No matter how many times I write about food, there is always something new to consider or a new and different way to present the same old information in a more useful manner. With that in mind, today I would like to share a method for getting started with your food storage program in an easy, step-by-step, and cost-effective manner.
To be truthful, my initial goal with this article was to respond to readers who were just getting started and wanted a shopping list of things to buy for their food storage pantry. I also wanted to compile a checklist that more experienced preppers could use to compare what they had to what they needed. My goal can pretty much be summed up by saying that I wanted to write about getting started with food storage the easy way. No frills, no fluff – just a common sense list of food items to get you started. Continue reading →
Proper food storage prevents spoilage and throwing out good food! Food huggers fit over almost any size jar, can or even cut vegetables to lock in freshness.
The refrigerators of people who are trying to live on less, leave behind smaller carbonfootprints and do more for themselves look very different from the refrigerators of people who are less concerned with those ideals. You don’t see many packaged foods, name brands or fancy labels in frugal refrigerators. What you do see are Mason jars filled with home processed or bulk purchased food, home-made goodies and leftover bit and dabs that will be turned into good meals for hungry families.
I cleaned out my refrigerator this week. I had a few things that had seen better days. Those brown apple cores will go to feed our chickens or pigs. The wilted greens go to the worm farm or the compost pile. Jars of water from cooking vegetables will go into stock. Bread crusts will turn into stuffing or pudding. Hard cheese will grace a casserole. Nothing much goes to waste around here. Continue reading →
Whether your pantry area is a designated cabinet or a separate room, having it properly organized can make it much easier to keep track of what you have on hand to makemeals or do your shopping.
In our home I plan meals by a weekly menu where possible. I try to keep staples in the pantry and purchase fresh foods as needed. By keeping my pantry organized similar to the way a store shelf is, I can know at a glance whether I have the items I need to make the meals I have planned. This allows me to put the needed items on my shopping list and save extra trips to the store. It also keeps me from over-buying items I already have.
Here are some hints to help you get started (many I picked up from my Mom and how she organized her pantry):
Be realistic in the number of a single item that you need to keep on hand, be it canned goods or varieties of grains and pastas. I have found ten is usually a good standard to use for my family. Your ideal number will be based on the size of your family.
Rotate the oldest items to the front and put the newest to the back.
Pay attention to expiration dates. Many foods can turn toxic when past their expiration dates. Even home-canned goods should have a date put on them when placing them in storage.
Place breakable, heavy jars and cans on lower shelves to help avoid dropping them when removing them. (However, if you have little ones that could get into your cupboards, put these jars out of their reach.)
Canned foods and other jarred foods should also be stored out of small children’s reach to avoid breakage and injury.
preferably those with an air-tight seal – thus avoiding moisture and insects.
Avoid dented or damaged cans; they can allow bacteria in and cause spoilage to the food inside. Look over ‘bargain’ items carefully. Remember, a good bargain at the store is not worth food poisoning to your family!
Store nuts, flours and cornmeal in the freezer to prevent them from going rancid before they’re used up. Before using, let set on your countertop to reach room temperature.
With today’s busy schedules, planning and getting healthy meals on the table is a challenge. Organizing your pantry can make it faster and easier – and save on your food budget, too!