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~ Kathy M.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Buying Food in Bulk and Some Storage Ideas:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that when I feel worried about the world, I feel better when I buy food.  This has turned out to be a good idea, I think.  I was reading my friend Gloria's blog, The Little Red House With The White Porch and she lives in the path of Hurricane Irene. (How are you, Gloria?  Please let us know!)  When she went to the store to pick up a few last items, many shelves were practically bare.  And that is exactly what I fear will happen around here if some sort of disaster strikes.  Except that our disaster will probably be wildfire and I don't know how much food I can put into the car with my dogs, computer, pictures, etc., but that is a different story.  We have a pickup too, so I guess that would help with a few clothes or something.

Anyway, back to the topic.  Last week, Kylie and I went to one of my favorite stores to buy food, CASH AND CARRY in Bend.  They used to only sell to restaurants, grocery stores and other food service outlets, but now they sell to anybody ... even me.  Thank goodness.

We bought a lot of food and brought it home.  Then I needed to figure out what to do with it all.  The dry foods are the easiest to figure out, if you have a lot of canning jars or other good airtight containers that mice or bugs cannot get into.  I have been planning on canning, but that is still a bit intimidating for some reason.  Still, I am good at buying canning jars.  Bi-Mart keeps them in stock year round now, so I try to pick up a boxful of one size or another every week or couple of weeks, especially when they are on sale.  The average price is $8.99; sometimes less and sometimes more.  I am partial to the quart jars because I like to use them for my cookie mixes, but have been buying other sizes too.  If I do want to use all of these jars for canning, I'll just dump out the popcorn and rice and put them into something else.  Even big Rubbermaid totes will do fine, if you have the room for those.  

The food on this table (not counting the containers) was only $82.83.  I was curious to see how much 25 and 50 pounds of stuff really was, so here we go:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Ahh!  The harvest table.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Fifty pounds of popcorn.  You may be asking me why I would want to buy so much.  Well, the bag was only $20.89 (or .42 lb) at Cash and Carry, I love popcorn, and it will keep well.  I am thinking of selling the smaller jars after decorating them with fabric and raffia with a matching gift bag in my little store. 

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Here is fifty pounds of rice ($17.99, or .36 lb) and fifty pounds of onions ($11.25, or .23 lb).  There were really 17 more onions, but we used one and I dehydrated the other 16.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

These two jars contain 16 dehydrated good sized onions.  Pretty cool, huh?  Our house smelled like onions for a day, but that was okay.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I put the 25 pounds of quick oatmeal into Ziplock freezer bags, because I have room for them and will be using them in my cookie mixes.  At Cash and Carry, it cost me $15.00 for 25 pounds (.72 lb).

The 25 pounds of sugar cost me $17.62 (.72 lb).  I put most of it into old spaghetti sauce jars.  I also bought 50 pounds of flour for 16.09 (.32), but I left it in a Rubbermaid tote in the garage for now.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I also bought 5 dozen eggs for $6.00 (.10 each).  I boiled up 4 dozen, and we made egg salad and pickeled eggs.  The pickled eggs will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.  I just put pickle juice over the eggs ... beet juice works well too.  

I have a bunch more food in the fridge that I need to deal with, and my freezer is full so I have to figure out something else to do with it.  I think that I will dehydrate some broccoli and green onions, and more of yellow onions.   Though buying this way is less expensive, it does take a lot more time to make things convenient, but the work is easy. 

Best of luck!  I'd love to hear about how you guys do this sort of thing, so please leave me a comment or an email if you want to.

~ Kathy Matthews

Cash and Carry, Ziplock Bags, Ball Canning Jars, Rubbermaid ... none of them even know about me ... I only wish this were a paid advertisement!

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SmilingSally said...

I haven't THOUGHT of pickled eggs for quite a while, but now I'll try them again. Yum.

Thanks for your encouraging words, Kathy.

forgetmenot said...

Wow Kathy,you made your dollar go a long way!!! I'm impressed. I canned some peach jam this weekend--my kitchen looked like it was Thanksgiving Day with pots and pans on every counter and "gooey stuff" everywhere. I have a much greater respect for people that do can fresh produce after giving it a try. I have plenty of peach jam but dont't want to "gift it" and kill someone if I didn't process it the right way. The valuable lesson I learned was--if you want jam, that's what grocery stores are for. I'm probably "out of the canning business" forever. Mickie :)

Arkansas Patti said...

Love Bell jars, they are my cannisters. I was wondering about all that popcorn but everything else seemed like a good idea.
I hadn't thought of deyhdrating onions--will have to try that.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Sally ... they are pretty good, and I think that I can pull them out of their jar and make deviled eggs from them too.

Mickie ... you go girl, though you did make me laugh as I envisioned your sticky kitchen! I'm sure that with all that sugar, you jam is safe. My mom always makes freezer jam from strawberries and that is really good too. I think that is too much work for me though.

Patti, it is so good to hear from you! I love them too. These onions are becoming an issue; I might have to drop some off at the food pantry. I'm going to make onion rings tonight and may dehydrate some of those ... I guess that is how you get them crispy for the top of the green bean casserole.

I think the popcorn will be fine. It is a lot, but I'll figure something out. Maybe I'll make strings for the Christmas tree with it too.

Kathy M.

Mama Zen said...


The popcorn jars would make cute little gifts, too, after they're decorated.

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