Forget what ingredients you already have? Can’t find what you’re looking for? Tracy Sherva, Kraft Kitchens expert, offers simple tips for efficiency in the kitchen.
You got a great deal on chicken breasts—only to find you already had a family pack of them in the freezer. Or maybe you could have sworn you had plenty of frozen corn—until you went to make Spicy Southwest Bean & Corn Salad and couldn’t find a single kernel. Don’t waste any more time searching for recipe ingredients! Try these simple steps to help streamline kitchen time.
Make a master list. Take an inventory of what’s in your freezer. Organize your list by category (meat and fish, vegetables, prepared meals, etc.), and include how many servings or pounds/ounces you have. Also list when each item should be used by. Post your list on the freezer door. Cross off items as you use them, and add new items before stowing them inside. When you put everything back in the freezer, store items by category: For instance, all of the frozen veggies go on one shelf. Use the same tips to organize your fridge and pantry, too.
Know what to keep within reach. Nonstick cooking spray and frequently used dried herbs and spices can go in the cabinet next to your stove, so they’re easy to use when you’re cooking. In the fridge, fresh fruits and vegetables should be stored at eye level so they’re easy to grab for a snack or to include in a favorite recipe.
Label items clearly. Use clear containers and plastic bags to store leftovers, and write the date and amount on the container before you put it away. Also check out our video “Get Organized: Meat and Fish Freezer Storage” for more great tricks for storing these entrée ingredients.