Last night, MIL called me from her office, and asked "I'm leaving work, do you need anything from the store?" I said "No, we're good, just come home, I've got dinner in the oven." Silly me.
She comes in an hour later with two bulging grocery bags. I made a note to find a balance between "nothing" (which clearly means a light shopping trip) and "a couple of things" (which would probably be a cartful.) I have far different ideas about food store proportions. Mind you, lately but Mr Liz and myself have fallen into the "go to Stop'n'Shop every 2 days" trap, just for an excuse to get outside together. This cannot go on, because between the three of us in this household, we're now at the stage where we have not duplicates of pantry goods, but triplicates and beyond.
Something had to be done! Noone could remember what we had in stock, and what we needed. This means mroe food spoilage from overbuying, and more dollars out the window.
Since all of us actually like grocery shopping, cooking, and baking, there's a pretty decent turnover for groceries in the house. But there is a limit on how much of anything you can use in, say, a week. We have pounds and pounds of brown sugar, for instance. I keep finding more. That's not going to go as quickly as bread or peppers.
So there I was last night, rummaging for flour and that motherlode of brown sugar*, and I got to thinking. MIL is a techie, and an early adopter. That iPad is her baby, and it's really useful. Husband is the same way, but with his Android phone.
"What if there was an app that would let you keep track of what you have in the pantry? One that would let you, oh I dunno...scan barcodes or something, to keep it easy. I should learn to make that" I said as I scrounged around the pantry.
Turns out several people beat me to it. But that's alright, I can devote more time to other schemes. After the pies were underway, I started surfing around for such an app. One of the front runners ended up being Out of Milk. It's free, and for both Android and Mac, and you fellow googlers can find it in the Google Play store, which I'm having trouble taking seriously, because it conjures images of Playskool toys. BUT. There it is, and I like it!
Out of Milk is a lightweight inventory manager, which is precisely what I was looking for. You can scan barcodes to get everything in your pantry/fridge/whatever on there, or enter manually for produce and uncoded items.
Under the "Pantry" section (which is the only one I've used so far) you can create multiple lists. I've put in everything from cleansers to paper goods, as well as baking supplies. Our "pantry" encompasses the fridge and sections of the basement, too, so it's idiosyncratic, but I think it'll work here.
Those lists can be further subdivided into categories for your organizaphiles out there. From the screencap, you can see where I've made an actual pantry list, and subdivided that according to the categories of stuff that's in our real pantry:
It's not that populated yet, because I laid a lot of list groundwork first, so I can set my husband to scanning. And, well, me too...who doesn't love scanning the codes and hearing the beep? It's fun in a childhood nostalgia way :)
It's only been 24 hours, but so far so good. I realize this is a pretty positive review (and premature), but I'm not getting anything from Out of Milk. Just wanting to spread the news on something I think could solve the pantry X-files...
"The baking soda/cereal/salsa is out there"
*Turns out the real reason for the shopping trip was to bake some pies for a friend. But the "oh, while I'm here let me pick up X" bug bit, as it bites me, too!
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