*Note: some links may contain affiliate links (meaning if you end up purchasing something when you click on the link then I may get a commission on it, with no extra cost to you, of course). For more information on what this means, visit my disclosure page.

wood surface with veggies to show inventory of food in kitchen in home

A Simple Guide to Making a Food Inventory for Your Home

Making a food inventory for your own home can be super quick and easy! Even easier than finding out what your family likes to eat at every meal!

But, if it seems like it may be difficult, or overwhelming to you, then make sure you keep reading; I’ll break it down into the simplest steps possible!

 

 


Related Posts:

Simple Guide on How to Make Meals Healthier by Breaking Them Down!

Basics of Healthy Eating: Do’s and Don’ts | Healthy Eating Tips

The Easiest Way to Find Out What Food Kids Will Eat!


Want to Remember This? Pin A Simple Guide to Making a Food Inventory for Your Home to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

wood surface with veggies to show inventory of food in kitchen in home and printables to do the food inventory on

Why Inventory the Food in Your Home?

Maybe you’re wondering why you should even bother taking inventory of the food in your home.

Well, there’s a few reasons.

First, taking inventory of your food will force you to check expiration dates and throw out food that is expired or that’s gone bad.

Second, wouldn’t you like to know what food you have, in case you’re trying a new recipe, so that you don’t buy something you already have because it’s on the ingredient list for the recipe?

Third, you could save a lot of money by knowing what you have in your kitchen and making meals based on those items, instead of buying all new ingredients every week!

But, in order to get those benefits, you need to do the one simple task of actually going through your kitchen and seeing what you have. It’ll literally take only minutes once you get used to doing it!

 

A Simple Guide to Inventory Your Food

Start with a Clean Kitchen

The best way to start taking inventory of your food is by having a clean kitchen. Even if you go through your food one shelf at a time, you’ll still need a place to put the food on the shelf while going through it.

Your kitchen doesn’t need to be spotless, you just need to make sure you have some space to work. So clear off those counters, or your table, and let’s get started!

 

Grab Something to Write with and On

The next thing you’ll need to do is grab something to write with and write on.

Click here to get the templates below sent to your email!!

If you decide to not join me on this awesome challenge to simplify mealtime; which will teach you the importance of knowing what everyone likes to eat, how to make those foods healthier, how to simplify mealtime with systems, and then learn how to overcome some of the struggles us moms have when it comes to feeding out kids.

Then on the plain piece of paper you have, you’ll want to make three sections; one for your fridge, freezer, and pantry/cupboards. Then make three columns; one for the food, one for the amount you have left, and the last one will be for when you need to use the food by.

Once you have your paper set up, you’re ready to actually start pulling food out!

Take EVERYTHING Out of Your Pantry

I like to start with my pantry/cupboards, going one shelf at a time. This way I don’t get overwhelmed with having to put everything back before it goes bad.

So…

  1. find a space to put the food from one shelf, make sure it’s clean
  2. take everything out
  3. throw out anything that’s expired
  4. write down each item that’s left
  5. write down how much is left, whether it’s 1 serving or an entire bulk container full
  6. write down the expiration/use by date
  7. put everything from that shelf back, making sure the shelf is clean before doing so
  8. move onto the next shelf and start the process again

The best thing about tracking what you have in your pantry or cupboards, is that nothing will go bad while you inventory it! So you can take your time with this first step. Unlike with the fridge and freezer, where you’ll have to go a little quicker.

 

Take EVERYTHING Out of Your Fridge

For the food in your fridge, use the same process as before.

But, you’ll probably want to make sure you have something to clean the fridge with before you start! Especially if you have kids; it doesn’t matter how hard you try, there’s going to be some type of mess in the fridge, or something sticky to clean. Unless of course, if you live alone, then maybe it could stay clean; I wouldn’t know as I have two kids and a husband and none of them clean up after themselves.

Here’s the process again,

  1. find a space to put the food from one shelf, make sure it’s clean
  2. take everything out
  3. throw out anything that’s expired
  4. write down each item that’s left
  5. write down how much is left, whether it’s 1 serving or an entire bulk container full
  6. write down the expiration/use by date
  7. put everything from that shelf back, making sure the shelf is clean before doing so
  8. move onto the next shelf and start the process again

Don’t take out too much at a time, as you’ll be cleaning your fridge at the same time and don’t want your food to go bad!

Then move onto the freezer.

Take EVERYTHING Out of Your Freezer

Now that you have some practice with taking inventory of the food in your pantry/ cupboards, and fridge; you’re ready to move onto the freezer.

Use the same process as before, but do it a little quicker; we don’t your food defrosting on you while you write down what you have or clean up any messes in there!

The steps to take again, are;

  1. find a space to put the food from one shelf, make sure it’s clean
  2. take everything out
  3. throw out anything that’s expired
  4. write down each item that’s left
  5. write down how much is left, whether it’s 1 serving or an entire bulk container full
  6. write down the expiration/use by date
  7. put everything from that shelf back, making sure the shelf is clean before doing so
  8. move onto the next shelf and start the process again

If you haven’t been working through inventorying your food while reading this post, go get to it!

Grab These Food Inventory Printables!

Now that you know, in detail, how to take a food inventory, be sure to grab these printables!!

 

Know What Foods to Keep Stocked

If you want to take it one step further, to keep your home well managed; know what food you need to keep stocked in your home at all times.

There’s a printable template available along with the food inventory templates above, along with an example from my own kitchen.

You’ll want to make sure the foods you keep stocked will make it possible for you to make a meal (or a few) just in case you can’t get to the store when you would like to. Food that will stay good for long periods of time.

These things may include;

  • brown rice
  • beans
  • quinoa or other grains
  • pasta
  • baking ingredients (if you bake)
  • nuts, seeds, and dried fruits
  • nut butters
  • frozen fruits and veggies
  • and anything else that you may keep in your pantry or freezer at all times

You’ll also want to include in this list of food to keep stocked, the items that are the basis of your grocery list.

Weekly items that you may need to restock each week could be;

  • non-dairy (or dairy) milk (depending on your preferences)
  • fresh fruits
  • fresh veggies
  • anything else that you eat every week and have on your grocery list

The first time you make the list of food to keep stocked, it may take you a bit longer, and you may need to make adjustments if your families diet ends up changing in the future. Hopefully for the better!

A Quick Overview

Taking an inventory of the food in your home isn’t all that difficult, especially if you follow the steps above.

Keeping track of the food you have and knowing what food you need to keep stocked at all times will help reduce the likelihood of eating out because there’s nothing to eat.

And don’t worry if the first time you do this, it takes awhile. You will get much quicker with it over time.

You also don’t have to do it to often, either.

I personally only inventory the food in my kitchen every couple months; usually when our budget feels really tight and I’m trying to come up with meals with the food we already have. And, once you know what to keep stocked, you only need to update that when your families food preferences change.

I do a quick food inventory in my head, once a week when I clean out the fridge before making my meal plan for the week. But, I don’t write anything down for the food inventory at the time.

You’ll need to determine how often taking a food inventory in your kitchen is necessary. But, first, go get started on your first food inventory (done right)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.