Transformation Tuesday: Pantry Makeover (for Under $11)

My husband and I have an amazing Tassimo coffee/tea maker.  It's perfect for the two of us because I'm not really a coffee drinker so making a whole pot of coffee would be a huge waste.  It came with a fancy water filter for the tank already installed.  It also came with a spare filter which you're supposed to change out once the little light on top turns an angry red color.

I remember putting the filter "someplace safe."  I remember thinking: I will totally remember where I put this tiny white package. I'm sure you can see where this is going.

A few months ago my husband finally decided it was time to change the filter.  I swore that I put it in the pantry.  I couldn't find it, so of course I told him that he must have already installed and just needed to order a new one - GOSH!

Fast forward to this past weekend when I decided it was time to clean out the pantry.  I have to warn you: It was a disaster area. You are about to see pictures of not only pantry-type items, but birthday present type-items.

Why, hello organic HEB peppermint tea!  I remember you from when I was trying to become a tea drinker - never happened.

Why, hello organic HEB peppermint tea!  I remember you from when I was trying to become a tea drinker - never happened.

As you can see, my pantry was a MESS.  I have cans on different shelves, empty jars, and even duplicates of items.  Yes, I have a box of lard.  Yes, I use clothespin to "seal" opened packages.  

Don't judge me.

Ah, geez.  Here's the floor of my pantry.

Ah, geez.  Here's the floor of my pantry.

Inside of the birthday bag was a pizza stone, pizza cutter, and some really cute kitchen towels.  My birthday was five months ago.  I spy: a chocolate fountain machine that's never been used. And more duplicates: gallon size freezer bags.

Speaking of duplicates...check out this parade of multiples.

Masa for arepas.

Masa for arepas.


Gluten free soy sauce.

Gluten free soy sauce.

Yep. And there's my birthday present in the background. HHEEYY!!

Yep. And there's my birthday present in the background. HHEEYY!!

Seriously, you can never make TWO lasagnas from ONE box.  Am I right?

Seriously, you can never make TWO lasagnas from ONE box.  Am I right?

For all my paleo starch needs...

For all my paleo starch needs...

It's for the lasagna, guys.

It's for the lasagna, guys.

And you're pantry is not fully stocked until you have cocoa powder.

Four containers of it.

I don't know either.

I don't know either.

Sad part? These weren't my only duplicates. I'll spare myself further embarrassment.

And now for the solution to all of my problems - including my addiction to brown sugar- DOLLAR TREE.  I spent $11 (yes, ELEVEN dollars) on containers that completely transformed my pantry. Link here, and here if you're looking for cheap storage (these are the ones I purchased).  Here and here if you haven't spent your last paycheck on two bags of arrowroot starch, and three jars of organic, expeller-pressed coconut oil.

First, I removed every single item from the pantry, and gave the shelves a good scrub. No pictures of this step - too excited about the prospect of white shelves.

Next, I discarded any items that seemed "icky."

Then, I merged all of my duplicates into Dollar Tree containers, writing the contents on the outside with a permanent marker.  I DID buy labels for this purpose, but they just would NOT stick.  I'm fine with it - the containers are only ONE dollar each, and I will probably repurchase these pantry staples once I actually run out. No, really. I swear. I'll wait to repurchase.

 

One last item: those pesky zip top baggies! They take up so much space.  I stapled them to the inside of the pantry walls.

Yes, more duplicates.

Yes, more duplicates.

And that's how $11 saved our pantry. 

And I also found this...

I knew it was in my "someplace safe."

I knew it was in my "someplace safe."

I'm really hoping that having my pantry this organized will save me some money when I go grocery shopping.  I can see exactly what I have and in the words of a very wise friend, "Who's ever going to need that much arrowroot!?" That stuff is expensive.

Do you have any kitchen organization tips? I'd like to somehow elevate the items that are sitting at the back of each shelf.  Link below to any items I should try out.

Three awesome things so far this week:

1. I exercised TWO days in a row.
2. I made this meal for the second time and it was still good - I don't have a very good track record with recipes.
3. I finished book five for my Reading Challenge on Good Reads.