Meet our bargain basement, recently organized for better visibility. We are reworking both the garage/workshop and basement/game room while it's too damp to enjoy the outdoors. For several years we have taken advantage of sales, stocking up on staples and items that are suitable for longer term storage.
We have some old grocery store shelving- you should see the prices still marked on them- it'll make you cry! We organized by type of canned food and expiration date with a section for "Oops- better use NOW"! Bags of beans, rice and pasta are stored in the lower shelf tubs while packaged goods are higher and segregated by pasta, flavored pasta, potatoes, rice/bean flavored mixes, cake mixes, etc. For the cans, when we run out of the "current" shelf we will refill with the newer item on the lower shelf.
The USDA recommends
Except for "use-by" dates, product dates don't always refer to home storage and use after purchase. "Use-by" dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates.As long as the seal is not bad your properly canned food could last for years. It may not taste as good, but it should be fine.
You'll notice I have about 16 cans or better of coffee. That's the 34 oz tubs or cans I consider my emergency stash, a family practice dating back to my grandparents who came over from Denmark believing we would have a coffee shortage. We didn't but they probably never had to buy coffee again. I remember every cabinet and shelf stocked top to bottom with coffee, more than you could drink in years.
I had the last laugh here though. Most of this was purchased at $5 or $6 over the last year or so. A recent glance at the grocery shelves confirms this has at least doubled since 2009! I've seen it up to $14 for the large tub.
Our baked beans were $0.33 each and we bought a boatload. They are perfect for bonfire side dishes, holiday dinners, and regular dinners at home. They can be plain or doctored up savory or spicy, sweet or hot! All in all, they were cheap.
This does not include my pantry storage in the kitchen which is 7 ft tall and 2 ft deep which is way too deep to keep track of things, many of which get pushed to the back and lost. We'll transfer most of that downstairs keeping only the product we intend to use for the next couple of weeks up top. It also does not count our frozen or canned food we have stored such as the applesauce, pickles, cured ham, etc. All of these were purchased at great prices or grown and prepared ourselves. Add to this the laundry detergent we purchased on sale plus our new clothesline, we've just saved another handful of cash!