How To Store Basic Food Storage

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Do you like to grocery shop or do you dread it like me? I store basic food storage items to extend the time between my food shopping excursions. There are several ways to get you started on how to store basic food storage. Some of these ideas will be for the pantry or the freezer.

I watch for sales and stock up big time on certain items. Are you like me and wish you had a greenhouse so you could garden all year long? Trust me, I’m working on that and I’ll keep you posted on how I hope to achieve this new chapter in my life.

Oh yes, it will be cheap, or very inexpensive. Remember, I live in an HOA, so you can’t see it from the street, that’s the plan! The less you go to the grocery store the more money you will save because your pantry and freezer will be stocked.

Mark and I recently had a young man dig out some palm trees in my back yard. We were so grateful that he could do the work for us. I paid him more than the bid he gave me because that poor guy was working his guts out. Then I asked him if I could fix him a sandwich with my fresh tomatoes and the bacon I had just baked.

Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise

I asked him if he wanted Mayo or Miracle Whip. Yay, he’s a Miracle Whip fan like me! He asked me why my tomatoes tasted better than his mom’s homegrown tomatoes.

He said, “Don’t tell her I said that.” I laughed and mentioned I would love to grow tomatoes year round.

He said his family gardens year round and he told me how to do it. I’ll keep you posted. This was a cartwheel moment for me. So let’s get started on how to store basic food storage. All you need is a pantry with shelves and a freezer. Please store a hand crank can opener, you will need one, I promise.

Store Basic Food Storage-Pantry:

Beans

I usually buy at least four cases of beans once or twice a year, as in ready to eat right out of the can beans. Yes, the dried beans are cheaper in a bag, but I no longer have a large family living here at home, so I find the 15-ounce cans are more doable for Mark and me. Yes, you can buy them in #10 cans as well.

I stopped buying them in #10 cans because it donned on me how much fuel they would use to cook. When I was raising my daughters I bought pinto beans in 50-pound bags. Can you tell I love beans? Mark and I love them in soups, mashed on a sandwich or spread on a flour tortilla.

Pinto, red, black, navy, kidney or garbanzo beans are my favorites to have on my shelves. Oh, and don’t forget that hot bowl of chili in the winter.

Hard White Wheat

This one is a must have for me because I grind wheat to make my whole wheat bread. Please remember that soft wheat does not have a long shelf-life and is designed for pastries. Linda’s Whole Wheat Bread

White Bread Flour

I know white flour isn’t as good for you as whole wheat, but I specialize in cinnamon rolls, French bread, breadsticks, and dinner rolls. I’m giggling as I write the word “specialize.” My family and friends love them!

I only buy enough white bread flour for 9-12 months since it can become rancid. If you have fresh ingredients YOU CAN make bread and love it!

Sugar/Honey/Salt

I store white sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, Stevia and lots of Cox’s Honey located in Shelly, Idaho

It’s a good idea to store salt because you can season food, and bake with it. I do not store salt in large containers. I buy Real Salt from Utah in refillable packages.

Oils/Vinegar

I store coconut oil, olive oil, and several different bottles of vinegar. Please remember, olive oil has a shelf-life of about 12 months before going rancid.

Rice/Quinoa

I store Jazmine rice because I love the texture and it stores longer than brown rice. Brown rice is healthier, but it doesn’t store long enough for me to consider storing it. If I had a large family I would store enough for six months (shelf-life).

I have other white rice stored in #10 cans with a shelf-life of 30 years unopened and 5 years if opened. The manufacturer of the #10 cans of white rice printed the dates on the back.

I disagree with the five years quoted for the rice, but after an unforeseen emergency, it would be eaten up fairly quickly.

I love rice and quinoa hot or cold with fruits and vegetables. Add a little Balsamic vinegar, yummy!

Canned Diced Tomatoes

Here’s the deal with organic diced tomatoes, I can make spaghetti sauce, add a can to my vegetables whether fresh or frozen. I can make soups and all kinds of chili. This is definitely a staple for me.

Canned Meats

I no longer store tuna for several reasons, plus the fact that it goes mushy rather quickly. I do store cans of chicken so I can make a casserole, white chili, chicken tacos or soups. I store cooked ground beef in cans as well.

I learned to pressure can meats at my Master Preserver Canning class at the Southern Utah-USU Extension Service,  but we eat so little meat that it’s cheaper for me to buy a few cans.

Canned Vegetables

I love chestnuts, green beans, and diced beets. You probably prefer fresh vegetables as I do, but sometimes I have to throw dinner together in ten minutes, these work!

Canned Fruits

These are my favorites: pineapple chunks, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears, and Mandarin oranges. I wish I could buy them processed with just water, but as of right now I can buy only the light syrup ones.

Odds and Ends

Cream of chicken soup, pancake syrup, green chilies, salsa, chocolate chips, oatmeal, and my favorite spices. I’m sure we all store baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla. Don’t forget peanut butter and jam. It’s a staple at my house!

Store Basic Food Storage-Freezer:

Butter

Oh yeah, baby, lots of butter is stocked in my freezer. I use it for baking, cooking and eating. I never run out of butter.

Chocolate

Yes, I store chocolate bars in my freezer. Yes, they turn a little light color, but I eat them anyway. Chocolate chips I store in the pantry.

Nuts

I store all kinds of nuts in FoodSaver bags because they take up less room than quart jars in the freezer. Mark and I have pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, and almonds all stored without the shell. They go rancid very quickly on pantry shelves, but will store for a few years in the freezer. These are ready for salads, munching, baking and any recipe that calls for them, I have them ready to use.

Baking Supplies

These are the ones I store in the freezer for my bread making, SAF Yeast, Dough Enhancer, Wheat Gluten, Instant Milk and Instant Buttermilk. I have loved teaching people how to make bread in some kitchen stores over the years, so I have learned the right ingredients to buy.

I love getting emails from people who use my bread recipes and love them! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Making Bread by Linda

Vegetables

I love frozen small petite peas for salads or a side dish. I started to buy vegetables frozen because they are sometimes cheaper than fresh and I have zero waste. Plus, they are washed, sliced and chopped. My family has pressure canned so many vegetables over the years, but I had a lot of hands to help me back then.

I’m now on “vacation” with just two of us at home. We downsized to a smaller home and we downsized our pantry as well. I still have my All American pressure canner and Ball water bath canner, I will never get rid of those. This is why I keep up on the correct and safe canning issues available from the USDA.

Fruits

I make a frozen smoothie every morning with frozen or fresh fruit. There is something fabulous about putting some sliced frozen bananas into smoothies with just one cup of water. No ice needed. The big box stores have frozen fruit which is organic, in most cases, but has zero flavor, so I buy frozen fruits from a local store here in Southern Utah. The frozen fruit comes from Oregon. Yummy!

Final Word

I hope this list of my store basic food storage helps you realize how easy it is to get started with food storage. If you store basic food storage you can cook from scratch and save lots of money. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world.

Pioneer Skills by Food Storage Moms

Food Storage by Food Storage Moms

10 thoughts on “How To Store Basic Food Storage

  • May 7, 2019 at 7:53 am
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    Hi Linda,

    Good thoughts today.

    A BYU study showed that the type of container the oil is stored in drastically affects the shelf life. Oil stored in LDPE bottles has a much shorter shelf life than oil stored in PETE bottles. In Italy (and perhaps other countries, I don’t know) olive oil for home use can only be sold in glass or metal containers, which is what was done in this country before plastics came into being. Oils that are polyunsaturated (soy, corn, vegetable, sunflower) have a shorter shelf life than oils higher in saturated fats (coconut, olive).

    I’ve got coconut oil that is five years old and which was stored in glass. It’s as good as the day I bought it and what I am using in the kitchen right now.

    Jennifer (PrepSchoolDaily dot blogspot dot com)

    Reply
    • May 7, 2019 at 9:32 am
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      HI Jennifer, you are so right! I try to buy everything in glass containers when available. We can’t afford to waste money on food going bad. Great comment, Linda

      Reply
  • May 7, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    Linda ~
    I don’t have a lot of storage options in my small apartment but what I do have is well utilized!

    I don’t have a freezer other than the small one on the top of my fridge. So, freezing a lot of food is simply not an option. With frozen fruits and veggies, I purchase what I can at the time and dehydrate them. Then I can store them in vacuum sealed bags or jars. If I am making a smoothie, I rehydrate the fruit for 1/2 hour or so then toss in the blender. I find that these bags take up less room in my storage closet and keep much longer than in jars. But, when I open a bag, I definitely keep them in jars. And the DH fruit is so pretty in nice storage jars.

    As for canned goods, I do purchase canned beans for the same reason you do – cooking beans from scratch for very small quantities just is not very effective for me as a single. When I open a can of beans, what I don’t use does get repackaged and into the freezer. I suppose I could dehydrate them as well but I like beans so they don’t stay in the freezer very long. I purchase canned chicken (not often) and canned ham for sandwich meat salads and to add to other things. I like to make navy bean and ham soup with the canned ham – most hams/ham hocks just produce way too much for me to eat/store. I like to keep a few cans of pumpkin – pies, muffins, etc., – my favorite pumpkin recipe that is super easy is pumpkin muffins: 1 can of pumpkin, 1 dry spice cake mix and extra pumpkin pie spice. No eggs, oil or water! Then bake your muffins at 350F for 25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. These muffins freeze well and are super moist. I have made these with the dry carrot cake mix as well but if I can find spice cake mix that is what I prefer.

    You didn’t mention salt in your post – I always keep sea salt in a grinder and extra to refill the grinder. I also keep iodized sea salt on hand that doesn’t require grinding. That reminds me that if you live in a humid area of the country like I do, keep some dry beans in your salt shaker – it will keep it from clumping. In my table shaker I think I have 2-3 beans and in my larger container in the cupboard, 10-12 beans.

    Reply
    • May 7, 2019 at 1:14 pm
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      Hi Leanne, I just added salt to the post, thank you! Sometimes I get typing and forget something. There are so many more items but this list is a good start. Happy Tuesday! Linda

      Reply
      • May 8, 2019 at 8:49 am
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        Linda, it’s fun to read your articles as you share your life with us readers as well as great ideas.
        Tell us the plan for a year-round green house. I’m way up North so not ever an option here but I used to start my seeds in late February in my 7×7 greenhouse with chicken heater lights, a small heater and a humidifier. Sort of rotated what was turned on. Some years I could shut off most or all the appliances by April, some years kept on until I transferred plants into cold frames. I found that the most Hardy seedlings were ones that got exposed to temp fluctuations. I think I spent at most $100 on the greenhouse, using free windows (from foreclosure houses being rehabbed) on 3 walls, a free screen door, and left over particle board on 4th (northern) wall. Same for the roof. I laid down the windows and framed around them, using hinges to attach the windows so I could open from the bottom, push out with a little stick for air circulation when too hot. Lol, it was also only max 7 feet tall in the center, 6 foot tall on sides. In extreme cold weather, I put up plastic inside on the walls. Amazing how it heated up. Hey, for less than a hundred bucks, I used it for 12 years. Then one side it sunk into my sand, so we knocked it down. In your climate, you could have used it year-round. Greenhouse plastic is fairly pricey so I just used plain stuff.
        I used to make portable foldable mini greenhouses I used on my deck and as cold frames. Pretty easy to make and they look cute. (I used to sell them too when my other biz sucked during the recession.)
        So, best of luck in creating your green house!

        Reply
        • May 8, 2019 at 12:42 pm
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          Hi Wendy, thank you for your kind words. I’m waiting for this guy to build some wood frames for me. I’m going to follow your advice on the cold frames. Great comment!! Linda

          Reply
  • May 9, 2019 at 7:42 am
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    Linda, like you, I’m on ‘vacation’ from as much food storage. I’m also on a sabbatical from growing a huge garden. Funny how our children becoming adults changes so many things. I found too many dry goods, (like cereals, crackers, flour, cake mixes, etc) becoming inedible. One dry good that seems to really last are those little flavored instant potatoes packages. I saved one (sour cream and chives) for 5 yrs, way longer than it’s expiration date: made it yesterday. It still tasted great! Yes, I am now going to stock up on these.
    My plan for this year is to advertise free garden plots/space for people who want to try gardening but can’t due to their housing. I’m happy to teach others, share my blessings of mortgage free land. You inspired me to do this. (I did do this once with a young guy yrs ago but he moved, and I got sick, so that idea went by the wayside) . I think it’s important for younger people to learn from us, but they’ve got to have a cheap/free way to garden.

    Reply
    • May 9, 2019 at 8:28 am
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      Oh Wendy, you are an inspiration to the world!! Today, the comments have made a bit emotional with joy. I’m sitting here blubbering in a good way. I know God had a plan for me to teach the world about food storage and emergency prep and I have met so many awesome people who are taking it one step further. You are sharing your land to help others. Oh, I love this! AND I better check out those instant potatoes! Hugs, Linda

      Reply
  • May 9, 2019 at 12:55 pm
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    I also like frozen vegetables. My eyes burn when I chop onions and it’s fun for a minute, but it’s so easy to pour the chopped or minced onions, peppers, broccoli, carrots or corn and peas, from the bag and as you said there is no waste or mess to clean up.

    Canned stuff works well too, but frozen vegetables often have little to zero salt.

    Reply
    • May 9, 2019 at 1:46 pm
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      Hi Frank, I’m with you on the onions. I want convenience and dry eyes when cooking with onions! LOL! I think this is why we need to store a variety of food as you said. Life is so good if we are prepared! Linda

      Reply

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