Kellene Bishop of Preparedness Pro is such a guru on preparedness and preserving foods. She recently referenced this article and since that’s something I do quite often, I thought I’d share some of what I do for my preserved foods.
I will ruin my reputation here because, for the most part, boxed mixes don’t find much favor with my menu planning. There are a few exceptions. I buy Ramen noodles for the Chinese Cabbage Salad recipe that I make. I buy cake mixes because sometimes they’re used as the base in good cakes. I buy brownie mix because Vince likes brownies and I do not! That’s kinda bad, huh? Seriously, he picks times when I couldn’t eat another bite and he’s starving for brownies so . . a mix is what I make. I buy a Risotto mix that I’ve found at Big Lots, and though it’s loaded with sodium and we don’t eat it often, I really like it. The exception to those exceptions is that I only buy these items, as with most items, when they’re on sale.
Since I am 100% sure that properly preserved, cake mixes, brownie mixes, Ramen noodles and Risotto will last at least five years, so when I find them on sale, I buy a lot! A whole lot! Prices haven’t been going down lately so I consider my well stocked pantry just as important as money in the bank. I keep an inventory of what I have and what I use and what I need. My pantry is set up so that I pull from the front and stock from the back so the newest items are in the back. I use the older items in the front first.
Here’s what I do with those mixes. I take them out of the box and cut the instructions off the box.
On the flap of the bag, I write any identifying info that I need to write.
Using half gallon Mason jars, I can stuff two cake mixes into one jar, or two brownie mixes into one jar, or three Risotto mixes into a jar. Using the jar sealer attachment to the FoodSaver, I seal the jars.
I label the outside of the jar. These were labeled with Post-It tape but I put packing tape over that.
The jars go into their original boxes, along with the instruction portion which I’ve cut from the boxes.
Any time I need or want a cake mix or brownie mix, or whatever I might have, I go to the pantry, pop open a sealed jar and grab what I need. These lids will re-seal several times. I never try to re-use lids on canned food except when using Tattler lids.
In August, 2008, I caught a huge sale on shredded wheat. It was the strawberry flavored, which I love, and I bought a lot . . a whole lot. I love doing that! I’m not going to say I’ve had shredded wheat every day for 4 years but I have it fairly often and still have quite a bit left. Not too long ago, I wrote about it here and this is the jar I’m opening when Vince is away and I won’t be fixing breakfast every morning. If we have a big lunch, often Vince will want only a sandwich or something light for dinner and I’m happy to have a bowl of shredded wheat.
The FoodSaver, the jar sealer attachment and these half gallon Mason jars are some of my favorite items to use when preserving food.