Monday, February 24, 2020

Monday Message

"Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward." (President Spencer W. Kimball) 

A way of life is the perfect way to do food storage as long as you store what you eat then replace what you use.

Don't buy it and set it away, use and replace.

And learn those skills even if you have a good income. You will save money by knowing how to mend or how to make bread or how to sew your clothes.

If you are watching the Coronavirus you see where everything we have learned and skills would be needed.

My heart goes out to them and I am praying for them.

How is your storage and how is your learning skills going? Could you shelter in place? For how long? If it spreads here like there are you ready..? Plus, businesses that depend on items to run their business won't be getting those and lots will have to stop and in doing so there will be people losing jobs. Are you prepared for a job loss?? When we had been down-sized it always came as a shock and yes, while I had some ahead it did not last long. So prepare for these things and also keep learning skills.

Skills to work on...

Learn to make bread.

Learn to sew and mend and make your clothes.

Learn to make jam to go with your bread.

Learn to can meat and fruit and vegetables.

Learn to cook from scratch and make your own mixes.

Learn to garden.

Learn to knit and crochet. - look through the list, what more can you learn?

And here - How many can you check off and on that note can you cut hair? If not Google some on that so you can cut your family's hair. - food for thought here.

Here is another -

I will add budgeting, learning to make do, living on less, meal planning, using planned leftovers...and more.

Can you go one month not going to any store??? Even if you don't have too?

How long could you shelter in place??
You can do it, you've got this.

And here -

Monday, February 17, 2020

Monday Message

"Most of us cannot afford to store a year’s supply of luxury items, but find it more practical to store staples that might keep us from starving in case of emergency." (James E. Faust) 

There is so much wisdom in this statement so don't think you need to get luxury items because to me and others a warm loaf of homemade bread seems the most luxurious thing.

So work on those staple items.

Because it is the middle of winter here in Iowa and because my roots come from Norway and I love all things Hygge, when I saw this I knew you would enjoy reading it too...I am a hot cocoa and a kringla sort of gal -  

Because I know you are wondering what they are... 

One time our car hit a snow bank and we could not get it out. We went to a nearby farm house and they let us call a tow truck. They gave us hot cocoa and freshly made kringla and she was knitting. I never forgot their kindness.

Here is an update on my skill building...

I finished my last spinning, it is my first attempt at making sock weight yarn.

I have been working a little on the rug loom.

And I have worked more on the floor loom.

How are you coming along building your skills and storage? Here is a link to one of our friends working on some cute crochet and sewing projects -

Missy put on her serious face talking about this next bit.

With the Coronavirus spreading it would be good to be able to shelter in place. It means we store things that we need such as food and medicines, like Tylenol and also things like cat litter.

In mine I have cereal and milk things too that I won't have to go to the store to get.

I have stuff to make bread.

I have medicines, I have cat food and cat litter. I think we could shelter in place quite well.

Do the best you can.  

I think we all have seen the Coronavirus and how hard it is. When they have to shelter in place they try to get food but there is none to get. My heart goes out to them. 

But it very well could be here and we need to pay attention and not procrastinate.

We keep our eye on the news. Gus is keeping an eye on it too.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Monday Message

"Have sufficient food, clothing, and fuel on hand to last at least one year." (President Ezra Taft Benson)
"Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. The instability in the world today makes it imperative that we take heed of the counsel and prepare for the future." (L. Tom Perry)

If we could know what is ahead of us on our path it would be easy to plan for but we do not know. This does not mean we do not plan, it means we plan more than ever.

When you get groceries buy something extra...a bag of rice, a bag of beans, or a can of veggies or fruit. This is a painless way to put a few things ahead as it will add up and benefit you down the road.

As I have looked at current recipes it seems they take so many ingredients and are basically very costly to fix. Look for more frugal recipes that you already have in your file. Work at being more frugal, this will help you get a few things ahead.

Did you happen to see the TV clips from China with people panicked with the new virus trying to get food and the shelves were bare? This is a scene repeated over and over again.

If you have some things ahead you will not be in this situation and will not only have food for your family but you can help others as well.

I find that these cookbooks have the best and most frugal recipes in them. Look for the older ones because getting the newer cookbooks has the more expensive recipes in them.

I also keep a binder of recipes we try and like. I have it divided up - main dish, breakfast, etc. so I can find the recipe easily again.

I just saw this - If you haven't got the money for a big vacuum sealer this is a great thing. She shows how to use it. I wouldn't store long term in those bags but this is a cheaper option. I still think using the canister lets you use any jar, not just canning jars. I have some dried carrots in a Smucker's jelly jar, that being said if you cannot get the large canister perhaps this would work on a smaller one?

Being able to throw food in a jar and seal it has helped me save so much money over the years. I was blessed to find mine at yard sales. I have seen them at thrift stores but I never have seen this version before.

Have you ever gotten chocolate chips, put them in a jar and after a  while they get a whitish look to them? They are starting the breaking down process, well when you vacuum seal them they stay fresh.

Not wasting is frugal. When your budget is very tight you need to look for ways to not spend and not waste. Making what you have go further is very necessary.

How are you coming with your skill building? (Gus says he's working on his cuddling skills)

Learn to work on your skills even if it takes working around obstacles and even when things seem to be holding you down...ahem Gus :p - this has some frugal info. - some more frugal thoughts. - scroll down to the tips. - this has tips as well.

I think you will find helpful ideas here from these sites, you might even already do a lot of them.

Monday, February 3, 2020

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) 

I think this sets a good example for us. Even the littlest amount adds up. However, one thing is required...just do it. If you don't do it, it won't get done.

Make it a habit. Remember rotation.

Try to store basic items that many things can be made from. For example, I store powdered milk because I use that. I don't store evaporated milk and I don't have to worry about recipes that call for cream. I just use the powdered milk in more of a concentrated form.

Evaporated milk - use one and a half cups water to a half cup plus one tablespoon of milk powder and you have what would equal one can of evaporated milk.

A lot of people turn their nose up at powdered milk but it might not be what you are used to.

I use non instant powdered milk as it stores way longer than the instant but I have used plenty of instant as well. 

Either way, use it or lose it and by that I mean use it daily or it goes to waste...

I keep a jar on the counter for easy use.

As you go about fixing food pay attention to how many times a recipe calls for a few tablespoons of milk or a half a cup, even a cup. This is easier to do than you might think to get used to using powdered milk for all cooking. If it is easier, have a quart jar mixed up and in your refrigerator but I find over the years that I just automatically mix it when I need it. Also, you can put the dry milk powder in with the dry ingredients and the water in with the wet ingredients. I don't think you will notice a taste difference so this would be a good place to start.  

Store the basic ingredients, you can make your own items rather then running out to the store... 

I was in the middle of making enchiladas when all of the sudden my sleeve snagged the open can of enchilada sauce and it fell and spilled. What was I to do? Well, I made this recipe - 

I was worried it would not taste the same but it did and I was so amazed. I did not put the green pepper in as I was in a hurry and it was quite a bit cheaper than the can I usually got and I had everything on hand.

My husband built this spice rack for me based on these jars.

When building your storage add spices. - this site has much we could use. - look at the recipe, can you make this without going to the store? - try recipes, save the ones you like in your binder. Neat thing is you don't need the chemicals. - you can see some of the bread mixes I make up here. I don't do them long term, just for ease. I put the water in the bread machine then add the mix. I could also do by hand using this mix...  - scroll down till you see the turquoise booklet, Liza's recipes follow. This is the recipe we put in jars. I do mine with regular flour and add one tsp. vital wheat gluten for each cup of flour, this makes bread flour too.  this has lots of bread info.

Try to store ingredients for the recipes that you make then you can just fix from scratch what you need. - this is a very good read.

Frugality is different for everyone. I may have had to do frugal because of hardships but if I had not learned I could not have bettered our lives. You may feel like I concentrate a lot on the same things, it is because these things have helped me the most. Try to learn those things now when you are not pressed to by harder times.

I am a huge believer of hard copies. You can learn much from books. I know we live in this age of internet and believe me, I have learned a lot from it too but having books in hard copy has its place too.

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