Stock Checking Your Food Could Save You A Fortune
Why You Need To Stock Check Your Kitchen
It’s a five-week month, and whenever the calendar gives me a week off from some of my usual thrifty habits, I like to take the chance to Tackle One Big Spend or to Take Stock. This week I am doing the latter and running a stock check of my kitchen.
One of my 5 Principles Of Thrifty Living is to Quantify Your Assets – Exploit And Enjoy Them. Or to put that much more simply – know what you’ve got and make sure you are using it. Taking this approach with your food supplies saves you money immediately because cooking what’s already in costs nothing. It lowers food costs over time because you stop repeatedly buying – but not using up – the same products. As a bonus, knowing which items in your kitchen are about to pass their use-by dates saves you from wasting money on food you will put, uneaten, in the bin.
If I was a truly thrifty mama, I would know, all the time, what was in my fridge, freezer, and food cupboards. In reality, I don’t always just know which foods I need to buy and which I already have. Or which ones need used up this week. But that’s OK, because I can write lists. And keeping a list of what food we have in has saved me LOADS.
Now, I am not pretending that this is rocket science. I am not even pretending that everyone needs to do it. Personally, I am completely dependent on any devices (lists, calendars, Tartan Dad) that help me to rise above the chaos inside my head. If you, on the other hand, have Organisation in your very bones you probably don’t need this.
But if you have ever chucked out a box of slimy mushrooms, bought your fiftieth tin of chopped tomatoes inside a month, or rushed to the shops for an emergency dinner when your freezer was full to bursting, this is for you. And me.
How To Keep Tabs On Your Food Supplies
Starting A Food Supplies Inventory
This process couldn’t be much simpler.
- Take half an hour to go through all your food supplies and write them down. (While you have everything out of your cupboards/fridge/freezer, why not go nuts and give them a good clean for extra smugness?)
- Stick your list somewhere handy (freezer door, for example) and add to it whenever you add new supplies. I have separate lists for each place I store food but if all your food stores are right beside each other you could use just one list.
- Score things off as you use them so you always know at a glance how much of anything you have.
What To Keep Your Food Supplies Listed On
You can use apps to help you, but all you really need is a pen/pencil and some paper. In fact, a dry-wipe pen on the door of your fridge/freezer will do. If you want your kitchen to practical and pretty though, there are lots of attractive – and free – printables out there to help you keep on top of your food mountain. I am currently using cute-but-uncomplicated ones from DIY Home Sweet Home. Pop over to Pinterest for more pantry printables.