Pantry Pics

lemon juggle (2)

Do you ever find yourself coming back from a long weekend (or a vacation) wondering what you need to stock your pantry for the week?  I think most of us do.  But what we usually end up doing is coming home, unpacking, and then looking in our fridge to see what’s needed for the week.  Then…we go back out to the grocery store to restock the house.  It’s tiresome and can quickly erase that relaxation we hopefully achieved during vacation.

There is a simpler way.

We can use the technology available to us.

Think about it.  Most phones are equipped with a camera these days and most people have a cell phone, so why not make use of this convenience.

Before you leave for your vacation, or long weekend,

 take a quick snapshot of your fridge and cabinets.

The key areas to snap are probably:

(1) a wide shot of the inside of your fridge.

 (2)The refrigerator door

(3) general wide shots of any cabinets.

If you have more time, you might want to add a snap a shot of each pantry and fridge shelf separately.

And… if you are a major planner, you can even take it a step further and snap the “best by” dates on eggs, milk, or yogurt too.

This way, when you are on your way home from your trip and thinking about what you need, all you need to do is check the pictures on your phone.  Y0u can start planning a grocery list before you are even home.  You will know immediately (with one look) what you have and what’s missing.   This way you can stop off at the grocery story on your way home, instead of making a second trip.

Take this quick step before you leave for your trip and save yourself time and stress.  Not only that, but you will be prepared for your upcoming week more fully, so you will likely have an easier time making healthy decisions for your week.  No falling into the rut of not knowing what you will eat for lunch because you are unprepared and just eating whatever you can get ahold of.

This tip can also be applied weekly to help you stay on track.  Simply take a photo of your pantry every Friday when you get home from work (or pick a time you can make a habit of).  Instead of making a grocery list, all you need to do is reference your phone for what’s missing.  This way, you won’t be likely to buy 3 jars of peanut butter 3 weeks in a row simply because you can’t remember whether you replenished it, or not.  A picture can really tell the story, so why not utilize this resource weekly to simplify your life.

I know I’m going to start doing this before long trips and  who knows, it might become a weekly habit for me too!

Let me know what you think.  Will you start taking pictures of your pantry?  If you try it, does it help to keep you on track?  What day will you take your photos?

After thought:

Try this:   Save your weekly pantry photos for a few months and then take a moment to review them.  You might find that this photo diary is a good gauge for how well you stay on your healthy eating kick.  Were you diligent?  Did you fall off track.  If so, when?  What are your “go to” comfort foods that you see week after week?  Can you make a better choice?  You might even notice if your food choices are changing for the better.  A sort of food diary.  I will expand on this in another post, but for now, try to commit to one food photo a week of your pantry and see how it goes!  Good luck!