November 30, 2012

Food Storage Shopping List December 2012

December is a busy month for most of us, so my food storage focus includes some inexpensive baking ingredients you can buy in one shopping trip, or a couple each week during your weekly shopping trips. You may already have a 3-month supply of them sitting on your shelf. Except for the mixes, it's inexpensive to stock up on a year's supply of most of these ingredients as well.

My emergency focus is emergency cooking. If the power is out, the roads and stores are closed, and you have to camp out at home, how will you cook? Do you have something to cook on? Do you have propane, charcoal or other fuel for your outdoor cooking needs? How will you make baby food? Ponder these questions, and come up with a plan. You may have several cooking options already at home.

Even though it's winter, now is the best time to practice your emergency cooking skills. Put together a simple recipe book by looking at what's on your shelves. I will share some recipes later this month.

Here is the printable list with food storage and emergency preparation suggestions.

(clink for printable pdf)
oops! I listed salt twice so I updated the list

The chart below breaks down just the food into a 3-month and 12-month supply, and then I included some everyday prices. With current baking sales, you probably can buy items for less. This list gives you a good starting place. I have no idea how much you bake, or if you bake. But if you were unemployed, you will probably need to bake more and eat out less.

Don't get hung up on perfect amounts. If the math for your family of 5 works out to be 20 oz. of baking soda and you only want to store a 16 oz. box, then store that. And you may not have space to store a year's supply of cake mixes. My hope is that you will figure out some amount to store so you become accustomed to keeping extra food on your shelf.

BAKING BASICS
3-MONTH/12-MONTH SUPPLY
per adult
multiply amounts by family members and adjust
ITEM 3 M 12 M Costco Walmart Shelf Life
Vanilla, real 4 oz.  16 oz.  16 oz. $6.89 ISL
Yeast, instant  4 oz.  16 oz.  2x16 oz. $4.00 1 YSL; 5 YFL
Cooking spray  4 oz.  16 oz.  2x12 oz. $6.89 8 oz. $3.30 16 MSL
Brownie mix  1 box 4 boxes BC $1.50 12-18 MSL
Cake mix  1 box 4 boxes BC $1.35 12-18 MSL
Frosting  1 cntr. 4 cntrs. BC $1.60 1 YSL
Baking mix  1.5 lbs 6 lb. 6 lb. $5.50 1 YSL
Salt  6.5 oz. 26 oz.  26 oz. $.45 ISL
Baking powder  5 oz. 20 oz.  8 oz. $1.25 18 MSL
Baking soda  4 oz. 16 oz.  16 oz.  $.70 2 YSL+
Cornstarch  4 oz. 16 oz.  16 oz. $1.30 ISL
UNOPENED SHELF LIFE CODE:
YSL = year shelf life
MSL = month shelf life
YFL = year freezer shelf  life
MFL = month freezer shelf life
ISL = indefinite shelf life

Tips: 
  • Imitation vanilla is much cheaper, but has a 4 year shelf life.
  • Homemade brownies are healthier :-), but mixes are simple to use for emergency outdoor cooking. It's nice to have a few on the shelf
  • Yeast - I keep my opened yeast in a container in the freezer.
Please comment. I would love to hear your thoughts. It's easy to comment if you click on the title of any post and then fill in the comment box.

Best wishes,

Valerie

November 26, 2012

7 Essential Toiletries To Stock Up On

Yes, you do have more than 7 toiletries on your shelf, but I listed what I consider essential, and then listed the nice-to-haves. Nice-to-haves are items you might not need (or find) after a disaster, but you use them everyday, and boy they would be nice to have if you ever became unemployed. Essentials are necessary for hygiene. You could definitely argue the point and move some nice-to-haves to the essentials list and vice versa. But if finances are tight, I recommend gathering a supply of the 7 Essential Toiletries first. Then some of the nice-to-haves. Then tendency to buy things only as they run out will leave you helpless when disaster strikes.

Because I encourage taking a mini-inventory of your food and home storage each week, this list coordinates with my 52-Week Food Storage Inventory. In the past, I listed toilet paper and facial tissue on the Paper & Plastics inventory list; but I've reconsidered and think they are much easier to count with other toiletries.

Obviously your toiletries will be quicker to count if they are in a centralized location, but that doesn't work if you put some personal items in your basement, some in a bathroom cupboard, and some in the garage. You might want to work on a bit of organizing. But as long as you know where they are, you'll be okay taking an inventory. Obviously you have other items in your cupboards that you could add to the list as well.

The nice thing about toiletries is you can buy them everywhere, and there are lots of sales and coupons. But I warn you; Costco makes a lot of money on toiletries. So, the list below only shows a few items I buy at Costco. However, convenience sometimes wins out.

If your home storage space is tight, focus on a 1 to 3 month supply of toiletries. Or buy one item to use and one for your shelf. Having a smaller stock means you will need to replace items more often.

My last bit of advice is don't go overboard and buy a year's supply of every toiletry or you won't have any money left for food storage. The stuff that keeps you alive. Moderation is a good thing. You've watched shows like Extreme Couponing. Well . . . that's extreme. A year's supply of toilet paper in your tiny apartment or a year's supply of peanut butter. You choose.

Adjust the list. Eliminate what you don't want. Use it as a starting place.

SUGGESTED INVENTORY: every 3 months

# OF TOILETRIES TO STORE per person
ESSENTIAL TOILETRIES
Item 1 mo. 3 mo. 12 mo. Store
Soap, bar 1.0 3.0 12.0 CC
Toilet paper 4.0 12.0 48.0 CC
Feminine items 30.0 90.0 360.0 WM/DS
Shampoo 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Deodorant 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Toothpaste  0.3 1.0 4.0 WM/DS
Toothbrush 0.3 1.0 4.0 WM/DS
NICE-TO-HAVE TOILETRIES
Item 1 mo. 3 mo. 12 mo. Store
Conditioner 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Lotion 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Razors 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Sunscreen 0.2 0.5 2.0 WM/DS
Dental floss 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Facial tissue 0.3 1.0 4.0 CC
Body wash 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Mouthwash 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Cotton swabs 30.0 90.0 360.0 WM/DS
Shaving cream 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Contact solution 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Hair products 1.0 3.0 12.0 WM/DS
Lip balm 1.0 3.0 12.0 CC
CC = Costco
WM/DS = Walmart or Walgreens/Rite Aid with coupon

(just learning how to add spreadsheets, so bear with me)

November 25, 2012

Ensign Articles About Food Storage and Self-Reliance From the Past 4 Years


Over the past four years, numerous articles have been written about food storage, emergency preparedness, and self-reliance in the Ensign magazine. Below you will find articles listed by year. As you prayerfully study some of them, I hope you will find the answers you seek on your quest to becoming better prepared.
2013

2012
  • Everyday Home Storage (March) - Making home storage a part of our everyday lives.
  • Follow the Prophet (March) - Both of us were thinking about how to start home storage for our family.
  • In the Aftermath of the Tornado (July) - Members of the Church in Joplin, Missouri, were physically prepared for a natural disaster. More important, they were prepared spiritually. 
  • Natural Disasters -We Don't Have to Be Afraid (August) - As we seek Heavenly Father’s guidance, the Holy Ghost will help us prepare for, endure, and recover from natural disasters.
  • Provident Living Prepares Us For the Future (October) - We believe in preparing educationally for employment, in preparing financially for a rainy day, and in preparing temporally for natural disasters or other challenges. Most important, we believe in preparing spiritually for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and for living with our Father in Heaven again. 
2011
2010
2009

Food Storage Goals: Week 48

Here's what we're working on this week (Nov. 25 - Dec. 1):

INVENTORY: Toiletries
Look over your supply of toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc. Decide if you are storing enough. Make a note about which items you want to increase, and periodically increase your supply.

STEP 1: 3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE per person:
15 lbs. White Flour
White flour has a pantry shelf life of 1 year. If you have a family of 4, a 3-month supply is about 60 lbs. Costco sells 50 lb. bags of flour for about $13.50. If you don't bake often, you could store a small amount of flour on your pantry shelf, and more in #10 cans from the Home Storage Center which have a 10 year shelf life. Note: Wheat flour does not store without refrigeration and loses its nutritional as it sits on your pantry shelf. It's better to grind your whole wheat into flour and store in your refrigerator or freezer.

STEP 2: 2-WEEK SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER:
Accumulate 14 gallons of emergency water per person. That's about 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles. If you refill your own containers, they need to be changed every 6 months; whereas commercially bottled water can be stored indefinitely. But it will taste better if you use it periodically, then buy more. Water is an absolute necessity! You will need more for hygiene, cleaning and cooking.

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE OR EMERGENCY FUND:
Start small, but be consistent. Add $2.00 or more per person each week. And only use it for emergencies. This is not an investment fund.

STEP 4: LONGER-TERM FOOD STORAGE:
Do this step if you have completed STEPS 1, 2 and 3. Throughout the year I will suggest long-term items in STEP 1 with (LT) after their name. You can purchase a larger amount for your long-term storage, but they should be stored in #10 cans, buckets or Mylar bags for these items to have a 20 to 30+ year shelf life.

HOME STORAGE: Vinegar for cleaning
You can purchase a two gallon sized containers at Sam's Club or Costco for about $3.50 total. An inexpensive household cleaner. Go to VinegerTips.com for more ideas.

72-HOUR KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)

EQUIPMENT FUND: Many of you have been working on your 72-hour kits and auto emergency kits with me for the past 9 months. So, for the next 12 weeks you will see a suggested amount to save for a more expensive equipment item to be purchased at the end of December. However, if you are not ready to do this and want to continue building your emergency kits, go back to my older monthly lists and look for items you want to purchase each week. We will start over again in January.
  1. Decide on an item such as one of the following that you want to save for: Electric Pressure Cooker $100, Pressure Canner/Cooker $100, Tent $150, 2-Burner Outdoor Propane Stove $100, Volcano Cook Stove $100, Indoor/Outdoor Heater $100, Electric Wheat Grinder $250, Chain saw $200-300, Solar Oven $300, KitchenAid Mixer $300, Bosch Mixer $420, or Generator $800+ 
  2. Divide the dollar amount by 12.
  3. Put aside that amount each week.
  4. Purchase your item at the end of December.
EQUIPMENT GOAL: Portable heater
During winter power outages, non-electric indoor portable heaters can disappear from store shelves quickly. If you can afford one, consider the Mr. Heater Big Buddy Heater (about $130.00) which heats up to 400 square feet. Carefully read the reviews and instructions. It also comes in a smaller size which heats a 200 square foot space. It could also be useful on camping trips.

PREP GOAL: Find out where the closest evacuation center is to you. Obviously this could change depending on the disaster, but what public locations near you could be used as evacuation centers? Your local school, a county building, or a church? Contact your city to find out and make a mental note.

HOW TO USE THIS LIST:
1. Decide on a monthly or weekly home storage budget.
2. Realistically decide what you want to gather or do from the list.
3. Multiply amounts by number of family members.
4. Adjust amount for younger children.
5. Adapt, adapt, adapt. These are only suggestions. Pick and choose.
6. Each week look for store sales that match your goals.
7. Carry your list with you or put it on your cell phone notepad.

If you want to see the entire month, go to the November Monthly List.

You are never behind if you take one step forward.

November 24, 2012

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Has New YouTube Site

Recently President Thomas S. Monson announced that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has an official YouTube site: YouTube.com/MormonTabChoir. In addition to musical performances and concerts, broadcasts from "Music and the Spoken Word" may also be viewed.

Also, this year at the 2012 Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert, Tony Award-winning British tenor Alfie Boe will perform and news journalist Tom Brokaw will be the narrator. Alfie Boe performed as Jean Valjean (click to hear him) at the Les Misérables 25th anniversary concert. Even if you can't attend, these guest artists will also join the choir and orchestra for the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast and a mini-concert on Sunday, December 16, at 9:30 a.m. (MST) which should be fantastic! Subscribe to the channel. These are exciting times!

To start off the Christmas season, please enjoy this music video: Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Silent Night with David Archuleta, Christmas 2010. Sorry the quality isn't that good, but it is not from the YouTube.com/MormonTabChoir site. But I just love David's voice and message.



November 20, 2012

Grab-N-Go Giveaway Winner!

A big congratulations to the winner of 
the Augason Farms 
Grab-N-Go Emergency Kit 

Emergency Food Supply

Ronald Clay from Utah!

Winner has been notified by email. 

Thanks to all those who participated. 
Just so you know,
Augason Farms has this kit
 on sale for $67.53,
regularly $79.45.

Keep watching for more giveaways. 


Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

November 19, 2012

Site Review: "My Food Storage Cookbook"

Many of you have asked where you can find food storage recipes and ingredients. I've always felt it is important to learn how to cook whatever you store. But, honestly, my weakness, is cooking. Not to be too hard on myself, my strength is organization and gathering. So I was super excited to discover a great website called My Food Storage Cookbook created by Megan. Over the past two years she has been testing recipes out on her family and sharing them on her site.

You will enjoy watching her videos. She teaches you how to create your own DIY family cookbook. I particularly like how she shows you her method of categorizing her recipe cards.



She also shows you her system for taking inventory.



Check out her ideas on color-coding your recipes in your cookbook for various uses: green - long-term meal, red - 3 month meal, blue dot - pantry meal, and yellow dot - Sun Oven meal.

Great ideas, Megan! I'm looking forward to learning some great food storage ideas. Check out My Food Storage Cookbook and learn how you can become a food storage family.

Helpful Links
My list of a 3-month Food Storage Supply.pdf

November 18, 2012

Food Storage Goals: Week 47

Here's what we're working on this week (Nov. 18 - Nov. 24):

INVENTORY: Condiments
Look over your supply of these items. Things such as mayonnaise  ketchup, salad dressing, vinegar, etc. Decide if you have enough. You may only need a 3-month supply of most. Look at expiration dates and bring older usable items to your kitchen counter so you will use them up.

STEP 1: 3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE per person:
1 box stuffing mix (optional)
1 15 oz. can of yams
If you don't like these items, store something else. Don't just think of this supply as only for a disaster. You may suddenly lose your job. Having a supply on your shelf will be useful.

STEP 2: 2-WEEK SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER:
Accumulate 14 gallons of emergency water per person. That's about 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles. If you refill your own containers, they need to be changed every 6 months; whereas commercially bottled water can be stored indefinitely. But it will taste better if you use it periodically, then buy more. Water is an absolute necessity! You will need more for hygiene, cleaning and cooking.

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE OR EMERGENCY FUND:
Start small, but be consistent. Add $2.00 or more per person each week. And only use it for emergencies.

STEP 4: LONGER-TERM FOOD STORAGE:
Do this step if you have completed STEPS 1, 2 and 3. Throughout the year I will suggest long-term items in STEP 1 with (LT) after their name. You can purchase a 3-month supply or a larger amount for your long-term storage. These items can be stored for 20 - 30+ years. For instance, if you want a 1 year supply of sugar, multiply the amount in STEP 1 by 4 which would be 40 lbs. of sugar per person, etc. The choice is yours.

HOME STORAGE: Window cleaner
A refill size is the least expensive to purchase and can be found at most grocery stores.

72-HOUR KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)

EQUIPMENT FUND: Many of you have been working on your 72-hour kits and auto emergency kits with me for the past 9 months. So, for the next 12 weeks you will see a suggested amount to save for a more expensive equipment item to be purchased at the end of December. However, if you are not ready to do this and want to continue building your emergency kits, go back to my older monthly lists and look for items you want to purchase each week. We will start over again in January.
1. Decide on an item such as one of the following that you want to save for: Electric Pressure Cooker $100, Pressure Canner/Cooker $100, Tent $150, 2-Burner Outdoor Propane Stove $100, Volcano Cook Stove $100, Indoor/Outdoor Heater $100, Electric Wheat Grinder $250, Chain saw $200-300, Solar Oven $300, KitchenAid Mixer $300, Bosch Mixer $420, or Generator $800+ 
2. Divide the dollar amount by 12.
3. Put aside that amount each week.
4. Purchase your item at the end of December.

EQUIPMENT GOAL: Winter gloves and hat.
Look through your supplies. Is it time to replace yours? Kids grow quickly.

PREP GOAL: Free week. Enjoy time with your family!

HOW TO USE THIS LIST:
1. Decide on a monthly or weekly home storage budget.
2. Realistically decide what you want to gather or do from the list.
3. Multiply amounts by number of family members.
4. Adjust amount for younger children.
5. Adapt, adapt, adapt. These are only suggestions. Pick and choose.
6. Each week look for store sales that match your goals.
7. Carry your list with you or put it on your cell phone notepad.

If you want to see the entire month, go to the November Monthly List.

You are never behind if you take one step forward.

November 17, 2012

"Things That Matter Most" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

As we prepare for the coming Thanksgiving, "it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions." President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught that "if life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most."

He says, "My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do “all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have] strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.”

Four Key Relationships:

  • First, relationship with God
  • Second, relationship with families
  • Third, relationship with fellowmen
  • Fourth, relationship with ourself
Love is spelled: T-I-M-E


I look forward to this coming week and wish you each a wonderful Thanksgiving as you spend time with your family and serve others. Things that matter most.

The following 20 minute talk was given at General Conference in October 2010.

November 16, 2012

Christmas Gifts for My Missionary

I am putting together a Christmas package for my missionary son in Sweden with wrapped gifts and an attached correlating scripture inside a little gift card. If you want to do something similar, read on.

Here is What You Do:

  1. Decide on a few gifts in advance, but you will also have fun gathering more at the store!
  2. Think of light-weight items to help with shipping costs. I have to keep each box under 4 lbs. to prevent problems with customs fees.
  3. Search for a correlating scripture at LDS.org scripture search. Just put in a key word and use some imagination. I abbreviated the verses.
  4. Remove all cardboard and plastic wrap you really don't need to help reduce weight.
  5. Buy several small 25 cent Christmas bags from Walgreens. They look like lunch sacks. They make excellent wrapping paper for small gifts. After you fold them shut, cut off excess paper to reduce the weight. Or you could use a roll of Christmas wrap, but I like variety.
  6. Weigh your items in the box. I have a postal scale, but you could use a bathroom scale. That will give you some idea of the weight before you head to the post office. You may need two boxes. To be safe, leave your box open, and tape it there. Don't send aerosols or liquids.
  7. On my customs form, I am fairly general with my list of items: candy, cards, pictures, missionary supplies, clothing, etc. You don't want to give it all away!




DECORATIONS AND GIFTS FOR OTHER
These items are on top of the gifts:
  • Paper Nativity (Walmart Christmas section)
  • Hanging Foil Christmas Tree (Dollar Tree)
  • Paper Christmas Ball Garland (Dollar Tree)
  • Temple Square Christmas ornament (for mission president and his wife, nice card)
  • Several Simon Dewey's "Divine Redeemer" 5x7 prints to give away
  • Several Mitch Johnson's "Salt Lake Temple" 5x7 prints to give away
  • Stocking - for the smallest gifts
  • Letters from family


WRAPPED CHRISTMAS GIFTS WITH SCRIPTURE
For printable list click here

Electric Toothbrush
Matthew 5:38 
“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth"
Root Beer Float taffy & gum 
(Not in small Swedish towns)
Psalms 119:103 
“How sweet are thy words unto my taste!”
Swedish Fish 
(Of course!)
Mark 1:17 
"Come ye after me, 
and I will make you to become fishers of men."
Cinnamon Santa candy
Exodus 30:23 
"Take thou also unto thee principal spices, 
of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon"
Hair Pomade
Luke 21:18 
"But there shall not an hair of your head perish."
Starburst Christmas book
3 Nephi 1:21 
"And it came to pass also that a new star did appear."
Two Neckties 
(one for him and one for his companion)
Proverbs 6:21 
"Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck."
Reese's Peanut Butter Fast Break
Genesis 43:11 
"Carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, 
spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds"
Cocoa Drink mix
John 18:18 
"Peter stood with them, and warmed himself."
Snickerdoodles cookie mix
Genesis 21:6 
"God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me."
Nature Valley Protein Bars
Mosiah 24:20 
"and when they had traveled all day 
they pitched their tents in a valley" 
Socks
Doctrine and Covenants 84:109 
"for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?"
Superman Shirt & Superman Beanie 
(says Truth & Honor)
Matthew 9:8 
"they marvelled, and glorified God, 
which had given such power unto men."
D&C 115:5 
"Arise and shine forth, 
that thy light may be a standard for the nations”
Peanut Butter jar
(expensive in Sweden)
Song of Solomon 6:11
"I went down into the garden of nuts
to see the fruits of the valley"
12 Oreo's
Leviticus 24:5
"And thou shalt take fine flour,
and bake twelve cakes thereof"
Peeps Marshmallow Snowmen
Job 37:6
"For he saith to the snow,
Be thou on the earth"




I hope he enjoys it!

Other Missionary Christmas Care packages posts:

November 13, 2012

Mormon Helping Hands in Rockaway, New York - Video

Watch missionaries, Mormons and non-Mormons serve together in New York after Hurricane Sandy. This video made me cry as I watched the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action. Governments can't do everything for us after a disaster, but people can do many things of their own free will and choice to serve their brothers and sisters. We are all God's children.

According to the creator, Joshua Brown, "thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue to volunteer to assist in the recovery efforts within these communities. On Sunday, November 11th, thousands of Mormons cancelled their church services and arrived by air, bus and train from all across the country to help.

"Please share this video with any friends and family that might be able to help the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Not only at the Rockaways, but Staten Island, Long Island, and New Jersey. The church is coordinating the efforts, but anyone (both Mormon and non Mormon) is welcome to come and help."



If you want to help go here:
facebook.com/groups/mormonhelpinghandsnyc/
rockawayhelp.com
lds.org/topics/humanitarian-service/helping-hands 

November 12, 2012

10 Simple Food Storage Tips For Singles and College Students

Most singles or college students are overwhelmed with the concept of food storage because they aren't sure what to store, they don't have the space to store it, and are afraid of the expense. It does't have to be overwhelming if you buy food storage a little at a time along with your grocery shopping. Abandon the mentality that food storage is only wheat, rice and beans in commercial-sized cans. There are so many ways to make food storage easy for you. Here are some suggestions:
  1. Quickly Put Together a 72-hour Kit - Even though this falls under the category of disaster preparedness, you may need an emergency kit. It's what you'll grab if you have to evacuate your home and head to a shelter, or shelter at home. Tell your relatives you would love for them to help you build one for Christmas. It won't last very long, so you also want a 3-month supply of food. 
  2. Gather a 3-Month Supply of Everyday Foods - If you live in a small condo, an apartment or with 5 other roommates, then start with a 1-month supply. Obviously you won't be able to store a year's supply of food in #10 commercial-sized cans. Consider shelf-stable foods in the sizes you normally cook with. This supply will help you during disasters and between jobs. Soup, canned fruits, tuna fish, fruits and vegetables, a bag of rice, boxed cereal, kidney beans, etc. all store well. The gathering may take time, but you can do it one extra can at a time. 
  3. Make A List Of What You Have - Eliminate fresh foods from your mind. Yikes! Did I say that? Most of us are fresh-is-best eaters. However, those fresh foods won't be available after a disaster. You have to have shelf-stable foods in your home. Remember how long it took people to get help after Hurricane Sandy? Remember what happened to their local stores during the power outages? That is what it could be like for you after a major disaster. Look in your cupboards and find canned, boxed and packaged foods you already use. See, you do have them! These will become the basics of emergency food storage. Most of us already have a 3-month supply of food and don't even know it. Make a list of what you've normally buy.
  4. Create Disaster Menus - Now expand that list into simple menus. An easy meal could be a can of soup and crackers, breakfast cereal and a can of peaches. It may not be what you eat like now, but most of theses foods are foods you can survive on. For ideas, see Disaster Menus for 7 days or check out my College Food Storage list.
  5. Buy 1 For You, and 1 For Your Shelf - Make this your new motto. When you go shopping for a can of tomatoes, buy two. Or a bag of rice, buy two. Soon you will have food storage on your shelf.
  6. Old Mother Hubbard? - You don't want to have bare cupboards like hers. It's okay to leave food on your shelves. Move away from the mentality that you must eat that last box of cereal before you buy another one. Open one box, but leave one uneaten box on the shelf. Then shop again so you have two again. Leaving food on your shelves is not like leaving food on your plate. It's a good thing!
  7. Shop Smart and Buy on Sale - Learn what a good sale is by comparing prices. Most singles are bright college students or college graduates. You can do it! Remember that list from idea #3? Now record the prices of those items next time you go to the store. It may be a longer shopping trip, but you've created your first price log. There are apps for this, but sometimes paper and pencil is quicker. Watch for sales by looking at grocery ads online each week. The front page is a good place to look. Come up with your own limits on the most you will pay for something. My father-in-law never pays more than $1 per pound for fresh fruits and vegetables. I think he's on to something.
  8. One Week Each Month . . . Don't Eat Out - Singles tend to eat out more often than non-singles. Take homemade lunches to work or school, and use the money saved to put in your food storage fund. And remember; your favorite restaurant or cafe will be closed after a disaster, perhaps for months. Those campus vending machines will empty in one day. Yikes! Those snacky foods will be gone.
  9. Use My Monthly Food Storage Lists - I've prepared these lists to help you gather something new each week based on monthly categories. If you don't like an item on my 12 Monthly Lists, stock up on something else. Almond butter could be exchanged for peanut butter. Brown rice could be exchanged for white rice. Even though brown rice doesn't have a long shelf life, you normally use it so you will buy it again. It's okay to stock up on a supply of it in your 3-month supply.
  10. Pray For Guidance and Inspiration - We live in "difficult and turbulent times." It is no longer if you will need it. It's when you will need it. God does listen. Pray for guidance. Ideas and inspiration will come. I know this, because I've practiced it. 
Best wishes on your new adventure!

Valerie

Listen to Barbara Salsbury - Author of "Preparedness Principles" on the Mormon Channel. She will encourage and motivate you!

November 11, 2012

Food Storage Goals: Week 46


Here's what we're working on this week (Nov. 11 - Nov. 17):

INVENTORY: Beans, Meat and Soups.
Look over your supply of these items. Decide if you need to work harder purchasing them. Look at expiration dates and bring older usable items to your kitchen counter so you will use them up.

STEP 1: 3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE per person:
2 lbs. of brown sugar
1 lb. of powdered sugar (LT)
10 lbs. of white sugar (LT)
Even though a 3-month amount is shown, these items are great in a 1 year supply because they are inexpensive, and store well. Try purchasing at Walmart or Costco/Sam's Club.

STEP 2: 2-WEEK SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER:
Accumulate 14 gallons of water per person. That's about 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles. If you refill your own containers they need to be changed every 6 months, whereas commercially bottled water can be stored indefinitely. But it will taste better if you use it periodically, then buy more. Water is an absolute necessity! You will need more for hygiene, cleaning and cooking.

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE OR EMERGENCY FUND:
Start small, but be consistent. Add $2.00 or more per person each week. And only use it for emergencies.

STEP 4: LONGER-TERM FOOD STORAGE:
Do this step if you have completed STEPS 1, 2 and 3. Throughout the year I will suggest long-term items in STEP 1 with (LT) after their name. You can purchase a 3-month supply or a larger amount for your long-term storage. These items can be stored for 20 - 30+ years. For instance, if you want a 1 year supply of sugar, multiply the amount in STEP 1 by 4 which would be 40 lbs. of sugar per person, etc. The choice is yours.

HOME STORAGE: Liquid hand soap.
A refill size is the least expensive to purchase and can be found at most grocery stores. Besides everyday use, you will need this to wash your hands during a disaster.

72-HOUR KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)

EQUIPMENT FUND: Many of you have been working on your 72-hour kits and auto emergency kits with me for the past 9 months. So, for the next 12 weeks you will see a suggested amount to save for a more expensive equipment item to be purchased at the end of December. However, if you are not ready to do this and want to continue building your emergency kits, go back to my older monthly lists and look for items you want to purchase each week. We will start over again in January.
1. Decide on an item such as one of the following that you want to save for: Electric Pressure Cooker $100, Pressure Canner/Cooker $100, Tent $150, 2-Burner Outdoor Propane Stove $100, Volcano Cook Stove $100, Indoor/Outdoor Heater $100, Electric Wheat Grinder $250, Chain saw $200-300, Solar Oven $300, KitchenAid Mixer $300, Bosch Mixer $420, or Generator $800+ 
2. Divide the dollar amount by 12.
3. Put aside that amount each week.
4. Purchase your item at the end of December.

EQUIPMENT GOAL: A winter coat.
Is it time to replace yours? Kids grow quickly. Would your coat keep you warm if you had to stand outside for a long period of time? Donate your old one to someone who needs it. Inexpensive coats can also be found at thrift stores.

PREP GOAL: Move your winter coats to the coat closet by the front. Sound simple? If every family member knows where they are, then they can find them quickly. If you ever had to evacuate in a hurry in the winter, you will want to grab your coat.

HOW TO USE THIS LIST:
1. Decide on a monthly or weekly home storage budget.
2. Realistically decide what you want to gather or do from the list.
3. Multiply amounts by number of family members.
4. Adjust amount for younger children.
5. Adapt, adapt, adapt. These are only suggestions. Pick and choose.
6. Each week look for store sales that match your goals.
7. Carry your list with you or put it on your cell phone notepad.

If you want to see the entire month, go to the November Monthly List.

You are never behind if you take one step forward.

November 10, 2012

Inspired by "The Coat" from the Mormon Channel

Last week I shared a Mormon Messages video called "The Coat: A Story of Charity." I was excited to watch the following story about how a group of girls become inspired by that same video and create a service project. As the cold of winter comes to many areas, may we each find ways to give service to those in need.


November 8, 2012

Giveaway: Augason Farms Grab-N-Go Emergency Kit

PreparedLDSFamily announces 
 a giveaway from Augason Farms

 Win a Grab-n-Go Emergency Food Supply Kit
A $79.45 value!


12-Days of delicious easy-to-prepare food for one person plus a plastic self-filtering, pull-top, water bottle, fire starter and menu guides, all packed in a "grab & go" pail.

Sealed in the pail, food items have a shelf life up to 20 years, and come in easy to use pouches. The whole pail weighs approximately 15 lbs and is easy to transport if necessary. Kit includes a self-filtration water bottle that reduces specific health-related contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, lead, volatile organic chemicals and improves water taste. Also included is a FireOn disk that is easy to light in the worst of conditions. The included meal planning guide offers a wide range of appetizing combinations, making it easy to mix and match meals, and ensures that you get 2,000 calories per day.

Food Items Include: 
• Cheesy Broccoli with Rice (18 servings)
• Vegetable Stew Blend (24 servings)
• Creamy Potato Soup (18 servings)
• Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (20 servings)
• Instant White Rice (27 servings)
• Vegetarian Meat Substitute Beef (flavored) (18 servings)
• Morning Moo's Milk Alternative (60 servings)
• Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup (18 servings)

Manufacturer's Specifications
• Food for 1 Person for 12 days
• Average of 2063 calories per day
• Shelf life of up to 20 years unopened* -- Pouch shelf life of up to one year after opening pail
• Food packaged in sealed pouches with oxygen absorbers or nitrogen flushed
• 203 servings
• No hydrogenated oils or trans fats
• Reusable 4 gallon-sized pail with handle--made in USA
• Each pouch clearly marked with date of manufacture
• 12-Day Meal Planning Guide (suggestions for mixing and matching food components)
• Bonus: 24-Day Meal Planning Guide with extended meals per day
• Self-filtering 22 ounce water bottle
• FireOn fire starter disk:
    Lights in as little as a 1/2 a second
    Water resistant
    Burns in winds of up to 30 MPH
    Perfect for cooking during a power outage
    Burns for up to 30 minutes
    Safe to store in your home or garage
• Food, pail, FireOn and water bottle proudly manufactured in the USA
• Easy to transport with a net weight of 13 pounds 8.93 oz (6.14 kg) (excluding water bottle)

Augason Farms has created food storage and emergency preparedness products for families like yours for over 40 years.

Could also be used as a 72-hour kit for 4 people. A great Christmas gift idea!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize: Winner receives one Grab-n-Go Emergency Food Supply kit
To Enter:
STEP 1: Comment below this post (click on the word Comment down there) how you think a Grab-n-Go kit would be (or could have been) helpful to you. This gets you one entry.
STEP 2: (Optional) For a second entry, Like Augason Farms on Facebook or Follow Augason Farms on Twitter.
STEP 3:
with "Grab-n-Go" in the subject line. Tell me you commented and if you did STEP 2 for an additional entry. Thanks for being honest!

Open to:
U.S. residents only.
Shipped from Augason Farms to your home.
Last day to enter is Tuesday, November 20th.
Winner announced November 20th.
Winner will be contacted by email. If winner does not contact me in 24 hours, another winner will be drawn.
I am not paid to do giveaways, but seek out products I feel will be useful to my readers.
Thanks, Augason Farms!

November 7, 2012

Four Disaster Survival Stories From People Like You

The following disaster stories were sent to me by my readers. Hopefully these stories will encourage each of us to become better prepared.

Story 1: "I am a mother of 5 children. Two years ago we had a very heavy wet snow storm. It knocked down trees, power poles, and lines in the area. We were without power for 1 week. We live in the outer area of town. So we rely on our well for our water. We thought we would be ok, but no power, no water! We have a wood burning stove, so I did get very creative and did some cooking on the stove for our main meals. We did not have enough water or a generator. While the food in the freezer kept ok as it was in the garage, we had to put some of our milk outside. We did find out that the dogs really like milk! While this only lasted a week, it was a real wake up call for us. We really learned what we needed to survive a disaster. And we really enjoyed the quiet family time with our children!" K.D., Mount Shasta, CA

Story 2: "My family went through Hurricane Hugo that hit North Carolina years ago, and we were in North Carolina still when Hurricane Andrew hit again. We know exactly what the North Eastern states are going through right now, and for the most part, I hope many of their friends and family were preparing for the worse, because being without water and power for two or three weeks is NO picnic. I was a little girl during the gas crisis of the 1970s when there was no gas, and I still remember it. What have we learned? To always be prepared, no matter what. When things are going well, put aside a little, and prepare for a "rainy day." D.B.

Story 3: "Most people don't think of our area as being prone to disasters. I'm 35 years old and I've been through too many hurricanes to count, several tornado devastations, and many mean winter storms. After Hurricane Fran we had no power for 12 days, the roads were hazardous, and we were under a curfew. Luckily I was just a college student and could rely on friends' local families. A winter storm a few years later (that was supposed to be a light "dusting") turned out to be 23" (a record) and had roads closed for 5 days. Another winter storm a few years later had people here in Raleigh stuck on the roads for up to 10 hours. There are several more that I could mention but you know how the stories go. After that snow storm I realized this could happen to us in any weather, at any time, with little to no warning. I've been teaching my children about being prepared, and trying to teach my stubborn husband as well. He's finally agreed to my "crazy stockpiles" as he calls them. He grew up in Cleveland where the city is prepared for winter weather, doesn't get hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes so he doesn't quite get it. I think the first major storm we get that puts us in a bind, he'll be thanking me. :)" L.C., Raleigh, N. Carolina

Story 4: (She's been through it all!)
"Our ice storm was not typical to our climate, but the first thing my husband did was rush to the store and buy us a kerosene heater. They were sold out in a matter of hours. We were lucky that we had a gas stove and could cook on the top burners. We had no electricity for a week and were cautioned not to travel. I was glad that I did not have an empty pantry! Some people had to cook out in the cold on bbq pits. We enjoyed the company we had over for meals, playing board games and keeping warm! 

"During two evacuations, I learned to keep my important papers handy. It took me an hour to pull all of them out of the filing cabinets. Now I have everything in a metal type of briefcase. I have insurance policies, copies of passports, birth certificates, etc. Things I may use during the evac. I also keep my yearly papers in a plastic file tote, and not in my file cabinet that way I can grab it and go knowing I have all of my paperwork for the year right there. I keep a file folder for each month, and as I pay my bills, etc. I just put them in the folder. At the end of the month, I just put it in the file tote. I also keep one with all of the previous years IRS info all together in it. Because I had everything together, I was able to immediately start filing insurance as soon as I knew that I had damage to my house- even before I actually was able to get back home- and the sooner you contact your insurance, the sooner you get an adjuster. 

"After the first hurricane, my husband bought a generator that runs our whole house by propane, but that does not mean that you can run it all of the time! We were without electricity for 3 weeks with Rita. It wasn't that hard to pull meals from our pantry, but better planning would have made better meals! It was odd seeing our local grocery stores with empty food shelves! I remember that the Little Debbies were going faster than they could put them on the shelf. Luckily all we really had to buy was milk and ice, and Little Debbies! LOL 

"During one evacuation, my brother was smart and filled up all of the empty gas cans that he had, and it sure came in handy! It was scary seeing all of the people that ran out of gas during the evac and had no where to get gas. That is one of the first things that we do when a storm gets into the Gulf - keep gas full in the car, and fill up all of our empty gas cans. Of course, you have to be careful traveling with gas cans full of gas, but if you have no where to buy it, it becomes an necessity. You have to be careful because of the gas is flamable, but you also just might get robbed. It is good to travel in a caravan with friends or family for safety. Gas stations on the evac route ran out of gas. Another thing, if you wait until the last minute to leave, you don't get to choose any road you want, you are directed where to go. It is important to know which roads will be closed and where your traffic will be directed to. It is just horrible getting caught in that mess. Try to leave before it is mandatory!" M.K., Orange, Texas

November 4, 2012

Food Storage Goals: Week 45


Here's what we're working on this week (Nov. 4 - Nov. 10):

INVENTORY: Spices. Now is the time to look over your spices. Toss spices you will never use and write down a list of spices you want to refill. Read how I organize my spices. And read my comparison of Winco prices to Sam's Club prices a few years ago. I only buy bulk containers of a few items. Or if you like to buy from the grocery store, watch for coupons.

STEP 1: 3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE per person:
1x15 oz. can of pumpkin
2x14 oz. cans of broth (beef, chicken, etc.)
If you don't want either, then choose another cooking item.

STEP 2: 2-WEEK WATER SUPPLY:
Accumulate 14 gallons of water per person. That's about 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles. If you refill your own containers they need to be changed every 6 months, whereas commercially bottled water can be stored indefinitely. But it will taste better if you use it periodically, then buy more. Water is an absolute necessity! You will need more for hygiene, cleaning and cooking.

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE or EMERGENCY FUND:
Start small, but be consistent. Add $2.00 or more per person each week. And only use it for emergencies.

STEP 4: LONGER-TERM FOOD STORAGE:
Do this step if you have completed STEPS 1, 2 and 3. Throughout the year suggest long-term items in STEP 1 with (LT) after their name. You can purchase a 3-month supply or a larger amount for your long-term storage. These items can be stored for 20 - 30+ years. For instance, if you want a 1 year supply of broth, multiply the amount in STEP 1 by 4 which would be 8 cans of broth per person, etc. The choice is yours.

HOME STORAGE: Dish soap or dishwasher detergent, or both.
If the power goes out, you will be using dish soap. So always have some as a backup if you typically use your dishwasher. I find the large containers at Sam's Club or Costco to be inexpensive. But a small bottle of dish soap will work for emergencies.
72-HOUR KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)

AUTO EMERGENCY KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)

EQUIPMENT FUND: Many of you have been working on your 72-hour kits and auto emergency kits with me for the past 9 months. So, for the next 12 weeks you will see a suggested amount to save for a more expensive equipment item to be purchased at the end of December. However, if you are not ready to do this and want to continue building your emergency kits, go back to my older monthly lists and look for items you want to purchase each week. We will start over again in January.
1. Decide on an item such as one of the following that you want to save for:
Electric Pressure Cooker $100, Pressure Canner/Cooker $100, Tent $150, 2-Burner Outdoor Propane Stove $100, Volcano Cook Stove $100, Indoor/Outdoor Heater $100, Electric Wheat Grinder $250, Chain saw $200-300, Solar Oven $300, KitchenAid Mixer $300, Bosch Mixer $420, or Generator $800+
2. Divide the dollar amount by 12.
3. Put aside that amount each week.
4. Purchase your item at the end of December.

EQUIPMENT GOAL: 1 extra blanket per person. These are always on sale at this time of year. Do you really have enough blankets in your home? Are they large enough? Look them over.

PREP GOAL: Move your winter coats to the coat closet by the front. Sound simple? If every family member knows where they are, then they can find them quickly. If you ever had to evacuate in a hurry in the winter, you will want to grab your coat.

HOW TO USE THIS LIST:
1. Decide on a monthly or weekly home storage budget.
2. Realistically decide what you want to gather or do from the list.
3. Multiply amounts by number of family members.
4. Adjust amount for younger children.
5. Adapt, adapt, adapt. These are only suggestions. Pick and choose.
6. Each week look for store sales that match your goals.
7. Carry your list with you or put it on your cell phone notepad. You are never behind if you take one step forward.

If you want to see the entire month, go to the November Monthly List.

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