Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Portland Arctic Blast: Surviving Winter Storms

My parents and sister's family live in Portland, Oregon. The past two weeks they have lived through the Portland Arctic Blast. Snow, freezing rain and low temperatures have made travel difficult. It hasn't snowed this much in the month of December since 1968. My father shares some experiences from the storm:

"This last weekend brought in a light rain and a temperature in the 40's which melted away the snow that had been on the ground for about 10 days. It was amazing to see the snow disappear. The cities and counties around Portland have only limited equipment for snow plowing and removal.

Notice how this street was never plowed,
because there were no plows!

"We have lived in other parts of the country where storms like this one are common, and they would have cleared up the snow in one or two days. With limited equipment this area was able to only keep the main roads clear. Neighborhoods like ours were left snow packed for almost two weeks. Consequently, we did not leave the house for about ten days. This was not a problem for us because we are retired. People with jobs had to use chains, studded tires, and/or four-wheel drive vehicles. Fortunately we did not lose electric power. 

The power went off briefly four times during the two weeks. Each time for about 5-10 seconds. When this happens you hold your breath until it comes on again. Many people were not as fortunate as we, especially in outlying areas where trees brought down power lines. Many areas are still without power. The snow did break some limbs on the pine trees in our yard. One branch was 8-inches in diameter. But the falling branches caused no harm. Schools were closed most of the days. Church was not held for two Sundays. Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers were very faithful in communicating with the members of the Church. 

We had no problem with food supplies. We have a good supply of can goods and meat in the freezer. We did use our powdered milk. Because we did not lose electric power or natural gas we had no problem with the cold. In turn we have a good supply of warm clothing. We have an electric generator that can be properly connected to the house system if needed. Also, we have some gasoline in the garage, about 5 gallons. Indoor activities consisted mostly of the computer, television and reading. I imagine a house full of children would be a challenge. Love, Dad"

It's nice to know that my parents were prepared!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bulk Buying: Harmons Case Lot Sale Announced

Harmons, a Utah grocery store, announces their huge Semi-Annual Case Lot Sale from January 5 - January 25th 2009. There is a pdf list on the bottom right hand corner of their website. You can print it out in advance to see what cases they will have on sale in the store. Prices are now listed!

To be honest, I've never shopped at a case lot sale at Harmons, but just wanted to give you a heads up.

(updated 1/1/09)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Recommit to the Principles of Self-Reliance

I am excited for the new year to begin. I came across this talk on LDS.org entitled "Principles of Self-Reliance" by Silvia H. Allred, who spoke at the May 2008 BYU Women's Conference. Sister Allred is the first counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency. This talk is a must read! It will remind you of what is important and that "The Lord has commanded that we use the blessings we have been given to become self reliant as individuals and families."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Seasonal Sales Calendar 2009

An effective way to shop for food storage and other household items is to know when items typically go on sale. Some of this is common sense, however, I've been gathering information from Consumer Reports, several websites, and store ads, and I am putting together a Seasonal Sales Calendar to help you with your food and general shopping. Be patient and shop for items when they go on sale as this will help you stock up your food storage as well as save money on other purchases.

Seasonal Sales Calendar 2009

January - New Years, Chinese New Year, Super Bowl Sales
Grocery Sales:
Roasts, apples, grapefruit, oranges, and pears, breakfast cereal, canned chili, soups, dry bouillon, prepared meals, teriyaki and soy sauce, oriental noodles, lotion, toiletries
Seasonal Sales: Winter clothing & accessories, winter boots & shoes, handbags, white sales, dishes, Christmas clearance, furniture, appliances, computers, storage containers, shelf organizers, planners & calendars, filing cabinets, shelving, CDs and DVDs, cookware, humidifiers, stock up on wedding gifts

February - Valentine's & President's Day Sales
Grocery Sales: Post Valentine’s Day candy, apples, grapefruit, oranges, pears, breakfast cereal, food bars, canned chili, nuts, toilet paper, facial tissue, butter, foil, plastic wrap, trash bags, hair color, razors, diapers, soap/body wash, wheat grinder
Seasonal Sales: Furniture, mattresses, semi-annual bedding & bath sales, curtain, rugs, Valentine gifts, snow blowers, last year's chain saws & lawnmowers, digital cameras, DVD players, radios, CD players, luggage, athletic shoes & clothes, some swim suits, baby item sales, fitness equipment, small appliances, large appliances & freezers, fireplace items, portable heaters, used cars

March - National Frozen Food Month, Macey's Case Lot Sales
Grocery Sales: Frozen vegetables, meats, breakfast items, and TV dinners. Case lot sales - canned soups, fruit, vegetables, beans, meats, stew, honey, jelly, mac & cheese, Spam, hand grain mill,
Seasonal Sales: Garden supplies & seeds, spring clothing & shoes, last of the winter clothing clearance, toy clearance, jeans, luggage, infant clothing & bedding, winter sports clearance, ski equipment, storm windows, computers, TV's, Ipods/MP3 players, air beds, laundry appliances, snow blowers, chain saws, Easter clothing, toys, and candy

April - National Garden Month, Easter
Grocery Sales:
Eggs, ham, marshmallows, broccoli, cauliflower, Easter candy clearance
Seasonal Sales: Men’s suits/ties, Easter and spring dresses & shoes, paint, digital cameras, luggage, lawnmowers and lawn equipment, chainsaws, vegetable & bedding plants and soil, handbags, jewelry, spring tops and shorts/capris, sandals, trampolines, framed swimming pools, swing sets, pillows, sheets

May - Cinco De Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day
Grocery Sales:
Taco sauce, enchilada sauce, salsa, Hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, buns, asparagus, pineapple, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, frozen veggies, baked beans, paper goods, olives
Seasonal Sales: Mother's Day gifts, spring cleaning supplies, athletic shoes & clothes, tires, home maintenance items, white sales such as linens, blankets, towels, women’s undergarments, sportswear & ties, sunscreens, bug spray, cordless phones

June - National Safety Month, Father's Day
Grocery Sales:
Bottled water, dairy products, tomatoes, croutons, salad dressing, Gatorade powder, lemonade powder
Seasonal Sales: Summer clothing, dresses, summer sports gear, men's clothing, refrigerators, TV's, computers, electronics, fabrics, building materials & lumber (for food storage shelves!), pianos, canning supplies, insect repellent, sunscreen

July - Canning Month, 4th of July
Grocery Sales: Bottled water, ketchup, BBQ sauce, steak sauce, mustard, croutons, salad dressing, mayonnaise, pickles, relish, hot dogs, ground beef, Jell-O, beef steaks, chicken, paper supplies, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, corn, cherries, squash, watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, plums, peaches, and nectarines, Gatorade powder, lemonade powder
Seasonal Sales: 4th of July sales & clearance, summer clothing clearance, swim suits, sandals, beach towels, camping equipment, hiking boots, summer sports equipment, shade covers, coolers, dutch oven, charcoal, used cars, air conditioners, fuel oil, rugs & carpet, radios, craft supplies, BBQ's, patio furniture clearance, lawn mower clearance, back-to-school sales begin

August - Back to School Sales
Grocery Sales: Squash, green peppers, salad fixings, berries, apples, melons, peaches, apricots, and fresh fish, juice
Seasonal Sales: Camping equipment clearance, barbecue clearance, patio furniture clearance, new car clearance, furniture, outdoor sport equipment clearance, lawn mower clearance, air conditioner clearance, fans, yard tools, back to school sales, swim suit clearance, computers and printers for students

September - Emergency Preparedness & Case Lot Sales
Grocery Sales:
Utah Case lot sales (canned soups, fruit, vegetables, beans, meats, stew, honey, jelly, mac. & cheese, Spam, Ravioli's, Spaghettios, hand grain mill, etc.), apples, broccoli, cauliflower, school snacks, Capri suns, fruit snacks, cereal, peanut butter/jelly, bottled spaghetti sauce
On Sale: jeans, fans, yard tools, 2009 trail bikes bikes, rugs, lamps, dishes & glassware, fall clothing
Clearance Sales: School backpacks (look for a sturdy one for 72-hour kits), BBQ's, patio furniture, back-to-school supplies, college furnishings, summer sports equipment, comforter sets, summer clothing such as shorts & capris, pajamas, summer athletic clothes, sandals, canvas shoes
Camping Clearance: tents, lanterns, flashlights, camp cook sets, hiking backpacks, hiking boots, camping chairs, 2-way radios, sleeping bags, camping stoves, Dutch ovens, shade covers, coolers, duffle bags

October - National Fire Prevention Month, Halloween
Grocery Sales: Vegetable and other oils, canned pumpkins, cranberries, grapes, oranges, sweet potatoes, and yams, instant potatoes, stuffing, canned cranberries, marshmallows, ice cream, pie shells, whipped cream, crackers, candy making supplies, nuts, choc. chips, frozen pizza, corn syrup, soup mixes
Seasonal Sales: Winter coats, school clothing clearance, hosiery, fishing supplies, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire escape ladders, glow sticks

November - Veterans Day, & Thanksgiving Sales
Grocery Sales: canned cranberries, canned pumpkin, stuffing, olives, whipping cream, cool whip, frozen vegetables, fresh cranberries (freeze for later), cream cheese, chicken broth, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, yams, and post-Halloween bags of candy, condensed milk, cake mix, frosting, brownie mix, cooking spray, pie filling
Seasonal Sales: Coats, boots, gloves, quilts, blankets, baby blankets, heating appliances, water heaters, appliances, men’s/boy’s suits, Thanksgiving week sales

December - Christmas & after Christmas Sales
Grocery Sales:
Candy making supplies, flour, sugar, nuts, choc. chips, oranges, apples, and grapefruit, broth, soups, party foods, baking cocoa, hot cocoa, pasta, vanilla & other extracts, cream of tartar, cooking spray, cold medicine, thermometers, toothbrushes, batteries, vitamins
Seasonal Sales: Winter coats, gloves etc., toys, shoes, gift items, bikes, new cars, quilts & blankets, electronics, small appliances, gift wrap, after Christmas sales, candles, baby furniture, cell phones

(updated 8/31/09)