Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mom's 12 Week LDS Mission Preparation Countdown Timeline

As we count down the days until our number three son leaves on his LDS mission (enters MTC March 2nd) to Stockholm, Sweden, I'm busy working on those last few details. Today he's off skiing with his dad for the last time. I love this boy of mine that has grown up and become a man with his own independent thoughts and direction. We are excited that he will serve in an area where my ancestors are from. I have immensely enjoyed the last two months with him before he heads out on his mission, I am grateful he went to BYU for 6 months, to help with the separation anxiety this mom may have.

Attached is the missionary preparation timeline that has helped me with all three of my sons regardless of where they served. It's on Excel so I could adjust for their various missions and number of weeks before the mission. Feel free to copy and adjust for your own use. This time I put the items in my Google calendar as an all day event and it has helped me pace myself. I hope someone finds it useful.
12 Week Mission Preparation Countdown Timeline.excel
12 Week Mission Preparation Countdown Timeline.pdf

Monday, February 14, 2011

Food Storage Beans

To be honest, I mainly store prepared canned beans in my food storage. I like the convenience and here in Utah I can take advantage of case lot sales so I buy beans at a good price. However, I was happy to attend a recent Relief Society night where I learned more about canned as well as dry beans from Janet Brough. A couple of tips from her Bean Information handout:

  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils) are low in fat (only 2-3%).

  • Legumes are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, B vitamins, folate, and iron.

  • When served with seeds, nuts, or grains (wheat, rice, oats), the combination provides a complete protein.

  • Have phytochemicals, compounds that may help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • They have no cholesterol.
  • They are high in fiber—the part of plant-based foods that you body doesn’t digest. A diet high in fiber can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and help lower blood cholesterol levels, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. May also help prevent colon cancer.
  • The government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests we eat at least 3 cups per week.
Take note:
  • Do not add tomatoes, vinegar, ketchup, chili sauce, or lemon juice (acidic ingredients) to the beans in your recipe until the beans are totally cooked. The acid retards the cooking and softening of the beans. They may never soften after adding the tomatoes!

  • You can replace eggs in baking recipes by using 1 Tb. soy flour with 2 Tb. water for EACH egg called for in recipe. The dough may taste different, but it will bake up fine.
    Plan for convenience at home by home canning dry beans, or cook and freeze beans for later use.

  • If you can’t find at the store, or don’t have on hand at home, the kind of legume you want for a particular recipe, you can easily substitute one type of legume for another. For example, pinto and black beans are good substitutes for red kidney beans. Consider the color of the beans you are replacing; i.e. dark beans replace dark, light colored replace light colored beans.

  • Cooked dry beans can be pureed and used in place of part of the fat in baked goods. The final product will be changed somewhat, so test by replacing ¼ to ½ of the fat.
Bean Information Handout
Bean Recipes for Relief Society Document
Some Tasty Bean Quickies
Bean Recipes2

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shopping at Smith's with the Grocery Guru

Yesterday I went shopping at the Smith's grocery store in Farmington, Utah with the Grocery Guru, Ken Roesbery. You may have seen him on the morning news on KUTV2. See my last post to find out how I won this opportunity. It was a fun experience and our group of 8 shoppers was great. Everyone was so helpful. We followed Ken around the store like chicks following a hen, or in this case a rooster.

Ken pointed to the shelves in the store and told us how many of each item to grab for the greatest savings. We then put the items in our cart. He also told us which items we did not have to get if we did not want to. No pressure. I liked that. He was polite, moved quickly, and repeated things multiple times so we wouldn't get confused.

At the end he asked for a $10 tip, but it was totally optional. To offset the cost of the tip he offered us a free dinner at Carino's in Salt Lake. If we gave him the tip, we could shop with him for free at any other time we wanted to. For $10 more he gave us $2000 worth of coupon inserts (some were close to expiration), and a $10 off coupon to Kohl's to offset that cost. I paid him the tip and bought the coupons because I felt the experience was worth it, I had lots of coupons, and nothing was lost because I shop at Kohl's faithfully. Before we went through the checkout he handed us a bunch of coupons paper clipped together which I gave to the checker. I came out of the store with at least 8 bags of groceries. Here is my savings:

$101.79 Retail
$61.95 Amount saved with Fresh Values and MFG coupons that Ken gave me
$39.84 Total cost

Savings $62%

I'm still reading through his handout on coupon shopping and how he uses the inserts. I would have enjoyed buying more fruits and veggies, but we did get meat, cheese, eggs, and milk. There are rarely coupons for produce anyway, so I could have purchased them ahead of time.

Since this is a food storage blog, let me tell you what I bought for food storage: 4 Progresso soups, 2 Kroger spaghetti sauces, 1 Ken's salad dressing, 2 Jello puddings, 4 Hormel chilis, 4 Kellogg's cereals, 2 Ronzoni pasta, 2 Colgate toothpastes, 2 O.R. microwave popcorn.

A few of Ken's tips:

1. Don't clip coupons until you are ready to use them.
2. Keep coupon inserts from the newspaper in a binder with pockets. Date the first page of the insert.
3. Match coupons to sales for the greatest savings. Check his and other websites to know how to match.
4. Plan menus around the sales.
5. Ken suggests cutting and then paper clipping your coupons for your shopping trip.
6. Give store coupons to the cashier first at the beginning of the checkout process. Give the cashier the manufacturer's coupons at the end of the checkout process.

My tips if you go shopping with the Grocery Guru:
1. Don't try to buy other items at the same time as it will make it harder to see your savings.
2. Don't feel you have to buy things you don't like. However, if you need 10 items from a list of particular items, ask Ken if you can get two more of something you like. You may not use a manufacturers coupon for the greatest savings, but you will but what you really want hopefully at a store discount.
3. Only shop at a store that you are familiar with. It will help you make better food choices.
4. Don't take kids. You will be moving quickly and don't have time for bathroom stops, etc.
5. If you don't go with him, you can create your own menus from the advertisements. To match up coupons to products you need, click the Search Grocery Ads button on the Guru's site. Or use his shopping list. The choice is yours.

I already use several of Ken's ideas, except I've been clipping first. Understand that I don't let coupons run my life. I typically look for items I typically buy that are on sale. However, I'm making a binder to keep the newspaper inserts in anyway. (Changed my mind. I like clipping coupons only for thing I buy! And keeping them in a small binder with envelope dividers.) I only have the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Deseret News which I paid for a year in advance. I don't buy multiple newspapers. Another site Ken promotes that will show you how to combine sales and coupons is Also, for some of you who are okay paying for help and aren't too excited about couponing, check out (western United States) which I've used before. It's a great site! After awhile though you just know what a good price is or you keep a price log. Also I've learned what coupons work for my family and avoid all others.

Guru Great Deals Monday mornings on KUTV2 at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. and on Wednesday on KJZZ 14 at 9:10. And the radio at Freedom 570 on Saturday's 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Or at

For more information on the Grocery Guru's program, contact Ken Roesbery, at (801) 204-6340 or

Monday, February 7, 2011

Going Shopping with the Grocery Guru

While walking on the treadmill this morning, I saw the Grocery Guru on the morning news. I'm not too excited about his online menus, however if you were one of the first 20 callers, you could shop with him for free. So I called the number and was invited to shop with him tomorrow at Smith's in Farmington. I'm interested to see how he and other coupon shoppers like me do their shopping. Hope I can get some pics, and will post my experience.