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Old 01-05-2011, 11:36 PM
nbforrest nbforrest is offline
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Default Storing Chocolate, etc.



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I am just now getting beyond a 3 month food plan for me (45 yr old man) and three children. I get the rice and beans and flour, sugar canned goods etc. I have a plan for that, especially after reading so many great posts on this forum. My question is this and it kind of hit me today when I was cleaning the kitchen. I bought about 100 lb each of rice, sugar, salt and beans to get started today. Rotating the rice and beans out and replenishing the storage will be easy enough since my daughter can live on beans and rice if there is a little cheese to go with it. This weekend I am converting a room in my basement to a food storage area and have a lot of work to do.

But, I want to store things like chocolate, Carnation instant breakfast (to mix with powdered milk) maybe candy bars and a few other things that come commercially packaged with a short or less than year long shelf life. I occasionally throw in a chew of Red Man as well, so I thought using the vacuum sealing bag systems might work for this. Make up enough individual packages to fill a five gallon bucket, stick the individual packages in a mylar bag and seal up the bucket.

I also think about things like pepper and mixes and spices I use when cooking around the house.

New to this, so any ideas would be appreciated.

Oh, what about getting the big cans of things like ketchup, veggies and fruit at Sam's club and recanning them? Any ideas on that?
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:15 AM
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Well I don't have a good answer for you, but I do know that you should hide that chocolate all over the house because once the wife finds it there will be none left. Then all of your prepping will have gone to her waist.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:04 AM
Gypsymoonfarm Gypsymoonfarm is offline
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I made a video of sealing up mylar bags with chocolate chips, jell-o, and other things kids like. I'm not sure if I want to put it on Youtube though because I don't have a vacuum sealer, I used o2 absorbers and it may not be right. I'm going to open one of them after a year and see what happens.

You've got a good question, I hope someone with experience will answer it. I'd hate to waste all those chocolate chips!
Old 01-06-2011, 07:51 AM
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I stock up on spices as well as the rice & beans. I tend to purchase the grocery store stuff <when on sale> & seal the original container up in a small mylar bag w/ O2 absorbers. Salt is about the only thing I'll buy in bulk & store in washed-out
16oz or 20oz water bottles.

Items like ketchup, bbq sauce, salsa, pickles, salad dressing......I don't think buying in bulk & re-packaging is worth it. I over-estimated these things back when I first started building up my pantry - I've had to throw some away because I didn't notice just how "expired" it was. Since then, I go through the shelves more often & the local food bank loves me for it. And the grocery stores around here put these things on sale fairly often.

As far as buying those large cans of veggies & fruit at Sam's, etc - again, I don't think it's worth the time/supplies to re-package. My crew loves my home-dehydrated pineapple...so it's about the only thing I'll buy in the large cans. I think I do just as well cost-wise by keeping up with the grocery store sales. And it's much easier for us to rotate through.

Chocolate = yum. It never lasts long around my house. My solution is to keep powdered cocoa for the just-in-case - at least that can be added to things (such as pancakes or muffins).

One thing that helped me immensely was to make a weekly menu plans for 3 months. Then taking each menu and breaking it down into the tiniest component, usually the salt-n-pepper-n-spices. It opened my eyes to the holes in my pantry items. {{{Also one of the main reasons I learned how to home-can meats.}}}
Old 01-06-2011, 08:50 AM
nbforrest nbforrest is offline
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"once the wife finds it there will be none left. Then all of your prepping will have gone to her waist."

I'm single, so all I have to worry about is two teenage boys and a soon to be teenage girl.

I don't mind feeding them, they work hard and are excellent shots.
Old 01-06-2011, 12:41 PM
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Powdered cocoa is the way to go. you can make quite a bit with it.
Old 01-06-2011, 12:58 PM
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My understanding is that it's the milk fats in chocolate (or powdered drink mix) that go bad. Wendy DeWitt has a great video series on YouTube. She explains that vacuum sealing in the plastic pouches will ultimately always fail because they eventually leak. However, she shows that you can vacuum seal chocolate chips, etc., in canning jars with great success. An added advantage is that these can be opened to allow you to use what you need, and then resealed without any consequences.

:-)
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Wombat View Post
Powdered cocoa is the way to go. you can make quite a bit with it.
That is a great idea, I didn't think of cocoa powder. Ghirardelli here I come!
Old 01-06-2011, 05:29 PM
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I store a lot of chocolate powder. Mixed with sugar, milk, vanilla, etc. you can make some pretty tasty fudge...sure to calm the "chocolate beastie" in anyone!

Also, lots of spices! One thing that will help them to last longer...when possible, get the whole spice (such as whole nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon sticks, etc) rather than ground (they start losing their freshness and potency once they're ground) and a spice grinder, and then grind the amount you need as you need it. They will stay MUCH fresher that way. You can also GROW a lot of your own herbs, (even indoors in pots in a sunny window) and either use them fresh, or dry them for future use.

Nothing improves the taste of beans and/or rice like having a variety of herbs and spices to add in.

Sounds like you've made a good start, and have been thinking of what you need. Since your daughter will be a teen soon, make sure that you include PLENTY of "feminine hygiene" supplies in your storage! (Having them on hand will ALSO prevent sudden trips to the store when it's LEAST convenient because she "started" and is out of "supplies!)
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:27 PM
nbforrest nbforrest is offline
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Ice fire,

Thanks for the good post. I hadn't even thought about the feminine products side of the house. There is sooooo much to get besides food.

I started thinking today about clothes. Picking up cheapo t-shirts in different sizes, blue jeans etc. Apart from the survival aspects, it just makes good sense to buy things in advance before the underlying commodity goes up in price.

And thanks to everyone else for the advice on storing food. I just checked the package and Carnation instant breakfast has non fat milk in it. The kiddos will be happy.

So much knowledge here it is amazing.
Old 11-16-2011, 09:11 PM
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Wal-Mart sells 1 pound blocks of chocolate for making almond bark. They sell them near the chocolate chips and other baking goods for $3 dollars. They taste the same as Hershey's but are more dense. Seems like a good deal.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbforrest View Post
But, I want to store things like chocolate, Carnation instant breakfast (to mix with powdered milk) maybe candy bars and a few other things that come commercially packaged with a short or less than year long shelf life. I occasionally throw in a chew of Red Man as well, so I thought using the vacuum sealing bag systems might work for this. Make up enough individual packages to fill a five gallon bucket, stick the individual packages in a mylar bag and seal up the bucket.
I saw a video regarding sealing chocolate chips in mason jars using a Food Saver vacuum system. The woman said that they would last for years. Chocolate chips have such a high fat content that I would think they would go rancid. I wish I could find that video, or remember the names of the women that did it. She's Mormon and does a whole bunch of videos on food storage, but I didn't subscribe (stupid move). You've got to keep them cool and in the dark.
Old 11-16-2011, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalSherpa View Post
My understanding is that it's the milk fats in chocolate (or powdered drink mix) that go bad. Wendy DeWitt has a great video series on YouTube. She explains that vacuum sealing in the plastic pouches will ultimately always fail because they eventually leak. However, she shows that you can vacuum seal chocolate chips, etc., in canning jars with great success. An added advantage is that these can be opened to allow you to use what you need, and then resealed without any consequences.

:-)
That's the one I was trying to remember!!!! Thank you so much!
Old 11-16-2011, 11:35 PM
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For those of you that didn't know:
Dark chocolate then milk chocolate are the top antioxidants..
Scource is U.S.Department of Agriculture and the Journal of the American Chemical Society....
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