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Monday, July 12, 2010

Making your Stockpile Last

I usually have a large stockpile of items that I get from couponing, adding to my short-term food storage, and the cannery. Unfortunately, I don't have a basement or a pantry in my kitchen so I set up my "store" in the garage. It's all I have and I am making do with it! This photo is actually 11 months old, but this will give you a rough idea of my food items. It looks quite different now. I am always changing stuff around and organizing differently as our family grows and our needs change.

(Those who know me know that we always have a lot of cold cereal. That is not pictured, as the cereal is kept on a small shelf high up by the ceiling, past the top right corner of the photo.)

I have set up a few rules for making our food last. I explained to my kids that although the food was super cheap (and often free!) that doesn't mean we can go crazy with it. I only stock up like this when the deals are really good and I won't replenish at full price. After I explained this I told them how things would work:

  1. When we do have granola bars, only one per day. For the school kids this means most likely one in their lunch, but after school snacks include fresh fruit, toast, or something like that. Or sometimes a bowl of cold cereal if they didn't have it for breakfast. My kids actually like muffins for an after school snack too.

  2. Even though our family are self-proclaimed "cereal freaks" (according to my husband) we don't have cold cereal everyday. We would go through it way too quickly, and its not the healthiest thing to eat everyday. So I set up a breakfast schedule for us that I will explain below.

  3. You need to ask permission if you want to get anything.

Now I know these rules will probably be broken at some point, but I like having them in place. Here is a loose breakfast schedule I have in place so the kids know they will still have something to eat in place of cold cereal. I don't have specific days for each type of food, because my food desires or schedule may change. Like I said, it's a loose schedule! And we mix up all the options to form all sorts of combinations to fit our tastes for the day.

BREAKFAST OPTIONS (besides cold cereal)

Oatmeal & fruit/yogurt
Pancakes or Waffles (we love this healthy homemade mix right now)
Muffins & breakfast smoothies
Biscuits & poached eggs
Omelets or eggs and toast
Breakfast Burritos (tortillas w/scrambled eggs & spices, hashbrowns, salsa)
Homemade "Egg McMuffins" (my hubby loves these)

I am at least trying to make my deals last as long as possible. So far the kids have been really good about sticking to the rules. They know I won't go out and just buy lots more. One time they got into some Juicy Juice boxes I got free with doubles that I was saving for an upcoming picnic. When I didn't go buy more they knew I was serious! I don't really have a problem with them getting into stuff anymore.

How do you make your stockpile last?


Speak Truth said...

You might want to consider freezing all your dry goods for 3 days before shelving to kill any silverfish that have come from the manufacturer or the store.

Kimmy said...

I put a lock on the food room door! :)

Jenifer said...

and I have been told that I am a freak because I make my girls ask for anything besides water in our house.... that is my way of knowing whats in stock and why they dont wanna eat dinner cuz they just ate a snack without me knowing. :) Glad I am not the only one.

April said...

Here in TX, we can't keep our food items in the garage. It gets WAY too hot!
I am jealous of all your shelving! Looks good!

Marne said...

April, I know what you mean. It gets hot here too, but not like TX I am sure! The food in my garage I rotate every 3-4 months, so its not in there very long. I actually have my long term food storage (dry packed in #10 cans) in my crawl space to keep them nice and cool. And also under all the beds in the house. It works for us for now in this house.

Bonnie said...

Keep track of the date, price, item details of the great deals you purchased. You will find there is a pattern. Recognizing the pattern allows you to purchase enough of the specific item until the next time it goes on sale to combine couponing with it.

Smith said...

I put a lock on the storage room door, and I make my kids ask for anything besides water too. I don't think it's wrong to want to know exactly what your kids are eating and when!


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