Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Taking Food Storage Inventory

Next, you will need to take your first inventory. This is something new to many people, but imagine you are the manager of your own home grocery store. You want to know what is selling (what is being eaten by your family), and what isn't. Right? First you have to take an initial inventory count to know what you have. This process may take you several days. Don't feel rushed. Here is how you do it.

1. Print out about 28 Inventory Sheets (on page 5)from Utah State University Extension. If you flip a page over and put it back in your printer, you can have an inventory sheet on both sides of the paper. Just make sure they are facing the right direction so they can be turned easily in your binder.
2. After you print your Inventory Sheets, hole punch them for your binder.
3. Here is a list of suggested inventory pages. Of course if you don't have a baby or a pet, don't list that category.
  • Baby
  • Baking
  • Beverages/Water
  • Cleaning/Laundry
  • Condiments
  • Dairy
  • Emergency Auto Kit
  • Emergency Supplies
  • 72-Hour Kit
  • Equipment
  • Fats/Oils
  • First Aid
  • Frozen Meats
  • Frozen Other
  • Fruit
  • Fuel/Light
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Meat Canned
  • Medicine
  • Paper/Plastic
  • Pet
  • Snacks
  • Soups/Meals
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Toiletries
  • Vegetables
4. Write your inventory page categories in pencil on the page, and then alphabetize the inventory sheets for quick reference.
5. Start listing items you want to have in your food storage. List item description and size for each item. You may want to look at my 3-Month Food Storage Calculator (see my sidebar) for some ideas.
6. Write the GOAL of how much you want to store of each item. I suggest you list a 3-month goal for your family to start with.
7. Go around your house to find any items you listed. Count how many of an item you have, and write it down. Perhaps you want to change something. That's why I suggested you use a pencil so you can erase. It doesn't matter if items are alphabetized on the sheet.
8. Write the date you are taking the inventory in the space on your inventory sheet.
9. Each week after you go grocery shopping, add the items you purchased for food storage on your Inventory sheet. After you reach your 3-month goals, list 6–month goals, and so forth. This is your choice. Some of you may only have space or finances for a 3-month supply. Try to get your 3-month food storage supply completed BEFORE you go on to another goal.
10. Take a formal inventory count every 3 months to see what items you are low on. Meaning what your family has used. If you are using items quickly, take an inventory count sooner.


  1. I love this idea! But I can't seem to find the inventory pages pages to print out. Where can I find that? It said page 5 of Utah University...but I couldn't find that...

  2. Thanks for the link, that's going to take up a lot of my time..

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  3. For most people just getting enough to eat can be a struggle. But for those living beyond the margin, the selection of what one ought to eat or to avoid to recover or to preserve health is profoundly revealing of cultural attitudes and of the relationship of the body to what enters it.

  4. The Food Storage is some thing that needs a big space and Taking about Inventory of the food is some thing which is a need for cooking, and I think this is good to get know about such.

  5. It’s good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource but right now I am very impressed with your site I come here from Google. Thank you.

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  6. Taking Inventory is some thing that peoples does for there own good and I think this is really nice to have such for reading and makes the most of the things.

  7. This is very organized. Thank you for the steps. This would be good to bring up in class.

  8. I think you need to including food rotating in your posts. If you keep rotating the food you would always keep the supplies and nothing would get out of date.

  9. Thanks for the idea of taking inventory every three months. I like that so much better than trying to do it after each meal. :)

  10. Great Information and very timely!
    As an LDS Mom, we've learned to store what we eat and eat what we store. This method allows to complete rotation from front to back. Eat from the front and stock in the back. I also use a black marker and put the purchase date on every item so it is easily seen. We've had great success! Happy storing and rotating!

  11. I've found if you keep a running inventory, as in a spreadsheet format or paper grid, update it as you pull from or add to your storage it's simple. NEVER use your storage as you do your every day pantry. Food Storage is emergency prepardness. Rotate by taking from the front and adding from the back. Eat what you store and store what you eat. Thanks so much for sharing this much needed info! A concerned LDS Mom.

  12. I admire the way you express yourself through writing. Your post is such a refreshing one to read. This is such an interesting and informative article to share with others. Keep up the good work and more power. Thanks!

  13. It's amazing and yummy to see your blog. I appreciated you efforts very much. keep going.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!