I have been itching to better keep track of inventory our Food Pantry. I am noticing we are eating through my stock unawares because I have not kept good tabs of the rates of our usage and consumption. My solution thus far has always been, have tons of food and you'll be set...but as we eat through it...maintaining is just important as it's originally stocking. Oh sure, I restock stuff, but it hasn't been terribly thought out or recorded well. Since we have been doing this for some time, like in anything, it's easy to let some things slip. Recently, I have been itching to change that. I would like to have an idea of how long our supplies would last us if they weren't replenished at all. I can make guesses, because we came here from PA with a trailer full of staples and we are still eating out of a lot of them 2 years later. However, I didn't keep an accurate record of what I started with or replenished. So I really need a checkpoint to get things back and track again for better management. I also need to figure out a way to apply with all my chefs in the kitchen (at 4 of us who restock, refill, and cook!). But - lets take one step at a time , shall we. :-)
A few days ago, I posted about a free food storage calculator that I found online. I
scratched and pecked at that sheet of paper I printed to modify it for our usage and compared it to my list of major food storage. (Which was incomplete and not meticulously updated - so it was not entirely accurate.) Our root cellar is ALMOST complete and I am itching to start canning. The garden is planted, their are sheep in the field and chickens laying eggs. (We have a lot more to do...but we are moving along!) With all these things coming together - I am also realizing my tracking system is left WANTING! So I started the search again, for a solution to help me organize and manage the homestead...I think I found it!
Food Storage Planner offers a VERY thorough data base software program for the job. It is very comprehensive with a huge database of things to just "plug in". At the same time it is flexible and allows you to customize things exactly how you wish! I think they have thought of EVERYTHING! (Except for herbs - but I can make that a sub category in the medical section) You can input the time frame of your goal for storage and amount of people in your family,their ages and even their gender. It gives recommendations, but you can alter and adjust amounts, and sizes. It calculates the budget and estimated cost the items you are purchasing. You can input your actual prices too. When you go shopping you adjust your amounts and it automatically tell you how much is left on that item (or others) to reach your fully stocked goal. If I understood it correctly you can also type in a money budget and run reports on what you can get for that amount to help you stock it that way! It has 3 pantry plans to start with that are called survival, standard or luxury. It aids you through your purchase plan, it helps you log your usage so that you can maintain an accurate record of your usage. It is offline - you don't need Internet access to run it. It allows you to print reports, which I plan to compile in a notebook for my powerless version. I will likely input the updates on a monthly basis at bill pay time. It is not only a very detailed inventory of all groceries, but it also includes first aid, garden seeds, household supplies, fuel and light, 72 hour kit, storage containers, baby supplies, clothing, cash, food preservation supplies, toiletries and survival supplies too! I got so excited! The thought that I could input my information and run reports on what I actually have in stock now and it would calculate where I am lacking was just dreamy! It will take some work to input it and diligence to maintain it to keep it accurate as we USE things, but I really think it will be worth the effort!
Food Storage Planner also gives you a FREE three day trial download to fiddle with it see if it something you would like to use! The cost of the program is just under $40. I am not selling this or affiliated with them (yet!). But I do plan to use this for our own family, and get really familiar with it. It is very likely something we will carry in our Homestead Country Store down the line, if it is as wonderful as it seems. In the mean time, I thought I would share the information with those of you who are doing similarly as we are NOW, storing food for the days ahead.
This post was shared at Preparedness Challenge
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Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!