My New Favorite Game -- Pantry Inventory App

plllog

I started my Spring cleaning as the Summer solstice came on. Losing the rhythm of going to the grocery stores and interacting with the wares, added to the unsurety of actually receiving what one orders, and the cognitive difference between shopping and bringing it home and ordering it and just putting it away. I was losing track entirely! And my pantry was a mess! (No, that's not ants. No that's not critter poo. It's just about a tablespoon of poppy seeds that escaped the bag you tore!).


I thought I'd better make a list, but didn't like the over-simplicity of my recipe app's pantry section. I found an app just for pantries, with crowd sourced items and easy additions of the kind of weird stuff I have. It's tricky to find advanced functions, but dead easy to get started. It's called Pantry Check. Some of you probably have used it. It has photos, you can take and share your own photo, and even edit the photo, show how much you've used up, make notes per item, etc. I could wish it had a size field, but I think those aren't always specified, and easy enough to put in the notes, if the size isn't right there in the photo. It really could use some instructions, but keep pushing buttons and it's pretty self-explanatory.


I keep telling myself I'm going to take a day off and cook something (last night was sandwiches), but I think I'm just addicted to this game. The time it takes for the Cushy Cupboards liners to dry is well more than long enough to find dates on items and write them big in purple, as well as the contents on the tops, so I can see what things are from above. I've done the whole grains shelves, and all the bottles and cans, and now have to get into the pasta and rice, and baking supplies. Oy! Then there are the uppers, wine/liquor, spices, baking corner... And remembering to take away things as I use them. I have too much jam!


So much just now is beyond one's control. The cleaning is very satisfying, especially as things get rearranged from where there was room to with like items. Having the record in the app is proof. Just looking at all my listings is very satisfying. :D

SaveComment11Like
Comments (11)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bbstx

Hmmm...I was initialed intrigued, but it sounds like a lot of work. However, my overly simplified Pantry Inventory (notebook paper and a pencil) is less than organized. I may have to look at it to see if I’ll stick it out until all is loaded.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
party_music50

Lol! With that title, I thought we would be playing a game of 'what appetizer can I make when all I have in the pantry is ....'

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plllog

LOL! PM, I play that game all the time. :)

Bbstx, it's really easy using the app. The work is cleaning and organizing the pantry, which is supposed to be a once a year thing before Passover. I was too sad to do it then, and there were all the deliveries. Plink, plink, plink and your stuff is recorded. :)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

You intrigued me - I'm downloading it to try now...

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plllog

Basic instructions: From Inventory, tap the + at upper right to scan barcodes (if you don't see it go to the top of the page and wiggle it a little to get the operation bar). If the item doesn't have a barcode or you want to otherwise add manually, tap the shield shape with the A in the upper right. You can search the cloud database for your item or choose New to add your own. If you take a picture of an unknown item with a barcode, go into Edit and there's a weird little icon in the upper right for picture editing. The editing tells you the controls, but if you have low brightness you might not see the blue Submit on the black. It's in the lower right. There's a weird glitch that doesn't let you edit some photos when you add New. Start typing your category into the search bar and the category header will come up, saving you from scrolling.

I hope you have as much fun with it as I'm having! While I was waiting around this afternoon, I did the odd bits that were hanging out on the butler's pantry counter.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Islay Corbel

Thinking of shopping, my daughter persuaded me to get an echo dot.....I find the best thing about it is the shopping list. When I'm cooking or furtling about in the pantry, if I see I'm running out or using something up, I just ask Alexa to add it to the list. I don't have to go and physically find paper and pen. Saves me forgetting stuff.

I must look at your app.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac92

I am finding that as I am not physically roaming the stores, I buy less and spend less and am trying to "eat the pantry".....and the freezer. But there are several big things I bought with company in mind....and there has been no one in my house but me for 3 months and more.


2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plllog

Linda, I'm the opposite. I do have a larger circle, but emotionally, dealing with uncertainty, I started by filling my freezer and ordering in to fill holes in my pantry, and stock up a little on things I use most, plus enough flour and yeast that I wouldn't have to be stingy with them. Of course, I was also really sick when this started, too.

IC, I got Echo when it first came out, to test whether it would be useful for my parents. I, too, find the shopping list function the best thing. I've tried the timer, since I know a lot of people love it, but I need a timer most if I'm leaving the room, and the melodious ding on the ovens is easier to hear. It's still a good trick if you don't remember what you were timing! Another good trick while cooking is asking Alexa what time it is. I still look for the clock, which is silly when elbows deep in raw proteins. I bet it would do arithmetic too I do it in my head, but when I'm tired, I have to write down big numbers. I never remember to do anything but the shopping list items. :) And having it show up in my phone when I forget to bring the list (I can't bear to put this in past tense).

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bragu_DSM 5

I just holler across the room .... do we have any xxxxx?

Not really. But the pantry gets re-organized much more frequently by the altitudinal challenged [short] person in the house, and that is not me.

Everything is at eyesight level, but my NOT my eyesight level, which is about 13 inches higher ... lol

I love 'hiding' my stuff on the top shelf ... [spicy hot stuff]

We have two factions in the house.

1. Do you want spicy stuff with that; and.

2. What do you want with the spicy hot stuff.

No. 1 is for the 'altitudinal challenged'


But I digress ...

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
KatieC

I think that app sounds like it'd be fun. I just gutted my 64sf pantry, but I'll be doing it again when the garden starts producing.

I know how I am....I'd get it all set up and then be a slacker about keeping it current. Can you scan an item out of inventory? I have barcodes. I could barcode my canned beans, lol.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plllog

I've done a little experimenting with outs, but not much because I don't want to confuse myself with test cases, so there may be more ways to do things which I haven't found yet. You can use either a standard search box or a bar code scan to look up an item in inventory. Then you tap the item and from the detail screen can adjust the quantity. I think this kind of stepped system, while less fun to use, is probably good for getting it right. There's also a "finish" button for removing the item when it's all gone, and the slider where you can indicate how much of your 10 lb. bag of flour, for example, you've used. It makes the top of the photo in the inventory listing transparent congruent to the slider so you can tell at a glance.

There are also buttons on the detail page for "spoil" and "restock". Your entries are also listed in a timeline so if you want to check what you stocked in from a particular shopping trip or canning session, it's there. The spoiled list does as well (and you can undo there, for an accidental tap). I think Finished just disappears the item. You get 200 items capacity free, 2000 items for $12/yr. and 10K for $30/mo. Given the photos and all, I think this is very reasonable. Restock lets you add the item to a shopping list, of which you can have multiples you name. Finish clears the item from your inventory making room for something new.

There are a number of powerful tools.

I think just getting in the habit--including all your household members (yes, it syncs across devices)--of recording your outgoes is harder than actually doing it. You could also just save up the empties and make the adjustments during cleanup. I don't think I'll use this for fresh foods, though maybe frozen. Perhaps fresh staples like yoghurt if I end up using it a lot for shopping. I think I'm more likely, however, to use the inventory for info to create a shopping list, rather than rummaging around the pantry, and still rummage in the fridge. OTOH, if one kept it pretty well up to date, it's a great tool if you're in a store and can't remember what you have. Even better if you split the shopping duties. One can add things to the list while the other is out, and there isn't that whole didn't you get my text, we need milk, thing. :)

Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Kitchen Design 7 Steps to Pantry Perfection
Learn from one homeowner’s plan to reorganize her pantry for real life
Full Story
Most Popular How to Create an Inventory, Whether You're Naturally Organized or Not
Documenting your home items is essential, even if disaster seems unimaginable. And it may be easier than you think
Full Story
Houzz Call Show Us Your Board Game Collection (and Where You Keep It)!
We want to see how you store your games at home, whether they’re stuffed in closets or displayed on shelves
Full Story
At Diana Sawicki Interior Design we create fresh & inviting home interiors. We have a deep commitment to quality... Read More
In 1987 Putnam Design, LLC was founded with a creative vision garnered from two sound principles – incomparable... Read More