So, you’re heading out on your boat and you know it’s going to be a few weeks or more before you’ll hit another grocery store. You want to make sure you have all the food you’ll want, but not too much of one thing. And you already have some food on board, and you don’t want to duplicate it when you go to the supermarket. What’s a sailor to do?
That’s exactly the situation my provisioning spreadsheet is designed for! It’s downloadable and editable so that you can include the exact foods you want.
What the Provisioning Spreadsheet Is
Although I call this a provisioning spreadsheet, it’s really a combination inventory and provisioning spreadsheet. It is NOT intended to be a recommendation of what you need on any particular trip — that is up to you, what you like to eat, how many people are on board, and how long you’ll be gone.
This spreadsheet will allow you to decide what foods you want, how many units of each you use in an average week, let you inventory how many you already have on hand, and then it will calculate how many you need to buy. Then you can print your grocery list, sorted by aisles of the store.
This is an Excel .xlsx spreadsheet that works in most major spreadsheet programs. I know it works in both Excel and Open Document. If you use another spreadsheet program that will read an .xlsx file, this should also work, but no guarantees. It does not work with iOS Numbers.
There is a detailed instruction sheet telling you exactly how to use the provisioning spreadsheet. You can get the spreadsheet and instructions here.
How to Use the Spreadsheet
Begin by entering the number of weeks that you are planning for. That is, how many weeks until your next major provisioning stop.
You can start with my list of common provisions and add any other items that you want. For each, enter:
- The number used in an average week for the group as a whole, not per person
- A minimum number to have on hand (used for things that are hard to find and may not be available at your next provisioning stop)
- The number already on hand
If you’re not sure of how much of various items you use in a typical week, read my article How Much Do I Need?
The spreadsheet will sum up the number on hand in various locations, compare that to the number needed for the trip and the minimum number you want to have onboard, and calculate how many you need to buy.
Shopping with the Provisioning Spreadsheet
The provisioning spreadsheet is set up so that you can sort it to print only the items you need, and have those items sorted by category — for example, all the “Baking” items you need will be grouped together so that when you’re in the baking aisle of the store, you’ll know ALL the things to put in the basket. This makes shopping much more efficient. Exactly how to do this is explained with a step-by-step how-to in the instructions.