Stocking the Pantry; Saving Money

My prepping philosophy is buy foods that we routinely eat and restock the pantry as needed, rather than purchasing the dried meal types or MRE’s. I want food on hand that we will actually eat and enjoy and allow me to take advantage of sales.

I recently wrote in Prepping for Polar Express 2021 about Gossner boxed milk that has a shelf life for one year and tastes like real milk. Keeping the pantry stocked eliminates last minute trips to the store.

I’m very excited about my latest find, Keystone Meats. Canned meats in our house has been limited to tuna, Spam and the occasional chicken. Keystone Meats is a family owned business since WWII. A cattle rancher, Raymond Dorley from Lima, Ohio added a meat packing company to his ranch. Raymond’s son, Dave expanded their operation to a small USDA approved cannery. Their processing facility, butcher shop and cannery is still in Lima, Ohio but their retail market has expanded all over the United States.

They choose lean cuts of meat to can, add just a little sea salt and no water. That’s it! Here is a link to their canning process.

Quality and convenience is great, but is it worth the money? I did a little research. How does Keystone Meats compare to purchasing and cooking it yourself? I first needed to determine an approximate shrinkage rate of the meat after cooking. I went to to get some help. The USDA actually tests this!

MeatShrinkage Raw WeightCan WeightCost Fresh1Cost Can1
2Beef13%1.98lb.28 ounces$12.94$6.98
3Chicken12.8%2.00lb.28 ounces$ 6.80$6.28
4Pork10.1%1.94 lb.28 ounces$5.88$6.28
5Turkey9.3%1.94 lb.28 ounces$4.56$6.28
80% gr. beef20%2.125lb.28 ounces$7.03$6.28

I was surprised at how economical the canned meats are in comparison to buying at the store and cooking at home. This does not take into account savings on electricity for the freezer, gas to the grocery store and cooking fuel. I like that I can have this on hand in case of an emergency, unexpected guests and a quick meal is needed and it saves on freezer space. I love that I know where this product comes from which fits into my Buy USA Plan, I’ve Accepted The Challenge – Will you?

I bought cans of each variety based on the excellent reviews across several sights. The biggest complaint for Amazon and Walmart was receiving dented cans. I have to report that at least Walmart paid attention. It was well wrapped and all cans were fine.

The final test is how does it taste? We enjoy bar-b-que pork sandwiches and it’s a quick fix, so this is where I started. Upon opening the can, I saw a small bit of fat, about 1 teaspoon, indicating the meat used was lean. I drained about 1 cup of natural pork broth which can be saved for soups and gravies. The meat did not have a salty taste as often canned meats do. It was quite good and I’ll probably be able to get about 5-6 nice sandwiches per can. I think next time I will add a little broth back to increase the moistness. I can’t wait to try the chicken, beef, ground beef and turkey. If I need recipe ideas, I can always visit Keystone’s website.

We’re planning on doing some rv camping this summer and this will be the perfect thing to take along for quick and simple meals. Oh and I don’t get any payment for this. I just enjoy passing on a new find!

  1. Prices from our local Walmart
  2. Used price of chuck roast for the comparison.
  3. Skinless, boneless breast
  4. Tyson All Natural Ribeye Boneless Loin Roast
  5. Butterball Turkey Breast

2 thoughts on “Stocking the Pantry; Saving Money

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