Kitchen Pantry: Organiza e Utiliza

Holiday time is the right time to toss what’s old in your cupboard and stock up on what you need for Thanksgiving and Navidad entertaining. Try these easy tips for streamlining your kitchen and saving money at the supermarket -- just in time for las festividades!

1. Check Expiration Dates

Anything that is past due gets the boot. Better to be safe than sorry! Start by looking through your spice rack. How long has that onion powder been hanging around? The rule of thumb is that herbs and spices keep their flavor for six to 12 months. The best way to tell if your dried herb or spice still have flavor is to give it the crush test. Crush a pinch between your index finger and thumb: you should immediately get a rich, full aroma. Also, color fades with time: Do your red spices look brownish and your green herbs grayer? It may be time to replace them.

2. Make Counter and Cupboard Space

You need loads more counter and storage space when you’re entertaining. Consider hanging your pots and pans to give you coveted cupboards inches, and either put away or give away handy kitchen gadgets sitting on your counters that you haven't used in years.

3.  Save Money at the Grocery Store

Fresh produce can add up quickly, so don't overlook frozen fruits and veggies, which tend to be cheaper. And nutritionists say they might be healthier for you because they are picked and frozen at their peak of ripeness. Another trick: Buy paper products at discount stores instead of the grocery store. You can also save money at the grocery store by keeping your eyes focused on the register at the checkout counter. Americans lose between one and three billion dollars per year in scanning errors, either because of human error or because sales prices have yet to be entered into the computer.