Do you find yourself coming home from the grocery store realizing you bought too much of one thing or not enough of another? I don't know about you but this happens to me all the time! For almost six months straight I was buying tomato sauce and rice every single grocery trip! I go grocery shopping every week so I ended up with more tomato sauce and rice than I could ever need. My husband finally convinced me that I needed to create some sort of kitchen inventory to ensure we were only purchasing items that we actually needed.
The thought of creating a kitchen inventory seemed extremely overwhelming. After trying out a few different methods I finally found a system that works and thought I'd share with you How to Keep Track of Kitchen Inventory.
How to Keep Track of Kitchen Inventory
1. Develop your method. The first thing you will want to do is decide how you will keep track of your kitchen inventory. Some people like to use good old pen and paper while others prefer a digital system like Excel or Evernote.
Personally, I found that creating a spreadsheet in Google Docs was the most efficient way for me to keep track of my kitchen inventory. I like being able to access my kitchen inventory on any computer and most of all I love having it available on my iPhone when I'm out grocery shopping. Any system that works for you is just fine, just make sure it's a system that is easy for you to use so that you do use it.
2. Organize your kitchen. Trying to take an inventory of your kitchen when your kitchen is a disorganized mess is never fun. Believe me! So first things first, spend some time organizing your kitchen. The goal here is to keep like supplies together. For example, all your spices in one location, baking items, cans, pasta, etc. The better organized you can get your kitchen the easier it will be to create your inventory.
3. Track your current inventory. Once you have developed the system you will use and organized your kitchen it's time to start taking some inventory. This process takes a while so don't be afraid to break up over a couple of days. I have found that the easiest way to conquer this task is take it area by area. I started with frozen foods, moved on to refrigerated foods, spices, and pantry items.
Make a list of everything you currently have in each area, how much you have and expiration date if applicable. You should also be writing in the items you need to purchase and the quantity.
4. Keep your inventory list updated. Now that you have created your kitchen inventory, the goal is to keep your inventory updated. If you can access your inventory on your smart phone then you can easily update this as you are shopping. If you don't have access to your list on your smart phone be sure to update your list when you get home from a shopping trip.
Kitchen Inventory Resources:
What tips do you have for keeping a kitchen inventory?