Stocking The Pantry and Freezer


I've written before about trying to get both my pantry and freezer stocked for the Fall and Winter months.  Although I try, for the most part, to grow most of the veggies that we eat and preserve, the reality is I still have to purchase from the local farmers and/or farmers markets.  The benefits of purchasing and preserving these items now are that items in season are typically cheaper than out of season, it's all local produce {either from my yard or someone within my community}, and you're preserving fresh food when it's full of flavor.

My method in planning how much to can or freeze is this:  figure out the approximate number of weeks between growing seasons.  For me, I plan on the beginning of November through the end of March {21 weeks}.  Next I try to plan how many times per week or month {if not weekly} we will likely eat a particular food.  For instance:  we will likely eat 1 serving of green beans per week as a veggie side with dinner so I would need 21 servings of green beans.  If I plan to add them to soup once a month, then this would bring it to 26 servings.  I freeze rather than can my beans so I would need 26 servings of green beans prepared for the freezer prior to the end of their growing season.

Here's the list I'm aiming for this year:

Freezer:
  • 26 servings green beans
  • 30 servings corn 
  • 20 servings pepper strips
  • 20 soup portions chopped pepper, chopped onion, corn and carrot combination {or 4 gallon bags}
  • 1 gallon bag onion strips
  • 1 gallon bag chopped onions
  • strawberries {critters ate mine this year, so as many as I purchase and freeze}
  • 6 gallon bags blueberries
  • 26 servings carrots
  • 12 servings sugar snap peas
  • 6 servings snow peas
  • 12 servings asparagus
  • 26 servings squash puree
  • 6 - 1c. portions pumpkin puree
  • 20 pints tomato sauce
  • 20 pints slow-roasted tomatoes
  • 8 pints ketchup
  • 1 quart bag pesto cubes

Pantry/Canning:
  • 20 pints tomato sauce
  • 27 pints diced tomatoes
  • 15 pints crushed tomatoes
  • 6 quarts pickles
  • 6 pints pickled jalapeno slices
  • 12 pints beets
  • 21 half-pints jam
  • 6 pints vanilla peaches
  • 8 pints applesauce
  • 4 pints apple butter

Last year I the planning of this list was only a thought.  This year I hope to get most of the list accomplished and next year I hope to get all of it, as well as the years thereafter.  This in addition to my monthly meal prep should not only save money but time as well.

How about you?  Do you have any tips that work or goals you're striving to reach?

6 comments:

daisy said...

Wow! Love how organized you are in your planning. And envious that you are able to buy direct from farmers in your area or grow your own, even better. Thanks for a great guideline!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Mother Nature isn't allowing me much to work with this summer but I love your goal and outlook! Good luck!

Janet said...

Do you blanch your asparagus before freezing? I have never had much luck with it in the past. I've also never thought to freeze onions.

I love your list. I tend to freeze/can what I have with little thought to servings needed. I like this approach must better!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Daisy - thank you. Yes, we are very lucky to be able to purchase directly from local farmers what we can't/don't grow.
Sue - thank you. It's still early on so I'm very optimistic. :)
Janet - yes, asparagus is a bit of a pain. I blanch mine and it still gets a bit wilty, however, I can still add it to frittata's and things. I'm a list-maker. That's just me. I try to stay organized and I hate waste so, I feel like planning on paper is an effort to not save more than we need as well as to know what's in the freezer. I found out the hard way that if you don't make it easy for yourself {freezing in serving sizes}, you tend to bypass it in the freezer. :)

Laurie Hale said...

I always shoot from the hip and can or freeze what I grow myself, buy from road side stands, or pickup at the farmer's market...sometimes I have too much or not enough of what I put up for the season. I like the way you planned and I think it will suit me fine. I am going to follow your list this year and see how it goes. Thanks for sharing!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Laurie - I hope you find this works well for you. I had previously been doing the same as you and found I was wasting food and/or didn't have enough of what we needed. I'm glad you found us!