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5 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Pantry Space

5 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Pantry Space

Adequate pantry space is an issue that sometimes frustrates many home cooks. And if you don’t have enough space to hold all your supplies, your pantry can sometimes get disorganized and you may not always find the ingredients you need on hand when you’re about to cook.

Recently, I was in a friend’s kitchen and I was inspired by her own open pantry organization. Because of limited space, she had turned an Ikea Expedit shelf into extra pantry storage. She had artfully organized her canning surplus, large pots and pans, and more. It was a simple, attractive, and affordable solution! From there, I started to think of other ways that people who are low on kitchen storage could maximize their space. Prepare to expand your storeroom with these great ideas.

white Ikea shelf with cans and jars

    1. The Magic of Pull-out Racks

    Installing pull-out racks in nooks and crannies is a great way to get more storage. If there is a narrow space between a wall and an appliance or furniture, mount a rail on the wall where you can install a pull-out shelf for canned goods or condiments. Cans and bottles tend to take up a lot of space and storing them in unusual places is a clever way to make your pantry space-efficient.

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    Maximize a cubby hole’s vertical space by adding rails to the inside walls and using old trays that you can pull in and out of the shelf.

    Basket drawers in a light green cupboard

      If you think that attaching rails is too much work, you can simply place baskets inside cabinets. These baskets keep your supplies organized and they’re easy to pull out as well!

      2. Space-saving Wall Additions

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      Light blue spice rack with hooks on the side for hanging utensils

        Your storage spaces don’t have to stay on a single side of the room. Survey the area and look for walls where you can mount cabinets and shelves. Just make sure that the wall area you are aiming to use is accessible. Place it on a higher spot if you want it out of reach of your kids.

        White open shelves with jars and cooking utensils atop kitchen sink

          If you still have some space above your wall cabinets, stack shelves atop them as well. When you build up storage space, you’re making use of all the available surfaces you have in your pantry! Use open shelving as much as possible to utilize even the smallest of spaces, but make sure that all your supplies are organized.

          Another clever wall addition is recessed wall shelves. Unlike wall-mounted shelves, these storage spaces are less of an obstruction in a kitchen’s open space. If you want to give your pantry a stylish touch, display clear wine glasses or water goblets and highlight them with LED pin lights.

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          3. A New Purpose for Shelf Tops 

          Store rarely used items in places you wouldn’t normally access on regular days. The shelf top is a good place where you can keep extra utensils or plates, or your stash of baking supplies.

          Jars on shelf top with hooks for cooking utensils

            No matter how high your cupboard is, you can always find a use for the top. If this area is easily noticeable, display beautiful porcelain pitchers or nice-looking containers like mason jars when storing ingredients to add value to your home design.

            4. A Way Out of a Tight Corner

            Corners are often the most overlooked spaces in any home. And while they can be great areas to display home décor, they are even more remarkable when used efficiently.

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            Take your organizing skills a notch higher by occupying these angular spots with corner cupboards. These storage spaces also lessen the awkward sight of extra wall space when cabinets are shorter than the wall’s length.

            You can also use other available areas in your home like the cupboard under the stairs. Evaluate if the items you’re keeping in it can be disposed of or given away, then utilize it as extra space for food storage. Install shelves in it, or place an old rolling kitchen tray stocked with goods inside the cupboard!

            5. Hooked and Organized Cupboard Doors

            Hooks on doors make wonders. Commonly done on bedroom doors, this space-saving tactic can be used to help you organize and hang anything on your cupboard door, from tongs and can openers to small pans and chopping boards. By utilizing the back of cabinet doors, you can minimize unsightly kitchen clutter, at the same time make the most of your pantry space.

            With any of these space-saving ideas, you can start making room for more kitchen items in the future. Don’t be afraid to think up of clever ideas to make the most of your pantry space!

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            Last Updated on June 24, 2019

            15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

            15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

            You work all day, and you come home exhausted and hungry. Naturally, the last thing you want to do is to spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. If you love cooking, but your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to cook every night, you can simplify your life by making crockpot freezer meals. These meals will allow you to still eat homemade, healthy, filling dinners without the countless hours and enormous effort spent in the kitchen. You can store the simple ingredients in freezer bags and put them in the crockpot when it is time for dinner, or you can cook over the weekend and stock your freezer with delicious ready meals that will make your life easier. Here are 15 easy-to-make recipes to make delicious dinners for busy nights!

            1. Cheesy Tortellini With Ground Beef

            Cheesy tortellini with ground beef

              This is a perfect crockpot freezer meal that even your kids will love. The best thing of all is that it’s incredibly easy to prepare. All you have to do is crumble some ground beef and combine all the recipe’s ingredients in your crockpot. The other ingredients needed for this super delicious meal include tomatoes, herbs, and onions. Tortellini is one of the most commonly ordered meals when eating out, but this way you will get to eat a homemade, healthier version of the popular dish. Find the recipe here.

              2. Cranberry Pork Roast

              Cranberry pork roast

                Cranberry pork roast is a gluten-free meal that everyone can make, regardless of their culinary skills. The dish requires only these few ingredients: onion, cranberry sauce, bone-in pork shoulder, and honey. To prepare this mouthwatering dish, simply combine all the ingredients together in the crockpot and let them cook. If you don’t like pork or if you prefer not to eat it, you can easily use beef as a substitute without impacting the flavor. Click here to see the recipe.

                3. Greens and Beans

                Greens and beans

                  Greens and beans are the ideal dishes if you want a dish that is both delicious and nutrient-dense. Combine vegetable broth with beans, garlic, kale, escalore, and Parmesan, and let cook. The result will be a dish with a soup-like consistency that will fill you up and provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals.

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                  As a bonus, if you or someone else in your family suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or some other common types of arthritis, greens and beans can reduce the inflammation. That’s because kale and other veggies rich in Vitamin K are anti-inflammatory and are known for relieving arthritis. Click here and start cooking!

                  4. Chicken Curry

                  Chicken curry

                    That is yet another gluten-free recipe that you’ll love to make. Chicken curry requires basic ingredients such as tomato paste, coconut milk, honey, onions, and garlic, in addition to chicken and curry of course.The result is a sweet and spicy dish where different flavors are perfectly balanced. Find the recipe here.

                    5. Honey Sesame Chicken

                    Honey sesame chicken

                      Honey sesame chicken is a simple and effortless dish that delivers an amazing taste. To make this wonderful recipe, you have to combine all the ingredients except for the sesame seeds and green onions and let them cook. Use the sesame seeds and green onions for garnish when serving. Click here for the full recipe.

                      6. Mushroom Spinach Stroganoff

                      Mushroom spinach stroganoff

                        In this warm weather, many people opt to eat lighter food that is easy on the stomach. Mushroom spinach stroganoff fits the bill being a vegetable version of a famous comfort food that you and your family will love. The dish requires simple ingredients such as sour cream, onion, garlic, ketchup, vegetables, and mushrooms. This dish is very simple to make, and thanks to your crockpot, you won’t have much work to do. Find the recipe here.

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                        7. Stuffed Peppers

                        Stuffed peppers

                          If you’re looking for a healthy, simple, and delicious recipe, you’ll love this one! These crockpot stuffed peppers are easy to make, and they require only a few ingredients such as ground turkey or beef, onion, garlic, bell peppers, and pasta sauce. This meal will remind you of grandma’s kitchen. You can find the recipe here.

                          8. Cilantro and Lime Chicken

                          Cilantro and lime chicken

                            Summer is the perfect season to experiment with more exotic flavors, and this meal can help you do just that. To make cilantro and lime chicken, you will need to combine some simple ingredients such as lime, jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro, and salsa. The result is chicken that is super tender and that you’ll want to make over and over again, so get the recipe here.

                            9. Beef Fajitas

                            Beef fajitas

                              This is an excellent meal for busy weeknights. The best thing about this recipe is that the required ingredients are probably already there in your kitchen. The recipe is also quite simple — combine all the items in a crockpot, cover, and let cook.

                              The result will be beef and peppers that melt in your mouth. You can easily pair this beef fajita with rice and tortillas and get a meal that the entire family will love. You can find the recipe for this delicious beef fajita here.

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                              10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                              Asian chicken lettuce wraps

                                Asian chicken lettuce wraps are sweet, slightly salty and very easy to make. All you need to do is add the chicken, red bell pepper, carrots, soy sauce, honey, garlic and the other ingredients to your crockpot and let them cook. You can also replace the chicken with beef or turkey if you like. The presence of different flavors gives this meal a summer flavor you are sure to love. Learn how to make this meal here.

                                11. Hawaiian Chicken

                                Hawaiian chicken

                                  This dish enjoys phenomenal exotic tones due to pineapple and lemon flavors. To make this yummy crockpot freezer meal, you need skinless chicken breasts, peppers, ginger and corn starch, in addition to the iconic pineapple and lemon. Learn how to make this perfect summer dinner here.

                                  12. Beef and Barley Stew

                                  Beef and barley stewd

                                    Beef and barley stew is as healthy as it is delicious. Not to mention it’s incredibly easy to make. Besides the beef and barley, you’ll also need carrots, peppers, herbs and beef broth. The result will be a mouthwatering stew that you can serve alone or over white rice. Get the recipe here.

                                    13. Meatball Soup

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                                    Meatball soup

                                      This soup is very delicious, easy to make and quite versatile. You will be able to swap ingredients and experiment to find your perfect combination. To make this meatball soup, you will need to combine meatballs with pasta sauce, chicken broth, carrots, beans, zucchini, and onion. You can view the recipe here.

                                      14. Turkey Black Bean Chili

                                      Turkey black bean chili

                                        Everybody loves chili and for good reason — it’s very delicious, and it’s a perfect combination of different flavors that balance each other out. To make this chili, you’ll need ground turkey, tomato sauce, black beans, paprika, frozen corns, and a few other ingredients. You can get the full recipe here and have this delicious dish ready when you come back from work on those busy nights.

                                        15. Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

                                        Ham and pinto bean soup

                                          What makes soups special is the fact they’re tasty, healthy and filling at the same time. This soup is no exception. The best quality of this ham and pinto bean soup, however, is its simplicity; it requires only five ingredients: ham, beans, ketchup, salt, and water. Learn how to make this soup here.

                                          Conclusion

                                          With a demanding work week and a busy schedule, it’s normal to have a low energy level by the time you get home. If you don’t feel like standing in the kitchen and cooking dinner due to this, you don’t have to resort to junk food. These freezer crockpot meals offer you the perfect solution for healthy meals that require minimal preparation. You can either combine each recipe’s ingredients in a freezer bag to be thawed and cooked in a few minutes, or you can cook your meal and freeze it to be used later, it’s up to you.

                                          This article showed you 15 easy and simple recipes that you can make using your crockpot. All of these recipes contain anti-inflammatory foods whether it is in the form of vegetable, herbs or spices to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

                                          Featured photo credit: Google via bettycrocker.com

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