What’s a freezer inventory? Why do it?

inventory copy

As we’ve discussed a time or two, I have a bit of a Type-A personality. I like to make a menu plan each week, and I like to make sure I’m using everything I have in the freezer.

There’s nothing worse than finding a gross, freezer-burned steak or roast that’s been buried in the depths for a year. What a waste!

That’s why I jot down a quick freezer inventory every few months. It only takes a couple of minutes, and it saves time in menu planning and saves money because I don’t waste food.

Here’s a shot of the most recent inventory–each square represents a package.


Seeing everything listed together helps me decide what to make–for example:

  • Cooked, shredded chicken + mandarin orange juice + sticky rice = quick homemade orange chicken (make sauce, pour over chicken)
  • Pork chops + bread crumbs + parmesan = parmesan breaded pork chops
  • Flour + shredded mozzarella + hamburger = the beginnings of homemade pizza
  • Mini chocolate chips + oats + flour = half the ingredients for homemade granola bars

I post the inventory on the freezer, and as I take something out I check off the box. When I really have my act together, I remember to add new things as I put them in the freezer. That doesn’t happen too often though.

Do you keep a freezer or pantry inventory? How do you keep track of everything? Share with us in the comments!

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  1. says

    I love this idea! Why have I never thought of this?! I dread digging through my freezer – so much is wasted! Can’t wait to jot down an inventory list tomorrow! :) Thanks for the inspiration…

  2. Jacque says

    Great idea. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve had to throw out freezer burned items just because I forgot they were there.

  3. says

    I like this idea too. I have a three-month “must use” principle so everything is bagged and dated when it goes in the freezer. I colour code the bags by the month – Jan (blue), Feb (red) March (green). I start the fourth month (April) with a yellow tagged bag, then begin May with the three colour series again – May (blue), June (red) July (green). That means by April there shouldn’t be any more blue tagged bags. Works and my freezer foods rotate so easily. Hope that makes sense.

    I use a similar concept for my boxed and canned goods in my cupboards except its a “Best Before Date” chart that runs for 5 years. At the beginning of every calendar year I drop off the previous year from the list (there shouldn’t be anything left in the cupboard with that colour code). The colour that’s dropped off That way I can see at a glance what to use first if I’ve bought canned or packaged goods on sale. I post the scale on my pantry door.

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