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Monday, February 4, 2013

A Food Project

I don't claim at this point in my life to be organized. Okay, some days that fact gets me down. When I feel I am wasting food, organizational skills kick in and I push through pain. Money can be a powerful incentive.

My camera has gone AWOL, so no pictures of before and after.

My cabinet for food was stuffed so full that I could not see beyond the first row of food. The cabinet is about 8 feet tall, 2 feet wide, and 18 inches deep. There are six shelves behind two doors. When the cabinets were installed in 1977, there was a little corner by the door where the wall was wider because the chimney built for the kitchen cook stove stood there. Now, all covered up, there was just a little corner place, good for nothing. So, I had this tall cabinet built. It hangs on the wall and matches the cabinets.

Today was the day I started to reorganize my canned (store and home) food, boxes, pouches, and jars of dehydrated food. I sat on a very short foot stool and made sure I could reach the doorknob so I could rise again.

One shelf was cleared and food replaced. I shared with exbf some of the cans. I organized several bags and boxes of food that I had put food into when there was no room on the shelves. Yes, this project is long overdue. Plus, I put the "use by" date on top and front of all cans I handled.

One horrifying fact--The backs of the shelves were one can high and the front two rows of cans were three high! The project "found" more space for me. I can barely lift my left arm, so I had been just getting by, placing things in the shelves where I could get them, apparently where I took off the last can.

What did I find?...a few cans with 2012 "best by" date on the bottom. No, I am not afraid of this food. Plus, I don't fear the loss of too many nutrients.  So, one section of one shelf has all the 2012 food. I will eat from this until it is used. All the things with 2013 will be in another section. I have cans that have 2017 on them. Okay, I have one can with 2017 on it!

I don't eat lots of canned food, so I will not finish this off soon. I found canned milk and canned pumpkin with 2012 dates. I will be having pumpkin pie minus the crust, baked in a casserole. Pumpkin pie is something I always make from canned milk and canned pumpkin.

The result of this project--one shelf down and five to go. I would never have gotten it done if exbf had not helped me. He put things where they needed to be as I sat and worked on dating and deciding.

This has been a wakeup call: be more careful and organized. Once upon a time, I was Miss Organization to a fault. What happened to me?

Your turn
Have you looked into your shelves of food and been convinced you had to organize all the food before you wasted food? Do you get behind on organization or leave it behind when something hurts or does not work right?


  1. Definitely, am not as organized on this as I should be. Have found some things that are a little more out of date than just 2012 but like you I'm not afraid of it. We don't have a big problem with bugs getting into boxed products and I try not to let tomato products get too far out - if I'm going to have problems with cans it will be the tomatoes. As a single person it can be hard to use things up before expiration date overtake you.


  2. Sarah,
    I, too, am very careful about tomato products like spaghetti sauce. I have seen pictures of the cans just rotted and ooozing all over.

    I am having a bug problem, but hope it is winding down. So, all goes into the refrigerator for 48 hours and into glass or airtight plastic.

    You are right about being single and having a problem eating things before out of date. That is why I share with someone who selflessly helps me. Plus, I give things to friends who need food. Oh, I will give to a stranger if I find out someone needs food.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Well, around here with ten kids I just can't keep ENOUGH food on the shelves to keep up with them....nothing ever goes bad or gets outdated on our mountaintop, but I bet you already knew\

    Good for you for getting a start on it though, at least the food is still good enough to eat and didn't end up in the trash.

  4. MM,
    I suppose you all would more likely be searching for a can of food. Yes, I can imagine the food they can go through. I cannot help but always think of my three and how having 7 more children would certainly change life in all areas.

    If I were not in such pain, I would try again tomorrow to continue. I just had to push myself beyond capabilities to even do the little we finished. I hate waste!

  5. Okay, I'm curious, what's in the can with a date of 2017?

    I try to organize my pantry about every 6 months. I last did it mid-summer, which means, let see if I count this correctly, I should be organizing it again, right about . . . now! Rats, I though I could put this off another couple of months! Seriously, about this time of year I'm running low on some pantry items, and want to use up others that are surplus. So it's a good time for organizing.

  6. Lili,
    I think it was a can of salmon. I went to look just now and got dizzy. I worked too long and too hard, so I slept over 12 hours. That is not like me unless I have been ill. I think I remember being surprised at meat lasting that long. When I find it, I will be sure to let you know.

    I organized more faithfully in the past. The years do roll around and sneak Each time exbf comes here, we will do at least one shelf. I found two cans of tuna with a 2012 date, one in Nov. and one in Sept., so I will eat those this week and next.


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