Do you know what’s in your freezer? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got a rough idea but you might not know exactly what you’ve got. Keeping track of your freezer inventory is an excellent idea it will help with:
- Saving more money on your grocery shopping
- Meal preparation
- Freezer longevity
With a little work, you can take a freezer inventory and ensure that you reap all of these benefits. In this article I provide you with a downloadable PDF freezer inventory sheet you you can print off or an excel freezer inventory sheet you can download and use on your computer.
Free Printable Freezer Inventory Sheet
Below is a downloadable link for a free printable freezer inventory sheet that should help you keep very good track of your inventory.
Above is an example of what the PDF looks like. It is organized by:
- food category
- date frozen
Free Excel Freezer Inventory Sheet
Below is a free downloadable excel freezer inventory sheet. This sheet is good for people who do not want to write out your inventory manually or you have a ton of product. It is great for commercial businesses.
Steps to Taking Your Freezers Inventory
Step 1: Clear out Freezer
Your first step is probably the simplest, but it’s also the most important. You’ll want to start out by taking absolutely everything out of your freezer. Take out all of your food, ice trays, and any other items that you keep in the freezer.
This is an excellent time to throw out anything that’s obviously gone bad or that’s freezer burned. If you’re worried about certain items thawing, go ahead and put them in your refrigerator until the next step.
Step 2: Clean Freezer
The good news is that cleaning your freezer probably won’t take too much work. Cleaning is generally as easy as mixing up a solution of one part hot water to one part vinegar and placing the entire mixture in a spray bottle. Spray down the inside of your freezer and then wipe it down gently with a cloth. Doing so will help you to get rid of any mold or stains that are in the unit.
Step 3: Label Food with Type of Food and A # and Date
Your next step is to start looking at the food you’ve already got. Take everything out that you’re going to put back in your freezer and start labeling it. You’ll want to label it not only by the type of food that you’re storing (ice cream, meat, vegetables, etc). You’ll also need to go ahead and fill out your inventory sheet during this process.
Step 4: Organize your Freezer by Food Category
Your final step is to start organizing your freezer so that you can easily access your food when necessary. The goal here is to make sure that you always know what you have on-hand and that you’ll be able to access your food without forgetting about what you’ve got. Luckily, you have a number of options here.
Most people will choose to organize their food by a food-type category. You might put all of your meat on one shelf, all of your vegetable items on another, and any perishable items on a third. Others might choose to organize by the type of packaging – bags on one shelf and cartons on another. What’s important is that you choose a method of organization that makes sense to you and that you’ll continue using going forward.
How Keeping a Freezer Inventory Creates Cost Savings
While there are many reasons to take a freezer inventory, one of the main reasons has to do with how it saves you money. While knowing what’s in your freezer might not seem to be an obvious method of savings, it actually helps you to be far more conscious of what you have already bought. What you’re looking at creating is a method of keeping track of your grocery spending in an easy, visual manner.
If you’re like most people, you probably have more in your freezer than you think. Unfortunately, you have also likely lost track of some items due to time and how your freezer is set up. Rather than wasting money on food that’s going to get thrown out due to freezer burn or other problems, you can simply check your list to see if you already have what you need.
How Keeping a Freezer Inventory Helps with Healthier Living
One of the best ways to ensure that you stay healthy is by cooking your own food. Unfortunately, this gets tougher as you get busier. One of the best ways around that problem, though, is to prepare your meals ahead of time. This process becomes much easier if you’re able to prepare around the food that you already have.
Inventory sheets help here because you’re faced with your options every time you look at the sheet. Instead of going out to grab more food from the store or going out to eat, you can figure out what you can make from the food you already have. Not only will you be saving money, but you’ll be cutting yourself off from the chance to make worse food choices.
How Keeping a Freezer Inventory Helps with Freezer Longevity
Finally, keeping your freezer inventory stops you from keeping too much in your freezer at one time. It’s fairly common to go to the store and to come back with more than your freezer can actually hold – and at that point, your only choice is to fit food in as best you can. When you do that, though, you’re actually causing a problem for your freezer.
When you overfill your freezer, your risk blocking the air vents of the unit. This, in turn, causes the heat to rise and your compressor to work even harder to keep up with the problem. Though you do want to keep a reasonable amount of food in your freezer to help regulate the temperature, overfilling is a good way to cut down on the lifespan of the unit. As such, your freezer inventory sheet really can help your freezer to stay active for much longer.