iPhone App: Prep & Pantry

image by JD Hancock

Prep & Pantry is an iPhone app that lets you keep track of all your preps and everything in your pantry. It really is a great little app, and worth the money, but there is a free “lite” version if you want to try before you buy.

This app has a lot of good features.  It scans barcodes if your iPhone is new enough (mine isn’t) and downloads the information. However, because it automatically searches for information when you scan an item, if you are somewhere with no cell coverage, such as a basement, it doesn’t help.

Using the App

When you start up the app, you get a Prep & Pantry title screen and it automatically continues to a prompt to enter a barcode. If you don’t want to enter a new item, such as a can of food, you can select a magnifying glass in the upper right corner to go to “Find Inventory Item” which has a search bar. If you select “List” from the bottom of the screen, you can list items alphabetically, by expiration, or by location. “List” will also warn you if you have expired items. While you are on the “Scan” page, you can swipe your finger to the left and the background will change from green (add item) to red (remove items) and you can remove items; there are also buttons to change between the two screens.

image by Tony Buser

If you go to “Find Inventory Item” from the remove items screen, it will remove items instead of adding them.  For example, if I go to the item Mandarin Oranges from “Remove items”, I can remove items by clicking a button but if I go there from add items, I can only add items. Every time you add to the quantity you have of an item, you need to enter the location, quantity, and expiration date. It took me a few minutes because the app allows you to put things in more than one place.

The barcode is the entire code, including the smaller numbers on either side, just outside the actual bars. If you have cell coverage, it then scans for the information and downloads whatever it finds – IF you have that feature enabled. I disabled it while I was working with it in the basement to save on battery life, and then was annoyed when my Dole Mandarin Oranges wouldn’t come up when I entered them in an area with cell coverage. Oopsie! My bad. It worked just fine once I enabled it again by going into “Settings” with the button at the bottom of the screen. The only information it pulled in was the name, Mandarin Oranges, but it was still a help. If you don’t have coverage or it can’t find the item, it then prompts you to enter information, starting with the name.

“Qm” is essentially the quantity you want to have, your goal amount. There is also a grocery shopping list option. You can note items you have coupons for, email the shopping list to yourself, and even add a thumbnail. If you go into settings, there are even more choices, including a database backup.

Prep & Pantry sells for $4.99 and can be downloaded from your phone, of course, as well as the website, Prep & Pantry.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

© Copyright 2012 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
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Liz Long

Liz Long is an eclectic writer who lives in the exurbs (that's what comes after the suburbs) with her husband, sons, and cats. Her life-long Scouting skills have been a help in becoming a prepper, but the lack of any cooking skills in the entire extended family is not. Liz blogs at theModerateMom.com.

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    • LizLong says

      It is my understanding that you can use all the iPhone apps with the iPad.

      This one does clearly state (in small type under "requirements", so I can see how you missed it) that it is compatible with the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. It requires iOS 4.0 or later. So you should be all good to download it.


  1. Roxy2711 says

    I have had this app for my ipad and iphone for a few months now. The guy that made it is on one of my prepper/survival blogs and he is very open to feedback…I think that he is on his 2nd or 3rd update for it.

    The app is good… The scanner doesnt work on my iphone, its brand new and it tells me that I dont have the correct camera for it. It also takes a lot of work to type in all of the information, you must put in all of the information before it lets you continue, but mostly this is just me being lazy 😉

    Over all its a good app… a lot of time to get started if you have a lot of stuff to put in, but it is pretty easy to maintain afterwards.

    • Tricia says

      Can you find out from the designer if there will be an Android app coming? I love my DroidX phone and since we live way out in the country, At&t doesn't work out here, only Verizon. Thanks for any information.

  2. says

    Hello everyone! Thank you Liz for the great review!

    @Tricia – I do plan on releasing an Android version of Prep & Pantry. If you go to http://www.prepandpantry.com, at the very bottom of the home page there is place for you to add your email to the notification list. I promise, no spam from me!

    @Roxy – If you phone is one of the current models the scanner should work. Drop me an email and let's figure out what is going on.

  3. Emma says

    I love the idea and was wondering if there was something like this out there. My only concern is privacy given government tracking of everything, who has what and who is doing what. I know it sounds paranoid, but with all the talk of Google being in cahoots with the government, keeping tabs on who is prepping and the possibility of Apple eventually sharing who uses what apps, there is a little concern out there. Any thoughts?

    • LizLong says

      (1) You don't have to do a look up of products.
      (2) Most of the items are probably things on a regular shopping list, and you can use it for that. It's quantity that would make the government suspicious, and I don't think it records that.

      But I think the short answer is, just don't have it go online to look up anything. Enter the data by hand.

    • JL says

      Emma, I have the same concerns about the gov gathering info. If you want to keep your internet searches private, Don’t use google or yahoo. go to start page.com Make it your home page.

  4. Volker says

    I wonder if this app is usable abroad the U.S., down here in germany (refering to the background barcode – data)? Nevertheless, great idea!


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