It is super important to stay on top of the food you have, and if you know how to keep an up-to-date inventory of your freezer, it makes it so much easier to know what you have. No matter what size freezer you have, having a list on hand makes meal planning and reducing waste so much easier and more efficient.
I am the queen of always THINKING I know exactly what I have in my freezer, but then getting fun surprises to remind me of things I forgot. There was a time when I had 3 beef roasts… over 3 lbs each in the freezer at the same time. I only have 2 people to feed. 2 people. That includes me. Why do I collect so much beef? Because I forget what I have and over buy when things go on sale.
To learn how to keep an up-to-date inventory of your freezer and stay consistent, it is best to keep a list at all times. Here are my easy tips that you can turn into daily habits, so that you always have an accurate list:
Try this list that I use!
Download and print this list to help you get started. Every now and then you may need to start a fresh sheet.
- For the quantity section, I like to use hashmarks for each unit, instead of just writing a hard number. This way, whenever you take one item out or add more, you can just scribble out the hashmark instead of writing a new number.
Start with a fresh list
- I find it best to take everything out of your freezer when doing this. By taking everything out of your freezer, you can have a Marie Kondo moment, and see everything that you actually have. Getting everything out of the freezer also allows you to reorganize, and ensures that you will get a totally accurate list.
Use this list as a printed paper list, and keep it close to the freezer.
- Your list needs to be easy to get to, and close to the freezer, so that anyone taking food out can keep the list updated. I used to keep a digital list and I found myself constantly having to start from scratch and take everything out of my freezer again, because I wasn’t updating it, and when other people took food out, they weren’t able to update it either. A paper list nearby makes updating less complicated, and more convenient, so you can be more consistent.