« Thursday Update- free Ben and Jerry's, Old Navy deal, more | Main | For the Twilight Fans »
Wednesday
Jun302010

Couponing 101: Part Three

Organizing Your Finds!

You are home from the store and have found a lot of great stuff to start your stockpile. What's next? Organizing! Here are some tips to keep your stockpile easy to organize:

  • Glass jars are perfect for storing pasta, cereal and more
  • If you have the room, designate different pantries for food and health and beauty products.
  • Keep lighter items in high places, such as pasta, paper towels, etc.
  • Place duplicate items together in a row. For example, pasta with pasta, cereal with cereal, etc.
  • Organize your pantry with your family in mind. For example, store the cereal where a young child can reach it
  • Mount a dry erase board in your pantry and write down as you run out of items
  • If you need extra storage, be creative! Extra items can be stored in plastic containers under the bed, etc.
  • Every few months, check expiration dates and throw out expired food.
  • If you find your stockpile running over, consider donating food to your local food pantry

How you store your stockpile, as well as where, are both very important.

First, if you are storing your stockpile a basement or garage, the following tips are especially important to read:

Here are some tips to keep your stockpile free of mice:

  • The tell-tale sign you have mice? Mice droppings!
  • Crazy as it may sound, you may never see a mouse. Mice attacked my stockpile a few years ago. Considering all the damage they did, I thought for sure I’d see a mouse. I haven’t seen a mouse once.
  • Keep food in clear plastic containers with lids. Mice can’t chew through plastic tote containers. If you leave food open on shelves, they will get into it.
  • You’d think cats would be a deterrent for mice to invade. In our case, they are not. We have 2 cats and they still entered our house.
  • Mice not only chew food, they chew everything in their path. I had a box of clothes I wanted to donate. They chewed through most of it, leaving the clothes ruined.
  • There is always more than one mouse. Even if it appears there is only one, it’s not true. They travel together and will breed, if they aren’t taken care of.

Another type of pest that needs to be watched out for is moths. These travel in grain-based food, such as flour, cereal, baking mixes, etc. Here are the telltale signs of moth or weevil infestation: Webbing in corners, grains clumped together with sticky secretions, or small holes in containers. Also look for small bugs in the food or little moths flying around the kitchen.

If you find evidence of moth infestation, here’s what to do:

  • Clean infested areas. Vacuum cupboards, then thoroughly scrub all shelves with soapy water, paying close attention to cracks and corners. Dry the cleaned area thoroughly. Keep cupboard and food-storage areas dry.
  • Discard infested food.
  • In the future, before storing food, put them in the freezer immediately and let the items stay there for four days. The temperature will kill any larvae and eggs that are present in the bags. And always store your grain-based food items in airtight containers.
  • Store food properly. Clean containers with hot, soapy water, then rinse and dry them thoroughly before refilling. Use tightly sealed metal, glass or hard plastic containers to store food; plastic bags are inadequate, as insects can get through them. Keep old and new food separate, and keep infrequently used items in the freezer.

Even with freezing the products, I recommend not stocking up on cereal, flour, etc. Years ago, even before I started stockpiling, we had a moth infestation in our kitchen and it was a nightmare to clean up. Even worse than mice!

By following these tips, you’ll protect your stockpile investment and keep your home free of pests!

EmailEmail Article to Friend