Tax return time can be either a stressful or an exciting time for families. My husband just finished our taxes late last night and we were ecstatic that we were getting a small refund. You never know what the outcome will be with being a small business owner. I was thrilled when he gave me the good news of we didn’t owe Uncle Sam any extra money. You gotta love the forced savings plan the government gives us! So, what do we do with this money? I was excited when my husband beat me to the punch..”Shan, why don’t you go spend $200-$500 on food storage” Music to my ears!! I was so excited I could hardly sleep that night dreaming of where and what I would buy. The next morning I ran to Walmart to purchase the great deals from last week. My cart was so full it was like the leaning tower of Pisa! People were staring, laughing and snickering as I walked by. Grocery shopping really is a talent, wouldn’t you agree? Children running around, babies crying, food falling out of your cart, long lists of items to buy, people staring, price matching (that’s a feat in itself!) and somehow we have to do this in a short period of time before kids get off the bus…and have the unloading of the car. Phew!

I had to laugh because I ran into a friend at Walmart who looked at me, my kids and my cart and gave me the most disgusted look of…’What, are you doing?’ I told her with a big smile on my face, food storage shopping! She then said something that I had to laugh at later…’Oh (disgusted look), I am glad that is FUN for you because I don’t want to be bothered–that type of thing is just not for me’. Fun you say? I am not sure ‘fun’ would be my word to describe the two hour event to Walmart, however..FUN is the word to describe the feeling I have when I have gotten great deals and have sacrificed and prepared for my family’s future. If you are one of those who don’t get your food storage because it is not ‘fun’, give it a second chance. All things in life worth accomplishing takes effort. However, no matter how hard the work is, the feeling of accomplishment and peace when it is done will out weigh any negative experience you have in the process 🙂 To all those mom’s with full carts, crying kids, just trying to do the best you can..keep up the good work! You have a worthy goal of self reliance in mind and you will be blessed for your efforts–maybe not today, but someday your family will thank you for your sacrifice!

I tried as hard as I could to spend the $200 but didn’t come close. My entire cart was only $127. **Remember, before you do any big food storage shopping, make sure and take inventory. Use our Food Storage Inventory Sheet to find out what areas your food storage is lacking.

When taking inventory of your food storage, don’t forget those basic items worth storing like baking soda, baking powder, yeast, vanilla, etc. These will help your long term food storage items turn into homemade masterpieces!

Here is my ‘loot’ from my food storage shopping trip:
*10 lbs. lasagna noodles
*60 lbs. long grain rice
*5 lb. dried pinto beans
*4 lbs. cornstarch
*3 baking sodas
*3 baking powders
*20 (24oz.) jars of applesauce
*10 lbs. cornmeal
*36 cans of diced tomatoes
*18 cans of green chilies
*12 cans of carrots (great for babyfood)
*12 cans of peas
*12 cans of potatoes (good to have in an emergency for pot pies, soups, stews, etc.)
*24 cans of corn
*12 cans of green beans

We can’t live without applesauce. I use it in baking (in the place of oil), we eat it for breakfast with toast, and it makes inexpensive baby food in a pinch.
Here are some of my favorite recipes I have posted that use applesauce–most of these recipes are lower in fat because you replace the fat/oil with applesauce:

*Apple Strudel Muffins
*Zucchini Cake
*Carrot Waffles
*Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins
*Apple Wheat Pancakes