Kitchen Inventory
February 15, 2009 8:14 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend (or even find one) a kitchen inventory application? My wife wants to keep a basic inventory of the stuff that's in the pantry and fridge.

It would need to be fairly user-friendly. Ideally web-based and quite flexible. Something like Remember the Milk in terms of usability and simplicity would be brilliant.

So far my searches have been largely fruitless.
posted by sycophant to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I know this is a lo-fi answer, but there isn't anything specifically available for kitchen/pantry management as far as I've been able to find. You could probably roll your own in Basecamp or RTM without too much trouble. Is it that you and Mrs. Sycophant want to be able to access the current pantry inventory while away from home, or to generate shopping lists?

I use small whiteboards, and sometimes Excel (printouts in page protectors, which can be marked with dry-erase markers) when I'm feeling adventurous. This AskMe had some useful advice from Forktine and MonkeyToes, although it's of the "freezer tape & Sharpie" kind rather than the electronic tool you're looking for.
posted by catlet at 9:02 PM on February 15, 2009

A text file or a spreadsheet would work. Google Docs if you want it to be web-based.
posted by yesno at 9:22 PM on February 15, 2009

I JUST finished doing this! Unfortunately (for this answer), I did it using a txt file. It's very user-friendly, though, and if I were looking to make it accessible online I'd probably upload it to a bit of private webspace or someplace like LiveJournal. Sorry I can't be much more help for an actual app.
posted by Mael Oui at 11:16 PM on February 15, 2009

Response by poster: I've seen apps that work with barcodes (not much use here anyway, we use EAN codes, not UPC, so none of the databases work) - also a fair bit of what we have doesn't have barcodes.

I think Mrs Sycophant would just like to be easily able to keep up to date with what we have in the pantry. Being able to generate shopping lists and stuff would be a bonus, but not essential.

It seems like something that should exist, but I found nothing. It's odd because I'm sure there was some program I had in the early 90's that did it (probably off the cover disk of some computer magazine).

She uses paper now, but it's not good for keeping up to date, and gets lost or mixed up.
posted by sycophant at 11:54 PM on February 15, 2009

I'm trying out
posted by cali at 12:50 AM on February 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Google Docs would work for this.

Alternatively, you could use Remember the Milk and just treat everything you buy as a 'task' (with the expiry date as the 'due' date, repetitions for things you need to buy regularly, lists for grouping items by type or frequency of buying and tags for cross-organising). As you buy things, you just add them.

I use RTM for managing chores in the house, and with the mobile website it's invaluable. I may even set up another account and do just this. Thanks for the idea!
posted by Happy Dave at 2:21 AM on February 16, 2009

Mrs MadMage & I used Excel for this - one tab for each fridge/freezer/cupboard.

Sadly, setting it up is a hell of a lot easier than maintaining it. Mind you, it was great for about two weeks.
posted by MadMage at 2:30 AM on February 16, 2009

I just cut and paste pantry lists from the web. Personalize it a bit in either word or excel providing check boxes so that I can mark off as stuff is being used. I keep this list on the refrig door. It lets me eyeball immediately what I am low of for grocery lists.
posted by jadepearl at 4:08 AM on February 16, 2009

We have five pages on top of the basement chest freezer so we know what we have: Bread, Breakfast, Meat, Meals, Miscellaneous. We re-write them every couple of months when there's too many scribbles to read. The complmement to this is that there's also a white board on the side of the fridge where we write down items we've exhausted and need to replace.

To find a room-temperature ingredient, look in the fridge or cupboard; to find somthign frozen, look on the papers. (The kitchen freezer only hold waffles, ice, and frozen, pre-chopped ingredients.)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:12 AM on February 16, 2009

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