December 29, 2010

LDS Home Storage Center Price Change Jan. 3rd


On January 3rd, a new price list for the LDS Home Storage Centers will be coming out. Several prices will be going up, especially sugar. However, oats and onions will be going down. The price list will be available online at ProvidentLiving.org. Prices typically change about this time every year.

Members and non-members are welcome to can at the storage centers. Go online to find an LDS Home Storage Center location near you. Or contact an LDS friend and go together. Hours vary at each location.

Best Food Storage to Buy in January 2011


The focus for January is long-term foods. If you live near an LDS Home Storage Center, go there to can long-term foods at some great prices. Go during the Christmas break. If you do this once a year, you can restock on some items for a 3-month or year supply. This month, stores will focus on getting you organized and healthy. There will also be some great clearances on winter items. Pick up a shelf and storage totes for food storage. Red and green colors are cheapest. It's National Wheat Bread month and National Soup month.

The January List

STEP 1: 3-Month FOOD STORAGE SUPPLY - Long Term Foods
(Suggested amounts are for 1 adult)
CL = case lot sale, WM = Walmart, LDS = available at LDS Home Storage centers
LT 30 YR= Long-Term shelf life if stored properly. Consider storing a year's supply.

1. Decide on a monthly food storage budget
2. Choose a few items from the list that you want to focus on
3. Multiply list amounts by # of family members. Adjust amounts and items for younger children
4. Each week look at your grocery store ads for items on sale that match your goals
5. Carry your list with you, or put it on your cell phone notepad

FOOD ITEMS
Wheat 25 lbs. or 4 LDS #10 cans (LT 30 YR)
Oats 5 lbs. or 2 LDS #10 cans (LT 30 YR)
Dry Beans 5 lbs. or 1 LDS #10 can (LT 30 YR)
Rice, white 10 lbs. or 2 #10 LDS cans (LT 30 YR)

NON-FOOD ITEMS (per person)
Shampoo/Conditioner
Soap/body wash
Cold & Pain medicines (per family)
Storage shelves (on sale, as needed)
Storage totes (on sale, as needed)

72-HOUR KIT (per person)
Mini first aid kit
Beanie
Mittens

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
Emergency book
Batteries
Storage bins
Storage shelves

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT (per auto)
Small first aid kit
Beannie
Mittens

STEP 2: DRINKING WATER Store a 2-Week Supply of drinking water, which is about 14 gallons per person. If you've already started this, continue to add to your supply. For drinking, that is about 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles per person. You may need more for hygiene and cooking which you can store in other containers. Always keep stocked up on water. You can't live without it.

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE
Each week add some money to an emergency fund. Decide on a do-able amount and set up weekly transfers from checking to savings. Or put aside your loose change in a jar. Whichever way you choose to save, use it only for emergencies.

PREPAREDNESS GOALS
1. Clean and organize food storage room/pantry.
2. Clean out freezer.
3. Clean out medicines.

Food Storage for Singles

"I have been searching for information on how to begin on my long term storage plan. There is loads of information for "families" but I am single. You would think it is easier. But 1 #10 can of beans after it's opened means I would be eating that can of beans for weeks. Doesn't seem too frugal to me and not very appetizing. Any suggestions on how a single person could prepare?" Judy

Dear Judy,

Check out this previous post on food storage for college students or singles. It includes a spreadsheet. Honestly, I store more prepared canned beans (15 oz. size) than dry beans. Much easier for me to manage. If you really want to store dry beans, you could store smaller amounts in mason jars in your kitchen pantry. For longer term storage remove the air with a Foodsaver Mason jar attachment. Go to Wendy Dewitt's site at the bottom of my previous post.

Best wishes!

December 18, 2010

Annual Review of a Year of Grocery Receipts

I've been in bed going through this year's grocery receipts. I had knee surgery yesterday so it was the perfect time. Wow! What an eye opener! I've been working on a Price Log and gathering prices of items I regularly purchased last year and figuring out the seasonal price changes that happened throughout the year. I've seen how great I did on some grocery trips, and also where I could really improve. I hope to post my ideas in my Food Storage Organizer coming out soon. Anyway, I've learned alot about Seasonal Grocery Sales Cycles from this link. It's great! There are a few others lists online that have some great ideas as well. I'm revising my own seasonal sales calendar to help guide you to purchasing items each month when the prices are low so you can stock up on your food storage. Did you know that January is National Wheat Bread month, Bread Machine month, and Slow Cooking month? I didn't. Can you guess what items may be on sale?

If you have time after Christmas, I would suggest you go through your own receipts and learn from them. See the patterns and watch the prices go up and down on the foods you purchase. Look at how much you paid for strawberries, breakfast cereal, condiments, meat, etc. Look at your Costco/Sam's Club and Walmart receipts as well as your local grocery store. Make some changes in your purchase habits. It's easy to run to the store three times a week when you don't make a week's worth of menus. You'll see right away when you did that. Set a goal to shop for foods during the best months to save the most money. And set monthly goals for gathering food storage next year. I will suggest ideas at the beginning of each month. Best wishes!

December 9, 2010

10 Tips on How to Store Nuts for Food Storage


Researching 10 Tips on how to store nuts for food storage isn't exactly the thing most mothers do the week their eldest son gets married, but researching seems to relax me. I am so excited for my son Joshua's wedding to his beautiful bride, Melissa! We have a great weekend ahead of us.

Here are some useful tips I've learned about nut storage:
  1. Nuts need to be stored carefully because of their high oil/fat content. They will go rancid if not stored properly.
  2. The definition of rancid is "having a rank smell or taste usually due to a chemical change or decomposition." A rancid nut can upset your stomach. They are yucky.
  3. Nuts store longest in the freezer (about 8 months to a year), but they can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4 months.
  4. Store nuts in an airtight, moisture proof container in a dark, cold (less then 70 degrees), dry, safe-from-rodent place. Glass jars or Ziploc bags with the air removed work well. If you have a Foodsaver with a Mason jar attachment, you can remove the air. (I want one of these!)
  5. Unsalted nuts stay fresher longer than salted nuts.
  6. Whole nuts last longer than chopped nuts.
  7. Nuts in the shell store longer than nuts out of the shell. However, if you are limited on freezer space, replenish shelled nuts often.
  8. Mark the container with the date you purchased the nuts.
  9. Nuts are high in fiber, fat (primarily unsaturated fat) and protein.
  10. Smell, then taste a nut before using.

Here is an interesting 5 minute video on how pistachios are harvested and processed.
Also, go to Wendy Dewitt's blog EverythingUnderthesun.Read her post and look for Vacuum Sealing Foods as she discusses using the Foodsaver Mason jar attachment.

November 29, 2010

Food Storage Items to Shop for in December

My December food storage purchase suggestions include some additional baking goods, cold medicines, and a few paper products. Because your focus is on Christmas shopping, I will keep this list simple. I change items every month to help you rotate food storage purchases so you won't end up with a lopsided food storage supply. Also, I've been following the seasonal sales and tell you the cheapest place to buy certain items.

If you can afford to splurge, December may be a good month to buy an electric wheat grinder/mill. Watch for sales. Mine is an old wooden Magic Mill and I'm not ready to change. But based on a survey from my readers last year, 47% liked L'Equip Nutrimill Grain Mill (retails $290), and 27% liked the WonderMill (retails $280). Right now both are on sale at Amazon.com for $239.95 and the shipping is free! Make sure on check-out that you check the box morked Free Super Saver Shipping. If you click on the ad on the right side of my blog page, and purchase, I will receive credit. Thanks.

Shelf Stable Foods
Baking cocoa (Sam's/Costco)
Spices (Winco refills/Sam's/Costco)
Vanilla (Sam's/Costco/Walmart)
Vegetable oil (48 oz. on sale grocery stores)
Cooking spray (Sam's/Costco)
Marshmallows (on sale)
Nuts (rebag and freeze) (Sam's/Costco)
Crackers (on sale everywhere)
Vitamins (Sam's/Costco/on sale)

Non-Food Items
Trash bags (Sam's/Costco)
Paper bowls (Sam's/Costco)
Cold medicines (Walgreens/Walmart or other drug store)
Cough drops (Walgreens/Walmart or other drug store)

Equipment
Electric wheat grinder (see Amazon.com link on this blog)
Lantern (after Christmas clearance)
Solar shower

Books
"Cooking with Chef Brad: Those Wonderful Grains" (see Amazon.com link on this blog)
"Preparedness Principles" (see Amazon.com link on this blog)

November 20, 2010

Food Storage Ideas from Utah State University Extension

Check out some of these fantastic food storage articles from Utah State University Extension. Learn where to buy products, how to package, storage conditions, nutrition and shelf life. I will add them for reference on the sidebar of my blog:

Wheat - Article tip: "Store containers off the floor-- especially off concrete floors. Concrete can wick moisture to stored containers very easily. "
Canned Goods stored in liquid - Article tip: "Store all canned food in cool, dark, dry space away from furnaces, pipes, and places where temperatures change like un-insulated attics. Do not allow sealed cans or glass jars to freeze. Freezing changes food textures, and leads to rust, bursting cans, and broken seals that may let in harmful bacteria. Always store metal cans off of the floor, especially bare concrete. Moisture can wick up to cans and encourage rusting."
Dry Beans - Article tip: "All dried beans, except lentils and split peas, require soaking in water for rehydration. Typically, 3 cups of water is needed for every 1 cup of dried beans. Allow beans to soak overnight and then rinse them in clean water."
Dried Milk - Article tip: "A U.S.U. study concluded that after 4-yr storage, NFDM samples stored in plastic bags (not Mylar-type) were statistically less acceptable than samples stored in cans."
Sugar - Article tip: "The typical retail paper package for crystal sugars is not suitable for long term storage. Polyethylene bags, Mylar-type bags, food-grade plastic buckets, glass canning jars, and #10 cans are all suitable for dry sugar storage."
White Rice - Article tip: "Depending on personal preference, about 25 to 60 lbs of rice should be stored per person."
Salt, Baking powder, Baking soda, and Yeast - Article tip: "Store salt, baking soda, and yeast packets in their original containers placed inside another stronger packaging. "

November 16, 2010

Acts of Kindness During a Power Outage in Farmington

Driving home from the mall today, I experienced a partial city power outage here in Farmington. There is always something to learn from this type of experience, so I thought I would share.

As I exited the freeway from a shopping trip I noticed that the street light in front of me was not working. I carefully looked before entering the intersection and continued to another light that wasn't working either. It was then that I called 911, however, they said they were already aware of the situation. I continued driving to Smith's grocery store and parked my car. I walked into a store with only backup lights on. I could see that a few registers were still open, but that most were not so I decided to get the two items I needed.

I gathered my package of strawberries from the produce section and then headed to the deli. It was then that all of the lights went out. It was completely dark except for the flashlight that the deli girl had. She calmly asked what I needed and I thought she was kidding. I told her what I wanted, she identified my item with the flashlight and handed me my precooked barbecue-flavored rotisserie chicken. I thanked her and headed in the darkness to the front of the store feeling somewhat vulnerable, hand outstretched. Seeing an elderly woman with a grocery cart put me at ease and we headed to the front of the store. The lights flickered and the backup lights returned. As I reached the checkout line the few of us shoppers began to talk speculating what had happened and how long we would need to wait. Most pleasantly talked, but a few were anxious to move through. However, the registers were not coming on yet.

Knowing my 5-year old daughter was going to be out of school in a few minutes, I decided to go to the service desk and try to pay with cash. Seeing only two dollars in my wallet was not good. I asked if I could pay for just the strawberries. The employee said her register was not working so she couldn't take my money. She then said that I could pay for my items on my next shopping trip. I stared at her incredulously and asked if I could at least give her the two dollars. She said she had seen me in the store before and knew I was a regular shopper. That surprised me because I couldn't remember her name. I tried again to give her the two dollars, but she said that it was not a problem. Still dumbfounded, I thanked her and headed to the door with the strawberries and chicken. You know I will be back at Smith's to shop!

Upon arriving at my daughter's school I entered a dark foyer with limited light coming in from a few windows. Everyone seemed calm about the power outage. I walked down the dark hallway to her classroom, and peered into the room where her Kindergarten teacher was talking calmly to the children on the "carpet." Later my daughter said that when the lights went out her teacher read books to them near the windows. I am grateful for good teachers!

For me the lesson learned is that there are still good people in this world doing good things. These acts of kindness are what make the world a better place. May you each be able to calmly handle emergency situations and do it with kindness.

October 29, 2010

Food Storage Items to Shop for in November

Halloween is upon us, and we are a candy family. Every year I try to hide the Trick-or-Treat candy so we don't eat it all up before Halloween. We did better this year, but I need to really hide it.

Having said that I think it's important to have some comfort foods put aside in food storage. And the first few days after Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, and Easter are good times to do just that. You can also use clearance Halloween candy (without Halloween wrappers) for Christmas stocking stuffers, Gingerbread houses, or other holiday baking. Check out these ideas: Creative Uses for Easter Candy, and Great ideas for leftover Halloween candy
Also, Halloween costumes and wigs make great Christmas gifts for preschool and school-age children who love to dress up.
So, here is my list of suggested items to STOCK UP on in November. Watch for sales and shop for what fits into your budget.

Shelf Stable Foods
Pumpkin, canned
Sweet potatoes/Yams, canned
Evaporated Milk (or next month)
Stuffing
Spices - cinnamon, etc.
Cake mix
Brownie mix
Marshmallows
Pie filling
Broth - beef & chicken
Gravy
Cooking spray
Brown sugar
White sugar (or next month)
Flour (or next month)

Non-Foods
Cotton balls
Q-tips
Foil
Plastic wrap
Antacid

Costumes
Halloween costume clearance (save for Christmas gifts)

October 27, 2010

My Son's Mission Call is to Stockholm Sweden

We found out this afternoon that Stockholm Sweden is the place where my third son will serve his LDS mission for two years. He will need to learn Swedish. We were very excited tonight, but know it will be a challenging experience. My father told me that his grandmother is from that area. So we will be digging out the family history. Wow. My eldest son served in Mongolia and my second son served in Bolivia & Peru. And I know very little Spanish. :) I am grateful for all of my sons and the example they set for each other, and for me. I feel very blessed.

October 22, 2010

Evacuating the Herriman, Utah Fire - True to Life Story

Mt. Timpanogos Temple in foreground

After watching the first news report of the Herriman Fire in Utah on Sunday, September 19, 2010, I suddenly remembered that our friends lived there. I felt some concern and quickly called them. The seriousness in the voice of her husband concerned me. We spoke briefly and hung up. Then I remembered I had an evacuation list on my computer. I felt I was moving in slow motion as I emailed them my list, but I knew they probably were not sitting at their computer and would not get it in time.


I needed to hear my friend's voice and called again. This time she picked up and told me what was happening, and that they were packing up. She told me what she was taking and asked if she was doing okay, or had she forgotten anything. I was a bit stunned that she was asking ME, the preparedness blog writer whose brain was all jumbled.

After sharing a few more ideas and telling her she had done a good job, she told me she loved me and hung up the phone. It was then that I cried. Too close to the home in my heart! Praying for them calmed my nerves, but when something like this happens to people you are close to, it is not easy. Even writing this is bringing back memories and making my heart race again. I immediately revised my Evacuation List for others, and posted it quickly on my blog. I had over 1000 visits over the next few days.

Feeling helpless, I stayed glued to the news reports for the next few days. Our friends were able to evacuate, and their home was saved, but the fire was on the hill directly behind their home. Lots to cleanup afterwards. With her permission, I share part of an email she sent me the day after the fire in hopes that it will motivate some of you to prepare to evacuate from anything.



"Dear Valerie,

I thought you might be interested in a few observations and/or lessons that we learned through our Herriman fire. At the time of evacuation, we were having a birthday dinner for our son. We noticed the smoke on the hill. We drove up the road about a mile to the reservoir. Many neighbors were there. We were in our church clothes but I didn't have my shoes on. We got out of the car to watch. The attitude of everyone was pretty carefree thinking this is so strange so close to home. Then all of a sudden everything changed. The wind picked up and the flames crested the hill. Everyone literally scrambled for home. I felt so unprepared for what was happening. Because I was without shoes, my husband carried me to the car.

"The grandchildren were very scared and cried quite a bit. I felt bad that I couldn't take the time to console. We did gather in family prayer (our granddaughter's suggestion). I was grateful that I had just put the majority of scrapbooks in bins. That helped a lot. It helped that I had so many helpers with me. One of my married daughters grabbed collector's books from the bookcase. And another grabbed heirlooms from the hutch. I dug through my cedar chest.

"It was a mistake to have insurance papers in one place downstairs and other documents upstairs. We literally pulled out all drawers in the file cabinet. I definitely need to organize that better. I told my 12 year-old daughter and 17 year-old son to pack for one or two days and be prepared for school. My 12 year-old had a project due and parts were spread between 3 different cars-not good. I told her to pack for the dog (thanks Val) and we packed our meds (thanks Val) but--- we forgot toiletries and pjs and enough clothes. We were out longer than we were prepared for personally. I wanted a toothbrush!

On Monday, we had no place to go. We had found a hotel the previous night that would take our dog. Thanks to our daughter's friend. Hotel rooms went fast and her parents reserved it for us. Anyway, on Monday we went to the Red Cross Center at the High School. I wasn't impressed. Definitely better to have your own 72 hour kit. We didn't because they were too old from Riverside. I had downloaded the list to re-stock them during general conference. Oh well.

I guess what I realized the most is how unsettling this is emotionally. Even for the adults. I am so grateful that all turned out, except for the 4 families. At the time of packing, I didn't realize how much sentimental things and pictures I have collected. I'm going to get them on the computer and start handing out these items to the older kids. It should never be all in one home. By the way, our son-in-law was quickly going around taking pictures of our belongings for the insurance if we needed it. I thought that was smart. I really was blessed not to be alone. Anyway, sorry about the book. Thanks again for all you do in preparing families."
D.S. Herriman, Utah

October 20, 2010

Holiday Christmas Planning Calendar - Updated


Tweaking my Holiday Christmas Planning Calendar was a necessity this year, because we are awaiting my 3rd son's mission call, planning my eldest son's wedding, and my 14 year-old's leg surgery. My calendar has evolved over the years, but it is an absolute necessity for me. The idea is to reduce as much stress caused by the holidays as possible while our routine and sometimes not so routine life goes on.

December is a time to be spent with family, attend school concerts, create memories, and ponder the birth of our Savior. So to ease my stress, our artificial tree goes up the week before Thanksgiving. Some people think I'm odd for doing it then, but I think my family likes a stress-free mom on Thanksgiving Day. Because of how busy I will be this year, there won't be any homemade gifts. I'm okay with that. And our Christmas letter will be emailed the week after Christmas. :)

Putting each of these tasks/projects on my Gmail calendar is a lifesaver. I created them as "All Day" events, and made them repeat "Yearly." Love that! Now it's time to cruise along. If you are feeling a little bit frenzied, copy it and adjust for yourself.

September
1st Week
Fall harvest decorating
2nd Week
Update Christmas card addresses
3rd Week
Calendar Temple Square holiday events
4th Week
Buy Halloween costumes
Holiday travel plans

October
1st Week
Halloween decorating
D.I. for Halloween decorations
2nd Week
Make Christmas budget
Start Santa wish lists
3rd Week
Shop holiday dresses
Buy pumpkins
Thanksgiving table decor
Buy work gifts
Online Christmas Shopping
4th Week
Online Christmas Shopping
D.I. for Christmas decorations
Inspect Christmas lights
Calendar Holiday parties
Master Christmas Gift list

November
1st Week
Christmas shopping
Halloween decorations down
Thanksgiving decorations up
Inspect Christmas decor
2nd Week
Christmas shopping
Kids go Christmas shopping
Christmas lights up
Buy stocking suffers
Holiday party menus
3rd Week
Finish Christmas shopping
Wrap/mail relative gifts
Set up Christmas tree
Thanksgiving food
4th Week
Thanksgiving food prep
Thanksgiving decor down
Christmas decor up
Visit Temple Square lights

December
1st Week
1st Presidency Devotional
Wrap gifts
Attend concerts & parties
2nd Week
Buy Christmas food
Make Christmas goodies
Go caroling
3rd Week
Christmas dinner prep
Read Christmas story
Enjoy Christmas Day with family!
4th Week 
Shop after Christmas sales
New Year's activities

October 7, 2010

Car Emergency Kits: Fall Is The Time to Update



Fall is here and so is the cooler weather. Now is a good time to update your car emergency kits. Below are some items I want in our cars. It took me two hours to work on my Honda Pilot today. I moved things around in various places in the car. Everything is not in the red bag. So read on.



Emergency Radio Station:
Set one of the car radio buttons to the emergency weather station in your area. Emergency Radio AM Emergency & Locations Utah
Green Bin :
  • One of the most useful items I keep in my car is a good blanket. Now that it's cooler, I'll add another one. We've used it to sit on, bundle up in, and cover up groceries on a hot day. It can also be used to treat someone in shock or move an injured person.
  • Walking shoes (can you imagine walking 10 miles in heels?)
  • Beanie and mittens
  • The bin could also be used to carry things

Insulated Cooler Bag w/shoulder strap:
  • If I had to walk, I could carry some things in the bag
  • Water bottles (one per seat)
  • First aid kit (refill band aids)
  • Feminine items
  • Jumper cables
  • Small tool set (may need to tighten battery cables)
  • Bungee cords
  • Extra batteries for flashlight
  • Toilet paper roll in plastic baggie
  • Cleaning rag (yellow can be used as signal)
  • Plastic kitchen trash bags (useful for cleanup)
  • Duct tape (tear off larger roll; wrap around self)
  • Matches
  • Emergency flares
  • Work gloves
  • Hand warmers
  • Whistle and small mirror
  • Multi-tool w/pocket knife
  • Bright bandana (left over from Trek; could be broken arm splint)
  • Emergency Cash ($20)
Driver's Door Pocket
  • Flashlight
  • Umbrella
  • Snow/ice scraper (oh where, oh where has it gone!)
  • Snow gloves
  • Plastic rain poncho
Driver's Seat back pocket

  • Activities for kids to pass the time
Glove box

  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Detailed area map
  • Important papers
Console Bin In-Between Two Front Seats
  • Food bars, easy open canned fruit, canned nuts
  • Hand lotion
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Dental toothpicks
  • Plastic forks/spoons (keep extras from fast food)
  • Paper towels (folded in baggie)
  • Pad of paper
  • Pen/pencils
  • Small scissors
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Pocket pack Kleenex
  • Chapstick
Other Items:
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small shovel
  • Jack for tires (mine is built in)
  • Spare tire (have air checked when rotate tires)
  • Chains (I have 4-wheel drive)
  • Car fuses
  • Fix-a-Flat
Printable Car Emergency Kit list
Read my older post My Handy Dandy Emergency Car Kit

October 6, 2010

Beef Stew with Vegetables Recipe for Canning

One of my readers sent me this great recipe for canning your own beef stew!

Beef Stew with Vegetables (so much better than purchased canned stew!)

4-5 lbs beef stew meat (whatever is on sale)
8 cups sliced carrots
3 cups chopped celery
3 cups chopped onions
12 cups pared potatoes
10 cups water
4 T. beef soup base (good price at Costco or Sam’s Club)

I make this outside in a vented garage or on the porch so it doesn’t heat up the house. Also, it’s very good if you have a very sharp knife to do all the chopping (the first time I made this I got blisters!). Brown the meat in a Dutch oven on the cache cooker, using a little oil if necessary. Remove meat to a container to keep warm. Wipe extra oil out of Dutch oven with a paper towel and discard. Add onions to the Dutch oven and simmer until the onions are cooked. Stir in water and beef soup base and boil together.

Divide the meat into 7 quart jars. To each jar, add 1 ¾ cup potatoes, 1 cup plus 2 T. carrots, and a scant ½ cup celery. Add ½ tsp. salt and a dash of pepper per quart. Ladle beef broth with onions into each quart leaving 1-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process quarts 1 hour and 15 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

T. Wilson (Grantsville, UT)

October 1, 2010

LDS General Conference Coloring and Activity Notebook


(Update 3/18/2012 I just finished a new post on making one for this year. Some of the links in this old post don't work anymore)

For my 5 year-old, I made a General Conference notebook with activities for her to do during the meetings this weekend. Because of her age, I found various coloring and activity pages from a variety of sources below. Create your own unique notebook based on your child's needs and skill level. If you want to copy this idea, here is what I did:

Print all pages in black and white to save on color ink.
Hole-punch and put all pages in the notebook.
Alternate the coloring and activity pages for variety.
Provide markers and pencils.



My Notebook pages:
Print page 1 from Conference Notebook at LDS.org for the cover.
Print pages 5 & 6 from Junior Primary Packet at SugarDoodle.net
Print pages 9, 10 & 11 from Junior Primary Packet at SugarDoodle.net
Print pages 4 - 11 from Conference Notebook at LDS.org





Print these activity pages
Conference Squares (just print 1)
Joseph Smith Receives the Gold Plates (click view as pdf)
Time for Family Prayer Maze
Salt Lake Temple Dot-to-Dot
Liahona Dot-to-Dot
Girl Praying Dot-to-Dot
Gold Plates Dot-to-Dot
I Love My Family Search and Find
Service Project Search and Find
Primary Maze
CTR Maze

Print these Coloring Pages
Missionary Conference Coloring Page
I Will Follow the Prophet
Temple Blessings Unite Families
Faith, Prayer, Repentance, and Forgiveness
The Scriptures Teach Me about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
Baptism and Confirmation
The Creation
Adam and Eve Teach Their Children
Joseph Smith In Prayer
Jesus Calms the Storm
Sermon on the Mount

Sugardoodle.net has General Conference Packets for various kid's ages. I only printed a few pages of interest for my daughter from the Junior Primary Packet. For more coloring pages go to LDS.org Friend Magazine

This was a fun project! I hope she likes it.

September 30, 2010

Preparing for General Conference

As I've pondered how I can better prepare myself and my family for the October 2010 General Conference this weekend, a few ideas have come to mind. About a month ago I began praying for the leaders of the Church to be guided by the Spirit to know what to teach us. Thinking of them has helped me look forward to General Conference.

Yesterday as I was visiting another sister in the ward, my visiting teaching companion said she had heard that if we write down the concerns or challenges we are dealing with in life before General Conference, that we would receive answers if we earnestly seek them. So, today I purchased a small notebook for myself and my teenage daughters so we could write these thoughts down, and also take notes. Today I watched the General Relief Society Meeting which I missed last week. Because I taped it on the DVR I was able to stop each talk in the middle whenever I wanted, and write down quotes, then turn the tape back on and continue. As I was listening, inspirational thoughts came to me about things I have been concerned with. It did not matter that the talk had anything to do with those concerns. But I felt the Spirit of the speakers and I was able to write down on another sheet of paper answers to some of my concerns and more. Quite remarkable!

I also wrote down "Story" and then a brief summary of a story or example given. And then quotes or counsel I found I needed in my life.

Usually the Monday after General Conference, during Family Home Evening we each share meaningful remarks or stories we remember from the meetings. This helps reinforce what has been said. Many times someone will remark, "I remember that story," or "I remember that quote."

For my 5 year-old, I am printing activities for her to do during the meetings. There are several online, and here are a few links. Also check out SugarDoodle.net for more ideas.

Conference Squares from LDS.org
Conference Coloring Page from LDS.org
Conference Notebook from LDS.org
2010 General Conference Notebook by Linda Allred (for older Primary kids)

I'm sure there are more ideas out there, but these are just a few. I hope you each enjoy the meetings!

September 29, 2010

Suggested Case Lot Food Storage Items to Purchase October 2010

Each month I post a list of suggested food storage items for you to choose from as your monthly food storage focus. This list is based on seasonal grocery sales, coupon trends and patterns I've seen over the past few years. Combine some of these with coupons to save the most money! The list changes each month so you can stock up on a variety of things throughout the year so you're not lop-sided in any one area.

During October, my focus is the Utah Case Lot Sales. However, if you don't have case lot sales in your area, look through the list and you will probably find things you will want to purchase. I only listed what I consider the very best deals. If the LDS Home Storage Center or Sam's, Costco, Winco or Walmart beats the price (meaning you can get that price anytime), I didn't list those sale items. So this is a short list.

If you didn't save up money for this sale, don't worry. Just decide on a budget and choose items your family will most likely eat/use in the next 3 - 6 months. If you don't store in buckets, then choose smaller packaged items. If you are just beginning, don't buy dried bananas or eggs. There is a great variety of food on sale. I listed Macey's prices because they let you purchase most items individually except a few, and some of you are on limited budgets. So stay in your budget!

Even though ketchup and barbecue sauce are on sale, I would avoid purchasing condiments like those (unless you really need them) until next summer. I wait until November for flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, evaporated milk, etc. Also, hang on to your coupons for soup, medicine, toiletries, and baking goods! Sales are coming.

After taking advantage of the Smith's Grocery store sale earlier this month, I made one stop at the Macey's Preparedess sale. So, I listed my planned purchases for this case lot sale at the end of this post. Plan, Plan to Save, and Save to purchase more. Good luck!

Macey's Case Lot Items (other Associated Food stores similar)
Garden Club Corn Syrup 32 oz. (I think it's $1.69 ea. though ad shows .48) (Macey's)
$.99 ea. WF Apple Juice 64 oz. (If you need this size)
$2.28 24 ct. Bottled water 16.9 oz. (only if you need it. Same as Costo)
$.98 Frozen orange juice
$8.88 Morning Moos #10 regular or chocolate (Macey's)
$11.98 Augason Whole or Scram. Dry Eggs #10 (Macey's)
$4.98 Grandma's Banana slices, dried #10 (Macey's)
.33 ea. WF Mandarin Oranges 24 ct.
.78 ea. WF peaches, pears, fruit cocktail 24 ct.
.99 ea. First Harvest Peach Halves, Slices, Pear halves 29 oz. (heavy sugar) 24 ct. (Macey's)
$12.98 Augason Farms Hard Red or White Wheat, 45 lb. pail (don't stack more than 3 high. I store in cans because I don't go through my wheat quickly. But this is a great price!)
$15.98 Blue Chip Rolled Oats 50 lb. bag (for people who want to store in their own buckets)
$1.98 ea. WF Pasta - elbow mac, spag, spag. thin (that's .66 cents per lb., LDS is about .60 per lb.)
$.79 ea. DaVinci Pastas 1 lb. pkg. (lots of variety)
.33 ea. WF Mac & Cheese 4pkx6
.48 ea. WF Specialty Canned Beans (choose beans your family eats like kidney or black beans)
.48 ea. Campbell's Spaghetti-O's (stock up, .40 cents less than Walmart)
.39 ea. WF Chunk Light Tuna
.99 ea. WF Powdered or Brown Sugar 2 lb. (Never pay more than this! November sales similar)
$11.88 WF Sugar 25 lb. bag (November sales coming)
$9.99 ea. WF Honey (that's $2.00 per lb.)
.44 ea. WF Tomato or WF Chicken Noodle soup
.58 ea. Camp. Tomato soup (.24 less than Costco)
.88 Campbell's Specialty Soups (bring coupon) (Macey's)
.48 ea. WF cream of chick or mush soup (.30 cents less than Walmart)
.48 ea. WF Tomatoes, diced, stewed, etc.
.50 ea. WF Mushroom stems & pieces (a little less at Walmart, but a case is a case)
.48 ea. WF Diced or whole Green Chiles can
. 79 WF Frozen Veggies corn, peas, beans, mixed (this sale comes around more than once)
$39.99 ea. 55 gal. Water drum (same price in the Spring)
$24.79 ea. 15 gal. Water container (same price in the Spring)
$3.98 ea. 5 gal. bucket w/lid (same price in the Spring)
$5.49 ea. 5 gal. Gamma seal lid, assort. colors (great price!) (Macey's)

My Shopping List for Smith's
24 @$1.00 ea. Kroger 18 oz. Peanut Butter

My Shopping List
4 @$1.98 ea. WF Pasta spag. (store in tote)
6 @$.79 ea. DaVinci Pastas 1 lb. pkg. (Penne or Rigatoni)
24 @.48 ea. WF Diced Green Chiles can
24 @ .50 ea. WF Mushroom stems & pieces
24 @.48 ea. WF cream of chick soup
24 @.48 ea. WF cream of mush soup
4 @ 1.25 ea. WF Powdered 2 lb. (store sealed bags in a bucket) less at Macey's
8 @ 1.25 ea. WF Brown Sugar 2 lb. (store sealed bags in a bucket) less at Macey's
24 @.48 ea. Campbell's Spaghetti-O's (bring coupon)
About $85.74 before tax

September 28, 2010

These Are the Best of Times!

On a personal note, these are the best of times! My eldest son is engaged to be married in December, and my youngest son (third missionary) is finishing up his mission papers. It has been a wonderful journey. Even with lifes ups and downs, these are the best of times. So thankful to be a mom of seven beautiful children. Thankful for a husband who holds the priesthood. My cup runneth over.

The sun is just coming up over "my mountain." Have a beautiful day!

September 25, 2010

Case Lot Fall Price Comparison Spreadsheet Includes Macey's Upcoming Sale!

Macey's upcoming case lot sale on September 29 is now included in my Fall Case Lot Sale Price Comparison spreadsheet. Just look on the side of my blog to click the link. I decided to remove Fresh Market because I was running out of space; however you can still compare their prices in the newspaper ad when it comes out to the spreadsheet, or any other store near you for that matter. Also, I still need to update Dick's prices. Sorry I can't include every store. Hope the spreadsheet helps you plan in advance before the sale.

Remember: every item on sale in a case lot sale does not always mean it is the best price you can get for that item. So, do your homework to save the most money!

September 23, 2010

Macey's Price List for Sept. 29 Case Lot sale

Attached is the Macey's case lot sale price list from the Ogden store. You can buy items in cases or individually at the case lot price! This form can be used if you want to place an order at their service desk. Contact the store for details. Or just use it to help you prepare for the upcoming sale starting Sept. 29th.

Macey's Fall Case Lot Sale price list

I will add these prices to my Fall 2010 Case Lot Price Comparison spreadsheet on the left of my blog as soon as humanly possible.

September 19, 2010

Herriman Fire Evacuation Grab & Go List

The current fire in Herriman has caused well over 1200 households to evacuate. I talked briefly to friends preparing to evacuate tonight. The most difficult thing was to gather scrapbooks and photo albums. I am sure they are safe.

Thank goodness there are plenty of Utah Valley friends and relatives that evacuees can stay with. Love that about Utah! However, evacuation travel on roads can become congested and it may take longer than people expect to leave, so preparing for a longer drive with some extra food and water can be helpful.

Attached is a Grab & Go list of things I made for our family to take in order of importance if we ever had to evacuate. It is helpful to write this before you ever need to evacuate when your mind is clear. It is divided by importance depending on the amount of time you have to evacuate. This is a personal decision for everyone, but I hope this list helps some of you or your family and friends plan and prepare.

My former post on the same topic can be found here.

Go here for 72-hour Kit Container ideas
Go here for 72-hour Kit Food Pack ideas
Go here for Additional Family Emergency Supplies ideas
Go here for 72-hour Kit Personal Supplies ideas

September 18, 2010

Various Approaches to Doing Food Storage

My friend asked me today if I had looked into buying long-term food storage all at once from a food storage company where you can buy a 3 month or 12 month supply that lasts for 20 years. Most of my blog followers know that I don't store that way. But that does not mean my way is the only way. It made me think how different each of us approaches food storage. So, my analytical mind said let's look at some various ways to do food storage to help you think which is right for you:

#1. The Quick Food Storage Approach - This group likes to order a food storage supply all at once from a company that has figured out what their family needs to store. Though not my personal choice, my husband reminds me that this works for some families who like having someone else do the research and figure out the amounts. They want to follow the counsel to store food, but prefer not to be too analytical about it and know they are probably not going to rotate it regularly. Knowing they put something aside for emergencies that will last for many years if they ever need it, works for them. Testing products first would be helpful. This is the most expensive yet quickest approach.

#2. The Emergency and Everyday Use Food Storage Approach - This group stores a supply of easy to prepare foods for short-term emergencies like power outages or floods, a three-month supply of shelf-stable foods their family uses everyday like small canned and boxed foods, and includes a year supply (if possible) of long-term storage foods such as wheat, rice, sugar, honey, dry milk, etc. They like having a variety of foods for various types of emergencies, yet they have foods on hand that their family also uses everyday so items get rotated. They store staples for cooking from scratch, but also have some convenience foods. This is my approach to food storage. I only store what my family is accustomed to cooking with or eating, yet I also use long-term staples and whole grains because they are inexpensive and store well. I like helping my kids see that we "use what we store, and store what we use." It is more time consuming to purchase and store this way. but less expensive than approach #1, and more expensive than approach #3.

#3. The Traditional Basics Approach - This group stores enough wheat, rice, oats, honey, sugar, dry milk, etc. to survive if they had nothing else to eat. They know this approach is the most affordable for their family. They hopefully know how to use the items they store, but also know their family won't starve. This is the least expensive food storage approach though the hardest on the body's digestive system if you don't regularly use your wheat.

Definitely an oversimplified analysis of food storage approaches and I know most people have a combination of them all. But I hope you can see that doing food storage your way is what is most important. Better to have stored something, than never to have stored at all.

Please share your approach!

September 13, 2010

"Not Your Mother's Food Storage" Book Review



Some of you new to food storage might enjoy this more simplified approach discussed in the book "Not Your Mother's Food Storage" by Kathy Bray and Jan Barker. They basically teach you step-by-step how to create meals that will feed your family for three months, and then make shopping lists to purchase. You can store foods frozen, freeze-dried, or canned. And to make it all easy, you can download worksheets from their website. Suggestions for adapting recipes to food storage items are given, as well as many recipes to try. I definitely agree that the best food storage plan is the one that you create for your own family. It's always nice for me to read someone else's ideas as I always learn. A great gift idea for Christmas!

3.5 stars out of 5 stars from me.

September 8, 2010

Macey's Preparedness Sale this week


Macey's is having a Preparedness sale this week, and later this month starting on the 29th they will have a case lot sale. I updated my MEGA Case Lot Sale Price Comparison Fall 2010 to include some of the preparedness sale items and will update again with the case lot prices at the end of the month. You will want to see it! The Augason powdered eggs are a great price as well as the wheat in buckets. Check the side of my blog for the PDF spreadsheet to compare prices for yourself.

I shopped early this morning at Smith's and was in and out in 15 minutes with my cases. Just have to have my hubby unload them from the car.

September 7, 2010

Update on the Utah Case Lot Sales Price Comparison

You'll find the most recent case lot sales price comparison in a box at the side of my blog. It now includes Smith's Grocery store case lot sale that begins tomorrow September 8 in the Davis County, Utah area. Hope you find it useful!

September 3, 2010

Food and Emergency Items to Shop for in September

Stock up on some of these items in September. You may find some of them on sale at the Case Lot sales or just on sale. Choose items that you think your family would use and you have set aside a food storage budget for. Be persistent, but never feel rushed. I offer suggestions each month.

Shelf Stable Foods

Condensed soups (case lot)
Canned tomatoes (case lot)
Canned beans (case lot)
Canned tuna (case lot)
Canned corn, green beans (case lot)
Canned stew (case lot)
Honey (Sam's or Costco)
Canned pineapple (case lot)
Canned mushrooms (case lot)
Spaghetti sauce (case lot)
Cornbread mix (case lot)
TVP - chicken, beef, etc. (case lot)

Toiletries (USE COUPONS)

Lip balm
Floss

Paper & Cleaning

Bleach
Laundry Detergent

Freezer Foods

Bread
Yeast (watch sales)
Chicken breasts

Medical & First Aid

rubbing alcohol
hydrogen peroxide
hydrocortisone cream

72-Hour Kit Food Packs

3 day supply food
3 day supply water
candy, gum

Equipment & Fuel

Sleeping bags (clearance sales)
Sleeping pad (clearance sales)
Freezer

National Preparedness Month: Start On Your Goals this Month!

September is National Preparedness Month. Instead of waiting until January, set some goals and start working on your food storage and emergency preparedness this month. Check out Ready.Gov for more ideas. Or my Food Storage and Disaster Preparedness Calendar for a list of ideas to work on monthly. I also have several former posts on in the "Previous Posts I've Written" section on my blog with ideas for you.

1. Decide on a monthly budget. It does not matter how small it is. If you are financially burdened, check out books from the library and start to study. Knowing what to do in an emergency is the best preparation.
2. Choose an area to focus on. If you are just beginning with food storage buy 2 small cans or boxes of an item instead of one. Put one aside. It's easy to do if your item is on sale. If you are working on emergency kits, buy one item a month and put it aside. A little bit at a time will still help you reach your goals! Some items in kits are not food items, so they last many years.
3. Decide on a preparedness item you want to get (or ask for) this Christmas.
4. Pray for support and guidance. You will be helped! Best wishes.

August 30, 2010

Case Lot Sale Price Comparison Fall 2010

Here is the preliminary Case Lot Sale Price Comparison spreadsheet which includes Harmon's sale that started today. Since some stores have not had their sales yet, you will see some spring or last fall prices. However, I think seeing them all will help you decide which of the Harmon's items you may want to purchase. As soon as Smith's starts their sale on the 8th, I will include it. I also have the current Costco, Sam's Club, Winco, Walmart, LDS Home Storage Center as well as some Food Storage companies. Just added Emergency Essentials.

Since this is my preliminary spreadsheet, please make suggestions as to how I can make it easier for you to read. "F" for fall sales, and a "S" for spring sales. Make sure you are looking at the correct year and month/season.

This spreadsheet take hours and hours of my time to put together. If you feel it is of some worth to you, please make a small donation to my 3rd son's mission fund on my blog. Thanks!

Here it is:
The MEGA Case Lot Sale Price Comparison Fall 2010

August 21, 2010

Upcoming CaseLot Sale Dates for 2010

Announcing some of the upcoming CaseLot Sale dates in Utah.

Harmon's - 8/30 - 9/19
Smith's - 9/8 - 9/21
Dick's - 9/29 - 10/12
Bowman's - 9/29 - 10/12
Macey's - 9/29 - 10/13
Fresh Market -Fresh Market - just a guess, probably when Macey's does

I will post exact dates as soon as I have them.

Grocery Shopping Savings at Smith's: August 21


School is just around the corner, so I needed to go grocery shopping today. Though I haven't shopped with coupons for awhile (I spent most of July in bed recuperating from a knee injury), I decided to get back into the swing of things. Here are my tips.


1. Spend time making a shopping plan before you go in the store.
2. Research store sales, and try to match sales with coupons. I used DealstoMeals (because she focuses on food storage), GrocerySmarts.com, and PinchingYourPennies.com. I also downloaded some coupons onto my SmithsReward's cards from their website
3. Prepare a weekly menu plan (I didn't this time), but you save the most money with one. Plan menus's using most items you have at home.
4. Create a grocery list. My printer is on the blink so I had to do it by hand! However, I carefully decided how many of each item to buy, which items had paper coupons or Smith's coupons.
5. With Buy-8-items-events-to-save-$4, carefully keep track of those items you put in the grocery cart. It never helps to buy more than you need to or be short. I blew it and should have added two more items. I'll do better next time.
6. Know what items you are low on in your food storage. Keep an inventory. I recently checked mine so I know what I need to buy and keep it on a spreadsheet.

Some items I'll put in food/home storage
Smith's 18 oz. peanut butter @$1 ea. (same price at CaseLot sale)
Powerade 32 oz. @ .48 ea.
Progresso Soup @ .75 with coupons
Bic Soleil Razors triple blade w/coupon $.59 ea.
Capri Suns $1.48 ea.
Ground Beef $1.99/lb.
Frozen chicken breasts w coupon $1.67/lb.
Total spent on food storage: $38.37

Here are the results for 82 items purchased.
$238.05 Original Total
$19.55 MFG Coupons
$93.62 Fresh Values & Mega Event Savings
$124.88 Total
Savings: 52% (Even being rusty!)

Start planning. Wed. Aug 25th - Tues. 31st Smith's Grocery store will round up all manufacturers' coupons up to $1!
See PinchingYourPennies.com for a great list of how to use your coupons!

August 9, 2010

Comparing WinCo Spices to Sam's Club Spices for Food Storage

One of my readers suggested I check out the spices in bulk found at WinCo Foods. So I headed to the new store in Roy, Utah today with my clipboard in hand. While there I gathered prices of typical food storage items (canned goods, grains, etc. ), as well as the spices to compare prices with other stores in my area. I also was asked by a manager which store I was from. :-) Have to smile at that. "No store, just comparing prices." "How are we doing?" "Pretty good." I will post my price comparison in September with my CaseLot Sale comparison, but overall I found the prices similar to Walmart. Winco does accept coupons, however, they are not excited about computer printed coupons. Rumor: a store may be coming to Layton on the east side of the freeway near all the construction there. We shall see.

Anyway, back to the spices. The spices are sold by the ounce or pound. I compared the prices per ounce with the Tone's spices I usually buy at Sam's Club in large plastic containers (about 16 ounces).

My thoughts are this: If you like to buy spices in large containers for food storage like those you buy at Sam's Club or Costco, you could refill when you get low and save some money on some spices. But not all. You have to have shelf space for larger containers at home though. Also using large containers is best for those who cook regularly from scratch. Personally I don't have large containers of everything, but I do have cinnamon, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and cumin which I use a lot of. Eventually I would like to have a larger container of oregano and one of parsley.

If you buy your spices in small containers, like those at the grocery store because you have a small family or don't cook from scratch often, you could REALLY save with WinCo spices. Just refill your containers. Read this article from Utah Deal Diva where she compares WinCo spices to Walmart spice prices.

Or you could buy their containers and start your own spice system. Winco sells plastic spice jars for you to put your own spices in at these prices: 16 oz. is $1.32, 8 oz. is $1.16, 4 oz. is .84 ea. Think carefully about the spices you use often to help you figure out the size to get.

I rounded the prices below to make it easier to compare. There are mores spices in the store, but I listed some that I could compare with Sam's Club. I still like the price of the LDS onions which I show below. I do not know the quality of the WinCo spices, so if someone has more experience, please share. It is definitely a personal choice. However, I like knowing that when finances are tight I don't have to spend money on expensive spices because I already have them in my pantry storage.

Tone's Spice Containers vs. WinCo's Spice refills

Basil 5.5 oz. - S $2.54 vs. W $.76 (.138 per oz)
Black Pepper 18 oz. - S $4.96 vs. W $3.98 (.221 per oz.)
Chili powder 20 oz. - S $4.28 vs. W $3.56 (.178 per oz.)
Cinnamon 18 oz. - S $3.87 vs. W $1.85 (.103 per oz.)
Cumin, ground 16 oz. - S $5.77 vs. W $3.38 (.211 per oz.)
Garlic, minced 23 oz. - S $4.66 vs. W $3.70 (.161 per oz.)
Garlic, powder 21 oz. - S $3.87 vs. W $3.49 ( .166 per oz.)
Gravy, brown 24 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.46 ( .144 per oz.)
Onion powder 20 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.46 (.173 per oz.)
Onion, minced 15 oz. - S $4.64 vs. W $3.09 (.206 per oz.) vs. LDS $2.40
Oregano 5 oz. - S $2.98 vs. W $1.00 (.194 per oz.)
Paprika 18 oz. - S $4.36 vs. W $4.30 (.239 per oz.)
Parsley 2.7 oz. - S $3.38 vs. W $.84 (.311 per oz.)
Taco Seasoning 23 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.43 (.149 per oz.)

(There definitely could be errors in my math :)

August 1, 2010

Food and Emergency Items to Shop for In August

Here are some ideas of items to stock up on during the month of August. You may find some of these on sale at this time of the year. Choose items that you think your family would use and you have a set aside a food storage budget for. Gather what you can afford, but never feel rushed.

Shelf Stable foods - Apple slices, dehy., Dry onions, Macaroni, Popcorn or dried corn, Dry potato slices or dices, Cracked wheat cereal, Hamburger helper, Food bars, Drink boxes, Hot pepper sauce, Cheese sauce, Powdered cheese blend

Toiletries (USE COUPONS)- Soap/body wash, Deodorant

Paper & Cleaning - Lawn trash bags, Lunch bags

Freezer Foods - Bread, Buns, Berry freezer jam (make your own), Hamburgers/hot dogs

Medical & First Aid - eye patch, ear drops, eye drops

Family Emergency Supplies part 3 -5-gal water carrier, filtered water bottle, water purification tablets, am/fm radio, spare radio batteries, pliers, vise grips, hammer, tarps, multi-function army knife

Equipment & Fuel - Sleeping bags, pads, family tent (On sale now!), Canning jars and equipment

July 30, 2010

Time To Take a Food Storage Inventory

It's time to take a home food storage inventory. This time of year is a great time to prepare for the September Caselot Sales that happen at stores in Utah. I decided to put my inventory on Excel worksheets so I can keep information like what store to buy items at and what season to buy them. However, I am printing them on small pages to put in my Food Storage Organizer to carry with me when I shop.

I'm moving a bit slower this month because I had a Baker's Cyst rupture behind my knee around the 4th of July. I've gone from crutches, to one crutch, to no crutches, but still feel like my leg is walking through mud. The recovery is so slooooow. Age I guess. Family members have to do the grocery shopping for me. Yikes! The free Click-n-Pull service Sam's Club offers has saved the day. I order online, they pull the items off the shelves, and hubby can pick them up. Love that!

July 23, 2010

Emergency or Disaster Menus for 7 Days

Creating your own emergency menus for disasters will help you prepare for various emergencies like power outages, earthquakes, floods, etc. Keeping easy to prepare foods on hand is the key. Remember to also have ready made foods for infants. Include some of the items below in your emergency food storage. These simple menus do not require electricity. Most foods can be eaten cold, or heated on an outdoor camp stove or butane burner. Many of these items can easily be replenished as they are foods you regularly purchase. Start with a 7 day supply and then increase to 30 days if possible. Adapt the attached spreadsheet for your use.

Breakfasts:
1. Pancakes from mix, Pancake syrup, Canned peaches, Tang
2. Oatmeal w/pwd milk, Brown sugar, Raisins, Hot cocoa
3. Breakfast cereal, 2T powdered milk, Bread w/PB, Tang
4. 2 Breakfast bars, Canned pears, Boxed drink
5. Bagel, Jelly, Raisins, Apple juice
6. Oatmeal w/pwd milk, Brown sugar, Raisins, Hot cocoa
7. Breakfast cereal, 2T powdered milk, Bread w/PB, Tang
Lunch:
1. Cup o’noodle, Fruit snack, Beef jerky, V8 juice
2. Vegetable soup, Saltine crackers, Nuts, Pwd. Milk
3. Stew, canned, Ritz crackers, Pudding cup, Hot cocoa
4. Tomato soup, Saltine crackers, Fruit cocktail, Tang
5. Clam Chowder, can, Ritz crackers, M & M's, Boxed drink
6. Chicken Noodle, Saltine crackers, Almonds, Pwd. Milk
7. Ravioli's/Spaghettios, Banana chips, Fruit cup, Apple juice
Dinner:
1. Canned chili w/beans, Saltine crackers, Sunflower seeds, V8 juice
2. PB & J sandwich, Mandarin oranges, Cookies, Apple juice
3. Spaghetti w/jar sauce, Corn, canned, Dried apricots, Boxed drink
4. Chicken salad sand., Graham crackers, Applesauce cup, Hot cocoa
5. Macaroni & cheese, Carrots, canned, Fruit cocktail, Pwd. Milk
6. Tuna sandwich, Baked beans , Pretzels, Tang
7. PB & J sandwich, Mandarin oranges, Trail mix, Apple juice

Download the Emergency and Disaster Menus.pdf

July 21, 2010

"Preparedness Principles" Book Review

A must-have preparedness book is "Preparedness Principles," by Barbara Salsbury. There is so much one can glean from this book, and it would be 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 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 we've seen across the nation, 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. She also shares how to move everyone into a small room in the house if need be(including pets) to keep warm. Emergency kits (72-hour) are also covered, but she tells you the pros and cons of what to store them in. Love that! I highly recommend this book.

See Barbara Salsbury's website at SolutionsforPreparedness.com Book is $16.99 there.

(This is a repost. If you are looking for one emergency preparedness book, get this one.)

"Your Guide to Emergency Home Storage" Book Review


Alan Briscoe has done a lot of research. He shares various plans for food storage which is helpful since there is not one plan that will work for all people. I was able to look at all of the plans, and create a unique one that works for my family. His lists helped me think of items that I had not considered before. I love how he encourages the gathering of small cannned goods and boxed packaged food items, as well as medical supplies. There is also a great building plan for can rotation food storage shelves on pg. 49. This book is a little bit older than others and has less than 100 pages. But it is still a great book to have as a resource if you are serious about studying food storage.

July 20, 2010

Red or White Hard Wheat? Which should I put in my food storage?

Letter from reader: "My wife and I recently went to our local LDS Bishop's storehouse and bought/canned hard red and hard white wheat. I want to learn to cook with wheat, and have several LDS related books on "Cooking with Food Storage." The recipes for breads, muffins and cakes say to use "ground wheat", but it does not tell which kind (hard red or white). So my "question" is this. What type of these (two) wheats do you use for the different breads, muffins, cookie recipes when it only says in the recipe "ground wheat?" When you make "wheat bread" is it from Hard red or Hard white? What is the difference?" Bill, New York

Dear Bill:

Though I am not an expert on wheat, Chef Brad is. I've attended one of his cooking demonstration classes at BYU Education Week in Provo, Utah a few years ago, and he is wonderful! He lives in Arizona. He will be doing cooking classes again this year and they fill up quickly. However, if you can't attend a class, then check out his website below.

Chef Brad says "There are four major types of wheat available today: hard red, hard white, soft, and durum.

Hard red wheat is high in protein (10 to 14 percent) and can be sprouted. Although it is great for breadmaking, it is heavy and, as an acid-based grain, causes many people digestion problems.

Hard white wheat is also high in protein. A cross between hard red wheat and soft white wheat, it reatins the good qualities of both. Since it is an alkaline based grain hard white wheat is easier for most people to digest. It makes a very light loaf of bread.

Soft wheat is low in protein and low in gluten (6 to 10 percent). Soft wheat is used in makeing biscuits, cakes, pastries, cookies, and pancakes.

Durum wheat, the hardest wheat, is high in gluten and protein. Its hard starch granules hold pasta together in boiling water. Durum wheat is used for pastas and noodles.

Cracked wheat is whole wheat berries that have been cracked into small pieces between steel rollers, which reduces cooking time. Cracked wheat contains all the nutrients of the whole grain."

Personally I have hard red and white wheat in storage, though I have many friends who prefer hard white wheat for bread. I already had hard red wheat in storage before hard white wheat became popular. I use both for pancakes, waffles and bread and have had no digestion problems. Best wishes!

Check out ChefBrad.com for grain education, recipes, and cookbooks to purchase.

Chef Brad - Various types of wheat

Chef Brad - Grain Usage Chart

July 11, 2010

Suggested Food Storage Items to Buy July 2010

This July I am putting my food storage money aside for purchases this fall. However, if you are looking for ideas of items to purchase, take a look at the list below. Think summer as there are a host of items that go on sale now.

Shelf Stable foods
Bottled water
Jell-O
Pudding
Ketchup
Mustard
Gatorade powder
Soda crackers
Canned beef
Canned chicken
Canned ham
Canned corned beef
Chips

Toiletries
Razors
Shaving cream

Paper & Cleaning
Paper cups
Paper plates
Paper bowls

Freezer Foods
Bread
Buns
Berry freezer jam
Hamburgers/hot dogs

Medical & First Aid
First Aid Manual
consecrated oil (LDS)
antiseptic spray

Family Emergency Supplies part 1
2 hand towels
plastic safety goggles
heavy rope
bungee cords
pry bar
folding shovel
hatchet
whet stone
emergency candle
toilet seat for bucket

Equipment & Fuel
Generator
Charcoal & lighter fluid
Dutch oven

June 28, 2010

Easy Weekly Magnetic Family Chore Chart with Magnetic Pictures


Sorry I have not written this month. I've been busy with one son's graduation then getting him off to summer term at BYU. Then another son came home from his mission from Cochabama, Bolivia. Also worked on preparations for youth conference and girl's camp, and now making a DVD of Mom's personal history for our family reunion this weekend!

Managing a household is a lot of work. Despite how busy I am, I discovered Vitamin D and I feel great! A few months ago my energy was really low and I wasn't sleeping well because of leg aches, so I saw my doctor and had lots of blood tests for thyroid, iron, etc. She determined I was extremely low on vitamin D (now taking 2000 to 4000 i.u. D3 daily until I get retested) and calcium (taking 1000 mg). Also take B6 & B12. Learned about women's health issues from WomentoWomen.com. If you feel low energy during the winter months or anytime, get a blood test for vitamin D! You need to know where you are on the range. I was 25 and want to get it above 50. Since I live in northern Utah, I will supplement this fall and winter. Now I get outside more during the morning and evening and avoid the middle of the day. Love the sun and have learned how important it is for our health.

Anyway, because of the added nutrients I feel renewed and have my energy back to feel motivated enough to exercise. Sometimes we want to exercise, but it takes energy to feel motivated. Now I walk a few miles outside most mornings.

I delegated lots the household chores with the kids. And continue to try to delegate with the women I work with in my church calling as Young Women's president. Delegation without feeling guilty has reduced my stress tremendously. For more stress management ideas go to the article at About.com. I also hired a house cleaner to come in twice a month. Hope at some point not to need her, but we have a big home.

After much pondering, I created a Weekly Magnetic Family Chore Chart with magnetic pictures on a large dry erase board. Love it! Easy to make and manage.
  1. Find pictures or chore icons and put on a spreadsheet.
  2. Then I printed the chores on cardstock.
  3. Next I put sticky-back magnetic strips on the chores, and cut them into squares.
  4. I can move the chores around each Sunday based on our weekly schedules and needs.
  5. Remember that the family is a team, and each member needs to share the work so all team members are happy.
That's all I have time for. Have a great day!

June 2, 2010

Suggested Food Storage Items to Buy in June 2010

June is the beginning of the summer and most stores will have plenty of items on sale. Budgets are tight, so take advantage of some great deals. Loss leaders are sale items that stores promote in their ads to draw you into their stores to buy more items you may not find on sale. My list below is a heads up so you will watch for items that go on sale. I've highlighted some in green that are typically discounted in June to help you save the most money:

Shelf Stable Foods
Bottled water (look for $2.99 or less for 24 ct. case), powdered milk (LDS), dry beans (LDS), dry split peas & lentils, freeze dried vegetables, butter powder, dried fruits & raisins, salad dressing, croutons, lemonade mix, pancake mix, tapioca

Freezer
roasts, strawberries, sausage

Toiletries
contact solution, mouthwash

Paper & Cleaning
laundry stain remover, dish soap

Medical Supplies
vaseline, measuring spoon, assorted band aids

Family Emergency Kit Supplies Part 2
(items you share as a family in a grab and go container)
crescent wrench, duct tape, large flashlight, spare flashlight batteries, hand can opener, mess kits, disposable hand wipes, sunblock, insect repellant

Equipment & Fuel
lumber for food storage shelves, firewood, or cooler

Other items that go on sale in June: Summer clothing (back to school clothes will start filling shelves. So take advantage of summer clearances. My favorite time to shop!), dresses, summer sports gear, men's clothing (Father's day is a great time to shop for Christmas gifts too!), refrigerators, TV's, computers, electronics, fabrics, building materials, pianos, canning supplies

May 29, 2010

Earthquake Proof Food Storage Rooms

BBC: Grocery store after 7.7 earthquake in Chile

We won't be able to save everything, but here are a few ideas I've gathered to help keep our food storage items safe. The changes are simple, logical and inexpensive. You've just set up your food storage room, but did you think to make it earthquake safe? Let me say immediately that my room is not finished, but I have done some research to help me know what I should change. And I know what earthquakes feel like and I don't want my food ruined after all the work and money I've spent to gather it. But first, watch this soundless video that was taken with surveylance cameras in a grocery store during the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Could this happen to your food storage room?
Here are some ideas that might help:

1. BRACE YOUR SHELVES
There are many types of shelves, but whatever you end up with should be braced to a wall stud, floor, or other shelves. If you have cinder block walls, you can find the right bolts at a hardware store, but be careful not to crack the cinder block. Get some L-brackets and screws to attach your shelves. If you don't attach the shelves, the entire shelf unit could fall over in an earthquake and block entry to your room as well as damage your items.



2. SECURE CANS AND BOTTLES
During an earthquake, cans and bottles will fall off shelves. I always cringe when I see pictures of peach jars perched atop food storage shelves; peaches that took hours to make, but will take seconds to break. Here are some ideas on how to secure you cans and bottles from Frugal Fraline.
a. Drill a hole through sides of shelving and thread webbing, wire, rope through holes and secure.
b. Attach clips to plasticized wire and clip to eye bolts.
c. Dowels can be attached to wooden shelves.
d. Hook bungee cords to eye bolts.
e. Install baby locks on cabinets.
f. Line shelves with rubberized no slip liner.

Another idea is to attach strips of wood to the front of wood shelves.

Grocery Store after Jan. 9, 2010 6.5 earthquake in Eureka, Calif. China Post Newspaper

3. SECURE BOXES
If you stack boxes of items or mason jars, make sure they are held in place with bungee cords or cording. Try not to stack plastic 5 gallon buckets more than 3 high as the weight can ruin the seal. And the tower that topples will not be a pleasant experience as well.

4. LATCH CABINET DOORS
If you have food items behind cabinet doors, attach child safety latches to the cupboard doors. I know few people who like putting latches on their cabinet doors, but have you ever ridden in a motorhome and had something fall on your head from an overhead cabinet? It doesn't feel very nice. I want to add latches to my highest kitchen cupboards where lots of glass is stored.
If you have other ideas, please share them.

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