Author Topic: Food supply  (Read 4266 times)

Offline Aspiring Homesteader

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Food supply
« on: March 16, 2009, 09:00:42 AM »
Does anyone have a list of food they keep on hand at all times? I'd like to get a general idea of a good food stock. This would be for a family of two. Although, we are about to become a family of three any day now. I know this would normally be a 'buy what you normally eat and just buy more of it to store' and I will probably do that but I just want to make sure I have enough. Quantities is the main thing I'm trying to figure out but also suggestions on food that will store well.

Offline theaccidentalsurvivor

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Re: Food supply
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 09:23:23 AM »

Offline Aspiring Homesteader

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Re: Food supply
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2009, 09:25:54 AM »
Thanks, I'll take a look at that.

<Admin team, I just noticed there is a 'Food Preps' area. If this is in the wrong place please move it. Thanks>

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Food supply
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2009, 04:51:06 AM »
There are some things that I always try to keep in the cupboards.  They're all things that have multiple uses or can be considered staples. 

These include, rice, flour, cornmeal, powdered milk, sugar (white & brown), potato flakes, canned tomato juice, tomato paste, various types of beans & legumes...basically things that can be used for multiple recipes.  Hope that helps to give you some ideas of things to always have around.

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Food supply
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2009, 08:39:23 PM »
I would definitely add salt to DEV's excellent list. I also am a firm believe in a well stocked spice chest. Bean cakes can taste like Indian, Caribbean, African, Greek, Lebanese, Moroccan, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, French,  Italian or any other cuisine by just switching what spices you put in it. Couple that with altering the texture of the cakes via mashing method or additives and you fight palate boredom. In fact, add cocoa and some emollient and you get brownies so even dessert is covered. Also with a third on the way (I assume a baby so congratulations!) you have the benefit of being able to cook once and flavor individually so the baby isn't exposed to pre-mixed seasonings.

I am a big believer in eggs and butter. They are the most versatile things to elevate the humdrum gruel to delectable culinary fare. Even if the butter is canned and the eggs are powdered, they will deliver that umami driven serotonin release that will lift almost anyone's spirits. Couple it with cheese (even reconstituted dry cheese will do the trick), broth/dashi, dried meats (say Serrano Ham or the TSP favorite Biltong), or lard (people like to cast aspersions on lard but in my LTFS it is a must)  and you can take any meal and transform it.

Offline homesteader

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Re: Food supply
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 11:52:34 PM »
There are several books that cover this well.  To find a good one I would read the reviews (especially the critical ones) about the books you are considering if for nothing else to know the limitations of that particular book you are looking at.

Every family is different.  Here's what we have a lot of: canned tuna, salmon, dried peas and beans, rice, wheat, oat groats, pasta, canned corn, green beans, pears, peaches, applesauce, carrots, sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, etc.

I have a system where I write in sharpie pen the month/year I bought it over the month/year it expires.  This way I know how fast we are using something and it gets rotated and used up before it expires.  I keep a price book to keep track of item prices and sales trends in my area.  This way I am "buying low" as often as I can, and know how much to stock up on with any given item.

Offline spartan

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Re: Food supply
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2009, 11:50:21 AM »
Our food supply follows the common "Buy what you normally eat but more of it".  Being frugal, we buy things that are on sale and put them through food rotation.

The biggest thing that helps us in putting away food is that we keep an inventory of everything we have in storage.  Each page represents 1 location.  Ex: Page1: Pasta Bin.  Page 2: Baking Bin.  Page 3: Shelf 1. Page 4: Shelf 2, etc.  I keep this in a text file on my computer, with a printed copy on our fridge.  As we remove things, they get scratched off the fridge list.  As we add items, we write them in on the bottom of the appropriate page.  I edit the text document every few weeks and print out a fresh copy.  2-3 times a year, I go through the pantry and do a fresh inventory to make sure nothing is going by the way side. 

We have also compiled a family cookbook that has recipes for our regular goods.  This allows me take our staples and cook dozens of recipes from only a handful of ingredients.

Like Homesteader, my wife has a pricebook to keep an eye on prices and to trend what we can expect to see onsale.  Fortunately, we have 4 grocery stores in a 5 mile loop which makes it easy to take advantage of what they have to offer and they all compete with one another.  Sunday is grocery day.  The first thing in the morning is I go through and collect the coupons for items we regularly use while my wife checks the sale fliers and puts together that weeks shopping list. 

To determine how much we put up is based on what we regularly eat at a meal. 

Here is an example of a very basic "emergency" menu for 3 adults for 1 day, based on what we keep, assuming all perishables(including wintering potatoes, onions, and garlic) and fresh garden items are used up:


3 servings of cereal w/milk (reconstituted from powder)
4 slices of toast with jelly or fruit butter (made from stored flour, sugar, salt, and yeast)
24oz of juice (canned)

3 sandwiches with peanut butter or tuna salad
Pickled beets
Fruit Cobbler

A half pound of pasta
2 cups of pasta sauce
6 slices of bread
Fruit Cobbler

Snack food: trailmix type items.

So, to eat like this once per week for a month I would start with following on hand:

1 large box of cereal
1lb powdered milk
2 cans of concentrated fruit juice
2 cans of beets
2 lbs of pasta
2 jars of pasta sauce
5lbs of flour
18oz jar of peanut butter
1lb of salt
2 large cans of fruit (such as peaches)
1lb of Oatmeal (for the fruit cobbler)
1lb Light Brown sugar (for the fruit cobbler)
26oz tub of trail mix.

All of this would leave leftovers that can be used for other things.  Out of a 5lb bag of flour, I can produce about (8) 1lb loaves of bread.  The jar of peanut butter will give an extra couple of sandwiches.  A large box of cereal can 12-18 servings in it.  Leftover pasta sauce can be used to make pizzas.  You could also ditch the cereal and just use the oatmeal for breakfast and toss in a handful of trail mix to round it out, or make oatcakes.

Knowing our menu also helps match up what we have with what we need when restocking. 1lb of pasta uses 1 jar of pasta sauce, so if I do an inventory and we have 6lbs of pasta but 8 lbs of sauce, I need to get 2 more pounds of pasta.

So, all of that leads to this, the minimum of the foods we have stored:

Pasta (5lbs)
Pasta sauce (5 jars to match)
Grated Parmesan Cheese (2 containers) (the kind that comes in the plastic containers you can leave on your shelf)
Powdered Milk (5lbs)
Flour (30lbs)
Sugar (20lbs)
Brown Sugar (10lbs) (5lbs of each, light and dark)
Salt (2lbs)
Rice (15lbs)
Tuna (2lbs in pouches)
10 boxes of cereal (constantly in rotation.  Also eaten dry, in hand, as a snack)
3-4lbs of various nuts, peanuts, snack mix.
Corn meal: 2 lbs
Masa Harina (for making tortillas): 5lbs.
12+ cans of beans.
4lbs of baking chocolate
2lbs of cocoa
10 cans of stock (chicken, beef)
2 32oz containers of stock (1 chicken, 1 beef)
10 packs of Ramen noodles.
2lbs dried white beans
2lbs dried split peas
2 boxes of instant mashed potatoes

Combining this with the week or two of perishable items in the fridge plus miscellaneous canned goods, our garden, and foods in the kitchen (which are not inventoried), we have at least 2 months of food at any given time. Once we realized what staples we were already keeping in the house it only took a little adjustment to start using and getting the most from them.

I hope this helps you get a little further along with how you can plan it out yourself.  And good luck with becoming a family of 3 when the little one arrives.