13 February 2005

More about Food

A commenter asked for our grocery list and a week's menu. A week's menu would be very similar to the recipes I posted already, along with a pasta dish each week (usually some type of spaghetti) and a potato dish each week. We often have pancakes one night a week. The problem is that I don't shop for the week's worth of meals, since we use our food storage so much. This turned into a post about food storage. I hope you don't mind.

I could sing the praises of food storage (the LDS Church encourages its members to keep a year's supply of food on hand) for a long time, but I'll spare you. I'll just say that it works very well for our family.

I really think the biggest problem people have with food storage is that they don't know what to do with it. There are plenty of nasty things to make with beans and wheat. It takes a long time to find recipes that your family likes. Of course, you can just store what your family usually eats, but it's probably not as healthy, it doesn't last as long, and it's usually far more expensive than "traditional" food storage stuff.

It did require an investment to start our food storage, so we used money from Christmas one year, and we also budgeted for it that year. I would say we spent less than $1000 over nine months to get our year's supply. Now it doesn't require much money, since we just slowly eat through it and replace one or two things at a time.

We eat oatmeal or homemade bread bread for breakfast and pasta or leftovers for lunch. So, if in a week we had navajo tacos, chilaquiles, red lentil soup, mashed potatoes and biscuits, chicken-garlic spaghetti, and pancakes (I don't cook on Saturdays :)), I would spend about $15 (a typical week in the winter) to buy 3 gallons of milk, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, potatoes, onions and one or two tomatoes.

Then about every fifth or sixth week I go to Winco instead (inexpensive, but too far to drive to every week) and spend about $90 on cheese, butter, bulk stuff (to replenish the food storage), and canned tomatoes. It averages out to $30/week.

Stuff we store: red lentils, brown lentils, white beans, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, wheat, barley, oats, rye, oatmeal, powdered milk, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, white rice, brown rice, white flour, popcorn, chocolate chips (I would hate to run out of these), dehydrated potatoes, bulgur, chicken bouillon, olive oil, vegetable oil, couscous, salt, cornmeal, sunflower seeds, baking soda, baking powder, herbs and spices, dried fruit, pasta, and gluten.

The freezer is stuffed with frozen fruits and vegetables cooked meat and beans, corn tortillas, flax seeds, and some components of the dinners I make. I don't like canned goods generally. They're heavy, hard to move, often less healthy, and usually more expensive than making it yourself or buying the dried version. I only buy canned tomatoes and sometimes pumpkin.

That's it. Aren't you glad you survived this post? :)


  1. wonderful post, and thanks so much for the recipes!

  2. Wow! You are so on top of things. I am lacking very much in the storage area, I never have known where to start. Did you get your info from the church site? Or did you just kind of figure out what works for you and go from there?

    Oh, and your hubby must be on cloud nine with all the wonderful meals you are cooking!

  3. Well, my husband wouldn't mind more traditional meals. But he is patient. :)

    I started trying new recipes to figure out what we like. I did use the Church site some, but not a lot. Finding good recipes seemed to be the key.