Monday, February 26, 2024

Monday Message

"The counsel to have a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and commodities was given fifty years ago and has been repeated many times since. Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency … [and] God will sustain us through our trials." (James E. Faust)

How are you doing on your skill building?

How are the prices in your area? Ours seem to go up by the minute, very costly.

I continue to research frugal things. It is harder when you pretty much are very frugal already. - this is good, I like her. We have talked before about convenience foods and doing things from scratch which really saves money. - there are great things here, even a gluten-free baking mix. - I love her scone mix. - I like this gal as well. - some ideas here. - lots of good info. - has helpful info. - I love these. - I love using this mix.

This is my favorite book. The whole book is one mix then all you can do with that one mix. Check your library to see if they can get it for you.

I also like the Make-A-Mix books, see if you can check them out too.

I have been doing a little cleaning...

This spot was perfect for putting these waffle irons and such.

I have a winding station for the yarns I spin. This works great. The stool was given to us.

I worked on clearing a better area for my surface of watercolor desk and the books.

I cleared and deep cleaned my knitting machines getting ready to work on learning more on them and building on that skill.

I wove more on the dish towels and spun some more working on these skills.

I have been researching something, teaching myself a new skill on this inkle loom.

I am working on this cowl.

Building skills as I can while still doing regular chores and such. What skills are you working on?

Missy says make time to learn. She tries to fit it in between naps.

Tippy Longstockings says she should get paid for advertising Fareway on the bag with her cuteness.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Monday Message

"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 am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. . .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." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

Just do what you can. Sometimes I can get more and sometimes I can't. I try to at least get one non-perishable item when I get groceries to set aside. This has helped us so much when we have hard times. - I saw this just lately. I feel she has worked hard to put these things together. I think she is fantastic. - here is another of her posts.

My favorite recipe of hers is her scone mix - - frugal ideas.

I think we are all looking to save with the higher price of everything.

I still love the bread machine recipe for making so many things.

But I one day took some of the dough to make pizza...

We loved it. So now I take and divide that dough into three and freeze it, then I toss it on the counter in the morning in its bag and by supper it is ready to make the pizza.

Plus, if you don't have a bread machine, you can make it up by hand. After the first rise, divide and freeze or make other yummy things. The recipe was adapted from a no-knead recipe from long ago before bread machines were ever invented.

I did one in the machine and one by hand. They were identical.

But I encourage you to haunt your thrift stores and grab one. Plug it in at the store though. Set it on the dough setting and hit start. You will hear a whir whir noise then hit stop and unplug - it works.

Know how to make bread by hand but take advantage of these used machines. I toss in the ingredients and set on the dough setting and press start then I have an hour and a half to do housework before I need to shape it and put it in a pan and cover. Let rise thirty minutes, bake in a preheated oven for forty minutes and take it out on a wire rack. I rub butter on top and when it is cool, I slice (my knife of choice is an electric knife).

For that matter, make a list of what you are looking for and look for those things every time you go. I know that things are still able to be gotten. I have seen a dehydrator and a food saver vacuum sealer just last month and both had really good prices on them. I have also seen some bread machines lately.

Haunting these stores is a good way to find things that would cost too much for the budget otherwise.

Find used things that will help you be more frugal.

Tippy Longstockings says you will roll on the floor with happiness.

Missy says, remember your skill building - it is easy to forget, add it to you list. - cute frugal idea for beginning sewing.

Start small to learn the skills you want to learn. If you need incentive, go find out how much it costs to have something mended.

Missy would tell you it is absolutely shocking

Tippy Longstockings says if you know how, you too can make this comfy bed.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Monday Message

"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) - she has so much helpful information. - we need to find and use every tool we can.

I do not see things improving.

I urge you to get to thinking about a garden if you can. I start my seeds at the end of April here.

Put out the word you are looking for jars. We have a spot on our post office board where one can put a note they are looking for items or for sale items. I put up I was looking for free canning jars one time and people were done canning and gave me jars. 

Last week, someone thought of me with some canning jars as they are downsizing. I already have all they gave me filled except for the jelly jars which I am saving to make jam next week or so, as I still have raspberries in the freezer.

You might be wondering how did I vacuum seal that two quart jar as it doesn't fit in my canister. I used the regular size lid attachment. I have a wide mouth size one too. If you vacuum seal, you know these attachments. - here is a picture of them. All brands pretty much look alike. Mostly, I use a canister to vacuum seal and only use these attachments if a jar is too big for my canister. These attachments only fit regular or large mouth sizes so they wouldn't fit on something like a store bought jar with a weird size lid. That is why I use a canister so I can do the weird size jars.

I vacuumed seal things and had stuff waiting for jars...chocolate chips, cream of wheat, some pasta, rice, is a bit of work but this extends the life of my food.

I do these things to be more frugal. Everything adds up and helps us to be able to stretch our very tight budget. - I think if you crochet, this would be great to make. I have a knitted one I am thinking of doing. If you don't crochet, it is a great project to get you started. I think this could be a good cat toy for Missy and Tippy Longstockings as well.

This week I did a deep clean of the closet and moved the file cabinet. This is very deep and almost as tall as me. It is a lot of work to unload and take out drawers so I opted to leave everything inside as I was only going two feet and turn it. Oh my, what a hard thing. It required pushing and pulling and body slamming to get a fourth an inch. This was quite a curious thing to watch for our kittens till I was trapped for a while but in the end it is in the better spot. It was hard work to watch, Tippy Longstockings says...

This week we were given this table and it fits perfectly my bobbin lace pillow. I had been looking for a better way for me to have it on to work it so a huge thank you for that.

Keep working at storing what you can and learning skills. You can still find vacuum sealers and things you need to put up food at Goodwill or Salvation Army or do a wanted on a community list but there are dehydrators, canners, jars. I saw a vacuum sealer the other day at our Salvation Army. If you want it to do jars, it must have a port which is a hole on top, usually by a corner and it sometimes says port next to it like the one I saw. You can look up manuals online and can order the tube and jar attachments, even the vacuum canister. So while things might be tight, keep looking at used places and if times aren't tight, they can be gotten new too, but used affords me to be able to get it and maybe a dehydrator... 

Every little bit we can do to stretch our dollars helps us through these hard times.

Remember, don't waste anything. I have a weird wire rack I am looking at and have no idea what it is but I am setting it here and there hoping to figure out a use for it. If not, I will donate it and someone will know exactly what it is or have some better ideas of how to use it. As we have done with things before, we toss it out or donate it unless we think of how we could use it.

Missy and Tippy Longstockings say cabin fever is a real thing so they will give you ideas on how to combat it, mind you they are indoor cats but they wanted you to think in and out of the box....

Monday, February 5, 2024

Monday Message

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

Times are hard and people are in need. Try to uplift others, even if all you can do is give a smile. Kindness goes a long way.

How are you doing? Check in with your neighbors and friends.

Most people have been shut in due to weather. Are you suffering from cabin fever? 

We are still working on a puzzle here.

If you have young kids, put together a box of old clothes and start a dress-up box. - I like the drive-in movie idea, only inside for now.

Set up a family game day with fun snacks.

When our girls were little we turned the living room and dining room into a carnival type set-up where there was a ring toss and pin the tail on the donkey and they could just kept going around doing different things that were set up and then had treats at the end.

When our grandson was little I snuck a box of twinkies into his room and we played hot cold till he found them then we all had fun eating them. - we always played buckle buckle beanstalk. Our girls loved it. We would pick something we all agreed to be the object to hide. All but the person hiding it would leave the room. Once hidden, they would come in and search. The person who found it would call out "buckle buckle bean stalk" and then they got to be the one to hide it.

I made some extra dough yesterday while making bread (read more about this recipe HERE). Lately I have been adding sourdough discard to it, but you can just do without that if you don't have a sourdough going. I made a pizza with it and put the rest of the dough in the freezer to make another one later. I think I will do this every time. The pizza was fantastic.

At the time I'm writing this, we are back in what feels like way below zero temps so I thought the cat girls would like a redo on their pillows. 

I had this fleece fabric and wrapped their pillows and tacked underneath for easy washing. They are happy with that for sure. You can see the curtain behind them ha! I put a blanket over the west window to help with that before mentioned cold. I have just decided to leave it on till spring.

I started a little ornament I plan to attach to my knitting bag as a skill stretcher if you will, kind of a challenge project which also helps with cabin fever. Are you working on your skill building?

I have lots of things to grow my skills planned for this year. How about you?

Just pick one and concentrate on that one thing. When you have it mastered move to the next thing. I have a friend who did that and it helped her in what she wanted to learn. - she has a lot of bread recipes if you follow the link. Of course, if you do not have a bread machine, doing bread the regular way is fantastic too. - this is a free pattern I am toying with in my mind.

Still really cold here -20 windchill, brrrrr! So those of you not in winter, bask in the warmth for the rest of us.

Missy the pretty princess says pretend to be a princess as she is demonstrating, survey your kingdom for fun things to do.

Tippy Longstockings says if you have fuzzy fabric, make you a bed and then have treats.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Monday Message

"We call upon priesthood bearers to store sufficient so that you and your family can weather the vicissitudes of life. Please see to it that those entrusted to your watchcare receive these two pamphlets entitled All Is Safely Gathered In. Exhort them to prepare now for rainy days ahead." (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

Well we keep getting major snowstorms. In the middle of the second storm this week (at the time I'm writing this) they just said another is coming early next week, this one won't quite be over with when we get hit again.

So this is a good time to mention - are your winter things built up? If you are in summer right now, work on getting ready for when you will have winter again. We got twelve inches of snow in the first storm then this one is to be ten inches though I am not sure how one would measure as winds are drifting the snow. The back door has a drift up to my knees, the front door half of that drifted, but there are drifts all over.

It feels like ten below zero for now but this will be the warmest as the next days through Tuesday we'll see -45 so very cold temps are coming.

Then another storm. Makes me glad for storage.

Yesterday knowing this blizzard was coming today, I made two loaves of bread - one cinnamon swirl,  one plain. When cooled, I sliced all and put half of each in the freezer. I made granola and yogurt. I discovered on the yogurt that my house is too cold so I have to empty the jar of water and refill it again with hot water, so I will be doing that going forward through these colder months. The bread rises well because I set it by an oven vent while preheating the oven. 

We have kerosene lamps with oil as well. If we lose power (which could happen) our generator is working and is full of gas. We can manually turn on the gas fireplace if needed and I can still cook on top of the stove only if the power is out.

So these are what preps we have here.

I did oven stuff yesterday because I can't use the oven when power goes out.

Just something to think about. I learn from others who have gone through storms like when a huge ice storm hit many years ago when we all were just having email, this gal told of the hard time they had going through an ice storm. Here's some of the things she did...she would light little candles and put them in jars on top of the toilet tanks for the night (I think that now a days your little battery candles would give enough light for needing light in bathrooms). She said what drove her the most crazy was dirty carpets because this lasted for weeks and bringing in wood to burn made a mess. She wished she had a carpet sweeper. I had this in mind when I saw one at a yard sale for seventy-five cents. I bought it and use it in between vacuuming, so if I need it I have it.

Just the crazies going on here I say...hoping your new year is off to a better start.

I have been thinking on skills and how much I rely on my having skills like baking bread, making granola and yogurt were just a few, sewing clothes, mending clothes, you all saw me adjust suits - I never could have done that without some sewing skills. So skill building is a high priority. - good to learn as well. - even using old clothes can be made into quilts. I have some very old blocks that someone made by hand, not machine, they never finished them into quilts. I plan to make a table runner maybe if there are not enough to do a quilt.

I took a picture of them but wanted you to be able to see the back of one. It is worn-out jeans, look at that hole. They used everything and we should too. Don't let anything go to waste. -  we all need to learn this skill, even if only to mend. - you can use this skill to make clothing. If you scroll down, you can see part one and two and other helpful knitting tutorials.

You can make useful things to wear, here is a cowl I have going in progress. This will dress up a church dress or two. But I have made ones for wearing out in the cold.

We need to build our skills.

Yarn is expensive (very expensive) so if you haven't yarn to use or want to make an item... you can undo certain sweaters as she shows here, saving the yarn to make another item like a sweater or mittens or hats scarves. This gal, by the way, has great free patterns on her site.

You can do the same with sewing, I have a nightgown that I plan on using to make a slip from.

Being able to remake things is a great reason for having a sewing skill.

Remember to use everything. Don't be so quick to purchase something you can figure out. I am wanting to learn tambour embroidery but to do so I needed organza fabric which I did not have, so I went to Salvation Army and bought a curtain which was way way cheaper than going to the fabric store. Next thing I needed was a stand so I can have one hand on top and the other hand under I am turning a stool upside down and will affix the hoop or frame to this "stand." I also like to do shadow applique, organza is good for that too. So thinking on what you can do with what you have is a skill as well.

Things are not getting cheaper so learn to be as frugal as you can be.

Dee shared this gal in the comments, I am enjoying her frugal ideas - Thank you, Dee!

Missy says sometimes it is good to think outside the box or, in her case, a brown bag.

Tippy Longstockings says when a storm rages outside, lay in front of the fireplace and be sure and roll over to warm your belly too.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Monday Message

"I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

I cannot stress this enough. We are waiting to see the fallout of this new insurance company to assess  the damage to our budget. So we are using all storage this month unless something has to be gotten.

That is the beauty of food storage, it allows me the ability to free funds from time to time. And storing what you like is so important. I would have a hard time eating things we don't like.

Tomorrow is the day before my b-day and yes, I will make my chocolate cake (get the recipe HERE).

This month will almost be over with by the time you read all of this, but just wanted to share the flexibility of having storage and how much it helps. Since I store what we like, our eating will be pretty normal. If ever there was a catastrophe, we would eat the same foods we are used to.

Not bad having homemade swirl bread...low spend months or not, yum! This bread pictured here I put craisins in, yummy!

I have been doing some deep cleaning and organizing and I think most is as I want it now so enough of the heavy things. I still want to put fabric scraps in colored order so I can just grab a box of whatever color to make some small quilting items, so that is a plan yet to work on.

One of the things I want to learn this year is how to do krokbragd on the inkle loom. The classes are not in my budget so learning on my own is what I will do. - this is what it is as I know you all have been wondering. I want to make that sheep band in the picture.

Another is to learn more on my knitting machines.

Watercolor is also on my list.

Find more time to spin and weave and sew....

Also, how to utilize my kitchen appliances more, so learning those will also be on my list. You know how without thinking we pop toast into the toaster? Well I want to have all my appliances be like that.  Just automatic so to say.

What do you have on your list this year?

Today I will be repotting my apple trees that I have growing. Hopefully they will survive.

Be sure to check on people you know to see if they are doing alright as we are headed in to darkest time of winter and it is hard on so many.

Missy says you need to take some cozy time.

Tippy Longstockings says put a puzzle together. She is anxious to see the cats in it when it is finished.

Monday, January 15, 2024

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)

I think if the last four years taught us anything, it is that things can change quickly...and they can at any time. So having a storage in our homes is a very prudent thing to do.

I have been going through cookbooks marking things that I usually have on hand and are inexpensive to make. A while ago I found some bread machine cookbooks and the Fix-it and Forget-it big cookbook at the thrift store. The big cookbook has a price of $29.95 on the cover. My price was $2.99. I usually do not like to pay that price but it was a book on my "If I ever see it" list. I do like to utilize my crockpot.  

So looking for cheaper recipes is a frugal thing to do and this year I am going to have to employ frugal skills more than ever. I suspect a lot of you are as well.

I was given some sourdough starter and I am doing well at keeping it going happily. I have been using the sourdough discards in my bread making...

I first used it on this cinnamon raisin bread - wonderful tasting for sure. I have added it to pancakes and just about everything I make that I can use it in, I have.

So this is a skill I am building and speaking of skills I am building, here is the finished Christmas stocking where I am building knitting and colorwork skills...

Everything we can do to build these skills saves our family money.

I am still making yogurt weekly. Will be doing more tomorrow. When we start to eat the last quart jar, I make another batch (get the recipe HERE).

Same with granola - when we start the last jar I make more (yummy granola recipe HERE).

While yes, these homemade versions do take time (but so does going to the store), I cannot tell you enough how much they save us money.

I also have been mending my husband's suspenders. Sewing saves us tons of money.  

The other day I needed some organza for a project. I went to the thrift store to look for sheer curtains, they had only one pair so I got them. There were two long panels that didn't even looked used with a JC Penney tag home good brand that was crisp and new. The curtains were $5.49 but had a green tag so fifty percent off and then a senior discount on top of that brought that price way down. Then I went next door to a regular store. They wanted $5.99 a yard - just one yard. I got many yards in those long curtain panels. When we need something, we need to stop and think what do I already have on hand first, then second, can I look someplace used?

I looked at the price on clearenced fabric while I was there. I could not afford to make a dress with those prices, so I thank my past self for going yard sailing and to thrift stores and using freecycle as it helped me stock things that would be useful like fabric and notions and the great yarn haul I got from an auction house that did not want it and a great fabric haul from freecycle and a dear friend downsizing. Because now on a fixed income that grows less as prices grow more, it is coming in quite handy.

Also on sewing skills that I can repair and makeover clothing. Even though the prices are high on fabric, we can recycle and remake used clothing. So build those skills. - we can expand on this list. - I remember shopping with my list at a store when a younger lady asked if I worked for a facility because I had a list. I said no, I just write up a list. She said, "really? I just come in and get whatever." Then said her husband gets mad because she spends too much... So set a budget and try to stay in it. I know it is hard when prices go up even while you shop. Have a back-up plan. What can you do without? - good ideas here. - more ideas. - more ideas. - I like that this gives you percentages and also a chart with what to purchase instead.

These are ways to save while shopping but what then? - using up what we have in different ways. - I like it when everyone chips in their ideas so comment below any ideas you have. - ideas. - every idea is helpful.

Look for inexpensive recipes... 

So these were some ideas to get you thinking.

Remember what they used to say..."Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." Some day I will make a stitchery of that.

Missy says we should use everything, even veggie cans can have holes poked in the bottom and used to plant seeds in.

Tippy Longstockings says she is thinking outside the box, trying to be a carpet sweeper picking up lint.

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