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Managing our Food Storage: Inventory and Eating Charts

Like the merchant ships of Proverbs 31, I’ve gathered a lot of food for our family, both from our own garden, chicken coop, orchard, and from stores.   Now it’s time to focus on inventorying what’s left, planning what to eat when, and actually eating much of it.

The tricky thing about growing our own food is that we start filling the freezer in May (asparagus) and finish in January (pumpkins and squash).  By now, we should have eaten all of last year’s asparagus, but our tomato harvest is a few months away, so we’re in no rush to finish our frozen tomatoes and salsa yet.  We certainly don’t want to finish all the pumpkin and squash yet either.

However, it would be good to know what we have so I can plan how many times a week or month we’ll want to eat a certain food to finish it by this year’s harvest.  As we take inventory, we may even find some forgotten food lurking in the freezers or the pantry. 

I do know there are many, many plums (maybe we’ll make jam), and that we really shouldn’t buy much meat for a while. 

So here’s what I’m going to do this week to get control of our food storage:

  1. I will inventory our three freezers and our pantry
  2. Then counting back from our anticipated harvests, I’ll make an eating chart.  It will show us how often we need to eat each food to be finished before this year’s crop comes in.  We often make such a chart in the fall, but making one in the spring is the next step to managing our food stores well. The food chart concept is from The Tightwad Gazette, an indispensable guide for frugal families.   
  3. Finally I will make sure we have easy, nutritious, appealing ways to eat these foods.  I’ll tell the children about these recipes too, since they do a lot of the cooking.
  4. I may even try to see how much money we will save by eating mostly from our stockpile.

This winter’s Pantry Challenge with Jessica was such a success that now we’re joining Stephanie’s Pantry and Freezer Challenge.

–For more inspiration, see Workin’ It Mondays, No Ordinary Blog Hop, Encourage One Another Wednesday, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Works For Me Wednesday , Raising Homemakers, and Frugal Friday.


  1. Sarah says:

    I ought to do this. Our freezers are still filled with so many cooking apples from last year-not sure that there is any way we can get through them all.

  2. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like some good plans. I hope you get it all organized and working for you.

  3. JES says:

    Love my freezer! And freezer talk 🙂

    Great idea as I am having a space issue and a new batch of veggies coming in.

  4. Nicole says:

    Wow this is a great idea- it’s amazing what we can accumulate and waste if we don’t eat it. Also a great way to bless others with a lot of surplus. Thank you for linking up your post to Workin’ It Mondays 🙂

    ~Nicole, Working Kansas Homemaker

  5. Amy says:

    What a fantastic idea! I am in the process of cleaning out our refrigerators and freezers and pantry. This sounds like a wonderful plan to make the most of God’s abundant blessings on our family in the way of food. Thank you for sharing and for linking up with NOBH! Smiles –

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