Friday, March 27, 2015

Week 12 Food Storage Challenge

8 Cans of Tuna / Spices and Herbs

8 Cans of tuna, If you don't care for tuna or are afraid of the contaminates in it, just get some sort of canned meat, Store bought or home canned.

Spices and Herbs, get what you use. You might even want to try and grow your own. If you grow your own, just get what you can't grow. If you are going to grow your own you might want to get a little bit of them, just to make sure you have enough for what you use until you have them growing real good. It may take a year or so to adjust how much you  grow, to how much you use. You can grow outside or inside. I try to keep some growing in the house in the winter then I have some to set outside in the summer. I even have ginger growing in the house and will try to put it outside in the summer.

Add more water to your water storage. Even if  you are filling your own containers you might want to go ahead and  get a couple cases of  bottled water to have on hand.

Put a little more into your money stash.

How is your alternative cooking coming along? Some one mentioned that they had gotten a thermal cooker, I had never heard of these so I looked them up they are great, and I want one now haha. You can go Here to learn more about them.

Are you finding canning supplies?

Have a great week.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Week 11 Food Storage Challenge

Week 11 Food Storage Challenge
25 pounds Sugar/ 25 pounds Oats

25 pounds sugar or a gallon of honey If you buy honey try to get local honey it is better for you. If you do get it from the store make sure it is 100 % honey with no added corn syrup or other things.

Add more water to your water storage.

Put a little more money in your money stash.

Keep working on the cooking source and the herbs.

Have a great week.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Week 10 Food Storage Challenge

The government will not take care of you the only one you can relie  one is yourself. 
6 pounds of yeast/condiments

6 pounds of yeast you can store this in the freezer to keep it good.After you open it keep in the fridge so it will last longer.

Condiments, get what you family uses ketchup,mustard,Steak sauces,mayo,ect. Some of these things you can make yourself.

Add more water.

Put a little more in your money stash.

Keep working on your alternative cooking source.

As you learn about herbs try to start using them so you are familiar with them.

Have a great week.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Food Storage on a Tight Budget.

You will not be able to depend on the government for help when things go south. The only one you can depend on is your self.
You are seeing where things are going and know you need to get food put back but you barely have enough money to get by month to month.
Starting a food storage when money is super tight can be a little daunting to say the least.

First off don't get discouraged when you see some one who has been working on food storage for years, believe me they started with nothing and had to work at it to get where they are. It takes lots of little baby steps. It also takes determination and the willingness to make a few sacrifices. Remember this will not happen over night it takes time. 

1 Figure out a budget you can go here to see ways to save money that maybe you hadn't thought of. Every penny, every dime, you save is a little more you can put towards your food storage.

2 Learn to cook from scratch. I can not stress enough how important this is, you save a ton of money, it's way more healthy, and it cuts down what you need in your food storage. ( you don't need boxed dinners ect. You can make your own)

3 Learn skills. If you can sew just a little you can mend or make some of your clothes ( esp. children's clothes). Make your own soap ect. The more skills you have the less money you need to spend on these things, the more money for your storage.

4 Do not cater to picky eaters. I have a rule in my house I cook for my Husband if the kids do not like it they go hungry, or learn to eat it. ( I know harsh) It doesn't really take that long for them to come around to eating what I am cooking. Like they say picky eaters are made not born. In my daycare I can tell which kids have to eat what is given them at home and the ones that look at something and say they don't like it and don't have to eat it. The ones that have to eat what is given them will eat what ever I give them. The ones that don't are very hard to feed. Having to learn to eat these foods during a crisis situation is going to be a whole lot harder on them then learning to eat them now.

5 Grow as much as you can. If space is tight there are a lot of ideas on the internet for small space gardening. If water is an issue use drip systems, container gardening , collect your rain water, use water that you save in the house from waiting on hot water, there are lots of ways to save water so you have water for your garden.
(I will be doing a post soon on water , water storage and saving on water.)

6 Buy on sale and in season. When something comes on sale buy as much as you possible can. Even if it isn't on your list for that week put what ever was on the list in the pace of what you just bought. Buy in season it general is much cheaper when in season. Don't forget after holiday and end of season sales.

7 Yard sales,auctions and second hand stores always be on the look out for things you need. Just be careful not to over pay and don't get things you really don't need. Have a list with you of things you are looking for .

8 Think outside the box. You just found a whole stack of sheets at the second hand store for next to nothing. Do you look at them I think well I have enough , these are the wrong size. Or do you think what could I use these for. Make curtains, dresses for your  daughter, shirts for your son,cut in do dish rags, backing for a quilt, cut into cloth paper towels, so many things you can do with that stack of sheets if you are always thinking outside the box.

9 Barter, If some one has an excess of fruit or vegetables or anything that you can use for that matter, try to trade them for something you have or trade for work.

10 Know your prices. When I first started food storage I made a list of all the things buy then I went to the two stores that I shop at . We have 3 stores in our town one is Safeway which for what buy is way to expensive and they always have a limit on the sales. That leaves City Market and Wal-mart. I went to Wal-mart with my list and wrote down the price of everything I buy. I now had a base for prices when something came on sale at city Market I could compare prices if the sale was cheaper I would go and buy as much as I could afford. City Market is real good at ordering cases if you want a couple cases of something. Be sure to check your unit price also sometimes the larger isn't always the cheaper.

11 On my Food Storage Challenge I have two Items the first is the most important it is for two people so if you have 4 people in your  house you will need to double that. This will get you your basic basics so if money is real tight this is what to get. The second is extras that would be nice to have so if you have a little extra money try to get some of these. I also have skills to learn every month and things to get or make if you can.

12 When storing water you do not need to go and buy all bottled water. Use containers you have around the house, ask friends and family for their soda bottles, Gatorade bottles,  juice bottles, even bleach bottles,(when I was  a kid and my Dad always had a bleach bottle filled with drinking water.)  fill them with tap water. I don't recommend milk jugs but if they are all you have then use them just be sure to wash them very well and  watch them for leaking.

13 Put away as much extra money as you can even if it is only a couple dollars. This has two purposes one you are building a little nest egg and second you have a few extra dollars if something comes on sale you may be able to get a little more.

14 Can and dehydrate as much as you can if you don't have a dehydrator look on the internet on ways to make your own or do it  the old fashion way in the sun. 

15 Food storage when money is tight is a struggle I know. But if you are determined you can do it. Even if it is picking up a pound of beans here and a bag of rice there.  Something is better then nothing.

If you have any other ideas please feel free to share.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Learning Herbalism with the Herbal Academy of New England.

 Learn Herbs As Food And As Medicine in the Online Herbal Course

I am so excited after looking for what seems like forever. I finally found a herbalism class that is affordable and fits my needs.
Herbal Academy of New England. I have been trying to learn as much as I can on my own and have always felt there was so much more to know. I have looked at herbalism classes on line but they were so pricey and just not within my budget. This class isn't way cheap but a lot more doable. It is 360 dollars and if you need to they let you make 3 payment of 120 a month. There is sooo  much information. When I am done I will be able to take care of my family the natural way. Plus I will be able to share some herbal remedies here and with others. I feel like it is going to be well worth the money.
The Intermediate Herbal Course is for people with some herbal training. Be it what you have learned on your own, or classes that you may have taken. If you have never worked with herbs they offer a Introductory Herbal Course I do have several post on herbs that might be of a help if you are just starting out.
They also have a wonderful site that has tons of info.
If you are interested in taking the course let me know then maybe we could share ideas. Also if you do sign up for the class I do make a small fee from it. If you have a blog and you want to sign up they have an affiliate program where you can get a small discount on the course if you share the info on your blog. ( I didn't even notice this until after I had signed up, so just wanted to share that so others would know before they signed up, so they could get the discount)

So here is what is in the course I am so excited to learn all of this.

The Intermediate Herbal Course: 10 Unit Outline

Unit 1: Why Herbs And How They Work
History; Herbal Healing Philosophies; Homeostasis; Overview of Body Systems; Systems of Energetics, Actions and Constitutions; Medicine Making Review; Side Effects and Safety; Creating Formulations
Unit 2: Food is Medicine
Kitchen Cupboard Herbs; Vinegars; Oils; Honey; Edible and Medicinal Plants; Foraging; Wild crafting; Plant Savers; Gratitude and Ceremony

Unit 3: Digestive System
Alimentary System Overview; Digestive Health as Foundation of Health; Imbalances of the Digestive System and Herbal Remedies

Unit 4: Immune System
Building Immune Health; Prevention; Common Disharmonies; Creating a Materia Medica

Unit 5: Nervous System
The Central Nervous System; The Peripheral Nervous System; The Enteric Nervous System; Stress; Headaches; Sleep; Herbs

Unit 6: Cardiovascular
Anatomy of the Heart; Blood Pressure; Cholesterol; Heart Strong/Heart Health; Herbal Therapeutics; Diet; Glycosides; The Energetic Heart

Unit 7: The Liver
Anatomical Overview; Liver Health; Liver Imbalances; Herbal Treatments; Bitters

Unit 8: Respiratory
Breathing; Asthma; Lung Imbalances; Herbal Tonics; Natural Remedies

Unit 9: Urinary System
Kidney and Urinary Health; UTI; Herbs

Unit 10: Children
Common Discomforts; Formulas and Recipes; Which Herbs are Safe; Dosing

The units are broken up into lessons, and there is a quiz at the end of each unit before moving on to the next unit. I am still at unit one and almost finished with it.

Some of the things included in the course: 

Over 100 herbal recipes
Interactive ebooks
Printable handouts and charts
Videos throughout every unit
Online forums open for discussion and questions
 Easy access to a team of herbalists and medical professionals
 Printable Intermediate Herbal Certification upon completion
An online forum so students can share things with each other.

What do you need to take the course?

They have some recommended books that might be helpful I don't have any of these yet but hope to be able to get a couple of them
Botany in a Day by, Thomas J. Elpel

Medical Herbalism by, David Hoffman

 Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength , Stamina, and Stress Relief  by, David Winston

Nutritional Herbology: A Reference guide to Herbs by, Mark Pederson
The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism Basic Doctrine, Energentics, and Classification by, Matthew Wood

The Web Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine by, Ted J. Kaptchuk
 Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by, Paul Pitchford  The Yoga of Herbs; An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine by, David Frawley and Vasant Lad The lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines for life on,Stephen Harrod Buhner Making Plant Medicine by, Rico Cech   Supplies: Some of these things you may already have.  8 oz. mason jars, cheese cloth, strainer, large bowls, funnel, small 1 or 2 oz. bottles, raw wildflower honey, apple cider vinegar, high proof brandy or vodka, natural waxed paper

You an use herbs you have grown your self or you can order them I like Bulk Herb Store
You can also use Mountain Rose Herbs these two have bottles and other supplies.
Frontier,Zack Wood Farms,Jean’s Greens are also recommended in the course

There are hundreds of recipes in this program.  This means many herbs to learn about. You will be asked to practice and share your experience working on one of the recipes for each unit.

Suggested Herbs For Tea and Other Recipes: Use what you have grown or forged yourself or you can order them.

Lemon balm
Raspberry Leaf
St. Johns wort

Other herbs featured in the program , pick some you would you like to try. They will not go to waste.

Angelica root
Bee balm
Burdock root
Cardamom pods
 Elder berry
Fennel seeds
Gentian root
Hawthorn berries
Linden flower
Marshmallow root
Plantain leaf
Rose petal
Tulsi (Holy basil)
Wood betony
Yellow dock root

 As you can see they cover a lot. So if you are wanting more information on herbalism this is the place to go.
Even if you don't want to try the class go check out the Site, as I said they have a ton of information on it.
If you have any questions just ask and I will try to answer.

Click Here to learn More



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

300 a Month, Menu, Weeks goals

I really want to do something like this in my back yard. I think it would be doable. Instead of the long table I think a swing and some chairs. What do you think?
I have been working on my bedroom. Don't know why it seems to be the catch all room. It is small and I have two dressers, a large piano , a filing cabinet and a bench with a bunch of Andy's stuff on it plus a king size bed so it is pretty cramped in there already. But when nobody knows what to do with something they put it in my room. So most of the time it looks like a cluttered mess which drives me crazy. The new linin closet has helped immensely, I now have a place to go with all the extra blankets, sheets, and a whole bunch of other stuff that has been cluttering up my room.
I have been teaching my niece  to crochet. She has been wanting to learn so while they are here I am teaching her the basic stiches.  
Well I do save a whole lot more money when I don't go to town lol.
Had to go to town this week-end.
City Market had Peanut butter on sale for 1.49 so I got 20 jars, the had 2 pound cheese on sale for 7.99 I got 4   and 3 24 oz sour creams for 2.00 each for a total of 67.67.
Wal- mart I bought a battery charger, after our power outage I realized we need more batteries.  Rechargeable makes more sense then disposables.  The charger was 19.97, kind of expensive but I think in the long run I will save by not having to buy as many disposable batteries. I will buy batteries when ever I can afford a few. Katie has been wanting me to make a robe out of some silk fabric my Mother in Law gave me, so I finally bought a pattern for 7.96 ( kills me how much patterns cost).
I got two cans of green chili enchilada sauce, I don't do this very often, but mine sauce doesn't taste as good as this one. One package of toilet tissue. Wal-Marts total was 36.35   
City Market 67.67
Wal-Mart 36.35
Total         104.02
For March 104.02  with 195.98 left for the month.
left for the year 3310.62
It amazes me how fast the goes even when trying to be careful.
This weeks menu
Fruit and Yogurt
Cream of Wheat
French Toast
French Toast
Beef Noodles
Tuna Sandwich's
H.M. hot pockets
Fish Sticks
Will have what ever kind of fruit I have, and crackers with the soup.
For Andy's lunch he will have leftovers from the night before.
Smothered Burritos
Baked Spaghetti
Cheese Burger Casserole
Beef Noodles
Red Enchiladas
Fried Potatoes with Polish Sausage
Will have a veggie of some sort and bread with each meal.
Saturday or Sunday we will have leftovers.

I did get a little mending done this week I worked on taxes a tiny bit and nothing on Joleen's book. As I mentioned before I am doing the on line herb class (which I will talk about tomorrow) and that has been taking a lot of time.

The Goals for this week are pretty much the same as last week
Work on Taxes, Have to get to work on these, running out of time.
Work on potatoes, will be so glad when I get these all done.
Work on Joleens book.
I do want to start on Katie's robe.
 Have a great week.
And so what are your goals for the week?


Friday, March 6, 2015

What is more important, lot of guns or lots of food?

 I was talking to someone the other day about the economy and where things are headed, they think like I do that we are running out of time (their timeline was even shorter than mine). So I asked, “how prepared are you for what is coming?” thinking they were completely prepared with the 6 core areas of preparedness. They said they have lots of guns and ammo and enough reloading supply’s to last a very long time. That is defiantly a good thing. Having a means of protection is going to be very important for what is coming. Then I asked how much food storage did they have. I was sure they would say at least a years’ worth so imagine my surprise when they said “oh we probably have a months’ worth of food in the house.” “Really” I didn’t even bother to ask about Water, Heat, Lights,  Sanitation or skills.

I think a lot of people get so caught up in just one or two aspects of prepping that they overlook a lot of the other things that also need to be done. What good is 5 years of food if you have no way to protect it? What good is a mountain of guns and ammo if you have no food to keep up your strength? What good is guns and food if you are sitting in the dark and freezing? Chances are when it all hits the fan you will not be able to run to the store and pick up what you need to survive for an extended period of time. And even if you can get to the store what’s to say there will be any thing left.

Prepping requires a broad range of things, some of what you need is food, water, heat,(if you live in a cold climate) sanitation, lights, a way to cook and skills. I am going to highlight some areas we need to be prepared in, and at a later date I will be going into more detail about each item.
Food- this doesn’t have to be expensive freeze  dried stuff. I store what we eat and eat what we store. I don’t want to try and introduce new and different foods in a crises situation. Familiar food will be a comfort when everything is going crazy. If at all possible grow as much of your own food as you can (not only cheaper but much more healthy for you.). Can, freeze, or dehydrate as much of it as you can. Just remember that if you freeze it there is a possibility of the power being down and your freezer not working, so canning and dehydrating are the better options. If money is tight do this in small steps on my Food Storage Challenge  I have it broken down into two categories the first is the most important, it is the very basics the second is important but doable without.

Water- If the grid is down there will be no running water; it takes power to run the water plants. You need at least a gallon of water per person per day. More than likely though, you will need at least 2 to 3 gallons when you factor in cooking, cleaning, flushing toilets. And don’t forget pets. If you have access to ground water (ponds, creeks ditches ect.) be sure to have a way to filter and sterilize the water. And again you don’t have to run out and buy expensive bottled water. You can store water in juice containers, soda bottles, empty canning jars, and even old water bottles. I don’t recommend using milk jugs they are thin and don’t last as long, also if they are not perfectly clean the old milk in the water will ruin it.
Off Grid

        Heat- Living in Colorado that is a big concern for us. How can you heat your house without power?  A wood stove is ideal but some people are unable to have a stove so you will have to find alternatives. Be careful about ventilation when considering your heat sources, some buildings have windows which will not open, and this must be considered when thinking through your heat sources. And remember it is easier to heat just one room as opposed to the whole house.

       Cooking- You will need alternative ways to cook even the propane stoves have to have power to work. You can light the stove top with a match but the oven has electric sensors and will not work without power. Think about solar ovens, wonder ovens, BBQ grills, and rocket stoves.

       Light-Oil lamps are very affordable and you can use Kerosene in them which is less than ten dollars a gallon. You will go through a lot of batteries if all you use  flashlights, so be sure to have lots of candles, oil lamps, solar powered lights and other light sources.

      Sanitation-What happens if you can’t flush your toilets? Here are a few options. An outhouse, self-composting toilet, A five gallon bucket lined with heavy duty trash bags with a toilet seat attached Wood ash, Kitty litter, or sawdust can be sprinkled in the buck to help control odors. Also remember Toilet tissue, feminine hygiene,  diapers if you have babies, Baby wipes are great to have on hand.
Medical-If you can’t get to the doctor or get medical help can you treat yourself? Be sure to have a well-stocked first aid kit and know your basic first aid. Also have some good first aid books on hand, don’t forget prescription Meds these may be harder to get, but talk to your doctor to see if you can get a little extra for your first aid kits. Also look in to herbal remedies that use plants that are native to your area.
Safety-Personally, I believe every family member old enough to handle a firearm should be taught safety factors and target practice. Adult members should also have holsters (either concealed or otherwise) for ease of carry for when things go south. Safety should be more than just firearms. It also includes such things as situational and strategic awareness, home and property security, communications, and property security, communications, and local relations (friends, neighbors, community.)

Learn Forgotten skills- Be able to do things on your own, food preservation (canning, drying and smoking are some) grow a garden, sewing, soap making, hunting; growing and butchering your own meat, things that make you less dependent  on someone else. Don’t forget to stock up on books with information on these things; you may not be able to get on the computer.

You need to be physically fit, when the hard times hit you will have a lot more to do, and will be under a lot of stress, if you are healthy you will be able to deal with things a lot easier.

I know money is tight for every one and it is hard to put back any preps. It does
take dedication and sacrifice,  but I am willing to do without the vacations, eating out and other things I do with out, to make sure that I will be able to take care of my family when it all goes south. Most everyone can save money somewhere so they can get a little more preps. You can go here for110 ways to save money .

 This is just a start for getting prepared, read my Food Storage Challenges I cover all these items. I believe we are running out of time. Now is the time to get prepared, DON’T BE CAUGHT UNPREPARED.

Week 9 Food Storage Challenge

Soap / First aid supplies

Bath and dish soap. If you plan to make your own soap you will need to get lye (make sure it is 100% lye)  some extra lard , shortening, or some kind of fat.

First Aid supplies I have a list here of some of the things you should have in your first aid kits.

Add more to your money stash.

Get more water.

For March you need to try and figure out some alternative ways for cooking. If you have a wood stove you might practice cooking on it. I do this in the winter when we are using our wood stove to heat the house. B B Q, rocket stove, solar oven, or a wonder oven are all other options. You can make your own wonder oven and solar oven, there's   lots of patterns on the internet.
Andy got me a solar oven for Christmas I am hoping as soon as it gets a little nicer outside I can start using it. So hopefully I will have some solar oven recipes to share soon. I am wanting to make a wonder oven to use in place of the crock pot also.

The skill for the month is Herbs, try to learn and collect  information on medicinal herbs. Learn about what grows in your area and what you can grow yourself, so you are not dependent on store bought herbs. I am taking an online herbal class that has a ton of information. I am working on a post about that so should have it up in a couple days.

The item to get  for the month is canning supplies. If you don't have  canner try to get one. If you do have a canner, stock up on jars and lids, you might want to think about tattler reusable lids. I have some tattle reusable lids that I haven't tried yet, as soon as I do I will let you know how they work.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

300 a Month, Menu, Weeks goals

My brother getting ready to take the kids sledding. With everything going on this weekend I didn't get to go but they had lots of fun.
Been a pretty crazy week around here. My dad had surgery on his shoulder Wednesday he did real well with it. Only he can't use it for 16 weeks so this should be interesting as my dad isn't one to just sit around he is always up working on his trucks , driving them or working around the house, always doing something. He got home Thursday night.
Friday they put my mother in law in the hospital. She has a sore on her leg that has been there for about 3 months and just won't heal  they put her in to try and get it healed up come to find out she has a staff infection in it so they have her on high powered antibiotics and not sure when they will let her out.
Friday evening my nephew his wife and daughter got into town. They are on their way home from Missouri where he was taking a class for two months (he in in the army)  she was staying with her family while he was taking the class. Any how she is 8 months pregnant and had a few problems before they left Missouri. When they got here she had a message from the Doctor in Missouri that they wanted her to get induced here. When they got into town she wasn't feeling to good so they went to the E.R about 11:00 that night the4y went ahead and keep her  potassium levels were real low so they got that up and went ahead and let her out they don't want to induce but they also don't want her traveling (she is due in about 4 weeks) so she is on complete bed rest. So between her my dad and Mother in Law it was a very busy week end.
In between all that, we got my linen closet put in that I have been waiting for (and had all the stuff for) for 4 years. We had a space for a freezer, but put the freezer in the mud room with the idea of putting in a linen closet This house doesn't have a whole lot of storage so  closet was badly needed. And yes I already have it full haha.
I did good again this week and didn't go to town so I spent nothing. I am probably going to have to get to town this next week some time.
So I am still at 60.27 for the month with 239.79 left for the month and 3414.64 left for the year.
This weeks menu.
French Toast
Cheese omelets
Scrambled eggs and toast
H.M. Hot pockets
Fish sticks
Mac & Cheese
P B & J
Chicken Noodle
Will have what ever kind of fruit I have and crackers with the soup.
For Andy's lunch he will have leftovers from the night before.

Chili Relleno casserole
Chicken Fried Steak
Crock Pot Meatloaf
French Bread pizza
King Ranch 
Sausage with fried potatoes
Will have a veggie of some sort and bread with each meal.
Saturday or Sunday we will have leftovers.

Well I said above this weekend was pretty busy. I was able to do a little mending this past week and I get some laundry soap made. Did not get to work on taxes or Joleens book.
The Goals for this week.
Work on Taxes, Have to get to work on these, running out of time.
Work on potatoes, will be so glad when I get these all done.
Work on Joleens book.
Get some more mending done. So hopefully I can get some of this done. Don't know what the problem is just can't seem to get things done like I need to even thought I feel like I am always busy.
Have a great week.
And so what are your goals for the week?