Sunday, December 25, 2011

Super deal on prep flashlight
LED flashlight you shake to generate power.  No charge, pay only $4.99 shipping.  Less than a day left on this deal!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Awesome canning funnel

I have one of these & I love it!  It works with wide or narrow mouth jars.  What's so great is it covers the lip of the jar, keeping it clean!  Cuts down on time wiping the jars clean before putting the lids, & also cuts down on jars that don't seal.  Great Christmas gift for anyone who cans!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cranberry Syrup

This is soooo good!  We love it on eggnog french toast especially.  I canned some since you can't buy fresh cranberries all year.

1 cup cranberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Combine ingredients & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-high & boil 10 min.  Puree in blender until smooth, strain into small bowl.

*the original recipe calls for 1/4 cup maple syrup after it's strained.  We hated it this way...but you may like it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Strawberry slicer works on peaches too!

I have spent so many hours trying to evenly slice peaches to dehydrate.  I didn't dare hope my new strawberry slicer would also work on peaches.  But it does!!!
I had somewhat smaller peaches.  I cut them in quarters, put each quarter in the slicer, & it was so fast!  Uniform slices with one push!!  A bigger peach may have to have a few more cuts, but it would still be a HUGE timesaver.  I'm so excited!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Very cheap portable Bidet kit
This is very interesting.  I do have toilet paper stock piled...but if things are bad long term, eventually you will run out.  My first instinct is...ew!  But as I watched the video, I started thinking, "hu.  That would sure be a lot better than nothing!".  And the great news is, it's super cheap!  You can probably get the squirt bottle & fabric around your house.  And buying a few gloves is very cheap as well (sometimes Walgreens has pretty durable ones on sale for $.30).  Once you had these you could have your toilet paper problem solved indefinitely.  I'm not sure I'm ready to practice now like she suggests, but I think I am going to store these items, for just in case.

Monday, December 12, 2011

More free batteries!

Batteries are still free after rewards at Office Depot & Staples this week.  Limit 2 at Staples, limit 2 a day at Office Depot.  Get a rewards card free in store.  AA or AAA 20 packs.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Prep deals at Recreation Outlet

Here's some prep deals at Recreation Outlet.
LED flashlight, pump to charge, $2.99
Solar powered radio flashlight $11.99
Portable stove (runs on butane) $14.99
Hand warmers 10 packs of 2 $7.99 (put these under your arms to generate body heat)
9 LED flashlight w/batteries $2.99
pocket knife $2.99
Emergency shovel $16.99

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Solar Oven Chex Mix

I just tried one of our favorite Christmas treats, Chex Mix, in the solar oven.  Since you only bake this at 250 normally, it was easy to do in the solar oven!
Here's our favorite version for anyone who'd interested:
1 cube butter melted
2 Tbs Lawrys Seasoned Salt
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
Mix together.  Add 10 cups of Chex, nuts, pretzels, whatever you like.  Mix with sauce.  Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 min.  Goes great with eggnog!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Store a favorite Christmas treat

If we are ever living on our food storage, morale will be a big part of the battle.  So I'm trying to find a way to store the ingredients for at least 1 favorite Christmas treat.  Think how great that would be?!
My father's favorite Christmas treat is Eggnog.  To say he loves it would be an understatement.  So I found some shelf stable eggnog & ordered it for him for a Christmas present.  Borden has canned eggnog, but I had to call them directly to order it.
I also ordered some of this to try:

So what favorite Christmas treat could you store?!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lot of free batteries this week

Staples, Office Depot & Office Max all have AA & AAA batteries that are 100% back in rewards.  You can get in the rewards programs free online.  You get the money back to spend at their store.
Office Max has a limit of 1 & it's $16.99 for a pack of 20.
Staples  is $12.99 for a pack of 20, & has a limit of 2.
Office Depot is $12.99 for a pack of 20, & you can buy 2 of each per day.
 These prices should be good through next Saturday.
This is a great way to stock up for prep (not to mention your kids Christmas toys!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to do sub for santa on a budget

I've been getting asked by a lot of people how I do sub for santa's on our low income.  So here goes!
I keep an eye out all year for amazing deals.  I start in the 75% off sales after Christmas.  I get $5 gift sets for $1.25.  One dollar items for $.25.  The rest of the year I use my coupons, & keep an eye out for great deals.   Shirts on clearance for $1?  I buy 5 of them.  Games with coupons for $1?  I buy some of those.  I buy yarn on sale for $1 & knit scarves all year.  I also keep an eye out at garage sales.  This year I got a box full of brand new, with tags scarves, hats & gloves for $4.  I bought prelit Christmas trees for $2.   I have 1 closet I keep all this stuff in during the year.  If there's something really great at the Dollar Store I grab a few.  Walgreens just had wooden Christmas puzzles for $.33 so I grabbed 10 of those.
Then right after halloween I find families who need help for Christmas.  I get out all this stuff & their wish lists & ages, & start matching up.  It's amazing how well things match!  This year I had 3 busy ball poppers I'd bought for $1 (clearance plus coupon).  And there were 3 kids that age on my lists.  I had 3 trees & 3 families that needed a tree.  It's just awesome!  I gave the boys hats & gloves & the girls scarves I'd knitted.  With the pile this year, I was able to do around 5 presents each child, for 6 families!  I also donated gifts to someone else doing sub for santa for 2 more families.  And I had 3 boxes of stuff leftover!  One pile I had a Christmas porcelain doll, Candyland, busy ball popper, & a playset for a boy, all brand new, & the whole pile only cost me $10!
Note:  this is not to brag.  This is again, what one woman can do, another can do!  I hear all season, from people with significantly more money than me, how they wish they could help people at Christmas too, but can't afford it.  Most people have this idea that you have to have several hundred dollars to help even 1 family.  So I'm sharing how I do it for anyone who'd like to!  Imagine if we were all able to give Christmas to 6 families!
Ok, now the question of what do I do with the 3 leftover boxes.  I found a local charity called PJ's.  They provide Christmas for 1800 local children.  With that large volume of children, they can use anything I have leftover; it's sure to be the right size for someone!  And they are a tax deductable charity!  So I take them all my leftovers & save some money on my taxes, & help even more children!
Last year I had over $2000 full retail price of things to donate & use for my sub for santa's.  With what I actually paid, & the tax savings I got, I figure I spent around $100 out of my pocket...less than $10 a month.  How cool is that?!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Great deal on ground beef!
This is a good deal on ground beef for canning!  $2.89 a lb, for 93% lean.
This site also has regular deals on chicken.  I haven't used them for that because my local store usually has around the same prices, but I've heard it's very tasty chicken.  Meat prices will most likely be going up, so it would be a great time to do some canning!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Great deal on heat packs!

If you have a Recreation Outlet near you, on Friday, Saturday & Monday, they have a great deal on heat packs.
10 packs (2 in each pack) for $5.99.
Now these are really great if there's no heat.  Taping these under your arms (better with a thin layer of clothing between the pack & your skin) will stimulate the blood vessels there & help you generate body heat.  I use these all the time ice climbing & camping to keep me warm.  And they're cheap, small & not dangerous to store!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Great prep item at Dollar Tree

These are pretty multi function lights.  They have and LED light in the tip.  Then they have a glow stick type light in the handle.  You can have either one or both on, or flashing.  There's also a whistle on the bottom.  When I took an earthquake prep class, she highly recommended whistles in your car & by your bed.  Why?  Because if rescuers are looking for survivors, you can whistle much longer than you can yell; and it carries further.  And these have a lanyard for hanging.  I bought some to hang by our beds, put in our car, & hang on our hiking packs.  Then I went back & bought some more for Christmas gifts!  Can't beat it at $1!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Eggnog or Pumpkin hot chocolate mix

I wanted some holiday themed hot chocolate mixes.  Neighbor gifts maybe?  I used the hot chocolate mix recipe from my last post & tried some holiday flavors.  I made 1/3 a batch in case we didn't like it.
First I tried the nestle powdered creamer that was peppermint mocha.  We couldn't really tell there was peppermint in there.  You get a lot more from a drop of peppermint oil or a candy cane.

Next I tried this powdered eggnog mix.

I used it in place of regular creamer in the recipe.  The carton was almost exactly the right size for 1/3 of the recipe.  The verdict?  I didn't LOVE it.  It was good.  I've had eggnog hot chocolate made with very rich eggnog, & expensive chocolate.  You know the kind of drink you almost have to chew?  So I think that's more what I was hoping for.  It's pretty sweet.  Don't get me wrong, it's good & I think if I weren't expecting something else I would have liked it more.  But I was a bit disappointed.  On the other hand, my son loved it!

We also had this Stephens Pumpkin Spice mix.

(this is much cheaper at the grocery store, I just put it here so you could see it).  While we liked this drink, we usually picked hot chocolate.  Then I noticed on the back that it said it could be used as a creamer.  Ah ha!  It was yummy & we really liked it!  I think I might add a bit more next time; but I like my flavors strong.  I was expecting my son to like this one a lot, he loves pumpkin muffins.  But he thought it was just "ok".

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hot chocolate mix

I got this recipe from my grandfather.  Everyone likes it so much the grandkids make it at his house in the summer!
I especially like using flavored coffee creamers instead of plain.  I used peppermint for neighbors.  I'm a big fan of the french vanilla.  We've also used caramel, irish creme & cinnamon creme.  They were all really good!  This makes great gifts.  I also made a big batch & canned it in a #10 can in my food storage.

6 quarts powdered milk (around 8 cups)
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 cups chocolate powder (such as Nestle)
2 heaping cups powdered creamer (plain or flavored)
Mix all together.  Fill cup 2/3 full of mix (yes you read that right, 2/3 full).  Add hot water.  Yum!
This recipe will fill a gallon ice cream bucket.  This is an easy recipe to get exactly how you want.  Add more cocoa to get it a bit more chocolately.  More flavored creamer for flavor, more milk for creamy, more sugar (or less)!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Self Sufficiency book

I just read through this book with great excitement.  Overall, it was pretty good.  I learned a few things I'm very glad to know.  I really like that it is written by someone who has been using this knowledge in real life.  Like I was glad to hear you could water your chickens in the winter by giving them snow if necessary.  The straw cellaring section was interesting as well.
But some of the things I would have liked a lot more info.  I guess the author was mostly trying to tell us about skills, & leaving it to us to research further into the things we want to learn.  But a lot of it I already knew, & was hoping the book would teach me how to do.  There are a lot of pioneer stories mixed in.  While they were interesting; I would have preferred more instruction.  I also think he overdid the personal stories a bit.  I was also surprised that when he talked about storing eggs long term, he didn't have any of the methods I've found most in my searches (such as mineral oil
But I did make a list of things I'd like to learn more about, & learned some things I'm very glad to know.
So while this wasn't as complete as I'd like, I really am glad I have it in my survival library.  I also think it would make a great gift for those just getting started.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ask for preparedness for Christmas

My family often had a hard time deciding what to get me for Christmas.  But now I can ask for preparedness items.  This is a great way to help you get prepared too, especially for those more expensive things you can't get with coupons.  You could ask everyone to donate towards a solar oven or radio, give you gift certificates to food storage places, contribute to your 72 hour kit, things like that!  It will be a great present because it will add to your peace of mind, & they'll probably be glad for the suggestion!
You could also join in with other family to buy bigger preparedness items together for someone.  Give mom & dad a solar oven!  Can them some food!  Even if they aren't super excited at first (we all have relatives like that), the day will come when they'll be grateful for it!  I did a bunch of #10 cans for my father a couple years ago.  His wife wasn't real excited about it; she didn't like all the room it took up.  Now she going down & looks at all that food they have, & is so grateful to have it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cool Ties

I'm a big fan of cool ties when I'm hiking in the desert.  They are kind of neck kercheifs, that have water gems inside.  These soak up water, which gradually evaporates on the back of your neck.  They really help keep you cool.   I was thinking the other day how fabulous they would be if we ever didn't have cooling in the summer; especially for working in a hot garden.  I decided I wanted to get us several each, so one could be soaking while one was being used.  But they are kind of pricey to buy new.

  Luckily, I found this website on making your own.
Now I am not someone who knows how to sew.  But even I can sew the straight line required for these.
We tried making some & they were a snap!

I looked around a bit for what to use inside.  I bought all 3 of these.  It turns out the bit "water gems" & the smaller pack of "water gems" (the last 2 pics), are exactly the same.  One is just already hydrated, & one isn't.  The large container cost about $5 at the craft store.  But then I found the "decorative accent" ones (first picture) at the Dollar Tree.  Awesome!  I made ties out of both, & couldn't tell a difference in the way they functioned.  I bought cheap cotton fabric in the $1 fabric section at Walmart.  Doing that, you can make these for less than $1 each.  How cool is that!
Not only am I making these for us, but they are a great prep gift for Christmas or anything else!

Friday, November 4, 2011

More prep gift ideas

Items with sayings-

~Flashlights ~100 Hour Candles ~Matches ~Oil Lamp with oil ~Candles

“You light up my day/life”

“May your Christmas be Merry and Bright”

“You are so bright”

“Let your light so shine”

“We love how you light up our lives, we've come to depend on your glow. Here's a Flashlight to store, so you'll

always be sure, to create light wherever you go.”


“No one matches you as friends/neighbors/family.”


“The kindness you show, makes our friendship/love grow and grow”

~Paper Towels (1, 3, 6, ect. Month supply)

“Blot your troubles; absorb the Christmas Spirit”

~Hand Egg Beater/Blender

“Have an Eggstra Special Holiday”

~Wheat Grinder

“Grind away your worries; have a special day”

“Just Grind right into a loaf of bread; happy holidays”

~Fire Extinguisher

“My love Burns for you; Happy Valentines/Anniversary”

~Solar Oven

“Here's a little help for Sunshine to brighten your day”

~Honey (Any size, with honey dipper & bow on top)

“Bee Prepared; Have a happy Holiday”

“Bee-cause you are great neighbors; Happy Holidays”

~Hand Crank Radio or Ham Radio

“Tuning into a great neighbor/friend/son, ect.; Happy Holidays”

“Tune into my heart full of love/friendship for you”

~Filled Basket of any individual Items

“Wishing you a basketful of Preparedness/Holiday blessings”

~ Sleeping Cots

“I “cot” the Preparedness bug, and now you can catch it too”

~Jars of Jam
 (3, 6, 9, or 12 month supply)

“Hoping you have a hoilday jam-packed with fun!”

“Have a “Berry” nice holiday season/mothers day.”

~Cocoa Mix (Purchase a case from the cannery)

“Wishing you a warm and wonderful Christmas/new years/birthday/Valentines day”

~Pasta (Purchase a case of Macaroni from the Cannery)

“Have a “pasta-tively” happy holiday/birthday/new year”

~Muffin Mix
 (3, 6, 9, or 12 year supply)

“You're getting “Muffin” for Christmas.”

(3, 6, 9, or 12 month supply)

“Just “popping” by with a Holiday/Birthday hi!”

~Soup (homemade jars of dry mix or a supply of canned soup)

“Wishing you a “Souper” Holiday Season/birthday, ect.”

“We wish you a Wonderful Holiday/Birthday “simmering” gently with love.”

~Washboard & Clothes Wringer or Washclothes & Dishtowels

“This Christmas/birthday/mothers day, you deserve the best, a present unlike all the rest. We considered a new car or an exotic cruise... but decided on something you could really use. Finally we found you a gift to admire,

We hope you enjoy your new Washer & Dryer!!

~Jarred Bread & Recipe
 (3, 6, 9, or 12 month Supply)

“We're not “Loafing” around when we say you're the best mom/neighbors, ect. Happy holidays/birthday,ect.”

~Jarred Butter or Powdered Butter

“You “butter” have a very Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday, ect.”

~Chocolate Chips
 (3, 6, 9, or 12 year supply)

“However the “Chips” may fall, we wish you a Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday, ect. All in all!”

~Pancake Mix & Syrup
 (3, 6, 9, or 12 year supply)

“We are “pouring out” Christmas/birthday wishes and hoping you have a Christmas/Birthday “Flip-over”

~Rope/Bungee cords/Straps for years supply

“May your Birthday/Holidays be “tied” up with festive fun!”


“Twas the night before Christmas and Santa was worried, he had an emergency, boy was he flurried! The power was off, and his flashlight was dead, he didn't buy Batteries” when Mrs. S. said. We wouldn't want you in a similar plight, so we give you batteries to lighten your night. Merry Christmas to you, may you walk in the light”

~Cannery Fruit Drink Mix

“Pouring out” Christmas/Birthday cheer to you and yours!”

~Any Preparedness Book
 (Canning, survival, recipe, gardening, ect.)

“May the message of this book fill your heart and home with love and safety this Christmas Season.”

Individual Item Ideas Big & Small-

(Wrap them up, put a bow on top, stuff them in stockings)

~Sewing Kit



~Sleeping Bags

~Hand Crank Radio

~Pressure Canner

~Metal Dinnerware

~Hand Crank/Shaker Flashlights

~Food Storage Buckets with Lids

~Any Item from the Cannery- Single Can or Case of 6 with a

~Hand Can Opener

(Add a recipe corresponding with the food to the top with a bow)

~Tarps with no tear grips & straps


~Water Bath

~Cast Iron Cookware or Dutch Oven

~Canning Jars & Lids

~100 hour Candles

~Books- Recipe/Survival/Canning/ Gardening

~Non-Hybrid Seeds

~Rope/Bungee cords/straps

Gift Baskets or Packs-
(Add to or Take Away Items, to make it cost affective)

Sewing Box/Basket

Safety Pins(all sizes) needles, thread(heavy/lightweight), buttons, zippers, iron-on patches, shoelaces, sewing

patterns, material, stove top iron -vintage

Emergency Car Kit/Bag

Food, water, first-aid kit, blanket, flashlight, gas siphon, wipes, Kleenex/T.P, map/compass, cash, pad/pencil,

cards/activities, flares, matches, jumper cables, calling card, extinguisher, a reminder to add spare keys and

walking shoes/socks.

Potty Bucket
“Hope you don't have a crappy day”

Toilet(bucket & seat), T.P., hand sanitizer, baby wipes, garbage bags(for lining bucket), gift card to purchase

feminine products.

First Aid Kit

list is endless, purchase already made, or create your own.

Emergency Family Activity Basket/Rubbermade Container/Box

Board games, cards, dominoes, coloring books/crayons, game/activity books, pencils/sharpeners, puzzles.

Water Pak

30 0r 55 gallon Barrels, hand pump, barrel wrench, Filter, water purification tablets/liquid, white hose.

Keeping your Mouth Happy Basket (3, 6, 9, or 12 month supply)

Toothbrushes (1 per month, per person) Toothpaste (1 lrg. per month per person) Dental Floss (1 a month per person) Mouthwash (1 bottle per 2 months per person) Toothrepair kit(fillings, picks, ect can be bought at store)

72 Hour Kit/bag/backpack

There are a lot of different ideas and lists. Remember to add a reminder to pack clothes and shoes.

Lighting the Way Basket

Add any and all kinds of ways to light. Candles, flashlights, matches, oil lamps, lightsticks, lighters, ect.

A Gift that keeps Giving Basket

Non-Hybrid Seeds, small garden tools, sprouter, gloves, seed starter, watering can.

Basket of Preparedness Books

Canning, recipe, survival, herb/plant, gardening, ect.

Laundry Gift Tub
 (packed in large tub)

Clothes line, bag of clothes pins, hand crank clothes wringer, laundry soap or gift card, wash board, scrub brush

Keeping You Connected, Communications Gift Basket

Hand crank radio, signal mirror, signal whistle, road flares, calling card, quarters/cash, map, pre-stamped

postcards, document to be filled out entitled friends and family phone numbers/addresses with your name already on the list to start.

Dutch Oven, any size

Add dutch oven liners, hot pads, lifter, cook/use book

Cooking Gift Basket (3, 6, 9, or 12 month supply)

Plastic wrap, heavy duty foil, zip lock bags (all sizes), wooden/metal spoons, tongs, spatulas, colander/stainer,

cheesecloth, dish towels

These are all from:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Great Christmas deal on Sun Ovens!

Sun oven is having a great deal through Christmas!  Click on the link on the upper right on my blog to order one through paypal.  Or email me at  There's been similar specials on this before, but they've never had the dehydrating racks before that I've seen.  My price is $275!  (If you're in Utah, please use the drop down paypal menu to choose the option that includes Utah sales tax).

Here's the details:

Christmas Sun Dehydrating and Preparedness Kit*   description:
Sun Dry Dehydrating Racks Retail price $32.00
A simple, effective way to use a GLOBAL SUN OVEN to dry and dehydrate with the power of the sun. Easily stackable wire racks allows up to 3 layers of drying includes a  roll of parchment paper. Use the sun to naturally dry vegetables, fruits, meats, herbs, or fish. 

Easy Stack Pots with interchangeable lids Retail price 24.00
Spill free cooking of multiple dishes. Set of two interconnecting enamelware pots which can be safely and easily stacked. Includes an interchangeable enamel pot lid and a glass lid for improved visibility and browning. Each 3 quart pot holds 3 pounds of poultry, or a 3 pound roast.

Multi-Fuel Water Pasteurization Indicator Retail price $8.00
A simple reusable thermometer which indicates when water has reached pasteurization temperature and is safe to drink. Can be used in a SUN OVEN® over a campfire, with charcoal, propane, or with any type of fuel you use for heating water.

Wilton Non-stick Stackable Cookie Sheet/Brownie Pans Retail price $13.00
Cross-stacking pans allows maximum use of the inner chamber of the GLOBAL SUN OVEN. Constructed of heavy-gauge steel that provides an even-heating performance, baking experts prefer these for perfectly-browned baked goods. The non-stick coating makes food release easy and clean-up a breeze! 11 in. x 7 in.  x 1.5 in.

Wilton Non-stick Even Heat Bread Pans  Retail price $12.00
Favorite size for homemade breads & cakes.
Constructed of heavy-gauge steel that provides an even-heating performance baking experts prefer for perfectly-browned baked goods.  The non-stick coating improves food release and cleaning. 9 1/4 in. x 5 1/4 in. x 2 3/4 in.

GLOBAL SUN OVEN  Retail Price $299
With a computer CD with over 80 SUN OVEN recipes, cooking tips, FAQs, written & video operating instructions, a video on how the SUN OVEN works and emergency preparedness tips.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Preparedness for Christmas!

Sometimes it's hard to think of gifts we can afford, & that will have meaning.  I'm trying to do gifts that will help my family get prepared this year, even if it's only in a small way.  So here's some ideas of preparedness gifts you could consider this Christmas!

A jar of anything you've canned, jam, chicken, etc.

A certificate to teach a preparedness skill you've learned.  Making bread, making silver, canning chicken (this might be fun with a jar of canned chicken), etc.  Skills & knowledge are invaluable!

A grouping of preparedness items from Dollar Tree
   (posts on that

Anything you have extra you've gotten free or really cheap with coupons.  Such as razors, toothpaste, bandaids, etc.  Make a grouping, come up with a cute saying, or put it in a little box with some other preparedness info.

Start them a survival library!  Print off blogs you think are good, the free Dr book I posted in October, things like that.  Information they can save for when needed.

Keep an eye out all year for deals, & buy extra for people for Christmas.  When I found hand crank flashlights for $2, I bought extras for gifts.  Same with pocket knives, little lights, etc.

Download some preparedness radio & burn onto CD's for them to listen to.

A sampler pack (or just 1 item) of some of your favorite preparedness products.  A small thing of shelf stable milk or whipping cream,  lemon juice powder, anything you really love.

I'd love to hear anyone else's ideas in the comments!  Meanwhile, here's a few more:

  • Magnesium Fire Starter - $6.95
  • Fire Sticks - $1.95
  • Fire Lighters - $2.95
  • Waterproof/Windproof Matches - $2.95
  • Hotties - .95 to $1.25
  • Emergency Blanket - $1.25
  • Emergency Poncho - .75
  • Deluxe Poncho - $2.95
  • Endurance Headlamp - $4.95
  • Flashlight - $7.99
  • Emergency Tent - $3.95
  • 13-Function Knife - $1.99
  • Multifunction Tool - $4.95
  • 5-in-1 Survival Whistle - $1.50
  • 1st Aid Kit - $5.95
  • Basic 72 Hour Kit - $9.50

Monday, October 31, 2011

Let the kids do the labor!

I know you're probably thinking, "I don't have time to do chickens, pick raspberries, dry fruit, can chicken, raise rabbits, etc".  That's what your kids are for!  And it's great for them too!  My son mows our lawn.  When we can chicken he puts the meat in the jars while I put the broth & lids (we can get 18 lbs in the canner in under 20 min).  He completely takes care of all our animals.  They're under his stewardship & he gets their food & water every day.  When we can or dry peaches he takes the peels off while I do other stuff.  He goes out & picks the raspberries & strawberries.  The work goes much faster than I could do by myself.  And imagine if I had more than 1 child!
Sure, you have to train them to help.  At first it might seem easier to do it yourself than hassle them into it.  But now my son is just used to helping as part of his daily routine.  (ok, he still complains sometimes about mowing the lawn, but he does it).  And he's only 8 years old.  Kids can usually do a lot more than we think.  He's been doing all the mowing since 7.  He started taking the peels off the peaches & tops off strawberries at 4.  Don't waste these great helpers you already have!  It's in their best interest too.  And they can take such pride in the peaches they helped can, fruit they helped dry, & "their" animals!

Friday, October 28, 2011

honey butter with whipping cream butter

I wanted to see how honey butter would taste with the butter I'd made from my shelf stable whipping cream.  It was very tasty!  The only thing I noticed is it didn't whip as much.  The color was different because the butter isn't colored yellow like what you buy.  And as I stored it, it didn't stay completely mixed.  It would start to separate.  But after mixing it back together it tasted yummy again.

1/2 cup butter whipped
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk (I leave this out if I want it to last longer)
1 cup honey

Whip vanilla & egg into butter.  Gradually add honey until light & fluffy.
I tried "canning" some cornbread in my solar oven.  I'll be trying this on that.  MMM!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Poppy Seed dressing, my favorite!

Not being a big salad fan I almost didn't try this.   I was glad I did, I ate 3 bowls!   You can add apples, parmesan cheese & dried cranberries on top.  I like at least the cheese & cranberries.  I love this dressing & make it a lot in the summer.  And anywhere you take it people will say "wow, that's a good salad!"  Toss the dressing well with the lettuce & toppings.  This does taste better with darker green lettuce, rather than iceberg.  This recipe will fill a quart mason jar.  I usually make half.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbs mustard
2 Tbs poppy seeds
1 medium red onion
1 pint corn oil

Chop onion in very fine small pieces.   I use my food processor and it kind of makes mushy onions but then the pieces are not big.   Add all the ingredients to a blender & run for about 5 minutes on liquify.   If the dressing starts to separate after a while, you can put it back in the blender for more mixing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Price going up on SOS solar oven

The SOS solar oven is raising prices, & shipping prices on Nov 1.  So if you've been considering an oven, now may be the time!  Until then, you can still get one shipped to your home for $190.  I have the SOS & the Global Sun.  While I'm glad to have them both, I use the SOS most of the time.  Email me at or call 801-400-4597.  I have to have orders by noon on Halloween.

PRICE INCLUDES oven w/reflectors, two black enamel pots (3.5 qt.), a WAPI (water pasteurization indicator), built-in thermometer, instruction manual, recipe book and shipping!
  • Reaches temp. up to 350 degrees
  • Holds two pots of food
  • Engineered 3M plastic lid has 1” air-gap for better heat retention
  • R 6.5 Insulation in housing
  • Weighs only 10 lbs.
  • Even works great without reflectors!
  • Broad base gives better stability 

Great article on preparing to evacuate

I May Never See My Home Again
By Carolyn Nicolaysen

Hurricane Irene, tropical storm Lee, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires in Texas, 5 million without power in California, Arizona and Mexico, and all this since my last article two weeks ago. Yesterday marked the height of the hurricane season however, there are still another two months till the season passes. Fire season is just now beginning as more than 1.5 million acres have already burned and thousands have lost their homes. Lightning sparked over thirty wildfires in California Sunday night.
What if you were called in the middle of the night and told you needed to evacuate immediately. A few years ago this happened to a friend. She could not think clearly about what to do and her comment later was, “I just didn't understand I might not see my home again”. Would you know what to do? Plan today.
No matter what the reason for an evacuation, it is going to be a stressful, chaotic time and you need to be prepared so that you and your family will remain safe and sane until the earthquake, landslide, wildfire, hurricane, tornado, flood, storm surge, tsunami, avalanche, hazardous spill, or terror threat is over.
Start today by preparing the following items to take with you as you evacuate: *

1.* Assemble a 72-hour kits for every family member, be sure to include family photos, emergency phone numbers and family ID cards in a plastic sleeve that can be removed easily.

2.* Assemble a kit of essentials for every pet. Don’t forget a leash for the dog or cat.

3.* Maps: Gather maps of your town, county, state and your out-of-area destination. Take some time and using a highlighter, mark several routes, in different colors, from your home to you destination. Remember the freeways may be very crowded if you wait until an evacuation order is given to leave your home. Longer routes may be the faster in the long run, so think creatively. As you mark your map, note where the rest areas are located. You will need these from time to time, especially if you are traveling with pets and children.

4.* Assemble an emergency car kit and place it in your car now. The kit may include: flashlight, small and large 10” glow sticks (I prefer these to flares because they do not create sparks which are potentially dangerous at an accident scene), folding shovel, tire repair kit and pump, booster cables, work gloves, and a fire extinguisher. Store extra batteries for your flashlight in your 72-hour kit, not in your car, and never in your flashlight (they are less likely to leak or explode if stored separately). To use your flashlight at times other than emergencies, keep batteries in the glove box.

5.* Assemble fun things to do in the car - books on tape, travel games, toys, familiar music that you can sing at the top of your lungs, anything that will keep family members distracted. Remember during a mass evacuation the average time spent in the car is 15-20 hours! You will want to make this time as low stress as possible. Don’t forget scriptures and comforting materials like church magazines.

6.* Assemble a sanitation kit. You should have sanitation supplies in your 72-hour kits but you will want to save those in case you need them at a shelter or at your evacuation destination. If you are evacuating to the home of a friend or family member, others may be doing the same. Don’t assume they will be prepared to care for all your needs. Also, remember there will be many others evacuating. Local residents as well as evacuees will all be at the store trying to purchase supplies when you reach your destination. When you stop at a rest stop along the way there will be no one to re-supply the restrooms and you may be very happy that you have your own stash.* Your sanitation kit should include: Facial tissues, bathroom tissue, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towels, feminine supplies, diapers (always a size or two larger than the baby is wearing at the time you assemble your kit) and biohazard bags (to contain waste until you reach a place where they can be properly disposed of). Place your sanitation supplies with your 72 hour kit so it can be grabbed in a hurry.

7.* Food and drinks for the road. Again, save the food in your 72-hour kit for use later. Gather snacks, crackers, peanut butter, and drinks and place them in a cupboard together. This will make it easy and fast to grab items when you are in a hurry to evacuate. It also makes it easy to pack school lunches every day. You will not be thinking clearly, so make a list of food items to add to this supply and post it on the cupboard door. This could include: bread, cheese, deli meats, mayo, fruit, carrots, anything you may have on hand but is kept in another location. As with 72-hour kits, do not include salty foods such as salted nuts, chips, and jerky. These will just increase your thirst and thus restroom stops, which may not be readily available. Plan to eat in your car. There have been incidents of people being hurt when others demanded their food. If you need to stretch, do so, but keep the food and water out of site and a close eye on the kids. Sad but true.
8. Compile a list of family heirlooms to grab if there is time. Post this list in a cupboard
or closet for quick access in an emergency. If you file it, you know you won’t be able to find it in a hurry. We have all had that experience, “but I know I put it in a place where it would be safe”.

9. Stash cash. Accumulate cash to be used during an evacuation. Cash should be in small denominations, nothing over $20.00, and should also include coins. You should have several hundred dollars. Many banks will be destroyed or without power after a disaster, natural or man-made. If you bank at a local or regional bank it may be days or weeks before you can access your account and withdraw cash. ATMs will be cleaned out in a matter of minutes, so don’t plan to stop at an ATM on your way out of town. Power outages will occur even miles from a disaster site making your credit cards useless.

10.* Take a household inventory. Take pictures or a video of everything in your home, including the items inside closets and cupboards. Place a copy in your 72-hour kit and send a copy to your out-of-state contact.

We have a friend whose home burned down four years ago and the insurance company would not release any rebuilding money until they have turned in a list of everything they lost in the fire. Can you imagine trying to create such a list when you are dealing with such a horrible disaster! Four years later they are just getting back into their home. A home inventory would have greatly reduced this time.

11.* Back up computer files often and send them to your out-of-state contact. Consider backing them up on a server off site so you can keep them current, especially if you have your own business or do much of your work from home.

12.* Compile a list of items to place in the car when you evacuate and post it with your other lists. Include the following and any other personal necessities:

72-hour kit
Pet kit
Fun things to do kit
Sanitation kit
Food and drinks
Family Heirlooms
Blankets or sleeping bags
Cell phone
Auto cell phone charger
Lap top or computer back up files
Other---such as a walker, baby bottles, or pet cages

13.Assign each family member the responsibility of packing or retrieving each item on your list.

14.Post the Batten down the Hatches List (which follows later in this article).

15. Practice packing your car. Avoid packing heavy items in the passenger area, which can become dangerous if you need to stop quickly. It is better to discover now that you need to pack some items in smaller containers so they will all fit.

16.* Always keep your gas tank at least half full. If you have any suspicions that an evacuation may occur go fill your tank immediately, before others have the same idea. When you return home, park the car in the garage facing out and disconnect the garage door opener in case of a power outage.

The time has come to evacuate.*

1.* Listen to the radio or television for instructions from local officials. They will be able to inform you where shelters are located and which evacuation routes may be open and which closed. Follow their instructions, especially in case of a fire or earthquake. They will help you avoid potential hazards.

2.* Phone or visit house-bound neighbors and/or neighbors whose children may be home alone. Make sure they have heard the warnings and have a way to safely evacuate. This is especially important in case of a fire, every moment counts and parents and caregivers may not have time to get home and rescue children and the handicapped or elderly.

3.* Dress for the occasion. Put on comfortable but protective clothing - no sandals, no shorts, no tank tops. Long pants and long sleeves are the best. Grab an extra change of clothing, but only one. Remember you have another set of clothing in your 72-hour kit, so this will get you through the emergency period.

4.* Remove the radio and plastic sleeve with your maps and phone list from your 72-hour kit and place them inside the car.

5.* Batten-Down-the-Hatches List:
Board up windows
Move all outdoor items inside.
Shut off water, gas and electricity.
Close all interior doors.
Close and lock all windows.
If you are leaving a fire, do not shut off water or electricity and leave lights on. This will help firefighters see your home through the smoke.
Lock all outside doors.
If you are headed to a shelter deliver pets to a pre-arrange care giver.
Leave a note to let neighbors, friends and family know you have evacuated, when you left, and where you are going. This should be out of sight so others will not no your plans. Determine now where you will leave that note and notify your out of area contact and others where that will be.
Notify contact person of your plans and have them notify the rest of the extended family and friends.
Take time now to check with local official to determine what will and will not be allowed in your area shelters. The following may not be allowed:
Alcoholic beverages.
Pets (in some areas, this rule is changing), but guide dogs are always allowed.
Illegal drugs, even if you are using them for medical purposes.
Weapons, including some knives.
Extra food other than special dietary needs. The food in your 72-hour kit is fine.
Valuables. There will be no place to store jewelry, valuable papers or large amounts of money. Again anything in your 72-hour kit will be fine - just be careful and definitely don’t “advertise” that you have anything of value. Don’t access money in front of anyone! Never give children valuables. Prepare your children for shelter living by warning them that other children may want to “share” their toys and books. Discuss how they should handle this.

When faced with evacuation, try to remain calm. Remember, the only really important thing is to get your whole family safely away from the danger around you. Then, when it’s all over, sit down and make a list of everything you would do differently next time, and make an action list. Take time as well to record your experience in your journal. The next generation may find it amazing and inspiring, and your preparation may motivate them to be better prepared by walking in your footsteps.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Start your food storage for $5-10 week.

This is a list from LDS preppers.   It was originally on $5 a week & the prices are a bit out of date, but it sure is a starting point.  Either raise it to $10 a week, or cut the amount in half where necessary.  Costco or the LDS cannery has the cheapest wheat prices usually.

  • Week 1: 6 lbs salt (25 lb bags of salt at costco are under $3!)
  • Week 2: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 3: 20 lbs of sugar
  • Week 4: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 5: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 6: 6 lbs macaroni
  • Week 7: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 8: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 9: 6 lbs yeast
  • Week 10: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 11: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 12: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 13: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 14: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
  • Week 15: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 16: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 17: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
  • Week 18: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 19: 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Week 20: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 21: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 22: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 23: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 24: 6 lbs shortening
  • Week 25: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 26: 5 lbs honey
  • Week 27: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 28: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 29: 5 lbs peanut butter
  • Week 30: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 31: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
  • Week 32: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 33: 1 bottle 500 aspirin
  • Week 34: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 35: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 36: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
  • Week 37: 6 lbs salt
  • Week 38: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 39: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 40: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 41: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 42: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 43: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
  • Week 44: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 45: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 46: 6 lbs macaroni
  • Week 47: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 48: 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Week 49: 5 lbs honey
  • Week 50: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 51: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 52: 50 lbs wheat
Also watch for sales.
If you get all this, you'll end up with:
  • 500 lbs of wheat
  • 180 lbs of sugar
  • 40 lbs of powdered milk
  • 12 lbs of salt
  • 10 lbs of honey
  • 5 lbs of peanut butter
  • 45 cans of tomato soup
  • 15 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 15 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 24 cans of tuna
  • 21 boxes of macaroni & cheese
  • 500 aspirin
  • 1000 multi-vitamins
  • 6 lbs of yeast
  • 6 lbs of shortening
  • 12 lbs of macaroni
I've been told this will do 2000 calories a day for 2 people for around 300 days.  Not bad for $5-10 a week!