Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Message

"Brethren, 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... I do not predict any impending disaster ... yet prudence should govern our lives ... We can begin with a one week 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 supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.  Begin in a small way... gradually build toward a reasonable objective." Gorden B. Hinkley, Priesthood Session, October 2002.

Provident Living:  We will have a class on April 8th at 9:30 a.m. Tues morning at the Shook's. It will be convenience in the kitchen.

You won't have to worry about the coffee filter, however I use coffee filters in vacuum sealing powdery things like flours. You take the lid of the jar you are going to seal after putting in the product, you trace the lid on a coffee filter and cut it out and put it on top of the product so that little particles do not go into the vacuum sealer and kill it. Yes, it does happen more often than not so this is helpful info about vacuum sealing.  a refresher course here on making bread we all "knead" to know this :)  pita bread - make your own, tastes soooo much better! this also has some good looking recipes besides the bread

I urge you to practice making bread if you are ever in a situation where you are needing to bake it, that is not the time to learn there is a learning curve....practice practice! 

Sister Ebanks tells us to put as much cider vinegar in our bread as yeast, it helps with the strengthening of the bubbles the yeast makes.

Also storing Vital Wheat Gluten is not essential but it will make your wheat bread a lot more pleasing.

Do you have wheat in your storage?????? If so, do you have a wheat grinder????? That would be something to work towards if you have tax refunds you might think about one or beefing up your storage.

Since we have so many new  families in our ward, I think it is a good time to remind you that our Ankeny Units have a wheat grinder in the kitchen, it can be checked out through the Relief Society president.

Other things one needs is a pressure canner, dehydrator, vacuum sealer, the grinder as I mentioned, and all the gear to go with.... i.e. jars, lids , rings, you get the pic.  One cannot just get all this at one time.....get it as you can....

Once canning season is going it is almost impossible to burrow a pressure canner so give this thought.

I urge you as well to put some sort of garden in. Last year lids for canning jumped in price so get packages as you go to the store pick up lids for regular or wide mouth. I encourage everyone to learn to can and get the equipment. It really helps with our budget for me to do this.

So have I ever told you I hate gardening? Sister Watson is laughing at this, I know she is :p I hate it bad but a Prophet told us to plant a garden and that is what I do. It feeds us but I hate every aspect of it. See, we cannot all just get to do what we want to do, right?

If you don't have the ground to put one in do container gardening.  sewing skills are very important to have. Basically, this little dress was free... the shirt being no longer useful for clothing. this shows how to darn socks. Some day you may need to do it. I will tell you it saves time rather than going to a store. Something to think gets too busy. wouldn't it be great to make a needed hat?

Build your skills, you can learn whatever you would like. If you can read, you can learn and if you can't, you can learn!

We always want to be learning to help our families.

Also, keep working on your storage. If you have a year's supply of peanut butter is that it? Do you not work on it any longer? No!!!! You use and replace use and rotate! To provide for your families you need to do this.

Keep learning new things. Each thing you learn is a valuable layer.

I am proud of all of you!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Message

Provident living: Class will be Tuesday, April 8 at 9:30 a.m. at the Shook's. The class will be on convenience in the kitchen.

"Now you ask where do I get the money for these things. I agree I need them, but I'm having a hard time making ends meet. Here is how you do it: Use one or more of the following suggestions: Food Storage Christmas: Use 25-50% of money for food storage, New Clothes: Don't buy instead make it last a few more months, use that money for food storage,Vacation/ Holiday: no vacation or holiday until food storage is complete, Recreation: Cut by 50% use money for food storage, find fun, free things to make lasting memories, Snowmobiles/campers/boats: sell or trade to get a year's supply,Change Diet: eat cheaper foods and use extra money for food storage.  

"The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every LDS family to have a year's supply of food reserves ... All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment.  Miracles will take place: the way will be opened and we will have our storage areas filled.

"I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received dealing with our personal and family preparedness. ... With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying but the instability in the world today makes it imperative that we heed this  counsel and prepare for the future." L. Tom Perry, Nov. 1995.

I want to encourage you to keep trying to get your storage in. Look for sales, share sale info with others so we can make use of the sale as well.  I once read a book that in the summer this family cut down the clothes to seven shorts, seven tops, seven undies and two swim suits. That was all the casual summer clothes they had and it really helped on the laundry. So this might be something to think about. This lady has some interesting things she does. - she has some recipes if you scroll down that look pretty neat. I still will buy my imitation vanilla, not keen on the recipe she uses but you might find stuff helpful with the rest. I think we all need to know how to tell the needs from the wants. I know living on a shoestring budget is very stretching and things you thought you would always have to have suddenly you find out you can do nicely without...  Try your hand at making some crackers. Would be great with some cheese for family night to make them together! Making your own spice blends rather than paying more is always a frugal thing. Remember we can get spices by calling Ameriherb in Ames - they are a shipper of spices and if you call and leave your name and address, tell them you want a catalog. Then when you want to order just call and say when you plan to be in Ames and what time and you can get way cheap spices.....a good place to get stocked up however they sale only in one-pound packages so go in with someone else if that is too much for you. (The spices keep nicely in canning jars) It is time to start a few seeds growing inside to reduce the cost of someone else doing it for you. - more info on seeds indoors

We need to learn our skills or strengthen them and teach our children! - this has some ideas for learning to knit

I will add to this that there are so many tutorials out there that you can learn from and yes you can even teach yourself!

Sewing a hem -

Sewing on a button -

How to iron a shirt -

These may seem pretty basic but it is something we need to learn if we do not know how and it is something we need to teach our sons and daughters. - this would be useful to the kids to know, as well as yourself. - more easy recipes for kids making bread - this is a good idea and going through our wardrobes to see how we can refashion it.  how to make "preggy" jeans :) - eat out at home! I have done the potatoes and also the celery but something ate the celery before I did get it... so this year I will do them in the middle of the garden and see if I get it this time but it was growing a whole new bunch of celery, it would have worked great.

It is time to keep thinking on the garden planning!

Keep working on the storage :)

Have fun with the kidos on spring break!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mixes for easy kitchen prep!

Looking for convenience in the kitchen? Mixes are a great way to cut down on the cost of meals and prep time!

On the front of a baggy I write what the mix is and what I need to add to it. On the back I write what I need to refill the bag with.

I have two snake cake mixes, one from the More Make-A-Mix and the other from Women's Day Magazine from tons of years ago, though you can now find them on the internet -

I also made a little booklet of the recipes for one and made up the recipes on cards for the other.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Message

Provident Living: April 8th at the Shook's at 9:30 a.m. The class will be on convenience in the kitchen.

There is a wise old saying " Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without". Thrift is a practice of not wasting anything. Some people are able to get by because of the absence of expense. They have their shoes resoled, they patch, they mend, they sew, and they save money. They avoid installment buying, and make purchases only after saving enough to pay cash, thus avoiding interest charges.
~~~~ President James E. Faust I have grown garlic and it is quite easy to do. she has good ideas on cutting your grocery expenses in half. great recipes and ideas! to try with your oats more of her recipes this is so helpful for cooking food storage items in a pressure cooker! this will help you to save on the fruits and veggies. Along this line, I will mention that if I have produce celery or carrots or apples left over at the end of the month I go ahead and dry them. This is before they go bad and then I have celery if one month I am unable to get it. Also, this goes for potatoes. It seems they turn so fast so save them! You can dry them but keep in mind you need to blanch for three minutes the slices before you put either on the dehydrator tray or in the freezer. You have to blanch the carrots as well, celery and mushrooms can just be sliced and dried or frozen apples you need to slice in water with two tablespoons of lemon juice before drying.

It is a bit of work to do this but the savings adds up and is a way you can build your storage too. she has lots of ideas on menu planning and tells how she makes spaghetti sauce and takes out one cup to use on pizzas - great idea! this is a great savings as spray generic is like $1.79. This is a huge savings when you think of it for very little effort. great idea for fresh herbs and cute at the same time plus when it is time to plant the garden you can take a few and plant them outside.

????When do we plant here in Iowa????????? Answer = AFTER May 15. this could also be used as a gift so keep it in mind. Another tip for you, if you know you are going out to work in the dirt, scratch a bar of soap and then you are able to wash and not get the dirt stuck under your nails.

How to create a family budget... at the end is a link to part two. for those in our ward who need gluten free this seems like something that would be most helpful a good way to use old towels if you think you do not have room for storage this will change your mind and give you great ideas!

Summer is coming! The kids may have gotten taller but still fit in their pants, cut them off for long shorts and that will save on summer wardrobes. Also consider trading with friends different sizes of clothing for children works well too.

When stocking your storage remember things like dish soap and such often overlooked in the storage. Toilet paper is a huge thing not to overlook in my book. To estimate how much you use when you put a roll on the hanger, write the date inside on the cardboard. When it is gone, check the date. If you do this for all your bathrooms you will know what it takes and then I would add on more just for not coming up short.

Keep working on your, storage keep working on being frugal. There are many things we can do to save if we did not have an income we would be glad we knew how to do them....

Keep working on things, I am proud of you all and, yes, that means all of you who are getting this beyond our ward as well.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Message

Provident Living: April 8th at 9:30 at the Shook's, the class will be on convenience in the kitchen. As I have prepared this, I am using some of the techniques and loving them!

“The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” Ezra Taft Benson – Prepare Ye – Ensign, Jan. 1974, 69

As we are surrounded by white stuff, be thinking of what you want in your gardens. It's not too soon to start planning it out.  okay, this is fun! Click on the down arrow and go to vegetables and you can plan your garden with clicks! I like it :)

Something I ran into this week in my search is this...  I think if you have never made bread this would be a jumping off point and if you do know how, this is artisan bread and looks so easy  Bread is fun for kids to assist but great for the family budget. Learning to make bread essential skill this will show how to do regular bread by hand. good on bread/rolls  time to think Easter! Think frugal and fun with the Easter Bunny, maybe before Sunday so that the true meaning of Easter can be on Sunday.  Time to sew those Easter dresses to improve your sewing skills! - would be cute over a t-shirt - a skirt for you to make for yourself or older girls something for the little guys for Easter as well!

These are things that will put your sewing skills to use and help to keep your skills up! a great idea for storing your scarves since we will be working on convenience in the kitchen in our next class, a few mix ideas here are in order.  more mixes

I make mixes to save myself time and money, both very hard and rare for me to find.  okay, I am so partial to this blog.. I love the Iowa housewife blog it is so neat! I love this part of it that talks on mixes. I think this is the best site and have referred you to it before but here it is again pancakes - I love them any way they are fixed!  now remember we have Ameriherb in Ames and nothing beats their prices for spices and herbs. Cinnamon, for example, is just over three dollars for a pound - a pound fills a quart jar almost full. these would be a real help

This should give you plenty to think about this week! Keep working on your storage.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Message

Provident living class: March 18th will be on convenience in the kitchen at 9:30 a.m. at the Shook's!

“I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness…We have been instructed to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come. Gain an adequate education, Live within your income, Avoid unnecessary debt, Store a reserve of food supplies…As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” 
(L. Tom Perry, General Conference, Oct 1995) this site shows you drying fruits. I mostly wanted you to see that drying fruit and veggies is a good way to save dollars and space. You know there is sometimes a few grapes no one will eat (the ones that are starting to brown a bit), those are just starting the process of drying into raisins. If you have one apple that is not as crunchy as it had been, chop it up and put it in some water with a little lemon juice and dry it. Rather than throw it out, next time you make oatmeal, throw it in with some cinnamon and cook away! It will be wonderful.

Yes, saving money doing things different takes a fair amount of work and a different way of thinking. Even if you are doing well at the time and figure it is a waste of your time, it all adds up - even if you use it for a snack. One of my favorite ways to dry apples is to chop your peeled apple and shake it in jello powder and put on dehydrator... yeah, mine never made it out of the dehydrator - kids loved them so!

I have been studying some books on being frugal... several mentioned that if you have that little bit of green beans left over do not toss it, but put it in a bag or container in the freezer. Then keep adding to it and then when it is full you make a really yummy soup, serve bread with it and it will be a mostly free meal.

And I was surprised to see mentioned the cooking and freezing of hamburger, only this woman does it on a larger scale. She puts 5 lbs in her crock pot and lets it cook all night long, then packages it for the freezer so that she could use in spaghetti, shepherds pie, lasagna, in many casseroles like the one I do:

Hamburger casserole

Take out a packages of already cooked and frozen hamburger or leftover taco meat or you can cook hamburger and drain

To this, add two cans drained green beans and two cans tomato soup and a tbsp dried onion flakes, stir well, top with mashed potatoes and I like a sprinkle of cheese over the top.

Bake at 350 for 45 min

This is a favorite! The missionaries love it everytime we make it and it is a comfort meal for sure.  this is an interesting way to plan meals for the month. She shows her recipes, you may find something there that's helpful.

Planning is your best friend! Doing it this way will make it so you do not have to run to the stores and spend more then you planned. Some spend there whole budgeted amount on two meals and worry about the rest later (not a good plan) this too gives you some ideas and recipes

Just because I give these sites does not mean you have to follow them, you might be okay on the menu planning or grocery getting - these are just ideas to help spur more ideas and who doesn't want a new recipe to try here or there? some cute ideas here and who does not need an idea?

Take some sponges from the dollar store, let water soak in and then put each one in a ziploc type bag, freeze them - this will give you a lunch bag ice pack!

Reading this reminded me of a tip... when you roll out biscuits, when you get out your cutter instead of twisting back and forth, go straight down and up this will give a loftier biscuit.... could do for waffles too and then freeze and use in toaster, easy to do!  how to make a girls night gown from a pillowcase... great idea! here are more refashion and ideas that you will be glad to know of this is a good thing to read, when she suggests books she has read, ask your library to get it for you. Inter-library loan if they don't already have it.  great recipes to look through, she has great ideas!  bread recipes  mixes! It is really handy to have mixes on hand. Goes hand-in-hand with the class on the 18th.

I hope that there is something in this message that will help you and your family. Keep working on your storage. Watch your flyers and shop sales, when you can share with other sisters who might not have noticed the deals.

I am proud of all that I hear you doing! 

Do what you can. Look at how you do things... can you do more to save money? Can you live more frugally? We all are doing the best we can - this is to help you get ideas :)

Missy says to do what you can and have fun dreaming up new ideas!

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