One thing that was important during 20th century home economics that remains consistent in 21st century home economics is kitchen management. Food and Water is the most important area of home economics because as human beings, if we don’t eat or drink, we die. So, in order to accurately observe my kitchen, I decided I needed to create a system to observe what goes in and out of the kitchen (and me) as far as food and water is concerned. Making an inventory system for your kitchen allows for long term observation of your food and water.
To do this, I started by letting my food run down pretty low, right before shopping so that starting my inventory would be easy and after shopping I could add new items and would also have pricing easily accessible. I’m basing my kitchen inventory system on my experience running restaurants. With my food at home running low and tomorrow being shopping day, it’s time to build my food/water inventory. I’m using a combination of google sheets and traditional pencil and paper to handle my kitchen inventory.
For me, I went through my kitchen and wrote everything down by hand. I included the item, the quantity of that item I have on hand, and I added a tentative par. The par for each item in your kitchen is how many you should have on hand at minimum. For example, if you want to have an operating pantry with a constant 3 month supply of food, and you go shopping once a month, your par would be however much of each item you need for 4 months. The 3 months supply you need and the 1 month to get you through the shopping months.
The columns I created for my spreadsheet that I’ll be recording all of this information on are as follows:
– Unit of measurement (bag, can, pound, case, etc.)
– Quantity on Hand
– Shelf Life
– Price per Unit
With this basic inventory spreadsheet, I can print it out weekly and do my inventory which will allow me to observe my food consumption on a weekly basis. Using these observations, I will create a hypothesis on how I can start to create a more efficient food economy for my home. Possibly even one where I’m able to produce more of some items than I consume, allowing me to resell or trade them. This is the start of my food inventory observations, so I’ll be posting my hypothesis before too long.