Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Message

Be frugal this year and make your own Christmas presents! Click HERE to find out how you can make these cute Hello Kitties or these fun Angry Bird toys.

“Regardless of where we live or our financial situation, the path to preparation will open before us as we comply with the counsel of the prophets and go forward as means and circumstances permit.” Gordon K. Bischoff, The Ensign, Sept. 1997, p. 67)

Why should we have food storage? I think I covered many reasons why over this last year: tight times, lost jobs, helping others... the list can go on for quite awhile.

The term "shelter in place" came up this last week in the news and I wonder if we were told to shelter in place, how long could you hold up?

I feel a lot of people misunderstand that we should store food for the end of the world situation….hmmmm. I would have to say things happen every day. I notice people losing their jobs (that is a huge deal), unexpected medical bills, car dies, refrigerator or washer and dryer die... you can see there are many things and many more I could write time permitting. We cannot foresee what bumps lie ahead on our road of life? If something like this were to happen to you would you feel like your storage would make you feel better or worse??

I like to think if something big happens it takes time for help to arrive, are you in a position to help with your storage? Think about many who have storage dotted all over the map, who would be there first? Neighbor and friends. Try to be in the position to be of help. Sometimes we might be the ones in need and we will be glad that someone else heeded warnings to store what was needed.

Most people cannot run to the store and get all the storage, first off couldn’t get it in the car… most of us cannot do big purchases. How then do we do it? You can do it a little at a time. You would be really surprised how fast it builds up. Remember what I always say... at every store you go in pick one item for storage like, one package of toilet paper or even a box of jello. What if on the normal week you go to five different stores and one is just clothing? Pick up a pair of socks. At the drug store get a first aid item at the end of the week you would have at least five items to add to your storage… it just makes sense.

By the time you get this message Thanksgiving will be over and our thoughts are turned to Christmas.

Remember, watch your spending. Live within your means. I know you don’t want to look past to later down the road. Do you really want to put yourself in a bad situation? Wouldn’t you like to not be taking on huge payments??

I will give some ideas for frugal Christmas... okay, I love the chalkboard mug, how cute is that? Tie a few pieces of chalk and put packets of hot cocoa mix. For that matter write a holiday message on it for who you give it to. - this looks yummy and very inexpensive to make.

Keep working on your goals and skills, you're doing a great job.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Message

A spirit of speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints [in the last days], and the results will be financial bondage. Persecution comes next and all true Latter-day Saints will be tested to the limit." Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News, May 23, 1931.

I recently taught a class on grinding wheat - it is a good thing to know. Wheat stores much longer than flour. I do store both, rotation is most important with the flour. I find my five gallon buckets at bakeries as they get supplies in them. Sometimes they are free, sometimes they charge a few dollars. I wash them out and dry with a towel then I let them further dry over night. Then I place the lid on and set aside till I get flour or whatever I plan to use it for. And if it's flour or grains, I put two bay leaves in on the flour (or other) then put the lid on and label and date it.

Wheat - once you grind it you must use or freeze it. So I grind it only when I use it.

I use every tool I have to my advantage. In the picture you see an electric wheat grinder but you also see a manual grinder that I can use if I have no power. I also have a bread machine that I only use to mix the dough then I shape and rise and bake in my own pan and bake in my oven. 

Now I can make just as good bread by hand, and could at any time, but I also have a Bosch that I can do up to four loaves. After kneading I let it rise in the bowl but I unscrew the top lid as when I get ready to shape it that lid is four inches higher. The reasons I let it rise in bowl are two... first, it is easier one bowl to wash and second, the heat from the motor helps the bread dough rise even on a cold winter day. Where do you put all the food storage? There are ideas in these clips.

It is easy to get one thing for storage each time you go to the store - make this a habit.

Once your storage is up you can watch for sales... use, replenish and rotate.

If there were a wide spread emergency problem in your area the grocery stores have 24 hrs of supplies. Wouldn’t it be better to have storage in your home than have to go in search of it? I personally cannot rest till my people are all safely in, the mother hen in me I guess. - even if you have not yet got your wheat grinder you can make these wonderful pancakes.

Again do you have a winter kit in your car? What does your gas gauge read? E does not mean eternity in this case! You need to start keeping your tank full. Many times we have seen people stuck on the interstate because something happened in front to block them. Some have had to wait for eight hours. If you were on E you would be very cold. Again if they say "stay off the roads" they mean it! If they say a towing ban that means no.. none.. zilch towing will not happen. It means the tow trucks stay off the roads and you will have to wait for help. Most likely you were not listening to them tell you to stay OFF the roads. If you find yourself waiting for help then you will be glad to have your winter kit in your car, if not you will be wishing you had while you are hungry and cold.

Grinding wheat: this is helpful on wheat

You can make flour out of almonds

You can use rice and oats and coconut... many things so if you cannot eat wheat there are other options.

I took this recipe for oatmeal cookies, did one plate as recipe and one batch, same recipe without the egg but using the gelatin egg replacer.

Keep working on your goal of actively building your storage.

Remember to work on being frugal, live with in your means - you can do it… I know you can!

What could you do if you had no funds??

You could be creative, don’t forget you can start new traditions.

Read the Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They moved to town as they were warned that it was to be a bad winter. They thought being in town would be better and that they could get supplies but the winter was so bad the trains did not make it through. They got a package of church magazines from a minister friend who had sent a Christmas barrel which did not come due to the trains. They got the magazines just before Christmas so they decided to put them away for Christmas as they could not do gifts for everything was expensive or gone. They got a toy for the youngest but Laura had things she has made and pulls them out for gifts. They had a very poor Christmas but it turned out great. Throughout the book they are served with trials but they come up with things to help the family.

I always read this book starting with the first real snow of the winter. If you keep putting off getting food storage then you need to read it now, it will light a fire under you to get going.

We would read the whole series aloud with our kids. We all loved it.

Here are some pictures to sprout inexpensive gifts….

Keep up the good work I am proud of you all.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Message

“We live in turbulent times.  Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.” President Thomas S. Monson

Cooking from scratch is so better for you and stretches our budgets - waffles, yum! Make them special. - how to survive hard times if you have kids, and even if you don’t, this is a must read, I love this. - we often learn from others, reach out.  - it’s worth it.

Reflecting on our hard times... they have made us stronger, they have made us a close family, they taught us that if you cannot buy what you need you sometimes can make it. Sometimes it taught us how to take out and replace our gas engine, our selves, we learned how to shingle the roof. I learned you don’t carry the full package of shingles up to the roof. Going to church one morning I saw a roofer cut his package and carried only half which never occurred to me. 

When times got tight I learned to make food from scratch, learned to garden, to can and dry our food. For Christmas, if it's a good year for us year we will go on a Christmas date to the used book store to pick out our own book. And I make our Christmas jerky. On a harder Christmas we just stay home and do what we enjoy and I fix a treat. These are when no one is coming home and things I made all year long have been sent. The kids will open their gifts from home while Skyping.
So I guess what I am saying is be flexible and if you are having tight times do all homemade gifts and play with your little ones. Happy memories will still be had and if you have older kids at home, talk to them, tell them it will be a tight Christmas. You just might be surprised by what ideas they can come up with. But do not put Christmas on a credit card, the whole family may suffer more as it takes so long to pay off. 

When we were first married my mother-in-law told us don’t start something you can’t keep up, I'm pretty sure this is her way of saying don’t go into debt for Christmas.

So if you have a tight Christmas have a family conference, plan to make cookies, cards and build snowmen. You can plan a pretty cheap Christmas for wonderful fun.

This is where our skills will kick in.

So if your brakes go out and you look up info on how to do it yourself, trade skills. okay, you don’t have a hundred days but this will help you stretch your budget.


I have a rump roast I have been saving just for our Christmas jerky.
Take it out of the freezer the night before this way you get thin slices. In a bowl, I use glass, put one jar of soy sauce and one jar of liquid smoke, stir then put your slices in moving around to get well covered. Then in to the dehydrator dry till done, about 24 hours, yum yum yum, then we see who will be first to snitch it.

Keep working on your storage. I put in a tub of shortening as it was on sale. So do what you can and live within your means, it brings a peace well worth the sacrifice.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

English Muffin Bread

This bread is absolutely delicious!! I make it in the bread machine but you can also do it by hand.

Below is a picture of the Pyrex tube bread pan that I use to make the English Muffin Bread. I sprayed the tube on the inside and sprinkled around corn meal.

I took the dough right out of the bread machine and slid it to the center of the bread tube. I put tin foil on each end of the tube just in case it raised too much and went over the edge in the oven. I let it raise for 20 minutes and then baked it in the oven for 40 minutes on 350 degrees.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Message

“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." - President J. Reuben Clark (Church News, 1953)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie - "I stand before the Church this day and raise the warning voice. It is a prophetic voice, for I shall say only what the apostles and the prophets have spoken concerning our day. ...It is a voice calling upon the Lord's people to prepare for the troubles and desolations which are about to be poured upon the world without measure.

For the moment, we live in a day of peace and prosperity but it shall not ever be thus.

Great trials lie ahead. All of the sorrows and perils of the past are but a foretaste of what is yet to be. And we must prepare ourselves temporally and spiritually." General Conference April 1979.

With winter fast approaching I try to think ahead. What will I need in next few months? Well I know snow and there is no way around it so I put our shovel up on the porch by the door and with that comes ice so having Ice Melt, but what else??

I try to get gifts sent early so no matter the weather that is tended and won’t have to go out on bad roads or fight crowds.

As I write this I am under the weather… so are you set with sick things like several meals in freezer for when you are under the weather?? You know you are what makes things go so have sick plans i.e. Kleenex, CHOCOLATE,... you know the drill.

I always like to reorganize the house, a sort of spring cleaning in the fall. I keep things handy in baskets and such of things I like to do. For example, I have a pair of socks I am knitting, winter days will be a great time to finish those. And working towards those things I am trying to learn. I have the looms ready and the Toyota knitting machine is ready and I reorganized my tatting basket.

Reading with a blanket on a cold winter day is good too.

Keep up your storage. Hopefully you are actively working on your storage. Having storage will make it easier for you to wait for a good day to get groceries!!!

So I am saying get ready. - helpful and is short

How many of you have leftover pumpkins? -

Here are some ideas on being frugal, if you don’t smoke and drink look at the savings, you are already ahead...

Homemade Christmas  just the title sounds great - noodle around, there are great ideas for a homemade Christmas. this has wonderful things to help you with your gift giving, you will thank me later - 114 ideas on how to live on less

Our skills will help to stretch our budget. Bread can go up in price, as long as you have everything in storage to be able to make bread items, which means you need skills and recipes. This goes for other items like cereal. You can do many things and not pay horrid price so long as you have it stored and have skills and recipes.

When one loses their income it is a shock to the whole family. You can quickly get up to speed but it adds to the stress. Wouldn’t it be better to live on less than you make and save? Also learning skills which could help now to save as well as later. I read something today that said you see something you really want to buy instead of buying it, wait thirty days and see how you feel about it. You might feel differently about it.

Truth moment… it does take time to build skills, it does take time to cook from scratch, it does take time to sew that rip but the item will set till you toss it and where is the frugality in that? It does take time and muscle to do storage and rotation but the rewards are great and we are strong, you can do it.

I love hearing what you are doing. Will life be smooth? Absolutely not. Trials and set backs, life changes, they will happen. We need to be able to adapt and make the most of life… love it no matter what comes and if you think you are the only one and are all alone you are not. Everyone has things that go wrong, just pick yourself up and keep going even if all is out of our control, we can make the most of it.

Keep going, find good everywhere and enjoy life!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Message

“From President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, we hear: "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food . . . 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."

How are you doing on your storage??? I have seen prices rise so much over the last few years that it is now harder to achieve our goals but imagine in a few more years it will be harder yet. It is easier to replace as you go if you are stocked up.

So treat it like savings. Start stocking up but you use it at the same time and replace it. For example, when I use a bucket of flour, which is 25 lbs, I then write that on my list. It just made the top of my grocery list. I keep the now cleaned out and dried bucket in my way then when I get the bag of flour I fill this bucket, top it off with two bay leaves. Put on a lid, put on new date and take to basement and put it away in the new spot as I rotate. I have a metal can that I call my using can, I keep it in the kitchen. So you see how if you were tired it would just be a big temptation to get the bag and dump in my using can. It requires no stairs but if I did this I would be wasting as I would not be rotating and my flour five years from now would go rancid.

What you ask are the bay leaves for? To keep bugs out from my flour. I have had flour go rancid but never had bugs. I have always done the bay leaves and it always has worked all these many years. Once I bought a bag and opened it and it had bugs. It went straight back to the store, don’t leave it in house. Yes it would be easier to throw it away. First, if you do that throw it outside in the garbage. Second, the store will have no idea of infested bags unless you take it back so don’t dump flour before looking in your using canister, not ever. Just open gingerly one end, inspect the folds in the bag. Never store your flour in bags cause if one bag is infested so goes the rest. 

I ask for buckets at the bakery sections of your grocery store, some may even have been washed once and are free, some may charge and still have frosting inside. I like the ones that are free and at least have the frosting washed out. I then take them home and wash them. Make sure you dry and then air dry overnight. Then I set the lid on and set out of my way till I fill. Having them clean and dry and ready is half the work already done.

I knew someone who bought big bags of wheat some thirty years ago. She had quite a few bags. She put the bags where she stored upstairs. Years later she started to hear this noise she could not figure out what it was but it continued to grow. Finally she found out she had weevils in her wheat. They were eating and that was the noise. So when it got louder it meant there were many. She had them in her clothing drawers, in the carpet all over, it took pest professionals to handle this. So I probably don’t have to mention this but I store the loose wheat in buckets with two bay leaves in the top, the same thing I do with anything that can get bugs. I might just throw in that someone just got thirty year old wheat from someone who moved. They had it stored properly in buckets and the wheat is wonderful. What was the difference? The age was the same but the first wheat was stored improperly and in its bags. Same as flour, don’t store it in the bags, dump it in buckets with two bay leaves on top, date and label and store. But remember, do not store directly on concrete. Put some wood between buckets and concrete floor as the moisture from concrete will pull up into the bucket and wreck the product. So store your food properly. It cost you money, don’t waste it.

Be sure to look back to the french bread post on the blog

For that matter put your feet up and keep hitting older posts. Have hot cocoa and visit around the site there is much to see :) here is a great site for our gluten free friends this site is especially for knitters, do up swatches of different stitches. it is always nice to have a homemade cleaner


Can you...?

Make blueberry muffins from scratch
Make a turkey dinner with fixins
Make gravy from scratch
Make bread from scratch
Make a grocery list
Can you grocery shop effectively
Make a menu
Make biscuits from scratch
Make pizza from scratch
Sew on a button
Hem an item of clothing
Can you thread a sewing machine
Can you read a sewing pattern
Sew different kinds of seams
Hang a shirt properly to dry on closeline
Iron a shirt properly
Darn socks
Make an apron
Patch a hole
Can you unclog a toilet
Can you turn your water or gas off
Can you love your body at any size
Can you delegate chores to your kids
Can you shop without credit
Can you ask for help
Can you write thank you notes
Can you organize
Can you fix the world’s best omelet
Can you make a teddy bear pancake
Do you know how to knit
Do you know how to crochet
Do you know how to quilt
Do you know how to stay in budget
Do you know how to make do without and still be happy
Do you know how to live frugally
Do you know how to get more out of your wardrobe
Can you have a totally homemade Christmas

You see there are skills a-many! - this is fantastic, actually I would love to play with these toys. I think you can find gift giving ideas for your wee ones for sure. again what fun it would be, I even see some ideas for church quiet toys.

Okay, I had to insert this when I saw it - good ideas you could find helpful - who would not love this? yum!

There are some frugal ideas. I, of course, would sit with a cup of hot cocoa to make my plans.

I make our hot cocoa mix. There are great ones online but I remember when store bought boxes contained 12 packets and no, that is not in the olden days. The prices are continually going up but with less product. It went to 10 packets then 8 packets this year read the box 6 packets, don’t know if that is all brands or not, I am going by a sale flyer. Guess they don’t think we will notice just like the toilet paper being narrower or less and peanut butter less for more.

So if you find you are not going as far with your groceries you are not alone.

The hot cocoa mix we like from my friend Liza.

3c powder milk
1 ½ c hershey cocoa powder
3 c powder sugar
2 c walmart's cheapest coffee creamer - this is a must

Stir together, mix well. I store in a jar. Use a fourth cup per hot cup water.


Gingerbread cocoa mix

Use ¼ of the mix:  add …2 tbsp cinn and 2 tbsp ginger and 1/4 tsp cloves

Serve with gingerbread boys

Peppermint hot cocoa mix

Use ¼ of the mix
Add three crushed candy cane and mix together

Marshmallows hot cocoa

Just add ¼ mix and add mini marshmallows

Continue to learn and grow. Keep working at your food storage goal.
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