April 6, 2015

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

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

Dear Valerie: "I'm the Relief Society activity leader in our ward, and we're supposed to be having an activity next month doing 72 hour kits. The thing is...I'm overwhelmed! I don't have any idea how to pull this off. Everyone has different needs, tastes in foods, etc. Some already have supplies, others don't. Do you have a suggestion on how to go about organizing, determining needs, purchasing (so one person doesn't have to spend a ton of money and then get reimbursed)? Our president also wants the sisters to assemble a few extra that night to donate to the women's shelter. Is it reasonable for me to organize the purchase of backpacks, food, tools, etc. or should we focus on a partial 72 hour kit? I'm dying here! :) No clue how to make this work and hoping for some suggestions. Doing kits for your own family is challenging enough, but trying to do this for all the sisters at an activity night seems really hard. Any ideas and suggestions you can offer would be very appreciated. Thank you!"

Overwhelmed Relief Society Leader

Dear Reader: "First of all let me say I did this years ago in a ward, and it was a HUGE undertaking and was highly stressful for me. Second of all, It is better to teach a woman how to fish, than to fish for her. I don't think it is part of your calling to do the shopping for everyone. It takes months of planning to pull it off. You are right that every family is unique. Diets, finances and children's ages are unique. Some elderly women cannot carry a backpack. My items are in a carry-on suitcase with wheels. Love it! So here are my suggestions for you:

  1. Make your own kit.
  2. Have everything laid out on a table not in the kit.
  3. Pack your kit in front of them and discuss the items you are putting in it.
  4. Realize that everything cannot fit in a backpack. For instance a 3-day supply of water is 3 gallons, so put some bottles of water in your backpack and some on the table. Also a sleeping bag may not fit in the pack. Sure they could buy those super expensive compact ones, but most family budgets can't afford that. I keep our kits, sleeping bags and a few cases of bottled water in the front all emergency closet.
  5. Teach by showing and motivating. Be SUPER excited to tell them what you have learned. Be honest and tell them what you would have done differently.
  6. Print a list of items to go in a 72-Hour kit.
  7. Send around a list for them to sign up for a reminder call one month from today.

As far as a few kits for the women's shelter, if your ward can afford that (plan on $75 - $100 depending on what is put in the kits) that is up to your bishop. How about have the sisters donate toiletries, lotion, journal and pen, etc. or some items to add to a kit for the shelter."

Best wishes, Valerie

March 30, 2015

Smith's Food Storage Case Lot Sale Deals April 2015


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

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

I'll be focusing on gathering soup, fish and beans this month since that is my April food storage focus. But pick up whatever you need. If you can't buy a case, look down the regular store aisles since most items will be at the case lot price.

A few other great Smith's deals:
Strawberries 1 lb. for $1.25 per lb. A great price for freezer jam!
Barilla Pasta 12-16 oz. $.49 ea. in the Buy 10 sale
Land O'Lakes or Challenge Butter $1.99 in the Buy 10 sale

SMITH'S CASE LOT SALE

BEVERAGES
Kroger Water 16.9 oz. 24 pk. $2.50 (but have seen for $1.99)
Langer's 100% Apple Juice 64 oz. $1.50 8 for $12.00 (ok, but have seen for $1.25)

SOUPS/BROTH
Kroger Broth 14 oz. .50 ea. or 24 for $12.00
Simple Truth Organic Broth 32 oz. $1.25 or 12 for $15.00
Campbell's Cream of Chicken or Mushroom Soup 10.5 oz. $.90 or 48 for $43.20
Campbell's Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soup 10.75 oz. $.55 or 48 for $26.40
Campbell's Chunky Soup various 18.6 - 19 oz. $1.00 or 12 for $12.00

MEAT & BEANS
Bumble Bee Tuna in water 5 oz. $.50 ea. or 48 for $24.00 (Great deal!)
Kroger Beans various 15 oz. $.55 ea. or 24 for $13.20
Simple Truth Organic Beans various 15 oz. $.79 ea. or 12 for $9.48
Hormel Chili w/beans 15 oz. $1.10 ea. or 12 for $13.20 (have seen $.88)
VanCamp's Pork & Beans 15 oz. $.50 ea. or 24 for $12.00
Kroger Breakfast Sausage Links (fresh) 12 oz. $1.99 ea. or 12 for $23.88
Jennie-O Ground Turkey 90% lean (fresh) 16 oz. $1.99 ea. or 12 for $23.88

OILS & FATS
Kroger Peanut Butter 28 oz. $1.25 ea. or 12 for $14.99 (Lowest I've ever seen! Can't pass it up.)
Kroger Vegetable Oil various $1.99 ea. or 9 for $19.91

TOMATOES
Kroger Tomato Sauce 8 oz. $.20 ea. or 24 for $4.80
Kroger Tomatoes various $.50 ea. or 24 for $12.00
Hunt's Pasta Sauce 24 oz. $.80 ea. or 12 for $9.60
Prego Pasta Sauce 14.5-24 oz. $1.50 ea. or 12 for $18.00

FRUIT
Kroger Fruit pears, peaches, various 15-15.25 oz. $.75 or 24 for $18.00 (amazing!)
Kroger Mandarin Oranges 11 oz. $.50 or 24 for $12.00

VEGETABLES
Libby's Vegetables various 14.5-15 oz., $.50 or 12 for $5.99

DAIRY
Kroger Evaporated Milk 12 oz. $1.00 or 24 for $24.00 (Have seen for $.69)
Horizon Organic Chocolate or Vanilla Milk 8 oz. $.88 ea. or 12 for $10.56 (less at Costco)
Tillamook Shredded Cheese 5 lb. $12.99 or $2.60 per lb. (about Costco or Sam's)
Oakdell Medium Eggs 5 dozen $4.99

PASTA
Maruchan Ramen Noodles 3 oz. $.14 ea. or 24 for $3.42
Hamburger Helper various $.88 ea. or 12 for $10.56
Chef Boyarde Pasta 14.5-12 oz. $.85 or 24 for $20.40 (have seen for $.79)
Annie's Macaroni & Cheese 5.25-6 oz. $.89 or 12 for $10.68

GRAINS
Botan Calrose Rice 20 lb. $12.99 (LDS, Costco, Sam's cheaper)

BAKING SUPPLIES
Betty Crocker Cake Mix or Brownies $1.00 ea. or 12 for $12.00
p$$t Sugar 4 lb. $1.79 or 10 for $17.90 (have seen for $1.59)
Kroger Flour 5 lb. $1.69 ea. or 8 for $13.52 (ok price for a small bag, but cheaper at Costco for large bag)
Krusteaz Pancake Mix 5 lb. $3.49 ea. or 6 for $20.94 (cheaper at Costco or Smith's)
Kroger Pancake Syrup 24 oz. $1.49 ea. or 12 for $17.88 (ok price, cheaper in 64 oz.)


Early this morning after a workout at the gym, I ran over to Smith's in Farmington and saw the grocers quickly finishing the case lot display. I bought a few cases of peanut butter, because at $1.25 ea., that's a steal of a deal. Don't pester me about not getting the healthy peanut butter.


I scurried down the baking aisle and grabbed two 48 oz. bottles of Kroger Canola oils for $1.99 each. I only grab a few oils every few months, because I don't to buy it by the case and then have it expire at the same time. 


With strawberries at $1.25 a lb., I picked up 6 of those to make some freezer jam with my daughter who is home for spring break. I know you expected me to buy more food at this case lot sale, but I'm pretty well stocked up especially after visiting the LDS Home Storage Center last week. I'll be checking out the Macey's sale in a few weeks. I sure hope you have success with your food storage. I know you CAN!

March 29, 2015

My Visit to The Layton Home Storage Center


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


Everything was nicely displayed to show how you can buy individual items or a box of items. The pouches of fruit drink and dry milk were new to me, so I decided to get a few. Then I saw the cans of dry beans. I stared at them for a minute. I'm not a dry bean chef, but I decided to buy a few cans of white beans for soup and black beans for burritos. I really need to work on overcoming my dry bean hurdle.


On the other side of the room I saw more items including Spaghetti Bites (note: they are smaller pieces, not long), so I got a few cans of those, and also a can of dry onions since it's the best price around.


An enlargement of the All Is Safely Gathered In: Home Storage pamphlet was on the wall by the registers. Love that! It's my self-reliance motto. My church uses the term "home storage," but it's really all about food storage.

After I paid for my items, a nice man put my items in my car. Since I have a new found passion for buying home decorating items from the Deseret Industries, I drove around the building to visit the D.I. My daughter says I'm a D.I. shopaholic. Yep, I admit it. The Home Storage Center is behind the D.I. Nice and convenient.

The Layton Home Storage Center is having an open house next month where you can learn about home storage (food storage), take a storage center tour, talk to a home storage expert, learn about long and short term products, get some home storage tips, and sample packaged foods. So if you are in the neighborhood, check it out:

Layton Home Storage Center Open House
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
6:00 - 7:30 pm
930 West Hill Field Road Suite F
(801) 336-3230

I feel very blessed to live near a Home Storage Center. What a wonderful opportunity it is to build up our food storage supplies. I hope you are working on improving yours as well.

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

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

For my 3-Month supply of everyday foods (that's the stuff in my pantry), I stock 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 gather. Beans for salads, beans for soups, beans for chili. Beans, beans and more beans. I love our Utah case lot sales which start this month because you can find beans on sale for about 60 cents a can.

For my printable monthly emergency list with amounts to gather, click below:


This month I also gather canned fish. This could be tuna or salmon in cans or pouches. It's a great source of Omega 3 and protein. Cans typically have 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. You can always find canned fish at stores like Costco and Sam's Club. It's best stored in a cool (75 degrees or less), dry place. NEVER in your garage.

Soup is another item I gather this month. There are so many possibilities. Consider your favorite family recipes to know what you want to stock up on. Creamed soups, tomato soup or prepared soups are fine. Do whatever works for your family. Condensed soups are about 50 cents at the Utah case lot sales.

Dry beans or lentils are store well long-term. 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 dry beans before you stock up. Some of you are over-the-top with dry bean knowledge, however I'm pretty weak using dry beans. During the Utah case lot sale, you can find 20 lb. bags of black beans for about $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.

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 around. We also need to have cleaning items on hand that will help us with food sanitation safety. This month we need to do some studying, and teach our families and friends the importance of staying clean.

Good luck with your preparedness goals! You are never behind. Any step forward is still a step forward.

Valerie

BE CLEAN
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?

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