Rock Waterman

For many people starting out on their food storage program, it makes sense to buy an extra case of this or that while they are out grocery shopping.  But that strategy often proves to have a hidden expense few of us ever foresee.  I have learned through sad experience of the one big glitch in the plan.  I can tell it to you in two words:

“Expiration Date.”

People have told me how they have run into some of the same problems I’ve been experiencing myself.  One friend said she had a virtually fool-proof system of rotation in place, perfectly organized complete with index cards, she says “I realized that foods expire too fast and that I can only stock up to a certain quota or I’ll end up having to give it away and lose money.”

My friend had originally been purchasing from eFoodsDirect just to supplement those extra bulk purchases she had been bringing home from the store.  “But now,” she says, “I’m going to reverse that. Now eFoods will be my main stockpile as it has a long shelf life and my other cans will supplement it.”

This is what I have found to be the smarter strategy for me, too.

Yes, it’s a good idea to buy a case of tuna or fruit or other canned goods you eat regularly. But most of these are only good for about two years.  Many boxed meals such as rice and noodle mixes lose their flavor even sooner.  You have to keep a watchful eye on what you have and keep it in rotation.  Most “Best Before” dates will sneak up on you before you know it.

Right now in my closet sits the better part of two cases of peaches I never feel like eating, though I know I should.  I got them almost two years ago at a great price -fifty cents each for those large size 2 1/2 cans- because they happen to be the canned food equivalent of “seconds.” They’re misshapen cuts and odd slivers of peaches that the cannery can’t include in their name-brand cans, so they gather up these odd remnants and rejects and unload them at a discount.

My problem: This was an off-brand to begin with, and however tasty the good parts might have been, these seconds are not to my liking. With the first can I opened, I realized I had bought twenty-three cans too many.   They just don’t have the taste or texture of the canned peaches I’m accustomed to eating. Now I’m sure I’ll wish I had them if the day ever came when there’s nothing else to eat; but frankly, right now I’m not in the mood to force them down. And in another year or so those cans may start showing signs of botulism.  If I don’t eat them all right now, they won’t be any good to me at all.  But I don’t want them right now, and neither does my wife.

Same with several boxes of microwaveable Sweet & Sour Chicken & Rice I enthusiastically bought for a song just months before they were scheduled to expire.  I liked those a lot, but I tired of them after the first 48.  To my credit, I did eat five out of the six boxes I had bought (12 meals to a box), but my wife didn’t care for them at all, and I still have most of an entire box that is now a year past its date. Sorry, but I’ve had enough.

I may never be in the mood for this.

Don’t even ask me about the two cases of cold cereal I completely forgot about. Pretty much the only grocery store extras I bought that I could call a success story are the six cans of jam I got on sale.  We put one of those in the fridge every time we use another one up, and now I’m just about ready to buy six more.

There are some things—toilet paper, for instance—that you are wise to stock up on while you’re out shopping.  But like my friend, I find I’m better served getting the bulk of my food storage directly through eFoodsDirect. For one thing, after doing the math I find I save more buying the meals I like from eFoods than I can from the store. Further, I won’t find any surprises, because I’ve tried all the eFoods products and I’m passionate about them all.  The soups, as I’ve said before, are better than any I’ve had in fine restaurants.

Best of all, I don’t have to worry about my eFoodsDirect purchases going bad on me, because most of them will remain in tip-top condition for 25 years if need be.  I don’t have to stress out about having to hurry up and eat items I’m not in the mood for.  What I order from eFoodsDirect, I can put aside until I want it, or until I need it.

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