August 30, 2011

Best Food Storage to Buy in September 2011



September is a wonderful month to stock up on items for your food storage, 72-hour kits and emergency supplies. This month we're focusing on tomato products and pasta. Yum! There are so many choices and dry pasta stores well. I try to keep the cost down to about $25 per person based on Utah prices.

Also, if you are making your own 72-hour kits, this is the month to find backpacks on clearance. Start looking now. If your younger child can't carry their own, consider one with wheels they can pull. And you don't need to buy another bag for your infant. Use the large diaper bag you already own. Just keep it stocked with a 3-day supply of food, water, clothes, etc. Most mom's already do that.

[Note: I just got the Harmon's case lot sale prices and put them by each food item! I'll add the Smith's case lot prices when I get them next week.]

The September List (click for printable copy)

STEP 1: 3-Month FOOD STORAGE SUPPLY - Tomatoes and Pasta
(Suggested amounts are for 1 adult)
CL = case lot sale, WM = Walmart, LDS = available at LDS Home Storage centers
HM CL = Harmon's case lot, SM CL= Smith's case lot, Costco = CC, Sam's Club = SC
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 (suggested stores to purchase in brackets)
Tomato sauce, 8x8 oz. cans [HM CL .22 ea. or CC 15 oz. .54 ea.]
Tomato paste, 2x6 oz. [HM CL .39 ea. or CC .50 ea.]
Tomatoes diced, etc. 4x15 oz. cans [HM CL .50 ea. or WM .63 ea.]
Tomato soup 3 cans [HM CL .44 ea. or CC .87]
Soup, cream of mush/chic 4 cans [HM CL .59 ea. or CC .53 ea.]
Pasta, canned 2 cans [HM CL .59 - .89 ea. or CC .81]
Macaroni & cheese 2 boxes [HM CL .35 ea. or CC .53 ea.]
Ramen soup noodles 24 ct. [HM CL .10 ea. or CC .16 ea.]
Pasta/Spaghetti/Macaroni, etc., dry 8 lbs. (LDS, LT 30 YR) [HM CL 3 lb. @ $2.00]
Spaghetti/Alfredo sauce prepared 2x24 oz. [HM CL Prego 48 oz. $1.79 or SC Ragu 45 oz. $2.56]

NON-FOOD ITEMS (per family)
Laundry detergent
Laundry stain remover
Laundry fabric softener/sheets

72-HOUR KIT (per person)
Backpack or other bag (clearance)
Recent family photo
Waterproof matches

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES (per family)
Sleeping bags, pp (clearance)
Sleeping pad, pp (clearance)
Lantern (clearance)
Emergency candle
Camp stove (clearance)
Water carrier (WM)

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT (per auto)
Pocket tissues (back-to-school clearance)
Small scissors (back-to-school clearance)
Kids activities (crayons, scissors, coloring book, etc.) (back-to-school clearance)

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. Use at least one item from your food storage in a meal at least once a day this week. You will learn to use what you store if you do this.
2. Have a family emergency fire drill
3. Test your smoke detectors
4. Take a food storage inventory

August 27, 2011

Food Storage Tip: Containers for Dry Ingredients


If you store some of your long-term dry food storage in #10 cans from the LDS Home Storage Centers, I’ve found that they are easy to open with a manual can opener if you turn them upside down. I don’t know why, unless the bottom seal was created with a stronger commercial sealer. I open all of my cans upside down, wipe them out and recycle them. Or you could store the items in the can using the plastic lids provided, but I like to move them to another container with a tighter seal for everyday use in my pantry. I use two types of containers found at Walmart:

Mainstays Sugar Dispenser, about $4.47
It has a handle and pouring spout. I have three of these for my flour, sugar and powdered sugar. Holds a 5 lb. bag of sugar or flour.

Mainstays 4-pc. Set, about $6.72 or $1.68 each.
This set comes with 4 canisters and lids: 3.6-cup, 6.4-cup, 12-cup, and a 1.3-gallon. This product looks exactly like the old Rubbermaid storage containers holding the pasta in the photo above.

Use the largest container for #10 can ingredients like rice, powdered milk, oats, potato flakes, dry beans, macaroni, etc. And the smaller containers for baking soda, baking cocoa, bow tie pasta, etc. Or store butter, corn meal, yeast, chocolate chips, etc. in the refrigerator or freezer. Plenty of uses.

Some of you may like to store your dry ingredients in glass or ceramic jars on the counter. I decided to stay with plastic and keep my containers in my pantry cupboards to prevent broken glass in the event of an earthquake. Just a thought.

August 25, 2011

This Week's Shopping Deals


One of my daughters is allergic to nuts, but she isn't allergic to almonds, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. So when I found the August 28th RedPlum coupon for $1.00 off Nutella, I stocked up on it for our food storage! She was more than excited.

Yes, Nutella has sugar, but there are 50 hazelnuts in each 13 oz. jar and 3 grams of protein. With the coupon it is the same price as the 3 pk. at Sam’s Club, but I couldn't buy my other items at Sam's Club. Check out this week's great shopping deals. 

Walmart Shopping 8/24

Nutella 13 oz. $3.18, regular price
Use $1.00/1 Nutella RP 8/28
Final Price: $2.18 each

Johnson & Johnson Travel Size First Aid Kit $0.97, regular Price
Use $1.50/2 Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Brand Product from SS 8/21
Or $1.50/2 Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Products from RP 7/31 (exp 11/30)
Final Price: $0.22 each when you buy 2 (Add to 72-hour kits)

Wet Ones Travel size 15 wipes .97, regular price
Use .75/1 Wet Ones coupon
Final Price: .22 ea. (Perfect for the car or 72-hour kit)

Bic Cristal Pens 10 ct. .97, regular price
Use $1.00/2 Bic stationary product
Final Price: .47 each when you buy 2

Smith’s (Kroger) Shopping 8/24 & 8/26

L.A. Looks Hair Gel 20 oz., $1.00 on sale
Use $1.00/1 L.A. Looks Product, 20 oz or 26 oz from RP 7/31
Final Price: FREE!  (When you save money on toiletries, you have more money for food storage!)

Dial Liquid hand soap, .88 on sale
Use $0.35/1 Dial Bar or Liquid Hand Soap from RP 8/7
Final Price: .53 each

Starburst, Skittles, Livesavers candies 14 oz. $3.00/2 sale
Use $1.00 off each Starburst, Skittles, Livesavers candies 13 - 16 oz. Coupons.com (can print 2 coupons on each home computer. Just hit your go back arrow and print again.)
Final Price: .50 each bag!

Quaker Life cereal 13 oz. $3.87 reg., $1.99 sale
Use Quaker $1.00/2 coupon found on cereal boxes (difficult to do better on Life)
Final Price: $1.49 ea.

Johnson & Johnson Reach Floss 55 yd. .95 reg.
Use .50 SS 7/31 (missed the $1 off coupons!)
Final Price: .45

Walgreen's 8/26
Transaction #1
Buy 2 Crest 3D White 4 oz. toothpaste $4.49 reg., $5.00/2 sale
Use 2 Crest toothpaste .50 P&G 7/31
Receive $3.00 RR
Final Price: .50 ea.

Buy 1 Listerine Barbie SmartRinse 16.9 oz. $4.99 reg., $3.00 sale (hard to find)
Use 1 Listerine SmartRinse $1.00 7/31 SS
Receive $2.00 RR
Final Price: FREE

Buy 1 Snickers candy bar .99 reg., .69 sale (to offset # of coupons)
Use last weeks RR $2.00
Retail: $14.96 Total Spent: $4.69

Transaction #2
Buy Oral B Cross Action electric toothbrush $7.99 reg.
Use $3.00 Oral B electric toothbrush P&G 7/31

Buy 2 gallons milk $2.79 reg., $1.99 ea. sale

Use $3.00 Crest RR
Use $1.00 RR
Retail: $13.57 Total Spent: $4.97

August 22, 2011

This Week's Menu Plan

Last week I discovered we don't eat as much as we used to. My family at home keeps shrinking. With two kids married, one in college, one on a mission, two in high school and one in elementary school that only leaves five of us at home. I keep making enough food for 6 to 8! However, leftovers are always good for lunch. Planning menus has been fun. I look in the pantry and find things that are not being eaten as much, then find recipes to use them up. Here are the menus for this week.

DINNERS
MON.: Burritos from leftover pot roast, Chips & salsa
TUES.: Beef Stir Fry, Rice, Canned peaches
WED.: Easy Chicken Stew, Cornbread (try using canned chicken)
THUR. Bow Tie Pasta Salad, Canned pears, French bread
FRI. Taco Soup w/chips (use ground turkey)
SAT. Eat Out
SUN. Easy Lasagna, Green salad, Bread

August 14, 2011

This Week's Menu Plan

Here are the dinner menus for our week. I'm excited to try some new recipes. Every meal uses items from my food storage!

DINNERS
Funeral Potatoes, Fruit Salad, Green Beans, Breadsticks
Grilled Chicken, Garden Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies
Ziti Bake, Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad, Carrots in Orange Sauce
Taco Salad, Brownie ala mode
Crockpot Hawaiian Haystacks, Rice, Peach Cobbler Dump cake
Crockpot Chicken Alfredo, Garden Salad, Watermelon
Dad's Pick

Update:
On Monday I cooked all of the meat for the whole week so I only had to do it once. So nice! I added the sauces to each meal and refrigerated or froze the items in ziplocs or plastic containers. It has been much easier to chop the other items on the day of. So some of the meals I won't be doing in the crockpot.

(Funeral potatoes are cheesy shredded potatoes that Mormon women frequently serve as part of a dinner for a family after a funeral. A definite comfort food. My version is a little less fatening.)

August 10, 2011

Walgreens Couponing Tips

After several weeks (and plenty of mistakes), I have finally figured out how to shop successfully at Walgreens by combining coupons with sales, and using Register Rewards. Each trip to the store is a learning experience, but the cashiers at my local Walgreens are happy to help me save.

Walgreens Couponing tips:

1. Study, study and study some more. Check out the tips at theKrazyCouponLady.com
and at CouponMom.com. You can also learn how to use coupons at other stores as well. Watch videos of theKrazyCouponLady a former contestant on TLC's Extreme Couponing.
2. Learn how to stack a coupons to save the most money. That means using a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon.
3. Earn Register Rewards (RR) when you buy certain items, and use this "cash" to pay for other products. Even on the same day! You don't have to walk out of the store and come back another day.
4. Use coupon sites. Don't try to figure out which Register Rewards to use by yourself, or which coupons to match. These sites are free.
5. Divide your products into several transactions, and get RR for one type product in each transaction. However, if they are different RR products, you can get RR's for both items.
6. You can't use a RR to buy the same type of product you earned it with. Been there done that. :(
7. Find out when your store delivery truck comes. Every store is different. You need to give the employees time during the day to restock. Evenings are a good time to drop in. I've tried Monday mornings, and failed because Sunday shoppers drain the shelves. I've tried earlier on delivery day to find totes with products needing to be shelved. I was hoping to buy Keri Lotion and Listerine SmartRinse on Monday, but they were sold out. So the manager took my name and number to call me when it comes in. However, I know managers are busy people. So I will check back on Thursday night anyway.
8. A rain check is a good thing! Don't be shy; ask for one if a product is out of stock. They will honor the price another day, and you may find more coupons in the meantime. It takes away the pressure, because you can buy when you want to and still get the sale price. However, they can't extend a Register Rewards on a product.
9. Don't be embarrassed (I promise, you will) if you do multiple transactions. If someone gets in line behind you and you just finished your first transaction, have the courtesy to move behind them and do your second transaction. This isn't a bad thing because it gives you time to think, and not feel flustered or rushed or get glaring looks, which is how you will make mistakes.
10. Plan on paper in advance, but be flexible to change the shopping plan. I put all of my transactions on a spreadsheet. I figure out how much items cost, and how much it will be with coupons. I carefully choose which transactions I will pay with Register Rewards. I print the shopping list, and take to the store. Spend 90% of your time planning at home, and 10% of your time shopping. I'll be honest. I am a slow shopper.
11. You must pay tax on your subtotal, so if a transaction is going to have a zero balance, grab a few .50 cent "filler" items to take to the register just in case you need them to cover tax on your subtotal.


I promise you that this is not easy, and you will get frustrated. I'm not an extreme couponer, but I'm a decent couponer. The more money you save, means the more money you can spend on food storage. Check out these deals! (Totals are without tax.Sorry I don't have a picture.)
Saturday 8/6
Bought 6 Irish Spring deodorants @ $3.00 ea. in 3 separate transactions
  Bought 2, Received $4.00 RR, Limit 1 per transaction
  Used 2 $1.00/1 Irish Spring Deodorant from SS 7/24
Retail $23.94.
Paid $16, but received $16 in RR.
Essentially Free!

Monday 8/8-- Transaction 1
Bought 1 Sally Hansen Toe nail clipper 5.99
  Used $3.00 coupon from AllYou magazine
Bought 1 Penway Filler Paper 260 ct. 3.79/.99 sale price
Bought 1 Snickers candy bar :) .99/.69 sale price (filler item)
Used $4.00 Irish Spring RR
Paid .67 cents

Transaction 2
Bought Trident gum 1 x 1.29 (filler item) and
Bought 17 Trident Vitality gum 1.29/.79 sale (used raincheck)
   Used 6 $2.00/3 SS 7/24
Bought 1 Herbal Essence Shampoo 3.99/3.00
   Used $1.00/1 coupon
   Received $1.00 RR
Bought 1 Penway Filler Paper 260 ct. 3.79/.99 sale price
Used $4.00 Irish Spring RR
Paid $1.71
Transaction 3
Bought 2 x Mead 5 Star 3 Subject Notebooks 5.99/2.49
  Used $1.00/2 RedPlum
Bought 1 Expo Dry Erase Markers 8 pk. 9.99/3.99 sale
Bought 1 Sharpie Markers 2 pk. 2.79/1.49
  Used $1.00 August Walgreens coupon booklet
Bought 2 Ziploc 120 ct. Sandwich baggies 4.19/2.00
  Used a $1.00/2
Bought 1 24 ct. Crayola Crayon 1.99/1.00 sale
  Received $1.00 RR
Used $4.00 Irish Spring RR, and $1.00 Herbal Ess. RR
Paid $8.47

Transaction 4
Bought 4 PaperMate Mechanical Pencils 10 pk. 2.99/.39 sale
Used $1.00 Crayola Crayon RR
Paid .56 cents

Total Retail $100.82
I Paid $27.41
About a 73% Savings!



SS = SmartSource coupon
RP = RedPlum coupon
RR = Register Rewards

August 1, 2011

Compare Prices of Utah Case Lot Sale With Other Stores

Because the Macey's grocery store case lot sale is coming this week (August 3), I've updated my Mega Case Lot sale price comparison list. Collecting the data for this spreadsheet took me 20 hours, and lots of walking through several stores. But I am excited to share it with you. You can compare prices with the Macey's sale, current prices at Sam's Club, Costco and Walmart, the LDS Home Storage Center, and a few other food storage companies based here in Utah (though some ship out of state.) This list will help you see which items to stock up on now, and which items you can buy most any day. Those of you who love Costco/Sam's Club need to understand that just because you buy items in cases there, it does not necessarily mean you are getting the best price. It pays to compare. Please excuse any errors. I will add other stores that offer case lot sales in Utah when I receive their ads.

Mega Case Lot Sale Price Comparison list Fall 2011.pdf

To print, click on the pdf above. It will open in Google docs. Open the File menu on the left of Google docs, and look for Print pdf there. Don't use your computer printer icon. Let me know if it has problems. Thanks.

If you find this price list helpful, please consider donating $5. Thank you!





Best Food Storage to Buy in August 2011


July has been a busy month for me. I'm excited to announce the birth of my first grandson, Andrew, born early at 32 weeks. He is doing well in the NICU, and we are so glad he is here. Between this, and girl's camp earlier this month and getting teens ready for trek, I've had little time to write posts. However, I want to share the stock-up list for August.

The focus for August is fruits and vegetables, and a few lunch items. Normally, next month we would focus on the Utah case lot sales, but Macey's is having their sale this week starting on Wednesday, August 3rd. So in an effort to keep everyone happy, I've created a list that should work wherever you live. Because some of you are great at canning, and some of you are not, I suggest you focus on the following items whether you buy them or can them yourself. My favorite canning site is PickYourOwn.org.

The cost for the "Food Storage Items" is $25 per person. Additional items on the list will cost you more. Next month I will focus on different items you can buy at the other case lot sales.

Also, see my Mega Case Lot Sale price list (next post). This list will help you compare prices at Macey's, Sam's Club/Costco, Walmart, and the LDS Home Storage centers. I'm all about saving you money. Try to match coupons to sales to save money as well. And if you can store more than a 3-month supply for your family, go for it.

The August List

STEP 1: 3-Month FOOD STORAGE SUPPLY - Fruits and Vegetables
(Suggested amounts are for 1 adult)
CL = case lot sale, WM = Walmart, SC/CC = Sam's Club/Costco

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
Fruit, 12x15 oz. cans (CL)
Vegetables, 12x15 oz. (CL)
Applesauce 3x15 oz. cans or 45 oz. (CL or WM)
Raisins 16 oz. (SC/CC)
Green chiles 1x4 oz. can (casCL or WM)
Mushrooms 1x4 oz. can (CL or WM)
Peanut butter 32 oz. or 2x18 oz. (I am waiting for Smith's sale)
Jam/Jelly 32 oz. (CL or WM)

Great Buys at Macey's!
Aug. Farms Whole or Scrambled Dry eggs #10 can $11.99
Aug. Farms Dough Enhancer $3.59
Aug. Farms Banana slices #10 $4.99
Vanilla, imitation 32 oz. .99
WF Refried beans 16 oz. .59
WF Chili w/beans 15 oz. .79
WF Assorted beans 15 oz. .50
WF Apple juice or cider 64 oz. $1.25
WF Ketchup 20 or 24 oz. .79
WF Olives small 6 oz. .79
WF Pineapple various 20 oz. .88
WF Peaches, pears, fruit cocktail 15 oz. .79
WF Applesauce 15 oz. .50
SureSavings Pears or Peaches 29 oz. .99
WF corn or green beans, various 15 oz. .50
WF mushrooms 4 oz. .59
WF chiles 4 oz. .50
Hard White or Red Wheat 50# bag $11.99
Hard White or Red Wheat 45# pail $15.99
Aug. Farms Oatmeal 50# bag $19.99
WF Instant Oatmeal 10 ct. packets $1.19
WF Albacore tuna 5 oz. .97
Aug. Farms TVP #10 $7.99
WF Pasta 3 lb. $1.99
WF Mac & Cheese .35
Campbell's Spaghettios .50
WF Beef or Chicken Broth .50
WF Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup .39
WF Cream of mush or chick soup .50
WF Brown or Powd. sugar 2 lb. $1.25
WF tomato sauce 8 oz. .25
WF tomato paste 6 oz. .39
WF tomatoes various 15 oz. .50
WF grape or strawberry jelly 32 oz. $1.99

NON-FOOD ITEMS (per family)
Facial tissue
Paper towels
Toilet paper
Canning supplies (if you didn't get last month)

72-HOUR KIT (per person)
Emergency contact list
Washcloth
Jeans or pants

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES (per family)
Family tent (watch sales)
Mess kits
Calamine lotion
Eye drops
Cold pack

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT (per auto)
Walking shoes
Multi-function pocket knife
Tire pressure gauge

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. Can fruits and vegetables
2. Rotate water barrels
3. Update emergency contact list

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