Saturday, June 18, 2011

OK, here are some things I've learned since we started using our food storage

1. My kids prefer white bread from the store over homemade wheat bread. However, they will eat homemade bread.

2. I should have had more cold cereal in food storage. I would really prefer that my kids NOT eat cold cereal, but the truth of the matter is that at least one of the children strongly prefers it, and on some mornings, I just don't have time to cook eggs or oatmeal.

3. I should have had more canned chicken. I do have some whole chickens in the freezer, and that IS more economical than doing canned chicken, but again, sometimes I don't have time to cook a chicken, even if it is in the slow cooker all day when I am doing other things.

4. Related to #3, my food storage is somewhat lacking in the meat department. We do have plenty of beans and peanut butter for protein, but I only had a week or two worth of hamburger, chicken and fish in the freezer when this happened. And meat is still currently the biggest expense for me when we do go to the store. I have already altered our menu planning, and we may have to do even further cutting.

5. Also related to #3, when we get back on our feet, I am going to make sure and donate canned chicken to food pantries. Green beans and soup are great, but sometimes, it makes it hard to feel like a dinner without meat.

6. Having a garden has been VERY helpful. I should have planted a little differently, and I will change things next year. I will have a whole 4x4 bed just for lettuce, spinach, kale and chard, and I will plant a square of each for 4 weeks so it is more successive. I will also plant more peas. I will plant more cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower too, but I will tuck them in my front and side beds instead of using up so much room in my 4x4 vegetable beds. I will plant potatoes.

7. It has been good that we were used to not having much variety in our fresh produce. We have had plenty of broccoli, lettuce, spinach, and chard to eat out of the garden, so I haven't had to buy any of that at the store. I only had to buy one kind of fresh fruit a week, and then fill in with the strawberries that we have growing in the strawberry patch.

8. I really try and restrict our purchases to NEEDS - so that, for us, is eggs, milk, butter, cheese, cereal, one kind of fruit, and a couple pounds of ground meat, and a whole chicken. Oh, and garbage bags. And toilet paper. :) Speaking of garbage bags and toilet paper - I should have had more of those kind of things in my food storage too. Another thing I will make sure and donate to food pantries too when we get back on our feet.

9. I only go shopping at farmers market once a week and the grocery store once a week and I don't go to any other stores. Otherwise, I'll suddenly remember things that I "need" or I'll be tempted to buy stuff or I'll go and just depress myself. So I just try and stay out, for the most part.

10. I've learned that I have friends that will help me out :) I've had people donate food to me. I had a friend who let me use her wheat grinder to grind wheat. And I've had lots of friends who have lent a sympathetic ear, which is VERY helpful right now.

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