One problem that developed after I began storing extra food for preparedness – was inventory control. Actually knowing what we had in food storage.
Whether it be the variety of canned food, home canned foods, dry goods, long term food storage, freezer items, dehydrated, freeze dried food, etc.., the problem was knowing exactly I had on hand.
Here’s what I did:
Excel Food Storage Inventory Spreadsheet
I inventoried what I had. Sounds simple right?
Not everyone wants to get into the detail of inventory. However it’s worth the effort to know what you have, especially when you’ve built up a descent size food storage.
( Having an inventory also helps with better food rotation. )
One problem was how long it took to initially inventory what we had, and it required some discipline to keep it up to date.
The way I inventoried my food storage was with an Excel spreadsheet.
I also keep a printed hard copy.
I maintain more than one food inventory worksheet. Actually they’re separate tabs (worksheets) on the same overall Excel spreadsheet.
We have the inventory split up into categories and other areas that make sense for us.
– Chest freezers
– Dry goods such as wheat, rice, beans, etc..
– Canned foods (store bought)
– Home canned foods
– #10 cans of freeze dried & dehydrated foods
– (whatever makes sense based on your foods)
A successful food storage inventory system depends on the way YOU think about it. It’s different for different folks.
Categorize it using the methods that work for you.
For example within the chest freezer category we split up the meats by type (Poultry, Fish, Beef, Pork, Venison, Moose, Bear, etc..). Then we list what we have within each of those subsets.
Here’s how we segregate our meats in the chest freezer using different color tote bags. Makes it quick and easy to reach in and pull out bags:
Yellow = Poultry
Reusable Grocery Tote Bag Large 10 Pack – Yellow
Brown = Beef
Reusable Grocery Tote Bag Large 10 Pack – Brown
Blue = Fish
Reusable Grocery Tote Bag Large 10 Pack – Blue
Pink = Pork
Reusable Grocery Tote Bag Large 10 Pack – Pink
For food inventory management at home you don’t need to get crazy specific, but enough to know what you have and how much.
Admittedly I did get crazy specific with some things. Even to the extent of calculating caloric equivalent days based on 2,000 calories per day.
Keep it up to date !
After all that work of inventorying, you must keep it up to date.
It just takes a little discipline.
I keep a printed copy. When something is removed we pencil it out or adjust the quantity on the hard copy. Occasionally we update the spreadsheet itself and print a new copy.
I have also found that when you inventory what you have, you may discover excesses as well as holes. Good to know! (and adjust)
It also helps with visualizing the big picture of your food diversification.