August 24, 2015

Fall 2015 Utah Case Lot Sales are coming!

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



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


August 2, 2015

August Emergency Preparedness Goals - Fruits, Vegetables, Shelter and Bedding

My spiritual focus in August is to Be Nurturers and serve others during disasters. After my recent CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training, I began to see how each person can assist others after a disaster. In 3rd Nephi 8 - 17 in the Book of Mormon, some of the most tremendous disasters ever recorded occur in a three-hour period in ancient America: tempests, earthquakes, fires, whirlwinds and upheavals in the land. After these experiences, Jesus Christ visits the survivors at his temple, teaches them his Gospel, heals the injured, and prays for their children. It is tender to read how much he loves them and has not forgotten them. We too can be his nurturing hands and help those around us during disasters and various trials in others lives.

In August, I focus on gathering fruits and vegetables. Many people are fortunate to harvest their own food and then can it. If you have a small garden like me, you may need to buy most of your canned fruits and vegetables from the store. Even though I suggest gathering a 3-month supply on my printable list, I personally gather closer to a 6-month supply of these items because I have room to store them in my basement. I usually pick up some at the case lot grocery store sales in Utah.


It's best to buy and store what you're accustomed to eating every day in your 3-month supply, because you know you will use them. I store items I cook with such as corn for tortilla soup, green beans for chicken stew, canned chilies for shredded pork, French green beans because my husband likes them, mushrooms for beef Stroganoff, and fruits for salads. I know, we all like our fresh foods from the store. In fact we're pretty dependent on it, but there may come a time when you can't buy them and a can of green beans will taste like heaven. So, it's smart to store something on your shelf.

My emergency focus this month is to gather shelter and bedding such as a tent, a sleeping bag for each person, a large tarp, and rope or bungee cords. I know it is late in the summer to gather these, but you can find some of the best clearance sales right now. If you already own these items, pick up an different emergency item you couldn't get last month.

You'll always find water on my monthly lists since I gather a few cases year-round. Water is so essential to our existence, and disappears quickly from store shelves before or after disasters, so it's important to have some on hand. I encourage people to not keep their eggs in one basket; meaning, don't store it in one place in your home. After an earthquake, you may never reach one location, so keep water in a few locations. I store some in barrels in the basement, cases in my coat closet and pantry, and always a few bottles in my cars.

Our emergency fund has been growing little by little each month, and I have a testimony of building it. Since we starting building our financial reserve fund at the counsel of our church leaders, I've only had to use it once. But those funds have been built up again. I keep most of it in the bank, and a little at home for emergencies. I'm grateful for President Gordon B. Hinckley's counsel when he said"Begin in a small way, my brethren, and gradually build toward a reasonable objective. Save a little money regularly, and you will be surprised how it accumulates."

Summer is slipping away, so I hope you find time to use my August emergency prep list. Grammy just learned how to scan it into a jpg for you, so please share it on Pinterest. Thanks a bunch!

Little by little, month-by-month you CAN build your food storage and emergency supplies and make self-reliance a natural part of your life.

Best wishes,
Valerie


BE NURTURERS
"and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, 
and prayed unto the Father for them.” 
3 Nephi 17:21


You are free to print and share with others, but please mention my site.

Go here to see my 12 Monthly Preparedness Lists

July 28, 2015

Updated 52-Week Food Storage Inventory Schedule

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 28, 2015

July Emergency Preparedness Goals - Summer Foods, Emergency Drills & Canning

In July, I gather shelf-stable summer foods into my 3-month emergency food storage supply. You know, those foods you use at summer activities such as crackers, chips, gelatin, pudding, food bars, popcorn, vinegar, olives, and jams. They store well in your pantry for emergencies to. Some for about 3 months; that is if your family doesn't eat them first.



My spiritual theme this month is Be Guardians, meaning to protect "our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" just as Captain Moroni did. (see Alma 46). This month, share over social media how you feel about your freedom and how grateful you are for those who defend it everyday.



LONG-TERM STORAGE
This month, I also like to gather honey and add it to my long-term emergency food storage. Those honey bees have worked hard to bring us such a blessing. Honey is a wonderful natural sweetener and is useful in bread making and other cooking. I love peanut butter and honey sandwiches! How about you? Honey has an indefinite shelf life which means it's great for long-term food storage. If you live in Utah, check out my post on Where to Buy Honey in Utah.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS LIST
My list below has all the items I focus on this month for emergency food storage and even some survival supplies. I include some suggested amounts for my family, but them may help yours as well. Here is how to use my July Emergency Preparedness List:
  1. Choose things you can afford to do or have time to do each week. Keep it simple.
  2. Multiply amounts by the # of your family members, and adjust items for kids, medical needs and allergies.
  3. Watch for sales, and gather food storage a week at a time while you grocery shop to build up your supplies. Then repurchase as you use your food. But never completely empty your shelves.
  4. Gather some Long-Term Emergency Food Storage food after you complete Steps 1, 2, and 3.
  5. Do what works best for your financial circumstances.
Every step forward is a step forward. You CAN do it!

EMERGENCY EVACUATION DRILLS
During the summer months, many of us have more time to practice an emergency plan and practice an evacuation drill with our families. What is your family emergency plan? What will you do if you get separated? What will you take if you need to evacuate? Who is your out-of-state contact? Work on your plan. See helpful ideas here:

SHOP FOR EMERGENCY SURVIVAL GEAR
If you like to can your own food, gather canning supplies in preparation for canning. Canning is a great method for gathering food storage with your own fruits and vegetables.

July is a great month for emergency survival gear sales AKA camping supplies. In an emergency, what will you cook on? During a power outage, where will you store your perishable food? This month I suggest getting a camp stove and fuel, and a cooler/igloo. You've already got them? You are awesome! A few months ago my husband went on a camping trip and replaced our wimpy cooler with an awesome one. Love it when we get two things done at once.

In August I suggest buying sleeping bags and a tent, but if you need it now and find it on sale now, go for it! One of our tents died on the last camping trip with friends. It was raining and everyone moved from two tents to one tent. Thankfully I wasn't there, but I heard it was quite squishy.

Best wishes on your continual efforts with food storage and emergency preparedness. Keep it simple. Keep it basic. Make it work for your family, and it will become a natural part of your life. You CAN do it!

Best wishes,

Valerie

BE GUARDIANS
"And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—
In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—
and he fastened it upon the end of a pole." 


Go here for my 12 Emergency Preparedness Lists

*Picture above from Microsoft Word

June 18, 2015

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

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


My father, the great family historian,

June 16, 2015

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

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

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

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