Pantry and Shopping Lists

How do they work together?

Q: I have created a new pantry list and have placed a check beside everything I already have. I then went to meals and added my chosen recipes to a shopping list. Here's where I am stumped. If I leave a check on all of the items in the shopping list indicating that I need them why doesn't the merge button uncheck the items I already have in my pantry?

A: The Merge feature will merge your shopping list into your pantry. However, you will need to use the "Make New Shopping List From Pantry" command from the File Menu to merge your pantry into your shopping list.

In your shopping list you have these items with checkmarks to show that you NEED them:

1 gallon milk
2 cups sugar
Now press the Merge button and go look at your pantry which now shows you have:

1 gallon milk
2 cups sugar
It assumes you purchased these items and adds them to your pantry.


Now set your pantry up like this (with no checkmarks to show that you DON'T HAVE them):

1 pound butter
2 cups flour
Now use the command: Make New Shopping List From Pantry from the File Menu. Go take a look at your shopping list, which now looks like this:

1 pound butter
2 cups flour
with checkmarks so that they will print because you need to go buy them.

Now you can add recipes or whatever to this shopping list and save it.


Q: I went through my cookbooks and chose 5 meals I wanted to prepare in a week, I then added those recipes to a shopping list. Now I am not sure if I need to edit some of those ingredients after I move them to the shopping list or not - I assumed I could press "combine ingredients" button and it would do it for me. I then made a pantry list with the same name as my shopping list and typed in all the products I had already at home. This is where I ran into much trouble. When I tried with whole units it worked okay but I simply don't understand about the adding the recipes to "Shopping" and then merging "Pantry" so I can get a complete list. Sometimes it does uncheck some of the items but not all.

A: If you have a pantry, that's where you start. And you may want to make up a fake pantry and a couple of fake recipes to practice with. It *is* hard to see sometimes -- yes!

There are two things you might be running into here. The first is that "combine ingredients" is supposed to take care of the situation where you have 1 cup sugar in one recipe and 1 cup sugar in another recipe. It should combine them so the listing is for 2 cups sugar. It will not combine Shopping List and Pantry.

The other thing is that "combine ingredients" will combine a weight with another weight or a volume with another volume, but it cannot combine, say, 1 cup sugar and 1 pound sugar. You may be running into this same concept when you try to merge shopping list and pantry together -- you say that merge will uncheck some items, but not all. I don't think MC realizes that if your Pantry shows you have "5 pounds" of sugar, you will not have to buy "1/2 cup" sugar. So your ingredients should be listed in the pantry according to how your recipes will call for them.

But -- I think you are still not starting with your pantry. Here is what I did:

I made a pantry of three items:

2 cups flour
1 gallon water

I checked flour and water to say I had them. I did not check sugar (and I did not enter an amount). I saved it as "test".

Go to File>Make New Shopping List From Pantry. This step is the key one -- if you want your needed pantry items to show up on the shopping list, you must start here.

Then go to Shopping list tab. See that the sugar is listed and has a check that you need it. Good.

Then drag a recipe onto the shopping list from MasterList -- ingredients are 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Those ingredients show up on shopping list. I click "check all", because I want them for my recipes.

Click on "merge" while in Shopping List, and MC will compare my shopping list with my pantry and uncheck items already in the pantry from the shopping list. It does. The only items that remain checked are the sugars. But neither "merge" nor "combine ingredients" will combine that 1/2 cup sugar from the recipe with the unspecified amount of sugar I said I needed in Pantry.

Q: I did this test, but I don't understand why the pantry shows I have 2 cups of flour when I think it should have subtracted the 1/2 cup used in the recipe from there.

A: It isn't designed to do this. The merge feature doesn't subtract amounts, just items.

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