Saturday, April 30, 2016

Week 17 Food Storage Challenge

50 Pounds Wheat or Flour/ Canned Vegetables

Wal-Mart has 26 pound buckets of wheat for 15.28. If you have a flour mill you might check and see if they sale wheat. You can also use seed wheat just make sure it isn't treated. If possible freeze it before you store it. I like to get mine in the fall then store it in buckets in the shed in the winter have never had a problem with it getting bugs. If that isn't possible and you don't buy it already sealed be sure to store in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers.
If you don't have a grinder then get flour, store the same as you would wheat.

Canned vegetables, again get what you family will eat. Wal-Mart has cans for 68 cents a can. If you watch for sales you can find them for 50 cents a can. 

Have you been able to learn anything about canning? If you don't have a pressure canner start with boiling water bath just make sure that what ever you are canning can be water bathed.

Have you looked into any alternative cooking method's?

Put a few more dollars into your money stash.

Add some more water to your water storage.

Have a great week.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What if an EMP happened right this minute

Or an Attack on the power grid.

So you are sitting at your computer drinking coffee and checking all the latest going's on in the world when all the sudden you power goes out. There is no storm so you assume that maybe someone ran into a power pole or maybe they are working on the lines.
You have a few phone calls you need to make, you pull out your cell phone and it isn't working, darn, thought you had charged it last night. You go outside to go to your car thinking you will just plug your phone into your car. When you get outside you notice there are cars stalled on the road. Now you are starting to get a little concerned. You notice it is awfully quite, you live in the country so there isn't normally a lot of noise but now it is unusually quite. You try to start your car and nothing, won't even turn over.
By now you have a pretty good idea what is going on there has been an EMP or CME.

Do you have food, water, food for your animals, some way to cook, keep warm, protect your self, do you have a get home plan for family members that may be already gone for the day, do you have any idea what you need to be doing right now, do you have a radio and other electronics in a faraday cage, have a garden planted or a place ready for a garden, how many do it your self books do you have, How many skills do you and your family posses to survive this ?
And a few things a lot of people don't think about,
Is the laundry caught up?  You don't want to have a massive amount to do by hand.
Are the dishes caught up.
What about all the food in your freezer? Do you have enough jars and a way to can it.
Is the mending caught up?
Is the weeding in the garden caught up you are going to be so busy with other things in the beginning the last thing you want to be  behind on  is weeds,  you don't want the weeds to overtake the garden before you can get to it since that garden is now more important then ever before. 

So you figured out what has happened, Are you thinking I really should have done all that above or at least started. Or didn't really think it would happen or happen this soon, I fully intended to do these things but other things got in the way.

Or are you thinking I am so glad I put up food and water, figured out how to cook with no power, can keep my family warm in the winter, have light sources (and can find them), have a way to protect ourselves.

Are you able to go into the house and get things done that you have already preplanned and do a rough calculation as to when the rest of your family members should be home or get ready to go and get them at the designated meeting spot.

There has been so much talk lately of EMP's, N. Korean Russia, Iran are just a few who would like to do us in.

Not only do we have the threats of EMP's Our power grid is so very vulnerable. If there is an attack on the power grid how much fuel is in your vehicle's? How much cash do you have on hand to run to the store for a few last minute things before the rest of the populace figures out what is up?   

I feel that if you are ready for a EMP with a few extra things you are pretty much are covered for most all other things that could happen.

So how ready are you?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Alternative Cooking Ideas

The action item for April is to 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.

I have a propane cook stove so when the power goes out I can still use it to cook on. The new stoves do have a electric starter in the oven so if no power you can't use the oven, you can use the top burners you just have to light them with a match.

Bar B Q grill, The one draw back to this is you need propane to use it. In a short term emergency this would be ok.

Camp stoves also works great for short term use just be sure to have extra fuel stored for it.

Solar oven, rocket stove, or a wonder oven are all other options. You can make your own wonder oven, rocket stove, and solar oven, there's  lots of patterns on the internet.

I have a solar oven that I haven't had or taken the time to use so I am hoping to start using that soon so I can share some recipes for it.

Thermal cooker,

I also have a Thermal cooker which I love, I've only used it a few times but look forward to using it a lot more. I got it here at Saratogia jacks This is great because you can fill it in the morning and just take it with you where ever you are going.  It also has two pans so you can cook two different things at the same time. You  have to heat it up real good, then you put it in the cooker and just let it sit and cook. It is the pretty much the same concept as the wonder oven and  hay bale cooking but this is portable.

Then there is the old fashion cooking over a open fire. You do need a place and extra wood to do this. There is a lot of information on Dutch oven cooking on the web also. 

Which ever one you pick and want to use be sure to practice it so if you need to use it you know what you are doing and if possible have more then one way to cook.

If you have any other options please share them.

What is you preferred alternative cooking sources ? 


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Week 16 Food Storage Challenge

2 Pound Yeast / Toiletries
2 Pounds Yeast,  Wal-Mart has 4 oz. yeast for 4.75 or 2 pound bags for 12.49. You an also start a sour dough starter to use but with that you do have to use it pretty often. There are ways to make your own yeast for bread making, which I hope to do a post on in the near future.
Toiletries, Razors, Shave Cream, Razor blades If you can find a double edge razor and blades that would be good because they take up less room and you can sharpen the blades where you can’t sharpen the new disposable blades, The dollar store also has packs of five disposable razors for a dollar, And you can make your own wax to wax with if you don’t have blades ( Although pretty sure the guys are not going to wax lol so you will need blades for them )

Shave cream you can make this but you will have to have a shaving cream brush to use it.

Floss and toothbrushes you can get these at the dollar store.

Nail clippers and files are something else that would be good to have extras of.
The Dollar store carries a lot of these items but be sure to check your prices because sometimes Wal-Mart will be a little cheaper.
How is the alternate cooking coming along?
Add some more to your water, either fill your own containers or buy some gallon jugs of water.
Put a little more into your money stash. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Washer died, and the laundry mat

As I mentioned earlier my washer died last month. And of course with all that had been going on I was way behind on laundry. I had to go to laundry mats when I was way younger and I hated them so much, so I thought I would just grab my stuff to do my  laundry by hand and have it  whipped out in no time, silly me, don't think I put a whole lot of thought into that.

To start with I really only thought about doing my laundry by hand in the nice warm weather months, on  the tables outside where I don't have to bend over and all the mess stays outside. Since it was super cold a little snowy and a little rainy, I figured I could improvise and do it in the bath tub, maybe if I was little younger and had a better back. I put them in the tub and filled it with nice warm water and let them soak for a while, then sloshed them around a while, all of this wasn't to bad. Next I needed to wring out the water so I got my handy dandy wringer out of the shed, well I had nothing I could attach it to, went and found a tote that I could use and would fit in the tub got it attached and started using it, not a very easy task since I was trying to hold the tote down and keep the wringer handle from hitting the tub, I made it work but all that bending over was about to do my back in. I took a break for a few minutes and then went back to it. Got them wrung out and a tub of clean water going to rinse them, and started all over with the wringer. A couple hours latter and with a aching back I had one load done.

As I said before I really dislike laundry mats but by  now they were looking pretty darn good.
So I got Joleen to help me and we loaded all the laundry up and as said it was a pretty good amount, we went to town to do laundry.

I will say one thing for laundry mats though you get in and get it all done at once, it even gets folded right away. They are not cheap though, I couldn't believe how much I had to spend on laundry.
By the third time of going to the  laundry mat I was getting a little smarter and just washed them then brought them home to dry ( although they don't get folded right away haha). So after a few more times of that  we got a new washer put in. There was something that did concern me though,
this notice on one of the larger washers

I don't think they put these kind of warnings unless someone somewhere has tried to do this, did they just want to give them a bath or did someone want to go on a carnival ride, does have to make you wonder.

I do know now that I need to work on my off grid laundry plans a little more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

300 a Month for Febuary / March

Oh my goodness February and March were such a  busy months. The first weekend of Feburary we had people over to play music, then it just got crazy after that.

 The following weekend was the Cattlemen's, meetings and banquet. The meetings were good. we had some state and local representatives, in addition to our local sheriff. Was very informative some good, some not so good.
The banquet was great though, really really good steaks and fixens, they picked the cattleman and cowbell of the year. drew for the quilt and once again we didn't win ( guess I am going to have to make my own, although I say that every year and have yet to do it haha) The dance afterwards was good had a great band as always. It was so nice to visit with everyone seems like some of the people you only see once a year so it is nice to be able to visit with them.

The weekend after that we had my parents 40th wedding anniversary party which was a lot of work but  turned out great. Most of the kids were able to make it and a few of the grandkids, when you have 10 kids it's hard to get everyone together at the same time.

The last weekend was the Fireman's banquet and awards. Joleen got her badge and is an official fireman/women on the fire dept. The week before that she pasted her EMT test so she is also a certified EMT. Very proud of all she has accomplished this year.

March on the other hand has been busy but not so great.
The first of the month my step son had some major medical issues that we had to deal with, then as soon as we got that leveled out my Mother in Law started having some medical issues they took her to a hospital in Provo UT to try and do some work on the veins in her legs to help with the circulation. They were unable to do anything with them though. We had to make a fast trip to Provo in the middle of the week to go and get her . They put her in a nursing home for rehab then we will move her to a house that my Brother in law has, She wants to go home but she is so far out in the middle of nowhere it just isn't doable. This way it will be easier to get her help and to check on her more often.

We also started calving, Had one heifer that had her calf and was more interested in going to eat then taking care of the calf so we had to get it cleaned off and give it a bottle a couple times. We locked the cow and calf up together and she finally took the calf .
Andy bought a couple day old calf at the sale barn to put on our milk cow ( she makes so much milk she needs at least two calves on her), She hadn't calved yet so we had to bottle feed it for almost two weeks.

I also had a massive amount of dental work done so through most of this my mouth was in a lot of pain and I couldn't' eat anything.

Once again we were late getting stated on taxes with all this going on and having issues with the computer. So we are trying to squeeze time in to work on taxes with out having to file and extension.

And to make it all even better my washer died, I will have more on that a little latter.

Glad March is over and hope things will start to level out a little.
Although Katie graduates the  end of may and I am no where near ready just now working on getting invitations  ordered.  I did manage to get all the onions canned and in the freezer, chicken potato soup canned, oranges dehydrated and the lemons all done.

One thing about it though being so busy you don't have time to spend much money. I am just going to do a quick version of what I spent.
February, 181.78
March, 116.12
Total of 297.90 for March and February.

So the  3300 that I have left for the year after January minus 297.90 leaves me with 3002.10 for the rest of the year.

Have a great week will try to get every thing else caught up soon.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Week 15 Food Storage Challenge

50 Pounds Beans/Gelatin, Pudding
50 pounds of beans, get the beans that your family will eat, about the only thing my family eats is pintos so that is about all I store. No point in having something they won't eat. Pinto Beans at Wal-Mart are 72 cents for a 15.8 oz bag or 13.42 for a 20 pound bag. 

Gelatin/ Pudding, Wal-Mart has the small packs of Jello for 50 cents. You can also make your own with unflavored gelatin and fruit juice or Kool-Aid, You can get unflavored gelatin in bulk at Bulk foods .com.

Pudding, Wal-Mart has the small packs for 68 cents or once again you can make your own.

Keep working on your alternate cooking sources.

Add some more to your water and money stash.

Have a great week.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Week 14 food Storage Challenge

10 pounds Pasta / Baking Soda, Baking Powder

10 Pounds of pasta, Wal-Mart has most of their Pasta for $1.00 dollar a pound. You can also make your own noodles,  super easy to make, I do store some macaroni and spaghetti noodles just because they are a lot harder to make. I leave mine in the original package and put in to buckets, that I put in my outside shed so they can freeze during the winter.

Baking Soda, Baking powder / as I have said before I get my baking soda at the local feed store ( IFA) It is 13.00 dollars for 50 pounds, at Wal-Mart it is 1.98 for 64 ounces. It is easier to store cream of tarter to make your own baking powder, this way you don't have to worry about the baking powder going flat and it doesn't have the extra additives added to it.

1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
Use right away. If you are not going to use right away add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.

The  extra item this month is to work on alternate cooking sources eg. solar oven, thermal cooker, wonder oven, rocket stove, or even a bbq grill. 

The action item this month is to learn to can, if you don't know anyone to teach you, there is a ton of info on the internet and u-tube has a lot also. Start with water bath then move up to pressure canning. You can pick up a nice pressure canner for under 150 dollars and you can also use it to waterbath can.

Add a little more to your money stash.

Put back some more water.

Have a great week.