What’s in your pantry?
Rice, beans, canned goods, muesli, a jar of mixed nuts, a pasta sauce for sure. But not sure if it’s tomato and chili or bolognese and definitely not sure if it has been there since last year or since 2015.
Even if you haven’t stocked for a long period, there is a good chance that your fridge and cupboards are well utilized.
Truthfully, no one can keep track of everything.
Keeping tabs on everything that is in our cupboards, fridge, and freezer is surely something we all wish to do. It is there because we’ve bought it with a good intention to use it. But when we don’t use it in time, it ends up wasted ?
We remember it when it is too late. That is unless we keep complete groceries and pantry inventory to keep track of our household consumables. By inventory, we mean a list of all perishable items, plus their expiry dates.
Sounds great to have one, doesn’t it? But keeping on top of it challenges even the most organized of us!
To buy or not to buy?
When you don’t have a fridge and pantry inventory, you buy either too much or not enough. Both of these result in throwing food away.
When you forget to buy something, you would not be able to cook exactly what you had planned. Until you go to the store again, it’s very likely that some of the other ingredients for the recipe will go bad or best case scenario – get buried in the back of the fridge or pantry until completely forgotten.
The same applies to overbuying. That extra bottle of soy sauce or bag of frozen berries – yes, they do have a long shelf life. But is it long enough until you decide to go for home-made sushi or blueberry pie again?
How other people do it?
If we are to pick a role model for keeping track of groceries, these would be restaurant professionals. First, their job depends on it and second, when it’s business, you want to be efficient. At home, we are much more relaxed. We can make last-minute changes to our cooking plans if we are missing an ingredient.
Or just order in. Plus a pack of pasta short or extra doesn’t kill anybody. For restaurant professionals, improvisation is no option and they rely on custom-made systems to keep their inventory. These are expensive and complex desktop solutions that are not suitable for family use.
Very true, sir!
Some decades ago there was an upper-class solution for keeping track of all items at home – the butler, the male chief of the household staff. His full-time job was to manage everything in the house, especially the “pantry” room. Nowadays, households rarely can afford their own Jeeves’, so we have to find another way of knowing what’s in the fridge and what’s not.
Memorizing all the brands, quantities and expiry dates? We don’t think so. Constantly adding and crossing out items on a sheet of paper or board – doable, but inefficient.
What to do then?
Well, technology can make our lives a lot easier in many ways and making a digital list of everything that’s inside your fridge and pantry is one of them. There are plenty of general-purpose list apps out there. Some of them are excellent at putting stuff in a list and if you are using one already, that’s great!
But we do not recommend any of them if you are serious about doing groceries and pantry inventory. What you need is a tool that is tailored to this type of lists. It will assist in every step – from creation with food-specific properties to single swipe updates, impossible with a basic app.
We designed CozZo app so that it meets all household needs in one – we paired your expiry-tracking inventories of groceries, household and personal essentials with all-purpose shopping lists and revolutionary AI-powered cooking planner. Now you can manage your digital kitchen with a few taps on your iPhone/iPad (Android app TBA).
CozZo works in real-time to update everyone in your household what is stocked at home, what can be cooked with available ingredients, and reminds you when something is about to expire. Why does this matter?
Because by keeping a well-organized inventory and a daily updated shopping list you will be able to reduce your food waste to a minimum.
Once you have the inventory, it’s Easy
We have put together a “kick-off” pictorial wizard of essential items to help with filling up your “Home Inventory” list on first use. Or if you are an “accountant” type of person – go through your fridge and pantry with an iPhone in hand and enter all the items.
We won’t pretend that you’ll have the time of your life, but we do believe the long-term results are worth the effort. It is always a good time to execute your plan (we hope you have one) for a more organized and sustainable lifestyle. With a bit of preparation, you can tick off “Shop smarter” and “throw away less food” now.
Do you still think making an inventory is too much work?
OK, here’s the next best thing to a magic wand – make your groceries and pantry inventory on the go. Once you start using CozZo app for your daily shopping, all items that you cross off from the shopping list as “Bought” will automatically go into your “At Home” list. Thus your essentials inventory will fill itself over time and in about a month you will have your complete groceries and pantry inventory.
And for any future ‘big shops’ you do you will be able to use our handy Receipt Scanner – it allows you to take photos of receipts each time you shop (as can the rest of the family using the app), then once you have sufficient items to add you can automatically upload them into your inventory – genius!
Tidy kitchen = Tidy mind
For a fresh start, we suggest you make a thorough inspection of your kitchen. It will take some time, but here’s the good news – when you go through your cupboards you will surely free up some shelf space. You’ll throw away stuff that has expired, that’s too sticky, too dry, too suspicious. You will discover some exotic spices and get inspired to finally challenge yourself with that Moroccan recipe you saw on Jamie Oliver’s Instagram.
Making a list of all those jars, bottles, packs, boxes and bags may not make you a better person, but it will make you a more confident chef. Once you do your inventory and start updating it, you will get a clearer idea of what you have and what you need for a delicious home-made dinner. Since we mentioned Jamie Oliver, here’s his complete pantry essentials shopping list.
Take your housekeeping to the next level, make your own inventory, compare it with his and go shopping for what you are missing. We can guarantee that after this initial step, using CozZo will become intuitive and turn into a daily routine.
You will never ever have three types of marmalade but no flour for your Sunday morning pancakes. And those spices in Michael McIntyre‘s story would not feel as useless as they have been for the last seven years 😉