Updated on 09.23.11

Spreading Out Your Grocery Shopping

Trent Hamm

Dinner with My Family is on a one week hiatus (which is party explained below). It will return next week.

Over the last month, Sarah and I have been experimenting with a longer period between grocery store trips.

Prior to this month, we had almost always done a weekly grocery store visit, usually on Saturday but occasionally on Sunday or Monday. This enabled us to do a single week meal plan, a process I described in detail a while back.

Simply put, we would just make a list of all of the meals we would make during the upcoming week, then we would buy groceries to fulfill those meals, along with staples like milk and so on.

Over the past few weeks, however, we’ve made a commitment to extend that period between grocery store visits for several reasons.

First, our pantry has a lot of stuff in it that needs to be used up. It’s almost full to the brim and it would be very good for us to use the stored food before some of it goes bad, such as the half-full container of quinoa or the egg noodles or the spices we purchased several months ago. This is purely a money-saving tactic, of course.

Second, our time constraints are different now. Sarah has returned to work and our two oldest children have a bevy of evening activities. This makes preparing a fresh meal from scratch every evening substantially more difficult than it was during the summer or when Sarah was off on maternity leave.

Third, we wanted to really explore options for make-ahead meals. Lately, we’ve been looking carefully at meals that we can make mostly in advance and store for the future. We want to try making a diversity of meals this way, from soups and stews to casseroles and pizzas.

Finally, we want to prolong the magic of our garden as we enter fall. If we can take some of those vegetables and use them in meals that we can use down the road, we’re extending the life of the fresh vegetables in our garden without putting them to waste. If we can use three more onions and three more tomatoes from our garden, that’s a good thing.

The end result of all of this is that over the last month, we’ve only been to the grocery store twice. How did we do it? Here are some of the specific tactics we used.

We switched to drinking water with our meals. This is something I’ve always done, but my wife and my two oldest children consistently drink skim milk with their evening meal. A month ago, we switched. The exception to this is our youngest child, whose pediatrician recommended that we keep him on whole milk for a while longer. Thus, we buy whole milk just for him, which lasted perfectly for two weeks twice now.

We’ve tried making double batches of almost every meal. If I make a homemade pizza, I make another one for the freezer. If we make soup, we store an extra batch of it in a gallon-sized freezer container. If we make a casserole, we make another one for the freezer. If we make burritos, we make a bunch of extra ones for the freezer.

We’ve tried to base meals on the items we have in our pantry. What can we do with a lot of quinoa and barley? How can we use a half a pound of ground tarragon? What can we do with this buckwheat flour? These are all questions we’ve considered over the last month or so – and most of them have come to good answers.

The end result of these methods is that for the month of August 15 to September 15, our grocery bill was about 50% lower than our average month of groceries. At the same time, we’ve also banked several meals into the freezer that we’ll be able to use in future months. (Yes, part of that reduction was due to an influx of vegetables from the garden, but not nearly all of it.)

The biggest reason why this has happened, in my opinion, is that we’re drastically reducing our impulse buys. Even with a grocery list, we usually tend to make a few impulse buys on each grocery store visit. This not only saves us money, but it also helps with our health as well.

Time, money, health – this move is a triple win, in my eyes.

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  1. Johanna says:

    You know, if you’re actually putting something simply, you shouldn’t have to say that it’s simply put – that should be obvious.

  2. Vicky says:

    I think I’ve been doing this for years? I hate going grocery shopping.. I generally go once every 2-3 weeks, and I clean out my pantry each time I make a shopping list

  3. Riki says:

    Yes, your overall spending would definitely go down when you eliminate impulse buys.

    But . . . if you’re saving 50% and attributing that entirely to reduced impulse purchases . . . doesn’t that mean half of your bill every week was caused by impulse buys? And doesn’t that mean you’re NOT following the make-a-meal-plan-and-a-list-and-stick-to-it advice that you always give?

    You’re saving money because you’re using pantry items and garden items. You’ve already paid for the stuff in the pantry and it’s the prime garden produce season . . . how could you not save money?

    I’m sure you’re spending less on impulse also, but I seriously doubt that’s where the bulk of your savings come from.

  4. valleycat1 says:

    My spouse is a master at creating a good meal out of miscellaneous items from the pantry and fridge.

    A way to keep the grocery bills lower in the future is to not stockpile so much stuff in the first place.

  5. friend says:

    Does pediatrician approve of kids giving up milk? Are they getting another source of calcium? What about Sarah? Not everybody needs milk, but everybody needs calcium, so I hope you’ve given some thought to that.

  6. Riki says:

    And you have a half a POUND of tarragon?

  7. valleycat1 says:

    And, next time, ask ‘how can we use half a pound of tarragon’ before you put it in the shopping basket! We buy large bags of cumin, but only because we know we’ll use it up quickly.

  8. Michelle says:

    @ #5 friend – If the kids are eating plenty of good fruits and veggies, they are getting plenty of calcium. 1 orange has more calcium in it than an entire glass of milk. The pediatrician is probably recommending it for the fat more than the calcium. Take it from a committed vegan, raising 3 vegan children.

    I’m kind of surprised that you just started doing this. I’ve been shopping twice a month for, forever. I just front load my fresh veggie heavy meals in the first week, and eat meals with more shelf stable ingredients in the second week.

  9. Josh says:

    So if you stock up in months 1-3, and then use the excess in month 4, is that really saving money?

    Also, I wouldn’t cut corners by refusing to at least allow your kids to have a glass of milk per day.

    As for me, I go to the grocery store almost everyday, (although it is right across the street from me), and most of the food I buy would spoil pretty quickly.

    Simply put, food that is stored in your pantry is not normally very good for you.

  10. Michelle says:

    Oh, and by the way, Quinoa has a shelf life of several years. So, unless it’s cooked, I wouldn’t worry so much about it going bad.

  11. rebecca says:

    Ditto Valleycat and Michelle! I also shop every 2 weeks, and just do a quick run for bananas and milk on the off week. Milk is not a necessary ingredient for health, my kids have it only a couple times a week, mostly when at school or if we eat out.

    I have found that the longer I go in between major shops, the more I need to plan, getting enough produce to last two weeks is a challenge, we are big veggie eaters and eat vegan several days a week. My kids go through 10 lbs of apples a week, plus 21 bananas and more just for 3 kids.

    I actually like how bare my fridge gets by the thursday of week 2. I can see if anything needs to be used up, and we rarely have food spoil before we get to it. And it is easy to wipe off the shelves and drawers before I go shopping so everything is clean and ready to be stocked when I get home.

  12. Tracy says:

    Where do you even GET half a pound of ground tarragon?! And just – why?

    “Time, money, health – this move is a triple win, in my eyes.”

    I do think that it’s a good idea to go on a pantry purge every few months to try to use up staples. But you’re not actually saving money on your grocery bill so much as front loading the cost in previous months. It is good though in terms of saving time.

    I am not sure the health benefit though, it seems to me that that’s pretty much a wash – how is what you’re eating now healthier than what you were eating 2 months ago?

  13. Jessica says:

    Drinking the milk of another species past weaning age is not normal. No other animal does it. There are other, healthier forms of calcium than drinking cow’s milk.

    And yes, I practice what I preach. Milk has always upset my stomach- I was a formula fed baby and they had to give me soy.

    And I breastfed my older child for 3 years and am still breastfeeding my younger one, who is 15 months. Which is not unusual in the history of humans to do- just unusual in American culture.

  14. friend says:

    Michelle #8, thanks for that thought. I hadn’t realized an orange had calcium at all (according to keep kids healthy dot com, where there’s a list of how much calcium is in various things, it’s only about 50 mg as compared to 300 mg in a cup of milk, but still, it’s something).

    Calcium fortified OJ of course is another story, but I fear I’m veering off topic here.

  15. dianne says:

    1. geez people, he said “evening meal.” they switched to water for one meal. makes sense to me.
    2. yeah i had to laugh about the tarragon thing! that’s a lot of tarragon! maybe package and sell it at a farmer’s market?
    3. it’s surprisingly easy to end up with a stockpile of stuff. and just as easily you can find yourself short on everything. i find myself doing best when i move fluidly between the two extremes. sometimes people have given us stuff (my mom is famous for that) so i’ll have 6 boxes of pasta in my pantry. other times i’ve done a lot of cooking ahead and depleted my supply of certain canned goods. it’s one of those constantly changing things.
    4. still, i agree – less trips to the store = savings, mainly b/c of the impulse buys. i try to do 2 weeks as often as possible.

  16. Johanna says:

    Not only tarragon, but *ground* tarragon. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a thing. It seems like a fairly terrible idea.

  17. Riki says:

    Maybe it’s a typo and it’s actually 1/2 pound ground beef or something similar?

    That would make way more sense.

  18. Jules says:

    I just hope the vegans who are commenting are watching their B12 intake and getting enough…

    I try to grocery shop twice a week. It sounds like a lot, but there’s only so much you can carry without a car…

  19. Johanna says:

    “I just hope the vegans who are commenting are watching their B12 intake and getting enough…”

    Thank you for your concern.

  20. Courtney20 says:

    After reading the opening sentence of this post, I kept looking for the part about your party and couldn’t find it…

  21. Des says:

    “I just hope the vegans who are commenting are watching their B12 intake and getting enough…”

    I sure hope that the diabetics who read this blog are watching their blood sugar, and the parents are watching their kids’ TV habits, and the overweight readers are watching their calories, and the poor are watching their pennies, and I do hope everybody is bathing regularly. After all, who *doesn’t* need strangers on the internet telling making backhanded comments about their health choices?

  22. krantcents says:

    This is the best way to find out what works or doesn’t work. Experiment with it. I a game, I think I ‘ll try it.

  23. Sharon says:

    I’m surprised there aren’t more folks commenting on the benefits of traditional grocery shopping, which means more trips than average. The healthiest foods must be bought frequently. About 75% of what’s in our cart every week is fruits and veggies that need to be replaced weekly, and more often than that would be ideal. I guess that, if the climate here in Texas would allow, I could probably get that from the garden…

  24. Larabara says:

    Maybe the tarragon came from his garden. That’s the only reason I can think of why anyone would have that much tarragon.

    I heard that in Europe (well France at least), many people go to the market daily and only buy fresh food to eat for that day. I wish I had that kind of time!

  25. EngineerMom says:

    I agree with previous comments that a healthy portion of the savings is coming from using previously-stockpiled pantry items, not from avoiding impulse buys.

    However, it seems a lot of people missed Trent’s comments on using produce from his garden and the health benefit aspect of that. He’s not only eating from his pantry, but his garden, too.

    I tried shopping every other week, but ran into two issues:
    1. We eat a lot of eggs, and I couldn’t physically fit enough for 2 weeks in our fridge (breakfast was 3 for me when pregnant, 2 for hubby, 1 for son, plus any I used in our “breakfast for dinner” once a week or “use it up” frittatas)
    2. We don’t have a garden, my son eats 2 bananas/day, and we all target 5-8 servings of fruits/veggies, at least 2 of which are fresh, per day. I couldn’t keep enough produce on hand without having to throw some of it out, since most in-season produce in the spring/summer is not very durable.

    I finally settled on once a week trips to the supermarket on the weekend supplemented with a mid-week run to a smaller grocery store to replenish fresh produce or egg supplies.

  26. kristine says:

    Sharon- I agree.
    About 60% of our weekly buy is fruit, veg, fresh meat, and things like milk, greek yogurt, etc. My healthy eating habits would be compromised by a 2x/month shopping norm. 2 weeks is longer than most fresh produce lasts. Canned veg- yuck! Canned fruit-to processed. Frozen veg- OK, but who wants to eat that for the whole second week straight?

    This plan only works well during harvest season. Like now. Mid-winter? Not so great.

  27. Andrew says:

    Simply put. a sentence of 35 words that follows the phrase “simply put” is not simply put.

  28. Kate says:

    so nice to know that the critics haven’t abandoned Trent. Sarcasm??? I think yes.

  29. valleycat1 says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how milk lasts 2 weeks. I don’t use milk, but my spouse does for cereal & refuses to use it beyond a week in the fridge.

    Our fridge & freezer are small so we don’t have room for 2 weeks’ worth of perishables. We have a small pantry that’s usually pretty full of canned goods & pasta, but we also live in earthquake country & that could come in handy some day!

  30. SwingCheese says:

    Hahaha @ Des (21). Well put!

    I usually shop once a week, and I’m sure I could cut money from that budget, but I’m ok with it. And about once every 3 months, my husband and I make sure that we clean out any accumulated goods in the pantry. Like others, if I shopped for 2 weeks’ worth of fresh goods, they would spoil. I had a bag of spinach go bad on me in 2 days recently. Which says more about that particular brand of spinach than anything else, I suppose.

  31. Jules says:

    @ Larabara: It doesn’t take much time, TBH. There are small grocery stores within walking/biking distance of just about every neighborhood, much the same as in big cities in the US. A visit to our local grocery store added only about 15 minutes to my walk home from work (yes, I have a commute-free commute).

  32. liz says:

    I really don’t understand why the same disgruntled half-dozen keep coming back to post different versions of “Trent Sucks”. I know, I know…you’re trying to “help” him improve his writing. Unfortunately, this method is about as helpful as one’s mum saying “You’d have such a pretty face if you’d just quit eating so much!”

    If you really feel he is illogical and his posts are poorly written, why oh why do you keep reading???

  33. Michael says:

    #32. I agree with you. Those constant critics have chased me away from the comments section. I come back occasionally to see if things have changed, but not yet. The first comment from this post is a great example – grammar correction with no mention of the content.

  34. Liz says:

    I go to the grocery store, which is 13 blocks away from home, weekly with a list. This list is made after checking the weekly ad and the coupon box. I routinely make double meals, so am cooking dinner from scratch only 3-4 times a week. Works for me.

  35. Carole says:

    If kids will drink milk, I think it’s an easy way to be sure they are getting adequate calcium. There are other ways, but one has to be vigilant to be sure that they are getting calcium sources every day.

  36. Joanna says:

    @Larabara: Agree with Jules here. It’s a matter of not being in the car, I think. When I was living in Spain I regularly stopped at the neighborhood produce store on my walk home to buy fruits and veggies. It was wonderful! They also had produce that tasted good, even tomatoes, wonder of wonders. It was tough adjusting back to the car lifestyle.

  37. marta says:

    I never got the whole drinking milk with dinner thing. Sounds really weird to me.

    That aside, as an apartment dweller without a garden, I couldn’t get by with going to the grocery store only every two weeks, because I would either be running out of produce or it’ll be spoiled by then. I go grocery shopping probably every 3-4 days, even if it’s just for some fruit. Then again, I have three big grocery stores within a 5 minute walk, as well as a market and several smaller businesses that could do in a pinch.

    I know many people keep to a strict schedule and load their shopping carts with stuff for two weeks or even the entire month, but that doesn’t work for me. I find that, by going frequently, and buying fewer stuff each time, I also ensure I won’t be letting food spoil.

  38. Maureen says:

    If you extend the time between shopping trips you are less likely to be able to take advantage of the grocery store’s loss leaders and other specials.

    Using up stock in your pantry will not ‘save’ you money since you did have to purchase those items.

  39. lurker carl says:

    We purchase a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, waiting a week or more between trips to replentish would mean either not eating or eating lower quality food. When I was growing up, my mother would go to a store about once a month or less to restock her larder with sugar, flour, salt, spices. This time of year, she’d make several trips each month to an orchard to pick up bushels of fruit to can. We lived on a farm so the garden, cows, chickens and plenty of manual labor provided the bulk of our nutrition – we were very self-sufficient.

    The people I know who go grocery shopping once or twice a month are very old, very sick, very poor or very remote. Getting to the store more often is physically, mentally and/or financially challenging. If health, finances or distance are not extreme; why not restock the perishables as needed?

  40. Peggy says:

    I see that quite a few don’t come here to get Trent’s opinion.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why he doesn’t contact you and ask you what YOU think he should post.

    After all, its only his blog, for heavens sake. How dare he!!! (facetiously posted)

  41. Becca says:

    The assumption that you get higher quality food going to the store more frequently is just wrong. Flash-frozen produce has more nutrition than “fresh,” which may have been picked weeks earlier and shipped from other regions of the world.
    We have for years been doing infrequent shopping. Right after shopping we tend to eat more fresh produce, then shift over to frozen and home-canned stuff. Whole milk can be frozen. We also use powdered milk (highest calcium for the calories) in acceptable ways, such as smoothies.
    Between major trips we make quickie stops to bulk-buy loss leaders. Because we buy a lot each time, we don’t need to hit every sale. We also coordinate with friends and pick up stuff for each other.
    Agreed, it helps to have freezer and storage space to do this.
    In general I find grocery shopping time-consuming and tedious, and I prefer to do it less frequently.

  42. Michelle says:

    I don’t know why people keep coming here to criticize the people who criticize Trent’s writing. If you don’t like it, don’t read the comments.

  43. Kim says:

    How do you keep your fresh fruits and vegetables fresh for 2 weeks? Our bananas go black long before that. What about your salad greens? Don’t they turn slimey? Doesn’t your bread mold? I would still need to stop at the store weekly to pick up these basics anyway so it wouldn’t save me any time.

  44. Kim says:

    I’m still looking for the PARTY explanation. When and where is the PARTY? Oh did you mean PARTLY? Proofreading is your friend, try it.

  45. Peggy says:

    I don’t understand why people who are so dissatisfied with this column don’t find one that they are satisfied with.

    Negativity is a big downer. At least Trent is trying to do something positive.

  46. Courtney20 says:

    Kim – when I mentioned that typo, I did so because it affected how I read the entire article (i.e. I was looking for how the party related to grocery shopping every two weeks, or how the party meant he wasn’t posting ‘dinner with my family’ this week). I couldn’t care less about ‘simply put’ or most typos, but reading that one in the first sentence threw me off for the rest of the post. THAT’S the reason why I commented on it earlier.

  47. em says:

    @29 valleycat1: I have a 1 year old who drinks whole milk and the rest of my family used to drink 1%. The whole milk can certainly last 2 weeks in the fridge without spoiling. The 1% not so much. You can start noticing it turning a little over a week. So a gallon of whole milk being used by one person can certainly last 2 weeks without going bad.

  48. jackie.n says:

    in my opinion TSD is not a blog, it is a business. it is his career, one that supports his family. he is the CEO. by his own admission he has been writing non-stop for several years, plenty of time to master the basics. so when readers commented multiple times that the food photos in “dinner with my family” posts were sloppy and poorly done–guess what? HE FIXED THE PROBLEM. when multiple readers have commented many times on his constant overuse of “simply”, “simply put”, and the plethora of commas–well, not addressed by trent. puzzling. i feel trent has positive and helpful information to deliver to his readers. it just gets frustrating to mentally count the “simply’s” that distract from the point of his posts. simply put, the equivalent of the word “umm”.
    when a poster dares to raise the subject of the quality of his writing again it’s considered “bashing”. how about, “simply put”, don’t all businesses welcome constructive comments from the very clientele that provides them with an income?
    (this post will probably go to moderation and never see the light of day anyway.)

  49. Terry says:

    I love this blog. Haven’t read it in a while because I have been in a new job and very busy. It is remarkable to me how grouchy some people are though on this post…critics! Negativity! Wow. Here’s someone giving away really good ideas..for FREE..and all some people can do is criticize Trent’s writing style, or some niggly little point that he makes, which for whatever reason they don’t agree with…Wow! People..WAKE UP…get a life! Instead of spreading your negativity why don’t you look for some positive feelings in yourselves and offer that to the world instead of this other stuff. ? Thanks Trent..You’re the best.

  50. jackie.n says:

    this is not a blog. TSD is a product that trent sells in his business. every single click on this website makes income for him. when a consumer (for example, me) makes a suggestion/comment that may improve his “income stream” how can he not benefit from it? especially if it’s not an isolated event and supported by other posters (aka his purchasers/consumers).
    the “niggly point” i mentioned would have had my high school english teacher marking my term papers several times with a red Sharpie.
    any business wanting to retain customers keeps them happy and takes note of feedback very carefully. no problem with llbean for example–a drawstring frayed on my warm up jacket–contact them–no problem. sent it back (free postage), repaired, returned,everyone happy and they kept my future business.
    not all posts that contain content or comments that may IMPROVE this site should be considered negative. perhaps refer to a grammar book first and then tell me i’m not permitted to have an opinion on the writing that my viewing supports financially.
    btw, i am awake and i do have a positive life.

  51. jim says:

    Milk can last a month if preserved with ultra high temperature preservation instead of basic pasteurization. Organic milk is usually UHT.

  52. joan says:

    This is the only blog that I have been to that allows this many comments. And I have been to several very popular blogs with lots of viewers. Trent allows the comments, however; I do believe some viewers only come to this blog in order to criticize. #50 Jackie, I believe each time you click on this site, Trent receives less than one penny. Your comments would not have passed a third grade teacher of English grammer so how can you criticize anyone?

  53. BirdDog says:

    TSD was the first personal finance blog I read. Then, I gradually started reading Get Rich Slowly. I used to feel I could relate more to Trent now sometimes I feel that I can relate to J.D. more. Regardless, I still visit both sites at least every other day and I enjoy both. If I were paying for the content, I would feel I had a right to complain about typos or too many posts about the same things, typos, etc. As none of us are paying for the content, I don’t see the sense in getting all riled up about typos or redundant use of some words or phrases.

  54. BirdDog says:

    Please forgive my grammar and use of typos twice in the same comment, I’m typing on an iPad.

  55. Kathy F says:

    I read Trent’s blog for content, not style. And I read the comments, partly for entertainment to see how snide and petty people can be.

  56. MattJ says:

    I come here for the commenters. In my opinion, the #1 strength of this blog is that it draws a solid group of commenters (many of whom often, and in my view correctly, take issue with Trent)

    I’m not such a fan of the nitpicky “you’ll never be a good writer if you keep making this obscure grammar error or committing this questionable writing style foul or missing this or that typo” comments.

    I don’t know of a better place to get good personal finance advice on the web than by posing it to Trent, and letting his commenters either agree or disagree with his mostly good, but sometimes thoroughly awful advice. If I had the sense that he was censoring his commenters or if he ever shut comments down, I would leave and never come back.

    What puzzles me is that some of his commenters continue to address Trent in the comments, when it’s fairly obvious that he rarely or never reads the comments. If you have a suggestion to make or a question to pose to him, you really have to email him, it seems to me. I think he only reads the comments if the post in question is also causing him to get a lot of email traffic. How else to explain the fact that he still, every couple of months or so, gives the old “Save up your emergency fund before starting a Roth IRA” advice, when every time he gives that advice, one or more commenters shows up and gives the better advice that a Roth IRA can function perfectly well as an emergency fund so long as you invest the contributions in a stable, cash-like investment, such as a money market account?

  57. Georgia says:

    Valleycat1 @29 – In reading all these financial and savings blogs, I received a neat little trick to use with milk. I love to try all these hints that cost virtually nothing and, if they work, are stupendous.

    I have used milk up to 6 weeks past the “sell by” date. It is supposed to last at least 2 weeks longer. That date is for the store owner. And milk is one of those products that you can tell instantly by smell or taste if it is going bad.

    The hint is very easy to do. Just open your milk when you get it home and drop in a pinch of salt. I have been doing this all of 2011 and only had one jug of milk go bad. It happened so quickly that I feel I got a bad jug to begin with.
    I use milk for dry cereal most mornings and drink some occasionally. I am on a set income and cannot afford to waste a lot of food.

    Try the hint – you might like it. And one further idea – if your milk goes bad, you can still use it. Ever bake a “sour milk cake?” It is luscious.

  58. kristine says:

    Matt- I come here for the commenters most of the time too. Many enrich the article past the original scope, often the contrary ones. I have no problem with dissent, lively debate, or better answers. And this is not “some guys blog”, completely altruistic in nature. it is a money making venture. Fraction of a penny per click, but 2x a day by approx. 88K readers. Adds up. Comments are the only job review or editorial feedback the writer will ever get.

  59. AnnJo says:

    Sharon @23 says, “The healthiest foods must be bought frequently.” I disagree.

    I reviewed my pantry inventory and here are some of the healthy foods I have in quantity:

    Salt, honey, whole spices (black peppercorns, mustard seeds, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, coriander, etc.), whole wheat kernels (from which I grind my own bread flour), popcorn (from which I grind my own cornmeal), barley, quinoa, oatmeal, lentils, split peas, beans (white, black, pinto, red, garbanzo), rice (converted, basmati, short grain and brown), a wide variety of dried pastas, olive oil, dried cheese, and dried milk (for yogurt and baking needs).

    Canned or dried fruits and vegetables may not be quite as healthy as truly fresh ones, but may be more healthy than what passes for fresh at some stores, and are sure healthier than none at all.

    Canned meats and fish are probably healthier than fresh. Assuming proper canning technique, there’s less chance of bacterial contamination.

    All of these items will easily last a year if stored in a cool, dark, dry place, without losing any significant nutritional value. Some will last 10 years or more, if necessary.

    They’ll also be MUCH cheaper purchased in bulk and on sale, and they’ll be available when they’re needed.

    Given the inevitability of local or regional disruptions of the food supply chain somewhere every year or two (from earthquakes, hurricanes, power supply accidents, tornadoes, etc.), and the constant possibility of personal crises(unemployment, disability, identity theft), it’s a little scary to read so many comments from people who would literally run out of food if they couldn’t get to the store for a week or two or their debit card didn’t scan. I hope they are really that lucky.

  60. Kate says:

    It’s only my husband and myself at home these days–I have started purchasing organic milk in cartons and it lasts quite a long time. It isn’t the cheapest choice but I was getting tired of so much plastic going to the landfill. Whole milk lasts a lot longer than 2 percent and skim and the fat helps you absorb the nutrients. Frankly, I think that the pushing of low fat milk was never intended to make people healthier but to make money off the fat that was removed. I have read numerous articles that suggest the removal of the fat in dairy products has led to more people experiencing lactose intolerance. Several years ago, I moved to whole fat and real butter, but in moderation. I think it is healthier in the long run.
    I am intrigued by the pinch of salt idea and agree with Georgia that sour milk can be used for all kinds of baked goods.

  61. Kate says:

    oops…Re: #60–should have said “whole milk” instead of “whole fat”. Amazing what the eye and brain will miss when proofreading.

  62. Tom says:

    After all, who *doesn’t* need strangers on the internet telling making backhanded comments about their health choices?
    The irony kills me here. Not saying you do it to Trent, Des, but it’s funny to see this comment on a chain that is fairly critical of the original post (health or grammar, take your pick)

    I’m surprised the youngest is on whole milk already, I though (s)he was less than 1 yr old?

  63. Angie says:

    I get tired of reading what all the nitpicking naysayers have to say, too.

    I read the comments for more ideas that expound on the original post. I agree with whomever said that if you have a problem, perhaps you should email Trent directly. I have actually done this on a few different occasions and received replies.

    As far as grammar flaws go, they happen to the best of us. I could probably point out something that nearly every single one of you have done if I were given access to all of your public writing.

    It’s not a big deal unless you make it one.

    One more thing. It’s very obvious by the context that it is meant to be *partly* in the first sentence. If you really can’t figure that out, I’d say it’s on YOU, not Trent.

  64. Courtney20 says:

    Angie – “which is a party explained below” makes perfect sense to me. After having read the whole post somewhat confused with no mention of the party, and then going back to the beginning and having to say “oh I guess he meant partly” makes less sense, because I’d think the fact that the series is on hiatus for a week can be *entirely* explained by the fact that they’re ‘eating down the pantry’ this week.

  65. Angie says:

    It doesn’t say “which is A party explained below”, it says “which is party explained below.”

  66. Baley says:

    Yeah. It was very easy to see he meant “partly.” I didn’t even flinch at that one (and never assumed he meant “party”). “Which is a party explained below,” even if he had said that, doesn’t make a bit of sense as a sentence. It’s much easier to see he just omitted the “l” in partly.

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