My husband has told me many times over the years, “Lisa, you always manage to make things more complicated than they need to be.”
When we have friends over for dinner, I want to make ALL NEW recipes for multiple dishes. Before we go on a vacation, I want everyone in the family to have ALL NEW outfits! If we need to make a major purchase, I will research it to death until I’m so confused that I don’t care what we buy!
When I decided to create an inventory of my food pantry, I tied myself up in knots just trying to figure out how to organize it. What categories should I use? Should it be a paper/hard copy inventory or should I use Excel? (I am NOT proficient in Excel. At all.)
After much, much thought, I decided to not re-invent the wheel and I used the same categories found on Shelf Reliance for their food products. I figured that the people at Shelf Reliance must have spent a lot of time determining these categories, and if they work for Shelf Reliance, they’ll certainly work for me and my humble inventory.
I also decided to use Excel. I created a separate page for each category (see below) and then entered the name of the food, the size of the container, and how many I had on hand.
Boy, was I surprised to find out that we have 15 #10 cans of freeze-dried bananas.
See what happens when you don’t keep an ongoing inventory? You will almost certainly end up with too much of one thing and not nearly enough of another.
You might like to check out the categories used by Shelf Reliance* or another food storage company as an assist when setting up your own inventory or reorganizing what you have.
Yes, it’s important to know what you have so you don’t repeat my banana mistake. I’m not working on making sure that I have a bigger variety of fruits and plenty of recipes that call for bananas!
By the way, I saved my Excel inventory and have it stored in Dropbox as well as a printed hard copy here at home. There are issues with saving documents in Dropbox, but I can’t tell you how many times Dropbox has saved my bacon.
- Beans (I separated beans from meat.)
- Survival supplies (candles, matches, etc.)
Am I missing any categories? What organization system are you using?
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