My husband thinks I am nuts sometimes, but I do not like to waste food. I also really feel good when I am organized. Once I started using the COST Cooking method, I realized I had to understand my “inventory”. At the time I started using COST freezer inventory method my older two boys were 13 and 10 and my daughter was just born. My husband was working nights and I was one days. Mark, my oldest son was playing travel hockey. He was at the age when practices were not ending until after 9:30 at night. The rink was about a 20 minute drive each way.
Being the chauffeur and all my the evening parenting of a teen, pre-teen and infant, dinner was becoming a lot of fast food. COST Cooking to the rescue! I could heat up a precooked meal quicker then hitting the drive through. (We eventually bought a house 5 minutes from the rink to make some things easier. They say hockey is not a sport but a lifestyle. But that is another story.)
What You Need
I would do a lot of COST Cooking on the weekends. My husband invested in a large stand up freezer (still have it today and it is always full). As the freezer started to fill, I started to forget everything that was in it. At first I just started jotting things down on a pad of paper in that random pen drawer. Inevitably that piece of paper was used as scrap paper for math homework and tossed. So I started getting more formal in both the list and storage. We bought a Foodsaver,another great investment as I still have to this day, and I started to put my COST freezer inventory in Excel.
I organize my freezer by shelf. Fish and bread on the top shelf. Pork on the next shelf. Then chicken, then sides and desserts. In the baskets on the bottom I have beef and other misc items. Dairy items go on the door. So I started organizing my COST freezer inventory similarly.
The key to a list like this is if someone takes something out of the freezer it needs to be marked on the list. As our freezer is in the garage I can not put the list on the freezer door. Therefore my list is in our laundry room right inside the garage door. Maybe one day a freezer will be developed that has the UPC scanner in the door so I can scan items in and out. Wishful thinking. . .
I use the COST freezer inventory to then plan meals, and it actually reduces my grocery bill. We look at what we have and I can piece together meals or pull out premade and just add fresh vegetables or fruits. The COST Freezer Inventory helps me stay organized, plan meals quickly and easily and saves me money on groceries. Below is an example of my list.