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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.