Nothing screams Spring Clean like the 1st of September. The start of a new season is a great excuse to declutter and freshen’ up. As good as that sounds, no-one really likes cleaning, but we all like food. So, let’s meet half way and go through a kitchen clean out.

First things first.

Before you go all crazy with the pantry purge, take some time to build a good foundation for yourself. Remove all items from the cupboard and make sure the area is spotless. Starting from the top, wipe down all shelves and sides. A solution made with lemon juice or white vinegar is a great eco-friendly option. Leave it to dry a little, then throw yourself right into the clean out.

Bin it.

There’s probably a bit of junk lying around. So, it’s the perfect time to say goodbye to things you haven’t used in the last six months. Bin anything with mould or funny looking growths and while you’re at it, toss out all tins which have dents or damage, this allows moisture to penetrate and spoil the goods.

Want a lil’ refresher on expiry dates?

  • Use by: relates to food safety and the risk of food borne pathogens
  • Best Before: talks about the quality of the product.

If it’s reached either of these dates, it’s best to throw the food out. If the date is close, use it as soon as you can. Got 2L of tomato sauce to get through by next week? Well that’s your fault for going crazy on that bulk buy special .

Embrace the Tupperware.

Airtight containers are the best way to maintain freshness for things like grains, cereals, herbs and spices. Plastic tupperware is cheap and allows easy access later down the track. Opt for pieces which can be stacked and also labelled or written on.

Another hot tip: try to avoid adding fresh supplies to old ones. Finish what you’ve got in the container before opening the next. Check our little cheat sheet below –

  • Dried pasta will last 12 months.
  • Flour lasts 6-8 months, once opened.
  • Sugar will last for up to two years.
  • Rice is good for 6-8 months.

What belongs where?

Follow the storage instructions on the back of the pack for use once opening. Lots of store-bought sauces and dressings are often high in sugar or salt, these additives help to prolong the shelf life and can often be kept in the pantry. For things which require refrigeration, check your fridge is running at 5°C or lower. It won’t do much good if it’s any higher.

Restock

If the pantry’s looking a little bare, you might want to restock with some wholesome options. Click HERE for our healthy pantry staple list.