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Getting the Most out of Your Pantry: Canisters or Original Packaging?

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organized-pantryDo you have canisters and other containers in your pantry or do you keep food in it’s original packaging, maybe with clips to hold the bags closed?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I get ready to reorganize my pantry (again!). Right now, we keep everything in it’s original packaging. I actually open and discard the cardboard boxes that my cereal and snack foods come in, which works for me because my pantry is actually a pull-out cabinet with shelves that are more like drawers than actual shelves. However, I keep most of my baking ingredients and other foods in their original packages.

I love the idea of a neatly organized pantry with similar containers lining the shelves, but I’m not sure it’s worth the money or time that it would take to maintain a system like that.

Here are the pros and cons that I can think of:


1. It looks nice!

2. Everything has a designated place, and you can quickly see how much each container contains and what you may be running low on.

3. You can buy in bulk to save money and help the planet.


1. It costs money to get started.

2. You have to take the time after every grocery shopping trip to transfer the food to the containers.

3. There’s not as much flexibility, and if you end up with 1 or 2 items that don’t have a container, it might drive you nuts. (Oh, wait, maybe that’s just me…)

Are there any pros or cons that I’m missing? Which method do you prefer?

Note: Noelle commented on my post over at Deal Seeking Mom to let us know that Tupperware’s Modular Mates are actually 40% off this month. If this is a system you’ve been considering, now may be the time to do it!

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

2 Responses to “ Getting the Most out of Your Pantry: Canisters or Original Packaging? ”

  1. Oh that looks so nice! But I agree…it does cost too much (for me anyway) to get started. I use the original packaging. BUT- you know those little plastic containers that they give you in the hospital after childbirth to store your milk in? I saved those and use them to store my homemade spices in – cinnamon sugar, taco seasoning, chili seasoning, italian mix, etc.

    Brittany’s last blog post…Book #1 for 2009


  2. I’m a canister kinda gal for beans and grains. I use square Lock ‘n Lock containers that stack, and all four sizes use the same lid so it is easy to swap them back and forth.

    I buy in bulk and if I wasn’t using this type of canister, everything would be in plastic baggies in the pantry, easy for bugs to get into and hard for me to keep track of. This definitely works better for me.

    I recently blogged about my pantry and you can see pictures below.


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