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Stocking The Pantry and Freezer

August 06, 2012

I've written before about trying to get both my pantry and freezer stocked for the Fall and Winter months.  Although I try, for the most part, to grow most of the veggies that we eat and preserve, the reality is I still have to purchase from the local farmers and/or farmers markets.  The benefits of purchasing and preserving these items now are that items in season are typically cheaper than out of season, it's all local produce {either from my yard or someone within my community}, and you're preserving fresh food when it's full of flavor.

My method in planning how much to can or freeze is this:  figure out the approximate number of weeks between growing seasons.  For me, I plan on the beginning of November through the end of March {21 weeks}.  Next I try to plan how many times per week or month {if not weekly} we will likely eat a particular food.  For instance:  we will likely eat 1 serving of green beans per week as a veggie side with dinner so I would need 21 servings of green beans.  If I plan to add them to soup once a month, then this would bring it to 26 servings.  I freeze rather than can my beans so I would need 26 servings of green beans prepared for the freezer prior to the end of their growing season.

Here's the list I'm aiming for this year:

  • 26 servings green beans
  • 30 servings corn 
  • 20 servings pepper strips
  • 20 soup portions chopped pepper, chopped onion, corn and carrot combination {or 4 gallon bags}
  • 1 gallon bag onion strips
  • 1 gallon bag chopped onions
  • strawberries {critters ate mine this year, so as many as I purchase and freeze}
  • 6 gallon bags blueberries
  • 26 servings carrots
  • 12 servings sugar snap peas
  • 6 servings snow peas
  • 12 servings asparagus
  • 26 servings squash puree
  • 6 - 1c. portions pumpkin puree
  • 20 pints tomato sauce
  • 20 pints slow-roasted tomatoes
  • 8 pints ketchup
  • 1 quart bag pesto cubes

  • 20 pints tomato sauce
  • 27 pints diced tomatoes
  • 15 pints crushed tomatoes
  • 6 quarts pickles
  • 6 pints pickled jalapeno slices
  • 12 pints beets
  • 21 half-pints jam
  • 6 pints vanilla peaches
  • 8 pints applesauce
  • 4 pints apple butter

Last year I the planning of this list was only a thought.  This year I hope to get most of the list accomplished and next year I hope to get all of it, as well as the years thereafter.  This in addition to my monthly meal prep should not only save money but time as well.

How about you?  Do you have any tips that work or goals you're striving to reach?

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