Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables

March is Frozen Food Month and frozen vegetables will be on sale at stock up prices.  Now is the time to learn how easy dehydrating frozen vegetables is!

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Why You Should Be Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables

    • Unless you have a really big garden, dehydrating frozen vegetables is much cheaper than buying fresh, and you can dehydrate frozen vegetables year round.
    • Dehydrating frozen vegetables requires no washing, peeling, slicing, chopping, or blanching,  saving you a lot of time.
    • Needs less room (much less!) for storage!Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Dehydrators

I use an Excalibur Dehydrator, and love it.  I also own a Nesco dehydrator, which is much cheaper and works really well for dehydrating frozen vegetables.   You can quickly and easily recoup  the cost of both of these dehydrators in just a few months of dehydrating your own fruits and veggies.

Dehydrators can often be found at yard sales, but so far the ones I have come across are usually missing most of the trays, or the trays and sometimes the motors are so covered in hardened gunk, that I pass them up.  But keep your eyes open for dehydrators at yard sales and thrift shops, as your luck may be better than mine!

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

How To Dehydrate Frozen Vegetables

Simply spread out the mixed veggies on the dehydrator trays. I didn’t worry that the pieces were touching, I knew they would shrink as they dried and it wouldn’t be an issue. As a matter of fact, my one POUND bag of veggies shrunk down to 3/4 of a cup!

I dehydrated these @125 degrees and they took about 10 hours. Please look at your dehydrator model to see what temperature is correct for your machine. The time to dehydrate will always depend on the humidity in the room where you are dehydrating.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Storing Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables

Now that you have a batch of inexpensive dehydrated frozen vegetables, you’ll need to store them properly. Here’s where a Food Saver comes in so handy!

My favorite way to store my dehydrated vegetables is to pour them into a wide mouth canning jar, and using the mason jar sealer accessory, vacuum seal the jar. You won’t need a ring for this, the vacuum sealing will securely keep the lid on.

Vacuum Sealing Mason Jars

The wide mouth vacuum accessory from Food Saver makes it so easy to vaccum seal items in wide mouth mason jars!

This method will keep your dehydrated goodness fresh for at least a year. It’s always a good idea to check your lid seals every six months or so, to make sure it’s still up to snuff. Simply press on the middle of the lid, if the lid gives and makes a popping sound, you seal is no longer good.

If you would like to add a little more ‘insurance’ this storage method, you can add an oxygen absorber to your jar before you vacuum seal it. I do this quite often.

Tip:  If you would like a bit more in depth description of how to use a Food Saver to vacuum seal canning jars, take a look at this video.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

What To Do With Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables

  • Add a handful or two to soups or stews. Perfect for crockpot cooks!
  • Add some to a blender and turn them into a veggie powder. This powder can then be added to all sorts of things you’d like to up the nutritional value of.
  • Smoothies!
  • Use for camping and hiking trips.

LOVE the idea of having veggies and fruits in your long term food storage as a hedge against inflation and emergencies? We’ve got you covered! Thrive carries a wide variety of freeze dried foods for this very reason!

So, which frozen vegetable will you be dehydrating first?

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Politics and Prepping: The Rising Cost of Produce

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy is an important Prepper skill to develop.  It allows you to prepare in advance for the rising cost of produce items we rely on daily.

Paying For A Wall Between The U.S. and Mexico

Let’s take President Trump’s proposed wall between the U.S. and Mexico. You know, the one Mexico is supposedly paying for? The one that for all intents and purposes might really  be paid for by a 20% tax on what American’s import from Mexico?

Now whether you are in favor of a wall or hate the idea, isn’t the issue.

The issue is a potential 20% increase of everything you purchase that crosses that boarder.

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

What Does The U.S. Import From Mexico?

In 2015 alone, the U.S. imported over $295 BILLION dollars worth of products from Mexico, according to government trade data. From cars to car parts, to electrical machinery and oil.  $2.4 billion worth of apparel.  $1.9 Billion in beer and tequila.

What really has my attention is the amount of of vegetables, fruit and nuts we import from Mexico.  $5.5 billion of vegetables and $3.9 billion of fruit and nuts.  All to potentially be subjected to a %20 price increase.

Bananas and Mangoes

Consider the products we simply can’t grow here such as bananas and mangoes. And then consider what other countries might do to block U.S. exports in retaliation.

And what about the fresh fruits and vegetables we depend on during the winter months? Where do we get a great deal of those? Yup. Mexico.

Can Your Grocery Budget Handle The Increase?

Did I mention the amount of tomatoes and avocados we import from Mexico? 78% of our avocados and 71% of our tomatoes according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  And it not just avocados and tomatoes either.   Herbs, spinach and lettuce make their way across the border to our tables every day.

Finally, according to Forbes, the restaurant industry is already seeing their stocks fall on the fears of increased food costs.

 

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables. How To Prepare For The Rising Cost Of Produce

Learn to grow your own.  Now is the perfect time to learn what grows in your area and how to start your own seeds indoors.   Growing your own food helps to tremendously off set the rising cost of produce.

As the season progresses we at Simply Preparing will help walk you through the basics of getting your first garden up and growing!

Learn how to preserve your own food.   It’s easier than you think.  I promise.

Dehydrating.  With just a few simple pieces of equipment you can dehydrate and store fruit and vegetables long term.  One of my favorite resources for dehydrating is the book, Dehydrate2Store by Tammy Gangloff.

Another excellent storage option is to freeze your bounty.   Did you know you can freeze avocados?  Yup! I have a freezer full of frozen avocados for my son’s blenderized diet and my guacamole addiction!

Carolyn Humphries book, How To Freeze Fresh Food At Home is a great book for beginners wanting to learn how to freeze foods.

Prepping With Freeze Dried Food.

Let’s face it.  With or without a wall between us and Mexico, food prices are only going higher and higher.  This is where the real value of freeze dried foods come in.  With up to a 25 year shelf life.  Non-GMO offerings.  Locally sourced whenever possible.

Each can of freeze dried food I purchase today has it’s price frozen as well.  Up to 25 years from now I can open a can of food that I paid 2017 prices for, and allows me to combat the rising cost of produce.  It’s like having money in the bank, but with a much higher interest rate.

It’s also pretty amazing how versatile freeze dried food is.  Take a look at all the produce used in one of my favorite soup recipes, Sausage Potato Soup!  Yum!

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Not sure how to use freeze dried foods?  No problem!  You can take a look at the recipes found on my Thrive Website to get some great ideas.

Taking the time to understand what is happening within the White House will insure that your house is prepared to better weather the growing world wide unrest, the consequences of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act and the returning concerns with China’s economy.

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Prepping For Basic Emergencies

Prepping for basic emergencies doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  It doesn’t have to be a huge expense.  I work with many people who immediately get that dear in the headlights look when the topic is preparing families for emergencies.

Prepping for basic emergencies can be as easy as taking a trip to your local grocery or big box store.  Or, in this case, simply let your fingers click through the Amazon Affiliate links!

Prepping doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming. Whether you are a doomsday prepper, or a mom wanting some peace of mind, we have your survival needs covered!

 

Let There Be Light

Nobody likes to be stuck in the dark.   I can easily stock up on the following illuminating items each time I’m out running errands:

Flashlights

Batteries

Light Sticks (Ultra Bright)

LED Solar Lights

Water.  And More Water.

Water is your friend, boys and girls.  Make sure you have 1 gallon of water per person per day.  More if you are hoping to flush toilets, or brush your teeth.

Ready to eat, shelf stable foods.

Quick and easy is the name of the game.  Peanut butter.  Crackers.  Those ready to eat packets of tuna.   Again, things you can pick up a little at a time each time you make a grocery run.  For longer term storage look towards rice, beans, pasta, and canned items.

Toilet Paper

You are not going to want to be stuck spraying your sweet patoot clean with a honey bear filled with cold water unless the apocalypse really is in full swing.  Until then stock up on the TP.

Magical Miracle Tape

I’m pretty sure this post says it all.  Duct tape is truly the stuff miracles are made of.

Black Contractor Bags

Not garbage bags.  Not leaf bags.  On the box it will state ‘contractor’ bags.  Those are what you want.

Over The Counter Medications and Prescriptions

Aspirins.  Allergy Medication.  Cough Syrup.  Prescription meds.

A Basic First Aid Kit

Chances are you’re not a doctor, nor do you play one on T.V.  You aren’t going to be performing a tracheotomy or needing to crack someone’s chest to massage their heart.  A basic First Aid Kit will serve you well.

Prepping doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming. Whether you are a doomsday prepper, or a mom wanting some peace of mind, we have your survival needs covered!

Taking Prepping to a Higher Level

Can you take preparedness to a higher level?  Of course!   Most people start with the basics, get the bug, so to say, and then continue to grow their preparedness goals.  The point is that you don’t have to jump onto the Expert Level to make sure your family can make it through a rough time.  And every thing listed above can be purchased either at your grocery store or a big box store, on sale, and often with coupons.

Start simply.  Pick up a few items each time you get paid. Sell some of your stuff that you are no longer using, and put that money towards a prepping goal.    Put your foundation in place and then work to meet your personal preparedness goals.

Self sufficiency is a mind set, an every day way of thinking.   It’s a journey to a simpler, less worry filled life.

Where are YOU in your emergency preparedness goals?  How can I help you achieve those goals?

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Inauguration Violence: How To Stay Safe

Protestors are promising to disrupt many of the events surrounding Donald Trumps’s inauguration.   Some are even promising inauguration violence.  Here are some ideas to help you make it through what potentially could be a stressful few days.

(This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting our site through your purchases!)

Staying Safe in Inauguration Violence

 Inauguration Violence

A group called #DisruptJ20 has an entire agenda planned. 

Then, beginning on Jan. 18th.,  Inauguration Security is focusing on possible threats from the global terror environment.

Not to be outdone, a group calling themselves Refuse Fascism is hoping to incite it’s own brand of civil unrest.

The Washington Post has even created a guide to all of the inauguration protests, just in case you’d like a front row seat to the festivities.

Even more concerning is the undercover video by Project Veritas showing the D.C Anti-fascist Coalition as they talk about plans to disrupt the inauguration by spraying the chemical butyric acid into the ventilation system at the National Press Club during the Deploraball event.

Yes,  folks, these are the times we live in. 

 

Buckle Up.  Things Could Get Dicey Out There

Along with the media, it seems like the fore mentioned groups have their hopes set on fanning the flames of fear.  This serves only to put the focus on mayhem, rather than a peaceful transition of power.

Stay Safe In Big Crowds

How can you stay safe?

  • Be smart and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Tune in to any changes in the baseline of your current environment.
  • In big crowds it’s okay to be a little paranoid if it helps you to keep your focus on what is happening around you.
  • Keep your phone in your pocket, you attention needs to be on staying safe, not your bff’s latest status update.
  • Stay on the edges of the crowd
  • Have a predesignated meet up place in case you get separated from friends or family.
  • Write important information such as drug allergies, and emergency contact info on your forearm in sharpie.
  • Trust your gut if it tells you to high tail it out of there.

One Step Closer To  Chaos

Hopefully everything will be peaceful this week.  To be safe,  take a look at our check list for making it through a longer term-post election chaos situation you might find yourself in.

To prepare for longer term chaos, you’ll want to make sure gas tanks are topped off, meds are refilled and you have plenty of drinking water on hand!   Take a look at our Chaos Check List and come back and tell me what YOU would add.

Want more information?  I recommend Jim Cobb’s Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide

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Duct Tape Hacks for Preppers

Duct tape has become indispensable to Preppers due to it’s uncanny ability to fix just about anything.  Stock up on duck tape and you’ll be prepared for everything from first aid emergencies, to clothing repairs, to finding your way back to base camp.

(This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting our site through your purchases!)

Concerned about the bulk and weight of duct tape in your BOB?  Check out this FLAT duct tape!

Survial and emergency preparedness uses for duct tape.  From first aid kits, to camping, to hiking and DIY projects, duct tape has you covered!

Using Duct Tape In Emergency First Aid Situations

Sling for a broken arm:  Fold a long strip of duct tape in half down the middle, so there is no longer a sticky side.  You now have a strip sturdy and flexible enough to use as a sling for a broken arm.

Stabilize a broken leg: Using sturdy sticks as splints, use the duct tape to hold the splints in place.  First, lay sticks on either side of the injured leg. Then hold it all together by wrapping duct tape around the sticks.

Secure a bandage:  Place a sterile dressing over the wound, and strap it in place using duct tape.  This will also create a water proof barrier.  A piece of duct tape can also be fashioned into a butterfly suture.

Make shift mole skin:  Cover the blister and the area around it with a bit of cotton gauze from your first aid kit,  then place a piece of duct tape completely over the cotton gauze.  Make sure that the duct tape doesn’t touch the blister!

Create a Pandemic Seal:  Use duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal a room from the spread of pathogens.

Waterproof your hiking boots using duct tape.

Mend Clothes And Gear With Duct Tape

Repair shoes and clothing:  Who needs a sewing machine?  Did you know this miracle tape come in transparent?

Fix your broken glasses:  We won’t tell the Fashion Police, pinky swear.

Patch up your rain gear:  Duct tape is water proof!    Line the inside of your boots to keep the cold and wet out too!

Keep the creepy crawlies out:  The zipper on your tent busted?  Use duct tape to keep the door to your tent closed.

Have a hole in your sleeping bag?  Duct tape to the rescue!

Splint a broken tent pole or fishing pole.   Tape a stick to the broken part of your tent pole or fishing pole.  It won’t be a long term fix, but it should see you through the current need.

Create Emergency Shelter.  By duct taping together a few of your contractor grade garbage bags together you can fashion a simple survival shelter .  You can also tape branches together and then stretch out and duct tape the garbage bags to those to help provide a wind break/simple shelter.

Fix a broken window screen.

Mend a cracked water bottle:   After making sure the outside of your bottle is completely dry then cover the crack with a piece of tape, and then wrapping the tape around the entire width of the bottle.

Get your car back on the road! Duct tape can be used to repair leaking hoses, hold up a bumper, patch the roof, etc.

Cover tears in vinyl siding:   Apply when the siding is dry, making sure to smooth the duct tape down well. You should get at least a season out of this hack.

20 Ways Duct Tape Can Save Your Life

Camping Hacks

Mark a trail:   Need to find your way back from where you came from?   Wrap duct tape around tree trunks along your route.  Just remember to make sure that each tree is in sight of the next one.

Signal for Help:   Make a giant arrow pointing to where you are, or create a giant S.O.S.  Fluorescent colored duct tape or reflective tape would work the best for this.

Use as a fire starter:  Wrap tape around a bundle of dry lint and then cover the outside with char cloth.

Makeshift torch:  Wind the top of a large branch with duct tape and light it up!

survival uses for duct tape

In the comments below, share YOUR favorite ways to  get yourself out of a jam with this wonder tool!

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Surviving Winter Storms: A How To Guide

Snowy and cold has been the forecast for my state this year, with the Northern part of Utah digging out from under 28 inches of the greatest snow on earth,  even as I type.  We are at about 150% of average snow fall here, with more on the way.  This is a big change from the last several years of drought,  prompting me to compile a list of the best posts on Simply Preparing on the topic of  Surviving Winter Storms.

Surviving Winter Storms Safely

Clothing

I always have to grin when recent transplants from warm weather states realize that they are actually going to need a warm coat to survive winter storms with below zero temperatures.

1.  Learning how to dress in layers for winter weather is a must.

2. Don’t let your body heat escape into thin air.   These behind the head earmuffs are my favorite and don’t make me feel like a five year old when I’m out in the winter weather.    But you may be more of a beanie sort of person.

3.Gloves  You’ll need winter gloves that are warm,  water proof, moisture wicking and will allow you to work out doors too.

4. Winter Boots   I have a pair of KEENS that I adore.  They give my feet the support they need, while keeping them warm too.

5.  Insulated snow pants.  Maybe a pair of thermals to go underneath.

6.  Wool Socks  I remember first thinking that wool socks would be so uncomfortable.  The first thing I think of when I think of wool is rough and scratchy.  Plus, who wants to hand wash wool socks.  Then I found Smartwool.  Soft.  Warm.  Machine washable.  Your goal of surviving winter storms will be much more comfortable when your feet are dry and warm.

The Ultimate Guide To Surving Winter Storms

Surviving Winter Storms Without Electricity.

1. Your chances of losing power during a winter storm are pretty high.  Having a Propane Space Heater will allow you to heat the inside of your home safely.

2.  Firewood.  If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove,  make sure you keep an extra cord of wood available to burn.  You’ll also need a good axe for splitting wood and chopping kindling.

3.  Wool Blankets.   Far superior to cotton or fleece at keeping you warm, wool blankets are a must have for surviving winter storms without electricity.

4. Hand Warmers.  I buy these by the box and stash them everywhere.  Little bits of bliss, I’ll tell ya.

Food

Surviving winter storms requires  you having a stock of non-perishable food items to last for a while.  Granola bars and shelf stable milk for breakfast.  Peanut butter and whole grain crackers.  A can of black beans mixed with a jar of salsa scooped up with tortilla chips.

If you heat with a fire or a wood stove you can heat up canned soups and stews.  In a real pinch, you can even eat these foods straight out of the can.  Just make sure you have a good can opener on hand!

You can also purchase MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) that come with their own single meal use heaters.

Don’t forget the bottled water.  The rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day.

Sanitation

At the first sign of a winter storm, fill the bathtub up with water to use for flushing toilets. Add the water to the tank so that, if necessary, you can flush.

Another option is to get a box of the black contractor grade garbage bags. Place a bag in your drained toilet. Sprinkle some kitty litter into the bottom of the bag. Every time someone makes a ‘deposit’ into the black bag, add another scoop of kitty litter. You’ll be able to tie the bag securely and then store it outside until your services are restored.

A Guide To Surviving Winter Storms

Let There Be Light

The last thing you want is to be caught in the dark while surviving winter storm. Fortunately there are a lot of lighting options to choose from.

Camping Lanterns

Flashlights    At the price of this top rated Outlite A100, you can afford for each member of your family to have their own light source!

Candles   Don’t forget the matches!

Staying Safe Outside

1.  I’ve seen many people trying to remove snow from their roofs after a snow storm.  Make the job easier and safer with a roof rake.

2.  Ice Melt  Used for porches and sidewalks to keep them free from ice.

3.  Kitty Litter.  Yup.  Plain old non-clumping, non-scoopable, gravel kitty litter will help provide traction under your car’s wheels and down those front steps.  Can’t find this type of kitty litter?  Grab a couple of bags of sand.

4.  Snow Shovel/Pusher.

5.  Snow Scraper with Brush

 

Preparing for any possibility during a winter storm is simple common sense.  Don’t be part of the herd racing out to the grocery store in hopes of grabbing a loaf of bread and a carton of milk before the flurry flies.   Take the fear of of winter storms by being prepared before hand.

What things to you to do to prepare to survive winter storms?

 

Don’t forget to review Simply Preparing’s List of 11 Things To Do Before A Winter Storm!

 

Plan on traveling during the winter months?  We’ve got you covered. Check out our post on   Last Minute Winter Emergency Road Trip List

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How To Make A SHTF Financial Survival Plan

Are you concerned about your personal economic situation?   Worried about how you’ll survive if things continue to go downhill?   Do you work in an industry that is shutting doors at an alarming rate?   Inching closer to retirement?   You need a financial survival plan.

 

Financial Survival Plan for 2017

There are huge issues brewing for those looking to retire on pensions.  This is where my husband and I find ourselves.   A projected FY17 $1.8 trillion dollar deficit is nervous making for Baby Boomers wanting to retire.  Take, for example, the Dallas cops who chose to take their pensions in one lump sum, fearing the money will soon be gone.

You may be facing a job loss, or another situation where your monthly income will be drastically cut.  Regardless of the reason, now is the time to prepare for your family’s  financial survival, before things head south.

Create a Financial Survival Plan Before The Next Crisis

 

Know What You Have Coming In. Know What Is Going Out.

Begin 2017 with a resolution to cut your expenses to an all time low.   This not only saves money, but insures that when there is less coming in, you’ll still meet your needs.

Your first step will be to write down how much money  you have coming in each month.  Next write down how much money is going out each month.   This gives you not only something concrete to refer to, but also a way to track your progress.   On her website, and in her book, Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford offers an excellent and non-intimidating worksheet to help you create a financial survival plan.

Once you understand where your money is going you can begin to plug the leaks and be proactive in your quest to create your unique blueprint to financial survival.

Set Goals

How much would you need to have saved to cover one month of your living expenses?  What about six months of your living expenses?

Do you have any big expenses coming up?   My husband and I need a new roof for our home.  We had hoped that this roof would have lasted us another couple of years when we might have most of the costed saved up.  Nope.     Now we are looking at adding another $10,000 to the debt load we’ve been working so hard to pay off.

sigh.

You can bet we’ve set a goal to create a more aggressive savings fund for future home repairs.

Cut Expenses

Do you still need that premium cable package?  Downgrade your cable plan. (Hello Netflix!) Don’t use all your phone minutes?  Go with a less expensive plan.  Life was  good even before smart phones.

What are you paying for that you no longer use?  The gym membership?   An online service that you could easily go without?

Change out those light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.

Trade in your gas guzzling SUV for something that costs much less to get you where you’re going.  And remember to batch your errands!

One of the best resources I’ve ever found on cutting expenses and preparing for a strong financial future costs less than a fast food dinner out.  Take a look.

3 Months Of What Your Family Uses Daily Is Part Of A Financial Survival Plan

Create a Stock Pile

I’m a firm believer that having at least a 3 month supply of what you use on a daily basis, purchased in bulk, on sale and with coupons, is the same as money in the bank.   How nice to have the knowledge that in an emergency you wouldn’t need to worry about going to the store for at least 3 months?

By writing down what you family eats for seven breakfasts, lunches and dinners, you will be on your way to knowing what to stock up on for a three month supply of food.

Next write down how many rolls of toilet paper, boxes of tissues, tube of tooth paste, etc. that you go through a week or a month.  What else does your family use on a daily basis?

And don’t forget to add in your drinking water as part of your three month supply!

Sell It!

 

One of the best decisions I made in 20016 was to go minimalist.  A successful Prepper is an organized Prepper.  You’ve got to know what you’ve stored and where you’ve stored it to make it through a disaster.

Look around your home.  What do you have that you don’t use?  Sell it!   Have a garage sale.  Or sell it on a Facebook yard sale page.  Simply type in the name of your city and ‘yard sale’ into the Facebook search bar, and you’ll find several cites to sell on, without having to ship or pay for ads.

Be brutal.  If you don’t use it on a regular basis, make some money off of it.

Find A Side Gig

Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough coming in, to meet the bills, much less to create a successful financial survival plan.  This is when a totally new stream of revenue needs to be found in order to make your financial security plan complete.

Look towards your skills and passions.  I’ve always had a heart for emergency preparedness and self sufficiency.  So it’s natural for me to blog about it with a goal to turn my knowledge into a work at home job.  This is the perfect way for me to stay at home with a medically fragile child, while adding another stream of income to help us better meet our son’s medical needs and prepare for retirement.

Food Storage has always been a passion of mine as well.  While my friends were having lingerie themed bridal showers, mine was……wait for it……FOOD STORAGE themed.  Yup.   I was a Prepper years before prepping was cool.

Because of my desire to have a deep pantry, I became a consultant for Thrive Life.   I’m not a host a party kind of girl, everything I do is online only.   I also receive discounts off of what I order.  It’s a win-win for me, and might be just what you’ve been looking for.

Maybe you’re a people person and working a part time job in your favorite store might be just the thing to bring in an extra source of income.

A Financial Survival Plan To Become Debt Free

Do You Have Skills Others Don’t?

Do you sew?  Quilt?  (Totally jealous if you do!)  How about selling via craft shows and local expos?

A neighbor with mad cake making and decorating skills creates and sells her master pieces from home.  Her work beats the socks off anything I’ve seen in bakeries.

Are you a gardener?   I’m hoping to sell my excess veggies this year to bring in a little extra money.   Are you great at fixing stuff?   You could start a new business using those skills.

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without

One of the biggest hurdles in creating a financial survival plan is the mind set that our society embraces that whoever  has the most toys wins.  Assigning meaning to stuff, at the cost of our self worth, or our health, vastly limits our ability  to prepare for an uncertain future.

Without the clutter, you can focus on what’s important: preparing your family to make it through a financial crisis.

What are you doing as part of your financial survival plan?

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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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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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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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