Monday, April 25, 2022

Monday Message

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I was watching a podcast last night where this gal went to get a few groceries and she showed prices of a few, she noticed convenience foods had doubled in price. A good reason I say, to cook from scratch. Think about what is your favorite and then try to do your own version of it. She also said vegetables  were up in price as well...a good time to put in a garden.

Even if you are like me and HATE gardening with a passion (it causes me sooo much pain!), it is still so important that I do it anyway.

When you are thinking about gardening, think about things that will bring you food on your property like grapes, raspberries, rhubarb, asparagus, walking onions, garlic, fruit trees, herbs, things that will come back each year.

One year a friend gave me a start of garlic chives and now they are taking over the world! I truly believe a nuclear bomb could go off and they will survive. And not one vampire would be near us :p yep they are hardy and oh so good in soup and salad.

Just a thought - if you could put in something like these, now would be the time and you will have food through the years ahead.

Canning and drying food - if you do not know how then now is the time to start learning and collecting equipment and jars. Put out the word that you are looking for jars and canning stuff and hopefully someone near you that is done canning might have some.

Drying - you don't need the most expensive dehydrator out there. Mine is Nesco American Harvest. I bought extra trays and fruit leather sheets.

A Foodsaver is a valuable thing to find, be looking at thrift stores if you can't get one new. Look at the big hunting and fishing stores as well and try to get a canister to go with it that could hold a quart size jar. - In this post, I show you how to use a canister to vacuum seal in jars. I save my canning lids when I open my canned jars of food. I label on the lids so it is easy to see they are used. I save them for vacuum sealing, they do a better job than new ones, plus, it is frugal and you can use them over and over for vacuum sealing.  

If you have the canister, you can use the store-bought jars of salsa or jelly or spaghetti sauce that you have leftover and reuse them. The canister can be from any vacuum sealer as I have a Seal-A-Meal canister and it works just as good on either sealer. Jars have that rubber stuff on the inside of the lid. You can store, lets say, unpopped corn - just fill the dry jar, affix the lid, back the lid up a smidge, put it in the cannister and seal. So you can see this is a huge savings if you can find one. All those partial containers of food could be fresh if you had put them in the jar and sealed them.

We need to be saving on everything we do. Today I made an angel food cake for Easter and I scraped every last bit of batter into the pan. I thought I had done very well with the whisk before getting the scraper but in the end there was a third of a cup of batter I scraped out after I thought I did a good job - a third of a cup! How many times do you throw it in the dishwasher or sink without scraping?

When I was a young married woman, I worked in food service. I remember we were mixing up cookies to bake, I got to the end of the bowl and an older and wiser worker said get all of it out of the bowl, there is at least four more cookies there. Yep, I think of her every time, people can be so wise.

So we need to be the wise ones now and teach our kids how to do things.

In one of the last few blog posts I think you see a cascade container by my sewing machine, it is my thread catcher. I toss things into it like a table-top waste basket. I also showed you the embossing folders in a basket that I had already in the house. Well, I put cardboard as dividers inside that basket, reusing what we have. I also have cardboard strips as spacers in my weaving I reuse.

We need to be frugal now more than ever before.

When you use up that liquid dish soap, fill the container with water and use it outside to wash your hands or use it for dish washing or save for a time you might run out of dish soap, it would get you by till your grocery run.

Before you toss something think how it can be reused. - I know I keep putting in these sites, it is because they are so good. - make your own convenience  foods. - this is the best substitute for canned soup you can find.

Every little thing we can do to cut costs, even if by only a few cents, adds up. We had a car die once and needed replacing, not fixing - let that panic set in, where would we get the money without a bank loan?? Well, I had been rounding up our checks (this was before bank cards) I had been doing this for a year and having rounded just those few cents on every check we wrote, we were able to buy a used vehicle and that saved the day. So if you think a few cents here or there does not add up, it really does.

I have still been spring cleaning here. In doing so, I moved the babe spinning wheel upstairs. Now there's one wheel on each level.  I started on the purple wool I dyed in the crockpot. I started spinning, it took me a little bit to get used to the electric wheel again but I got back into it.

The other thing I did was wind floss around these wooden characters. I originally picked these up on clearance to use for knitting back before the pandemic. But I decided I would do the floss instead as that is what they were really for anyway.

I worked in the stamping side of the sewing room to try and make more room on my desk area which is really an old table I got at a yardsale many many years ago. I think I got it pretty well organized and more open to boot.

Gus is giving his armchair wisdom...he says you need to still be safe out there, we really still have Covid out there, three new variants so be safe!

Missy says we all need to be more frugal, now more than ever.

Monday, April 18, 2022

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)

This week I had to do some grocery shopping, a smaller amount than normal due to having to replace the water heater. I was cutting across the store and just happened to be in the frozen pizza aisle, I am usually in a hurry and looking at my list, when the lighting seemed to change. I looked up and realized it wasn't the lighting at all, it was shelf after shelf totally empty. Wondering what might have been on them, I went close and could see frozen pizza closer to the end. I noticed the spot where the kind of pizza we like had empty cardboard cases except for one pizza in each box pushed to the front to hide how empty it was but with the way I was walking I could see there was nothing, just bare shelves. I went on since I needed cat litter which was the reason for cutting over by frozen pizzas. When I got to cat litter, I noticed no canned cat food (we don't use canned). There wasn't a lot of the dry either but just empty shelves where canned cat food had been. Because I was in a hurry and hurting bad from fibromyalgia, I couldn't go down all thee aisles. But I did notice the shelves with pasta cleared off too.

My hope is by this time you have enough stored to carry you over a rough patch.

One thing I saw was a lady picked up a package of Charmin supposed to equal 96 rolls for $31.15. That Charmin guy is rolling over in his grave.

Missy's reaction to higher prices.

Remember to store what you eat, not what you don't like to eat. - rice is very versatile and very basic. - recipes for beans. - great ideas here.

What we need to start doing (if we haven't already started) is to live below one's income.

We need to be filling up our binders with recipes we love using our storage. Throw in tips as well. For example, I have several versions of how to substitute for an egg. Which is good, as the bird flu is hitting at a very bad time driving up egg prices. My sister lives in Minnesota and sent me a picture of the price of eggs near her - $2.99 a dozen. So when you find a good tip, put it in your binder. When you go through your recipes, look at the ingredients. I bet you will be surprised that a lot of your recipes are storage friendly. You can use the recipes to see what you can put in your storage. For example, one of our favorites is green bean casserole.

Green Bean Casserole

Brown one lb. of hamburger and drain, put in a greased 9x13 pan

Add:  1 can of drained green beans (I sometimes double these) and1 can of tomato soup.

Mix and spread in the bottom.

Mix up instant mashed potatoes. You can drop spoonfuls over the top but I like to spread over the top.

Bake 350 degrees for twenty to thirty minutes.

Note - if I have leftover taco meat, I will use it in place of the hamburger. If you have cheese you can put it on the mashed potatoes. You can also toss dehydrated onion in when you are mixing together if wanted.

Can I do this recipe from my storage? Yes, I can totally make it from storage because I can hamburger and store potato pearls which I only need to add water to. I also have green beans and tomato soup.

So go through your recipes. - now more than ever you need to plan your meals and your grocery lists and utilize every leftover.

We need to do these things more than ever to help offset the rising costs of everything.

Gardening will help save as well. Now is the time in my area to be getting ready to plant a garden after May 10th but if you still see cold weather wait till warmer.

Missy says that more than ever we need to work on being frugal.

Gus says, if you aren't frugal, you might find your basket is empty.

Monday, April 11, 2022

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 wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

I was recently reading the story about Joseph and the great famine, the dream the Pharaoh had about the cows, and following the warning to store in the good times for the lean times. This story sets an example for us. Yes, it might not be so widespread or long as it was then, but it shows hard times come to each of us and preparing when we are in good times is a good thing to do. If we make it a way of life, we will just be in the habit of doing it and it won't be a chore to try and get stocked up when we think things could go bad.

I think we saw that happen with toilet paper...

So let's keep working on our storage as well as skill building. - this gal has a series on stocking your pantry, it may give you ideas for your pantry. - here is a good spot on how to start storage.

I made these long ago before we had kids. I ran across them while organizing and thought I would show them to you. You have sheer fabric on the top, muslin on the bottom, and fabric in between that you hand sew around. It is called shadow applique or shadow work, it is very pretty. I would like to do this again.

I have continued to organize my way through a spring cleaning. One of the projects was to organize in a better way my embossing folders. I was able to come up with this after trying out many different ways, this way won as it takes up half as much room. I used to get these with those coupons for half off long ago then companies came out with even cheaper ones. Using coupons made them so much cheaper, they were pretty cheap to begin with and again some I got from yard sales. I make a lot of cards and this was a very inexpensive way to have pretty paper.  

Some of the oversized ones I would cut very carefully and I would have the folder and a second folder that was thin to just use as an edge. Some you can see are in the middle. Only a few I did that way then they caught on and made them too, so all those are in the center folders on each side and the plastic container on the right have little square ones. They all are folders you put the paper inside and you run through the embossing machine... Mine is old school, a manual type. I assigned a number to each that matches a little example that is in a binder, I can easily see the number and go to this basket and find the right one...this will be way easier to use now.

My sister told me about a dying method. I bought a crockpot cheap at a yard sale just for dying in.  Anything I use for dying is strictly dedicated just for dying. So she said to take a ball of wool and soak it in medium warm water. While it soaks, you fill the crockpot with hot tap water three-fourths full, add one cup of white vinegar and one tsp. dye powder - a note here, you MUST always wear a mask when working with dye in its powdered form...always! Then stir well. Take and gently squeeze the water from the ball of wool and put it in the crockpot, push it down, put the crockpot on high for forty minutes then turn it off and unplug. Leaving the lid on, let it sit till the next day....

Then drain. I filled the pan with lukewarm water and put the ball in to rinse. Never just hold it under running water or you will get a felted mess that you cannot spin. Then I gently squeezed water out and put it in a salad spinner till most of the water was out - I only use this spinner for dying. Then I hung it on the rack.

I can't wait to spin it! If you look closely you can see blue and pink, that is because the dye broke which I love. When that happens, it means the colors used to make the dye color, in this case purple, separate.

These are the things I have been working on this week.

Being frugal, I used the containers I had in house already to do the organizing. They always say to do that before running off to purchase a container. I tried a few things before settling on this version.

Dying the wool - I had it all in house as well and the hardest part of doing that was getting the crockpot off the top shelf in the storeroom. Now it will live with my dying things which will make it easier to get too next time.

I have done some weaving and spinning as well as some knitting.

Building skills - learning to be frugal is a skill as well.

Don't just store flour, learn all the ways you can use it to stretch your budget.

Ask Gus what he thinks of photo shoots...

Actually he does better than Missy.

Missy isn't quite the blur she usually is, she's a typical girl and doesn't like her picture taken.

Missy says keep praying for Ukraine and keep being safe.

Gus says keep working on your storage and get a few seeds planted...he says you'll thank him later.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Monday Message

"I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

Our bishops storehouses are not intended to stock enough commodities to care for all the members of the Church. Storehouses are only established to care for the poor and the needy. For this reason, members of the Church have been instructed to personally store a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. By following this counsel, most members will be prepared and able to care for themselves and their family members, and be able to share with others as may be needed." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

Anyone can use this advice. Our ancestors stored items they would need, we can too.

Building our skills now is very important. - learn to crochet, this would be a great gift or add to your wardrobe, but it is a great skill to have. - this is a very basic pattern to develop your knitting skills. Again, makes a great gift. - this is a cute project just in time for the season. - this is really cute. I will remind you that you could use buttons in place of the eye and nose pieces to be more frugal on both these items. I know you are saying you want to learn to crochet after seeing these, right?? - so here you go, build that skill.

Look for ways that are frugal and helpful. This is the tip I have for cooling an angel food cake. I took an empty cone and covered it with tinfoil and it works great, been doing this for years. 

Sometimes it grows so big that even the feet on the pan are not tall enough but this pan doesn't have any feet.

I like having angel food cake mixes on hand because you only need to add water to them. Can I make it from scratch? Yes, I can, but in times like this eggs are high in price. I like to have pancake mix completes as well, you only need water to make them. So I do store items like this on hand in my storage too.

Since we are talking angel food cake, one of our favorite ways to have it is...

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Mix a regular size can of crushed pineapple into an angel food cake mix, stir and put in a 9x13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees till done golden and springs back.

This week has been a busy week, but I was able to get my seeds started.

I had an ear thing going on so was dizzy and nauseated from being dizzy but with Meclizine in hand I pushed on.

Still doing some spring cleaning and organizing. I redid my knitting bookshelf. While matching the books into colors was soothing, it was just nuts trying to find anything.

Now things are much easier to find. All the stitch books are together, books by same authors are together, Fair Isle knitting all together, etc. So much better, not so calming but well worth it. - some frugal ideas. great frugal meal ideas here - you can't go wrong here.

Missy says keep working on those skills they are more important than ever.

Gus says it's important now to get along and find fun things to do for free.

They both say hang on to your masks, it isn't quite over yet.

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