25 Important Items You Should Have In Your Home

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Today it’s all about 25 important items you should have in your home. Now, we all know we need certain items to survive. In case you are new to prepping, you may not have heard these statements before, you can live for:

  • 3 minutes without air (I don’t recommend trying this)
  • 3 hours without shelter (Extreme heat or cold weather)
  • 3 days without water (you need water or you’ll perish)
  • 3 weeks without food (I promise this would not be fun)
Why Store Shortages are Not More Widespread

25 Important Items

1. Spices

Let’s be real here, everything tastes better with our favorites spices, right? I was talking to my daughter last night and I mentioned, “I sure wish In knew what Mexicans put in their refried beans.” Yes, I make them all the time, but there is something missing as far as spicey flavor.

When I visited Texas to see my sister and her family, we went to several restaurants over the course of a couple of weeks. Let me say this, Texans know how to cook, they really do. We had black beans and refried beans that were the best I have ever had in my life. I just want the secret to those beans, it’s spices, but which ones?

2. Oils

Please keep in mind that most recipes call for some type of oil. The problem with oil is the shelf-life is not very long. Please keep in mind that oils go rancid very quickly. Coconut oil lasts a bit longer.

3. Grains/Beans

I personally, store a lot of hard white wheat berries because I grind them to make homemade whole wheat bread. In case you missed my How To Make Whole Wheat Bread. It’s critical we know how to make cooked beans like black beans, pinto beans, etc. I’m going to start writing a post or two on how to use lentils, we must be able to cook from scratch.

4. Salt

We need salt for cooking, baking and even for our health. Of course, if your doctor said to cut way back on salt, you must listen, obviously. We need sodium to maintain fluid levels. A balance of sodium and fluid is necessary for the health of our heart, liver, and kidneys. Salt regulates blood fluids and prevents low blood pressure.

5. Pasta

Do you love spaghetti as much as I do? I buy those frozen meatballs at Costco and drop 3 or 4 in the sauce for Mark and me. They are cooked and ready to add to any dish. Oh, what about macaroni and cheese? Have you tried making my Baked Mac and Cheese?

6. Dairy

It’s important we have some “eggs” or a substitute for baking. In case you missed this post What Can You Use as an Egg Substitute? Of course, we should have eggs in our refrigerator and possibly some eggs in #10 cans.

About the only eggs I can eat that are out of a package are OvaEasy, but wow, the prices have gone sky high for that product! We can also freeze our excess eggs.

Have any of you tried storing freeze-dried cheese? I have several cans that I purchased years ago. Man, everything is so expensive now. The thing you need to be aware of with freeze-dried cheese is that when you need to use it be sure to rehydrate it with cool water, not warm or you will have a cheesy mess.

Now, it works great in casseroles, but not so well on top of tacos, just being real here.

There is nothing better than freshly grated cheese, right? I also stock shredded or grated cheese in the freezer. I have to have freshly grated cheese, and the freezer is my answer to no waste. It works great. I freeze it in the original bags or I put 2-cups in mason jars or FoodSaver bags. A freezer is one of my best friends.

7. Condiments

We need to stock mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, mustard, relish, ketchup, or any other condiment you love to have on hand. Olives add a great touch to so many meals or dips.

Green chilies are kind of a condiment, I have those in pantry cans and also some in those little 4-ounce cans. Balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and white vinegar are also my favorites.

8. Rice

If you haven’t stocked rice, I highly recommend you get some. Costco had some in 50-pound bags. Mark sent me a text when he was at Costco, “Do we need rice?” He mentioned they had some 50-pound bags. I paused for a minute and then I said, “We need some.”

We can share with others if things get bad. I was also worried that rice would be in short supply. Rice is one of my favorite foods, but I don’t stock brown rice because it goes rancid so quickly.

9. Frozen Tortillas

Yes, I freeze the small flour tortillas from Costco, six to a baggie. You can get like 40 for $3.99, what a deal! I saw an older gentleman at Costco, and he mentioned, “I wish I could eat all those tortillas because they are so cheap.” I told him how to freeze them in bags. He bought a package and told me he appreciated the tip. Life is good.

10. Canned Veggies

Here’s the deal, not only do the cans fill your belly, they have liquid in them that can be used to make soups. I stock, Non-GMO corn, and green beans. I also stock cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup.

11. Frozen Vegetables

I started buying frozen onions and freezing cut up bell peppers so I can make fajitas, or whatever, any day of the week. I used to buy fresh onions by the bag, but they would go bad before I could use up the bag. I still buy a few onions here and there, but I love those small bags of onions in the freezer section.

12. Canned Fruits

When my girls were growing up we canned every kind of fruit we could get our hands one. Well, I now buy canned fruits, like peaches, fruit cocktail, and pears, to name a few. I love knowing I have fruit in my house in case we can’t get fresh fruit at the local stores.

13. Frozen Fruits

Did you know that Costco sells organic frozen fruit that is priced really low? Yep, they do. I buy frozen strawberries, blueberries, and the 3 berry bags. They make the best smoothies in the world.

14. Canned Meats

Yep, I love having tuna, canned chicken, and my beloved chipped beef in the pantry. Have you tried making Cream Chipped Beef? I grew up on it and my family loves it.

15. Spaghetti Sauce

I used to bottle my own spaghetti sauce, not anymore. Now, I buy bottles when they have those case lot sales which makes a bottle about $1.00 for each one. Yay! Next year ask your local grocery stores to offer case lot sales. I live in Utah, and my entire life I have purchased many cases every fall. If we can get them in Utah, you should be able to where you live too.

16. Nuts

Nuts are a bonus for snacks or baking. Just remember to freeze them as they can go rancid very quickly. I use my FoodSaver to seal my nuts in bags before freezing them. I stock, pine nuts, pecans, almonds, and walnuts.

17. Baking Supplies

This year has a been a crazy year to stock up on flour, yeast, and even sugar. I’m hoping all the people who bought the yeast and flour learned how to make bread, wouldn’t that be awesome? I saw carts filled to the brim with flour, and I thought to myself, you know that flour is only good for 12-18 months, right?

I didn’t say anything to them. Maybe they had large families. I was glad to restock my baking soda and baking powder because they were in short supply. Life is good if our pantry is stocked.

18. Cereal

Here’s the deal, cereal is a great food item to stock, and not just for Mark and his early morning cereal routine. Kids love cereal, and if some families didn’t prepare very well, we could make a child super happy with a bowl of cereal after a disaster in our neighborhood.

19. Chocolate

Need I say more, my favorite is a jar or two of M & M’s. Everyone needs some chocolate after a disaster hits.

20. Toilet Paper/Paper Towels

We soon realized why we as preppers stocked toilet paper and paper towels this past year. Those of us who were prepared couldn’t believe people were fighting over a large package of toilet paper at Costco. Oh, the memories of this year.

Now every time I go to Costco, almost every basket has one large package of TP and paper towels. I think people are starting to understand why we prep.

21. Cleaning Supplies

For years many people were saying they can’t use bleach and only use natural cleaners. I get it. But germs need bleach, in my humble opinion. This is why bleach and hand sanitizer were in short supply for a while after the pandemic started.

Well, not anymore. There is so much hand sanitizer everywhere now. Clorox wipes are still in short supply where I live.

22. Paper Products

It’s critical we store some paper plates, bowls, cups (hot and cold), and some plastic silverware. Here’s the deal, we don’t want to use our fuel and water to wash ALL our dishes.

We have to cut back in some areas to conserve fuel and water. Watch for these to go on sale at clearance prices after the holidays.

23. Cloth Products

I have switched to cloth for napkins and paper towels to save money. I still need some paper towels for cooking bacon. Cloth Paper Towels

24. First Aid Supplies/Pet Supplies

And don’t forget to stock First Aid Supplies, OTC Medications, and pet supplies. You can organize them as you gather them in order to be prepared for the unexpected.

25. Water

This one is simple, please stock 4-gallons of water per person per day. If you need help on how to store water here is a great post to check out: How To Store Water-Pros And Cons

Final Word

I think sometimes you have to see lists over and over before it sinks in what you need to have stocked. It’s all about 25 important items we need in our home now.

Please keep prepping, the challenges we are facing are not going to go away. We must be prepared for the unexpected. May God Bless you, Linda

Copyright Images: Glass Jars AdobeStock_306388626 by New Africa

41 thoughts on “25 Important Items You Should Have In Your Home

  • October 8, 2020 at 7:17 am
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    I have a question….can you freeze yogurt? I got a fantastic deal on yogurt and I’d like to know about freezing it.

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    • October 8, 2020 at 7:26 am
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      Hi June, this is a great question. My nephew works for a dairy and I remember him telling me yogurt can last a very long time after the expiration. How long would that be, good question. I’m not sure it would be safe to eat weeks and weeks after the date. If you freeze it, it will separate and change the texture. You could use it in smoothies but I doubt it would taste as good as fresh. Freeze a couple and see what you think. Good luck, Linda

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      • October 8, 2020 at 7:31 am
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        Hum, Linda what about dehydrating yogurt? Just wondering. There has to be a way to make it at home, without electricity. I know you can make it in a crockpot, or a yogurt maker.

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        • October 8, 2020 at 10:13 am
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          Hi Deborah, you have two questions, right? Dehydrating yogurt and making it without electricity. You can make it ina Sun Oven if you have sunshine! Do you have a dehydrator? I just looked in my Excalibur Dehydrator book. You can make yogurt leather!! WOW! Go for it girl! Linda

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          • October 8, 2020 at 10:22 am
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            I do have dehydrators. My new Instant Pot Duo Crisp Air Fryer also dehydrates. I haven used the IP Air Fryer yet. Hubby has a toaster oven type Air Fryer and has used it to make frozen fries. So good and not greasy at all. He’s wanting to cook fried chicken tenders in it. Starting with raw chicken. LOL He’s also bought Frozen raw shrimp to cook in it. I’m wanting to try Pizza in it. It’ll only take a 12 inch one though. I want to make a rotisserie chicken in it, too. Just have to get a whole chicken.

            Oh, I also have a stove top pressure cooker. I have my grandmothers pressure cooker, too. I should get a new rubber seal for it.

  • October 8, 2020 at 7:27 am
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    Love this post! But . . . You can also buy canned roast beef in gravy. We keep some of that on hand. We also have canned BBQ Pork. We have all the other items mentioned as well. As for paper towels, did you know that you can use paper bags to drain fried things on? My mother and grandmother used to do that. This was before paper towels were so popular. I think most any paper would work. (Not toilet paper though.)

    As soon as toilet paper was back on the shelves, I started stocking up on it. I also need to stock on paper towels as well. I stock coconut oil. I need to get a couple of more jars of it. We also buy several cans of vegetable oil at a time. Hubby deep fries quite a bit. I know not good for you. He bought himself an Air Fryer for his birthday. LOL On my birthday. I got an Instant Pot Duo Crisp Air Fryer. I had an Instant Pot 6-qt, but gave it to our daughter. The Duo Crisp is a 8-qt. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to soon. They make the best beans. It’s especially good for the older beans that take forever to cook.

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    • October 8, 2020 at 9:50 am
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      Hi Deborah, great tips on the cans of meat with gravy! I will have to check those out! I never thought about using the brown paper bags for draining my bacon, why didn’t I think of that!! LOL!! I bought an air fryer as well. I got the giggles when your husband got himself an air fryer on your birthday!! Lifuo Crie is so good! I would love to hear how that IP Duo Crisp Air Fryer works for you. I think I bought a Ninja air fryer. Thank goodness for pressure cookers when the beans are older!! Yay! Linda

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      • October 8, 2020 at 10:24 am
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        His birthday is next month so it’s not a biggie. He was almost a Thanksgiving Turkey. LOL He is so good to me. He buys me all kind of things that I don’t even ask for.

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        • October 8, 2020 at 10:47 am
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          Oh, Deborah, I love hearing this!!! My kitchen is my studio, my husband says! Thank goodness for good men! Life is so good! Linda

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  • October 8, 2020 at 8:24 am
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    Linda, terrific article. I clicked on the “how to freeze eggs” link and read that one too. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I never even considered freezing eggs, but will certainly start to now.

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    • October 8, 2020 at 10:15 am
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      Hi Ray, you know me by now, I’m always on the lookout how to be prepared one way or another. Sometimes I have eggs I can’t use up (I do not have chickens by the way) so I was determined to find out to preserve some eggs safely. Then I read about freezing eggs. Yahoo!! I now freeze eggs! Stay well, Linda

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      • October 8, 2020 at 10:28 am
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        I’ve Lund that it’s best to freeze them in ice cube trays. One cube is equivalent to one medium egg. You can freeze them in a larger container, but be sure to poke hole in the yolk. I prefer to scramble mine and freeze in the ice cube trays.

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        • October 8, 2020 at 10:48 am
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          Hi Deborah, I freeze mine in silicone deals. The first batch I couldn’t get out. Now I spray them with vegetable spray. It’s so fun! Linda

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      • October 8, 2020 at 1:29 pm
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        Linda, when my six Delaware hens hit their stride laying I should be getting between 16 and 24 eggs per week. I’ll give some of the extras to neighbors and freeze the remainder we can’t use immediately in ice cube trays. After they are frozen I’ll pop them out and vacuum seal them. I figure they’ll last a good long time that way–though Matt in Oklahoma is right when he talks about water glassing them for storage. I will probably do some of that as well.

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        • October 8, 2020 at 1:37 pm
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          Hi Ray, oh my gosh, that’s a lot of eggs! What a blessing you are to your neighbors. Matt in Oklahoma knows his stuff, as you do as well. Linda

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  • October 8, 2020 at 8:51 am
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    Thank you for your list, it will definitely help beginners..we are in our 70s,and are full time RV dwellers…this is experiencie speaking..but and store ingredients..not products..and write out simple recipes to go with them if you need..tortillas are great..but corn meal will make those plus corn bread corn muffins, corn dogs muffins, ….cereal…boxes of cereal only last a few days with a family …but dry oatmeal makes hot cereal, granola, flour, toppings for fruit, cookies… We easily can go three months without hitting a grocery store..and we really wouldn’t have any changes…and…it’s cheaper

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    • October 8, 2020 at 10:17 am
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      Hi Marilyn, oh I would love to RV full time! Life is so good when we have our own grocery store at home or on the RV. Great comment, Linda

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  • October 8, 2020 at 9:17 am
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    Linda, talk to me about flour. Is it still good only for 12 to 18 months if it’s in a Mylar bag with oxygen absorbed?

    Thanks as always for making me think about a few things I’ve overlooked.

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    • October 8, 2020 at 9:57 am
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      I’m curious about this too….

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    • October 8, 2020 at 10:29 am
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      Hi Laura, here’s the deal with white flour. If you and I store it in say 5-gallon buckets with airtight lids like Gamma lids it will stay good for 12-18 months. Now, Here is where I disagree with some places selling white flour in #10 cans The LDS Store: “White flour that can be used as part of your home food storage or basic food supply. It can be used for breads, cookies, and more. Each case contains 6 number 10 cans and has an estimated shelf life of 10 years if stored in a cool, dry place.” I do not believe it will keep for ten years. They are not a professional canning company in my humble opinion. I will probably get hate mail now, that’s okay. Thrive Life (a professional company) states their white flour has a 5-year life. Be Prepared (Emergency essentials white flour “*Shelf life up to 25 years when unopened. Best when stored in a cool and dry place at temperatures between 55°F and 70°F.” I struggle with this as well. Who can keep their temperatures at 55 degrees? When in doubt throw it out. My opinion is only store #10 cans of Thrive Life is you want too. Or get a wheat grinder and grind your own wheat to be safe. I do not use Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, personal preference. I used to teach classes at Honeyville Grain, I can’t pull up their #10 cans if they even have any available. You need to do what you feel comfortable with and your budget. I’m sorry this is so long, but white flour grows mold spores, people will dispute it. I can’t risk my health. I hope this helps you, Linda

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    • October 8, 2020 at 10:33 am
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      I’ve got some flour that we vacuum sealed in jars that are over 2 years old. It’s still good. I’ve even got some in the freezer. And some in the refrigerator. Plus what’s in my flour container. I may even still have some in a 5 gallon bucket.

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      • October 8, 2020 at 10:41 am
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        Hi Deborah, here’s the deal, I use so much flour I could not store it in the freezer or in jars. People need to feel comfortable storing their food storage. I have been canning for 50 years but I still went and took classes to be certified as a Master Canner Preserver. I may be over the top cautious but it’s who I am. Linda

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        • October 8, 2020 at 11:49 am
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          Nope! You can NEVER be too cautious. We don’t eat a lot of sweets, so I usually only bake bread or rolls or such as that. If I do bake sweets, they have to be sugar free. My husband is diabetic due to pancreatitis, so it’s sugar substitute for him. I usually use Stevia to sweeten his sweets. OK, so I eat them too. I can’t tell the difference from sugar.

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  • October 8, 2020 at 10:57 am
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    Good info. but I know a better way to store nuts. In an old Kerr cannining book I found this recipe and I works great on all my nuts( and I use a lot). Put nut meats into a clean Ker jar. Put on new caps and screw on firmly tight. Place in a preheated oven at 225. Place jars on the lowest rack . Bake for 45 min. Remove and cool. The jars are safe to do this at this temperature. Let cool . Mine always pop like they usually do. This works better than freezing because it sets the oils so thy don’t go rancid. I have done this for years and even when mine go longer than 1 year, they are still good. I do walnuts, pecans, filberts. almonds and cashews this way.

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    • October 8, 2020 at 11:53 am
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      Cheryl, thank you so much for this. Shouldn’t you put the lid on finger tight so it’ll be easier to get off after it cools from the oven? Just wondering. I’ve pressure canned and water bath canned, but never oven canned. My husband just ordered us about 5 pounds of pecans. Now I know how to preserve them. Thank you so much!

      Reply
  • October 8, 2020 at 11:12 am
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    Also, if you make your own spice blends like I do, you will get the flavors you are after. It takes more than just one spice to do the job. Blends bring out the flavors better and it is easier to have on hand when needed. I make my chili seasoning in large amounts because I use it a lot. I also do my Italian seasoning this way,as well.

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    • October 8, 2020 at 11:21 am
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      Hi Cheryl, I would use chili seasoning as well! I swear I must Have some Mexican lineage in me! I could eat salsa every day!!! Linda

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      • October 8, 2020 at 11:56 am
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        Linda, me too. I could eat Mexican food every day. I craved it with my last child, and still haven’t gotten over that. LOL I fix something TEX Mex at least once a week. It’s fast and easy. And I can control the spices and heat in whatever I fix.

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  • October 8, 2020 at 12:02 pm
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    Yes, rings are always put on finger tight befor processing items. This recipe is th only one I have ever found using this method. It isn’t used today, but I can say it has worked very well for me for over 30 years. I started doing this years ago when we lived near a walnut shelling company. Youn won’t find this in a Master Foodpreserver info.

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  • October 8, 2020 at 12:18 pm
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    I have everything on the list plus!! I am continuing to purchase as much as my budget allows – stocking up for the unknowns – shortages to come, rising prices, etc.

    So, I was curious about making “authentic” refried beans since you mentioned it!! I searched on-line and found there is no such recipe out there! I looked at probably 30 different recipes and they fell into 2-3 categories! They all wanted LARD, onion, garlic. Some wanted oregano, some wanted chili pepper added. So, Linda, I am guessing you (I) need to experiment by making them various ways to find the one recipe that works for us. I am thinking a bit about the lard. The refined lard one gets in the store is probably less flavorful than home rendered lard (I grew up on it). I did see one recipe that had bacon grease in place of the lard so there would be some flavor coming through there! I have lots of beans (canned and dried) of various kinds so I can try some of these out soon. Love bean and cheese burritos!

    A note on draining things on paper towels or paper bags: my daughter only keeps one roll of paper towels on hand and only for use with her bacon and cast iron! She uses cloth otherwise. I suggested to her and she took me up on it!! She now uses cloth to “season” her cast iron! She keeps the cloth in the freezer in a container and takes it out when she needs to season her pans. I told her she still needs to wash them occasionally!!

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    • October 8, 2020 at 1:19 pm
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      Hi Leanne, great tip on the cloth in the freezer! I forgot you worked with someone that made really good Mexican food, right/?? I have the beans spread out right now. I have made them for years, but there is something about Texas beans, I will search around as well. Thanks so much! Linda

      Reply
  • October 8, 2020 at 12:39 pm
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    One good thing about this years difficulties, is that it has shown people how vulnerable our food supply is. I am starting to see people (other than me) buy lots of beans, rice, macaroni and such. I love fresh food. I would rather eat fresh whenever possible, but not eating is not something I want to think about for my family, so I prepare.

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    • October 8, 2020 at 1:22 pm
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      Hi Janet, you know you nailed it. We all love fresh food, but I think we are just getting to a tipping point on food shortages. I hope I’m wrong. I check whenever Mark and I go get milk and bananas for his morning cold cereal. (Sugary might I say). Life is too short not to enjoy your sweet tooth! Linda

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  • October 8, 2020 at 3:17 pm
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    Linda,
    Great article as usual and great comments by everyone. I have different things for Number 1 and Number 2 of important things to have in our house, making your items Numbers 3 through 27. Number 1 would be Pat, my wife and Number 2 would be me. LOL!! Keep up the good work. And, you never know what might show up on your doorstep from me.

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    • October 8, 2020 at 4:10 pm
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      Hi Harry, oh my gosh, I love your comment! I hope all is well in Texas! I like your #1 and #2! You have always been a good friend to me! Stay well, you two! Linda

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  • October 10, 2020 at 12:26 pm
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    Be aware that Miracle Whip will only keep max about 2 yrs before it gets a strange taste…..learned from experience.

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    • October 10, 2020 at 12:44 pm
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      Hi Sandra, good to know. I started buying the small 2 cup size jars for this very reason. I have to have fresh mayo and Miracle Whip. Great tip for all! Thank you, Linda

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  • October 10, 2020 at 8:45 pm
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    Hi, Linda and community!
    Thank you for your post! I love the recipe for the nuts. I do store them in the fridge when I have an abundance. We love to eat them out of hand, on cereal, etc. so they don’t seem to last long lol. We even had a wonderful dog who loved nuts!
    We used to store flour in the freezer. And I have extra virgin olive oil which has been fine 8 years in the bottle. But, a friend gave me a sunflower/olive oil blend and it turned in under a year. Made great salad dressing with various balsamic vinegars though, before it turned rancid!
    I have had a couple accidental experiments with plain yogurt which somehow worked to the back of the fridge. Two years, unopened was still good, but we are it quickly once opened. Opened yogurt has a much shorter life span in my experience. Also, do you know about storing cottage cheese upside down in the fridge so it lasts longer? It does work!
    Love Harry’s One and Two!
    As Linda and other commenters say, better to be safe than sorry. Food poisoning is awful!!
    Thank you for you good post!
    Teddy

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    • October 11, 2020 at 5:16 am
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      Hi Teddy, oh I LOVE your comment today! Now I want to try a small bottle of sunflower/olive oil for my salads! Great tip! I love haring about the yogurt after two years!! I di not know about the cottage cheese stored upside down. I’m adding it to my grocery list, my husband loves cottage cheese! Food poisoning is not good! Happy Sunday! Linda

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  • October 16, 2020 at 7:50 pm
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    ……Just a thought, when making your list, and checking it twice….be sure everything WORKS… my list encluded a heating pad, until my husband went to use it for his back and it didn’t work !! Then I went to use the thermometer, and it didn’t work!!! (Ok so we haven’t taken anyones temperature since our 35 year old was a kid….) it’s important to check things before we need them.

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  • October 17, 2020 at 2:29 am
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    Love the info on nuts! Will be trying that for sure! Hurricane Sally took all of the pecans out of the trees, so I’ve been competing with the squirrels to gather up the bounty. I have a shallow drying bin made from hardware cloth. I air dry the nuts in their husks until the husks split open , then store the pecans in their shells until I have time & energy to process them.

    We have everything on your list. Am working on getting a larger supply of dog & cat food & their supplies, as well as building up my stock of livestock feed. Would like to add 2 more 55 gallon metal drums to the barn storage & have a place to store the whole corn & sunflower seeds for the winter.

    On a side note, we were able to encourage & help some friends get better prepared for the next unexpected disaster, after they sorta blew off getting prepared for Hurricane Sally & then went without power for several days & were scrambling to find ice & gasoline for a week. One friend finally got her generator serviced & another added an ice chest & a gas grill. We’re still working on convincing both of these friends that they need more than a few days worth of food in the cupboard. …..

    Reply

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