Thursday, February 28, 2013

Week 11 Self Sustaining Pantry

We are still working on counter tops so it has be hard to get much done in the kitchen ( They are stating to look so good).
Did get a dehydrator full of potatoes.
Went after corn stalks for the cows, they sure have helped to stretch the hay.
Got 8 bottles of saline solution for our contacts ( The girls and I all wear contacts) for storage.
I signed up to sell Young Living essential oils I use so many oils I figured I should try to sell some to try and help pay for what I use.
A friend that works for a slaughter house brought me about 50 pounds of beef fat I got all that rendered down.
I have taken a 400 dollar cut in pay so I will be trying to find more ways to save money. One thing I am going to do is start paying more attention to my electric usage I should get the new electric bill in the next couple days and I will look at the usage and start trying to lower it. I have the water bill about as low as I can get so that is taken care of.
This next week I am going to try and work on the rest of the potatoes. I also need to get started on Joleens prom dress. Now that I have the tallow I need to get some soap made .I am thinking about making soap and selling it to help make up for the pay cut.
What were you able to get done this week?

Week 8 Food Storage Challenge

Week 8 Food Storage Challenge
10 pounds of pasta / Spices and Herbs
10 pounds of pasta, I try to make most of my pasta except for macaroni and I do try your store a lot of that.
Spices and herbs, Store what you use the most, and remember you can grow a lot of your own herbs. You can grow your herbs in your flower beds. I try to make all my landscaping productive I hate to water something that doesn’t produce anything.
If at all possible buy your herbs in bulk they are a lot cheaper that way. With your herbs you can make your own blends eg. Taco seasoning, spaghetti seasoning.
Don’t forget beef and chicken base. With this and your spices there is a lot you can make.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Make your own Brown Sugar

Making your own brown sugar is so easy and taste so much better not to mention it is way cheaper.

Start with one cup of sugar.
Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of molasses ( depending on how dark you want it to be) I always use 2 Tablespoons.
Mix with your mixer.

It will be a little lumpy just mash the lumps with a fork. Continue mixing.

You will have  nice fluffy fresh brown sugar.

So now you won't have to worry about your brown sugar getting hard or running out.

Monday, February 25, 2013

27 Uses for Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid comes on sale once a year here for 10 cents so when it does I buy a bunch ( you wouldn't believe the looks you get when you buy 150 to 200 packs of Kool-Aid lol) I use a lot of it, here are some of the things I use it for besides drinking.

I mix several packs of Kool-Aid with the sugar ( 1 cup sugar to 1 pack of Kool-Aid) and put in a jar
to use it in several things.

1. Use it to make a single glass of Kool-Aid 1/8 cup to 1 cup of water.

2. Add to homemade or plain yogurt for flavored yogurt.

3. Add to plain applesauce for flavored applesauce. The girls use to always want the flavored applesauce’s but I would never buy them because they were so expensive. They really liked this when I started doing it.

4. Add to snow for snow ice cream.

5.  Put some in applesauce to dry and make fruit leather.

6. Make lip gloss. Melt a small amount of petroleum jelly with a small amount of the kool-aid in it to get the desired color microwave for a few seconds to soften up the mixture let cool before using.

7. Add to club soda or sprite for a flavored soda.

8. Put into cool whip to ice a cake with.

Things to use the plain Kool-Aid for

9. Make syrup for snow cones.

10. Make syrup for pancakes.

11. Add to homemade or canned frosting for a flavored frosting.

12. Make play dough I just add a pack or two to my favorite homemade play dough recipe.

13. Remove Chlorine from hair. Combine a pack of lemonade kool-aid with a dollop of shampoo. Apply to hair let sit 15 minutes before rinsing out then re shampoo hair.

Note: Try not to get the Kool-Aid powder in your eyes or it will sting.

14. Dye Yarn. Go to To see how.

15. Clean your dishwasher. Pour one or two packs of lemonade Kool-Aid in the detergent compartment of you dishwasher run an empty cycle.

16. Add to your homemade dishwasher detergent. Helps remove water stains.

17. Tye Dye a T-Shirt. Mix Kool Aid with vinegar, apply to a twisted shirt (according to the pattern you want), leave in the sun to dry and then iron at a medium heat.
18. Color Easter eggs.

Choose your flavor and color of Kool-Aid, all have their own specific color usually matching the color on the packet
Add 2/3 cup of water and packet to hot or cold water and stir.
Add hard boiled eggs and let them sit in the mixture until the desired color is obtained. You don't need vinegar as Kool-Aid contains citric acid
Let the eggs dry completely

19. Make popsicles. Pour mixed Kool-aid in small plastic cups when partially set up add popsicle sticks or plastic spoons in the middle, when frozen out of the cups to eat.

20. Kool-Aid Cookies

Pack Kool-Aid your choice of flavor

1 2/3 Cups sugar
1 1/4 Cups butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 Cups flour
1/2 Cups sugar for dipping

Mix kool-aid with the sugar. Add softened butter and mix until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in salt and baking soda. Add flour in 1/2 cup increments and mix well after each addition.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the sugar. Place them on greased cookie sheet and into 325 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Don't overbake! Remove cookies from sheet after 1 minute and let cool.

21. Check for leaks in toilet tanks The darker colored soft drink powder works the best because you can see it better.
Carefully lift the lid off the toilet tank and set it aside. Open up a pack of Kool-Aid and pour it into the tank. The test can take as little as ten minutes or as long as thirty minutes, depending on the size of the leak. Don't flush the toilet! Just watch the toilet bowl. If you see the colored powder float through from the tank, then there's a leak present. It's quite possibly the flapper piece. But, you'll have to investigate further to determine the exact cause

22 Kool-Aid Water Colors Pour several different packs of Kool-Aid into individual glass containers ( Plastic will stain) add a tablespoon of water to each container stir until dissolved. Give the kids paint brush and paper and let them go to painting

23. Dye your hair. You want a different color for Halloween or any time take a pack of kool-aid mix with 1 tbl of hair conditioner to make a paste put o clean hair let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing out will wash out in a couple washings.

24. Make Hard candy.

25 Make your own Gatorade the recipe is HERE. My husband likes this better then the store bought and he goes through a lot in the summer.

26 Make your own pedialyte the recipe is HERE. The little ones seem to like this better then the store bought.

27. I found this after I posted this so I am adding it. I found it at readynutrition it is how to make flavored popcorn.

Do you have any other ideas how to use Kool-Aid would live to hear them.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Week 10 Self Sustaining Pantry

We were working on counters this past week so didn’t get a whole lot done. Here is a sneak peek of the counters have two done and two more to go and the back splashes. So proud of Andy he is doing all the work himself (with my little bit of help lol).


I did pick up some pool shock that was marked down from $12.00 to $3.00 to put back for water purification.
I took up Katies FFA jacket it was about three sizes to big so now it fits and looks a lot better.
Picked up 5 boxes of tea bags. I get the dollar boxes at wal-mart they do not have the wrapper or the string just the tea bag but a dollar for 100 tea bags is not bad. We drink a lot of tea, in the winter I will put two tea bags in a med pan of water on the wood stove covered for several hours and I can make a gallon of sweet tea with it ( put the pan on as soon as I make the new batch.)
What were you able to get done this week?


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week 7 Food Storage Challenge

Week 7: 25 lbs sugar / 25 Lbs oats

You might also consider picking up a couple jars of molasses when you get your sugar , so you can make brown sugar. It is cheaper to make your own brown sugar. Plus you will have fresh and not have to worry about it getting hard. ( Will post the recipe soon).


Try to buy your oats in bulk there are some places that have 20 to 25 pound bags for less then 20 dollars. You can use these to make your own instant oatmeal packs, add to hamburger to stretch it, grind it to make a flour, of course cookies and many other things.

The once a month item to get is a manual can opener if you do not already have one. I was a little late posting the monthly item so I picked the can opener as they are pretty inexpensive.

Also something you may want to start this week is an emergency fund. Put back what ever you feel you can afford even if only a few dollars a week as I say every little bit will help

Keep putting back water.

Will post the action item next week since this month is almost over.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hopefully I am back.

Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately. I have been in a slump and haven’t been on top of things lately don’t know if it is winter blues , post election blues or holidays and all the graduations or a little of all.

I have been getting so behind on things that need to be done. It’s like I have had no motivation and just when I should be stepping into high gear.

Heck I have even been buying bread and drying my clothes in the dryer two things I hardly ever do. I have even taken a break from talk radio and I usually always have that on.

I have talked to several people that are the same way, I don’t know if we just know things are getting ready to get bad and we are just taking a break for a while to try and regroup.

I do feel like I was given the task of trying to teach people ( long story)the few things that I know. I have had a few people tell me that I share to much info sometimes, but in order to share the things I know I have to give the extra info and pray that all will be ok because of it. Although it is discouraging when trying to reach friends and family about what is on the way and they do not see it or do not care to see it.

I have been doing a lot of praying and soul searching trying to get my mind back to where I need it to be. It is time to get back in the swing of things so hopefully I will be back on track.

Didn’t mean to bore you with all this but I wanted you to know why I haven’t been posting much lately.



Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 9 Self Sustaining Pantry.

The Cattleman’s was this past week end. The men have meetings during the day then in the evening there is a banquet and dance We had such a good time). During both they give door prizes. Andy won 5 pounds of flour and 3 pounds of wheat cereal ( Cream of Wheat). Joleen won a haircut which was nice she has been wanting to trim her hair, well I guess I should say she wants someone besides me to trim her hair lol.

Wal-Mart had candles marked down to 1 dollar so I got 15 for storage. They also had reams of paper for 1 dollar I got 5 packages.

Got the last of the oranges in the dehydrator got about 3 gallons bags of dried oranges.

Made 2 cups of mustard, that should last for a little while.

Went and got another load of wood. I hope it warms up a little soon starting to get tired of the cold. Although it is suppose to snow again in a couple days.

Had to go to the flour mill to get 50 pounds of bran for the horses, Picked up 50 pounds of flour while I was there.

Got the zipper replaced in Andy’s insulated bibs, So will not have to buy a new pair.

Mended two pair of Joleens pants and her jean jacket.

Took up a pair of Katies pants. I also took up a couple of mine while I was at it.

We are starting on counter tops this week ( finally have been waiting for close to three years for counter tops, so excited) so I don’t know how much other stuff I will be able to get done. Hope to work on onions , get some beans canned and potatoes in the dehydrator.

Still need to start on Joleens dress. Need to get some seeds started, I try to let Andy do that seems when I try to start them they don’t do very good.

What were you able top get done this week?





Thursday, February 14, 2013

Week 6 Food Storage Challenge

Week 6: 6 lbs yeast / Garden seeds get Heirlooms or non hybrid, so you can save seeds for next year.

You can store your yeast in the freezer to give it a longer self life. Look into sour dough for when there is no yeast or you are short on yeast. Sour dough is easy to use , taste good and you can make a lot of different things with it.
I order my bulk yeast and spices from Bulk Herbs. We don’t have a large discount store ( Costco or Sams) close so I try to order a lot of these kinds of things
Try and get non hybrid or heirloom seeds and plants and save the seeds for next year so you will always have seeds.

Start planning your garden now even if you are in a small space you can plant a few things. Every little bit helps. There are a lot of ideas and helps on the internet and library for small space gardening.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Preserved Lemons

I love preserved lemons I use them on chicken , instead of zest , on fish, make a syrup out of them I even eat them plain ( reminds me of when I was a kid and we would eat on a whole lemon all day long with lots of salt). They are so easy to make you do have to let them sit at least a couple months before you use them and they keep over a year.

Start by washing the lemons in vinegar water.

Then cut the tops and the bottoms off.

Then run a slit down the middle but not all the way.

Then down the other side also not all the way. Then open up like this.

In a half gallon (or what ever size you want) put a little salt in the bottom.

Put about a tablespoon of salt in the middle.

And fill the jar about half way.

Then push them down and add more salt and more lemons.

Once it is full of lemons push down and add more salt to cover the top.
Fill the rest of the way with fresh lemon juice, should already be about half full of juice from pushing down the lemons.

 Cover and let sit a couple weeks on the counter turning upside down once on a while salt to get all mixed in. Then put in the fridge for a couple months before you can start using.
Here is what it will look like you can't tell but the juice is pretty thick. This is what I have left over from last year so I will still have some to use until the new is ready.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Week 8 Self Sustaining Pantry,

Still working on taxes so I am behind again. I am also helping my dad with some of his bookwork for taxes.

This week we got another load of Corn Stalks for the cows we were going to go get another load but the wheel came off the tractor so we were unable to unload the trailor. Had to wait on the part to get in ( was quoted 250 dollars for the part but managed to find one for 100 dollars tractor parts are crazy expensive) before we could put it back on. In fact that is what Andy is trying to do right now the tire weights over 400 pounds so it is no easy task to get back on.

I got the rest of the lemons put up ended up with 8 quarts of whole lemon sweet syrup and 2 half gallons of preserved lemons.

I did get the zipper put in Andys insulated overalls so that will save us having to buy a new pair.

Patches put on Joleens Jean Jacket that she wears everywhere.

We did get the stuff laid out so we can start on the counter tops (whoo hoo have only been waiting three years)

Once again not a very productive week hope to get more done next week.

Joleen wants me to start on her prom dress we have the fabric (camo) and the pattren so want to start on that soon so it is done before farming starts.

Still have onions and potatoes to get done.

Time to start thinking about gardens and what we are going to plant and get plants started.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

We are sooo Screwed !

A friend sent this to me just had to share. So funny but also so sad because it is so true.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Going to get wood

We went and got wood last Wednesday we were starting to get a little low with all this cold cold weather ( below zero a lot of nights) we have used a lot of wood. We don’t get a lot of wood in the fall because we are so busy so we get most of our wood in the winter.
I was headed to the back and the horses met me at the gate. I put the gate down and drove through but before I could get the gate closed they had got out. I called them toby and simera turned around thank goodness I had some bran to give them to bribe them back in.

Got them back in and gave them all a little bran.

Here is one of the piles of wood we are cutting.

Andy working on a log.

A small load but hopefully it will last a little while.

We also loaded some logs that we had pulled out last fall. Got them loaded to take home. We will cut them up later for fire wood.

Not to bad for a mornings work. 

Week 8 Self Sustaining Pantry,

Sorry I am a little late getting this out.

I have been working on taxes this past week ( instead of keeping up on my book work all year I decided to wait till the last minute lol ) so I haven’t got a lot done.

We did go get a load of fire wood we also got some logs that we had pulled out last fall and hadn’t had time to get them home. We are so busy in the fall that we usually get our wood in the winter.

Remember having a self sustaining pantry isn’t just food it is everything that you need to us daily.

We went and got 10 large bales of corn stocks to supplement our hay for the cows trying to make the hay last as long as we can.

My mother in law had a pumpkin that was starting to go bad so we cleaned out the seeds to use for planting.

Got laundry soap made.

Made some more cold pills.

I did do some research on making our own dog food if shtf since it is so hard to store dog food long term.

Didn’t get a whole lot done this last week hopefully this next week will be a little more productive. I still have a few lemons to finish and the potatoes and onions . Have to get a zipper in a pair of overalls for Andy and mend a pair of pants for Joleen. Need to make soap and I am almost done with the 72 hour kits.

Don’t forget that if you find a good sale try to stock up on as much as you can if you can get 6 months to a year of it you will save a lot in the long run. Plus some of it you may be able to use in your food storage.

What were you able to get done this week? Hope you all had a more productive week then I did.