Monday, May 28, 2012

Food Storage Goals: Week #22, May 27 - June 2

For the past five days our family has traveled through six states: Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska on our way to and from our number two son’s wedding reception in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The trip was amazing as we passed numerous fields of grains and corn. Yes, a long drive, but gorgeous!

I loved seeing the large round hay bales and the grazing cattle. I am awestruck that so few families have such a stewardship over so much food. The heart of America for sure. 

How little this city girl knows about the work it takes to get food from field to table. I am extremely grateful to the farm families. Without them, we would not have food storage.

Bartlesville is home of Phillips Petroleum, so we visited the ranch of Frank Phillips. It's called Woolaroc and is named after an airplane Phillips sponsored in a race from California to Hawaii years ago. We toured the amazing museum with the largest collection of western memorabilia I've ever seen.

The ranch is also a preserve for wild animals like these buffalo.

Doesn't my hubby and my youngest fit right in on Frank's lodge porch?

Woolaroc Lodge
I was humbled to learn that Bartlesville is not far from Joplin, Missouri, where a terrible tornado occurred last year. We were told how the LDS members in Bartlesville came to the rescue with sacred supplies, and joined in the cleanup effort. 
It was an enjoyable trip and my daughter-in-law comes from a wonderful, giving family. They worked so hard on the reception.

As this month comes to a close, I hope many of you have been able to work a little bit more on becoming better prepared for challenges that may come in your life. Here is what we are gathering this week:

EMERGENCY FUND: Set aside $2.00 or more per person this week and all year long.

2-WEEK WATER SUPPLY: Accumulate 14 gallons per person
(or 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water per person) for drinking/cooking, and more water in containers for hygiene, cleaning, toilet flushing, etc. If you already have this, move on.

  • 1x5 oz. ketchup AND
  • 1x2 oz. mustard AND
  • 1x3 oz. BBQ Sauce or Steak Sauce.
  • These amounts sound small, so multiply by the number of family members - For instance a family of 4 may want 2x16 oz. bottles of dressing for a 3-month supply or 8x16 oz. bottles for a year supply.
NON-FOOD: Paper cups. Perhaps a 1 month supply.

INVENTORY: Count canned beans, canned meats and soup. Put any food items you need to use up on your kitchen counter. Decide how much more you need to gather.


AUTO KIT: Duct tape.

EQUIPMENT: Duct tape. Always have a supply of this useful emergency item around.

PREPAREDNESS GOAL: Practice Dutch oven cooking. Check out the Dutch Oven 101 section at Also, did you get your pet 72-hour kit completed?

Click here for the complete May Food Storage Shopping list.

MY CURRENT GIVEAWAY: Four lucky winners will receive my upcoming "12-Month Food Storage Organizer." Go here for more details.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Food Storage Goals: Week #21, May 20 - 26

Memorial Day sales are a great time to stock up on condiments and other items for your food storage. There are additional deals around the 4th of July, but if you gather some of the items listed below now, you can focus on different items in a few months. Some store sales start Sunday and end Saturday, while others run Wednesday through next Tuesday. Take advantage of both sales. (Just updated!)

MACEY'S DEALS end May 29th!
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup, 40 oz. $1.99 use .50/1 (06-19-12) SS-5/20 $1.49 
  • Kraft BBQ Sauce, 18 oz. $.99 use $1/2 (06-06-12) SS-5/6 $.49 
  • Kraft Salad dressings, 14-16 oz. $1.67 us$1/2 (06-17-12) SS-5/20 $1.17
  • Western Family Mustard, 20 oz. $.79
  • Western Family Ketchup, 24 or 20 oz. $.79
  • Western Family Water 24 ct. 16.9 oz. $2.50
SMITH'S (Kroger) DEALS end May 29th!
  • Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce, 18 oz $1.00
  • Best Foods Mayo, 16.5 oz or 30 oz $2.99 use $1/1 (06-17-12) RP-5/20 pay $1.99
  • Heinz Ketchup, 32-40 oz , $1.88 use .50/1 (06-19-12) SS-5/20 pay $1.38
  • Kraft Parmesan Cheese, 24 oz. $7.84 (Sam's Club) .33 per ounce
  • Kraft Parmesan Cheese, 16 oz. $5.35 (Costco) .33 per ounce
  • Great Value Parmesan Cheese, 8 oz. $2.64 (Walmart) .33 per ounce
Caution! Do not store condiments in your garage where temperatures fluctuate. I really don't recommend putting food in a garage at all. Get your non-foods out of the kitchen and put them in the garage, and make space for food storage in your kitchen or other parts of your home. Every 10 degree increase in temperature will reduce the shelf life of food substantially. 

MAY FOCUS, Week #21 
Condiments, Spices, Pet 72-Hour kits (click for monthly list)

EMERGENCY FUND: Set aside $2.00 or more per person this week and all year long.

2-WEEK WATER SUPPLY: Accumulate 14 gallons per person (or 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water per person) for drinking/cooking, and more water in containers for hygiene, cleaning, toilet flushing, etc. If you already have this, move on.

3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE: 1x8 oz. salad dressing (like Kraft, etc.) AND 1x8 oz. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip AND 1x4 oz. Parmesan cheese. (These amounts may sound small, so multiply by number of family members - For instance a family of 4 may want 2x16 oz. bottles of dressing for a 3-month supply or 8x16 oz. bottles for a year supply.)

NON-FOOD: Foil. Use for outdoor emergency cooking.

INVENTORY: Count your beverages. Put any items you need to use up on your kitchen counter. Decide how much more you need to gather.

72-HOUR KIT: Washcloth. Check Dollar Tree or use an old one you already have.

AUTO KIT: Washcloth. Check Dollar Tree or use an old one you already have.

EQUIPMENT: Dutch oven and tools. If this is a first time purchase, don't go overboard. Just get the basics. I've heard Lodge is a great brand. Note: Avoid using bargain brand or self-light charcoal because they don't cook as long.

PREPAREDNESS GOAL: Collect Dutch oven recipes. I'm not an expert, but I like the Dutch Oven 101 section at

MY CURRENT GIVEAWAY: Four lucky winners will receive my upcoming "12-Month Food Storage Organizer." Go here for more details.

This Week's Dinner Menu Plan

SUNDAY (stake conference)
Roast w/chili sauce, potatoes, carrots, onions & wheat bread in bread machine (chili sauce, spices, wheat flour, white flour, dry milk, yeast)
MONDAY (dr. appts.)
Swedish Pancakes, strawberries (flour, sugar, dry milk, oil, salt, pancake syrup, powdered sugar)
TUESDAY (b-day celebration)
Beef & Broccoli stir fry, rice, canned pears, cake w/frosting (beef broth, canned mushrooms, rice, pears, cake mix, frosting)
WEDNESDAY (tumbling, Mutual)
Crock-pot Taco soup, tortilla chips, watermelon (canned tomatoes, corn, kidney beans, tomato sauce, spices, tortilla chips)
THURSDAY (out of town)
On the road 
FRIDAY (out of town)
On the road 
SATURDAY (out of town)
On the road 

(Ingredients that use shelf-stable food storage items are in parentheses)

Menu Planning Tips
1. Type Sunday through Saturday or Monday through Sunday on a note pad.
2. Look over your upcoming weekly schedule.
3. Next to each day, list important events, busy day events and celebrations as this will help you decide if you need a crock-pot meal or have more kitchen prep time each day.
4. Open the pantry, fridge and cupboards and see what you have that is close to expiration and try to use it in the menus.
5. Try to use some type of shelf-stable food storage item each day. The more you do this, the more you will learn to use your food storage. If you are not a big canned food supporter, start with a small can of beans and toss it in a salad.
6. Look at grocery store ads for additional needed meal items.
7. I only list the dinner meals, but you could do this for your entire day.
8. Make a shopping plan list and include coupons.

Check out My Master Menu plans for more ideas.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekly Food Storage Dinner Menus

Another busy week is upon us as we come to the end of a school year. My daughter qualified for the state track meet, and with her AP exams also this week I wanted to make sure dinner would be on the table. This week I listed food storage items in parentheses. As I was deciding what to make, I opened the pantry and grabbed a few food storage items that I needed to use up and worked them into our menus.

MONDAY (Piano lessons, FHE)
Beef Stroganoff on rice (rice, cream of mushroom soup, canned mushrooms)
Orange slices

TUESDAY (Track Meet, Tumbling class)
Crockpot BBQ Chicken (tomato soup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce)
Stuffing (stuffing)
Corn on cob
Spinach salad w/mandarin oranges & strawberries (mandarin oranges)

Pressure Cooker potatoes topped w/chili and cheese (canned chili)
Baby carrots

THURSDAY (Cub Scouts, Piano recital)
Spaghetti w/turkey sauce (spaghetti)
Applesauce muffins (canned applesauce, flour, brown sugar, mayo, spices)
Green salad (canned corn)

FRIDAY (State Track Meet)
Hashbrown Egg Bake
Leftover Applesauce muffins

SATURDAY (State Track Meet)
Eat Out

Slow Cooker Taco Soup (taco seasoning, corn, tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato sauce)
Avocado slices

Easy Chicken Stew

One of our favorite recipes is Easy Chicken Stew. I love it because it doesn't take long to prepare and it uses some of my canned food storage.

First you peel one medium baking potato per person. If your kids are hearty eaters, then use larger potatoes.

Next, chop the potatoes into 1 inch cubes and put them into a medium to large pot with 2 cups of water. Don't leave them on the counter or they will discolor.

Then chop 1/4 cup of fresh carrots per person. This time I used a 16 oz. bag of baby carrots and cut them in half. But regular long carrots are cheaper and sweeter. (Or you could us a 15 oz. can of drained carrots added with the green beans.) 

Toss the carrots into the pot and add 1 T. of dehydrated onions, and 1 T. McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning or another brand. Sprinkle with 1 t. of salt.

Bring pot to a boil, and then simmer potatoes and carrots for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. You can even make this recipe outdoors on a camp stove.

After the vegetables are fork tender, add canned chicken breast, 1 small can of cream of mushroom soup, and one can of cut green beans. Break apart chicken chunks and mix everything together. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. That's it! 

My family loves this stew. Serve with hot bread and butter. I hope you'll try it!

Cost of Meal for 5:
.75 - 5 Potatoes
.50 to 1.00 - 16 oz. bag of baby carrots or 3 large carrots
.50 - canned green beans
.50 - cream of mushroom soup
2.00 - chicken, 13 oz. can (Sam's Club or Costco)
.15 seasoning, salt and dehydrated onions
$4.40 to $4.90
or .88 to .98 per serving

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Food Storage Goals: Week #20, May 13 - 19

What a peaceful, splendid mother's day. Our family talked on the phone with my son who is serving a mission in Sweden. Mothers need those phone calls. I took a nap and slept peacefully afterwards. Love that boy! My second son and daughter-in-law came out Saturday and helped me move this-and-that. We also took down two trees (sad) including the one that had died after the great storm last December.

For those of you wondering how I stay organized with gathering food storage and preparedness items, I look over the Monthly list and create a small list of items I want to buy/do that month on Evernote; an ap for my cell phone. Then I type a "food storage event" on Monday in my Google calendar with an alert reminder. If I can't get those items on Monday, I move the event to Tuesday, and so forth. Eventually I eliminate the list. 

Here is what we are working on this week:

MAY FOCUS, Week #20 

EMERGENCY FUND: Set aside $2.00 or more per person this week.

2-WEEK WATER SUPPLY: Accumulate 14 gallons per person (or 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water per person) for drinking/cooking, and more water in containers for hygiene, cleaning, toilet flushing, etc. If you already have this, move on.

3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE: 1 teriyaki sauce and/or marinade, AND 1 soy sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce.

INVENTORY: Count your condiments. Items like ketchup, mayonnaise, bbq sauce, etc. Put any items you need to use on your kitchen counter. Decide how much more you need to gather. You will see them on sale this month!

NON-FOOD: Paper plates, one month supply. A disaster essential.

72-HOUR KIT: Travel tissues.

AUTO KIT: Travel tissues.

EQUIPMENT: Charcoal and lighter fluid (if needed).

PREPAREDNESS GOAL: Photograph home contents. Take pictures of various rooms and items in those rooms with your cell phone or camera. Store pictures at a out-of-area relatives home, or in an online file in case of a disaster and you have to prove what you lost.

Click here for the complete May 2012 Food Storage Shopping List.

MY CURRENT GIVEAWAY: Four lucky winners will receive my upcoming "12-Month Food Storage Organizer." Go here for more details.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Participate in My Food Storage Poll

For the next several months, you will see a food storage poll on the side of my blog. Do you see it? I want to know the challenges you're having with food storage. You may select multiple answers. Your answers will help me with my book. My readers are an important part of the process.

As I typed up this poll a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I definitively don't have it all together like all of you think I do, but I no longer feel a food storage burden. It's my life. Now don't think I'm bragging. Just reflecting. I don't always cook from scratch. And yes, we do eat out more than we should, because we're getting old. However, I love knowing I use food storage every day!

I think some of you get hung up on long-term foods (wheat, rice, beans, etc.) rather than focusing on how you do use food storage every day. Give yourself some brownie points for the days you use a shelf-stable food.

Since seeing is believing, below are our dinner menus for this week. Believe me, I don't make menus every week. But I want to help you see food storage at work. So I highlighted food storage items in red.

MONDAY (Busy Night - piano lessons, FHE)
Pork chops (Definitely not shelf-stable!)
Pasta salad (Bow-tie pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, shredded cheese, olives)
Corn bread muffins with honey (Corn bread mix; just add water and honey)

TUESDAY (Busy Night - tumbling, senior pics)
Spaghetti with homemade meat sauce (AM Prep - canned tomatoes, tomato paste, ground beef, dehydrated onion, spices)
Corn on the cob (yum!)
Wheat rolls

WEDNESDAY (Busy Night - track meet, Mutual)
Chicken-Tortilla casserole (AM prep - tortillas, canned chicken, low-fat cream of chicken and mushroom soups, milk, jar salsa, dehydrated onion, shredded cheese)
Fresh salsa and tortilla chips (Quick in my food processor)
Fruit salad (AM prep - Cool Whip, banana, mandarin oranges, canned peaches, apple, shredded coconut)

THURSDAY (Busy Night - cub scouts, piano recital, track meet)
Chicken stew (AM crock-pot prep - potatoes, canned chicken or fresh chicken, canned green beans, canned carrots, low-fat cream of mushroom soup, dehydrated onion, spices)
Bread and butter

Going out with friends to the temple and eating in the cafeteria. Kids are on their own.

Have no idea! :-) I'm already tired from this busy week.

Mother's Day!
Roast w/gravy (AM crock-pot prep - Roast, potatoes, carrots, fresh onions, spices)
Whole wheat rolls (AM prep in bread machine and rise - wheat flour, yeast, butter, powdered eggs or fresh, sugar, dry milk, salt)
I will request something yummy and chocolate. :-)

Look at what's in the pantry:

Short-Term Foods (3 months to 19 years)
Tortilla chips
Bow-tie pasta
Chicken, canned
Olives, can
Green beans, canned
Carrots, canned
Tomatoes, canned
Tomato paste
Salsa, jar
Cream of chicken soup
Cream of mushroom soup
Mandarin oranges, canned
Peaches, canned
Cornbread mix
Dehydrated onions
Powdered eggs
Dry milk

Long-Term Foods (shelf-life 20+ years)
Wheat flour

P.S. Don't forget to take the poll. Thanks!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week #19, May 6 - 12: Food Storage Goals

Here is what we're gathering this week. Decide what you want to work on, and put reminders on your calendar:

MAY FOCUS, Week #19

EMERGENCY FUND: Set aside $2.00 or more per week per person.

2-WEEK WATER SUPPLY: Accumulate 14 gallons per person (or 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water per person) for drinking/cooking, and more water in containers for hygiene, cleaning, toilet flushing, etc. If you have this, move on.

3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE: Refill spices (or buy spice packets), AND buy dry onions. Only buy spices in bulk if you use them often such as onions, cinnamon cumin and chili powder. Then refill less-used spice bottles. See what I did here.

INVENTORY: Count your cleaning supplies and read what I stock up on and why.

NON-FOOD: One month supply of plastic utensils. Disaster essential.

72-HOUR KIT: Travel toiletries such as shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Save money, and use hotel samples.

AUTO KIT: Lotion.

EQUIPMENT: Wheat grinder.

PREPAREDNESS GOAL: Make a Pet 72-hour Emergency kit which includes: Water, Food, Medications, Proof of Ownership, Proof of Vaccinations, Emergency Friends List, Leash & Pet Carrier, ID Tags, First Aid Kit, Blanket, toy, etc. "An estimated 600,000 pets were killed or left without shelter as a result of Hurricane Katrina." CBSNews

Watch this video to help you with a pet preparedness plan.
And go to the site for more great ideas.

For the complete monthly food storage list, go here: May 2012 List

MY CURRENT GIVEAWAY: Four lucky winners will receive my 12-Month Food Storage Organizer that I'm writing. Go here for more details.

Finding Members After the March 11, 2011 Earthquake in Japan

LDS Church News - Photo Sara Jane Weaver
An article caught my eye in the LDS Church News about the 9.0 earthquake and powerful tsunami that struck Japan last year. I was reminded how blessed we are to have an organized church with priesthood leaders, home teachers and visiting teachers who watch over us. We don't have to worry if someone will or won't find us after a disaster. We will be found.

More than 15,000 people died in that disaster. However, "4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water." (NPR) Can you imagine trying to account for that many people after a disaster? But even during the darkest days in Japan, let me share how some of the priesthood leaders found their lost sheep.

In Nagamachi, Japan, for example, Bishop Tatsuya Otomo had no way to reach all the members of his ward. So he placed a large board outside the LDS Meetinghouse and asked members to sign in and report their status and the status of fellow Church members. "This was a fast method to confirm the safety of people," he said.

Members would look at the list and then "walk or ride bicycles to check on other members." Within weeks, local leaders had accounted for every member.

LDS Church News - Photo Sara Jane Weaver
"It was difficult. ... We didn't know where they were," Bishop Otomo said.

When everyone had been located, Church members then rallied together to help each other. On March 20, a week and a half after the disaster, ward members brought their food storage to the meetinghouse for use by members in need.

"We had one sister whose husband was not a member of the Church," Bishop Otomo said. "Still, she donated all of their rice. Her husband said, 'Go ahead.' The members really helped and cooperated. We were all victims of this disaster, but everyone came to help each other."

Bishop Otomo said he saw hope and resiliency rise from the destruction. "One sister said to me, 'My house is completely gone. But I can't take it with me to God. So it is not important.'" What is important, she added is that "'I have had the opportunity to serve others.'"

And here is another story of how a branch president went looking for a member.

Branch President Koki Yamazaki began worrying about the members of his branch. There was no electricity or telephone or cell phone service. Food, water and gasoline were in short supply. On March 13, President Yamazaki borrowed a scooter from a Church member and started towards Kesennuma, home to Sister Yoshiki and another Latter-day Saint sister. 

LDS Church News - Photo Sara Jane Weaver

"The roads were destroyed," he recalled. "The situation was very bad." He went from evacuation center to evacuation center looking for the women. Finally, he learned they were safe, but was unable to find Sister Yoshiki or see her in person that night. 

President Yamazaki put the little gas he was carrying in his tank and drove home. "The gas level went to full," he said. "I really felt this was a miracle." Two days later, he knew that he still needed to find Sister Yoshiki. With limited gas in hand, he set out again for Kesennuma. 

After considerable searching and effort, he found Sister Yoshiki and offered her a small bag of rice. "I knew this was God's help," said Sister Yoshiki. "No man could have done this. He really was an angel from God." LDS Church News

These stories and others like them make me ponder, who is our neighbor during a disaster? Will we need to search for the children across the street if their mother is at work? Or the people in the grocery store if we are there? Or those at the office if we are there? Just a thought.