Monday, October 29, 2012

Emergency Food Storage In A Nutshell- A Book Review

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I am truly blessed to live near the Honeyville Grain store.  They have so many different classes and I get to meet so many people in the food storage world.  Last week I was able to attend a class taught by Leslie Probert who co-authored "Emergency Food Storage In A Nutshell".  Besides being a very entertaining speaker she makes cooking with your food storage sound so simple.  Simple is her favorite word when it comes to using your food storage.  So I was totally on board when she said she had over 400 simple recipes in her cookbook that used all food storage, shelf stable, ingredients.

 In the cookbook Leslie compares preparing to a squirrel's activity of preparing for winterSquirrels are prepared for each season and we can learn from their persistence. Leslie and Lisa start off their book with planning and gathering your food storage.  They even have several pages that you can use to inventory your food storage, and then several pages where you can write down recipes for each meal.  I was impressed with the organization ideas and explanations on how to gather food storage.  If you are just starting out and need a plan, this may be the book for you!  

The cookbook portion of the book has recipes divided into sections.  The first section are recipes using only stored foods, like wheat, oats, etc.  There is even a section on mixes and recipes that use the mixes.  I made the "Fabulous Cornbread" the other night for dinner and it was delicious!  It was moist and had just enough sweetness to it, plus it didn't crumble when we cut it.  The other chapters include breads, salads soups, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, cookies, and drinks.  I can't wait to make dinner this week. I am going to try a few recipes and because they are so simple to put together I know they will work perfectly for our busy nights.  Tonight I am going to make the Black Bean Ragout over Polenta and Peanut Butter Muffins.  The ragout sounds really fancy, but the instructions are only four lines long!!

  Update after dinner:
Mixed reviews on the black bean ragout-mostly good though.  It needed more spices. Surprisingly my husband loved it!

Peanut Butter Muffins were a hit!!!

Leslie says "With a pool of good recipes, if you eat food storage meals 2 days a can rotate a whole year's supply of food in just 3 1/2 years!!"  And with how yummy her recipes sound, I can image eating complete food storage meals more than 2 days a week. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has bags of wheat, oats, rice, and beans and has no idea what to do with them, or you just want some new ideas to use your food storage.  I am always on the lookout for new recipes and this book has tons of them! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Preparing For The Storm

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I have been thinking a lot these past few days of the warnings the people on the east coast are getting right now.  The storm of the century is suppose to hit early next week and it looks and sounds pretty scary!  What I also thought about was how prepared would I be if I lived there.  I think we have all the food an water to ride out a storm, but I would really like a portable heater.  It is actually what I want for Christmas this year, so I hope there isn't a disaster before that.  A friend of mine lives in New York and she said as a side note, we better fill up the milk jugs with water there is a storm coming.  I think this is the thinking of many, many people.  We will just run to the store or fill up a few milk jugs a few days before the storm hits.  What's wrong with this thinking is that everyone else is doing the same thing.  Grocery stores will be cleared out!!  Many people are not actively preparing before a disaster.  What if this storm is as bad as they are predicting??  Electricity and water could be out for weeks before they get around to fixing everything.  Scary situations!!!

I wrote a post on preparing for winter with suggestions of things to do BEFORE the storm.  CLICK HERE TO READ THAT POST.

 And if you had to shelter in your car, check out THIS POST.

Do you have all the essentials for an emergency?

And click HERE to view a post on Cold Weather Preparedness.

Take the time NOW before the storm arrives to prepare your family!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Grocery Deals 10/24-10/30

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Here are some of the grocery deals that I feel are stock-up worthy.  Buy what your family will eat and what your budget will allow.

  • SMITHS BREAD $1.00

  • ONIONS .49LB
  • PEARS .99LB
  • APPLES .99LB  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Provident Living Prepares Us For The Future- Ensign Article

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I am just now getting around to reading the October Ensign Magazine and I found a great article on living providently(The Ensign is a monthly Mormon magazine published by the Church)  The article is titled "Provident Living Prepares Us For The Future", and it explains "that we, as Latter-Day Saints, believe in being prepared and self-reliant."  There are 6 areas of self-reliance that the article mentions that we can all work on to become self-reliant, and I agree with every single one of them.

"Living proveidently reflects our true eternal nature we are "to act for {ourselves} and not to be acted upon" (2 Nephi 2:26).  The Lord wants us to be responsible and independent (see D&C 78:14).  He wants us to live providently because of who we become in the process:  responsible, generous, mature, kind.  For the more self-reliant we are, the better we can help our families and others.  How can we feed the hungry if we ourselves are hungry? How can we impart knowledge if we ourselves lack knowledge? How can we build others' faith if we ourselves lack faith."  

"All of us are responsible to provide for ourselves and our families in both temporal and spiritual ways.  To provide providently, we must practice the princibles of provident living:  joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excess debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies."    Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles  (bold text added)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Frozen Yogurt Bites

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This isn't really a recipe, but it is something that I make for my children's lunches and I thought maybe you may like them too!  Frozen yogurt bites are really simple to make, all you need is yogurt of any flavor, silicone molds, and a freezer.  The silicone molds that I used can be found at Ikea for only .99!!  They have 4 different designs; heart, flower, starfish, and fish shape.  I used the starfish and flower this time around. 

 Hopefully they will stay semi-frozen until lunchtime in my kids' lunch boxes.  I added an ice pack to help them stay cold.  My 4 year old can't wait until lunchtime to eat these.  Fun, simple, and good too!  No need to buy those sugar and preservative filled yogurt treats from the store.  You can make them at home!  (I added a bit of red food coloring to homemade vanilla yogurt to make the flowers pink.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grocery Deals 10/17-10/23

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I have been slacking when it comes to posting the grocery deals lately, I am sorry.  I haven't needed anything at the store and there haven't been that many great deals to post about.  So, I am back and have a few deals this week that I feel are stock-up worthy.

  •  KROGER 5LB FLOUR $1.59
Smiths, and all other Kroger stores, are also having a Buy 5 & Save $5 sale.  It is mostly great deals IF you use coupons.  I will link you to the list so you can see the deals but there were too many for me to write out here.  Click HERE and scroll down the shopping list to the bottom where the Buy 5 sale will be listed with all the deals.   

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Affordable First Aid Supplies

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I am always on the look out for a good deal, especially when it comes to stocking my pantry and emergency supply closet.  With five children I only have a small part of the budget left each month to spend on items for our emergency kits. I am always keeping my eyes peeled for emergency supplies that are on sale, and sometimes I find them in places that I wouldn't normally think of as an emergency supply store.

About 3 times per year, Big Lots stores have a 20% off day.  On the sale day you will get 20% off your entire purchase!  I wait for this day to do my "basics" shopping.  I purchase napkins, paper goods, snacks, storage bags of all sizes, cleaning supplies, sponges, small birthday presents for kids parties, gift bags, tissue paper,  rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls, Qtips, and believe it or not, first aid supplies. 

Band aids are always on my list when I go to Big Lots, but this time I took a little time to look at what else they had.  My favorite find was the Disney Ice Patches.  If I was in an emergency situation and we needed ice for an injury this would take the place of actual ice.  Each box has 3 adhesive patches that last up to 4 hours and can be applied directly to the skin.  The patches can even be cut to fit a certain area.  Whenever I get a migraine I apply an ice pack to my forehead and the back of my neck to relieve the pain, and now I can still have relief without electricity!  I also purchased pain reliever gel, band aids, elastic bandage wraps (like Ace bandages), and first aid tape that sticks to itself.  The best part, the ice packs were the most expensive item at around $3.00 after the 20% off discount. They also had first aid cremes, surgical gloves, and pain reliever medicine but we are already well stocked with those.

 If you are worried about durability, don't be!  We have used the Royal brand of band aids for a couple of years from Big Lots and they are really good.  They are a fabric type band aid and they hold up to my kids cuts and scrapes.  A lot of the items are name brand but are at clearance prices.  I added all of these items to our first aid bag, and while I hope I will never need any of them, I feel secure knowing I have them.  If you have a Big Lots store near you check it out and see if any of these items will work for you.  If you sign up for Big Lots emails, you will get a heads up on the next 20% off sale day, plus other deals as well. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dollar Store Emergency Lighting

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While perusing the aisles of my local Dollar Tree dollar store today I found something that could be handy in an emergency.  
 Outdoor solar stake lighting!  These particular models are for Halloween, hence the spider and web, but they work just like the other garden stakes you get at the store.  

 They are about 10 inches long and they would be great to use in an emergency.  Stake them outside in the sun and then bring them in at night for lighting.  You could group several together in a #10 can for lighting on a table or work surface, or use one like a flashlight to help guide your way.  I left one outside today and brought it in when it got dark.  It was bright enough to use as a flashlight and I can only imagine how bright a few of them would be on a table.  

 Here is one stake in my bedroom lighting up my nightstand.  It illuminated the area quite well.  

If you are near a dollar store and think this may be a lighting idea for you I suggest you head on in and purchase a few.  I bought 6 of them from a display that was right in front when I walked in with all of the Halloween merchandise.  I am not sure if $1 a piece is a good deal or not, but I can't imagine a box of 6 would be less than $6 at a big box or home improvement store.   

**Update:  24hours later and the light is still going strong.  I put all 6 lights that I bought in my storage room last night and the one that was charged is still going.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Honeyville Scones

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Yesterday was LDS Conference (for all those who aren't Mormon it is a weekend of talks and inspiration from our Prophet and leaders)  and at my house we like to have a really fun breakfast to kick off the Sunday morning session.  My children usually request cinnamon rolls and sausage.  Both are only made once or twice a year so they can't wait to eat them. But this year I had a box of Honevyille's Scone mix, and I think they were more excited for these then when I make cinnamon rolls!  

 I had never made these before, but they were really easy to put together.  

First, I dissolved the yeast into 1 C of warm water.
Once it was bubbly I added it to the scone mix in my Bosch.
I kneaded for a few minutes until the dough was soft and elastic.  Then I let it rest for 20 minutes per the instructions on the box.

Once it was rested I rolled it out to 1/4" thick....

Cut it into squares (you could use cookie cutters or cut different shapes) and fried them in a skillet.

It only took about 20 seconds on each side for the scones to be done.

All browned and ready to eat!!

We added powdered sugar and some of Honeyville's Bumbleberry jelly and they tasted just like a jelly doughnut.  We loved them!!  I am wondering if they could be used in a savory dish as well...hmmm the possibilities!!

Since we woke up to our furnace not turning on and it was 59° in my house, we also had some of Honeyville's Marshmallow Motherlode hot chocolate with our scones.  

My kids were in sugar heaven and they actually sat through conference taking notes and listening.  I don't know if it was the scones and hot chocolate that helped with that, but I will give them some of the credit for my children's good behavior.  

Both of these products are available at the Honeyville Retail locations and they would make neighbor gifts, work friend gifts, friends and family member gifts, and they would also make really great gift baskets too!! 

*Update:  I made hamburger buns out of the scone mix tonight for our sloppy joes.  I made the recipe according to the box and then instead of shaping into scones, I made small round rolls and then let them rise for about 20 minutes and then baked them at 350° for about 18 minutes.  It made about 12 hamburger type buns.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

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UPDATE:  This is a repost from March 2012 and I wanted to update on how it is working for me. 

 I have been using my homemade dishwasher detergent since March, no other brand, and I love how well it works.  The trick to it is to have a citric acid component in your mix, especially if you have hard water!!  I was buying Lemi Shine (a commercially branded citric acid) for $4.19 for 12oz.  When I ran out and I ran a load without it my glassware was totally foggy, and the dishes didn't dry very well.  I have a Bosch dishwasher with a metal interior and no dry cycle, so this may work for me and not for you, but with the citric acid I don't have any problems with foggy glass and drying.  I found a better product and I don't need the Lemi Shine any more.  I bought a 50lb bag of citric acid at Honeyville for $80.23 and I tried it out and it works better than the  Lemi Shine!!!  Don't freak out over the price point of the citric acid.  Do you know what a 50lb bag of citric acid looks like?? (sorry I don't have a picture) It is a lot of citric acid!  If I use 1 teaspoon of the citric acid every night when I turn on my dishwasher, I will have enough citric acid to last 4800 loads!!!  That is .016 cents per load.  If my math is correct (and usually it isn't) that is pretty cheap and I have around 13 years worth of it :)  The Lemi Shine is about .056 per teaspoon in the 12oz canister and would cost around $268.00 in a 50lb package.  So, if you are in the market for a cheaper alternative to store bought dishwasher detergent, give this recipe a try!!

If you didn't know, I am a big coupon user.  I get a lot of household supplies for little or no money, but in the last couple of years I have noticed that the coupon deals are not what they used to be.  I used to get carts full of groceries for under $10.  Now that rarely happens and I am having to use my storage and some of my items are low or gone.  Dishwasher detergent is one of those items that I used to be able to get for free and I would get a year supply at a time.  I finished up the very last box of detergent yesterday and it was time to try the less expensive homemade dishwasher detergent.  I have wanted to try this for quite some time now just as a preparedness learning experience, but now it is out of necessity.  

I found several "recipes" on Pinterest and have had them pinned and waiting for when I needed them.  The recipe is super easy and it uses the same ingredients that homemade laundry detergent uses, so double-dutie there.  Click HERE to see a previous post on making your own laundry detergent.  I found all the ingredients at my Smiths grocery store.

 Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

2 C Borax  (found on the laundry aisle)
2 C Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) found on the laundry aisle right next to the Borax
1 C Coarse Salt (kosher, epsom, or regular old table salt if you don't have the others)
1 C Citric Acid (I used Lemi Shine, but yellow UNsweetened koolaid, or citric acid will also work)  Citric acid can be found at pharmacies, health food stores, and HONEYVILLE GRAIN.
  1. Mix all but the citric acid in a container.  The citric acid will be added to the dishwasher when you put in your 1 T of detergent.  If you mix it in with the other ingredients it will harden your mixture into one big, hard block of detergent.  
  2.  Use only 1 T of the mixture in your detergent cup.  I only have one cup to fill but if you have 2 then use 1 T in each.  Add the Lemi Shine (or other citric acid ingredient), about 1t, and wash away!!  The citric acid ingredient amount will vary depending on how hard your water is.  I sprinkle about 1t into my detergent cup after I put in the detergent. 
Vinegar::  use in place of jet dry in your rinse aid cup.  

 *The salt in the mixture is to help with hard water and also used as an abrasive cleaning agent.  The citric acid also helps with hard water.  I have really hard water and you may need to play around with the amount you add to your dishwasher.  I recommend running a cycle with no dishes and only the Lemi Shine to get the dishwasher clean and ready to go with your homemade detergent.

Your dishes should come out clean and clear, no foggy glasses!  If they don't you need to play around with the citric acid amount.  Using vinegar as your rinse aid will keep your glass clear.  I washed my first load of dishes with this last night and it worked great!!  Everything was clean and the glasses were clear and shiny.  I am sold!!

Cost breakdown of ingredients as of March 9, 2012 at Smiths Grocery store (a Kroger store):
  • Borax $5.19
  • Washing Soda $3.59
  • Epsom Salt $3.58
  • Lemi Shine $4.19 (Citric Acid is around $16 for 4oz at a pharmacy and KoolAid packets are around .10 on sale.  I'm not sold on using KoolAid because of the color added to it. I don't want my dishes or silverware with a yellow tinge.  I was reading on another blog that she noticed a yellow color to her Tupperware. Citric Acid 50lbs at Honeyville Grain for $80.23) 

Using the recipe above I will probably be able to make detergent for a few months at a time.   I am so excited to know that this works! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stock Up Deals 10/3-10/9

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These are the grocery deals that I feel are worth stocking up on this week.  Only buy what your family will eat and what your budget will allow.

  • KROGER 32OZ CHEESE $5.99
  • KROGER 24CT WATER $2.50


Monday, October 1, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Granite Cleaner

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A few posts ago I wrote about making some homemade mixes from One Good Thing By Jillee and I have to write about another one that I have been using.  My home is currently on the market and I have to make it look as clean and tidy as I can, ALL the time.  With 5 kids that is a chore all in itself, but it can be made easier by using the correct cleaners.  In my kitchen I have granite counter tops and I want them to look shiny and clean.  One Good Thing by Jillee has a recipe for granite cleaner that I am in love with!!  My counters almost look reflective when they are cleaned with this cleaner.  

Jillee's recipe calls for a 16oz spray bottle so I doubled the recipe to fit into my 32oz spray bottle.  And she adds some essential oils that I didn't add because I didn't have any on hand, but they are only to mask the alcohol smell.  With the Dawn in the mix I really don't smell too much alcohol, but to each her own.  I love spraying this on the counters and buffing them, my kids laugh at me but it makes me happy :)

Granite Cleaner
32oz spray bottle
1/2 C rubbing alcohol
6 drops Dawn dish detergent
optional- 5-10 drops of essential oils
Fill container to the top with water

That's it!  So simple, yet so effective!! Click HERE for the original post by Jillee.
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