This is a discussion on Inventory within the Prepper Tools forums, part of the Survivalist, Prepper, Bushcrafter, Forest Rangers category; I think this is the right sub section to post this. I have a question about inventory. I haven't been very good about it over ...
I think this is the right sub section to post this.
I have a question about inventory. I haven't been very good about it over the last couple of years, relying more on remembering in my head what preps I have bought and what I need to work on. After the first of the year I made myself go through everything I have and write it all down, count it etc.
Left me with two thoughts- Number 1, I still have a ways to go. Doing the inventory really called out holes that I didn't realize I had in my preps.
Number 2, there has to be a better way to keep track of things then writing them down in a notebook which is my current tactic.
I guess I am looking for ideas on inventory control or tools used to keep track of inventory. How you guys keep track of everything? Do you write it down in a book? Use a spreadsheet? I really want to stay on top of things better than I have in the past.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin
Great question. Here's what we do to help inventory control. We are not perfect but it works pretty good on most items.
Have a Designated Area for Certain Items;
For example FOOD--Short Term Food goes in the cabinets and pantry. Medium Term Food is in the Basement Left Hand Side of Stairs on Shelves. Long Term Food is in the Basement on Right Hand Side of Stairs in Shelves. New purchases go either in the Medium Term Location or Long Term Loactionand rotated up to the pantry when necessary. Totes and 5 Gal Buckets are labeled with Best Used By Dates. Rotate regularly. We haven't had a need to write things down in many years due to habit AND more importantly we throw away very little bad food due to mistakes.
Medical--Medical items are stored in two locations. Items with EXP DATES are in a cabinet specifically for MEDS and Long Term Items that you can keep forever are in some 5 gallon buckets near Long Term Food Storage. Short Term Med Cabt is reviewed maybe every other month or so. Items that we use regularly are replenished regularly.
Fuel Cans; Get filled and put in the barn, when one runs out the empty can is put in the garage. Whether its LP Gas, Diesel or Gasoline, me and Mrs S know that if we have 3 or 4 empty cans in the garage, one of us takes them to get refilled.
Defense/Shelter/Transportation items-- you get the gist of the process so no reason to go on and on. Just know what it takes to run your house without going into debt and without having too much of one thing...(Creamy Peanut Butter! Damnit, Mrs S eats creamy, I eat crunchy and she rarely eats creamy and I eat a lot of crunch so we are always out of crunchy and have too much creamy peanut butter! )
It helps to have a "Mrs Slippy" who is a Habitual Purchaser of certain items that we use regularly. She knows if she is in a Sporting Goods store to buy a box of .45ACP or 9mm or .357 REM MAG etc regularly, just like she knows to buy a box of Ibuprofen or a case of Canned Spinach, or a roll or 2 of duct tape...you know things that you don't want to run out of and don't mind having an extra one around. I try to keep her in check when she gets out of whack with certain items.
Also, we don't give birthday or Christmas gifts "per se" much anymore, but we take the time semi anually to sit down and talk about things we NEED for our little homestead. I'm constantly losing Tape Measures or the cheap ones break so its nice to get a few 25' tape measures in my stocking. Or a pair of silk boxers because it just makes a guy feel pretty!
Last edited by Slippy; 01-13-2020 at 01:11 PM.
I use an Excel spreadsheet to track our inventory of ammo. Everything else is in my head right now. I just haven't gotten around to getting it on the computer. If you do use a spreadsheet, don't forget to print it out regularly (a) so your significant other can look at it on paper and (2) so that you have a copy if the computers get fried.
Then start over and do it again...
This is how our 50 person group retreat does it.
We have designated storage places in the barn. There is a place for each of our Focus Groups, or area of concerns: Health, Morale, Nourishment, Planning, Physical and Security.
We rely on spreadsheets for each area.
If we pack food stocks in large containers we label the contents on the container.
We learned the hard way to record purchase dates of stored fuel.
All food contributed by others is recorded on a spreadsheet for them so If they leave they can get their food.
Last edited by jimcosta; 01-13-2020 at 01:56 PM.
Our Survival Group Website: Hidden Content
We use boxes or plastic bins for most of the "deep storage" goods/supplies. I try to group the contents in general categories, personal hygiene, medical, communications, etc. Each box gets a designation, the first a character for it's location (A for attic, B for basement) and a unique number. A handwritten listing of the contents of each box/bin gets placed on a clipboard and a second photocopy of it placed in the box itself. Works well enough for us.
This is a big thing with us, especially for food. We are math geeks so we do use spreadsheets for some things. And before I go any further, if you go this route, do NOT upload 'em to the cloud! Do a monthly backup onto an external hard drive or to another devise. And what Paulag said-- print 'em out on a regular basis.I guess I am looking for ideas on inventory control or tools used to keep track of inventory.
In particular, John has a spreadsheet for the meat in his deep freezer, I have some for what's in my freezer, etc.
We do a weekly menu. Except for veggie night it's based on the what's "coming up next" on the meat spreadsheet. The columns are item (whole chicken), size/pounds, date (sell-by). Each individual package of meat gets its own row.
From that is generated a shopping list. The first thing we do is shop the pantry (& storeroom) and the item gets a "replace" next to it on the list. (I do NOT have a spreadsheet for the pantry. More below.) At the store, John does the meat shopping and looks for bargains. As soon as stuff is put away, he updates his spreadsheet and puts stuff in the freezer. He even has a system for how his freezer is organized, oldest to newest.
His spreadsheet for meat, poultry, etc. also includes leftovers we may freeze, sausage we make, and stuff like that. Everything is categorized. As he's making the menu, he removes what we'll use that week from the spread sheet.
My strategy in the pantry and storeroom is different. I use an idea I picked up in retailing back in the olden days. Set Point (or "in the hole"). (This is what I do for ammo, too.) How much X do I need to have on-hand to last me short term (whatever that means to you)? That's what goes into the pantry.
So everything takes up some space. Sometimes we wind up making something unexpectedly (or John will decide to have beans for breakfast) in which case it may not be added to the grocery list. BUT a simple visual inspection shows me where the holes are. It's also a great system for FIFO-- first in, first out. Everything is arranged by date and it makes rotating easy.
We put all of the canned goods we're using this week on a couple of shelves in the front of the pantry.
I did start out with a spreadsheet for the pantry but for me this way works out better. I can also adapt it to changing circumstances.
Storeroom has longer term preps but I do it the same way.
Ammo I do like the pantry, except I have a spreadsheet which not only has on-hand, but the set points which we keep moving up.
My freezer has mostly stuff from the garden. So when we put up tomato sauce, those quantities go in. That also serves as a resource when garden planning.
For the stuff on the spreadsheets, once or twice a year we'll do a physical inventory and then reconcile. We usually do my freezer (veggies) before I start spring planting and when it's nearly empty.