Julie’s New Years Food Storage Resolutions

So people keep telling me it’s 2013 but I barely believe it. I started out 2012 sick, and pregnant and moving into a new house. If you’re thinking you’re reading the same post from Monday you aren’t. Both Jodi and I had babies and moved last year. Starting out 2013 with a fresh slate (and not having morning sickness) feels invigorating. In 2012, I felt happy to just survive. This year I’m excited to make some progress and learn new things.

GOAL #1: FINISH ALL BUCKET FOODS EXCEPT WHEAT

After several years now of eating my food storage, I think I’ve figured out my style. I don’t really like big buckets of things. I find them hard to open and I always spill stuff out of them. I also have a hard time sending one of my boys down to get food out of a bucket. If I tell my 5 year old to go grab a #10 can of something, he can manage that, but pulling food out of a bucket is harder. (I’m not lazy, I’m teaching my kids to work….riiiight?!) So I want to eat up all the foods that are in buckets except for the wheat, and then get those foods in #10 cans from now on. We use wheat fast enough that storing them in #10 cans wouldn’t be as economical, or practical. I just keep a bucket in my pantry.

Next Steps:
I’m going to inventory what I have in buckets and make a plan for using them. I know off hand I have quite a bit of 9 grain cereal, 16 bean soup mix, and black beans. I need to figure out a good way to use 9 grain cereal… I don’t like eating it as cereal. I’ve tried. I give up.

GOAL #2: GARDEN PLAN

So PLEASE don’t read my last year’s resolutions, because this is just a repeat. I failed terribly at the gardening thing. Pregnancy number 3 took a TOLL on me ok! Since we moved into this new house I have been wanting to do a good garden plan for outside. I’m kind of a little OCD so I think I’m afraid of doing it wrong, or regretting the choices I make. Two years ago I had a garden at my mom’s and that was good practice, but this year I really want to have my own that I will love, and use.

Next Steps:
I think I need to lock myself in a room with about 50 books and websites and really figure this out. No that is overwhelming! I’m going to talk to a few of my friends who garden and make a plan that I can expand on in the future, but maintain for now. I seriously have nothing started, so this is going to be a BIG project. First, the snow needs to melt… but I can do some planning in my warm cozy house at least.

GOAL #3: FIX MY #10 PANTRY CAN PROBLEM

The bottom of my pantry is a little bit of a problem. It’s a huge space but there’s no real use for it. My whole pantry is a little bit silly actually. Its really narrow and deep. I don’t think a cook designed it, but whatever. So I want to figure out a way to put my #10 cans of food up and have them usable. Up until a couple weeks ago they were just obnoxiously stacked in there and I had to sort through them all to find anything. Just 2 weeks ago, I had a BRILLIANT idea of writing what they were on the tops and that has helped, but I think they are scratching my floor and they are still just floating in there.

Next Steps:
I have already looked into rotating shelves that are narrow, but even those are a teeny bit too wide. I think I might have to get something built, or something. I have a lot of #10 cans of veggies in there (the fruits and grains are somewhere else) so I need to figure out how to best use the space.

Did you see Jodi’s food storage resolutions earlier this week? Feel free to come share some of YOURS over on our Facebook page. We’ve had lots of great comments already!


  • http://www.facebook.com/kathrine.graham.3 Kathrine Graham

    I have clear plastic gallon containers that (together) hold a bucket of wheat. I put them in my kitchen on the upper shelves. When I get down to one or two it is time to double check my inventory. I hate opening the big containers so, I only do it once and I have the bucket for something else.

    Clear Plastic 1 gallon containers —- I buy them from the thrift store and, I buy the large containers of pretzels or, I buy them from the store (rarely) and, I get them from friends. The glass jugs work equally as well but I do not like the breakage possibilities (I’m a klutz)

    Clear Plastic smaller square containers (nuts are sold in these) – Celery (I only use teaspoons of celery and need the space. So I put #10 cans of items in 2 of these. When a #10 can gets emptier I put the items in these smaller containers too. They wash well in the dishwasher. Peanut butter containers will also work but I love the square types.

    Plastic round coffee cans – I can’t see what is inside so I only use them for Emergency Prep Give-aways (and the lids aren’t screwed on for when I drop it on the floor – lol)

  • Laurie

    My husband build a rotating shelf for our #10 cans in a small hallway in our basement. It is 90″ tall and 48″ wide. He attached it to the ceiling. It is 7.5″ deep just enough to lay the #10 can on it’s side so it can roll down the inclined shelves. It has 12 shelves and each shelf holds 8 #10 cans. You put the can in one side and it rolls down to the other side where there is space open for one can to be pulled out. It is made with 1/4 inch plywood on back and sides. The 1/4 plywood on the front is cut to 34″ and centered across the shelves so there is space on either end. The shelves are made with 3/4″ plywood. The incline is made by having one end of the shelf 4″ higher than the other. Each shelf is about 8 inches apart. It works great so I don’t have to store so many of my #10 cans in boxes and takes up much less space. On the other side of this small hall, the previous owner had built shelves floor to ceiling that perfectly fit a dozen quart jars. I store a lot of food in that hall. If you are interested and need more information on the shelving unit let me know.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      Thanks for all the tips everyone!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kim.e.thomas.1 Kim Ericson Thomas

    Here is a multigrain bread recipe I use in my bread maker with my 9-grain cereal:
    Multigrain Bread
    1 1/4 cups water
    2 T. butter, softened
    2 cups bread flour or white flour
    1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
    3/4 cup 9-grain cereal
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. salt
    2 3/4 tsp. yeast

  • Irene

    I use the low flat cardboard trays that plastic containers of strawberries come in. They fit perfectly in my cabinets. I fill them with cans and they are easy to
    o slide in and out. I too label the lids. A cheap and easy solution. The trays come on several sizes. I get mine at costco.

  • Linda

    I didn’t like just dumping into the 5 gal pail either. I use gal zipper type bags, fill them, they lay flat in the bucket and I can easily take out one to restock my large jars in the kitchen pantry without disturbing anything else. I am learning as I go.

  • Ellie

    Tip for the 9 grain cereal: try grinding it and adding some of it to your bread or other things that you bake. A lot like you would add ground flax seed. It is super healthy and it is an easy way to add extra fibre and nutrients to your baking. You can grind several cup fulls and then put it in a resealable bag and stick it in the freezer. If you are baking muffins for instance, pull it out and half a cup or so to your recipe instead of half a cup of the regular flour. it wont be overwhleming in the recipe but it makes it healthier and you are using your cereal!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.f.kern Jessica Feuz Kern

    We made our raised garden beds with cinder blocks. They were cheap (a dollar and change at Home Depot) and we didn’t need to build anything, just line them up. And you can move them if you change your mind or want to expand!

  • Sandra P

    More than a few weird pantries later…. Put shelving on one long side of your pantry, top to bottom. Choose a depth that makes it easy to walk in and get what you need. On the opposing wall build shelving space between the studs….it won’t stick out into the pantry but will provide shallow shelving for other items. Hang a shoe bag organizer on the back of the door for spices, seasoning envelopes etc. Good luck. Thanks for your observations on buckets vs #10 cans. Very helpful!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.brewer.96 Nancy Brewer

    Your space appears to be less than 30 inches wide. Because it is so narrow, you could put 1×4 boards up as shelf supports on the three sides and cut plywood to make a shelf that exactly fits the width. I would make the shelves equal to two cans deep so I could have more than one can of the same thing using the back row. This would be sturdy enough to hold anything in a #10 can. The veggies don’t weigh anything, but the rice and beans I bought in #10 cans are very heavy. I would put shelves almost floor to ceiling, but the bottom shelf up high enough to get buckets under. You could put additional shelves above the door as well. Good luck!

  • http://foodstorageandsurvival.com Angela

    I’m assuming the 9 grain cereal is cracked like the stuff I have. You can put the cereal in your wheat grinder and make flour out of it, then use it a little at a time in your bread, cookies, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.vanderbeek Laura Patterson Vanderbeek

    I can help you with the garden thing a little. I watch mysquarefootgarden.net and that has helped but you know the absolute best thing to keep my garden alive? A timer and a drip line. Oh yes – it’s that simple. I use an Orbit brand timer that I purchased at Lowe’s and it runs on 2 AA batteries. I have a 16×40 foot garden (only part of which is a square foot garden) and I attach the drip line to the faucet with a hose. Of course you can just use a drip line hose which is even less expensive. This timer runs at the same time every night. My plants get watered even if I am on vacation. Two tips with the timer – don’t put it out until after the last spring frost or it will crack (did I mention I’ve purchased more than one? but I’ve learned my lesson) and if your tomatoes are still green the 1st of August, just cut the watering time in half and they’ll be red in a week. Here’s my drip line (although you don’t need PVC – I did that because I want to control which rows get watered and when. If nothing is planted in that row it doesn’t get water – cuts back on weeds.) http://lauravanderbeek.blogspot.com/2012/04/make-your-own-drip-line-conserve-water.html
    And here is a link to a picture of the timer: http://lauravanderbeek.blogspot.com/2012/05/harvest-monday-tilling-up-garden.html

  • Cheryl

    I use 9 grain cereal to make multi-grain bread. My kids love it. I use half fresh ground wheat flour and half white so it holds together better.

    • Melanie

      I was going to suggest the same thing. Just cook the cereal and add 1-1.5 cups of the cooked cereal to your bread dough with the flour. I often do this with leftover oatmeal.