Jun 7, 2012

What size should I buy?

Those of us who have been working on building up food storage for a long time often don't think about the terms that we use and forget that others may not realize what a #10 can is.  I usually describe it as "those large cans of vegetables or tomato sauce you would buy at Sam's?" or food service sized cans, like in a cafeteria at school.  But it also has been described as "gallon sized" can.  Basically, it's a large can of whatever food you are buying.

But what if I don't want that much?
Shelf Reliance actually offers most THRIVE Foods in 3 to 4 sized containers.  The smallest is the pouch size.
Pouch sized items have a seal across the top, plus have a reusable seal about a inch lower.  Most THRIVE foods in the pouch have a 5 year Unopened Shelf Life and the same Opened Shelf Life as the other sizes.

The pantry can is the next size up from the Pouch.  It is the same design as a #10 can but is smaller.  It's designed to fit in your pantry or cupboard easily.  It has the same Unopened and Opened Shelf Life as the #10 cans.

Next up is the popular #10 can.  Many THRIVE Foods have a 25 year Unopened Shelf Life and a 1-2 year Opened Shelf Life.  To find out the Shelf Life of a product, you can look at it's product page on imthriving.shelfreliance.com.  The information is also available on our Home Party Price List.  Both locations also show you the number of servings per container.

And the largest container is the Bucket.  Your THRIVE Foods are sealed in a large mylar bag with oxygen absorbers inside.  Then it is sealed in a bucket with a GAMMA lid on top for easy access.  The GAMMA lids make daily use easy.  In general the bucket holds the equivalent of 7-8 #10 cans.  Not all products are available in buckets, but most grains, beans, milk and TVP products are available in the bucket size.

I also want to mention that if you prefer the #10 cans but want to order in larger quantities, you can order by the case.  A case holds 6 #10 cans of the same product and saves you 5% off the price of ordering 6 individual cans.  You can also buy a Pantry 10-Pack, which is 10 Pantry cans of the same product.

Now let's look at the numbers for the Instant Milk.

In our price lists, #10 Cans are listed at the top for each product.  Going across, you'll see the item #, the Retail Price, the Home Party/Q Club Price, # Servings, Unopened Shelf Life and finally Opened Shelf Life.  Note how the Pouch has a shorter Unopened Shelf Life than the other sizes.

For the Instant Milk, a #10 can has 53 servings at $19.59, so $0.369 per serving.  A serving is 1 cup of prepared milk.  Now let's compare:
#10 can= 36.9¢ per serving
Pantry = 52.6¢ per serving
Pouch = 81¢ per serving
Bucket = 19.7¢ per serving
Case = 35.1¢ per serving
Pantry 10-Pack = 51.1¢ per serving

**And for those who are wondering, if you estimate fresh milk at $3.50 for 1  gallon = 21.9¢ per serving. 

In general, you can safely say that the larger containers will give you a better per serving price.  So why would you decide to buy a smaller container instead of a larger one, for a less expensive per serving price?  There are several reasons that I can come up with -
  • Opened Shelf Life.  The Instant Milk has a great Opened Shelf Life of 2 years; but the Whole Egg Powder has a 1 year Opened Shelf Life.  Unless we were strictly living off our food storage, my family of four is not likely to use up a #10 can of Whole Egg Powder (equivalent of 216 eggs) before the Opened Shelf Life expired.  Remember the most expensive food is the food you throw away!
  • Distance Traveling.  A close friend had a job that required him to travel extensively.  Instead of eating out every meal, he would prepare meals in his hotel room.  How wonderful it would have been for him to have Shelf Reliance (it was before I was introduced to THRIVE) to prepare delicious, easy meals!  My Mom is an avid camper (she has retired to an RV rather than backpacking) but her storage space is limited.  In both of these cases, having a pantry can or a pouch would be perfect.  And you could refill them from your #10 can or bucket.
  • Trying something new.  Want to try something new without investing in a larger quantity?  The pouch or pantry can gives you more than just a sample to truly know if it's something your family will eat.
  • Sampling.  As a consultant, I love the pantry cans for presenting at Home Parties and at Expos.  They are small enough to take with me but contain plenty for the recipes I make and for sampling.  Again, I can restock from my #10 cans.
  • Not a favorite food.  Our family does not love celery.  If I buy it for a recipe, I end up throwing most of it away.  So instead of a #10 can, I bought a pantry can of FD Celery to use in recipes.
  • Snacks on the go.  I take Strawberry Yogurt Bites with us constantly.  They are our Go To snack.  Being able to grab a pantry can of our favorite THRIVE foods (FD Sweet Corn, yogurt bites, FD Apple Slices) is much easier than transferring foods to a ziploc bag plus it protects the food much better from being stepped on if it gets loose in our vehicle.  (And as a consultant or hostess, this is great advertising as we sit and munch at soccer practice.)
  • Cooking for 1 or 2.  Several of my customers are empty nesters.  Purchasing in a pantry can just makes sense for them.
  • Gifts.  For teacher appreciation, I prepared a cute card and attached it to a pouch of FD Strawberries.  You could do this for all kinds of celebrations.
  • Prizes.  Are you hosting a shower?  You could turn a pouch or a pantry can into a cute door prize.  As a consultant, they are also great as a Hostess Thank You or a door prize.
What size works for you will depend on your tastes, the number of people you're feeding, how often you'll be using the product, your storage space, and how you'll be using it (on the go versus always at home).   Shelf Reliance has the size for you!