Monday, February 27, 2023

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)

We had another snow storm this week.

I waited for that snowplow to take the picture. I could hear it coming. I know some of you are having summer right now so sending some of our winter to you.

At this time of year the great thing is it doesn't last long. Looking forward to spring. Having storage means staying in instead of running to the store in such weather. I am adding my from scratch chocolate chip cookie recipe for you to enjoy...

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c. margarine or butter

1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. shortening

1 c. sugar

1 c. brown sugar

Mix this well and add:

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

Then I really cream this together, all of it so far, maybe three to four minutes.

Then add:

3 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

Mix just enough to incorporate it, stop and add:

12 oz. package chocolate chips

Half to one cup chopped nuts, either walnuts or pecans (if you have picky kids, you can leave out or take out half and add nuts to the other half).

Drop then bake at 350 degrees till golden.

We all love these. You can add the dough on plastic wrap in a log and roll in tinfoil, label it and freeze, then when wanted, pull out of the freezer, slice and bake. When the kids were home I doubled the recipe and froze logs of cookie dough. I made sure the kids got cookies when they got home from school. One little friend said how do you know how to do so many different ones? Tooo cute.

Nothing like softening the blow of homework with yummy cookies.

Cooking from scratch is such a cheaper thing to do. I once had a doctor tell me if people made their own bread we could reduce mental illness...I do not know if she meant kneading it was a way to work out aggression or the chemicals that are in store bought, wish I would have asked. But one thing for sure, it is cheaper to make it from scratch.

I know that we can be very busy people and it is hard to find time but it is a blessing to have that skill and use it, plus when you make bread little yeast buddies escape to help make your bread rise even better the next time. 

Store the ingredients to be able to make bread. I store my yeast in the freezer and I keep a quart jar in the refrigerator as my using jar. I fill it from the yeast in the freezer and before you ask, I use it straight out of the refrigerator or freezer. It works just as well either way.

I store all-purpose flour in five gallon buckets labeled and dated. I keep two bay leaves in each bucket, I put them on top of flour before adding the lid. I also store wheat berries in five gallon buckets, same thing with two bay leaves on top then put on the lid, date, and label. 

I also store vital wheat gluten and all the ingredients to make breads of many kinds as well as make jams and jellies to have on the bread. 

For many many years I would get bread pans at yard sales. Back then the going price was ten cents, every sale I went to ten cents, makes you wonder if there was some rule, but I picked them up. Go price a bread pan now at the store. it will make your eyes bleed. I can see why people think it would cost more but even today's price on pans will save you money each time you use them. They are not throw away products you use them over and over and over all your life. Spread that cost out for all those times and it saves money.

Also, if you are able get a bread machine for a few dollars at thrift stores or yard sales this is a great thing to have as well. Plug it in though before purchasing it. Start the machine by going to the dough setting. You should hear a whir whir whir then you know it works. I like it for making one loaf of bread worth of dough. I use the dough setting then shape it, rise and bake. Have to say though when it is horridly hot I do go ahead and bake it in the machine to not heat up the kitchen or if I have many loaves I don't use it. I wait for the bread to cool then I use an electric knife to slice it all at once.

Do some deep dives into your recipe box. Find the cheapest recipes you have and put them into regular use. Find ways to stretch what you have and when you get groceries pick up cheaper options like dried beans over canned beans and plain rice over mixes as you can make your own mix and have it for casseroles and cereal.

Research cheaper ways of doing things. Pretty soon will be time to plant seeds to be ready to transplant to your garden.

Crackers are easy to make as well - - here she shows how to make noodles, she does say you don't have to use the mixer.

Yes, you can make your own noodles, they are way better than store bought.

Well, the puzzle is all put together. We love to start a puzzle around Christmas and work on it as long as it takes. I picked up this puzzle at the thrift store and was sooo glad all the pieces were there.

I was able to stop in at the thrift store this week and found a pattern. Look for that v-neck in the future, only longer. That is the beauty of sewing is making things you want.

As you know I love to collect cookie presses to use...

Here are my cookie presses. I only ever got them used I would not even know where to look for them new.

My other find was this...

I found these all in bag cookie presses. How cute are they? One looks like a sunflower. It reminded me of a lady who brought snicker doodles into the library. She was excited to tell us what she used to press on the cookie that gave such a cute flower design when they were baked. It was an empty plastic thread spool. If you take the sticker off the end it makes a great cookie press. I don't even remember how I came to collect the presses in the bowl. I am sure they were probably in with other kitchen items as I would not even know what they were. But by and by they were dirt cheap at yard sales. My favorite one is the one on top of a hot cocoa.

Today I started my next spinning project...

This braid came from a store no longer in business, sadness :(

I opened it up then split it lengthwise...

Once I do that I pull on it to loosen fibers then put in these bundles.

Then I started spinning. The spinning wheel was a gift from my sister a few years ago.

I am still working on sock tubes here I am doing the toe on this one.

Missy says it is very important now to to find frugal ways and to build your storage and to build those skills.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Monday Message

"Regardless of where we live or our financial situation, the path to preparation will open before us as we comply with the counsel of the prophets and go forward as means and circumstances permit." (Gordon K. Bischoff, The Ensign, Sept. 1997, p. 67)

I hope you all are having a great week.  Spring is hopefully coming, I see more ground than snow and that is making me very happy.

This week I have been in spring cleaning mode I guess. It all started with the angle of the sun changing because I was getting headaches from having the sun in my eyes while on the treadmill. So I moved the treadmill so it was facing another direction. It was so much heavier than when I did it last time. Moving things here means not just one thing moves, just about everything has to move. I needed to shift the couch a few inches so I could get the treadmill to fit and so it went till finally I got it to fit in.

Then the next day I decided to move the rug loom. First, it was so heavy I don't remember it being that heavy either...I think I am getting wimpy. It took me almost an hour to just get it moved, I did it while hubby was gone or it wouldn't have taken as long but I kept at it. Second, oh my goodness the dust I couldn't see. I think I could have done a garden inside probably not but felt like it. I refer you back to "I can't just move one thing as it affects everything else" except the treadmill and the other floor loom this time. I made it through though and it is tended.

This is the picture that you can see the treadmill in the back corner.

Here is what I see when I am on the treadmill the other half of the living room. You can see the rug loom I moved on the left, it used to be in front of the green bookshelf. See it did not move far but oh it was hard work and took an hour to get there.

This is the other loom. It is across from the rug loom kind of... I have been working on dish towels on it.

Here is how the pattern looks so far. 

I also have been working on the rug mugs on the table top loom.

The other thing I have been working on is putting heels and toes in sock tubes I cranked on the sock machine.

I am trying to get these tubes done...

I got one pair finally finished.

The yarn I used on this pair I dyed when my sister was teaching me how to dye quite a few years ago on a very hot day. That ball is all I have leftover.

So this week was basically moving stuff around in the living room and working at building my skills.

Missy says remember to rest as you work on your storage and skills. She also says she would have helped but doesn't have thumbs :p

Monday, February 13, 2023

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 get my groceries once a month. For those who go more often, you have been watching the price go up but let me tell you when you go once a month it seems to be a very huge shock. It isn't that I am not watching but watching is one thing, paying is ouch.

We have a budget like everyone with a set dollar amount and I feel like I stay at the mark but get half as much and the higher they go the harder I have to work.

We do pick-up for groceries which is good for many reasons. When I am putting the order together (like I said, we have a set dollar amount) I can delete as I need to, plus rearrange my menu planning. So then it is Russian Roulette if you even get those things and that is another juggle to the menu. Some things they can substitute, others you can't get at all. While I hate doing it, I am thankful I can do it and that I have skills which is where the harder work comes in.  

Finding the more frugal recipes and making our bread items, cooking from scratch - it can all be a work out. Each month that passes with big increases the less one can get, the further you must stretch things. I feel like I have been frugal but I think being even more frugal may be the theme for this year.

That being said, I want you to still be trying to get in a little extra, granted it is way harder at this time but try to get one thing extra, like a bag of pasta, or flour, or bottle of oil, or bag of beans, or rice...basic things, not fast food things as they cost so much more.

Look at the things you are getting and ask, can I make it myself? Can I substitute something else? For example, instead of boxed cereal how about rice, or oatmeal, or toast, or muffins, or pancakes (one can make a lot of pancakes for the price of a box of cereal). Just something to think about because I feel it could be a stretch before things get better.

February is finally here. Soon it will be time that we could plant veggies and such. Think on ways you could grow things. If you don't have the spot to grow, check out container gardening. - here is a good place to start. - do some searching for frugal recipes. - they have great recipes, this is where I got the platz recipe from. It's one of our family's favorites. - has suggestions on using things up. - ideas on stocking the basics in your pantry. - I find my frugal recipes in old church cookbooks. - in here I cut up towels that were old to use for wash cloths.

We need to use everything to its fullest.

What celery I have leftover I dry for later use, this saves it from having to be tossed.

When you are about to use an orange, grate the rind off and dry. This you could just dry on a dish and when dried, save it in a jar and use it in recipes calling for orange rind or to add flavoring to a recipe. Orange rolls come to mind...

Orange Rolls

I take out ¼ c. water and replace it with orange juice. Add dry ingredients (which is my jar of bread mix). I add two Tbsp. grated orange rind and follow the directions till dough is raised. Then roll like for cinnamon rolls, spread with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Then cut with pizza cutter to get 48 squares, or as close as you get, layer four squares on side in sprayed jumbo muffin tin holes, let raise then bake at 400 degrees for ten to thirteen minutes. Watch close, you want them gold not burned. Take out and frost while hot.


Two cups powder sugar

One tsp. butter

One tbsp. grated orange peel

One fourth cup orange juice - there is lots of bread enhancer ideas in this blog. I feel being able to make bread is high on the list of skills we need to have.

Two things I have worked on was this beaded stitch marker. I did one then was never able to do it right again. So after many try and fails, I now understand how to do it. The directions were very offsetting to say the least. Because the beads stack, you can't figure out when they say this is the same bead as this one four rows back. Once I chose to ignore when it talked about that, which was about half the directions, I was able to do it successfully so I consider that as a skill I wanted to accomplish.

The other was that I was able to finish this skein of yarn completely. I had to let it dry before I twisted it. So I spun this from fiber to make this yarn, I have more I want to develop on this skill.

I am knitting another scarf using yarn I made that will be in an upcoming post.

Missy wants to know what skills are you working on? She also reminds you to be looking for more frugal ways of living.

Look for ways to save money on everything. We all know to turn lights off when we leave a room. It is time to look for more frugal ways of doing things.

Monday, February 6, 2023

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)

With more snow on tap for tonight I am ready for spring.

It has been a busy week...

As you know I finished the scarf. It is all blocked now and I tied an overhand knot in each tip. Free pattern here -

It was such an enjoyable knit that I caked up some of my handspun yarn that I made so I could do another one.

We have had fog a few days this week. It makes me hurt and unable to sleep.

I was able to finish up a hat that I was about halfway done with. It was a bit hard so it will be a one of a kind.

I was also able to finish a spin...

Still doing things in and around it all...

Today I made my favorite bread to make in a bread machine which you can also do by hand if you don't have a bread machine. When it is cool I use an electric knife to slice it. This is such a frugal thing to do and tastes so good.

I make up bread mixes in quart jars. The recipe is in this booklet, you can see the contents/more recipes here - 

The only difference is because I store all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, I add one tsp. of vital wheat gluten per cup of all-purpose flour to equal a cup of bread flour, same if I use wheat that I grind.  I put a handful of oats in mine as well.

Today I made oatmeal cookies. I double the batch as it takes the same work, then I put it in logs, wrap in plastic wrap then tinfoil and freeze. I did two big logs and baked the rest. This saves money and energy for me as it is just as much work if I do a single batch.

Here is the recipe I use for these cookies followed by the recipe I use for replacing the egg which you cannot tell the difference. When I took plates to show for a lesson at church I had to label them as there's no difference in taste or look. It is good to have this in your binder.

I also rearranged some things in the kitchen so I use less steps making it more efficient, it is quite the workout but that is tended.

I also did some organizing in the stamp area. I put my die cuts in binders, it's much better than I had them.

If you had dividers they would work even better but I used what I had on hand being frugal. You can see I used a sticky back magnet to hold the owls here on this page.

So it's been a busy week cooking from scratch, finishing projects, and doing some organizing. Making do with what you have, building your storage, and using your skills are all important now.

This is Missy watching virtual church with us. As soon as flu numbers come down, we plan to attend in person but for now Missy attends church with us. So a huge thank you to those who make it possible and know Missy is watching too.

Missy says every little frugal thing we do adds up to a lot.

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