One of the stores we go to is a "day old" bread store. Loaves of bread there are approximately 1/3 the cost of the very same bread purchased at a store. This bread will freeze in our chest freezer for a month without any type of burn. We also pick up Angel Food cake bars, along with hamburger and hot dog buns. Later in the evening upon returning home, I will slice the cake, wrap each piece in a section of plastic wrap, and place in a large freezer bag, and place in freezer. It is a snap to take out what we need and allow it to thaw when ready to use. Since we do not use the buns as fast as regular bread, I do the same to it.
Then we hit the "stock up" store! We buy several gallons of milk, some I will separate into clean jugs to freeze. I also keep boxes of powdered milk on hand. I have found that you cannot tell the difference in it and what you buy from the dairy case. (We use skim milk.)
We also buy cereal and crackers here. They will be placed in clean mason jars at home, and the lids vacuum sealed, using my jar attachment on my foodsaver. They will be as fresh the day I open them as the day I placed them in the jar! I also have jars of candy sealed, left over from holidays! That way the kids do not gorge themselves, I can dole it out a little at a time.
Although I am a home canner, we also stock up on canned goods. We buy "flats" of 12 cans. I will date the box with a marker, and place this box under the ones previously purchased.
Meats I will divide up. Using my foodsaver, I will vacuum seal them in small portions. Some items, like shaped burgers, I will flash freeze first, then vacuum seal.
We also buy no-name diet soda here and find it tastes the same as name brand. Yes, I know a lot of people feel soda is a no no, but we like it, so we purchase it. It is about 1/2 of what the name brand will cost at the local stores.
Occasionally, we go to the warehouse club, too. There I will buy a 5 pound bag of shredded cheese. To store this, I will place a half cup into a snack size baggie, I will zip it closed leaving a small opening and insert a straw into the bag. I suck out the air and zip it closed. I will put these bags of shredded cheese into a larger freezer bag and freeze.
We purchased large bags of frozen fruit there, too. Since they come in resealable bags, there is nothing else we need to do with them.
While there, I like to visit their deli section, and purchase a 10+ pound loaf of such meats as baked turkey breast or low fat honey ham. We ask them to slice it super thin. (They call it shaved or wafer cut.) This I will separate and vacuum seal them to freeze.
They also carry foot long hoagie rolls which my family loves. I will do them like I do the angel food cake. I will cut it into 4 portions per roll, wrap each portion in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer bag, and freeze.
Other items I keep on hand is yeast (kept in the freezer), wheat flour (kept in the freezer), rice (vacuum sealed in quart jars), and a variety of spices and seasonings.
Plus I keep extra personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper on the shelves in the basement pantry.
It does take a bit to get the knack of things. Keeping track of what you have, rotating items, etc. And to stock up it does cost a bit more to begin with, but it is worth it for us. In the past, I found that running to the store just to pick up an item we were out of cost a lot of money! Not only the cost of the gasoline to go to the store (we have no public transportation here), but it seemed that I would always impulse buy. By staying out of the stores, I keep more money in my purse.
When the cold wind blows and snowflakes swirl through the air, I can decide to make a huge pot of chili. I feel good knowing crackers are just a step away!
By Beverly from MO
Read feedback for this post below. Click here to post feedback.
We used to have a very large freezer in the garage for extra food. Part of the process is knowing what foods (other than the usual items) will freeze well and what won't.
Many great ideas and some I also use. We have a small pantry but it is well stocked as it the freezer. We also buy batteries at Costco for the flameless candles and flashlights along with T.P. and PT and cleaning supplies. These are kept away from food items but in the same room. It will be hard for people to understand that food prices will jump fast this drought time. Just as gas and all other bills will follow. Buying in bulk always is better if you can and learn to budget time as well as money. Waste not, want not. GG Vi
Add your voice to the conversation.