Food Storage Quickie – A New Feature

Sharon September 12th, 2008

I got a great idea from one of my food storage students, by way of her LDS church.  She told me that each month or week at her church, they hand out cards that encourages people to focus on one area of food storage, and one or two other issues – including suggestions for where to get things at reasonable prices.  One month might focus on protein sources and flashlights, another on sweeteners and blankets.

Now being a person who steals all her good ideas from somewhere or other, I’ve decided to borrow this wonderful idea, and start running a weekly “Food Storage Quickie” that gets people focusing on one segment of their food storage, and one non-food item.  I’d encourage everyone who can to do little more in your preps this week in that area, even if it only means buying an extra bag or couple of cans of something.  All that stuff does add up pretty quickly – so even if you can only do a little, just doing it makes a difference.  And for those getting started, this is a good way to get things moving, without being too overwhelmed.  I’m going to try to have one of these up every Friday (we’ll see whether I can pull it off) as an adjunct to the Independence Days Challenge Reports.

Ok – this week, we’re going to focus on three things – pasta, popcorn and matches.  Why pasta?  Because it is a starch that almost everyone can eat in some form – even those with wheat intolerances can usually eat rice or soy pastas.  Whole wheat pasta stores for more than a year, while white noodles (not as nutritious) stores even longer.  Those of you hot to make things yourself can make egg-free noodles and dry them, or egg noodles and freeze them.  With the price of wheat still extremely high and the harvests coming in unevenly, my guess is that the price of pasta will go up in the coming year.  And since this is one of those things that you can pretty much feed to everyone – even your weird uncle or picky grandkid, it makes sense to have some on hand. 

The cheapest way to get pasta would probably be to buy it in bulk from a coop or buying club in 10 or 20lb boxes.  But if you can’t afford this, remember pasta is a frequent supermarket loss leader, and even unusual pastas, made of other grains show up at odd lots stores, drug stores and dollar stores.  So add a few more packages of pasta to your supermarket cart if you can. 

If your budget stretches that far, now would be a good time to pick up a bushel of tomatoes and make and can some tomato sauce. Or keep an eye out for canned tomatoes or bottled sauce cheaply.  Or if you’ve got basil, consider making some pesto, and freezing it in ice-cube trays for springtime.  Butter or olive oil and garlic makes a great sauce as well, and cheap, particularly if you can throw in some chopped up herbs you keep on your windowsill, or some greens.

Now, to popcorn, which has many of the same virtues as pasta and some extra ones - nearly everyone will eat it, and unlike many pastas, it is a whole grain that can be digested by most people and extremely nutritious, and it is associated with fun, comfort and snacks – something you want in tough times.  Popped popcorn with a light sweetener on it isn’t a bad substitue for sugar cereals, if your family still hasn’t been weaned off of them, and it is great and filling.  If your family doesn’t buy into the idea of storing food generally, or won’t eat most storage staples, popcorn is one way to get around this – tell them you aren’t “storing food for a crisis” but planning for winter evenings by the fire.

By “popcorn” I don’t mean “microwave” – the power is likely to be off.  I mean the real McCoy, without artificial butter-flavored grease (you can add actual butter or other oils and it tastes much, much better).  You can pop popcorn in any pan with a lid, but it will be easier if you have a popcorn popper – or if you will be cooking over an open fire, a long handled implement especially designed for popcorn.  It is one of those things that is so easy that I’ve never quite understood the proliferation of microwave popcorn.

Where to get it?  The best options are probably a local farm that grows their own, or the abovementioned coop or buying club.  But if you can’t do that, try a couple of extra bags at the grocery store, or keep an eye out for sales and other cheap sources.  Kept reasonably cool and dry, popcorn keeps just about forever. 

Also, does your reserve include an ample supply of matches or other ways of lighting a fire?  You’d be surprised how often you need them in an uncertain energy situation – for lighting stoves and candles, kerosene lamps or relighting a pilot.  If you heat with wood, the long handled matches are really nice to have, but even cheapie little ones are valuable.  You could also consider lighters (and extra butane – but store very carefully!) or  magnesium firestarters.  Make sure your bug out bags have good, waterproof, strike-anywhere matches if at all possible.  But add more to your “in place storage” as you go – these are also a good dollar store find, where I’ve often seen five large boxes for a buck.

Ok, I hope this helps a few people get organized just a little!  I’m off to check if the popcorn is dry enough to harvest yet ;-) .


48 Responses to “Food Storage Quickie – A New Feature”

  1. suze_oz says:

    What a great idea. I normally have a lot of popping corn in our home. It is cheap and nutrition filled snack. But the supply has dwindled. I had planned to buy a rechargable lantern this next week as our storm season has just started. Thank you to whoever thought of this in the first place.

    Would I be better storing the corn in tine or plastic containers?

  2. Sarah says:

    Oo, I like this series!

  3. ctdaffodil says:

    We have an over the fire corn popper – and use it when we are camping. It is lots of fun. One note – try and use veg or canola oil when popping, olive oil didn’t produce such tasty results (experience typing).

    We also put a matchless striker in our bobs. Got it at Cabelas and it works great. the pack says you can start 20K fires with it. Have also made matches a little more waterproof by dipping them in some melted candle wax. Tough and not for little kids….

  4. Andrea says:

    I love this! I’ve tried to stock up a bit at a time over the course of the summer, but I’ve really had no direction, just buying whatever caught my eye. This is the direction I need to get that pantry stocked! Thanks so much for borrowing the idea :)

  5. Malva says:

    While the power is still on, you can also pop bulk popcorn in a brown paper bag in your microwave. Just put kernels in a bag (no fat or oil), fold the top over and use as you would storebought microwaveable popcorn. I like that for single servings. You can reuse your brown paper bag until it gets yucky.

  6. Sarah says:

    Malva — do you set the temperature lower when you do that? When I’ve tried, it’s always resulted in burned popcorn and lots of unpopped kernels.

  7. Chile says:

    Love the idea and would like to add a bit from my experience. Yikes, it’s getting too long so I’ll just do a post.

  8. Fern says:

    My husband – whose teeth are genetically better than mine – broke a tooth on a partially-popped popcorn kernal (I broke a tooth on scrambled eggs, with no shell pieces, once). As a result, we are kind of popcorn picky. We find that most store bought popcorn doesn’t store well, leading to WAY more widow kernals that don’t pop or only partially pop. We’ve had better luck with popcorn that comes pre-packaged in plastic jars than we’ve had buying bags of kernals and then putting them in jars ourselves.

    Given prices on what my husband considers the ‘best’ popcorn, and our history of expenses for root canals and crowns, name brand in-ar-jar popcorn is the ONE THING we buy at Walmart, the @#$% there having a price on it that is half the price anyone else has it for.

    Fern – currently missing two teeth, and in need of two more root canals/crowns

  9. Ani says:

    Good idea-

    I’ve noticed that there haven’t been the usual sales on pasta out here- or at least the kind I like- of the mainstream varieties I really like Barilla. The supermarket used to run 10 for $10 specials- but this summer they haven’t. So I’ve been hesitant to pay full price for it but may have to…….

    I’m trialing some popcorn this year to see how it grows for me- rough season to do it in though- the plants look great but the ears are a long way from being ready, let alone dry……. agree popcorn is a great snack though- but do agree with Fern-I hate biting down on those hard kernels that don’t pop- I always knew them as “old maids” though- not widows….. I have found that locally grown popcorn, still on the cob even, seems to reliably pop and yield very few unpopped kernels…. and taste great!

  10. Chile says:

    One of the things I point out in my post (just finished) is that you can grind popcorn into cornmeal. You can also grind the unpopped kernels into cornmeal. It will have a nice toasty taste to it. This works best with “used” popcorn that doesn’t have oil coating it, so be sure to rub the kernels dry in a towel before trying to grind them.

  11. Mist says:

    Oh bless you for this new feature! It’s a great idea. I often have trouble breaking emergency preparedness down into smaller, more manageable goals. Pasta, popcorn, and matches I can do. :) Thank you.

  12. Vegan says:

    I love popcorn. My favorite snack — fun, nutritious, lots of fiber and low in calories. I serve it on a big plate then add a bit of olive oil, salt, finely chopped raw fresh garlic and a dash of Italian seasoning.

    I buy organic popcorn at Wholefoods (no food coops around here) for $.99/lb. It stores well on mason jars.

  13. [...] Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » Food Storage Quickie – A New Feature I got a great idea from one of my food storage students, by way of her LDS church. She told me that each month or week at her church, they hand out cards that encourages people to focus on one area of food storage, and one or two other issues – including suggestions for where to get things at reasonable prices. One month might focus on protein sources and flashlights, another on sweeteners and blankets. [...]

  14. Rosa says:

    We have so much popcorn on hand, it’s ridiculous – it was a fun extra in our farm share a few years ago and we’re *still* going through it.

    On a downer note – I shop at Aldi’s about once every 2-3 months, and usually spend $5-$10 on stuff to store (canned salmon, a few extra cans of condensed milk, sugar, cooking oil) but a few weeks ago when I went, their prices had gone up enough that I didn’t have any extra after my shopping list.

    Which panicked me, and I hit the ATM and bought a dozen cans of canned salmon, but that’s because my budget is what I *want* to spend, not what I have available.

    It was a sobering experience.

    Anyway, here is my easy-freezing cheapo pesto. It’s cheap if you grow your own basil, natch.

    1) wash the basil & pull leaves off stems. Pat dry with a tea towel or let air dry for a few hours in a colander

    2) peel 6 cloves of garlic

    3) alternate garlic cloves & handsful of basil in the blender

    4) blend until pasty (stop the blender when you push the leaves toward the center or you’ll end up with bits of wooden spoon in your pesto)

    5) Add a handful or two of salted roasted sunflower seeds

    6) Blend, adding olive oil until smooth.

    This is all local except for olive oil, and it’s vegan – you can add cheese if you want it/have it when you thaw the stuff out. A lot of times i use it without the cheese. If we have pinon nuts (because of visiting friends in Missouri or Arizona) they taste a lot better, but not in proportion to how much they cost. I have used canola oil in the past but it does not taste anything as good as olive oil. The salt is not optional, and I am not good at using the right amount of salt without a recipe but salted sunflower seeds are usually exactly right even if I salted them myself in the first place. Get it out of the ice cube tray and into an airtight container as soon as it’s hard if you want it to stay bright green.

    I have giant huge successful basil this year, I think because our weather has been so cool. Unfortunately we also have giant fat spiders living in the basil so I have to dust it with a feather duster before I pick it, to mostly de-cobweb it and (hopefully) scare away the giant spiders before they get half-drowned in the wash water and come after me.

  15. Tara says:

    I love this new series too, and would be thrilled if you kept it up! Just in time, too, as we are battening down today in preparation for Ike.

  16. Ailsa Ek says:

    How can you tell if popcorn is dry enough to harvest? We planted it for the first time this year & I’ll admit to being pretty clueless.

  17. Louise Zaagsma says:

    Thanks…this is a great idea as it seems some of us have been a bit overwhelmed lately trying to do everything. Have 1 bucket full over sealed bags of pasta and am working on a second one. And have extra large container of popcorn from Costco and well as a half one in the refrig. Must add matches to my list for the store.


  18. Sasha says:

    Hi Sharon,

    If you do the math, and I did, tomato paste is very nearly always the cheapest way to buy tomatoes. It is also, typically, free of any other additives unlike canned tomatoes or sauce which is increasingly hard to find without sugar. As for canned tomatoes, whole tomatoes provided the worst value and crushed tomatoes, the best. Of course prices can vary and sales can change things but, going by the labels, one 5 ounce can of tomato paste (155 cals/can) has almost the same amount of calories as one 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes (163 cals/can). At the organic food store I frequent it breaks down like this (the price is per hundred calories of food and for 28 ounce cans of tomatoes, 5 ounce can of paste)

    Whole tomatoes $1.32
    Diced tomatoes $1.20
    Crushed tomatoes $0.71
    Tomato paste $0.62
    Tomato Sauce $0.67
    Tomato sauce, 14 ounce can $0.88

    Tomato paste actually makes a pretty decent sauce, a good emergency substitute for ketchup, and a very quick pizza sauce (just add water to get the right thickness and some salt, basil and garlic and you have a sauce that does not make the crust soggy. no cooking needed).

    The prices will be different in the grocery store but they follow the same pattern with paste being the cheapest and whole tomatoes costing the most.

  19. Laurie says:

    Chile beat me to the grinding popcorn into cornmeal idea. So I ditto her suggestion.

  20. Verde says:

    I love the new feature! I’m sure this wil help with the variety. I was commenting just the other day about how I hadn’t been seeing any good sales lately.

    I was in line at the grocery store last week and an older lady had three small, flat cases from the case lot sale that came to $72. She stood there with her cash in hand and made the checker show her how it added up.

    As I looked away, my gaze waundered to the lady in the lane next to me who had her mouth agape, looking agast at the total the checker gave her.

  21. Andy in San Diego says:

    Thanks for this article. Looking forward to more in this series.

  22. Bob Waldrop says:

    I too store popcorn for the purposes of grinding it into cornmeal. I don’t grind the popped corn, but the kernals.

  23. Geo says:

    I am absolutely thrilled to have found your site (though for the life of me, I can’t remember how I got here)! I think this is an excellent new feature, one I hope you will be able to keep up. I was already planning to go this weekend and hit my local Asian market for a good supply of buckwheat and yam noodles for our storage. I think I’ll also stock up on the other kinds of noodles we eat through the year too.

    Luckily, my husband went crazy a couple months ago when he saw a sale on canned tomatoes. Not as wonderful as home-preserved, but just as edible.

    I’m glad for the reminder too about matches. We recently reconfigured the vent system around our woodstove so that we can actually use it to heat our whole house, and not just one room, this winter, if need be. Also, yesterday we had some insulation blown into our attic and brought our 1920s house up to code. We are taking advantage of a rebate from the gas company which reduced the total cost by I think about a third. I would encourage people to check into similar rebates available in their own communities. This morning my husband was able to see his breath outside for the first time this season, and I’m awfully glad that in addition to wool sweaters, we will have a couple of other things going for us now when the temperature begins to drop.

    Thanks again. This website is such an encouragement, example, and joy to me. I wish I could take your classes!

  24. Kate in CT says:

    Yet another great idea. I’ll definately use this series. Also, I order from a coop every month and try to mostly get what’s on sale, which helps me focus on a few items at a time. Sasha Cedar’s idea on her site to stock up on all the things you need to make one item (bread, for example-flour or grains, yeast & salt) was very helpful as well. I’ve just had a very sobering summer as far as gardening, canning and such. If you are an inexperienced gardener, and are thinking “well, when things get bad I’ll start growing my food”, try this. Join a local CSA and at the same time start your first garden big enough to can most of your tomatoes for the year,as well as peppers, pickles, green beans and enough garlic to store for winter. Then marvel at the bounty that comes from the CSA (experienced and well run), and sigh as your own garden struggles pathetically along. Get a soil test and find out it’s way too alkaline (wierd in CT). Watch in dismay as the all the tomato trellises fall over so that the chipmunks have first dibs on any that do ripen. Lie exhausted on the couch after spending 5 hours canning 6 pints of cloudy looking pickles (first time canning,ever) and even more time canning 18 quarts of tomatos (from the CSA). Oh, and wonder at your timing at finally finishing the contruction of a solar food dryer just in time for cold, cloudy weather and no more food to dry. Ah, well. The learning curve here is just a little rounder than I thought, although i do love the garden and learning to preserve stuff. I’m just saying starting sooner rather than later is a good idea. I’m taking to heart Sharon’s post about winter and that this one may be the last good one. I’m stocking up now, refining the garden, know how to can now and am set to dry stuff too. And now, popcorn, pasta and matches. (Oh, yeah. The garlic was a success. 64 perfect heads to store for winter). Thanks Sharon for this blog. And i loved your book
    especially the chapter
    “The hand that stirs the pot, rules the world”. So true.

  25. Lisa Z says:

    I like this new feature! It’s very motivating, and that’s just what I need right now when everything seems so overwhelming.

    Spurred on by your post, I went to this funny place we have here in St. Cloud, Minnesota called “Gopher Bargain Center”. It’s a really disgustingly dirty old warehouse near the railroad tracks filled with lots of bargains. I’d seen my favorite brand, Barilla pasta, there a while back but didn’t buy b/c it was Gemelli noodles and I don’t want a lot of that style. Well, I was willing to buy them today b/c of the cheap price and desire to stock up. But instead I found 2 lb. boxes of Barilla Spaghetti–a favorite with the kids–for $1.21 a box. A great deal! I bought 8 boxes (to add to the 6 or 8 boxes of pasta I already have), but I may go back and get more soon.

    I’ve noticed the popcorn in the bulk section of our co-op doesn’t pop well probably b/c it’s not very fresh. I think I’m going to take Fern’s idea and go buy popcorn in sealed jars. I don’t know of a local source anyway, but I do hope to find organic b/c I’m really wary of GMOs and avoid them as much as possible.

  26. Kati says:

    YEAH!!! This is a FANTASTIC idea to share with us, Sharon. (Though, wouldn’t ya know it, I’m reading this AFTER my weekly grocery-shopping trip, so I’m done for the week. Maybe I’ll use this weeks to plan for next week’s shopping, and do it THAT way every week.)

    My problem with the stocking up is getting to be the storage factor. I live in a relatively small house (1170 sq ft for 3 of us and 2 large dogs), with very poorly designed built-in-storage. Finding places to put more goods is getting harder and harder. (No attic, a crawlspace I cannot access because I’m too short to get out of without a step-ladder. *wry smile*)

    Keep the tips comin’ though…… I’m really appreciating all the help and ideas you’re giving us all! Blessings!

  27. Shamba says:

    I like the new feature, too.

    I came by after watching happenings with Ike this afternoon on the internet. I kept thinking what if that was me facing evacuation or within a range of Ike’s reach, what would i be doing, what would I have on hand to stick it out like many are going to have to do in the next few days or maybe few weeks?! Well, luckily, I’ve been here reading all Sharon’s posts so I would have known what to do! and the blogs and comments of everyone here would have helped me be prepared.

    A blog on Underground Weather, it’s called–by one forecaster said that he thought Texas would have the mosrt severe and long lasting power outtage in it’s history. He didn’t give a time frame but he had it 200 miles long and 300 miles inland! EEK! Hopefully, they are past the worst of their summer heat in that area ….

    If you’ve got your supplies and food stored ahead of time for at least a month, then you won’t have to be affected by the empty shelves some people found when they went to Wallmarts, Targets and supermarkets the past two days in Texas. I suspect they were barely refilled shelves and are empty again in parts of Louisiana. :(

    So, thanks to you all for what you’re doing here and helping us newbies to this kind of stuff.

    prayers for those in the way of Ike tonight and all of us in the aftermath,


  28. Shamba says:

    I like the new feature, too.

    I came by after watching happenings with Ike this afternoon on the internet. I kept thinking what if that was me facing evacuation or within a range of Ike’s reach, what would i be doing, what would I have on hand to stick it out like many are going to have to do in the next few days or maybe few weeks?! Well, luckily, I’ve been here reading all Sharon’s posts so I would have known what to do! and the blogs and comments of everyone here would have helped me be prepared.

    A blog on Underground Weather, it’s called–by one forecaster said that he thought Texas would have the mosrt severe and long lasting power outtage in it’s history. He didn’t give a time frame but he had it 200 miles long and 300 miles inland! EEK! Hopefully, they are past the worst of their summer heat in that area ….

    If you’ve got your supplies and food stored ahead of time for at least a month, then you won’t have to be affected by the empty shelves some people found when they went to Wallmarts, Targets and supermarkets the past two days in Texas. I suspect they were barely refilled shelves and are empty again in parts of Louisiana. :(

    So, thanks to you all for what you’re doing here and helping us newbies to this kind of stuff.

    prayers for those in the way of Ike tonight and all of us in the aftermath,


  29. Stephen B. says:


    I don’t even try to guess when the popcorn is dry enough at this point in the growing season. I just let the whole plant stand until it’s good and brown and dry. Around the Boston area, for me, that’s around the 2nd week in October. At that point I pull the ears off of the plants (watch carefully for crowes – you may have to pull a bit sooner), pull the husks back, and hang or lay them somewhere out of the weather to dry some more. Sometime in another 4 weeks or so, which would be a bit before Thanksgiving for me, the kernels are dry enough to shell off of the cobs. After that I test pop a few, but usually find that they are still a bit too damp and they just fizzle. Let the corn dry in an open container, doing small test pops every week or so. At some point it will pop great, so then seal the container and you are done.

    It actually is possible to overdry the corn at this point too if you don’t seal it into a container after a good test pop, in which case it doesn’t pop well either. To fix that I add a wee bit of water (a couple of tablespoons) to a gallon or so of dry popcorn and mix it in well. The water gets absorbed and the test pops go well again. (Don’t go overboard on this, adding so much water that your popcorn sprouts!)

    It isn’t really as difficult as this may sound and perhaps others have other techniques, but this all works well for me. Just be patient and after shelling, test it a bit in a pan every now and then. You’ll get the hang of it.

  30. Erika says:

    Someone beat me to this as well, but I planted heirloom popcorn (2″ strawberry from seed savers exchange) this spring and it’s nearly coming along wonderfully! It’s about 2-3 weeks behind my in-law’s sweet corn (an unfortunate hybrid grown in fantastic sandy loam soil), but that’s to be expected when this corn’s growing in my filled in front yard! Not only is it cute (it’s only 3′ tall, the kernels are a great beet color, and the cobs are 2-3″ long), but it’s quite hardy! I started them indoors, transplanted them into icky soil, where they endured two days of freezing temps and one snow (I tried to cold-frame them, but it was not very pretty… I didn’t think it would work).

    As for purchasing popcorn, my local co-op sells a plastic zip bag of organic white popcorn that’s pretty darn fresh, and it’s the generic brand, so there’s no sticker shock – and if you wait for a sale… it’s cheaper than the bulk section!

    Rosa – thanks for the awesome pesto recipe! When I’m done with my daily blog-rounds, I’m going to try it!


  31. Colleen says:

    Fantastic new feature, Sharon!
    Virgin coconut oil is great on popcorn! It is stable at room temperture (no fridge) and goes liquid at about 76 degrees (can be warmed easily near a fire or a hot body). It has a several year shelf life from the pressing date. It is an easily digested saturated fat that goes directly to the liver; not circulated through the bloodstream like most fats, where it is ‘burned’ for energy. It is known to raise metabolism. It is also one of the few known dietary sources of lauric acid along with palm kernel oil (48.2%) and breast milk ( human {5.8%}, cow {2.2%} and goat {4.5%} ). Coconut oil is about 44.6% lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted to monolaurin in the body. Lauric acid/monolaurin have proven antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Check out these sites for more info.

    Did I mention that it tastes great on popcorn ( and warm bodies ;-) !!!

    Some other things to try on popcorn are nutritional yeast (tastes cheesy & contains B-12), curry powder (tumeric is a great anti-inflammitory), cinnamon (helps even out blood sugar and is warming).
    Experiment! Maybe try powdering some of your home dried herbs or veggies and sprinkling over popcorn.


  32. Cassandra says:

    Rosa, thank-you for the pesto recipe, I’ve a dd allergic to nuts who can eat sunflower seeds so it’s perfect!

    Sharon, what a good idea! Only problem I can think of is, will this lead to cyclical outages as all devotees rush to buy the same items each week??? :o )

  33. todd says:

    We buy Orville’s popcorn in 8# containers at COSTCO. We usually keep 16 or so pounds on hand. As far as popping goes, we used to use a screen-top one with a handle on the stove but the bottom wore out after 40+ years. We’ve switched to an air popper (used for~$10). The kernels aren’t quite as light but it is far more energy efficient.

    What I do is pop up a week’s supply (about 1 1/3 cups of kernels total) and store it in 2 1/2# plastic nut containers (also from COSTCO). That way it’s always ready for a snack and the mess only occurs once. I butter and salt it when it is popped.


  34. Tara says:

    2:30 pm here – just south of Dallas-Fort Worth. Ike is moving through our area right now. Some rain, strong winds. We still have power. It looked like we’d be right in its path, but really this isn’t any worse than our average strong thunderstorm. The worst of it is about 100 miles or so east of us. No gas hikes in our area, and we haven’t been out today, so I don’t know if there are shortages or not (we filled up yesterday). We also stopped at the grocery store yesterday afternoon and it was just like a normal day – no crowds, fully stocked shelves. Can’t speak for parts south and east, though – I know they’re having a much rougher time.


  35. I find it interesting that some people have a favorite brand of pasta. I think all the white ones taste the same. I also found it interesting that two people mentioned their favorite being Barilla. I usually buy generic or organic, but my store had Barilla on sale buy one get one free or 2/$1.39. Cheaper than generic even so I bought 10 boxes, got ten free. Did it two weeks later as well. Now I have about 36 boxes of spaghetti, macaroni and various other pastas. I was also able to buy 7 oz boxes of Annie’s mac n cheese for $1 a box at Big Lots. We buy bulk organic popcorn from a local grocer and are happy with the quality. I do want one of those magnesium fire starters though.
    Cindy in FL

  36. Gracie says:

    I’ve seen this idea before also. It’s a GREAT idea to share it with your readers. You are right in that it makes it much easier to do this on a weekly basis. Several people I know on several organic gardening sites have similar lists.

    Might I make a suggestion? On one site, they also give an estimate of one person one year amounts. In other words, how much popcorn for one person for one year. That way if a person wants to go ahead and stock up, they have an idea of how much to get for a year. If they can’t stock for a year, or choose not to, then they can get whatever amount they feel comfortable with.

    Thanks, Sharon for these ideas.

    Gracie in Kansas

  37. LOVE the idea about tomato paste. Never thought of it. Thank you, I learned something.

    My local drugstore was running a sale on SPAM and vienna sausages. I bought just a couple of each for the emergency bug-out kits. You never know when you’re going to want protein.

    The local supermarket had a sale on sardines today and I bought five tins of those @1.50 a tin, packed in olive oil. I eat this stuff so my supply was actually down. As far as I know, sardines are a sustainable, low heavy-metal fish source of good fats that we all need for our health and well-being. They’re also my “fast-food” lunch. Sardines and a salad with bread.

  38. Brandy says:

    I live in Las Vegas. We buy our popcorn in a giant bag from Sam’s Club. We got the popcorn popper at Target.

    It saves lots of money over microwave popcorn.

    We love it.

    If you’d like some more food storage ideas, feel free to check out my website. We’ve been living on our food storage and garden for 20 months now.

  39. Tara says:

    I’m also partial to Barilla pasta, and whatever the brand is that Costco sells. To me it’s not the flavor, but the texture. Better quality pasta seems to hold up better when cooked and not go to mush.

  40. Lisa Z says:

    That’s right on the pasta brand favorites, it’s all about texture. Barilla is the cheapest pasta with consistently good texture. Not so mushy, doesn’t fall apart when boiled like the store brands do. I also like Da Vinci and BioNature but they’re much more expensive.

  41. Rosa says:

    I got an amazing score at the thrift store yesterday: not only a good dressy winter coat for me, that actually buttons all the way to the top and is made of 100% wool, but a perfect winter biking top layer – waterproof, vented, velcroed or string-tied at all openings – for my partner. Who was actually mistaken for a homeless person last spring because of the terrible rattiness and too-smallness of his winter jacket.

    I need toddler-size wool socks, though. I may have to learn sock knitting this winter for real :(

  42. Sara R says:

    What a great feature! It’s so helpful to take a large goal and break it up into small steps.

    I’ve been cooking with food storage for 13 years. A friend and I have started a blog about food storage. Check us out at

  43. [...] Causabans Books got the idea from a reader, I believe, whose church does this. Every week, the church hands out a card with items listed-3 of them-that they hope the congregation will go stock up on. So Causabens decided to do it too. Great idea and getting the word out is crucial. [...]

  44. Judy says:

    January 14,2009

    I am so glad to see so many people interrested in food storage. I have been trying for years to get people to listen with no luck. You never know when you will need it! I am a good one for planting what ever you can around the house. A couple of popcorn plants in the front of the house with tomatoes around then and a few bush beans in the front is a real attention getter. You can add storage by putting things under the bed or using the boxes to set beside the bed and cover with a to the floor table cloth and then put a lamp on it. You can do that in any room of the house, limited only by you imagination. I keep pasta in a small garbage can in the closet. To find out how much of something to store just figure how many times a week you use it and then multiply by 52 weeks in a year. I have honed and rehoned my storage over the years. I have it down now to what we use the most and not what I think I would like to have on hand that I later have to throw out. Store powdered milk for long term and canned milk only for short term and then be sure to turn them upside down every so often. Canned milk does not store as long and be sure that you keep you stored food where it is cool not in the attic or the garage or you will be having to throw it out just at the time you need it. Always keep it as cool as possible and if storing flour freeze it first for a week and then store it. Be sure to place it in a plastic bag first so it doesn’t get damp in the freezer. I do a lot of my own canning and have for years. I do not ever quit canning. When the garden is done there is always chili to make and can or a sale on chicken to take advantage of and can. I save the freezer for things that don’t can well. I have canned everything you can think of. I love it. Even now that I am in a mobility chair I still find ways to keep canning. I invoke the aid of hubby and kids and grandchildren. All of us benefit from it. The key to a good food storage is to rotate, rotate, rotate. Store what you eat and eat what you store. Also don’t forget ladies to include those feminin products too. and TP. I have resorted to the use of the old fashioned hankerchife instead of tissues mainly because tissues take up too much room to store and I would rather save the space for something I think I need more ! Handkerchiefs are washable . I also use cloth napkins for the same reason and they are cheeper. I have collected old dish towels from yard sales and second hand stoes to use in the place of paper towels they too are washable. I save money there that I can spend on something else. just thought I would add my 2cents ! stay with this project because you may well need it in the very neer future ! It is good to share ideas.

  45. Brain Lebon says:

    Wonderful solutions.I’d like to suggest taking a look at a lot around the idea of graphic bomb. What exactly are you looking for though?

  46. you have got an amazing blog, keep blogging.

  47. Very well written post. It will be valuable to anybody who utilizes it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – for sure i will check out more posts.

  48. This is a great blog and will help in home management in the kitchen. We should know this stuff in order to save more food and space. You have presented the situation very well and gave an excellent solution. Keep posting!

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