Making Mealtime Meaningful: See How We’re Giving Back with the New 12 Tomatoes Cares Program →

I firmly believe that most parents are aware of the fact that they need to be organized. It can be difficult to take care of our kids from day to day, so sometimes we just need to get ahead of things when possible.

30-year-old Kelsey Shaw is a mother that understands this all too well. She has three children, and she likes to get ahead on meal preparation. In fact, she does so in an amazing way.

Photo: YouTube/SWNS

After moving to a 5-acre farm in 2017, Kelsey decided that she would start preserving food. That is where she really shines because she has 426 meals preserved and ready to go for her family.

In other words, she doesn’t have to prepare food for another eight months!

In order to do this, Kelsey had to learn the art of preserving. She learned how to keep everything in a can or a jar, and she uses various methods to do so. This includes water canning and dehydration.

Photo: YouTube/SWNS

In order to get food ready for the next eight months, she had to preserve food in bulk. It took about three months of effort for her to do so, according to the Mirror.

According to the outlet, Kelsey said: “When we moved to the farm we wanted to live a slower lifestyle and wanted to know what we were eating and where it was coming from. I taught myself how to preserve food and learned lots of hacks like making corncob jelly, which tastes like honey.”

She does admit that it takes about two hours a day in the garden for her to grow the food and that there is a lot of skill involved in preserving it. She also says that she’s proud when she walks into the pantry and we can see why.

Photo: YouTube/SWNS

All in all, there is enough food stocked away to feed them from October through May and they can eat two meals every day. She used this trick during the pandemic so they didn’t have to run out to the grocery store while on lockdown.

During the summer months, they eat fresh food from the farm. In the winter, they have food that was preserved from what they grow in the summertime.

Not only has this helped her to prepare food for the family so they can eat something grown at home all year long, but she is also prepared for any interruption in the supply chain due to a pandemic or another natural disaster.

Photo: Unsplash/Natalie Rhea

Not only do they have fresh fruit and vegetables growing on their little farm, but they also keep dairy goats and chickens. They provide eggs, milk, and eventually meat.

She said: “I preserved whole meals, so I’ll make jars of beef stew and then put them in a pressure canner, so they are then ready to keep and use whenever I need them.”

Kelsey admits that she never has to wonder what’s going to be for dinner. There are tomatoes preserved in many different ways and other fruits and vegetables that can fill in the gaps.

She even keeps a running inventory on everything so they know what they have at any given time. More than likely, you’re wondering how she accomplishes so much. She does it by keeping things simple.

Photo: YouTube/SWNS

“It does take a long time, so I’ll often focus on one thing at a time,” she said.

They also go to the supermarket every two weeks to stock up on anything that they may not be able to grow, such as rice and flour. When they have the opportunity, however, they eat fresh.

It’s a nice goal to have it although we cannot all be like Kelsey, we can at least move in that direction.

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes