$600 to stock up for the year, wwyd? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 03-27-2011, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stock up your pantry with staples that store well and will last your family for the year.

 

Your budget is $600-700 for annual staples.

 

You have plenty of cool, dry cupboard space, limited refrigeration, but a garage that stays around 50F all year. You have a fridge-top freezer that is about half full and very limited chest freezer space.

 

The items MUST come from a grocery store or HFS, ie, no shopping online for bulk items.

 

This budget DOES NOT include meat which will be purchased separately. This budget is for whole foods only, ie no non-food supplements.

 

There are no allergy issues though we are aiming for whole unprocessed grains.

 

eat.gif

 

What would you purchase (include where you would buy if you have preferences), how would you use it, and how would you store it?

 

 


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#2 of 16 Old 03-28-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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I would strongly recommend seeing if you can find a local source for grains.  I recently learned that there is a grain farm near me.  Buying 50 lb bags of whole grains saves a fortune over the grocery store, plus it stays fresh until I'm ready to grind it.  Remember that whole grain flours go rancid relatively quickly, so you either need to keep it frozen or not buy a ton in advance.

 

 

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#3 of 16 Old 03-28-2011, 07:39 AM
 
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My first thought is brown rice and beans if you can handle eating beans a lot. I would of course sprout both to get the most nutrients and digestibility from them.

 

If there was any possibility at all, I would buy seeds and start a garden. Also, if possible I would buy chickens and have eggs.

 

Canned sardines are inexpensive and a safer fish to eat. This is a good way to get your omega 3's.

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#4 of 16 Old 03-28-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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No idea how much I would be spending, how much 600-700 can buy even, but the staples we usually eat are flour(for bread, flat bread usually. We eat pakistani roti/chapati with almost every meal) I agree with buying whole and grinding later. 

 

We also eat a lot of lentils and chickpeas. I would get a variety of beans though and boil and freeze as needed. Question about sprouting, does that cut down on the gassyness that beans can cause? 

 

Also, rice, and whole spices(you can grind as needed.) 

 

Sugar too, since we eat it. 

 

 


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#5 of 16 Old 03-28-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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I'm not as crunchy as I once was.. but my list would include the following.  I would get most of it at Costco.

 

Small red beans (because hubby likes them better than pinto, kidney or black)

White beans

green split peas

 

Oats (whole oatmeal)

WW flour

WW pasta

 

Sugar

brown sugar

powdered sugar

mini choc chips

 

maple syrup

honey

olive oil

 

Almonds

pecans

dried cranberries

dried blueberries

unsweetened applesauce

peanut butter

 

jarred green beans

jarred tomatoes

jarred tomato/ spaghetti sauce

 

frozen corn

frozen chicken breasts

cheddar cheese (shredded adn block)

mozarella cheese (shredded and block)

 

coffee

salt

noMSG chicken broth concentrate

 

Powdered milk (if this stockpile was in case of emergency)

 

to be used within 3-6 weeks:

garlic

onions

potatoes

apples

clementines

 

This is assuming that I would have access to weekly fresh eggs, milk, butter, fruit and veggies 

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#6 of 16 Old 03-28-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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add brown rice to my list!


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#7 of 16 Old 03-28-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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Hmmm.....I would buy in the bulk area of my local Whole Foods, because I know I could find pretty much everything I would need or want there.

Grains and beans of all kinds. I would buy whole raw nuts and either toast them or freeze them. Oats are a staple here as are dried fruits, lentils, mushrooms and rice. I would buy tempeh, seitan and tofu to store in the freezer. I would also purchase as much fresh produce and can as much as possible and freeze as much as I could fit in the freezers, especially tomato's...you can do so much with them. I would grind my own flours and make our own almond milk. I would probably throw in a few organic cans of beans (just in case) and have some pasta on hand for a quick fix.

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#8 of 16 Old 03-28-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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Should this not be a hypothetical...

 

Ask at the local grocery stores if you can get a case/bulk discount. Some will do so, some won't. With some, it depends on who you talk to. Small, locally owned stores are more likely to than large chains, but we've even done it at WalMart.


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#9 of 16 Old 03-29-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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I don't know where you are starting from but I would say buy seeds for your vegetables, buy grains (wheat, oats, and corn) from a local farmer and plant your own, buy fruit that is local (apples in particular are very locally picky) let it rot a bit and stick it in a mulch bed (this will take time to mature).  Plan your garden carefully and you can get most of your food that way for two or three hundred dollars at the most.  Don't over buy seeds (find someone to split seed with).  This is possible on less than a quarter acre.  If you don't grow your own dried beans and peas (etc) you'll need to buy them.  Salt and exotic spices.  We include things like tp and tooth brushes in our groceries so make sure you have enough (we use cloth everything to cut this down).  Sugar is important and honey if you don't have bees (also perfectly doable on a small property).  Vinegar of various sorts.  I assume this is excluding parishable things like eggs, milk, and cheese.  You said it excluded meat (which we hunt and trap so it is more or less free).  Chickens are inexpensive to keep and are more and more acceptable.  U-picks are good ways to fill in gaps also gleaning.  Some farmers don't mind but be sure to ask.  Good luck with the stock up.


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#10 of 16 Old 03-29-2011, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks for all the great replies so far! It's good to know that what I'm doing is on track with other wise mommas' choices ;)
 
Today, I hit up 3 grocery stores and got:
 
Staples:
5# dry udon
5# red rice
5# sweet black rice
5# brown rice
5# quinoa
abt20# dry beans including red, white, black, adzuki, mung, garbanzo, red lentil
6#oats
2 big jars honey
3 bottle olive oil (I know can spoil, but our garage is cold even in summer, and it solidifies in cold temp, so I'm not too worried about it)
4 whole chickens, frozen ($7/each! natural)
4# cheddar
6# feta (I freeze it and notice no texture problems)
big bag of turbinado sugar
coffee
10# potatoes
 
I felt like some crazy food hoarder, but I want to stock up on the staples now and get to a place where we only need freshies by the week.
 
I'm going to go back and get more frozen whole chickens, because that is a really good price, and we do have the space in our chest freezer. Also will get big jar coconut oil (will keep in fridge) and lots of sea salt. Oh! and Pomona's Pectin and lemon juice.
 
We have:
vinegar: cheap white for cleaning, raw acv for eating, would like a stash of balsamic and rice, too 
flour
tea herbal, black, jasmine
spices
raisins
baking soda, powder, yeast
 
Our garden is in the soil, but it's my first year, so I'm not going to count on it for feeding my family, just for supplementing and hope that we have a bounty crop! We're growing lots of beans and greens and a couple of salsa plots. I'm also trying for purple potatoes, but as I said, I'm not going to have huge expectations for the garden since this is my first year.
 
I'm hopefully getting chickens this weekend! I don't know how we're going to put together a coop, but it will work out. Our urban chicken limit is 6. I don't know if we'll get the full 6 or just 4, but we do go through a lot of eggs, so I think more is better in this case.
 
Checking out some leads on a herd share for milk and going to follow up with farmers about getting a side of beef or other meat. We are also paying for a CSA share even though it's pricy upfront because we went through the same farm last year, and it was awesome!! We ended up paying about $35/wk but taking home easily $75 worth in produce every week.
 
It feels good to know that we are getting lined up on food for the coming year! 

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#11 of 16 Old 04-01-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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It's not crazy to plan for food security for your family for a year. Especially since we are seeing food prices increase with amazing speed.

 

I second the recommendation to ask about bulk purchases thru the local HFS. Bulk is the cheapest way to go, and if you store the food properly you will not have to worry about using it before you can eat it up. Most of the items they fill their bulk bins with come in 25 or 50lb sacks. I'd buy several different types of legumes, grains, oatmeal, and corn. Whole grains would be sprouted then dehydrated. Grains and legumes will store fine in vacuum bags, if you think you won't use it in a few months then you will want to place them in the freezer for a couple of weeks to kill any pantry moth eggs. I'd get a grain mill, because buying flour is several times more expensive than buying whole grain. Our family goes through about 75 lbs of potatoes or more in a year, and I store them by slicing, blanching and dehydrating. Some I can in quarts with the pressure canner.

 

I'd also get a couple of gallons of expeller pressed coconut oil, to use for cooking so that you don't use up any of your table butter to cook with.

 

I would be checking freecycle and craigslist for any canning supplies and jars you need, then can excess from your garden or perhaps bulk produce from a u-pick farm. Root crops from your garden can be stored in that nice cool basement... there are lots of sites & books that tell you how to do that.

 

It really is a good feeling to get the pantry fully stocked isn't it!

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#12 of 16 Old 04-02-2011, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tips! I was especially wondering about this:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post
 Whole grains would be sprouted then dehydrated. 

 

How do you sprout on such a large scale? I do have a food dehydrator. Do you sprout a pound at a time in a gallon jar or what? Then do you grind and bake with it? And after sprouting, drying, grinding, are the ratios the same for recipes? Coz I'm sure that a cup of sprouted wheat will make more flour than a cup of unsprouted wheat, kwim? But does the sproutiness change how the flour acts with yeast or whatever? Thanks if you have any clarification on this.

 

I do need to get more canning supplies--I can't do quarts in my bwb canner. And I need to get familiar with canning whole fruits and veggies--I've only done jams and salsas, but this year I'd like to do sliced peaches and whole tomatoes.


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#13 of 16 Old 04-03-2011, 11:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craft_media_hero View Post


Thanks for the tips! I was especially wondering about this:

 

 

How do you sprout on such a large scale? I do have a food dehydrator. Do you sprout a pound at a time in a gallon jar or what? Then do you grind and bake with it? And after sprouting, drying, grinding, are the ratios the same for recipes? Coz I'm sure that a cup of sprouted wheat will make more flour than a cup of unsprouted wheat, kwim? But does the sproutiness change how the flour acts with yeast or whatever? Thanks if you have any clarification on this.

 

I do need to get more canning supplies--I can't do quarts in my bwb canner. And I need to get familiar with canning whole fruits and veggies--I've only done jams and salsas, but this year I'd like to do sliced peaches and whole tomatoes.


I'd like to know the answers to these questions, too!

 

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#14 of 16 Old 04-04-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craft_media_hero View Post


Thanks for the tips! I was especially wondering about this:

 

 

How do you sprout on such a large scale? I do have a food dehydrator. Do you sprout a pound at a time in a gallon jar or what? Then do you grind and bake with it? And after sprouting, drying, grinding, are the ratios the same for recipes? Coz I'm sure that a cup of sprouted wheat will make more flour than a cup of unsprouted wheat, kwim? But does the sproutiness change how the flour acts with yeast or whatever? Thanks if you have any clarification on this.

 

I do need to get more canning supplies--I can't do quarts in my bwb canner. And I need to get familiar with canning whole fruits and veggies--I've only done jams and salsas, but this year I'd like to do sliced peaches and whole tomatoes.

 

 

I am a lazy TFer so when I do a food prep process, I like to do a lot at a time - that way I don't have to do it so often! This might seem like a lot of work because of the long description, but honestly it's only a tiny bit of effort in actual work, most of the time is spent just letting the grains sit and sprout.

 

I have a 9-tray excalibur, each tray will  hold roughly 4-6c. of grain so I measure out about 36 cups of unsprouted grain into some big mixing bowls & fill them with water. I don't know the amount in pounds because I just go by how much fits into the dehydrator. I normally set the soaking grains on the range top to keep them out of the way or if I'm cooking I move them to the end of the counter. I rinse once a day by holding a splatter screen over the top of the bowl to pour out the water. (hold it on tight, don't lose your grain down the sink!) Then refill and keep on soakin'.

 

Sprouting is faster in warm weather, slower in cold. In warm weather you may want to rinse more often than in cold. When you see the little tails emerging, drain and rinse one final time.

 

I like to lay down a square of parchment on the dehydrator tray then spread a layer of grain on the paper. It's ok to put down a good 1/2" thick layer, it will dry just fine. I dry it at 125F til it's all shrunk down back to where it was before sprouting. Normally it's overnight, it's ok if you go longer especially if you live where it's humid.

 

When it's dry I bag it up into ziplock bags if I'm going to be using it in the next few months, if I want to store it longer it gets vacuum packed with my FoodSaver or for even longer, a mylar bag and oxygen absorber which will keep it fresh for many years if needed. A full dehydrator load fills up two gallon-size ziplock bags. I'd guess after grinding that would be close to maybe 5lbs of flour. Five lbs of sprouted wheat flour normally sells for over $5/lb. Way out of my price range, so for budget purposes, home sprouting & drying is a big money saver.

 

Using the sprouted grain is not that different from regular grain, the amounts are the same because although it swells up during sprouting and seems like more grain, it shrinks back down after drying. The dough from a sprouted wheat may be a bit more fragile in structure than unsprouted; sprouting seems to lower the gluten content somewhat.

 

Let me know if there's anything else you have questions about, I'm happy to help if I can.
 

 

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#15 of 16 Old 04-05-2011, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks so much for that explanation of sprouting and drying! We actually are pretty stocked up on dry flour right now, but I am thinking about switching to buying the whole grains next time we re-up.


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#16 of 16 Old 04-07-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post


 

 

 

I am a lazy TFer so when I do a food prep process, I like to do a lot at a time - that way I don't have to do it so often! This might seem like a lot of work because of the long description, but honestly it's only a tiny bit of effort in actual work, most of the time is spent just letting the grains sit and sprout.

 

I have a 9-tray excalibur, each tray will  hold roughly 4-6c. of grain so I measure out about 36 cups of unsprouted grain into some big mixing bowls & fill them with water. I don't know the amount in pounds because I just go by how much fits into the dehydrator. I normally set the soaking grains on the range top to keep them out of the way or if I'm cooking I move them to the end of the counter. I rinse once a day by holding a splatter screen over the top of the bowl to pour out the water. (hold it on tight, don't lose your grain down the sink!) Then refill and keep on soakin'.

 

Sprouting is faster in warm weather, slower in cold. In warm weather you may want to rinse more often than in cold. When you see the little tails emerging, drain and rinse one final time.

 

I like to lay down a square of parchment on the dehydrator tray then spread a layer of grain on the paper. It's ok to put down a good 1/2" thick layer, it will dry just fine. I dry it at 125F til it's all shrunk down back to where it was before sprouting. Normally it's overnight, it's ok if you go longer especially if you live where it's humid.

 

When it's dry I bag it up into ziplock bags if I'm going to be using it in the next few months, if I want to store it longer it gets vacuum packed with my FoodSaver or for even longer, a mylar bag and oxygen absorber which will keep it fresh for many years if needed. A full dehydrator load fills up two gallon-size ziplock bags. I'd guess after grinding that would be close to maybe 5lbs of flour. Five lbs of sprouted wheat flour normally sells for over $5/lb. Way out of my price range, so for budget purposes, home sprouting & drying is a big money saver.

 

Using the sprouted grain is not that different from regular grain, the amounts are the same because although it swells up during sprouting and seems like more grain, it shrinks back down after drying. The dough from a sprouted wheat may be a bit more fragile in structure than unsprouted; sprouting seems to lower the gluten content somewhat.

 

Let me know if there's anything else you have questions about, I'm happy to help if I can.
 

 

I'm actually doing this today! Thanks for the helpful tips laid out so easily.
 

 


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