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Magnets to track freezer inventory

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A number of my speedy lunch tips involve making food ahead of time and freezing it in individual portions to throw into a packed lunch.  Keeping track of what's in your freezer is key to being able to cycle through it regularly (avoiding freezer burn and food waste). I've tried different techniques, but haven't been able to stick with anything too demanding that requires me (or my husband) to write down exactly what we take out or put in each time (ack). I did find a pretty straightforward technique in Shufu no Tomo's book on freezing, though: make magnets using photos from the weekly supermarket advertising pages, magnetic sheets sold at dollar stores, and tape. I sometimes scan through new ad circulars as they come to see if there are additional photos that might be good freezer magnet candidates.

Homemade magnets for freezer inventory

You can work out your own system, but here I've put magnets indicating the food I have on the narrow side of the freezer door, and food I don't have (but might pick up sometime) on the right hand side. I actually use these magnets on our large chest freezer in the basement (i.e. the Black Hole for frozen food), but brought some upstairs to show on a regular refrigerator. Anyone else have a handy system? Tell us about it!

To make the magnets, you can use any thin magnets -- I picked up a big yellow magnetic sheet from Daiso (dollar store), and also used paper-thin freebie magnets we've accumulated over the years from pizza delivery, online ordering, etc.  Cut out little photos of food you commonly freeze, tape it to the thin magnet with either double-sided tape or regular tape looped over onto itself, and cut to shape. I disregard brand names, of course: I don't have Eggo waffles in my freezer, but I do have homemade mini pancakes for packed lunches and fast breakfasts for Bug.

Making magnets for freezer inventory

If you wanted to get elaborate with this, craft stores stock special magnetic products you could use with custom photos of your own choosing, and you could finish the top and seal the edges for durability. That's a little much for me, but I bet they'd be cool magnets! For larger views of either photo, click on it, then click the "All Sizes" button above the photo.

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Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
seishin
Apr. 3rd, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
As someone that just moved into her first real apartment with a roomie (living with cousins doesnt count), I LOVE this idea! :D

I was wondering though, where did you pick up the towel paper dispenser and that other side shelf? Those are genius; our kitchen has limited counter space, have to get creative.
ss_biggie
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
I believe I got the magnetic paper towel dispenser from Bed Bath & Beyond a long time ago, and I got the little magnetic basket (now holding garlic and shallots) from a dollar store in Japan. I've also seen them at Daiso and Ichiban Kan (Japanese dollar stores in San Francisco) -- surely they've got to be sold at normal stores elsewhere. Anyone else know of common sources?
_jzabelle_
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:42 am (UTC)
this is one of your best tips! really!!
I'm heading to the store right now to buy some magnet-sheet o_o

What i use is a little note-book that has a magnet attached so you can put it on the fridge's door. Whenever I run out of something, i write it down (it also comes with a little pen) so I don't forget what i need to buy. but i have nothing to know what do i actually have inside! :D

My mum, when she freezes something, she writes with a permanent pen on the tupper-ware or whatever the package she uses. There are also some stores that sell tupper-wares with a sticker on which you can use perm markers (and erase them if needed), so you can write down what you have in the box, when did you put it there and until when you can use it :D

but i like your method best! :D
ss_biggie
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
Good ideas! I use a lot of freezer bags, and write the date on that (but it's not on the outside of the freezer).
_jzabelle_
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC)
that's right, and sometimes the ice spoils the ink... Your method's cool! :D
bluebellrock
Apr. 3rd, 2007 09:40 am (UTC)
This is the best system I've ever used. Decor's Tellfresh range (http://www.decor.com.au/). The tags clip in and out and are fun to write on (the pencil writes so well on the special surface) and easy to erase, and are washable/durable. The containers are clear, modern in design, and come in an incredible array of volumes and shapes. Please excuse the large pic...



ss_biggie
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
That looks very interesting, thanks for the info!
calebs_mom02
Apr. 3rd, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
I came here from food_porn, and after looking at your creations and bento box ideas, I have to say you are a genius! May I "friend" you to watch your progress and to get some wonderful ideas for my family?
ss_biggie
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)
Absolutely, no need to ask! Thanks for the kind words. :-)
spocks_girl
Apr. 3rd, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC)
Found you on food_porn also. Love your journal; am adding you to my FList. No need to add me back.
ss_biggie
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, spocks_girl! Love the name, BTW.
sivmui
Apr. 5th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
oh gosh! that is so nifty! :D
ss_biggie
Apr. 6th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks, sivmui!
jeneration
Jun. 3rd, 2007 07:49 am (UTC)
Hi, I found you via a link to Mr Bento community on Flickr. I am going to add you because I love your lunchbox ideas, but please don't feel any need to add back.
ss_biggie
Jun. 3rd, 2007 09:08 am (UTC)
Thanks jeneration, and welcome! Please also check out my new website (launched today): http://www.lunchinabox.net The Top Speed Tips page (linked at the top) will give you a good overview of my approach.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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