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.

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