Taking Inventory

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This is the post you have been waiting for! It will be the most exciting post ever. I am going to tell you about all of the food stuff that I have in my freezers and pantry. Okay, so maybe that is not very exciting. But since I am going to start sharing our food purchases again each month, I thought it would be a good idea to show what I am starting with today in my freezer and pantry. That way when I share our menu each week and something is on it that wasn’t reported from my shopping trip you won’t have to wonder where in the world I got it. Let’s get started.

I have two freezers. One is part of my side by side fridge. It is the main freezer and in the kitchen. The second is on top of an apartment size fridge and it is in the room off of the kitchen that is probably supposed to be a very small family room.

These are the top too shelves of the main freezer.

Top Shelf

2 packages duck fat (to be rendered down)
1 duck carcass
1 package 4 duck legs
3 pounds of chicken liver
3 pounds of burger
5 packages deer steaks
1 package antelope steaks
1 package elk steak
1 package antelope strips (like stew meat)
2 packages deer stew

Second Shelf

1 package chicken feet (probably 12 feet)
2 packages lamb bones
3 packages leg of lamb
3 packages lamb shoulder chops
2 packages lamb chops
4 packages lamb stew
1 package lamb shank
2 packages lamb spare ribs

A note about the lamb; one of my friends gave me all the lamb. They don’t care for it. We do. I’m very grateful!

Here are shelves three and four plus the drawer at the bottom.

Third Shelf

1 package antelope neck roast
1 package beef round roast
1 package beef top round steak
1 package beef chuck eye steaks
1 package beef liver
1 package beef stew
1 package broccoli
1 package flounder
1 package walleye
1 package mussels
1/2 package peas
sourdough tortillas (leftover)

Fourth Shelf

1 1/2 gallons goats milk
1 container bulgar
1 container beans
6 packages pureed kumquats
2 packages shredded carrots
ice cream (leftover)


1 package antelope bones
18 pounds hamburger

Warning: I keep weird stuff in the doors

A bag for my veggie scraps that I use in my broth
Ends/scraps of bread for bread pudding or bread crumbs
Bag of spinach (okay, that’s not weird)
Baking yeast (also not weird)

The second freezer is used mostly for fruit or things that I’ve made

Second Freezer

4 ramekins of pate
Dozen (or so) persimmons
1 jar pear butter
Lemons (8 or so)
2 bags kiwi puree
2 bags shredded carrots
2 containers broth
1 container black beans
1/2 pound raspberries

Recording what is in the pantry becomes a little challenging. First, I have quite a few places where I store that stuff. I use an antique bakers rack, the pantry that is part of the house (it’s like a big cabinet with pull out shelves), a cabinet and some bulk items kept in a closet in 5 gallon buckets. So I’ll just hit the highlights for you and I’m estimating some of the amounts based on how empty the packages/containers are.

7 pounds black beans
3 pounds lentils
5 pounds brown rice
1 pound steel cut oats
2 pounds rye berries
2 pounds barley
1 jar home canned peaches
5 4-ounce jars home canned peach puree
50 pounds rye flour (gift from same friend who gave us the lamb)
2 1 gallons jars of buckwheat pancake mix (also from friend)
1 tin anchovies
2 tins sardines
1 tin kippers
2 cans corn
3 cans tomatoes
5 cans tuna
1 can salmon
1 pound split peas
2 pounds pinto beans
1 jar of soup mix (Christmas gift)
23 pounds oats
2 pounds raw almonds
2 pounds coconut
2 pounds raisins
1 pound peanuts
soy sauce
1/2 gallon raw honey
5 pounds white sugar
3 pounds Sucanat
4 pounds whole wheat flour
Lots of spices, salt, pepper, seeds for sprouting, assorted oils, etc.

Finally, in the refrigerator(s). Most of the stuff in there is the basic things like milk, eggs, condiments, kombucha, dairy kefir, water kefir, sourdough starter, 2 quarts chicken broth, etc. I have a little produce that I picked some up the other day for the week. About 2 pounds of cheddar cheese, a small chunk of Parmesan, and 3 1/2 pounds butter. Plus leftovers from meals for the last couple of days that we will finish up this weekend. I also keep a few longer term type items in the second fridge (along with extra eggs and milk).

1/2 quart black strap molasses
3/4 quart grade B maple syrup
4 quarts sauerkraut (lacto-fermented)
1/2 gallon jar of spicy lemons (about 1/4 gone, lacto-fermented)
4 quarts spicy carrots (lacto-fermented)
1 1/2 quarts cortido (lacto-fermented)
1/2 quart kimchee (lacto-fermented)
1 quart beet and turnips (lacto-fermented)

I think that is about it. I do an inventory similiar to this each month before I do the menu planning for the following month. I have a notebook that I keep my inventory list in and if I’m up on things I actually remember to mark items off as I use them. Sadly, I don’t usually do that. When I do my menu plan, I always start by using things we have on hand first. I wrote a post several months ago on how I do our menu planning/shopping list and while it is still basically the same many things have changed. I should probably do an updated post at some point.

Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at MillieCopper.com.


  1. Farmgirl Cyn

    >ARE YOU KIDDIN' ME??? I guess in places like Wyoming, elk and antelope are regular items in your grocers meat case! I have to re-read this and see how much of what you have is actually also in my pantry. For sure the shrimp peels are in the freezer! Oh, and we just picked up our 1/4 grassfed beef a couple of days ago, so there is a hefty 119# in the freezer that wasn't there before! And 50# of rye flour? That will take a while to work thru, eh?
    What a blessing about the other meat your friends didn't like. Their loss, your gain!

  2. Millie

    >Farmgirl Cyn,
    We do love the wild game. My husband brought home an antelope last fall and the rest is given to us by others who hunt. This year we have met our residency requirement so we'll (meaning hubby and 15 yo daughter, not me)hunt more. The antelope are abundant here, in fact I had a couple right outside my yard earlier.
    You have any good recipes for using rye flour? 🙂 I did a google search last night and found a few but yeah, it will take a long while to work through. I'm grateful that my friend thought of me when she was looking to clean things out (she is gluten intolerant and ordered the rye by mistake) and the lamb is a huge blessing. She also brought me 3 gallons of goat milk that we made into ice cream and cajeta last night, I'll make cheese this weekend and some is in the freezer for future use. And all I gave her in return was two bottles that Christopher no longer uses. Not a very good exchange for her…

    Nice that you got a quarter of beef!

  3. Ang

    >I have a pantry inventory similar to yours–I just never thought of posting it. But it makes sense! Easier to see how meal-planning and budgeting is done.

    As for the rye. My husband is of German background and loves rye bread. I make the Vollkornbrot recipe from "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" using whole rye kernals instead of wheat-it has to soak at least overnight to plump the kernals. (I also use flaked oats instead of flaked rye because I already have those flaked after making oatmeal!) Of course, at 1 cup rye per 2 loaves of bread it would take a while to go through 50 lbs!

  4. Ginger

    >I keep vegie scraps, shrimp shells (and crab or lobster if I've been lucky enough to have that on the menu), and leftover bread in my freezer, too. So I don't think that's weird. I have one large chest freezer. It's pretty full right now and I have a pretty good idea of what's in there, but for now our menu plan consists of eating whatever is on top first!

  5. Millie

    I do see lots of rye bread in our future. We go through about 25 pounds of whole wheat flour a month so in theory, I should be able to use up the rye. I even found recipes for rye scones and rye cookies but they don't sound so appealing. Surprisingly, I found a ton of recipes for dog biscuits using rye flour.

    I am glad to hear that you keep the same things in your freezer
    🙂 I'd love to have crab or lobster. Yum.
    Certainly is easier just to grab from the top with a chest freezer.

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