Monday, May 29, 2023

Monday Message

"A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life." (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

Keep working on your storage as you can. I find that the basics are cheaper to put in then their counterparts like dry beans are cheaper than canned beans, that sort of thing.

I encourage you to get the ingredients to make bread and remember to put your yeast in the freezer. I keep a jar of it in the refrigerator as it is my using jar. 

I have noticed some brands and items going away.

I remember standing in line at the grocery store when we lived in New Hampshire and a lady was in line behind me. She said don't you love all the choices, she was from more north and just loved the variety in choices. In my mind I thought are you kidding me? I was able to get more items and choices in Iowa so I was grumpy with much fewer and she was so very happy with those.

So nothing is ever so bad that it can't get worse.

I feel like if we keep finding and trying basic recipes and build a binder and store the ingredients to make them, we will be able to fix good things no matter what goes away in variety. - I love her site but yes, the more we can make for ourselves, the more we have in our budgets to pay bills. - Search around all her stuff, she has great info as well. She was off for two years but back on and you can look through the blog post she had, very helpful.

I found this cart for five dollars at the thrift store. It is giving me a bit of space, so keep haunting those thrift stores and think outside the box.

For example, I found this jewelry hanging case and knew just what I wanted it for - my sewing machine feet! I had tried several ways but this is the best way yet.

So think what item could be useful to you as you look. I know shiny things want to grab the attention but first look for helpful items then look for what you are interested in. I have seen many items to help in the kitchen such as instapots and mixers, hand held mixers, and even toasters, waffle irons, air fryers, bread machines. I have also seen fabric and yarn and knitting needles. So if your mixer died and cannot be repaired that might be something you check for. Make that list. Also, keep your eye out for dehydrators, canning supplies, etc.

Remember to plant what you can even if you can only do pots.

We enjoyed a visit with our daughter this last week and whenever our kids come home thrifting is on the schedule. On our thrift outing I found this waffle iron that is now added to my waffle iron collection. I set the apple near it to show you they are small. This collection started way before the pandemic with one little pink waffle iron that was ten dollars but had an instant five dollars off so for five dollars it started it all....

I was telling my daughter that I had only seen them at the one store and so weird I didn't see them elsewhere. Well it ended up they were at each thrift store we stopped at so we had fun finding them like an eye spy game, even my daughter found two and in the prettiest colors.

There is always new and better products and the prior versions are thrifted out so for me the prior version is just fine with me. Thrifting works for my budget.

I am always interested in looking at what things these places have as I see so many things I never knew existed.

I am a big fan of buying used, it stretches our funds. I would never be able to get these things new for sure. Used works just as well.

Missy says stay on your toes by looking for more frugal ways to stretch your dollars.

Tippy says if you go to the grocery store to buy a can of food - buy two, one for now one for later.

Monday, May 22, 2023

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)

As we get ready to plant our gardens this is a good thing to remember. It wouldn't be that much harder to plant a little extra to share. Those that have a green thumb will be great at this. I don't have a green thumb but share what what does grow. My thumb isn't green but I keep pushing on.

I find it is taking me a lot longer to do what I could when I was in my twenties so those who are that young, enjoy it while you can. Those who are older, like me, try to find work arounds I guess.

While I hate gardening, I love to watch things grow and I like to eat.

The little plants are doing well.

The spinach in this pot grew so very fast that I had to use four sticks in and plastic to cover it and then  put a plastic crate over it. It was like a mini greenhouse and kept it growing through that cold weather we got. So just using what I had on hand in the spur of the moment that "mini greenhouse" idea worked great, I will do this again.

I saw on public TV that they showed how to plant herbs in a strawberry pot. I had this one and the herbs I had waiting to go in ground I just pinched so I had roots and planted them in the pot and still have the rest to plant in ground. - this site has lots of info to scroll down. - did you know you can make your own brown sugar? and powdered sugar too.

How are you coming on your skills?

I haven't had a lot of time to spin of late but have done a little.

I long time ago learned to make chocolates. So that's a skill I have learned. At the time I'm writing this, we have an artist reception coming up next week. We stopped in at the chocolate shop to see what they offered. They had two pieces for $6.95, two that look like what is on my plate here. Well that wasn't going to work for our budget as the reception is for thirtyish people. I think you can figure out the math on that yikes. My husband wanted unwrapped chocolates so I worked up chocolates. This one in the picture is orange flavored milk chocolate. There is white chocolate, and orange chocolate flavored orange, and raspberry chocolate, and mint chocolate that are leaf shaped. So this saved us a lot of money and they taste great. I have no idea how the ones at the shop tasted as they were too steep but mine were fantastic. I will put them on a paper doily on a pretty plate.

Yes, this week has been sooooooo busy but soon it will be over and gardening will continue. If I do a little each day it will get planted.

I picked up three geraniums to put on the porch I planted in my own pots, this is identical to one on the other end of the same step, these are pink. The lady bugs that are in each pot were $1.99 each. I was asking questions about them and I picked up one each for them to figure out, good thing I did because as soon as I picked them up a little boy said "mom, I want a lady bug." By the time I turned around they had grabbed them all. Wow I said, but I got these two. They are solar lights.

I know you will recognize this planter, this year he has a white geranium in him.

Missy says keep your eyes out for sales to stock your storage.

Tippy says keep building your skills and find a patch of sunshine to rest in when you can!

Monday, May 15, 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 never know what is around the corner. Losing a job comes without notice for the most part. If you just got notified that you lost your job, do you have enough supplies to go a while? It takes a bit of time to find another job. In some cases, lots have lost their jobs all at once making it so that many people are trying to get a job at the same time. If you start another job, it will take a while to get a paycheck.  Keeping in mind that when it comes time it may be needed for housing or car payment so having food stocked up will help you get back up and running again.

Same with making a move. I always hung onto my storage as we needed it badly then as well.

There are a lot of reasons this makes sense to have storage on hand.

The winds have finally let up here and I am thankful. I have never seen it so windy every day for so long.

How are you coming along getting things ready for your garden? Just today I started setting the plants out on the covered porch.

In my area it's planting time. With prices still continuing to be high I hope you are planting something, even in pots. I planted spinach in a big pot on the porch. I have never had it come up so quickly. So because we had freezes and a frost I broke four sticks the same size and put them in the pot then covered with some plastic we had from painting (this I know as I saw paint on it). Then I took one of those plastic crates, turned it upside down and slid down the sticks so that it kept the plastic from blowing away. The crate just barely pushed over the pot. The sticks kept the plastic off the plants. I just took it off today and they are about ready for first harvest...this was much like a green house.

If you did not start seeds for planting, you can still pick up plants. I like to do both. I plant my seeds and have plants to not have all my eggs in one basket.

Not everyone lives in my zone for planting, some are even heading into winter. Some cannot plant due to health or places with no ground for gardening or in an area that doesn't allow gardening or any other reason. That is okay. Keep shopping sales, keep building your skills. Haunt thrift stores for needed items from church type cookbooks to all the things I mentioned last week, it could be anything in between.

If you can't find or even spend the money, then go to your library. Here are some great books to look for or ask for at the library.

You could go to past blog posts for thrifty ideas.

Times are hard so finding more frugal recipes or ways of doing things is a good idea right now.

What things do you have in your kitchen that you could do more with? I have been trying to see what other things I could do with what I have. Same goes for sewing machines. Do you know what all your sewing machine can do? It is easy to get into a rut doing things one way but sometimes there is another way if we take time to learn.

I know how to make bread just using my hands. That is great to know I can do that but finding a cheap three dollar bread machine at a yard sale or thrift store is great. I only bake the bread in the machine if it is brutally hot otherwise I dump in the bread mix I have made up.

I add my jar of dry ingredients to the water and push the dough setting on the machine then I take the dough out and shape it, let it rise and bake. For three dollars, this is a great helper.

As you have already met Tippy (We've had a name change from Mrs. Pickles) in the last post, she now wants also to give you helpful advice. Tippy says work on your skills and keep being kind!

Missy says keep shopping sales and a little at a time build up your storage

Monday, May 8, 2023

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)

Try every time you go to a store to pick up one item for your family's storage. If you go to the pharmacy, pick up band-aids or Epsom salt, or antibiotic cream. When you go to the grocery store, grab a bag of flour or shortening or sugar or yeast and salt - you can make bread with all these items then get peanut butter, jams.

These will add up, especially when you think how many times you go to the store.

Next time you are at a sewing store, get a pattern for making your daughters' underpants and if you have sons, get a pattern to make some boxers, they are easy

Of course, if you don't have a sewing machine, look on Craig's list or freecycle.

We really need to be stepping up our skills.

Prices continue to go up. I know someone who makes underpants from her husbands t-shirts so be creative, put a little bow on and they are pretty. I made our girls' panties when they were little, I appliqued butterflies and such.

I know it is hard to carve out the time to sew but get supplies so you will be ready when you find the time.

In two weeks it will be planting time, this is a huge skill to build. - just read this article.

Every little bit we learn to do saves us money then we can take that money and build our storage.

One thing I did was plant asparagus. This will feed us with hardly any work, if you can plant fruit trees and grapes and strawberries these will feed us later on.

So consider planting things that will feed you for years.

I feel like hard times will be with us for a while. I'm praying they don't get worse but I feel like it never hurts to develop those skills.

Budgeting for hard times... - here are some useful ideas

We need to start using things that we have and find uses for things like old jars (just as an example) put screws or nails or pens in them. Rather than tossing things, think up a use for them.

We can vacuum seal in jars so save their lids. When you open a jar look inside the lid do you see that rubber around the edge? Yep, it will seal. - in this post I write how to vacuum seal using a canister that allows you to use any size jar that has a lid with that rubber in it. And just incase you missed seeing this list, I post it here again...

What you learn is also part of your storage, soooo....

Do you know how to grind wheat? Do have a grinder?

Do you know how to make bread?

Do you know how to make a cake from scratch?

Can you cook totally from scratch?

Can you make what you need?

Do you know how to effectively budget, garage sale and thrift buying?

Do you know how to shop for groceries effectively?

Do you know how to darn socks?

Do you know how to knit socks?

Do you know how to knit mittens, hats, scarves?

Can you refashion your clothes without spending money?

Can you make the world's best cookies?

Can you make pancakes from scratch?

Can you make syrup for said pancakes?

Can you make jam?

Can you can or pressure can or dehydrate?

Can you make flour tortillas?

Can you sew, can you mend?

Can you grow a garden?

Can you make yogurt?

Can you grow herbs? Do you know how to use them?

Can you manage not going grocery shopping for a month? How about two, three, or four months? You should see how long you can go and see what you are short of though use the grocery funds to get storage while you do this exercise.

This list is much longer and varies with each of you. - great stuff on this post.

These are just a few things to look for at yard sales or thrift stores or freecycle or Craig's list.

When I go to a yard sale or thrift store, I usually have a list to keep me on track. Once I look for the list items, I then say to myself, is there anything in here that can help me be more frugal? And that is how I got my food savers both from a yard sale. Both were ten dollars. One was brand new, the other used once.  

Yes, many times people will buy items to find out they either don't like what the item did or what they wanted it to do, but in reality it could be so much more than the one thing. But since it is helpful to others, I am glad they put it on a yard sale. Purchasing items used is so helpful if you can as it saves so much which means you have funds to get the next item on your list.

Now this isn't just food prep alone. Look for sewing machines and supplies for sewing and knitting and crocheting. Look for gardening tools. Look to replace things you already have that might not go on much further. Set it aside and keep going till the item is no longer good nor can be repaired and bring out the one you got at that yard sale and you won't have to get a replacement at new prices.

Study things that will help you build your skills or teach you more frugal ways of doing things.

That said, we have a new addition for you all to meet. We took in another stray that was hanging around outside...

Meet Mrs. Pickles she is six months-old. I know she reminds you a lot of Gus in the face.

She says always be kind to everyone.

Missy says while she is having a really hard time adjusting to Mrs. Pickles, she says keep working at your storage and be flexible with change.

Monday, May 1, 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)

With all the extreme weather and calamities, I think we need to have storage going in our homes. I know we can't prepare for everything but what we are able to prepare is a very helpful thing for us or someone else. The weather is pretty much broken right now so we push on as our ancestors, doing the best we can.

So here is the peach tree blossoming. This would have been a great year for peaches, it is loaded, but tonight we have a freeze warning posted so probably no peaches again this year. Time will tell. This is one of the reasons having storage on hand is good, we just don't know what will happen. - this is one of my most favorite sites. If you scroll down to the apple crisp recipe that is the one I use all the time and it is sooooo good. I have mostly apples I have dried in storage, I find this is my most favorite way to store them. The other things I store with apples is applesauce and apple butter but mostly I dry them.

Apple Butter (this is the best in all the world) 

Make one gallon of applesauce (or if it is a not good year for apples, you can buy a gallon of it at Fareway or your grocery store) to this add:

3 c. sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cloves

4 c. apple juice

Mix all together in a roaster pan without the lid.

Bake at 350 for 3-4 hours till thick.

Process in a water bath for 15 minutes. - this is a good one to have on hand too. - here is one lady's way of setting up her food storage binders.

So keep working on having some items ahead. Weather is weird all around the world not just here. I saw that sugar will spike and go into shortage on the news because the weather damaged fields. Having extra on hand helps us to weather these things better.

I happened to find these charms marked way down on clearance so I made progress markers of them. A progress marker is if you want to see how far you knit or crochet in a sitting but mostly on crochet they act as stitch markers as well and on knitting...

When I am working on double-pointed needles (as in the picture here) stitch markers slide off but a progress marker can be attached between needles like in this picture, its purpose here is to mark the beginning of the row.

So it was a happy little find.

This week has been a very busy week. We took all the artwork my husband has made to a show he has been getting ready for two years. We got it delivered and installed. It was a lot of work.

The show is at Dog-Eared Books in Ames, Iowa.

I have been waiting these two years to reclaim my dining room so finally I have it back...

So a rest is in order for a couple weeks I hope.

Missy says make hay while the sun shines

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