These are great knife sharpeners. They are crossed metal rods embedded in a plastic handle that you rest on the edge of a table or counter-top. I don’t know how well they work on sporting knives, but on kitchen knives they are great. They sharpen quickly and are seemingly foolproof. I have the set of three devices, with a total of four sharpening surfaces (from coarse to smooth): restore, sharpen, hone, polish/straighten. Using steel rods avoids the dusty gritty mess of dry sharpening stones, or the messiness of stones that require water or oil. 10 easy and quick strokes on the sharpening set of rods, and 10 on the honing set will get a dull knife slicing through meat and tomatoes like butter.
“No salt added” canned vegetables (Kroger brand) from Kroger. If the end code printing is a correct indication, they are actually canned by Libby’s. Regular canned vegeables have a high level of sodium due to the aded salt. No-salt varieties give you more options of adding your own favorite seasoning that might already have salt, when cooking.
Body Fortress brand whey protein from Walmart, $18 for 2 pounds. An inexpensive protein with a 2 year shelf-life.
When drinking whey protein, I add a little Baker’s Corner brand premium fat-free powdered milk from Aldi to make it into a smooth shake. Premium or “extra grade” powdered milk dissolves instantly in chilled water, and is immediately drinkable. Regular powdered milk takes a while to fully dissolve, is best mixed in tap water that has not been chilled, and usually has to be left in the fridge for several hours before it’s drinkable.
Somen noodles from Asian grocery stores, cook in 3 minutes.
Buckwheat (a.k.a. soba) noodles from Asian grocery stroes, cook in 5 to 6 minutes. A flavorful and healthy alternative to regular wheat noodles, and still a bit quicker than spaghetti.
Angel hair spaghetti, for when you want regular durum noodles, but cooks quicker than regular spaghetti.
Canned tuna in water from Aldi, another very inexpensive protein, with 2 to 3 year shelf life. They are currently selling “Northern Catch” brand, which I think is better quality than nationally advertised brands, and is 10 to 20 cents cheaper per can than house brands at Walmart and big name grocery stores.
Beans. Mexican grocery stores, and Indian or Indian-Pakistani stores, usually have a very wide variety of beans, at prices that are most often lower than name-brand grocery stores. They have a much wider variety than the church’s home storage centers. After storing beans longer than the normal 2 or 3 year expiration date printed on the package, they become so dried out that it is necessary to soak them for a full 24 hours before cooking. Otherwise, they will just become crumbly when cooked tender. After soaking, test a bean by breaking apart the two halves, then break the halves into quarters to verify that water has completely soaked into it prior to cooking. When cooking beans, if you need to replenish the water level, do not add cool water to the pot, as that will cause the beans to be tough instead of tender; boil some water separately, and then add it.
Some of my favorite varieties are Bola Roja and Mayo Coba at Mexican grocery stores, and Mung beans at Asian and Indian stores.
Basmati rice and Thai Jasmine rice are flavorful alternatives to plain white rice. They are a little more expensive than plain white rice, but that can be mitigated by buying 50 pound bags at Asian or Indian grocery stores. I’m not sure how the storage life compares to plain white rice.
Brown rice does not store long term due to the natural presence of oil in it. So you must pay attention to the expiration date on the package. Refrigeration may extend the useful storage life somewhat.
If you’re into wheat storage, get in on group orders to Wheat Montana. Last I heard, group orders of 4,000 pounds or more will get you a big price break and transportation savings. I find it to be higher quality than the wheat that the church sells at Home Storage Centers, and less expensive than Walton brand. Their hard white spring wheat, Prairie Gold, makes excellent whole wheat bread that has the taste and texture of regular bread. If you wish to sample Prairie Gold, you can get 25 pound bags of the whole wheat berries, or 5 pound bags of the whole wheat Prairie Gold flour at many Walmarts. If you buy direct from Wheat Montana you can get it in sealed 45 pound pails, or 5, 25, or 50 pound bags, or in flour form.
I love Everglades Seasoning.