My Household Inventory

Spreadsheets are Life

For the past two years I’ve been obsessively keeping a household inventory on a spreadsheet. The list contains every product we use in our household from face soap to toilet paper. It includes vitamins, beauty products, cleaners, paper products, and every filter it takes to keep our household running. I can tell you how much we use it every product in a 30 day span and I’m very proud of that. It helps with budgeting and it also helps me see when were being excessive.

Example Spreadsheet for Household Inventory
This is an example of what my spreadsheet looks like.

Every month I pull up the spreadsheet and I update our inventory. When it falls below a certain threshold it’s time to replenish. I do a big purchase once a month. Most of our bulk items I buy on Amazon like toilet paper, paper towels, baggies, hand soap etc. I also get a bunch of stuff on Lucky Vitamin. Beauty products come from Whole Foods, Moko, Spirit Beauty Lounge, Duross and Langell, and on occasion Bluemercury. Even most of my clothes are bought online from places like Hautelook (Thanks Tanya), Nordstrom Rack, Macy’s, or my new favorite love ModCloth.

The only thing left is food and booze. Food shopping really depends on how busy that week is going to be. If it leans towards the calm side, I will shop daily as we are close to Reading Terminal Market, Farmer’s Markets, and Whole Foods. Sometimes I will order on Instacart if I’m feeling lazy. On the rare occasion that end up near a Wegman’s or Trader Joe’s then we will stock up on some shelf stable and freezer items. For super busy weeks my favorite solution is delivery from HelloFresh. When I’m in New Jersey, I buy wine in bulk. For hard alcohol we walk a block to the nearest state store and pick it up when we need it. Living in the city makes shopping super easy.

It’s a system and I love a good system. It may seem excessive but I would argue that it saved me tons of time as I was basically shopping once a month and we rarely ran out of anything. However, today that system showed its flaws and it’s time to adjust.  I’m not sure if I’m going to like it or not.


Our apartment is not huge but it’s a good size for the city living. We have called this place home now for two years and for the most part we are very comfortable here. There’s some noise issues once in a while since we live on a main road but other than that it’s brand-new and has a huge kitchen. We have however hit maximum capacity with stuff. I don’t know how most of it gets here but things just seem to multiply. The ironic part is that I am the opposite of a pack rat. I will throw out or recycle something before you even had a chance to get used to it. Yet still I find that we have stuff everywhere. I mean … I’m not saying the hubs is a hoarder but I am saying he like mementos *wink*.

I am on a mission to maximize our space and reduce clutter. Unfortunately this means reducing the amount of product inventory we have stored. This in turn causes my entire shopping system to be turned on its head. Now I feel lost in an endless sea of lists. I have one list from Alexa. (I’ve been turning to Alexa a lot more because she really listens to me.) I have my Evernote shopping list. I have coupons from CVS and I hate coupons. I don’t hate their value, that I appreciate. I hate having to carry and organize coupons. Is there an app that let’s you scan coupons into your phone yet? Side note to look that up. There has to be at this point.

Onto the Next One

Over the next month or two I will be developing our new system. There will be some trial and error. It will probably be uncomfortable but I will learn and adapt. I’m really going to try to bring my shopping to all local businesses going forward. That has always been something that was ultra important to me but I was swayed by the convenience of Amazon. Part of this redevelopment will be focusing most of my dollars right here in Philly. I will keep you posted and report back with what worked and what didn’t.



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