Saturday, December 31, 2011

Man, I love the internet! You can just find all sortsa information!

So, it was via facebook that I found this neat little blog: Canarella.

I haven't done any blog posts, myself, on canning as a means to becoming a Mom more Prepared, yet.. but that's only because I feel some pressure to actually begin using the brand new canner I've got sitting in storage. :-/  The only reason I haven't, yet, is that my home is exceedingly small, and I'm having issues just making room for all the rest of my food storage!

But I WILL start canning, soon. I will, I will, I will ;-)

If YOU are a canner, or are new to it, or want to begin.. check out Ms. Canarella's blog.

In addition to it's natural fabulosity, Ms. Canarella is also doing a Giveaway, open thru January 31st.

Check out these goodies!

The give away includes the following items:
  • The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
  • Jams and Preserves - Gina Steer
  • Two jars of Vanilla Beans from Silver Cloud Estates (3 beans per jar)

Items by Ball
  • One 4.7 oz jar of classic pectin
  • One 5.5 oz. jar of pickle crisp granules
  • One Bread & Butter Mix
  • One Kosher Dill Pickle Mix
  • One box of Lids w/Bands (regular mouth)
  • One box of 12 lids

Just a neat little collection of goodies to get you and help you on your way into grander canning adventures!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dinner Is In The Jar
by Kathy Clark

Yay! I got it!

This book is Awe. Some!

This goal of this book is to equip you, thru recipes, to create a 90 day supply of meals, using, primarily, your dried food storage - veggies, butter, milk, sour cream powders, and the like.

Since I am putting a larger emphasis, lately, on my freeze dried & dehydrated food storage, I knew this was a book I wanted!

Now, the meals all have Add-Ons; the pint of canned (or pound of fresh) meat; a can or two of diced or crushed tomatoes. But even these items can be 'converted' by using TVPs for the meat, and dried tomatoes.

Each recipe does include a page of labels to photocopy to adhere to your jar or mylar bag.

An additional feature I like about the book is that the author included an Appendix of Ingredients *and* Add-ons that the recipes require, as well as what recipe that ingredient corresponds with. This way, I can go thru the list, then check the recipe, to see if it's one I'd even like to prepare, before I go out & purchase an ingredient I may not have on hand (altho, most of the ingredients are used in multiple recipes, of course).

I read the reviews on Amazon by those complaining about how it doesn't look 'professionally done' inside, but I think that's just silliness, honestly. I am pleased with it, inside & out.

The recipes, too, appear to be pleasers, so I really can't wait to choose which one I'll try first. Back to Amazon reviews, here, tho... I've read very positive reviews that the food is delish.

That works for me!

If you are looking for more recipes that will incorporate your freeze dried/dehydrated long term food storage... I highly recommend you snag this book!

Well done, Mrs. Clark!

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01T Tactical Tomahawk, Black


I scored big with this one! My husband has been drooling over this little tool for months & months!

He wanted this item because this brand is evidently regarded highly by military & law enforcement.. which I'd say is a pretty good reputation to have.

It reviewed (on Amazon) extremely well, and does as fine a job as some reviewers have experienced from other, larger SOG models of the Tomahawk.

One review I noticed, in particular, was that, due to its light weight & smaller size, it fits nicely in a backpack or on an attached hoop, AND is ideal for *women* to carry. So, I might be asking for one, myself, next Christmas ;-)

The description reads that it's a: "Compact tool for breaching operations, excavation, obstacle removal, extraction, and other utility applications" so think of clearing brush out of your path, and the like; but it also can be used as a hammer (tent stakes, anyone?). I suppose, if needed, it could be used as a weapon, altho the reviews for that particular purpose are mixed on whether it could or not.

But for outdoor survival, whether you're going camping, or are - for whatever reason - stuck out in the wilderness, this is a great tool to have in your gear.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Can't Believe It's Food Storage
by Crystal Godfrey

This is one of the very first books I bought about food storage. I must say, I'm rather pleased with it.

Mrs. Godfrey is most assuredly a Mom, Prepared! She was among the first whose blog & videos I frequented. I learned a great deal from her. She's clearly rather experienced in what she teaches, and her heart is evident in her efforts to educate the rest of us. So, naturally, it didn't take me long to purchase her book. I'd actually seen her book on Amazon a few weeks before I happened upon her; once I realized that it was she who wrote 'that book I saw', I purchased it right away!

This fine lady is a believer, and there is a small bit of Scripture-quotin' in this book. I am a Christian, (though not LDS, as is Mrs. Godfrey), so I personally do not mind this aspect in the slightest.

What You'll Find In The Book:

* Simple equations to determine how much of what you'd need to store for your family.

* Ideas to get the whole family involved in the food storage goals.

* TONS of recipes using some of the more common dried food storage ingredients, such as: Powdered Milk, Powdered Eggs, Whole Wheat, Dried Beans, Dried Fruits & Veggies.

* Unlike some books on Food Storage, the recipes are NOT all long-term food storage ingredients. They may call for fresh ingredients, or something canned, such as a can of corn, or diced tomatoes. So these are easy-to-incorporate-into-your-daily-use types of recipes.

* She's included conversion charts - so yes, you can use these food storage ingredients in YOUR OWN recipes, too!

* Special Recipes, such as "Magic Mix", a basic white sauce recipe, and a recipe to make your own sweetened condensed milk.

* So much more.

I really like her style, and her heart toward helping others. I don't know Mrs. Godfrey personally, but you just get the sense that her primary motivation is to help others, and by doing so, equipping them to, in turn, help others still. I admire the boo-diggity outta that! Go, Crystal!

I just can't find a single thing to make this book not worth every cent you'll pay for it. I absolutely give this book a bright, sparkly, 5-star recommendation!

Being nearly half way through my second pregnancy has my mind on prepping for baby. It has inspired me to post a comprehensive list of  "Baby Preps", which I am still working on, well, because I really want it to be comprehensive. Look for it in the coming weeks.

But what I wanted to address today is sparked by a question recently posed, and it's a question on the hearts & minds of a lot of women, whether they already have children, or have yet to begin their families.

"Should I have a (or another) child?"

Personally, I don't think family planning should be a decision made upon the possibility that TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) could happen. Of ALL the things we take into consideration when planning our family, that should, generally speaking, be on THE bottom of the list.

The only time it *MIGHT* be a worthy consideration is if the mother has significant health issues.

Otherwise, what's to consider?

Not much beyond that, in my estimation. Adding a child to your family means adding more prep storage. As long as mother is healthy, then why not go for it?

Ya know, the thing is, none of us know when/if this life-altering scenario might take place. It *could* be tomorrow. Or six months from now.

Or it could take years.

A decade.

What if it's two?

On the other hand, women are created with a very specific window of fertility. We can't just get pregnant any ol' time, nor do we have the option to, forever.

What happens if you put off having children because you think society is falling apart.. but then, it turns out, that it doesn't?

If you will regret having never had children, or not having another... then there's your answer to "Should I have a baby?"

No, the world is not perfect. Yes, it seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, as we speak. We don't know, though, when it will arrive at that particular destination.

But Life Goes On.

And, if you ask me, it should.

'Cause life's always worth livin' :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I wrote that I'd be getting some Bega Processed Cheese 'in a few days' in a recent post. Just due to circumstances, I wasn't able to get it in those few days. But I *DID* order it, and it has arrived. My review is below.

First let me tell you: I'm a cheese lover, and I'm also picky about it. Going in, I was worried about the taste of this cheese. After all, I'm not purchasing this cheese for day-to-day use; I'm purchasing it, because, should everything come crashing down around us, and access to cheese is limited or eliminated... life would be very bleak for me, indeed. Soon, I'll write a post about why we need to store various 'eats' that our family truly enjoys.. simply for the 'quality-of-life' aspect. In an emergency scenario, perhaps you and your loved ones could go without foods you love, for the short-term... but for the long term, you will definitely want to have these foods on hand, or the ingredients and know-how to make them.

Anyway, CHEESE is the 'must-have-on-hand' food for this Mama.

Alright, now that I've enlightened you to my unique perspective on cheese ;-) - on to the review.

I could cheer! No, seriously!

Alright, the specifics :)

It's labeled "Bega Processed Cheese". It does not read "Cheese Food" or "Cheese Product". It's a bit the size of a tuna can.. tho smaller around, and deeper. Made in Australia, and 200g Net Wt.

As I open the can, I see just what I've seen described on the 'net: A cheese, tightly packed within the can, the color of any ordinary white cheddar cheese. Indeed, the flavor of this cheese *is* a mild, white cheddar flavor.

It will not pop or slide out of the can; it must be sliced out.

Also, as I'd read in reviews online, it has the look of Velveeta.. altho it's not that way thru & thru; it also has a bit of a crumby texture to it, also... rather like real cheese. If you made a hybrid of Velveeta's texture, and real cheese's texture... this may well be what you'd end up with.

The taste testers were myself, the hubster, and our elementary grade daughter.

We tried it both alone, and on crackers.

Reviews as follows:

Dear Daughter: She doesn't like it. Sadly, this didn't surprise me a whole lot; she is the 2nd pickiest eater that I've ever known in my WHOLE. ENTIRE. LIFE. Haha! She doesn't even like Macaroni n' Cheese.. save for ONE kind (and no, its not Kraft!)  But she's also the kind of kiddo that gets ONE THING in mind that she loves, and she kind of closes herself off to anything else like it.. for a long time. Eventually, she comes around... and I think she would on this cheese. Mama's experience.

Da Hubster: "It reminded me of a spreadable, processed cheese.. like cheese & crackers. It was tasty. Yes, it was. It was tasty."

Mom, Prepared: I really could've cheered! I was so pleasantly surprised at how good it was. It does taste like a mild, white cheddar. The texture was acceptable.. nothing weird to me. And.. it was just GOOD. I bet this *would* make a good mac n' cheese, as one reviewer noted. I also think (and Hubby agrees) that it would be good anywhere: in a sandwich, in/on eggs, for Mexican.. I think mostly anywhere.

I am personally such a 'Cheesie' (my husband called me that - think: Foodie) that I won't limit my cheese food storage to just this brand. As a cheese lover, I need & desire OPTIONS here. But I can definitely tell you that this product has earned it way into the food storage budget.

Well done, Bega!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Earlier in the year, my husband and I were discussing our preps, and how far behind we feel we are, overall. In discussing ways in which we could budget more preps into our.. well.. budget, I suggested that we use Christmas as an opportunity to do so. After all, we're going to spend the money on SOMETHING, why not dedicate it to purchasing prep-related items?

He agreed that was a great idea!

Funny, how... just a month before Christmas, he sorta forgot about that whole, entire conversation. And how, when suddenly confronted with the idea of getting, perhaps, long-term food storage as a gift, he no longer thought it was such a jam-up idear.


Well, anyway. I mostly stayed true to my goal. Now, as a mom, and mom to a little, I didn't get our DD anything like that for Christmas, altho.. think not that she is 'prep-less' altogether. "She's" got more crayons and colored pencils stored than you could shake a stick at, for example. But clothes, books, pencils, etc.. those are the extent of her preps, I acknowledge.

Anyway, for hubs and myself, tho, I did manage to keep it mostly prep-related. No big high-dollar items... couldn't do that right now. But I did get us items that we can absolutely use in our preps.

BTW - I *didn't* get him food storage ;-)  But...Shhh! I kinda like the idea of him sweating that out, a little ;-)

So. You, now, fellow "Mom, Prepared". Are you gonna give any 'preppy' gifts for Christmas?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ok, so I'm back to food storage!

So, so many of our friends & family are simply not yet ready to start working on their own preparedness... or, sadly, even see a need for it. Our gentlest urgings toward doing something as small as buying a bag of beans & rice can easily be met with a cold shoulder... amirite?

I know this has been the case for me. I am one to care more about getting my loved ones prepared, than whether or not I'm bugging them (shocker!).. and believe me: If I had the money, I'd buy everyone a case of freeze dried food for Christmas! :D

But, I don't have that kind of money. Few of us do.

Despite this, there is still a way that we can add to others' food storage in a sneaky (or maybe, not-so-sneaky) way:

Meals in a Jar (or a Bag)

Probably, most of us have seen or received some version of this, or other, over the course of our lifetime. Often, people will make these delightful gifts with some 'sweet' recipe - cookies, cake, brownies, what-have-ya.

But you may or may not have seen regular ol' meals in them. I hadn't until a couple of years ago!

This is a brilliant (and way cute!) way to make sure others have SOMETHING in their 'storage'. Some may know, right off, that this is your agenda ;-) which may or may not matter to you. But a lotta folks won't. Especially if you're already the type to give handmade gifts, anyway.

A Beautiful Gift; A Hearty Meal

These can also be stored (and given!) in mylar bags, prettied up in similar fashion, altho, if you don't already have the bags & such, it might not be as economical to do it that way. Indeed, you'd have to invest in the jars, too, if you don't already have those. But canning jars are pretty easy to find this time of year, generally. You can often find them at Walmart, even.

Now, if you have the time or inclination, you are likely to find various recipes for these 'jarrable' types of meals online. Even has a small selection of these types of soups/stews.

Or you could buy a book or two, filled with several recipes. This was my route of choice, because I wanted to have options. Amazon has several great books on this.. just be sure to read the reviews before you purchase. :D

Here's a little recipe to either getcha started, or get your creative juices flowin'. I found this recipe at

She actually has a blog here that looks pretty neat, so I think I'm going to check it out further, myself. But anyway, it's at her website that I found the following recipe.

I thought of copying and pasting the recipe for you into this post, but its worth it if you just click the link. She's added pics of the whole process for you, which is neat. Besides, you might find yourself traipsing around her site, and find a new recipe you love! I can't wait to do that, myself!

Merry Christmas and Happy Full Tummies!


Monday, November 28, 2011

(Disclaimer: You'll soon see that Emergency Essentials is one of my favorite 'go-to' resources for all things preparedness. No, I don't work for the company, and I'm not being re-imbursed by them. I just really like 'em a lot.)

Ok, fellow Moms... you KNOW you need this.

Now, I agree, I agree completely: This is not a 'fun' Christmas gift to receive, or to use ;-) But, we are Moms, and Moms seeking to be Prepared, and as such... yeah. We need a way to wash our family's clothes.

Now, there are plenty of powerless clothes-washing options for you to choose from out there, but all of them that I have seen WILL require some degree of work on your part. (Sigh.. yes. I know. I love my washing machine, too).

I've looked at the options over the last few months, but I might ask for this one for Christmas. Normally $14.95, it's on sale thru November for $12.99.

And the reviews on this item are pretty awesome! (.. and I like awesome reviews!)

This item *will* require the use of a bucket (5 gal., for example), but can also be used in a tub or a sink. You'd also use this to thoroughly rinse the clothes, after your 'wash cycle' - simply dump your wash water and replace with clean water to rinse.

An extremely affordable option for clothes washing.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm sorry it's late, but like the rest of you "Moms, Prepared", I was busy preparing our Thanksgiving meal. I know the day can be harried for us, but I sure hope we all were able to find several moments to reflect on all the many blessings we are thankful for... and be assured, those can be found in the leanest of circumstances. My personal Facebook status mentions that I, myself, am thankful for just about every little thing in my life... that, tho 'everything' is not 'perfect', I have all of God's very best blessings. I hope you were able to peer past any stresses (because the holiday can surely bring those along, at times), and into all the goodness that your life is filled with!

On the funny side, I MUST post this video. Please humor me, because I find Madea funny as all get out! If you'd like to pass on this, please feel free to do so, but it just makes me burst into giggles just to listen to 'her'. :)

So, here's wishing you (better late than never, I suppose) a "Happy Tanksgivin!"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bug-Out Bags. Go Bags. Get The Heck Outta Dodge Bags. Or, whatever else ya might happen to fancy callin' 'em...

Disclaimer: You'll soon see that Emergency Essentials is one of my favorite 'go-to' resources for all things preparedness. No, I don't work for the company, and I'm not being re-imbursed by them. I just really like 'em a lot.

One way that this "Mom, Prepared" has (sheepishly) not become prepared yet is our 'Go Bags', also known as "Bug-Out Bags". My bestie, one of my kindred spirits, & fellow "Mom, Prepared" is Counter Culture Mama.

She & her husband, in all their awesomeness, already have one giant bag (it's, like, 6 feet long?) of supplies, AND individual bags for themselves & each of their 3 children. I should probably enlist her aid in this, just so I can get it done... even if that aid is only in stayin' on my fanny to get it done :)

In addition to needing to compile those, I also need something that my husband can keep in his truck. His job requires him to be out and about in a very large city, every day, and its always in the back of my mind: "If something major were to happen, and he couldn't get home with the truck, how will he get home to us?" I brazenly admit, I dislike the thought of this very much. But, if it ever is a necessity, we are unprepared for him to have to hoof it home.

Enter the 3 Day Emergency Kit.
Price - $54.95 (they have bigger and smaller kits, also)

This kit has a lotta stuff in it. Their description reads:

"The 3-day emergency kit is a compact emergency kit with a daypack that includes basic emergency items for three days, providing items for shelter, water, food, first aid, warmth, light, communication, and more. The food, water, and other items in this 3-day emergency kit store well in a range of normal temperatures, making it a great automobile kit. The 3-day emergency kit is a great way to start preparing each person of a family, office, school, or workplace unit."

There are some things that I would add to it, like hand sanitizer. The larger kits contain these, but I have that in my stores, so that's an easy addition. But this kit has many of  the essentials that would be required for a 3 day trek home (or a 3 day trek somewhere).

I am seriously considering getting my husband one of these for Christmas. Maybe I should buy each of us one, and say Santa is a prepper, too ;-)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Robert Kiyosaki, Author
Rich Dad, Poor Dad

As I try to share with others about the absolute NEED to insure ourselves in the event of economic collapse, I have found that many, many people just WON'T listen. They are dancing away at the ball, gorging themselves on 'Eat, Drink & Be Merry' - on smart phones and smart pads and smart everything else new and thrilling that hits the market. All the while, being decidedly NOT smart about the future, and what it appears, more and more each day, that future may hold.

I am no financial genius. I can't analyze the markets. I can understand a lot more financial stuff than I can then turn around and explain to another. Fortunately, I don't need to understand, or explain, it all. There are plenty of folks a lot smarter than I am who understand financial stuff, so I prefer to let them do the talking.

And this is the best thing for me to do, when speaking with someone who 'needs' more proof - send them to those who can explain it a whole lot better than I can. It never hurts when 'those' have credentials that I lack - credentials that a lot of people aren't so likely to dismiss.

Lest you think I diss technology as a whole and as a matter of course, do know that one of my favorite things is the internet. It is such a helpful tool, & in ways multitudinal. I love that when my little asks a question that I don't know the answer to, I can go find it as soon as I get a minute on the computer. Who sang that song? Google it!

Additionally, I have found it an immensely helpful tool on my journey of preparedness. Not only for learning what I need, why I need it, and how to do it - I also find it helpful to seek out articles and videos of those people smarter than I am to explain just WHY this is something that we ALL need to be doing.

Below is a video of the 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' guy - Robert Kiyosaki. Smart, smart man.
And I dunno 'bout you... but I definitely wanna do what he's doin'.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another fine example of how to use coupons to cushion the blow of building your stockpile.

This shopping trip also illustrates how, because you've used coupons, you can now afford items that you may lack a coupon for. In this example, it would be a box of pop tarts (which we usually don't buy without coupons), but was a special request by our dear daughter.

The other item shown that we rarely find coupons for is the milk.Yes, you are seeing organic milk. No, we aren't 'those' kinda people... our food stores, and sometimes, our meals, often feature at least one processed food. But we *do* try to eat/drink better when and where we can. But on milk, we simply do not compromise. I won't use this post to champion why; the info is available out there, if you're inclined to seek it out.

But aside from the 'it's-better-for-you!' -- friends, it just plain TASTES better. The first time I had it, I was FLOODED with memories of being a child and having milk then. It's been so altered over the years, we have forgotten what milk is supposed to taste like.

At any rate, this milk is much pricier. And, we couldn't afford to drink better milk.. and so we didn't. But once we started couponing, the savings we earned freed up the funds to go ahead and buy that expensive (and so much better for you) milk. Just one of the wonderful benefits of couponing!    :)

NO coupons: (1) half-gallon of Organic Milk & (1) box of Pop Tarts

(7) Maxwell House Coffee
(2) Emerald Trail Mix
(16) cans of Campbell's Soup, mostly 'Cream-Of-s', but a couple of Tomato
(8) cans of Progressive Soup (these are hearty, folks!)
(8) boxes of Progessive Chicken Broth



Woohoo!! Over half!!

As promised, I'm going to be posting some pics from individual shopping trips, just to give you an idea of just how much bang you can get for your buck, when you use coupons to assist in building and maintaining your stores.

We like to shop at Publix. Publix is not known for it's low prices; however, they will do instore specials regularly, which will often bring a 'too much' price down to reasonable or better range, and when you couple that with manufacturer's coupons, the savings add up. Add further still Publix coupons, and yay! Add in competitor's coupons, if you have them, and, CHA-CHING.

But, I digress... apologies.

Here, there wasn't a big CHA-CHING - just reasonable savings. This trip, we spent $62.95. Not a small amount, no. But our savings were $57.18.

Almost half, friends. That's significant to me.

Note, tho: Not pictured, and sans a coupon, was a $5.49 24pk of bottled water.

A fine example of how to stretch your dollar, period... but certainly to build your family's prep stores.

Monday, November 14, 2011

If you are a seasoned Mom, Prepared - you already know this. If you are just beginning your journey, you will quickly learn to adopt a bit of the point of view: "Any port in a storm."

This means that we may have items or brands of items in our stockpiles that we might not 'choose to use' on a regular basis.

This is true especially if you use coupons to grow your stores.

So, whether you are brand new, OR have been at this for some time, please go check your items for Kotex brand tampons.

According to Consumer Reports Health, in an article dated November 11, 2011, "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a recall warning for specific lots of Kotex tampons contaminated with a bacterium that could cause vaginal infections and other health risks."

You can read the full article here.

Please, please.. check your stockpile for any of the products listed in the recall. When removing them, be sure you call Kimberly-Clark for disposal instructions!

"Consumers with the recalled Kotex Natural Balance Security Unscented Tampons should immediately discontinue use of the product and contact Kimberly-Clark's toll-free Consumer Services Division (800-335-6839) to make arrangements for safe disposal of the recalled tampons."

I've had this conversation a few times, now.

"I can't afford to buy food storage."

"Yes," I say. "You can."

I already mentioned the use of coupons, which will only help in your quest. Soon, I will be posting about a recent shopping trip where, using coupons, we purchased several items that were already on sale. That trip, we got lotsa things to add to the stockpile and saved 50% at the register buy doing so. No.. it wasn't a year's worth of food. In fact, half of it wasn't even foodstuffs. But all were needed items, and we saved HALF at checkout. HALF, people! :)

But, I know there are some who haven't gotten that far yet; still others who may never utilize coupons. That is utterly a personal decision, but beyond that, I want to address those who, for whatever reason, feel like they simply can NOT afford to work on their preps.

How can you afford food storage? It's simple.

Spend $5 a week on your food storage/preps.

Now, you can simply add an extra Five Bucks wortha somethin' to your cart each week, or, if you are more disciplined, you can save it each week and buy $20 worth at the end of the month. That part is up to you. But even with this small amount, you most certainly CAN add to your food or other prep storage goals.

And I do mean add, significantly.

With just five bucks, you can buy a bag of rice, and a bag of dried beans. You can buy a few cans of soup. You can buy a few lbs. of salt (Yes! Salt and other seasonings are SOOO important!) You can buy some extra sugar, or honey.

I hope you're beginning to see that, even when money is tight, you *can* add to your stores, and if you are diligent, you will, over time, amass a respectable stock.

What if you don't have an extra $5 to spend?

Here, I will go back to couponing :) 

Because you can easily use enough coupons to save that $5 to then spend on your storage :)

I could certainly compile a list of Five Buck Preps, and, I probably will soon. But for the right now, let me share with you another prepper's list that I found online. It comes from 'AZPrepper' and he posted this list on the forum known as LDS Preppers.

Let me add here that he compiled this list back in 2009; as we all know, prices *have* changed, and mostly not for the benefit of the buyer ;-)  But I still post this list because it's representative of what doing 'A Little At A Time' can do for your food storage.

He wrote:

Food Storage for $5 a Week
This list should be a basic amount to sustain 2 people for one year. For every 2 people in your family, add $5 more and double the amount of the item you are buying that week.

Some costs may have changed, but the general concept and close estimate should still be valuable.

Week 1: 6 lbs salt
Week 2: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 3: 20 lbs of sugar
Week 4: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 5: 50 lbs wheat
Week 6: 6 lbs macaroni
Week 7: 20 lbs sugar
Week 8: 8 cans tuna
Week 9: 6 lbs yeast
Week 10: 50 lbs wheat
Week 11: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 12: 20 lbs sugar
Week 13: 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 14: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
Week 15: 50 lbs wheat
Week 16: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 17: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
Week 18: 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 19: 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
Week 20: 50 lbs wheat
Week 21: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 22: 20 lbs sugar
Week 23: 8 cans tuna
Week 24: 6 lbs shortening
Week 25: 50 lbs wheat
Week 26: 5 lbs honey
Week 27: 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 28: 20 lbs sugar
Week 29: 5 lbs peanut butter
Week 30: 50 lbs wheat
Week 31: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
Week 32: 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 33: 1 bottle 500 aspirin
Week 34: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 35: 50 lbs wheat
Week 36: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
Week 37: 6 lbs salt
Week 38: 20 lbs sugar
Week 39: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 40: 50 lbs wheat
Week 41: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 42: 20 lbs sugar
Week 43: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
Week 44: 8 cans tuna
Week 45: 50 lbs wheat
Week 46: 6 lbs macaroni
Week 47: 20 lbs sugar
Week 48: 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
Week 49: 5 lbs honey
Week 50: 20 lbs sugar
Week 51: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 52: 50 lbs wheat

Some weeks you will have leftover change. Save the change each week in a kitty to be used for the weeks you may exceed $5 (like wheat, milk, etc). Also, if you find something on sale, you may want to skip ahead and purchase that item and cross it off the list.

After you have completed this list, you will end up with:
-500 lbs of wheat
-180 lbs of sugar
-40 lbs of powdered milk
-12 lbs of salt
-10 lbs of honey
-5 lbs of peanut butter
-45 cans of tomato soup
-15 cans of cream of mushroom soup
-15 cans of cream of chicken soup
-24 cans of tuna
-21 boxes of macaroni & cheese
-500 aspirin
-1000 multi-vitamins
-6 lbs of yeast
-6 lbs of shortening
-12 lbs of macaroni

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blogs & websites, books & T.V. - these are all wonderful, wonderful resources to learn about, & get inspired about, being prepared. The blogosphere has blogs a'plenty... there's myriad websites out there. More and more folks are writing books, both fiction and non-fiction, about the subject. The most surprising, to me, anyway, is that you are seeing more and more of it on television. In the past year, alone, I've seen SEVERAL specials on the prepping lifestyle.

It almost makes ya wonder... is someone *trying* to prepare us for something?

ANYway, another wonderful resource is youtube. I will tell ya.. I've gotten more and sometimes, better info from watching other preppers' videos, than I have practically anywhere else.

Today, I'd like to introduce you to one of my personal favorites.

Her screen name is zappo888.

This woman is a sweet, dear thing. She strongly reminds me of probably *the* sweetest, dearest woman I ever knew. She is so soft-spoken, and just a little self-conscious; however, this woman is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. She is a long term prepper, and the stuff she knows will just knock your socks off. She is mindful of people's time, so she makes a concerted effort to keep her videos to a scant length - some less than 10 minutes, even. She not only gives 'how-to's', but she will sometimes give a recipe, or share a deal she found at a local dollar store. She is overflowin' with practical advice from her many years of living this lifestyle.

I will mention that she is LDS. But she doesn't push that. She isn't afraid to mention God, tho, so if that's a problem for you... well, I dunno. Her channel is about prepping, and I personally feel that ANYONE could gain a great deal from her sage wisdom.

So, here's the link to her channel. On the right hand side, you'll see her video list. It appears short, but be sure you click 'See More'. You'll find she has a whole, whole lotta videos - 330, as I write. Then spend some time perusing them. I'm 99% sure that you'll be glad you did.

If you do, subscribe to her channel!

Her message to all the Lady Preppers out there:

A: "Couponing!"

I'm taking a break from clipping coupons. We had discovered the awesome way in which we could save with couponing, and began doing so with earnest. (Earnest? Ok, maybe not *earnest*). But then, being a one-car family, which hubby requires for work, our couponing efforts came to a screeching halt. His work picked up, then took him out of town for a couple of weeks, and then we just fell off the couponing bandwagon.

And we've felt it at the register!

I've also felt it in our stockpile.

We had so recently begun using coupons, that we didn't really have a whole lotta stuff in said stockpile. I mean, we've got some toothpaste & shampoo, lemme tell ya... but we were lower on the foodstuffs, just because we hadn't been doing it so long.

But now that things have settled down some... AND we've felt the effects at the register of not having coupons... AND we've seen our food stuffs dwindling from use, but not replacement, we are finally jumping back into it.

Just what can you accomplish from couponing?

Have you ever watched the show "Extreme Couponing"?

Now, don't get in a snit, here... I know many, many people who coupon who HATE that show, find it a gross misrepresentation of the fair and normal practice of couponing. I would have to agree on a couple of levels, there. But the fact of the matter is simply this: Once you learn it, and commit to investing the necessary time into it... you will slash your grocery bill by at least 40%. The aforementioned show often highlights, well, extreme cases, with savings that are much higher, usually 90% or even more. Depending on where you live, and your stores' coupon policies, this may or may not be a true reflection of the savings that YOU could net.

As for us, there is not a single store in our city, that we can find, that actually doubles coupons. If you have access to a grocer like that, count your blessings and grab a coupon insert & scissors!! But, if you are like us, without such a store in sight, you can still benefit greatly from the use of strategic couponing. It is not uncommon for us to save between 50% and 70% at checkout.

We are not shelf clearers; nor are we extreme couponers in any fashion. Unless you plan on realistically outfitting your whole neighborhood's pantries with hot sauce, I can't see a single, solitary need to lug 102 bottles of the stuff outta the store. I will always urge someone new to couponing (or even the pros) to use common sense, and fairness in their couponing endeavors. I do know, tho, that some people don't; because of this, couponers & the use of coupons has become somewhat villifed of late.

But that is definitely NO REASON to be wary of couponing.

The simple fact is this: Coupons are like money in your wallet at checkout.

Well.... back to clipping! Have an amazing day :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Yeah. IIIIIIIII don't know about you folks, but one of *THE* worst things I can imagine in a collapse-type scenario is living a life with no cheese. *Gasp!* Even typing that (the 2 words at the end of the previous sentence) is enough to cause a little bit of panic to rise in me. Haha! Yeah. I love cheese.

I haven't placed my order yet, but I will, within a couple of days. Having cheese in my food stores is going to be absolutely critical for my family.

I can't give you a review yet, as I have not tried this cheese, but I've found some good reviews for it online, including that it would make a good mac n' cheese, which, again, I must have to stay sane in any post-collapse situation ;-)

These are evidently available online readily enough, but the bit of searching I did turned up that Emergency Essentials has it for the lowest price, @ $3.95 per can (if you purchase 1-5) and @ $3.29 a can if you purchase 6 or more. I'll do the math for you here: 6 cans will cost you $19.74 & 12 will run you $39.48. Shipping for both is $6. (So, $25.74 and $45.48, respectively).

I don't know about you, but I would LOVE to get this as a gift.

Brrr!! It's been chilly here, today, folks. Granted, not as frosty as some of you are right now, but it was plenty cold for me this morning! (Did I really live up north for a year and a half???) It's turned into a nice day out there!

It is naturally that time of year that a whole lot of us are gearing up toward Christmas. Maybe you have your Christmas shopping done already. If you do, GO YOU!

*This* "Mom, Prepared", however, is decidedly UNPREPARED for the encroaching gift-giving season ;-)

Lest you judge me all 'Bah! Humbug!' - I've been a busy Mama. We homeschool, I'm newly pregnant, and my husband's been just as hard-at-work as he can be. We truly just haven't gotten around to it.

I've got a list, tho! Well.. a list of a list, anyway :)

I happen to find my gift-giving plan BRILLIANT! I want to share it with you, because, in case you are at a loss of what to get 'the person who has everything', or just don't have a plan yet.. this one might be one you'll like!



... or any other prepping supplies!

Now... do let me say, in the sake of full disclosure: I don't know exactly how WELL that's gonna go over ;-)  I am reasonably sure that my mother will roll her eyes. But, I roll mine when I consider her spendthriftness on items she doesn't need, and will seek to get rid of in a year, coupled with her absolute reluctance to buy a simple bag of beans (for goodness sake!). So, that makes us even :)

I also find this a remarkable plan, because being 'Daughter' means that I am anxious that my family be provided for. And yet, I am nowhere NEAR being in a position to fully prepare for them... or even purchase a full month's supply for a single person!

But you know that old adage, "If you can't feed a hundred people, just feed one?" Well, my thoughts on this are along those lines. I may not be able to feed them for a year. But I can feed them for a short time. I can provide SOME kind of food.

And that brings ME peace of mind.

You can really take this in whatever direction you like. Buy a year's supply of freeze dried food for someone... or buy a can that will provide 10-12 meals. Buy a simple bag of rice, dried beans and a container of salt - tuck those into a cute basket and slap a bow on it. Why stick with food? Buy any sort of valuable survival/preparedness item, wrap it up and give THAT as a gift. Use your imagination, and what you know and have learned about what you need to 'be prepared', and doll it up a little to make it a gift.

Have you already stumbled upon this brilliant idea? Will you be giving preparedness type gifts this season? Will this be your first year doing so, or your 10th? Leave a comment!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mom, Prepared

Hi, there! Mom, Prepared, here. I'm beginning this blog to share with others the absolute importance of being prepared for any emergency situation, to the absolute best of one's ability.

No, you don't have to be a Mom yet.. or at all! You can be whoever it is that you are - which usually works out best, anyway ;-) I write as Mom, Prepared simply because I am a Mom. But being prepared is something that anyone can do, and is something that everyone, every family, every community *should* do.

Because we never, ever know what tomorrow will bring.

Now, I've always been one to prepare. Tho not to the extent that I do now, I have always seen the wisdom in preparing for possible times of lean DURING the times of plenty. But now that I *am* a Mom, it's importance is more profound; after all, I have this amazing responsibility to make sure that my children are always taken care of and provided for.
Add to this all that's going on in the world today, and you betcha - I'm gonna make dern sure that my family is prepared for whatever may come.

There are as many reasons to prepare as their are ways in which we should all be prepared. Natural disasters, loss of a job, or other disruption to one's employment, inflation. It is prudence that drives us to prepare. It is wisdom.

No matter what your motivating factor is, 'prepping' a smart move. It's also a journey. Few of us can go out and buy two years worth of food storage today. Few of us can even wrap our minds around all that we should do AS preparation. "Where in the world do I start?" and "How do I start?" From how to do this affordably, to barter lists; from where to store all this stuff, to must-have equipment... I hope to cover all of this and more.

Begin your own journey, assess your stores, re-double your efforts... whatever has brought you here... I welcome you to join me as we become true Moms, Prepared!