Wednesday, December 29, 2010

LDS Home Storage Center Price Change Jan. 3rd

On January 3rd, a new price list for the LDS Home Storage Centers will be coming out. Several prices will be going up, especially sugar. However, oats and onions will be going down. The price list will be available online at Prices typically change about this time every year.

Members and non-members are welcome to can at the storage centers. Go online to find an LDS Home Storage Center location near you. Or contact an LDS friend and go together. Hours vary at each location.

Best Food Storage to Buy in January 2011

The focus for January is long-term foods. If you live near an LDS Home Storage Center, go there to can long-term foods at some great prices. Go during the Christmas break. If you do this once a year, you can restock on some items for a 3-month or year supply. This month, stores will focus on getting you organized and healthy. There will also be some great clearances on winter items. Pick up a shelf and storage totes for food storage. Red and green colors are cheapest. It's National Wheat Bread month and National Soup month.

The January List

STEP 1: 3-Month FOOD STORAGE SUPPLY - Long Term Foods
(Suggested amounts are for 1 adult)
CL = case lot sale, WM = Walmart, LDS = available at LDS Home Storage centers
LT 30 YR= Long-Term shelf life if stored properly. Consider storing a year's supply.

1. Decide on a monthly food storage budget
2. Choose a few items from the list that you want to focus on
3. Multiply list amounts by # of family members. Adjust amounts and items for younger children
4. Each week look at your grocery store ads for items on sale that match your goals
5. Carry your list with you, or put it on your cell phone notepad

Wheat 25 lbs. or 4 LDS #10 cans (LT 30 YR)
Oats 5 lbs. or 2 LDS #10 cans (LT 30 YR)
Dry Beans 5 lbs. or 1 LDS #10 can (LT 30 YR)
Rice, white 10 lbs. or 2 #10 LDS cans (LT 30 YR)

NON-FOOD ITEMS (per person)
Soap/body wash
Cold & Pain medicines (per family)
Storage shelves (on sale, as needed)
Storage totes (on sale, as needed)

72-HOUR KIT (per person)
Mini first aid kit

Emergency book
Storage bins
Storage shelves

Small first aid kit

STEP 2: DRINKING WATER Store a 2-Week Supply of drinking water, which is about 14 gallons per person. If you've already started this, continue to add to your supply. For drinking, that is about 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles per person. You may need more for hygiene and cooking which you can store in other containers. Always keep stocked up on water. You can't live without it.

Each week add some money to an emergency fund. Decide on a do-able amount and set up weekly transfers from checking to savings. Or put aside your loose change in a jar. Whichever way you choose to save, use it only for emergencies.

1. Clean and organize food storage room/pantry.
2. Clean out freezer.
3. Clean out medicines.

Food Storage for Singles

"I have been searching for information on how to begin on my long term storage plan. There is loads of information for "families" but I am single. You would think it is easier. But 1 #10 can of beans after it's opened means I would be eating that can of beans for weeks. Doesn't seem too frugal to me and not very appetizing. Any suggestions on how a single person could prepare?" Judy

Dear Judy,

Check out this previous post on food storage for college students or singles. It includes a spreadsheet. Honestly, I store more prepared canned beans (15 oz. size) than dry beans. Much easier for me to manage. If you really want to store dry beans, you could store smaller amounts in mason jars in your kitchen pantry. For longer term storage remove the air with a Foodsaver Mason jar attachment. Go to Wendy Dewitt's site at the bottom of my previous post.

Best wishes!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Annual Review of a Year of Grocery Receipts

I've been in bed going through this year's grocery receipts. I had knee surgery yesterday so it was the perfect time. Wow! What an eye opener! I've been working on a Price Log and gathering prices of items I regularly purchased last year and figuring out the seasonal price changes that happened throughout the year. I've seen how great I did on some grocery trips, and also where I could really improve. I hope to post my ideas in my Food Storage Organizer coming out soon. Anyway, I've learned alot about Seasonal Grocery Sales Cycles from this link. It's great! There are a few others lists online that have some great ideas as well. I'm revising my own seasonal sales calendar to help guide you to purchasing items each month when the prices are low so you can stock up on your food storage. Did you know that January is National Wheat Bread month, Bread Machine month, and Slow Cooking month? I didn't. Can you guess what items may be on sale?

If you have time after Christmas, I would suggest you go through your own receipts and learn from them. See the patterns and watch the prices go up and down on the foods you purchase. Look at how much you paid for strawberries, breakfast cereal, condiments, meat, etc. Look at your Costco/Sam's Club and Walmart receipts as well as your local grocery store. Make some changes in your purchase habits. It's easy to run to the store three times a week when you don't make a week's worth of menus. You'll see right away when you did that. Set a goal to shop for foods during the best months to save the most money. And set monthly goals for gathering food storage next year. I will suggest ideas at the beginning of each month. Best wishes!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 Tips on How to Store Nuts for Food Storage

Researching 10 Tips on how to store nuts for food storage isn't exactly the thing most mothers do the week their eldest son gets married, but researching seems to relax me. I am so excited for my son Joshua's wedding to his beautiful bride, Melissa! We have a great weekend ahead of us.

Here are some useful tips I've learned about nut storage:
  1. Nuts need to be stored carefully because of their high oil/fat content. They will go rancid if not stored properly.
  2. The definition of rancid is "having a rank smell or taste usually due to a chemical change or decomposition." A rancid nut can upset your stomach. They are yucky.
  3. Nuts store longest in the freezer (about 8 months to a year), but they can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4 months.
  4. Store nuts in an airtight, moisture proof container in a dark, cold (less then 70 degrees), dry, safe-from-rodent place. Glass jars or Ziploc bags with the air removed work well. If you have a Foodsaver with a Mason jar attachment, you can remove the air. (I want one of these!)
  5. Unsalted nuts stay fresher longer than salted nuts.
  6. Whole nuts last longer than chopped nuts.
  7. Nuts in the shell store longer than nuts out of the shell. However, if you are limited on freezer space, replenish shelled nuts often.
  8. Mark the container with the date you purchased the nuts.
  9. Nuts are high in fiber, fat (primarily unsaturated fat) and protein.
  10. Smell, then taste a nut before using.

Here is an interesting 5 minute video on how pistachios are harvested and processed.
Also, go to Wendy Dewitt's blog EverythingUnderthesun.Read her post and look for Vacuum Sealing Foods as she discusses using the Foodsaver Mason jar attachment.