Saturday, April 30, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Visit a salvage grocery store!
Renee did some online research and then visited Denny's Grocery today in Otisville. Here's a tour of what she found.
Part of the store is "regular" grocery shopping, but this half of the store is "salvage."Duncan Hines cupcake mix 2 for $1
They have previously stored Greek peppers - the "banana pepper" or pepperocini that is served in a salad at a Greek or Italian restaurant.
Each barrel is only $10, delivered to the Lapeer Ward building.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
A narrow passageway in your castle can be turned into beautiful space with inexpensive shelving units. January is the time to look for deals on shelves, cabinets and bins. Retailers market everything for organizing your life this month so take advantage of their sales.
Always turn your dead end into a literal storage corner by adding a shelf across the end.
Show it off!
This antique pie pantry in Dallas, Texas is used to store and display - how beautiful. If I had snazzy green buckets, they'd be on display too.
Long walls behind doors on Lake Alatoona, Georgia mean space to store. Check behind your doors for valuable, unused space. You can find shelving to fit almost any space.
Ah, we love the unfinished basement!
Creative solution for small spaces in an Atlanta apartment - a bookshelf with a tension rod and curtain. Genius.
Another ingenious use of furniture. I'm pretty sure that's an old coffee table. Even if it's not, it should be! Never hold another garage sale, just put your water storage under it.
Who invented the 5 gallon bucket? Nothing short of brilliant, I say.
We love the bucket inventor.
Plastic bins - stacks and stacks of 'em. They're stack-able, rodent-proof and some of them are see-through too. Boxes from the grocery store fit nicely and those crazy Mylar bags snuggle right down in there perfectly.
We'll pause here for a story: See the pink rectangle holding up the pink-painted particle board? When I was a child, the pink was orange (circa 1976, right?). My parents stored pinto beans in those rectangular cans. One day I inherited them and papier mached them with flower photos. The cans were filled with flour at that time and the particle board shelves painted green. When Alex was about two years old, I painted it all pink and made book shelves for her room. The cans stored bottled water. That water has been changed a couple of times since then and now the shelves hold laundry detergent, but how is that for storage? Three generations of it now. (A side note: about 9 bags of baking soda will fit under a utility sink. Cool, hu?)
Tower of plastic milk crates (from any box store at about $6 each). These four were purchased in St. Louis 15 years ago and now hold laundry supplies in Michigan.
This is a corner cabinet in a bathroom - great "hidden" space - that holds toiletries. Take advantage of coupons and sales to stock up on toiletries (or Sam's Club!). They don't take up much space and people often forget them in their storage plan. (You'll want your teeth, especially in an emergency.)
Under the basement bathroom sink hides a mess of cleaning supplies. Bleach is vital and easy to stock up.
The floor is a great place for non-perishables & non-edibles like paper towels. Keep the Oreos off the floor.
Tilt your head to the left...you are looking at a pull-out shelf in a bathroom and about a year's supply of bar soap and deodorant. It's only 18 inches of shelf space, but it can hold so much!
Is that a nook or a cranny I see? Stick something in it! Movable shelves are great since they can always go with you, but building your own shelves is a pretty simple carpentry task.
Bathroom cleaning supplies can go under the bathroom sink (might as well keep it where you will use it).
Closets. Is there a better place in all the world? Just make sure it's accessible since you'll need to use your storage to rotate it.
The middle of the road is a terrific place for your stuff, labeled, dated and ready to use.
These folks used an entire linen closet for toilet paper -
and then some.
Hey, that's handy. And honestly, there could be wasted space in your home where you could build a toilet paper closet. Look around and see what's possible.
Take time this month to assess your space. Grab a friend and walk through your home. Ask yourself...
- Where could things be shifted or stored in a different configuration to provide you more options?
- Are items accessible for use (rotation)?
- Is there wasted space between items?
- Can you store items in (or near) the room where they are used?
- Are items stored safely? Nothing near a heat source; nothing stacked too high (a filled 5 gallon bucket will crush a child and is dangerous for you to bring down when it's above your head).
- Is all the food in bug/rodent proof containers?
- Check your pantry, drawers and cabinets for wasted space; hold a "clean out" to make more room.
Remember that preparedness is an on-going project. It's never "done" so don't limit yourself. Anything is possible.
Monday, September 6, 2010
First, some findings on oxygen absorbers. If you've been to the cannery you are familiar with the little white squares we drop into cans right before they are sealed. These magic packets ensure the shelf life of foods and it takes two or three of them per #10 can. Contrary to what I'd been taught, it takes 12 of them when you are filling 5 gallon buckets with food. 12 - wow!
Sorbent Systems is a company that sells oxygen absorbers and their site details the math behind the science of absorbing oxygen. This site is a great resource to have on hand. Print their page and put it with your preserving supplies. For your reference, 1 ml = 1 cc and the absorbers we purchase at the Church Cannery are 1500 ml each. (Disclaimer: Always double check my math.)
It's good to remember too that some foods, due to their shape and size, will allow for more oxygen to remain in a container. Think of rice and oats. There's plenty of room between pieces, unlike flour, for instance. Make sure you use adequate oxygen absorbers for your product and your packaging.
Second, I've noticed a couple of things lately in the grocery store that are worth sharing. Maybe they are common knowledge to everyone else, but just in case you live like I do (several things on your plate...) I'll share. As a result of my coupon clipping experiment this year I have noticed that grocery stores have good sales in the first and third weeks of the month - when most people get paid. However, on the second and fourth weeks, when you don't have as much money, they lure you in with sales on things you absolutely must have. Milk and cereal are usually on sale the second and fourth weeks. You go in for milk and wham! You have a cart full of stuff you didn't plan on, for more than you wanted to spend.
The other thing I've noticed is that containers are getting smaller while prices are rising. In doing our food storage inventory I was counting quarts of mayo and Miracle Whip. Kraft has reduced those jars to 30 ounces, when they used to be 32. The store brands I've checked remain 32 oz jars. Every penny counts so you really have to watch these guys!
Third, there was a little discussion this week about Home Depot buckets and lids. A few of us needed lids to fit our food grade buckets and they were found at HD. These are not food grade plastic because HD doesn't deal in food. (By not dealing in food, they avoid a relationship with the FDA.) They will always tell you their goods are not food grade. They are correct. Will we die from using them? I have no idea. I hope not. The only reason I bring this up is to encourage you to use wisdom in storing your foods. Any container can be lined with a food grade Mylar bag to alleviate any concern you might have.
Finally, I happened upon a phenomenal opportunity this week. I needed a new filter for my wheat grinder and called the company to order it. Something made me ask if they might have a group deal on grinders? Yes, they do! This is the mill I purchased from BlendTec six years ago. I love it. I have no complaints and no problems to report. Here are the details on a group purchase:
1-4 Grinders $159.95 each
5-9 Grinders $149.95 each
10 or more Grinders $139.95 each
There is an $18 per mill shipping charge and a one time $4 residential delivery fee for the entire order. All mills must be purchased in a single transaction with one credit card and delivered to a single address.
Idea: If you need a grain mill, why don't you take 6 months to save up and we'll buy them next year? A grain mill is an investment. No one needs to break the bank to buy one, but if you store grains it's a must-have in your home. If you are interested, let me know. You are welcome to come over and see mine at work. I grind up a bucket of grain every few weeks so just call me. I am happy to facilitate this just like we do all the other group deals.
The pressure cooker with quarts of chicken has just finished processing in my kitchen so I'm off to bed now. Whew - finished my musings before Tuesday this week.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Take the plunge. Next November when the toast is warm and you pop open your very own jam, you'll be glad you did.
- Anne Burns