Planning Food Storage and Inventory

Last night I went through my food storage cabinets in the basement. While I was going through everything I was upset to see just how much of the food had expired. We wound up taking a full garbage bag of food out to the trash. Plus there were a few items that were dated this week or last week that I’m going to use up this week. The waste of the food that we are throwing away really saddens me. So I am determined to do something about it when I start rebuilding our stockpile in the new house.

My plan is to start keeping an inventory of the food in the house and its expiration dates. This way I should be able to check once a month or so and see what food will be expiring soon. Then we can make a plan to either use it or donate it before it goes out of date. My goal is to get to a point that we aren’t wasting ANY food.

I’ve toyed with the idea of keeping the inventory on my iPhone, but while that would work for me, it would make it next to impossible for others to update the inventory when they use something. So now I’m thinking about creating a spreadsheet to track our food inventory. That way I can print out the inventory and keep a copy with the stored food (either on the freezer or on the shelves). That should make it super easy to keep it updated. Then I could just keep a list on my iPhone of the items that we need to buy.

Since I plan to start restocking right after we move I want to start doing some prep work now. I just created a 5 week rotating meal plan. (You can get my Google Doc of the blank 5 week menu plan here) On it I’ve planned out our breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for the week. We should use each week’s meal plan 10-11 times during the year. Now I just need to write up a weekly supply list and use it to calculate how much of each item I need in our stockpile for a year’s worth of food.

I plan to start our menu rotation the week after we move in to our new house. That first week is going to be hectic with getting everything unpacked and organized so I don’t feel that it’s really a good week to start. I do plan to update with some more posts on how I’m handling the inventory system and organizing our stockpile. You can start looking for those posts in early October.

I am so excited about this project. Yeah, I’m that much of a nerd. Hopefully my menu planning will go a little smoother now that I’m using a rotating menu. Right now getting dinner on the table in a timely fashion can be a very stressful event on week nights. I would love to alleviate some of that stress.

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