Assessing Prep Levels?

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Zanazaz, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Zanazaz

    Zanazaz Well-Known Member

    I'm working on a spreadsheet to track food storage, both short and long term. ( I use OpenOffice. ) Now what I'm trying to determine is how often I should I take inventory? Everyday? Once a week? What does everyone else do?

    Long term items I don't think I would inventory every week, but I think rotation is important even with the long term storage items, because I want to get used to using it. You all know the phrase, store what you eat, and eat what you store. Same thing with canned goods. I don't want them to sit around, and donate them before they expire. I want to use the food.

    Also, how often do you assess other areas of preparedness? Do you review your "bug out" :D ( Yes I used the phrase... ) plans on a regular basis? Do you review and inventory your backpack contents on a regular basis? Do you ocassionaly drive routes you might use to check them out in case something has changed? For example, road construction might delay you when you head to your retreat? Do you ocassionly make sure family members are following opsec?

    If you don't regularly asses your prep levels why not?

    In the long run, I'll make a decision, but it's always good to get ideas from other people; especially from members of this forum.
  2. pandamonium

    pandamonium 180 OUT

    OOOOOoooooo!!! YOU SAID IT!!!!!!! I'm tellin MOM!!

    Well, for inventory isn't an issue yet. Just don't have enough yet!! :(
    As far as going through my bags, yup all the time. Always looking for alternative every things!!

  3. phxrising

    phxrising Junior Member

    I inventory my storage on a spreadsheet as well, and what I did to start, was do a full inventory of everything, then set up a tab for each category (ie, beans & legumes, baking supplies, vegetables, etc..) and put in the counts. When I take, I write it down and then go into the spreadsheet and subtract one. When I do grocery shopping, I replace what I took and then try to buy some more of something. This is how I'm slowly building a storage and keeping track of it.

    This way, you don't have to count it more than once--it sounds like a lot of work to keep updating the spreadsheet but it becomes a habit, its easier to track what you need, and you don't have to do a full count of everything ever again.:D
  4. Tribal Warlord Thug

    Tribal Warlord Thug Well-Known Member

    we use a dry-erase board in our pantry to keep track of the goin' ins and goin' outs....easier to do then spreadsheets and inventory far reviewin' our 'bug out'.........we already chose to :D now its just a matter of gittin' up our new homestead and making it 'Home'. life is good in the Ozarks. :wave:
  5. tsrwivey

    tsrwivey Supporting Member

    I guess I'm kinda lax about it. My canned goods don't get replaced until they go on sale; it would cause me pain to pay full price for a can of corn. :cry: Right now we're pretty low on canned pumpkin & cranberry sauce, but I won't buy any until November sales. So if the SHTF now we'll be eating canned pineapple & sweet potatoes instead of cranberry & pumpkin but I can live with that. I just keep enough so that we always have enough to eat if the SHTF.

    Our long term storage is left alone for the most part. When we need pintos, for example, we get a bucket fromLT storage & pour the beans into half gallon mason jars. The bucket is then refilled & put back into LT storage & the jars are put in one of the short term pantries. It's not a perfect system but it's easy to maintain, a quality that's a necessity for me.
  6. kejmack

    kejmack Texas!!!

    My system is a lot like TSRWivey. I replenish as I go and I generally go through my inventory on a yearly basis. I date my cans and add the new ones to the back so when I'm cooking I grab the oldest first. It is basically the same set up that my mom and grandma used.
  7. Moby76065

    Moby76065 Texan!

    Here's a really cool site if you want your preps inventory stored in the cloud.
    It's a spreadsheet on line.
    Don't worry, it's secure.
  8. Zanazaz

    Zanazaz Well-Known Member

    Thanks everybody. I'll probably do many of the same things. I like redundacy.
  9. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't feel so bad anymore knowing I'm not alone. All this talk about spreadsheets and updating them every time you take something out and again when you replace it was making me dizzy. :surrender:

    I'm one to just look at the supply each time something is removed and decide whether it needs replaced now of if it can wait awhile. If I look towards the back of a row and can immediately see the end of it, it's time to replenish that particular item. Yep. I've occasionally had that WHOOPS moment where I discover I'm taking the last can, jar or bottle of something but not too often. So I'll just stick with the visual method. :dunno: :)
  10. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    No spreadsheets for me ... :dunno:

    As the garden come in and I put it up ... it goes to the back (or left of new)

    Alway done it this way ... Always will.
  11. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

    My system: "Oh look, there's an empty spot on the shelf. I must be out of something." :eek:

    (Well, actually my system is a cross between trswivey, Andi, and the above method.)
  12. Zanazaz

    Zanazaz Well-Known Member

    I think it's great that those methods work for you, UncleJoe & Andi. Me? I hate those WHOOPS moments.

    I like the versatility of having my inventories on a spreadsheet. I can track usage, i.e. how fast I go through certain supplies, and determine how much I need for a specific length of time. I can also use formulas to determine how many cans of beans I need to acquire, to increase food storage for say six months, based on usage I've already tracked. Yeah, it's going to be a bit of work to get started, but I want to know what I have on hand. There are a couple of other advantages, but these probably wouldn't be important to anyone but me. I can tend to be a bit OCD.

    Eventually everything is going to be inventoried.
  13. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

    What I need is a system to know how much certain food items cost per unit at various locations. Let's say TP is 0.67 per roll at Big Lots, but I find it on sale at Meijer for 0.59 per roll - then I know to purchase some at Meijer. I used to have a decent memory for grocery prices, but with the prices changing like they do these days, my brain can't stay on top of it.
  14. Zanazaz

    Zanazaz Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking the same thing. I need to stretch my dollars as far as I can. However, trying to track all the prices of things you buy in your town/city is so labor and time intensive, I'm not sure it's worth the time.

    I wish there was a website that did that. I'm sure most groceries stores keep the prices on a computer network because they scan the barcodes at the checkout. I guess the companies are to worried some hacker might change the prices.
  15. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    We must be kin--many times we have the same notions about many things.
    Like Uncle Joe, I just know when I've used 10 cans of tuna, a jug of vinegar or a bucket of sugar, etc. and replace them.:ignore:
    I have enough that I don't run to the store just to replace a can or two.
    And if I ever have a 'whoops' moment--this world is doomed!!! I have not bought a few of anything in over 3 years.
    I also track usage--it's with a sharpie; dh brought me his Gillette Fusion package opened Feb 4th--that means he has started his 4th blade; they will last about 8 months. By that I know how long the stored fusions will last him; same for most of my stores---sharpie, dated when opened, assessed when depeted how long they lasted, know how much I have and how long the will last.
    No inventory needed--been there, done that--labor/time intensive.
  16. wildcat

    wildcat Active Member

    I'm not really a spreadsheet guy either. Most of my inventory control is visual...If low on something, it goes on a simple list, usually handwritten... I date stuff and rotate FIFO... Kind of a PITA, but the way I was taught/brought up... Pretty much resembles how I would track stuff without all the modern conveniences... Not perfect, but for the most part, it works for me, and thankfully, my method wouldn't change much if something "bad" happened...
  17. Zanazaz

    Zanazaz Well-Known Member

    The whole idea of a computerized inventory is to aid me in stocking up, and tracking how much I have, and perhaps how much more I want to acquire. Easy to do with a spreadsheet. After an event, especially a bad one, I probably won't be running out to the stores anyway.
  18. wildcat

    wildcat Active Member

    That's cool. I'm not down on how you do it. I don't think anybody is. I was just responding to the question you asked: "What does everyone else do?"

    After a while, it may become "routine" to you. I know it has for me. I don't have to make a "conscious effort" to track my stuff. It's kind of just a part of how I live.

    My GF does it like you. She uses an Excel spreadsheet, she also labels the contents of boxes so she knows what's in them without opening them. (Like, attaches an inventory sheet to the box.)

    I just know what I got and where I got it.
  19. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    Just like anything else; you do whatever works best for you. :)
  20. ContinualHarvest

    ContinualHarvest Member

    Our prep levels are in use but we're still able to get by. Just started living off my preps. Still, many of the preps I've made are training and skill sets that are renewable and just now coming to fruit. It's harvest time and I'm still preserving foods. Still picking up deals where possible and hopefully in the next week or two I'll be out hunting increasing our stock of foods.
    So, as we're using things, we're able to replace them for now from the gardens.