Organizing & Taking Inventory of My Kitchen Cupboards

Yesterday I took the time to do my monthly food inventory since October 1st is Saturday (boy did September fly by). I choose to take a full inventory once a month because it's a good way to clean out the cupboards, reorganize, and see exactly what I have and need. To be completely honest, I haven't been the best at keeping my inventory up to date each week...it's always been more of a monthly thing. And in between taking inventory each month, the cupboards get messy. I don't really enjoy being in the kitchen. I'm trying to, but I'm not good at cooking...or baking...so I hate the kitchen. Plus, the food inside plagues me. lol

Here are the before and after pictures from the cleaning/organizing...

I forgot to take a before...oops!
Something new that I did this time around was use labels to write the expiration date of everything on. Now I can look in the cupboards and easily see when everything expires. I'm now keeping some labels and a marker in the kitchen so when groceries come in, I can immediately label the expiration date on everything. Genius!

Another new addition to my kitchen is a clipboard with my pantry and spice inventory sheets attached. With the inventory easily accessible (rather than in my home management binder where I'd never update it), I can easily cross things off when they get used. And when I am making my grocery list each week I can see what I need more of.

The inventory sheets are available in my Etsy store in the grocery & meal planning set.

I know, I spelled cider wrong on my sheet...oops! I wasn't going to reprint though.
I also keep a copy of my inventory in Google Docs so I can access it from my smartphone when I'm at the store. Since I have that capability, I may as well use it. No more buying a 3 pack of ketchup at Sam's Club when I really needed the 3 pack of tomato sauce...and then having 5 ketchup bottles sitting and expiring. (Yes, it's happened before. lol)

How do you keep track of your food inventory?


  1. Do you use an app to access google docs on your smart phone or do you just use the browser?

  2. @Ashley -

    I use an app from the Android Market called Docs (it's the official Google Docs app).

  3. This is a good idea--making it a recurring monthly task. I try to keep my inventory updated and my pantry organized as I go, but it's easy to neglect it between the tight timeframe I have to get dinner on the table when I get home and the fact that I am not the only one putting things away and finishing off food products. I have tried using Google Docs to keep track of it, but find I'm even less likely to update my inventory if I have to go to the computer to make the updates. (I've been thinking that it would be convenient to buy and keep an inexpensive netbook or tablet computer in the kitchen for just such things.) One way that was effective for me is when I tried out Plan to Eat. I entered my inventory into the pantry function and printed out copies that I could hang from the fridge. Then I could write in changes to the hard copy and make updates when online. Unfortunately, that was about the only thing I used the site for, so I couldn't justify spending $5 a month for a membership.

  4. Great idea! I had the exact same thing happen with ketchup myself...maybe I should give this a shot :)


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