Thursday, February 27, 2014

Week 8 Food Storage Challenge

50 pounds wheat or flour / garden seeds

50 pounds of wheat or flour, If you store wheat be sure to have a grinder. Would really be bad to have to do it the really old fashion way with a rock lol.

Garden seeds, now is the tame to start getting seeds to plant, when you order or buy get a few extra you can keep them in a cool place or in the freezer. Try to get some non hybrid then you can have seeds from now on, just be sure to save some each year.

Add some more to your water.

Put a little more in your money stash.

Have you be able to come up with some alternative heat sources? If you are in a smaller space you might try the tea candle and clay pot heater. I haven’t tried one yet so don’t know how well they work ,but some people are saying they work pretty good. You can find the instructions on the Internet.

How is that cooking from scratch? Remember the more you cook from scratch the more money you will be able to save.

And always remember anytime you find a good sale on something you use try to buy as much extra as you can. This way you are not paying full price for the things you need.

Friday, February 21, 2014

It’s good to know I am not lazy, but I am tough

I was starting to wonder it just seems to take so long to get things done and so hard to get motivated to do them. As I mentioned before I went to the naturopathic a couple weeks ago, well I finally went and got the blood work done that she ordered. She called me the next day, and told me I had a very low iron count and wanted me to go see a hematologist. The hematologist wanted to see me the next morning she had no opening so she just worked me in. Well come to find out my iron level was 6.5 a normal is 30. That would explain why I am always so tired and have to force myself to get things done. The doctor was surprised that I was getting anything done. They gave me some intervenes iron, and I have to take iron with every meal. So hopefully in a few weeks I will start to feel better. I came home and told Andy, it was so nice to know I wasn’t getting lazy ( this has really been bothering me ) and that my doctor said I was pretty tough lol.

I have always been a little anemic and try to take my iron but for some reason I stopped taking it about a year ago ( I know stupid) bet I don’t stop taking it anymore lol.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Week 7 Food Storage Challenge

25 pound sugar / 10 pounds pasta

25 pounds of sugar, or you can get a half gallon of honey. If it is possible you might think about getting bees, now is the time of year to get them. We got two hive last year, and just ordered another. I am hoping to not have to worry about having to much sugar on hand.

10 pounds of pasta, remember you can always make noodles so try to get pastas that are harder to make such as macaroni, and spaghetti.


Add some more to your water, you can never have to much water.

Put a little more in your money stash. Every little bit helps.

How is the cooking from scratch coming along ?

Monday, February 17, 2014

This weeks goals and menu

I think I mentioned that I was doing the paleo diet well I have lost 5 pounds but about Tuesday I got a real bad headache and just didn’t feel good this lasted until Friday. I got to thinking and wondering if the diet had any thing to do with it so I looked it up and sure enough when you do the palo diet your body goes through a detox period which makes since your not eating all the junk that you had been eating. I kind of feel off the wagon Friday I wasn’t feeling good and needed to eat something, I had fixed pasta for supper for everyone else so I gave in and ate some.  Saturday night we went out to dinner for valentines and I had a French dip so I had bread. I am hoping as I get back on it I won’t have to go through the headaches again.

Since I didn’t feel to good all week I didn’t get much done.

I was over at prudent homemaker, and she was talking about being frugal especially with food and not letting anything go to waste. I do have to admit there are times I don’t get to something and I end up having to throw it away, so I am going to make a better effort to take care of things before they go bad.

I am also going to try on Mondays to share my frugal choices for the past week in everything that I do.

So this past week

I did start hanging clothes on the line I had gotten a little lax in using the dryer. I also have tried to stop using the dishwasher. I would like to cut my electric use even more then what I have been doing.

Now for the goals for this week I need to get the onions finished I want to can some plain chopped onions, some caramelized onions and some French onion soup. I also need to get some preschool lessons for daycare I have gotten a little lax on that. I have some pineapples that I bought on sale and have been waiting for them to get ripe, I need to get them in the dehydrator.

This weeks menu is

                                 Breakfast                                          Lunch                                    Dinner

Mon.                        Oatmeal                                 Mac & tomatoes                             Crock pot


Tue.                     Scrambled eggs                             French Toast                                 Pork Chops

Wed.                   Pancakes                                      Chicken Noodles                            Green Chili

                                                                                                                                     Skillet Dinner

Thu.                         Cereal                                     Grilled Cheese                                          Tacos

Fri.                      cream of wheat                               fish sticks                                    Chicken Fried


Sat.                                                     The girls will have leftovers we have the fireman’s banquet

Sun.                                                                                                                                  Potatoe Soup



Andys snacks this week will be orange cake and carrot cake I have some oranges and some carrots that need to be used up.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Week 6 Food Storage Challenge

Before I start with this weeks list I want to share this with you. I think food prices are going to rise dramatically over the next year so if at all possible get as much as you can now, here is a few reasons why I think they are going to rise.

Also look at the south they don’t usually get storms like this. Just think how nice it would be, if something like that were to happened and you had food and a way to heat if the electricity were to go out.

CA. drought continues, A lot of farmers will not be planting because of water restrictions this year. We get a large portion of our produce from CA.
Fla. freeze killed fruit, squash, cucumber and herb crops.
Cold spells in many states killed cattle. And in other states the droughts are causing ranchers to sell a lot of their herds. Cattle are at a 61 year low.
Indonesia fish industry is suffering(not to mention sea deaths from Fukushima).
Texas wheat growth stunted by cold.
Australia drought continues.
China rice crop affected by low temps.

Brazil coffee and sugar crops affected by drought.

I think stocking up and having a garden are going to be so important in the coming year.

So if you don’t have plans for a garden now you need to put one in. Even if you live in town you can do small space gardening or container gardening.

So anyway here is this weeks food storage challenge.

10 cans of soup / Detergents

10 Cans of soup store bought or home canned, pick what your family likes to eat no point in having something they wont eat.

Detergents, if you MAKE YOUR OWN then get the things you need to make it with borax, bar soap, washing soda ( you can MAKE YOUR OWN WASHING SODA out of baking soda, much cheaper) and if you make your own bar soap just make some plain soap and throw a small piece in your washer.

Keep adding to your water. A small town not to far from us had the water pumps go out at the water plant they have been with out water couple days. It just shows that it can happen anywhere.

Put a little more money back if you can. I know that part is hard but if you have an emergency you will be so glad that you did.

How is the cooking from scratch coming? I am going to try and start posting a few dinner recipes that I am using in my menus, that are quick and easy but from scratch.

Hope you have a great week.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Making your own herbal capsules.

Making your own capsules are very easy a little time consuming but well worth it for what you can save by doing your own.You do need a capsule maker, most health food stores sell them, and the capsules. They are cheaper if you can go online, I get mine at starwest. You can make up a pretty good size batch at once and you can use any combination of herbs that you need and not only is it cheaper this way you know exactly what is in your capsules, and with no added fillers.

A capsule maker will cost around 20 dollars and the refills depending on what size around 10 to 20 dollars for a 1000. There are 4 different sizes of capsule makers"3" "2" “1” “0” “00”
You can go to   for information on the different sizes and how much they hold,
here is a little of the information that they have.

Capsule Sizing Information"00" holds about 735 mg. "0" size holds about 500 mg. #1 holds about 400 mg. #2 about 300 mg. #3 about 200 mg.

One teaspoon will fill about 7 "0" capsules and about 5 "00" capsules. The weight depends on the density of the powder you are using. Some powders are much denser than others. It also depends on the fineness of the powder. The only way to be sure is to check the weight of each individual material. On a scale accurate to within one-tenth of a gram or even to one-tenth of an ounce or even to a gram, you can weigh 24 empty capsules and then compare with the weight when full. If you only want a small amount of active ingredient, then you can mix with a material such as milk powder or rice powder as a filler. That way you can use "0" or "00" size capsules with various weights of active ingredients.


You can go to my cold and flu pills here HERE to see exactly how to fill the capsules.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recipe for King Ranch

I am going to start posting some of the recipes for things on my menu this week I have King Ranch on the menu it originally call for chicken but since Andy doesn’t care for chicken I substituted hamburger for the chicken. Andy really likes this and the girls like to dip it up with corn tortillas chips.

King Ranch

1 pound cooked ground beef or 1 pound cooked cubed chicken

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 medium bell pepper chopped ( I use what I have in the freezer from the garden last fall)

1 medium onion chopped ( same thing I use canned or frozen onion)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cans rotel diced tomatoes and green chili ( I use a jar that I have canned) also if you have kids that don’t like chunky tomatoes you can put the rotel in the blender , food processor or use you stick blender right in the can then they never know the  tomatoes are in it.

12 corn tortillas torn into bite size pieces

2 cups cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 325 ( I usually just turn it on when I put this in the oven).

In a large pan melt butter and add bell peppers and onions cook about 5 minutes till tender add meat, rotel and soups stir until blended. Alternately layer tortillas soup mixture and cheese repeating for three layers. ( or you can do it my lazy way I just mix everything together except for a ½ cup cheese pour into my pan then top with remaining cheese ) Bake 40 miniutes or until hot and bubbly. Serves 8

Monday, February 10, 2014

This Weeks Goals and Menu.

It has been a very stressful and busy last couple weeks. First off Andy’s sisters husband had a stroke and was air lifted to Salt Lake. He is going to be ok will have to use a walker to walk with and a little slurred speech. Then a few days latter my Brother was cleaning his truck and had a knife sitting in the seat guess he forgot it was there but slid across the seat and ran the knife into his leg cut one of the main arteries so he was air lifted to Grand Junction they got it fixed and he is ok. Then last week my Uncle went in to the hospital for breathing problems ( he has copd) spent the night then they sent him home he didn’t get any better so he went to Durango hospital he had a breathing mask on and they had given him something to help him sleep, well he throw up in the mask and it got down in his lungs. He is now on life support and in a medically induced coma and not doing very well at all. Then yesterday Joleens boyfriend rolled and totaled his car he is ok though. So I am hoping things will settle down a little.

Sam Green/Cortez Journal Tracy Blagg is a happy winner of the Cowbelles brand quilt when her ticket was drawn from the 4,000 raffle tickets sold.
On the lighter side though, the Cattlemen’s banquet was this week end and that is always a good time. There are always a lot of people and so nice to be able to visit with some that you don’t get to see very often, good food (steak ), and lots of dancing. They raffle off a brand quilt which I would love to win, but I think I am just going to have to make my own if I am ever going to get one.

We have gotten some much needed snow just a couple inches but every little bit helps hoping to get a little more this week. We need it so bad going to be scary next summer if we don’t get some.

I went to see a Naturopath about my weight and my whacked out hormones she put me on the paleo diet ( no wheat or sugar ) and some herbs and vitamins I have already lost 6 pounds . I have been wanting to do the paleo diet for a while just haven’t really applied my self to it but this time I am determined to get this extra weight off and get to feeling better. I found a couple web sites that have different recipes for the paleo diet and they have some great tips.

I got to have lunch with a cousin that I haven’t sen in several years it was so nice to be able to catch up with her.

I dried my orange peels but did something different this time they still had some orange on them so I left ti thinking that would just add more goodness to the dried peels well not so much they all molded so I got no orange peels this year. Well I guess I know for next year so disappointing though.

Andy was able to get the rest of the cows from the point the other day so at least that is done.

This week I want to try and finish up the potatoes and onions ( I am so ready to be done with them). I bought a few pineapples on sale the other day and I am going to dry them, just waiting for them to ripen up a little more. I still have several jars from last year so I don’t need to can any this year.

We just started on taxes so that will be taking a lot of time. I also need to get this months daycare lessons put together and this months sensory box done. I have gotten a little behind on those.

Well here is this weeks menu I don’t have what I will be eating but what everyone else is going to get.

                         Breakfast                          Lunch                               Dinner

Mon                   cereal                            PB&J                          Smothered Burritos

Tue.                  Pancakes                        pizza                                 Pork Chops

Wed.                   Fr. Toast                     Fish Sticks                          Beef Noodles

Thr.                     Oatmeal                      Mac & Cheese                   Mexican Steak

Fri.                    yogurt & fruit              Chicken Noddles               King Ranch

Sat.                                                         Left overs                            Crock pot Chicken
                                                                                                               fried steak

Sun.                                                                              What ever we decide

Sides will be what ever I have on hand.
Andy’s Lunches since he comes home for lunches are leftovers from the night before. And his snacks for work and the girls after school snacks will be Apple cobbler and Brownies.

Hope everyone has a great week.





Friday, February 7, 2014

Week 5 Food Storage Challenge

6 Pounds of salt / Gelatin's and Puddings

6 pounds of salt If you can find it in bulk it will be cheaper. I get my salt from the feed store I doesn’t have the Iodine in it so we take extra iodine. It also don’t have the added things such as the anti caking stuff so I can also use it for canning.

Gelatin and puddings I use the unflavored gelatin then use kool aid or juice to make my own jello Takes up a lot less room and is cheaper to do it this way you can go Here to see how to make jello with the kool aid.

Pudding I do store a few instant puddings for when I am in a hurry. It is easy to make your own pudding it does take a little longer since you have to cook it and then let it cool down.

Add to your water either fill your own containers or buy a couple cases or a couple jugs of water. Water is one of the harder things to store try to look for places you can stash a few bottles or cases try under beds or in the corner of a closet. We have some lifts under the bed to raise them up they sure add a lot of extra room under the beds. If you store outside be sure not to fill all the way so you can allow for expansion if they freeze.

Add a few more dollars to your money stash.


This Months Skill to learn is to Cook from Scratch the more you can make yourself the less you will have to have in food storage and it will save you a ton of money.


The item for this month is kitchen hand tools like a manual can opener, egg beaters, potato masher, Kitchen tools that do not require electricity.

The action item this month is to try and find alternate heating sources.

 All across the country right now heat is a big concern for many There are many places that are with out power right now. How would you heat your house with out power? A wood stove is ideal but some people are unable to have a wood stove so they will have to find alternatives. There are some real good propane heaters out there but you will have to have propane stored also. Be careful about ventilation when considering your heat sources. Endless people have been asphyxiated due to carbon monoxide poisoning because they chose the wrong option to heat their living space. Some buildings have windows which will not open, and this must be considered when thinking through your heat sources.
If you do not install a wood stove (and even if you do), you’d be wise to at least have some extra warm clothing and blankets on hand. Long underwear, thick socks, gloves, hats (something comfortable enough to sleep in), warm outer clothing, and good sleeping bags and/or blankets for every member of the family are a must. I’d consider co-sleeping as a family during the coldest of nights as well. Nothing like body heat to warm you up!








Thursday, February 6, 2014

Herbal Infused Oils and Salves

Herbal Infused Oils
You can make your own herbal oils although not as concentrated as store bought essential oils they work very well, and are great in to use in salves, ointments, lotions, liniments, creams, bath oils, massage oils, balms, and in your homemade soaps. You can make several oils then you can blend them together when needed to create a blended oil.

There are a few different ways to make your oils although the basic idea is to cover your herbs with oils and allow them to steep.

Good oils to use as a base are:

Sweet almond oil
olive oil
coconut oil
Sunflower oil
Apricot kernel oil
Grapeseed oil
Avocado oil

The Cold infused method

This is one of the better methods to use as it is a little slower and the end product is a little better.

You can use dried herbs although fresh herbs are better. Dried herbs do lose some of their oils when dried. Because of this I will use the same amount of dried as I would fresh herbs. I like to use a 1 to 1 ratio 1 cup herb to 1 cup oil.

If using fresh herbs wash and blot dry let sit overnight to dry, make sure they are completely dry before using since mold and fungus grow very easy in oils. Nothing is more disappointing then to check your oils a couple weeks in and find mold, then have to throw it all away
Then chop coarsely. Put into a glass jar then cover with your oil. Run a knife along the inside edge to get out air bubbles. Leave a 2 inch headspace. Make sure all herbs are covered with oil even if you need to add a little more oil. You can add a ½ inch of 190 proof alcohol to the top to help prevent airborne molds and help extract the herbs into the oils. You can also add a couple drops of balsam poplar E.O or tincture on top as a natural preservative. Cover with a tight fitting lid and shake for about a minute remove the lid and cover with 4 layers of cheese cloth or my fav. Knee highs. Secure with the jar ring or a rubber band. Place in a warm dry spot a window sill works great. Let sit for 3 to 4 weeks or until the oil has taken on the color of the herbs and the
alcohol has evaporated. Strain out the oil with panty hose, or a fine mesh strainer be sure to squeeze every bit of oil out that you can. You can use cheese cloth but I don’t think it works as well to get out the small particles. Store oils in the fridge.

Crock Pot method
If you are in a hurry for your oils you can also use a crock pot ( I use the method a lot) just make sure your crock pot has a real low setting ( mine has a warm setting that I use) Plus you don’t have to worry so much about the
mold. Just put your herbs in the crock-pot and cover with oils let sit 6 to 8 hours I have let some of mine go as long as 12 hours. Cool then strain store in a glass jar in the fridge. They will keep up to a year in the fridge although I have some that I have had for at least a year and a half that is still good. Be sure to label and date.

A salve is an ointment for your skin such as burn salve, 1st aid cream, lip salve, diaper rash, chest rub,
When kept in the fridge salves have about twice as long of shelf life as do oils.
A basic salve is easy to make, as you get more use to making them you can add different herb combinations and different oil combinations.
A basic salve is 5 parts oil and 1 part beeswax.

Different oils have different properties and can be used accordingly to what type of salve you are going to make.

Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is very good for the skin and is particularly good in diaper rash salve, salves for burns, hemorrhoids and the face. Remember that coconut oil is solid at 75 or below and more of an oil in warmer weather if you don‘t keep it cool.

Olive oil makes a very greasy oil, which smells of olive oil. It is a superior moisture barrier that is best used in combination with other oils.

Sweet almond oil helps relieve irritation, inflammation, muscular aches and pains and itching. It is a superior emollient.

Avocado oil is a good base for salves that are used in treating cuts, acne, skin problems and burns. It is great for use with sensitive skin.

Macadamia nut oil is good for burns, very fragile skin, bedsores and extremely dry, chapped skin.
Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties and is helpful for dry skin.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps with healing. It also is a natural preservative.

Lanolin helps heal dry, cracked skin and keep it soft and supple.

I put my oils in a small pan and add my beeswax and heat on a low heat until the wax is melted. You can adjust how hard you salve will be by adding more or less beeswax. As soon as it is all melted, if you are adding essential oils you can add them now and stir well.
You can test the thickness of the salve by dipping a spoon into the oil/beeswax, then cooling in freezer for a minute or so . Then add more beeswax or oil depending on what consistency you want it. Remember it is a salve, you need to be able to spread it. Just play around with it until you get the desired results. Pour into containers. And allow to cool and firm up.

When using your own infused oils you salves will be more of a green color where as if you use essential oils they will be a cream color.
Store your salves sealed and in a cool dark place. or the fridge Be sure to label.