One of my biggest steps towards food preps was with oatmeal.
Seems a bit "simple", but I really researched it. The prices, the different packaging and the different kinds. I thought I'd share what I discovered for others who are still figuring all of this out. It all started some months ago when I announced to the kids that we were going to start having oatmeal once a week. I nearly had a revolt on my hands.
Eventually I mastered the technique of making really good oatmeal, actually spent time talking to my grandma about it. We progressed to a couple of times a week and now we have oatmeal about 3 times a week and it is enjoyed by all (one child out of seven doesn't eat a second bowl).
Then it was time to start looking into a bulk buy of oatmeal. I figured out we could consume about 10 lbs a month. Therefore 50 lbs would last about 5 months. A 6 pack case of #10 cans would last about 3 1/2 months. A canister from Walmart 2 meals.
Finally I had to decide WHICH oats to buy. Thanks to the internet and lots of help from my friends here, I finally understood the difference.
Oat Groats - the whole oat, stores longest
Oats Steel cut (or Irish Oats or Pinhead Oats) are the whole oats cut into about 4 pieces, with no processing.
Oats Old Fashioned or Regular - have been steamed and pressed
Oats Instant or Quick Oats - have been steamed, pressed, chopped
Then the packaging.
Canisters at Walmart? (This is how I started)
#10 cans for long term storage (will last 30 years)
Super Pails (packed in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers)
50 lb bags (best buy, must be repackaged for storage)
We ended up getting some of it all, except the Oat Groats (yet)! I bought up a bunch in the Walmart canisters right before the prices went up and to tide us over until orders came in. Those are being used up first. The Quick Oats came in the LDS #10 can and will be stored (good for 30 years) in case of a crisis where quick is necessary. The Old Fashioned/Regular Oats I ordered in #10 cans when I found them on sale and didn't have to worry about repackaging. Finally I ordered a 50 lb bag of the Steel Cut, repackaged into our own white buckets and got a great deal ($1 a lb ) when a small package at the store of this 'better' variety is $3 or $4
The steel cut oatmeal is VERY different from what we were used to. I LOVE it and my kids are warming up to it. Eventually I will only buy this kind...it's a progression! Maybe one day I'll even try the whole oat groats.Well, that's my Oatmeal Tale! Hope it gives someone a headstart if they're considering Oats as a Prep. It is very healthy!! economical, and a comfort food when you're sprinkling cinnamon, adding raisins, etc. Not to speak of the fact that these oats can be used in countless recipes for snacks, cookies, muffins, etc.