Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Message

In Argentina, Relief Society leaders are trying to teach the importance of food storage. They wrote: "Unfortunately, most of the sisters [here] cannot afford to buy an extra kilo of sugar, or flour, or an extra liter of oil. However, they have been encouraged to save, even just a spoonful at a time." (Elaine L. Jack) 

Can you imagine how hard it is for them? I think they set an example for us...if they can do it so can we!

This week I was in the car running errands and had the radio on. They were talking about food waste and how so many people look at the dates on cans and toss them even while the food is still good. They said this is adding to the greenhouse gases. They also said more young people are tossing food as well and that home economics classes that teach food safety are no longer offered in schools. Young people don't know what to look for in spoiled foods. 

Stopping home economics sure hasn't helped, it is letting those kids down. Can you imagine how better off they would be learning basic life skills while still in school?! Life isn't easy as it is, this only makes it harder for them.

Imagine all the things you have learned...did you know how to use spices right off ?? Or how to slice, dice, mince, all sounds like a funny language.

We learned lots from home economics.

If you still have kids at home try to fill in so they know the basics. Cover topics like.... 

Basic cooking
Sewing on buttons
Food safety
Cooking from scratch... yes, little Billy, you can make popcorn without a microwave.
And how does food all get done at the same time? What are measuring tools and how to use them?

I would make cookies for after school so they were coming out of the oven when my kids would get home. One of their friends asked me how do I know to do so many?...she meant different kinds of cookies.

I know some kids who know how to make wonderful cookies from scratch... I say, well done parents, well done!

We need to work alongside our kids in the kitchen as well with other chores. Yes, we all know we could do it faster alone but what does that teach? Nothing. So let them learn in the kitchen about preparing food as all too fast they will be out on their own. Teach them before they have to learn on the job. I can truly say it took me a long time to learn. Oh, I had dish washing down but not much else.

I knew a sweet lady who when her kids would do dishes she would wash and they would dry and it was a race. If the dryer caught up to the washer they could quit. Make it fun! If you show them how to make pancakes, make them the queen or king of pancakes.

Get the recipe for these AMAZING diner style pancakes HERE.

And just how many pancake variations can you come up with? I remember fondly someone put corn in the pancakes, I loved them!

Make mixes together. Learn how to make the mix and how to store the mix, such as pancake mix. - this has some mix ideas. - here are more ideas. - this one is my favorite.

Now with the kids home for the summer it would be fast to fix meals if you had some of these mixes on hand.

I also like to have my mixes filled full before winter.

What are some mixes you make from scratch?

If you have favorite store bought mixes have you ever done a search to find a homemade recipe for it?

Keep working on your storage and living frugally and help others as you can.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Message

“Store a provision of food which will last for at least a year wherever it is legally permissible to do so. The Church has not told you what foods should be stored. This decision is left up to individual members. . .From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority. ‘There is more salvation and security in wheat,’ said Orson Hyde years ago, ‘than in all the political schemes of the world’ (in Journal of Discourses, 2:207). Water, of course, is essential. Other basics could include honey or sugar, legumes, milk products or substitutes, and salt or its equivalent.” (President Ezra Taft Benson) 

We lived in New Hampshire for a few years and at every grocery store you had to stand in long  lines. I was used to lines in Iowa that were not that long. One day I was in line and the lady behind me said, “don't you love having so many options to choose from?” I looked at her like you have to be kidding me. She said she was from Canada and didn't have the range of products. Here I was thinking I did not have the range of products like I did in Iowa. So it is all in where we are on that line. I bring that up as I have noticed in the last year some items are not being carried that I usually get, making my choices more limited. Have you noticed less items being offered in your area?

I know you could ask your store to get an item but it is unsettling when you have, let’s say five to choose from than there is two or there isn't even a spot for the item on the shelf. Something to think about.

We need to be thankful for what we have.

Cooking from scratch helps the budget, also using our leftovers as planned-overs.  

Here above are some ideas that might inspire you.

When you make something from scratch look to see how much you have saved from the not-scratch version.

It really helps to use leftovers by planning menus.

Like when I make tacos I fix extra meat and then package and freeze it for other meals. First night will be tacos, next night I could add the taco meat to tomato soup for taco soup
or chili, or I can make green bean casserole.

My Green Bean Casserole

In a 9x13 pan that I sprayed, I put two cans of drained green beans, two cans of tomato soup, 1 tsp dried onion, and then leftover taco meat. Stir and then I make some instant potatoes to spread over the top and then sprinkle with cheese. Cook at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes. You can use plain cooked hamburger too but is soooo good with the leftover taco meat.

Maid-Rite Sandwiches

Brown a lb of hamburger, drain it and add a can of chicken broth. Cook till broth is gone and then serve on hamburger buns. I then make spaghetti sauce using the leftover meat.

I will cook hamburger ahead and package them to freeze for future meals.

So do some intentional cooking and see what you can come up with. you can watch her make a top and you can use a pattern like it and follow along. Everything she does is straight stitching so any machine will work. This will help you build more on your sewing skills.

After I am done helping my husband in the garage I plan to make a few more of these tops. Once you find patterns you like you can use them with different fabrics and can embellish them how you wish as well. I find too that once I sew a pattern I get faster at it.

We are clearing out our two car garage. It has been a hard job. Each day I had set goals that we would achieve, this has not been kind to my Fibromyalgia as I hobble about. When we are done we will set it back up for a total work space for my husband, a woodworking station and a stained glass working station. It has been a hard thing to do but again it was a good time so we could get things we no longer need to the humanitarian yard sale. - here are some free patterns for crocheting dishcloths. - here is a knitted dishcloth pattern to try.

Learning these will help you to have a skill that helps with dishes and that also makes for great gifts.

Keep working on your skill building and keep working on your storage.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday Message

"Have sufficient food, clothing, and fuel on hand to last at least one year." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

It seems things are more crazy than ever with droughts, flooding, and all manner of things. We are having rain and more rain here.

I think it is more important than ever to be frugal and learn skills that can help our families. I think that until we experience hard times we won't really know how or what we will have to do. Think about the hardest times you have ever had and figure out what skill would have made that hard time easier.

When I look back I wish I had learned earlier to can.

We could have benefited so much from that. Home canned food lasts so much longer than the tin can foods. However, having both is a blessing plus knowing how to cook is huge. Eating out was never an issue but knowing how to cook and stretch food and money would have helped a lot.  - If I had known then what I know now it would have been easier however my push to learn might not have been as strong. I share the blog so it will be easier for you. - lots of recipes here.

I know I was always on the look-out for things I could make at home. - this is easier than boiling. - I thought this might be helpful.

Knowing how to bake bread, rolls, hamburger and hot dog buns was huge for me to get to that point. Also, having the equipment to do all of the things is a real help so take advantage of yard sales that are now starting. Look for dehydrators, pressure canners, canning jars, vacuum sealers and such - even wheat grinder. I know you are thinking "really?" But I have seen them. I know I often mention this but unless you have the money to walk in and purchase them you will have to look at the used options. Once you get the equipment you need to learn how to use it and then put it to use making it a part of your life.

Sewing is also a huge skill. Being able to sew and maintain our clothes is critical.

Living within a budget is essential as well, especially with prices that will be going up and if you are just eeking by now it will get harder, so get these skills learned.

Knitting and crocheting, especially in colder climates, is helpful.

Food storage is critical if you had no money to buy food with. It has happened a lot to us so it has been helpful to us to have a storage.

Food storage is different for everyone. The best thing is to look at what you eat and store. Those items have shelf stable items such as dried beans, rice, wheat, powdered milk, oatmeal, sugar, oil, on these items as you can. - this is a great place to start and just keep it going, there is another video following.

I encourage you to look around their site, "store this, not that" for wonderful ideas. - they have great info. - these are all great and you will learn great things by watching them.

I encourage you to not put off learning your skills or storing food.

Monday, May 27, 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)

You can't look at what is going on today and not be a bit concerned.
The flooding continues all along the Mississippi. The weather patterns are crazy. The tariff troubles - a million people could lose their jobs and prices will go up...I think we might be in for some bumps.

It could be there are things we cannot see coming along as well.

Our house insurance company is moving out of Iowa this follows our health insurance that already pulled out.

It would be prudent to be prepared.

If you do not know how to garden you might want to learn that.

Put yourself in the position of those that will be losing their jobs.  What would you do? What will you wish you had stored? What will you have wished you had learned? How would you manage? What could you live without? I used to think I would do okay but I have to have_____ (fill in the blank) until I had to do without it, this happened several times. Each time I was amazed how I could do without it. So give this some thought.

Ponder these things.

Can you...

Grow sprouts?  
Do you even have the seeds to do so?  
Did you know you can and should vacuum seal these seeds or they will not work in time? 
Do you have a sealer?  
Did you know if you have the tall canister you can seal any jar that has a lid with that rubber inside the rim? Most everything has that now and you can use your canning jars for canning.  

Mend your family's clothing? Do you have what it takes to do it?
I noticed buttons will be a tariff you have some on hand with thread and needles and scissors?

Can you make pancakes from scratch? Do you have those items in storage?  
What about making bread? Do you have the ingredients on hand?  Did you know you can make pancakes or waffles from these ingredients?

When we first moved back to Iowa we had no stove. I made french toast in the waffle iron. We called them eggy waffles. It is surprising how we can adapt.

Do you have food on hand like canned meats, fruit, and veggies?
Do you have wheat to make bread or flour?  
What could you put on that bread?  
Do you have peanut butter and jam?

Do you know how to preserve your food? i.e. can your food, dehydrate food, etc?  
Do you have the equipment to do so?

Having a full working storage is more than just having food, it is about equipment, clothing, skills and supplies...ponder which areas you need to improve.

Are you practicing better budgeting to handle higher prices?

Even if nothing goes bad you would do well to prepare and with yard sale season soon here you can watch for these items or ask on your neighborhood groups if anyone has what you are looking for. - this shows how to make a pattern from your own underwear.

I saw a YouTube video where the husband sewed his wife and daughters' underwear from t-shirts. 

I just wanted you to see with a little sewing skill you can make useful items.

I have given some very basic ways to knit and crochet helpful items that you can learn to make on a beginner's level.

I think getting back to basics will be helpful.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Message

"Decide as a family that there will be no vacation or holiday next year unless you have your year’s supply. Many Church members could buy a full year’s supply of the basics from what they would save by not taking a vacation. Take the vacation time and work on a family garden. Be together, and it can be just as much fun."
(Vaughn J. Featherston)

It is almost planting time, are you going to have a garden?

There still is much flooding going on in eastern Iowa. It seems there is no end to the trials all around the world. We need to be ready to help each other...there is no shortage of need. We may not be able to do huge things but we can do what we can to help, even a smile and prayers can help if we can do nothing else.

I have still been spring cleaning a bit and organizing as I go. I have always believed having something you like to collect is a good thing but as I have been going through clearing out with this spring cleaning I might be rethinking the collecting thing. I think I collected too many things. Yes, collecting is fun but is hard to clear out. During this time I saw a commercial for a show, this lady had such a huge collection she needed to buy another house just to house it. Just how much is too much? Well, I know my clearing out will help others who are going through a hard time and that kept me going.

How are you coming with your skill building?

Mary Ann shared this link with us...   

It is a great site if you knit or if you want to learn.  

I have been working on knitting up a skein of sock yarn. I only had one skein of this and want to see how long of a sock tube I get.  

Then once I get close to the other end I will do ten rows of ribbing and bind off. I plan to do the afterthought everything socks. I will pick gray or blue and do the heels and toes. - here she will show you how I will do it.

This will prepare me to using my sock machine to do the same thing...

I will crank out a sock tube that will be like the one I showed above then I'll repeat the same procedure. This is a skill I have been teaching myself.

The sock machine will do ribbing heels and toes using these parts...

Maybe down the road I will want to do that but I really want to crank tubes and do the afterthought everything socks.

At the same time I am trying to learn to spin thinner to make my own sock yarn because over the last few years sock yarn has skyrocketed in price.

Along those lines I have been watching this gal's podcast. This one happens to be her dying cotton crochet thread which it just happens to be like I use in one of my favorite bobbin lace bookmark...  

I'd like to learn more on dying my own fiber. I also have been gathering things I had on hand to use for dedicated dye equipment like separate pans, a salad spinner, rubber gloves, plastic measuring spoons and stir spoons tongs, scale and dye and such.

I have my fleece for spinning all on this shelf waiting to be dyed or spun.

With most of the spring cleaning done I have been able to do a little weaving as well.

This is a bobbin lace bookmark I made for part of a gift. I am still learning and probably always will be. I knew I would like to learn bobbin lace I just never expected to love it so much.

What skills are you working on?

Keep looking for sales to stock up as you can.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Monday Message

“A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life.” (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

This is why I stress so much on here to gather storage, live frugally, and learn new skills. It’s a way of life!

I finally finished the spring cleaning. This was a tough one for sure as I did a lot of clearing out to give to the humanitarian yard sale. It was good that it all worked out to be the same time. A good thing to do.  As I went through my things I organized as well which was probably why it took so long.

Now I am ready to get back to learning and working on some projects that I put on hold until I was done. - she has many things in this area so look around, meal planning can help you live more frugally. - she has a short article here. - she has some great ideas.

Sometimes reading tips like in the sites above will help spur ideas. What frugal ideas do you have? - here are some homemade cleaners.

I like using this recipe instead of dryer sheets - In a small spray bottle place 3 Tbsps of your favorite cream rinse you use on your hair then fill the rest with water. Shake well before using then spray on a washcloth and throw in with a load in the dryer.

For years I have used baking soda to clean the stove top.

For slow drains I use 3 Tbsps of baking soda, then I pour in a third of a cup of vinegar, then I pour boiling water  down. If it’s still slow just repeat the process. This saves money and keeps chemicals away too.

Making washcloths from old towels is a frugal thing indeed.

Every little bit we do adds up and helps us to become a bit more self-reliant.

Something else I do is knit dishcloths, crocheting too is good. They are better than regular dishcloths but once you use them they will be your favorite. I have gotten the cotton yarn from sales so they are frugal as well as relaxing to make.

Keep working on your storage and building skills and finding frugal things.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Monday Message

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others." (All is Safely Gathered In pamphlet)

We have everything we need right here, we either haven't found it yet or it's a combination of not having tried yet.

We have so many blessings.

There is so much turmoil in the world. We need to help wherever we can. As I keep saying, there is no shortage of people who need help. So look around you and see what you can do for others.

Here in Iowa you can plant your gardens after May 15. However, I have seen frost after that time a few times in the past. I always watch the weather and get an idea of the temps. This year I thought I would plant a few tomatoes in containers and maybe a jalapeno pepper as well.

What are your gardening plans this year?

I am still spring cleaning but I am also still learning... - this is a great technique to know how to do, especially with the sock machine but I do love working by hand and definitely on car trips.

I knit this sock yarn on a trip to Nauvoo Illinois when I wasn't driving

This is the beginning of doing the afterthought everything sock like in the video. When I am done spring cleaning I will be cranking a sock tube to do the afterthought everything socks that way as well.

What new thing are you learning?

I do have to mention we did see flooding on our way by the Mississippi which makes me think again will the farmers get into the fields?  - this site has many free t-shirt patterns if you are wanting to work on your sewing skills.

Whatever sewing machine you have, read the manual from front to back. Then do swatches of everything the machine will do. This helps you to know your machine.

I put my pages in a binder that I keep by my sewing machine.

Sewing is a great skill well worth building. Your machine might be a basic machine and that is okay. Learn it up and down, also learn how to clean and oil it.

This would be a good project to do with all your appliances, we should know all they are able to do.

Build a binder of all the manuals to all the items you have. It is handy to have them all won't have to look for them as they will be in the binder.

Keep working on your skills and on your storage and things you can do to be more frugal.
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