Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Smith's Grocery Case Lot Sale starts April 1

Smith's Grocery store (Farmington and other areas) will be having a food storage case lot sale starting Wednesday, April 1. Our Albertson's said they will not be having a case lot sale this Spring.

Check out the Smith's website NOW to see what is on sale.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Now May Be a Good Time to Add Milk Products to Your Food Storage

Because of the substantial drop in dairy prices, now may be a good time to add milk products to your food storage. "An over-supply of milk and inadequate demand has led to milk prices falling more than 50 percent from last year, after hitting lifetime highs in 2007." Reuters

Dairy farmers are struggling, and "analysts expect milk prices to remain depressed through at least the first half of the year, and prices later this year may only be high enough to cover production costs." Reuters

The USDA released a report March 27th that you also may find interesting. I am not an analyst, but supply and demand are affecting these prices. As more dairy farmers sell their cows for slaughter, and sell off farms, prices could increase again.

Food Storage Dairy Products
Powdered Milk
Milk substitute (whey based dry milk)
Baby formula
Canned evaporated milk
Parmesan cheese
Processed cheese spread
Powdered butter
Powdered cheese
Shredded cheese (freeze)
Butter (freeze)

These are now listed on my sidebar under items to purchase in April.

Yesterday I went to Emergency Essentials (a preparedness company) in Salt Lake to gather prices to compare with other food storage companies. (I will post soon.) In store prices are less, than online, and they also had some sales on top of that. So if you live close or are coming into town, take advantage of their sales. While there I picked up a Mixer Pitcher for $5.95. I am going to get serious and keep a pitcher of dry milk in the refrigerator for cooking so I can use up some of my older dry milk. The pitcher has 1 pint, 1 quart, 2 pints and 2 quart marking. So you can make up any of these amounts. Next month I will add some more powdered milk to my supply.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Updated My 72-Hour Kit Food Pack post

I spent all morning figuring out the prices, weights, and calories of the food items for our 72 Hour Kit food packs. It's done! So I had to update my post from March 24th. Read it for greater details. I included a PDF file showing our do-it-yourself 72 Hour food pack details, and an Excel file for those of you who want to use my spreadsheet, but add items of your own. I followed suggestions from "It's Time to Plan Not Panic" by Barbara Salsbury regarding item weight, calorie and cost. Such a great little book.

Now I am ready to go shopping next week! The reason I say next week is because I've already spent my food storage budget this month, so I will be getting items in April.

More 72 Hour kit ideas are on the sidebar of my blog.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

55 Gallon Water Barrel Water Rotation Question

"I hope you can help me with this because I cannot find two answers that are the same. If you store your water in 55 gallon dark blue containers that have been filled with filtered water, kept off the floor in a dark cool room do you still have to change it every 6 months? It seems to me that it should be good for a lot longer than that and would just need to be set out for a few hours/days to freshen up. Do you know the latest on this?"
Here is my response -
Here are some quotes from the book "Preparedness Principles" by Barbara Salsbury.
"A full fifty-five gallon water barrel weighs 440 pounds. Once you fill it, it is not portable. A siphon hose pump is the easiest and most logical way to access the water." pg. 143
"You do not have to add any purifiers to the water. Water from your tap is safe and good. It does not need to be purified when you put it in the containers, and probably not when you end up using it, unless it has not been cared for properly, or unless something has polluted it. According to the Utah State University Extension, you purify water only if the purity of the water is in doubt." pg. 146
"Store in as dark and cool a place as possible, and preferably not directly on a cement floor. (Lay down some slats before you set your containers down.)" pg. 146
"Check your water a couple times a year. If it's not slimy or cloudy, and if there are no frogs in it, leave it alone. Change it out for fresh every year or so to make sure it is still good." pg. 146
In the back of the book it explains how to get rid of algae in your barrels.
Also, here is the link to the LDS church information on water storage. I think your answer is to CHECK your water every 6 months. Not necessarily change it. Hope that helps! This book is a great resource. Buy it or check it out from a library. It is currently on back order from the publisher so check around in other bookstores.
I just received a wonderful handout on Water Storage/Purification by Connor Boyack. You will learn the Pros and Cons of various storage containers, and see their pictures. And he also explains water purification methods. Thank you, Connor.

New Mormon Church Home Storage Guidelines

Four-Step Home Storage Approach
Learn the New LDS (Mormon) Church Home Storage Guidelines. As I've been reading preparedness books I have discovered that many of them have wonderful ideas, but they follow the old food storage counsel - getting your year supply of long-term foods. Nothing is said about a 3-Month Food Storage Supply. It's important to stay current with the LDS Church guidelines. I am grateful for a church that is helping each of us catch the vision of food and home storage, and prepare for trials in our lives.

So your assignment is to digest the following:
After studying these resources, you will understand the Four-Step Home Storage Approach to building your home storage. STEP 1: 3-Month Supply Gradually build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet until it is sufficient for three months STEP 2: Drinking Water Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted. STEP 3: Finacial Reserve Establish a financial reserve by setting aside a little money each week, and gradually increase it to a reasonable amount STEP 4: Longer-Term Supply Once families have achieved the first three objectives, they are counseled to expand their efforts, as circumstances allow, into a supply of long-term basic foods such as grains, legumes, and other staples."

 You can do STEPS 1, 2, and 3 simultaneously! 

“The first step is to begin. The second is to continue. It doesn’t matter how fast we get there so much as that we begin and continue according to our abilities.” Bishop H. David Burton Just begin!

Now begin with STEP 1: Three-Month Supply

What if we live where they don't have Case Lot sales?

For those of you who live in an area where Case Lot sales are not a bi-annual thing, don't worry. Utah is not the only place you can shop this way for your food storage. Here is my advice.

1. Organize yourself. Decide what cases of food you are interested in purchasing at a store. Think 24 ct small canned goods, 12 ct. large items. Or whatever foods you are interested in.
2. Decide what you are willing to pay for each item. Be reasonable. Sam's Club case canned fruit is about $1.00 per can. You should expect to pay about $.59 at a grocery store in a case.
3. Go to the store manager and ask for a discount if you buy several cases. Managers do have the authority to discount items in the store. The worse thing they can do is say no.
4. If they won't give you a discount, or a price you are interested in, then let them know you are going to try their competitor to make your purchase. Do you really think they want to lose your business?
5. Walmart has some great prices on their store brand canned goods that regularly beat the name brand canned goods at Sam's Club and Costco. Store brand canned goods can be just as good quaility wise as named brand items. Be open to that. However, if you just can't give up a favorite taste, then work out a case lot deal with the store manager.

Good Luck!

If anyone has other ideas, please comment.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

72-hour kits: Food Packs

Our VERY old 72-hour Kit Food Packs DON'T do this!

I taught a Family Home Evening lesson on preparedness this past Monday. Now I admit, my teens were somewhat bored, but we made it through the lesson. First, I had the kids do a little scavenger hunt to find flashlights, and fire extinguishers in the house. They did pretty well finding some. We talked about what types of disasters could happen within 5-miles of our home: fires, chemical spills on the freeway and railway, earthquakes (we live on the Wasatch Fault), power outage, etc. Then we discussed what they should do (an Emergency Plan) if something happened, and Mom or Dad were not home. We talked about evacuating by car, or by foot, and getting help from the neighbors.

Then they got out their 72-hour emergency backpacks from the front hall closet, opened them up and started to examine the contents. "These cheese & crackers look gross!" daughter #3 exclaimed. "And look at this beef jerky, Mom. It's as hard as a rock." Yes, we are way overdue on updating the food (October 2005), but at least they have plenty of water. So, I am creating a list of items to purchase next week for our new food packs.

The plan is to assemble them between sessions this coming General Conference weekend. Separating the food will help us not over eat our supplies. During the October General Conference weekend my goal is to update the food and clothes for the colder FALL/WINTER season. Understand that our kids are 4, 12, 15, and 17. Here is the list of SPRING/SUMMER food items that we will be putting in gallon-sized Ziplocs for 3 days. Every family should tailor food to family member needs.

As I worked out the pricing, I decided to serve the same items for 3 days. Most prices are from Sam's Club and local grocery stores. I needed to beef up the calories so these are my results:

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
.41 - Kellogg's Pop tarts (twin) 4 oz., 234 cal
1.96 - 2 PowerBar Protein Plus bars 5.5 oz., 580 cal
.85 - Chef Boyardee Ravioli, or other 7.5 oz., 232 cal
.16 - Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup, 3 oz., 380 cal
.29 - 2 Curious George MM Fruit Snacks 1.8 oz. , 200 cal
.41 - Del Monte Fruit cup 4 oz. can, 80 cal
.50 - Sunmaid Raisins 2 oz., 90 cal
.24 - Nature Valley O'N H Granola bar 1.5 oz., 180 cal
.13 - Quaker CC Granola bar .84 oz, 100 cal
.17 - Crystal Light powder stick .14 oz., 5 cal
.18 - Wrigley's Doublemint gum 5 pc. 1.28 oz., 50 cal
.29 - 2 Arrowhead water bottle 16.9 oz. each, 0 cal
.10 - Germ-X Hand wipes 1 oz. approx.
.04 - Plastic fork/spoon
Total: $5.87 per day, 3.60 lbs.
Total Cost: $17.61 per person
Total Weight: 10.79 lbs.
Total Calories per day: 2131

Recommended Calories Per Day, Active (chose active because of stress)
Children 2 - 3, 1000 - 1400
Females 4 - 8, 1400 - 1800
Females 9 - 13, 1800 - 2200
Females 14 - 50, 2200 - 2400
Females 51+, 2000 - 2200
Male 4 - 8, 1600 - 2000
Males 9 - 13, 2000 - 2600
Males 14 - 50, 2800 -3000
Males 51+, 2400 - 2800

Fema recommends you have 1 gal of water per day. Since we can't carry all the water we want in our packs, I have a few cases of bottled water in the emergency closet. We also have a collapsible water container with a spout in case we need it to fill at an evacuation center.

I decided not to put these items in and here's why:
Cheese & crackers - don't store well in the heat
Beef jerky - hardens over time, and makes you thirsty
Nuts - salty, have short shelf life, can go racid
MRE's - my kids are not used to them, but they work great for most people
Trail mix - can become rancid over a few months because of the nuts

As you gather items for your food packs, be cautious of food weight, shelf life, and saltiness. The Ramen noodles above are high in sodium, but lightweight and you can serve with cold water if you had to. They are also high in needed calories. Our packs have a camp cup too for food prep. I prefer to make our own kits so they are customized for each person, and it teaches the kids about preparedness.

Also check out my April 6th post.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm a Semi-Homemade Food Storage Queen

I've tried at least 6 different homemade wheat bread recipes, and it's still not as good as someone else's. Funny thing is that as long as it's moist, my family will eat it. They don't care if it didn't rise like I thought it should. I'm not sure I will ever master baking the perfect loaf of bread. However, we won't starve. I have found that keeping items in my 3-month food storage supply that I can use to make semi-homemade meals (remember Sandra Lee on Semi-Homemade Cooking) is really okay. Sometimes I'm in a hurry. Making chili with canned meat and canned beans is just as good as making chili from scratch. Opening a can of Spaghettios is as good as homemade spaghetti for my toddler. It may not be the most inexpensive way to cook. But semi-homemade food storage recipes can be quite good. Some of you might feel that if all of your recipes aren't from scratch, that it's not good enough. Or you'er not good enough. Well enough is enough. I have to tell you that some people are born with the talent to cook everything from scratch, and then there are the rest of us who just get by. We have other talents, some of which are not so yummy. So I want those of you that feel like you don't measure up to the food storage baking queens to know that you are okay. They have their wonderful talents, and you have yours. In fact, you're fantastic! Like me, you may be a different kind of queen. Now I'm off to make our semi-homemade dinner. Macaroni & cheese!

Look what Sandra Lee does with macaroni & cheese.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book Review: "It's Time to Plan Not Panic"

I'd like to share a wonderful preparedness book with you. "It's Time to Plan Not Panic," by Barbara Salsbury is a small book packed with wonderful information on emergency evacuation preparedness and coping skills. This book will help you understand that after a disaster, you will most likely be dependent on yourself for several days. City and government officials will take awhile to get to you, so plan accordingly. I love how she explains the pros and cons of 72-hour kit containers. Should you use a large bucket, a backpack, or a garbage can? Read the book to find out. She suggests items to store, including prepared foods that store well. What type of blankets and clothing are best? Have you ever thought about needing a container to get water from a water truck? What kind of containers work best? You will also learn about camping out at an evacuation shelter and privacy issues. Sometimes we think we will be able to evacuate in our vehicles. But we also need to plan to evacuate on foot which in some cases is faster than a car. So, she suggests items like strollers, wagons, wheelbarrows and carts with wheels to carry belongings and emergency kits in. Throughout the book she suggests items to write on a "don't forget" list since we may not think clearly if we have to leave in 5 minutes.

I just bought a few detailed county road maps today. I had previously assumed that in an evacuation, I could load up my car and use the GPS map it has. Perhaps I will need these maps if we are on foot, or in a car that doesn't have a GPS. Maybe the road less traveled will be the best evacuation route. I'm also taping a piece of paper on the refrigerator and starting my "don't forget" list. Don't forget to add such things as a child's favorite blankie or several pacifiers. Can you imagine being without these? This book is a keeper. I am going to get mine spiral bound so it can last a long time.
Her Preparedness Principles book covers many of the same ideas in section Five. I love that book too, but this is small for a quick read and just focuses on emergency evacuation preparedness and coping skills.
Here is a link to the Red Cross for more information on evacuation plans.
If you have only moments before leaving, the Red Cross suggests grabbing these things and going!
  • Medical supplies: prescription medications and dentures.
  • Disaster supplies: flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, bottled water
  • Clothing and bedding: a change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
  • Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend's or relative's home)
You may also want to read my post Coat Closet Becomes Emergency Evacuation Closet

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pandemic or Avian Flu Preparation

This morning I woke up feeling a need to read more carefully about pandemics. Not predicting anything, just feel the need to be more prepared. I watched a video produced by BYU-Idaho on how they are preparing their students and employees for a possible pandemic. It's at the bottom of the page on the ProvidentLiving.org website on Pandemic Preparedness Planning.

A pandemic is an epidemic disease that spreads to other communities usually beyond national borders. The video explains what Avian Influenza Flu H5N1 is, preventative protection procedures, and shared responsibilities. In the event of a major outbreak, you may need to isolate (quarantine) yourself or limit your contact with others. You may not notice you have the flu for 24 -48 hours. Because of how easily it can be spread, plan for 2 weeks to 3 months of supplies in your home. I hope you will educate yourself and watch the video several times.

What are the symptoms of avian flu in humans?
"You get the typical flu-like symptoms of high fever, headache, muscle aches, prostration; but you also get, in many of the cases, a rapidly advancing lung and pulmonary involvement where you have respiratory tract disease, difficulty breathing, and that is generally the cause of death, or a contributing cause of death among those people who’ve actually died from avian flu. So it has some of the standard flu-like symptoms, but it rapidly assumes a very fulminate course, leading to the severe illness and sometimes death of individuals." AvianFlu.gov

What supplies should I have on hand?

  • N95 medical masks - at least 3 per person. "95" means that they keep out 95% of the airborne particles. Contact a local medical supply store, or order online. Cheaper if ordered in bulk, but even Walgreens carries them. These will disappear quickly from the shelves in a pandemic.
  • safety goggles or face shield
  • liquid hand soap
  • hand sanitizer (one for every family member)
  • household bleach
  • Lysol® or Clorox® disenfectant
  • disinfectant wipes (lots)
  • garbage bags (plenty as there may be limited trash pickup)
  • laundry detergent (if someone in your family is ill, you will be doing plenty of washing)
  • disposable tissues (not fabric handkercheifs)
  • toilet paper
  • paper towels (use in bathrooms instead of hand towels)
  • disposable diapers for infants
  • disposable vinyl, nitrile, or latex gloves or other reusable gloves that can be disinfected
  • disposable shoe covers or those that can be disinfected
  • flashlight
  • batteries
  • portable radio
  • manual can opener
  • a supply of your prescription medications, nonprescription drugs, and other health supplies, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, vitamins, rubbing alcohol, thermometers
  • store food for at least 3-months (outside food may be difficult to obtain or you may not be able to get to the store). Consider ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups, cereal, food bars, peanut butter and nuts, dried fruit, crackers and canned/bottled juices, baby foods, pet food, vitamins
This list may look similar to the list of items you are already storing in your food and home storage, and 72-hour kits.
What are a few other things I may want to know about pandemics?
  • If one of your family or household members becomes ill, they should be isolated in a separate room in your home. Several ill members can be in the same room.

  • If your family does not get the flu, others should not come to your home as they can infect your family. So you will need to keep your healthy kids in.

  • Schools, colleges, and childcare facilities will likely close.

  • You will want to keep your car filled with gas as gas stations may be closed.

  • Have cash on hand at home in case banks are closed or services are limited.

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times particularly in public.

  • Avoid handshaking and other forms of contact with the public.

  • Teach family members how to wash hands properly for at least 25 seconds (sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star")

  • Teach family members how to cover coughs or sneezes

  • Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms and is the most reliable method of purifying water easily
I hope you will take the time to educate yourself.
Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How Does Your Vegetable Garden Grow?

Step 1: Gather the supplies

My little 4-year old and I planted seeds this week in our Jiffy Seed Starter Greenhouse from Walmart. She was so excited and is waiting for the seedlings to grow. This is the first time I have planted with a greenhouse. I decided that since it is wise to keep a supply of seeds on hand in case hard times come when we can't get veggies at the store or plants from the nursery, we better start some of our garden plants from seed. Vegetables are also a great addition to food storage. My friend, DeAnn told me that she keeps her seed packets in a mason jar with a little bit of clean kitty litter. Something she heard Martha Stewart recommend. I don't have a kitty, so I will have to borrow some from her. For now the opened yet unused seed packets are in a plastic container in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Find a darling gardener,
and have her put some planting mix
in the little peat moss cups.
These can later be planted straight into the garden.

Step 3: Moisten the dirt with your cute little watering can
Step 4: Use mini clothespins to label your rows.
Then plant the seeds, and put the greenhouse lid on.

Step 5: Tell the gardener that the seedlings will come.

This is only our 2nd year in this home, so I'm excited to get our garden going. After careful analysis, I found a great location in our backyard to build planter boxes for our vegetable garden. It's a little unusual, but I will post about that another day. It's an area that gets 6 - 8 hours of daily sun, and is free from shade trees and shrubs. My resource was the SquareFoodGardening website. I stopped by Home Depot today and the nice man in the lumber department cut my 2 x 8 boards for the boxes free. Happy gardening!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shopping and Storing Everyday Food Storage Inexpensively

I thought I would share an example of how I shop for food storage items at the grocery store. I looked at a Smith's Grocery Store ad this week and found that they had some great buys if you bought 10 of certain items. I think they only allow you to do this 3 times to get $5 off each time. But you can always go back for more. I had several coupons that I combined with this sale to help me buy very inexpensively and add to my supply. (I only have 2 newspaper subscriptions, so the rest of my coupons I printed online.) I purchased other groceries as well, but I'll just show you some food and home storage items.

American Beauty 1 lb. pastas @ .49 ea.
I added them to this closeable tote in my basement closet. Newest on the bottom, oldest on the top. The pasta is divided into different types. This tote could also fit on a kitchen pantry shelf. The goal is to keep items dry and free from pests.

Note: I also have spaghetti in #10 cans that I canned at the LDS cannery, however I am saving that for long-term use.

Colgate Toothpaste @ 1.00 minus .75 C = .25 ea.

Stock the newest in the back and the oldest in the front. This box slips onto the bathroom supplies shelf.

BC Scalloped Potatoes @ .99 minus .40 C = .59 ea.

I stack these prepared potatoes, and Hamburger helper type foods on a kitchen shelf with the newest on the bottom and the oldest on the top of each pile. Notice how my girls have cut off the Box Tops from some of these boxes? :-)

Kellogg's Mini Wheats @ $1.69 minus .70 C = .99 ea.

Our breakfast cereal is in a kitchen pantry cupboard. My goal is to buy it for about $1.00 each, and I can usually do this by combining a good sale with a coupon. The boxes are double stacked. Newest goes to the back and bottom, and oldest moves to the front or top of the pile. I'm trying to teach my kids to take from the top, but it's not always easy when they have favorites. The boxes are stacked this way because the expiration dates are on the tops of the boxes, and it makes it so easy to sort.

I didn't buy too many things: 10 pastas, 2 cereals, 3 potatoes, and 3 toothpastes. I know you may wonder why I didn't buy more. That's because 1) I want to stay in a budget, 2) There is always another sale, and 3) I like to buy periodically so that all of my items don't have the same expiration date. With careful planning at home before you go into the store, you can stock up your food and home storage supplies inexpensively too!

With this type of buy 10 sale, or similar sales, I write the number of items I am buying in the left margin, and add them up, so that I get exactly the number I need to take advantage of the sale.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Reformed Sam's Club Warehouse Shopper, maybe

I'm changing this post, and reprinting it. As I've changed my buying habits, I've also changed my shopping habits. I guess I'm a reformed Sam's Club shopper. Gone are the days when I would "load up" each month. I now understand that through careful menu planning and price comparison, I get most of my shopping deals at regular grocery stores. That's not to say that some of their items aren't expensive, they are. But through lessons learned from great blogs like MyFoodStorageDeals.blogspot.com (read it even if you don't live in Utah) and LOTS of research, I shop more in the grocery store and my local drug store. I have not been in Sam's Club since Feb. 11. and I don't need to go yet. When I shopped that day I loaded up on laundry items for 3 months. I still find some of their items helpful for my food and home storage, and some groceries, but the scary thing about shopping there is you tend to buy impulsively. If you are open to buying store brand canned goods at the grocery store, they can be cheaper if you shop the loss leaders (front page add items stores sell below their cost), than the name brand ones at Sam's.

These are the food & home storage items that I was still buying there because I haven't found them cheaper. Yet. My former list is shrinking!!! Maybe I will get to the point where I only have to shop there every quarter!!! :-)

Toilet Paper 36 ct., $15.53 or $.43
Paper Towels SAS Mega 12 ct. -$1.47
Trash bags, 13 gal -$13.32
Ziploc bags quart, 45 ct.- $2.02
Batteries: AAA $.47, AA $.27, D $1.00, C $.94, 9V $1.92
Dishwasher detergent 11.25 lbs - $9.47
Fabric softener sheets MM 2/200 ct $7.28 or $3.64
Laundry detergent Surf 180 - $15.66
Oxiclean 14 lbs - $16.27
Toilet bowl cleaner - $1.93
Contact lens solution MM 3pk. $8.56 or $2.85
Lotion Curel 20 oz - $6.74
Tortillas 24 ct - $2.26
Strawberries frozen 6 lb - $8.76, $1.46 lb.
Fishies 33 oz - $3.52
Honey Grahams 4pk $7.22 or $1.81
Applesauce cups 36 ct. $8.76 or $1.46 6ct
Fruit snacks MM 72ct - $7.87 or $1.09 10pk
Protein bars - $.99
Quaker granola bars 48 ct. $6.47 or $1.35 10 ct.
Gatorade 20 oz. - $.58

Items I removed from my list because I can get them cheaper elsewhere:

Rice 50 lb - $23.88 (LDS cannery cheaper since I store in #10 cans)
Eggs 18 ct - $2.02 (grocery store sales are about the same)
Apple juice 96 oz - $2.42 (64 oz. for $1.50 during caselot sale cheaper)
Water 16.9 oz - $.13 ea. (24 pk for $2.99 anywhere is cheaper)
Canned chicken - $2.03 (about the same at WalMart)
Gum Orbit - $.66 (about the same at WalMart in multipack)
Dog food 50 lb - $17.36 (removed this because I am tired of lugging a 50 lb. bag into my cart to save $2.64! I bought 2 x20 lb. bags for $8 ea. at WalMart today. So much easier.)
Honey 6 lb - $13.99, $2.33 lb. (removed this because I decided to buy the smaller 3 lb. for $7.36, or $2.45 lb. at WalMart.)
Flour 50 lb - $14.42 (removed this because I buy the smaller 5 lb. bags in the fall grocery sales and store short-term in a pail with a Gamma lid in my kitchen. I also buy at the LDS cannery and store in #10 cans for long-term. Guess I could put flour into more pails since I go through it faster than most dry foods. Will think on this. Mmmmm. I like #10 cans in boxes of 6 because they stack so nicely and fit on shelves. It is not recommended that you stack pails more than 3 high. Mmmmm. I think I will stick with #10 cans. :-)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Price Comparison of Dry Foods From Food Storage Companies

When you read this post, you are going to find out how detailed I am. I have to blame it on my pioneer ancestor William Clayton who penned "Come, Come, Ye Saints" and The Latter-Day Saints' Emigrants' Guide; the guide that showed pioneers the "Table of Distances, Showing all the Springs, Creeks, Rivers, Hills, Mountains, Camping Places, and all Other Notable Places, From Council Bluffs, to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake."

But you don't have to be like me. Just benefit from my detail-itis. I spent several looooong hours over the past few days creating a Price Comparison of Dry Foods from Food Storage Companies. Many of you have asked where to get food storage foods. My list isn't all the companies in the world, but the ones I personally was interested in comparing. You may have noticed that I don't promote any food storage companies on my blog. And after you look at this spreadsheet you will understand why. You can't compare apples to oranges very easily. These are the companies I compared:

LDS Family Storage Center
Thrive/Shelf Reliance Food Storage
Walton Feed
Blue Chip Group & Morning Moos

Honeyville Grain

I discovered that not all #10 cans are created equal (packed equally), so I had to convert all weights of the #10 cans into ounces. I also listed some foods in pails (buckets) and bags. But my list is not all encompassing. Mostly the items I was interested in comparing. Just because they are on the list doesn't mean I store them all. Some companies carry many more items than I listed, and you can go to their individual websites to read more. I definitely believe I have some errors in this spreadsheet (who wouldn't) and prices will change, but overall you can use it as a Latter Day Saints' Food Storage Guide to compare prices between these companies. This is definitely a labor of love. I hope you find it useful.

Note: You will find that you can save a lot of money if you package your own food (member or non-member) at the LDS Family Storage Center. That is why these prices are lower because you do the labor. If you are not a member of the LDS church, I believe you may go there with an LDS friend. Someone correct me on this if I am wrong.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun with Food Storage

My sister-in-law let me share this story about how her two daughters had fun with food storage.

"I came downstairs this morning after putting on my makeup, ten minutes before my daughter's bus was to arrive and found the two little girls in our pantry "making pancakes" according to one. I guess that's the price of vanity....so I hurried and cleaned my daughter up (brushed, rubbed as much whole wheat flour out of her hair as I could, cleaned up her face, changed her clothes) and barely got her on the bus. I've been swiping dust out of her sister's hair all day. She was by far the bigger mess. They had dumped a full bag of wheat pancake mix on the floor. I think they must have been throwing it up in the air as well, since there were piles of it in between our food storage far above their arms reach. Thankfully they hadn't added eggs, milk, or syrup yet! Yikes!" Lisa

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pictures of Food Storage Shelves, Pantries and Rooms

Stephen's 4 lb. Hot Cocoa $3.00 at WalMart!

(Sorry, but I checked and the supply is now gone in Centerville)
I'm in a hurry, but I was at our Centerville Super WalMart last night and wanted to let you regular Utah shoppers know that you can get the large 4 lb. Stephen's Gourmet Milk Chocolate Cocoa or Mint Truffle right now for

$3.00 a can.

Regularly over $9! The LDS cannery cocoa is 5.8 lbs. and costs $6.70. We like Stephen's better. (One reader said the LDS cannery uses Stephen's, so my cannery cocoa must be from another source.) I know this is a regional item, but our family loves it. The expiration date on my cans says Feb. 2011. So, I loaded up. Yum! I think the smaller holiday labeled cans were $1.00 ea. We keep Stephen's in our food storage. Cups of hot cocoa is a comfort food that would be a great item to share in a winter emergency too.
You can do a WalMart item search for the 1 lb. Stephen's by putting your zip code in their website here. Hopefully the 4 lb. will also be sold at the same store near you.
"Gluten Free, Made from Only The Finest Ingredients, Stephen's Gourmet Hot Cocoa Is Quite Simply The Richest, Creamiest, Most Flavorful Cocoa You Have Ever Tasted. We Guarantee It."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Book Review

I've been reading a must-have book called "Preparedness Principles," by Barbara Salsbury. There is so much one can glean from this book, that is a great addition to your preparedness library. It covers ideas on food storage, emergency preparedness, and disaster preparedness. Barbara has been through it all, and has been teaching and writing about it for years.

With food storage she helps you figure out how and where to store it. I love the chapter "The Pantry System: Finding a Place for Everything."

She emphasizes the uniqueness of each family and that there is not one way of doing food storage.

I enjoyed her excellent chapter on vegetable gardening. It helped me me understand which vegetables are fast and slow growers, and how to interplant several vegetables. She teaches you how to start from seed and be successful.

Another chapter is called "Staying Warm Without a Furnace." After all of the storms and power outages across the nation this winter, this chapter is very enlightening. Here she will teach you the difference between blankets, comforters, and quilts and which ones are effective in keeping you warm. Also that moving everyone into a small room in the house, including pets, will keep you warmer.

Emergency kits are also covered, but she tells you the pros and cons of what to store them in. Love that!


Food Storage Case Lot Purchases Week #1 again

Okay, so I went out twice this week. I headed over to Dan's Foods in Layton because I needed some canned fruit for my food storage. I went there last year and was very pleased with their service. I purchased more fruit than I originally planned on for my 3-month supply because I didn't find any in the fall case lot sales. Here is what I purchased:

24 ct. large peaches $23.76
24 ct. large pears $23.76
24 ct. large fruit cocktail $23.76

Because I bought them at Dan's instead of Macey's I saved .26 cents per can. I don't have a Costco membership, and Sam's doesn't sell this size. Doesn't seem like much but when you are buying 72 can's I saved $18.72! So I purchased a few more items.

2/21 oz. Blue Chip Dough Enchancer for $3.99 ea.
18 lbs. of top sirloin steak @ $1.99 lb. (now separated into ziplocs in the freezer)
24 ct. Spaghettios $12.00
and a small treat for my little 4-year old for being so good! I thought I showed some amazing self-control because I didn't buy anything else.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dry Ice Instructions for Plastic Buckets

Here is a great link that will help you understand how to store long-term food storage in food grade plastic buckets by adding dry ice. The LDS church recommends that you NOT stack 5 or 6-gallon plastic buckets more than 3 high as the lids can crack over time. Also do not store them directly on the floor. They need to be at least 1/2" off the floor to allow air to circulate. Go here for the handout, and click on Plastic Buckets. You will also find other storage information.

Food Storage Great Buys At Dick's & Dan's Markets

There are some great case lot prices at Dick's Market in Centerville or Bountiful March 4 - March 10. Also at Dan's Foods. The items listed below beat Macey's prices.

Case Lot
WF 15 oz. canned apple sauce - . 50 ea.
WF vegetables - . 50 ea.
WF 15 oz. canned beans asst. - .50 ea.
WF Refried beans asst. - .50 ea.
All .59 at Macey's
WF 29/30 oz. Fruit Cocktail, Peaches or Pears - .99 ea.
$1.25 at Macey's

Other case lot prices are similar to Macey's prices, however they do not list Morning Moos products at Dick's. But go online and you will see some at Dan's Foods in Layton. Must depend on the size of the store. Also in Layton, the 21 oz. Blue Chip Dough Enhancer is $3.99. Macey's is selling it for $4.99.

Freezer Items - at Dick's and Dan's
$1.99 lb. - Boneless Top Sirloin Steak
$2.29 at Macey's

updated 3/4/09 at 12:30 pm

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We Can Begin Ever So Modestly - Food Storage One Week at a Time

I love the concept of gathering food storage one week at a time. I know you've heard this a lot from me lately, but I want to thank those of my favorite website teachers for emphasizing this type of gathering.

Every day the newspapers tell us about a new company shutting down and people being laid off. It can be frightening. My husband was out of work for 2 months a few years ago, and it was not a very pleasant time for me. I suddenly felt myself treading water. My dear hubby, of course, was optimistic, but I couldn't see farther ahead than a few months. I spent quite a bit of time on my knees, and took a good look inward to evaluate who I was and where I really was in life. His switching careers was an adjustment as well. But I learned that these difficult times teach us to turn to our loving Father in Heaven and admit our true dependance on him. I appreciate that he is always there for me. Time and time again we were blessed. Our home in CA finally sold after 10 months on the market at a reduced price, yes, but it did sell. We somehow kept our heads above water. I carefully looked at our food storage and realized, that even though it wasn't a year's supply, it was there. It was a sign of our obedience.

I have to admit that last October was not a pleasant month for me either, however, I think we decide how we face what lies ahead. Sure, the world is becoming more evil and our economy is struggling. It surrounds us. But we must not let others control our attitude nor our perspective.

I have peace of mind knowing that a wise President Gordon B. Hinckley taught us to not go to extremes to gather our food storage: "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. As all of you recognize, this counsel is not new. But 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, my brethren, and gradually build toward a reasonable objective." (Gordon B. Hinckley, “To Men of the Priesthood,” Ensign, Nov 2002, 56.)

A little at a time. And when he gave this counsel 6 1/2 years ago do you think he saw our world in 2009? I'm sure he did. I hope that those of you who are struggling with the loud negative chatter in our society will look to that anchor that steadies us all. It is through His love, and our obedience to wise leaders that He is bound to bless us. I know this, and have seen His hand. Even if your food storage supply is small, it is still a sign of your obedience.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Food Storage Case Lot Purchases from Week #1

I learned last fall, that the Month of March in Utah is when several stores compete for buyers to purchase during their case lot sales. I actually like this because different stores sell different brands. This month, I planned what I wanted to purchase on my Monthly Food Storage Purchase Plan. Since I was able to see the Macey's prices first, I wrote their prices down as my estimates. Even though I wrote Western Family corn @ .59 per can, this was only a starting point. I didn't have time to run to a Macey's, but I noticed that the Bowman's in Kaysville was also having a case lot sale. They also sell Western Family brand foods, so I headed over there this afternoon with my Monthly Food Storage Purchase Plan in my binder.

I found that some of their prices were the same as Macey's, better, and some worse. So, I purchased items that were the same or better or close to Macey's prices, at Bowman's. I saved money on gas and time by shopping close to home, and was still able to get some great prices. I purchased more of some items, less of others than I planned to. When I do that, I erase and rewrite on my Monthly Food Storage Plan worksheet. I didn't put the case lot items on my grocery list since stores usually put case lot items together and I didn't need to shop by aisle.

Here is what I purchased this week:

WF corn 24 ct. $14.16
WF sliced carrots 12 ct. $7.08
WF stewed tomatos 24 ct. $14.16
WF chili beans 24 ct. $14.16
WF applesauce 24 ct. $14.16
WF ketchup 6 ct. $5.34
WF bleach 2 ct. $3.00
WF apple juice 64 oz. 8 ct. $12.00
WF salt .50 2 ct. $1.00
WF cake mixes 6 ct. $5.28
SAF 1 lb. Yeast 2 ct. $5.58

Total: $95.82

I like Bowman's as it has a small town feel. I wish they had put the individual can prices on the cases though. And there were not as many cases to choose from, but I found everything I needed. And the people are very friendly. I still need to check out Macey's and Smith's case lot sales as they have things I still want to buy.