Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August Week 4: Canned or Bottled Fruits

This week's food storage items are: 

August Week 4: Canned or bottled fruits - mandarin oranges, pineapple, peaches, pears, etc.


This could be a fairly easy week or not, depending on how much canned fruit your family consumes in a year. If you bottle your own fruit, then obviously you will bottle this week's items whenever the fruit is ready to bottle. Either way, you will need to decide how much canned fruit your family consumes in a year's time. If you are buying the cans (as opposed to bottling your own), write those amounts and items on your grocery list, and in the next couple of days, go to the grocery store and pick up the items. When you bring them home, update your list and get the cans on your shelves. Done. Easy as that. It literally could take you a matter of a few minutes time to get this week's food storage items completed. Unless of course you are bottling your own, and then it definitely will not take a few minutes time.


If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August Week 3: Tomatoes - salsa, sauce, whole, diced, paste, pizza, spaghetti sauce

This week's food storage items are:

August Week 3: Tomatoes - salsa, sauce, whole, diced, paste, pizza, spaghetti sauce

It's amazing how often I use some sort of canned or bottled tomato product. We love Mexican food and also some Italian food, so it's important for me to always have some on hand. 

For the most part, these are the items (from the list) that I keep in my food storage:


As with most of the other weekly items, I try to estimate what I might use of each of the items in a year's time. And then I pad my numbers. At the end of the year, I want to still have a few on my shelves that I can rotate through. I really try to plan it so that I never truly run all the way out.

After deciding how many of each of the tomato items I will use this year, I update the totals on my inventory sheet, then check that against how many I actually have on my shelves. The difference is what I will go shopping for.

Now, case lot sales are a good place to pick up many of these items. Whenever our grocery store has a case lot sale, I check my shelves to see what items I might need a whole case of, and then buy the case and keep it in the rotation. You can decide which you would like to do -- wait for a sale, or buy the items you need now and move on. The problem with putting too many items on the "waiting for a sale" list, is that that list can get pretty long, and your shelves can stay empty for a while.

After I pick up my items for my food storage, I'll update my inventory list with the new totals, and I will be done for the week.


Remember, this is a rotating food storage plan, which means you will actually be using many of your food storage items so that there is very little wasted, expired food. I used to keep cases of cans on the shelves, never rotating through and using them, and every time I would clean out my shelves, I would end up throwing a lot of old food away. This plan should resolve that problem.

I've had a few people email me with questions this week, and I thought I'd share the questions and answers here so that maybe some of your questions will be answered also.

Q: I would be curious to know how much you budget for each week, how much are you spending to create this supply?

A: Since each week will be varied as to how much you will spend, I would recommend implementing a budget in which you set aside a certain amount from each paycheck for all food storage and emergency supplies. Then, when you go to purchase items, you can take from the money you have budgeted for it. As you get established, you’ll notice that some weeks you literally won’t have to spend anything, while other weeks will still require purchasing items. The money you set aside will also depend on how many you have in your family. Look at the monthly lists and estimate what a month might require as far as budgeting, and begin setting that aside. You may have to adjust that as time goes on.

Q: I have a couple of follow-up questions, if you don't mind. I recognize that this plan is to build a food storage and emergency supply. I have never really had the time or extra money to do such a thing and have always shopped week to week for the things we need right then. That being said, my first question is for each week's list do you intend to purchase enough of that item(s) to last until the following year's shopping? My second question is, how often do you shop for fresh items? Thanks again!

A: To answer your first question, when I first started out, I was not able to purchase an entire year's supply of every item. Sometimes (depending on the item) I would purchase only 3 or 6 months worth. After a while, I was able to get my storage to a year's worth of the items, so now I do try to purchase an entire year's worth of what I might use of each item; and, for your second question, I'll answer it two ways, since I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "fresh items". If you mean fresh produce, I usually pick those items up twice a week, or whenever I need them. I don't include any fresh produce in my food supply. If you mean items to refresh my food storage shelves, I am generally successful in only having to shop for them once a year, whenever they come up on my list.

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August Week 2: Baking and Cooking

This week's food storage items are:

August Week 2: Baking and Cooking - baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, vanilla, bouillon, chicken broth, beef broth


I know this looks like a conglomeration of items, but these are just a few miscellaneous things you may need in your kitchen for baking and cooking. (More baking items will come up in a future week)

For the all of the items, decide what you will go through in a year's time, and write the amounts and the items on a shopping list. I try to store a bit more than a year's worth of supply, so that in a year's time, I'm not completely out. Remember that everything on this list has an expiration date, so check the dates of the items you may already have on your shelves, and also the dates of the items you are buying. It does no good to have something sit on your shelf for a year, only to be thrown out later on. This system is made to rotate through, so you should have very little or no waste. It feels much better to have food storage that you actually use and rotate through. Every year, your needs may change a little, and in that case, you can change your list to accommodate your family's needs.

So, for this week, decide your needs, buy the items, get them on your shelves, and update your inventory sheet. Nice. Done for the week. It feels so good to know you're providing security for your family.

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August Week 1: Canned Meat

This week's food storage items are:

Canned meat: tuna, chicken, clams, shrimp, turkey, etc.


This is another straight-forward week. If your family eats any canned meat at all, then decide how much you might consume in the coming year, and get it on the shelves. We have a few recipes that include canned meat here and there, so I like to try to take all of those into consideration when I'm making up my list.


Also, in a long-term emergency, canned meat may be the only meat your family can get their hands on, so you really want to be sure you have at least something from the canned meat category. Oftentimes we don't go through all of the tuna I store, but I have no problem donating the cans somewhere along the line to a food bank (as long as they haven't passed their expiration dates).

So, come up with a list of what your family will eat in a year's time, and add a few extras, and then in the next couple of days when you are at the grocery store, pick the items up. Then stack the items on your shelves and get your lists updated. And finally, sit back and feel good about what you have done for your family this week. Yay!

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July Week 4: Canned goods: chili, beans, etc, and manual can opener

This week's food storage items are:

July Week 4: Canned goods: chili, beans, etc, as well as a manual can opener

This week sortof captures all of the canned goods that aren't already included on another week in the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan. For my family's needs, it boils down to basically canned beans --like black beans, kidney beans, chili, refried beans, white beans and baked beans. Also, be sure to buy a manual can opener and keep it very near your cans so that you will always have that close by in case of an emergency. That seems very obvious, but some people don't even have manual can openers any more, and if they do, they aren't always easy to locate.

I keep all of my food storage canned goods in my basement food storage room on Shelf Reliance shelves. 


Once a month or so, I go down to my basement and I "shop" for more canned goods and bring some up to my pantry in my kitchen. That leaves some empty spaces in my can racks, which I'll refill once every quarter or so... just to keep up on my canned goods. 

My ingenious, sweetie-pie husband came up with a shopping list for each of the canned good items in our Shelf Reliance shelves. 


It has them listed in the order that they are on the shelves, so I can quickly go down the shelves and mark how many cans I need of each item. Then I tuck that list into my purse, and when I'm at the grocery, I pull that out and pick up the needed items. For canned goods, I love shopping the case lot sales. I'll pick up a case of each of the canned goods that we really use. Then I keep the case down at the end of my Shelf Reliance shelves, and I can refill from my own cases of canned goods. 

If you don't quite have a "system" yet, just do a simple version of the above. Decide which canned goods you eat regularly and would benefit from keeping a good supply of them on hand. Figure out how many of each of the items you might need in a year's time, and subtract whatever you already have on hand. Then, use that number, and write it down on a grocery list of the items. If you have loads of canned goods you want to have in storage, break it down to acquiring one different type each week for several weeks. That way you won't "break the bank" by getting them all at once.

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July Sale!!!

Grass Roots Home is having a Christmas in July sale!
Today only, save 25% on any purchase.
Merry Christmas in July!!!


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July Week 3: Vinegar

This week's food storage item is:

July Week 3: Vinegar - white distilled, apple cider, rice, etc.


This is a pretty simple, straight-forward week. Decide how much vinegar you might use in the coming year. If you use rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar in your cooking, then be sure to take those into account. Also, remember the uses for vinegar as a cleanser. The Reader's Digest has 150+ Household Uses for Vinegar. I've included just the first part of the list here....

150+ Household Uses for Vinegar
With so many different uses around the house, this super item deserves a reserved space in your cabinet.

-Clear dirt off PCs and peripherals
-Clean your computer mouse
-Clean your window blinds
-Unclog and deodorize drains
-Get rid of smoke odor
-Wipe away mildew
-Clean chrome and stainless steel
-Shine your silver
-Polish brass and copper items
-Unglue stickers, decals, and price tags
-Burnish your scissors
-Clean your piano keys
-Deodorize lunch boxes, footlockers, and car trunks
-Freshen a musty closet
-Brighten up brickwork
-Revitalize wood paneling
-Restore your rugs
-Remove carpet stains
-Remove candle wax
-Give grease stains the slip
-Conceal scratches in wood furniture
-Get rid of water rings on furniture
-Wipe off wax or polish buildup
-Revitalize leather furniture
Read how to do each item on the list, and also get the rest of the list by clicking on: The Reader's Digest

Vinegar is very inexpensive, so it doesn't hurt to have an extra jug or two on the shelves. If there was a long-term emergency, this would be the perfect thing to have around as a cleanser and a "do-all". (Sortof like the Windex in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding") After you have decided how much you need, add the items to your shopping list, and in the next day or two, purchase them. Then, get them on your shelves, update your Inventory Sheets, and sit back and enjoy the rest of your week!

One important thing to do as we go through the weeks is to check week's item in your inventory you already have for expiration dates. There is nothing worse than needing to use your apple cider vinegar for a recipe, and realizing it expired months ago. Check your pantry (as well as your food storage room) for the vinegar items you use daily, and be sure they don't need replacing.

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.