I did a quick mini-inventory of storage pantry food and regular food this week, and we filled in a few things as well as taking advantage of some sales. We spent $15.54 on canola oil, which brought us back up to enough for at least a couple of months (use of this varies a lot from week to week). In the meantime, I can watch for a good sale as this is an item that seems to have gone up recently quite a bit. And 2 four-pound-bags of sugar for $1.94 each and 3 pounds of corn meal for $2, not great prices, but we were getting low on these.
Very little produce was on sale this week, and we only picked up some mushrooms for a low fat/cal supper soup and 3 apples, plus milk, bread, enchilada sauce, and soy sauce. Almost everything else took advantage of sales to build up the pantry and storage foods. We picked up almost $20 of boneless skinless chicken on sale, 9 twelve-ounce-packages of a good brand of pasta for $.50 each, a couple of cans of diced tomatoes at $.50 each, a canister of oatmeal for $2.59, 2 one-pound-jars of natural-style peanut butter for $1.25 each, one pound of pearled barley for $.65, cocoa, salad dressing at $1.25, 2 pounds of brown rice at $1.29, and frozen diced onions for $.88. I also picked up two packages of taco seasonings on sale for $.32 each to test for flavor, though we're more likely to use these to work out adjustments to our own seasoning recipes.
My total was $83.59, of which almost half went for chicken and canola oil. Not our best week, and we let a couple of things slip past at the register that didn't ring up at the correct sales price (cost me about $.90). But we picked up over 20 pounds of dry staple foods as well, plus some canned items that are going into the pantry. I could probably have gotten the milk and just enough of daily items and things we actually need immediately for about $20, or less.
Oh, a word about dry foods like flour. Insects often love these, which could ruin your storage strategy. I recommend storing in sealed containers on upper shelves. And we use bay leaves around flour, sugar, dry beans, and instant mashed potatoes as a natural repellant. If you doubt the efficiency of herbs, you may be able to find some kind of commercial repellent. Or, if you have the freezer space, some of these freeze well. I'd suggest freezing in small packages so you only take out enough for one or two weeks at a time.