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How to Organise your Pantry on a Budget

Guides, Life Hacks & Tips

How to Organise your Pantry on a Budget

The pantry is the heart of your kitchen. Everything you need to make choc chip cookies is in your pantry. Breakfast cereals, pasta and other dry goods are stored here too. An organised pantry is inspirational. It will make you want to cook, to bake, make a meal fit for a big family. It can save you money, knowing what foods you have. Let us show you how easy it is to clean and organise your pantry, plus we’ll give you some easy recipes for those preserving jars you’ve picked up from The Reject Shop. Looking to fill up your pantry? Check out our range of groceries.

10 mins read
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The Reject Shop

Last updated

28 Jul 2023

Step 1: Remove Everything.

Clear out all the foodstuffs, all the containers, everything, from your pantry. You want it completely empty.

  • Wipe down the shelves, give your pantry a good clean.
  • Throw away any food which is a long way over the used by date.
  • Make a plan on where you’re going to store your food and other pantry items.


Step 2: Pantry Organising and Labelling

This is where you organise your dry goods into storage. Doing this is a good thing for a few reasons:

  • An organised pantry can reduce food wastage. If you can see how much food you have, in the clear glass jars, you may be inspired to use those ingredients in a recipe.
  • Organising your pantry can save you time. If you know where everything is, you don’t waste time searching and foraging for it.
  • Having things in glass and plastic jars also helps speed up the cleaning process next time.

Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

Now you need to clean and sterilise your jars. The 4 steps to sterilise your Glass Jars.

  1. Wash thoroughly in hot soapy water. Rinse and drain them.
  2. Place on oven racks with some space between them. Heat for 10-15 minutes on 120C
  3. Glass Jars can also be put through your dishwasher on a hot cycle.
  4. Sterilise metal seals in boiling water for 5 minutes and then leave to drain.

** Please be careful when washing with hot and boiling water. Also, use protective oven gloves when handling jars in the hot oven. **

You sterilise your jars for cleanliness, and because you may want to use them for preserving or pickling.  We’ll show you how to do that shortly.

Now you can label your jars. Decide what foods will go into what jars, and label them appropriately. If you have handwriting that is difficult to read, may we suggest our range of labels from The Craft Stall? $4 gets you labels for everything from sugar and flour, to chickpeas, onion salt and so much more.

The Craft Stall Sugarbelle Label Pad

Step 3: What foods to store in your pantry

Hard Staple Foods:

  • Rice
  • Dry Beans
  • Lentils
  • Assorted Pasta

Baking Staples

  • Flour(s)
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Additional foods to store in your pantry can include

  • Pasta sauces
  • Cooking oils and liquid stock.
  • Herbs and spices (which can last up to 2 years with the proper storage)
  • Canned fruits and vegetables prior to opening
  • Breakfast Cereals

Storage Hacks for your Pantry

It is highly likely that you store more than just food in your pantry. Cookbooks, cling wrap and more are often found in pantries Australia wide. Here are some ingenious ways you can organise your pantry using items found in The Reject Shop.

Over the Door Hook

Do you have some space between the pantry door and the shelving, you can utilise the back of your door using our 3 pack of over the door hooks.

You can hang bags of vegetables, such as potatoes or onions. You can have bags of bags- reusable shopping bags for the supermarket.

Shower Caddy

You can hang a shower caddy from one of these hooks and have all your sauces neatly stored together.

Adhesive Hooks 12 pk

If you don’t have a door which suits the over the door hooks, then a pack of 12 adhesive hooks can help you with storage and organising. And these hooks can be easily removed later, leaving no marks behind.

Recipe book storage with a magazine holder

What better place to store your recipe books than in the pantry? The best way to do that is with a magazine holder.

Another great use for the magazine rack is to store your plastic wrap, rolls of baking paper and cooking foil.


Pickling and Preserving

Pickling and preserving is both a great way to save and store food, it is also a rewarding activity. Making jams and marmalades, pickling foods for later use is a great creative activity during these days of isolation. Gifting what you’ve made in your kitchen to friends is also a great idea.

The best thing is, it is a really easy and simple thing you can do. Let’s show you how.

Clean Jars

We’ve already shown you how to sterilise your jars. Before you put any foods into your jars, follow the instructions on cleaning and sterilising your jars.

Fast Jam


  • Berries – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries- your choice.
  • Castor Sugar- weight equal to the amount of berries you have.
  • 1 lemon


  • Put your berries and castor sugar into a saucepan.
  • Squeeze the juice of a lemon into the mix.
  • Heat slowly, stirring regularly.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until sugar has dissolved.
  • Test mixture by running a drop of the jam down a cold plate. If it moves really slowly, then it is ready.
  • Pour mixture into sterilised jar and put the lid on.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Pat yourself on the back.

** Please be very careful when dealing with hot and boiling foods. Hot sugar is a common cause of kitchen burns.**

Easy Marmalade


  • 6 Citrus Fruits – Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit.
  • 1 kg fine sugar
  • (Optional) small amount of crystallised ginger.


  • Wash the 6 fruits thoroughly.
  • Cut fruit into quarters, skin on.
  • Place fruit into a food processor and chop until finely ground, skin included.
  • (Optional) Add crystallised ginger during the food processor stage.
  • In a large saucepan, boil the fruit mix with 1 kg of fine sugar for 20 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon.
  • When consistency is to your liking, pour into suitable jars and let cool. (Jars have been sterilised)
  • Give yourself a hi-5

Peaches for me


  • 10KG of Peaches (or plums or apricots)
  • 4 litres of water
  • 4 cups of white sugar

We do recommend the 1-litre preserving jars for this recipe.


  • Chop up your fruit into slices or chunks, however you want them preserved. (Remove the stones from the mixture)
  • In a very big pot, bring the water and sugar to boil.
  • Very carefully add your fruit to the boiling mixture.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes, until JUST soft.
  • When ready, scoop the fruit into sterilised jars.
  • Fill jars up with syrup from the pot.
  • Run a knife down the inside of the jar to help remove any air bubbles
  • Top up with more syrup.
  • Clean and seal jars and let cool.
  • Show your friends how awesome you are.

Pickle me some Onions

Pickling is another great way to preserve fruits and vegetables and add a taste sensation to your dinner plate. It does take a little longer than jams and preser4ves, so you do need patience. However, the end results can be stunning.

Here is a simple way to give yourself some pickled onions.


  • About 900 grams of pearl onions, peeled.
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 cups of malt vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of pickling spice *
  • 2 bay leaves



You can pick up pre-made pickling spice, or make your own. Here is how to make your own.


  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dill seed
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves- crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon crushed chilli flakes


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Stir to combine
    ** If you have a mortar and pestle, use this to crush and combine.

Look online or in store for the Hoyt’s range of spices from The Reject Shop to customise your Pickling Spice.


Pickled Onion Method

  • Put the onions in a bowl and sprinkle salt. Mix well. *leave overnight*
  • Rinse onions well and dry.
  • Place onions into jars.
  • To a saucepan add vinegar, sugar, bay leaves and Pickling Spice.
  • Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

   **Do not boil or breathe in fumes**

  • Pour your vinegar over the onions until they are completely submerged.
  • Seal the jars tight.
  • Store in pantry for 3-4 weeks before eating.
  • Refrigerate after opening.
  • Do the dance of a winner


There you have it. It’s really easy to clean and organise your pantry, and The Reject Shop has the cleaning and storage essentials you need at very low prices. Plus you can start your journey into the world of jams and preserves, pickles and more.

There is so much to discover inside The Reject Shop. We will always find a way to help you save money on all your essential items and needs.

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