I was just thinking on this this week. I’ve always tended to keep a stocked pantry, bc we tend to have lean times most years, and I could stretch our budget by not having to buy many groceries for months at a time. And also with 5 little ones, I always buy in bulk for a cost savings. Putting things up has been a slow and steady process for me. I have to be very intentional bc we have an income of about $500 a week. We’ve also lived years in a 3rd world country, and I have the habit of buying something when you can actually find it and being prepared to not see that item again for a LONG time, if ever.
I calculated that at our current rate of consumption I have 54 weeks of beans and 60 weeks of rice. I’m not sure how long it would last if we leaned more heavily onto those items, like we did overseas. I started learning to can this summer, and have 120ish jars canned so far… I know, it’s baby progress, but I have a hard time learning something new without having someone to do it with! Slowly I’m trying to learn to can new things. I have 3 gallons of lard put up from our first pig we butchered a few weeks ago. If we can keep freezers going, we have that pig, 5 turkeys, and we will process about 60 meatbirds in the next few weeks. I need to learn to can meat. I’m realizing how fast I’m starting to go through my jars and trying to figure out where you put them when they are full, lol! I just finished up my 5th summer garden, so I’m still a gardening newbie, but I have learned a LOT in those 5 years and hope to keep increasing my harvests. I currently have about 5000sf of garden space, and I will try to expand it more over the winter.
How do you figure out how much salt and sugar you need? I’ve just been buying 10lbs of salt anytime I make it to a Costco, and we have a few big bags of sugar, but I really don’t ever use sugar unless I’m fermenting something. So, I don’t know how much I might depend on it in an LCE. To note how often I use it, I just finished off a bag of sugar that I opened over 2 years ago. 😉
I have three 5 gallon buckets of flour, but not much in the way of whole grains. The only mill I have is on my vitamix, so if there’s no power I would be using a mortar and pestal.
I find that since I am not in the habit yet of trying to put up enough food for the year, that I’m still struggling to figure out how much I use of different things. How did you figure out how much you needed of what? 🙂