Organizing Your Pantry

May 8, 2008

Cans of Food in a PantryI save my mayonnaise jars, coffee cans (Folgers), and my catsup bottles for re-use again. I keep uncooked rice, dried beans, macaroni and graham crackers in the clear mayonnaise jars. I use the large coffee cans for dried beans, peas, and other items like spaghetti and noodles. The catsup bottles are used to put catsup back into.


I buy at Smart and Final and the large cans fills up 5 of the catsup bottles for me. I place the rice into my freezer before putting it on the shelf because the rice sometimes has bugs and by freezing, it assures that the bugs will not hatch, if any are there.

By Louise from Cibola, AZ



By Janet in GA (Guest Post)
May 8, 20082 found this helpful
Top Comment

Because I use about three different types of flours, (sr,ap and spelt) and three types of sugar (cane, beet, and splenda) I need a lot of jars. Last year I found 8 1/2 gal canning jars for a dollar each. I use those to put the different things in. Then I also use those large pickle jars, which I got from the high school concession stand I worked at. I will paint the tops of them this summer to match the cabinets which are country blue.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 170 Posts
August 10, 2009

Since our kids are now on their own, we don't keep a large inventory of stored food goods in the pantry, but I do like to keep a few items stocked. I put a rubber band around the last item to remind me that I need to stock up on that particular food product.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
May 14, 2018

I have a big pantry. That said, I also share it with clothes, crafts, and things to sell. So, when I can, I try and make things like food take up less room. I put little things inside bigger things and those inside other things, etc.


One thing that always helps me is to consolidate things that are alike to save space.

A container of boxed macaroni and cheese ingredients in the pantry.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
November 14, 2018

I was forever looking for my little packaged goods. Now they are all in one place. I sat the shadowbox on four cans. For stability, you can use full cans with rocks or sand in them.

A shadowbox frame storing small packets in a pantry.


May 12, 2010

"File" your food in your freezer. Organize frozen food boxes where the label shows and you can see what the item is. Put all meats "filed" together, all vegetable bags "filed" together, and all juices "filed" together.


August 19, 2009

First of all, I empty all cardboard containers into plastic containers. Then I label them: pastas, rice, chips, crackers, spices, sugar, flour, etc. I do not use a canister set.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
July 2, 2018

I have these wonderful little jars from Oui' yogurt. I use the generic Splenda from the Dollar Tree. When I get a new box or two, I pre-fill all the jars I have so when I am done with one, I can just grab another.

Two filled jars of Splenda packets in the pantry.


August 12, 2011

Pantries can get really messy. With their deep shelves, foods can easily get pushed to the back, only to be found after they expire.


October 3, 2018

Use cute Dollar Tree organizers to organize your pantry!

An organized pantry shelf.

March 23, 2009

I have a very narrow shelf in my pantry and could get only a few cans in. When I began to put one as far back on the shelf as possible and then the other as far front as possible (touching each other) then I could get several more on the shelf.


January 14, 2005

Sometimes I get carried away by specials or forget I already have a lot of something and buy more. After my last pantry cleaning, I posted two lists on the refrigerator.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
February 13, 2012

The post about buying peanut butter reminded me of how I handle sale items. I store cans of coffee or jars of peanut butter upside down.


The most recent item is right side up. When I open this one, I turn another one over.


August 17, 2009

This is a really simple hint, but it helps me with my tiny pantry, just a few shelves in my kitchen. I try to keep like types of items together.


24 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

January 12, 2011

I have a big pantry, but obviously it's not big enough. It has open shelving and since I have major OCD it drives me insane! Does anyone have any tips to make it both more functional and more aesthetically pleasing?

My shelves are really deep, and so there is stuff just piled behind more stuff. It is not very functional.

By Jennie from Tempe, AZ


January 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I purchased metal closet shelf dividers. Tomato items in a section, baking things, veggies, fruit, etc. I love it.


Easy to find items even tho the shelves are deep, and also easy to take inventory for a store list.

January 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Purchase some plastic lazy susans at Wal-Mart or $ store. That should help.

February 2, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Divide the shelves into sections. The hardware stores sell drawers that pullout for shelves. Or construct your own.

Answer this Question

February 7, 2014

I am dying to know how all of you with those beautiful pantries that have a container for every item keep your back up items? What do you do when you purchase more of an additional item? Keep it in the original bag unopened, until all of the "old" is used up? i.e. chips, pretzels crackers. etc.

By D. O


October 18, 20150 found this helpful

Unless it can be dehydrated, I don't buy anything until I need to. When the food item is down to about 1/3 then it goes on my list.


I may not buy just then but wait if it's one of those food stuffs that goes on sale.

Answer this Question

January 14, 2017

This is a page about using drawers to organize pantry. Adding drawer sets to your pantry can create more useful and organized storage space.

pantry drawers

June 5, 2017

A well organized pantry not only makes it easy to find a specific item, but can also help save money since you won't buy more of a food item that you already have. This is a page about restock your pantry like stores restock their shelves.

Canning Jars in Pantry

January 12, 2021

I recently went to the dollar tree and found these snack breakfast bars. When I got them home, I realized that each one had 5 packettes in them. But they were taking up almost no room.


So, I opened them both and saw I could fit all 10 in one package. I saved room in the pantry and they didn't flop around in the box and get broken.

Combining the two boxes into one.

June 14, 2017

Many people like to repackage their staple foods in glass or plastic storage containers after discarding the original packaging. Once done however, it can be difficult to differentiate between some dry goods. This is a page about labeling pantry staples.

Labeled Soda and Cornstarch in square plastic boxes.

May 30, 2017

Keeping a list of your pantry staples is a great way to know if you are low on anything. This is a page about organize your pantry with an inventory list.

Stocked Pantry Shelves

March 23, 2012

This page is about pantry food storage. Storing food in your pantry can be challenging to keep organized and properly rotated.

Pasta in Glass Jars


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 12, 2011

I organize my pantry in alphabetical order. When I get home from the grocery I put things away in a certain order. Especially canned foods. They are stacked in alphabetical order.


July 14, 2009

I have a small pantry and would like advice on how to organize it. Can you stack canned goods on the floor?


September 1, 2006

My husband built me a pantry, which now I get to use all my cupboards in the kitchen for kitchen stuff. I like organization.

Organizing KitchenJuly 12, 2011
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