Mason Jar Match Holders: DYI

I’ve been thinking about what I could give for neighbor gifts this holiday season that would be something people would actually have a use for.  Mason Jar Match Holders are inexpensive and useful.  Perfect!

A quick and easy hack for your matches!

These match holders provide a sturdier way to store matches, protecting them from the humidity that can make lighting a match harder.   Bonus, no more having a box of matches spilling out all over the place when you take them camping!

 

 

Mason Jar Match Holders are so easy to make!

Materials For Making Mason Jar Match Holders

Half Pint Mason Jars

Strike On The Box Matches

Hole Punch

Glue Gun

Pencil

Small Piece of Cardboard

What you need to make a mason jar match holder

How To Make Mason Jar Match Holders

Fill a mason jar with matches.   One box of 300 hundred matches will easily give you enough matches to fill two jars.

Lay the top of the match box out flat, with the striker area facing up, then place a jar ring over the flattened box top and use a pencil to draw a circle to fit under the jar lid.  Cut that out.

You’ll take your cut out circle from the match box and use that as a template for your cardboard cutout.  The piece of cardboard adds stability to the strike zone for when you go to light the match.

Making Mason Jar Match Holders
Use the hole punch to cut holes through both the match box layer and the cardboard layer.  A few dabs of hot glue will help keep it all in place.

Dress Up Your Mason Jar Match Holders For A Gift!

If you’re in the mood you can dress these Mason Jar Match Holders up by covering the cardboard circle with a fun piece of scrapbook paper, and cute tag with something like “Hope Your Holidays are Merry and BRIGHT!”   will add a bit of festive cheer too!  (Get it?  Bright?  Matches?  I’ll be here all week, folks…..)

A super easy way to store matches!

Okay.  Maybe you simply don’t have time to make your own gifts.  No worries.  You can purchase  a UDC Match Holder from Amazon for an exceptionally sweet price!

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Thrive Monthly Q Program for Preppers!

Thrive Monthly Q Program reflects the understanding that often people hesitate in getting their food storage because they simply don’t know where to start, how to use it, and how to budget for it.  To remedy this, Thrive Life has created the Monthly Q Program which offers a variety of ways to incorporate their products into your food storage AND you every day cooking, as well as a way to get the lowest prices at the same time.

 

WHAT IS THE THRIVE LIFE MONTHLY Q PROGRAM?

You decide the budget. You choose what you want delivered. It’s that easy.
With the Q, the groceries come to you each month! Trade in those last-minute grocery store trips and spendy fast food runs for the unbeatable convenience of THRIVE foods. Discover a better way to shop with the Q.

Build Your Food Storage Easily, Effectively and Inexpensively with The Monthly Q From Thrive

HOW DOES THE Q WORK?

1. Select the foods you like by adding your favorite Thrive foods to your Q (what I do) OR by selecting the recipes you use the most.  The Q will organize your foods into customizable monthly shipments.

2. Set a monthly budget.  Choose the amount you want to spend each month to build your Home Store.    No need to spend more money: simply reallocate part of your monthly food budget to your Q.

3.  Get monthly shipments at low prices.  THRIVE foods are shipped to your doorstep on the date you choose.  Save time and money by avoiding unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  Because I’m local, I just pick my orders up myself, saving me the shipping.  If you are local, you can to do the same!  While you’re there be sure to try out a few of their products from their sample bar.  Yum!

 

 

 

 

How To Have The Thrive Monthly Q Delivered To Your Door

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE Q CLUB TO RECEIVE EVEN MORE GREAT DEALS!

By starting your Q shipments with an order of $100.00 or more in product OR signing up as a consultant—you will get a FREE membership in the the Q Club.

How to join the Thrive Life Q Club For FREE

The Thrive Monthly Q Club

WAIT!  THERE‘S MORE…….LOTS MORE!

Why You Should Sign Up For Thrive Life's Q Club

I AM BUILDING MY FOOD STORAGE PANTRY USING THE  THRIVE MONTHLY Q-PONS, SPECIALS AND Q CLUB REWARD POINTS TOWARD FREE PRODUCT

Q-pons and the Thrive Monthly Q Program

As a Q Club member, each month you will have access to Thrive’s Q-pon of the month.  This Q-pon will reflect a SIGNIFICANT savings on that month’s product.  You can bet that my Q takes advantage of each monthly Q-pon…..I really stock up!

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THRIVE LIFE MONTHLY Q PROGRAM

Buy Thrive Freeze Dried Foods NOW!

Click the image above to be taken directly to the page where you can sign up for the Thrive Monthly Q Program

How To Sign Up For The Monthly Thrive Life Q

 

Look for the My Q  link.  Click on it.  You will taken to a page that looks like this:|

How to sign up for Thrive Life Monthly Q Club

Click on the red box with the words ‘Get Started’

This will lead you to a page with a header like the one below.  It will walk you through, step by step, how to set up your first Q.  Remember that if you want a FREE MEMBERSHIP into the Q Club, your first shipment will need to be $100.00 or more!  OR you can sign up to be a consultant and earn free product!  The choice is yours!

Thrive Life Q

You will also have the opportunity to choose your own items to add to your Q, or allow Thrive to add a well rounded mix to your Q that also stays within your budget.

Add Items to Your Thrive Monthly Q Program

There will be the option  choose The Smart Start for your first 3 months on The Thrive Monthly Q Program.   In a QUICK  THREE MONTHS you’ll have your home store up and running with everything from food to recipes!

The Chef’s Selections 200

Quickly Build Your Home Store With The Smart Start 200 and the Thrive Montly Q Program

The Smart Start: Chef’s Selections 200 is packed with high quality THRIVE products like meats, THRIVE Express, and Sauces and Seasonings, and you’ll get an even better price on the included THRIVE foods than you would buying them separately! Includes 65 THRIVE products, a booklet of 38 recipes, and meal planners and shopping lists for easy meal prep.

Month 1 includes 18 Pantry Cans, 4 Spice Cans, and 2 Express Pouches

Month 2 includes 18 pantry cans and 4 Express Pouches

Month 3 includes 18 pantry cans and 1 Express Pouch

 

Activate Your Q

Your very last step is to click on that ACTIVATE Q button.  Or else you’ll be waiting for that first shipment of your Thrive Monthly Q Program to arrive and wondering why it hasn’t yet.  Ask me how I know.  (ahem)

 

 

 

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Post-Election Survival Checklist

Unlike any other election in history, the 2016 Presidential election stands to  go down in the books as the election that divided the country.   After the last vote has been counted, and the winner announced, a peaceful transition of power may be more than can be asked of our weary nation.   It’s time to start thinking about preparing for possible post-election survival needs.

Making matters even more stressful, are warnings of terror threats being reported by CBS News.

Rather than living in fear of what the future may bring, I’ve complied a Post Election Survival Checklist to help families through a potential trigger event.  I’m a big believer that preparedness brings peace of mind.

A checklist to prepare for post-election survival

A Post-Election Survival Checklist For Uncertain Times

-Sit down with your family and review your emergency plans.  How will you get to your meeting place if chaos breaks out?

-Getting through any post-election survival chaos will take community, so take some time to plan with your like minded neighbors.   You’ll have their backs and in return, they’ll have yours.

-Test out your communication devices.

-Inventory  your food storage because  NOW is the time to make sure you are well stocked food wise  .

– Make sure your water storage will get you through at least a two week period.

-Confirm that you have enough personal supplies such as toilet paper, feminine supplies, diapers, etc.,  to make it through at least six weeks.

-Update your First Aid Station by refreshing your supplies as needed, focusing on OTC medications as well as basic first aid supplies.    While you’re at it, make sure to get any prescriptions refilled.

Black Contractor Bags.  If garbage collection gets interrupted you’re going to need to have a place for any garbage that won’t fit into your cans.  Also, black contractor bags have countless survival uses.

Post-Election Survial: What you need to know!

Kids, Pets and Getting Out of Dodge

 

-Have activities ready for kids in case everyone is stuck at home for a long period of time.

-Remember Fido by picking up any pet supplies needed for the next  several weeks.

-Fill up all the gas tanks on all your cars,  then if you need to get the hell out of Dodge, you won’t  have to stop to fuel up first.

-Speaking of cars, if you have any election bumper stickers, then you may want to remove them.  No need to give anyone who hates who you voted for any ideas of whom to blame.

-Get some SHTF Cash out of the bank, remembering to ask for small bills only.

 

 

If The Lights Go Out In the Post-Election Survival Chaos

-Check your supply of candles, lighters and matches.

-Do you have flashlights, furthermore,  do those flashlights have batteries?

-Keep your cell phone and other devices charged up.

-If you have a propane heater or another secondary source of heat, make sure you have enough fuel for it.   Otherwise, make sure you have enough blankets, hand warmers and other cold weather items.

 Prepare NOW.

Civil wars are caused by a loss of trust in government, as a result,  self reliance in times of concern is our most valuable asset.

Interested in learning more about how to prepare for emergencies?  Here are a couple of great resources:

The Prepper’s Blueprint:  The Step by Step Guide To Get You Through Any Disaster

Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide

 

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Make Your Own Brown Sugar: 15 Minute Prepper

Yes!  You can make brown sugar.  When I show you how easy it is to make your own brown sugar, you are going to wonder why nobody told you this sooner.

Let me show you how to make your own brown sugar!

Why Make Your Own Brown Sugar?

Making your own brown sugar can be much less expensive than purchasing brown sugar.   November is when the big baking supply sales begin.  Last year I was able to score sugar at .12 a pound by combining sales and coupons.   Molasses  goes on sale this time of year too.   Purchase it in bulk, add one tablespoon to one cup of sugar, and you’ve got brown sugar for about .30 cents a POUND.    That beats even the very best sale price for brown sugar in my area.

That’s not all, folks.  No Siree!

When making your own brown sugar you can control how dark and flavorful the end result will be.  No more worrying about having to buy both dark and light brown sugar.  Oh, the ease and simplicity!

And seriously, who doesn’t love one less trip to the grocery store?

Make Your Own Brown Sugar and Save Time And Money

A Recipe To Make Your Own Brown Sugar

This will be the shortest, sweetest (get it….sweetest……brown sugar……heh) recipe you’ll ever take down.

1 cup granulated cane sugar

1 Tablespoon unsulphured molasses   (Have you seen these measuring spoons?  They are the cutest EVER.)

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar and molasses.

Work it until the molasses is  completely incorporated into the sugar.   You’ll need to keep stirring using a small whisk or fork for a couple of minutes, but it will all come together.

For dark brown sugar, add another tablespoon of molasses.

How to make your own brown sugar!

Use as you would in your favorite cake and cookie recipes.  Store in an airtight container.   I LOVE these to store my brown sugar in.

What things have you bought in the past, but now make your own versions of?    How have these DIY versions saved you money and time?

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How to preserve blackberries

I love to preserve blackberries.   It’s so easy to insure the great taste of summer in your food preps with just a small amount of work.  Rich in bioflavonoids, vitamin C and antioxidants, blackberries are nutritional power houses perfect for long term food storage pantries.   Here are my favorite ways to preserve blackberries.

How to preserve blackberries.

Preserve blackberries by freezing them.

One way to preserve blackberries is to simply wash them using a 4:1 solution of water to vinegar, allowing them to air dry and then ‘flash freezing’ them.  To flash freeze,  simply lay out the now dry berries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pop the tray into the freezer until the berries are frozen, then  package them in a  freezer safe container.   By ‘flash freezing’ the berries first, you’ll be able to simply pour out the amount of frozen berries you need.

simple-ways-to-preserve-blackberries

Preserve blackberries without the seeds.

I prefer my blackberries in a seedless form, especially in smoothies, or my son’s blenderized diet.  First,  rinse the blackberries with the 4:1  water to vinegar solution and puree them in a blender.   With the back of a spoon, push the blackberry puree through a sieve into a clean container. Easy!

how to deseed blackberries

Fill ice cube trays with the blackberry puree, and freeze. Frozen blackberry ice cubes are a fun way to preserve blackberries.    The result is a whole bunch of frozen blueberry puree ice cubes that  can be added to smoothies, to thawed to flavor yogurt,  or as  base for popsicles and more!

How to use blackberry 'ice cubes'.

Preserve blackberries with a dehydrator.

Dehydrated blackberries last for years when stored properly.  Rinse berries in a 4:1 solution of vinegar water  and  allow to air dry in a dehydrator set to Cool.  Dehydrating wet blackberries makes them flatten out.

Once the blackberries are dry,  set the temperature of the dehydrator to 125F and allow them to dehydrate for 18-20 hours.  Blackberries are done when you can easily crush a berry into powder with just your  fingers.

How to dehydrate blackberries

Make Blackberry Powder

Fill a sieve with dehydrated blackberries and crush them with the back of a spoon, catching the powder in a bowl.  You’ll be left with just dehydrated blackberry seeds in the sieve which you can throw in your compost pile.

Sprinkle blackberry powder in  teas and juices.   Shake some into  your daily water intake.  Spoon blackberry powder over your morning oatmeal or yogurt.  Toss some into your smoothie for a ‘grit-less’ drink.

Too busy to preserve blackberries yourself?

I  store cans of freeze dried blackberries in my long term food storage.   A quick trip to  Thrive Life  and you could do the same!

Need more information on how to dehydrate foods?  I recommend Dehydrate2Store.

What foods are you preserving this harvest season?

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5-Gallon Food Grade Buckets

I received a bit of a jolt when entering a local food storage store in search of 5-gallon food grade buckets for several bags of rice and beans I recently purchased for emergency prepardedness.   Over SEVEN dollars for a bucket and lid.  And we aren’t talking gamma lids, here.  Nope.  We are talking just the plain old hammer it down with a rubber mallet type of lid.

As I stood there doing the math for the 10 buckets, mylar bags and oxygen absorbers I would need for the long term storage of my vittles, I also thought of how many more bags of beans and rice I could purchase for that $70.00 I would paying for buckets.

Where To Find CHEAP 5-Gallon Food Grade Buckets For Long Term Food Storage

You can’t eat the buckets, boys and girls.  And then, as if to add insult to injury, I turned the buckets around only to find the store’s logo covering the bucket from top to bottom.  It has always been a pet peeve of mine to have to pay for stuff that serves as advertising for a company.  Think about it.  If I’m going to be advertising for them, shouldn’t they be paying me?

But I digress.

I’ll admit.  I did purchase 4 of the overpriced, logo blasted, desperately needed buckets.  With my medically fragile son, I’m not able to get out as often, and I really needed those buckets.  I justified my purchase by telling myself I only purchased four instead of the ten I truly needed.

And, as I walked out of that store, I proclaimed to all who could hear, that I would never, ever pay through the nose for a plastic bucket again.  While I consider myself pretty lucky that my Mom was the only person close enough to hear my proclamation, once uttered, it still needed to be fulfilled.

My 5 Gallon Bucket Research


Bakeries will usually give out empty frosting buckets.  Yay! for free buckets, but yikes! for cleaning out the greasy frosting residue.  I’ve found that by making a solution of Dawn dish soap and vinegar then spraying it inside the bucket helps clean the frosting out.

Fast Food Joints will often give out empty pickle buckets.  However, the smell of pickles will pretty much forever be in these buckets.  A friend even power washed his buckets out to no avail.  If you are using mylar liners in your buckets though, the smell of pickle shouldn’t be an issue.

Lowe’s carries 5-Gallon Commercial food grade buckets for $4.50 each.

Use food grade 5 gallon buckets to store bulk foods.

My local Walmart carries food grade buckets and lids for $2.97 and lids for under $2.00.  I found them in the paint section, but I looked and they had food grade written right on them.

Look on your Local Classified Ads.  Often people sell 5-gallon food grade buckets and lids they are no longer using.

5 Gallon Buckets Too Much Work?

What?  You don’t want to wash out your own buckets, and the smell of pickles makes you shudder?  Nearest WalMart too far away?  Amazon will deliver your 5-Gallon Food Grade Storage Buckets right to your door step!

Thrive Life: The BEST Freeze Dried Foods

Some of you may not need to store food in the type of bulk that would require purchasing  5-Gallon Food Grade  Buckets.   I get that.   For you  prepackaged freeze dried food would be the perfect option.   Light weight and good for up to 25 years, Thrive Life offers the best quality in Freeze Dried foods that I’ve found.  Through Thrive Life you can create your own food storage pantry, saving both time AND money.

How do you store your  long term emergency food?

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How To Make The Most Of Survival Seeds

“I bought these survival seeds so that I can grow all my own food when the SHTF”.

I hear this a lot.   Often from people who have never planted  a seed in their entire lives.   Experienced gardeners must be doing a terrific job of making their work look super easy for so many people to figure that if the world were to explode, they could just till up a little bit of dirt, throw out their package of  survival seeds, and viola!, dinner is served.

There’s a whole lot of people in denial out there folks.  A whole lot.

Many of these people couldn’t even tell you what type of seeds are in that survival  seed kit, or if their family even likes those vegetables.

How To Make The Most Of Survival Seeds

 

How to make the most of survival seeds.

1.  Do your researchHow much land you have will determine the type of garden you’ll create.

Suburban homesteader?   Check out All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew,  Mini Farming:    Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham, and The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan.

Urban homesteader?   Grow what you need in pots!  The years my family spent living in a major city in Turkey we grew in pots on our balcony.  The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible will get you started.

Another strategy would be to sprout your seeds for fresh eating.  Ann Wigmore leads the way in teaching about sprouts and their health benefits in The Sprouting Book.

Ready for the Big Leagues?   You’ve got your land, paid your dues and ready to go off grid?  Here’s a few resources to take a look at:  The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery, John Seymour’s The Self-Sufficient Life, and Abigail R. Gehring’s classic, Back to Basics would be good places to start.

how-to-make-the-most-of-your-survival-seeds

2.  Gain some real life, hands on gardening experience……..NOW.

Gardening has always been a part of my life and my husband grew up tending his grandparents  acres and acres of garden. That’s a lot of gardening hours and we still have years that where certain things are total flops.  Let’s face it, you learn from your mistakes.  Take that time to make those mistakes now, rather than in an emergency situation.

3.  Make friends with other gardeners.

Pick their brains for gardening information specific to your location.   Trust me, gardeners love a willing audience.

what-to-know-before-you-buy-survival-seeds

 

Save your own survival seeds!

Every gardener should learn how to save seeds.

The day might come when ordering your seeds on the internet is no longer a possibility.   Suzanne Ashworth and David Cavagnaro’s Seed to Seed:  Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardens., is a must have for any gardener.

 

Want to know my very best advice in regards to creating a plan for using your survival seeds?

HAVE AT LEAST SIX  MONTHS OF FOOD STORAGE ON HAND.
If your personal emergency comes about in the dead of winter, what will you eat?  What will you eat while your garden is making it’s way to harvest?

Food security can’t be found  in a box of survival seeds.   Experienced gardeners would find it challenging to grow everything  to keep body and soul together for a year.   Factor in the amount of physical work growing all your food would require and, well, you get the idea.

Survival Seeds can be an excellent ‘Plan B’

Keep growing those gardens! Plant those fruit trees and berry bushes!   Gardens are a major  component of your food storage plan.   A wonderful, healthy, financial friendly, much needed component, that helps free up much needed cash  you can use to buy your three months supply of what your family normally eats, and then a year’s worth of longer term food storage.

‘Cause thinking when the SHTF you’ll  rip up your lawn and grow everything you need with that box of survival seeds, simply ain’t  going to keep your family fed.

How do you plan to feed your family in case of an emergency?

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Suburban Homesteading

While talking with a group of friends, each of whom expressing a wish to buy land to homestead on.  I couldn’t figure out why my friends felt the need to wait until they had a bigger plot of land to begin their journey to self sufficiency.    Why not start homesteading in your own backyard?   Right now!

Suburban Homesteading. It really is a ‘thing’!

Let’s face it.  Not all of us are going to be able to move from suburbia into the wilds of Nowhere, USA.   Postponing self sufficiency until all conditions are deemed perfect, could result in being unprepared in an emergency situation.

I’m of the mindset where you do the best you can with what you have now, while following a well thought out plan of where you want to be.  My in between is suburban homesteading.

Suburban Homesteading

What Does Suburban Homesteading Look Like?

We live on your average 1/3 of an acre in your average suburban neighborhood.  There is a stream that runs through my back yard from April to October that provides irrigation to the farmers living further out.  It used to run heavy and deep, but we’re in a dry cycle right now and it’s been much more shallow the last several years.

My neighborhood consists of about 60 homes and we are surrounded on one side by a private golf course and on another by a fairly busy road.  Luckily we are tucked deeply enough into our neighborhood that we don’t see or hear the traffic.

Most of my neighbors garden for summer salad and October pumpkin kind of reasons.  I often think of several neighbors getting together to plan out who will grow what, and then sharing.  This makes even small space gardening more profitable.

 

basil

My Spring garden includes, kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, broccoli, beets and peas. The Summer garden  boasts  tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, beans, pumpkins, winter squash and peppers.

I was thrilled  to recently plant  both an apple an a cherry tree.  Neighbors have several of both so I know we’ll be fine pollination wise.

You can find raspberry bushes in diverse places and a large section for blackberries in our back yard.  I love having a freezer full of berries to last the year.    Half a whiskey barrel is home to a thriving black currant bush.

garden 2

Along one side of my lot I have my herb garden.  It’s also home to a few cabbage plants, lettuce, arugula and dikon radishes.

Herb wise I grow Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Basil, Chives, Rosemary,  Peppermint, Spearmint, Anise, Heal All, Horseradish, Horehound, Comfrey, Vervain, and Chamomile.

This is my first year to really grow medicinal herbs, and I’m excited for how things will turn out.  Rosemary Gladstar’s books have been inspirational as I grow my family’s self sufficiency and as we grow our homestead.

I’m thinking of an Elderberry Bush too, as I make our own Elderberry Syrup to help ward off colds and flu.

 

 

Bail Grows Easily in Backyard Suburan Homestead Gardens

There is a big stack of homesteading books just waiting in my Amazon cart that  I can’t wait to dive into.  Dreaming is a big part of the fun of having a suburban homestead.   Using the experiences of others, I’ll create a suburban homestead that reflects the unique needs a capabilities of my family.

garden

Can I grow all the food my family eats on my Suburban Homestead?

Growing everything my family would need here on our suburban homestead simply isn’t possible, at least not yet.  But like all  homesteaders I am pretty creative and resourceful.  

To help us become more self reliant as we grow our backyard homestead, we implemented a few new ideas.

*Trading bumper crops for things I can’t grow in my back yard.

*Paying close attention to the FB yard sale posts and watch for those inviting people to come and glean from their trees and gardens.

*Planting early Spring seeds and plants.

*Growing a Fall garden for fresh greens through the colder months.

*Storing long term food items such as beans, rice, sugar, and flour.  Daisy Luther’s The Pantry Primer is a great source of information on getting a year’s supply as cheaply as possible.

*Purchasing long term freeze dried food at the best possible prices using the plans offered by  Thrive’s Montly Q Program.  Having freeze dried food on my shelf in case of an emergency offers great peace in these turbulent times.

blackberries

It’s a win-win.  More time in the garden.  More fresh, organic food and I don’t have to worry if there is a recall with it’s name on it down the road.

Self sufficiency.  Homesteading.  Food security.    Part of the fun is in the journey that gets you to where you are going.

What goals have you set to become self sufficient?   Is suburban homesteading something you might try?

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15 Minute Prepper: Black contractor bags

15 minute Prepper.  Yup, it’s a thing.  At least around here it is.   We believe in simply preparing.  You won’t find info on how to dig your own bunker here.  Or how to survive a zombie attack with just your toothbrush.  What you will find are solid, simple, tested by us, ways to get your family through an emergency.  Our 15 Minute Prepper series will focus on things even the busiest of people can implement within their personal preparedness goals.

Prepper uses for black contractor grade garbage bags.

How To Prep With Contractor Grade Trash Bags:  15 Minute Prepper

Today we are talking about why you’ll need  black  contractor bags an emergency as a 15 minute Prepper.  Not just regular trash bags, but contractor grade trash bags.    These bags are 4mils thick and are made to withstand uses normal trash bags would balk at.  Contractor bags take up very little space and have unlimited possibilities.

1.  Make a poncho.

2. Use as ground cover.

3. Seal windows, doors and vents. (You’ll need some duct tape too!)

4. Cut down to size for a make shift diaper cover.

5. Layer between clothing to help keep in body warmth.

6.  Barter item.

7. Dig a hole.  Put a bag in the hole, now you have a make shift sink.

8.  Using duct tape, tape the bags around your pants for snow pants.

9.  Water proof your shoes.  Cutting the bags down to size, cover your shoes with the plastic, using duct tape to secure them around your ankles.

10.   Use as an emergency potty.  Line a 5 gallon bucket with a bag, stick a toilet seat on top and viola! a place to do your business!

11.  Create a wind break, or a bit of privacy.

12.  Using a black contractor bag you can determine wind direction.

13.  Fill with air and tie off to create a simple flotation device.

14.  Use  black contractor bags in an emergency to cover broken or blown out windows from earthquakes, etc.

15.  Fill a black contractor bag up with water, sit it in the sun for a while and then hang it from a sturdy branch to use for a shower.

16.  Use a black contractor bag in an emergency to collect rain water.

17.  Cache your food scraps out of an animals reaching by putting them in a contractor bag and hanging it from a tree.

18. A black contractor bag can be used as a rucksack  to haul clothes, food or whatever else you need.

19. After bandaging a wound, cut out an appropriate size piece of a contractor bag and tape it over the bandage. This will keep it from getting dirty or wet.

20. Use as a ‘wet bag’ for dirty diapers.

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Elderberry Syrup Recipe to Boost the Immune System

Elderberry Syrup is one of our family’s go to during the ‘sick season.’   Not only can Homemade Elderberry Syrup help your body  fight off potential colds and flu, it can help jump start your immune system even after you are sick.

Elderberries are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are shown to help stimulate the immune system and help you kick the cold and flu more quickly.

We are in the midst of flu season where I live, with the worst months being March and April.  It’s time to make sure we are well stocked up on Elderberry Syrup.  Since I needed to make a batch anyway, I thought I’d take the time to share the recipe with you and show you how easy it is to make.

How to make Elderberry Syrup at home!

Homemade  Elderberry Syrup is cost effective.

Easy Elderberry syrup ingredients!

For the same price as a bottle of Elderberry tincture, I can make several cups of Elderberry syrup, that tastes great!    I’ve purchased Elderberry tinctures that nobody in my house would touch with a ten foot pole they tasted so bad.  This recipe not only tastes fantastic, it will make your house smell heavenly.  Score!

 If you’re under the weather now and need an immune system jump start,  I suggest trying the Black Elderberry Syrup by Nature’s Way.

 

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Let’s get to it, shall we?

2/3 cups black elderberries
4 cups filtered water
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
2T freshly grated ginger
1t cinnamon
1 cup raw honey  My parents rent out some of their land to a bee keeper in return for fresh honey.  It’s what I used.

Bring the water, black elderberries, ginger and cinnamon to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and allow contents to simmer until reduced by about half.  This will take about 30-45 minutes.

You do NOT want to add the honey while the other ingredients are still simmering.  You’ll destroy all the benefits of the honey.

Remove pan from heat and allow to cool until it is  lukewarm.  Strain the juice into a bowl.  Toss the used berries into the compost heap.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup jump starts your immune system!

Add the cup of honey and the lemon juice and stir until it has dissolved.  Store in the fridge in a lidded glass jar.  It should stay good for about 2 months

Our family takes the standard daily dose which is 1/2-1 teaspoon for kids and 1/2-1 Tablespoon for adults.  If we do get sick then we up our dose to every 2-3 hours instead of just once a day until we are better.

Do you make your own Elderberry Syrup?

 

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