Monday, November 25, 2019

Monday Message

"More than ever before, we need to learn and apply the principles of economic self-reliance. We do not know when the crisis involving sickness or unemployment may affect our own circumstances. We do know that the Lord has decreed global calamities for the future and has warned and forewarned us to be prepared." (President Ezra Taft Benson)  

We never know what is around the corner. If you lost your income tomorrow what would you do? It might take years to get another job...what could you do? How would you manage? Have you stored enough to see you through?

Do you really want to wait till it happens to prepare??

It really comes down to choices.

I know people are stretched as far as they can with finances, houses cost more, cars cost more, filling both cost more. So how do you prepare for times of hardship when you are stretched so far?

Pay off debts as fast as you can. Live way beneath your income. I know you are cringing at both these things. Yes, it takes work but do this before you lose your job. It will be easier than trying to learn as you are stressing out.

What are you doing that eats money...?

Are you eating out because you are tired and it is easy?

Click HERE and scroll down for the recipe.
This is better than eating out and easier too. I mix this up, split it into four balls, freeze three of them in baggies and leave one in a covered bowl and set it aside for supper that night. We usually have pizza Friday nights, so Friday morning I pull out one of those bags and toss it on the counter to use that night. So for very little money and effort you now have a meal better than eating out. For larger families just make more. I make two about the size of a pie tin from one bag's worth.

Also, you can have a few casseroles in the freezer for those days you feel awful or are really too tired. Just make two on a regular day and freeze one.

The other tip is to put things in your crock pot.

Cook from scratch. Yes, it takes more time but it saves so much money.

Take a serious look at what you put in your grocery cart. Make your food stretch.

So find your most frugal recipes. If you spend fifty dollars normally then use those frugal recipes to get that down to twenty-five and use the other half to stock up. I suggest starting with staples like flour, yeast, sugar, salt, shortening, etc.

Buy used. It is not gross. I got a blender for very little at a thrift store as mine had died after many many years. I happened to stop in again at the thrift store the next week and in its box was an attachment that goes on that blender base that now made it a food processor. The attachment was new and the blender had been used only once but it would not have mattered I would wash them both.

This not only gave me useful tools but at a huge savings which you could use to pay down bills.

Buying used when we had a job helped us and even now when work is scarce.  

There is no rule that says you make ten dollars you have to spend that ten dollars (I just use this as an example). So look for ways to live beneath your means, that way when hard times come you already know what to do.

What else can we do? Wear your clothing longer. Learn how to make repairs and also how to reuse it. 

Of course you need to pick up needles sewing and machine thread. I have gotten all those items at thrift stores and yard sales. So while you have a job hunt for these as well.

When you are offered things, think to yourself will I need this item down the road? This machine was offered to me and I said yes. It needed a plug change which we did. It has the best tension of any machine I have ever seen. So if you are offered a sewing machine say yes, even if you do not yet know how to sew then learn to sew.

Really it is not as hard as you think.

If you don't know how to do something then learn, never stop learning.  till you get a machine you can repair by hand.

And with that learn to crochet and knit, you can make warm things for your family and can make gifts which saves money.

Now you can find these things from thrift stores. You can see what I paid for the knitting needles, .59 cents each. 

Getting them new cost way more. I did a search on prices and saw $10 to $17 so check out used before you purchase new.

Use cheap yarn to learn on first, you can also find yarn at thrift stores.

So this week work on living more frugally

Monday, November 18, 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)  

We may never see any of these things happen but there are many things that can cause hard times for us... job loss, health and many more. We have lost two insurance companies here in Iowa and I think about those under threats of forest fires and how their insurance companies changed their coverage unexpectedly. We cannot be prepared for everything but being prepared for some things is better than no preparation at all. - I love her nothing new for Christmas and her gift rules. - here are some frugal gift ideas. - some different ideas. - this has lots of frugal gift ideas. - I liked dehydrated salsa in a jar and apron in a jar. - great ideas here as well. - great ideas! - I like their ideas. - more ideas. - I like the melted snowman candy.  

I think there are great ideas in all of these sites. I really like the idea of buying used, it's fantastic! I have received used gifts and loved those gifts.

Try to think how you could make a very frugal Christmas.  

The best thing is building traditions.

Be content. Joy is in giving and service, both things that give peace and happiness.

This is a fairly new tradition my husband and I started a few years back...

We also make Christmas jerky...

I freeze a rump roast and the night before I make it, I take out of freezer the next morning. In a large bowl I put liquid smoke and a medium bottle of soy sauce. Then I slice the roast into the bowl giving it a stir now and then. I put it in a dehydrator and dry till done (when it bends but is like leather).

When the kids were little they decorated the tree and had eggnog and cinnamon knots and it was great fun. Back then we bought those bread sticks in a can that you whack on counter. Take them apart and dip them in melted butter then dip in a sugar cinnamon mix, fold into a loose knot, and then bake them. This also can be done with homemade bread dough.

For our tradition, my husband and I go on a Christmas date to the used bookstore and find what we would like then we go eat out. We do this is in place of gifts.

We always read The Candle in the Forest.

Those are a few of our traditions share some of yours in the comments below!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Message

"As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son." (President Gordon B. Hinckley) 

This is quite a statement, it sums it all up.

How many times have you said clean up your room to a child?  That is what I think of when I read that quote as we have been continuously counseled for more than sixty years. Fortunately, our girls both have very clean rooms and that didn't take sixty years :p

Seriously, everywhere we look it seems prosperity is everywhere. It's on TV, in magazines on computers, phones... everywhere we look everyone looks happy and everyone looks well off, like things will always be like this or better, right? 

But look again. Look closer at the flashy page in your magazine with a bowl of cereal in it. Why is it when you fix your bowl of the same cereal it doesn't look the same? Hmmm... Well to get theirs to look that good they can't put milk on it as it takes hours to get their pictures just right and milk would make a soggy mess. So they put glue on it as it looks like milk but that perfect look is not edible.

So next time you ask yourself, "why can't my house look as good as the one in the magazine?" Well they have an army of people setting up that room with the best things and we all don't have that plus no one lives really in that room.

It reminds me of when we were in student housing, which were tiny chicken coop type metal structures on a cement slab. I had a table shoved up against the wall with three chairs. Now I had a friend in another unit call me to say was my unit bigger than hers. I said nope. She said but you have three kitchen chairs around your table and she could only get two. I said for her to come over and when she got there I said there are three because the one chair touches the refrigerator. For every meal I had to move the table things aren't always what they seem.

I once was at a talk where a lady was telling us of her visit to Russia and was invited to a Russian lady's house. The Russian lady was embarrassed and kept apologizing saying her house was not like those in America. The American lady said that the woman's house was very nice so why did she think that? Come to find out the Russian lady could see the show 90210 Beverly Hills show and she thought we all had homes like that. I never saw that show but I am guessing they were mansion type homes.

Things are not what they seem and we should never compare ourselves to others.

Same thing goes for the "everything will always be great" part, because I can say everything is not always great. We have worked for companies who down-sized without warning. We have gone from a good wage to doing the same amount of work for only our insurance and let me tell you I have had lots of learning how to get by and I feel it was all to help me now at this time and I can share with you so you will know what to do when your hard times come.

So when things get hard and you feel like giving up.....think of the blog and what things I have shared.

When your basket looks empty, find ideas here on the blog to put in your basket.

Fill your basket with knowledge and skills.

Don't be afraid.

Don't be lazy.

Work on being prepared. Little by little you will get there.

Learn skills that will help your family and know that every skill you build will add to what you already have and some day when things get tight you too will have learned what you need to know.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Message

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others." (All is Safely Gathered In pamphlet)

I have talked before about preparing every needful thing. We should try to work on this everyday even if it is a little each day. We can learn if nothing more. - I keep this mix on hand all the time, she has fantastic info. - this gives you ideas for oatmeal. - she has many great things here you can use for gift giving. - As long as we are talking oatmeal.

Oatmeal is a great thing to always have on hand so plan to put some in your storage. - I think this would be fantastic, I really love mug recipes.

As you know I am all about learning skills... - this will help you learn a basic scarf. You can just knit every row till it is as long as you like. You can look back over knitting sites in the blog. There is a fantastic site that gives you lessons on doing a child's sweater, would be easier to make a child's first then go up in size. - here is a basic pattern for dishcloths. The one in the picture is the no holes version. You can use straight needles to learn on. I am using circular needles here. Beginners start with straight needles, shorter ones are best.

In the basket, yes, I made the basket I forget to say that, but in the basket are my leftover cotton yarn from making dishcloths.

I am using up these leftovers. The one pictured I am using two alternating colors giving me a striped look.  - she is an excellent teacher and she will tell you every step of the way what you need to get started and then goes through it all the way to finished. I think this would be excellent. You can go at your own pace. Purchase cheap yarn to learn on to keep your cost down, plus the classes are free. 

Free is always my price, I can't afford any other.

These are a few to get you started. If you are rusty at any of these now is a good time to refresh that skill...

Cooking from scratch
Sewing and mending
Learning how to make do
Vacuum sealing

If there are any skills you are wanting to learn comment below and I can cover them in future blogs.

I think this is important enough to link again...  

Look for a used bread machine. If you cannot find one, you can do this recipe by hand. It is from way before anyone ever invented bread machines but keep your eye out at thrift stores as they make your life easier.   

While it mixes and rises in the machine, I can run errands or do other things. I don't care for bread baked in the bread machine so I put it on the dough setting so I can take the dough out and do any of the things in Liza's book she shared in THIS POST, scroll down to the turquoise cover, all her pages are there.

I will remind you that you do not need to use bread flour, you can make your own. Use one tsp of vital wheat gluten to one cup of regular flour and in this case the recipe calls for three cups flour so I add three tsp of vital wheat gluten.

Look for it at your health food stores or get it online. They no longer carry it at the Walmart by me or by my daughters' area which was Alabama and Florida, I checked when I was there.

I vacuum seal mine and keep a year's supply on hand at all times.

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

If you find it in box form it has a bag inside. I poke a pin hole in the bag and stick bag and all in a wide mouth quart jar and vacuum seal.

I have gotten mine in bulk of late and fill my jar. I cut a paper towel, a coffee filter works too they work for many things, but I cut it the same size as the lid. I put this in on top of any powdery thing I vacuum seal then wipe the rim then put on the lid and ring and vacuum seal. I use the canister method but any way you do it works. The reason for putting this on top of the powder is to keep the particles from going into the sealer and killing it.

When I go to use it I keep my using jar in the refrigerator.

I keep my yeast in the freezer, except my using jar I keep in refrigerator as well.

So let me know what skill you want to learn in the comments below and keep working on your storage and keep rotating. While food lasts longer than the date in most cases, it won't last forever so keep it rotated.
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