How to Organize a Pantry for Less than $50

How to Organize a Pantry for Less than $50 | thegoodstuff

An organized pantry makes everyday life infinitely easier. Cooking, baking, and all other food preparation is quicker and less stressful when you know where to look for the essential ingredients.

While you may covet a huge dream pantry filled with shelves, baskets and containers, there’s really no need for fancy equipment. You can transform almost any food storage space using just a couple simple items, all found at Target and totaling less than $50!

This simple system is easy to implement and to maintain, so once it’s in place you’ll stick with it.

Read on to find my pantry organization tips, plus which items I bought at Target to keep all my ingredients organized.

Organize your whole home: Find the best home organization tips here!

Pantry Organization Tips

How to Organize a Pantry for Less than $50 | thegoodstuff

1. Get cleaning! The first step to an organized pantry is a thorough clean. Obviously, you’ll want to throw away any expired goods, but also anything you haven’t used in a few months (unless you truly believe you’ll use it in the future). Your pantry doesn’t need to be a mini grocery store; it should have only what you actually need.

Use up your pantry leftovers: 8 pantry recipes from ingredients you already have

2. Group items by type and purpose. For instance, baking goods, dried goods, condiments, oils and vinegars, and spices can go together. For more ideas on how to organize individual areas, check out this article.

3. Maintain your newly organized pantry with the occasional clean-up. You may find that one recipe leaves you with leftovers of a certain item that you don’t typically stock. Throw it in a labeled mason jar, but also don’t be afraid to throw it in the trash if it gets no use after a few months.

3 Pantry Organizers I Used

Total spent: $37.65 minus tax

Just check out that before and after above! How did I do it for less than $50? I used a combination of mason jars and fabric storage bins along with pantry organizers I already had on hand to put my pantry in order.

If you’re like me, visual consistency is key to feeling (and actually being) organized. This is why Mason jars are the perfect solution for me. They’re versatile enough to use on whatever your personal pantry essentials are, and inexpensive so you can easily purchase more or switch up contents as needed.

While it isn’t practical to transfer all items out of their original containers, keeping some staples in mason jars rather than mismatched packaging will make them easier to locate and sort through. They also seal better than plastic or paper packaging. And best of all, they just look nicer!

One of the biggest advantages to mason jars is how easier they are to label. Simply use a Sharpie or dry erase marker to write the contents on top (a permanent marker works well for goods you always have on hand, a dry erase marker lets you mix it up). Labeling jars on top also makes it easier to spot what you’re looking for.

How to Organize a Pantry for Less than $50: Pantry Organization Tips | thegoodstuff

Pint-sized mason jars, $8.69 for a dozen

I used pint-sized mason jars to hold nuts, raisins, craisins, and dates. They kept the dried fruits moist and fresh better than original plastic packaging!

Quart-sized mason jars, $10.99 for a dozen

I used quart-sized mason jars for goods that I tend to have a lot of. Since we bake a lot in this household, that includes chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and even food coloring containers. I also used larger mason jars for quinoa, cornmeal, bread crumbs, sea salt, oats, and other essential dried goods. You can also purchase half gallon and gallon mason jars if you need more space.

Half-Size Fabric Cube Storage Bins, 3 at $5.99 each

How to Organize a Pantry for Less than $50: Pantry Organization Tips | thegoodstuff

Instead of stuffing open shelves with various containers, I also used cube storage bins to group together similar items: one for dried goods, one for oils and vinegars, and one for condiments and other miscellaneous goods. This makes it easier to organize, but also to sort through bottles and jars since you can pull out the bins out a bit to get a better view, rather than pick through from the front.

Additional Pantry Storage Items

How to Organize a Pantry for Less than $50: Pantry Organization Tips | thegoodstuff

You may have noticed I already had a couple of pantry organizers tucked inside my shelves. It’s always a smart move to incorporate any organizing items you already have on hand if you can, since this will save you money in the long run and there’s no sense in throwing out a perfectly good organizer!

These two pantry organization products fit in well with my organization project, and even though they’d put my budget beyond the $50 limit I set for myself, I wanted to feature them here for you as some additional options.

OXO Food Storage Canisters, $49.99 for a set of 5

How to Organize a Pantry for Less than $50: Pantry Organizers | thegoodstuff

I keep my baked goods in clear canisters, very similar to these OXO canisters. They seal tightly so flour and sugar stays fresh over long periods of time. And since they’re clear, it’s easy to see what’s inside!

JosephJoseph SpiceStore, $40.49

How to Organize a Pantry for Less than $50: Pantry Organizers | thegoodstuff

I keep my most-used spices in separate containers that are clearly labeled and therefore easier to sort though. These spice jars are similar and also easy to label. (You could even use baby food jars or other mini glass jars.)

It really helps to have quick and easy access to spices you use all the time, but less frequently used spices can stay in their original containers — or you can transfer them all for consistency if you like!

Have any pantry organization tips to share with me? Let me know in the comments below!