Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Year Supply System

In the past, maintaining a year supply has been somewhat of a challenge for me. I would purchase all this food then store it under the beds and in the closets and in boxes and every once in awhile I would pull it out only to discover that it was all expired! It was really frustrating for me to waste all that money! So I came up with a better system that has REALLY been working for me so I thought I would share! See how nice I am? This may or may not work for everyone but it has worked for me really well.

When you buy food from the cannery it comes in these awkward big cans. You can't see what's inside so heaven help you if the label falls off. You can't tell if it's still looking good or if the color is changing and it's getting old. You don't know until you open the can! It doesn't store well on the shelf either..it takes up too much space. Then I found out about plastic P.E.T. cans. They come in all sizes and shapes. For my year supply I like to buy the square gallon ones. You can stack them side by side on the pantry shelf and they line up perfectly utilizing all the space on the shelf. This is a must when you have a smaller pantry like mine. If you buy the metal lids (not the plastic lids) and put a oxygen packet in with the food, it will seal airtight and preserve your food the same as if you canned it at the cannery! How great is that?

So here is my system. In my pantry, I have food labeled and dated that is STILL sealed all along the top and bottom shelves. I can stack them two deep and two high on the shelf.

Then I have one shelf that is reserved for containers of UNSEALED food that I am in the process of using. Rotating the year supply is key and this is always where I have failed miserably in the past. So I use one specific shelf to store my food that I'm using. When I finish a container, I open up a new one and put the empty one up on the top or bottom shelf. When I have a lot of "empties" of a particular food I know it's time to head to Sam's Club and restock. Below is a picture of my shelf of items "being used".

Now obviously I'm not able to fit my ENTIRE year supply in my tiny pantry. So I do store some of it under beds and in closets and whatnot. After I've made a trip to Sam's and restocked my empty containers, I pull out what ever food item it is from under the bed or wherever it is being stored and put the older food in the pantry and the newer recently sealed food under the bed or in the closet, ect...This way you are always rotating the supply and nothing sits in a closet expiring. Does this make sense? If you need further clarification, leave me a comment and I will try to explain myself better. It really is a good system if I do say so myself! And I LOVE the PET canisters. They are a little pricey (about $2.50 a piece) but if you buy them little by little it's not so bad. Plus they are totally washable and reusable over and over again. Just don't put them in the dishwasher unless you want a ball of melted plastic on your hands.

The oxygen packets I buy at the cannery and they are like $10 for 100 packets. Very reasonable. You just have to make sure you work quickly when you're sealing the lids because you don't want the packets exposed to air for too long. This is what they look like.

Anyways, I love my system. I rarely have to throw anything out because it's no good anymore. I can see the dates right on the canister so if I see that I have some spaghetti about to expire we'll start having lots of spaghetti to use it up. Today was a "refilling" day and Delly was my helper. Boy what a mess! She loves to take the spaghetti sticks and break them into a million pieces!
It's hard to get good pictures because it's a tight squeeze. I think you get the idea! Please excuse the messiness of the other shelves. I haven't developed a good system for everyday food yet!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Disneyland Vacation

June comes so quick! It seems like we were just here, on vacation at Disneyland... and here we are again! I think next year we'll try something different, as fun as Disneyland is, it's time to do something else. We stayed at the Portofino Inn again this year because it's within walking distance and they have Kid Suites which have a separate room for the kids complete with TV and bunkbeds. It's great! The kids enjoy the pool, too, even though there's no diving allowed.Our first night we met up with Granny and Pop and went to the Pirates Dinner Adventure. What a treat that was! Papa Joe and all the kids got to go up on stage and participate in the show! Even Delly! It was so much fun! We were in the front row (which is probably why we were picked) so we had a great view!It's a family tradition to take a picture with the Indian. Joey has always done it with his family growing up so we just continued the tradition with our family. We have LOTS of pictures with "our" Indian! The first ride we went on was the Matterhorn. I waited with Delly and right when they were almost done with the ride, it broke. They sat here for quite awhile waiting for someone to come let them off. That's okay because I got this cute picture!

The girls LOVED the Alice in Wonderland ride! They wanted to do it again and again.....
We had a great time...the weather was unbeatable...78 degrees the entire time! It was perfect. It wasn't super crowded, nobody got lost or sick, we gorged ourselves on some delectable churros, we rode TONS of rides thanks to Ridemax (see my photo journal blog to find out more about Ridemax...it's wonderful!) And most important, we made tons of memories and got home SAFE and SOUND!