Grocery Shopping

September’s Shopping Plans and Thoughts on Stocking a Pantry

Bulk Foods Smaller Bulk The Prudent Homemaker

What are the holes in your pantry? If your circumstances were to change so that starting in October you would need to live on only what you had stored for the next 12-18 months, what items would you run out of?

This month I would encourage you to strongly consider this question and figure out what is missing in your storage.

For my own family, having lived from our pantry for over a year before, I have a pretty good idea of what I need. I also see gaps where we have eaten items and not replaced them in the amounts we would need if we needed to live from our pantry again.

My priorities this month are those “holes” where I have items, but not enough. I’ve been working on filling those holes most of this year, but of course, we continue to eat what we have stored. 

My priorities this month are powdered mik, rice, vitamins, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. 

I prefer instant powdered milk in my storage; you can read my thoughts on powdered milk here

My husband had to make a trip to Chandler, Arizona today (not a normal thing at all for us), and just yesterday I heard about an AMAZING price on powdered milk in Tempe, Arizona, which is very close to Chandler. It is $49 for a 50 pound bag (makes 62 1/2 gallons at a cost of $0.78 a gallon).  I had him purchase 4 bags for us. The store is called Milk N’ More; here is the address and store hours. They make the milk powder there! 

For vitamins, I am looking to purchase more children’s multi-vitamins, I buy the store brand of children’s chewables at Target ($7.79 for 150, which is less than a month’s worth for my family).  I often find these on sale for $1 off, and then sometimes find additional $0.75 or $1 off Target coupons, and sometimes an additonal 10-15% off on top of that as a Target Cartwheel offer (I add these to my Cartwheel account and then print the paper to be scanned, since I don’t have a cell phone, and it works without any problems). Hopefully I’ll find some of these items to lower the price this month. (Update: These are on sale for even less online this month–see link above–so I will see if I can get the same price at the store).

I’ll purchase everything else at Sam’s Club.

Later this week we’ll finally see temperatures drop below 100ºF. This is a great blessing for the garden. As the weeks go by and temperatures continue to drop this month, my cucumbers should start producing female flowers (unfortunately, they only produced male flowers last month, as it was around 107º).

I should also (hopefully!) start harvesting more red noodle beans. As the temperatures drop, they also flower more. 

By the last week of the month, temperatures will hopefully drop below 90º, and I’ll be able to plant lettuce seeds in the garden. Be watching for a post on fall gardening very soon! I’ve been collecting lettuce seeds from the garden, and so I won’t have to purchase any lettuce seeds for fall planting, and I have lots of other seeds left from last fall and this spring for fall planting.

I am currently picking pears, apples, beet greens, chard, green onions, basil, chives, thyme, and other herbs as needed from the garden.

Olives 2 The Prudent Homemaker

September is the month where I pick olives. I should be able to go olive picking around the end of the month. A lot of people asked me about instructions for olives last time. I was new to doing them and they take a very long time (weeks, depending on how you do them!) and not all of mine were okay at the end of that time. I learned a lot about what works and also learned that there is going to be some loss.  There are a lot of ways to process olives. Our favorite way was the freshest way, which doesn’t last long. I’ll make sure to put that recipe up, as it is very simple.  I recommend reading this for complete olive instructions. It’s long–26 pages–and I suggest printing it and stapling it to refer to while you’re processing olives. For most ways of processing olives, you’re going to need lye, and you’ll want to make sure it is pure lye with no additives. I ended up buying my lye from Amazon.

I’ve had some questions about starting to stock a pantry. If you’re just starting out, my first two choices in items would be bulk rice and beans. Then, should something happen to you financially, you at least have something to eat. The second items I would add would be bulk flour, yeast, and salt, so that you can make bread. Third, I would buy oats in bulk (which can be used for breakfast as well as for dinner).

After that, look at what you eat for a week. How often do you eat spaghetti? Take the number of times you have that per week times 52 to know what you need for a year. If you only have it every other week, take .5 times 52, and if you eat a pound each time, you’ll need 26 packages for the year. Now you’ll know, when a great pasta sale comes by, how much you’ll need. Pasta sales, of course, include other shapes, so think of how many times you make pasta salad, chicken noodle soup, or other pasta dishes, and stock up on each of those at the sale as well.

Do the same with other items that you purchase, and you’ll know how much your family needs of an item, so that when sales come, you can stock up.

For my pantry list, click here.

I wish you all the best in filling the holes in your pantry this month!

 

 

 

 

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140 Comments

  1. Brandy, thank you, this is a fantastic post! I was hoping you could cover this topic soon, so thank you again for making the time and organizing the information so clearly.

  2. Thank you for this post! We are working on the holes in our pantry fervently this month so this post will definitely help guide me in what direction I need to be headed. We have a good stock but can always add more.

  3. We really like Now vitamins. They are high quality. I buy the Special Two 240 count of Veg Caps. The bottle costs around $25. The recommended dose is 4 caps a day but I only take 1-2 caps a day so the bottle lasts awhile. I’ll take 2 caps as a pre-natal and 1 the rest of the time. My doctor approved of taking the half dose as your body can only “process” so many vitamins at once.

    I’ve bought them on Amazon, Vitacost and at Sprouts.

  4. Thank you for the ideas! I’m working to get the pantry well stocked again before winter. One thing I’ll be buying a lot of is canned chicken. I have been pleasantly surprised by how many recipes I can use it in.

  5. Thanks so much for this! I’ve started stocking up since your original post and now have beans and oats stocked up. I wonder if you have any suggestions about where to get gluten free flour blends in bulk at a reasonable price? I can buy a little over a 2 lb. bag of Bob’s Red Mill 1-for-1 gluten free flour for $7.80 at Big Lots, but even though that’s the best price I’ve found, it’s not great. There must be somewhere to buy it in bulk.

  6. I used to do a better job at keeping a stocked pantry than I’m doing right now. I do have a 5 gallon bucket (each) of flour, sugar, and rice. Unfortunately, we are trying to feed one of my sons a gluten free diet right now because we suspect he may have Celiac disease. If he does, that will change at least some of my cooking. I count on using my flour and noodles for frugal meal ideas.

    As for the vitamins, have you ever priced them on Amazon? For a while I found that the extra vitamin D I was getting for my kids was cheapest if I purchased it there via the subscribe and save.

  7. Melissa,

    Click on Cook, Learn, Bulk Foods and Grains for info on bulk items. Off the top of my head, I would check Azure Standard for bulk gluten-free flour blends, but I would also consider making it myself if I were looking for gluten-free flour. The blogs [i]Cannelle et Vanille[/i] and [i]Tartlette[/i] are great for recipes where they make their own gluten-free flour blends. These are both professional pastry chefs who have gone gluten free and they have some great ratios. If you purchase a new grain grinder (I talk about them on my bulk foods page) you can also grind your own bulk grains for flour to save money.

  8. Hi. I am new to food storage and have started slowly buying a few things since July. I purchased the preliminary basics. However, now my box of salt I got from Sam’s Club is hard as a rock! Any suggestions on how I should be storing it? Also how do you store pasta for long periods? Do you keep it in the original boxes?

  9. I keep it in the original boxes, but I live in a dry climate. Salt that goes hard is more a problem in humid climates; perhaps my readers in a humid climate can offer some suggestions. Do know that your salt is still perfectly fine; you’ll just need to cut open the box, transfer it to a container, and break it up.

    (I know that when I visited my grandpa as a child, he kept a few grains of rice in his salt shaker. I asked him why, and he said it kept it from getting hard in the humidity. He lived in Missouri and I grew up in dry Southern California).

    Most pasta I buy comes in plastic bags. Pantry moths are not an issue where I live, and mice are rare. However, you can transfer your pasta to a food-grade bucket to keep it save from bugs and mice.

  10. I store salt in the original packaging and sometimes it gets hard too. I just open the package and break up whatever I need with a spoon or a dull knife and put it into another container to use. The quality is not affected. I have seen the rice grains in the salt shaker solution as well, but I don’t do that myself.

  11. Your post could not have come at a better time. I am leaving my job at the end of October and we are looking at cutting our income by half. I lost a five gallon pail of rice last year when I discovered bugs (lots of teeny, tiny – almost microscopic tan bugs!) in my bucket of rice. I guess it’s time to start replenishing that. Do you have any suggestions to prevent these little pests! I also need to replenish my supplies of canned tomatoes and kidney beans. We don’t have case lot sales here and great sales have been few and far between lately.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  12. Kim,

    Have you considered purchasing bulk dry kidney beans for a cost savings? Even if the largest bag you can get in your area is 2 pounds, it will save you quite a bit over the canned beans. You can cook a bunch and then freeze them to use later.

    For the rice, you can freeze it in small portions before bucketing it, to kill any possible insect eggs. You may have to do it in batches, but it helps!

  13. Amy and Brandy, I live in humid Georgia! When I buy boxes of pasta, I individually wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. This keeps the pasta fresh, and prevents bugs from getting into the boxes. I open only one box of pasta at a time, and empty it into a lidded plastic container. We eat from that until it is time to unwrap another box.

  14. As a person who had to eat gluten free for a while, I would suggest checking Amazon too. If you go there daily to check what the prices are you can get some really good deals if you are patient. The biggest problem I found with gluten free flours was if you want to buy in bulk you need a deep freeze to store them in or they will go rancid on you (and I’m sure I am speaking to the choir on that one, but wanted to put it out there to any of the gluten free newbies :).

    But yeah, Amazon is a good option and also try Vitacost. I have had friends that get really good deals on bulk flours there.

  15. Well, my efforts to fill holes in my pantry is probably going to wait until next month when we get some money in, but I am going to do what I can to refine my list of things to buy in the meantime. There will be no impulse purchases this shopping trip. Just things we need. In the meantime I’m just trying to live on what we have this month to hopefully make it through the month okay.

    My very short list for this month can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2015/09/monthly-shopping-goals-september-2015.html

  16. Thank You for the encouragement. I cleaned out all of my food storage areas and looked to see what I was low on. I did have to give a few very stale items to the outside animals. I need to work on this and not be wasteful but the birds and little critters that visit my yard will enjoy them. This past week I stocked up on paper products, laundry soap, and cleaning supplies. In the cleaning supplies I made sure I had plenty of disinfectant products for flu season and in case of emergency situations. I also have recently stocked up on macaroni noodles, we eat more noodles than rice, and yeast for bread . I needed a new fall tablecloth so I used a $10.00 off coupon from JC Pennies and with a good sale I puchased a really nice one for around $5.00. I have company coming for the holiday so I can’t wait to put it on my table. I also got vinyl covering by the yard to go over it as our table gets a lot of use. I had 60% off coupon at Joann’s on one single fabric cutting so I got 2 yards for around 7.00. I do need to stock up more on staple food items. I am waiting on vegetables to see what I have given to me from friends that I can either can or freeze. Have a wonderful week.

  17. Thank you for this post. We have been really focusing on producing and preserving as much from the garden as possible. I have canned 60 quarts of food from my garden and froze half a freezer full of veggies as well. We also keep our pantry full of flour, beans, yeast and oil. However, there are also areas where we could use to stock up more. I would like to work on adding more cheese to my freezer (we go through 1 at least pound a week, I currently do not have enough on hand to last for a year), canned fruit, flax seed, and nuts to my pantry (The hickory harvest is coming soon so that will help). I will work on these this fall while I will not have to buy spend as much in veggies.

    Brandy, may I ask why you and your family take vitamins? Do you feel that you are missing certain vitamins in your diet from living out of your pantry?

  18. I also enjoy the now brand products! Amazon has very good prices, sometimes even better than when Sprouts has the 25% off discount every few months of the vitamin & beauty products

  19. central iowa very humid and today humidity makes a feel like temp near 100

    i store bags of sugar usually five lb bags as they are what can be gotten on sale they are stored in the bags either on shelf or in bucket either way doesn’t matter but you would not want rodents in it i can tell you that they turn into five lb bricks i go down to basement and get one i drop it on concrete floor front and back and it is good as knew i use to whack and whack on a stud but this is drop and drop and pour into my using jar. i have not had problems with salt i store them in buckets but you could drop as per sugar and i think that would work but you could grate it too make sure that they did not get wet tho we had a flood on the basement once when a sump pump failed and i found two that were solid but it was due to soaking up wet i save those to help on ice in gravel drive way…..saying this you want to put wood between concrete and food as it sucks moisture and bad flavor into your food…..our storage is in basement where we now have two sump pumps one with one above the other if first is ever over taken the other will kick in we also have a dehumidifier running that sents water from air into sump basin which sends it out to pond if i needed to i can water from pond to garden.

    i use buckets i have gotten at bakeries and cleaned out

    flour i do not leave in bags as buggies can live in paper folds and contaminate the whole lot of flour you have i dump them in buckets i usually always buy 25lb bags that amt fits in one bucket i place two bay leaves on top and put the lid and label and date top and on sides in three places as i stack buckets i put two bay leaves in any thing even popcorn. I know that i have two in each so when i get ready to dump the bucket into my using flour can also holds the whole bucket i pull the two leaves out before dumping into my using can. never got bugs all these yrs except in a bag I got from store I carefully open each bag inspect carefully it went right back to store….yes with humidity one can continue to store foods others do so if that salt was not in water of unknown origin take it outside and whack it on the sidewalk if you don’t have a basement floor and it will fall apart again good luck and yes continue to build those empty spots in your storage Brandy thanks for sharing this i think if you had to live off it you could take notes what you needed hint we are two empty nesters now and we go thru twenty five lbs of flour a month as i make our bread and cook from scratch so that gives you an idea of what we need for a year if one was storing for a year of course we store wheat too but if you are just starting out i love Brandy’s suggestion start with one mo then enlarge to two months…etc you notice that she says then stock what your family likes that is because we all are different and like different things i would eat other things on Brandy’s shelf and leave the olives I probably am the only one in the whole world who doesn’t like them main thing don’t put off getting storage

  20. Nice post, Brandy. I’ve been looking at the holes in my pantry and buying to fill them. This month will be “preserving the harvest” for me. I didn’t grow that much, just some herbs and tomatoes this year, so this past weekend a friend and I went to a local farm that has pick your own and buy what we already picked options. I bought a peck of green beans, dehydrated about 9 cups of prepped beans, and froze the rest. I also bought 1/2 bushel of mixed “seconds” apples from which I will make applesauce and dehydrated apples, as well as freeze for winter baking. I’ll likely get another 1/2 bushel later this month. I picked pears from the neighbor’s tree that I will dehydrate, use for baking, and freeze for winter baking. I also picked them last year because they don’t like them. I tried canning them last year, but they came out mushy so I plan to take those canned jars and make them into pear sauce. I have no idea what variety they are, but they are very hard, even when ripe, so I’m surprised the canning didn’t work. Oh well, I know for this year and I know how good they are baked. Finally, I bought peaches, just a 1/2 peck this time, also from the “seconds” shelf to use for canning, freezing, and dehydrating. I will be buying more peaches in a week or two as well.

    I want to try dehydrating some lemons I have because I think they will be easy to store and use for flavoring my tea. If this works, I can store some at the office and drop them in with the free tea we have there, rather than buying the more expensive lemon flavored teas. I also bought some limes, green onions, regular onions, celery, and carrots that I will be dehydrating. We don’t normally lose power, but if I can avoid a potential loss of frozen food by dehydrating instead, that is more peace of mind for me. It will also let me give some of these items to my daughter to take back to college when she comes home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I see soup jars in our future!

    The current issue of Backwoods Home magazine has a great article on building vertical storage shelves for canned goods from cheap and scrap materials. This is the ONLY magazine to which I subscribe (although I read others through our local library). If you don’t get this magazine (a) you really should and (b) you are in luck if you want to build these shelves because the entire article, with pictures, is currently available online on their website, http://www.backwoodshome.com. Not sure if that will come up as a link or if you will need to cut and paste it into the address window of your browser. Brandy, I hope it’s okay to mention a company like that, but let me know if it’s not.

    P.S. For those that don’t know “seconds” is the not quite top notch, first quality produce that is still very edible but might have bruises, be unusually large or a bit small, etc. These items are generally half price at this farm.

  21. We grind our own after a suggestion from you a couple years ago. Thanks for that!
    Do you have any suggestions of where to find reasonable bulk gluten free oats?

  22. The cheapest place I have been able find gluten free oats is Azure Standard – 50 lbs for $62.85. I grind them as the base for my own gluten-free flour blend. I also buy arrowroot starch in bulk from Azure Standard to use in my blend, and sweet rice flour in bulk from nuts.com. My ratio is roughly 2.5 c oat flour/1 c arrowroot starch/1c sweet rice flour, but I play around with it quite a bit. I don’t use any xanthan gum. (Tapioca starch could be subbed for the arrowroot starch, but I thought it might be starting to bother me so I switched it out for the arrowroot.). I think I’m going to start making my own baking powder with the bulk arrowroot starch, too, because I need to be corn-free as well and corn-free baking powder is really expensive!

  23. After a really grim financial year , the one thing I wish we had bought more of was spices , they can make the most boring food edible

  24. Growing up, we lived in the Caribbean (very humid). I don’t know how large quantities of salt were stored, but I know that we put rice in every salt shaker to keep the salt dry, and the rice worked. Perhaps storing the sale in a larger container with some rice? Maybe putting rice in a small mesh bag and keeping it with the salt itself?

  25. Just read your chicken fried steak recipe. How’s this go over with your family? Very interesting. Thanks so much for this reminder and all you do.

  26. Andrea,

    This amount doesn’t surprise me. I had a roommate at college who made all her own bread. She went through 25 pounds a month by herself every month. I thought it wasn’t possible but I watched her do it. A small loaf of bread is approximately 2 cups of flour. You can see how quickly it goes when you are living on your food storage. I would plan on [i]at least[/i] 25 pounds per person per month of flour in your storage–think bread, crackers, muffins, cookies, biscuits, pie crust. Plus you need more flour for kneading bread and rolling out crackers, biscuits, crusts, etc.

  27. Jennifer,

    This is one of the most popular recipes on my site. It’s very good! One of my readers serves it regularly to guests because meat is so expensive where she lives, and all of her guests like it, too!

    I made this for a class on food storage. I had told someone about it ahead of time and he thought it would be awful. Later, he tasted it, and he came back and asked me what it was, because he loved it! I told him what it was, and he was very surprised! The teenagers in the room kept coming over and sneaking more!

  28. I always keep large quantities of spices. I agree with you that they are very important. I’ve been working on growing more herbs in my garden so that I can reduce the number of spices I need to purchase, and I’ve been able to eliminate purchasing several this way.

  29. Brandy, I tried going to the Milk N More site, but I couldn’t locate anything on powdered milk. Any suggestions? Thanks Penny S.

  30. They don’t sell anything on their site. They’re the manufacturers, but at their factory they have a store and you can purchase it there, in person. They sell powdered milk and cheese. The link just gives you the address, phone number, and business hours.

  31. Thanks so much for your reply 😀 3 of our 5 children are teenagers and my Husband isn’t generally fond of no-meat meals. I’m so looking forward to trying this. We love oats and when I first read your post regarding breakfast or dinner , I was totally blown away. Thanks again.

  32. I suggest not telling them it’s meatless until after they have it 😀 All of my readers have said they found better success with their families this way. They tell me the that afterwards their sons are amazed that it is meatless!

    Don’t leave out the seasoning; it is essential!

  33. Hello Melissa I am not sure where you live but I saw a very good price on gluten free flour at our NW grocery outlet this week I don’t remember the price but it’s worth looking into …Hope you have a wonderful week! Gaila in the NW

  34. Hi Brandy and love the way you plan ahead on your pantry purchases as I do, I keep a list on the fridge and put on the list anything that we use during the fortnight and buy it when we go shopping. That way we are always stocked up.

    We were blessed to be able to finish stocking our pantries to full capacity with our recent tax refund cheque, we also were working on our 3 month supply for 20 months before that, stocking only on specials we could find of items on our list. Still have a few more items we are waiting to come on special so we can stock up on those.

    Septembers shopping plans for my husband and I if the items come on special are –
    – powdered eggs
    – tins of champignons
    – tins of peas

    For the garden ( I previously stocked up on a lot of our seeds in bulk on special recently)

    – potting mix
    – a few new varieties of herbs mainly coriander.
    – some more bulk manure.

    We shall see how we go.

    Have a wonderful frugal and productive week everyone.

  35. I compared vitamin prices and I found that CVS and Walgreens have buy one get one free on all the vitamins at least once a month. I buy their store brands whenever they have the buy one get one free sales and it comes out to be cheaper than target and sam’s club.

  36. Congrats on the great deal on the milk. I figured that it can be only purchased at the store since when I looked at their website I could not locate it. I surely trust your husband went by car so it was easy 🙂 Imagine traveling by train and having to miss that great deal? I am glad it worked out so well!

  37. Kim, I never had luck cooking the dry beans enough to get the texture I wanted until I put them in the crock pot with lots of water and just let them go for hours and hours. It took most of a day, but I ended up with 7 cups of cooked beans, 5 of which are still in the freezer. I don’t plan to buy canned again.

  38. If I had to live out of my pantry starting right now , I would be okay for a month and a half. Maybe 2 if we stretched a few things out… We’re preparing for financial difficulty that we know is coming when we put our house ( which is in another state) , on the market. We currently have rentors and they cover the mortgage for us. When they move out, we will be paying the mortgage for that house as well as the rent for the house we actually live in. We will be hurting a lot financially. I have really been working hard to build up my food storage and hoard cash like a crazy little squirrel. My mom gifted me with a Food Saver– and it has really helped get more variety in my stores. I have to drive 45 min, to an hour away for Costco or Sams, but when I do go, I do my homework , and try to get what I know I will need when hard times hit ( probably in the Spring). Canning my tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos has helped with building up the food storage too. My plan is to build up food stores, hygiene product stores, cleaning supplies ( or the products to make the cleaning supplies – love you laundry soap recipe- been using it for almost 2 yrs), and cash reserves. Pay off debt, cut back on extras, try to revive my sewing business and Pampered Chef business. It’s a lot of work, but as a mom, you do what you have to do for your family to survive in hard times. You have inspired me in so many ways! Thank you!!

  39. Thanks Brandy. I have upped my preps since your earlier post about what’s coming. I appreciate what you have said here and the push to get it done now.
    In thinking about what are my gaps I think vitamins, more water, medications, chocolate and canned vegetables are on my list.
    All year I have worked to build up my pantry but if the next weeks were all the time I had then I still need to do a fair bit. With thanks, Annabel.xx

  40. I forgot to mention that I have been making trips every 6mo to the nearest LDS Home Storage Center – which is more than an hour away. But I will start going more frequently before we put our house on the market.

  41. I will be undertaking quite a shopping trip this month myself. I plan to hit up Sam’s Club and Aldi for a few items in my stockpile as well as attempting to undertake MONTHLY grocery shopping for all the items on my menu plan that I don’t already have in the freezer and pantry. I already have the menu ready!

    Thanks for the reminder to keep our pantry full!!!

  42. I’m trying to figure out how our diet would have to change if we were forced to live off food storage for financial reasons or due to a natural disaster and to find a balance between the two with what’s in our pantry. We currently don’t eat much wheat; about 20 pounds of flour per month total for seven people if I bake our own bread, plus 6 pounds of pasta, 1 box of crackers and a brownie mix. Increasing our intake to 25 pounds per month per person would be a huge change.

    How do you store 2,000 pounds of flour? That’s how much I need to have on hand for a year of food storage based on your recommedation. The LDS calculator says about 1,000 pounds for my family. That’s still a lot of space!

  43. I keep a combination of dried and canned beans in our pantry. Dry beans aren’t very useful if you have no water to cook them (which is very possible after a natural disaster).

  44. THANK YOU for doing this post Brandy.. I love, love your site.. cause it is sooo pratcical… we are going to be facing job loss in the next couple of months and I have been trying to put all this food storage to heart.. I grew up in a house where we ALWAYS had can goods and pasta and Rice in bulk in the garage..( no basement. ) We put up 200 quarts of tomatos each year…people thought we were strange to keep T-paper in the attic.. When I first got married I could not figure out why I was sooo uneasy in our new apartment.. ( I figured out later it was cause I had no real food storgage put away ! ) One thing I was wondering.. do you have any suggestions for like.. if you have something from your storage get a bit…. “old” what is something that you would make with it sooo it does not go to waste? like if you see maybe a package of meat that looks a bit freezer burn.. is there some sort of cooking method you use to “Perk it back up”? like someone mentioned before.. “a couple of items have gone bad..so the birds are getting it” but do you have any ideas if something could be salvaged?
    Any ideas would be great !
    Thanks so much for your site ! my family will no longer eat boxed Rice a roni.. only your version !
    Sue in NJ

  45. Andrea, food grade buckets would be good. I did hear from someone recently not to go higher than 3 5-gallon buckets. With 4 buckets total, the bottom one tends to split.

    Space in closets, a basement, etc. would be good. If you store wheat, make sure to have a grinder, and for a long-term emergency, make sure you have a non-electric grinder. You may have to store it in several places, but in a long-term situation, if you just have wheat, you would be eating a lot of bread (for every meal) unless you have other items stored as well. Still, just bread would be better than starving. Certainly something to ponder over.

    I would try for the 1000 pounds of wheat. Since it’s not something you would use right away (and it is good for 30 years when stored properly) you may want to consider making it not a part of your regular grocery budget–say, perhaps, selling some unused items to pay for it, or using money from eating out/entertainment budget categories to purchase it. I say this as a general suggestion for not just you, but any who are reading this and wondering how to find the money for it.

  46. I started this when my tomatoes started coming. Needed to know what I needed in variety. I fry leftover oatmeal for dinner or even breakfast the next day. I thicken the oatmeal with more oats…kind of like fried mush.Do the same with grits though we don’t care for them a lot.

  47. Thanks for your quick reply! How many pounds does a five-gallon bucket hold?

    In a long-term emergency (except one that was purely financial), I wouldn’t be able to bake bread because I’d have no oven. At my latitude, for at least five months of the year, the sun isn’t high enough in the sky for a solar oven. I’ve been puzzling through this for quite some time and can’t find a solution that doesn’t involve a significant investment (based on our current home and appliances, chimney and heating source, etc).

  48. Smith’s case sale on canned goods has begun here in northern New Mexico: I will be stocking up on canned tuna, canned tomatoes and canned black beans.

  49. I have an opened #10 can of powdered eggs that I started a couple of years ago. How can I determine if they are still good? I am afraid to bake something and waste it if they are not good. I no longer have a sense of smell, so I cannot tell if they smell weird. The price of fresh eggs in our area is high so I don’t want to throw them away either. Any suggestions?

  50. I hope we have until October to stock up. I’m planning to spend $400 this month. That will buy quite a lot but I still feel a deep anxiety about it being enough. I’m pretty resourceful though and I know that the Lord will bless my efforts if I do my part. I’d highly recommend that people get garden seeds if they don’t have any.

  51. I know a 6 gallon bucket holds 45 pounds (vacuum packed), so I would guess 37 pounds in a 5 gallon bucket.

    I think for you, in Maine, a wooden burning stove (that has an oven) would be ideal would emergencies. Where you live, you should be able to purchase one on Craig’s list without a problem. In fact, that’s what my husband was purchasing in Arizona on Tuesday. He found a small one (27 inches tall) that has an oven. It’s going to need some work–he’ll take a wire brush to it to remove rust, replace the door pins, and use some stove black on it, but otherwise, it’s in great shape. He paid $175 for it, just for a point of reference (and that was a great price), but they’re rare in the desert; you should have lots of options. Also, the stove can help warm your house, or at the minimum, a room, should you be stuck at home after a blizzard or ice storm without power for a long time.

  52. Brandy, I love this post. I would like to know how do you store your powdered milk for long term storage? It is just the two of us at our house and the powdered milk would be for emergencies, not daily consumption. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Sincerely, Cindy Norred

  53. We have been experimenting with baking our weekly loaf of bread in a dutch oven and it has been fantastic. We just place the bread pan directly into the dutch oven and place the lid on. The hardest part for us is learning how many coals in order to keep it hot enough to cook all the way through. But the more we have done this, the easier it has become to figure it all out.

    Also, in regards to flour and storage. The LDS cannery has the #10 cans that are good for up to 10 years. We have done buckets as well as some cases in the cans just because that way we know it is sealed and preserved.

  54. Have you considered selling some items on Craig’s list or Facebook this month? You can then use that money to stock up on some other items

    I agree about the garden seeds! If you can buy now for spring that would be ideal–and I would buy in larger than normal quantities, and stick to open-pollinated seeds so that you can collect seeds in the future.

    As we’ve worked to get what we need, God has definitely blessed in in our efforts. This milk purchase was a huge one that allowed our money to go much further. I’m very grateful for it.

  55. I think that when you are living just from your pantry, there’s always a chance of missing out on vitamins, especially with the lack of fresh foods (thought you may have dried and canned fruits and vegetables, like I did when we lived exclusively from our pantry, it’s still not the same). I think it can help a lot to have some vitamins for emergencies. For general daily use, I don’t always give the children vitamins, but when sickness comes (cold season) I give them out a lot more. For myself, though, I find that I have more energy when I take a vitamin (especially one week a month–I find that extra iron and b-12 are important to keep me from being too tired/anemic that week). My children don’t seem to lack that energy, so I’m sure some of that comes from getting older.

  56. That’s a great idea! Thanks! I’ll look around and see what I have to sell.

    I just want to say that historically spring was known as the starving time among pioneers. They had often eaten through their winter storage and it wasn’t time to plant yet. So I’m keeping this in mind with my food storage.

  57. I store mine in buckets that I bought from Home Depot. All of my powdered milk is two to three years old and it’s just fine. I use it for all of my cooking and baking. I can’t get anyone to drink it though! LOL! But it’s there if we need it!

  58. Cindy,

    I don’t drink mine, but I rotate it by using it in recipes, such as crepes, pancakes, and muffins, and I’ve added it to oatmeal while I’m cooking it.

    It’s also useful in a storm situation-no need to buy milk before a storm, and if you lose power, you don’t lose milk, too–just mix up what you need to drink/cook with right then!

    We are going to bucket it as well. You can include oxygen absorbers in your buckets if they won’t be opened for a long time.

  59. Sandra,

    Did you see the Tudor Monastery Farm show from the BBC? Episode 1, about 40 minutes in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ERDYjsHBg . She talks about that in there, too, and talks about what foods were overwintered in the garden, including leeks. Territorial Seed Company has a Scottish leek seed available that can overwinter in the garden even in cold climates. I think considering fall/winter/early spring garden options is important. Swiss chard can overwinter in snowy areas if you cut the leaves back and then cloche it (with a glass or plastic jar). The roots stay alive and you’ll have leaves sooner in early spring. Purslane, mâche (corn salad), arugula (rocket/roquette), and dandelions are early spring edible weeds, for which you can also purchase seeds.

  60. Thank you for this post, Brandy. I was one of the previous commenters who had also expressed interest in this topic, and wanted to hear your opinions & suggestions.

    We have a pantry cabinet in our kitchen, but recently we converted one of our front hall closets into a pantry to give us more storage space for dry goods & non-perishables. It really helps to be able to SEE what you have, and have a good organization & rotation system, so things don’t end up going bad.

    I also suggest thinking about basic household needs, such as sanitation, health/beauty items, and first aid. Maybe you feel your pantry is full, or you have enough dried beans or pasta for now, but you can also budget for other items that will store well & save you money if you couldn’t shop. Non-perishables such as toilet tissue, soap, garbage bags, dish soap, shampoo, etc. I feel it is every bit as important to stock your “general household pantry” as well as your “food pantry.”

  61. I have found that anything tomato-based helps with freezer burn. Also, crock pot/slow cooking. One of my favorite things to do with freezer burned meat is trim off whatever looks bad, then slow cook the rest with canned tomatoes or a tomato sauce. Tacos, bbq, marinara, etc. With beef I like to add a bit of acidity, something like a teaspoon of red wine vinegar, or even some wine (if you are okay cooking with it), just to help tenderize it & remove any potentially “off” flavor. This method always works for me & you’d never know the meat was “questionable.”

  62. I just wanted to add that I store my seed packets in a small Rubbermaid container in my deep freezer. You could also just use a ziplock-type freezer bag. I learned this from my dad, and I have been able to use seeds that are 3-4 years old this way with success. I frequently see herb & vegetable seeds (not organic, heirloom, or open-pollinated, obviously) on extreme markdowns – sometimes 5 or 6 cents per pack – at random stores like Walgreens, Dollar stores, Aldi, etc., near the end of summer. Open-pollinated would be preferable, for obvious reasons, but if you are on a budget, that might be a way to build up a quick storage of seeds for not a lot of money.

  63. That’s on my list to watch. I loved the wartime farm show. I watched all the episodes. I’m going to watch Tudor soon. It’s good to know what can overwinter. I don’t have any experience overwintering in a garden but it’s time to learn.

  64. That is a great idea! Dutch oven cooking is very popular here. I am in Texas and “chuckwagon cooking” has a large following here. It is sometimes also called cowboy cooking. They even have chuckwagon events with old-west style chuckwagons, and there is a local group that does demonstrations several times a year at some of the historical sites. We have just started researching it & have tried to cook a few things in our backyard firepit with our dutch ovens. I would suggest doing some looking at your local library or online for “chuckwagon recipes.” I also bought an inexpensive Boy Scout cookbook that is full of dutch oven/chuckwagon recipes. You can make darn near anything in a dutch oven with some coals or wood. It would be an ideal cooking method if there was not electricity or gas available, and you don’t own a wood stove or other non-electric cooker. I don’t know if it is ok to post links here but this site has some very good information & basics about how to get started. It is a free online reprint of a Scout dutch oven cookbook: http://www.usscouts.org/cooking/cook_05.asp

  65. Yes, have some seeds rather than no seeds! Thank you for sharing your sources for finding them so low!

    In general, lettuce seeds have a germination life of 3 years. Seed companies usually list the length of time for each variety of seeds (some are 1 year, some are 2 years, etc.) But I have seen them last longer too, and that’s always a blessing, too!

  66. Jennifer, this is a great recipe! My adult son ate it and liked it, even knowing there was no meat. My only change is to make my patties thinner.

  67. Hi Cindy and great to see you are being frugal too.

    I would try a small batch of say muffins and put in the egg powder substitute instead of the eggs and then try them before you make anything large. If they are a success then you know they are alright.

    I would imagine if they are stored with the lid on that they would last longer than the date on them, if it is a best before date, normally they last a lot longer than it says.

    But giving them a test bake would be the only way to know I think.

  68. sometimes i use less sometimes i use more if i plan on 25lbs a month it works out best

    i have a using can or one could use a bucket i store flour and wheat rice beans etc in buckets i keep most of the flour on a top shelf just incase but other buckets are stacked on wood all are in basement i just measured dry ingredients for muffins i do this the nite or day before then just add the wet things in the morning they are the best pumpkin muffins on the planet they take two c flour last us two days when i stir up pizza dough that is five cups makes us three pizza dinners… i also make mixes i am afraid we are experiencing the living off food storage so i make brownie mix i make the pancakes or waffles from scratch the popovers which don’t happen as often with price of eggs make cakes from scratch snack cakes coffee cakes muffins cookies egg noodles when everything you consume you make from scratch even croutons and dressing puff pancake dumplings pies flour tortillas pita bread biscuits bread cinn rolls english muffin bread i think if you see what one eats a month is a long time so you see it takes a lot to get thru just keep building your storage when i empty a bucket of flour in my using can i first take out the two bay leaves then i get that bucket filled before i take it back down always redating the bucket so i can keep it rotated but now that we need it i am glad that i have it

  69. Hi Andrea and most welcome :D.

    It is a reminder to me too, now that I have survived bringing up my children through the challenging teenage years into adulthood and leaving home, for which I jokingly say I have earned my braveness badge. I now have to write everything down to make sure I remember it too :).

  70. Andrea, as some have suggested, a dutch oven can be used with open fire pit cooking. Another suggestion is to look at alternative bread recipes, such as bannock. Bannock is a very simple bread that has been around for hundreds of years and uses very few ingredients, all simple staples you’d have in your pantry. It can be cooked in a frying pan, like a pancake, or in an oven, but tastes a lot like a tea biscuit. Might be worth trying out. Here is a link to a recipe, but there numerous ones on the internet with lots of variations to try:
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/6919/bannock/

  71. When I was a kid, we once planted some things on the south side of our house. Our neighbors weren’t so happy because their driveway was in the narrow space between their house and our lot line…. so they had to step out onto dirt instead of grass. It wasn’t our fault that they built too big a house for the lot. But we only gardened there for a couple of years. Anyway, one of the biggest successes was kale. We went out in the middle of winter, a Michigan winter, knocked off the snow, and harvested some absolutely beautiful kale. No cloches, nothing at all except several inches of snow.

  72. Kim, freezing like Brandy said is great for rice. I also put bayl eaves in much of my rice and dry goods. Adds no favor, but bugs hate it. Just another option.

  73. I live in a very humid climate. I do several things with my salt storage. First, I look for salt being sold in plastic bottles rather then cardboard boxes. I try and buy extras every time I shop at Costco. Then I put the container in a freezer Ziplock bag. I also put the date of purchase on the container. I work at rotating my purchases. Finally, if I do purchase salt in a cardboard box or paper bag, I will transfer the contents to a glass container. This is how I usually store salt used for canning. So far, I have eliminated bricks.

  74. i had gotten an extra knit mach with stuff from an auction place i already have a bond and a toyota and truthfully i did not want to learn another since i am still learning the toyota which i had gotten yrs earlier i was just going to stick it in garage as i didn’t want it but then thought to sell it on ebay back in the early days of ebay we sold it and after paying tith on it there was enough for an old wood burning cookstove and a case of ketchup that was 1999. we took it to the welder and got it fixed up and hooked up i hope to never have to use it for our source to cook it heats well tho but tomorrow will feel like 100 tomorrow but we have used it for news year day breakfast many times when it wasn’t on a sunday we would only use it and have friends it has a water reserve on the one side and warming oven above

    consider trading for it i once got a drum carder for spinning wool that way and still use it

    but yes in maine you would be able to find easily put an add in saying looking for…..in your paper do you have a fire place some times you can cook in those with right equipment

    Brandy i really like this thread you have going i like to hear what others are doing and getting ideas

    i concur on the stacking in buckets i have gone higher but only because i have some two and a half gal buckets those i could only get at one time instead of the five gallon for a time i got them so pasta or oats don’t weigh as much in those and also my dried apples they all go on the top they are very light but just what Brandy said on the stacking

    i had one sis ask me how i dried apples over the week end i put them thru the apple peeler corer slicer gadget many yrs i have had that if you get one get the clamp on then i put in water that has lemon juice in it what you get is a coil of apple slice one cut from top to bottom you get rings then i dry this yr so far i have done seven bushels when our girls were little they would eat the long peelings real fruit by the foot if you was good and have fairly good peels the amish make jelly by cooking the juice from the peels i did do that one yr but the peelings were not that good this yr she asked what i did with them so i thought i would share here as well http://preparednessnibblesandbits.blogspot.com/search/label/Dehydrated%20Apples%20Recipes they are using church apples which we use as well but i can use my dried instead comes out the same and of course granola and oatmeal trail mix and snacks sky is the limit

  75. Andrea – regarding this and your previous comment on balancing your food storage for different needs – I do the same thing. If I am out of work, then yes I would cook rice and beans from dried. But in a natural disaster would I want to use that much water and propane to cook beans for just the 2 of us and then have no way to keep leftovers cold here in Florida without power. So I do keep a lot of canned food in my pantry just to use in case of a natural disaster, not only because it doesn’t take as long to cook, but because I need something shelf stable and not rely on my freezers for all my food storage.

  76. I put two bay leaves in on top of rice or any grain flour popcorn things that can get bugs i reuse the leaves by rubbing them together it makes them good as knew and no they don’t flavor your products also depending on how much rice you can put in jars and vac seal that will keep air out and nothing can live in there but rice or pasta or what ever. I got married in1974 started storing food around79 i have always used the bay leaves never any problem but having said that i have never lived long in the heat that Brandy has and the basement is cool yr round but i did have a jar of flour in a storage unit while husband was in tech school then months before we moved it to where we were stationed abt a yr in all no bugs i can get flour to last three four five yrs before it goes rancid in the buckets i am using a bucket that did not find it’s way into rotation 08 still fine but as a rule i like them rotated thru in three or four yrs I do have a friend in florida that has flour in the cans she said it tastes tinny but since i use buckets i could not tell you for myself she was disappointed that was packed in no. ten cans with ox absorber but her climate is different then mine i did not ask how old…..now someone moved and gave us their long term food storage in cans twenty five yrs old so i had my class meeting and i wanted them to see what happened when you did not rotate it and opened a can of the flour and it was still fine egg on my face that case and cases of wheat went with my daughter she said it did have a flavor but she mixed it with new four and it was fine so that is all i know abt canned flour Brandy could probably tell more in that neck of the woods we could just never afford to can in no. ten cans and so buckets i know. I have a friend in machias she says her food goes stale fast do you other maine people have that or might it be because close to water????

  77. on storage areas i will pass this neat idea along my friend in florida short on space ….her husband built her a kitchen island that when lifted up and off has cases of no. ten cans long term storage good idea her other neat way was she has a grown son in military and at time other son in high school she built him a cave room I can’t remember it’s real name but she stacked cases of no. ten cans long term in a way that they could build him a bed on top the whole room was camouflage with authentic webbing she drapped in front of a wall of those same cases she worked the room up that i could not fig out where the storage was at and the son loved it so it was worthy of mentioning these iseas

  78. It is so interesting to read about everyone’s stocking up activities and plans. It makes me wish we had a house, but that’s not really an option where we live (Seattle area real estate prices are through the roof). Our condo is less than 1000 square feet, but I do have various food and other items stored. We have two 72 hour emergency backpacks, a good first aid kit, and several days of MREs and packaged camping meals (the kind you just add hot water to). I have five gallon buckets of rice, lentils, and oatmeal. I also have about 20lbs of black beans and some canned meat. I also have spices, salt, sugar, and vinegar along with dish soap and other toiletries to last a while. I have some water stored (and two camping/emergency water filters), and have many pints of fruit and vegetables I have canned. My small chest freezer is full of vegetables and meat (of course, only usable if the power stays on). In a true emergency that lasted a long time, these supplies would not be enough, but at least they would tide us over for a while.

    I also have a few options for cooking: a solar oven (but not useable year round). I have a small camp stove that works with twigs and small pieces of wood, plus a larger Volcano grill (that burns charcoal or possibly wood) and a Dutch oven. We have a small patio – I had to think of things that would work for condo living. While our situation is far from secure or perfect, I am more prepared than just about anyone I know here. My husband thinks this prepping is a bit weird, but if and when things go downhill, he will understand. I will also likely be feeding more people than just us (i.e. my condo neighbors), but that’s fine. We will all be in this together.

    Thanks for the great post, Brandy.

  79. We will be camping 10 days this month – just my husband, myself and the dogs since the kids are both in college and with jobs. I have plans to stock up later this month on more beans, oats, rice and flour. I also know we need more powdered milk and yeast as well. I have a pretty good amount now but not near enough to make it longer than 6 weeks to 8 weeks with most items. Case sales should be coming up soon and that is when we purchase most of the veggies/fruits, canned meats, beans and soups. The holiday sales is also stock up time on butter, flour, sugars and chocolates. I guessed last year on what we would need and I was short on most items but at least I have an idea now of what we need.
    As strange as it sounds, I also keep a breeding trio or quad of rabbits on hand as well. Rabbits can be completely fed off forage and veggie/fruit scraps if need be, are very quiet and can produce a very large quantity of meat in a short period of time. We don’t prefer rabbit meat, but in an emergency or long term survival situation (which could be ranging from a job loss with no income to a full SHTF scenario) they could mean the difference between getting enough protein variety or not. I also keep egg laying hens as well as a trio or quad of ducks at all times. These options may not work for everyone, but they are considered a part of our pantry prepping at our house.

  80. Thanks for answering the bucket question. That helps me judge floor space. I think it would all fit in a double closet (with room for shelving above it), if I did my math correctly LOL.

    I’m in New Hampshire. 🙂

    We have a regular (recessed in the wall) fireplace that keeps us warm enough in power outages, but it isn’t set up for cooking. Converting to a free-standing woodstove will cost us several thousand dollars to have it done to building code, plus the cost of the stove, and it just isn’t in the budget right now. I’ve never seen a woodstove with an oven on Craigslist (they aren’t common at all) and new ones are expensive ($3,000+ just for a quality stove; the style I want that would heat most of our home is close to $10,000). I could probably find an affordable used wood cookstove, but don’t want a kitchen style cookstove in my family room, plus I don’t want to tie up our only chimney with an inefficient cookstove.

  81. I love dutch oven cooking! It’s a lot of fun. We don’t normally store briquettes, but I’ll have to reconsider that option. Thanks for the reminder 😀

  82. Humidity definitely cuts the shelf life of opened bags like crackers, cereal, etc. I transfer a lot of things to mason jars and it helps.

    Thanks for your comments, Becky. I think I am going to get a few buckets and a few #10 cans of wheat. I’m building our food storage in a more methodical way than I have in the past and trying to find the right balance for all my concerns—it’s more complicated than I expected! 🙂

  83. Most of my garden this year was grown from seeds that were 3 to 4 years old. My cucumber seeds were dated 2008. They were a bit slow to get started, but they are producing fine.

  84. Have you used the “rocket” type stove? We took our Kelly Kettle with us camping so we could actually try it out away from home. It took a bit to figure out how much fuel (IE sticks, pine cones and leaves we had available) once we got it going right, it heated up water and a pan of soup in no time.

  85. I forgot to add a bit to mine:
    We have a Kelly Kettle for meal cooking/water boiling. (And it could probably raise the temp a bit in a small room too). We store vacuumed meals in a jar made with freeze dried meat, veggies, spices/herbs and quick cook pastas and rice. These are for a true emergency situation with no power (although we rotate them out for camping too). We do have a generator which will run the well pump and we also have a water filter/purifier and we live very near several sources of water if we would need to get more. Also, we have gas for cooking but if we were hit in our area with a tornado, gas may not be an option as it would have to be capped if there was a break in a line. We also have a wood stove for heat and back up cooking + a fire pit. We will be working on building up our wood over the next several months to get us thru the next couple winters. We only have an acre so do not have our own wood lot unfortunately. We do have fully packed 72 hour bags too.
    When thinking about long term storage, also consider your pets. We try to keep a month ahead for the poultry and rabbits and are moving towards a six month supply for them. The dogs and cats we keep about 3 months on hand for them. That way, if we are hit with anything financially we have time to figure out our next option. We also have a 72+ hour bag for our dogs but at this time we do not have one for the cats, rabbits and poultry. If we would need to evacuate, we have enough cages/carriers to get them all out though. Rabbits are easy to find food for, but I need to come up with something better for the poultry and cats (probably freeze dried food for the cats – light weight – just add water). This evac plan only works though if we have time to get them all and are able to take out “the bus” to fit them all.

  86. You can also cook up a few batches of dry beans and pressure can. I did this with some of my dry pinto beans. It’s nice to just open the jar and reheat like you would a store bought can of beans. Plus it doesn’t take precious freezer space.

  87. Debbie, I am in total agreement with you on this. I often think of the time that the grid went down in 2003. It effected a very large region, both in Canada and U.S. We’re on a well, which means that our pump does not work when there is no hydro. My daughter was only 3 months old at the time and not breast fed.

    Having things on hand like canned pasta, baked beans, and ready to eat soup will definitely help when it initially happens. It may take a day or two to get yourself organized once the emergency happens…possibly more depending on the emergency. I also store lots of water, including cases of purchased bottled water which goes on sale quite cheap in the summer (we use previous years bottles in the summer when we go on day trip or outings to rotate our stock), as well as several large re-purposed juice bottles filled with tap water to used for cooking, washing dishes, hygiene etc. There is a canal near by our house that we could access water from to use for flushing toilets or watering gardens if necessary.

    Another suggestion that I read once (and thought was brilliant) was to refill your canning jars with water once you empty them of their food contents, then process in canner reusing the jar lids. When you are ready to do canning the next summer, just open and dump the water contents before using again. Down side it that your water stock will fluctuate throughout the year so I would use this as “bonus water” in my storage.

  88. Yes, I made a point to try it out a couple times. I didn’t want to get stuck in an emergency situation and not know how to use it! I have a bucket of dry twigs at the ready if need be.

  89. Melissa, be sure not to use your Kelly Kettle or any kind of rocket stove indoors. You could get carbon monoxide poisoning. I see news reports about people dying from this every year after big power outages, because they use wood or charcoal fired stoves/barbecues inside to cook and heat up their house.

  90. Brandy i am not sure my last message went i was saying we lived in nh for a time and i saw wood stoves some had that were flat and one could put a pot of soup or tea kettle on yes ours is a kitchen one http://frugalmeasures.blogspot.com/2012/04/four-in-one-bread-dough.html in this pic it has bread dough on it as it is now only for emerg use onely and to be pretty we once lost power most of the day we put chili to cook on it and used it too for heat…since then we have a gas fire place in living room it is independent of elec so it gives heat in power outages but the cook stove is still for cooking if needed and believe me when i say i truly understand when you say not in the budget at this time remember President Hinckley said do the best you can our budget would not allow us to do things at this time either but in1999 i was able to make that sale on ebay the lady was thrilled with it and we were able to get this stove and restore it we also had a much better income back then i would always use part of groc money to stock up cause our income went up and down in the end we worked just for ins and no income that was hard but now on fixed income it is still somewhat hard but i do what i can just like you so put ad in paper looking for wood burning stove and see what you can find perhaps someone wants the space in their garage

  91. What you can think about doing, since this would only be for a true emergency, is researching hearth cooking–the way the pilgrims, for instance, used to cook, and use your wood fireplace to cook in. Get a dutch oven. Then it’s pretty much like cooking over a campfire. (A fire ring in the back yard would work too.)

    For short-term stuff you could store Sterno and learn to cook over one can (like camping, can boil water but I wouldn’t want to try making bread).

    Also, just be thinking about all the stuff in your pantry you wouldn’t have to cook. Rolled oats with canned applesauce might not be the most amazing breakfast, but they’re edible. Canned baked beans, fruit, etc. all would be edible too.

  92. I make my own bread but I buy both all purpose and bread flour—each 25#bag lasts me at least two months–we are also 2 retired people, although I do not eat much bread myself. I also bake desserts sparingly, particularly in summer. So it depends on your own personal style of eating as well as all the other factors mentioned. It will go faster in winter because I make more desserts and quick breads in cooler weather. Sam’s Club is my choice for four and yeast too. My favorite every day bread recipe takes 3 cups of flour, so does my pizza dough.

  93. My doctor has recommended Vit C and a multi-vit for me as a person having heart disease and arthritis. I only take the one-a-day every other day because I think it has too much Vit E in it, but I do continue to take these. I eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies all year round, but I just hope he knows what he’s talking about! He has been my doctor for almost 40 years and he’s done ok so far!

  94. Yep – You have to allow outside air in which would more than likely eliminate it’s ability to heat up a room. I see the candle under a clay pot being touted as something to use to warm up a room too – you get too many of them going and you’ll have the same issue. Common sense is not so common :/ I should get my hubby to use his carbon monoxide detector and see how fast it builds up in our kitchen when the kettle is used.

  95. Tina in the NW. I now live in an 800sf apartment. I repurposed my hall coat closet into a mini pantry and put in shelving for my pantry items. I bought over the door hooks for the closet door and that is now where my rain coat and outerwear gets dried and hung. I was hanging my wet coats outside the closet anyway until dry so a light bulb went off one day and I repurposed the closet. I also had two doorways going into the bedroom. I closed off one door and made that a closet for storage. I used a curtain to hide the storage from anyone in the room. Long story to say – look around and you may have more space for pantry storage.

  96. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska, and today I went to all of our grocery stores (Fred’s and Safeway) looking for the Lawry’s Perfect Blend Chicken and Poultry seasoning and no one carries it. I know it is on Amazon but you have to buy a huge quantity. Do you think I could use the equivalent amount of granulated chicken bullion in its place in your chicken-less chicken fried steak? Thank you for any help.

  97. Hi Mable!

    I buy the seasoning in that same size at Sam’s Club. I don’t usually buy mixed seasonings, but this one is rather amazing! We put it on chicken and my mom loves it on pork.

    It’s much more flavorful than chicken bullion, and the seasoning is key in making this work. That said, you can use Montreal Steak Seasoning, or try your own mix of spices (one of my readers Estonia does that). The seasoning has a fair amount of rosemary, salt, and pepper, among other things.

  98. I think it’s important that you know/remember that the amounts suggested in the LDS calculator are minimal amounts. This is a very small amount of food each day. I would suggest storing at least twice as much maybe even three times as much especially if you are feeding men and teenage boys.

    I store my flour (really all my grains) in buckets I bought at Home Depot. It’s important to use what you store so that you can keep it properly rotated.

  99. And besides all the flour in baking, you would use it for making roux/white sauces, dredging fish or meat or green tomatoes before frying, making batter for chili rellenos, crumble toppings for fruit crisps. I know for sure we use 5 lbs a week as my container in the kitchen hold 5 pounds and we refill it at least that often. We have 3 fulltime adults now, my sometimes eats here nephew and this weekend will be getting my brother in law back for the next 3 months. Flour will definitely go up then as he loves sandwiches ad would eat them 3 times a day, so I double my bread baking.

  100. We have a wood burning stove in our living/family room. It is rated to heat up to 800 sq feet. It has burner plates on top for setting in kettles or a teapot. We also have a firepit in the yard with a tripod for hanging a kettle or grill and a Dutch oven. We have access to acres of woods on our property and are capable of collecting and maintaining a woodpile. In the area of heat and of cooking source, I think we are OK, and we have been during times of power outage.

  101. Thanks, Becky. I am sure I can get regular used woodstove or cookstove in our area, because a lot of people are converting to pellet stoves. However, we also need the funds to convert the existing fireplace and chimney to accept that type of appliance. In order to do the work properly and to code (i.e. safely), we need to invest at least $2000 (we’ve already gotten estimates). Ultimately, we will probably do the project in two stages…fixing the chimney/wall/hearth and installing a cheap used stove and then saving up for my dream woodstove (with a built in oven) that will heat most of our house. In the meantime, our emergency plan will assume that we will only have limited access to an oven.

    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom!

  102. Thanks to everyone who has shared ideas!

    We do bake potatoes in the fireplace when the electricity goes out in the winter (and toast marshmallows LOL), so I will explore other things that can be cooked that way. We have plenty of options for stovetop-style cooking (camping stove, backpacking rocket stove, gas grill with side burner, solar oven for summer, etc), but not real options for winter-time baking. I think the most logical (and affordable) thing to do is compile a list of bread-like foods that can be cooked on the stovetop (pancakes, tortillas, bannock, etc) and practice making those (I’ve never made bannock before).

  103. Cindy, what happens with Christmas and THanksgiving and even Halloween candy (should you pass out treats)? I thought the idea was to just start and use what have for these challenges. Did buy ahead for the holidays or will you come up with alternates or just go out and buy as needed when the time comes, challenge or not? I am just curious, as see people often enough on blogs saying they are doing various challenges.

  104. Sue, I know what you mean by “uneasy”. I add an item to my grocery list, not when I have used the last of an item, but when I finish that present item…there may already by 5 for example of worchestshire sauce on the shelf or 3 boxes 25 lb each of rice, but I like to have that certain amount that I have determined we need on hand.

  105. My old house, which is next door, still has the 1910 Monarch wood cookstove in it along with a 1950’s gas stove that my grandmother only very reluctantly switched over to after about 10 years. Some of my earliest memories are of her cooking on the old stove. The gas stove still works and is what my daughter uses to cook for her family. She has been interested in getting the wood stove going again.

  106. Hello from Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada: what type of oats do you use? long cooking, steel cut, or the quick cooking type?
    thanks so much, ann

  107. Before you stop gluten and to insure a proper diagnosis, you really need to get your child tested by a pediatric gastro. doctor. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are not the same thing. My daughter gets tested every year for celiac disease because she is a type 1 diabetic. It is a simple blood test and takes about 2 weeks to process.

  108. Someone mentioned case lot sales were starting, I live in Phoenix and our Kroger affiliated company is named Frys. Does anyone know if Frys does case lot sales? I don’t remember ever seeing one.

  109. I forgot we have a Sam’s, too, so I went there this morning with a friend who is a member. No luck for the chicken or steak seasoning. I do have rosemary from my garden so I will try to doctor something up. My husband has to go to Anchorage next week and I have already told him he will have to try and hunt down the spices there. Our Sam’s club does carry the Lowry line but only a few things, like dehydrated onions and granulated garlic. Thanks for answering my question, Brandy!

  110. I have been seeing a GF flour mix at Sam’s for about $2 a pound. I think it is the Krusteaz brand.

    The Frugal Abundance blog has something she calls GLAD flour & a whole article on the economics of making your own. http://frugalabundance.com/gladflour.htm

    If you have an Amish or bulk store in your area, that would be a place to buy the individual flours to make your own.

  111. Brandy,
    Freezer burn is actually a form of dehydration so if you have meats that have a little freezer burn soak the meat in a bowl of cold water for a few hours and it helps rehydrate the meat if is too freezer burnt it may still have a taste to it though.

    Always,
    Vicky

  112. I have a spicy sprout bag of sprouting seeds that I like to keep in my pantry. We used to live in the snow and the growing season is very short. I sprout them in mason jars and serve them as a salad. 1 Tbs. of seeds sprouts quite a bit of food.

  113. Brandy,
    I’m so thankful for your link to the Milk N More store in Tempe. I have always wanted to have powdered milk on hand, but it seemed cost prohibitive. This is an excellent price and I can drive over and pick it up!
    I’m also thankful for this post and the way that you laid everything out. I definitely need to keep better track of how much of various items we go through, especially the dried goods such as pasta and beans. I have found a store where I can purchase a 50# bag of flour for $8 and, while it usually lasts me a couple of months, I could see how having a couple on hand would be beneficial for our family. I can easily bake 5-6 loaves of bread in a week and frequently make tortillas and pizza. Each of these items requires 4 cups of flour per batch so I go through it quickly. In the event that we would need to eat from our pantry, I think I could deplete a 50# bag in a month. While I don’t make pasta as often as I would like, I have used my all-purpose flour to make ravioli which would cause us to go through the flour even faster, especially if I depleted our supply of dried pasta from our shelves.
    Wow, you have given me a lot to think about, but I’m grateful for the resources and all the input and ideas. I’ll probably have to take some time this evening after my high schooler has finished her work in order to have a more thorough read and let all this sink in! 😀
    Thanks again and God Bless!

  114. Also, keep in mind that just because you test negative for Celiac Disease does not mean that you are not gluten intolerant. If that is the case you will still need to be GF. This happened to my kids…we learned the hard way and now being gluten free is what we have to do.

  115. We moved this summer, and I need to get started with our fall garden and food storage! Fortunately, we have a healthy emergency fund, but if for any reason we couldn’t get to the stores, we might have maybe one month’s worth of pretty sorry meals, and that’s about it.

    Our one-car garage is not insulated or air-conditioned, so I reckon I’m going to have to get creative about storing our food around the house until we can fix up the garage better. Thank you for the nudge!

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