Monday, June 24, 2019

Monday Message

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?" (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I have been thinking so many people are on fragile finances, living right on the edge. It's a very stressful thing indeed. There are as many reasons as there are people. Not always are things in our control. My mother-in-law used to always say, "one step forward, two steps back," and so often this is how it feels.

So how do we offset life's challenges? We do what we can and we make do with what we have. I follow a podcast and her family had a huge plumbing expense so she made her menu using what she had in her house. She picked up only three items at the store with a total cost of under four dollars.

Could you do this with what you have in house? Would you think to do this when you had stress?

Learning to make do is something we can do to offset the unexpected expense.

One thing we can try is to do as much as we can on our own. This helps to offset the things we have to have done. Like house repairs we can do. We also search to learn what we don't know how to do... this helps us as well.  

Things may seem harder than they actually are.

Lets face it though, there will always be stuff we can't do but every little thing adds up.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. We should use this to live by. How exactly to do this?? 

Mend your clothes... 

If we make do by mending and repairs we will stretch our budget.

Use it much do we throw out??

Celery leaves, for example. Did you know you can dry them on a plate if you do not have a dehydrator?

Save your own orange rind. Also. those last grapes no one will eat -dry them into raisins.

Vacuum sealing is a small expense to what it will save you.

Raisins, for example, can be put in a canning jar. Yes, they will last a while but breakdown into a sugary form of themselves if you take the jar of raisins and vac seal it when you get them. One lady said a jar of raisins got shoved out of place and she found it twenty years later and they were still good.

Here is a LINK to my post on step by step vacuum sealing.

Use up your leftovers. Don't toss them out. They always taste better the next day. We can have planned overs like fixing a roast and making beef and noodles out of leftovers, bbq beef, get the idea.

I think rotating our storage keeps you from doing without as well.

Also, to go with all this is being content. If you are not content you will be miserable wanting things you cannot have. Instead be happy with what you do have and be grateful.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Message

In Argentina, Relief Society leaders are trying to teach the importance of food storage. They wrote: "Unfortunately, most of the sisters [here] cannot afford to buy an extra kilo of sugar, or flour, or an extra liter of oil. However, they have been encouraged to save, even just a spoonful at a time." (Elaine L. Jack) 

Can you imagine how hard it is for them? I think they set an example for us...if they can do it so can we!

This week I was in the car running errands and had the radio on. They were talking about food waste and how so many people look at the dates on cans and toss them even while the food is still good. They said this is adding to the greenhouse gases. They also said more young people are tossing food as well and that home economics classes that teach food safety are no longer offered in schools. Young people don't know what to look for in spoiled foods. 

Stopping home economics sure hasn't helped, it is letting those kids down. Can you imagine how better off they would be learning basic life skills while still in school?! Life isn't easy as it is, this only makes it harder for them.

Imagine all the things you have learned...did you know how to use spices right off ?? Or how to slice, dice, mince, all sounds like a funny language.

We learned lots from home economics.

If you still have kids at home try to fill in so they know the basics. Cover topics like.... 

Basic cooking
Sewing on buttons
Food safety
Cooking from scratch... yes, little Billy, you can make popcorn without a microwave.
And how does food all get done at the same time? What are measuring tools and how to use them?

I would make cookies for after school so they were coming out of the oven when my kids would get home. One of their friends asked me how do I know to do so many?...she meant different kinds of cookies.

I know some kids who know how to make wonderful cookies from scratch... I say, well done parents, well done!

We need to work alongside our kids in the kitchen as well with other chores. Yes, we all know we could do it faster alone but what does that teach? Nothing. So let them learn in the kitchen about preparing food as all too fast they will be out on their own. Teach them before they have to learn on the job. I can truly say it took me a long time to learn. Oh, I had dish washing down but not much else.

I knew a sweet lady who when her kids would do dishes she would wash and they would dry and it was a race. If the dryer caught up to the washer they could quit. Make it fun! If you show them how to make pancakes, make them the queen or king of pancakes.

Get the recipe for these AMAZING diner style pancakes HERE.

And just how many pancake variations can you come up with? I remember fondly someone put corn in the pancakes, I loved them!

Make mixes together. Learn how to make the mix and how to store the mix, such as pancake mix. - this has some mix ideas. - here are more ideas. - this one is my favorite.

Now with the kids home for the summer it would be fast to fix meals if you had some of these mixes on hand.

I also like to have my mixes filled full before winter.

What are some mixes you make from scratch?

If you have favorite store bought mixes have you ever done a search to find a homemade recipe for it?

Keep working on your storage and living frugally and help others as you can.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Message

“Store a provision of food which will last for at least a year wherever it is legally permissible to do so. The Church has not told you what foods should be stored. This decision is left up to individual members. . .From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority. ‘There is more salvation and security in wheat,’ said Orson Hyde years ago, ‘than in all the political schemes of the world’ (in Journal of Discourses, 2:207). Water, of course, is essential. Other basics could include honey or sugar, legumes, milk products or substitutes, and salt or its equivalent.” (President Ezra Taft Benson) 

We lived in New Hampshire for a few years and at every grocery store you had to stand in long  lines. I was used to lines in Iowa that were not that long. One day I was in line and the lady behind me said, “don't you love having so many options to choose from?” I looked at her like you have to be kidding me. She said she was from Canada and didn't have the range of products. Here I was thinking I did not have the range of products like I did in Iowa. So it is all in where we are on that line. I bring that up as I have noticed in the last year some items are not being carried that I usually get, making my choices more limited. Have you noticed less items being offered in your area?

I know you could ask your store to get an item but it is unsettling when you have, let’s say five to choose from than there is two or there isn't even a spot for the item on the shelf. Something to think about.

We need to be thankful for what we have.

Cooking from scratch helps the budget, also using our leftovers as planned-overs.  

Here above are some ideas that might inspire you.

When you make something from scratch look to see how much you have saved from the not-scratch version.

It really helps to use leftovers by planning menus.

Like when I make tacos I fix extra meat and then package and freeze it for other meals. First night will be tacos, next night I could add the taco meat to tomato soup for taco soup
or chili, or I can make green bean casserole.

My Green Bean Casserole

In a 9x13 pan that I sprayed, I put two cans of drained green beans, two cans of tomato soup, 1 tsp dried onion, and then leftover taco meat. Stir and then I make some instant potatoes to spread over the top and then sprinkle with cheese. Cook at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes. You can use plain cooked hamburger too but is soooo good with the leftover taco meat.

Maid-Rite Sandwiches

Brown a lb of hamburger, drain it and add a can of chicken broth. Cook till broth is gone and then serve on hamburger buns. I then make spaghetti sauce using the leftover meat.

I will cook hamburger ahead and package them to freeze for future meals.

So do some intentional cooking and see what you can come up with. you can watch her make a top and you can use a pattern like it and follow along. Everything she does is straight stitching so any machine will work. This will help you build more on your sewing skills.

After I am done helping my husband in the garage I plan to make a few more of these tops. Once you find patterns you like you can use them with different fabrics and can embellish them how you wish as well. I find too that once I sew a pattern I get faster at it.

We are clearing out our two car garage. It has been a hard job. Each day I had set goals that we would achieve, this has not been kind to my Fibromyalgia as I hobble about. When we are done we will set it back up for a total work space for my husband, a woodworking station and a stained glass working station. It has been a hard thing to do but again it was a good time so we could get things we no longer need to the humanitarian yard sale. - here are some free patterns for crocheting dishcloths. - here is a knitted dishcloth pattern to try.

Learning these will help you to have a skill that helps with dishes and that also makes for great gifts.

Keep working on your skill building and keep working on your storage.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday Message

"Have sufficient food, clothing, and fuel on hand to last at least one year." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

It seems things are more crazy than ever with droughts, flooding, and all manner of things. We are having rain and more rain here.

I think it is more important than ever to be frugal and learn skills that can help our families. I think that until we experience hard times we won't really know how or what we will have to do. Think about the hardest times you have ever had and figure out what skill would have made that hard time easier.

When I look back I wish I had learned earlier to can.

We could have benefited so much from that. Home canned food lasts so much longer than the tin can foods. However, having both is a blessing plus knowing how to cook is huge. Eating out was never an issue but knowing how to cook and stretch food and money would have helped a lot.  - If I had known then what I know now it would have been easier however my push to learn might not have been as strong. I share the blog so it will be easier for you. - lots of recipes here.

I know I was always on the look-out for things I could make at home. - this is easier than boiling. - I thought this might be helpful.

Knowing how to bake bread, rolls, hamburger and hot dog buns was huge for me to get to that point. Also, having the equipment to do all of the things is a real help so take advantage of yard sales that are now starting. Look for dehydrators, pressure canners, canning jars, vacuum sealers and such - even wheat grinder. I know you are thinking "really?" But I have seen them. I know I often mention this but unless you have the money to walk in and purchase them you will have to look at the used options. Once you get the equipment you need to learn how to use it and then put it to use making it a part of your life.

Sewing is also a huge skill. Being able to sew and maintain our clothes is critical.

Living within a budget is essential as well, especially with prices that will be going up and if you are just eeking by now it will get harder, so get these skills learned.

Knitting and crocheting, especially in colder climates, is helpful.

Food storage is critical if you had no money to buy food with. It has happened a lot to us so it has been helpful to us to have a storage.

Food storage is different for everyone. The best thing is to look at what you eat and store. Those items have shelf stable items such as dried beans, rice, wheat, powdered milk, oatmeal, sugar, oil, on these items as you can. - this is a great place to start and just keep it going, there is another video following.

I encourage you to look around their site, "store this, not that" for wonderful ideas. - they have great info. - these are all great and you will learn great things by watching them.

I encourage you to not put off learning your skills or storing food.
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