oneyedman, I've been several times. We're very blessed that our LDS cannery allows non-members to participate, and they don't try to convert!
You can drop in anytime and buy bulk items, prepackaged items, mylar bags (aka: dry pouches), oxygen absorbers, and any #10 cans left over from others packing. You can home pack their bulk items. Their mylar bags are the thickest I've seen. Do a quick search for home packing instructions with mylars and O2s.
The packing is done by appointment and in groups. They have 2 sessions a day. You can sometimes join another group or form your own.
The basic rules are: 1. show up a few minutes early 2. have your individual AND entire group order READY 3. no jewelry 4. ladies with long hair pulled back 5. long pants 6. closed toe shoes (They're strict due to health codes!)
Sister Fairchild runs the cannery and is very helpful. PM me if you want her cell #.
Here's their Order Form PDF. Check the bottom left of the form for prepackaged items. LDS Food Order Form
*** I've learned to call a day or two before my appointment to check on their warehouse. They've been out of stuff from time to time.
About how much do you spend when making a trip there?
oneyedman, You made me dig out my old receipts. LOL My last trip was in Feb. '11, before their price increase. Here's what I packed and picked up.
(12) #10 cans of powdered milk (2) #10 cans of dried apples (they're yummy!) (2) #10 cans of dried onions (4) #10 cans of potato flakes (12) #10 cans of quick oats (prepackaged) (2) 25 lb. bulk bag of hard red wheat (2) 25 lb. bulk bag of hard white wheat (50) 1 gal. Mylar bags (LDS's are AWESOME!) (100) 300 cc oxygen absorbers (they come 100 count/bag)
Total at the time was $ 208.93.
I've made a total of 4 trips totaling a little over $700. I compared that to ordering the same items from places like Honeyville and Thrive. The savings is huge...well over 50%! Even with LDS's price increases, it would still cost me $1500 or MORE to get the same stuff online. I'm so thankful our LDS cannery allows non-members to participate! (And that they don't try to witness to you) ;)
BTW ~ Let me know if you want me to post an itemized list of what I've packed from LDS for $700. It's a pretty impressive inventory!
That packing technique was the first I learned, before I found 1 gal. Mylar bags. (I actually home pack in both: Mylar and 2 liters now.)
I like the 2 liters b/c they're free, due to LFOD's addiction to diet sodas. LOL They're also easy to carry and make a great container while using the product.
Not just 2 liters...any plastic bottle with a #1 in the recycle triangle is good for this type of storage. i.e. 64 oz. shelf stable juice bottles, Gatorade/Powerade bottles, etc.
Process: 1. I rinse the bottles. 2. Add 1 teaspoon of regular bleach, and fill with hot tap water. 3. Let them sit for 2 minutes(+). 4. Pour and rinse with tap water. 5. Inverter the bottles until 100% dry...usually takes 2 - 3 days.
Once dry, simply place a 300 cc O2 pack in the bottom then fill with your dry food (beans, rice, small noodles, oatmeal, wheat berries, powdered milk, etc.) Screw the top on tightly. You'll know it's working when the bottle compresses....usually within 24 hours. Store in a dark environment b/c most bottles are transparent, unlike Mylar bags.
LDS has an online store. They're limited on their selection, but they cover the basics...and there's no shipping. Their prices are also amazingly low compared to the big online companies. ex. Pinto beans 1 case (6 #10 cans) w/ LDS = $45 1 case (6 #10 cans) w/ Thrive = $67
If you're new to prepping, you may consider ordering from the LDS online store. They're shipping is free and they have several basics to choose from. I've also appreciated the fact that they don't try to convert you to their religion, just provide food storage needs.
The choices are VERY limited, but the prices are low and it's a good start.