Continuing on my post from last week about Getting the food ready for back to school, I also like to use this time of year to create detailed lists of the food I currently have in my house.
If you have ever worked retail, then you know how painstaking it is to literally count or look at every single item in the store and, even worse, go through all overstock areas to find the extra items that may be hiding in ridiculous places!
It’s time to go through everywhere in your house and create that kind of list of ALL your food. Either pull out a pen and paper, use your phone, or use an inventory tracking app (some specific food or pantry apps can be great for tracking expiry dates – try the Best Before app or Chefling app – both available on the Google play store – fair warning – they are awesome, but it does take a lot more time to input all of the items!).
I have recently discovered a speech to text app on my phone, so I have been dictating my freezer list so as to limit the amount of time the freezer doors stay open – if you’re thinking of doing the same, just watch what your phone is hearing, sometimes it’s confusing to go back and figure out what your items are. I still have something in my list called ‘pocket’ that I have no idea what it was supposed to be. At least my ‘chocolate jibitz’ were easier to figure out!
Whichever way you want to give it a try, or whatever way works for you is totally fine. The idea is simply to be able to know all of the food that you currently have, figure out what food is close to expiry (to use up first), find the food that already is expired but is still something you can work with, and be able to toss the food that just too far expired.
It’s great to know what is in the freezer, but don’t forget about your pantry too.
The more detailed your list is, the better. It’s quick to just write down each thing, but having a list with expiry dates on it, or with a date of when it was added to the shelf or freezer is also helpful. It’s all about your upfront time – which, let’s face it, is almost always limited. But…the more time you do put in upfront, the easier it is to cycle through your food to ensure using everything before it does expire!
For me, taking inventory of my food means easier meal planning and not spending as much time shopping – both of which I truly appreciate at this time of year as September brings on new or different routines!
Have fun taking stock of all of your food!!