Created by RC Stanley 2006/2008
Released under the GPL
FoodThinger is a free software program for creating and maintaining a
storage plan. Having an emergency supply of food provides peace
of mind during times of unemployment or disaster. Using
FoodThinger, you can create food storage
goals based on your family's needs then track your progress towards
- System Requirements
- Current (download this version)
- Using FoodThinger
- Getting Started
- Adding family members
- Deleting family
- Creating the plan
- The "Generate New
Food Storage Goals" window
- Viewing Reports
- Exporting Reports
- The Pantry Window
- The Left Pane
- The Right Pane
- Adding a food
- Deleting a food
- Eating a food -
Decrement by One
- Store, Locations,
- Adding a Store
- Renaming a Store
- Deleting a store
New Food Item
- Cannery Categories
- Exporting your Pantry
- Additional Help
- Known Issues
- Additional Resources /
- Windows XP / 2000 / Vista
FoodThinger is free and licensed under the GPL.
- FoodThinger allows you to create an updatable food storage plan
based on your family's size (based on information available from
- FoodThinger allows you to add foods as you purchase them and
record where you put them.
- FoodThinger will also keep track of expiration dates for you and
you to see what foods have expired or will expire soon so you can use
- Food Thinger contains expiration times for the most common food
- FoodThinger uses the USDA's database of thousands of foods.
- Export your information into a spreadsheet. (This means if
you ever want to stop using FoodThinger, you don't loose all the
information you've input).
- See how much of each food you need to purchase.
- See a graph of how many months of food storage you
There have been several changes since version .9 (updated 1/2/09):
- In line with new guidelines from the LDS church, you can now set
the expiration date up to 30 years from the current date
- Bug fix: a spelling error has been fixed
- Bug fix: you can now save the price of the food you buy
- Bug fix: weight conversion is performed automatically (basically,
if you had 32 ounces of wheat but your goal called for pounds, the
wouldn't be counted)
|FoodThinger Installer (includes
its database) version .91 this is the one you want
|FoodThinger Source Code and associated files
|FoodThinger Database (includes table
descriptions) version .91 (database is identical to version .9)
First, some quick definitions. "Click" means to push the left
mouse button. "Right click" means to push the right mouse
button. Different levels of menus will be shown by ->
(for example File->Open means to left click on the word file at the
top of the window then left click on the word open.)
Caveat: I have done my best to ensure the information in this program
is accurate, but I am only human. If you feel an amount
FoodThinger recommends is too small, please buy more.
When you open FoodThinger for the first time, it will display the
"Properties" window open to the "Family" tab. (You can return to
this window by selecting File->Properties.)
Adding family members
Enter your family member's name by typing their name in the box labeled
"names", choose their gender from the drop down box, and enter his/her
birthday in the box (MM/DD/YYYY). Then click on the "Add"
button. His or her name will appear in the "Family Members"
To remove a family member from the plan, type the id number of the
person in the box "Delete #". Then click the "Delete" button.
Creating the plan
When you are finished adding family members, click on the "Create Food
Plan" button. Select the number of months you want to plan for by
selecting the number of months in the "Number of Months to Plan"
box. Then select the "New Plan" option. Click "Next".
The "Generate New
Food Storage Goals" window
The "Plan Amounts'" area shows the types and amounts of foods in the
plan. To change an amount, click in the "User Amount"
of the food you want to change, then start typing. The "Summary"
area shows you a quick summary of how much of each food is suggested
and how much you currently have as your goal. It will turn a
category red if you have less than the recommended amount in any
If you want to add a food, use the "Add an Item" area. Select the
food you want, what category it is in and select a name for a
subcategory. You can also enter how much you want. Click
the "Add" button. The food will be added to the "Plan Amounts"
Once you have your plan as you like it, click the "Finish"
button. You will be taken back to the "Properties" window.
You can now close this window by clicking on the "X".
If you later need to add a new family member, go to
File->Properties->Family, add the family member then select the
"Generate Food Plan" button and go through the steps outlined
In the main FoodThinger window, click on the "Pantry" button.
This will bring up the pantry
Click on the "Add" button.. This will bring up the
"Add an Item to the Pantry" window.
- Select the food or item that you want to add from the "Food/Item"
drop down boxes. There are 2 drop down boxes. The first is
a list of common foods you might want to add. If you select a
food from the first box, it will automatically select the full name of
the food. The second drop down box is a list of all the foods in
the database. If the food you want to add isn't in the first box,
you can look through the list of all foods. (If you still can't
find the item you want, you can add it by going to
File->Preferences->Add New Food Item)
- Select the container your food is in (ex. #10 can, 5 gallon pail)
from the Container drop down box
- Enter the number of containers you bought.
- Add the month and year the food was purchased
- (Optional) If you have selected a common food, such as wheat, you
can click on the "AutoFill" button and skip steps 6 and 7.
FoodThinger knows the expiration dates and weights for many of the
common food storage foods. (Note: the furtherst FoodThinger will
auto fill is 20 years in the future.)
- Select the expiration date for the food.
- Enter the weight of 1 container
- (Optional) Select the store the food was bought from.
(You can enter a new store by going to File->Preferences->Stores.
- (Optional) Enter how much the food cost
- (Optional) Select where you stored the food so you can find it
later. (You can enter a new location by going to
- Click the Add button.
- When you are finished adding foods click on the "Cancel" button
or on the "x" in the corner of the "Add an Item to the Pantry" window.
FoodThinger provides several ways to check your food storage
progress. Click on the "Reports" button.
(Warning: this window is very slow. If it seems like it isn't
responding, give it a few minutes.)
- Totals - how much of each food you want, how much you
actually have, and what percent complete you are
- Percent of Goal - a graph of how long your food will last you
- Food To Get - a shopping list of what food you need and how much
- Expired - allows you to generate a list of foods that will be
expiring in the next few months so you know to hurry up and eat them
- Query - allows you to do direct SQL queries on the database
FoodThinger is built on. You will probably not need to use this
If you want to view your reports in a spreadsheet or other program, you
can export the information by clicking Export ->Export. The
information in the current (visible) tab will be exported. The
image below shows the export window for the "Totals" tabs.
Select which of the columns of the table you want to export.
Choose your delimiter (the symbol that will be put in between the
columns. A comma is a bad choice since many food names contain
them). You only need a delimiter if you are exporting as a csv
file. Decide if you want the names of the columns included.
Choose your format: html or csv. Html is the format for a webpage
that you can look at in your web browser and print it. Csv is the
look at in Excel or other spreadsheet program. Click the "Export"
what you want the file to be named then click "Save".
The Pantry Window
Click on the "Pantry" button. This will bring up the pantry
The Left Pane
On the left side shows the categories of food (Fats and Oils, Fruit,
etc.). The numbers in parentheses are how many of each item you
have in each category. If you select a category by clicking on
it, you can see the food items just in that category. If you
click on the little circle next to the file folder icon, you can see
the subcategories and how many foods are in each one.
The Right Pane
The right side shows information about the food stored. It shows
the id number of each food, if the food has passed its expiration date
(1 means yes, 0 means no), the food name, its container, the expiration
date, purchase date, location, how many you have, the store, the price
and the weight. If you click on one of the column headings, this
sorts the list by that column. If you click on the column heading
again, it sorts the list the other way. You can also resize the
Adding a food
See Adding a food above.
Deleting a food
To delete a food, click on the row you want to delete. There are
two ways to delete a food. You can click on the delete
button. The other way is to click with the right mouse
button. This will bring up a menu. Select "Delete
Row". (Warning: there is no undo, once you delete a food you will
have to add it again.)
Eating a food -
Decrement by One
Once you have eaten a food in your pantry, you will want to remove
it. You can either delete it as described above, or you can
"Decrement by One". For example, suppose you added three cans of
wheat, so there is 1 row in the pantry that represents 3 cans of
wheat. When you eat one of the cans, select the the row in
the pantry, right click and bring up the menu, then select "Decrement
by One". This will change the row to show 2 cans of wheat.
Sometimes you have a food that you want to add again exactly as it is
already in the pantry. Select the row in the pantry by clicking
on it. Right click to bring up the menu. Select
"Copy". A copy of the food will appear in the pantry.
You can edit the information in a pantry row. Select the food you
want to edit by clicking on the row. Right click to bring up the
menu. Select "Edit". A window exactly like the "Add a Food"
window will appear. Make your changes and click the "Update"
To get to the Properties window, select File->Preferences.
The "General" tab has one check box, "Treat expired items as still
usable". Check this box if you want items considered expired to
still be included in your report totals.
The Store, Locations, and Containers tabs all work the same way.
The instructions below are for the "Store" tab, but you would do the
same thing for any of the tabs.
Select the "Store" tab.
Adding a Store
To add a new store, click in the text box and type the name of the
store. Click the "<-Add" button.
Renaming a Store
To rename a store, from the drop down box select the name of the store
you want to change. Click in the text box and type the name of
the store. Click the "<-Rename" button. This will change
the name of the store everywhere it occurs.
Deleting a store
To delete a store, from the drop down box select the name of the
store. Click on the "Delete" button. Note: you
cannot delete the name of a store if a food in your pantry uses
See the description under getting started.
New Food Item
If you wish to add an item that isn't listed in the food drop down box,
add it with this window. (ex. sleeping bags, etc.)
Click in the "Food/Item Name" box and enter the food's name.
Click in the Common Name box and type a common name for you food (if
desired). Choose a category for your new food. In the
weights area, you can enter how much an item weighs. You can
enter several different weights for example, how much it weighs in a
#10 can and how much it weighs in a 5 gallon bucket. Click the
This information will be available in a later version.
Exporting your Pantry
You may wish to export your pantry to another program. Go to
File->Export. The "Export Pantry Information' window will open.
From the Export area of the window, check the boxes for the information
you want exported. Choose a delimiter (a delimiter is a symbol
that will show the divisions between different columns. Do not
choose a comma because commas are used in food names). If you
want the common name for the food to be used, check the "Use Common
Name" box. If you want the column names included, check "Include
Column Names". You might not want the column names if you are
importing the information into another database. Click the
A save file window will appear. Type the name of the file in
"File Name" and click the "Save" button.
The converter allows you to convert between different
measurements. Click the "Converter" button. The "Convert
Units" window will open.
Click in the text box and enter the number you want to convert.
Select from the first drop down box the units the number is in.
In the second drop down box, select the units you want the amount to be
in. Click the "Convert" button. The converted amount will
be displayed above the convert button.
If you need additional help, or to report a bug, go to http://www.foodthinger.com or
There is a known issue with some video drivers not updating
FoodThinger's windows correctly. In English, this means when you
scroll through your pantry, the text will get blurry. Updating
your video driver will fix the problem.
Additional Resources /
lots of good information on food storage
USDA food database -
used in FoodThinger (2006 version)
Chart2D - Java
chart drawing program. Released under the GPL.
wrapper - the database FoodThinger is built on. Here is its
copyright notice for the wrapper:
This software is copyrighted by Christian Werner .
The following terms apply to all files associated with the software
unless explicitly disclaimed in individual files.
The authors hereby grant permission to use, copy, modify, distribute,
and license this software and its documentation for any purpose,
that existing copyright notices are retained in all copies and that
notice is included verbatim in any distributions. No written agreement,
license, or royalty fee is required for any of the authorized uses.
Modifications to this software may be copyrighted by their authors
and need not follow the licensing terms described here, provided that
the new terms are clearly indicated on the first page of each file
IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR DISTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTY
FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, ITS DOCUMENTATION, OR ANY
DERIVATIVES THEREOF, EVEN IF THE AUTHORS HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
THE AUTHORS AND DISTRIBUTORS SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ANY WARRANTIES,
INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. THIS SOFTWARE
IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS, AND THE AUTHORS AND DISTRIBUTORS HAVE
NO OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE MAINTENANCE, SUPPORT, UPDATES, ENHANCEMENTS,
(c) 2008 RC Stanley
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