Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Devil is in the Details

Yeoldfurt and I are 'list people' in just about every aspect of our lives.  We have Grocery lists, To Do lists, and Wish lists so something as important as food storage, of course, had to have a list too.  Yeoldfurt set up our original inventory list on a spreadsheet almost two years ago.  He gave every item its own row with five columns.  The first column gives a detailed description of the item and units of measure (i.e., pinto beans / lbs or tea bags / total).  The second column is the amount of that item we estimate we would use in one year's time.  The third column is the quantity we have on-hand of that item, and the fourth column is the difference between the two.  The fourth column is the one we refer to most when we make our shopping list.  The last column is the date that item was updated.  He alphabetized the whole list by the first column.  Alphabetized by item has worked okay.  But since I'm usually the shopper and almost always the cook, I thought it would be more user-friendly for me if I categorized the items similar to the way a grocery store is set up and Yeoldfurt let me do my thing.  So I revamped his spreadsheet, putting each item into a  category ...similar to the way the aisles are categorized in a grocery store ...then alphabetized the items within that category.  I like this set up much better.

Since our food storage is in a separate building on our property and I'm usually making my grocery list late at night or in the pre-dawn hours, it's important to me that I can trust our inventory list.  So when we moved all of our food storage to the new location a few weeks ago, I did a complete count after everything was set up and now am totally confident that our inventory list is accurate.  It's a great feeling to really know what you have and what you still need to get more of. 

This weekend, we are going to make a run to Sam's and complete our inventory ...or try.  Hopefully we won't break the bank.  We are up to goal on more than half of the items on the list and not too far short on others.  So I'm hopeful.  Knowing a twelve month supply of food and all essentials are safely in storage would sure be a great way to start the new year. 

They say the devil is in the details, so if you have food stored, I urge you to keep it well organized and maintain an accurate, up to date inventory.  Once the crisis is upon you, it's too late to get organized.  You can try probably would try ...but you won't be clear-headed and you won't make decisions as well as you would if you weren't under stress.  Whether you're faced with a personal set back like the loss of an income or a much bigger crisis like regional interruptions of goods and services, the better you are organized and prepared, the better you will fare. 


  1. So very true and we too are "List People"

    On more than one occasion did our inventory list help me out and I always know what's running low, what needs to be used and rotated.

    We also date everything, as to when we bought it( right on the product) and I've been listing the price of the items ( again on the product), it's amazing to see how much groceries have inflated. I think most people notice increases but don't often realize just how much!

    Thanks and I pray other readers of your blog take heed and make an inventory list, before it's to late.

  2. Good idea to list the price on the product too, Kelle. Especially since the goal is to stock a year's supply. Could be useful not only for tracking inflation, but for identifying seasonal trends that would help us shop more efficiently next year. Baking necessities like flour and sugar seem to be on sale this time of year. I'm sure there are seasonally optimal times for buying other items as well.

    Hmmm... maybe I should buy an extra pack of Sharpie pens!

    : )

  3. You two have put me to shame. I better get on the ball with this because, although we keep talking about getting a year's worth of food storage going, we have yet to get serious about it.

  4. @Conservative Lady
    We have plenty of room for improvement, in a lot of areas ...both skills and accomplishments! We always seem to have more ideas and projects than time or money to get them done. Just another perpetual list!

    But if we could do it all in a day, what would we do tomorrow, right?

  5. Need to work on inventory more as we only have about 6 or 7 months of supplies at the moment. I love your blog and getting lots of ideas and motivation.