Potatoes are a main staple in my pantry. Per pound, potatoes are one of the least expensive foods that you can buy.
A modern-day root cellar
Kept indoors, potatoes start to sprout in about a week. Because I like to stock up on potatoes when they’re on sale for .20 a pound or less, this makes it difficult to get potatoes only when they’re at the lowest price. Ideally, potatoes should be stored above freezing, around 40º to 45º F, which explains why keeping them in the house at 75º doesn’t work so well!
A great place to store them is in the fridge. If you have a second fridge, you can really stock up! An unheated corner of a basement can also work. In the winter, I’m able to keep them in my pantry in my garage, where it stays 55º during the winter, for 2-3 months.
Before Thanksgiving, I bought 360 pounds (that’s only $72!). At .20 a pound, that’s 5-6 times cheaper per pound than pasta or beans.
I always get asked how we can eat that many potatoes before they go bad. It’s simple, really. First of all, there are 8 of us. Now, one is a nursing baby, but I’m pretty sure she’ll like potatoes too when she’s bigger. Even so, it still means we’re eating about 30 pounds of potatoes a week during the winter. For $6 a week, all of us can eat
Roasted Rosemary Potatoes: Combine cut potatoes, olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh rosemary from the garden, roasted in the oven for about an hour, for a delicious and simple side dish.
Baked Potatoes: One night a week during the winter, we have a baked potato bar for dinner. I bake 10 pounds of potatoes (yep, the whole bag!) Each person can have as many as they’d like. Leftovers are used the next morning as:
Country-style potatoes: Cube already cooked potatoes, and fry with chopped onions and chopped bell peppers. If you like, serve these alongside scrambled eggs.
Potato Soup: Yummy! Need I say more?
In stuff: I dice up potatoes to use in minestrone soup, cut them up a bit bigger for Autumn Stew, beef stew, or pot roast, and cook them with beans and other ingredients in Pasta e Fagoili.
And if these ideas aren’t enough for you, I’ve got a few more potato recipes in my archives at The Prudent Homemaker!
– Brandy Simper is the mother of 6 children, ages 8 and under. She and her family frequently go months without going to the grocery store, so she keeps a well-stocked pantry and a garden. She writes about the food her family eats, sewing, gardening, and homeschooling at The Prudent Homemaker. If you live in Las Vegas, you can hear her speak on food storage and gardening, and you can see her garden at one of the many garden tours she gives during the year.