I am finally able to reveal my pantry makeover that I have been working on since the New Year. I can honestly say this pantry has irritated me for 10 years but in all actuality my thought process was it’s just a pantry and there are plenty of other things higher on the “fix it” priority list.
But what I have learned during this room makeover is that it is much MORE than “just a pantry” because this tiny closet is directly related to our budget, household organization and time management. The pantry is the epicenter of our household and it had been severely neglected over the years.
Pantry Makeover Before and After
I apologize for my lack of picture taking skills but you can read all the details and see the horrible disorganized pantry pics here.
For the last two weeks we have taken on the challenge of “eating from the pantry” and only shopping for produce, milk, dairy and lunch meat on a budget of $100 per week. Let me just say, for a family of 6 with 5 eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at home, a $100 budget is incredibly hard and I can’t even fathom how people fill their pantry at a civilian grocery store. We are blessed to be retired military so we shop at the commissary where groceries are on average 30% cheaper than chain stores.
I love opening the door of the pantry and knowing exactly what we have on hand for a recipe. The reason we had 15 boxes of pasta in the pantry is because there was no organization in place and we just bought items not knowing that we already had them (or a dozen) of that particular item. I really tried to keep pantry items centralized on a designated shelf (oils and vinegar together, etc) but over time things got moved and pushed to the back of the pantry. Keeping the shelves open, clutter free and organized by category are helping us so much.
My favorite part of the pantry makeover is how much we save on time. On Saturday, the whole family collectively comes up with 7 dinner ideas for the week based upon what we already have in the pantry and freezer. Then we build a grocery list off of the menu ideas. The time spent in the grocery store is less because we are buying less and we have an organized shopping list. The time spent figuring out what we are going to make for dinner is less because we have a menu of 7 dinners written down with the staples already in the pantry. We spend less time in the kitchen because we are able to do so much of the prep work ahead of time.
Pantry Makeover Details
One of the most exciting things about this pantry makeover is that it was done for under $50. Yes, being resourceful and shopping my house helped a lot.
- Wall paint leftover from another project
- Cabinet used from Habitat Restore for $38
- Homemade Chalky Paint with a $1.99 Valspar paint sample
- Self sticking shelf paper $5
- Baskets from my own stash
For more organizing inspiration, take a peek at my master bedroom closet makeover where I spent less than $100 to create an organized walk-in closet. I also did a $100 budget friendly makeover on my daughter’s teenage bedroom.