TOTM Apr. 2017- Store what you use, use what you've stored

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by DarkLight, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    We are on a two year rotation system. We eat what we store and rotate it out to keep our foods fresh. This year we are making the investment into cans( buckets) of 25 year shelf life foods. Just add water stuff.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Re: eating what you store, I have always had a dislike of the saltiness of the #10 can meals. They are really convenient but they taste so salty that the family really does not enjoy them. We have started to buy cans of "ingredients". Buying cans of just corn, beans, chicken etc. and learning to create a meal that way. There are recipes that feature freeze dried food and you can learn to make meals that way. IMO freeze dried foods taste better when you create your own dishes and season yourself. With just buying plain ingredients vs. the meals, you can shop the different brands. Many times I have read that people dislike this brand or that brand but they are talking about the taste of the meals. I have never heard anyone say they do not like the taste of brand XX peas.

    Here is an example of a recipe that you can easily make using the combo of freeze dried foods:

    Mountain Man Trail Mix
    Mountain Man Trail Mix - Thrive Life Recipes

    I got this recipe off the Thrive site so they get the credit but these ingredients can be found from all freeze dry sellers.

    1. Add all ingredients to a bowl or empty Thrive Pantry size can. Stir or tumble the dry ingredients. Enjoy as delicious snack or salad topping.
    Dont, techsar, Ganado and 1 other person like this.
  3. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    The pre-made meals do tend to be salty, but I have to wonder if that is to help offset the loss of salt through sweat...or if it helps to extend the shelf life.. ???

    We tend to go with the "ingredient" storage as well. It offers the opportunity for greater variety from a limited amount of stores. Of course, fresh to help supplement is a plus :)
    Motomom34 and T. Riley like this.
  4. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    So it seems like folks that have packaged their own long-term storage just chalk up the cost of replacement for using the long-term goods.

    In that case, what tips does anyone have on buying/finding the storage bags/buckets/boxes for long-term storage?

    Cake decorating buckets can be had for free from Costco if you call ahead and ask.
    Most restaurants will also hold on their buckets for you if you talk to the manager (and may even run them through their industrial dish washer a couple of times).
    Pickle buckets seem to be popular, but it's almost like it's a mean joke that people play on the unsuspecting.

    How best to package in mylar and/or flush out the oxygen? O2 absorbers are out there but they aren't free or even really all that inexpensive. Some folks (@BTPost) say to flush with nitrogen. Okay, how do you do that? What equipment is needed? How do you know for sure you've got it all?

    Other suggestions on minimizing the long-term cost of prepping your own foods?

    Canning is another way to re-use at least part of the package. Does anyone have personal experience with the Tattler lids? It seems like everyone has a best friend or aunt or congregation member who uses them but I don't recall anyone with personal experience with them on the site. Other suggestions for refreshing and reusing the lids if it's at all possible? Is it worth, for example, using the lid, putting the ring on, water bath canning, tightening it down and then waxing the whole top after or as its cooling (random thought while typing this, no I haven't researched it yet).

    It's a hard pill to swallow to break the seal on the 2 year old pasta just to have to replace it in another $0.35 bag and $0.15 O2 absorber (and I don't have single packs of O2 absorbers so I need to do 15+ at a time).
    Motomom34 likes this.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Nitrogen Flushing is a very simple process....

    Equipment required:
    1. Bottle of Nitrogen Gas (Can be had at ANY AirGas Supply House
    2. Pressure Regulator
    3. Flexible Hose
    4. Flushing Wand (Simple Stiff Tube, long enough to go to the bottom of the container)
    Fill your container (5USG Bucket) with product, leaving about an Inch of free space at the top.
    Turn on the Gas, at the regulator, and adjust the output pressure to about 5 PSI....
    Stick the wand, down thru the product, until it hits the bottom, and then pull it back, about .25"...
    Keep it in the container, for about 5 minutes, then withdraw the wand, and take a lite Match,
    and hold it .5" below the top of the container. If the match dies, Seal the bucket with the lid.
    If not, reFlood the bucket for 3 more minutes and retest with a match.

    Simple, Straight forward, and Easy Peasy..... Nitrogen is much heavier than Oxygen, so it displaces
    the Oxygen in the Container. once a lite match is below the Nitrogen level in the container it will
    Extinguish, due to lack of Oxygen. Instead of Matches, I use a BBQ Grill Lighter, by lighting it, and
    then sticking the flame into the Container, and watch to go out as it goes below the lip.
    Tully Mars, T. Riley and DarkLight like this.
  6. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    To keep things simple, I divide my food preps into Long Term and Short Term Storage. Most of my LTS is dehydrated, because that's usually good for 20+ years. Since I'm not a bug-out kind of person, most of my dried stuff is in glass jars.

    Really cheap recycled glass jars. And booze bottles.

    The STS is usually packed in re-cycled Christmas cans, sometimes bagged, and sometimes loose. Pasta, flour, beans, sugar, Rice Sides and Pasta Sides, etc.

    The "Sides", BTW, are what MREs should have always been but still aren't. Two cups of water and a handful of dead animal makes a quick, nutritious, and really tasty meal.

    They're better than Ramen and don't go rancid in two years.

    I'm always conscious of the cost of storing emergency food. Spending a dollar to store a dollar's worth of food just enrages my Inner Miser, so I prefer containers that are either free or nearly so.

    I'm also conscious of wasted space--Christmas cans (at about $0.50 ea) would be perfect if they were square, but they aren't. Fortunately, the wasted spaces between Christmas cans are just the right size to stack jelly jars and soup cans.

    Wanting my canned goods to stack tight, I've built a series of long narrow boxes out of light plywood. They usually hold two layers of 12 cans. Once a can box is half empty, I refill it completely, then spin it 180 degrees on its (deep) shelf, and start using the cans from the old-stock end. So I guess I have magazine-style can rotators.

    I have some canned meat that I don't rotate because it's antique. That includes a few cans of genuine pre-Fukushima tuna that I'm planning to sell to gourmet restaurants after the species is declared extinct. I figure that'll be in 2021, or thereabout.
    Motomom34 and Ganado like this.
  7. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @DKR I want to see this 'stacked tight box' set up .... and what the heck!! antique tuna [MG]

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  8. Imasham

    Imasham Monkey

    Dairy Queen or similar restaurants get many of their ice cream toppings in large buckets. I have personally picked up dozens of them from DQ in the past. After talking to the manager they would save them for me.

    Nowadays I don't bother with "food grade" buckets for most of my storage. I put my rice, wheat, corn meal etc. into large mylar bags with two or three O2 absorbers (at 6 cents each). I then seal the pouch and put inside cheap Home Depot pails.
    Motomom34 and Ganado like this.
  9. Imasham

    Imasham Monkey

    Life is good! I was checking for something in my pudding/jello/dessert section of my storage shelves and I found ANOTHER Jello-123 box that had gotten pushed to the very back! It's like finding a $20 bill in a coat you haven't worn since last year!!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have never heard of Jello 123. I googled it, interesting stuff. I have lots of Jello in my food storage but we eat & rotate it out quite fast.
  11. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I got curious and looked it up. Turns out there are hacks to make regular Jello do the same thing.

    I do have a comment on this TOTM, though. I this subject is one of the, if not the, most important aspects of prepping to ensure that your long term food supply has the shelf life you need it to have, and that when you do it smartly it saves you money you can put into other preps. It's too bad that the discussion on this did not take off as much as I thought it would.
    Motomom34 and DarkLight like this.
  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I agree @3M-TA3 this is very important. After years of prepping and processing foods, I have drawn the conclusion that buying an already prepped bucket of rice or flour etc... is the most cost effective. Things are already sealed and I do not have to buy oxygen absorbents, bags, buckets. All that stuff adds up. I do often wonder how much I have invested.
  13. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Never enough....when [shtf]!!!!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have not seen wax on a jar of jelly in years. I swear it will be a lost canning technique soon. @Ganado was surfing Lehman's and found these- Reusable Canning Jar Lids - Wide Mouth, Canning - Lehman's I have been discouraged on the one use lids but I think this is what I will be buying from now one. I many have wide mouth jars so these are perfect.
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
    Ganado likes this.
  15. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    For jellies, we used to use paraffin for the top, no lid or ring. Just pour a layer on'll float on the jelly. Just press down on one edge and it will pivot, allowing easy removal. Reuse able too.
    Ganado and Motomom34 like this.
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