It’s time for another look into how our family is handling eating from our food storage during the coronavirus quarantine. It’s been over two months since any of us have gone to a grocery store. Our last monthly grocery haul was March 9th.
In addition to staying safe, one of the main reasons for this food storage challenge is to take our food storage for a test drive and see what it’s like to live off of our long-term food storage. We also want to know what our food storage is lacking so we can be better prepared in the future.
In this update I’ll share how the kids are handling this food storage challenge, what we ate during the past week, what grocery items I had delivered, and our plans going forward.
If you missed last week’s update, I shared a pantry tour update after 2 months of our challenge. Looking at what we’ve used so far and what we still have left was pretty eye-opening. We could conceivably keep this up for a lot longer than we thought.
I enjoyed reading your comments. Both Sheryl and Mariana suggested shopping for things like fresh produce and peanut butter (we were running low), but keep up with the challenge. I about died when Mariana said, “I secretly hope you will continue this challenge until the end of 2020.”
Challenges with Our Food Storage Challenge
While things have been fine generally, there have been challenging times.
I think it’s been more of a challenge for me, than anyone else, which might seem obvious since I’m the one who does most of the food planning and fixing around here. But it kind of surprised me.
I actually thought this food storage challenge would be harder on the kids (we have six kids ages 0 to 12), but it turns out they are super resilient and total troopers through all of this. They actually probably complain LESS about food than they normally do. It’s mostly just 2- and 5-year-old that ever even complain, and even then, when they realize that we just don’t have any fill-in-the-blank, they get over it.
The older three are resourceful and instead of complaining that we don’t have “anything to eat” they just ask if they can make something. They’ve enjoyed making cookies, bread, smoothies, and other snacks from scratch. It has been great!
I will say that it would be much harder to keep this up in a pre- or post-quarantine life since with six kids we do a lot of running around which consumes a lot of our time.
Now that it’s getting hot, extra cooking and baking isn’t really appealing. All I really want is something that won’t require heating up the house to cook. But it will still be a good month or more before we get anything substantial out of the garden
On Thursday afternoon as I was trying to come up with a dinner plan that wouldn’t heat up the house, I texted Mike (even though he was just a couple of rooms away in the office) that I was craving pizza with and a salad and an ice cream sundae.
It was hot outside and I didn’t want to cook anything that would heat up the house. He suggested PBJs and I seriously considered it, but we only had two loaves of bread left (from the 8 loaves that my 10-year-old made on Monday) and I wanted to have them for Friday’s lunch, so I put on my big girl pants and made spaghetti.
What We Ate
Since last week I shared an pantry tour update after two months of our Quarantine Food Storage Challenge, I didn’t share the details on what we ate. Here’s a rough list of what we’ve eaten lately.
- Cream of Wheat
- Fried Eggs with Salsa
- Sourdough Waffles
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
- Orange slices
- Pretzels (I had totally forgotten we had pretzels until I did last week’s pantry tour)
- Dehydrated Pear Slices
We have been eating dinner really late in the past couple of weeks as we’ve been out working on the garden until it gets dark. Here are some of the things we ate (I don’t remember/didn’t take pictures of everything). We had some of these meals multiple times as leftovers.
- Spaghetti- We had spaghetti a couple of times. I made homemade sauce from tomato puree that I canned last year.
- Stirfry over rice– We used the rest of the frozen stir fry veggies along with some beef stew meat from the freezer.
- Steak, mashed potatoes, and veggies– This was the “mystery meat” steak from the deep freezer. It wasn’t that good.
- Scrambled Eggs with Hashbrowns and sausage– I mixed everything into a bowl, like a casserole, except in a bowl. I made one without meat and one with. I scrambled the eggs with peppers and onions and added salsa too. It was a hit with everyone. We had berry smoothies.
- Puffed Pancakes– Some people call these German pancakes or Dutch Babies. This is a favorite at our house. We had berry smoothies.
- Creamy Tacos (with rice instead of tortillas)– Last time I made creamy taco casserole I made extra sauce and froze it. We had it over rice with peas this week.
Replenishing Some Pantry Staples
I’ve mentioned before that I have a hard time letting my pantry staples get low. Because I’m used to being well-stocked, when I get down to two or three jars of peanut butter I start to panic a little inside. Sure, we could stretch that to last a few weeks, but I’m not used to getting that low.
Whenever I need to order something from Walmart (they have free shipping for $35+ orders), I consider adding any grocery staples that are a decent price. That’s one of the things that is really great about Walmart versus Amazon– you can often find grocery items available for delivery that are the same (or nearly the same) as in-store prices.
Because we were getting low on peanut butter, I checked Walmart and I found peanut butter that was in-stock and a fantastic price. We normally get the natural peanut butter at Sam’s Club, and this is regular peanut butter, but it will be fine. I got five 64oz jars.
I also got 4 boxes of rotini pasta since we are low on pasta.
I also checked out jam and got a great deal on this 3-pack of raspberry preserves (I got two of them). In fact, when I was checking out, they gave me the option of delaying my delivery to make it like 5 days instead of 2 for a savings of $3.75. I said, “absolutely!” It still came in 2-days.
Our Plans Going Forward
At dinner tonight we talked about when to end our food storage challenge. We feel like we have a much better idea of how long our current food storage would last us and what areas would need beefing up.
And now that more is understood about how the virus is transmitted, simply going to the grocery store once a month doesn’t seem excessively dangerous, especially if we just do a pick up at Sam’s club.
The kids actually didn’t want to “give up” on the challenge, though their eyes did light up at the mention of stocking up on ice cream!
Since our last monthly grocery shopping trip was on March 9th, we decided we will plan to do another monthly grocery shopping trip on June 9th.
We will likely still continue to do many of the same things we;re doing now like baking bread, but we will start restocking some things and add in some fresh produce and other items we’ve been missing.
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