Pantry – Why buy beans in bulk?

Bulk Pinto Beans
Bulk Pinto Beans

Buy dried beans In bulk 

To save money

  • Compared to meat, beans are an economical source of protein. This is especially true if you compare them our price per pound basis.
  • Also, because of their room temperature storage potential, you can buy more at one time and store them longer without the need for refrigeration or freezing. So, you can take more advantage of sales and seasonal availability.

For Long-term storage

  • dry beans, also known as pulses, can be stored at normal room temperatures for years and still retain their nutritional value.

For Nutritional value

  • beans are a convenient source of protein and can be combined with other vegetables and foods to provide a holistic protein source.
  • Beans have a low cholesterol rating, basically, nonexistent.

Provide food Versatility

  • beans are very versatile, being only really limited by your creativity and your cooking capabilities.
  • Almost all beans, if properly prepared, can be used in soups, stews, and chilis
  • beans can be ground and added to other flours to increase the protein levels of baked goods
  • beans can be a centerpiece of a meal all on their own. For example, cattle beans with cornbread could be the centerpiece of a nice breakfast or lunch. As a matter of fact, I like cattle beans and cornbread for breakfast.

Reduce wastage

  • with a little bit of planning and care, beans can be worked into nearly any meal.
  • Depending on how they were cooked, beans can even be reprocessed and use an entirely different way. For example, cattle beans can be turned into refried beans.  Refried beans can become the filler for bean and cheese burritos and the list goes on.
  • Because beans can be cooked and eaten and as large and small quantities as is necessary, you can control the portion you cook and/or allocate across meals.

What is FIFO and how it applies to pantry?

First In, First Out (FIFO) Pantry Stock Rotation
First In, First Out (FIFO) Pantry Stock Rotation

My family has been practicing the FIFO method of panty and root cellar stock management since before I know what it was.   My grandmother and mother before me were both very attentive to the organization of our shelves and the age of our foods, nowadays commonly known as the ‘use by date’ and commercial grocery items.   Particularly, as we managed many pantry and root cellar item across multiple years.  Property canned fruits, vegetables, and meats can be stored and consumed for several years.  This is also true for some dried foods from the garden, fields, or even from local foragings, such as dried fruit (apples, apricots, plums), cereals (e.g. corn, wheat, barley), legumes (beans, bean britches, cowpeas) and so on.

What is FIFO?

First in, First out (FIFO) is an inventory management system in which, the first (or oldest ) stock is used first and the stock which has most recently been produced (canned, dried, etc.) and/or received (e.g. purchased) is only used after older items have been consumed. This ensures that the oldest stock is used first and reduces the costs and losses from spoilage.  This rule should also be applied to your freezer and refrigerator, as well.

How to implement FIFO in your pantry and/or root cellar

Implementing the basics are simple enough.  You really need to pay attention to a few things and be consistent.

  • Store items in the same place, and put newer items behind older items, moving older items forward (please see diagram above), on the shelf or wherever you stored  them
  • Make sure you store only undamaged items and properly prepared items
  • That you understand the relative shelve life of your pantry and root cellar stocks.  Even within a class of food, some items have shorter shelf lives than others.  For example, a cold stored acorn squash will, usually, only store a few months (3 or 4), where a butternut or neck pumpkin may last as long as a year.
  • That you plan your meals and canning schedules in a way that takes into account when foods are likely to spoil and how much of a given food your family can and/or will eat in a given period of time.