It seems as though we just finished harvest and canning seasons. Most families who utilize home canning and pantry building are now able to set back and able to take a breather….for a little while anyways.
Soon the garden seed catalogs will be arriving in the mail. It will be time to start planning next spring’s garden. While doing so, it is also a good time to take stock of your pantry.
I have been realizing over the past few years just how much preplanning the home canning allows me to become more efficient. I found a printable Home Canning Inventory form on a blog called “My Pantry Shelf.” If you scroll down the page you will find both a .docx file or a PDF option of the inventory sheet. She also gives great ideas on things to consider when planning what to home can.
Each family has favorite home canned foods. In our home, some of the favorites are Tomato Soup, Beef Stew, Meatballs, and a Vegetable Soup. When I have these items home canned, we always seem to go through them quickly. Taking time to record the canning inventory will aid me in better utilizing what I have stored. I will be able to gauge what adjustments I need to make in the amount canned next time. Did I can too little and run out too soon? Did I can up too much and have a lot of jars left over at the end of a year?
I am working on customizing my household binder…again. A master sheet of the pantry inventory will be kept in the binder. On this, I am going to have the amounts of each item that I want to keep in the pantry will be listed on this form. I designed a set of forms that I am using for my binder. You can find the forms in my Organization folder on Google Drive.
I have the pantry inventory forms in both .doc and PDF formats. There is a Pantry Inventory sheet which has room for the items to be sorted by category, items, amount to store, and more. I based the general layout upon the Canning Inventory sheet. There is also a pantry sheet that can be made up as a master pantry list of the items only. In the column beside each item listed there is a space to tally the amounts used. When it is time to write up your grocery shopping list, you have a quick reference of what needs to be replenished. I would suggest either tucking the pages into sheet protectors or laminating the pages. This will allow you to use a Vis-a-Vis marker. You could use dry erase but they wipe off too easily. For my shopping list, I am going to be putting together a page for each item category. This will allow plenty of room to add new items over time.
When making up your list, don’t forget the non-food items such as canning jars & lids, paper supplies, First aid items, cleaning supplies (or ingredients to make your own), and emergency items such as batteries, matches, and lamp oil or lantern fuel.