Pantry [Quick Wins]

Today I'm introducing a new format for summer. I'll be intermittently sharing some shorter episodes like this one that include a few straightforward tips and tools that you can implement right away. We are going to start in the pantry, one of the spaces that took me the longest to get under control. Screenshot while you are listening to this episode and share your own favorite tips on Instagram, I'd love to hear what is working for you!

Hi, there it's episode 220 and today I'm sharing two quick wins in the pantry. Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us. Hi there. Thanks so much tuning in. If you have been listening for quite a while, you'll know that last summer I went to an every other week schedule this summer. I've decided to keep the episodes every week, but I'll intermittently be sharing a shorter, quick win episode. In these episodes I'll be giving you quick, easy to use techniques for your family and for your home that you can implement right away.

I'm going to try to keep these episodes right around five minutes in length. So today we're talking about the pantry and I chose to start off with decluttering the pantry, because I know that raising and cooking for a family can feel so overwhelming. And you feel like you need all this stuff. And the pantry was one of the areas that took me the longest to really get under control. When we moved into our house three years ago, we just started unpacking boxes and sticking things in different places. It took me about a year and a half before I decided that the way that we had originally arranged our kitchen, just really wasn't working for us. And that includes the pantry. So what I'm calling the pantry in our house is really a series of drawers and shelves. It's more like cupboard space for us, but I have found that it helps to have some organization to it.

And more importantly, some simplification because organization does not come easy to me. So tip number one for today is to organize your pantry. Like the grocery store does. I used to keep all of my pastas together, all of my grains together, all of my oils together, all of my sauces together, but I've actually found that it's easier for me to visualize meals and to plan something quickly on the fly. When I keep ingredients that are commonly used together together in my pantry. So here's what this looks like. We have an Italian food drawer, which is where all of the pasta sauce is all of the noodles, the pastas in there, anything that I need to prepare an Italian inspired meal. And on a similar note, we have a Latin drawer. And in that drawer, I have Masaka to make tortillas. I have cans of dice, chilies, taco mixes, and spices, hard taco shells, anything that I'm going to need to make a Latin inspired meal.

And we also have an Asian drawer where we keep the rice noodles, the curries, the rice, the sauces, anything that we need to create an Asian inspired meal rearranging my pantry like this has helped immensely. My second tip is double-dipping. I used to find a new recipe and feel like I needed to buy everything on it. Exactly. If it called for toasted Sesame oil, and I just had regular Sesame oil, I needed to buy the toasted Sesame oil. Now, if you're a gourmet cook, this probably isn't going to work for you. But I improvise a lot. I usually have only one type of oil, avocado oil, and I use it in a recipe that calls for olive oil. I don't keep black rice, wild rice, white rice, Jasmine rice, Brown rice. I just keep one at a time and we do rotate through them. The same goes for nut butters. Sometimes I buy peanut butter. Sometimes I buy almond butter. Sometimes I buy cashew butter, but we only need one at a time.

Sure. Maybe this does compromise my recipes a little bit, but it definitely saves me a lot of money with groceries. And it allows me to simplify and minimize our pantry even more. I don't have to dig through bottles and bags and jars just to see what I have. And we definitely have less food waste. So take a look at how you're doing things in your pantry. Are you just going with the flow, doing what you've always done? Can you reassess, are there ways that you can do it better ways that you can streamline ways that you can buy less and make the space more functional for you? I'm telling you that simplifying the kitchen, simplifying the pantry and the food in your home is going to make the whole family happier. I'd love to hear your favorite tips for simplifying the pantry, screenshot this episode, while you're listening to it, then post it up to your Instagram stories. Make sure you tag me at simple underscore families so that I can reshare it as always thanks for tuning in. And I hope these quick wins go a long way for you.

Denaye Barahona

Dr. Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She partners with families to tackle the challenges of raising children. Denaye is a minimalist who claims to be a decluttering expert (don't let her near your closet). She loves to travel, talk health-and-wellness, and give unsolicited advice. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Minimalists, Motherly, Becoming Minimalist, and numerous other media outlets. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in child and family practice.