I think I hit the jackpot when it comes to food storage. The two websites I previously mentioned in my last post in my opinion are one of THE BEST websites to use for family food storage ideas, tips, meal planning, grocery shopping, and recipes, especially if you live in Utah, Nevada, or Southern California. (The website will be expanding their services to Northern California, Idaho, and Arizona by the end of the year.)
Here are the two websites again started by a lady from Utah who is seriously pro at food storage:
Anyways, since the Southern California services are not up and running yet, you can use their services for free until it is. Of course, I signed up because I am so curious as to what she does.
Let me tell you, she does it ALL! She takes all the major grocery stores here in Southern California: Albertsons, Ralphs, Vons, and Food 4 Less, and compares all their weekly ads to each other and emails you every Thursday morning 4 seperate spreedsheets with the absolute greatest information.
-The first spreadsheet separates each store and lists all the sales they are having that week at their store. If the items are in red, that means it is cheaper than Costco and Wal-mart and you should buy those items now to stock up in your food storage. If the items are in blue, that means they are good deals, but not the best. So if on your grocery list for that week you need that item, now is the time to get it because it is on sale. BUT do not buy a lot because if you wait they will be cheaper and THEN you can really stock up for your food storage and use them for there.
-The second spreadsheet puts all the red items from each store into one list. So the best of the best. And she breaks them into two categories: One list for your food storage and one for your freezer.
-The third spreadsheet gives you a weekly meal planner and the recipes for each meal according to your food storage and the items on sale that week! I mean I have a monthly calendar where I write down what meals I am planning on making so I can make sure I have all of the ingredients on hand and so I don't have to keep going to the grocery store, but she flat out just hands them to you! Main course, side item, and dessert.
-The fourth and final spreadsheet, is your weekly grocery list for each meal. She writes out your grocery list for you for the week, tells you the store, and the price of each item.
So the website does ALL this and so much more! In other words, it is pretty amazing. I highly recommend trying it out for free if you can.
Since today is Thursday I received her weekly email this morning and it was fascinating! Now, word of warning: Looking at her emails can also seem overwhelming. You do not have to buy every item on her list. My advice, just pick what you know your family will eat and what you know you can rotate through on a regular basis. For example, I don't have an extra, massive freezer so I can't use the freezer lists at all and a lot of the items she tells us to buy for food storage I don't really use on a normal basis and I know I wouldn't rotate them very well, if at all. (Like, ranch dressing. I never use that so I don't need that in my food storage or it'll go to waste.) So again, buy what your family eats.
This weeks the only item applicable to me was the pasta. We eat pasta and I know I can rotate it through often. The cheapest pasta this week was at Vons for .75 a pound. I have a Pavilions practically across the street from me and I know they take a Vons card. So all I had to do this morning was make a simple phone call. Question 1: What is the difference between Vons and Pavilions? Answer: Pavilions is basically the Orange County version of Vons and 90% of the sales going on at Vons are at Pavilions. Question 2: Is your Anthonys Pasta on sale for .75? Answer: Yes!
Here is my 3 month-supply of pasta for my family of 4! Total: 30 bucks even!
Pasta can last up to 30+ years. I know for sure I won't be keeping this pasta for that long because I will be using it and rotating through it. So there you go! Easy, Easy, Easy!
Once the website starts charging for Southern California I'm going to start doing this on my own. I want to avoid the monthly fee for now. I kinda started doing my own compare spreadsheets this week before I got her email this morning and I was surprised how much I already knew just by comparing on my own. It definetly took a lot of my time and she obviously will eliminate that time for you, but right now I have time to spare. =o) But it was still really neat to see how she does it. Plus, she does 100 times more than just compare items.
Also, on www.dealstomeals.com you can download for FREE several spreadsheets which tell you what items you need in your food storage, how much of each item you need for a year per person, and how long it lasts. I use that sheet and multiply and divide according to the amount of people I have in my family and how much of that item I need for 1 month or 3 months. Easy, Easy, Easy!
So even though this week out of all the items out there on sale I only bought pasta for our family, that is just fine. Little by little, week by week, I will get there and build my own family food storage according to what we eat and what we will use/rotate on a regular basis!
If any of you want me to email you this weeks emails so you can get started let me know. Or you can email them at California@dealstomeals.com or Nevada@dealstomeals.com today and wait until next Thursday to get next weeks emails! OR if you just want to see what she does and how she does it so you can do it on your own wherever you live, I will gladly email them to you! Happy Food Storing!