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To preserve food by canning, freezing, drying, etc.

Our family has been putting food by for generations.

Additional definitions for 'put by':

put byTo perform an action without attracting attention.
put byTo save money.
put byTo run a ship aground intentionally to avoid a collision.
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"put by." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 15 Dec. 2017. <http://www.phrases.net/phrase/put-by_1157>.

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