Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday Message

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?" (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I have been thinking this week about all this weather we have been having. What affect will it have on food prices? Will the farmers with flooded fields even be able to plant this year? We need to think more about these things and think about those people in Venezuela, we may never have it that extreme but what if something did happen? We shouldn't get complacent.

Also, we need to keep learning ever learning. Make a list of basic skills and honestly check off what you can do well. And on the skills you don't know all that well make a circle around that skill and start a plan on how to learn them. Attack the most helpful ones first. Some you can learn several at a time, some you will have to learn by itself.


- Budgeting
- Menu planning
- Frugal grocery shopping 

- Cooking from scratch

- Making do
- Being content with what you have
- Buying used

- How to stretch what you have
- How to fix your furniture
- How to mend

- How to sew 
- How to sew when fabric is so high priced
- Do you have a sewing machine? Do you know how to clean and oil it?
- Do you have thread, needles (hand and machine) and other sewing stuff?

- Do you know how to knit? If you don't, it will be hard to fix a sweater with a hole
- Do you know how to crochet?
- Do you have supplies for any of these things? I can tell you having stored used supplies I have found over the years has proved to be a real blessing.
- How to do car maintenance 
- How to garden

- How to can how to dehydrate

I think you can extend this list for there is so much more we could add.

When things have been hard we have had to learn how to replace  brakes, even an engine once. We had to do all this with no experience too. I look back and shudder but we did it. We can do more things than we think. When we are young we don't think about what it will be like when we get older. Things get harder, things get more costly, taxes keep going up, income gets less, bodies wear out...these are a certainty.  

Learn to live on way less than you make. Is it hard? Yes. Do you NEED the next newest thing that comes out? Nope. Putting all these things together can help you to do what you can and get by when things go up and down and bumpy, because they will.

Keep learning and working on storage

Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday Message

"Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward." (President Spencer W. Kimball) 

I like this quote because if you get your storage up then it is just use, rotate, and replace. That way the hard part is tended. Yes, when life's emergencies happen you will need to use it for a while and not replace it till you can, just don't put it off. Remember to rotate it! Otherwise, when you need it most your supplies will have gone bad. I know it is work but make it a way of life. - on that note I thought it would be good to revisit one of my favorite food storage sites. I really like her method on storing. Like if you have spaghetti, once a month you need to put in ingredients to make it twelve times. I also like her egg replacement with unflavored gelatin. Just scroll down till you see eggs. I do this a lot with oatmeal cookies so people can see how good it works. I will do one batch with egg and one with replacement. I label which is which as I can't tell them apart, hence the label.

I have been spring cleaning here big time. We have a wonderful family at church that does a humanitarian yard sale every year. The entire proceeds goes to aid all around the world when tragedy strikes. So I am making the most of my spring cleaning so that I can donate to this sale. Usually I do a fall cleaning but this year it will be spring I guess.

Lately I have been organizing in the kitchen to make things run smoother...

Here you see that I put my wheat grinder along with the mixer and I put the mixer tools in that green box.

I got a few dollar tree containers to organize and could not have done it without Gus as my helper. - cooking from scratch is so much cheaper. I saw a package of three snicker doodles from a bakery at one of the grocery store chains where I live. On the label it said $7.95 a pound, good grief that is some mark up in price! - this is where meal planning helps. For example, ham leftovers could be ham and pancakes, ham salad sandwiches, or pasta salad with ham, or baked beans and ham, or scrambled eggs with ham in them, or a quiche, or ham and noodle casserole, bean soup with get the idea.

Here's a few pics from the corners of my home...

Share with us your ideas on how to be frugal. Remember do the best you can.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Monday Message

"Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward." (President Spencer W. Kimball)

Our ancestors knew the importance of preserving food. They did not have stores close by, they were lucky to go two times a year.  They probably could not guess what life is like for us these days.  As readily as things are available, we should not take this for granted.  

Over these many years our lives have gotten busier and busier, the manufacturers saw this and created convenience foods, quick meals, quick clothing and there is nothing wrong with those things but we need to make sure we can do things for ourselves as well and teach our children too.

I know it is important to keep our skills up. Yes, it is true you can buy a loaf of bread fast but what if tomorrow you couldn't? What would you do? You would have to find recipes right? Then you would need ingredients. Okay, would you have those on hand? Then would you have the equipment? Pans, large bowl, measuring cups and spoons?

So you see being prepared means you would have all of that and the knowledge to do it. If your family isn't used to homemade bread they may think - "I am not going to try it." Especially if you don't know how to make it. The bread I first made was inedible and could have been a foundation block...yep.

I had a doctor once tell me when I mentioned I made our bread, that she wished more people would make their own bread there would be less mental illness. That is something to ponder, yikes.

So back to if you could not get bread. Yes, there are other things to eat, I was just using bread as an example. You would have a harder time if you had to gather ingredients and figure out how to make it and what to cook it in than you would if you were prepared for it.

I have a friend who would go into people's homes to help them budget better and was so surprised when they never had pots and pans. The ease of going out to eat had made them get rid of their cookware. I know this sounds extreme but we are not talking about one person, many did this so when working with them she had to teach them to cook and give them recipes. Can you imagine not being able to to do the most basic things? It is very important that we never let the ease and the fast pace of things prevent us from learning, knowing and doing.
So this is why when I give you the bread recipe for the bread machine which helps make it easy to make, I also keep saying to know how to make this bread by hand as well. - a fantastic recipe. is my favorite of all. - this is truly delightful.

This was a test to see if I could do by hand. The bread was good as machine bread and there was no difference.

How are you coming along on your skills? 

I was recently reminded of these scarves. There are many brands that make this type of yarn. You do not even need to know how to knit to make this scarf but it could help you to learn the knit stitch. - this is another easy beginner project for sewing.

For crocheting - these are step by step by step directions. I love this gal's stuff. So look around on her site for great frugal ideas. sometimes you just feel like you need helpful info, she has that. yum!

So keep working at your storage and skill building and comment below. We all learn from each other!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Monday Message

"More than ever before, we need to learn and apply the principles of economic self-reliance. We do not know when the crisis involving sickness or unemployment may affect our own circumstances. We do know that the Lord has decreed global calamities for the future and has warned and forewarned us to be prepared." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I think we all are seeing dramatic things happening all over the world. There is no end to hardships that are occurring everywhere.  The need to help is strong even if we can do nothing but pray for others, it all is needed.

Remember too that being kind costs nothing. A smile, holding the door for others, being a courteous driver, there are so many ways to be helpful and kind. - This is a list that can give you an idea on skills to learn. We may never be called on to hunt or butcher but knowing how to frugally take advantage of a sale and can meat is good. I think we get caught up thinking that we have to do it all and right, we don't have to, but building skills to help our families is a worthy cause.

There is a lot we can do to build frugal skills...

She has some ideas - I like the sheets, very organized.

I thought you would like to see my progress on bobbin lace...

I do like working with this size thread the most so far.

Here's a few pics from the corners of my home... - some great ideas here. - we need to think how to have our leftovers make meals.

Here is an idea for your sewing and quilting rulers... would be a great beginner project for those wanting to work at sewing skill.

Keep working on your storage and building skills. Do the best you can!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday Message

“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.” (W. Don Ladd, October 1994 General Conference)

Preparing for everything is a full time job but when we find time to work it in with trips to stores and chores it is doable. Take a few minutes each week to look at the sale flyers to take advantage of sales and to plan your menu. It really works into a way of life.  

Always think about the future and don't have a "this minute" attitude. Like if you are getting peanut butter, you know you use it all the time so why not pick up two? It saves another trip to the store and adds to your storage. All too often we just pick up what is needed right now. Sometimes it is money related but if you are getting things on sale why not get more? 

I ran across a sale on chicken broth and it was a quarter a can and there was this couple there at store, she was wanting to get a few but her husband said you only need one. I was thinking, get a lot, they were only a quarter and it is something you will need down the road. If she could have bought four, let's say, that was only a dollar but the next time it could cost a dollar a piece. Getting the four was like buy one and getting three free. Unfortunately he could not think about the savings, only getting what you need in the here and now is hard to change this mind set.

Along with this is building your skills. Many times we think, oh I can't be bothered, someday I will learn. Kind of like sewing on a button, after you have many articles of clothing that need buttons you might think about it? Same with mending. I mended something that took two minutes to do. I keep my machine set up so I only have to sew. I try to do as needed and not throw in a pile that someday I will sit and mend. It is easier to find two minutes than to find two hours!

Which takes me back to getting food ahead, it saves time and money. Just a thought for the week.

Mary Ann shared this link with us on making socks -  I think this is an excellent series to take you on a learning journey on how to make socks.

Is it cheaper to actually make socks? Perhaps not but having this skill is a 100% good one to have. Sock yarn is getting very costly, I am trying to develop my spinning skill so I can make my own sock yarn.  

If you are frugal you can take apart thrift store sweaters to reclaim yarn for socks. But Mary Ann starts you off using worsted weight yarn which is the kind of yarn you make afghans out of. She uses two sets of the same size double pointed needles (use Hobby Lobby coupons to pick up your needles to help further save money). She uses two sets because she suggests doing one part of the sock then do that same part on the second set. I really like that idea because it will reinforce you learning the skill and then get both socks done. Because they're worsted weight these will be heavier like a boot sock

I was watching a podcast from Norway, they said there was a red list of things that soon no one would be able to learn because those who knew the skill were dying out. Very sad....think of your circle of friends, how many can knit socks??

This is part 1 of the video tutorial on how to make your own socks....

part 2....

part 3....

part 4....

part 5....

part 6....

So if you have been wanting to learn to do socks this is fantastic and a huge thank you to Mary Ann from all of us!

If you prefer to start with something more beginner but still useful, how about dishcloths -

These are great skills to develop and make great gifts too and once you use them you will love them!

Look around your house and see what things could be used for yarn bowls...

Think outside the box as real yarn bowls cost quite a bit. Many things can be used to work with our skills that can also be a great savings.

You will be surprised at what you will find or what you can make.

I'm not a coffee drinker but clear coffee pots from thrift stores make really great yarn bowls.

Even this cute little rabbit can be a thread bowl for tatting.

Below is a picture of a tatting press. It has two CDs encased with batting and a covering with pockets to hold shuttles.

The purpose is to press what you have tatted.

Just think out of the box, like what can I use for this or that? Find things that are helpful for what you're working on.

I wanted to share a favorite recipe...

Cherry Cobbler

-You need two small cans or one large cans of cherry pie filling
-spread in a sprayed 9x13 pan
-mix a white cake mix with one stick melted butter, add one tbsp lemon juice, mix and drop this mixture over the cherry pie filling, bake 350 degrees for twenty to thirty minutes

As we work on our storage and skills we will be blessed. Do the best you can!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday Message

"We have been commanded and repeatedly warned to store food, water and every needful thing for about 80 years now, whether for financial or natural disaster reasons, it doesn't even matter as to why...the mere fact that the Lord's prophets and apostles have spoken so directly and passionately about it should be good enough for us!

If you had no money what would you wish you had put into storage? More chocolate is my answer :p Seriously though, give that question some thought. Toilet paper is also high on my list since if you were on food stamps they don't let you get toilet paper with those.

Food waste is a huge problem for so many. I like the commercials where they serve a fancy meal all made out of the parts usually thrown away, like the tops of green onions. There are so many things we have a wrong understanding of. It reminds me of the story of the newly married couple - she was going to make ham for their meal so she cuts the narrow part off and her husband said why do you do that? She said because her mother always did. So they asked the mother why she did that and she said because her mother always did that so they asked her why she did that and she said because it wouldn't fit in her pan. 

I am not saying they wasted that piece, I am just saying if we do things out of habit or what we think is waste, it is not always the case.

Making the most of what we have...I am reminded of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. When the winter starts early it freezes green pumpkins in the patch. Pa goes to find a rabbit or goose for their meal and Ma takes and prepares a fake apple pie using the green pumpkin. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Do we do this?

I notice more layoffs around different areas and my heart goes out to those having to go through them. What if it was you? How prepared are you? What can you do better?

With all this snow and having more in time in the house, I have been working at building my skills...

This is the next bookmark so far.

I have been spinning more of late as well.

I am trying to perfect this skill. I want to spin thinner on this purple fleece to make sock yarn.

I love spinning this purple fleece.

How are you coming with building your skills?

I feel like knowing the basic skills are just as important as knowing how to cook.

Basic skills would be things like sewing. With that skill you can make clothes, gifts,things for your house like when I made pillows a bit ago.

And you can make your own curtains.

Then there is mending, like when I mended shoes.

I have replaced coat zippers. I have hemmed pants, skirts, dresses. I have made clothes for our kids from recycled clothing. You can extend the wear of many items.

Doing these things are not new things to our generations. My grandmother sewed by oil lamps with her treadle sewing machine. She did not have much so had to be very creative. They had six kids. Families would bring out to them used clothes and my grandma would make clothing for her kids.  

She told me once that my mom had a school concert coming up and she wanted to make her something to wear for it. She made a pinafore but she could not find enough good fabric from a lady's blouse to make the blouse for my mom. She laid the pieces around on that blouse and on the front she placed a piece that had a hole so that the front part of the pinafore would cover the hole.

Could you do this if you had too?

Next there is knitting or crocheting to make mittens and scarves and sweaters.

There are other things like knowing how to use tools. There is no rule that said only men could know and use tools. This same grandma built shelves for her kitchen and when Christmas came she made a little cupboard from a crate for my mom. Could you do that? These are what I am talking about, having the skills to make do to help our family.

I have been learning the sock machine. I took it apart and cleaned and oiled it this week.

As you can see this has made a huge difference. You can almost hear it thanking me for cleaning it.

What things are you working on?
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