Waste Not, Want Not: Staggering Purchases

Today I threw away some food storage items (Canola oil) that was past its shelf life. Way past! In order to avoid such waste in the future, staggering purchases should help spread out the shelf life of some products or I need to use my food storage more. We should not feel rushed to get everything all at once. The LDS church leaders have said: “We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.”—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007, 1

I’ve decided to only buy 1 or 2 of each item listed below every 3 months. You may have some different items that you find you aren’t using as quickly as you would like to. (It usually means we aren’t baking enough!)

It’s a good idea to use a Sharpie pen to mark items with the date of purchase on the front where you will see it. After you open an item, mark it with the date you opened it: OP 10/08

Here’s the shelf life (in a dark, cool, dry place) of the items I plan to stagger purchasing:

Vegetable oil (1 year shelf life; 4 – 6 months opened)

Peanut Butter (2 year shelf life; 3 months opened)

Mayonnaise (1 year shelf life; 3 months opened in fridge)

Evaporated Milk (1 year shelf life; a few days opened in fridge)

Potato Pearls (8 year shelf life; the LDS Church has replaced this item with Potato Flakes, shelf life 30 years. However, I called our local Dry Pack and you can buy Potato Pearls in bulk already packaged, 12, 28 oz. pkgs. in a 21 lb. box for $40.)

Baking Powder (5 year shelf life; 3 – 6 months opened)
“To test the vitality of your baking powder, add a teaspoon of it to a third of a cup of hot water. If it foams and bubbles, it has enough oomph left.” OCHEF.com

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