I am so excited to have the privilege to share the next several Take Back Your Finances Challenges with you! This is my neck of the woods and something I know well and something I have been working to refine and challenge myself to become better and better at each week – the grocery budget!
There are literally hundreds of ways to save on groceries. We have shared several on our site in terms of the actual shopping, but there is another aspect that is so crucial and important to the grocery budget and that is what you do with the food once you bring it home.
Again, just this part of the grocery budget contains hundreds of tips, ideas and money saving nuggets.
So for the next few weeks, we are going to share some of these with you and challenge you to implement them into your home, kitchen and budget!
This week’s task is actually very straight forward and very easy to do. It is simply taking inventory of the foods you have in your freezer and pantry. Then once you create this inventory, the ongoing task is to keep it updated. The BEST ways to do this are these following ideas:
- Write lightly in pencil and use the classic line marks to take quantity and erase or add as foods are coming and going.
- Laminate your sheets and tape them inside of your cupboards/pantry doors and use dry erase to keep track of the coming and the going. We use this method at our home. We have a home laminator that we were able to get for around $25 on Amazon. This has been a lifesaver for the past 4 years in running an organized home (and for more than just food inventory.:)).
- Use plastic sheet covers as a faux laminator option. It doesn’t work quite as well, but it works well enough to get the job done.
- Finally, if you didn’t want to tape it to the inside of your pantry or cupboard doors, you can also keep it on a clipboard or even in a home binder (especially for pencil/paper version or plastic sheet cover version).
We have shared a Home Binder with you that includes dozens of downloads and this is another great one to add! I love my home binder and could not function without it.
This step of taking inventory of your foods are going to be helpful and crucial for the upcoming future challenges. These next few kitchen tasks will build on each other so don’t miss this task. Even if you only have the small freezer above/next to your fridge, this is still something we recommend. And you will find that your life will be so much easier, more functional and more organized when we dive into the kitchen tasks a little more. We have two chest freezers and then the one with the fridge. Chest freezers are great, but food can easily be lost in the pile and forgotten, even with great organization inside. This is just a great step to make all freezers more functional.
In addition, the pantry inventory is just as useful, especially if you are having to double/triple stack foods and not see everything because it is hidden.
To make this task even easier for you, we have some free printable downloads that you can utilize.
The Freezer Inventory Printable includes these categories:
|<== Download your freezer download HERE.|
The Pantry Inventory Printable includes these categories:
|<== Download your pantry download HERE.|
One aspect is that these inventory sheets are going to be super helpful for the upcoming tasks, but they are also super practical in streamlining your shopping as well! You will have a straight shot to know what you have and what you need.
After you create your inventories this week, the challenge is not finished. There is an ongoing challenge to immediately change quantities or foods as you use them. You want to keep this up-to-date continuously. It takes mere seconds to make the changes as they happen!
Make sure you download your free inventory sheets and utilize them this week and we will see you next week with the next task!
Need to catch up? Come join us on this challenge from the very beginning by clicking on the 52-Week Take Back Your Finances Challenge and sign up to start receiving your automated challenge from the very beginning!
One final thing…we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!
Disclaimer: We are not licenses financial planners. We are only a couple that have been just a hair-breadth away from bankruptcy and found our way out of debt with a goal to now help others. Please make sure to consider any advice given on our site and in this challenge as tips we have used ourselves; they may not work for everyone. If you have questions please make sure to contact a licensed professional.
I just downloaded and printed a few of these I really need to take stock of what I have I had to wipe my computer and lost the download for the inventory sheet for planning your food for week I loved that and have recommended this to my friends thank you for all your help with the suggestions and the forms are the bomb.