While waiting to go home from the rehab facility, I spent some time looking online at the floor plans of apartments in the building where I put in my application. I hope to be able to get the least expensive one, which isn't much more than I am paying right now and is within my budget while being comfortable for one or two people. After some quick calculations, I found that my heavy duty shelves that hold my canned goods just won't fit anywhere. Drat.
After thinking about alternatives for a while, I have come up with a plan.
I did some extensive reading online about dehydrating. I already dehydrate a variety of vegetables, but other foods can be dehydrated as well. And when dry, they are light in weight and smaller in volume, making them easier to store than food in jars. Food in jars is more convenient, but I have to work with the living space available.
So I have started dehydrating some of my canned goods. I had 10 large cans of diced tomatoes. I drained them, saving the juice to drink, and filled the dehydrator trays. Those ten cans will dry down to about a quart of tomato bits.
I had five trays with mesh liners left over from the tomatoes, so I opened jars of canned sweet corn and dried them. Corn rehydrates back to its original form - you can't tell the difference between canned or dehydrated. And ground up in a blender, it makes cornmeal that results in the best cornbread ever.
I read a couple of articles about making your own instant mashed potatoes, so I have an experiment going for that. I opened two quarts of canned potatoes and dumped them into the blender, liquid and all. Whizzed them around for a while until the lumps were gone, and then spread them thinly on fruit roll-up sheets. Three trays are in a dehydrator now, and when finished I will test the theory to see if it works. I hope so, because I have at least 16 cases of canned potatoes on the shelves.
I've decided that I will continue to can meat. It is so much cheaper to buy chicken breast and can it than it is to buy the little cans of chicken. And canned meat doesn't get freezer burn. Here is a list of the meats I normally can:
meatballs in mushroom gravy
I even tried some pepperoni slices for pizza, and it worked just fine.
Anyway, that's the plan. We'll see how it goes.