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Old 24-10-2014, 12:26   #16
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

I can understand writing things down or entering them in a spreadsheet when you stock the boat but it would take a lot of discipline to mark them off as you use them, especially things like a couple teaspoons of sugar or a cup of flour.

The ultimate inventory control would use a scanner to scan the bar codes of items as you stock them and as you use them. You could then print out a shopping list. I doubt anyone is going to go that far on a pleasure boat.

I think the suggestions to put things in certain places is probably the best simple plan. Add to that a clipboard or booklet to write down what is gone or low so you can restock at the next opportunity.
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Old 24-10-2014, 12:56   #17
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

Whiteboard and dry erase markers anyone?
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Old 24-10-2014, 14:12   #18
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

I normally store for 3 months for 2 people ( occasionally 3 or 4 ).
I keep a spreadsheet which lets me know what we have on board, what the establishment is and where it is stowed.
We have certain things stowed in certain areas, canned goods in the walk through, pasta in the aft cabin, unopened condiments and stuff stbd saloon locker etc etc.

We also keep a 'ready use locker' which is has the next few days stuff in it, once in the ready use locker it disappears from the spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet also gives an idea of what needs to be replenished and what just isn't being eaten.... I find you can't have too many tinned tomatoes but we are still working our way through a couple of slabs of tinned mushrooms bought in Punta Arenas 3 years ago.

It all works for me....
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Old 24-10-2014, 15:19   #19
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

holy cow I just read through this thread I really have my work cut out for me. I can barely keep track of what I leave on the boat week to week but what will happen when I stop going back to the hard place on Sundays? Thank goodness and such a bummer I have one more winter to think about it. :-)

Seaworthy Lass, I like your plan: "keeping open items in use stored in the galley and all other dry/tinned food supplies in the same spot", no lists (except maybe for the freezer) except maybe the scraps of paper littering my nav station called the grocery list.
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Old 24-10-2014, 16:57   #20
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

I like these ideas, though I have a few years I am really liking the barcode scanner idea. They are not expensive and could be used to locate everything on the boat. Make a barcode for each location then scan the location as an item is put in and wirelessly goes to the spreadsheet, scan location and item when removed and poof it's removed and marked as needing purchased....I really like this idea.
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Old 24-10-2014, 18:40   #21
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

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Originally Posted by biker6977 View Post
I like these ideas, though I have a few years I am really liking the barcode scanner idea. They are not expensive and could be used to locate everything on the boat. Make a barcode for each location then scan the location as an item is put in and wirelessly goes to the spreadsheet, scan location and item when removed and poof it's removed and marked as needing purchased....I really like this idea.
People have been talking about this for homes but I don't think it's ever been offered commercially.

Just about everything you buy these days has a barcode so that work is done for you. And the code identifies the product. I think it's really called a "UPC" code.

Personally, my wife is in charge of food and dry goods, I am in charge of boat parts. The longest cruise we've been on was two and a half months and we were able to shop every week or two. No real need for a formal inventory.
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Old 24-10-2014, 18:52   #22
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

Wow, some really great ideas here! Not just for food, I think that this is gonna help organize my tools/spares as well

And yeah, as much as I see the benefit of the spreadsheets (especially at shopping time!) I just can not seem to stick to it. I think one difference is that I live alone onboard (with my dog, but he's worthless with this kind of thing!) and singlehand. The reality of singlehanding, especially on a long trip or while constantly moving, is that by the time I'm putting together a meal I'm usually so starving and exhausted, that the idea of dealing with any kind of lists seems almost impossible. Hell, I might eat it on my way to the food!?

The one idea that seems to be my favorite so far is to get chalkboard paint for the inside of each storage area... Then maybe if I come up with a simple enough system of check marks as I pull something out... Maybe organize it on the boards in the way that it's stored in each locker.

I have storage areas that are really tough to see all the way into, or to pull everything out of, so I'm gonna have to get creative about some kind of separation of items that I can visualize...

I do like the bar code scanner idea! (Well except for when you get a glitch in the system from all the moisture on the boat, and it all of a sudden tells you to buy nothing but rum!) And it could just scan items as they come in and out... And have some kind of display somewhere that shows the levels of each stock item... Like a tank gauge Although then again, all those things end up sucking off your batteries, and always end up crapping out eventually... Or maybe that's just the one in the holding tank

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Old 24-10-2014, 19:36   #23
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

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Originally Posted by Reach View Post
For general food stores I try to stow things in "sections" like in a grocery store.

Even though they're in cabinets or shelves, I can recognize when supplies are getting low, as in: Baking goods, Pasta, Beans, Nuts, Sauces, Veggies etc... as specific as you want.

The one thing I do keep an ongoing (handwritten) list of in a little book is freezer provisions. That area has a depth that I don't often get to visualize so I list the items and cross them off the list when used.
Like it. Simple accommodates my desire to be a little spontaneous. Plus one less list to maintain. Shopping? Just take a look -around a and see what's needed.
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Old 25-10-2014, 00:14   #24
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

I use the same system as Seaworthy Lass, items in use in the galley, everything else stored away. Although I did manage to forget about 6 cans of chopped tomatoes, because I bought a slab (24 cans) and split it, with 10 cans in the can locker and the rest stored in other places. Mind you, it was a nice surprise when I found them
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Old 25-10-2014, 01:07   #25
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

Brian

I am not a great spread sheet user, but did realise I needed to number my lockers and keep items accordingly. hence I keep all the desert items in one locker, all the main meal items in another, the dry food like pasta and cereals in another and so on.

I got an indexed A4 book (ie one which was divided into the alphabet down the side like an address book).

For each item I purchase ie beans I turn to the B section and make an entry for beans. A different line for each type of bean and put the number of cans/packets and what storage locker they are stowed in. This makes an easy reference without having to turn on the computer.

In time one gets to know the lockers and can tell what items need to be restocked without having to keep comprehensive in and out records.

I keep the ready use items in the galley and restock from my lockers as appropriate. This rotation also keeps items in view and one is less likely to stow something so deeply it is forgotten.

Naturally the captain has his own What's Where List and all tools and spares are listed here. If an item is running low in either record book then it is added to the next shopping list, a book kept in the Nav drawer and is taken with us on shopping expeditions. Pieces of paper get lost or blown from the Nav table (if the hatches are open) so a book with all purchases needed is the go. This way it does not matter whether it is a fuse or food item it cannot be forgotten when shopping.

Good luck with finding a system that works for you.

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Old 25-10-2014, 12:49   #26
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

Try "out of milk" it is a app for android and also PC . Allows you to do a pantry list and also shopping list. My wife uses it a lot. Also if she needs me to pick something up she just sinc it and I get a picture with description and price. This showed up on my phone.

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Old 25-10-2014, 13:19   #27
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

ok so planning ahead does nothing good for me. i lose foodstuffs when placed in locations other than galley.
in th egalley, stowed, 2 still within sell date items blew open.
ok.
so now i decided to change my method.....i do not need 3 months of foodstuffs.
provisioning for a 180 mile sailing misadventure take a week's worth of good foods plus 4 pizzas...2 days travel.
fruits and veggies wont require other methods if storage than consuming and prevention of bouncing.
bounced fruit and veggies need to be eaten first.
count on 2 weeks stores. water for a month.
know where all your foodstuffs are.
weed out the stuff that is no longer use able every 6 months.
even in boonies here there are stores with foodstuffs so extreme hoarding is not a positive provisioning method any more.
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Old 25-10-2014, 14:22   #28
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Re: Keeping better track of food stores...

Frian -- i forgot one thing and for anyone else out there. PM me and i will send you a copy of my spreadsheet so you do not have to reinvent the wheel so to speak.
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Old 25-10-2014, 14:31   #29
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It seems you're not primarily concerned with knowing how much of every food store you have, down to the last mite, but simply with remembering about some things you have stored away in far-flung corners. I also sense that you aren't the type who wants to spend a lot of time meticulously maintaining computer spreadsheets. If that's all I wanted, I'd do this:

One 3x5 card for each storage space, labeled for that space. One pencil stub. One rubber band to hold it all together.

List each item that goes into a storage space on the card for that space, when you store it initially. Keep the stack in a drawer in the galley.

Always put stores back in the same storage space they came out of, or transfer them from one card to another if you physically re-arrange them. When you're low on something, note that on the card; when you're out, cross it off.

Sort through the cards occasionally to do a 30-second inventory check of the entire yacht, then get on to things you enjoy.

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Old 25-10-2014, 14:31   #30
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I try and keep like things together for all my storage. I store almost all my food in vacuum sealed mason jars and I can't believe more people aren't doing it. makes your food last so much longer and I've had more failures with plastic containers than I have with the mason jars. For example I have Pyrex bowls with plastic lids and lids always fail before the bowls have been broken.( I've replaced all the lids 3 times and I've only chipped a few bowls) the only jars I have broken is by filling them up too much and freezing them. Anyway having things in clear jars and sorted really helps keep track of things. I write the date and sometimes item specifics with a Sharpie right on the glass. it stays on fine but if you want to remove it a dish scrubby works great. I also have a bin that I put items that are nearing or past their expiration date to use first if possible.
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