Keeping Track Of What’s In Your Pantry – Frugal Tip

I was cleaning out my pantry the other day, getting rid of a few expired items and rearranging everything in there. I had no idea I still had some of the dry and canned goods that had gotten pushed to the very back of the shelves. I needed a better system. I went back to what I’m doing with my freezer. I started keeping track of what’s in my pantry … with a simple check list that now lives on a clip board on the inside door of my pantry.

Taking Inventory

I started out with a notepad and jotted down everything that was in my pantry right now. If you’re so inclined, include expiration dates for each item as well. I was in a bit of a hurry and didn’t… I did however mark each item on the list that I know had been in there for quite a while and needed to be used up (nothing left in the pantry was expired). I’ll be planning some meals this coming week around things that need to be used up first.

Keeping Track of What You Use Most

Next I quickly jotted down some of the things that I know we use all the time. Those include rice, beans and canned tomatoes. From there it was time to work on a checklist.

Dry Goods In The Pantry

Making A Checklist

I made my checklist on the computer and printed it out when I was done, but you could also write it out by hand. The top of my checklist has a section for most used items, the rest the checklist lists everything I keep in my pantry and spice cabinet based on these categories:

  • Spices
  • Flour and Baking Items
  • Dry Beans
  • Cereal
  • Pasta and Rice
  • Breads
  • Crackers and Snacks
  • Canned Goods
  • Premade Mixes
  • Vinegar and Oil
  • Miscellaneous

I stuck my printed list into a plastic page protector and am keeping a dry erase marker close by. As I’m putting things away after grocery shopping, I add check marks to the list. As we start to run out of an item, it gets erased off. When it’s time to make a meal plan or shopping list, I just glance at the check list to quickly see what we have and what needs to be replenished.

The Hillbilly Housewife Recommends:

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