Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday Message

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food and clothing 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" (Thomas S. Monson, "That Noble Gift—Love at Home," Church News, 12 May 2001, 7).

If you read this statement, and read it thoughtfully, it is sad. So if we are in the second half of this quote, we need to work hard to be in the first part. To do this we must work together at it. It will mean a lifestyle change.

Well a person might say well how are we to get food storage if the money is going on debt?

I have the answer - work to pay the smallest debt off then use that money with all the money you put on the next highest debt and keep going up and that helps pay off debt. Then you still have groceries you get every month. Use the grocery money wisely. Cook from scratch - this saves lots. And shop the flyers and good deals at the store. This should save enough to get a few extra items like extra jar of peanut butter and some packages of jello, things like that.

Now you will probably say you need all your grocery money but I will give you what I have been doing. I pick an area that we are short or an item that lasts long is very frugal. So this last time I got groceries (I get groceries by the month, I get $85 a month and I really need to make the pennies squeal as I stretch them), I decided to have my one storage thing be a 25lb bag of rice. It was almost nine dollars so we are eating some favorite meals but they just happen to all be frugal so I could do this one item for storage. 

I was gifted a Sam’s card so I only get things that I deem are an item we can get. Last time it was yeast, several bags for the freezer. The time before that was two cans of shortening. I think you see how this can be done. It is very hard to have only that amount for groceries but I will tell you paying tithing always makes the money go further.

I wanted to talk about money strains on marriage. Tight times are hard for everyone, kids too but they adapt. Mom and dad you must remember a loss of income is not your spouse's fault so do not play the blame game, don’t keep shortcomings on a grocery list, and never hit each other it is not okay.  Instead, work together. Build a plan of attack together on how to tackle the problem and don’t mope about it. I promise that will make you feel bad and your spouse will feel one wins.

Remember, you walk this life together so together work the plan. Don’t dismiss ideas till you’ve heard them. We always tease it takes both of us to be one person. What one doesn’t think of, the other one does...

No matter how poor you are (and I know poor) there are always things to laugh together about. Love to be with each other. This life is short, you don’t want to spend it fighting.

Life has setbacks. It happens to everyone. Sooner or later it can tear apart a marriage or it can draw you closer together. Be the together family. Build each other up constantly. We grew up when the tv shows at the time was to tear down your spouse. I always hated those cutting remarks even though they were meant to be funny. I never felt a real marriage should have place for those.

Laugh together, live together, and love together. Let the kids see mom and dad kiss. Our daughter was playing next door when the mom and dad kissed and kids made some comment like eeeewwww and they asked our daughter, don’t your parents kiss? She said all the time.

Back to storage... I can’t always get a big item as my one storage item so then I get peanut butter.

Because I have storage I will say part of my list goes to replacing like flour, for instance. Remember to date and label, then rotate or I will tell you will waste food.

Write me any questions you have. I would be happy to answer I will get the answer if I don’t know it. - I thought this was a good idea too.

Did you know if you take a green onion - I keep two in a jelly jar with enough water - you will have an ever green onion greens?

I also keep sour dough going all the time in the refrigerator.

There are many ideas you could do to save in the kitchen. - many here. - some here too. - there are several pages worth reading.

None of us are too old to learn.

Make your own mixes for convenience.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Message

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through home production and storage, but others as well" (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1980, 48; or Ensign, Nov. 1980, 34).

I think all too often we forget it is not only ourselves but others too that we are working hard for.

I think we are ever increasing in need all around we can see it everywhere.

It is not enough to store, we need to know how to use it too.

We live now when we are ever increasingly busy. We are told we deserve a break today then another and another, before you realize it you are out of control feeling you NEED to eat out every night.  

Then you get busier and busier, it is like a hamster on a wheel. Try to find the way off that wheel, do one thing at a time. Identify why you are busy. Kids at home make us busy being the family taxi. There are tons of reasons so stop and ponder these things. Why? And how can you stop being that busy?

If you continue that busy your health will suffer. I know you think naaah. Yes, I know you think it won’t happen to you but yes not today, maybe not tomorrow but your body is keeping track. Then there is eating out. It is bad for the parents but it is very bad for the kids. They are finding heart disease in younger kids now where they haven’t before found it in those age groups. So eating out is not a break at all. Then there is the drain on our budgets. Yep, this is a bad story all the way around.

I am six days short of being sick for two months on top of having fibromyalgia. Needless to say, it has been a rough time. This is two years in a row my flu shot wore off and flu germs got me so I have had lots of time to think what can I do to better help ourselves if this happens again, as it has been very hard to feel good enough to fix meals and try to keep up. So this has been my challenge. My husband as well got sick, so it was hard. While it has been a struggle, I push on. Take things like this into account when putting in your storage. I put this link in for us to consider the recipes that we make it. Could we use some of our recipes in this fashion to have in our freezers? - some helpful tips.

The less trips to the store will be better on your budget.

As someone who gets groceries once a month, I will tell you I must put in planning list and menus to accomplish this. Yes, it is work to do but it saves me time and money. - this is like how I do mine.

It takes me a bit to organize this, oh but the time I save is worth it. keep trying to be frugal.

There are many reasons why people have tight times. lots of helpful sites. there are more here.

I will say this again, there are reasons for having tight times and if you are having tight times, you are not alone and should feel not less because you are not! You have value. 

We must be careful that we do not judge for we do not know what less fortunate people are having to go through. We must also feel blessed and be thankful for what we have and also be aware that things can change in a blink of an eye - okay today not so tomorrow.  

Remember to help and have compassion. I think having been sick so long gives me the insight on what would be most helpful to others who are sick. Remember, to love and help one another, the needs are greater then ever all around us.

Do the best you can.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday Message

"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 believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With the events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness. . . . Create a plan if you don't already have one, or update your present plan . . . 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." (L. Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 47; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36).

It is ever easy to put things off as long as can be done but this way of doing things will go bad to worse. Kind of like, I don’t have to get gas ......till..... one drop above E. Still, I will do it later and then in the middle of nowhere you run out of gas, making a bad for you situation. And makes it harder to get gas, right? If you had planned and prepared you would be better off.

Don’t do it all at once, just do it as you go. this is helpful in skills. this is one of my favorite sites, great recipes can be found here. love this one too, look under yeast then look for the platz recipe, this is a favorite of ours. just in case you could not find it. I have used just any bread dough and it works fine, just follow the rest of the directions for platz.

I think if you need recipes that taste like grandma made or are just needing basic ones that don’t call for too many ingredients, these two sites will fit the bill.

I think you will find them budget helping as well.

Do the platz and let me know how your family liked them.

How are you doing on getting the basics to help with home storage? Even if you cannot get the equipment yet you can be learning how to can or dehydrate, vacuum seal, grind wheat, etc.

Even though we can’t do things now we can prepare while we wait.

As some are aware, I have been very sick with the viral flu yet again, just like last year. And yes, I got the flu shots which normally work great but not these last two years. Yes, my immune system is not good as I have fibromyalgia.

So what I have been doing while sick... I am learning how to make a different faster heel when making socks.

Studying how to weave dish towels, things that I can’t do at this time as too sick. That way I learn while I am recuperating in short time frames, but it is something I can do while I wait.

So don’t wait to learn. Don’t wait to stock up.

Some will say - if only I had a home then I would be happy, if only I had this .?. I would be happy. If you are always looking, you are never finding happiness.

So don’t let life pass you by. Be actively engaged. Do what you can with what you have and be happy. - this is a very good for your budget thing to do, also teach your children and you will help their budgets too. this is the best on this topic.

I find that mending, like dishes, are harder if you let them go so keep both up and you will thank me later.

Keep working on your storage. A little here, a little there, it adds up no matter your income.

Do the best you can.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday Message

Scroll down for a link to the recipe for our favorite chocolate cake!

(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.”

Many disregarded the warning when Noah heeded, why did they do that??

Was it not popular?
Was it too much work?
Did they think it wasn't gonna happen?
Did they not have time?
Were they too busy? With what?
Were they gonna get to it... eventually?

We receive many heedings or warnings - stop lights come to mind, tornado warnings, blizzard warnings, flood warnings, these all have watches as well. In Noah’s day they must have had things too, not all high tech like we have. And we know they had Prophets who warned the people of that day of things that were to come and to get their acts together. President Benson was a Prophet that was who the quote is from. We have had many Prophets that have warned us, including president Monson, our current Prophet.

What are you doing? Are you heeding the warnings or do you just ignore that part and pick what you want? Even though you see people losing their jobs? When you hear that on the news, do you think how hard it must be for them and their families? Do you ever think what if it was you?

We all have the choice to pay attention or not, it is up to you. - how to store food - one method - these are some videos for getting storage in tight times. - ideas - More ideas - storage in small spaces - shelf ideas - good read - recipes - click on the video clips, this method is a good way to start or boost you to get actively engaged in your storage. - make your own baking mix. - crackers - our favorite chocolate cake.

Keep pushing on.

Monday, February 27, 2017

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 IT."

I think it is hard to think of times like that. Dick’s grandma said the next depression will be different; it will take a wheel barrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread…scary, isn’t it?

So, I want everyone to learn to make bread, even if you are gluten intolerant. Learn to make bread out of what you can use, gluten free and the rest use what flours you want and then store the flours, salt, sugar, shortening, yeast, and even vital wheat gluten to use with the wheat you have stored.

Then, if what she said ever happens, you will just be able to make bread.

If you don’t, you could be looking back and wondering why you didn’t while prices were still good.

 As you all know I have been trying to get our storage up on a very tight budget.

 I have been vacuum sealing everything I can find on my shelves, feeling like I need to extend the life of items I don’t normally think about. 

Like today I had several boxes of hot cereals that I put in quart jars and cut off the directions and shoved them down inside. 

A reminder here on fine powders - I cut a coffee filter the size of the jar lid and lay it inside on top of the product. Then I wipe the jar top and put on a used canning lid and ring and then vacuum seal it. I hadn’t thought of doing these that are in my using cupboard but I did today. Plus, someone gave me three bags of rice when they moved and I vacuum sealed those as well.

I want to do some popcorn and more rice this coming few weeks.

If you have not gotten a vacuum sealer yet, I encourage you to try look at thrift stores and on freecycle or craigslist, lastly if all else fails, get it new.

I encourage you to get a tall canister from online to be used in tandem with the sealer. If you do this, you can use any jar that fits in the canister, like a spaghetti sauce jar. Make sure it is cleaned and dry before putting in your product. But if you only have jar attachments, use those on canning jars and used lids. - this shows how to use the canisters, use only dry products. It does not just have to be freeze dried as she shows but you can dry your own foods. - I have done her pin poke method for vital wheat gluten.

These will get you familiar with vacuum sealing.

You should consider these things as part of your storage…

Vacuum sealer
Water bath canner
Pressure canner
Steamer canner
Canning jars, lids, rings
Apple peeler corer slicer
Wheat grinder

They will help you with your food storage. We need these tools to do our basic things.  You don’t have to get them all at once, just like your food storage. Just slowly accumulate. 

Since we have thrift stores and such, haunt those and with freecycle you can request. I even put up a sign that I was looking for free canning jars at the board in our town and I did get responses. So be on the look out. Ask relatives to look as well. They might even have an item on your list. Ask for Mother’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, even your anniversary. When asked this sacrifice to get these instead will help you and your family for years to come.

While everyone is looking, start checking on YouTube how to use them like the above shows you how to vacuum seal. - I love this gal.

Dehydrating -

These are the best, so watch all. You will agree with me this is great.

Apple peeler corer slicer - - I have the kind that clamps to a table. If you cut in half you get pie size. What she doesn’t show is if you only cut through one one side instead of both sides you get rings. My girls used to love eating the long rind, real fruit by the foot. - look for canning groups in your neck of the woods, this is a central Iowa group - know how to grind wheat.

So, these are skills to definitely have. Just as easy as can be to watch these.

Doing your own saves soooo much money.

Until you have collected the equipment, still work on your storage. It is amazing, even getting a little at a time adds up over time.

I urge you to gain these skills. Have your children learn with you. Put these to work in your home, they will be a huge blessing.

Do the best you can.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


As you know I had the flu, lasted one month then I thought it was gone. I even felt normal for one day then got whapped again harder then the first time. The doctor said it's an ear infection and flu, she said it never left so here I am feeling lousy with two yet frozen casseroles in freezer…

So this morning I did a loaf of bread and four burger buns.

I cooked extra hamburger and froze six baggies of cooked hamburger to make meals down the road.

The sloppy joes I put in crockpot.

Sloppy Joes

Cooked hamburger 1 lb.
1 c. ketchup
2 tsp. mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp onion powder
1/2tsp garlic powder

I stir this together in my small crockpot and keep it on low all day.

This will be two meals of sloppy joes and what is left I turn into spaghetti sauce.

I made lemon biscotti, saving what was left of the lemons to make lemon water.

 So this will help get me to a better feeling day, I hope.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Message

(Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007)
"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.

I think we do feel overwhelmed by it all, especially now with prices so high and going higher.

I cannot get much to add when I get groceries but I try to at least get one thing. This time I got yeast at Sam’s Club, two packages which are two packages that are wrapped together as one. I got two of these. 

Did I need yeast? Nope, I have some already but I don’t like to wait until I am out. What I like to do is keep the amount I like to have on hand. When I use from freezer to user jar (which I keep in the refrigerator) then I like to replace yeast in the freezer, keeping it in rotation. I have never had yeast in the freezer or jar in the refrigerator go bad. To me, getting yeast like this is so inexpensive compared to what it does for my storage.  

It is important for you to store it in the freezer. The jar I keep in the refrigerator is a quart size jar which holds one of the packages of yeast, the other bags went to the freezer.

The other item for storage I got was a few jars of peanut butter.

So my grocery budget is very tight and sometimes I can only get replacements of something I used, but try to get something every time you get groceries.

I know every time I go to get groceries the prices are higher and it means I get less but if you have a flexible grocery budget you may not be watching the prices as closely.  I went to price something at the meat counter and saw someone I knew, we were visiting and I looked at the price I went to see about fell over. I said to my friend, wow the prices are pretty high. She said, really, I hadn’t noticed. She said she never looks.

So I guess I am saying be price aware, be aware of what your budget is and how you are spending it. 

With prices going up, we need to maybe find more frugal meals to prepare. I am not saying my way is the only way or the best way. It is what works for me at the moment, which is ever changing. I would love to hear how you do your grocery shopping. If we all share our tips we can all use them.

Because I have a food storage that is like a big pantry it makes it easier for me in the tighter times to have things to make meals with. 

Watch the clip. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been counseled to store food for times of adversity. It is not a one time purchase thing, like going to the store to get groceries is not a one time thing. - online store, click on home storage. I think there are good ideas here that can at least inspire.

I have a dear friend who puts her week’s meals on the refrigerator so she can see, like if she has to chop onion or cook meat, she can see at a glance and chop extra or cook extra meat then other meals will be easier.

Since being sick I have been cooking double meals and freezing one of them. - some ideas here. - note in here she talks about being flexible. these guys have great recipes. - here are more of their ideas. - how cheap is this? because using what you store is important. I think making your own mixes are so helpful. I like that when you have extra time, make mixes for when you don’t.

I know some say it is cheaper to just buy. Well every little bit helps and when you are in a tight budget time, it is good to have ideas on what you can make.

So you want to store things like powdered milk, if only to cook with. I love being able to do many things from powdered milk.

I make yogurt, you can put in recipes that call for milk. I just mix dry milk powder in with dry ingredients, how easy is that? I can make puddings, custards, puff pancake... just anything that calls for milk, even white sauce and gravies.

I encourage you to start stocking up. Can you think if you spend fifty bucks eating out what that would get you in storage?  All I can say is you will be able to handle the hard things a bit easier.

Keep working on your storage. Remember, that lots of storage can be built in your regular stores. Plan menus and the savings will pay for storage.
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