Abundant Frugal Life

Finding Deals, Spending Less, Being Content

Mar
31

Stockpiling

Posted by Lisa

WHY DO YOU STOCKPILE?
Okay, the whole point of coupon shopping is to stockpile products we use. We buy when we can combine coupons and sales – even coupon stacking during sales. We hate paying full price for anything. When we run out of an item, we want to go to our stockpile, not have to run to the grocery store and pay full price because we need it right now. With our stockpile, we have what we need, when we need it, with the satisfaction we paid rock bottom price for it.

Not only do we want to have our stuff, but we want to be prepared. I live in Texas. When we know snow is coming we head to the store for provisions of all sorts because we never know if/how long we’re going to get iced in. Also, since 9-11 we’ve heard so many reports about preparedness, and a stockpile is a significant, if not the most important, part of a good plan.

We can be a blessing through our stockpile. When friends or family fall on hard times, they can come and take from our stash. When we hear of needs in the church or community we are ready to meet them.

Also, we can sell our stash and earn money. Some people may think it’s wrong to sell the things you got for free. Let me tell you. You may have paid no money out of pocket, but you sure paid in time – coupon clipping, researching the sales, spending the time doing the deals and the money for the gas. You have spent time building your stockpile. There is nothing wrong with you selling your tubes of toothpaste for $1 each at a garage sale. It’s still a great deal for those who buy it, and you’re contributing to your family income. I have a friend who made over $600 at her last stockpile garage sale! She does this several times a year.

WHAT DO YOU STOCKPILE?
Everything that doesn’t have a shelf life of less than one month. Pretty much everything except for certain fresh produce and dairy that can’t be frozen.

I also stock hygiene items (soap, lotion, toothpaste, etc.) and clothing.  For hygiene items, my biggest scores have been from shopping at CVS and Walgreens for free, but don’t rule out grocery stores for those freebies.  For clothing, I stock underclothing, jeans, sweats, shorts and sneakers.  I don’t stock trendy clothes, just the necessities.

HOW DO YOU STOCKPILE?
With a freezer that will pay for itself in a short time, and lots of storage space. If you don’t have storage space, you’ll have to make it. That’s where you need to get creative.

When my pantry started to overflow I didn’t know what to do and I refused to decorate my home in ‘stockpile’. What I mean is that I do not want someone to walk in my home, look around and say, “Oh, she’s stockpiling”. I want it out of sight. I’m not obsessed with stockpiling to the point of ugly-fying my home with it.

Living in Texas we have no basements. Attics and garages are too hot and buggy to store food in. I have garage shelving which houses cleaners and paper products, but other than that, everything must be kept in the house.

When I stockpile grains, or anything made of grains, I put them all in the freezer for the first two days they’re in my home. I want to kill any and all critters before they can ruin the rest of my stockpile and I have to do some major cleaning. Bugs can come from the field, factory, or store. I want them gone before they get shelved in my home. Yuck.

Currently I’m decluttering and rearranging my kitchen. I’m considering buying a door hanger for the inside of the pantry that would hang to almost the floor for more storage. There’s always storage room under beds (more decluttering).

Not sure investing in cabinetry is worth the price unless it’s very cheap cabinetry. Not sure I want cheap and ugly in my home, but I could put the cabinet in a closet.

CAN I FREEZE IT?

These freeze well:
Hummus
Stick Butter
Margarine (sticks and tubs)
Pasta
Rice
Tubes of Cookie dough
Yogurt
Cheese singles
Shredded Cheese
Parsley
Cilantro
Flavored coffee creamer
Berries
Orange Juice
Cookies
Tortillas

These freeze ok – minor problems:
Milk
Soy Milk
Ricotta Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Block Cheese – slightly crumbly, but fine in recipes
Cream Cheese – a little watery and grainy when thawed, but fine in recipes
Bananas
Onions and green peppers (chopped)
Lemons (whole)
Pillsbury Crescents & Flaky Layers – not as flaky and layer-y as the MFR intended

Don’t even try to freeze:
Sour Cream

HELPFUL HINTS:

Eggs – before freezing, crack the eggs and stir the yolk and whites together.

Fruits/veggies – with high water content do not freeze well at all.

Freezing Vegetables
By Jenny Wandershed

Here are some simple guidelines for freezing a variety of vegetables commonly grown in home gardens.
Artichoke, Globe
Remove outer leaves. Wash and trim stalks. Remove “chokes” and blanch, a few at a time, for 7 minutes. Cool in iced water for 7 minutes. Drain. Pack in freezer bags, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Artichoke, Jerusalem
Peel and slice. Place in cold water with the juice of a lemon to prevent discoloration. Blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water. Cool in iced water for 2 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Asparagus
Wash and remove woody portions and scales of spears. Cut into 6 inch lengths and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Cool in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain. Place on trays in a single layer and freeze for 30 minutes. Pack into suitable containers, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Beans, Broad
Shell and wash. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minutes. Cool in iced water for 1-2 minutes. Place on tray in a single layer and freeze for 30 minutes. Pack into freezer bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Beets
Only freeze young tender beets, not more than 2-3 inches across. Cook until tender and slice. Cool and transfer to plastic containers. Label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Broccoli
Choose tender young heads with no flowers and tender stalks. Wash well and divide into sprigs. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water. Cool in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain. Spread on tray in single layer. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the smell from permeating the freezer. Freeze 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Brussels Sprouts
Remove outer leaves and cut a cross at the stem end of sprout. Wash thoroughly and blanch for 3 minutes. Cool in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain and spread on tray in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the smell from permeating the freezer. Freeze 30 minutes, remove from tray and pack into plastic bags. Remove air, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Cabbage
Remove outer leaves and wash the remainder. Cut into thin wedges or shred. Blanch 1½ minutes if shredded or 2 minutes if cut into wedges. Chill in iced water 1-2 minutes. Drain well. Pack in freezer bags, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Carrots
Wash and scrub carrots and cut large carrots into pieces. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water. Chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain. Spread on a tray in a single layer and freeze 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Cauliflower
Divide into florets and wash. Blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water. Chill in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain and place on a tray in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Celery
Use young, tender stalks. Wash and cut into 1 inch pieces. Blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water. Chill in iced water for 2 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Chayote
Cook sliced chayote until tender in boiling water. Drain well, mash and cool. Pack into plastic containers with well fitting lids, leaving space at the top for expansion. Freeze up to 6 months.
Chilies
Remove seeds, wash and dry. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Chinese Broccoli
Remove coarse leaves and thick stems. Wash and blanch in boiling water 2 minutes. Chill in iced water for 2 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Chinese Cabbage
Only freeze crisp and young cabbage. Wash and shred finely. Blanch for 1 minutes. Chill in iced water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and place in freezer bags, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Chinese Spinach
Wash and trim leaves off stalks. Blanch 1 minute. Chill in iced water 1 minute. Drain, pack into freezer bags and remove air from bags. Seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Cucumber
Peel and chop in food processor. Pack into plastic containers with tight fitting lids. Label and freeze. Keeps up to 6 months.
Eggplant
Cut into slices, sprinkle with salt and allow to stand 30 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and fry gently in butter or margarine until just tender. Cool and pack into ]plastic containers. Seal and label. Keeps up to 3 months.
Fennel
Use fresh young stalks. Wash thoroughly. Blanch 3 minutes. Chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain, pack in freezer bags and remove air. Keeps up to 6 months.
Garlic
Place separated bulbs in freezer bags. Remove excess air from bags, seal and label. Keeps up to 3 months.
Ginger
Separate ginger into convenient sized knobs. Place in freezer bags. Remove excess air from bags, seal and label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Kohlrabi
Wash well, peel and cut into pieces. Blanch for 3 minutes. Chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Leeks
Remove tough outer leaves, wash remainder. Cut away green part of stem, slice white flesh or cut in half lengthwise. Blanch 2 minutes if sliced and 3 minutes if cut lengthwise. Chill in iced water 2-3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Mushrooms
Cultivated mushrooms need no preparation. Pack clean mushrooms in freezer bags. Remove air, seal and label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Okra
Wash and trim off stems. Blanch in boiling water 3-4 minutes. Cool in iced water 3-4 minutes. Drain and pack in freezer bags. Remove air from bags, seal and label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Onion
Peel, chop or cut into rings. Wrap in layers of plastic wrap, place in a plastic container. Label and freeze up to 3 months.
Parsnips
Peel and dice. Blanch 2 minutes, chill in iced water for 2 minutes, spread on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes. Pack into freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Peas
Shell, wash and blanch 1 minute. Chill in iced water 1 minute. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Peppers
Wash, remove seeds and cut into slices or leave whole. Place on a tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Freeze up to 6 months.
Potatoes
Scrub new potatoes. Cook in boiling water until almost done. Drain, cool, pack in freezer bags. Seal, label and freeze for up to 6 months. Slice and deep fry 4 minutes. They should be tender but not browned. Drain and cool on paper towels. Place on a tray in a single layer and freeze 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Freeze up to 3 months. Prepare mashed potatoes and freeze up to 3 months.
Pumpkin
Peel and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Mash, cool and pack into plastic containers leaving head space. Freeze up to 3 months. Alternatively, peel and cut into pieces. Bake until almost done. Pack into freezer bags when cool, remove the air, seal and label. Keeps up to 3 months.
Rutabaga
Only use tender young rutabaga. Cut to required size and blanch 3 minutes. Chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Shallots
Separate cloves and place in freezer bags. Remove excess air. Keeps up to 3 months. Snow Peas Use tender leaves. Wash and trim. Blanch 30 seconds. Chill in iced water 30 seconds. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Spinach
Wash well and trim leaves from stalks. Blanch in small quantities of boiling water for 1 minute. Chill in iced water for 1 minute. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Summer Squash
Peel and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Mash, cool and pack into freezer containers leaving room for expansion. Seal and label. Freeze up to 3 months.
Sugar Snap Pea
Remove pods, wash and blanch for 1 minute. Chill, drain and spread on a tray. Freeze of 30 minutes, pack in plastic bags, remove air, seal and label. Will keep up to 6 months.
Sweet Corn
Clean well and remove all silk. Cut off top of cob. Wash, blanch a few cobs at a time for 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Chill in iced water 5-7 minutes. Drain and wrap each cob in plastic wrap. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Freeze up to 6 months.
Sweet Potatoes
Peel and cut into pieces. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water, chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Tomatoes
Wash, remove stems, cut into halves or quarters or leave whole. Dry and pack into freezer bags. Remove air, label and seal. Keeps 6 months. Dip into boiling water 1 minute. Remove and peel. Place on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes. Place in plastic bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months. Simmer chopped tomatoes in a pan for 5 minutes or until soft. Push through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds. Cool and pack in plastic containers, leaving head space. Keeps 6 months.
Turnip
Peel and trim young, tender turnips. Cut to required size and blanch 3 minutes.Chill in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Water Chestnuts
Bring chestnuts to a boil. Drain and peel off shells. Pack in freezer bags or plastic containers, remove air, seal and label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Winter Squash
Peel, cut into pieces and cook in boiling water until just cooked. Cool and place in freezer bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 3 months.
Zucchini
Slice into 1 inch pieces without peeling. Sauté gently in a little melted butter until barely tender. Cool, pack into plastic containers leaving head space at the top. Freeze up to 3 months.

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