March 31, 2011

Best Food Storage to Buy in April 2011

This month we will focus on canned meat. Here is my suggested list of items to add to your food storage this month. These food storage ideas are based on my 3-Month Food Storage Plan. I focus on a three-month supply first, but you could store more.

Utah case lot sales are happening now at Macey’s, Fresh Market, Dick’s, and Smith’s. A case lot sale is when a store sells a case of a product at a substantial discount. Stock up for your food storage! If you are coming this weekend for General Conference, leave some space in your car for a few cases. Look at my Mega case lot sale price comparison list on the right sidebar to compare with Walmart, Costco, Sam's, etc.

The April List

STEP 1: 3-Month FOOD STORAGE SUPPLY - Meat
(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
Beef/corned beef 4 cans
Tuna 6 cans
Chicken/Turkey 5 cans
Spam, Ham 1 can


NON-FOOD ITEMS (per family)
Liquid hand soap
Liquid dish soap
Hand sanitizer

72-HOUR KIT (per person)
3 day supply water
3 day supply food

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES (per family)
Sewing kit
Work gloves
Crescent wrench
Duct tape
Large flashlight
Solar shower

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT (per auto)
Food bars
Hand sanitizer
Small lotion

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. Shop at case lot sales
2. Design your vegetable garden
3. Photograph or videotape home contents
4. Replace food packs in your 72-hour kits

March 29, 2011

Utah Case Lot Sale Price Comparison List

Introducing the updated Spring 2011 Utah Mega Case Lot Sale Price Comparison list below. If you lose this post, you can find it again on the right sidebar of my blog. This list compares the current Macey's case lot sale with Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart, LDS Home Storage and a few food storage companies.

Just added the Smith's case lot sale! (3/30)

I love this list because it gives you ideas on where to purchase items for the best price. It's a great resource

March 27, 2011

Utah Fundraisers for Japan Earthquake Victims

Sunday, March 27th at 6:30 PM (Tonight!)
"The Relief Concert For Japan"
Presented by the University of Utah's School of Music at Libby Gardener Hall. An array of musical artists will perform that night, including a number of talented Japanese instrumentalists and vocalists from along the Wasatch Front, including gifted members of the One-Voice Children's Choir, the Ogden Buddhist Taiko Group and the Wasatch Koto School. It's a free concert, but donations will be accepted at the door. All proceeds will go directly to the American Red Cross.

Thursday, March 31st
The Water Gardens Cinema 6 will generously donate all ticket sales on Thursday, March 31st, specified for the "Japan Humanitarian Fundraiser" to the LDS Church "Japan Humanitarian Fund". Come watch a movie and help the Japanese people! When you buy your ticket(s) mention it is for the "Japan Humanitarian Fundraiser". If you have any questions, call or email Carol Clubb (801) 361-7576 carol@theclubb.com
Contact me about other local fundraisers. Thanks!

March 23, 2011

Fixed Errors in the Food Storage Calculator

Hi everyone,

I fixed some errors in the 3-month Food Storage Calculator. Sorry I am so human. :) Anyway, check the previous post for the updated calculator. Thanks for those of you who are so observant.

Thanks to all of you for your support!
Valerie

March 22, 2011

STEP 1: 3-Month Food Storage Supply

(Note: - STEPS 1, 2, and 3 can be worked on simultaneously. Then move to STEP 4)

STEP 1: Three-Month Supply
"Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated [eaten and replenished] regularly to avoid spoilage." (ProvidentLiving.org)

Where do I start?
"Start by adding a few storable items that you typically eat, storing some water that is safe to drink, and saving some money, if only a few coins each week. Then over time, expand these initial efforts—as individual circumstances allow and where permitted—by storing a longer-term supply of basics such as grains, beans, and other staples." (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)

How quickly should I obtain my food storage?
"It is not prudent to go to extremes or go into debt to establish your home storage all at once. Gradually build reserves over time as financial resources and space permit." (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)

What’s the difference between the three-month and longer-term supply items?
"Three-month supply items are foods that you normally eat, including canned and commercially packaged foods. Longer-term supply items are basic food items like grains and beans that have very low moisture content (about 10% or less), can be stored for long periods of time (20–30 years), and would sustain life if nothing else were available to eat. A portion of longer-term supply items may be rotated into the three-month supply." (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)

Many of you have asked me what kinds of food should you put in your 3-Month food storage supply. EVERYONE's supply will be different. I've updated my personal 3-Month Food Storage Calculator. It contains shelf stable items for your food storage and also includes paper goods, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Focus on the food items first. Adjust anything you want to suit the needs of your family. The calculator can also give you suggested amounts for a year's supply, but you don't have to store a year supply of many items. Just the long-term foods. This is only a guide, but I like it for my family, so I'm sharing. Let me know if you find errors in the formulas.

Also, at the beginning of each month I post items to add to your food storage supply. Look on the right side bar of my blog. You do not want to buy everything all at once. Just add a little at a time to build up a supply so you don't end up with same expiration dates or get lopsided by having too much of one item. How would that help you in an emergency? Learn to use what you buy, then shop again to replenish your supply. It is all trial and error.

Here is a printable 3-month food storage plan for one adult. You are free to print the Relief Society or ward use. A Sample 3-Month Food Storage Supply for one adult.pdf

If you are feeling overly anxious with amounts, look at my Food Storage for College Students.

Now read STEP 2: Emergency Water

March 21, 2011

Best Way to Help Japan: Donate To LDS Humanitarian Services

What can you do for those in Japan? Monetary donations are the most important item needed for Japan. The LDS Church Humanitarian Services can get help quickly to people in Japan with donations. It is expensive to ship physical donations. But the Church can purchase needed items through contacts in Japan. So if you want to help, donate online to Humanitarian Services where 100% of your donations can serve those who need it.

Read this article in MSNBC: "In Japan, the Mormon network gathers the flock"

Other ideas -
  • Host a garage sale to donate funds
  • Sell something and donate funds
  • Donate your Christmas fund
  • What You Can Do - Go to this Humanitarian Services link

Mail checks here:
Humanitarian Services
50 East North Temple Street, Floor 7
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-6890

March 18, 2011

Stock up on Cases of Water with Catalina Deal at Kroger Smith's


Today I purchased bottled water at Smith's grocery store for $1.52 per case! If you need to add to your 2 week supply of emergency water (14 gallons per adult) and have a Smith's in your area, there is a great Catalina deal for Nestle Pure Life Purified Water going on until April 3. Catalina coupons are those checkout coupons the cashier hands you. You want to combine it with the Smith's buy 10 sale. But only buy 4 waters at each shopping trip.
Here is what you do:
  1. Buy 4 cases of Nestle's Water and 6 other sale items in the March to Savings Buy 10 sale.
  2. That will take off $5.00 off on your receipt.
  3. Then you will be handed an additional $5.00 Catalina coupon off your next purchase. (Make sure your store has the Catalina machine by the register!)

I went back later today and bought the 10 items again including the 4 water cases, got the Kroger $5.00 off, and applied the first $5.00 Catalina coupon. I received another $5.00 Catalina to spend on my next purchase.
8 cases of water or 192 bottles of .5 Liter water for $12.16 or 6 cents a bottle!

Am I an el cheapo or what? That beats the everyday Sam's Club and Costco price! I like 24 ct. cases because I can lift them without help.

Update 3/22: I bought 4 more cases today! I heard the ad will continue for another week. Check your store's website or printed ad.

More math:
Fema suggests storing 1 gallon of water per day per person. More for people in hot environments, infants, nursing mothers and ill people.
14 gallons of water = 106 Bottles
4 x 24 ct. cases is just over 12 gallons of water
A great emergency prep brochure by Fema is here.

March 16, 2011

STEP 3: Financial Reserve - Emergency Cash For Real Emergencies


Note: - STEPS 1, 2, and 3 can be worked on simultaneously. Then move to STEP 4)
STEP 3: Financial Reserve
"Establish a financial reserve by saving a little money each week and gradually increasing it to a reasonable amount." ProvidentLiving.org

"We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. . . . If you have paid your debts and have a financial reserve, even though it be small, you and your family will feel more secure and enjoy greater peace in your hearts." —The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances, Feb. 2007, 1

President Gordon B. Hinckley has taught: “Set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts” ("To the Boys and to the Men," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 54).

Putting aside emergency cash is "an investment against the unexpected – situations where everything else has failed and I have no other options to turn to." TheSimple Dollar.com

THINK ABOUT IT -
Emergency Scenario #1: You just went through a major disaster. You can't leave the city and need some supplies. The power is out and the grocery store isn't accepting ATM or credit cards.

Emergency Scenario #2: You've suddenly been asked to evacuate because of a fire on the mountain near your home. You hope you can eventually drive to your sister's out of town, but suddenly the roads are congested. Everything is at a standstill and you could only make it across town. You need gas, food and water, and possibly a hotel room.

Emergency Scenario #3: Your youngest child is very ill. You need some medication from the pharmacist, but you left your wallet at work which is about 30 miles away.

Emergency Cash Tips:
Put it in several locations
Keep it safe from water and heat damage
Nothing larger than a $10 bill (You could pay $5 for a bottle of water in an emergency.)
Keep about $20 to $100 hidden in your car
Keep about $20 to $50 in your wallet in small bills
Keep minimum $100 per person at home
Dave Ramsey, author of "The Total Money Makeover," recommends you start with $1000.
Consider how you might use it in 72 hours - food, hotel, gas, etc.
Convert collected coins to smaller bills. It needs to be accessible, but don't use it to buy your lunch.
Hide it in unobvious locations, but make sure your trusted older kids know where it is. You may not be home when they need it.

IDEA FROM READER -

"I was just reading your great blog and you mentioned to keep emergency cash. I thought I would share something that works for me. Whenever we tried to have an emergency stash, I would always end up using it for lunch money or last minute gifts, etc. So I picked up some of those small coin sorter banks that are always around for Father's Day and Christmas. We all empty our loose change into them each night. We have over $400--all in change. I'm not tempted to "borrow" it's too much of a hassle. As we fill a bank, we put it down in the food storage room. They are small, so they are not too heavy for us to grab when in need. Thanks for all you do." DS


Articles to Read:
Family Finances
Safely Gathered in: Keeping Cash at Home

After you've completed steps 1, 2 and 3, you can go on to STEP 4: Longer-Term Supply

March 14, 2011

LDS Charities: Mayerlinth's Mobility

Food Storage - Ponder, Make a Plan And Take Action

Since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I've had thousands of readers come to my blog looking for answers. I'm sure you've been searching all over the internet. Some of you feel desperate because you don't have anything put aside. Here are some tips:

Study the LDS Family Home Storage pamphlet. It is an inspired plan.

Water: Focus on a 2 week supply of water. I store 2 weeks of drinking water and 2 weeks of washing/food prep water. Water is so essential. Keep bottled water in your cars, your 72-hour kit, and your office. Carry it to school and on your walks.

Focus on a 3-month supply, first, and then keep replenishing that supply. This can be used for short-term emergencies. I include soups, stew, chili, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats, etc. Quite a bit of prepared foods in case my fuel supply is restricted. Yes, I have 72-hour kits, but most catastrophic emergencies last longer than 72 hours, so a 3-month supply is an inspired idea.

Put aside a financial reserve today! Decide as a family what that amount is. I like weekly automatic transfers from checking to a savings account. I keep it small so it isn't painful. Also have emergency cash at home in smaller bills, and on you at all times. (I need to work on this!)

After my 3-month supply was gathered, I added more long-term foods. These items will sustain us if we had nothing else to eat, and we will not starve. I don't overdo it. I recognize my limited budget and plan accordingly. I DO NOT have everything we need yet, but I am in no rush.

Have an emergency plan. Review it every year. Discuss different scenarios of where members of the family might be if a disaster happens. My mother-in-law shared this story about her bishop:

"Our bishop arrived home safely from Tokyo one hour prior to sacrament meeting after spending 48 hours in the airport where he was waiting for his plane to take him back home to America after two weeks in Japan (which should have arrived the same time as the earthquake hit). He said while he was there lying on the floor he prayed earnestly for many things as you can imagine. However, he felt prompted during this time to tell us as ward members some important things if we get our big earthquake here or anywhere. He said for those two days he had no water, no food, no blankets and neither did the other thousands of people in the airport. All water, gas etc was turned off and no one was allowed in or out of the building due to downed power lines etc for 48 hours."

Her bishop taught the members: "When a really big earthquake comes you are probably not going to have access to your food storage, to other members of the family (maybe), to any blankets, water, electricity, etc. and each one of us has to learn to become self sufficient and learn what to do. Consider how is the best way to save yourself when it happens! Do not get on the cell phone right at first and block the lines as much as you want to call your family! It was a major problem in Tokyo for the emergency crews! Know that children will probably be safer staying in the building or school that they are in when it occurs. Teach your children how long they will be okay without food or water so they won't panic. Teach them how to get home later on if they are alone and have to walk home! No gas was available for cars. No trains were working or taxis. We've all had the other preparation warnings and have our homes stocked and ready I'm sure. Learn to be self sufficient and teach your children to be self sufficient. Learn how to not panic and become a problem for others if you are basically okay physically! Teach them 3 C's, stay cool, calm and collected if you possibly can."

Ponder, make a plan, and take action. Stay focused, pace yourself, and be wise.

March 11, 2011

Japan Earthquake March 11, 2011 - Learn From It

My heart goes out to those who experienced the tremendous 8.9 quake and tsunami in Japan today. Watch some of the videos on CNN, and seriously consider making your home more earthquake safe.

ABC News: Japan Earthquake before and after

CNN: Widespread destruction from Japan earthquake, tsunamis

Church Statement on Missionaries in Japan

Also, check out some of my previous posts about earthquake preparedness.

Earthquake Preparation: Teach at Family Home Evening

March 7, 2011

Utah Case Lot Sales Price Comparison Spring 2011

(Note: updated 3/29/11 see sidebar of blog)
Here is the spring Utah Case Lot Sales Price comparison spreadsheet. It compares case lot prices from the past and present with Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco and various other food storage companies. I didn't have time to update some prices, but it includes the current sales at Bowman's and Winegars. You may download it for your use. If you have questions, please comment. I will update it again later this month with Smith's, Macey's and various other stores that have not had their case lot sales yet.

Thanks!

March 6, 2011

Utah Case Lot Sales Dates Spring 2011


For those of you living in Utah (possibly Idaho, Arizona and Las Vegas area), or coming to General Conference April 2, get ready for the Utah case lot sales. A great time to shop for canned goods for your food storage. Here are the upcoming dates for stores in my area. If you have other case lot dates, email me. (Oops. I made some date changes. Sorry)

Bowman's: March 2 - March 15 (ended)
Winegars: March 2 - March 15 (ended)
Kents: March 2 - March 15 (ended)
Petersons: March 2 - March 14 (ended)
Lins: check back
Dan's: check back
Lees: check back
Allens: check back
Wangsgards: check back

Dick's: March 30 - April 12?
Macey's: March 30 - April 12
Fresh Market: March 30 - April 12
Smith's: Probably early April
Harmon's: no spring case lot sale

I've started gathering prices to compare with Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart, LDS home storage, and several food storage companies. Check back March 8.

Tips on Shopping at Case Lot Sales

March 3, 2011

Best Food Storage to Buy in March 2011

I love the month of March because spring is just around the corner! Even with the snow on the ground here in Utah, just hearing the word spring is exhilarating. Recommit yourself to working on your food storage one month at a time. Some emergency supplies will take several years to accumulate, but once you have them there is peace of mind. Stay in your monthly budget, and don't rush out to shop for everything even though you will see sales. I honestly feel we are blessed as we focus on a few items at a time.

The monthly focus is cooking essentials. They don't cost a lot, so stock up. Stores will focus on Spring cleaning so look for sales on cleaning products. You need cleaning supplies for emergencies. Bleach and disinfectanct cleaner are a top priority. It's also National Frozen Food month, and National Red Cross month so look for sales for these types of items. Your monthly preparedness goal is signing up for an emergency CPR class with your local Red Cross or sign up for a CERT class.

The March List

STEP 1: 3-Month FOOD STORAGE SUPPLY - Cooking Essentials
(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
Cake mix 1 box
Brownie mix 1 box (check Winco)
Frosting 1 cntr.
Bouillon 2 oz. (check Winco bulk spices)
Baking Powder 5 oz.
Baking Soda 8 oz.
Cornstarch 8 oz. (WM)
Dough Enhancer 1/2 can (Macey's case lot sale)
Yeast 4 oz. (freeze, Costo or Sam's Club)
Lemon juice 4 oz (WM)
Vinegar 16 oz.
Salt 1/2 26 oz. cntr. (5YR)
Spices 2 jars or refill
Onions, dry 8 oz. (LT 30YR)
Optional Freezer Items
Frozen vegetables 3 pkgs.
Frozen fruit 3 pkgs. (Costco or Sam's Club. Divide into smaller bags)
Frozen potatoes 1 pkg.
Tip: Corned beef is on sale at Smith's for $1.49/lb.

NON-FOOD ITEM (per family)
(Purchase a year supply to save money!)
Bleach 1 pp (check Walmart, smaller containers are easier to store)
Disinfectant cleaner (Costco, use March $2.00 off Pinesol or smaller bottle at Target)
Disinfectant wipes (Costco, use March $2.50 off coupon)
Toilet bowl cleaner (Costco, use March $2.00 off coupon)

72-HOUR KIT (per person)
Flashlight and batteries
Shirts (use old T-shirts if you can't purchase)
Rain poncho

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES (per family)
Liquid hand soap
Small dish soap
Fire extinguisher
First aid kit
First Aid Manual
CPR mouth barrier
Adhesive tape

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT (per auto)
Rain poncho
Umbrella
Flashlight and batteries

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. Replenish spices
2. Take food storage inventory
3. Take emergency class

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