April 8, 2014

An Update on Me and Random Thoughts

This year has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. I haven't written much on my blog because of several health issues. I know what it is like to live with pain on and off. But I'm actually smiling because my perspective of trials has changed. When my knees or my lower back or my neck start complaining, I take it easy. I'm learning not to "run faster than I have strength." Mosiah 4:27

These limitations have given my plenty of time to slow down and ponder who I am and what I should be doing with my life. As I approach my 51st birthday this weekend, I am happy to be alive. I'm blessed with a great family and blessed with challenges that I can learn and grow from. And as Olaf says, "All good things." I wouldn't have it any other way.

I used to wonder why the domino game kept happening to me, but now I understand that He knows I can handle more than I think I can. And I trust Him.

This world is changing and as the signs of the times escalate I've learned to recognize the good in people. My purpose in life is to lift the hands of those that hang down in discouragement. I can't bake bread like others, but I can share happy thoughts on Facebook, drive courteously, share helpful ideas and share my testimony.

As an Emergency Resource Specialist for my ward, I've had the wonderful opportunity to watch our neighborhood emergency plan move forward. It'a a huge undertaking, and it takes a team of great people to pull it off. This weekend we will have a mock emergency drill. It won't be perfect, but we get to learn from it. Our leaders have gone throughout the neighborhood passing out and collecting Emergency Household Information forms. And this experience has increased my faith in people and their desire to help others prepare for disasters.

My daughter who serves a mission in Santiago, Chile has recently felt several earthquakes. The 8.2 quake was far away, but she is accustomed to feeling 5.0 earthquakes. It's hard for mom to be far away and concerned, but I pray to the same Heavenly Father she does and that brings me peace. I know what a strong amazing girl she is, and I know she is being watched over.

I hope those of you who watch General Conference enjoyed it. I loved it! I hope you all choose the right and find happiness.

Best wishes!
Valerie

April 4, 2014

You Are Invited to Watch the LDS General Conference

I am so excited for 184th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Every 6 months, our family watches it on Saturday and Sunday. If we can't catch it all, we record it. I get such a spiritual lift and amazing insight listening to the music and the wonderful speakers. I love taking notes and gathering more counsel and direction for my life. I learn ways to help my family. It is just amazing!

If you have never seen General Conference, check it out at the following link. Consider yourself invited! :-)

How to Watch General Conference on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday April 6 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. MST.

About General Conference

What Should I Expect?

Best Deals at the Smith's Case Lot Sale April 2014

After reviewing the grocery ad for the Smith's (Kroger) case lot sale happening here in Utah, I listed below what I consider to be the best deals. All items at case lot sales are not necessarily the best price in town. So it's important to do some homework. But case lot sales are a great time to stock up on items for your food storage.

During the month of April, I follow my monthly preparedness list, but check out other items I listed below that you want to stock up on. I did not include everything in the store ad, so there are definitely more items you could shop for. But, I tried to give you examples of the best bargains. Here is what I plan to buy:

$28.80 1 case of tuna
$5.00 2 cases of bottled water
$10.00 8 apple juice
$10.20 1 case of pudding snacks
Total: $54.00

Update! I visited Smith's in Bountiful Utah today, and they are letting you buy individual items for the case lot price. A few items I saw were pineapple, tomato sauce and brownie mix. I talked to a worker and she said that some, but not all items in the case lot sale can be purchased individually. This is great for those of you with limited shelf space. You must use your Rewards Card to get the sale price. Good luck stocking up!

Case Lot Deals at Smith's
Water, Bottled 24 ct. case $2.50
Apple Juice, Langers 64 oz., case 10 @$10.00 or $1.25 ea. (Great price!)
Tuna, Chicken of the Sea 5 oz. can, case 48 @$28.80 or .60 ea.
Beans, black, pinto, etc. 15 oz. can, case 24 @$13.20 or .50 ea.
Organic Beans, Simple Truth 15 oz. can, case 12 @$9.48 or .79 ea.
Peanut Butter Creamy or Chunky, Kroger 16 - 18 oz., case 12 @$16.99 or $1.42 ea. (Great price!)
Chunky Soup, Campbell's 18.6-19 oz., case 12 @$12.00 or $1.00 ea.
Fruit, Kroger 15-15.25 oz. can, case 24 @$18.00 or .75 ea.
Pineapple, Dole 20 oz., case 12 @$10.20 or .85 ea. (Great price!)
Tomato Soup, Campbell's 10.75 oz. can, case 48 @$26.40 or .55 ea. (Great price!)
Chicken Noodle Soup, Campbell's 10.75 oz. can, case 48 @$26.40 or .55 ea. (Great price!)
Creamed soups, Kroger 10.5 oz. can, case 24 @$15.60 or .65 (so so)
Broth Beef or Chicken, Kroger 14 oz. can, case 24 @$12 or .50 ea. (Great price!)
Sugar 4 lb. case 10@$15.90 or $1.59 (same as Costco, but in smaller bags)
Tomato Sauce, Kroger 8 oz., case 24 @$4.80 or .20 ea. (Great price!)
Tomatoes, Kroger Diced, etc. 14.5 oz., case 24 @$12.00 or .50 ea.
Evaporated Milk, Kroger 12 oz. can, case 24 @$16.56 or .69 ea.
Snack Pack Pudding, Hunt's 4pk, case 12 @$10.20 or .85 ea.
Brownie Mix, Betty Crocker case 12 @$12.00 or $1.00 ea. (so so)
Vegetable Oil, Kroger case 9 @$17.91 or $1.99 (Great price if you do a lot of baking or frying)
Flour, Kroger 5 lb. case 8 @ $13.20 or $1.65 (Low price for 5 lb. size but less at Costco for 25 lb.)
Shredded Cheese, Tillamook (fresh) 1 @$10.99 or $2.20 per lb.(Great price! Freeze it. $15.00 at Sam's Club)

Helpful articles
How to Shop at Case Lot Sales

April 1, 2014

General Conference Activity Notebook for Primary Kids

Sometimes it's difficult for children to enjoy watching the LDS General Conference twice a year on television. But if you prepare in advance and make this event an important tradition in your family, kids will look forward to it each year. 

I taught a Relief Society class in my ward once about helping children enjoy the LDS General Conference. The moms and grandmas put together an activity notebook for children ages 6 - 11, so I am sharing my ideas. The cool thing about this notebook, is once you have your binder made, you can remove and add new pages every 6 months.

There are so many great ideas online, so my notebook has a-bit-of-this and a-bit-of-that. It's easy to customize. Look through the links, then print what you need for your own child.

More ideas can be found on my Pinterest General Conference for Kids board. And there are new April 2013 Notebooks at SugarDoodle for various ages. You can print just the pages you want to add. Have fun creating your notebook!

General Conference Notebook for Primary Kids
  • Use a 1 inch clear-view cover binder for each child.
  • Buy 5 tab divider pages and label them: My Notes, Coloring Pages, Activity Pages, Family Games, For Parents
  • Print any of the copies below that you wish.
  • Hole-punch your copies.
  • Put the copies in the notebook in the suggested sections below or any way you wish.
  • You may need to add some sheet protectors to hold game pieces like Bingo cards.
  • Provide colored markers, crayons, pencils and treats for your child.
COVER PAGE
Step 1: print Cover page pdf  (Love this picture by Beth Whittaker!) 


or this Jenny Phillips cover page. There are more ideas at that link.
Step 2: print these section title pages or create some of your own.
Step 3: glue stick or staple the section title pages to your 5 tab dividers. You may have to trim them depending on your divider pages.

MY NOTES SECTION
Step 4: At this link, print Latter-Day Prophets pages 4 - 12 for your child to take notes or draw notes on. You might like that cover instead of mine.

COLORING PAGES SECTION
Step 5: Print any of the coloring pages you want:
"God's Prophets and Apostles Speak to Us in General Conference" at LDS.org
"I Will Follow the Prophet" at LDS.org or anything else from this link.
"Prophets Teach Me How to Strengthen My Family"
"Jesus Created The Earth for Me" at LDS.org (It's the same as my cover)
"Prophets Speak For Heavenly Father" at LDS.org
Conference listen, then color pages at the same link
"The Resurrection" by Harry Anderson at LDS.org
"Jesus Christ Loves Everyone" at LDS.org (scroll down)
"Jesus Christ Created The Earth As a Place Where I Can Choose The Right" at LDS.org
"I Can Show Reverence For Sacred Places and Things" at LDS.org

ACTIVITIES SECTION
Step 6: Print any of the activity pages you want:
"Salt Lake Temple" dot-to-dot or another others from About.com
"Mary at the tomb" dot-to-dot at LDS.org (scroll down)
"The Gold Plates" dot-to-dot at my CTRRing.com
"Liahona" dot-to-dot at LDS.org (scroll down)
"Noah's Ark" maze at LDS.org (scroll way down)
"Latter-day Prophet" maze at Food Storage and Beyond page 16. Another packet!
"Mexico City Temple" dot-to-dot at LDS.org
"Joseph Smith" dot-to-dot at LDS.org
"We Do Not Doubt" dot-to-dot at LDS.org
"Easter" crossword puzzle at LDS.org
"Sacrament" dot-to-dot at LDS.org
"Missionary" dot-to-dot at LDS.org
"Latter-Day Prophet" word search at LDS.about.com (2 per page)
Current "Prophet and Apostle" word search at LDS.about.com (2 per page)
"Article of Faith #5 or #6" word search at LDS.about.com (2 per page) or another one.
"I Love My Family" search and find at LDS.org
"Service Project" search and find at LDS.org
"The First Easter" story with word pictures (in color)
"Noah's Ark" cut outs at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"King Benjamin Teaches the People" color-as-you-read page at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"King Benjamin" color and cut out
"Word of Wisdom" hidden pictures at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"Jesus Christ Will Come Again" multiplication activity at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"Remember Jesus During the Sacrament" picture wheel (scroll down)
"Conference Hidden Pictures" Two pictures
"Follow the Prophet" hidden picture. Print in grayscale to save on ink.
"Getting to Know Our Church Leaders" Cut pictures of 15 living apostles and match to name.
"General Conference Word Search"
Tracer Pages at KidZone.com. Make your own tracing-the-words pages for younger children. You can create a page for your child to practice their printing of any word you wish. Some examples are your child's name, "Jesus," "Prophet," "Love," "Family," "Temple," etc. Instructions: Go to link. Click "Blank (No pictures)," and then "block" lettering. Put a word (10 letters and spaces or less) in the blank space and copy to all boxes.

FAMILY GAMES SECTION
Between sessions, play some games as a family.
Print a General Conference Bingo cards for each family member from LDS.org
Print page 10 Apostles First Name/Last Name match from JennyPhillips.com
Go to LDS.org and let your child play "Articles of Faith Memory Quest"
After conference activity tree idea here at Food Storage and Beyond
Take a video tour of the Conference Center.

FOR PARENTS SECTION
"Helps for Parents" printable handout from my class (see below). Keep this in the binder so you can refer to it again. Or add any other handouts you find helpful. A few weeks before conference, come back to this page and print something new for your child.

Helps for Parents  “It is when children are young that parents must be innovative in helping them develop good habits regarding conference participation. As our children are given opportunities to observe and learn the role of these special witnesses, they will receive a spiritual confirmation of the sacred calling of their Church leaders, and they will feel a deeper love for and interest in these leaders and their message.” Elder Neil L. Andersen

Before Conference
• Make general conference a priority by mark it on your family calendars.
• During family prayer, pray for the speakers several weeks before conference.
• If possible, devote the entire weekend to your family and conference. Take time off work.
• Complete homework, chores and shopping by Friday night.
• Prepare food menus to make food preparation easier.
• Serve a traditional family favorite breakfast or lunch.
• Prepare conference treats in baggies such as yogurt covered raisins, granola, cereal, etc.
• The week before conference, spend a little time every day talking to your children about how exciting it will be to get to hear the prophet talk to us.
• Have a special family home evening lesson about “Following the Prophet.”

Room Set up

• If the goal is to keep everyone in the same room for one or all sessions of general conference, then take some time to set up the room.
• Make sure everyone has a comfortable place to sit. Small children will need floor space to play.
• Bring in a tote with a variety of favorite toys for young children.
• Kids who can’t sit still for long could do an activity at a small table in the same room like play dough or Legos. Or use a kitchen table adjacent to the room where the T.V. will be on.
• One family set their room up to look like a tent imagining they lived in the days of King Benjamin.
• Put a bowl of fruit on the sofa table and some drinks.
• Have notebooks and pencils ready. Older children can take notes in a special spiral notebook purchased just for conference.
• Fill small buckets or bowls with candy or snack on your fireplace mantle. As children hear words on the containers, such as “temple,” “family prayer,” etc., let them enjoy a small treat.

During Conference

• Tell children to remember the stories by drawing a picture or writing words or a sentence about what they hear. Be an example by taking notes yourself.
• Reverence is a worthy goal, but not always realistic with young children in the room. Quiet voices may be the best you can get.

Between Sessions
• Spend time between conference sessions showing old family movies, playing games, or taking a walk.
• Play general conference bingo. (See http://www.lds.org/general-conference/children?lang=eng)
• Have a family picnic indoors or outdoors
• On Saturday, go out for frozen yogurt
• Or while Dad is at the priesthood session on Saturday, start a tradition by taking kids for ice cream, or going to the park.

After Conference

• During family home evening the week after conference, let family members share stories, pictures or messages they learned from their notebooks.

Family Recipes
List a few family recipes you may want to become a tradition during general conference weekend. Breakfast Ideas 
Lunch Ideas
Snack Ideas 

You may also want to read "Preparing Our Children for General Conference" at LDS.org

I'm getting excited for General Conference! Hope you are too. 

(New items added to this post!)

March 29, 2014

April Emergency Preparedness Goals - Soup, Fish, Beans and Sanitation Supplies

A new month is upon us, and this is one of the best months to gather items for your food storage and emergency preparedness. Spring always brings with it a fresh start. So if you feel behind, no worries. Make April a month to get refocused on preparedness.

During this month, my food storage focus is beans, fish and soups. I also focus on sanitation and hygiene. Stock up on spiritual preparedness by attending or viewing the LDS General Conference this weekend.

For my printable monthly list, click below.


In my short-term supply of everyday foods (that's stuff in my pantry), I will be stocking up on prepared canned beans. There are so many to choose from: kidney, refried, garbanzo, black beans . . . whatever you love is what you will want to store. The possibilities are endless! Beans for salads, beans for soups, beans for chili. Beans, beans and more beans. I love our Utah case lot sales which start this week because you can find these beans on sale for about 50 cents a can. Smith's (Kroger) usually does not break the case, but some of you may need a whole case of one type.

We will also gather canned fish. This could be tuna or salmon in cans, or even in pouches. A great source of Omega 3 and protein. It usually has a 3 - 5 year shelf life, but check your product to be sure. Fish mixed with other items like mayonnaise has a much shorter shelf life. Tuna is usually about 60 cents a can during the Utah case lot sales. However, you can always find it at other stores as well. Costco and Sam's Club both carry tuna and salmon. It is best stored in a cool (75 degrees or less), dry place. Not in your garage.

The other item to gather is soup. There are so many options here as well. Check your favorite recipes to see what kinds of soups you regularly use. Creamed soups, tomato soup or prepared soups are fine. Whatever works for your family. Condensed soups are about 50 cents at the case lot sales.

In our short and long-term supply of foods, we will gather dry beans or lentils. If properly stored with an oxygen absorber packet in #10 cans or Mylar bags, these may be kept for 30 years. However, learn how to cook with beans. I have a weakness here, because I'm not good with dry beans. But some of you are over-the-top with dry bean knowledge. There are some great resources on cooking with dry beans and I have a list of recipes here. During the case lot sale, you can find 20 lb. bags of black beans for $18.00 and pinto beans for $16.00, but you can always get a 25 lb. bag of black or white beans at the LDS Home Storage Center.

Okay. No one likes to talk about emergency sanitation and hygiene, but it is so important. Our bodies have to do their thing, and we have to learn how to deal with it if there is an emergency. Those of you with little children will want to have a good supply of baby wipes and diapers always around. We also need to have cleaning items on hand that will help us with our food sanitation safety. This month we need to do some studying, and then teach our families and friends.

Good luck with your preparedness goals! You are never behind. Any step forward is still a step forward. Let me know what you think of this month's goals.

Valerie

I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day 
with a pure heart and clean hands?
I say unto you, can you look up, 
having the image of God 
engraven upon your countenances?
Alma 5:19

March 25, 2014

Smith's Case Lot Sale begins April 2, 2014 in Utah


Heads up. If you are coming to Utah for General Conference, and have some room in your car, pick up a few cases of food at the Smith's (Kroger) case lot sale starting Wednesday, April 2. It will last for about 2 weeks or while supplies last. During the month of April, I gather soup, fish and beans for our family. I will do a price comparison next week.

March 6, 2014

10 Mistakes I've Made With Food Storage

Some of you think I know everything about food storage. Maybe I know more than some of you, but I definitely don't know everything. I'm really good at gathering, but I have a B- in cooking skills. I will give myself an A+ for effort though. Over the years that I've been gathering food storage I've made some big mistakes, and I want to share them with you so you don't make the same mistakes.

10 Mistakes I've Made With Food Storage
  1. Storing someone else's idea of what I should store in our food storage. Big mistake! We don't eat what someone else does. I tried that and ended up with so much ketchup that I've been tossing it in the trash. Even though I share a list of ideas of what I store, your kids may not like it. I've also looked at the big lists food storage companies figure out for you for a year's supply, but that isn't exactly how we live each day. So, store what YOU eat, not what I eat or someone else eats.
  2. Believing I could create a vegetable garden like the farmer down the street. Hello! What was I thinking? I'm a mini gardener. For that matter, a micro-mini gardener. Reality has set in. My garden will always be small. Though I do want to try growing some indoor tomato plants. 
  3. Believing I will someday be an amazing canner like my Relief Society president. Her skills are amazing, but they took her years to perfect. I do better at shopping for food rather than canning it. I think my skills are fantastic just in another way. And I think it is acceptable to the Lord.
  4. Storing food my family will not eat, and I won't ever eat. Yes, those cans of carrots and pork and beans just sit and sit on the shelf. I thought the yams would be a good idea too, but no, no, no.
  5. Spending money on "instant" food storage that my family doesn't eat. Now I know some my readers sell "instant" food storage and some of you eat it. And if it works for you, great. It just isn't the way I cook every day. I try to store what we normally eat so our bodies are accustomed to it. I don't want to force my family to eat food they don't want to in an emergency either. I'm a softie.
  6. Storing food in the garage where the heat ruins its shelf life. Okay. I actually haven't done this, because I learned early on that the garage has fluctuating temperatures that foods do not like. Read this post about what happens to wheat when it's improperly stored. So, I store every food item inside my house in cool, dark, dry places.
  7. Not taking regular food storage inventories and then buying something I already have. This is one thing I still have a hard time with. I try to check my supplies before I shop. But if someone else puts the case of peanut butter away in a different location, I can't be blamed for buying another case of peanut butter. :-) Inventory taking is important. We do it with our refrigerated food, and we need to do it with our shelf-stable food.
  8. Storing wheat in buckets I can't lift. I know some of you like those big buckets, but I'm not a fan. I'm very impatient when I want to get to food in our storage room. If I can't lift it, I don't buy it. I do have a few buckets for storing bags of brown sugar or sugar. I just put a Gamma lid on the bucket for easy access and keep those buckets on a lower shelf.
  9. Putting oxygen absorber packets in #10 cans of sugar. Huge mistake we made years ago. It made the granulated sugar turn into a rock! I don't know if that always happens, but it did in our case.
  10. Buying too much of one item; then discovering it has gone past its shelf life because we can't eat it fast enough. I made this mistake several times. I did it with peanut butter. I did it with oil. I did it was canned carrots and ketchup and salad dressing. It is so much better to buy a little bit here and a little bit there rather than a bunch of food all at once. This helps vary the shelf lives. Patience and self-control are important qualities.
There is hope and wisdom in this statement from the First Presidency (leaders) of my church. It keeps me balanced. I underlined a few phrases for emphasis:
      “Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others. We encourage members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.” All Is Safely Gathered In
This doesn't mean I have to be perfect. But I should be prepared and be wise. I hope these ideas help some of you. Don't beat yourself up for your mistakes. Just keep on keeping on!

March 3, 2014

It's Spring Case Lot Sale Time in Utah!

If you're looking for some good prices on everyday food storage items, check out the Utah case lot sales starting this week! I compared prices with my Fall 2013 price list, and have listed what I consider are some great deals several stores. Take advantage of these steep discounts while supplies last.

As always, I try not to blow our budget on these sales, but focus on what is really needed after taking an inventory of my supplies and it has worked for me. This month I'm focusing on tomatoes and pasta and a few items I didn't get last month when I focused on breakfast items.

And look for that $5.00 off coupon in some of the ads when you buy 5 Augason Farms items over $9.99.

Sale Starts Monday, March 3
Dicks Market
Fresh Market
Winegars
Lee's

Sale Starts Tuesday, March 4
Peterson's

Sale Starts Wednesday, March 5
Maceys
Bowman's

(Most stores will let you buy early. Let me know if you hear of other sales.)

A Sample of Prices You May See
WF Bottled Water 24 pk. - $2.50 ($1.99 at Bowmans!)
WF Pasta 48 oz. - 2/$5.00
WF Canned Tomatoes - .50 ea. (.38 at Maceys & Bowmans!)
Hunt's Pasta Sauce 24 oz. - .88 ea.
WF Vegetables - .50 ea.
WF Mandarin Oranges  - .59 (.38 at Maceys & Bowmans!)
WF Canned Fruit - .88
WF Green Chiles - .50 ea. (.38 at Maceys & Bowmans!)
WF Refried Beans - .59 ea. (.38 at Maceys & Bowmans!)
WF Canned Specialty Beans - .50 ea. (.38 at Macey's & Bowmans!)
WF Macaroni & Cheese - .39 ea.
WF Peanut Butter 18 oz - $1.66 ea.
Pompeian Ex. V. Olive Oil 68 oz. 9.99
WF Albacore Tuna 5 oz, - .99 ea. (amazing!)
WF Creamed soups - .69 (.49 at Maceys & Bowmans!)
WF Tomato & Chicken Noodle soup - .55 (.38 at Maceys & Bowmans)
WF Broth - .59 (.38 at Maceys!)
WF Chili - .88
Apple Juice 64 oz. - $1.50 ea.
Morning Moos #10 Milk alternative - $9.99
Augason Farms #10 Dry Whole Eggs - $16.99
Whole Red or White Wheat 50 lb bag - $14.99
Krusteaz Pancake mix 10 lb. - $6.99 (about the same as Costco)
WF Pancake Mix 7 lb. - $5.98 at Bowmans
Mrs. Buttersworth Pancake Syrup 2 pk. 64 oz. - $6.99 (about the same as Costco)
WF Pancake Syrup 128 oz. - $5.98 (at Maceys & Bowmans)
WF Cake Mix - .88 ea. (amazing!)
WF Brown or Powdered Sugar 32 oz. - .99 (amazing!)
WF Sugar 4 lb. - $1.49 (about the same as Costco)
WF Salad dressing or mayo 30 oz. - $1.99
WF Oatmeal 42 oz. - $1.99
WF Instant Oatmeal packets - $1.50
WF Olives 6 oz. - .99
WF Ketchup - .99
Seasoning mixes - .33 ea.
Crest Toothpaste - .99 ea. (Fresh Market & Bowmans)

WF = Western Family brand sold in Utah

You are welcome to copy and past this list. Good luck stocking up!

More ideas
How I Shop at Case Lot Sales
My Fall 2013 Case Lot Sale Price List (still useful this year)
Western Family products and recipes - if you ever wanted to see all the products, check this link out.



March 1, 2014

March Emergency Preparedness Goals - Tomatoes/Pasta and First Aid

During the month of March, I like gather tomato products and pasta. For those of you living in Utah you can find some the items I like to gather at case lot sales. I stopped at Fresh Market tonight and they already have cases of food set up for their sale that starts next week. I am guessing other stores like Dick's, Peterson's, Winegar's, Lee's, Bowman's and Kents will have case lot sales as well. Smith's has their American Beauty pasta on sale for .59 cents this week.

If you live outside of Utah, it's still helpful to focus on a category of food items to gather each month so you spread the expense out over the year. It's easy to get overwhelmed if you try to buy a bunch of food. If you follow my suggestions, you can gather food throughout the year and your items will be naturally rotated so they don't lose their shelf life.

Personally, I like to gather a 6 month supply of canned tomatoes and pasta, but you could certainly gather a smaller amount. I don't like to gather more than that because I've discovered we don't go through some food as fast as I had hoped for. Six months from now I buy some more to add to my supply again. Do whatever your family can afford and what you have space for.

Here is the list I of items I work on for my family during March:

(You are free to print this list and share with others. But please mention my site.)

Tomato based products have a shorter shelf life of 12 to 18 month, so it's best to buy regularly. Dry pasta lasts about 2 to 3 years if you buy it in bags or boxes and keep it in a sealed container in your cool pantry. But the LDS spaghetti and macaroni sealed in #10 cans or Mylar bags, can be stored for 30 years. The key is cool, dark and dry. If your kitchen gets warm like the summer, the shelf life of your food will decrease. I like to keep a supply of short-term plastic wrapped and long-term pasta in cans.

If you want to wait until you harvest your own tomatoes later this year, do so. You could focus on pasta this month and another tomato item you don't can yourself. Also, if you don't make spaghetti sauce from scratch, you could by pre-made pasta sauce instead. If that's the way your family does it, than go for it.

The thing I love about food storage, is everyone can gather the perfect supply for their family. You don't have to get anything I suggest or someone else suggests. You build a supply that works for your family so they will eat it. Food storage for your family, your way.

Regarding emergency preparedness, now is a great time to update your first aid items. You want to have a good first aid kit, some general medical supplies and medicine always on hand for those emergencies that can and will happen.

And this month, my spiritual focus is to Be Charitable. One way to do that is to give blood to the Red Cross. There is always a need. So call to find out where you can donate.

Best wishes to you and your family on your adventures in food storage. You CAN do it!

Valerie

"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; 
that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings 
ye are only in the service of your God."


    February 16, 2014

    Breakfast Foods for Food Storage. How much to store?

    Breakfast foods are easy to gather for food storage and that is what I focus on buying in February. I love it because I know that if I had nothing else to eat, we could survive on breakfast foods. Or if we had a short term emergency such as job loss or illness, having some breakfast items on the shelf would really come in handy. I thought I would share how I figure out how much to store. You just need a calculator, some basic recipes and food labels from the items you want to store.

    1. Look On Your Shelf For Shelf-Stable Breakfast Foods
    Shelf-stable means they can sit on your shelf without requiring refrigeration until opened. I store items which can be stored for about a year. Some much longer like my oats and wheat. Some foods I like to store are oats, breakfast cereal, granola, dehydrated apple slices, brown sugar, pancake mix, pancake syrup, powdered sugar, powdered milk, and oil. I don't store powdered scrambled eggs because we don't eat them for breakfast. And if we don't eat them regularly, they just sit and sit on the shelf until I eventually toss them out which defeats the whole purpose of being frugal. I've also learned that storing foods your body is not accustomed too can upset the tummy or cause gastrointestinal problems. So I store what we eat, and we eat what Mom stores.


    2. Create A 7-Day Menu. 
    That's super easy! My family normally eats fresh foods daily, but if we didn't have much money or a disaster struck, we would use some of the menus below. You will see that I repeat the least expensive meals several times so the total is 7 menus. The least expensive meals usually have long-term ingredients like oats and wheat. Perfect for food storage!

    My kids don't drink dry powdered milk, so I listed a milk alternative called Augason Farms Morning Moos for milk drinking. You might be the family that drinks warm dry powdered milk with your cereal, but my kids won't.

    Here are some food storage breakfast menu ideas:
      • 3x OATMEAL: oatmeal, dry powdered milk, apple slices, brown sugar, canned fruit
      • 2x WHEAT PANCAKES: homemade wheat pancakes, pancake syrup, Morning Moos powdered milk to drink
      • 1x BREAKFAST CEREAL: variety, Morning Moos powdered milk, food bar
      • 1x WAFFLES: pancake mix, pancake syrup, powdered sugar, Morning Moos powdered milk to drink
      3. Figure Out How Many Meals Per Person You Need
      It takes time to figure out amounts. But it's worth it. Multiply a weeks worth of food by 12 weeks, then that total by the number of adults to come up with total servings. My example shows 4 adults. I broke the ingredients down per serving (ps) in the parenthesis to make it easier to multiply by the total servings. Then I looked at food labels to figure out the amounts in the containers I want to store. That's a little tricky, but I've given you some Tips that will help if you are storing similar items.

      Here are my details:

      Oatmeal Breakfast: 3 menus x 12 weeks = 36 x 4 adults = 144 total servings
      Tips: LDS #10 Can of Quick Rolled Oats makes 30 servings
      LDS #10 Can of Non-fat Dry Powdered milk = 207 tablespoons 64
      LDS #10 Can of Dehydrated Apple slices = 21 1 ounce servings
      48 teaspoons of brown sugar in 1 cup
      • 5 LDS #10 cans oats (1/2 c. ps)
      • 2/3 LDS #10 can dry powdered milk (1 T milk ps)
      • 3 1/2 LDS #10 cans apple slices (1/2 ounce ps)
      • 3 cups brown sugar (1 t. ps)
      • 36 cans fruit (29 oz. or 2 15 oz. cans)
      Blender Wheat Pancake Breakfast: 2 menus x 12 weeks = 24 x 4 adults = 96 total servings
      Tips: LDS #10 Can of Wheat = 14 cups wheat (who knew?)
      #10 Augason Farms Dried Whole Eggs has 177 Tablespoons (just fixed this amount!) (all manufactures have different amounts in their cans, so check your label)
      8.1 oz. Clabber Girl Baking Powder = 15 Tablespoons
      26 oz. Morton Salt = 122 tsp
      • 3.5 #10 cans whole wheat kernels (.5 c.)
      • 2 #10 cans egg powder (1 T ps)
      • 3 8.1 oz. baking powder (.5 T ps) 
      • 1/3 #10 can dry milk powder (1.5 T ps)
      • 48 oz. cooking oil (1 T ps)
      • 96 oz. honey (1 T ps)
      • 2.5 salt containers (1/2 tsp)
      • 1.5 64 oz. pancake syrup (1/4 c.)
      • 6 cups powdered sugar (1/8 c.)
      • 2 #10 cans Morning Moos (2 T per serving)

      Cereal Breakfast: 1 menu x 12 weeks  x 4 adults = 48 total servings
      Tips: All boxes of breakfast cereal are NOT created equal.
      16 oz. Lucky Charms = 12 1 cup servings
      14 oz. Kroger Granola = 8 1/2 cup servings
      I estimated 1 box to have 10 servings. If you eat more, figure differently.
      Morning Moos Milk Alternative = 26 x 2 T servings
      • 5 boxes of cereal (1 cup ps)
      • 2 #10 cans Morning Moos (2 T ps)
      • 48 Nature Valley Sweet & Salty nut food bars (1 ps)
      Waffles from Mix Breakfast: 1 menu x 12 weeks = 12 x 4 adults = 48 total servings
      Tips: 64 oz. Mrs. Butterworth's Syrup has 32 x 1/4 cup servings
      Morning Moos Milk Alternative = 26 x 2 T servings
      10 lb. Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix has 90 x 1/3 c. servings
      48 oz. cooking oil = 96 Tablespoons
      • 1/2 bag 10 lb. pancake mix (1/3 c. ps)
      • 24 oz. cooking oil (1/2 T ps)
      • 1.5 64 oz. pancake syrup (1/4 c.)
      • 6 cups powdered sugar (1/8 c.)
      • 2 #10 cans Morning Moos to drink (2 T ps)
      4. Create One List
      Consolidate all the food onto one big list, and bingo! You know what to store for breakfast. I checked off completed items, and then made a grocery list after subtracting what I have on my shelf. But I'm just showing you the total amounts. Now I know what I need to buy this month and where I can buy it. Easy!

      Shop at the LDS Home Storage Center
      • 3 1/2 LDS #10 cans apple slices
      • 5 LDS #10 cans oats ✓
      • 1 LDS #10 can dry powdered milk ✓
      • 3.5 LDS #10 cans whole wheat kernels ✓
      Shop at Costco
      • 96 oz. or 6 lbs. honey ✓
      • 3 x 64 oz. pancake syrup
      • 1/2 bag pancake mix ✓
      • 48 Nature Valley Sweet & Salty nut food bars ✓
      • 3 cups brown sugar ✓
      • 12 cups powdered sugar ✓
      Shop at any Grocery Store
      • 3 x 8.1 oz. baking powder ✓
      • 2.5 x 26 ox. salt containers ✓
      • 5 boxes of cereal ✓
      • 1.5 x 48 oz. cooking oil ✓
      Wait for the Spring Case Lot Sales
      • 2 #10 cans egg powder
      • 6 #10 cans Morning Moos
      • 36 cans fruit ✓
      You won't eat this way everyday, but it's nice to know you have extra food on your shelf when do need it. I spent a few hours figuring this list out. I know you can do it too, and you will probably come up with better menus than mine. Please excuse any errors in my math. :-) I rounded in some places. Let me know if you find huge mistakes (I found one), and please share some breakfast menus with us.

      So, get moving and gather some breakfast items this month. I know you CAN do it!

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