I started doing this years ago when I started canning. What is a food inventory list?? Well as the name suggests its a running tally of what you have on hand in your house as far as food, but also goes beyond that. It also counts your non food items and water.
Getting started is super easy. They way I start is what do you eat all the time?? Are you big rice fans? Do you eat potatoes like they are going out of style? I always start my list with what we eat the most of as far as vegetables and non perishable items. Way back it started as my canning list and now has expanded. Didnt know I kept a list did ya?! Right now all my friends reading this are like..well no but I could see you doing that. I do mine on the computer first and then print it out. This way I can add things if I want to but I have a print out list in case something happens and I cant access my template.
So here is my old canning chart. It’s as easy as starting like this. Back then I only did an inventory every year before winter then I started doing it twice a year. By doing it twice a year you can see how much your family is eating. If you ran out in December you need to stock more. Its a yearly learning curve really.
|Canning Guide||2009||2010||Total as of 10/2/10||left over||Dehydrated|
|Greens||10 pt||12 Jj||12 jelly 3 pints||Mushrooms||1 qt|
|Carrots||9 Pt||17 Pt||17 pints||Onions||part of qt|
|Peas||8 Pt||3 Pints||Blackberries||1 jelly|
|Green Beans||23 Qt||25 qt & 1 pt||25 qts 1 pt||Corn||4qt+2qt to teri|
|Corn||12 qt & 8 pt||12 qt 8 pt||Zucchini||3 qt|
|Turnips||2 Qt & 4 P||0||2 qt 4 pt||Pumpkin||8 pumkins=1 qt|
|Tomatoes||?||11 pt||9 qts 21 pints 23pt given to dad,3qt 3pt to teri||Cucumbers||2 qt|
|Pears||6 pt||0||18 pts||Green Beans||1 qt|
|Cabbage in tomato soup||0||8 qt||8 qt||Green Peppers||start 1 qt|
|Tomato Juice||3 qt||3 qts||Tomatoes||1 qt+ applesauce jar|
|Other Stuff||Other Stuff|
|Pickles- Sweet||4 Qt||5 qt||7 qts||Instant potatoes|
|-Dill||9 Qt||2 pj& 2 hg||2 big jars 6 qt spears 4 qt slices 2 jars slices||oatmeal|
|-Bread and Butter||6 Qt||4 qts 1 pt||7 qts 1 pt||Wheat flour|
|Relish-Sweet||6 Jj||0||1 jelly||Bread mixed flour|
|Relish- Zucchini||12 jj||12 jelly||Jiffy corn mix|
|Grape Juice||3 Qt||0||0||long cook rice|
|Spagetti Sauce||8 qt||9 qt||32 qts 1 pt- 1qt given to dad||white/wheat minute rice|
|Blackberry Jelly||6 Pt & 1 Jj||21 pt||21 pts|
|Strawberry Jelly||2 Pt||4 pt||0 had to throw out bad- water bath all jelly||Acorn squash||10|
|Rhubarb||0||4 jj||4 jelly|
|Rhubarb w/ Strawberry jello||0||3 pt||3 pts|
|Rhubarb w/ Raspberry jello||0||4 pt||4 pts|
|Rhubarb Strawberry jam(real)||0||6 Jj||6 jelly|
|Mock Pinapple||6 Pt||0||gave to neighbors 0|
|Broth- Chicken||5 Qt||6 qt||6 qts|
|Chicken||12 pt||12 qt||12 qt 1 pt|
|Deer Broth||?||0||2 qts|
|Deer||?||0||2 qts 5 pts|
|Turkey Broth||?||0||2 qts|
|pt=pint qt=quart jj=jelly jar|
|pj= pickle jar hg= half gallon jar|
As you can see it was basic but I made notes as I went..like the strawberry jelly. It all went bad so I needed to hot water bath all jelly for 20 minutes. The last two columns really dont go with the left hand side. Its just hard to put excel on here.
When you can items they can last at least 5 years. I dont go beyond that and every spring/summer when I do my first canning batc,h I pull out everything that is 5 years and bring it upstairs to the main kitchen, then put the old to ones side so I”m not constantly digging in the back to put the newest jars.
What I do now is split everything into catagories. Food: Dehydrated, Canned, Staples. Water: , Non perishable: Toilet paper, paper towel. toothbrushes, shampoos, etc.
Food I also break down into further categories for example if I have Dehydrated Beans..I have green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans..and amount for each of those. As far as animals go, most are either in the freezer or are grassfed. I always make sure I have hay, but if I run out which is what happened this last winter plus our move…I have the option of turning my animals outside on longer grass to fend for themselves if need be because they arent used to only eating commercial feeds. I supplement with alfalfa pellets or grain mixes(only when I have to). Chickens free range all winter also. I do try to keep 200 lbs of feed on hand. I mix my own so usually my chicken feed can also feed my rabbits or my calf if I need it to. Plus well us I guess lol. I have a wondermill hand grinder so I can make flour out of any grain ;) We now have a continual non electric water source in our barn which is nice. I save water year round in rain barrels. We also have a pond now on the property so my water storage is pretty non existent. I also keep bottles of water in the freezer during the summer months to take up freezer space so it doesnt work as hard and that doubles as water should the power go out for a time.
Some other things I have are two stoves: one electric and one gas stove. We are working on a non electric heat source for the new house this year but that has not stopped us from gathering wood this year. First aid kits for animals in the barn, first aid kits in the house and each vehicle for us. Guns with ammo. Live traps we use all winter. Deep cycle batteries that we can hook up to a power invertor to run something. We have a solar charger for those as well.
It’s not about having everything all at once. It’s about having a little of everything first, then building up what you use the most over a period of time. If you cant can food, go buy cans of stuff. If you dont hunt, go buy bulk of meat products and either put them in a deep freezer or have someone can them for you. You just find ways. You can also buy dehydrated meats and stuff, MRE’s but honestly..I”m only going to eat those if the SHTF. I focus on growing a renewable source of meat like rabbits that can be put outside if I have to and they multiply without much help ;) Chickens, turkeys all can be kept year round and will forage for food. Grassfed cows and sheep or goats. You start needing land for those animals though if you dont have feed.
Resources for help include Youtube, Online forums, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon…your local library!! People in “the know” survive such catastrophes as a power outage for more than 24 hours. They survive a week where you cant travel because of the blizzard of 78! Make it a point to gain knowledge of how to garden, how to save seeds, how to raise rabbits, chickens, turkeys at the very least. Study and look up Prepping, Preppers, Food Storage without refridgeration, Organic Gardening, Seed Saving, Long term water storage, Trapping, fishing, Raising grassfed animals, Rabbit tractors, chicken tractors, growing tilapia, Building your own solar oven, building your own solar water heater, building your own solar panels, Rocket stoves, and if you want to get really “crazy” you could look up alternative vehicle fuels, how to make your own ammo, security cameras, and the list goes on and on including underground bunkers but we wont go there.
It may seem overwhelming but the food inventory list and stocking that one simple thing, I promise, will stop you from going absolutely crazy if you cant make your weekly shopping trip or your husband gets laid off.
I am here if you need to or want to ask questions and as always…
Happy Homesteading!! :D