Archive for November 21st, 2008

Friday Food Storage Quickie: Holiday Sales Time!

Sharon November 21st, 2008

Well, it is time to take advantage of the holiday sales to stock up – maybe even for next holiday, when harder times are coming.  This week we’re going to focus on the deals that are out there around Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Grocery stores usually are willing to take a certain loss this time of year, on the expectation that people will spend more.  My guess is that the margins are tighter and the deals may not be as good, but they will probably still be out there.  Here are some things to look for, and some ways to use them outside the holidays:

- Baking Materials – Baking powder, the “sweet” spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, allspice, etc…), flour, cocoa,  sugar, pie cherries, etc….

Obviously, you can think of uses for flour (remember, whole grain ground flours don’t keep that long, so don’t buy more than a six month to 1 year supply) and the rest – most of this stuff doesn’t go on sale very often, so now is a good time to stock up.

- Canned Pumpkin, sweet potatoes and squash.  Skip the ones that are already sweetened and have marshmallows in them, but the ones that are just the pureed vegetable are pure gold.  Rich in vitamin A, they can replace fat in baked goods, and give them a golden color and delicious flavor, and adding a light sweetness.  We add pumpkin to bread and biscuits, to lasagna (surprisingly good), make pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake and pumpkin pudding along with pumpkin pie.  The whole vegetables are also often a good deal around now, and are even better, because they come with the delicious and highly nutritious seeds.

- Turkeys.  If you have a lot of freezer space and reasonable confidence in your power situation, or if you are handy with a pressure canner, and your grocer is offering a deal like a free turkey or dirt cheap one, now’s a good time to get an extra or two, and cut them up or can or freeze them.  I’m not a big fan of industrial meat, but for those who are worried they might not have any meat, this is a good time to get a little ahead.

- Root vegetables. Your local farmstand may well be offering good discounts right now on those veggies that most Americans eat only at the holidays – Parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, etc….  They all keep in a nice cold spot, so stock up, and look around on the net for some recipes.

- Chocolate chips.  Need I really make a case for this?  Chocolate keeps easily a year, and the occasional batch of chocolate chip cookies is the closest thing to universal comfort food on the planet.

As for a non-food item, this week, I’m going to remind you to have a couple of good quality manual can openers if you have any canned goods at all. I’ve never used an electric can opener, but I’m continually surprised by how many people don’t have one.  And manual can openers can wear down – so having a spare somewhere accessible isn’t a bad idea.  Heck, there’s a decent chance the can opener will be on sale this week too!