Friday, September 2, 2016

User Friendly Foods

One of the first things I like to teach people when it comes to food storage is:  learn to make things for yourself.  This is one of the key things to using your food storage.  Running to the store every time you are out of a food item, gets really pricey, and really time consuming.  There is a wonderful, fantastic tool called GOOGLE!  I can find a recipe for almost anything I can imagine, by using google.  Here are some of the things I have learned how to make on my own:
  • all kinds of breads
  • all kinds of noodles
  • sauces
  • desserts
  • wheat meat
  • tofu
  • canning
  • freeze drying
  • dehydrating
and so much more!  In fact I will always look up a recipe or a way to do something, before I go and buy it.  I must confess, people are always calling me for ideas, on this or that preparedness or food storage, and if I am not sure of the answer, while I have them on the phone, I will whip open my computer, and search for the answer while I am talking to them, and voila - they have their answer, when in all reality, they could have done the same thing.  Now don't get me wrong, I love talking to people and solving problems, but google is a fantastic tool.  I also have binders and books full of information that I have printed off, because I don't believe I will always have access to the computer.

So back to user friendly foods.  Thanks Jocelyn for bringing it to my attention that most people don't think like I do.  I know a few who do, and you know who you are, that's why we work well together.  For example, I was asking a friend if she would share something made from beans for the preparedness fair coming up in October.  Right there, she whipped out her phone and pinterest, and discovered you can make yummy smoothies using blended up white beans!  Guess what we get to try at the preparedness fair? 

Beans can be a daunting thing for some people to cook.  They take a little preparation and time.  Most people don't want to take that time.  I love beans - being a vegetarian, I eat them often.  I will spend a couple of days canning beans in jars, so they are ready to use at a moments notice.  You do need to pressure can them, so not everyone can do this, but they can easily be cooked and slipped into ziploc baggies and frozen for quick use as well. A bottle of beans on my shelf maybe costs .20 cents compared to a can of beans from the store that is $2 or $3.  Pretty cost saving.

I have made home made soups, stews, and meats canned in jars for quick meals.  Seriously if my family went into my storage room and looked at buckets, bags or bins, they would starve before they figured out what to do with it all.  When these things are ready made on the shelf, they beat any canned soups or stews hands down, and the nutritional value is by far better, with less preservatives and additives.  Again, a bottle of soup for well under $1 to make will be over $3 again on the shelf.  Groceries are not cheap, but home made things sure can be.

I have dried soups, rices, meals, and mixes in jars and large containers, with the recipes taped on the
outsides, for easy use as well.  It also helps me at times I need a quick batch of cookies or muffins or whatever.  I did the math one time for home made tortillas I made.  30 of them I guessed cost me about maybe 15 cents to make, and at the grocery store, over $2 for a pack of 10.  Sure they take a bit of work and time, but save a lot of money.

User friendly foods take a little time to prepare, but save a ton of money, and use up your long term food storage.  I can't express enough, how important it is for us to learn to use our food storage and learn to make things for ourselves.  I am pretty confident that when the time comes for my family to live off our life sustaining foods, we will be able to do okay.  Our meals won't change too much, and in fact it might be fun to see what else we can create.

Keep posted because I am going to do a series on User Friendly Foods, using Long Term Food Storage.  I am working on it right now.  Any thoughts?  I will post recipes to share.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Long term vs three months......

What a world we are living in right now!  I honestly don't know how someone can go through their days and not see signs of the times all around them, everywhere they look.  But, sadly, many don't see it.  I guess in some ways they choose not to see it.  That makes life easier when they don't have to worry about it, or do anything about it.

I see it, and thus have been working on a project.  We took out a set of stairs in our house, which created a
closet for a basement bedroom and this.....a pantry!
We are not finished it yet, but I am so excited to fill these shelves.  It ought to go a long ways to holding my three month supply of food.

I also should share with you, what I have been working on with creating my three month supply of food.  See you can create your own three month supply out of short term foods or longer term foods.

Short term foods, like fresh tomatoes, can turn into three month supply by canning them.  Long term foods like dried beans can turn into three month supply foods, by canning them.  Frozen
chicken is a short term food, but when freeze dried, can turn into along term storage food. Flour on the shelf, when combined with the right ingredients, can turn into a mix that is easy to use, a three month supply food, instead of a longer term storage food.

Why would I go through the work to do all of this?  Because as a mother, and the chief cook in the house, I realize that I am pretty much the only one that can walk into my storage room full of beans and flour, and figure out a great tasting meal out of all the stuff on the shelves.  Everyone else would stand there with their mouths open, and watering, and not know what to do with all of the longer term food storage items.

Thus, a three month supply of ready to eat, or easy to prepare meals.  You know when you go to
dried beans vs canned ready to use
a craft store (ladies), and they have all the patterns free, stuck to the sides of the shelves, where you can take it and add to your collection, so you come back and buy their stuff?  Well, I am also going to do that in my new pantry and long term storage room, only with recipes on how to do what.  I am going to have recipes taped to the walls, or shelves, on how to use certain items.  I think that is a big part of turning a long term storage item, into a three month storage item.  Somebody has got to know what to do with it other than myself, in my household.  Now I should give some of them credit, they could do it, but in all reality, they probably wouldn't want to.  It takes work, thinking, and planning to use long term food storage items.  So I turn them into more user friendly items.

So next time you are working on pantry items, or long term storage items, think........"How can I turn this into an item that will be more user friendly for my family?"  "How can I make it something that they can open and use instead of running to the store to buy it?"

Long term storage - not so user friendly - unless you have some knowledge and training

Three month storage - user friendly for anyone in the family

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Let's Be Realistic...

You got it!  Let's be realistic, in a few things today!  I can no longer sit still and not write what I am thinking, than I could go sky diving.  And believe me I would never go sky diving, I am terrified of heights!  There is just too much going on in the world to sit still and pretend that we can just sit back and enjoy life, when the fact is, inside of me is screaming out to people to get prepared!  Look around!  Get prepared!

Another thing to be realistic about, is that I love my blog Today While The Sun Shines, it being the first ever blog I started writing.  It has been a great place for me to learn and grow, not only in preparedness, but in my writing and blogging hobby as well.  It has spread far and wide and has been read in many places in the world, and I can't just quit and ignore her.  Chuckles here.  So I need to keep writing on Today, about what is happening Today!

But let's get realistic about what is going on in the world, for just a minute here okay?  Do you watch the news?  I know it is kind of depressing watching it, but perhaps next time you watch it, look at it with eyes to see the signs of the times.  Watch it with the attitude of watching for those signs, you know the ones that tell us what is to shortly come to pass.

Only a few short years ago, I used to like to sit down every few months and look back and make a list of all the crazy things that were going on in the world, and I could actually do it.  Now, being realistic there is so much chaos and destruction, and war, and everything going on, I would have to do it on a daily basis, just to try and keep up with what is happening, and there is just no possible way I would be able to do it.  

Every day we hear of wars, natural disasters, terrorism, disease, civil unrest, economic collapse, famine, wonders in the sky, and everywhere in the world, you name it, you will hear about it.  Without a doubt if you can think of it, you will likely hear about it happening that day, either on the news, or by a google search that would show you.  Without a doubt, we are seriously a world that is in chaos, a world that has reached a tipping point, a world that has ripened. That's realistic.  

Yet, still there are those whom I talk to who seem to want to turn a blind eye to it all and pretend it isn't really as bad as it is.  Open the blinders people, and look around!  It is as bad as it seems, and we had better get prepared, and quick!

Let's be realistic about history for a minute.   Throughout the history of the world, we follow civilizations that have followed the pride cycle, that's what I call it.  It is a rise and fall of civilizations.  Once a civilization has become so wicked and prideful, they get destroyed, either
Let's Be Realistic - Today
by war, famine, or some other way of the Lord cleansing them and compelling them to be humbled.  Then, they go on and live their lives for a few generations, doing pretty good, until all of a sudden they become prideful, selfish, and generally a wicked people again, and BAM!  They get humbled again.   

If you look at this cycle, it has happened over and over throughout the history of the world as we know it.  Now...........let's be realistic and take a big step back and look at the bigger picture of the world.  Where do we sit, not only as a civilization, but the bigger step back, as the world.  As a world of people where are we sitting in that pride cycle?  And.... more importantly.... what happened when civilizations became so wicked and prideful, selfish and corrupt?  They were compelled to be humbled by whatever means the Lord saw fit.  BAM!

As a world civilization, I believe we are there.  We are going to be compelled to be humble.  He is going to take care of it, if we won't do it ourselves, He will bring us to our knees.  And it is happening everywhere we look around us.  THAT'S REALISTIC!  The scriptures warn us of many things.  Some call it "judgement day" (I talked to someone just a couple of days ago that said this), some call it "the end of the world as we know it".  I don't really care what you call it, as long as you see it happening, and do something about it.  We are being warned, over and over.  

Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

 D&C88: 89 For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
 90 And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
 91 And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.

Let's Be Realistic!
Get prepared!  Get ready!  And quit procrastinating, because it is happening with or without you!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

New Site

I am still posting on all things Preparedness, but have recently started a new site, for the purposes of my new church volunteer position, and to do it properly, it required that I start a new site.  I may occasionally return to post here on my very first and much loved "Today While The Sun Shines", but for now, you can find some great info, and much help, here on Inch by Inch Preparedness.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Family Preparedness

So excited to be gathering my extended family together over the next week to discuss preparedness.  I have been feeling it keenly, the need to get organized, and I am not sure where I am going with this post, but I am hoping to get some insight.  You see, I want to organize my family in such a way that when disaster or need strikes, we are all prepared to act, not react.

I am hoping that we can each take on a different role in the arena of preparedness.  There are several main areas like:  food storage, heating, lighting, shelter, water, financial, communications, safety, and a few sub categories. What I would like to see is each adult take one area, do all of the research they can, and report back with information, bulk buys, how to projects we can do together, and this kind of thing.  In my mind I can see great work days, with bonding experiences ahead.  I am really actually stoked to be doing it.

I remember a few years back, I found a website of a family who had been doing a similar thing.  I have wanted to do it since that time, but never really got around to it.  Now it is time, and I have lost the website, so I am winging it.  Therefore, any ideas or suggestions would be of great help.

I want to create a blog or website where we can each share our information with each other and with any whom want to join or learn from us.

I am not sure where this is all going to lead, but as soon as I get it figured out, I will post it here and share. 

Seriously, any input or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Some Things to Think About

I know in the world today, extremes are the norm.  Extremes in preparedness are no different.  You have those who are extreme preppers, who believe in the zombie apocalypse, the end times, and all things that are extreme.  They have their bunkers, their closets full of munitions, and all thing doomsday.  I have been accused at time of being a fanatic about preparedness, but I won't go as far as saying I am an extremist.  But hey, I guess it depends on what you are comparing to.

There are those at the opposite end of the spectrum and are extreme the other way.  They don't believe
anything disastrous is ever going to happen.  Nothing will strike where they live, no natural disasters, no economic related stuff, no terrorist related stuff, no man made disasters, or anything.  I like to call these ones extremists too, because they believe all is well in zion and they don't have anything to worry about.

There are those who fall into the unprepared category on a different level, because they just go on living their lives, oblivious to what is happening in the world around them, and think that money will buy their way out of anything, or they don't see the need to prepare for anything.  These people are actually more the norm than not.  They count on the government to bail them out of disasters.  They think if they live with their blinders over their eyes, then they won't see it, and won't have to prepare for it. 

In all cases, these are extremes to some degree.  Then there are those of us, who live in the real world.  We see what is happening around us, through the entire world, and we are preparing for what will inevitably come our way, even though we don't know exactly what that might be.  We see a variety of scenarios playing out, and worst case scenario, they will all happen at the same time.  That is actually more likely.  Kind of like the ripple effect, one thing will cause another, then another, and before you know it, we have some pretty big issues on our hands.  I don't need to go into details on these things that are going to play out.  Just watch the news with open eyes, and you will see them.  Look around you at governments, economies, and life, and you will see them.  They are lining up to be a perfect storm of ginormous proportions!  Oh it is coming!

Where do you fit into the above groups of people?  Are you prepared for emergencies to evacuate your home?  I know people who have had to do this.  Are you prepared for unemployment?  Wowzers, that could happen to any of us at any time in today's economy.  Are you prepared to feed your family, if there is no food, or if the prices of food get so stinkin high we can't buy it?  Are you prepared for any medical emergencies your family may have?  I could go on and on, but sometimes I feel like I am beating this one to death.  Just get ready.

What if your water pipes break?  Or freeze?  Or the power goes out for a few days?  Or if there is a tornado and you need to get downstairs fast?  Or you should have a flashlight by your bed, but don't?  Or you forgot to charge your cell phone and now there is no power?  Or you forgot to keep your tank of gas on the top half full instead of the bottom half and now because of gas prices, there is a run on gas, or the trucks are not running so gas stations are running out of gas?  Or you kept thinking about calling a family meeting to plan a bug out location or meeting location outside your home in case of fire or emergencies, but you kept putting it off, and now your home is on fire, what is everyone going to do?  Or.....what if?

When you are falling, it is too late!
I could probably sit here and write for a couple of hours some of the scenarios that could play our in your life today, but I think I would be preaching to the choir.  The choir is already converted.  How to we get those we love to get involved, and get prepared, without sounding like those extremists?  I don't know but I am going to be working on it from my end.  I am organizing family groups, and meetings.  We need a family plan, and I mean extended plan, not just my own little fam.  What do you need?  I need, for my own motivation, a group of like minded individuals that will work with me on things.  I will need to organize that as well.  It will help me keep motivated.

What can you do today to get motivated?  Do whatever it takes my friends.  Before it is too late and we no longer have time.  When the emergency or disaster, or event is upon us, it is too late to get prepared, it is time to act.  And how can we act if we are not ready for it?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What If The Grid Was Down?

Grid down?  What does that mean anyway?  It means much more than just a power outage.  The electrical grid is such a fragile thing.  There are a number of ways it could crumble.  A snowstorm, thunderstorm, hurricane, heatwaves, extreme cold, any number of natural disasters could easily bring down large portions of the power grid.

If there were a country wide event that brought down the power grid, it could take much longer than a localized event.  Imagine the manpower, the tools, the equipment, the resources that would be needed to rebuild the grid.  It would be huge.

Worst case scenario, what if there were an emp (electro magnetic pulse) that completely fried our power grid?  Worst case scenario.....we would literally be thrown back into the ages of no power, no technology of any sort, and we would completely have to rely upon our own preparedness and survival skills.  Factories would not work, so it wouldn't be a matter of getting resources and equipment out there.  We would have to start right from scratch and get factories up and running, find the resources, build the things needed, and then we could figure out a way to get out there and rebuild the grid.  It would take years to rebuild it all.

What if....a solar flare big enough to knock it down, a terrorist attack to shut it down, cyber terrorism, or a nuclear plant explosion of some sort?  What if?

Here is a great article that talks about different ways the grid could be taken down.  The more severe drastic ways that most of us don't want to think about, but are real none the less.  Take a few minutes to review this article and ask yourself some more what if questions.

Here is another article that talks about the same thing, but actually gives a bit of advice on what we can do to prepare for such a crazy event.  Some good links to follow and check out.  Again ask yourself what you can do if such an event were to happen.

What do you as a family need to prepare for if..... or when.... the grid comes down?

Think about it, plan for it!  What would you do?