Sunday, June 3, 2012
More Cheap Long Term Food Storage
This post is about preparing your own food for long term storage. It is continued from a previous post.
Sometimes I used paper in between the iron and the plastic to protect the iron from getting scorched plastic all over it. You can get the iron hotter if you use brown paper that comes from wrapping things or from paper bags.
I found that it was easier to have the iron hotter because it seals faster and you don't have to hold the plastic together as long. I used chopsticks to hold the plastic closed while ironing it to seal it.
I sealed my dried foods into serving sized packages. I often sealed a batch of serving sized packages into a larger bag.
This method is ideal for using up fruits or vegetables that might spoil before you can use them up. That last bit of celery is good for at least a meal of soup, if you dry it and seal it, for example.
I also find it convenient to tuck a serving sized packet of fruit into a pocket along with some nuts and crackers to eat for lunch when I can't get home. This combination can be a balanced meal.
This saves a lot of money, not only because of not having to buy lunch, but because you don't spend extra money because you are not shopping when you are hungry.
If you decide to carry dried food with you for a meal or snack, please remember to chew it thoroughly and drink it with lots of fluids. The dried food will expand back to normal size once it is inside you and is moist again. Water will be pulled out of your body if you don't drink enough while eating your dried food. This could cause you to become dehydrated or eat too much.
It is very easy to eat too much dried food because it is small and does not take long to eat. Once the dried food returns to its un-dried size, you could also have a terrible stomach ache from it. A whole banana can be only a handful of banana chips when dried, but when it gets inside you it will still be a whole banana. It is easy to down three or more dried bananas in a few minutes.
Shopping when you are hungry, makes you more likely to buy things you don't really need and ruin your budget. I have done previous posts on this subject. Many studies have been done on the buying habits of shoppers and I gave links to some of them.
I would mostly rather have some food that will last me for a while than some kind of junk food that will be gone in a minute or so, and probably be unhealthy for me as well. An example of this is that a large container of old fashioned rolled oats will usually cost less than a bag of cookies or potato chips. (Potato chips are called crisps in many countries.) The oats will last for many meals, the cookies or potato chips may provide only a snack or a few of them, at most.
During an emergency, measuring out serving portions of foods may add to your stress by making meal preparation more difficult. Emergencies are stressful enough, so planning to lessen this by making your food preparation easier will help you.