Friday, February 25, 2011

Spring Cleaning, Good Will, and Observations.

Right now I am just sitting here, after doing a day of minor shopping. Yesterday I did a bit of cleaning out my chest of drawers looking to get rid of a bunch of clothes I do not wear any more to make room. Yes, I have started the spring cleaning routine. At the end of it all I ended up with a good size trash bag of clothes. Today I made an outing of it, decided to do the good karma thing and dropped it off at Goodwill as a donation. Heck, some of my items were really nice stuff, and maybe someone less fortunate could use them. Then I went into the store and snagged up a dozen Kerr mason jars. It was a little pricey, but this was Goodwill, so I don't mind the purchase. How many of you donate stuff BTW, and if so, what do you donate?

Then after that I went to Walmart. I really wanted to check prices on vacuum sealers, but they did not have any at my local one. (NOTE: If anyone can recommend a good one to me, please put it in the comments section. I would really appreciate it!) There was a few things I noticed, beans, rice and #10 cans of garbanzo beans were basically on or near the end caps of their food shelves. Also, no real food sales this time around, interesting huh? Plus everything looks like it went up almost a dollar. Oh and the bottled water shelves were 3/4ths empty too. This was in the middle of the afternoon. Maybe it is just me, but that is just a little bit of an observation. (Dang it, I wanted to see if they had any mountain house meals there and forgot to check.) Wally worlds prices are still not that bad though.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Survival Financial: Gas Buddy!

I have a little bit of a short article this week because of a busy schedule last week but I do have something for you! I found a good little resource that might help you save some cash on gas! If you live in the U.S or Canada, check out Gas Buddy to find out which gas stations in your area have either the cheapest or most expensive gas prices around! I use this frequently when I need to fill up my tank, because the site is regularly updated by registered users. It is a good resource to have.

I just thought I would mention this.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Survival Food: Cookbooks

You know it is kind of tough having to live off food storage and deciding what to make. There are probably many folks out there that do not know where to start, or are afraid to start thinking it would be too costly. Or it could be too boring to make the same or similar meals night after night. Looking around the survival sites about food prep they sure tell you to start stocking up, and most will cover a lot of the bases, but I noticed that many do not get too much into being creative with your storage. Food storage is not just about having food, it is also tailoring it to your family's tastes, and this is especially important if you have kids. Taste fatigue can be a bit of a concern if all you stock up on is oatmeal, peanut butter, meat, dried beans, dried veggies and water. For meal prepping it would be a good idea to have a cookbook or two. Well here in this article I will be talking about some cookbooks that I think would help those who are in need of inexpensive food recipes or just really want to spice up their food storage ingredient ideas.

My List of Cookbooks:

The Complete Book of Home Preserving: This book is all about canning and preserving information provided by the Ball Company. It is a very comprehensive book that covers the how to in the majority of preserves, pickling, and canning. That is only one little part of this book. It also have a huge amount of creative recipes to do all of that. This one I have not tried yet, because I just got it. However, reading through a lot of it looks... tasty! If I do any of this, I will show my work.

Clara's Kitchen: This cookbook was written by Clara Cannucciari, a 94 year old great grandmother who became a youtube star with her cooking videos. She does these how-to videos with her great grandson showing how to make her mothers recipes that they used to make during the Great Depression. All of her recipes in the cookbook are Italian in nature, I think, but they are very inexpensive to make. She even includes a bit of family history and personal stories along with each recipe. It is a really wonderful little cookbook. I personally have made one of her more famous recipes Pasta With Peas. It was TASTY! Check out her book and her channel.

Better Homes and Gardens Good Food on a Budget: This cookbook is really good for those who are on a very tight budget. Though this was printed in 1973 the general financial food savings information is still pretty viable to this day. It covers everything from breakfasts and entrees to showing you how to purchase meat on the cheap. It even shows you how to cut up a whole chicken and choice cuts of beef for storage. I have found that the info is still good to know and useable to this day and all the recipes cover the basic ingredients.

A Treasury of Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur: Who says food storage has to be BORING? How about having a cookbook where you can make all of your favorite brand name junk foods, fast food restraunt favorites AT HOME? Is KFC out of your budget? Want some Snapple? Hankering for some Twinkies but don't want to go to the store? There are cloned recipes of all those foods right in this book. It is all there, from Nestle's Crunch to Hard Rock Cafe's Famous Baby Rock Watermelon Ribs and tons more from almost any famous item or restaraunt you can think of! It has items from Olive Garden, Hooters, Bennigans, Pizza Hut, Planet Hollywood, Ben and Jerry's, IHOP, Outback Steakhouse, Applebees, Cracker Barrel, Denny's, Perkins, T.G.I. Fridays, and tons of others. From this book I made my own McDonald's Big Mac and it tasted the same as the store's. Plus if you are creative, you can modify these recipes to make them a bit more healthy. If economic times get really tough, do you think this cookbook will be worth gold?

The Family Cookbook: And what better way to get the family to enjoy food storage than centering it around the old family favorites? Maybe it would be a good project to create your own family's cookbook? You know the favorite tasty treats that tends to show up at every family get together or shin-dig that everyone seems to like? Or how about that tasty cassarole that grandma makes, or that homemade bean dip that was passed down the family line? Also if you create a book like this, it could be passed down as a family heirloom too. I need to probably start doing this too, for so far I have my Momma's Shrimp Dip, Dill Dip, Spanish Hamburger, Green Bean Cassarole and Tuna Fish Hot Dish recipes. Those are some of the recipes that my pack... errr... family loves.

Remember when you are doing your food storage, keep it within your budget, build it up over time, and tailor it to your family's health needs and tastes. That is what I feel good food storage is about.

Any other suggestions?