Reducing food waste & saving money with a food inventory list.
A favorite saying from the long-gone days of my youth was, “Knowing is half the battle” (Thanks Joe…) and this is just as true in the kitchen as it is on the battlefield.
I’m often surprised at the great lengths folks will go to to clip coupons, drive from store to store to shop loss leaders, face rude crowds and disinterested employees at bulk stores…all to save a couple of bucks on groceries that end up getting pushed to the back of the fridge and rotting there.
And, yes…I was a major player in the “40% of food in America goes to waste” scandal myself…until I decided to get organized and know what I needed to know to be a smarter consumer and a better citizen of the planet. (I love that phrase, btw, it makes me feel like Captain America…)
The second best ways you can save money…and protect your food investment is to KNOW what’s in your fridge and pantry, what you’re out of, and what you’re actually using between shopping trips.
Here’s a little something to help…
Print this excel spreadsheet, keep it on the door of the fridge, and make a habit to updating it when you take something out, or put something in. It’s just that easy!
Also, if you have a big family, or go through a lot of a certain items, jot down the number of the item you want to keep on hand if possible, next to the product name. Example: Tuna (6) This will help you remember that your total inventory of canned tuna should be six cans, and so you can adjust your shopping list accordingly.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
Now this is a very basic list, based on what happens to be in my fridge and pantry (minus a couple of items you just don’t need to know about), so feel free to tweak and customize as needed to fit your family.
Oh, and if you don’t have Excel, here’s a PDF version. It’s not as easily customized, but it’ll work!
Here’s to saving money and reducing waste…you domestic superhero, you!
PS – In case you’re wondering what the “first best way” you can save money, and protect your food investment is…well, that easy…
Stick to a weekly meal plan and itemized grocery shopping list so you always know what you need, what you’ve got, and what you’re shopping for! In fact, you can sign up for ours right here, right now, and it’s FREE!
See what I did there?