Food Clean-Out: Taking a Freezer Inventory

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Does this sound familiar? You’re looking for an ingredient for dinner that you KNOW you’ve purchased. After much searching, you can’t find it and give up and frustratingly have to pivot your meal plan. Or consider this scenario: you decide to buy a bunch of freezer-friendly foods, but over time your freezer just becomes full and disorganized and you have no idea what you even have anymore. If you can relate to either of these situations, my recommendation for you is to do a deep clean-out and take a detailed freezer inventory!

freezer inventory

What is a Freezer Inventory?

Ok, so a freezer inventory isn’t exactly rocket science. It is simply a way to keep track of what you have at any given time in your freezer. You can use a paper and pen, a notes app on your phone, or a whiteboard. My husband and I like having the visual of the whiteboard, and it makes it easy to add or erase a “tick” in the freezer inventory list.

Our kitchen fridge and freezer is pretty easy for me to keep track of, so we mainly use this method for our spare freezer chest in our back storage room. I know many people (ahem, me!) who have spare freezers that become black holes of lost food, and keeping a freezer inventory is a great way to prevent that from happening!

Ways A Freezer Inventory Can Help

Not convinced? Here’s just a few ways that keeping a freezer inventory can help you.

  • Having this ongoing list helps with meal planning. Before you make your meal list for the week, see what you already have on hand. Running high on frozen beef? Time to make spaghetti and meatballs or chili! Got some frozen berries stashed from last summer? Get to making some delicious smoothies!
  • Make it a goal to “eat what you have” by primarily making meals out the ingredients you already have in your pantry and/or freezer.
  • Keeping a current freezer inventory makes grocery shopping easier and is a simple way to keep you in your grocery budget.
  • Use up your frozen foods before they lose their freshness. Even frozen foods can expire or lose some of their taste and texture, so keeping a freezer inventory helps to ensure you use up those odds and ends.

freezer inventory

Take it a Step Further

If time and energy allow, doing a freezer inventory also provides a great opportunity to do a deep clean of your freezer. This is something that should be done at least once a year!

Do you keep a freezer inventory? Will you start? Tell us in the comments and share any other tips you have!

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