Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Message

"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes...
"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. . . . I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.
"Begin in a small way, . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective." (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007)

It really does seem overwhelming, just do what you can. Try to use and replace. This week I need to bring up a bucket of flour so I put on my grocery list to pick up another #25 lb bag of flour to replace it. Believe me the temptation is there to just wait but you need to fight it or when you go to get your flour you will be out.

Last week I picked up a Snickers candy bar, it is my favorite I guess I haven’t had one for a while but it was half the size height-wise and thinner and shorter -- for twice the amount. I heard people say that groceries were going down in price well so far I haven’t seen this happen, I have seen a few things go up but not down.

So tightening your belts is still in order I say.

I think high on your list is toilet paper so you never have to do this I hope...

Here is some helpful info on kids survival kit

I have a bucket with a hole in the lid and a new plunger with holes. We drilled in the rubber part and this sits in my laundry area. If my washer goes down I can use this emergency washer till we can get it fixed. So you see the whole world doesn’t have to go to pieces to use this. It's a simple fix to get through something that would otherwise be a catastrophe.

So I want to stress we don’t always know what will come our way how you get through it is what you do or don’t in YOUR preparations.

I know it is hard with our incomes staying the same and groceries keep going and other things too. Do what you can with what you have. If you are like us and can only get a little or just even maintain your storage just remember to do the best you can it is helpful.

Also, remember to learn your skills. You can learn for free on the internet or from libraries. Check out books, read, learn, if no other thing can be done ask someone to help you learn who already know how. Most people would be happy to teach you.

Life teaches us to learn things whether or not we wanted to learn. I wish I knew how to do the things I have learned back when we were first married but I guess I had to be there to learn what I know now.

You probably wonder well she is sixty what else needs to be learned. I am here at age sixty to say very much I learned every day from something we read that morning in our scripture, reading to learning sewing better to a new way to knit something, how to do different ways with bread to quite a few other things. I love to learn. I am teaching myself more on weaving.

I have a thirst to learn. Those of you that home school you yearn to find better ways to teach.

Not all of us can or want to go to college but you can learn every bit as good doing the best we can.

I am a book person. You will find me with my nose in a book trying to learn. On birthdays what I want as a gift I to go to the used book store and I love the sale books, I want books that help me learn.

Now I already know how to spin on this matchless wheel but I do not know how to use it to its full potential -

Learning to floor loom weave

Learning the bond machine for knitting

How to tat

This is what it looks like when I want to learn:

a.       I want to learn…???
b.       Find sites or YouTube on it
c.       Gather more then  a few so you have as much as you want to teach you
d.       …get books from library on this topic as well

This is a rough look at how I set up to learn. You apply it to what you are wanting to learn. Could be how to bake a pie or cake or pot roast or how to do freezer meals, use my rough approach to learning it. Pick what you want to learn and do the best you can.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Message

President J. Reuben Clark (Church News, 1953) –
“When we really get into hard times, where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.  You can’t eat money, but you can eat your three-month supply of food – IF YOU HAVE IT AND KNOW HOW TO USE."

This always reminds me of Dick’s grandma saying “the next depression will be different. it will take a wheel barrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.”

I always think of this and wonder what could happen to cause this????  I don’t think one could guess or predict because things we see all the time seem to be crazier than the one before. 

So how do you counteract that? Well, the only thing I can think of is to be as prepared as you can.

Knowing how to make bread and having supplies to make it would put you ahead of the curve. There is a peace knowing no matter how hard times get you can always make bread, that’s pretty good. - cooking from scratch, yummy and frugal. - since we have so many new people they might like to see our Relief Society cookbook.  Fun wonderful recipes here. - so we saw people lose power lately haven’t we. do you have aluminum in storage?  I admonish everyone to watch her videos, if you have already it is time to rewatch and rewatch again!!!!  This is her handout she refers to. I have it printed and in my food storage binder.

Wendy DeWitt has a great way of breaking down a basic approach to getting in your storage I always suggest her approach to beginners and old pro’s alike. So please read and watch the videos and get busy on your food storage. What are you waiting for??

Next pay check?? Just pick up little things like jello so you are doing something.

Bigger house?? Forget it, there is always a space issue eventually so find ways to store. I guarantee if you bought a brand new couch you would find a place for it and food storage is way more important.

Time?? We are all busy even when you are sixty you are still busy but what is more important than tending to the welfare of your family?

Worried about what neighbors say? Hmmm our neighbor’s daughter once asked if we were poor I asked what made her think that, it ended up she saw the food storage too cute.

No money for it?? Then look at your budget, are you eating out???There is the money. Once we went to the church cannery afterwards several bought a sandwich at a quick food place. I asked how much was the sandwich. When she told me I said she could have gotten twenty-five more pounds of wheat. How much did you pay for that disappointing meal at fast food place? Ask yourself, does it taste better then your food? Is it as healthy as your food?? What food storage could I get instead??

Now I am not telling you not to eat out but letting you know the choices. It is always your choice but if you can’t find the money for storage that is the first place to look. On the flip side, if trouble hit what would you have wished you had gotten instead??

Sometimes you can use your storage in your decorating. My oil lamps fit nicely into my home’s decoration but when people come they like the look but actually they have a place and purpose in my storage.
Many times they were used to light our house in a power outage so that people in town wondered why our lights were on and others were off.
Basket full of emergency candles

Pitcher of knitting needles

Spinning wheel

Bread pans are on shelf and in something decorative

Laundry stuff doubles as useful items if needed

Woodburning cook stove has been useful in power outages
Cookbooks and jars of food decorate but useful items. 
Jars of mixes attractive but have stuff I use in them
Treadle sewing machine if needed
Knitting machines decorate but are used to make useful stuff

Baskets of yarn are everywhere in my home

I bet I could show you more like cookie cutters displayed in a jar
Baskets full of roving to spin
Blanket trunk full of first aid

So look around your house especially if you are having trouble finding room for storage.

Email me if you have questions till next week try to watch all videos and read thru this blogpost, do the best that you can.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday Message

“As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2001) I think this, though cute, reminds that we cannot wait till the emergency.

“The day will come when, as we have been told, we shall all see the necessity of making our own shoes and clothing and raising our own food. …” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 166) 

“There are many very good people who keep most of the Lord’s commandments with respect to the virtuous side of life, but who overlook His commandments in temporal things. They do not heed His warning to prepare for a possible future emergency, apparently feeling that in the midst of all this trouble ‘it won’t happen to us.’ It is not always the other fellow’s problem. It is our problem also whenever there is economic trouble afloat.
     “To prepare for the future is part of God’s eternal plan, both spiritually and temporally. To protect ourselves against reversals and hardships is only good sense.
     “…[God] teaches us to be self-reliant and industrious, to plan ahead, to provide for possible hard times, to avoid obligations unless we are sure we can handle them, and then to serve him with such devotion that He will be pleased to augment all of our own earnest efforts.
     “…the most important storehouses in the entire welfare plan are those that are within the walls of our own homes. We must provide our own storehouses for our own families in our own homes as far as possible to meet any rainy days that may come our way.” (Mark E. Peterson, “Blessings in Self-Reliance,” Ensign, May 1981) 

     “…Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. Each of us needs to take the time to ask ourselves, What preparation should I make to care for my needs and the needs of my family?
     “We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.
     “First, gain an adequate education….
     “Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day…
     “Third, avoid excessive debt…
     “Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness….
     “…Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. The instability in the world today makes it imperative that we take heed of the counsel and prepare for the future.” (L. Tom Perry, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear” Ensign, November 1995)

We need to learn ways to be frugal, my favorite books on this:

Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn, she has three you can check out from your library.

Make-A-Mix by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, & Madeline Westover, there are three but I am most fond of the first two.

Living on One Income in a Two Income Economy by Jonni McCoy, she has fantastic info and recipes - best granola recipe, we have this a lot, turn that page and she tells you how to make granola bars - terrific :)

Baker’s Flower by Kaye Manning, this is a book based on a quick baking mix you make. I love using this. I see on amazon it is a penny but you can try to get it through your library.
If you have some favorite book that helps us be frugal write it in the comments section these two links go together, could be something for the kids to make during family night. try your hand and learn new things plus frugal! - tastes better than canned, another thing to think about is how long can you store refrigerator biscuits???

So think more on what you can do for yourself, for example - do you buy jello in cups? Do you do it for convenience? Think if you made that little box of jello, it takes three minutes to make jello.

I saw rice krispie treats for $9.99, you are paying for wrapping and preservatives. Convenience it certainly not frugal ….

Are we doing for this to save time so we can be busier? I think it makes me feel like I am on a hamster wheel!!!

So if you are feeling the pinch of everything going higher in price and your budget is not happy...stop and think, where am I falling into the trap? Look at your grocery list. You are in control, you know what your busy days are, plan for those don’t let it drag you out of control!!!

This is why having skills is important, planning your menus, planning your grocery list, planning your days…

Even if you have been blessed to do all the conveniences in life teach yourself, make do or do without. In one of these articles below the woman talks about going into the grocery store and sees tomatoes and would dearly love a tomato but she is there for just two things and can’t spend more, has this ever happened to you?  

When our daughter got divorced and child support started coming in I suggested she live her life like he wasn’t paying and if she got it that was great but if not she would still be able to manage. She did the best she could and then he up and quit his very good paying job thinking he could get one easy. Now years later he is still looking so this advice has helped her plus living frugally has helped her too as she hasn’t gotten child support for a very long time.

So if you have a wonderful income prepare like somewhere down the road you won’t have it and if you prepare and build your skills now you will be able to manage on less.

Life is really like a roller coaster sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down but it is up to us to have the skills to stretch what we do have and being able to do so helps our whole family.

Remember, life isn’t meant to be fair. If you are cranky because of what you are dealt it only makes it harder on yourself.  So roll up your sleeves and make it the best you can!

We may not have everything but we have fun and make do with what we have…keep learning skills, keep looking for frugal ways to make your life better.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Message

"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes. . . 
"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. . . . I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.
"Begin in a small way, . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective." (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007)

When I have a huge task to do I feel so overwhelmed. So what I do is a little at a time. Because I have fibromyalgia I have limitations now to what I can do and I find it frustrating. I have to break things down like I can do this thing thirty minutes a day or sew a little each day or whatever it might be. This adds up quickly and then you're done. So too is it like storage, just do some every grocery trip and you will see how fast it grows.

I use this method as well when learning my skills. Life is busy and we are wondering just how we can do just one more thing. I found lots of reclaimed time in the car. Yep, I would take books with me and read on skills while I waited, I still do this.  

I have been battling a double ear infection and having several trips to doctor appointments this week. I chose to take a knitting book with me, better than looking at germy magazines. Plus I learn. I bet if you think about those minutes you can reclaim them.

I would take my girls to practice and work on things. Once I made hair scrunchies for the whole team, red to match uniforms. It just happened they all had long hair. I did this instead of just sitting. Practices did not have to be watched and cheered at but even at games I took knitting that wasn’t complicated. Now you probably work on your phones…what if you were reading on a skill you wanted to learn?? I bet you would learn a lot. A tiny thing to carry and so much to learn, what a neat gift and tool.  When our girls were younger there was something talked about this, they used summer as an example and limited what clothes their kids had like six shorts and tops and a swimming suit kind of thing. This limited clothes on the floor and unworn laundry. We really can do on far less. - thought you might like this.

This is the time for my favorite open face sandwich

Becky’s Frugal Summer Sandwich

Grill your buns (my favorite is onion) I butter and grill face down in frying pan then put them face up on your plate. In the same pan put diced zucchini, as much as needed, put a pinch or two dry garlic, same with dry onion. Cook till the zucchini is half cooked then add a diced tomato. Cook till it is tender then top with mozzarella cheese. Cook till melted, scoop on the buns - these are terrific. I saw this and thought how cute is this, good Christmas gift idea also good building of sewing skill. - this is a great idea this is a handy idea, these could develop skills and are useful gifts. - this will help build your crochet skills.

Some stories to motivate and inspire you… - interesting

There are many things to get you inspired.

Keep doing the best you can.

Reminder - Now is the time to build your winter car kit. The time to prepare is now not when you are in the crisis.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Message

I made this dress out of fabric I had & can now use it as a pattern for more!

President Ezra Taft Benson - "Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account... We urge you to do this prayerfully and do it now."

General Conference October 1980; and in that same talk, he also said…

“There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food even if it is only a garden in your yard and a fruit tree or two. Those families will be fortunate who, in the lasts days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own.”

How are you coming on your storage? How are you coming on your skills? What frugal things did you do this past week? Drop a note in the comments below. I cannot stress cooking from scratch - it's so important. - here are things you can make. I still have a sun oven on my "yet to get" list. - great idea
    - great recipes here yums - in case you missed this, it is the best I have yet to see on dehydrating, so get out those dehydrators and dust them off!

When your produce is slowly coming in or fast use your dehydrator for your excess. this will help you when things get busy during the school year.

So one frugal thing I did in the last two weeks is I made a dress for me to try the pattern. Now that I have it just the way I want it I plan to do variations of it. I used fabric I had and did a little each day till I got it done.

I also have been working on Christmas and other gifts. It is not too soon to start. I realize most of you are in the busy time of getting kids ready and to school. Once they are back in school and you have more time get to work on your skills and also be getting in your storage.

Keep doing the best you can.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Message

“From President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, we hear: "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food . . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food-free."
“We call upon priesthood bearers to store sufficient so that you and your family can weather the vicissitudes of life.”

Do you have what you need to be a bit more self-reliant?? Such as canning jars, water bath canner, pressure canner, lids and rings, dehydrator, and perhaps a food saver and the canisters. Of course, there are other items one could get as well but this is a list to start you thinking. Many can be found at yard sales and even Goodwill. You just have to keep looking. If your funds are low, I know you can find these things at yard sales as that is where I got mine, yep, I did. 

You might say I don’t can food or I don’t like to can, or some other reason, but I say it is a skill that you should know how to do and have supplies to do so.

I am sure you don’t like many tasks but we still need these skills, I have not heard we shouldn’t.

Yes, it is work but really who would turn down a homemade slice of bread with homemade jam on it?? Even those who need gluten-free can make bread the way required for them.

There are free canning classes offered around the area see if you can find one, if not, ask someone you know who cans to help you learn.

Skills are what we need to be working on…

This would be a great item to practice and to learn basic sewing, and could be useful. - this is a good idea, can’t you see all the guys wearing matching ties. - This too would be a good item to sew.
knit this pattern easy, will perfect this skill.  good thrifting tips great redo  easy apron  cosmetic bag  a vest jacket

I threw these in to show you how easy it is to refurbish clothing, so go through your closets and see what you can come up with.

One thing I have tried to do is get basic patterns when on really good sales, like a dollar a piece things I like but are classic so they won’t go out of style fast, so I got from sales and yard sales. Next I needed fabric so again sale fabric, or freecycle or yardsales or craigslist or those people who are downsizing. Then I always had collected buttons and the other week I mentioned sewing notions, these always are cheap.

Build your store is all hand in hand with building skills.

I make baskets and got enough supplies on sale to get started then freecycle or yard sales then others got out of it and gifted their supplies to me.

 Same with yarns which I weave and knit with, some were bought used, some from yard sales but lots were from an auction house. I got a pick-up load for $100.00 coned yarn, two had price tags that equaled that.

Having the things on hand in your own store helps save money. When I need a gift I can go to myself to gather supplies. I am not saying to be a hoarder, just letting you know how this has helped me.

Though I can’t afford new, buying used or gotten free has been wonderful.

So give this some thought.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday Message

Dying my own tatting thread is one way I work to be frugal. Check out that post HERE.

(Ezra Taft Benson, October 1973)
“The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.”
(W. Don Ladd, October 1994 General Conference)
    “We all need to build a personal ark . . . And we shouldn’t wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets in this dispensation . . . as well as the prophets of old.
    “Unfortunately we don’t always heed the clear warnings of our prophets. We coast complacently along until calamity strikes, and then we panic.
    “When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. However, we do need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future.”

I think we all have been through hard times. How did you do it? No doubt it was difficult. I think once you have been there you have compassion for others going through hardships. What can we do to help? I know we can’t take it away but there are things we could to do to lighten their loads.

We don’t have much income so it has to be used to the max.  A friend who knows this will get a few fresh veggies and fruit and shares with us. She might not think this is much but to us it has been wonderful and means a lot.

Look around you and see who can you help? Most people are private about this and won’t say, so you be led by the spirit.

Now though we cannot do this at this time doesn’t mean there are not other things we could do. Like we have an older couple in our neighborhood, I check in on them and when I bake we share. They don’t fix Thanksgiving meals any more and ours are cut back but we bring them half, it is a blessing to us and to them as they can’t get out much.

This is just one little thing.

There have been other things I have been able to do, not to brag, but only to give ideas. We had a family struggling on our block, at Christmas I was able to deliver a play kitchen I got for free and scrubbed it up and sewed stuff for it and the kids loved it as if it were new.

What things have you done or what ideas do you have? Share with us in the comment section. there are ideas here, some can be even more frugal.   this is great, filled with good info. I think you can find ideas here.

One important thing is to not let yourself feel… "oh poor me," moping will never get you anywhere. Roll up your sleeves and do what you can. Whining and blaming is hard on a marriage….think of how your husband would feel when all you can do is whine and place blame… think how your husband would feel when you find ways to stretch your funds and being so frugal… see what I mean? It is also good for you and your well being too.

Always be learning. We all might not be able to go to college but we can continue to learn. What I have learned over the years about being frugal is more than money could buy me. Life experience is priceless.

Being content with what you have is so important. Life will be richer. I see so many who are not content and they are sad and mad and some very angry. Don’t let yourself go in that direction. It makes a very unhappy home.

Use the yard sales, most of our house comes from yard sales - a used blender works as good as a new one.

Be frugal when you go to yard sales as well. I pack water and snack but the batteries are a good idea too, on this note I always ask to plug it in and check the item.

But now is the time to go find school clothes, look for Christmas gifts too things - you can fancy up.

Those new marrieds can outfit the whole apartment.

It is a new time, we need to stay out of debt. We don’t need the newest next things, that won’t bring happiness.

I would rather go without than go into debt.

Again I mention cooking from scratch - a huge dollar saver.

Look for ways to be frugal.

One more thing I want to stress is if your income is like ours and you are needing to be frugal... I never want you to think you are not a good person, never feel you are a lesser person because of that. That is not what measures a person, so be happy and do the best you can. Keep working on your skills and storage.
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