A couple of days ago I was talking to my husband about not being able to keep enough food in the house,with 3 kids who have bottomless pits for stomachs it seems we are always running out of everything. We had talked about buying in bulk before but never really committed ourselves to doing it. This weekend I have decided this is something I want to do. I never have enough money to put in a big bulk order or to restock my kitchen all at once so I decided to commit to buying at least 1 thing in bulk every time I need to buy groceries. This time I bought pancake mix, syrup and spaghetti(we use a lot of these), next time maybe ketchup, mustard and mayo,something else we use a lot. I want to cook in bulk also, trying to do most of a week or months cooking in a weekend. This last week I made a large crock pot of pinto beans and ham, now for some reason my kids will not eat beans in this form but eat all and more if I put it thru the food processor and make bean dip/refried beans. In the end I had a huge bowl of refried beans way more than they could eat before it spoiled. I decided to make bean and cheese burritos to put in the freezer for lunches, I also made sausage/egg and cheese burritos for a grab and go breakfast. My goal is to have the freezer full of meals/sides/deserts/breakfast so that if I am not able to be home to fix dinner then someone else can just grab something home made/healthy and do it.
http://www.fixfreezefeast.com/index.php?pg=hm. This is a wonderful book on how to prepare meals in bulk step by step. Our local librarian also recommended this book, Don't Panic-Dinners in the Freezer. http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Panic-Dinners-Freezer-Great-Tasting/dp/0800730550 I plan on using these books a lot and seeing what others I can find,
One of the problems I see coming up is how to store bulk supplies. We don't have a lot of pantry space and at the time there is no outside storage that would be safe from creatures and bugs. Our freezer is on the small side, is about 20yrs old and is not a self defroster (can we say pain in the keister!), it will need to be replaced pretty soon down the road. Finding containers that seal well and will fit where I end up storing everything will be something to work out as well.
Another way to store items in bulk is to dehydrate them, then I wouldn't need to worry about freezer space. I found a wonderful informative website named Dehydrate 2 store, http://www.dehydrate2store.com/ , I have done several recipes from this site. Of course I plan on learning to can this summer, another way to store food you buy or raise yourself in bulk. I learned about canning meats from Granny Miller's blog http://homesteadgardenandpantry.com/canning/home-canning-meat/ , this is a great homesteading blog.
All in all this is another step in our homesteading journey and if anyone has something that worked well for them on this subject I would appreciate a heads up.