By Kellene Bishop
I hate having to learn dumb lessons. Don’t you? As I’ve looked back and realized all the simple tricks and strategies I’ve learned over the last 10 years, I cringe at the thought of all of the money, time, anxiety, and energy I’ve wasted. So I decided to share them with you. You’re sure to learn something in this list! I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes NOW!
- Yeast will last indefinitely if stored in your freezer! Outside the freezer it only lasts a year, but inside that freezing climate it lasts over 5 years—so far. When I use it in my bread, I just use it directly from the freezer into my bread dough with no problem. I cringe at the though of all of the yeast I’ve wasted over several years.
I can obtain food storage for FREE or better, and certainly inexpensively, if I just use coupons and an organized system! Now that’s really something to cringe about! I acquired a great deal of my food storage over the years from Costco, but now that I can get name brands for free or dirt cheap elsewhere, I figure I can’t afford to shop at Costco, thanks to coupons! It really IS worth using coupons. I can’t believe I was so pious to think that coupons were “beneath me.”
- Cooking with a pressure cooker is a sanity saver. They are fast, nutritious, fuel friendly and SO easy to use! I wish I hadn’t been afraid of them way back when. I’m so grateful that a patient teacher showed me their merits!
- Yes, you can CAN MEATS! And it’s the easiest thing in the world to can. Simply stuff the RAW meat into a mason jar with a bit of salt, put the clean lids on it, put the jars in your pressure canner for the recommended period of time, and VOILA! You have BETTER THAN CANNED meat. (The canned stuff you buy has been processed twice.) This meat will be SO tender, so juicy, and will save you a BUNDLE over the canned stuff! (Let’s see. Tastes better. 25% cheaper. Easy to do. Dang! I wish I could relive the last 10 years!)
- Cheese wax is a God-send! I can have all of the REAL cheese I want if I simply use cheese wax to preserve it! The cheese will keep for 25 years using this method. Now I’ve got Swiss, Monterey Jack, Colby, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar, Gouda, Blue Cheese, and even a delicious smoked cheese literally sitting pretty in my food storage! If I had known about cheese wax 10 years ago, I would have made much better use of the cheese sales over the years and never tried that nasty processed stuff.
- Preserving eggs that I buy from the store is a snap! After I wrote a lengthy article on egg preservation, I discovered that a quarter cup of warmed mineral oil, coated on my eggs that I buy from the grocery store works great. I then can store them pointed side down in a Styrofoam carton, in a cool, dry place. I don’t have to get the eggs FRESH from a farm. And I don’t have to stack them carefully in anything. How’s that for easy?! I have WHOLE, REAL eggs for up to 9 months! Forget the bran flakes, the paraffin wax, the salt storage. Just some mineral oil is PERFECT. WOW!
- I never have to live without yummy chocolate again! I can buy all of the candy bars, Hershey kisses, chocolate chips, peanut M&Ms, Dove chocolates, Lindt chocolates, stuff them in a Mason jar, and with my trusty Food Saver jar attachment, seal their goodness for YEARS! (I like getting them on sale after a holiday) This also works for ANYTHING that doesn’t require refrigeration. When I open the jar years later, they still taste as fresh and yummy as they would have on the day I bought it!
- ONLY store what you eat. If I don’t eat it, I won’t eat it, and thus it’s a waste of money. If you can’t eat wheat, DON’T store it. If you can’t stand the taste of powdered milk, store canned milk or soy milk instead. Fortunately I’ve learned to prepare all my oddball foods that weren’t previously in my regular diet, but it sure would have saved me some headaches if I had done things differently. If I store what I eat, the rotation is a cinch!
- You can have meals already made, cooked, and stored in a Mason jar! You can bake bread, cake, cookies, casseroles, pudding, and more, in a Mason jar, seal it, and they will last for SEVERAL years! That way you don’t have to figure out how to cook up something every day while you’re enduring a crisis. Do it in comfort now, so you can live in comfort even in the worst of disasters!
- Solar ovens are the bomb--not just in an emergency, but every single day the sun shines! I LOVE cooking in mine. I haven’t found anything that I can’t cook in it that doesn’t turn out wonderful! I’ve essentially tripled the life of the fuel that I have stored, since I won’t need to use any of it on cooking anymore except on cloudy or rainy days! Not having to worry or pay for a years supply of fuels such as propane, kerosene, fire wood or isopropyl alcohol, makes the price I would pay for a solar oven well worthwhile. So… like any woman, I bought two! :)
I’ll be writing more about each of these items later, if I haven’t done so already. The point is food storage can be GLORIOUSLY DELICIOUS. You don’t have to do without and it doesn’t have to be expensive and boring either. One dollar a day, per person, will provide you with absolutely comforting and delightful meals regardless of your challenging circumstances. Enjoy!
For any questions or comments on this article, please leave a comment on the blog site so that everyone can benefit!
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