“We all need to build a personal ark . . . And we shouldn’t wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets in this dispensation . . . as well as the prophets of old.
“Unfortunately we don’t always heed the clear warnings of our prophets. We coast complacently along until calamity strikes, and then we panic.
“When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. However, we do need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future.” (W. Don Ladd, October 1994 General Conference)
Preparing for everything is a full time job but when we find time to work it in with trips to stores and chores it is doable. Take a few minutes each week to look at the sale flyers to take advantage of sales and to plan your menu. It really works into a way of life.
Always think about the future and don't have a "this minute" attitude. Like if you are getting peanut butter, you know you use it all the time so why not pick up two? It saves another trip to the store and adds to your storage. All too often we just pick up what is needed right now. Sometimes it is money related but if you are getting things on sale why not get more?
I ran across a sale on chicken broth and it was a quarter a can and there was this couple there at store, she was wanting to get a few but her husband said you only need one. I was thinking, get a lot, they were only a quarter and it is something you will need down the road. If she could have bought four, let's say, that was only a dollar but the next time it could cost a dollar a piece. Getting the four was like buy one and getting three free. Unfortunately he could not think about the savings, only getting what you need in the here and now moment...it is hard to change this mind set.
Along with this is building your skills. Many times we think, oh I can't be bothered, someday I will learn. Kind of like sewing on a button, after you have many articles of clothing that need buttons you might think about it? Same with mending. I mended something that took two minutes to do. I keep my machine set up so I only have to sew. I try to do as needed and not throw in a pile that someday I will sit and mend. It is easier to find two minutes than to find two hours!
Which takes me back to getting food ahead, it saves time and money. Just a thought for the week.
Mary Ann shared this link with us on making socks - https://marlybird.com/announcing-the-2018-knit-along-with-marly-bird-and-red-heart/ I think this is an excellent series to take you on a learning journey on how to make socks.
Is it cheaper to actually make socks? Perhaps not but having this skill is a 100% good one to have. Sock yarn is getting very costly, I am trying to develop my spinning skill so I can make my own sock yarn.
If you are frugal you can take apart thrift store sweaters to reclaim yarn for socks. But Mary Ann starts you off using worsted weight yarn which is the kind of yarn you make afghans out of. She uses two sets of the same size double pointed needles (use Hobby Lobby coupons to pick up your needles to help further save money). She uses two sets because she suggests doing one part of the sock then do that same part on the second set. I really like that idea because it will reinforce you learning the skill and then get both socks done. Because they're worsted weight these will be heavier like a boot sock
I was watching a podcast from Norway, they said there was a red list of things that soon no one would be able to learn because those who knew the skill were dying out. Very sad....think of your circle of friends, how many can knit socks??
This is part 1 of the video tutorial on how to make your own socks....https://youtu.be/F2U8cJlMQIU
So if you have been wanting to learn to do socks this is fantastic and a huge thank you to Mary Ann from all of us!
If you prefer to start with something more beginner but still useful, how about dishcloths - https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/grandmothers-favorite
These are great skills to develop and make great gifts too and once you use them you will love them!
Look around your house and see what things could be used for yarn bowls...
Think outside the box as real yarn bowls cost quite a bit. Many things can be used to work with our skills that can also be a great savings.
You will be surprised at what you will find or what you can make.
I'm not a coffee drinker but clear coffee pots from thrift stores make really great yarn bowls.
Even this cute little rabbit can be a thread bowl for tatting.
Below is a picture of a tatting press. It has two CDs encased with batting and a covering with pockets to hold shuttles.
The purpose is to press what you have tatted.
Just think out of the box, like what can I use for this or that? Find things that are helpful for what you're working on.
I wanted to share a favorite recipe...
-You need two small cans or one large cans of cherry pie filling
-spread in a sprayed 9x13 pan
-mix a white cake mix with one stick melted butter, add one tbsp lemon juice, mix and drop this mixture over the cherry pie filling, bake 350 degrees for twenty to thirty minutes
As we work on our storage and skills we will be blessed. Do the best you can!
"We have been commanded and repeatedly warned to store food, water and every needful thing for about 80 years now, whether for financial or natural disaster reasons, it doesn't even matter as to why...the mere fact that the Lord's prophets and apostles have spoken so directly and passionately about it should be good enough for us!
If you had no money what would you wish you had put into storage? More chocolate is my answer :p Seriously though, give that question some thought. Toilet paper is also high on my list since if you were on food stamps they don't let you get toilet paper with those.
Food waste is a huge problem for so many. I like the commercials where they serve a fancy meal all made out of the parts usually thrown away, like the tops of green onions. There are so many things we have a wrong understanding of. It reminds me of the story of the newly married couple - she was going to make ham for their meal so she cuts the narrow part off and her husband said why do you do that? She said because her mother always did. So they asked the mother why she did that and she said because her mother always did that so they asked her why she did that and she said because it wouldn't fit in her pan.
I am not saying they wasted that piece, I am just saying if we do things out of habit or what we think is waste, it is not always the case.
Making the most of what we have...I am reminded of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. When the winter starts early it freezes green pumpkins in the patch. Pa goes to find a rabbit or goose for their meal and Ma takes and prepares a fake apple pie using the green pumpkin. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Do we do this?
I notice more layoffs around different areas and my heart goes out to those having to go through them. What if it was you? How prepared are you? What can you do better?
With all this snow and having more in time in the house, I have been working at building my skills...
This is the next bookmark so far.
I have been spinning more of late as well.
I am trying to perfect this skill. I want to spin thinner on this purple fleece to make sock yarn.
I love spinning this purple fleece.
How are you coming with building your skills?
I feel like knowing the basic skills are just as important as knowing how to cook.
Basic skills would be things like sewing. With that skill you can make clothes, gifts,things for your house like when I made pillows a bit ago.
And you can make your own curtains.
Then there is mending, like when I mended shoes.
I have replaced coat zippers. I have hemmed pants, skirts, dresses. I have made clothes for our kids from recycled clothing. You can extend the wear of many items.
Doing these things are not new things to our generations. My grandmother sewed by oil lamps with her treadle sewing machine. She did not have much so had to be very creative. They had six kids. Families would bring out to them used clothes and my grandma would make clothing for her kids.
She told me once that my mom had a school concert coming up and she wanted to make her something to wear for it. She made a pinafore but she could not find enough good fabric from a lady's blouse to make the blouse for my mom. She laid the pieces around on that blouse and on the front she placed a piece that had a hole so that the front part of the pinafore would cover the hole.
Could you do this if you had too?
Next there is knitting or crocheting to make mittens and scarves and sweaters.
There are other things like knowing how to use tools. There is no rule that said only men could know and use tools. This same grandma built shelves for her kitchen and when Christmas came she made a little cupboard from a crate for my mom. Could you do that? These are what I am talking about, having the skills to make do to help our family.
I have been learning the sock machine. I took it apart and cleaned and oiled it this week.
As you can see this has made a huge difference. You can almost hear it thanking me for cleaning it.
What things are you working on?
“It is . . . necessary that each home and family do what they can to assume the responsibility for their own hour of need. If we do not have the resources to acquire a year’s supply then we can strive to begin with having one month’s supply.” (James E. Faust, April 1986 General Conference)
There are times that are harder than others but we just have to keep pushing on and learning ways we can be more frugal. If we give up, nothing improves.
That is why I stress when you are doing well try to put more in your preparations for those times you are not doing so good. It will help to smooth over the rough times.
I know I keep stressing skills as well. Your skills will help you and your family. Cooking from scratch helps to stretch your budget in sooo many ways.
Some of the skills I work on may not seem like they would help but yes, they do help plenty. I am able to give gifts or beautify our home or make some article of clothing, in other cases like mending it keeps our clothing lasting longer. Knowing how to make baskets and having sewing skills helped me recently mend a pair of shoes. So our skill building helps us in many ways.
Making your homemade cleaners saves so much money. Like instead of buying a special cleaner to use on my stove so I don't scratch it I just use baking soda. When my tub drain or sink drain starts to slow I put a fourth a cup of baking soda down it followed by a fourth a cup or so of vinegar then follow it with boiling water. Sometimes I repeat if needed, but it works great.
Did you know you can replace your dryer sheets by putting a few tablespoons of hair conditioner in a small spray bottle and filling with water? Just shake and spray a washcloth then throw it in with your dryer load - works fantastic. These are just a few things that save big.
Another thing I have mentioned before is to think outside the box. Instead of buying new, think used or free or what do I have that can be used? For example, this colander makes a fantastic yarn bowl.
I have been doing some spinning, trying to improve this skill...
Be on the look out for more pics in the future because I also want to dye fiber to spin.
I have been trying to learn bobbin lace with no teacher...
This bookmark is my very first project it isn't perfect as I should have used a lighter blue there are two colors of blue in it but keep watching, the next one I am doing will be pink and green.
So learn all the time - never quit!
This week I was at the library and they have a section were they sell used books. I found this book. I left the price on to let you see.
I love Amish and Mennonite recipes, they have fantastic recipes they cook from scratch. So if you can check this out from your library it would be a good read. I am putting the table of contents here to give you a feel for what is in it...very good purchase.
https://onedishkitchen.com/cooking-for-one-recipes/breakfast/ - Mary Ann shared this link with us and I thank her. These could be easily multiplied for more than one.
Let us know what skills you are working on and keep working on your storage.
"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes..."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 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." (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007)
This week I have been giving some thought about building storage and having storage. I talked before about getting green beans one can at a time. Each time you go into a store get one can, that would be almost painless to do. But I wanted to take things a bit further.
If you had seasonings and spices and flour and sugar and brown sugar and the basics like baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla and other flavorings and vegetable shortening and baking cocoa, raisins and nuts...just a few things to get you thinking.
I know I tell you many times how we need to cook from scratch. Well what goes hand in hand with that is having the supplies on hand so that you can cook from scratch. Yeast is important. I get my yeast at Sam’s Club, I get the best price there and you get two packages. I open one and put it in a jar, I put the other unopened package in the freezer. The one in the jar i keep. That jar in the refrigerator is my using jar. I keep as many packages as I can in the freezer.
When it comes to the basics try to get one item when you go to the store like rice, oatmeal, cornmeal, beans, different flours, powdered milk, dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic. I also have black pepper and garlic powder and onion powder, also onion salt and garlic salt, bouillon cubes, cornstarch, etc.
This way you would be able to cook if you had a low pay time or some other crisis.
Having these basics on hand helps you to save money.
Just to let you know some of the things you can make from this list...
rice for cereal
rice side dishes
And it does so much more. Add other things to the basics and you will be able to make many things.
I am just saying that sometimes we go for the Rice-A-Roni when, if we had these basics, you would not have to pick it up.
It gives you freedom and they are usually the less costly things to get in your storage.
So work on getting in the basics. I just threw a few out there for you to build on.
Those of you who are gluten free need to spend a little more and stock those items and store properly to keep them.
Did you know you could make oat milk using gluten free oats?
4 c. water
1 c. gluten free oats
Blend together for only one minute
I feel it is very important to have the ingredients on hand to cook from scratch.
Someone gave us croutons from a bakery in a bag, maybe a cup and a half and the price was $2.99. This is stale bread oil and spices. It's so much cheaper to make your own.
(Our favorite from the Tightwad Gazette, you can double this)
4 slices bread
2 Tbs. parmesan cheese
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp celery salt
2 Tbs. oil
Cut bread into cubes and place in bowl. Add seasonings and oil. Toss well. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degree until crisp. Let cool and then store in glass jar.
This recipe tastes sooooo much better than any I have tasted. If you have seasonings on hand I think it would cost a nickel for the amount they were selling. For that amount of money that is a huge difference
Look for things you like and learn to make them yourself, learn to store those ingredients.
Store things to make your own soups. Freeze leftover veggies and broths and meat in tubs in your freezer.
http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/FN_Cooking&Baking_2011-02pr.pdf - here you can get the soup or sauces called SOS. It is so fantastic to save on those canned soups and every bit as convenient.
http://frugalmeasures.blogspot.com/search?q=cooking+from+scratch - read around on these Monday Messages, there's great info there on how to get started.
Keep working on your storage and building skills.
If you have anything like a mix or recipe to share put it in the comments, we all learn from each other.