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  • Inventorying the Kitchen -sound crazy?

    I am a buy-a-holic, and my pantries and freezers and spice cabinets are so packed that I really have no idea whats in them. I have a habit of stocking up on things that are on sale, even if I stocked up on them the last time they were on sale. I probably have enough food here in the house so that I wouldnt need to buy groceries for a few years. But I have no clue what I have because I buy it, stuff it somewhere, and forget about it. Sad too, because only 2 of us live here and DS will be leaving home in a couple of months.

    I was thinking about doing an inventory and keeping some sort of spreadsheet on the computer - which shows me what I have, how many, and WHERE it is, so that I wont have to move a ton of stuff to look for it anymore. It would be a massive job since I have 2 freezers, 2 floor to ceiling pantries, a whole cabinet full of spices and flavorings, and a half-cabinet full of dry goods. Plus whats in the fridge. If I use something I could remove it from inventory, and if I bought something, I would have to add it. But its the only way I think I can get a handle on it all and get it under control. Got any suggestions?
    Last edited by cottun; 06-09-2006, 09:48 AM.

  • #2
    I feel your pain... I had (note past tense) the same problem! I was a sucker for the Buy 1, get 2 sales. Last fall I cleared out the motorhome and brought all the food into the house. I couldn't find room so I started going through the cabinets, freezer etc. When I found I had 10 bottles of assorted salad dressings, un opened.. and 6 opened ones in the frig, not to mention all spices, canned goods, etc. I decided that it was time to stop shopping. (Instead of food, I transferred my shopping to clothes - but only if they were on sale! :-)..)I took a weekend and organized everything. I vowed that I would only replace items when they were close to being gone and made an effort to use up the "pantry/freezer items". I stopped major grocery shopping for months - only picked up what was needed for the week.
    Sound like you have lots more than I did.. I like the idea of a spreadsheet.
    That way you can see what you have and can plan menus. or since you have enough storage, perhaps you can arrange all foods together, like a grocery store?
    Good luck ~
    Oh... now I have to stop with the clothes shopping as I don't have enough room in the closet~ :-)
    Tessa

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    • #3
      Sounds too much like what I do at work. I would never dream of doing a home spreadsheet. But, it sounds like a good idea to help you get organized. I stopped buying in bulk years ago and stopped buying sales and buy one get one free. I don't even use coupons because I found I bought things I didn't need. I also gt rid of the freezer and the refrigerator in my garage. I don't buy what I don't need because I purposely do not have room. Life has been much simpler since I changed. And, I am a better cook. And, I don't feel guilty about wasting food. No more dusty cans either.

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      • #4
        Nothing in my kitchen to inventory. MIL is the one that needs a spreadsheet, but she would need a computer first. LOL at the thought of Nonnie with a laptop.
        "If you're given a choice between money and sex appeal, take the money. As you get older, the money will become your sex appeal."~Katharine Hepburn

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        • #5
          I've attempted that before & I never stick with it. Your kitchen and food supplies sound like mine! Anybody that comes over is asking what world disaster am I prepared for. LOL

          Good Luck and if you have success please share!

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          • #6
            Now listen to me Bean!!...that is a lot of money to have invested in food...I had to help a girlfriend mave a few months ago and GOD!! the food supplies she had. TOO many to keep track of so they quite often went out of date.

            I say slim your supplies down...focus on fresh...I mean it's not like the stores close at 6pm nowadays is it.I'm looking at my larder too...I'm guilty of hoarding......TOO much of our money is invested in food...a lot of which will end up in the trash can.
            HMMMmm I think I have found myself a job for the wet weekend that's forecast...

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            • #7
              I have saved a lot of money buying food in small increments, as I need it. My DH, however, feels insecure when he sees bare cupboards.

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              • #8
                Oh I hear you Britmum, I rotate all my food when I buy it. VERY rarely do I toss food out because it has expired. I just am addicted to grocery stores...a weakness!

                Also, when I want to make something I don't want to have to run out all the time for this or that. I like a well stored pantry.

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                • #9
                  inventory the kitchen

                  I was the same way. I recently finished using up most of what I had on hand just to see and not toss out everything. I found out about four months ago I had a trash can full of outdated cans boxes etc. I used to buy that way as what I didn't need I gave to the kids, well most of the grands are grown/in college etc.the "kids' don't need it any more. If foods aren't outdated take them to local salvation Army food pantry. or a church. I now take a sharpiie ad date my cans etc. also pay closer attention to the label dates. On freezer items, I use most of the veggies, and now am just buying enough meat for a few weeks. If I see an very good special on meat, I will but it .wrap good and label.If I see I'm not going to use it cook it, freeze. or give it away.
                  Last edited by Kayce; 06-09-2006, 12:08 PM. Reason: spellig
                  I organize chores into catagories.
                  Things I won't do now; things I won't do later; things I'll never do.

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                  • #10
                    Yes, I NEED to do this. I just did the inside freezer inventory, thats all I have time for today, but I had no idea how many chickens I had (16 packages of various parts and 1 whole one)! And the steaks! 8 packs and I'm still buying them! And I know I have at least double that in the other freezer! I threw away a bunch of stuff, and still have a whole page of items I wrote down that are in there. Will let you know how it goes, its a monumental task and will take me a while to get to doing all of it. WHAT was I THINKING???

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                    • #11
                      If your like us Bean, it is called survival after the major hurricane knocks your power out for a couple weeks. The supplies are not readily available. After Katrina, we kept the generator going for, I think 8 or 10 days. we never needed ice or food from outside parties. We were able to get by on what we had in pantry and freezer with plenty to spare. I would rather have more than not enough during hard times. We didn't even have to go look for gas for about 8 days and gas was very hard to come by around here. So keep it stocked up Bean. It is worth it at times of need.

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                      • #12
                        I wish I could get organized. I cleaned out the fridge yesterday, and threw out 2 cartons sour cream, flour tortillas, corn tortillas, 2 cartons of yogurt, 1 pack of margarine, 2 bags of shredded cheese, all because they were out of date! I hate to waste food like that, but my fridge gets so cluttered, I have no idea what's lurking in there!

                        It sure looks nice today, though.....nice and empty!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Damar12
                          If your like us Bean, it is called survival after the major hurricane knocks your power out for a couple weeks. The supplies are not readily available. After Katrina, we kept the generator going for, I think 8 or 10 days. we never needed ice or food from outside parties. We were able to get by on what we had in pantry and freezer with plenty to spare. I would rather have more than not enough during hard times. We didn't even have to go look for gas for about 8 days and gas was very hard to come by around here. So keep it stocked up Bean. It is worth it at times of need.

                          We've done the hurricanes (evacuated with Erin first time in FL, then sat through Isabel in VA). We lost power, but made it through ok.
                          Since moving back (FL), we bought a generator and the gas (lots & lots of gas).

                          As for the food, it must be a family thing, my Dad was like that and my sister and one of my brothers are like that. Food hoarders! LOL

                          Nothing wrong with being prepared.

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                          • #14
                            Cottun:- Sure wished I lived close to you, that is my favourite job in the whole world, organizing cupboards and pantries - if could pick my dream job that would be it. LOL I have three people that I do this for periodically, I do it for love - not for money. My cupboards and pantries are so organized. all spices in matching jars and alphabetical order for instance. Now if I was only that organized in all areas of my life.

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                            • #15
                              North, I wish you lived near me, I'd keep ya' busy.
                              Last edited by luv2bake; 06-09-2006, 06:31 PM.

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