I’m not the most organized person, but I love lists – I’m a dichotomy…what can I say? As running out to the store became difficult due to Covid-19, I realized I had to make some changes. I knew my shopping trips and the time I spent shopping had to become much more efficient and effective. I needed to start with getting my freezer and pantry inventory organized.
On her daytime show, The Rachael Ray Show, Racheal spoke about keeping lists of all the food in her freezers. The lists help her so she uses things up in a timely manner and nothing gets forgotten. I decided to follow Rachael’s lead and got pen and paper to start making a few lists of my own.
I know this might seem like a daunting task only the super-organized can achieve; but it’s really not. By breaking it up into smaller projects that combine to create a master list, it makes it easier to complete. It does take a bit of time but saves far more in the long-run. Plus as food costs rise and popular pandemic products become hard to find, it makes sense to buy only what you know you need. Its far more cost-effective and less panic than the “as much as possible” approach.
How I Created My Freezer and Pantry Inventory Lists
1) Organize one area at a time: Once the chest freezer was completed I made a separate list for the fridge freezer. Upon completing my freezer lists, I compiled them into a new master freezer list. This was easier than trying to do it all at once. Also, you have a backup of each area should something happen to the main list. This same methodology can then be applied to your pantries.
2) Use your phone: The second time I made a list, I used my phone and it was much easier. I was able to keep my bullet point list organized under headings. By having it so easily accessible on my phone, I didn’t have to worry about losing the list (I kind of did with my paper one). Plus, I can make additions and subtractions whenever I think of something. I simply used the iPhone’s built-in note app, but you could use pages or any other word processor app.
3) Email the list as you go: One thing about the notes app, is that it’s easy to accidentally delete something and not be able to get it back. To circumvent this I emailed drafts to myself as I went. I emailed the list to my family members once complete and as it was updated. This way whoever does grocery shopping, knows what we have on hand.
Now, are the freezer and pantry inventory lists always 100% accurate? No, but they are a solid 85%-90% accurate. Keeping an updated list on your phone takes the guesswork out of shopping and stops you from over-buying so it’s a money-saving too. I can see this as something I maintain moving forward. Do you have any easy organizational tips? Share them with us in the comments below.