If I can “waste” time playing around in Google Sheets, I will! I love playing with sheets and docs and creating something that way. I knew I was going to want both an easy way to keep track of my freeze dry inventory as well as a log of foods I have freeze dried and tried.
So, I set out, with the help of my husband to make some of the more complicated formulas work. It took us a long time to create this, but I really love how it turned out! Let’s start with introducing the vision of the inventory, how to use it, and then you’ll be equipped to use your own copy of the doc to track your freeze dried foods!
I will share a link to checkout the inventory at the bottom of the post, but it’s important that you understand how it works first! So make sure you read through this post and don’t just skip over to the end.
Creating a Freeze Dried Food Inventory
When thinking through what I wanted to include on an inventory to track and record our freeze drying adventures, I was focus on including:
- Sort my foods by type to easily track how much food of a certain category was available
- Combine like items to a total quantity
- Convert different storage quantities to one single type of unit (cups to quarts, etc)
- Track dates, quantity, storage location, and other important details about each item
- Have a clean and simple look that wasn’t hard to utilize or read
- Have a clean printable format for keeping in my food storage room
- Be easy to add to on both paper and digitally
- Access from my phone and laptop
- And, be able to mark food items as used or remove them easily!
With this wishlist in mind and a vision for utilizing colors and tabs to coordinate with my printable freeze dried food labels, I set out to work on creating the document.
How the Freeze Dried Inventory
Google Sheet Works
To be able to make the most out of using this freeze dry inventory, I wanted to walk you through the different tabs and features, and some tips and warnings, too!
When sharing a link to the Google Sheet Inventory, I always link to the Directions Tab first. If you’re going to use this inventory, it’s very important for you to read through this page. It won’t take more than a minute or so to read through the steps and warnings, and I’ve included them here as well.
Keep in mind, you will see a first sample entry in each of the tabs. This is only to give you a suggested format. You can write over the text in these fields, delete the entire row, or simply select the fields A4:E4 and hit the delete key on your keyboard to remove the typed in data in these rows.
Step 1 – Creating Your Inventory File
Whenever I have made and shared a google sheet publicly, I’ve always found I get emails using the tool within Google Sheets to request edit access.
Because you are looking to create your OWN inventory that only you and those who you choose to share your sheet with, it’s important to follow these steps. I cannot give edit access to the master doc, or that would be edited over by a variety of users and you’d lose your own records.
While in the document, go to “File” in the menu and select “Make a Copy.
This will create a clean document specific to you and your freeze dry inventory.
Name this file whatever is best for your needs. I also recommend bookmarking it for easy access.
You can then share your copy of the file with whomever you’d like and made any necessary edits.
Make sure you DO NOT edit the names of the sheet tabs. The formulas call those specific names to function. You can hide tabs that you will not need for your individual freeze dried foods inventory.
Step 2 – Adding Food to Your Inventory
In your own copy of the freeze dried foods inventory, you will then be able to add your food storage inventory by specific categories. Start by select one of the named tab at the bottom for your specific food items – such as protein or fruits.
When on the correct tab, add pertinent details including date and item description. For quantity, you’ll select a standard measurement unit (cup, pt, qt, gal) and a number. For example, you might add that you freeze dried carrots and are storing them in (3) Three – 1 quart bag. Qty is 3, Size is qt.
For sizing reference:
- cup = 1 cup
- pt = pint (2 cups)
- qt = quart (4 cups)
- gal = gallon (16 cups)
This will auto calculate your total quantity of food by summing the data appropriately by size. You can also keep notes here of where your food is stored and other details. The description and quantity field will automatically be transferred to the overview tab.
If you do not add both a quantity (Qty:, Column C) and a unit of measurement (Size:, Column D) that row’s item will be calculated as “0” in inventory. Both a number and a unit size are needed to calculate.
Be careful that you do not delete or edit the sheet totals (C1:D1) on each tab. These are a formula and will not calculate if you edit, remove, or type over these spaces.
Step 3 – Using Food Items
As you use your food storage, return to the specific food tab and check the box “used”. When you mark an item as “used” you will clean up your inventory and it will be removed. This allows you to keep a record, and remember what items to make again in the future!
You may alternately completely delete an row in it’s entirety by right clicking on the row number and choosing to delete row. Or select cells that you want to delete individual data (from Columns A-F) from the row(s) and delete the data types into these fields.
You can also choose to hide those rows, if you’d like to keep the data, but minimize the scroll to reach your current inventory.
Do not delete the checkboxes in Column G. They will not repopulate and may not function properly. If you don’t plan to use this feature, you can easily hide the row to have it hidden out of the way. But the formulas do call this column for calculations.
Step 4 – Utilizing the Overview Tab
The overview page will auto-populate and carry over the data entered on the individual tabs. Like items with the exact same description (Column B) will sum together on the Overview.
For example, if you have an item described as “Chicken – Shredded” on two different rows, they will combine into a single row on the overview page. However, if you have another row labeled as “Chicken” it will leave these two as separate food items in your inventory overview.
Any inventory items that have been checked as “used” will not carry over to the Overview tab. This will help you quickly and easily see, without any unnecessary extra data you might like to save, only what you currently have in your short- and long-term food storage!
A cool feature we were able to add was the ability to adjust your unit of measurement. I wanted to be able to store in a variety of sizes of mylar bags and jars, and record those by their actual packaging to make it helpful to find them in my storage bins and shelves.
However, in order to see my overall storage, I needed to be able to somehow combine and/or convert those units. After a lot of tinkering and trial and error – we figured out how to get this work, and it’s fantastic! You can adjust your unit size on any of the tabs and on the overview sheet to see your food storage by your preferred metric.
To do this, simply select your preferred measurement units (M2:N2) using the dropdown and change as you’d like. This will allow you to see your total freeze dried inventory in either cups, pints, quarts, or gallons.
All fields and the summations will adjust to your preferred measurement unit as selected. Your Inventory Overview page will also automatically sort in alphabetical order.
Do not edit any of the fields on the Overview tab except the title (A1:G1) and the units (M2:N2). You can change the name to anything personalized you’d like to use. And, of course, please adjust your measurement units as often as you’d like!
However, the rest of the page should not be edited in any way. Don’t add your inventory on this page. There are formulas in place that auto-generate and fill in this page for you. If you edit the overview page columns or rows, you can corrupt the formulas and it won’t work!
You also cannot delete any of the individual tabs or columns. This will create errors in the formulas. If there’s something unnecessary on the tab, you may be able to hide certain columns, depending on the data in the top few rows that will also hide with their row.
Tips & Tricks for using this
Freeze Dried Inventory
1. Default Sizing: If you always or mostly use the same size of storage bag for all of your products, for example you might prefer quart size mason jars and mylar bags, you can select your preferred sizing unit in the first available column in each tab.
Then, select that box (D4) with your cursor. You can then select the small blue box in the corner of your selected cell. Drag this down to the last row (400) to copy your selection to all the following dropdown boxes in Column D. This is a great shortcut to save time!
2. Like Items: Don’t be afraid to add multiple line items for the same food item when making later batches. You can do so and all like items will be grouped into one line and quantity on the overview tab. This will help you keep food organized by first in, first out and provide a more accurate record.
3. Naming Inventory Items: Pay close attention to how you name your items. Since the Overview tab will sort all of your food items alphabetically, use your most important word first. For example, consider using the phrase “Chicken – Shredded” instead of “Shredded Chicken”.
This would help lump all of your chicken items beside each other on the overview page to easily see your total quantity of chicken items. You might also use this to group like items, such as candies, categories of vegetables, etc.
4. Rearranging Order: If you would like to set a specific order for your items to appear on the Overview tab, use a number system to manually sort your items.
Since the overview tab will automatically sort your inventory alphabetically, you can bump a specific item to the top of the list by using a character such as a (. , * -) or use a number to help overwrite this auto process to set your own order on the overview.
This can be useful if you have a specific few items that are most important to you, such as if you have food allergies, diet restrictions, or have a business and want to prioritize your list view in a certain way.
5 Hiding Rows: If you do not plan to use Columns E, F, or G you can make some small adjustments to the document to better fit your needs. Columns F and G may be hidden without affecting any other parts of this Google sheet. You can rename Column E (and/or F) to whatever will be most helpful for you to track.
6. Column Widths & Additions: You can adjust any of the column widths, to help you see larger quantities or longer descriptions. You can additionally add any columns (after column G) to track additional metrics or notes.
7. Hidden Extra Rows: To help make printing a little easier, extra rows have been set as “Hidden.” This means they’re still there on each of the tabs and overview pages, if you should need any additional rows. But, if you go to print, you’ll only be prompted to print 3 pages per each category.
To unhide the extra rows, navigate down to the last row on your sheet and click the little up arrow in the numbered cell for the row. Or, you can right click and select to unhide rows.
How to Print Your Freeze-Dried Inventory
You can print a copy of this Google Sheets to help you keep a paper record or to record and then transfer your inventory over at a later date to your digital file for save keeping. It’s also a good idea to print your inventory from time to time to have a non-digital record of your food storage to help you in times of an emergency to access your inventory, storage, and notes for rehydrating.
The individual sheets fit perfectly on one page. You can go to an individual tab, hit the print button, and then just select how many pages (for example you may just need the first page) to print.
Alternatively, you can first select the rows and columns that you want to print. While selected, hit the print button. Adjust the very top selection box to “selected cells” and only those fields will show in the print preview. Play around with that and other settings like margin and scale for a custom print.
You can also print the overview tab to quickly see all your food storage at once! This sheet will print better in landscape view, but just adjust the settings until it works best for your needs.
You can print all pages and sheets at once by using the print command and choosing the option in the top right selection box to print all sheets. I would recommend hiding extra rows though, to utilize this option, as it will print many pages for each tab otherwise.
Copyright & Use Policies
This Freeze Dried Inventory was created by this blog, Freeze Dry Foodie. It is available for your own personal use. Do not share copies of this file or distribute it to others in any way or fashion. Our spreadsheet also may not be modified or adapted and then shared as a new resource.
If you’d like to recommend this inventory tracker to others, please share the blog post directly. This is important for protecting my copyright and ensuring that new users have all the pertinent details available to them. It also allows users to find additional resources that align with this inventory tracker.
In other words — please share this post directly, not the google sheet itself!
Make a Copy of the Google Sheet
Freeze Dry Foods Inventory
As an important reminder, and for those who may have skipped ahead, it’s critical for you to make your own copy of this document. To do this, simply select File from the menu and choose “Make a Copy”.
Access the Freeze Dried Inventory Google Sheet Here!
Click the link above or right here —> to open the Freeze Dried Inventory google sheet. Don’t forget to save your own copy and bookmark it for easy access later!
Share your feedback:
If you have advice or feedback on this post, can you please let me know in the comments! This will help me, and others, know what works, what doesn’t, and what you’re loving! It can also help me to improve this post and other content to come.