Stocking Food

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by JAK, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    529
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    I am new to this gig. It just occured to me that done right it will not only save money, but also time, and gas. I am a little slow, but I do eventually catch on. :)

    I have an idea to stock food by month, rather than by item, but probably a combination of the two depending on how it is stored and how much. Also I have an idea to buy or harvest just a single item each week, but enough for the year, or as long as it can be stored if less than a year. This is where I think it might actually save time. In practice I suppose you would still have you eye out for several items at once to take advantage of the best opportunities. If it was all organized by the month then I could just move all the items for the month to the kitchen at the start of each month, or pehaps each week. I suppose if it was just stored separately you could just pick items for each bin at the start of each week, like shopping in you own basement. How do you do it, or how would you do it?

    Are there any good links on how to shop, how to stock, and how much space you might need? I think traditionally here there were 3 types of storage. A pantry or larder for dry goods and preserves. A cool but less dry storage like a root cellar, for root vegetables mostly. Finally a freezer, but that really came much later or was only done in winter, which is also when most hunting was traditionally done, other than fowl. Today I suppose it could all be in the same room, which could be a root cellar or a room in the basement, but with different climatic zones for different types of storage. Sealed containers help also. How much room is need for a family of three?
     
  2. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    912
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006

  3. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,395
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    I spend on average 1/4 of my weekly food budget on loss leaders. For instance, this week condiments and meat are on sale for the July 4th celebrations. So I will stock up on these.

    I don't stock up as a matter of survival, but rather to be very economical. As a result, in a short while, we have done what you suggest in having a root cellar, pantry and freezer.

    Part of our plan is to have fresh fruit and veggies available almost year round in our garden. We add more fruit/berry trees and perennial veggies each year.
     
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    Make a list of all your meals for two weeks....with good variety and shop accordingly (monthly would be twice as much). Also use the menu to determine what part you could grow yourself or what you might have to trade w/ others...

    Example...
    A group of 4 families....one raises a steer, one raises 2pigs, one raises turkeys, one has an orchard....think of the trade possibilities within this group...

    And there is nothing like a few laying hens to provide fresh eggs and meat on the "hoof" when times get REAL lean.
     
  5. PineRidge

    PineRidge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    634
    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Location:
    WV
    When I first started stocking up, I either picked up sale items that we would normally eat, or buy extra of items that we ate a lot of. I keep most everything on shelves in the basement. Home canned goods, "tin" canned goods, condiments and seasonings, baking items all have thier own area of shelves. All grains, beans and pasta goes into a big plastic tote after a freezer treatment of a week or so. Flour stays in the freezer until needed (25# bags). Sugar also has a tote (also 25# bags). We shop for meat about every 6-8 weeks, unless we see a good sale.

    Normally I "shop" in the basement. I bring upstairs thigns I want to use that week, put anything that I am low on, on a list. The items I'm low on are the next shopping list. For example, if I have only 8 bottles of ketchup, then I need more, so I will try to buy 4 or more the next trip. When I get to 2 bags of flour or sugar, I buy more. It depends on what you are comfortable having on hand, and what you can run out of and not miss too much.

    My food storage is in one room in the basement, about 12'x12', and there is lots more room. The shelves are on two walls, the freezer is there, and the totes are under a small table that holds my canner, dehydrator, some jars, etc. I still have room to add some bins for potatoes, etc.

    We buy bread, lunchmeat, and milk everyweek, sometimes fresh fruit or ice cream. If TSHTF or we had a real budget buster, we could eat normally for about a month without any adjustment. We would replace the fresh items with powdered milk, homemade bread, and only baked treats or canned fruit (unless something was in season) If we made adjustments we could still eat a good variety of foods for 6 months until we were down to rice and beans.

    HTH
    This is for a family of six, who loves ketchup :p
     
  6. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,166
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    Middle of nowhere along the Rim, Arizona
    I routinely have about two month's worth of food in the house. It does make things simpler and sure saves on the food budget!

    I have a warehouse membership for the following items:

    Large bags of rice/beans -- 50lb bag of rice is $10, it's $1.59/pound at the grocery store!
    Flour
    Yeast! A fraction of the cost of te little jars at the grocery store!
    Pasta
    Cases of canned tomatoes
    Dogfood
    Kitty litter
    Chocolate syrup
    Coffee
    Certain frozen veggies
    Spices that I use a lot of, like garlic, crushed red pepper, etc.

    Note: I've got a pressure canner and I've started making my OWN canned pork and beans.

    I go to Trader Joes for:

    Canned corn
    Dried fruit
    Chocolate in bulk
    Olive oil
    Not-from-concentrate cranberry juice
    Booze for cooking
    Seafood

    I shop at chain grocery stores, watching the sales

    Loss leaders on meat -- if it's on sale for a good price I'll buy all they'll let nd that I can afford and take it home and freeze, can, or make jerky out of it.

    Don't overlook buying "whole" cuts of meat -- whole pork loins are easy to cut into chops or grind for lean sausage, for example.

    Loss leaders on canned goods

    Fresh veggies, bought as-needed, usually the day I need them in the quantity I need, on the way home -- less waste that way. The only fresh veggies I stock up on are onions and potatoes. I'm lucky in that grocery stores here have decent veggies; they even have a fair amount of organic stuff and tomatoes that ALMOST qualify as "real."

    There's also one grocery store I cruise through regularly because they have in-store unannounced sales.

    When freezing meat, I cut it up into individual sized servings. That way I only need to thaw enough for a meal at a time -- saves either wasting some (I always forget to eat leftovers so I usually give any leftovers to the dogs) or eating too much and adding to the waistline!
     
  7. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    460
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    To be economically guided you need to keep abreast of the sales. You will be surprised at the difference in prices so be ready when they appear. I stumbled onto six gallons of Olive Oil a month ago that was being discontinued--funny-next week the shelves were full of the same item. Their loss and I saved $9 per gal-that is over $50. I watch out for case lots on sale. Do not try to buy up everything all at once unless you are very wealthy for it will drain you. Write down what you need/want and be ready. I have about ten #s of speghetti,10 of sugar, and 10 of rice sitting on the kitchen table waiting to be stored in gallon containers and Oxygen purged for very long storage. I saw about someone buying chocolate. You can buy gallon cans for the same price as smaller and put it into smaller containers. I use peanut butter jars for lots of things. 06
     
  8. kasilofhome

    kasilofhome Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,482
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Alaska- Kenai Pen- Kasilof
    1. Know what your family members eat.
    A. Note the amount of that Item used each week or per month
    Example we go though 1 bottle of catsup per month
    B. If an item used is costly look and try subs (only in small quanities)
    example h believed in paper towels for everything got a few wash cloths to see if he was retrainable. HE WAS now less than 6 rolls have been bought per year vs. a 4 pack a week

    2. Look at your list and think SEASONS.
    Catsup, pickles, mustard, Fresh fruit (cherries esp) marshmallow ect are always on sale about May 30 but even cheaper July 4th

    3. get a calendar and record local stores sales since most stores are part of big corps they have a preplaned schedule for lost leaders.

    4. Go to grand openings, previews sales (normally the eveing befor grand opening for just like 4 hours to test out the stores prepardness for the grand opening or Remodleing event.

    5 Learn to can.

    6.Be willing to grow your own.

    7. when pinched for time freeze then when time allows can.

    8. canning is important because when a sale hits and it its not a dry good item many of my friends and inlows can not take advantage of the sale as our family can because "JUST MY LUCK THE FREEZER IS FULL OF XYZ." SIL could not get baby back pork ribs at $1.19 a pound because-----the freezer had a shelf dedicated to bottled water. So think about what and quanity of item get frozen.

    My deal this week 30 pounds of cherries at $1.50 a pound. Half already canned half waiting to be canned. will keep 10 pounds frozen to wait for raspberries and blueberrys.

    30 pounds of cherries equals 120 servings for us. Bannana cost .99 apound
    Apples $1.69 on sale

    30 pounds of rubarb canned.another 120 serings.
     
  9. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    529
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    Thanks all.
     
  10. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
  11. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,377
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Abilene, Texas
    How do you do this?

     
  12. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,377
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Abilene, Texas
  13. paden

    paden Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    North Central Montana
  14. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,431
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    What has been an on going chore is to find storage containers to store all the food in. it is not enough to find brown rice for $13.50 for 50 pounds. You have to have a way to keep mice , dust and air out of it.
    We now have a vacumn sealer that does bags as well as jars. over 1000 canning jars. 25 4-5 gallon buckets. If I remember right it takes 25 quart jars to jar up 50 pounds of rice.
    keeping enough canning lids for all those jars can cost a small fortune. even if you buy them on sell. (we use many recycled lids from wet canning for storing dry goods)
    The jars came from yard sales and thrift stores.
    Resturants don't give away their buckets any more, because they are in demand. The one that did give us one had wrecked the lid.
    It's no longer a case of useing the 1 pound bag of rice and toss the bag. it has added to the dish washing by many peices a week.
    Be prepared to collect many containers at little or no cost and every opportunity, even if you don't need them right at the time.
     
  15. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,197
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    However you set up your storage system, be sure to make it easy to rotate your food items. It is easy to let some of your items become outdated if you don't rotate regularly.