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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Review (and GIVEAWAY!): It's In the Bag

When Hannah and Abbie asked if I would be willing to review a new food storage book, I readily agreed, especially since I am currently in a bit of a food storage funk.


Michelle and Trent Snow's It's in the Bag: A New, Easy, Affordable, and Doable Approach to Food Storage is definitely a new take on storing food.


The book is divided into three sections. Section One is devoted to the Snow's bagged meal system and accompanying recipes. Section Two focuses on food storage skills like making cheese and yogurt, sprouting seeds, home canning basics, and even directions on how to make your own chicken coop. The third section is a short one and addresses additional helpful hints like measuring conversions. I'm going to focus mostly on the first section since that it contains the key concept of the book: bagged food storage meals.


Basically, their entire years' supply consists of bags with all the needed supplies for each breakfast and dinner contained in the bag.


The Snows use a 10" tall gift bag with a recipe, label, and expiration date attached to the front, filled with the ingredients needed to make that particular meal. You pre-measure the spices, powdered milk (and eggs), etc. and put them into a ziploc baggie. You even include bottled water if the recipe requires it, along with the obvious cans, whether they are store-bought or home-canned. The bag does not include pantry shelf items, like vinegar or oil. To assemble the meal, you simply put the ingredients together, and the authors say that most of these meals can be completed within twenty minutes.


Some of the advantages of this type of food storage system (instead of just having your shelves full of cans) that the book describes include the following:


(1) Space efficient
(2) Cost effective
(3) Simple and convenient
(4) Easy for unexpected company or dinners to give away


As I was reading, I was very surprised to learn that Michelle and Trent eat breakfast and dinner out of their bagged meals 365 days a year and simply refill them as they use them. Wow. I still can't get over that.


One of the disadvantages that I personally see with this system is that realistically I would not want to have 365 breakfast and dinner meals pre-prepared in my basement, nor would I be interested in eating all of those meals in a year to prevent their spoiling. However, their suggestion is to have an expiration date on the bag so you can make sure you're using the oldest food first. The recipes rely a lot on canned foods (obviously), some of which I don't have in my current food storage, like powdered eggs, lots of canned meat, etc.


Frankly, I find the concept very intriguing. While I wouldn't want to use it for my years' supply (because I'd have to eat them so frequently), I could see myself having a few months of meals and then interspersing them with my fresher meals once or twice a week. The recipes (both dinner and breakfast) look appealing, and there are over a hundred of them, which really takes a lot of the mental work out of putting your three-months' supply together.


All in all, It's in the Bag is a thoughtful and encouraging take on food storage. The recipes are very helpful whether you use the bag concept or not, especially if you want to collect more pantry-friendly recipes. It makes the idea of putting together meals for a few months more practical and doable.


Perhaps I'll prepare a few of these meals, put them in bags, and see how it goes!


**************


Thanks Brittany for the great review, and thanks to Michelle Snow for sending us the book to review!


Want to win a copy of "It's in the Bag"?  Michelle herself is going to send TWO lucky readers their own personalized copy!  Just comment on this post and tell us, 


"What is your dream vacation?"


I know it doesn't have anything to do with food storage but I love this question and it'll be fun for us to read where everyone wants to go!


This giveaway ends at midnight (PDT) on Friday, August 27.  One comment per person, please.  We'll randomly choose two winners and announce the winners on Saturday.


Good luck!

76 comments:

Jenny and Jake said...

Honestly, I am such a home-body, that my dream vacation is this:

My husband having two weeks off from work, all of our projects are done, premade dinners, lunches, etc. Our gorgeous yard is landscaped in gardens. And we spend two weeks chatting, playing games, and lounging in our hammocks that are strategically placed next to each other in the shade.

I think that sounds wonderful!

misskate said...

What a cool new take on food storage! I'm very intrigued, this would be a fun book to win! :)

My dream vacation is to go to Hawaii. A little cliche, maybe.. but I've never been and I'd love to see an active volcano and the black sand beach. Plus, I'm the biggest nerd and would love to see some of the LOST sites too.

kate
http://misskate211.blogspot.com/

Dorothy said...

I'm putting together an ongoing monthly food storage class for the next year, so I am looking for ALL ideas. This book looks like a great option!

Dream vacation???? Right now I think I would have to say a trip to Utah to see all our family and friends, as well as the mountains and BYU!!!....we moved away 5 years ago and haven't been able to get back yet...and we do miss our old stompin' grounds :)

Destiny said...

My dream vacation would me one with just my husband and I--no kids!

Domestic Diva said...

I'd love to go Greek Island hopping. And one day, I will.

The Harried Homemaker said...

My dream vacation would be an excursion to National Parks in the West (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc.). I've never been to that part of the country.

Anonymous said...

To Disneyland with our children, if the drive were magically shorter. :)

Trina said...

My husband has always wanted to go to Alaska, and three placed I'd love to see at some point in life are Iceland, the Galapagos Islands, and Machu Picchu, Peru.

utahraptors at zookee dot org

WalkConkies said...

I agree with you on wanting to put together some of these meals and rotating them into our regular - fresh meals!

I think my dream vacation would be to rent a motor home and take the whole family for a long drive across the country, focussing on church and national historical sites! I'm guessing it would be more fun once our babies are grown up!?!

Katy said...

I would love more than anything to visit Australia. If only we had a few extra thousand dollars laying around for the plane ticket...

The concept of this book is really interesting, though I tend to agree with the reviewer that I wouldn't want to actually have to eat a bag meal every day when I didn't have too.

krossgen AT yahoo DOT com

Morgan Koji said...

I would love to go on a cruise to Alaska, no kids. Thanks for a great giveaway!

Genean said...

Dream vaca?...Somewhere close to home. I don't care so much about what I see as what I get to eat!

Thanks for the giveaway. The book looks intriguing.

Carlyn said...

My dream vacation would be a 2-month tour of Europe--England, France, Italy, Greece, Germany. I would love to visit castles, museums and many historical sites.

B_bug said...

Bora Bora

sun, sand and a drink in my hand :)

Wendy said...

I would love to return to the Philippines where I served my mission. The people are the real pull, but the country in general is so beautiful!

Sprouting Seeds said...

Wow, you went to the philippines? I went there on my mission too.

Sprouting Seeds said...

By the way... Does anyone know the best place to buy sprouting seeds kits?

Emily said...

I've never been to Hawaii and would love to go without kids!

Debbie said...

This looks like such an interesting book. I am not sure I would have room anywhere in my house for something like that, but I would still like to read the book. Thanks for the giveaway.

My dream vacation... That is a tough one. There are a lot of places I would like to go - Completely unrealistic would probably be to tour Asia, with the final stop in Japan for a month or so.

Katie said...

a warm beach somewhere! Swimming, reading, resting, warm sunshine.

Sarah said...

What an interesting new take on food storage! I would love to learn more about it and have more food storage friendly recipes.

As far as a dream vacation...I would have to say the Caribbean.

Amber said...

My dream vacation is a cruise around the world, stopping in all the major locations to see the history of the country. Although I love vacations with just my hubby and I, my dream vacation would definitely include my kids.

hope said...

Personally I would love to go to South America and visit the ancient Mayan ruins. Followed closely by a trip to Egypt, to compare the two civilizations. I think that would be an amazing experience!

Shane and Brandi said...

If it were my honey and I we would go to Italy. With the kids anywhere along the west coast beach. The kids love to surf, and we always have a great time there.

Sariah said...

I would love to go to Scotland and Ireland.

Lei said...

EUROPE

Mrs. Pear said...

My dream vacation is that when the girls are a bit older we go to Hawaii to study volcanoes. And when they are in their teens to go to France to see the art.

MorgAnnie said...

Dream Vacation...I have 3: Hiking in New Zealand where they filmed Lord of the Rings. Staying a week at Banff National Park in Canada. A Scotland/Ireland Tour. Of course all of this would be without my 3 children so that it would really be a vacation and not just a trip somewhere. Toddlers just don't have the stamina for those hikes. :)

Lisa said...

I want to go back to Walt Disney World in a non-summer month.

Julie Marie Winans said...

Dream Vacation at the beach or in the mountains by a serene lake with just me and my husband and not phones, computers, tvs or any electronic devises.

Heather said...

I am so glad you reviewed this book, I have been hearing about it and I am intrigued. I agree I am not going to have all of my food that way but it would be great for some of my food storage.

Svedi Pie said...

A cruise along the Mediterranean is ideal to me - I'd love to visit Croatia where my family comes from.

Tim said...

My dream vacation would be doing absolutely nothing. Being waited on hand and foot. Man that would be nice!

Super Pi said...

My dream vacation would be to go to Scotland and tour the moors, with my husband.

Fellars Family said...

I would love to go to Australia or New Zealand.

Anne said...

I'd want to spend a couple of months in Europe during the best time of year (whenever that is!).

The WoodLand School said...

My dream vacation is to spend time with my family in a river-side cabin, deep in the woods. Of course there would also be a nearby town filled with adorable shops ;-)

Jo said...

There are so many places I would love to go on vacation-it would be hard to pick only one, but I guess I will say an Alaskan cruise. :)

Krista said...

Wow... my dream vacation would be a European tour, heavy on stops in Spain... :) Hawaii and/or a deep-woods retreat are close seconds, though - anything DETACHED! :)

I love this bagged-meal idea; what a neat approach! It'd be awesome for gifts, too - thanks for hosting this giveaway! :)

Lyndee Lloyd said...

my dream vacation would be any where I can be alone with my hubby with no kids clocks or phones well that and... a white sandy beach wouldn't hurt either :)

Heather said...

I'm intrigued about the food storage book.

My dream vacation would be spending a couple months touring Europe with my husband. And if this is happening 10 years from now, we'll bring the kids along. And while I'm there will be no riots, no crazy political activity and everyone is polite and courteous even though I don't speak most of the languages.

Lynn said...

Ooooo! LOVE the question. I've never been on a boat, plane, or train. (Didn't even get a honeymoon - been married for 24 years.) Someday I hope and pray to be able to go to Europe and see where my ancestors came from. My grandpa is from Germany. And my other grandpa is from England.

Anonymous said...

My dream vacation would be a cruise to Hawaii, roundtrip from California. {so I wouldn't have to fly!}

This book sounds really cool!

jencarr1979@yahoo.com

Lynette said...

I would bike from bed and breakfast to bed and breakfast in Ireland.

Thanks
Lynette
acorntooak at juno dot come

Robin Fisher said...

Interesting idea, but I am not sure how it would work with space....we are military, so that is always a consideration.

Dream vacation is easy--any place with my cute husband and we leave the kids at home.

Anonymous said...

My dream vacation would be do do some globe trotting. I'd love for all 7 of us to visit Germany so that my firstborn could visit the hospital/city she was born in, then I'd like to travel to Africa and try to find my roots. From there, I'd like to drop in to China to visit our other daughter-a foreign exchange student we hosted this past year.

douglassandpat@yahoo.com

Kristen said...

I would love to go to Australia!
skanderson_family@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Oooh! A cooking class for my husband and me with Patricia Wells in Paris or Provence, followed by two weeks in a stone cottage in the Cotswolds. Hmmm... we have a 25th anniversary next year; perhaps I can make this dream a reality! Donna

vlschenk said...

I have never been to Hawaii and I want to go. So that is my dream vacation.

The Millers said...

I want to go to Costa Rica. Someday I will get there!

Darla said...

I love the idea for this book!

My dream vacation is to travel to all 7 continents. It would be pretty amazing to collect different foods from each of them...

Enjoy the Journey said...

My dream vacation is to Island hop through Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Bora Bora ect. and to stay in the glass bottom bungalows right over the water. One day... yes one day.

Kim Elliott said...

What a neat idea for a book. Maybe that would help my be able to "kickstart" my food storage finally.

I would love to go on a warm Caribean cruise. I love the warmth, the water, and the colors. How fun!

Suze said...

I would like to take my children on a cruise. They are older now and have such differing interests and I know they would enjoy the variety of activities on board ship. Two of the three love the sea so this would be ideal. The other would enjoy the spoiling.

I would choose the run from our home to the French Islands, Fiji etc. This would combine a lovely holiday with a chance to see how others live and expand their world view.

On to the book. I am fascinated by food storage. This book sounds like an interesting concept and one that would save time on busy mornings.

Anonymous said...

My dream trip is to visit Nauvoo and other LDS Church History Sites

Andrea :) said...

My dream vacation is to live at Sunset Beach, NC for a month with my family and friends.

rondastand said...

Wow - I just heard about this book. What a great idea. I can't wait to find out more.

As for my dream vacation - any place with my kids that we aren't rushed to get somewhere!

Keri said...

I'd like to spend at least a month lounging around Europe. I want to show my husband all the stuff I fell in love with during my study abroad as well as find new things together and see all the stuff I never got to see the first time around.

Christine - Hammock House said...

Hmmm, my dream vacation would be able to go and visit family up in Alaska, without any of our pets coming with us! :o)

Daughter of God said...

my dream vacation, I'm not sure this is my dream but I've always wanted to go to hawaii with my husband, but disney land with my whole family would really be awesome!
amy v. young

Morgan said...

This is weird, because it would be a little labor intensive, but I would choose backpacking in Peru. Particularly Machu Picchu.

mindingmomma said...

My dream vacation would be Disneyworld with my whole family!

Nancy Hill said...

My dream vacation would be to travel to Pennsylvania and Massachusetts where our ancestors came from and visit their cities and search for more genealogy clues. Thanks for asking. Hugs, Nancy

Samantha R said...

I would love to go to Europe. Especially England! Though high on the list is also Hawaii and Brazil.

West Family said...

I would love to go anywhere warm, as long as I don't have to pack or unpack when I get home--I hate that part!

Michelle said...

I love the bag idea!

I would love to go on a cruise to anywhere with my husband! I love cruises!

Mom said...

I would go to see the ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman ruins.

Melissa said...

I would love to cruise the mediterranian (maybe I should learn to spell it first)

Joy said...

I love visiting my family, but we do that all the time, so that probably doesn't count.

I've been to enough places that my dream vacation would probably be my husband's dream vacation.... His dream vacation is to visit one of the two continents that he hasn't visited yet - Antarctica or Asia. (He also claims Hawaii doesn't exist since he hasn't seen it personally, so that's another option as well)

Laurie said...

My dream vacation would have to be Italy and France for 2 months! It'll never happen....that's why it's a dream!

Ashley said...

Rome again with the in-laws. That was so, so fun.

Milehimama said...

My dream vacation is two weeks.
For the first week, we'd drop the kids off at their grandparents in CO and take a cruise through the Panama Canal. My grandfather served on the canal during WWII and I've always wanted to pass through it.

Then we'd go up with the kids and visit family for the rest of the week. One day in the middle of the week we'd camp overnight in the Rockies, but leave a few days to recover and relax before the vacation ended.

katharine said...

okay, 2 ideas for a dream vacation. (one with the kids, one without). for everyone, i'd love to do a disney cruise. without the kids - the Amalfi coast!

Us, the Gilson's said...

I know the giveaway has already ended, but I just wanted to thank you for being involved with reviewing books like this! I'll definitely be talking with my husband about trying this out -- but I never would have known about it if it wasn't for you guys! So... THANKS!!! And keep up the great work. I love your blog! --- Jennifer

Anonymous said...

I love the concept of having most of a meal's ingredients "In The Bag".
This would be an excellent way to not only organize my own pantry, but also to give to families who, for whatever reason, might need a little help during stressful times.
The addition of recipe cards would be a boon.
I'd LOVE to win this book!

Teresa Nemecek said...

I love this idea to store food. Very interested. I would love to read this book