Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Freezer burn and pantry for 2 yrs Lana asked about

Lana This is how I protect my food in the pantry to last 2 yrs

Canning ... I use NEW canning lids and check the jar rims for cracks.. Ball right now has a suretight canning lid that the seal is suppose to be good for 18 months after used and 5 yrs before used. I check ALL my seals once a month.

In the freezer I follow the advice of a family member that lived 30 yrs in Alaska and put their own food in the freezer as the stores were 3 hrs away one way and not accessible during the long winter (about 6 months at least according to him)

DOUBLE WRAP meat... first a plastic (I use press and seal) and then vacuum bagged. I've had meat NOT freezer burnt that was 2 yrs old. Freezer burn does NOT turn food bad, it just dries it out and has a "burnt" taste that can be covered with a tangy marinade or sauce (yep I actually tried it with a freezer burnt roast and it was good)

Veggies and fruit I flash freeze

I then put them in sandwich bags in the serving size I need and then vacuum bag them. Example is corn, I put 1 cup in a sandwich bag and 4 bags in a vacuum bag (1 month of corn for us). When I open the vacuum bag I only take out what I want and then I leave the rest in the vacuum bag and put the open vacuum bag in a freeze bag in the kitchen frig freezer. That corn is used in 1 month while the other 11 months stay in the deep freezer.

Is it a part time job? can be but my pantry filled by my gardens or produce I buy at the Amish auction is a full time job year around, just more of the planning stage and making sure things work and are ordered if needed during the winter.

is the pantry saving me more than working outside the home.?

At one time this was all I had for a pantry. I started stocking can goods under the beds, couch, love seat, in corners behind doors, beside the love seat covered with a tablecloth as a stand,in the garage in rubber maid containers. Hubby was down to 3 days, we lost both houses, had no savings and the family and friends were putting food on the table because we had no garden.

BUT because Hubby's company had them working 3 days instead of just laying them off, we had HEALTH INS which good because I was laying on the couch dying...actually dying and my doctor was running hundreds of tests trying to find WHY. FYI... I'm allergic to blue dye and half my meds that were red had blue dye also in them along with the preservatives in the food I was eating took me down.

Two years later...

This was where I was at with my pantry. I was still working 11 days out of every month out of state as a private chef.  A combination of shopping Aldi's, growing a garden (in ground, square foot gardens, and over 2 dozen pots) and buying vegetables and fruit at the Amish produce auction was a full time job when I was home.

I went from spending $150 a wk for organic fruits and veggies to spending $10 a wk now days.

I plan ahead, we knew we wouldn't have a garden with buying the house in March (we actually offered at Christmas and it was accepted but the underwriter kept messing up the loan and our mortgage guy kept catching it). SO I put extra in the pantry 2017. NOW after moving, which was rougher on the pantry then I had planned as I have had several jars come open during the move.We are thinking the heat in the trailer caused the problems. ANYWAYS

As Hubby put it to a co worker that stated that when they checked into childcare so his wife could go back to work... she wasn't even going to earn enough at minimum wage to pay for the childcare and costs of going to work. BUT they need food on the table.SO Hubby told him how we did it.

If I was working outside the home at minimum wage which in Ohio is $8.55/hr
Let's say 7 to 3:30 (which is what Hubby is working right now) He gets paid for 8 hrs (no pay for lunch)... pay for 8 hrs / day 5 days a week is 40 hrs. That is $342 BEFORE social security, federal, State and school taxes are taken out.
Social security, and all taxes run us about 32% which is $102.60

  - $102.60
   $ 239.40 bring home for 40 hrs that equals $5.985/ hr bring home.

WAIT... I would have to leave at 6:30 and get home at 4 pm... which is actually 9 1/2 hrs so for 1 1/2 hrs a day I am not paid for times by 5 days a week is 7  1/2 hrs a week I would be gone but not paid for.

SO what would I be earning for the actual hours I would be gone (aka what I would have to pay a babysitter for if I had a child)

$239.40/47 1/2 hrs is $5.04 AFTER the taxes.... That's $47.88 a day...

WAIT !!!... cost of driving back and forth to work. If you are self employed you keep track of mileage and the gov't tells you what you claim for that which at this point is 58 cents/mile.  Hubby works 6 miles away so I will use that figure..

6 miles twice a day is 12 miles times 5 days a week is 60 miles times 58 cents/ mile ...that is $34.80 each that's $6.96 a day that needs to come off the $47.88..

SO without childcare I would be bringing home a total of $40.92 a day of a 9 1/2 hr day which is $4.31/ hr

Can I save that or earn that staying at home.

I can 56 pints(16 oz) jars of green beans yearly. To buy it I would be spending 65 cents per 16 oz. (FYI most cans in store are 14.5 oz now days). That is $36.40 for green beans. I plant 20 green plants and get my 56 pints AND fresh eating for $1.30.

 I know that my cost for lids is 20 cents each (I buy in bulk) so that costs is $11.20

At this point I have $12.50 in the green beans..

Average age of my jars is 10 yrs.The last time I bought canning jars I got them with lids for $5/ case which is 12. I can usually find them for around $8.  I don't count my jars in the cost as I use my jars FOR DECADES. but just to add it in there, doing the $8 for a case that would be $37.33 divided by the 10 yrs I use the jar would be... that's $3.73 FOR all 56 jars

Bringing green beans to $16.23

The cost of the propane (I use turkey fryers for canning so I don't heat up the house) is $8 for the tank as I get mine refilled from my supplier which is a LOT cheaper than a trade in for around $20. I use 3 tanks for canning season (yes that is what we call it here). I use 3/4 of a tank for green beans. I can get 8 pints in my canner and it takes 7 loads. SO that's additional $6

Bringing green beans to $22.23

That is $14.17 CHEAPER than the store bought...and it's organic

I spend 30 min /day hands on to weed, harvest and process those 56 pints. That is 3 hrs a week I don't count the time they are in the canner as I am doing other things then.

SO if I were to count my 3 hrs a week $14.17/3 hrs is $4.72 /hr. ...would be my earnings

Now...if I worked outside the home I would be bring home $4.31...LESS than green beans.

Granted I would earn a lot less with tomatoes or peas.... but winter squash, onions, garlic, potatoes, and sweet potatoes which is even less hands on time and NO canning brings that "wage" up.

SO on average, yes I SAVE more by working full time in the pantry( garden turned to pantry) then I would by working a full time job outside the home.

You have to figure out if you need cash in hand (I can sell my extra produce at the auction or at the end of the road) or can the you just do the physical and keep from spending the cash.