PCS time: Pantry organization and food purge.
PCS season brings on a huge task... purging!
Every time a PCS comes around it seems as if everything in your home must go. Out with the old, in with the new (at your new duty station).
One of the areas we tend to overlook during PCS time is the pantry and the food items that are in our refrigerator.
How often do you organize your pantry?
With two kids who are always reaching out for snacks I should definitely do it way more often but unfortunately there are so many hours in the day for all my motherhood tasks haha
Now that PCS is right around the corner I figured I would share what is working for us 1 month away from moving. Movers come at the end of the month and then we will be in lodging until our flight date.
Here are some tips that might work for you as well:
Before you even think of doing a trip to the grocery store go through your pantry and get rid of any expired items. One you do that organize the items you have left by making a plan on how you will use them before you leave. For example: if you have a tuna cans which you know you will not eat or you will not use as part of a meal then place those to the side. Take away any times you know you will not use and organize the items you will keep.
These left over items which are not expired can be offered to neighbors or donated to local food pantries. If you can help others by purging your pantry, why not?
Making a meal plan will come handy. Try to use as much as you already have on hand since this will also save you money right before moving which can help your moving budget.
Do the same with the food in your refrigerator and spices cabinet. Some moving companies will allow your spices to be packed with your household goods but if you are not planning to have them pack them then use or donate.
Now that you know exactly what you have on hand and what you will be using, make a list of the items you need for meals. Keep things simple. Understand that even though you might have a month left before you move that means that packers will come for your stuff earlier than that and that you will most likely spend 10 days at a hotel before you leave your duty station. Your list should be made of items you use daily: milk, eggs, cereal, snacks, some fruit...buy what you need in small quantities. You can also buy items that will make meals easier. Frozen pizza or lasagna, ready to make salads, rotisserie chicken you can use for a meal and left over sandwiches, frozen breakfast meals you can quickly heat up... These will come handy and will be used every day before you have to clean your refrigerator.
Stay away from doing huge grocery store hauls unless you know that your family will eat everything you have at home and you can plan meals accordingly. So much food goes to waste with last minute purging before a move this will help you save money and food.
When it's time for the movers to come and pack you will have less items in your pantry and refrigerator to worry about, the last bit can be donated as well.
Once your move into lodging you will be allowed entitlements to cover daily expenses to include food, the entitlement can also be used to cook at the hotel if you are given a room with a kitchenette, you should know this when you book your room, if you do have this option you can keep certain items you know you will need until then.
I hope you find this useful as you tackle your next move. I am all about making things simpler for myself and our family while taking on life changes. Moving is a huge deal and if you can prepare ahead of time then I recommend doing so.