Category Archives: Home Production & Food Storage

LDS Home Storage Center: Important Changes You Should Be Aware of

In Portland, Oregon, the LDS Home Storage Center walk-in hours are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 AM -2 PM.  Non-members are welcome.

 

Only 12 LDS Home Storage Centers are letting people dry-pack long-term food storage. The other centers only sell pre-packaged #10 cans individually or in cases of 6 cans or pre-packaged Mylar bags. Also available for purchase are 25 lbs bags of Hard Red and Hard White Wheat.

Pre-packed food can be purchased directly at the Home Storage Center near you (either individual cans or pouches or in a case). If ordering online, they can be purchased only in a case.

Additionally, the portable dry-pack canner is no longer available to check-out.

For those interested in dry-packing their own food, an automatic impulse pouch sealer can be purchased at the distribution center. 

To view all the products available for purchase, visit the LDS Distribution Center here
To view the order form available at the Home Storage Centers,
To find out the hours of operation at an LDS Home Storage Center near you, visit the Home Storage Center location page at lds.org
If you want to know the location of the 12 Home Storage Centers that  offer self-canning, click here

 

Learn More About Food Storage and Food lasting 30 years or more, click here… 

Build Your Food…One Step at a Time Provident Living Today
Food Storage, from Provident Living
“Storage Life of Dried Food” by USA Emergency Supply
Photo: LDS Intelligent Living

Food Storage Idea: Behind Books on Shelves

by LDS Intelligent Living

For those who struggle with space to store their food supply, here is one idea to store non-perishable food items. Think of the space available behind books on shelves.

    

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

Store Food Supplies in Empty Suitcases

If you have empty suitcases sitting around in storage, collecting dust, you might want to look into using this available space to store some of your food supply or other supplies you need for possible emergencies. In this case, Mylar bags were stored in a suitcase, but you could store non perishable items as well as long-term food supplies. 

Keep looking for creative spaces in your home to store your food storage.

Photo by LDS Intelligent Living

Slanted Shelf Pattern for Canned Food Rotation

How to Make a Slanted Shelf Unit for Canned Food  Rotation for about $100

by LDS Intelligent Living

Slanted shelves are a space-efficient method for both storing and rotating canned foods. Some commercial systems allow the cans to be fed and retrieved from the same end of the shelves (the cans roll toward the back of the shelf drop down to a lower slanted shelf and roll forward). The shelf pattern provided here requires access to both the front and back ends of the shelf (or left and right if you face the side of the shelf). Cans are fed from one end and roll to the other for retrieval. The pattern provided here was adapted from a slanted shelf pattern written by Tom H.  The original design was for a shelf 48”x22”x72”. My available space was a little narrower and a little taller. I had about 5’ of space. Click on pictures for close-up.                                                                             To allow for a foot of space to access both the front and back (or as you face the side of the shelf, the left and right), I had to modify the width in the original pattern (as you look at the shelf per the vantage in the pictures above) from 48” to 36”. I also had 78” of vertical space available and increased the shelf height by 6” from the original pattern. I also chose to increase the shelf width from 19” to 24” to provide for an additional row of cans. The final dimensions of my shelf were 36” wide x 27” deep x 78” high. The instructions below are based on my modified dimensions. Materials List

Quantity Material Purpose
3 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood (I used ¼”;  ½” would provide more shelf support, but  ¼” worked fine for this pattern) 10 to 11 shelves (4 per sheet)
9 2” x 4” x 8’ boards Shelf frames (6 vertical legs, 6 horizontal supports)
11 1” x 2” x 8’ boards Shelf supports and can stops
Abt 100 1 ¾” or 2” wood screws Attaching shelf supports and can stops
Abt 50 1 ¼” wood screws Assembling the frame
100-150 1” nails Attaching shelves to shelf supports
Abt 6 per shelf ¼” x 36” strips of wood (could be cut from leftover scraps of plywood)Material is really your choice – I used strips of scrap cedar and pine. Metal shelf supports could be used or other creative options. These dividers should be 30-35” long. Can dividers

Power Tools needed: Power drill – bench/table saw – nail gun (optional) – dado blade with bench/table saw Cutting the Shelves Use a chalk line to mark each sheet of plywood per the photo below. Make cuts with a circular saw or on a bench/table saw with the help of an assistant. Each sheet yields 4 – 36”x 24” boards (minus the kerf – width of saw blade) with one 1’ x 8’ board left as scrap.

 

Cutting Boards for the Frame Step #1: Cut 6 of the 2×4 boards to 78” in length. Cut the remaining 2×4 boards in 36” lengths (2 per board). Step #2: Cut 3” wide x  ¾” deep dados per the pattern below. On the 78” boards, I chose to cut one set of dados about 3” above the bottom of the board to allow the bottom horizontal supports to be off the floor. If you’re not concerned about the bottom supports sitting on the floor then the dados can be cut at the end of the board.   Cutting a dado

                                                                       Boards with all dados cut

 

Cutting the Shelf Supports I decided to have 11 slanted shelves on my unit, which meant the bottom shelf was installed very close to the floor. An alternate design would be to have a flat shelf at the bottom and start the slanted shelves higher up, which would mean fewer slanted shelves. Slanted shelves will be spaced 6” apart and you will need two shelf supports per shelf. Determine how many shelves total you will have on your unit and cut the appropriate number of supports, 36” long from the 1×2 boards. For my shelf, I cut 22 – 36” supports (which used 8 1×2 boards, with 60” left on the 8th board). Cutting the Can Dividers I cut 35” long x ¼” wide strips of wood from scraps of cedar and pine for my dividers. Strips could also be cut from the left over plywood after cutting the shelves. Use appropriate safety precautions when cutting very narrow strips of wood on a table or bench saw. All wood should have proper support underneath during cutting. Be sure to use push sticks when fingers may be near the blade. Other materials, such as metal shelf supports could also be cut or purchased and used as dividers. If you cut dados in the can stops to hold the dividers in place, be sure the dividers will fit into the dados. Cutting the Can Stops I chose to mount my can stops on the face of the shelves/frames. I needed 11 – 27” stops cut from the remaining 1×2 boards. An alternate design is to mount them on top of the front end of each shelf. If I had chosen to use this method I would have cut 11 – 24” stops and would have used 1×1 boards rather than 1×2. I probably would have also used ½” plywood rather than ¼” for the shelves to provide more material to anchor the stops. While not necessary, I chose to make dado cuts in my can stops to hold the can dividers in place on one end of the shelves. I cut the dados at intervals in the diagram below (see below diagram for suggested intervals) to allow for adjusting the dividers to accommodate different widths of cans and bottles on each shelf. This is not a necessary step.   Optional dados in can stops for adjustable dividers All dados are ¼”and are cut at the following intervals: 1.5”,  4.5”, 6.5”, 8.5”, 11.5”, 16.5”, 17.5”, 21.5”

  Assembling the Frames Using the 6 – 78” vertical and 6 – 36” horizontal frame pieces lay the frames out per the photo below. Use 2 – 1 ½” screws at each intersection.                 Attaching Shelf Supports to Frames On one side of the frame (starting side doesn’t matter), attach one of the 36” shelf supports to the frame 3” from the bottom.  Attach the other end of the shelf support to the opposite side of the frame 6” from the bottom (the slope of the shelf could probably be decreased slightly and still allow the cans to roll on their own).

Space remaining shelf supports every 6” (measuring from the bottom of one support to the bottom of the next). I marked the location of the bottom of all shelf supports before attaching any of them. Repeat the process with the other frame. I used wood screws to attach my shelf supports, but nails could be used as well. IMPORTANT:

  1. If you install your first horizontal support off the floor as I did, be sure you start at the correct end on both sides of the frame when attaching supports.
  2. The two frame halves will be mirror images of each other. Be sure to mark and install shelf supports in this manner (see photo below).

Attaching the Shelves to the Frames For me, this was probably the trickiest part of assembling the unit and required two people. I set the two frames upright and laid the first (bottom) shelf between the frames. I used a nail gun to attach the shelf to the shelf supports (shooting down into the shelf and supports). I had my helper hold the frames in place while I attached the shelf. The helper needed to stabilize the unit until about the 5th shelf was installed. Installing the shelves could be very time consuming if you choose to drive the nails with a hammer rather than use a nail gun. (If you don’t have a nail gun, pre-drilling starter holes in the shelves might speed up driving the nails.) Once all shelves were installed, I anchored the unit to the wall with two screws at the top of the unit. Additional support (although once I anchored this to the wall, I don’t think this shelf needs additional support) could be provided by connecting the two frames together at the top and bottom with additional 2x4s. NOTE: If you plan to install the can stops on the face of the unit rather than on top of the shelf, be sure the lower end of each shelf does not extend past the end of the frames.

 

 

 

 

Installing the Can Stops If you install the can stops to the face of the unit as I did (see below), I recommend using screws rather than nails as cans striking the stop will eventually push the stop and nails off the frame. I used one screw to attach each end of the stop to the 2×4 frame. If the stops are installed on top of the shelves, nails could be used.

Installing Can Dividers I cut 30-35” long x ¼” wide strips for my dividers (see step above for cutting the dividers). Dividers should be as long as possible to help keep cans separate. I had varying lengths according to the scraps I had available. Dividers up to 6” shorter than the shelves don’t cause a big problem as you can reach into the shelves (from the back) to place cans between the dividers. Dividers need to be installed the length of the shelves along each frame (to prevent the cans from falling out the sides of the unit – these dividers should extend the entire length of the shelves). Other dividers can be used to space cans according to your needs on each shelf. See images below for examples of how I used my adjustable dividers to accommodate different sized cans and jars.

               

 

 

 

 

 

  Finishing Touches (Making Food Rotation Easier) Because this shelf unit is placed in an out-of-the way (basement) location in my home, I didn’t worry about staining or painting on a finish. I did, however, do a couple of additional things to make rotating my cans an easier task. Once I determined the location of each type of food product, I placed labels on the front of the can stop to mark the location of each can. I then attached a cup hook near each label and hung small cards with the name of each food product on the cup hooks. The location of the cards shows me which row of cans is currently being used. Once I have used the cans from one row, I move the cards to the next hook (if multiple rows of the same food are being stored) to mark the next row to be used. As I take a can from the shelf, I also take one of the cards to remind me to purchase a replacement can for the one I’ve used.

The pictures shown below are from a couple of slanted shelves units built with variations.

  *Special thanks to Wayne S., Tom H., and Kevin H., for their contributions toward the design of this shelf unit.

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

Salvage Grocery Stores

By Donna White

A trip to the salvage grocery store is like a treasure hunt.  There you will find great bargains and unexpected treasures.  These stores are not as busy as regular stores, so if you have any questions you can talk to the owner or staff who are always very friendly and helpful.

What is a salvage grocery store, or scratch and dent or discount grocery store, as they are sometimes called?  A salvage grocery store is basically a damaged goods store. Cans and packages (and sometimes the whole case) may have been slightly damaged during delivery.  There are many other reasons why products end up in these stores: a label change or improper labeling; closeouts, discontinued items, overstocks, excess inventory, off-brands, seasonal items; closing of a warehouse, goods getting close to their use by date, etc.

For whatever reasons the regular supermarkets could not (or choose not to) sell the particular item.  Items are then sent to a supermarket reclamation center where broken jars are discarded, cans with leaks are destroyed, etc.  The rest of the products are then shipped to a distributor, who ships the products to a salvage grocery store.

Some things to be aware of:

*  Salvage grocery stores are regulated and inspected by the USDA.

*  A spokesman for the National Food Processors Association stated that dented and rusty cans are safe as long as they don’t leak or bulge.

*  All the groceries are check for quality by the liquidation center and by the staff at the salvage store.

*  The Best if used by date is the date recommended for best taste or flavor.  This is how long the manufacturer wants their goods on display, but usually foods will be good for many months beyond these dates.  Canned foods usually last a long time past these dates as do many boxed foods.

*  The only foods  required to have expirations dates are baby food and infant formulas.

How do you find salvage grocery stores?  Usually it is through word of mouth.  You can also check for small ads in neighborhood papers and in the Yellow Pages under Salvage, Discount stores, and unfortunately, under Grocery-Retail, along with the myriad of other grocery stores.  Some of the places I go to are Everyday Deals, 17310 SE Division St., phone 503-762-4970, Grocery Outlet, one of the classiest discount stores around with 4 stores in the metro area, and Save-A-Lot.  Check to see if there is a salvage store in your area.

What are some examples of what you can find?

At our local salvage store in our area I can get pure maple syrup for $4.99 for a 12 oz bottle which is half off the regular store price.  I check every so often to see if they have it, and when they do I buy as much as I can afford because it goes fast.

On a visit to family in Gresham, I stopped in at one of the salvage stores my daughter told me about.  They had packages of dry beans, kidney and red beans, 2 packages for $1. Each package was 2 lbs, which came out to 25 cents a lb.  What a deal!  The next time I visited the store they still had beans.   Same kind, new price – 1 package for $1.

At another store in Gresham several years ago I found packages of Bob’s Red Mill TVP (textured vegetable protein) which not only do I store and use regularly, but was also on the lookout for more.  There were about 35-40 packages.  I would have been pleased to find just one at the marked price, but this was a gold mine.   I told the owner that if it was alright with him I would like to buy all of the TVP and would he be willing to give me a bulk price on it.  He thought for a minute, and then quoted an extremely low price, which came out to about 15 cents a lb.  Later that week I was able to dry-pack 3 cases of TVP using the portable canner from Portland Home Storage. 

Things to remember when shopping at a salvage grocery store:

*  Bring your price book or know your prices.  Not everything is a good deal.

*  If uncertain whether to get something, buy a sample to test, preferably as soon as you get out of the store.  I bought a package of dried pears at a great price, and my husband and I ate some in the car.  We liked them so much I went right back in and bought 3 more packages.  The next time we were in the area we went back to get more dried pears.  They were gone.  Stock up, if you can, because what is there one week might not be there next week.

*  Unless the store is in your area, to save on gas plan your visit to a salvage store in combination with other errands.

*  Know that circumstances change.  One store that was a favorite of mine changed ownership two times and no longer has the same good deals.

In today’s economy, business is booming at the salvage grocery stores.  Not only are they a great resource in these lean times, but shopping in them is a fun experience.  You never know what treasures you are going to find.

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

 

Where Do I Store All This Food?

by LDS Intelligent Living

Take some time to look around your house to see where you might find storage spaces for your food supply.

Toy chest - hidden food storage at the bottom

#10 cans hidden at the bottom of a toy chest

These pictures show how a toy chest is being used to store #10 cans at the bottom. Cover the cans with cardboard or a blanket and store the toys on top. This idea works for long-term supplies that wouldn’t need to be rotated often.

Tables are great places to hide storage items

Hide storage items under tables

Underneath tables are great places to store various items. In the picture, a three months supply of toilet paper (the 1000 sheet per roll brand) is kept in a container. When spaces are tight, you have to examine your house carefully to discover all the possibilities.

12 boxes under a twin size bed - 6 #10 cans in each box - one year long-term food storage for one person

12 boxes under twin size bed - one year long-term food supply for one personOne year long-term food storage for one person can be stored under a twin size bed. A bed with a space under the frame of 10” in height with a depth of 36” and a length of 76” will accomodate 12 boxes with 6 #10 cans in each. If you want to store more, remove the bed frame and use 24 boxes instead (1 year long-term food storage for two people), cover them with a bed skirt, and place the mattress on top of your food storage bed frame.

. Portland Home Storage Center rice casesYou can purchase a starter kit (one month kit for one person) and pre-packaged long-term food storage cases, click on pictures for more information.

 

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

Know the Right Storage Conditions for Your Food Storage

#10 cans - long-term food storage

  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight.
  • Keep a constant temperature between 40-70 degrees F.
  • Find the coolest place in your house (basements are great).
  • Keep food storage away from heat sources (furnace, freezer, water heater, refrigerator).
  • Keep food storage away from clothes dryer (too much humidity )
  • Keep food storage dry at all time.
  • Room should have good ventilation.
  • Store foods off the floors.

The Utah State University Cooperative Extension has a great site with fact sheets about food storage. If you want to read more on Storage Conditions, click here 

Photo by LDS Intelligent Living

Can I Keep My Food Storage in the Garage?

By David S.

In most instances the garage is not a good location for food storage. Most garages are not insulated and thus the temperature can fluctuate a lot.  Large fluctuations in temperature are worse for the food storage than a high constant temperature. Even if the garage is insulated you still have a number of other issues to deal with.  The garage door is usually not insulated and can let heat in or out more than the walls themselves.  If there is no living space above the garage, then the garage attic must be insulated as well.  You would also need to properly seal any other areas where air can come in or go out such as around windows, below the garage door and where wires and pipes enter or exit the garage.  Your best bet is to monitor temperature and humidity for a while and see if they are okay.

Dry food storage is affected by four things, temperature, moisture, light and pests.

The temperature should stay below room temperature (75 degrees or less).  The warmer the temperature above freezing level, the shorter the shelf-life for keeping it’s nutritional value.  The LDS Church website points out that the staple dry goods, such as wheat, rice, etc. will last at least 30 years if kept below 75 degrees.

The humidity should be as low as possible.  Anything above 50 or 60% is a poor location.  It is better to aim for about 15% if possible.  This can also be helped by using oxygen absorbers in with the food and sealing the storage containers properly.

We’ve already seen how the garage is a poor location for the first two conditions.  The garage is also a great home for pests.  That means that three of the four conditions make the garage a poor choice unless you can guarantee the conditions listed can be met.

Photo source: LDS Intelligent Living

9 Food Rotation and Labeling Ideas

by LDS Intelligent Living

Weekly container method

This method works well if you organize your food storage with weekly menus. Create as many seven-day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) menu plans of your family’s favorite meals (personally I would use this method only for the dinner meals) as fits your families eating preferences (a minimum of two different menu plans is recommended). Label each different seven-day menu plan with a different letter (A, B, C, etc.). Place all the non-perishable ingredients needed for each one-week menu in a separate container (plastic or cardboard box). Label each container according to the meal it contains (A, B . . .). For a three-month supply, you will need twelve containers – 6 each for each of two different menus (A and B) or four containers each of three different menus (A, B and C). At the beginning of the week, empty the next container in your rotation and place all the food in the pantry closest to your kitchen so you can use it during the week. To rotate your storage, refill that container with the same foods you took out. Don’t forget to date the foods or the container so you know in which order to use each one-week box of food products. Do not include in these containers food items that last a long time after they are opened such as oils, condiments, spices.

two columns methods

Two Columns Method

The idea is to arrange the items to be stored in two columns. Every time you need to remove a product from the shelf, take it from the right (these should be the ones that need to be used first). When the right column is empty, you slide the whole left column to the right, and re-stock on the left. This method is more practical to use when you just have about 20 or less of a certain item(s) you normally store in your pantry.

Food rotation - color sticker method

Color sticker method

sticker method Select colored stickers to represent year or half-year expiration periods (the frequency depends somewhat on the foods you are labeling). Place a sticker on all or some items in your food storage to correspond roughly with when the food items expire  or should be used. This provides a quick visual  key to howfrequently or when foods should be rotated. Personally, I think placing stickers on every single can or box would require purchasing too many stickers to regularly use this method on all the products I store. This method works well for items stored in different areas of the house (under beds, tables etc.) where the expiration date is not easily visible. Place the stickers on an area of the products that can be easily seen.

Rotation method: Use 3x5 cards to keep track of items taken out of storage.

3×5 Card Method

1. List each item in your food storage on a 3”x5” index card. 2. Place all of the cards alphabetically in an envelope or recipe/index box. 3. Place the envelope or box in your food storage area. 4. Place another envelope or recipe/index box (empty at this point) in your kitchen. 5. Each time you take an item out of your storage area, take its 3”x5” index card from the envelope or box in the food storage area and put it in the envelope or box in your kitchen. 6. When you go to the grocery store take the 3”x5” cards from the box in the kitchen with you (instant shopping list). 7. After you have purchased the items from the 3”x5” cards place the cards back in the envelope or box in your food storage area.

Variations

** If you frequent several grocery stores color code your index cards by store. For example, put all items that you purchase at Fred Myer on pink cards,   put all items you purchase at WinCo on green cards, etc. Then when it’s time to go shopping you just need to take the cards that coordinate with the store you are going to. ** If you only shop at one grocery store consider color coding your index cards by department. For example, put soups/canned goods on green cards and put baking foods on pink cards, etc. Then when you are shopping you can find all of the items in each department before moving on to the next department.

Rotation method: notepads to record what needs to be replaced.

Sticky Notepad Method

This is simple, practical and easy. Place a sticky notepad on the cupboard door, or near the storage shelf where your food storage is kept. Every time you remove an item, write what it is on the notepad. When it is time to prepare the weekly grocery list, tear off the sheet from the pad and stick it on your grocery list or write the item’s name directly on it.

IMG_0886

Update and Inventory food storage method

Be sure to have a place near your pantry, in the kitchen or where it is most convenient for family members to write the items taken out of storage so they can be added to the weekly shopping list. I use a blackboard on the kitchen door. A clipboard with a shopping list can be placed in the kitchen, or stuck on the fridge. Make sure all your family members understand what you want them to do. It is easy to forget to write down the food storage used throughout the week, especially if there are younger children or busy teenagers in the house. You should inventory your three months food supply regularly.

Food rotation opened on method

“Opened on” method

Products that take a longer time to consume should be dated the day they are opened, so you know how long it takes to use them, and how much you need  to purchase for your family for 3+ months.

Food rotation - elastic method

Rubber-band method

One practical and easy method I personally like is the rubber band method. I find this method to work well with items that take longer to use after they are opened such as boxes of  bouillon cubes, vanilla flavoring etc. Your food items should be organized in a row and a rubber-band should be wrapped around the second-to-the-last container in the row. As you use your supply you’ll eventually come to the container with the rubber band around it then you know its time to buy more.

Rotation method: Use slanted shelves for your cans.

Auto Rotating Shelves Method

This method is well known and liked. No detailed explanation is necessary for this method – the new cans go in the back, and the can you need to use is taken out in the front, and the next can will roll down. The shelves are quite costly store bought.

Detailed instructions to make the shelves available on the blog!

You need to find the method(s) that work best for you and your family. These ideas have been around for a long time. I have tried most of them and I know others who use them. Do you have a method you like that was not listed in this article?  Leave us a comment to let us know what rotation method you use.

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

Build a Three Month Food Supply Gradually

by LDS Intelligent Living

Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.

Consider these guidelines as you build your 3 months food supply:

Remember to build-up your supply gradually!

 1. Decide how much to spend on your food supply each week.

 2. Date the food to be shelved when you get home AND update your inventory list so you know what you have and need as you go.
 
3. Use one or several food rotation methods you like, read this post for ideas “9 Food Rotation and Labeling Ideas” 
 
4. Make meals several times a week using food from your pantry.
Follow these steps as part of a regular routine of planning, grocery shopping, and stocking up on food storage and you will have great results. One advice I would like to give you is to create your own food storage list. YOU know best what your family eats and you can better plan what to buy and when. Grabbing a list off the internet because you don’t want to do the work or you want to save time will not help much. You need to feel in control, and you need to create your own plan/lists/menus and be in the driver’s seat! It takes time to build up a food storage and you may have to create new habits and disrupt old ones, but do not be discouraged.
Keep going, and stay positive.
How to Save Lots of Money and Build a 3 Month Food Supply much faster

If you are well organized and know what you are doing, you can build your food storage much faster. When you shop smart, you save lots of money!

 You most likely have heard these money saving tips before:
  • Don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach: Eat before you go shopping so you don’t succumb to impulse buying, and get extra food not on your shopping list because you are hungry.
  • Leave your husband and children at home : Go by yourself if you can; you will have more success sticking to your shopping list.

Those are great tips to follow, but there are many more helpful ones. You should be paying close attention to these money saving ideas because, remember: when you plan your grocery shopping wisely, you can save a lot of money and build your food supply faster!

 

man-shopping-at-a-mobile-produce-market-725x484 PUBLIC DOMAIN

Here are my suggestions about saving money on groceries; I share them with you because they truly work!

If You Want to Save Money, Lose the Traditional Menu Planning Idea

I read a book, years ago, that changed my grocery shopping habits. It explained that the traditional planning of menus is counter productive in the attempt to save money on groceries. When you start planning meals, and collect the recipes for the meals planned, and then, head to the store with your list, you will be most likely paying full price on most of the food on your shopping list.

Barbara Salsbury said: “Plan to eat the bargains you find, rather than trying to find bargains on what you plan to eat!” In other words, you should plan your meals after reading the ads in the newspapers, after comparing them to find the best deals, AND after checking your well stocked pantry for what’s already on the shelves. Using the food in your storage is an important factor in this method; if you can buy food in bulk when it hits rock bottom price, you will never have to pay full price again; you can stock-up your pantry and wait for the next sale cycle.

A grocery price book will help you keep track of the sales cycles for the items you regularly buy in each store so you’ll know if the sales are truly “great deals”. The best way to find those price cycles is to record the prices and dates for each of the products you regularly purchase. So, next time you go shopping, don’t throw away your receipts and start recording. Don’t be overwhelmed, take baby steps, start with a few items at a time and build up your price list slowly.

When you add coupons to those bargains, you will have much better results saving money on groceries; the extra savings will help you acquire your three month food supply faster.

When you learn to combine a price book with coupons and other shopping techniques, you will be able to save hundreds of dollars. Remember: It will take planning, organizing, and time at first, but it will be well worth the effort when you see the results.

Why do all this? For peace of mind, to save money, and for convenience–you never run out of food in your house because your pantry is well stocked. Think how much better you will feel knowing that if you experienced economic hardship, had to “shelter in place”*, or were caught in a natural disaster situation, your family would have what is needed to survive.

Also, don’t forget the other necessities like toilet paper, deodorant etc. and the other needful things in your life that should be included on the list.

*A grocery price book is the ultimate money saving tool: you can use a notebook, or go digital. Melanie Pinola on lifehacker said that “Both paper and digital price books have advantages. A paper notebook is quicker to jot down prices and refer to when you shop, but grocery apps make quick work of calculating prices (plus, they serve as grocery lists).” You can also use a spreadsheet to create a price book to record the prices of all the items you regularly purchase at different grocery stores; the grocery price book enables you to detect price cycles in different supermarkets; find the real bargains, and plan your shopping trips for maximum savings.

Involve your children in your self-reliance projects, get the whole family on board! They need to learn about self-reliance, and they need to understand that it is a way of life, one that will bring peace of mind.

Here are several articles that will help you build a price book

Making a Price List: The Digital Version

Grocery Pricebook Apps

How to Save the Most Money on Your Grocery Budget with a Price Book

How to create Your Own Grocery Pricebook

…and some great ideas on these sites that will help you save hundreds of dollars on  groceries

29 Ways to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Groceries

15 Money-Saving Ways to Outsmart Your Supermarket

 First photo on this post from LDS Intelligent Living

Second photo is from the public domain

Rotating and Using Your Long-Term Food Storage

by Donna White

Sister Julie Beck, the General Relief Society President, asked several bishops what skills the sisters in their wards needed most to be self-reliant.  Their answer:  living within a budget and cooking. Rotating and using your long-term food storage can help you to be more self-reliant.

Why is it important to rotate your food storage?

1.  Prevents throwing away unused, expired food, which saves you money.

2.  Allows you and your family to get accustomed to eating stored food, essential in effectively dealing with emergency situation.

3.  Eating your long-term storage is healthy.  Most food storage items are lower in fat and higher in nutrients than most convenience foods. 4.  Because these high-fiber food will be upsetting to the digestive system if you suddenly begin to eat them, it is important to start incorporating them into your diet now.

5.   By already knowing how to use your food storage, it will help to relieve a lot of stress in times of emergency.

6.  If you will eat food storage meals two days out of the week you can have a whole year’s supply rotated in just three and a half years.

How can you remember to use your food storage?

1.  Keep a permanent marker in the same place where you store your food and then every time you bring home a new package or can of food, just date it.  If the item has an expiration date already on it, you might want to circle it.  I have also written the date on the item at the time of purchase.

2.  Keep small amounts of your food storage in the kitchen.  The more you see these items the more often you will use them.

3.  Find recipes that sound interesting using food storage items.  The Internet is a great resource.  Many of the cooking websites allow you to enter either the recipe you are looking for and/or the ingredient(s) you have on hand. I like the websites where users rate the recipe and give comments.  My favorite site is allrecipes.com.  Also, BYU TV and byubroadcasting.org have a wonderful program called Living Essentials that has many segments on preparedness.  Three of them are on rotating and using your long-term storage.  You can also print the transcripts.

4.  Incorporate food storage items into your favorite recipes. Out of desperation years ago, when all of our children were living at home, and before the popularity of freezer meals, I did something that saved lots of time, money, frustration, and cleanup. With money tight, very few prepared food were purchased. In my planning notebook I made a list of 15 food items to have on hand, all cooked up, refrigerated or frozen, ready to go.  Almost all used items from our long-term storage.  They are:

  • Boston brown bread
  • Quick bread
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Potatoes – brown and sweet
  • Granola
  • Rice
  • Vanilla pudding
  • Soup
  • Yogurt
  • Sprouts
  • Dry beans, soaked and cooked
  • Salad dressing
  • Powdered milk – chilled
  • Pancake and waffle mix
  • Ground meat gravel (mixed with TVP)

As you set up a rotation system, storing and using your food will become second nature to you.  You can save money on the things that you purchase because you purchase them on sale.  You will also have peace of mind because you will know that you have the supplies that your family needs.  And . . . you know how to use them and are using them on a daily basis.

Here are two of my favorite recipes using food storage items.

8 Minute Lentil Oat Waffles  

2 ¼  cups water 1 cup soaked lentils (can use any legume)

1 ½  cups rolled oats (equals ½ cup quick oats)

1 Tbsp. oil ½  tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. honey

Soak beans as directed, drain, and combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend one minute or until light and foamy.  Let stand while waffle iron heats up.  Batter will thicken slightly.  Blend briefly again and bake for 8 minutes.  DO NOT OPEN BEFORE TIME IS UP. One 9” serving contains comparable high protein and amino acids  as a 3 oz steak.

911 Emergency Dinner   –  very easy and fast to put together

2 ¼ cups rice 15 oz can of black beans, drained (or equivalent of cooked dry beans)

¼ cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese Salsa

Low fat sour cream

Cook rice according to directions. On each plate layer rice, black beans, salsa, sour cream and cheese.  Microwave.

Note:  This is especially quick if the beans are precooked and frozen in 1 cup packages, ready for use.

Photo by LDS Intelligent Living

Provident Living—A Way of Life

The wisdom of living providently has been recognized since ancient times. Joseph encouraged the Egyptians to store grain during the seven “fat” years against the lean years to come. From the ancient Greek storyteller, Aesop, comes a fable about the ant and the grasshopper, which illustrates in a very simple way the principle of provident living. In time of plenty, the grasshopper took no thought for what he might need when the winter came. But the ant worked busily, preparing and providing for a time when food would not be so plentiful. The ant could look to the future with confidence, while the grasshopper—if he thought about the future at all—could only hope for the best.

“Provident Living A Way of Life”  To read the complete article, click here…

 “The Celestial Nature of Self-reliance” by President Marion G. Romney

Photo source: public domain