Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trying Out Bountiful Baskets

To help me have more money to stock up on my food storage, I always look for ways to save money on my groceries. After some encouragement from my son and daughter-in-law, I went online Monday and placed an order with a food co-op called Bountiful Baskets. They deliver in 15 states. Most of you have already discovered this great find. I paid $15.00 plus $1.50 handling fee for a total of $16.50, and the $3.00 first-time basket fee to get two baskets of surprise fruits and vegetables.

So, at 6:45 a.m. this morning (I'm an early riser) I arrived at my Kaysville location with my grocery bags and watched volunteers filling about a hundred laundry baskets (they reuse them) with fruits and vegetables. Two of those baskets were mine to put items in the bags I brought.

After weighing and counting everything,

I ran over to my local Smith's grocery store to compare prices. Don't get me wrong. I like Smith's (SM), but I had to compare. I used their regular and sale prices. Here are the results:

8 Granny Smith apples ($2.70 SM)
6 Mangoes ($2.47 SM) How to store and prepare
14 Limes ($3.92 SM)
5 Bananas, extra large ($1.71 SM) (I like the smaller ones at Smith's)
6 Peaches ($3.52 SM)
8 Plums ($4.58 SM)
1 lb. Strawberries ($2.19 SM)
1 pint Grape tomatoes ($3.00 SM)
1 Green lettuce head ($1.29 SM)
1 Cabbage ($1.59 SM) Try KFC Coleslaw
1 Green onion bunch ($.69 SM)
6 Carrots, lg. ($1.39 SM)
1 Celery bunch, lg. ($1.29 SM)

Bountiful Baskets: $16.50
Smith's: $30.34
That is a 54% savings!

The smart thing would be to find a friend and order two baskets, then take turns picking up. Mmmm. If you need recipe ideas for the foods that come, check out the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op Facebook page.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Emergency Outdoor Cooking and Menus for 7 Days

The summer heat is on, which means the chance for a power outage also increases. Suddenly the power goes out and you watch the clock. It's been two hours and the kids are hungry. What will you eat? You could scramble or you could make a plan ahead of time by creating menus from items you typically keep in your food storage. You probably will be cooking outdoors, and summer is a great time to practice your outdoor cooking skills. Imagine being without your refrigerator and freezer foods for a week? Having a backup plan with food storage is a great way to go.

ABCD’s of Keeping Food Safe in an Emergency

"Always keep meat, poultry, fish, and eggs refrigerated at or below 40 °F and frozen food at or below 0 °F. This may be difficult when the power is out. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days. Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased." USDA

My menus are from easy-to-prepare items I keep in our food storage, so my family could grab and use them right away. (Not wheat and dry beans.) We would use the loaves of bread from our freezer for the sandwiches. And put some condiments and frozen meat in a cooler with ice. Don't plan on running to the store for ice, unless the store has power. I also listed some cooking equipment to keep in storage totes or a chuck box. That way if we ever need them, the cooking items are in one place including an Amco Swing-a-way can opener. These meals could be prepared on a Coleman-type camp stove or a propane BBQ grill. Some meals require water, but most do not. If you think "camping" you will know how to plan. Keep a copy of your emergency outdoor cooking plan in your Emergency Preparedness Binder. (Here is a cover).

Emergency Outdoor Cooking & Menus for 7 Days pdf.

Emergency Outdoor Cooking & Menus for 7 Days Excel

Make sure you have candles, batteries, a good lantern, matches and drinking water on hand. And plenty of things for the kiddies to do.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Where to Safely Store 72-Hour Kits

You've gathered your 72-Hour emergency kit supplies, so now it is time to think about where you will safely store your kits. Here are my thoughts.

• Plan to evacuate in only 5 minutes.
• Plan to evacuate on foot, but hope to evacuate by car. Not always possible.
• Plan who will be home and what time of day. In my case it could be me or my teenagers. I would be lucky to have my husband home, but I don't plan on it.
• Find a storage location that is relatively safe from earthquake or water damage.
• The main floor or in bedrooms is best.
• Choose one central location where all family members know where to find items.
• Choose a location near a main entrance or exit.
• Think grab and go, not hunt and dig. You don't have time to search in the garage rafters, attic or basement. Prepare in advance!
• Store kits in an area that has lots of wall studs for support, like a closet. My emergency supplies are in the coat closet by my front door.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ensign Article: The Power of Education

Read this powerful story about the value of an education from The Ensign Magazine, June 2011. It will have a profound affect on your life as you read about a woman who brought herself out of poverty.

"The Power of Education"

By Suzy Taggy Coelho Caldas Nelsen

"My mother grew up knowing nothing but abandonment, starvation, and poverty. She didn’t receive much formal schooling, but she knew the value of education and its power to change lives. In sewing together scrap pieces of paper to make me a notebook for school, my mother made one thing clear: education could help me escape a life of poverty."

Humble Beginnings

"I was born in northern Brazil more than three months premature. Thirty years ago, there was almost no chance for a premature baby to survive in the cockroach-infested public hospital. The doctors told my mother that I would be dead within a few hours. I did not die. The Lord helped me survive."

Read more of the story here.

“The Lord wants you to educate your minds and hands, whatever your chosen field. Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves. … You will bring honor to the Church and you will be generously blessed because of that training.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Liahona, Apr. 2001, 34; Ensign, Jan. 2001, 8.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

9 Steps to Save Photos from Water Damage

The Ogden River May 28, 2011, Ogden, Utah. Not near my home.

Because of the potential flooding problems in Utah, I've been quickly working on temporarily protecting our old photographs and family videos. I have not had time to scan pictures into my computer, but I want to safely store them away from water damage. Even broken pipes, a fireman's hose or a leaking roof can cause water damage.

The old cardboard boxes
Our photographs and videos were in cardboard boxes; an awful storage container. Can you imagine water seeping into a box and destroying your child's baby pictures?