December 29, 2015

Smith's Food Storage Case Lot Sale - January 2016

Smith's grocery store starts a case lot sale Wednesday, December 30th. You can get some great discounts shopping at case lot sales, but most of the time you can find deals at your local grocery or warehouse store year-round.


Since my January food storage focus is water and beverages, I'll stock up on those items and only purchase other things if I absolutely need them. This helps me stay on my rotation schedule with my Emergency Prep lists.

We don't drink apple juice often, but I like to pick up a few bottles and keep them in our cold storage. Sometimes I find cocoa drink mix at Walmart during after Christmas sales. Or I just buy it at the our local Sam's Club or Costco. It's also available at the LDS Home Storage Center. 

After looking over the Smith's ad, here are some:


GREAT DEALS AT THE SMITH'S CASE LOT SALE

BEVERAGES
Kroger Water 16.9 oz. 24 pk. $2.50 or .10 ea.
Kroger Water 16.9 oz. 32 pk. $3.49 or .10 ea.
Langer's 100% Apple Juice 64 oz. $1.39 or 8 for $12.00 (have seen for $1.25)

SOUPS/BROTH
Kroger Broth 14 oz. .50 ea. or 24 for $12.00
Maruchan Ramen Noodles 3 oz. .14 or 24 for $3.29
Campbell's Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soup 10.75 oz. $.55 or 48 for $26.40
Campbell's Chunky Soup various 18.6 - 19 oz. $1.00 or 12 for $12.00
Progresso Soup 17 - 19 oz. .99 ea.

MEAT & BEANS
Bumble Bee Tuna in water 5 oz. $.50 ea. or 48 for $24.00 (Great deal!)
Kroger Beans various 15 oz. $.49 ea. or 24 for $11.76

OILS & FATS
Kroger Peanut Butter 28 oz. $1.25 ea. or 12 for $14.99 (Awesome!)

TOMATOES
Kroger Tomato Sauce 8 oz. $.20 ea. or 24 for $4.80
Kroger Tomatoes various $.50 ea. or 24 for $12.00
Hunt's Pasta Sauce 24 oz. $.80 ea. or 12 for $9.60
Ragu Pasta Sauce 24 oz. $1 ea. or 12 for $12.00

FRUITS/
VEGETABLES
Kroger Mandarin Oranges 11 oz. $.50 or 24 for $12.00
Libby's Vegetables various 14.5-15 oz., $.50 or 12 for $5.99

BAKING SUPPLIES
Betty Crocker Cake Mix or Brownies $1.00 ea. or 12 for $12.00
p$$t Sugar 4 lb. $1.79 or 10 for $17.90 (have seen for $1.59)

I hope you find something for your food storage!

December 26, 2015

January Emergency Preparedness Goals - Water, Beverages and Water Storage

Update! I have changed my yearly preparedness prep lists and put them in The Food Storage Organizer which you can download and print. It's on my new website, FoodStorageOrganizer.com. It costs $12, and you can print for yourself or others. But you cannot share or email the file.

Because someone tried to sell my lists, I've had to use different rules for 2017, and hope you will honor my modified copyright. You may download the document and print copies for sisters interested in them. Or share a link to my website, and members can purchase a copy to download themselves. But you cannot download the document and share it through email in ward newsletters. I'm so sorry. Please go here for more information. FoodStorageOrganizer

Thanks!

Hello friends and Happy New Year! It's time for us to roll up our sleeves and work on our New Year's resolutions; become more self-reliant and prepare for emergencies. If you want to use my January Emergency Prep List, follow this schedule - Week 1: December 27, Week 2: January 3, Week 3: January 10, Week 4: January 17, Week 5: January 24.

To start the new year off right, my personal January prep goals are to:

  • Update our 2-week supply of drinking water. 
  • Add beverages to our 3-month food storage supply.
  • Stock up on toiletries like toilet paper, soap, shampoo, feminine items and deodorant. 
  • Gather dry milk recipes on Pinterest for me and you.
  • Take an inventory of the freezer, beverages, water, toiletries, and breakfast foods.
Holy cow! Since I wrote these goals down on this post, it was so easy to copy and past them as tasks on my Google calendar. So excited for this new year to begin!

Gathering drinking water is one of the preparedness steps taught by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their Home Storage program.

FEMA recommends you buy 14 gallons (1 gallon per day for 2 weeks per person) of commercially prepared bottled water. To learn how to purify water and other good things, read this FEMA/Red Cross document "Food and Water in an Emergency."

Personally, I keep a few barrels of water in our basement AND small bottles of commercially prepared water in my kitchen, emergency closet and garage. I buy 24 ct. cases of water because I can carry them myself. So, if we ever had to evacuate, got water?

I'm always surprised why people won't buy emergency drinking water when it costs about $14 per person, but they will buy 2 movie tickets for the same price. Mmmm.

Want to Know How To Buy Emergency Water Quickly?
  1. Get in the car and drive to the store.
  2. Buy 4.4 cases of 16.9 oz. bottled drinking water.
  3. Bring them home, put them under a bed, or in a closet.
  4. You're done! Yes, it can be that simple. 
Here's Some Water Math
  • 14 gallons = 1792 ounces
  • 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz.bottled water = 1622 ounces
  • 4x32 ct cases of 16.9 oz. bottled water = 2163 ounces
Where to Buy
  •  Stores regularly sell 24 ct. cases on sale for $2.50 each
  •  Sam's Club/Costco have 32 ct cases for about $4.50
While you are on a roll, how about starting a financial reserve (aka emergency fund)? This is also taught by the LDS Church and financial gurus like Dave Ramsey. It's so easy to do. I know you're thinking it isn't easy because you just spent mucho dinero on Christmas gifts. But I know you can do it!
  1. Decide on a small amount of money to save each week.
  2. Put it in the bank or a jar on your dresser.
  3. And ONLY use it for emergencies. Read how here
I'm amazed how large our fund has grown over the years. I have a testimony that obedience brings many blessings. So, do it!

Print out the January Emergency Prep list with the link below and see if there are some goals you can work on. I don't do everything either, but they give me some place to start. I studied Utah grocery store prices for the past 7 years, and tried to balance my lists so they doesn't blow our budget. Whether you live in Utah or not, I think my lists will help you move forward.

If you are new to preparedness, do the best you can, but remember President Gordon B. Hinckley said,

"I have been quoted as saying, 'Do the best you can.' But I want to emphasize that it be the very best. We are too prone to be satisfied with mediocre performance. We are capable of doing so much better. We must get on our knees and plead with the Lord for help and strength and direction. We must then stand on our feet and move forward."

So, let's get on our knees, then on our feet and move forward this New Year. You CAN do it!

Happy New Year!
Valerie


BE ORGANIZED
 "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing;
and establish a house, even a house of prayer,
a house of fasting, a house of faith,
a house of learning, a house of glory,
a house of order, a house of God.”
D&C 88:119


Go here for my 12 monthly preparedness lists

If you are new to Prepared LDS Family, go to my Start Here page and learn how I do things around here. Each month I share a list of items to gather for food storage and emergency preparedness. I've tweaked these lists over the years and have found that focusing on monthly goals will not overwhelm us.

November 2, 2015

LDS Prophet Asks for Donation for Refugees: Here is My Story

I have 10 minutes to write a post before I get my youngest up, but I want to share a small miracle. A few days ago I received a substantial check from my only affiliate on my website. It was an amount I was unaccustomed to and totally unexpected. I looked at it and thought, now what am I going to do with that money? We are at a moment in our lives when I didn't need it for food or clothes or Christmas presents.

The next morning I read the Deseret News article about the request from a living prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson, that we contribute to the LDS Humanitarian fund: "It is with great concern and compassion that we observe the plight of the millions of people around the world who have fled their homes seeking relief from civil conflict and other hardships," wrote the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the letter.

I watched the video in the news article from lucify.com showing the numbers fleeing for their lives or a better life and thought, "I had no idea this problem was escalating. I am living in a bubble. I sleep in a warm house and a comfy bed."And my heart was softened.

Pondering the Prophet's request I knew I would donate that check. I didn't have to question it. On Sunday my husband and I heard our bishop read with emotion the letter from the First Presidency from the pulpit. Later we discussed amounts to donate. He said, "How much do you want to donate?" I said, "How much do you want to donate?" He said, "I asked you first." We went back and forth like that. I told him my check. He wanted to donate more. Just like that, and we donated.



Yes, there are many causes we can choose to donate to. We may not be able to change the world, but we can make a difference for one person or one family. I believe as we donate, miracles will be magnified. May you each be blessed as you give.

Here are 40 ways you can reach out to refugees in your own neighborhood.

October 18, 2015

Neighborhood or Ward Emergency Information Form

Last year I served as an emergency resource (data collector) in my ward/area, and created spreadsheets to collect emergency information from people living in 100 homes in my neighborhood. Each household filled out one Emergency Information and Resource form which has places to enter emergency information, personal contact information, skills, resources and the utility shut off areas of a home in case an emergency leader needs to use them.

Front of form


I've been assigned again to assist an emergency neighborhood block captain and emergency neighborhood communications leader, and we are responsible for 25 homes. Yesterday we passed out the Emergency Information and Resource form. These forms may help your ward or stake get more organized for emergencies.

Back of form

Those of you serving in emergency preparedness callings, or just a few neighbors or families trying to be more emergency conscious, may find these forms valuable. I'm also sharing additional forms to consolidate neighborhood resources, skills, medical specialists and special medical needs for your emergency leaders.

When filling out the forms, you share what they feel absolutely necessary. You have your agency, of course. Now that I've been CERT trained, I see that NOT sharing some of your personal information will delay contacting family members if you were unconscious or dead. The decision is yours what you want to share, but think about it. If you happened to be out of state, would you be willing to let others use your food? If they needed your ladder to get someone out of a home, could they? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but those that have lived through disasters will understand.

Reviewing the form will also give you time to think how prepared you really are for emergencies. I looked through the buckets we keep some emergency supplies in, and found they were cracked on the bottom. Glad I looked. Got to replace them. Plastic cracks over time.

Wards and stakes are free to use and share these forms. I only put my website name on as a reference.

Here are the forms:

Emergency Information and Resource Form.pdf
Emergency Information and Resource Form.xls
Neighborhood Resource Form.pdf
Neighborhood Resource Form.xls
Neighborhood Skills Form.pdf
Neighborhood Skills Form.xls
Neighborhood Medical Specialists Form.pdf
Neighborhood Medical Specialists Form.xls
Neighborhood Special Medical Needs Form.pdf
Neighborhood Special Medical Needs Form.xls

October 8, 2015

My Favorite October 2015 General Conference Quotes

I absolutely loved General Conference and I didn't fall asleep during any of the sessions! A miracle for me. Many of us were awaiting the announcement of the three new apostles. I felt such peace when their names were announced.


I've been feasting on the conference talks little by little. In the wee hours of my morning, I turn on my Roku and watch 8 or 10 minutes of a talk, and I don't want them to end. Or I've listened on my cell phone at the gym.

Here is a collection of my favorite quotes from the October 2015 General Conference. Sorry if my quotes are long, but they are worth reading and will bring back memories of conference for you. They've been taken from LDS.org so they will be accurate. But first you might want to see this chart. I love to look at the ages of the LDS General Authorities, and I've added the newest apostles.

The order in seniority, and ages of the LDS apostles and prophets.
Thomas S. Monson, 88 (8/21/27)
Russell M. Nelson, 91 (9/9/24)
Dallin H. Oaks, 83 (8/12/32)
M. Russell Ballard, 86 (10/8/28)
Robert D. Hales, 83 (8/24/32)
Jeffrey R. Holland, 74 (12/3/40)
Henry B. Eyring, 82 (5/31/33)
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 74 (11/6/40)
David A. Bednar, 63 (6/15/52)
Quentin L. Cook, 75 (9/8/40)
D. Todd Christofferson, 70 (1/24/45)
Neil L. Andersen, 64 (8/9/51)
Ronald A. Rasband 64 (2/6/51)
Gary E. Stevenson 60 (8/5/55)
Dale G. Renlund 62 (11/13/52)

SATURDAY MORNING SESSION
~ President Dieter F. Uchtdorf 
"When it comes to spiritual truth, how can we know that we are on the right path? One way is by asking the right questions—the kind that help us ponder our progress and evaluate how things are working for us. Questions like:
"Does my life have meaning?"
"Do I believe in God?"
"Do I believe that God knows and loves me?"
"Do I believe that God hears and answers my prayers?"
"Am I truly happy?"
"Are my efforts leading me to the highest spiritual goals and values in life?"

"Brothers and sisters, if you ever think that the gospel isn’t working so well for you, I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel. I promise that God will guide and bless you on your path to a fulfilling life, and the gospel will definitely work better for you."
~ Elder M. Russell Ballard 
"God’s plan is in place. He is at the helm, and His great and powerful ship flows toward salvation and exaltation. Remember that we cannot get there by jumping out of the boat and trying to swim there by ourselves."
~ Elder Richard J. Maynes  
"The world in which we live is similar to the potter’s spinning wheel, and the speed of that wheel is increasing. Like the clay on the potter’s wheel, we must be centered as well. Our core, the center of our lives, must be Jesus Christ and His gospel. Living a Christ-centered life means we learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel and then we follow His example and keep His commandments with exactness."
~ Sister Neill F. Marriott
"family motto: “It will all work out.” 
"Some may think they have failed too many times and feel too weak to change sinful acts or worldly desires of the heart. However, as covenant Israel, we don’t just try and try on our own to change. If we earnestly appeal to God, He takes us as we are—and makes us more than we ever imagined."
~ Elder Larry R. Lawrence
"The Holy Ghost makes an ideal traveling companion. If we are humble and teachable, He will take us by the hand and lead us home."
"The Holy Ghost really does give customized counsel. He is a completely honest companion and will tell us things that no one else knows or has the courage to say."
~ Elder Francisco J. Vinas  
"The moment we begin to remember Him and keep His commandments every day—and not just on the Sabbath day—is when the remission of our sins begins to gradually take effect and His promise of having His Spirit with us begins to be fulfilled."
~ Elder Quentin L. Cook
"I would describe being "shipshape and Bristol fashion" as being temple worthy—in good times and in bad times."
SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION
~ Elder Robert D. Hales
"We need to tighten our grip on the rod that leads us back to Him. Now is the “day of choosing”1 for all of us."
"none of us marry perfection; we marry potential. The right marriage is not only about what I want; it’s also about what she—who’s going to be my companion—wants and needs me to be."
~ Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"no love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child. 
"it is not only that they bear us, but they continue bearing with us. It is not only the prenatal carrying but the lifelong carrying that makes mothering such a staggering feat."
"To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle—and all will—I say, “Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are. In fact, you are saviors on Mount Zion, and like the Master you follow, your love ‘never faileth.’”
~ Elder Bradley D. Foster
"we are engaged in a battle with the world. In the past, the world competed for our children’s energy and time. Today, it fights for their identity and mind. Many loud and prominent voices are trying to define who our children are and what they should believe. We cannot let society give our family a makeover in the image of the world. We must win this battle. Everything depends on it."
~ Elder Hugo Montoya
"First—go the second mile. Second—please smile. Your smile will help others. Third—express compassion. Fourth—invite others to come to church.
~ Elder Vern P. Stanfill
"Our quest for light will be enhanced by our willingness to recognize when it shines in our lives. Modern scripture defines light and gives a promise to those who accept it: 'That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.' Just as when we kept pedaling toward the light, the more we persist, the brighter His influence becomes in our lives. Like the light at the end of the tunnel, His influence will bring us confidence, determination, comfort, and—most important—the power to know that He lives."
~ Elder James B. Martino
"I know some returned missionaries who have had undeniable spiritual experiences, but the lack of certain spiritual habits seems to have caused them to forget the times when God has spoken to them. To those returned missionaries and to all of us, if you 'have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?' If you do not feel it now, you can feel it again, but consider Nephi’s counsel. Be obedient, remember the times when you have felt the Spirit in the past, and ask in faith. Your answer will come, and you will feel the love and peace of the Savior. It may not come as quickly or in the format you desire, but the answer will come. Do not give up! Never give up!"
~ Elder Dallin H. Oaks
"Our Savior experienced and suffered the fulness of all mortal challenges 'according to the flesh' so He could know 'according to the flesh' how to 'succor [which means to give relief or aid to] his people according to their infirmities.' He therefore knows our struggles, our heartaches, our temptations, and our suffering, for He willingly experienced them all as an essential part of His Atonement. And because of this, His Atonement empowers Him to succor us—to give us the strength to bear it all."
SUNDAY MORNING SESSION
~ President Thomas S. Monson
"Life is perfect for none of us, and at times the challenges and difficulties we face may become overwhelming, causing our light to dim. However, with help from our Heavenly Father, coupled with support from others, we can regain that light which will illuminate our own path once again and provide the light others may need. To illustrate, I share with you the touching words of a favorite poem I first read many years ago:
I met a stranger in the night
Whose lamp had ceased to shine.
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.
A tempest sprang up later on
And shook the world about.
And when the wind was gone
My lamp was out!
But back to me the stranger came—
His lamp was glowing fine!
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine!"
~ Elder Ronald A. Rasband
"I’m conīŦdent that there is no choice, sin, or mistake that you or anyone else can make that will change His love for you or for them. That does not mean He excuses or condones sinful conduct—I’m sure He does not—but it does mean we are to reach out to our fellowman in love to invite, persuade, serve, and rescue. Jesus Christ looked past people’s ethnicity, rank, and circumstances in order to teach them this profound truth."
~ Elder Gary E. Stevenson
"focus not on what I can’t do but rather on what I can do."
~ Elder Dale G. Renlund
"to effectively serve others we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes. Only then can we begin to comprehend the true worth of a soul. Only then can we sense the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. Only then can we sense the Savior’s caring concern for them. We cannot completely fulfill our covenant obligation to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort unless we see them through God’s eyes."
~ President Russell M. Nelson
"We, your brethren, need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. The kingdom of God is not and cannot be complete without women who make sacred covenants and then keep them, women who can speak with the power and authority of God!"
"So today I plead with my sisters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to step forward! Take your rightful and needful place in your home, in your community, and in the kingdom of God—more than you ever have before."
Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer
"one man or woman who is willing to testify when the world seems to be going in the opposite direction can make a difference."
"True disciples of Christ are not looking to make excuses for the doctrine when it doesn’t fit the world’s current concepts....  True disciples represent the Lord when it may not be convenient to do so. True disciples desire to inspire the hearts of men, not just impress them."
Elder Cladio R. M. Costa
"meditating on the sacrament prayers and the very special and meaningful words of the prayers reminds me how wonderful it is to receive the promise, during the blessing of the sacrament, that as we always remember Him, we will always have His Spirit with us."
President Henry B. Eyring
"For those who are struggling with the high standard needed to qualify for the gift of the Spirit’s companionship, I offer this encouragement. You have had times when you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost. It may have happened for you today. You can treat those moments of inspiration like the seed of faith that Alma described (see Alma 32:28). Plant each one. You can do that by acting on the prompting you felt. The most valuable inspiration will be for you to know what God would have you do. If it is to pay tithing or to visit a grieving friend, you should do it. Whatever it is, do it."
SUNDAY AFTERNOON SESSION
~ Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Regarding the Church: "Its destiny is to establish Zion in preparation for the return and millennial rule of Jesus Christ. Before that day, it will not be a kingdom in any political sense—as the Savior said, 'My kingdom is not of this world.' Rather, it is the repository of His authority in the earth, the administrator of His holy covenants, the custodian of His temples, the protector and proclaimer of His truth, the gathering place for scattered Israel, and 'a defense, and … a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.'"
~ Elder Devin G. Durrant
"Small efforts sustained over time can produce significant results."
"The first invitation is simple: I invite you to save money each week."
"My second invitation is quite different from and much more important than the first. It is this: I invite you to 'ponderize' one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization."
~ Elder Von G. Keetch
"As we trust in the Lord, exercise our faith, obey His commandments, and follow the course He has charted for us, we become more the person the Lord wants us to become. It is this 'becoming'—this conversion of the heart—that is all-important."
~ Sister Carole M. Stephens
"His commandments are a manifestation of His love for us and obedience to His commandments is an expression of our love for Him."
~ Elder Allan D. Haynie
"Repentance is real and it works. It is not a fictional experience or the product 'of a frenzied mind.' It has the power to lift burdens and replace them with hope."
~ Elder Kim B. Clark
"We do not have to be perfect, but we need to be good and getting better."
~ Elder Koichi Aoyagi
After a difficult trial, "I went and talked with a trusted Church leader. As we were talking, with love in his voice, he said, 'Brother Aoyagi, isn’t your purpose for being on this earth to experience this trial? Isn’t it to accept all the trials of this life for what they are and then leave the rest up to the Lord? Don’t you think that this problem will be resolved when we are resurrected?'
When I heard these words, I felt the Spirit of the Lord very strongly. I had heard this doctrine countless times, but the eyes of my understanding had never been opened to the extent they were at this time. I understood this was the answer that I had been seeking from the Lord in my prayers. I was able to clearly comprehend our Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation and understand anew this important principle."
~ Elder David A. Bednar
"Quoting Elder Hales, “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most."

September 24, 2015

The Power of 3: An Emergency Preparedness Guide



I recently stumbled across The Power of 3 emergency guide for LDS Church members in the Orange California Stake. Even if you are not a member of my church and don't live in California, I found this emergency guide very valuable. And you will too.



Everything is based on the power of 3. What would you need and what would you do in the first 3 minutes, first 3 hours, first 3 days, first 3 weeks or first 3 months after a disaster?



This guide is simple, and some of you want it simple. It has spiritual and temporal preparations. You will want to read it and will be happy you did.

Thank you, Emily, for sending it to me!

You can download it here:
The Power of 3 pdf

September 2, 2015

Fall 2015 Utah Case Lot Sales are coming!

Fall case lot sales are coming to Utah! I made some corrections on the dates, so check them out below. These sales give you a chance to stock up on food storage and emergency items for your family. If you are driving to Utah for General Conference (Oct. 3 & 4), pick up a few cases on Saturday. Some stores let you shop as soon as items hit the floor, and some let you buy individual items at the sales price.



  • SMITH'S: September 2nd 
  • HARMONS: September 3rd
  • MACEYS: September 7th
  • REAMS: September 8th
  • DICK'S: September 28th
  • FRESH MARKET: September 28th
  • RIDLEY'S: September 29th
  • BOWMANS: September 30th
Here are some tips on how to shop at case lot sales.

How to Shop at Food Storage Case Lot Sales

Here is a price comparison of case lot sale prices versus Sam's Club, Costco and a few other stores I did in Fall 2014.

Preparedness is a blessing in my life, and it can be in yours!

July 28, 2015

Updated 52-Week Food Storage Inventory Schedule

This month I updated my 52-Week Food Storage Inventory Schedule AND put weekly reminders on my Google calendar. Yay! It's right there in front of me each week. Of course you could just print the schedule and hang it on your refrigerator, but I rarely hang anything on my own because sadly it's stainless steel and not magnetic.


So, here is a little tutorial on how to put food storage inventory reminders in your Google calendar:
  • Ceate a sub calendar entitled Inventories. Shocker! 
  • Make reminders with all-day tasks that repeat monthly every 12 months.
  • Title each week like this: JUL5 Breakfast Foods (That's code for the fifth week of July I'll take an inventory of my shelf-stable breakfast foods such as boxed cereal, instant oatmeal, pancake mix and pancake syrup. I don't inventory the #10 cans of dry oats even though they could be used as breakfast food, because I check that item when I inventory my grains. But you can track your food any way you like.)
  • Click repeat, repeats monthly, repeat every 12 months, repeat by day of the week, then click done. My reminders show up each Sunday. If I don't get it done on Monday, I move it to another day always saving only this event, or you'll mess up the repeat each year. And don't stress if it doesn't happen because we're human. But it is really important to track your food storage. :-)
I love breaking down food and home storage inventories into bite-sized pieces, because I can't stand taking loooonnnnnng inventories. That's soooooo painful!

You'll notice that my schedule has some emergency supplies listed on it as well, but I'll still call it the 52-Week Food Storage Inventory Schedule since more people may find it with that title. You can find my old one here, but I think this one is better because it's easier to identify each week.

I've attached a printable copy for you right here. And even gave you the Excel version.

52-Week Food Storage Inventory Schedule.pdf
52-Week Food Storage Inventory Schedule.xls

I hope it helps some of you track what is happening to your food storage! Make a list of things you need to buy, and watch for sales. And for those of you privy to Utah case lot sales, they are coming.

Note: Sometimes JAN1 starts on the last Sunday in December.

Here is a list of categories, weeks and how often I check each category of items. Well, sort of check them.

52-WEEK FOOD STORAGE INVENTORY SCHEDULE
JAN1 Freezer 3M
JAN2 Beverages 3M
JAN3 Water 6M
JAN4 Toiletries 3M
JAN5 Breakfast Foods 3M
FEB1 Fruits & Vegetables 3M
FEB2 Snacks 3M
FEB3 Beans, Meat & Soups 3M
FEB4 Baking Basics 3M
MAR1 First Aid & Medicine 6M
MAR2 Grains/Pasta/Potatoes 6M
MAR3 Oils & Fats 6M
MAR4 Emergency Kits 6M
APR1 Fuel & Light 6M
APR2 Beverages 3M
APR3 Cleaning 6M
APR4 Freezer 3M
APR5 Toiletries 3M
MAY1 Breakfast Foods 3M
MAY2 Paper & Plastics 6M
MAY3 Beans, Meat & Soups 3M
MAY4 Condiments 6M
JUN1 Baking Basics 3M
JUN2 Spices 6M
JUN3 Fruits & Vegetables 3M
JUN4 Water 6M
JUL1 Snacks 3M
JUL2 Beverages 3M
JUL3 Freezer 3M
JUL4 Toiletries 3M
JUL5 Breakfast Foods 3M
AUG1 Fruits & Vegetables 3M
AUG2 Emergency Equipment 1Y
AUG3 Beans, Meat & Soups 3M
AUG4 Baking Basics 3M
SEP1 First Aid & Medicine 6M
SEP2 Grains/Pasta/Potatoes 6M
SEP3 Cleaning 6M
SEP4 Fuel & Light 6M
SEP5 Beverages 3M
OCT1 Oils & Fats 6M
OCT2 Snacks 3M
OCT3 Freezer 3M
OCT4 Toiletries 3M
NOV1 Breakfast Foods 3M
NOV2 Baking Basics 3M
NOV3 Beans, Meat & Soups 3M
NOV4 Paper & Plastics 6M
DEC1 Condiments 6M
DEC2 Spices 6M
DEC3 Snacks 3M
DEC4 Fruits & Vegetables 3M

June 18, 2015

Adventures With Dad: Seeing My Ancestors Through My Father's Eyes

I consider myself lucky to have such an
awesome dad. Since his move to Utah in 2013,
I have had almost weekly adventures
with him. Even if they are just to Sam's Club
or out to lunch, I call them adventures
as I listen to Dad's stories about my ancestors. 
This week my 10 year-old daughter and I 
went with Grandpa McCune to
the Salt Lake City Cemetery 
where we saw our ancestors
through his eyes. 


My father, the great family historian,

June 16, 2015

LDS Charities Self-Reliance Video Explains How the Mormon Church Cares for Those In Need

Self-reliance is a principle taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those of you who have followed my blog over the years have only glimpsed a small portion of how my church helps people help themselves through food storage and humanitarian service. I invite you to see the big picture as you view this new video called "LDS Charities Food Production and Nutrition."

Our welfare program is not a handout — it's a hand up. I'm grateful to belong to an organized, loving church that follows Christ's example and ministers to those in need. Can you imagine what a difference we could make in the world if we each did a little bit more to lift and help others?

May 23, 2015

The Tale of Laptops, Authors and Healing

For Christmas last year, my husband gave me a laptop computer. Actually he bought me two laptops and told me to pick one, and he'd return the other. As much as I loved getting a new laptop, December was the month after Mom's death when I was still in a fog. You know when everything is a big blank inside, but you keep a smile on your face for everyone else. So the new laptops lay in their boxes for a very long time.

April 6, 2015

Teaching a 72-Hour Kit Class At A Relief Society Meeting

A reader sent me a question about planning a 72-hour kit activity for a Relief Society meeting. Many of you lovely Relief Society sisters with big hearts probably feel you can help your ward by doing gathering items for kits for your ladies. Take a look at her letter and my honest response. It may help you see things differently.


Dear Valerie: "I'm the Relief Society activity leader in our ward, and we're supposed to be having an activity next month doing 72 hour kits. The thing is...I'm overwhelmed!

March 30, 2015

Smith's Food Storage Case Lot Sale Deals April 2015


Smith's grocery store is having a food storage case lot sale starting this Wednesday, April 1 for two weeks. For those of you out-of-staters coming to Utah for the LDS General Conference, pick up a case or two on Saturday to take back home.

Below is a list of items with prices, and I highlighted the super-duper bargains in green.

March 29, 2015

My Visit to The Layton Home Storage Center


Last week I shopped at the LDS Home Storage Center in Layton, Utah, to pick up a few items for my food storage. Shopping here has been on my to do list all month. When I started filling out the order form, the cashier told me I could walk into the display room to see what else was available. So, I stepped inside to see this room and took a few pictures for you.

March 2, 2015

Food Storage Case Lot Sale Prices at Fresh Market, March 2015


You don't want to miss the food storage case lot sales starting this week in Utah. This morning I visited the Fresh Market in Kaysville and chatted with a manager setting up the displays. I chose Fresh Market because you may purchase items individually and still get the case lot price. This is great for those of you with small storage space. Most prices will be similar at Dick's, Peterson's, and Lee's. (Sorry, Winegar's, Bowman's and Kents had sales in January.)



Below is a list of items with prices and I highlighted the super-duper bargains. I grouped things into the same categories I use for inventory taking. If you open my cupboards, this is about how you'll find items sorted on my shelves. And just so you know, I don't buy everything at case lot sales. I buy some things at Costco, and some just on sale.


This month I am focusing on tomatoes and pasta, so I listed those items first on the list. This list does not include everything on sale, or fresh and frozen items. And the oatmeal in the picture below is on sale for $2.50, but wasn't in the ad.


If you need some help, read this article about shopping at case lot sales. Best wishes on your food storage gathering!

Valerie

TOMATOES
Western Family Tomatoes, variety 14.5 oz. $.59 or 24 for $14.16 (Costco $.75)
Western Family Tomato Sauce 8 oz. $.33 or 48 for $16.00 (Have seen as low as $.20)
Western Family Tomato Paste 6 oz. $.50 or 48 for $24.00 (Costco $.56)
Western Family Pasta Sauce 24 oz. $.99 or 12 for $11.88 
Hunts Pasta Sauce 24 oz. $.79 or 12 for $9.48

PASTA
Western Family Pasta 48 oz. $2.50 or 8 for $20.00 (Have seen as low as $1.99 @ Macey's)
Davinci Pasta 16 oz. bag, $.79 or 12 for $9.48 (Have seen as low as $.59 @ Smith's)
Western Family Macaroni & Cheese 7.25 oz., $.39 or 24 for $9.36
Campbell's Spaghetti or Spaghettios $.79 or 12 for $9.48 (about like Walmart)

WATER
Western Family Purified Water 24 ct. 16.9 oz. bottles $1.99
5 gallon Water Jug $3.99
55 gallon Plastic drums $39.99

BEVERAGES
Western Family Apple Juice or Cider 64 oz. $1.50 (Have seen as low as $1.25 @ Macey's)
Powerade 32 oz. $.49 or 15 for $7.35 (case only)

BAKING SUPPLIES
Western Family Seasoning Mixes $.33 or 24 for $8.00
Western Family Salt 26 oz. $.50 or 24 for $12.00
Augason Farms Dough Enhancer 15 oz. $2.49
Augason Farms Wheat Gluten 15 oz. $3.39

SUGARS
Western Family Sugar 4 lb., $1.69 (okay, but have seen for $1.59 @ Smith's)
Western Family Sugar 25 lb., $10.99
Western Family Brown or Powdered Sugar 32 oz., $.99 or 12 for $11.88 (less than Costco)
Western Family Grape Jelly 32 oz., $1.67 (have seen for $1.50 @ Macey's)
Western Family Pancake syrup 128 oz. $5.99 (Same as Sam's Club)
Mrs. Buttersworth Pancake syrup 2 pk. 64 oz. $6.99 (Similar to Costco)

DAIRY
Augason Farms Morning Moos 56 oz. reg. or 71 oz. choc. *$12.99 
Augason Farms Country Fresh Nonfat Dry Milk 29 oz. choc. *$10.99 
Augason Farms Butter Powder 36 oz. *$16.99

GRAINS
Western Family Flour 25 lb. $8.99 (Costco less)
Western Family 7 lb. Pancake mix $5.99
Krusteaz 10 lb. Pancake mix $6.99
Augason Farms Regular or Quick Oats 23 lb. pail $21.99*
Augason Farms Red or White Hard Wheat 50 lb. bag $16.99* (LDS is cheaper)
Western Family Rice 20 lb. $9.99 (LDS, Costco, Sam's chaper)

FRUIT
Western Family Pineapple 20 oz., $.99 or 24 for $23.76
Western Family Applesauce 15 oz., $.99 or 24 for $23.76 (have seen $.79)
Western Family Fruit 15 oz., $.99 or 24 for $23.76 (have seen $.75 @ Smith's)
Western Family Mandarin Oranges 11 oz., $.59 or 24 for $14.16
ShurSaving Mandarin Oranges 11 oz., $.39 or 24 for $9.36
ShurSaving Peaches or Pears 29 oz., $1.25 or 12 for $15.00 (have seen $.98 @ Macey's)

VEGETABLES, POTATOES
Western Family Vegetables 14.5 oz., $.49 or 24 for $11.76
Western Family Diced Chiles 4 oz., $.49 or 24 for $11.76
Western Family Mushrooms 4 oz., $.69 or 24 for $16.56
Augason Farms Potato Gems 48 oz. $10.99* (LDS cheaper)

MEAT & BEANS
Western Family Black Beans dry 20 oz., $16.99 (LDS cheaper)
Western Family Pinto Beans dry 20 oz., $12.99 (Similar to Costco and LDS)
Western Family Chili w/beans 15 oz., $.99 or 24 for $23.76 (have seen $.88)
Western Family Refried Beans 16 oz., $.49 or 24 for $11.76 (Great deal!)
Western Family Beans, various 14.5-15 oz., $.49 or 24 for $11.76
Western Family Tuna in water 5 oz., $.49 or 48 for $23.52 (Great deal!)
Western Family Albacore Tuna in water 5 oz., $1.25 or 24 for $30.00 (last fall $.99)
ShurSaving Chunk White Chicken 5 oz., $.79 or 12 for $9.48
Western Family Chicken Breast 5 oz., $.99 or 12 for $11.88 (Costco less per ounce)
Augason Farms Whole Eggs 33 oz. $18.99* (have seen $16.99)

SOUPS
Western Family Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soups $.49 or 24 for $11.76
ShurSaving Cream of Mush or Chicken soup 10.5 oz., $.39 or 24 for $9.36

OILS/FATS, CONDIMENTS
Western Family Peanut Butter 28 oz., $2.99 or 12 for $35.88 (Smith's was lower last fall)
Cooking Oil 1 gallon $7.99 (have seen for $6.99)
Pompeian Olive Oil 68 oz. $9.99 (Great deal! with $5.00 discount, Costco about $13.99)
Western Family Olives 6 oz., $.79 or 24 for $18.96 (Great price!)
Western Family Ketchup 20 or 24 oz., $.99 or 12 for $11.88

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
Gamma Seal Bucket lids $5.99 
5 gallon Pail with lid $3.99
100 Hour Emergency Candle $3.99
Baby Wipes 80 ct. $.89

*Use in ad coupon for $5.00 off when you buy 5 Augasan Farms canned products retailing over $9.99. The oil discount will be at the register.

February 21, 2015

New Member of The Family: A Brand-Spanking New Bosch Mixer


After 30 years of marriage, I finally took the plunge and bought a Bosch Universal Mixer from our local Ace Hardware store in Kaysville. The owner is a Bosch dealer. It's a dream come true for me. I'm not sure my husband understands why I'm so excited, but with a year's supply of wheat in my basement, you get the picture.

Some of you think I bake bread everyday because I write a preparedness blog. Yes, you do, admit it. But I never grew up in a home where we baked bread every day or every week. I've made bread before, but I was never immersed in the world of bread making and flour up to my elbows.

My KitchenAid looks pretty sad peeking around the corner in this picture. 
Don't worry little guy. I have a new home waiting for you.
A Bosch has been on my bucket list for years, but as a frugal mom who raised seven children, there was always another financial need, like shoes. Life is financially better for us, but I still shop at the local Deseret Industries Thrift store aka the D.I., several times a month.

But let me tell you the real story for buying a Bosch now. A few weeks ago I was headed to the grocery store and heard a news story on the radio about the strike between the dock worker's union and port management that was crippling the West Coast ports, and billions of dollars were being lost because containers were sitting just off shore not being unloaded or loaded. Oranges were not being picked from trees because they were rotting at the warf, and so on and so on. I use to own an orange grove. There were "dozens of ships sitting at anchor or circling off shore." Just so you know, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced shipping would resume on February 22.

I walked in the grocery store a little disturbed and looked at oranges in the produce section for $1.79 per pound when I expected them to be $.50 per pound, and a lot of what ifs went through my mind as I thought of the food items in the store that are imported, and it made me physically sick. I paced up and down the aisles knowing that if things ever got really bad, items on those store shelves would be gone in a few days. So, I made a commitment to my Heavenly Father to work harder on self-reliance and do a better job at teaching myself some bread-making skills. I made a commitment to finish "the food storage book" by writing one hour every morning at 5 a.m.

I researched where to buy my Bosch, and called Costco. They had 23 left in stock for $389, a little less than online, so I made a plan to shop there. Then, a few days later I walked into Ace Hardware for some shelf pegs, and BAM! There was a Bosch mixer on the shelf for $369. It started to glow! Well, not really. I bought it then and there. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Most of my friends already own a Bosch, so they probably think I'm too late to get in the game. But I never think it's too late to learn new skills if we are teachable. Last night I talked to two of my friends who are going to teach me how they make their yummy Bosch bread. I'm hoping to share those experiences soon.

Tonight I used my Bosch for the first time and made a large batch of bread...er ...snickerdoodles. Mmm Mmm Good! My husband's favorite. And yes, they came out Bosch perfect! 

January 29, 2015

6 Steps to Food Storage Menu Planning



This week I created a FREE menu plan printable to get me more organized. When I don't plan, we tend to eat out more or I'm in the grocery store several times a week when I'd rather be doing something else. Creating menus helps us "eat what we store."  

Highlighting the food storage ingredients below will help you see which items come from our supplies. Here is how to include food storage in your menu planning. You will see that my menus are pretty basic. A chef I am not.

6 Steps to Food Storage Menu Planning
  1. Schedule a regular time each week to create a menu plan. I spent about an hour on Sunday creating mine, but it will take less time as the months go on since I am saving my menus to refer to.
  2. Look over the family activities on the calendar, and decide what meals will work with the limited food prep time each day. I usually have 30 min. to prepare in the evening and more time earlier in the day. If my day looks super hectic, I do a crock-pot meal. 
  3. Open the refrigerator to see what fresh foods need to be eaten first and include them in the menus. Glance in your cupboards as well to find some shelf-stable foods. I usually try to include some long-term grains, but typically I use a few small canned or packaged foods from my 3-month supply.
  4. Skim your favorite grocery store ad online to see if there are some good deals. They are typically on the front page, but not always. Fresh and frozen are great, but sometimes canned beans or soup from your food storage is just fine.
  5. As you create each menu, jot down items you need to buy on the grocery list on the printable, or use one of your own.
  6. Then take your menu plan to the store. Keep your eye open for some unexpected bargains to put in your food storage while you're shopping. Hang the menu plan up for the week to refer to. Love it!
I found a FREE menu printable from My Grafico and tweaked it for my own use. I added some areas for breakfast and lunch menus which we typically repeat. I found the young mother with cookbook clipart at The Graphic Fairy. Love that place.

Here is my menu plan printable.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to incorporate food storage into your life. I'm sure you CAN do it too!

Best wishes,

Valerie

Food Storage Key
Short-term 3-Month food storage
Long-term food storage
Freezer storage
Cold room storage

WEEKLY MENU

Sunday
Empanadas
Green salad
Chips
Guacamole & salsa

Monday
Chicken Stew
- Canned roast beef or chicken
- Cream of chicken soup
- Potatoes 
- Carrots
- Spices
Saltine crackers
Strawberries

Tuesday
Sloppy Joes
- Ground beef
- Tomato paste
- Sloppy Joe spice packet
- Hamburger buns
Tortilla chips
Salsa
Orange slices

Wednesday
Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Bread
- Shredded cheese
- Butter 
Tomato soup
- Tomato soup
- Milk
- Water
- Spices
Saltine crackers

Thursday
Tamales 
Mexican rice
- Rice
- Chicken broth
- Dried onion
- Tomato
- Spices
Strawberries, bananas & blueberries

Friday
Raviolis
- Raviolis 
- Spaghetti sauce
Broccoli
Carrots
Green salad

Saturday
Eat out

January 20, 2015

Create a 3-Month Food Storage Supply Plan

Figuring out how much you want to put in your food storage can be overwhelming. Most suggestions on the internet focus on long-term foods. However, if you are following the current home storage program taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you will want to start with a 3-month supply of every day foods.

Don't Panic. Food prices have always gone up. Disasters happen every day. Don't panic and run to the store buying cases and cases of food you don't know how to manage. Don't run faster than you are able to afford. Pick a budget like $20 to $30 dollars a month per person, and have some self-control. Over the years I've been patiently gathering which has taken a ton of faith. But it is worth it.

"I don't eat canned food." Some people truly can't eat canned foods. I can't help you too much. But I bet you have some recipes your family would use if your husband ever lost his job or an earthquake hit your town. I prefer my homemade spaghetti sauce over Ragu any day. So I stock up on canned tomatoes for that recipe. Someday we may not be able to afford fresh spinach from Costco. And most families only have a 1 week supply of fresh foods in their home. So be realistic and create a plan with items that can be stored.

I always suggest starting with a 3-month supply of food your family eats right now. Most people panic when they hear a year's supply of food. Even a 3-month supply won't be easy for some of you to gather, but it's a place to start. It's STEP 1 of the LDS Home Storage Plan.

Some people like to create menus first, and figure out the gazillion ingredients for those menus. I've done that, but it's not very easy. Others suggest you create simple meals like spaghetti sauce + spaghetti = a meal. Personally, I think you you know how you cook and can plan a few menus.

There are two types of shelf stable foods:
  • Short-term foods - these foods on average have a 3 month to 10 year shelf life. For example, boxed breakfast cereal has about a 1 year shelf life. But a can of corn has a 2 -5 year shelf life.
  • Long-term foods - these foods have a 20 - 30 year shelf life because they sometimes have been carefully sealed with an oxygen absorber packet. But not always. These foods are usually dry and without oils.
Most of the foods in your 3-month supply will be short-term foods. So where do you begin?

Here is a suggestion of how to create your own rough draft 3-month food storage plan.

A. Examine A 3-Month Food Storage Supply Sample
  1. Print out a Sample 3-month Supply of Food Storage Supply.pdf for 1 adult. Remember, I have no idea how much your family eats. But the list of items will get you thinking.
  2. Go through the list, and put a check by items you eat now or might consider using. Cross off those items your family does not like or can't eat because of allergies or medical conditions. But be open minded to other foods.
  3. Some long-term foods are listed like wheat or dry milk. If you don't want to gather a small supply of them right now, you can save them on the list and gather them after you complete Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 of your home storage plan. Long-term foods are Step 4 in the plan.
B. Decide How Much You Want To Store
  1. Look over the suggested amounts and multiply them by the number of family members. You can divide numbers in half for children, but you don't have to.
  2. Don't get too detailed. I promise later on you will add or delete items and change amounts. Storing yams did not work for our family. Canned carrots is not working either. So just put together a rough draft.
C. Food Storage Hunt
  1. Go on a hunt through your home and find shelf-stable foods you already have on your shelves: foods that have been sealed so they can be safely stored on a shelf for awhile. These foods are canned, boxed or packaged. Take your kids with you and make it fun. 
  2. As you search, write down on another piece of paper other items you have on your shelves that are not on the list. Use my categories to keep it organized.
  3. List the number of items you have and the detail. For instance: corn, 15 oz. can, 2 ea.
  4. Type up your list and there you have it. Your own rough draft 3-month food storage supply plan.
I promise that as you spend time working on this, you will feel a whole lot better. It's all part of the journey, but it's well worth it. I would love to hear about your experiences creating your own 3-month food storage plan. 

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