Saturday, November 5, 2016

Now's the time to re-stock

There are many times of the year when you can get certain grocery items at a good price.  For example, Holidays such as Labor day, 4th of July, and Memorial Day can yield good prices on meats, condiments, chips, etc.  This time of year, however, is what I call the mother load of good prices.  That is for the things I normally use.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are great times to be on the lookout for staple items; flour, sugar, butter, oil, spices, chocolate, nuts (especially).  In addition turkeys and hams are cheaper.  Produce such as celery, onion,  white potatoes, and sweet potatoes are on sale.  Now is the time for me to stock up on things I normally use, but can't grow here.  So far this season, I've managed to get butter for $1.74 lb.  Sour Cream for .39 for 16 oz.  Del Monte canned peaches for .89 a can.  Del Monte diced tomatoes (love these) for .49 a can.  I know I grow tomatoes here, but my better boys didn't do so well this year.  My Roma tomatoes were for sauce, and I do have plenty of that.  Russet potatoes for .15 cents a lb.  Onions for .26 cents a lb, and last but not least, milk chocolate chips for 1.49 a bag.  I'm still waiting on some other things to hit the sale price before I stock up.

The great things is these things will store!

Store onions in a way where they don't touch each other and in a cool dry place.  They'll keep a good long while  If you're so inclined, you can go crazy and chop all of the onions to freeze or can.  I can be that crazy, and have been before, but not this time.  If you do want to pre chop them, I suggest you use a food processor.  Once  a batch is chopped, remove the lid and walk away to allow the gases the onions emit to dissipate.  This will cut down significantly on crying.  I usually package mine in 1 cup portions because that's what most recipes call for.

Store potatoes, both white and sweet, in a cool dry place.  Don't leave them in the bag even if the bag has holes for ventilation.  This allows more air to circulate around them and will also allow you to see and that might be bad when you dump out the bag.  Out of 30 lbs of potatoes bought yesterday, I found one that, while not bad, had a small spot on it that may get bad down the road.  I took it out and will use it first.

Celery can be chopped and frozen without having to do anything else to it.  I mean WASH it first, but then chop and freeze for use in soups and casseroles.

Butter can be frozen, but, without freezing, will last a good long while on a refrigerator shelf.

Sour cream as well as yogurt can be stored upside down in the fridge for a good long time, even past the sell by date.

Flour can be put in the freezer for a few days and then stored in an airtight container in a pantry.  You can also store flour with 1 bay leaf.

 Sugar can be stored with a piece of Terracotta to keep it from hardening.  I've never really had a problem with sugar hardening, and I store lots for a long time.

Buy an extra turkey (or two).  Go ahead and cook it, de-bone it, and store in freezer bags in the freezer.  You can use this anywhere chicken is called for in a recipe.  Slow cook the leftover turkey bones with some onion, carrots, celery, 1 tbs vinegar and salt to make broth you can store in the freezer or can for later use.  Buy an extra ham or two.  Cut it into chunks and store in freezer bags in the freezer.  Set the ham bone aside in its own freezer bag to use in your next batch of veggie or bean soup.

Can goods will definitely keep.  In addition to veggies this season, canned goods on sale will more than likely be; canned fruit, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, sweet potatoes, cream soups, and canned pie filling.  Stock up!

Nuts will keep as well, but can be stored in the freezer if needed.

You don't have to be stocking up for an end of the world scenario.  You can, however, be stocking up to

a) Make the most of these great prices
b) Have a good supply in your pantry in the event of an illness or a layoff
c) Have a supply on hand to be able to bless someone you know in need

So there you have it!  Make the most of the deals!  Make your list.  Check it twice! some for me!

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