Sunday, July 31, 2011

Great deal on chicken

If you live in Utah, Kohlers has a great deal on chicken breasts this week.  $1.39 lb.  Perfect price for canning!  If you've been thinking of trying it, now's the time!  If you live somewhere else, keep an eye on your ads!
See my post on canning chicken for all the how's & whys.  I LOVE this stuff!

Chicken moat

I've often heard the debate of letting your chickens into the garden or not.  On one hand they eat pests & can help with insect control.  On the other hand, they might eat your garden too.  This site has instructions for building a chicken moat.  Basically it's a double fence that has your chickens all around the perimeter of your garden, but keeps them out of the actual garden.  The author claims it saved their garden when their nearby neighbors gardens were destroyed by grasshoppers.  The chickens apparently kept the grasshoppers from getting into their garden.  The article mentions benefits protecting from other animals as well.
It looks like a bit of work, but I'm at least glad to know the idea in case I ever need it.  We may be without pesticides someday, & it could be life saving to have a way to control the insects.  Now I'm just wondering if I need to store the materials!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Apricot Syrup

When I found a good deal on apricots, I bought a few too many.  So decided to try apricot syrup.  I had some empty jars, & it didn't take too many ingredients.  I've always thought having syrups & jams around is a great food storage idea.  Having them to put on your bread, all that plain oatmeal you've stored, or anything else could be a real moral booster!  And something I think I'm going to be very grateful to have.  I couldn't find a recipe that was exactly what I wanted so I improvised a bit with recipes, & what I had in the house.  This was tasty!

7 cups apricots peeled & pureed in blender (put in boiling water for 30 seconds, & then in cold water.  Peels should come off easily)
1 1/2 cups water
7 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 TBS light corn syrup
8 oz can pineapple, pureed in blender.

Put everything into pot & stir over medium high heat until comes to a boil.  Boil & stir for 5 min.  Pour into jars.  (I used pint because that's what I had, but would have preferred something smaller).  Process for 15 min. in boiling water canner.  (note:  this is not an extension service approved canning recipe.  so eat fresh or can at your own risk)
Filled 6 pint jars.  Yummers!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Apricot pineapple freezer jam!

This jam is super yummy. It tastes like a mouthful of summer!   And freezer jam is so easy to make!  I found some apricots a neighbor was selling; it only cost me $1 for enough fruit to make 3 batches.  Score!
This recipe is the amount of sugar I use, which is much less than the original recipe.  Healthier, & a HUGE improvement in taste!
I wasn't planning on making jam that day, until I passed the apricots for sale.  Luckily, I was prepared, & already had at home jars, pectin, & the other ingredients.  This allowed me to snag the great deal & make the jam spur of the moment.

3 cups finely chopped apricots  (my son doesn't like chunks, so I peeled the apricots and ran them through the blender.  I heated them in boiling water so the peels would just fall off.  But if you don't mind chunks you don't have to do that.)
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 small can crushed pineapple drained.

Mix fruit, pineapple & lemon juice.  Gradually stir in 1 box pectin.  Mix thoroughly.  Set aside 30 min, stirring every 5 min.  (while I'm waiting for this 30 min, I started on the next batch.  I had 3 batches done & in jars in under an hour).  Pour in corn syrup.  Stir in sugar gradually.  Stir until completely dissolved & no longer grainy.  Pour into jars, leave 1/2" at top.  Stand at room temp 24 hours.  Freeze or put in fridge.

Save money on prep & everything else with Groupon
I love this site.  You can buy gift certificates for half off for almost anything imaginable.  They have a new deal every day.  Yesterday was food storage food, today is some dental work.  I buy gift cards to fun places for my son & I to go (like water slides & museums).  Once in a while I can even afford a great deal on a massage or something like that!  Sign up & get the email alerts, so you don't miss a deal you'd want.  Great way for a single mom & save money.  We've done lots of fun things because of Groupon we wouldn't have been able to do at full price.  I've also bought gift certificates on here as presents for people.  They'll have no idea you paid half price!
And, after you sign up, you can refer people with your own referral link (like mine above).  Every time someone you refer buys their first Groupon, you get $10 credit.  Get a few credits & soon you're getting your gift cards for fun stuff for free!  This has been something we've been so glad to have!
My link will probably take you to the Utah deals, since that's where I live.  But sign up, & then it will show you the deals by you!
Sometimes you can also buy deals that aren't by you.  My favorite was a half price Amazon gift card I bought from the Chicago section.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Half off one month supply of food
This deal is for today only. I have no experience with this food. But deals like this are a good way to try something new, & get some food storage with no work involved. Deseret Food Store is normally a subscription service, this Groupon is valid for a single delivery of a one-month supply of eats.
Deseret Food Store fills homes with vitamin-fortified, mylar-wrapped gourmet entrees that can hibernate in shelves for up to a quarter of a century before preparation. The one-month supply of human fuel is packed with a total of 60 servings of hearty dishes including pancakes, western stew, chicken à la king, and beef stroganoff. Like sea monkeys, you just add water to transform the meals into their mouthwatering states. The tightly packaged entrees not only offer easy-to-prepare eats but also free up kitchen space for porcelain dinnerware and old computer parts.
$199 value, $99 today.

Free stuff with Global Sun ovens right now!

Right now orders of the Global Sun oven made by Aug 28, include
Free Preparedness Package with a retail value of $53.20:
*One set of 2 Stackable Cookie Sheet/Brownie Pans
*One Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI)
*Two Loaf Pans
*Two Stackable Round Covered Enamelware Cooking Pots

This is an awesome deal! This oven is smaller & heavier than the SOS, but gets to higher temperatures for baking. It's also very durable & has a carrying handle, & easy to use leg for tilting to the best sun. It's $275 & includes shipping to your door. Email me if you'd like one!

Lemonade whipping cream for waffles & other stuff

I used my shelf stable whipping cream for this.  (One of my favorite food storage products!).  After whipping to soft peaks, I added powdered sugar, & about 1/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate, & whipped to stiff peaks.  Super yummy!  First we used it for fruit dip for the raspberries.  Then for dinner that night we put it on waffles with raspberries from our yard.  Wow!!
This could be used on so many things!

* I think has the cheapest price on shelf stable whipping cream.  Amazon also carries it.

Raspberry Blondies

Some recipes look so pretty, but don't taste that great.  This is one of those recipes that tastes way better than they look.  We put 1 1/2 cup raspberries, instead of the listed 1 cup, & we're glad we did.  We ate half the pan before they were even cool!  And this is another recipe I can make entirely out of my food storage when my raspberries are ready in the summer.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup any nuts (optional)
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 8" square baking pan with foil, leaving 1" overhang on all sides.  Combine flour, baking powder & salt.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Stir in brown sugar until moistened. Let cool slightly.  Off heat, whisk in egg & vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture until just combined.  Stir in nuts.  Scrape batter into baking pan, smoothing top.  Scatter berries over batter.  Bake until blondies are set in center, about 30 min.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Grasping foil on sides, life out blondies & place on cutting board.

How to get free produce

I used to spend so much money on produce, my son loves it & I want him to eat healthy.  But yikes!  A little thing of raspberries costs so much!  I finally got smart & planted my own.  I got free raspberry shoots from a neighbor, & I've let them take over 1 side of the house.  The only maintenance I do on them is cut out the dead canes in the fall.  Pretty dang easy!  They've been growing for a few years now, & we get a cereal bowl full of raspberries a day!  We've made raspberry lemonade ice cream, raspberry blondie browies, jam, frozen raspberries, & eaten a ton every day.  All free!  My sprinklers were watering over there anyway!
I've done the same thing with strawberries.  I got free shoots, & let them fill in all of my flower beds in front.  My spring tulips come up right through the strawberries.  They keep out the weeds, look, pretty, & they provide me with a HUGE bowl full every day for 2-3 weeks in June.  They get finished just about the time the raspberries start.  I don't do any maintenance on the strawberries either, except pull up a few of the older plants every fall so new ones can grow in.  Super easy!  We dry a lot of our strawberries for eating on hikes & on cereal (see my post on drying them in the solar oven).
I've just planted a blueberry bush & am hoping to someday have tons of those too!
I can't believe how much money we save.  And having these healthy treats in abundance is such a luxury!
And it's going to be fabulous to have if we're ever living off our food storage.
They take time to grow enough to have a lot though.  So go look at your yard & see where you can throw in something you'd love to eat!  Or get one of those inside strawberry planters.  You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Free at Walgreens this week

Here's a list what I got free at Walgreens this week:
Dentex Floss picks
Walgreens brand tampons
Scunchi hair elastics
These required no coupons to get free. You pay for the item, & then a coupon prints at the register for the same amount for you to use on your next purchase. I usually use them to buy what's free next week. These are called "register rewards".

And if you have the coupons from the Sunday paper, you can also get 2 Irish Springs deodorant free.
You can see the Walgreens ad online or pick one up in the store. And see coupon match up's on sites like

Not bad addition to my storage for free!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stock up on light bulbs for your chickens

I had a realization today when thinking about the regular light bulbs being outlawed soon. You can't use those other bulbs to help keep your chickens warm in the winter; they don't put out any heat! I only had to give my chickens heat for about a week last winter, but it was sure an easy way to keep them warm when it got down to zero. I've been stockpiling bulbs for use in the house, but I'm going to add some for my chickens!

Walmart says prices going up

Get going on your food storage!

U.S. consumers face "serious" inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations warned Wednesday.
  • The nation's largest retailer needs to get back to its roots as the lowest priced one-stop shop for consumers, Walmart CEO Bill SImon said.
    By Spencer Platt, Getty Images
    The nation's largest retailer needs to get back to its roots as the lowest priced one-stop shop for consumers, Walmart CEO Bill SImon said.

By Spencer Platt, Getty Images
The nation's largest retailer needs to get back to its roots as the lowest priced one-stop shop for consumers, Walmart CEO Bill SImon said.
The world's largest retailer is working with suppliers to minimize the effect of cost increases and believes its low-cost business model will position it better than its competitors.
Still, inflation is "going to be serious," Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said during a meeting with USA TODAY's editorial board. "We're seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate."
Along with steep increases in raw material costs, John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon, says labor costs in China and fuel costs for transportation are weighing heavily on retailers. He predicts prices will start increasing at all retailers in June.
"Every single retailer has and is paying more for the items they sell, and retailers will be passing some of these costs along," Long says. "Except for fuel costs, U.S. consumers haven't seen much in the way of inflation for almost a decade, so a broad-based increase in prices will be unprecedented in recent memory."
Consumer prices — or the consumer price index — rose 0.5% in February, the most since mid-2009, largely because of surging food and gasoline prices. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose a more modest 0.2%, though that still exceeded estimates.
The scenario hits Wal-Mart as it is trying to return to the low across-the-board prices it became famous for. Some prices rose as the company paid for costly store renovations.
"We're in a position to use scale to hold prices lower longer ... even in an inflationary environment," Simon says. "We will have the lowest prices in the market."
Major retailers such as Wal-Mart are the best positioned to mitigate some cost increases, Long says. Wal-Mart, for example, could have "access to any factory in any country around the globe" to mitigate the effect of inflation in the U.S., Long says.
Still, "it's certainly going to have an impact," Long says. "No retailer is going to be able to wish this new cost reality away. They're not going to be able to insulate the consumer 100%."

Review of Food storage analyzer

I've been giving the free food storage analyzer on Emergency Essentials a try. Anything free is worth trying! Overall it's pretty dang handy. You put how many of something you have, & it calculates how many days worth of food you have. I like that you can go down a whole section, adding the numbers for multiple items, & then only click "calculate" once on that section. Much faster than having to do that after each entry.
Many of my food storage items aren't on there, as I got them other places. But there's usually something pretty close to what I have, so I just put that. For instance I could choose the Emergency Essentials brand canned flour to substitute for the flour I canned myself that was the same size. The grocery store section was especially useful for that. I often didn't have the exact amount on their list (I might have a 25 oz can instead of 21), but it's close enough to estimate. It was really exciting to see the number of days get larger.
I would have liked to have found this sooner, & as I bought items; add them to this before I took it to my store room. Then I would have had a much more accurate figuring, & it would actually be an inventory for me too. As it is, I had to guess out of my memory.
The only thing that was difficult was the adding your own items. Without enough nutrition information, their program couldn't figure it correctly. The first time I tried adding my home canned chicken, it was showing me "0" days of food for 84 lbs of chicken. So I had to take time searching the internet, trying to get an estimate on the nutrition information. Next time I would probably just try to make a guess how many grocery store cans of chicken would be equivalent to my jar, & estimate that way. I understand why it needs all that info, I just don't want to spend a lot of time finding it, so would probably try to do a substitute on most things instead.
Overall it's a really handy tool, especially for free! Start stocking up, & see your number of days rise!

Gift Card Giveaway

Free food storage analyzer

Here's a useful tool for figuring out how much food storage you actually have!
Food Storage Analyzer™

A chance to win some free food storage!

Preparedness Pantry Blog

Here's a chance to win some free food storage!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Solar Pineapple Pork Tacos

We made these in the solar oven for dinner. Yum! My son added taco sauce, I just put cheese on the top. We used half a pork roast, so it was a bit more than the 1 lb the recipes calls for. We had enough to have tacos for dinner twice, & freeze some to probably have 2 more dinners. One benefit of there only being 2 of us! I put the roast in frozen, & we ate about 8 hours later.

1 lb pork roast
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 8oz can crushed pineapple drained
2 tsp lime juice.

Sprinkle roast with taco seasoning & cook. Shred with fork & mix with pineapple & lime juice. Put in taco shells & garnish as desired.

I can make this out of my food storage, except for taco shells. But it would also be good over rice.

Wow! Butter from shelf stable whipping cream!

My sister just found instructions for making butter & buttermilk from whipping cream. The instructions said to use heavy whipping cream. But I wanted to try it with my boxed shelf stable whipping cream I have in my food storage.
I poured the box (about 1 cup) into a pint jar. We took turns shaking it for about half an hour. Low & behold it turned into butter! You drain the liquid out. The instructions say this is buttermilk & you can use it in recipes. They also say it won't taste exactly like store buttermilk, although you can add some lemon juice to make it closer. But you could use it in pancakes or biscuits or something like that. Then you add some cold water, shake it some more, & then drain that out. This washes all the rest of the buttermilk out so it will keep longer. This butter was tasty & creamy; way better than from the store. You can also flavor it yourself; add herbs, garlic powder, or salt.
Then I tried it in my mixer. I just put it in & turned it on. It only took about 10 min in the mixer. I'd rather do it this way, but I'm so glad to know I can still make it if there's no electricity.
And I have to say, this may ruin me for buying least for eating on bread. This was sooo much tastier! Wow!
Some of the online instructions suggested freezing it in wax paper.
I'm going to be buying more shelf stable whipping cream next week! The cheapest I've found it is (their website is under construction but the phone number is correct). If you live in Utah it's easy to pick some up. I believe she'll ship to you as well. Amazon also carries it:

Solar Pasta Roni take 2

This time we tried a pasta roni we know we like. It worked great & tasted the same. I put the water & butter in & let it get hot. Threw in the pasta & seasonings. It took about 15 min. We did garlic bread again too, & my son was really excited to have an "all solar" meal. I was relieved to know all that cheap pasta I'd bought would taste good in my food storage with the solar oven.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My failed potato experiment

I was very excited when I read this website about growing 100 lbs of potatoes in 4 square feet.
I built to boxes & got started. Potatoes are cheap, filling, easy to cook in the solar oven. We especially like ours with Alpine Spice. Super yummy!
I tried it first last spring. I had large, beautiful potato plants, & had added 2 layers of boards. I was using grass clipping & was excited. One by one they went from healthy plants, to completely dead in a few hours. The stalks came off just below the grass clippings & were slimy & smelly. I thought I'd gotten some sort of disease. I asked experts & no one knew what happened.
So I tried it again in a different spot this spring. The same thing happened again. They weren't quite as slimy & smelly, & I did get them to 3 levels, but again my beautiful potato plants died. I was so discouraged! I couldn't think of a cheaper way to get lots of potatoes to store for the winter! And I'm not sure what to try different.
My brother is trying the same thing with dirt in the layers instead of grass. We're wondering if the grass starts to rot & the potatoes were too tall to resist it, so rotted too. But I don't really know. If my brother's dirt method works I'll try that; although finding enough dirt to fill the boxes is tricky. I've also wondered about mixing dirt & grass, to make it more stable but require less dirt. His plants aren't nearly as tall as mine was, & have gone to blossom now. I'll post in the end how it works for him. I'd really love to find a solution, because taking less space to grow lots of potatoes could be a lifesaver!

Little steps will work, but start now!

I know looking at a huge list of items you need to be prepared is VERY overwhelming! It seems like you could never afford to get all of that! So why even start! But I'm here to promise, that if you'll just keep your preparedness in the front of your mind, & start trying to get something every few days, no matter how small, it will really help. For one thing you'll be amazed how quickly your pile starts to add up! Go buy 1 thing this week on the Dollar Store list. Get the free items at Walgreens next week. Learn something new. Of course you can't get it all at once, but it will build quickly. And you'll be blessed for starting & trying. Opportunities will come, & you'll have much more peace of mind knowing you're working on it. I am amazed at what I have stored since I committed myself to it. All in little bits at a time.
At the same time, don't wait to start. The time for putting it off is passing. Do at least one thing TODAY to get yourself going. Don't stress, don't panic, start will small steps, BUT START! YOU CAN DO IT, AND YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!

100 items to stock up on

100 Items to Disappear First
1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.)
15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels)
49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. "Survival-in-a-Can"
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/candies
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/chickens

From a Sarajevo War Survivor:
Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war - death of parents and
friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate
near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war
quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold's.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to
do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without
heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of
the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs
enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in
6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more
valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival
guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll
have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many
people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of
toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to
lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free wasp traps!

We get wasps in our backyard, but those wasp traps start adding up! I hate spending $50 or more of our scant money to trap wasps. I was excited to find something free that really works!
Take your mostly empty jar of jam or jelly. Don't wash it, just fill it about 2/3 with water. The sweet jam will attract the wasps, & drown them. Voila'!

This doesn't work quite as well in the spring. Apparently wasps are more attracted to savory things in the spring, & sweet later in the summer. But it seems like late summer is when the wasps start getting bad outside.

Preserving Eggs without refrigeration

I mentioned this on my chickens post, but thought I'd do it's own for those who weren't interested in chickens. You can preserve eggs for at least 9 months with no refrigeration. I know, I know, I didn't really believe it either! But I tried it last winter & it works! It was great to take all my extra eggs & have them saved all winter; without filling up my fridge!
And for those who don't have chickens, you can still buy eggs when there's a deal, & "put them up" for later. It's also cheap & easy!

All you've got to do is warm up the mineral oil slightly (it spreads easier) and slather it all over your eggs. Put your eggs back in the carton, with the narrow tip facing downwards, and then store them in a cool, dry, place. As an added measure for taste and texture, flip over the eggs every 30 days. It takes very little mineral oil to do this.

Another option:
Store the eggs in a finely ground preservative such as salt, bran, or an equal mix of finely ground charcoal and dry bran or finely ground oats. You can store the eggs layer upon layer, so long as you they don't touch each other, metal, or wood. Be sure you have enough finely ground preservative to pack them in.

Cheap, tasty homemade food storage ice cream!

We love homemade ice cream. But it's such a pain to get the ice, crush it, rock salt, etc. So I was really excited when someone gave me one of these Cusinart ice cream makers.
You keep the bowl in the freezer. When you want ice cream, you put it on the machine, pour the ice cream in, & turn it on. 20 min later...delicousness!!
We made some ice cream last night that I realized was not only out of food storage, but super cheap as well! It's always good to have a treat to boost our spirits, even before the big emergencies strike.

Lemon Sorbet:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice

Combine sugar & water in saucepan & bring to a boil over medium-high heat. REduce heat to low & simmer without stirring until sguar dissoves, about 3-5 min. Cool completely. This is called simple syrup & can be made ahead & kept in fridge until ready to use.
When cool, add lemon juice, stir & put in machine.

This was really zingy tasting, but we loved it. Especially after we added fresh raspberries from our yard! MMMM! Next time I may try crushing the raspberries ahead & adding them before freezing.

And while I do have some lemon juice in my food storage, I also have another cool product I could use for this. It's a powder that makes lemon juice! I got mine at Alpine Food Storage, but Amazon has some as well. We love lemon juice, but you can't grow lemon trees in Utah, so this is a good way to keep it stored.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good deal on emergency radio-flashlights

If you have a Recreation Outlet near you, they have some good deals this week for your preparedness.
$30 hand-crank emergency AM/FM radio-flashlight for $7.99
Solar powered radio-flashlight ($34 on amazon) for $11.99
$6 LED flashlight, pump squeeze handle to charge, no batteries needed, $2.99
These are both great because you don't have to stockpile batteries to run them. Eventually your stockpiled batteries will run out; but you could keep using these. And they're a price even a single mom can afford!

Corn on the Cob in Solar Oven

It's fresh corn on the cob season! My brother tried cooking some in his SOS solar oven this weekend. He just put the corn in there right in the husks. It worked great! He had it in there for about 6 hours. It was cooked probably long before that, but it didn't burn. It just kept it nice & ready. The texture was different than boiling it, but in a good way. We were surprised at how much we liked it. And it was so easy!
The husks did look all weird when we took them out. Faded & discolored. But the corn itself was yummy!

Free photo cards

I love getting codes for free photo cards. I make them ahead of time for birthday's or Christmas. It saves me tons of money & looks nicer than a store bought card. I can't believe how much store cards are these days! Here's one going right now as an example. Great way to get your Christmas cards almost as cheap as the Dollar Store, but with your family photo on them:

Here's how to get your FREE 4x8 photo cards:
  • Register with SeeHere for a new account.
  • Create a 4×8 single flat photo card.
  • Select 20 cards -- this is important because if you select more your shipping will double.
  • Use promotion code 25cards at checkout.
  • Shipping will be just $1.49.

Fabulous Frozen Corn!

I have a guilty admission to make...I'm not really that big a fan of vegetables. I'll eat some salad, fresh corn on the cob...and that's about it. So when I tell you that when I was making this, I COULD NOT STOP EATING IT; you'll understand how amazing that is. Usually frozen corn is ok, but this is soooo good. When we ate it during the winter, it felt like summer had come again.

Shuck Corn.
Cut corn off the cobs. An electric knife works great. Turn a smaller but tall bowl over at the bottom of a large bowl or roasting pan. Rest the corn on the small bowl and cut so that all of the corn falls into the larger bowl. Make sure not to cut too close to the cob.
Put into a pot:
16 cups corn
3 cups water
4 T. sugar (optional)
2 t. salt
½ cup butter (optional)
Mix together, bring to a boil and boil just until the corn becomes translucent (5 minutes.)
Cool and put in freezer bags (juice and all.)

Lion House Bread & Cinnamon Bread

2 cups warm water
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbs yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, shortening or margarine
1 egg
4 1/2-5 cups all purpose or bread flour (it seems like I usually need a bit more flour than this)
1/2 cup butter melted

In electric mixer, combine water & dry milk powder, stirring until milk dissolved. Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg & 2 cups flour. Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet. Mix on medium for 2 min. Add 2 cups flour; mix on lowe speed until ingredients are wet. Mix on medium for 2 min. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time & mix again until dough is soft, not overly sticky, & not stiff.
Let raise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Shape into 3 loaves & raise again, 1-1 1/2 hours. Bake at 375 for 15-20 min. Burhs with melted butter while hot.

After first rise, roll 1/3 of dough out into rectangle, no wider than bread pan. Mix 3/4 c sugar & 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (this is enough for 2 loaves). Either spread melted butter on rolled out dough (my preference) or sprinkle with 1 tsp water. Spread cinnamon & sugar over dough. Roll tightly into loaf shape, pinching edges to seal. Let rise. Just before baking put more melted butter (or sprinkled water) on top & sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. This makes a delicious crust!

Dinner rolls:
After first rising of bread, roll half doug into rectangle 18" x 8", 1/4" thick. Brush with melted butter. With pizza cutter, cut in half vertically so you have 2 strips 4"x18". Then cut horizontally every 2". Roll up dough & place on parchment lined paper. Raise again & bake. My son LOVES these.

This is a very cool bread recipe. Try it with whatever you can think of. I've added onions & cheese, broccoli & cheddar, cinnamon, orange rolls, apple & cinnamon, there's endless possibilities.

Bread in Global Solar Oven

Now the cinnamon bread on the left is huge. I forgot that this recipe makes 3 loaves, not 2, so the pan was too full! But it still tasted yummy!
The white on the other bread is flour from my cutting board.
Both breads browned a lot better than in the SOS. The texture was perfect & they tasted great! They took about an hour to cook. The right side of the white bread is slumped from the cinnamon bread overflowing onto it. My bad! LOL That's what you get when you're trying to cook 2 kinds of bread, pasta & garlic bread at the same time; while also stressing about what's going on with your ex & taking care of your son!
But I'm very excited about how well it worked. The temperature was just over 300 in the oven. It has a really nice swinging plate to put the pans on, so that when you tilt the oven with the leg on the back (to get the best sun with no shadows), the pans don't tilt too.
The recipe I used was the Lion House roll/bread recipe. The cinnamon bread was an adaptation. I'll post the recipes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pasta Roni in solar oven

We got a great deal on Pasta Roni this week, so we wanted to try that in the solar oven. I picked one purposefully that had multiple steps, to see what would happen if you did it in one step. This one said to boil for a while, & then add the milk & boil some more. We got the water hot, & then dumped everything in. The pasta cooked easily...a bit over cooked in 45 min (the reflectors were on the last 15 min). But we made a mistake in trying one we hadn't eaten before. We found the flavor a bit bland, but aren't sure if that's the flavor of that kind, or a result of the solar cooking. But it wasn't bad & you could definitely live on it! Next time I'll try one of our favorites & report back.

*if you're reading this before July 27, 2011, you can get this deal on Pasta Roni or Rice a Roni at Smith's. Buy in multiples of 10 & they're only $.56 each, without coupons! Sale runs through July 26.

Garlic bread in solar oven?

I often use leftover buns or bread to make garlic bread with. It's a great side for many dishes. I just spread butter on slices, and sprinkle with garlic salt & italian seasoning. Sometimes we put parmesan or other cheese on the top. I was wondering how this would work in the solar oven...usually I do this on "broil" in the oven. So today we gave it a try.
We loved it! My son immediately made 4 more & took them out. It cooked quickly, & tasted delicious. It didn't get quite that "browned" on the top that you can get in the oven. It may have if we'd left it longer. But it tasted really good, & I'm glad to know one of my favorite, cheapest side dishes is still doable!

Our new solar oven!

Our Global Solar oven came today. Having this one is a pure luxury. The SOS Sport is cheaper & fits more & will do most everything. But I wanted one that would get to higher temperatures to make baking better. I'm anticipating a day when I will be doing most of my cooking in these, so I want to have everything I want. Of course having anything will be more than most people around!
I really like the leg in the back. It makes it super easy to tilt to get the best sun. It heats up fast! In the time it took me to take 3 photos of my son by it, it had gotten to almost 100 degrees. If you stand where the mirrors are reflecting at you, you can really feel the heat! This is well made, durable, & has a handy carrying handle. Heavier than the SOS, but probably a bit hardier. My 8 year old could carry it so it's not too heavy.
We've got bread raising right now to try in it!

BTW I sell these for anyone interested. The cost is $275 shipped to your home. Includes the WAPI (water pasturization indicator), thermometer, and 1 pot. Utah residents must pay sales tax.
email me if you'd like flyers comparing the 2 emailed to you.

The SOS is $190 shipped, with 2 pots, reflectors, thermometer & WAPI. Can use with or without reflectors.

Free clothing storage!

If things go bad, we adults can probably get by on what clothes we've got for quite a while. But what about our kids? They are going to grow, & soon they could be without clothes, shoes or a coat. But all single mom's are barely able to get keep their kids clothed in their current size. How on earth do we afford to buy those things ahead too?
I've found a perfect solution: clothing exchanges! These are starting to get popular. If there hasn't been one by you, go ahead & organize one. We do one every year with our homeschool group. But you could do it with your church, neighborhood, family, anything! Everyone brings everything they have out grown or are tired of. Everyone leaves with anything they want. I've hosted several of these now, & they get bigger every year. What always amazes me it the amount of clothing we end up with. I see people leaving with huge bags of clothes, but there is always tons leftover! We send the leftovers to a local charity. So it not only helps those who come, but others as well. The quality of the clothing has generally been very good! I almost never buy clothing for us anymore. Occasionally I have to find this years shoes or coat at a garage sale (I find even the second hand stores too pricey), but overall I can get everything we need at these exchanges. You can't beat free! A lot of our country's cotton crop has been lost this year to droughts, so it's likely clothing prices will be going up. This has been such a blessing! Our clothing budget is almost zero. I often find something fun for me too, helps deal with the fact I can't afford to buy anything for myself. And I've stockpiled clothes for my son in future sizes. No matter what happens now, I have at least a few shirts, pants, 1 pair of shoes & a coat in his future sizes. That gives me great peace of mind, which is invaluable! It's also a great way to get church clothes, since those get very little wear. And if you have a girl, you'll be amazed at the adorable, like new clothes you'll find! I do very well for my son too, although jeans without holes in the knees are in high demand. ;)
We've also expanded our exchange into things besides clothes & that's great as well! Get your kids to clear out their old toys or books, & get something new!

Essential Oils

It seems like everyone these days is raving about DoTerra essential oils. Most of my friends use them. I've had mixed results. I love the idea of being able to treat illnesses with less medicine. And there's some I've really liked. But I can't say I'm as enthusiastic as some people I know.

On Guard: This is supposed to boost your immune system & help with illnesses like colds & sore throats. I do know if I put this in hot cranapple juice it feels great on a sore throat. Using it to help not get sick is always a bit tricky to determine because you only know if it doesn't work, there's no way to tell how sick you would have gotten. I've put this on my son's feet a few times & he didn't get sick. I had one horrible sore throat once this didn't help with; but then nothing helped with that, herbal or over the counter (except the broth I posted under "when single mom's get sick).

Past Tense: I occasionally get a tension headache so tried this one. I tried it 3 times and each time my headache got way worse than usual. Perhaps I did something wrong.

Lavendar: This is probably the one I use the most. One thing I use it for is if I wake up in the middle of the night & can't get back to sleep. You know how it is, your brain starts going and you're like "oh no! Sleep silly!". I put a drop on the back of my neck & it really helps. If my son is having a hard time sleeping I do the same for him. I have also put this in a bath with epson salts if I'm sick or think I might be getting sick. After a long hot soak, a herbalist recommended to me to rinse of very quickly in a cold show. As weird as that sounds, it actually feels great, & I'd always though hot baths helped a lot when you're sick.

Breathe: We've tried this on various colds. It helps some. Probably as much as many cold medicines. One problem I think with herbal solutions; is we sort of expect them to work miraculously, even better than regular medicine, or we think it didn't work. It doesn't last as long as medications though, so wasn't my first choice for overnight. I did get some good results using it in a hot bath.

Balance: This is maybe my favorite one. When I get really nasty stuff from my ex (you divorced ladies know what I'm talking about), I get very anxious or upset. This relieves it a lot & shortens it, so I can get back to being a great mom sooner.

Peppermint: Years ago I had a lot of IBS & stomache aches. I figured out that one brand of candy canes helped. I'd buy a bunch after Christmas to get me through the year. I don't have IBS anymore, but it did teach me that peppermint helps with stomach trouble. I take it on trips in case my son gets car sick. And any time one of us has a tummy ache we take some. Tastes good too! I like to put it in hot chocolate. It's also great to mix with water & spray on you on a hot day. Very cooling!

Elevation: I tried this hoping it would keep me awake better at church. No such luck!

Lemon: This does a decent job of cutting mucus. One night I'd tried several medicines for my son's mucusy cough, with no luck. Some lemon cut it enough to finally let him sleep a few hours at a time.

Deep Blue: This does feel good on a sore muscle. It doesn't last as long as a painkiller, but sometimes I just don't want to take a painkiller. And sometimes with minor things, it's enough. It's expensive though!

Oregano: Supposed to be great to help you get better. Again it's hard to say, because you don't know what it would have been like without. I did gargle with it once with the aforementioned very sore throat. You have to be really desperate to do that!!

Massage with oils: This was amazing! I went right after seeing my lawyer, & thought there was no way I'd quit stressing about what was going on with my ex & relax. Before I knew it my mind was a blank & eventually I fell asleep! I've had regular massages, & they're great too. But this one gave me a level of mental relaxation that other massages hadn't. And the effect seemed to hang on for a few days. I would recommend this for any stressed single mom (or anyone else!). I found a deal on one on a coupon site like City Deals so it was very inexpensive.

DigestZen: This does help with minor bowel troubles. I've rubbed it on my tummy before I had to leave somewhere when I was feeling "grumblings" & didn't want to worry about it. For anything more serious though I'd recommend Dr Christophers Lower Bowel Formula. That works if you're plugged or runny. With my son 1 capsule is usually all it takes to set things right.

Overall there's definitely some benefits. There's a few I don't want to be without. I haven't found them to be the cure-all I'd like! But that may be expecting too much!

Feminine unmentionables

Here's an article about female items in an emergency, or long term crisis. I've been getting a lot of these items free or really cheap with coupons & have them stored. But eventually they run out. The reusable kind, or the diva cups are probably the best option for storing because of that. And using them now would save money; something us single mom's need. And I've heard nothing but rave reviews from those using the diva cups. And they are probably the most cost effective solution.

Here's the article:

The topic for today is Sanitation. Feminine sanitation to be exact. The purpose today is to get you thinking and moving in a direction that will make this a non-issue from a preparedness standpoint.
In today's world, if we are female, we typically rely on products each month that are purchased from the local grocery or big box store to handle our stuff. Think for a moment, "Do I have a years (or more) supply of these feminine sanitary supplies?" I know a few who do, you know who you are and "GREAT JOB!" But for the rest of us, What is your plan if they weren't available or if the stores simply didn't have them for whatever reason?
I know what some of you are thinking...."I'm past that stage in my life, Yeah Me" Well what about your daughters, they'll need supplies. Or you might be thinking "Ha ha, I only have sons" For you I'd say, son's will be married at some point and what about grand children? In any event, someone you know would love you to bits if you thought ahead and prepared for them. (Because heaven knows they aren't preparing for themselves)
So how do we handle this? Well, what did the pioneers do? They got through....with rags. That will work but I know we can do better than that and be tons more comfortable. The solution is reusable washable pads. I know ladies, the ICK factor, and 'are you kidding me?' were my first thoughts too. But I got over it when the alternative came into view. We had a class at a RS meeting last year about this topic, I remember the giggles and UGH's that we got at the thought, . We must remember that we have been lovingly commanded to "Prepare EVERY needful thing" I think that this falls in that category.

Make your own: Love this whole site
And you can even buy these premade, here are some sources (there are many more) Reusable Luna cups are an option too, & are also on these sites.