Monday, April 24, 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." - food storage info - this is my favorite way to do pillowcases, easy to make. Wouldn’t it be fun to make on b-days for a birthday child with their favorite character? Also, think Christmas gifts. - inventory sheets that will help you keep track. - keeping track. I have a working food storage cookbook with our favorite recipes. - inventory sheets - food storage - this shows you how to can beef. Check the extenstion office in your area for your times and pressure. If you live in Iowa or Minnesota, you can call 1-800-262-3804 during a week day.

I have canned hamburger raw. To use, I take it out and, in a pan, I heat and brown it.

I can roast and chicken, even some pork for bbq. Chicken and roast is also very yummy and easy to use. - great ideas and solutions. - not advertising, just letting you know please don’t rule out the home storage units. We use the one in Omaha the most. Also, Kansas City. Just depends where you are. You can look it up which one is closest to you. - this is always a good way to get your feet wet with canning.

Did you know you can buy fruit juice and make jelly with it? Yep, done that. If you have no excess produce to use, you can have juice to make jelly. - making a rocket stove - country biscuits - making your own is lots cheaper and kids could help. - here is how to build raised bed garden for fifteen dollars.

It is time to be thinking garden. In central Iowa you are not to plant till after May 15. But start thinking what you will do. If you cannot have a garden, do container gardening. - how to make pattern weights. - hear is another option. - this shows one lady cleaning her storage. What I wanted to point out are the bungee cords. It would not hurt us to come up with a similar set up for earthquakes. One couple took it a step further and put rubber bands around jars to keep them from hitting each other. I know you are thinking... but we don’t get them here. But we have felt them and it would be better safe than sorry. Those who have funds can get those plastic containers that keep jars separate.

Just keep plugging away!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Guest Monday Message!

This Monday Message is a guest blog post from the wonderful Coupon Sahm I Am. Thanks for taking the time to inspire us to build up food storage and lead a more provident life!

Hello, I am known as Coupon Sahm I Am and I love to save money… Ok not really, what I do love is to save money so I can buy other things like art supplies for my Art addiction but I do sleep better at night knowing that I have a nice savings account for those rainy days, and for art.

If you are new to my blog come check me out at I am here as guest post because I have successfully got a good 6 month food storage from a normal month’s budget. (it started with a $300 food budget) with a family of three, now I spend about $600 a month on a family of 5- 3 growing kids. Did I mention the GROWING KIDS part?

When you have a budget and to live within your means, means no extra money spent and you have $300 to spend on the month… you figure out what you want to spend your money on very quickly. I was at that time staying at home with our 9 month old daughter, and “needed” a hobby that saved us money.

While saving money and spending all my energy on what I could spend our grocery money on.  I realized that although couponing can be a great way to “save” money there is a system to saving money. It came unexpectedly and I found that having a year's supply of food storage to be the way to save money Let me explain:

I know that every year in August peanut butter is at it’s rock bottom price, it will not be that cheap until next august. So a portion of my grocery budget for the month of August goes to PB. I decided that we go through about 1 jar a week (we love PB) so I buy about 45 jars of PB every August. I know it’s a good baking day when I go through 2 jars of PB. Since I can justify spending just a $1 on pb I don’t mind using it for lots of baking recipes.

Sale Cycles are what helps me save the most and helps me work on my food storage!  Go here if you want see the Grocery Cycle that I have came up with to save you money on basic pantry items that each month there should be a significant savings by buying groceries at their rock bottom prices. When it comes to groceries there is a season for everything!

Once you get what a I call a stock-pile (food storage) because the deals are out there once you use the Grocery Sale Cycle. Use what you got:

I know that if I have a food storage (stockpile) I am less tempted to go “out to eat” because we have so much food at home… Using what you have usually means that you try new ways of baking, or cooking chicken or for me I am always looking for those frugal recipes ( you know the ones in the old church and community cookbooks) to see what works for your family. I use what I got, sometimes items so basic can be used for multiple uses, for example one of my favorite things to stock up is Spaghetti Sauce.

Here is a blog post that has great ideas to do with Pasta Sauce When it’s on sale at it’s cheapest (march) I know that I can do so much more with it… I could simmer it down and make it into a pizza sauce, or my favorite thing to do is to make a tomato soup with it. Same thing with cake mixes, there are even cookbooks that are devoted to cake mixes and what you can do with it. Instant pudding and cereal are some other ones… lots of ideas and way to use up some basic pantry items that fit your family’s taste.  

Still not sure if this is the way you want to try to get a food storage started or to keep up, I have also integrated this system, that can work out well: I call it my top 10 recipe stockpile:
It’s as simple as listing your favorite 10 recipes that your family loves… You know the ones they could eat every other day if needed. Once you get that list, you list out your ingredients you need to have on hand and you get 4x that much, so you now have 40 meals ready to go…
It’s about a month worth of food storage right? You get the idea!

My top 5 recipes: Chilli,  cheese burger mac and cheese, spaghetti or lasagna, Chicken pot pie/ or something like that, and pork roast and veggies. I love to bake, I always have ingredients to make a chocolate cake, and scotcharoos. I love this way of food storage because it can be as individual and you can switch up meals along the way… If chili isn’t working any more substitute that for a new dish you made that was easy and economic right? I also go by seasons for this, and if it’s too expensive I wait until the ingredients go on sale. I know a lot of people like this method because it’s not so intense!

One last thing: take full advantage of when your grocer discounts meat… Yes, what seems like tuesday morning our local Hy-Vee always has meat for ¼ of the cost because the sell by date is about up.I just got some nice Salmon for ¼ of the cost!  I either cook it and freeze it or get it ready to cook and freeze it (seasoning it and getting it ready for the oven or crock pot or my Sous Vide.) I go specifically to the grocery store on any given tuesday Morning hoping to find some good discount on meat and do the dirty work of getting the meat prepped for 4-8 dinners that I can freeze. (does that make sense?)

I would love to know what other skills you use to help build a food storage within a budget, leave a comment or come visit my blog and leave me a comment on one of my many posts about how I have saved money! (don’t be surprised if there is artwork on my blog, that is my driving force to saving money!)

Thank you for letting me have this opportunity to post on Frugal Measures, enjoy the savings and building up your food storage!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Message

I'm working on learning to knit socks without a pattern.

"We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God need not fear." (First Presidency letter, 24 June 1988) - this is helpful for those who want to store in small places. - storing water is very important. Those of you who were here in '93 know something about life with no tap water due to floods. - helpful to us all, I love these gals.

I am trying to build one of my skills. I have made socks before but always with a pattern. Since I have been sick so long I am learning different heels. My goal is to be able to make socks anywhere anytime without a pattern. I know you are saying, my goodness she is going batty! I am :p If I don’t get well soon I will be completely bonkers but at least I'm working on one goal. - this shows how to get stared with double pointed needles. - getting out of a debt. - easy sewing project with your budget in mind, no more paper towels! - lots of helpful things, scroll down to see great ideas on how to store what you need. Keep scrolling to see what will happen if you run out of toilet paper. See why you want to stock up on that? But also using your sewing skills can be helpful in this situation. I hope to never have to do that but good to have sewing skills. - for more info. - this is still my favorite. - a cookbook worth looking at. - three month supply.

Keep working on your skill building. If you already know your skill, build on it. - great to know how to do, plus they also make good gifts.

So keep building your skills. As you can see, I am working on mine. Actually I am working on two things at once: learning a new heel in new sock and trying to get well, two things at same time. Keep working on your storage and on helpful skills. Do the best you can.

Monday, April 3, 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).

I find this quote is very direct with information we should pay attention to. I find it interesting that it doesn’t say when convenient or when you get around to it.

I think with famine in one country and people having trouble getting food in others, these things would stand out to us. We do not know what things will come or affect our neck of the woods. 

What I think is you don’t want to be in that situation and have to be worrying how you will feed or help your family.  If you find you are prepared you will be able to help others. And help will be needed.

I know life in our time has stores everywhere wanting your money, selling everything one could want.

How are you coming on the checklist as it just isn’t about food?

Can you mend any part of you or your families clothes?

Can you bake bread?

Do you have supplies on hand to do the bread? Flour, wheat, grinder, salt, sugar or honey, yeast needed in storage? If you store wheat and do not want wheat bricks you could sand a boat with, be sure to store vital wheat gluten. Have you learned to make bread your children will eat??? If not, get practicing. On this note, it takes time… are you too busy to find time? I had a doctor say to me after I told her I make our bread, she said, good if people would do this we would have a lot less mental illness.

Do you have bread pans? I have had friends who needed to save the money to bake bread but did not have pans.

Pans - do you have muffin tins, bread pans, cookie sheets, cake pans, pie tins, sauce pans, frying pans, any other you may need? If you don't then start hitting thrift stores till you get them. 

I have a friend and in the area she lived many did not own one pan because they ate out for their meals and when hard times came, and they did, they had not what they needed. My friend helped them get used pans but then she had to teach them how to use them and there were many who were in that same situation.

Have you collected the basic needed items? Sewing machine, iron and ironing board. A water bath canner, pressure canner, dehydrator,vac sealer with canister, wheat grinder plus a hand grinder, canning jars, new lids, used or new rings, etc.

There are many things you can get used you just have to haunt thrift stores and yard sales. You can ask for needed items on freecycle. Ask relatives if they are done canning.

I know you cannot get everything all at once but make a list and keep it with you. Also, say a prayer to have help in getting these.

Same with working on your food storage, pray for help to build your storage.

If you only make freezer jam, learn to make regular jam too - this is a great skill.

Concentrate on getting in groceries and the basics and supplies. You will be blessed as you work on it.

Go back over the blogs, see if there is something you would like me to cover. - a huge skill is learning to can meat. - skill of knitting. - skill of gathering supplies, these are all used. Sewing is a skill on our list too. - skill of dehydrating. - skill of gathering supplies. - skill of preparedness. - skill of storage.

I WANT you to watch these YouTube clips of Wendy's seminar. I painfully got them in order just so you can see them in order. Food storage with chocolate in it? Whaaaaat? Yep! :)

Skill building - watch all these clips then ask yourself, what are you waiting for? - skill of canning. - skill of jam making. - skill of DIY scratch cooking. This has a recipe for maid-rites like eating out but you saved lots. - skill of frugality. - skill of making bread. - skill of budgeting and organizing. - skill of making yogurt. - skill to make mixes.

We have covered a lot on storage and skill building over the years, please get your family ready.

Do the best you can.

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.
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