Monday, January 30, 2012

How To Shop Quickly For Groceries And Save Money

Have you ever timed how long it takes for you to grocery shop? Today it took me 71 minutes. Yikes! I learned some valuable lessons from my trip to Smith's today. First, I realized I'm a slow, methodical shopper. When I include coupons, it takes me longer. And, I do buy things on impulse once in awhile, even when I use a list. I'm human.

Before I go on with my story, here are some shopping facts I thought you would find interesting:
  • The average time spent grocery shopping is 41 minutes. (Time Use Institute)
  • Saturday is the busiest shopping day of the week. The next busiest days are Friday and Sunday. The least busiest are Monday and Tuesdays. (Time Use Institute)
  • Men do more shopping than women on the weekend. (Time Use Institute)
  • On weekdays, the busiest time to shop is late afternoon - 4 to 5 p.m. On weekends peak time is 11 a.m. (Time Use Institute)
  • Between 2003 and 2007 consumers have reduced the frequency of trips, but spend more time shopping. (Time Use Institute)
  • "Studies show that for each additional minute you spend in a grocery store past half an hour, you will likely spend between 50 cents and $1." So what this means is in one hour you could spend an additional $15 - $30 more!
  • In 2010, shoppers spent an average of $99.90 weekly on groceries. (
Today my plan was to stick to my shopping list and shop quickly. When I walked into the store I set the timer on my cell phone. However, a bag of my favorite pita chips caught my eye. And I noticed some hummus on clearance close by. I knew I had a coupon for the hummus, so it only cost me 29 cents, but those pita chips were not a great price. Neither one was on my list, but the hummus was calling to me and I was hungry.

It is easy to rationalize using a coupon, but did I really need the chips? By the way, I recently stopped using a coupon binder and switched to this cute coupon organizer from "Grandma'sLittleLilly."

Fabric Coupon Organizer /Budget Organizer Holder - Attaches to Your Shopping Cart - Song Birds
Grandma'sLittleLilly Coupon Organizer

It fits in my purse and can be conveniently hung on the grocery cart. I put more dividers in it, and now I only clip coupons for items we do use.

Next, I noticed some large bins at the front of the store filled with sale items. I spotted the food bars that were on my list, and reasoned that if I grabbed them now it would save me time. But I wasted time glancing in the other bins at the other items. Later, I visited the breakfast aisle in the store where those same bars were located. So I didn't really save any time.

My plan was to walk the perimeter of the store first, and then hit only the needed aisles. As I entered the produce section I refocused my efforts, stuck to my list and was finished in 5 minutes.

Then I came to the deli and bakery section. "Don't look," I told myself. "Don't sniff." However, the muffins caught my eye. I grabbed the package reasoning that my kids would thank me. I moved onto the meat, and then the juice sections and stuck to my list. Then I began working my way down the necessary aisles.

The toiletry section was easy because most items are expensive, so I followed my list. I usually save more money on these types of items at drug stores like Walgreen's or Dollar Tree.

Then I meandered to the canned food section and spotted a deal on a brand of canned chicken, which I happened to have a coupon for. "Don't look!" I was weak. It's food storage, right? But did I need it then? I found the coupons in my organizer and grabbed the cans.

The condiments, bread, breakfast foods, and baking sections were easy. As I entered the freezer section I suddenly realized that my mini cart was too small for more items. So I had to walk to the front of the store to get another cart. Another waste of time. Obviously I can't fit a week's supply of food in those little carts.

With the freezer items loaded up, I headed to the checkout pushing one cart and dragging the other behind me. :) I carefully loaded my items on the conveyor belt, typed in my phone number on the keypad, and clutched my coupons in anticipation. I reminded the checker that I had two sets of "Buy 10" items. She informed me I was two items short which surprised me. She pulled out the receipt and we both looked it over. I tried not to look at the annoyed lady in line behind me. Sure enough I was confused on an item, so I hustled across the store and grabbed a few more granola bars. Thankfully all of my coupons were accepted.

I saved $24.00 with my coupons, and spent $22.00 on impulse shopping. I have to laugh at this, but it was a real eye opener. I suppose you could say I got them for free, but I really think that what I saved I also spent. The moral of this story is to stick to the list. Don't rationalize purchases. And get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. I don't mind spending time in a store as long as it's put to good use. Here are some tips:

How to Shop Quickly to Save Money
  • Sign up for a store loyalty card to get sale prices.
  • Do your planning at home with a Menu Plan.
  • Shop with a categorized shopping list of your favorite store and stick to it. List in order the sections/aisles in the order you will shop.
  • Paper clip your coupons to your list.
  • Shop on Monday's or Tuesdays if possible.
  • Shop early in the day or later in the evening.
  • Shop on a full stomach.
  • Shop in the produce section first, then the perimeter, and then the necessary aisles.
  • Open several produce plastic bags in advance, then fill them with items on your list.
  • Use a pencil to check off your list. Also number the items that are part of a Buy 10-type sale.
  • If possible, get in line behind a man without children. Men typically have fewer items in their carts.
  • At the checkout, unload heavy items first and group other items such as freezer foods, produce, etc. Add the bread items last.
  • Have coupons ready to hand to the cashier.
  • Good luck saving money!
If you have any tips on shopping quickly and efficiently, please comment. Also, if you time your next trip to the store, tell us how long it was and some details about it.


January: Wk. 5

Inventory: Breakfast Items
Emergency Fund: Put aside the amount you decided on
Water Supply: Continue to gather or fill water if needed
Food Storage: 3x64 oz. Bottled Juice 
Non-Food: 1 bar/bottle of soap per month
72-Hour Kit: Free week or get a needed item from another week
Auto Kit: Jumper cables

(I'll be adding these reminders to the bottom of every post to help you stay on track)

CURRENT GIVEAWAY: Also, if you have not entered the Emergency Essentials Katadyn MyBottle Microfilter giveaway click here for details.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mormon Messages: Temples Are a Beacon

This video was a a good reminder of what is truly important. I am so grateful to live within 15 minutes of a temple, but I need to recommit to attending more often. In the temple I feel God's love for me, my family and all mankind. I receive inspiration, peace and direction. Now that my youngest is in first grade, I want to double my efforts with temple attendance. Regardless of religion, I hope that as each of you sees the LDS temples throughout the world, they will be a reminder of God's love for all mankind.

Here is a gallery of LDS temples.

No sacrifice is too great to obtain the blessings available in Holy Temples.


January: Wk. 5

Inventory: Breakfast Items
Emergency Fund: Put aside the amount you chose
Water Supply: Continue to gather or fill water if needed
Food Storage: 3x64 oz. Bottled Juice 
Non-Food: 1 bar/bottle of soap per month
72-Hour Kit: Free week or get a needed item from another week
Auto Kit: Jumper cables

(I'll be adding these reminders to the bottom of every post to help you stay on track)

CURRENT GIVEAWAY: Also, if you have not entered the Emergency Essentials Katadyn MyBottle Microfilter giveaway click here for details.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Giveaway: Katadyn MyBottle Microfilter from Emergency Essentials

(Giveaway over)

One of the items we are focusing on this month is water. 
No one wants to be without clean water, 
but you could find yourself without it after a disaster. 
So to help you become better prepared, 
Emergency Essentials
is partnering with me 
to offer one lucky winner 
A $35.95 value!
This bottle removes particles and dirt from water.

  • Cushioned Mouthpiece - easy drinking and folds flat to prevent leaking.
  • Removable for easy cleaning
  • Carbon filter - reduces chemicals, eliminates odors and improves taste of water
  •  Pleated Cartridge - extra large surface requires no cleaning and provides superior flow rate.
  • Removes pathogenic cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium and bacteria
  •  Integral Carry Loop - easily attaches to packs, boats, etc.
  • Cartridge Life Counter - integrated mechanism indicates when to replace your filter.
  • Straw - includes straw to use instead of microfilter cartridge if water source has been treated and is safe for drinking (like most tap water) 

1 Katadyn MyBottle Microfilter

To Enter:
1.      Comment on this post how you are storing water and receive one entry in the hat.
2.      For an additional entry, Follow the Emergency Essentials blog PreparednessPantry,
3.      For an additional entry, Like Emergency Essentials on Facebook
4.     You must email PreparedLDSFamily [at] gmail [dot] com with "Katadyn" in the subject line, then in the body put your full name and home state. Tell me if you commented on this post, and if you followed the Preparedness Pantry blog and/or Liked Emergency Essentials on Facebook for additional entries.

If you don't hear from me in two days, send the email again.

Open to: 
U.S. residents only 

Last Day to Enter: 
Friday, February 3rd. Winner announced February 4th.

January: Wk. 4

Inventory: Freezer
Weekly Emergency Fund: Put aside the amount you chose
Food Storage: 1x12 oz. can Evaporated Milk per adult (coupon here)
Non-Food: 1 bottle of Hair Conditioner per month
72-Hour Kit: Mini Hand Sanitizer
Auto Kit: 10 oz. Hand Sanitizer (Purell coupons here, but store brand can be cheaper)

(I'll be adding these reminders to the bottom of every post to help you stay on track)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to Store Emergency Drinking Water

Storing emergency water is extremely important. As I've done more research, I decided to put together a new handout to keep in our emergency binder. I'm not an expert, but you may find this information useful. I've written so many times about water on my site, that some of you may be tired of hearing about it. But, you can't live without it. And neither can I.

Hopefully you will find something useful in this post. You can also find information from your local water company, or the link at the end of this post. Much of my information can be found in the FEMA handout. Also, drinking water is Step 2 of the LDS 4-Step Approach to Home Storage.

Emergency Drinking Water.pdf

How Much Water Should I Store? 
• A 2-week supply for each person.
• 1 gallon per person per day, or 14 gallons per person. This is a minimum! Store more for infants, elderly, ill people or people living in hot environments. (I store 4 cases per person in our family for drinking, and additional water in containers for food preparation and hygiene.)
• Plan to use water for drinking, food preparation and hygiene.
• Never ration water. Drink amount needed today, and find more tomorrow.

What Are The Best Water Containers? 
• Commercial bottled water with an expiration date is the best way to store water. (I write the expiration date on the plastic of my cases with a permanent marker. And stack the newest expiration date on the bottom and the oldest on top. Then restack as more is purchased.)
• However, if storing your own, use a food grade container such as a plastic soft drink bottle. Not plastic milk containers. Remember to label the date.
• Or a container similar to this blue 5-gallon stackable container which weighs 40 lbs. when filled.

• Consider how you will empty and refill your containers.
• (I use other containers for food preparation and hygiene, and bottled water for drinking.)

How Do I Prepare & Fill My Own Containers? 
• Don’t use a container that has held toxic chemicals.
• Clean bottles with dishwashing soap and water. Rinse completely
• Add solution of 1 t. non-scented liquid chlorine bleach to a quart (1/4 gallon) of water. Swish solution in bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing bottle, rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.
• Fill bottle to top with regular tap water. (If water utility company treats your tap water with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean.) If the water you use comes from a well or water source not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid chlorine bleach to each gallon of water.
• Tightly close container using original cap and being careful not to touch (contaminate) inside of cap with fingers.
 • Write date on outside of the container so that you know when you filled it.
• Replace water every six months.

Where Do I Store My Containers?
• Store in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.
• Best temperature is 59 – 86 degrees (U.S. Pharmecopiea).
• When there are extreme hot and cold temperatures in the winter and summer months, bring water inside.
• Keep water containers away from solvents and gasoline, paint thinners, household cleaners, etc.
• If storing on cement floors, raise containers with 2 x 4’s.
• Store it where you can get to it easily after an earthquake.

Where Are Safe Home Sources of Water? 
• Safe water sources include water in your hot-water tank, pipes, and ice cubes.
• You should not use water from toilet flush tanks or bowls, radiators, waterbeds, or pools/spas.

Where Are Safe Outside Sources of Water? 
• Be sure to treat water according to the instructions in the brochure listed before drinking it.
• Rainwater, streams, rivers, and other moving bodies of water. Ponds and lakes and natural springs
• Avoid water with floating material, an odor, or dark color.
• You should not drink flood water.

How Do I Treat Water? 
Boiling is the safest method of treating water. In a large pot or kettle, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking.
• Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers. This will also improve the taste of stored water.
• You can use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms. Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners. Because the potency of bleach diminishes with time, use bleach from a newly opened or unopened bottle.
• Add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight bleach odor. If it doesn’t, then repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. If it still does not smell of bleach, discard it and find another source of water.
• Other chemicals, such as iodine or water treatment products (sold in camping or surplus stores) that do not contain 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used.
• While the two methods described above will kill most microorganisms in water, distillation will remove microorganisms that resist these methods, as well as heavy metals, salts, and most other chemicals.
• Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt or most other impurities.
• To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang rightside-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water), and boil the water for 20 minutes.
• The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

Adapted from FEMA/Red Cross Brochure: Food and Water in An Emergency
And other research I've done.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Planning Using a List of Master Menus

Creating My Menu Plan weekly helps me save money and use my food storage regularly. It's easier to create My Menu Plan if I also have a list of family favorite Master Menus to choose from. It takes time to think of those favorites, but once you've made that list, you may never live without it again.

I try to use a shelf-stable food storage item in every meal. Somehow. It's not that difficult. If you stop thinking of food storage as only wheat, rice, and dry beans, the possibilities are endless. Think of breakfast cereal, soup, even tortillas. Canned black beans, applesauce, or popcorn. Change your thinking of food storage as ONLY long-term foods. Get away with your dependency on the grocery store. Your home store is the best place to start shopping.

I can easily look at our Master Menus to plan out my weekly menus. As I do, I think, "What do I have on hand in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator?" Or "What's in the pantry now?" "What haven't I used in a long time?" "What's in the freezer?" Then, if I really want to do a menu that I don't have something for, I look at the grocery ads and decide if it's worth shopping for those extra ingredients. I honestly think I save over 50% of my grocery budget when I have a plan. Without it, I find myself in the store multiple times a week and spending too much money. If you don't have a plan, you really don't have a plan to save money.

Then I add breakfast, lunch and dinner menus to My Menu Plan worksheet. Yours does not have to be typed. Just fill in the blanks on the pdf copy below.

Of course I can change things around. I may use Monday's menu on Thursday. But having a plan makes life pleasant! It keeps the cupboards, fridge and freezer stocked. My teenage daughters are happy because Mom is going to have something substantial for them to eat when they come home from a hard track practice. I like it, because it's a time saver. I don't wonder what in the world I am going to make at five o'clock at night. Sometimes my kids buy lunch at school. But I still write down lunches on My Menu Plan at the beginning of the week, add the items I need from the store to my grocery list, and I stock my cupboards. I can use the items they didn't use for another week.

Obviously, if you want to hunt for new recipes each week, do that on your down time. Not your planning time (my planning day is Sunday). Unless you a have a lot of time on your hands. Try new recipes, and if they become a family favorite, add them to your Master Menus. Or if a meal becomes tiresome to your family, add a new one. The possibilities are endless!

I hope you find my list of Master Menus and My Menu Plan worksheet useful as you create your own. Don't feel you need to add all the cute graphics. Just start with a list of 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 14 dinners. Expand if you want to like I did.

Goal #5 - Create a list of family menus using short-term and long-term food storage items

Goal #6 - Start using your menu plan each week

My Master Menus.pdf (just updated!)
(You may print these items for your personal use.)
My Master Menus Blank.pdf (just updated!)
My Menu Plan blank worksheet.pdf

Useful posts:
Make Food Storage Part of Your Household Routines
My Fridge List

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mormon Messages: "Dayton's Legs"

This video is about a 13-year old boy in Arizona and how he helped a friend with cerebral palsy experience a triathlon. His example reminds each of us how we can become like Jesus Christ by serving our brothers and sisters no matter what.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Grocery Cents Thrive Foods Drink Mix Giveaway Winner!



Liesel Steele
from Price, Utah

for winning the GroceryCents blog 
Thrive Foods Drink Mix giveaway.

Winner has been notified by email!

Grocery Cents

Friday, January 20, 2012

In the Prep News

 Emergency Fair 
Saturday, January 21, 2012 10 a.m.
LDS SunStone Building - 11543 Keystone Drive, South Jordan, Utah

Classes and Booths include:
  • First Aid 
  • CPR - New Techniques 
  • Emergency Planning 
  • 72 Hour Kits 
  • Questar Gas 
  • South Jordan City 
  • Financial Planning 
  • Water Storage 
  • Water Reclamation and Rehydration 
  • Sanitation Grab and Run Ideas 
  • Fire Safety 
For questions - contact Rich at 801-891-2710 or Rebecca at 801-859-6841

 Costco Honey 
A new item at the Bountiful, Utah Costco! A 3-pack of 24 oz. Kirkland Clover Honey Bears for $11.99 or $2.66 per lb. Costs a little more per lb. than the larger 5 lb. size at Sam's Club, but may be more convenient for smaller families.

 New Bountiful Emergency Essentials 
Emergency Essentials, a food storage and emergency preparedness store, is now open in Bountiful, Utah near Costco. Other locations include Murray, S. Jordan & Orem.
70 S. 500 West
(801) 298-5487
Open Monday 10 - 6, Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 9, Closed Sunday.
Save up to 43% with our Inventory Reduction Sale! Prices and promotions good through January 31, 2012 and while supplies last. Prices and availability are subject to change without notice.

 NEW "Fusion Grain Cooking" TV Show With Chef Brad
Tune in to BYUtv to watch Chef Brad prepare amazing meals using grains such as teff, spelt, millet, quinoa, brown rice, beans and more. He has incorporated healthy grains into his favorite recipes for the past 20 years, and regularly teaches at BYU Campus Education week. If you don't get BYUtv, you can watch the Live TV stream on your computer. I am taping all of his shows because there is so much I want to learn!

 Thrive Foods Giveaway 
Also, if you haven't entered the Grocery Cents blog Thrive Foods Drink Mix giveaway going on this week, go here to enter. Last day to enter is today, January 20th. Winner announced tomorrow!

 Looking For Preparedness News Items 
If you have news you think my readers may be interested in, send it my way. Looking for emergency fairs (even out of state), food storage demonstrations, and local grocery store items on sale. I will not post advertising for independent distributors. I reserve the right to only post items I find valuable, and to only post periodically.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Fridge List

After several prototypes, I finally finished My Fridge List. This is the new grocery list I hang on my refrigerator so my family and I can check off those items we need from the store. I am very happy with it! This morning I finished it while watching the news and trying to get caught up after my trip to California to see my beautiful granddaughter.

Isn't she lovely?

Okay. I miss her. Back to the list. First, I printed it and then laminated it.

Then I attached it to my refrigerator with poster tacky, but you could use magnets. I don't hang much on my refrigerator, but this list is a necessity. Then I clipped a wet dry erase marker onto it, hoping it won't fall off.

You could make a copy and use it as a grocery list. You are welcome to print My Fridge List.pdf. Let me know if there are any typo's with this printable, or if you have trouble printing it.

To see how this list can be useful with your food storage, go to this post: "Making Food Storage Part of Your Household Routines."

Also, if you haven't entered the Grocery Cents Thrive Foods Drink Mix giveaway going on this week, go here for more information. Ends Friday, January 20th.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Deseret Industries Thrift Store Changes Lives

I love the Deseret Industries Thrift Store! It is so much more than just a thrift store. Besides a place I can shop, donate, and volunteer, it is a place that offers training opportunities for LDS individuals trying to get back in the work force. Those who may have struggled getting a job elsewhere, may succeed if they put their mind to it. Watch this heartwarming success story.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Make Food Storage Part of Your Household Routines

Many of us get excited about doing food storage in January and then by the time March rolls around we slack off. Conclusion: we haven't included food storage into our household routines. Or most likely we don't have a routine to follow. If I didn't have a household routine, I'd be collecting pictures on Pinterest all day long. :)

We shop for food weekly. It's part of our routine. We make grocery lists. Another routine. In order to consistently gather and replenish our food storage, we need to establish other food storage routines. It's that simple. Successful food storage is all about establishing habits.

Many of my food storage routines repeat weekly, monthly or annually in my calendar. (I didn't list the annual ones.) I add them once and Google repeats them for me. Love that! But you can add routines to a paper planner or calendar as well, or print out a schedule and hang it up.

Below you will see the various food storage routines I'm trying to incorporate in my life. I love getting these tasks out of my head and onto a specific day of the week at a specific time. On my calendar, they are listed just like an appointment and highlighted in orange. Obviously there are other things I do with my day, however I only listed those involving food storage. You can see how I incorporate coupons, grocery shopping and food storage stocking.

3:00 - 3:30 p.m. Sunday Ads (Weekly) - gather Sunday ads from neighbors, keep ads I want, recycle the rest. Date ad inserts and put in file folder box. Clip only coupons I might use and organize into coupon binder.
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Menu Plan (Weekly) - create My Menu Plan using Master Menus list. Make My Shop List for the store(s), add weekly food & home storage goals, search for needed coupons, and paper clip to My Shop List. Put in Coupon Organizer. Get kids involved!
10:30 - 11:00 Fridge Clean-Out (Weekly) - toss old food, do quick wipe down of shelves, and write needs on My Fridge List
11:00 - 12:30 Shop & Stock (Weekly) - shop at grocery stores using Coupon Organizer, then date cans and boxes with permanent marker, and put groceries/food storage away.
10:30 - 11:00 Inventory (Weekly) - only count area listed on the 52-Week Food Storage Inventory Schedule. Or follow the schedule from the Monthly Food Storage Shopping List. Add urgent needs to My Fridge List
other chores
other chores
10:30 - 11:30 Coupon Clean-out (1st and 3rd Week) clean out expired coupon inserts
10:30 - 11:30 Drug Stores (2nd and 4th Week) - shop for deals at drug stores
11:00 - 11:30 Restock (Every 4 Weeks) - refill kitchen pantry and cupboards with food storage cans and items stored in other areas of the home. Get it out of the basement or from under the bed, and in the kitchen. And get the kids involved!

You can see there is a lot to do to save money shopping for food and food storage. Establishing food storage routines will help you get the job done. I hope this idea helps you become more organized with your food storage.

Goal #4 - Establish Food Storage Routines

(more worksheets coming!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

How Much Food Storage Do You Want to Store?

I'm writing to you from sunny San Jose, California, where I am visiting my new grand baby. But the wheels are always turning, so I decided to give you something to work on. If are using my Monthly Food Storage Shopping lists and need a blank Food Storage Inventory Worksheet to figure out the total amount of each item you want to store for your family, below are my blank inventory worksheets. You can print them, and list the items you want to store under each category.

Ideas of what to store can be found on my 3-Month Food Storage Supply Plan for one person. Multiply the amounts by the adults in your family. If that sounds like too much for you, then adjust the amounts. As you decide on your items, list typical sizes you normally buy each item instead of mine. A detailed explanation of these inventory worksheets can be found at this post. Don't get bogged down with making your list perfect. Just list the basic shelf-stable foods you cook with everyday now. Over time as you experiment with your food storage menus (more on that later) you will come up with other items to store. I'm very practical with my list, meaning I don't store things like tomato powder or #10 cans of baking powder. But I do store 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes and 10 oz. containers of baking powder.

Are you financially able to store for two people even though you have five living in your home? Then start with two. Be realistic. You don't have to store everything on my lists. Did you decide on a monthly budget with your spouse? Good. This will help you know how much you can afford.

If you only want a 3-month supply because you live in a small home, then start there. If you don't know where to store it, start small too. Over time you will discover new places you had not thought of before. Check out my Pinterest Boards to see various food storage shelves and rooms others have used.

You don't have to store a year's supply of everything. I keep a 3-month supply of powdered eggs, a 6-month supply of olive oil, and a year's supply canola oil. Over time, I've learned what things have a shelf life of 3 years, 5 years, 10 years or more. And you will too. Some of us know more about buying nail polish than buying food, but if you can master that, you can master this as well. :)

Helpful posts:
My Video About The LDS 4-Step Approach to Home Storage
Food Storage One Bite at A Time
Various Approaches to Doing Food Storage
3-Month Food Storage: 90 Menu Ideas

After I return home from my trip, I'll share a Food Storage Organizer binder I can help you create. For now, hole punch your worksheets, and put them in a binder.

Goal #3 - List How Much Food Storage You Want to Store

Food Storage Inventory Worksheet
Home Storage Inventory Worksheet

(If you have any problems opening the files, let me know. Just fixed the files!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Food Storage Giveaway by Grocery Cents

To help you stock up on food storage beverages this month,
the Grocery Cents blog,
is giving away pantry-sized cans of Thrive Foods
from Shelf Reliance consultant, Diana Boley
Non-Fat Powder Milk, 1.01 lbs.
Chocolate Drink Mix, 1.46 lbs.
Melon Berry Burst Drink Mix, 1.72 lbs.
If you would like a copy of the current price list, email

Giveaway Details:
• Giveaway is for a total of 3 Thrive Foods pantry-sized cans of Non-Fat Powder Milk, Chocolate Drink Mix, and Melon Berry Burst Drink Mix (a $27 value!)
• Giveaway is only for those living in the U.S.
• Giveaway is open from Thursday, January 12th through Friday, January 20th. Winner will be announced Saturday, January 21st.
• Giveaway is done by drawing a name out of a hat, so your email address only comes to me.

Steps to Enter:
1. Become a blog follower of
2. AND Like PreparedLDSFamily on Facebook. (If you are already a fan, let me know.)
3. THEN Email your first and last name to PreparedLDSFamily{at}gmail{dot}com with “Grocery Cents Drink Mix” in the subject line.

Tell your friends and family about this giveaway too!
Good luck!

(P.S. I am not paid to do giveaways.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Daughter Gave Birth to a Beautiful Baby Girl

Well, the day finally came. My daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last Friday. Even though she was 5 weeks early, she is healthy and strong, and now home with mom. So, Grandma flew away to visit this sweet little one. What a blessing it is to hold your children's children!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Utah Case Lot Sale Price Comparison January 2012

Just when I thought I was getting caught up on life (because kids are back in school), Harmon's and Smith's grocery stores decide to have case lot sales! And of course, I had to update my Utah Case Lot Sale Price Comparison list for January 2012. I didn't have time to get Costco current prices, but they are similar to Sam's Club. And Walmart, well, I'll walk that store in the spring.

If you live here in Utah, this list takes me 10 hours to put together! Whew! But, it helps you decide if you should buy items now at the case lot sales, or just at Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco, LDS Home Storage Centers and food storage stores.

Tip: Look it over before you print it because it's 17 pages long. Or just look for the deals and write them another piece of paper.
Also, Smith's does not break cases. Harmon's sells case items by the eaches for an additional price.

NOTE! The powdered and brown sugar size at the Harmon's case lot sale is a misprint in the ad. The bags are only 1 lb. each. Harmon's has submitted a retraction. Just fixed it on the page.

January 2012 Utah Case Lot Sale Price Comparison.pdf

How to Shop at Case Lot Sales

January 2012 Food Storage Shopping List

This month, focus on gathering water and beverages in your food storage. Start out the year knowing you are well-stocked on something you can't live without it; water. I stock up on water bottles in 24 ct. cases for drinking, and refill barrels or other containers for cooking and hygiene uses.

The convenience of a case of water cannot be overlooked. You can share it and you can carry it. You may have to bring your own water to an emergency shelter. Also, a sturdy water container like an Aqua-Pak is beneficial in your emergency supplies. You can't count on an emergency shelter having one for you. Most women CANNOT carry a 5-gallon cooler to a water truck, and then back to a tent. Spend some time this month deciding how much water and where you will store your water. Emergency water is Step 2 of the LDS Four-Step Approach to Home Storage.

Also stock up on beverages such as powdered milk, cocoa mix, a fortified fruit drink mix, evaporated milk, and some bottled juice (only a month's supply). Keeping a simple focus helps me sanely gather food storage. In a winter emergency, having cocoa mix can be a blessing.

Drinking yummy hot cocoa during a break from
the cleanup after the winter wind storm. Farmigton, Utah

For general grocery shopping, this is National Soup Month, and National Wheat Bread Month. Watch for sales leading up to the Super Bowl at the end of this month too.

January 2012 

How to Use My Monthly Food Storage Shopping Lists
January 2012 Utah Case Lot Sale Price Comparison

Milk Non-Fat Dry, non-instant or instant 1 #10 can (1/5 LDS #10 $8.60)
Cocoa Mix 1/2 lb. or 1/4 #10 can (1/5 LDS 5.8 lb. #10 $9.90, SC Stephen's 4 lb. $8.79)
Fruit Drink Mix 1/2 lb. or 1/4 #10 can (1/5 LDS 6.1 lb. #10 $8.50, SC 4.5 lb. Tang  $6.83)
Evaporated Milk 1x12 oz. (Carnation coupon)
Juice 3x64 oz.
Water Bottles 4x24 ct. cases (SC 32 ct. Nestle $3.98)

SC = Sam's Club everyday
HM = Harmon's Case Lot Sale
SM = Smith's (Kroger) Case Lot Sale

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How to Use My Monthly Food Storage Shopping Lists

Shopping for food storage year-round along with my regular grocery shopping has helped me rotate, use, and buy more food storage. Years ago I bought long-term dry foods [wheat, rice, beans, etc.], and stored them in our California basement. But I found that I only used some of my food and not other items. After throwing away expired food that cost me a pretty penny, I decided that shopping year round would be better.

Buying short-term shelf stable foods weekly, and long-term foods a few times a year allows our food storage to have various expiration dates, helps us buy what we eat, and prevent waste. Out of site, is out of mind for me. Even though I store most of my food storage in a basement storage room, I keep a small supply of EVERYTHING in my kitchen. (If you prefer shopping once a year, then you're probably reading the wrong blog.) I've found that because I do meal planning and grocery shopping weekly, I can easily include shopping for food storage as well.

Creating standard Monthly Food Storage Shopping Lists has prevented me from reinventing the wheel. I can actually coast with my food storage purchases. This year I broke my monthly lists down into weekly goals that are on the side of the front page of my blog. So you can easily refer to them. I also will have a monthly handout which shows the same items for a 3-month and 12-month supply for one adult. These are not items you have to store. They are items I consider important based on the old food storage guidelines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and lots of research. I refer to a 3-Month Food Storage Plan, and then spread those items out over the year in categories.

I've been watching seasonal grocery store sales for the past couple of years, which has helped me know some of the best times of year to shop. It's not rocket science; just mom science - observation, experimentation and a bit of snooping. I ask grocery store managers lots of questions. :)

You are welcome to print the lists and use them as a guide or rough draft for your own food storage purchases. If you share my lists with friends, please refer them to my blog.

Three Ways to Use The Lists
Plan A - Come up with your own food storage plan, and use the monthly categories as a guide to purchasing those types of foods each month.
  Jan. - Beverages
  Feb. - Breakfast Foods
  Mar. - Tomatoes & Pasta
  Apr. - Soup & Beans
  May - Condiments/Spices
  June - Grains
  July - Summer Foods
  Aug. - Fruits & Vegetables
  Sept. - Meat & Potatoes
  Oct. - Oils & Fats
  Nov. - Holiday Foods
  Dec. - Pantry Basics

Plan B - Purchase the suggested monthly items once a month. Based on Utah sales, one month is about $25 per adult. I've spent a TON of time trying to keep the food cost down, and it's not easy. Could be less if you have more food storage already. If you have limited apartment space, you could work on a 3-month supply for 1 person and see if that fits in your home.

Plan C - Purchase the suggested items for 52 weeks. Best for those on a limited income. You could add one (sometimes there are several) suggested items to your weekly grocery list. You could mix up the suggested items based on sales at the store, and still focus on the monthly category.

No matter how you do it, I hope they help some of you gather your food storage and use it.

"We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve."—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage

I will only post the Lists once a month because I make many last minute changes, and I need time to create each PDF copy. So I'm sorry that I don't have all 12-months. However, I left last year's posts on my blog, and you are welcome to refer to them. Understand that there are many changes in 2012. So, if you sign up for my monthly posts by entering your email address at the top of my blog, you will be able to get the monthly lists.

Goal #2 - Decide how to use my Monthly Food Storage Shopping Lists, or choose another method for systematically gathering your food storage.

Monthly Food Storage Shopping Lists

Suggested 3-Month Food Storage Plan.pdf

Goal #1 - Decide on a Food Storage Budget

Monday, January 2, 2012

Decide on a Food Storage Budget

Many people want to jump into the food storage "pool" without taking the time to learn to swim. Perhaps this is because they feel a desire or urgency to get started, but are impatient to plan very well. One of the first items I suggest every family decide on is a food storage budget.

Because my blog focuses on shopping for your food storage along with your weekly grocery shopping I suggest deciding on a monthly grocery budget. Because I use my food storage canned and packaged foods everyday, I try to find the best shopping deals to save money so I can buy more food storage. Personally I can afford $100 per month for our family of 5. But every family has to decide what works for them.

Things to consider when deciding on a food storage budget:

  • Home size and space you have to store items
  • Your income
  • How long you want to store for such as a 3-month or 12-month supply
  • Commitment level of both spouses about food storage. 
It's important that both spouses agree on the amount. If your spouse is concerned how you can possibly afford food storage, then start with a smaller budget. Both spouses are typically not motivated to work on food storage and emergency preparedness the same way. Many of my readers have said that they are more motivated than their spouse. As with all important decisions, come up with a happy medium.

Goal #1 - decide on your monthly food storage budget

Another post about budgets