Food Storage Organization Problems. DAY 4 of the 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge!

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It’s DAY 4 of the 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge! I’m already beginning to ration what little we have in the dairy department!

My 10 year old son wanted to make eggs this morning so I gave him the scrambled egg mix I told you about on DAY 2 and taught him how to make simple omelettes. Very quickly he became a short order cook as his younger sister and brother requested omelettes of their own! They turned out super good. I think Titus has a new favorite breakfast!

We also had leftover granola with our morning meal. I was going to make parfaits but we’re out of fresh yogurt and I couldn’t find my #10 can of freeze dried vanilla yogurt bites. I know it’s here somewhere!

 

After wasting entirely too much time this morning searching through our food storage closet, under beds, and inside boxes, I realized I desperately need a better system for organizing our food. Not only can I not find what I need when I want it, but I’m also unable to quickly grab the oldest cans first for rotation.

Thrive Life has some killer food storage rotation racks, but to be honest I don’t have anywhere convenient to put one right now. I think we’re gonna have to work on finding a better way to store our food storage so that I can get to what I need to when I need it, in order of date so that I’m using the oldest stuff first.

 

Eventually I found a can of passionfruit freeze dried yogurt bites in my closet, which I didn’t think would taste good at all with apple cinnamon granola.Β  I decided we’d make smoothies with it instead.

We’ve eaten the freeze dried yogurt bites before, but I’d never reconstituted them. You’re supposed to add water to a bowl of dried yogurt, allow to soak for 5-10 min, then whip and refrigerate for 30 min. I followed the directions exactly, but the yogurt was still chunky with undissolved pieces. Blending it in the smoothie helped, but there were still chunks in the bottom of the drink.

Not too impressed with the freeze dried yogurt bites. They’re also WAY too sweet. I’m hoping Thrive comes out with a plain, unsweetened version.

For dinner I put a whole chicken in the crockpot, not sure exactly what I’d do with it once it was cooked. Despite a plethora of cookbooks on my shelf, I found myself once again looking online for recipes that use the ingredients I have on hand. Specifically, I was looking for a way to use up the remaining corn tortillas in my fridge.

I landed on a recipe for Baked Chicken Taquitos that looked promising. I didn’t have any Mexican blend cheese, but I did have a little bit of mozzarella so I used that. The kids devoured them, with no complaints. Definitely a keeper recipe.

I have to say, I’m SO glad we have sour cream still! I didn’t realize how much we eat Mexican style food (oftentimes lots of beans and rice!), and how much of a difference it makes to have sour cream. And cheese! I’ll have to focus on these items more for our food storage. We do have some sour cream powder (which I’ve used before and we like) but I probably should get some more seeing how much we use it. The same with different types of freeze dried cheeses.

I’m finding myself being super careful not to waste stuff (especially the limited amount of perishable dairy items we have) and I’m trying to find creative ways to stretch them. I’m also trying to find ways to use the food items that have been shoved to the back of the cabinet for months and months, and would probably just go bad if I wasn’t deliberately trying to find a way to use it.

Like the two mostly empty bags of chocolate chips I found in my cabinet…

No Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I decided to make choc. chip cookies for dessert but my go-to recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter. That’s a lot of butter when you only have 2 1/2 cups to last the whole month! I knew that I’ll probably need that butter for potato dishes over the next few weeks since we have so many potatoes to eat through, so squandering it on cookies didn’t seem wise.

All of this butter hoarding prompted me to hop back online to search for a butterless choc. chip cookie recipe. Again… reminding me of the importance of having this information on hand in case I can’t get online to find it. Geez, I didn’t realize how much I use the internet for recipes! I need to compile a “hard times” recipe binder with every day recipes that substitute staples such as butter, milk, oil, eggs.

The chocolate chip cookies, which only used coconut oil, turned out AMAZING. I have lots of coconut oil on hand so this was perfect.

I’ll tell you this… knowing that you have to make what you have on hand stretch for 30 days really makes you stop and rethink how you use it! Imagine if you had no idea how long it had to stretch.

I’m also realizing how little space I have for all of these buckets and #10 cans of opened food we’ll be going through. My kitchen space isn’t designed for bulk food storage. Bringing these items out from under beds and closets is creating a storage issue in the kitchen.

It would be great to have long, not-too-deep shelves to store opened buckets and #10 cans so that I could see them all at a glance without having to shuffle through closets and re-stack cans.

 

Here’s the breakdown of Day 4’s challenge meals:

Breakfast:
Omelettes using freeze dried scrambled egg mix
Leftover granola and instant milk

Snacks:
Smoothies. Used Orange Bliss Drink Mix, passionfruit freeze dried yogurt bites (reconstituted), frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries.
Freeze dried banana slices

Lunch:
Leftover roast and rice (it was a big roast, lol!)
Leftover tacos

Dinner:
Chicken taquitos (crockpot whole chicken, corn tortillas, sour cream, taco sauce, spices)

Dessert:
Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies


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Kendra
About Kendra 1106 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

16 Comments

  1. Let me second Red Feather’s Butter as excellent. I got blasted by a hurricane here in Miami and broke into my preps to experiment for a week without power. Mine was @ 5 years old and tasted like premium butter (very buttery) I once had in a fancy New York restaurant. Another footnote: I stink as a freeze-dried cook and need a whole lot of practice.

  2. You might want to try the commercially canned Red Feather Butter (butter not ghee). I understand it has a pretty long shelf life. Enjoying your posts!

  3. We are doing great so far with our challenge. I don’t have a freeze dryer. Would love one but they are do pricey. Blessed since I had a large garden and I dehydrate, can and freeze. Only two of us so dairy isn’t a biggie in our plan. Have butter frozen. I know I will run out of eggs before this challenge is finished. Won’t hurt for baking but my husband enjoys eggs for breakfast.

    • Yeah, it would be nice to be able to freeze dry your own foods, but those units are super expensive. They probably cost a lot to run as well. Thanks for updating us on how you’re doing on the challenge!

  4. I think you would find it useful to rearrange what ever needs to be done and go ahead and buy the Thrive Shelf reliance. I have three. One for grocery store cans. one for #10 cans and one for buckets. The Thrive and Honeyville buckets come with Gamma lids on them, so it is easy to open, take what you need pop in some oxygen absorbers and re-seal with a flat hair straighten iron. The rotation system is just like the soup displays you see in grocery stores so first in first out is a cinch.

    • Yay! Here’s the butter powder that we’ve used: newlifeonahomestead.thrivelife.com/butter-powder-1091.html. It’s good for spreading and flavoring, but not for cooking with as an oil (like I wouldn’t use it to grease a pan). I like it on popcorn, too. πŸ™‚

  5. I am loving these posts each day and learning a lot. Thanks for taking the time! We are not able to do the challenge this month but I think I will next month.

  6. I have been canning butter. It’s easy and I can store it on my shelves. It tastes just as good as regular fresh butter Just an idea for ur butter shortage

    • I believe it’s consider ghee once it’s canned. I’d forgotten about ghee though… I might even buy some from the store just to have. I do have powdered butter from Thrive which is actually good as well. Thanks for the reminder!

      • I didn’t know you could can butter…I guess I just never thought about it…is there a difference between canned (ghee) and regular? Or can it be used the same way? Thanks! I am learning loads and loads (and starting a journal!!)

      • Ghee is a type of clarified butter (butterfat that has been separated from the milk solids and water, usually by heating butter so the water contents evaporate, and then skimming the clearer ghee off the top once the milk solids settle to the bottom). Because the milk solids and water have been removed, commercially canned ghee is reported to have a very long shelf life when properly stored (some folks claim up it lasts up to 20 years!). Red Feather butter, the commercially canned butter from New Zealand I mentioned in an earlier comment, is not clarified, so it still contains the milk solids and looks like regular butter. The listed ingredients are pasteurized cream and salt. It reportedly has a 2-10 year shelf life when properly stored (some folks say 2 years, some say 10 years!). I can personally attest that it has at least a 4 year shelf-life because, right before typing this comment, I opened a can of Red Feather butter I bought 4 years ago and tried some. It tasted great! It is pricey, probably because it’s imported from New Zealand, but if you buy a case instead of just a few cans, the per-can cost goes down to a more reasonable figure. Might be a good thing to go in together with a friend or two to share the cost of a case πŸ™‚ I have canned ghee, Red Feather canned butter, and butter powder in my food storage, although I haven’t yet tried using the butter powder. I’ve considered canning my own butter, because I know some people report having good success with that, but home-canning butter is still “officially” deemed to be unsafe.

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