Preparedness: Take an Inventory


Take an Inventory

Taking that first inventory was quite the eye-opener. I had a lot of things on hand, but it lacked cohesion. I needed to have ingredients to cook complete meals. 

What meals? We utilize a shared Google calendar to work out a menu based solely on the meals WE enjoy. That’s not to say I never look at the premade menus on different websites because I do. I just never take someone else’s menu as a whole. I pick and choose recipes we might like and try them out. If we like them, I add them to a rotation. 

It may be hard to believe I’ve enjoyed the process, but I have. Having a preplanned menu takes the pain out of that age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” 

Having all the ingredients in the pantry (and the freezer is part of the pantry) makes cooking a lot less stressful for me. I rarely have to make an extra stop at the grocery for one item. Having all the ingredients on hand also means I am not the only adult in the house cooking. And if you think I don’t enjoy having a meal set on the table for me that I didn’t have to cook isn’t enjoyable, you need to up your game with your family and start training them better so you can experience what I’m talking about! 

There is also the satisfaction factor of knowing your pantry is prepared. Don’t feel bad about feeling good. It’s okay to smile at your pantry shelves and pat yourself on the back. 

I’m a believer in keeping things simple. I started my very first inventory with a notepad and pen. I went shelf by shelf and wrote down what was there. This included what was in the freezer. Once that was done, I typed everything into a simple spreadsheet listing items “bean, black” or “bean, green” or “vegetable, corn.” Once that was finished, I added items I wished I had on hand and then I sorted the list alphabetically, which ended up being very enlightening. I really did have some big holes in my pantry. 

Identifying the holes in my pantry made it easier to fill them in a methodical order. I prioritized a list and spent a little extra every week at the grocery to get those missing items. 

Now my simple spreadsheet helps me stay on top of my grocery shopping. A second page in the spreadsheet keeps household items inventoried. 

It may seem like a lot of work, and getting it set up was time-consuming. But now it’s a time saver and we all need more of those. If you’re someone who loves to organize, this will quite satisfying. 

If you don’t want to make your own spreadsheet, there are numerous pantry planning documents available on the interwebs. Just do a search and find one that works for you. 

Next in the series: Preparedness is not Doomsday prepping

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The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, pantry prepping, preparedness, inventory, spreadsheets, menu planning, home food preservation

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