March 27, 2014

Enjoy and Organize Your Spices (Free Printable)

May31

Do you remember my post about Brownies + Needing Chocolate = Chaos?

I know all of you foodie loving readers can understand the complexity of those side tracked moments when one simple brownie recipe led to the dis-organizational disaster above. Two great things ensued as a result of that morning. First, my No Food Waste Week began where creativity cultivated some great new concoctions, and secondly, I came up with a sure proof way to organize, inventory and store my spices.

As I re-organized my baking and spice cabinet, it is embarrassing to admit the number of multiple seasonings I had lurking in corners. Yes, three garlic powders (good thing we love garlic), two Red Pepper Flakes (due to my new love of homemade Chinese), two Cumins…well, you get the idea, so this handy dandy Printable Pantry Spice Inventory Check List will be just the thing to help me (and you) stay on top of seasoning organization as well.

One of the things I’ve come to understand with cooking more creatively, especially on a money saving food budget, is the need to understand how to cook with spices. Spices can take the most boring of grains and staples to the next level, saving you money, but more importantly,  the taste buds.
A Great Free Printable to help organize your spices. Pantry Spice Inventory

Here’s just a sample of my detailed spice list. I encourage you to print it off, and tape it to the inside of your cabinet door. You can tackle the big project of cleaning your spices all at once, or just do it shelf by shelf in your spare minutes.  Remember, it’s all about the baby steps of organization. Clean off one whole shelf, sort the spices by how much you use them, check them off, and note what shelf they are returning to.

For instance, I have one shelf with my baking spices, another shelf with my most loved spices near the front, and my infrequently used spices near the back. The reason this inventory check list is a life saver is that I now know exactly what I have, and the next time I decide to create with a new recipe I won’t “need” to buy additional spices that aren’t necessary.

The other thing I love about this check list is that there are many spices I don’t use on a regular basis, or have never even tried.

My goal is to start experimenting with a few new flavors over the next few months to try and “spice” up this boring palette of mine.

And while you are cleaning out that pantry, whip up some super easy homemade seasoning and rub mixes.

I’d love to hear how you store your spices.

Do you have a special way of organizing your spices and baking ingredients?

TastyTuesday200pix Share Your Strawberry Ideas (in the comments)

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods




Comments

  1. I don’t know what is up with my pictures not showing up, but it happened again. Oh well.

    I bought a 3 tiered drop down spice rack at Lowes and installed it in the second shelf of my cabinet. The first shelf has a 3 tiered rack that stays in place. I find they work pretty well for my spices. I don’t have any of the envelopes, though. Just bottles.

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    Jen Reply:

    @Linda, I see your beautiful picture, so it must have shown up after the page was refreshed. :)

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    Katherine Reply:

    @Linda, Here’s Linda’s spice rack from Lowe’s. She was kind enough to send me the link! http://www.lowes.com/pd_141670-61248-FG8020RDWHT_0__?productId=3124893&Ntt=spice+rack&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dspice%2Brack&facetInfo=

    In one of the reviews it was also recommended for medications. I am gonna get two!

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  2. That looks like my whole house after a year of homeshcooling! We’re working in the kitchen this week, trying to get it back under control and get every cabinet cleanout and wiped out. Then we’ll move to the living room. During the school year we just do the minimum of cleaning.

    For our packets of seasonings, kool aid, gravy and boxes of jello and gelatin I use an old ice cream container. Walmart in our area has some gallon tubs of ice cream and the tub is a plastic rectangle. These work perfectly.

    Thanks for the link up. So motivating.

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  3. After a long hiatus of blogging, I have revived my blog and was so glad to see you were still doing the parade of foods.

    I am in desperate need of reorganizing my spices also. They use to be very organized but the more I cooked, the more things got moved around until now it’s shambles. I shall work on it now…..

    Thank you for the inventory sheet! It’s very helpful.

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  4. I am so sorry, but I accidentally linked up the wrong post at first…#23 was a mistake, but I’m not sure how to remove it :( #25 was the actual post I meant to link up! I hope it’s fixable, again, I am so sorry! Happy Tuesday! =)

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    Jen Reply:

    Just go in and add your correct link…that will be the easiest. :)

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  5. Glad you posted this! We are moving to new home soon and I will certainly use your printable spice inventory!

    For now I keep the commonly used stuff on a lazy susan next to the stove and I keep the fresh stuff in the freezer in old glass spice jars. I made new labels for them and covered the labels with clear packing tape. BUT, the cupboard above the stove is filled with spice jars, OLD spices, even some from relatives long passed on. Yes, you read THAT right! Well, they will surely be going into the trash soon!!

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  6. I have a lazy susan that I keep all of my non baking spices on for easy access. Unfortunately the rest of the cabinet could use a good cleaning out! Keeping all the ones that aren’t used on a daily basis is a chore. They stay neat for a while and then I start to slip…….I love the idea of a list inside the door.

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  7. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful idea.I am about to clean up my kitchen cabinet and I have spices.. a lot actually and I really wanna be organized this time.I brought my Pork and Tofu.Have a great week to all

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  8. My spices need a major overhaul. I can never find what I need and I have to grab a chair to climb up and look at the ones in the back. Definitely when we redo our kitchen, this is something that’s going to have to change!

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  9. Great party as usual… linked up a yummy vanilla rose tea cake but those banana chocolate muffins look so so good among many others! thank you!

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  10. I buy spices in the bulk food section or the Mexican aisle and store them in small canning jars. Here is my post on it: http://www.trailergypsy.net/2011/03/my-awesome-new-spice-jars.html

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  11. Great post! I recently reorganized my spices and blogged about it here. I also grow fresh herbs on my windowsill. Both make cooking much more enjoyable with everything organized and within reach.

    Thanks for sharing and for hosting today.

    Jane
    frugalfineliving.com

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  12. For the spices I used multiple times each day, I have a rack of glass jars. For everything else, I have two “watchmaker cases” filled and labeled. Watchmaker cases are flat metal boxes with small round containers inside. They slide onto the bottom shelf of a cabinet in my prep area. All the original spice containers are in a basket up high. Once a quarter or so, I pull the basket down and refill everything. Envelopes are in an old cheese box near the watchmaker cases. I also have a chalkboard list on the inside of the door where I can list anything I am out of until I add it to the grocery list. I can get anything I need without digging for it! This method has worked really well for me for 6 years, now.

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  13. I use the plastic Gerber baby food tubs for my most-used spices. They stack well, are clear, have large openings and just work really well. I write the name of the spice and the date opened on the side so I know how fresh my spices are.

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  14. Yes it’s definitely time to organize the spices at my house too! Thanks for hosting! This week I’m sharing my EASY Fruit Snack with Chocolate. Super easy and super GOOD!!! :)

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  15. I keep all of my spices in a cabinet across from my stove… to keep them cool and dark. I have tiered shelves and I alphabetize mine so they are easy to find and easy to put back. I keep the baking spices and things like vanilla flavoring on a different shelf with my flour, etc. I keep the little packets of things on another shelf in a plastic basket that I am sure I recycled from somewhere! I like the challenge of trying out some of the spices I don’t use too often. That will be fun and help me with summer meal planning.

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  16. I still have some spice organizing dilemma, nothing I tried has worked for our cabinets.

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  17. Jessica says:

    I definitely have a challenge with the storage, but I too have a list taped to the inside of the cabinet door. It lists each spice in alpha order that I own, a quick description (box, small round, large) and the date I bought it. It’s been a HUGE help when recipe planning or looking for a certain spice. I keep it in excel on my computer so it’s easy to update.

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  18. We have a spice rack built in to our pantry door. It makes cooking so easy! I have them organized alphabetically. I can grab and go! My bedlam moment? I learned one day that I do need to look at what I’m grabbing. While cumin and curry sit together on the shelf, and look quite similar, they are not at all interchangeable. I found that out the hard way! =)

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  19. Glad to see at least one other person files their spices alphabetically! I have a cabinet with a single and a double Rubbermaid turntable. On the single are the large jars we buy at Sams with the spices we use lots of on an almost daily basis. The double turntable holds the smaller tins and jars of other spices and herbs–both are in alphabetical order! While my friends think only someone who is in the accounting profession could possibly be so OCD, , I do know at a glance if if I have what I need or not!

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  20. I’ve been guilty of buying a second something because I forgot or couldn’t find the first jar of it! The spice list is a great idea – I live in an apartment with odd-sized cupboards and most of the modern lazy susans, organizers, etc. don’t fit my cupboards, so jars are stacked every which way. A list will help me keep track of what’s actually in there!

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  21. sorry i missed the link up again, i need to remember to come earlier in the morning

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  1. [...] Free Printable Spice Inventory Checklist Storing Spices, Organizing Spices ? Balancing Beauty and Bedlam [...]

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