Using preps-what worked and what didn't

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Using preps-what worked and what didn't

Post  tygerkittn on Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:03 am

My husband got laid off in November, so to make the severance last longer, and because the next job will probably be out of state and we don't want to move all this food, we've been using preps.
Most of my preps consist of case packs from Amazon, I had subscriptions to hamburger helper, spam, mac & cheese, etc plus canned chicken and tuna from warehouse stores. We had canned chicken that was "best by" 2007 and it was perfectly good.
The canned food is all good, no problems with any canned meats, they're delicious and perfectly usable. Boxed pasta that was loose in the box, like mac & cheese, didn't fare well. It tasted like cardboard or had pantry moths. Most of the hamburger helper was fine, it expired in 2007 and 2008 but the potato kind and the pasta kind was great, with the exception of three boxes of philly cheesesteak flavor that was stored loose, not in case packs, and the pasta had actually turned to liquid, wow did that gross me out! I still get shivers thinking about it.
So pasta and potatoes that were in bags in a box, or even the kind in pouches with no box, seemed to be mostly OK. The pasta that was loose in the box wasn't OK. The plain pasta from walmart all had weevils, and it wasn't very old, I think walmart pasta is contaminated, and I'm glad I didn't store it with the rest of the food! The walmart canned tuna looked like it had a worm in it, I gave it all to the cats, fortunately almost all my tuna was name brand.
I also had case packs of cake mixes, I thought it would be good as a bread type food if we ate it without frosting, and the kids would like the sweetness. The three very old ones we tried were fine, but the cakes were dense and heavy. I googled, and found suggestions for adding extra leavening and liquid, which I'll try next time.
The spam was all fine, and tastes really good in rice or hamburger helper, especially the potato kinds, the chicken was excellent and good in any kind of hamburger helper, or just in plain rice. The tuna was also great, and good by itself mixed with spicy ranch dressing or in any cheese-based hamburger helper.
Rice pouches, mashed potato pouches, and pasta pouches seemed OK. I had three cases of taco seasoning envelopes (we had tacos made with canned chicken, it was pretty good!) that were all fine, a few had dried out, I used the ones that weren't too bad, and only ended up throwing away a few.
If I could change anything it would be my storage methods. Keeping the hamburger helper in the cardboard case packs was a good decision, storing boxes loose wasn't. Canned food upstairs had a bit of rust problem, nothing so bad I had to throw it away, but I should have dipped the ends of the cans in wax.
I had bags of restaurant supply stuff from amazon, gravy mixes, coleslaw mixes, alfredo mixes, etc, that look OK (Milani brand, hormel brand, and something else, I can't remember) One box of gravy mixes was super hard, but I'll check it and see if any is salvageable.
So any kind of canned food is good, and even hamburger helper, cake and cookie mixes, and minute rice can last really well if stored properly. We haven't touched the air-tight buckets or mountain house # 10 cans.
We went through two freezers full of meat and cheese, it didn't taste as good as fresh meat, but it was all perfectly edible. I actually prefer the canned meat to older meat from the freezer. The tubes of Butterball ground turkey tasted great, even though they were several years old, I think, and I didn't put them in anything, I just threw the tubes in the freezer. Meat stored in ziplocs, not so much. If my vacuum sealer hadn't died right after I bought it, it might have been a different story.
I bought the kids and Hubby Brita water bottles with filters, they like the taste better than bottled water and it's saved a fortune.
We still buy milk, eggs and cheese, (I have powdered versions of all three but they were expensive and I'd rather save them if possible) ice cream for a treat, and diet cola for me, I hate water. Everybody else prefers it. Weirdos. I have case packs of Carnation Instant breakfast, with ice cream it makes a nutritious dessert/treat and covers any vitamins we might be missing.
Anyway, if I think of anything else, or find out anything new, I'll post it.

tygerkittn
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Re: Using preps-what worked and what didn't

Post  Ozarks_1 on Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:09 pm

Canned food rust:
Although it's mildly time-consuming and a bit of work, you might consider removing the labels from canned foods, painting the cans completely with a good quality paint, and then write contents, date, and any other pertinent info on the can with a paint marker. (I prefer using a paint marker, but I suppose a permanent "Sharpie-type" marker might work as well.) Old-style military rations were simply painted cans.

FWIW -
Late last year I opened a can of salmon that I had painted and stored in 1995 ... it looked smelled and tasted fine.

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