily outside of the fridge:

  • Tinned food like beans, tomatoes, tuna and corn will bulk up dishes and add flavour without breaking the bank.
  • Dried basics like rice, pasta, lentils and grains go with almost anything and can add heft to what would have otherwise been a lean meal.
  • Keep inexpensive flavour boosters like tomato paste, peanut butter, stock or curry pastes ready for quick weeknight dinners.


A piece of spice advice

Have you ever flipped over a spice shaker and checked the expiry date? Did you ever use it anyway and hope for the best? While it might not harm you, it will certainly impact the flavour of your food.

Spices don’t become inedible past their expiry date, but they do lose their alluring colour, smell and flavour over time. They generally last between 2 and 3 years.

Keep them fresh by storing them in airtight containers in a dry place out of the sun. If the spice looks, smells or tastes sub-par then it probably is. Time to throw it out and add it to the shopping list.

Words by Sjaan Van Der Ploeg
Photography: Getty, Fresh Living Magazine, Courtesy Images

0 / 5. Vote count: 0