Monday, May 30, 2022

Monday Message

"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)

I think we all see that things are a bit more difficult. We need to be steadily moving forward in stocking up a little here and there as we go and as we can. I think with prices of everything going up we will have to be more frugal in our purchases. Every little thing we can do will add up and bless our families.

Don't forget to try and learn those skills. Oh how I wish I had the skills that I have now back when we got married forty-eight years ago on June 15th. I knew how to make cookies and banana bread and French toast. That is all. I did not even know how to wash clothes. I was on the folding clothes end of laundry. I had a little sewing in school. I was a nurses aid...that was all I had in my collection of skills.  I had a desire to learn and still desire to learn. As I am older I am thankful to have learned skills that help me now in these days of my life. Of course, all my experiences in life have added to all these skills.

So add to your life experiences by learning skills that will bless your family the most.

I think for me the best skill and at the top of my list was learning to bake bread. While I am pretty good at it by now, there is more I want to learn on it. Once I knew how to make bread, I wanted to store all it takes flours, seeds and nuts, dried fruit. I wanted to make French bread and bread sticks. So I store things to make any kind of bread l would want. I want to perfect making seed bread, hamburger buns, sandwich loaf, much bread, so little time. So it is something I want to build on. Over the years I have been collecting bread books off of freereadfeed where you can find free books.

After breadmaking, I feel like sewing is the next important skill to learn. While this was made off a ready-made shirt I want to be able to perfect working from patterns as well. I remember a gal in twelfth grade making a shirt for her boyfriend, I was always watching what she was doing thinking I someday want to be able to do that. So I will keep trying to build my sewing skills. 

Another reason I would put sewing after breadmaking next is because mending is needing to be done all the time. I remember one time I was in the area of an Amish grocery store. The guy ahead of me in line had his coveralls on, he was buying the hugest bag of potatoes I ever saw. As we were waiting in line I noticed those coveralls were mended like he had tore them on a fence. His wife had mended with the tiniest stitches - what a skill she had developed!

Now is the time to learn this skill. A time is coming that we need to be more frugal then ever before. So be working on these areas and more.

Knitting and crocheting to make mittens and hats and scarves. Where I live it gets so very cold in the winter so these are a must.

Making sweaters as well. Here is the progress of the test knit sweater I am working on. I had to move to a bigger bag to house it. The bag was made by my sister. Look closely she wove the fabric too. - we need to learn cooking from scratch to be able to stretch our money. So many have no idea that you don't have to purchase ready-made and that you can do the same thing from basic ingredients for a lot less and as an extra bonus there's no chemicals. - I put this site in a lot but it is worth repeating. Take a popular box mix - what is inside is a small package of seasonings. Do you have spices in your kitchen?? Sure you do. The other package is pasta, usually one I would not use for the dish. Is it a one pound package of pasta? No it is not it isn't even two cups. What else is in this box?  Look again. NOTHING at all, you still have to purchase the meat. You still have to cook that meat. While the meat is cooking you can measure the spices and pasta. Food for are paying for someone else to measure the spices and pasta to make a meal that probably is not enough for your family, plus you still have to fix the sides.

I also see those boxes on TV that you get that have a meal to make in them and you see the gal eating it, yum she says. Well while they show you the fresh looking veggies and meat are purchasing a box with a high price and you still have to wash and chop the veggies, cut and cook the meat and veggies. So while they look happy and say yum, I would love a cost breakdown. When I see those commercials I always say but you still have to cook it. - this one I run often too. Make your own cream of soup. Canned soup has gone way up in price too. I once timed making a can of soup then wrote it down then I made this same soup from here, I think it was broccoli cheese, so was the can. It took the same amount of time and it was better then its canned relative.

I like these for using but also for showing how much cheaper it is to do yourself. - helpful info. - more tips here. - more tips.

The more we can do ourselves the more we save.

I have the dish towels going on the loom, another skill I am trying to build. - here is a site that is so very useful. I like the idea of putting the sheet in the page protector and using a dry erase to put the meals on.

I then think you could make a list of your recipes  like...


foil dinners


sloppy joe's

Not the ingredients, just titles. This will serve as your meals at a glance and give you inspiration as you write in dry erase on that page protector.

You can put in a pencil pouch with pen and a dry erase pen.

You should have plain paper in there for building a grocery list.

Start a small binder with these things.

Sometimes you just need to find a spot of sun and take a nap. 

Missy says just do what you on your skill building as it is better to learn before harder times come.

Hopefully this Memorial Day you can take a moment today to remember those who gave their all.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Monday Message

"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 am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. . .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." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

I think we all see the shortages in baby formula honestly when we were using formula decades ago it never would have occurred to me that this could ever happen. So scary for all who are dealing with it now. Think about how serious this is, if they can't fix this fast, how will other shortages less serious get tended? Probably not as fast. - she has a very good video here, I really like this gal.

We need to keep pushing on. I remember back to when flour jumped in price. I asked the clerk what was up. He said just wait, it will come down. I felt like waiting to get more when it came down but I had a nagging that I should get it and I did. This was a very very long time ago. I still had kids at home. Here is the sad truth, it NEVER came down and steadily went up. So if you are waiting to put in extra till the prices come down it would be a mistake. We have to push on doing what we can.

You have to think a bit differently now, what we could never imagine is happening now, for example the baby formula.

I feel like we are just getting steamrolled with one crisis after another. We can't get up and dust off before another hits.

So we need to find more ways to be frugal, more ways to NOT stress, and more ways to help others. We can do what needs doing. - I am sticking this in here as summer is fast approaching though with the hot weather we have had of late it might already be here. I think these are a more thrifty vacation and use the difference to stock up or pay off bills, a good suggestion. - scroll down to the eighty frugal things.

Gus says, just as important we need to build skills... - how to mend. - interesting, is good info. - some ideas.

Here is the update on the test knit sweater I am making. I am going slow with gardening and heat this week. In the garden I have volunteer pole beans so I put a pole in there for them. I have the ones I planted with wire to get them to the railing on the porch. Once they get near the top of it I will put string to the porch top. This should be fun to watch and hopefully easy to pick??

I have been trying to collect grass clippings for the garden but it is a slow going thing.

I have put cardboard around the trunks of the fruit trees as rabbits are trying to eat them. I thought only in winter, but I guess not.

The lilacs are here. One is by the corner of the house. It was a Mother's Day gift long years ago.

The ones by the walkway were a start from my mother-in-law who passed away from Covid a while ago. So I picked some from there as a little memorial to her. - this has helpful info. - as things rise in price, it is good to know how to make your own. - make your own cooking spray.

Missy says hang onto those masks, we are not done with Covid yet. Numbers are going up and they are talking bad in the fall. She is also demonstrating the proper way to knead your bread dough.

Gus says to work on your skills. He is showing how he studies a knitting pattern in style.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday Message

"Follow the prophet. He has counseled us to plant a garden and fruit trees. This year don’t just think about it—do it. Grow all the food you possibly can. Also remember to buy a year’s supply of garden seeds so that, in case of a shortage, you will have them for the following spring." (Vaughn J. Featherstone)

It is time to put that garden in. - I love her site.

Our frost date is the tenth but I have had an eye on the weather and we have warm weather so I went ahead and planted. It was a hard and very painful job for me but it is tended. Hoping that is the worst of it. It took two days and lots of pain. I have fibromyalgia and so it is very painful to do it. But you hopefully won't have it so hard. I gather grass clippings to put on to keep the weeds at bay.

This year we put in two apple trees and two plum trees, some grapes, asparagus, another rhubarb because mine wasn't doing well and I think it was offended so it started to improve?? :p

We put in a strawberry bed and for Mother's Day my husband got this flexible tubing and screen material to make a cover for the strawberries. I will pull up each side to work in there. This was my request for Mother's Day.

I watch a YouTube channel where the gal is a knitter and spinner - I loved the sweater she designed and knit, it is the one she is wearing. She called for test knitters and I signed up to be one. It was a frugal thing to do as you get the pattern free to knit and find any errors before she releases the pattern for everyone else. Since we are watching our budget like all of you are, I thought even though I would be busy with the garden I would do it as I like the sweater. This is a stretch my skill thing as well.

I am using what yarn I already have on hand from that famous yarn haul years ago. After doing the swatches, I finally decided to pick the yarn on the right in the picture.  

This project bag is one I made last year...if you look closely at the picture you will see my supervisor Gus who was thoroughly bored to sleep.

Now that the garden is in I will be working hard on this knitting project.

I was amazed to see my parsley was still alive and growing after the hard winter we had.

We ordered a package of socks for my husband from Walmart  and this is the second sock I have had to fix. I expect I will have to do them all. The hole is in the exact same spot as other one was, it just separates from the heel, there's no wear. It's like they used some lesser yarn to attach the heel. Plus, if you notice in the first picture, that light gray yarn is pilling really badly, not like the rest of the sock, so I suspect it to be the culprit.  

So if you were unlucky enough to have gotten these socks, time to work on your darning skill. My tip is to mend whatever needs it right away. It is easier to take fifteen minutes now rather than spend hours mending a stack of things later and you won't be behind as well. It makes you appreciate a stitch in time saves nine, doesn't it?

It is the frugal thing to do and we are all going to have to be more frugal as time wears on.

I am reminded over and over of Noah's ark and what preps they must have had to do. We don't have it as hard because we don't have to clean up all that animal poo :p

Gus says be working on your storage. The wheat shortage will effect most things we eat so be sure you have what you need on hand. And if you don't eat wheat, store what you can have as people will probably turn to that if they can't get the other.

Missy says keep wearing masks, Covid is rising again. She also wonders how one grows cat food in the garden?? 

Monday, May 9, 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 think this is so important as people are afraid, thinking what will happen next? Some don't have the skills. We can share our skills and help as we can.

We are in for rough times ahead but people are tough. We adapt, we learn, we share, we overcome and we will with all this as well.

The more skills you have, the better for you to stretch things as times get tougher.

Here is a hat I am working on for next winter.  

Let's talk about the picture for a minute. The needles are from a yard sale. The yarn you can see the green tag came from a thrift store. The bag I keep this in I made. This is what frugal looks like, not suffering but doing the same but with less and Missy says she is always willing to help.

Over the years from yard sales and thrift stores, I gathered these needles... 

I have gotten a few needles on 40% off with a coupon but most were used. Do they look different? No. If I asked you to find the ones I got new with coupons you could not do it because I cannot do it. They perform the same, the only thing is that I saved a lot getting them used.

This week we had some family visit and we went to the yarn shop but when we got there it was out of business. Seeing a lot more of that lately.

It made me appreciate that I dyed my fleece and can spin. Will I miss that yarn shop? YES, I will.

Missy is thankful I have learned the knitting skill and she encourages you all to learn to knit or crochet.

We went to a kitchen store that the last time I was in there was way over 25 years ago. I was shocked first that it was still there. Second, I was shocked there were NO bread pans in the whole store and third, I was shocked at how expensive cast iron has gotten. A small pan was $100. I was so thankful after all these years I had kept mine.

The bread pans that are my favorite I picked up at yard sales all over. They were the same kind - old and the prices were the same - ten cents. So those were what I picked up, I left behind the ones they were asking more for. - scroll down and you can see the bread in the pans. - this post has great information on dough enhancers you can do yourself, look at the date on that. I have been doing this blog a long time.

Gus says to find a frugal cozy spot to be and be thankful for it.

Missy says keep working on your storage.

Gus says keep building those skills.

Monday, May 2, 2022

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)

I am going to say things happen in our life all the time.

We just had a terrible thunderstorm this morning that half way through the weather radio went off saying flash flood warning, it happened so very fast.

We had water running like a waterfall in a window in the living room that drenched three big bath towels before my husband could seal it up. The window is higher than the couch to give you a sense of this window height. It was just the rain was so hard and fast. Meanwhile, the two sump pumps in the basement were being over taken. We have an alarm to alert us if water goes on the floor and it was going off. We ended up with four inches of water in the basement and had to get yet another sump pump. So it took three hours to get the water out.  

It will be a bit of work. Most of everything is up off the floor but we just got a new furnace and I had to move cases of storage so they could work on the furnace and while I set them on the wood off the floor, water was higher so I will have to unload those cases. The biggest worry was the furnace. We just had to replace the water heater but it was up on cinder blocks which was a good call there. So now we just have a wet floor. My husband took out the furnace filter, it was wet but when he took off the panel to put a fan on the inside the great news was everything inside was eight inches up, thank goodness.

This all to say we never know what is around the corner. Though we did all we could, no one wins with water. We had two sump pumps in the basement. We have a water alarm. We have things up off the floor. Sometimes no matter how prepared you are things still happen.

Though we cannot be prepared for everything, what we do prepare for helps us through things that can happen.

Weather seems more extreme so putting in preps is something to be seriously considering.

If you have a place to plant a garden, try to do that and if you can, plant things that will give you food for years to come.

How can you do this when times are hard? Plan good but very frugal meals from the grocery budget leftovers, you can do a little at a time.

While you wait for your fruit to mature, learn to make jam.

Learn how to dehydrate.

How to make fruit leather.

How to can it.

How to make fruit butter.

Learn to cook from scratch. This cookbook is great. See if you can get it interlibrary loan, it is a fantastic book. You make one mix and the whole book is recipes using that one mix.

Learn to make good biscuits for the jam you will make. Learn to make bread to spread that jam on. While you eat, you can sing the song Francis sang from a children's book we read our kids - "Jam on biscuits, jam on toast, jam is the thing I like most."

Learn to make things you need or can give as gifts.

Here in this picture I wove some dishcloths.

In this picture are dishcloths that I knit. Did you know you can crochet them too?

Gus and Missy say to be kind to everyone, share your toys, be safe, stay away from water in your basement if you don't like wet feet, and build up your storage aka gibble. Plant a garden - they will help you dig :p

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