Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

I while ago I was watching some Youtube videos and I stumbled across one that showed a families food storage pantry room and they had these cardboard can organizers. I looked around for them, but I have always been awful at “Key word”
or what phrase to use in the search angine to find what I am looking for, even when you would think it would be easy, I will miss it. *sometimes at least*

Then a friend of mine contacts me about 2 weeks later and links me to this site and asks if I wanted to get some “with” her to share on the shipping costs. So we got a bunch (I got 20 and she got a dozen)

They are amazing, Here is a snippet of my food storage before and after:

Before:

After:

I really would LOVE to afford Shelf Reliance shelving units but I just can’t afford that right now. Even if I get one or two (which I probably will eventualy) I will probably keep them for larger cans that just won’t fit into the can organizers.  I was so excited with the turn out that I actually emailed the company and told them how amazing I thought it was.

With having children who are constantly running down to the food torage (in the basement) and getting this or that that I need, sometimes things are taken out of order even when it takes me ages to keep them in FIFO (First In Forst Out) order. So this takes the guess work out of it.

A friend of mine is doing a Water Bath Canning party.  Just a canning 101 kind of deal to give the basics.

She asked me if I would like to talk a little bit about food storage. Why to store food, and where to begin. I haven’t ever really done anything like that before but I am totally happy to talk to people about doing food storage and explain why it is SOOOOO important.

Send me a personal message at phedrespaz at g mail dot com (please forgive me, I prefer not to add links for my email on my blog due to spammers) My friend who is throw this shindig is going to give me a free gift to give away to some lucky email entry! It comes with a bunch of coupons for canning as well.

Awesome, right? So shoot me an email and I will let you know how the talk goes.   :)

So you have made up your mind to start food storage…. Start Emergency prep and now you realize just how much it will cost… Then you wonder, how on earth do you afford to even get started…. Living pay check to paycheck having to get a little less of the normal grocery list when you want to change something up… So what do you do?

First of all I challenge you to think about how  you spend your money. I live paycheck to paycheck and I know that most people do. But I have also managed in approximately 5 months to put aside about 3 thousand dollars on my food storage.

Write down for a solid week everything that you spend money on, every penny. What your bills are, if you spend a dollar on a vending machine. All of it.

You will be amazed at how much money you spend on things that aren’t really necessary.  For me its the vending machines at work. I have a huge weakness for diet soda. So once, sometimes twice a day I will spend $1.25 to get a soda. I could save a wicked amount of money just buying the soda in 36 can cases for like 10 bucks.

Try not to go to the drive thru when its been a long day, go home and make something easy. (Think about spending a few hours every Sunday and making a few extra meals, either casseroles or maybe make some tamale or  burrito filling or at least cook up some extra protein (chicken breast, roast beef, brown hamburger, precook dry beans) If you atleast cook the meat/beans in advance you will make it so much easier and faster to prepare dinner later in the week when you find that you might be tempted to stop and buy something simple.

Oh! and buy your kids water bottles. My kids preassure me to go to drive thrus MOSTLY because they are thirsty, so I bought them all water bottles, they carry them everywhere and I have snacks in the car that arent affected by heat for 6-8 weeks at a time.

Drive thru costs me somewhere between 30-50 dollars. We have 5 kids. It gets spendy.

I am by no means saying that you need to stop going out to eat. Just plan and budget for it.  D and I have started having dinner out after his radio shows on Thursdays and we go out about once a month to something else, may it be shooting or fun with friends. Going out isn’t a specific amount of money but it ranges in the budget, its planning for it that matters, especially when we spent about  $400 dollars a month.

Stop spending money for a week. I challenge you to think twice about what you are planning on spending. Pay your bills, buy your gas, go to the doctor or buy medicine if you need it, but don’t impulse buy, don’t run to the store for things that you don’t need. Think about your needs and plan them into it.

There are things aside from that that you can do to save money… and I am not talking about being frugal, just planning. (I’ll talk about being frugal some other time, right now its more about making plans)

So save your change, don’t spend it randomly, for the most part you wont notice that your missing it. Save it and spend that on your food storage. Buy appliances for food storage one at a time. Research and become comfortable with its applications before moving forward to the next one.

Another money saving idea is gifting. I give away jam. I think that is what I am going to do for Christmas, I want to start buying jars and gingham ribbon now and give all of my good friends jams and fruits for christmas (I know I am a jew and I don’t really care about Christmas, but I actually don’t have jewish friends  and I think its more about family and gifts rather than religion, I give my children gifts for christmas.  It’s fun. I like giving my friends gifts and you know, if you ask for the jars back,  you spend almost nothing on 8 oz jars.

I saw another website in my research who had the great idea of saving money by gifting emergency preparedness pamphlets that had been homemade, which MIGHT be a cool idea, IF your friend had shown interest, but for the most part my friends just think I am a little insane and kind of make fun of my for being kooky and a “hoarder” but since I am not easily offended I just think it is a little funny.

Giving someone instructions or a pamphlet on a plan would be the same as someone giving me a business card thats good for one free orthedontic consultation because they think that my teeth are crooked…. I would be like WTF where the heck is my real present. Its offensive.

One other idea that isnt really about being frugal but being able to put money aside for foodstorage is just buying an extra coupla cans of food or a pound or two of beans everytime you go to the store. I do this all the time, I actually never go to the store (even for a gallon of milk or a dozen eggs) without buying a coupla cans of soup or veggies or something or beans, cous cous or a few bags of extra wide egg noodles… (and so on) just an extra 2-3 bucks. Its always something that is on sale.

The thing about buying stuff on sale is that you save money when you DO buy it, but its not about giving up thinkgs you like. It means that if you buy a case of canned corn when its on sale, you wont have to randomly buy 2 or 3 cans at a time when you do need it, it will already be in your stores.

The reason that I think buying stuff on sale is SO amazing is that once my storage is fully stoked with more than a year of food, I will only be in replenish mode and wont ever have to buy anything except for fresh foods (fresh veggies, fruit (in season) and cairy and such and other things that are on sale.

you can do it.

If you have any questions or would like additional tips, let me know. :)

I went to Costco yesterday. I spent ummmm $386 I didnt get any frozen stuff except the steaks for dinner (We were having a BBQ and D had forgotten to take the Elk steaks out) and a few things the children requested that they make on nights that we go out or I’m to lazy to cook. I only cook 3 or 4 times a week honestly. I am trying to be better about it, but its a fact of life with me having a full time job and D not cooking anything that doesnt involve a BBQ grill. I don’t mind it and my kids aer old enough to make chicken bakes, soup, chili and other things on their own….. And by the way, my kids LOVE oatmeal, the plain kind that they can add fruit and nuts to.

I currently have a deep freezer and one of our fridge freezers full of stuff from costsco and then the other one is more than half full of elk meat. Sometimes we have venison or wild pig and other various game that D’s customers have bagged and don’t have room to store all of in their freezers. I would prefer my freezers be full of that anyhow since I know it isnt full of chemicals and water weight.

I digress.

So I get home from my shopping expedition and realize just how out of space I am. Now, I knew for the last 6 or 8 grocery trips that I have had to rearrange things EVERY time I come home with more food. But the amount of stuff I brought home yesterday was just more overwhelming than I realized. I started moving things and realizing that I had nowhere else to actually move them to.

At this point, as a fair assessment, I would say I have about a total of 3 months of normal consumption, maybe 4 if strapped. I’ve enlisted D’s Shop Helper to build me a FIFO shelving system, but he probably ownt get around to it for maybe a month… So for now what I plan to do is take some boards and create some additional shelving in an area that normally contains gun cases (Empty) and put the cases in the gun room where the guns are hanging on the walls. I think there is room in the closet in there.

You have to realize, it isnt just me and D, we have 5 children between the 2 of us and we have a fat ass roommate who I prefer not live here, but he does. This is why a 4 month food supply would such a large amount of space. I need more food service shelves. Wish they weren’t so stupidly expensive. I REALLY with the Shelf Reliance Shelves werent so expensive because I would totally buy those.

I have 3 small dogs. I was supposed to stop after work today and pick up Dog food because we were running low… I got a text while driving home that D had stopped for food, but that it was on sale, maybe I should get some anyway, you know, cause its on sale.

You really need to think about your pets when setting up a plan. How many bags of Dog food do you buy a month? We buy about 1 a month. Until today I had bought an extra 2 bags at different times but when they sell out of them at the store or we don’t see the 44lb bags at the we don’t buy the smaller ones unless it means that our dogs will go hungry otherwise… Why buy smaller amounts, you lose money on it.

so I got 2 additional bags…. If you have the money, try to buy in bulk with sales. We actually could make a bag last about twice a long but we have a roommate with mid to large sized dogs and we also have friends who’s dog come over and pirate food away, it is not a worry so much now. Neither of us mind, but that wouldnt be a concern later.

Just think about it.

If you have a cat, you need kitty litter, food and treats, medications and dental care for them, and all the same for dogs, cept the kitty litter, and maybe chew toys. I thank the heavens our dogs chew on their toys and not on anything else.

Keep track of what you buy your animals, and how often. I know that I had to start paying attention before I really knew how much and how often we truly would HAVE to replenish such things.