The purpose of home canning and meal prepping is to prepare for times when fruits and vegetables and meats are not as abundant naturally. When an item is in season, it is more abundant and less expensive, this is the time to prepare for winter, especially when you live in the northern and Midwest areas. Winter can be harsh. We believe in canning what is in season, naturally, to help with budget costs, health benefits and being more ‘God sufficient’ than man sufficient. The other side point to preparing and budgeting your food storage is to better understand what a REAL portion of food is. America has gotten really bad at ‘super sizing’ and over convenience everything. We’ve gotten into the mindset of “getting our money’s worth” instead of planning and looking at what our body needs. The sugar and preservative addictions are just as bad as the “bad addictions”. Look at the rise of obesity, health issues, enabling etc. If we are stressed, we head strait for the candy jar, if a child is crying we hand them a sweet treat. I could go on and on about this subject, because I myself suffer from stress eating and weight issues. I come from a long line of Southern Cooks. I love my butter, gravy and I melt with Shrimp and Grits. Which is all fine, IN MODERATION.
But, back to preparing your pantry. Each year it is essential to take stock of what your family will need for the upcoming year until the next season arrives with more goodies. Also knowing crop rotation years help too. One year may be a great corn year, the next nothing.
Now the big thing I want you to really take notice of is the PORTION of each item. If we ate this way, I’m willing to bet, the weight loss programs out there would loose a lot of money and we would have more in our savings!
|Meats, Poultry, Fish||4x week, 36 weeks||1/2 cup||36 Pints||144 Pints|
|Soups||2x week, 36 weeks||1 cup||18 quarts||72 quarts|
|Jams, Jellies, Preserves||6x week, 52 weeks||2 tablespoons||40 1/2 pints||160 1/2 pints|
|Relishes||3x week, 52 weeks||1 tablespoon||5 pints||20 pints|
|Greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash||4x week, 36 weeks||1/2 cup||18 quarts||72 quarts|
|Pickled vegetables||2x week, 52 weeks||2 1/2 tablespoons||13 pints||52 pints|
|Juices and Tomatoes||7x week, 36 weeks||1 cup||63 quarts||252 quarts|
|All Other Fruits and Vegetables||14x week, 36 weeks||1/2 cup||76 quarts||304 quarts|
|Pickled Fruits, Pickled Eggs||2x week, 52 weeks||2 1/2 tablespoons/ 1 egg||13 quarts||52 quarts|
Did you slightly freak out over the portions? Puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Here is the thing I have discovered, when you utilize the mentality of using what you have on hand, you waste less, you eat less, and you have that pride of providing. It’s amazing how the world’s perspectives dissolve when you start living like this.
There are other items to consider as well, the meat covers what you should have in your freezer as well as canning, but there are dry goods to consider: Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda/powder, yeast, dried beans, rice, powders. Then your wet goods such as honey, syrups, molasses. Also your perishables, eggs & milk. There is also cellar storage to consider, potatoes, sweet potatoes, hard squash, apples. But all in all the portions stay the same. Now my favorite: Cheeses. I love real cheese, love it! But a portion is only 2 ounces. That’s the size of 2 dice.
I credit the knowledge of this from my Grandma Inez and my go to book “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery.
So learn to enjoy and appreciate what you have and you will find that your body and your savings will thank you!
Enjoy and let me know of your thoughts.
Until Next Time,
Mrs. Kay L. Rice