Use these FREE printable freezer inventory sheets to finally hone in on a good system for keeping track of your freezer food. No more wasted food, money, or stress when rummaging through your freezer avalanche. Download today!
Why You Need a Freezer Inventory Sheet
The thought of taking a full inventory of your home freezer might not seem like the most glamorous way to spend your afternoon, but once you learn the benefits of using and maintaining a freezer inventory sheet, I think you’ll be convinced it’s worth your time investment.
Here are just a few of the many reasons I keep a full inventory of my freezer as well as a fridge inventory and pantry/kitchen inventory.
- You’ll reduce food waste: By keeping track of what’s in your freezer, you can avoid forgetting about food and letting it go to waste. You’ll also be able to use up older items before they expire and rotate through your freezer efficiently which is excellent for keeping a low grocery budget.
- You’ll save money: When you keep track of the items in your freezer, you can plan meals around those items and avoid unnecessary spending at the grocery store and lower your grocery bill (even during these times of inflation). If you have a larger freezer such as a deep freezer, chest freezer or upright freezer, you’ll also be able to take advantage of sales or deals on items you know you’ll use and stock up on them while the price is low.
- Saves time: No more digging through your freezer to see what you have on hand. Simply consult your inventory sheet to see what you have inside of your freezer without ever needing to open it. This saves time when both meal planning and grocery shopping. I recommend keeping the inventory sheet stuck to the outside of the freezer with a magnet. I also keep a copy of it on my phone that I can quickly reference as needed at the grocery store.
- Prevents freezer burn: By keeping track of how long items have been in your freezer, you can avoid freezer burn and ensure that your food stays fresh and flavorful.
How to Use a Printable Freezer Inventory Spreadsheet
Before your next shopping trip, print out my free printable inventory sheets and take a full food inventory following these simple steps.
- Make a draft list: If it’s your first time doing this, I recommend getting out a sheet of basic lined paper and writing down everything in your freezer in no particular order. Indicate how many you have of each item by writing a tally mark or ‘x’ for every one of each item. If you’re almost out of something, indicate that with a star. This is an indication that you need to add it to your next grocery list. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom of your freezer. And don’t forget the freezer door!
- Throw out expired foods: It’s true that frozen foods technically do not expire, but if it’s well past it’s prime date, it’s not going to taste very good. Ask yourself if you’re really going to eat it and off not, let it go. Throw out anything that is expired or has significant freezer burn.
Organize and Inventory
- Organize this draft list into categories: Using a highlighter, begin to highlight like items using a color coding system. For example, highlight all frozen fruit in yellow, pre-made freezer meals in blue, ice cream and desserts in purple etc. By grouping the foods into categories, you can keep track of what you have in an easy to scan way. Instead of having to check the entire inventory list for a type of food, you can look for the category name and just browse that specific section.
- Print your freezer inventory sheets: Depending on how large your freezer stockpile is, you may want/need to print multiple freezer inventory lists. I’ve also included a few blank sheets that will allow you to create your own categories.
- Laminate: This step is optional, but I love laminating my inventory sheets because it is the easiest way to make them reusable, erase mistakes and keep them up to date. I use this really cheap laminator – it’s basic but it get’s the job done! Alternatively, you can stick the sheets in a page protector.
- Create your final list: I like to list the food item, size or weight of item (for example 16 oz bag of frozen peas), use-by date, and the quantity of items. If you have multiple of one item and they all “expire” at different times, list the nearest date.
How Often Should I Update My Freezer Inventory?
It’s a good idea to update your freezer inventory as regularly as possible. If you wait a whole month and have removed a ton of items without marking them on the sheet, well… it’s not very helpful to you any more. You’ll basically have to start back from step 1 and start over!
Here are some of the best times to update your freezer inventory:
- On a daily basis: When you use up an item from your freezer, make sure to remove it from your inventory by coloring in the appropriate square or squares. This will help you keep it up to date as much as possible.
- After grocery shopping: After you go grocery shopping and stock up your freezer, take the time to update your inventory. This will help you to keep track of what you’ve purchased and avoid buying duplicates.
- Once a month: Every month I like to take a scan of my inventory and re-organize it if needed. I will also scan the list for new best-by dates approaching and make sure to include those ingredient’s in the month’s meal plan.
- Be wary of how long you keep the freezer door open for. As you likely know, it’s generally recommended to keep your freezer door open for only a few minutes at this time. This isn’t the most practical when you’re trying to take an inventory and write things down. If you have a lot of food to write down, it can be helpful to create a voice memo of the items in 2-3 minute chunks, then close the freezer door and write the items down at the end while you listen to your message back.
- Use a wet erase marker. If you’re going the lamination route, I highly recommend picking up some wet erase markers. This will help prevent your freezer inventory sheets from accidentally getting erased.
- Freeze homemade meals. I started doing this a few years ago and it has been the best thing for me and my husband. It’s not only saved us time and money, but has significantly reduced the stress around the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question!
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