So late Tuesday morning my youngest son, David, showed up to take me and his brother to Sam's Club. But before we left, he and Duane hauled in four of those square plastic milk crates full of canning jars. Bonus!! He didn't want the crates back, so I found space where I can stack them two high with the open tops facing outward and use them as shelf cubbies to hold more food storage, which is good because I have little space left on my regular shelves. Thank you, son!
There were conditions connected to this outing. If my boys were going to take me out in public, I had to behave myself. There would be no popping wheelies with the electric cart I used to get around in the store, nor was I allowed to organize drag races with the same carts. I reluctantly agreed and we were off to shop.
I needed hamburger to can, so I got two 10 lb. chubs along with a whole pork loin. The hamburger will be canned in pint jars and the pork loin will be cut into a couple of small roasts to fit into my small crock pot with the rest sliced into boneless chops and frozen. That's a whole lot of meals and I am sharing some of the chops with Duane.
I only have a couple pints of dill pickles left and these days, getting my hands on cucumbers for canning is difficult. So I bought a gallon jar of dill spears, 2 half gallon jars of baby dills and 2 quarts of small, stuffed olives. Sometimes it is necessary to find a way around a problem and this works for me. The pickles will be re-canned into pint jars and the olives into half pint jars. And when that is done, I will have several large jars to store other things.
I use a lot of butter. I not only use it on bread and toast, but use it for frying some foods and in baking. The price of butter in the grocery store has gone up considerably, so I was able to find butter in 4 lb. packs for considerably less per pound. I got 20 lbs. of butter. I put it all into the freezer. I can always can up some of it later, but I figured I had enough food to process right now.
Days before this shopping trip I had gone through Sam's website and made a list of what I wanted along with the prices. I got things like large containers of lemonade and iced tea mix along with huge containers of Nestle's Quick chocolate milk mix. Because of the medication I take daily, staying hydrated is imperative and the flavored mixes make it more appetizing than drinking plain water. The chocolate milk mix is just because. :)
I picked up 8-packs of Rice-a-Roni, Spam and 4 jars of Miracle Whip along with 3 huge boxes of instant mashed potatoes. An 18-pack of Mac & Cheese and 2 large boxes of Velveeta went into the cart. Yes, I know. The dreaded processed food. But in times of crisis, especially when food is scarce, I doubt anyone would turn their nose up at food, processed or not. And when you are an old lady with mobility issues, making up a box of Mac & Cheese is much easier than making the same dish from scratch.
I found trash bags and freezer bags at a good price, so I stocked up on those. And I saw a 24-pack of washcloths and a 12-pack of flour sack dishtowels. They came home with me as well, to be set aside for future use.
David had another surprise for me. He told me that because he and his family had not bought me anything for Mother's Day or my birthday, he was going to pay part of my Sam's bill. I said that this shopping trip was my gift, but being slightly more stubborn than his mother, he won the argument. So with a considerable amount of wiggle room above and beyond my budget, we added more to the cart.
David talked me into getting a rotisserie chicken. He said he buys one every time he shops at Sam's and they are really good. He was right. I ate off it yesterday and there is still plenty left for a couple more days.
There were 2 quart containers of the best tasting strawberries I have had in years. Three quarts went into the freezer and I have been slowly snacking on the rest.
I believe that in times of stress and crisis, a sweet treat now and then helps keep depression at bay. With that in mind, I have been wanting to stock up on assorted candies to have on hand. Plus, I have this sweet tooth that needs to be dealt with now and then. So we headed to the candy aisles. The boys were delighted to toss a tub o' peppermints, a tub o' M & M's and a huge bag of assorted mini Reecse's Peanut Butter Cups into my cart. David added a box of single serve Pringles and Duane found a box of 30 microwave bags of popcorn. Most of that went into storage. I make no promises about the Reese's. :)
My boys became pack mules when we arrived home, huffing all my purchases up the stairs. There were several other items I haven't mentioned that I got to try out like a biscuit mix, big jars of chicken bouillon, etc., and by the time they were finished my kitchen table was covered as well as a considerable amount of floor space. I spent the rest of the day and part of yesterday putting it all away.
The best part of all was spending time with my sons. I so enjoy their company. Duane came by later to bring me a different kind of kiwi he had bought (it was wonderful) and David called me yesterday to ask if I had found my kitchen table top yet. He said he had fun taking us to Sam's and suggested we make it a semi-annual event with possibly another trip when the weather cools down in the fall. I readily agreed.
I didn't write about this to brag about how much I bought. It took me months of saving to be able to do this. And hopefully, it will give others an idea of what is available for adding to their food storage. Sam's charges a yearly fee for the privilege of shopping at their stores. For David, it is worth it because his family shops there often. For someone like me who goes only once or twice year, the fee would likely eat up the savings.
So now that this post is written and I have had my second cup of coffee, it is time to head to the kitchen and start browning hamburger to can. I will be back when it is all in jars, processed and on the shelves. And after that, of course, there will be nap. :)
I NEVER KNEW THIS
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