Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Eat in Challenge: How and Why to take Food Inventory, Challenge #1

Today is the first official day of the Eat in Challenge! I am very excited to be kicking off the week with a post that will help us plan for the end of the challenge which is 14 days of only eating in! For more details review this post. Remember there's a sweet prize for those that do!


Week #1 Challenge is to Create a Pantry and Freezer inventory system plus NO SNACK STOPS!

Create a Pantry and Freezer Inventory System

Why? There is a very basic answer to this question and a very complex answer. Let's look at both.

Creating inventory systems in your home helps you know: 
  • What you have on hand
  • When your getting close to running out
  • When your out and need to restock
Knowing what you have on hand lets you meal plan more efficiently and helps you save money by making meals around what you already have paid for. Another great benefit to inventory lists is that you should rotate fairly quickly through items, so, no expiring and if your not using something you will notice and can incorporate that into your meals before it expires! We don't waste food at TNTL!

When you use an item you need to mark it off the list in some way, shape, or form. When you get down to one or two items DING! a little siren goes off and it is time to start thinking did our family like this? Is this an item I want to buy again? if the answer to this is yes then you need to add it to your needs list and start looking for sales and coupons.

The overall goal for inventory systems is to know what you have, use it, and learn your family eating and buying cycles for 3-6 months (more on this Thursday).

I want us all to succeed at this! I already use an inventory system in our home so I am going to make this available to you all with two FREE printables! I am also going to show you how I use them in home.

Freezer Inventory Printable

To Print click on image and print from computer settings
Pantry Inventory Printable


How I use this Food inventory system:

This system seems fairly simple and straight forward to me. It is easy to update when I shop and track items as I use them.

Pantry list 

  • Take inventory of what you have. It's fun finding that frozen pizza you didn't know you had! I do this by writing the item and then using a tally for the quantity. items that you like to have many on hand write that number so you can quickly reference if you need more. 
  • Keep the pantry list in or near your pantry for ease when marking items off! (work smarter not harder!)
  • IF there is something you are not sure where to put it make your own category or write it in the extra space. (like the jello)
  • When you are near low or out of an item remember to ask if you want to buy more and if so circle it or highlight it and add the item to your shopping list.
Sorry folks, I didn't it up before the photo



 Freezer List
  • Take inventory of what you have. I do this by writing the item and then using a tally for the quantity. items that you like to have many on hand write that number so you can quickly reference if you need more. 
Keep the pantry list in or near your pantry for ease when marking items off! (work smarter not harder!)
My Freezer list is beside my chest freezer downstairs. Most of our items that is frozen go there. 

 We have three freezers total 1 upstairs that has ice, homemade frozen waffles and muffins, cold packs, and ice cream (when we have it). The Second freezer is downstairs and is our old fridge/freezer combo. We keep all our bread in that freezer. Finally we have a small chest freezer that houses all our meats, veggies, anything freezable.
  •  If you do not have a chest freezer you should still keep an inventory of what is in your refrigerator freezer. Even if it is a lb of meat and cheese. I think things tend to get lose in all freezers so it just helps to keep things organized. 
Tracking your Items:
You need to track items that go out and come in. I use tallies. When an item is us used I scratch off a tally if I add and item I add a tally to the front. When we are out of an item completely I circle the item. After I have about 5 items circled I get a new sheet. (i don't like lots of clutter on my list)  Pretty simple, Right!

Okay so lets recap:
The challenge this week is to create your pantry and freezer inventory systems and no snack stops all week!
You can print our forms to help you with this or get create your own!
Tomorrow we will be sharing our thought, fear, and anything else Via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Remember use #eatinfeb and you will entered to win a Get a L.I.F.E ticket OR all the information from the day if you are not able to attend!

You got this!

Until tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. This is a really great idea. I totally need to do this TODAY before I go grocery shopping, especially since we're on a limited budget this week.

    ReplyDelete