Organizing your kitchen when buying in bulk

Posted by Stephanie Mandrea on

I had just come home from running errands at the bulk grocery store when I realized that I wanted to share my tips on how to keep your kitchen organized.

So here is my main advice on how to keep your kitchen tidy and efficient:

Put your food away in glass jars

Glass jars are incredibly popular these days, and here’s why:

  • Easy storage
  • Easy to wash
  • Doesn’t keep odors
  • Looks great in your cupboards
  • Incredibly durable (reason why there are so many in antique stores)
  • Multipurpose (smoothies, soup, flour, etc)

When I started really getting into the zero waste lifestyle, my first step was to go out and buy some glass jars (I really like the Ikea ones which are made of recycled glass ;) ).I fully encourage you to ask your grand-mothers or aunts for their old Mason jars or start scouting out second-hand stores.

I buy all my bulk items directly at the store and put them into my jars or my bulk bags because sometimes when you have too many jars it can get rather heavy.

zero waste kitchen

zero waste kitchen

Now, while it’s true that you will need a few jars to fully stock your kitchen, just remember it can be done over time, no need to empty out the store shelves! I currently use them for my smoothies, tea and my coffee and the same applies for using them in the fridge, they are great to keep nut butter, nut milk, homemade broths and soups, etc.

Baking in your kitchen becomes so much easier and you can access everything quicker! No more flour bags that spill everywhere and all your food is kept in air-tight containers as well. I swear it takes about half the time to get through a recipe now: you open the jar, and close it, mess free!

Label your jars

Since I don’t have any cookies, commercial cereal or any other kind of wrapped snacks in my kitchen cupboards (well ok, maybe a few bags of chips on the top shelves #We’reAllHumanHere) all my shelve space is dedicated to my jars.

It’s important for them to be properly identified, not only for your to know where everything is but also for other family members to know what’s in them.

What I use to do so:

  • The infamous vintage “Dymo” labeler (I waited a long time to find mine on Kijiji) If you want to purchase a new one, maybe see if you can buy one with a few friends. It’s not something you’ll use every day and this way there is less product wasting ;) I usually label the jars I used regularly (quinoa, flour, rice etc)
  • A water or oil based sharpie will work wonders. You can easily wipe it off and is convenient if you change the content of your jars regularly.

Now, if you’re a neat freak, you can always alphabetize your jars in the cupboards….KIDDING! But seriously, you could always sort them by types of food.


Rotate your food

I’ve already heard of this on the Jacynthe René show, and it’s very true. We don’t need to have every single kind of flour available, or beans and what not. So, I alternate, sometimes I buy chickpeas other times I buy black beans, one week I’ll buy spelt flour then I’ll buy sorghum and one week I’ll buy penne, the other spaghetti, you get the picture.

This way, there is much less waste, and you’ll then quickly see which foods are your favorite. Same goes for your spices, we often end up cooking with only a few select favorites. 

zero waste kitchen

That’s the beauty with bulk, you can always just buy a small amount and try it out!

So, that’s all for my tried and true tips, I hope I inspired you to start buying in bulk. Whether you start doing it to save time, money, the planet, or simply to be more organized, every reason is a good reason to start :)

On your mark, get your jars, go! ;) 

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