Monday, October 30, 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)

I remind myself when things look tight or messed up that Heavenly Father gives us whatever we need.

Well preserving peaches is now over. I froze the last of them yesterday. I guess this will be called the year of the peach. That little tree worked very hard for us this year.

We will look forward to having these in the winter.

Prices still seem to be going up so tighten your belts. It is time for us to put our skills to work.

We also have Christmas coming up...  - here are some frugal ideas. - more ideas, love the pajama party idea. - visual ideas. - we did this one year for a family we had to deliver secretly and the last one we delivered in person, it was great fun. - a fun activity.

Try to find ideas that are fun and free.

It's soup weather here now, brrrr! Soup can help us to stretch our budgets. - you can't go wrong with Taste of Home. 

Bread or rolls would be fantastic with soup. Time to practice bread making skills! Make sure to write down the recipes you try and love in your binder. Having a hard copy is very helpful. Don't rely on the computer. One virus could take your recipes down for days.

Here's a few older blog posts with great information plus some of my favorite recipes...

I think now that canning has settled down a bit, we can slow down and take a look at our budgets. Are there things we can cut out? For us, we decided to cut Netflix as they are going to raise their prices. I would have kept them the same while others raised theirs, I bet that would have been a good market move. It is just one thing out of oh so many that we are cutting back on as well.

What things are you cutting back from to help with rising prices??

We were given a lipstick plant years and years ago (like twenty years ago). I thought you would like to see its blossom. Hard to get a good picture but the flowers when it blooms look like a tube of lipstick and as this flower grows it gets taller, like you turn up the tube, really cute.

Missy says keep working at your skill building, this is the perfect time to do it!

Tippy Longstockings says to be sure you keep working on your storage and don't waste anything if you can help it.

Monday, October 23, 2023

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)

Winter is fast approaching and the chill is in the air.

This week I have been busy putting up the peaches.

Our tree gave us two bushels of peaches this year. A real blessing.

I made six batches of jam. Two batches of peach and two batches of peach raspberry and raspberry and raspberry blueberry. They are all yummy!

Tippy Longstockings tried to help by gingerly walking around the ones that aren't yet ripe. We will eat as many fresh as we can and freeze what is left.

We also enjoyed peach cobbler...a favorite of ours.

Peach Cobbler

Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9x13 pan.

In a bowl, mix...

1 c. sugar

1 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

Then add to the mixture 1 c. milk.

Pour mixture on top of the melted butter in the pan (don't mix it in)

Place peaches on top then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Yummy!

So it has been a very busy week.

If you are canning, tell us what you are working on below. We all would love to hear!

I am very glad to be at the end of these peaches. In total, it was twenty quarts of halved peaches. I think our little tree is so very happy to be relieved of the burden. We had seven supports under the branches to keep them from breaking.

We have very much enjoyed eating the fresh peaches.

We have to thank our neighbor for this tree. He brought starts from his father's trees and this was a great blessing.

I have to say peach raspberry jam is one of our favorites.

Between Tippy Longstockings doing the peach obstacle course and Missy doing her basket workout, they have busy as well.

I continue to see high prices and hear that grocery prices will still continue to rise. I think we need to continue to stock our pantries. I know we all are approaching the expensive time of year with gift buying and all. I encourage you to pick up one or two things extra when you are in the store or rearrange your groceries to allow for one bulk purchase that will last for a few months like I did with the hamburger sale or getting apples from the orchard. This month I will try to get oatmeal in bulk and see if that is possible. But whatever you choose to do, at least get a can of meat or so on your shelf.

One thing I have been doing too for a month or so now is making yogurt. I make two quarts at a time. - I have been using their recipe and culture. The only difference is we use non-instant powdered milk as that is what we usually use and I add an extra half of a cup of powdered milk as they say to do this for thicker yogurt. I get their creamy culture $7.95 for a pouch, with five packages of culture in each pouch. Each packet makes two quart jars and for that amount it was costing $5.89. This sure has helped us.  

I measure two quarts of the powdered milk mixed with the water plus an extra half cup, stir and cook to 185 on the thermometer, then cool it down. Once that temp is achieved, you cool it to 112. When there, you add the little package of culture, stir well, then I put into two quart jars. I have plastic lids I put on them and put them in an ice chest along with a jar of the hottest tap water, put a plastic lid on that too. All are in the ice chest, I close the lid and keep overnight and in the morning I put it in the refrigerator. We have it served with drizzled syrup and the granola I gave you the recipe in the blog earlier.

This is how I came up with a solution to the high cost of store bought yogurt.

What other things can we come up with to make an item at home that we found we purchased?? Share your ideas and recipes, we all need to help each other. These are hard times.

I think we will find we like the homemade better. This has been the case with the yogurt for us. And also with the gravy mix and the SOS mix all have been shared on the blog.

Also the hamburger helper and the snack cakes.

We just have to be open to these things.

Missy says canning peaches is hard work but things that are good often require hard work.

Tippy Longstockings says canning peaches has worn her out even so hard work is what it takes to stock our shelves. Enjoy the process.

Monday, October 16, 2023

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)

We went from a week of 90 degree weather to cold weather. Tonight is to be 36 brrrrr! I am hoping we yet get to have fall but we shall see. This year has not been normal.

It has been busy with putting up food this week.

Remember in the spring we got those days of a freeze and I was worried we wouldn't get peaches? I guess I need not have worried.

So we have been eating wonderful peaches and as I get enough ripened, I made jam and as they continue to ripen, I will make more jam. Some peach raspberry is wonderful!

I will be canning them as well.

That little tree really did great this year. There was so many. We had to put seven supports so branches would not break. I am sure it is ready for a rest.

Groceries continue to be high this week. Hamburger was on sale (still very high), but if you buy it in ten pound tubes it is cheaper than if they wrap it for you. So trying to be frugal, I switched around my grocery list to buy two tubes, that is the limit. I do the groceries once a month. It is not my favorite job to repackage it for freezer but I do. Plus, my packages are less then a pound to get more meals, just a bit over half a pound per package. To have the freezer space I needed to make a batch of raspberry jam, so I did that. Still more of that to make but the hamburger is now in the freezer. Waiting for the peaches so I can make some peach jam as well.

This last week our church had General Conference so we watched it. While we watched it this was proof Tippy Longstockings did not.

I love love love General Conference. I watch every bit of it. Before we had kids, I worked for a time cleaning motel rooms. When conference was on I would turn it on so I could listen to it while I worked then run fast to the next room and quickly turn it on to listen to it while I worked. Now I worked hard to get this cowl you see on the floor being blocked done.

I wanted to get it done as it is more difficult than the one I wanted to work on during conference so that I could just listen and knit.

This is the one I am working on. I worked this much during conference.

As I was doing my frugal grocery list, apples were on the list and since I was only going to two places I priced their apples then priced the orchard. To my surprise, the orchard was cheaper. Being only a few miles away, I went and got their apples. Pushing through trying to be even more frugal is a lot of work but it helps so very much.

I think we all will have to be more frugal than we ever thought we could be.

Here is the update on the strawberries - they are still alive.

I hope I can keep them alive and plant in the spring.

I think of the brisk weather as a very real reminder that winter is coming and the squirrels are busy burying walnuts that I will have to contend with in the summer months. Though I think there is one that thinks peaches are some strange walnut as it chomps off the fruit and runs off with the pit. Wish those would grow into peach trees. So I will try my hand at growing some by opening the pit (not easy to do) and planting the seed within.

This was Missy as a baby. She then was brought inside and still as cute as ever, now I brought a smile to you :) - has some ideas here. - more here.

Mind you, pick what works for you. Not everything works for everyone.

I suggest making those grocery lists before you go. I know it isn't fun but take your grocery budget and stretch it as far as you can. Sometimes you have to juggle your list some to get something on sale like I did this month. If you have storage, this is a lot easier to do. Next month I won't be getting these sales but hopefully something else will be on sale and I will have to juggle again. Of late there hasn't been much we use. A lot seems to be on prepackaged things which I can do better with our grocery budget if I don't get those but buy things to cook from scratch. With prices high we have to use all our tools and cooking from scratch and not wasting anything is the best we have right now. - this has great ideas as well. - here are lots of ideas

We need to make it a habit to be more frugal. Doing hard things even when we don't want to will be of much help to our family.

I know you don't want to hear me say this but Christmas is coming very fast... - everyone needs ideas.

At the time of writing this, our low temperature tonight will be 36, so a reminder that it is time to think about winterizing and getting ready for winter. Remember, to take your hoses off as they will burst once frozen and cause unwanted damage and cost. For those of you not heading into winter, you will be getting yours out to water gardens and warm weather - fun! Think of us icicles when you do.

Trying some chalkboard fun. I saw this on Pinterest and thought I would try my hand. My motto should be this.

Missy says stock those pantries and be more frugal, harder times are coming, and do better to hide your baby pictures or mom puts them on the blog.

Tippy Longstockings, besides saying help me, says you are all doing a great job. 

Monday, October 9, 2023

Monday Message

"I have paid attention to the counsel that has been given me. For years past it has been sounded in my ears, year after year, to lay up grain, so that we might have an abundance in the day of want. Perhaps the Lord would bring a partial famine on us; perhaps a famine would come upon our neighbors."  (President Brigham Young)

This week our peaches have been ripening so my plan next week is to work up jams. I will do peach and raspberry and peach raspberry. We love them all.

I was walking past sugar at the grocery hoping to replace what I will use but the ten pound bag was near eight dollars! I passed. I haven't looked at sugar prices for some time so I was shocked. I remember when it was $2.79 and I thought that was horrible. I am thankful to have it stocked in the storage.

So I continue to urge you to pick up at least one item when you are at the store to stick in your storage.  And if we can plant foods, we should try. The peaches and raspberries we have planted help us so very much as well as our tomatoes. I am coming to the end now of the garden this year but picking seed for next year.

I have been researching on how I can be more frugal.

I took yogurt and the one we like at store is $5.98 so I found a recipe that seemed like it would work, I'll let you know when it is finished, hopefully tomorrow.

So check things on your lists - what is costly and can you make it yourself?

Prices being what they are we need to be able to make more things for ourselves. - here is a good place to start looking. - start making your own cleaners will help.

When making a meal, make two and put one in the freezer. Often it is cheaper to do this plus saves us time.

Organize your stuff so you can easily find an item saving you from having to buy it again.

Remember a while back I scraped seeds off strawberries and then grew them? Here is what they look like today.

Making your own bread is a far better price than store-bought, plus you can make more than just bread, but rolls too and a whole bunch more!

Start eating in. Homemade pizza is the best ever! Find a great recipe here -

I vacuum seal things to make them last longer. They will taste fresh when I open it up. This save soooo much money.

Missy is in the box - a free play thing for the cats, only just an old t-shirt and a box.

Weaving on the loom now is dish towels. I have also wove dish cloths.

Books when you get them free at the library is great entertainment.

Purchase a used sewing machine to sew and to mend, this helps tons.

I am learning new things on spinning all the time. Making your yarn is a great way to have a yarn you want but is too costly.

Here is yarn I dyed all ready to spin.

We got a second bloom this year from the lilacs. I think they were stressed with us having no water all summer.

Missy says just get one item at the store, if that is what you can afford, to stick in your storage for winter.

Tippy Longstockings says make a plan then when you work your plan, a nap is in order.

Monday, October 2, 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)

We need to keep working on our storages. I know we all are watching our dollars but even if you could pick up a bag of rice or box of pasta or bag of beans when you go to the store, every little bit will build up your storage. Of course, only get the things you eat. Get staples like flour, sugar, salt, oil and shortening, yeast (store yeast in freezer), jams or jellies, powdered milk is good to have on hand, oats, if you do not plan on storing brown sugar then you will need to store molasses so you can make your own brown sugar.

Think what your menu is and store the nonperishable items to make the item.

Look through your recipes. Find the one with most shelf stable ingredients and pick those items up. For example, I make a chicken and rice casserole, so I store chicken in the can, rice, broth, cream soup or the S.O.S. mix. Then I can make this whenever I need. So look for a casserole that your family likes that you can always have on your shelf. - this is the best S.O.S. mix recipe and I keep this on hand all the time with the recipes on a ring by it.

This replaces the need for purchasing cream soups. I have done a test to see how long it takes to make a soup from the mix with making its counterpart in the can. It took the same amount of time only it tasted better, that was a happy surprise.

Same with breads and desserts like my chocolate cake. Get the recipe here -

I store the items to always be able to make it but think of other things like hmm...pineapple upside down cake. Store the ingredients and you will be able to make it whenever you want.

The thing I will point out is these are from scratch recipes so by storing the basics and having them on hand, you'll always be able to make one or the other. You can have cake mixes in storage too, it is up to you what your family likes. 

Homemade tapioca - all you need to do is have powdered milk in your storage and the tapioca, vanilla, sugar, then just add eggs. You can have everything but eggs in storage but if you store dehydrated eggs, there you go.

So think of the basics and store those up.

Easier on the budget is to pick up one or two items extra when you go to the store. Or...that money you were going to use to eat out, use that money. That would truly make guilt-free meals.

The garden is now winding down. Here is a pic of a morning glory I planted in the spring still putting out the flowers.

Waiting and drooling by the peach tree for them to ripen. Two have been being eaten by wasps. I figure I would leave them. They can have those if they leave the rest alone, which they have.

I just put the dehydrator away. I think I am done using it but if not, it is close enough to get back out. I vacuum sealed the dried tomatoes and the jar of celery and put them away.

Chilly mornings are a reminder that winter is not too far away.

This week I stamped each color ink pad on a card that I put the name of it on and put them on a ring. I saw this on a video. I never thought to do this before but it will make it easier to find what I want to use.

It was a lot of work. I used scrap paper for the cards on the rings.

Soon I will have to dig up potatoes. I have been waiting for some rain to loosen the hard dirt but we just can't seem to get any. - if you scroll down this will give you some ideas of the basics to put in your storage. - this shows basic storage items too.

Missy says be sure to have fun things in your storage too.

Tippy Longstockings says keep your eyes open for sales to stock your shelves.

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