Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December Week 1: Matches, 100 hour candles, 12 hour light sticks

This week's food storage items are:

December Week 1: Matches, 100 hour candles, 12 hour light sticks


We are getting to the end of the year! Now for those of you who have been following, and thinking you'll start on January 1, that isn't how this plan works. Start today! You can start anywhere at all during the year, and continue through. It isn't a plan that actually has an end, since every week from here til kingdom come, you'll be checking on (and updating, if necessary) your food storage and emergency supply. It's the only way to have a supply that is current and isn't full of expired goods. Sooooo, get started this very week!

This happens to be one of those weeks where once you have it done, you shouldn't have to rotate or replenish it (as long as you haven't used any of your stock). It's handy to have a week like this scheduled at the beginning of December when life is a tiny bit crazy.

The large can in the photo is one of two emergency cooking candles that I made years ago at homemaking night (that tells you how long ago it was). I wish I had the instructions, but I wasn't teaching the class, so I just came home with the cooking candles. I can tell you that the candle is made of sawdust and wax (a messy process), and has a wick down the center of it. The theory is that you can use it to cook over in an emergency. I haven't had to use them yet, but they are there, waiting just in case!

The other items I have are the 100-hour candles from Emergency Essentials (on line). They are around $5.00, which seems pretty affordable for 100 hours of light. I'm pretty sure that in an emergency, I would pay the $5.00 to have light that I could rely on. I like the idea of having those around.

Don't forget the matches. Buy a few good-sized boxes and keep them with the candles on your emergency supply shelves.

I also have some light sticks. I think these might come in handy in a lot of different ways. These are also available at Emergency Essentials.

Since these are items that you won't rotate through, you'll need to think of them in a different way. How many do you think you'll need in an emergency situation? If you didn't have electricity for several days or weeks, what might you need on your shelves? It's difficult to guess, but at least get some of the items on your shelves, and you can add to them later on, if you feel the need. 

Now, I have seen a few other sources on Pinterest of ways to use household items as candles. This one, in particular, caught my eye. Since most of us have crayons somewhere in our homes, I thought this might be one to try out. In the particular Pin that I saw, it said that crayons will burn for 30 minutes. So, I figured it would be worth a try. I got a crayon, and secured it with a clothespin, and then put it in a pie tin.


It took a few tries to get it to light, but it finally did light. And the flame actually grew to about 6" in height. (Yikes)


Five minutes later, it went out in a flash.


So, if you are relying on crayons for your emergency light source, you may have to buy several boxes of them, since the flame only lasts for about 5 minutes.

I think I'll stick with the 100-hour candles. :)

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the blogpost that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan: Bye Week

This is one of those rare weeks (4 times a year) that you will have nothing new to do. There are only 4 weekly assignments per month, so there are times when there is an extra week with nothing to do. Yay! Use this week to get caught up on previous weeks, or to straighten up your storage closet. Or do nothing at all. Next week we start with December, and we're in the home stretch!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Black Friday Sale!!!

Black Friday Sale!!!!  

Every in-stock sign is on sale in the shop. (Custom signs aren't included in the sale, but are still available in time for Christmas if you order soon!) Visit the Etsy shop by clicking here. (GrassRootsHome)


November Week 4: Potatoes: buds, pearls, scalloped, etc.

This week's food storage items are:

November Week 4: Potatoes: buds, pearls, scalloped, etc.


Let's first talk about long-term storage. The potato flakes you see in the can in the photo, are from the Family Home Storage Center, and I dry-packed them myself. They last 30+ years. You add milk, butter and salt, as well as hot water, but since I have all of those items in long-term storage, it should work out just fine. I like these potatoes really well, so we are able to use them in a pinch. But, since they have such a long shelf life, there really isn't much need to rotate through them at this point. You can order these by the 6-can case by clicking here.

The other package is also from the Family Home Storage Center, but these already have the milk and butter incorporated into them. You only have to add hot water to them. Since they have the fats in them, they have a much shorter shelf life. These generally last a year or so. That means that these ones I definitely have to rotate through. Again, they make a good mashed potato, and I generally would much rather whip up a batch of these than go through the rigors of making mashed potatoes from scratch. But that's just me.

Also, if you use any other sort of potato that is boxed, such as scalloped, this would be the time that you would re-stock your shelves. These have a shorter shelf life as well, so take that into consideration.

Now, decide your family's needs for potatoes. If you have a Family Home Storage Center nearby (to locate the Centers, click here), I would encourage you to make a visit. You can buy the instant potatoes there easily, and sometimes they even have some Potato Flakes canned and ready for the taking. Even if you have to can your own, it is a quick and fun process to learn. To see an order form of all that is available at the center when you visit, click here.

If you don't have access to a Center nearby, you can look into Emergency Essentials, or any other on-line provider of food storage items. I haven't ever ordered potatoes from any of them, so you're on your own with that venture.

Otherwise, you can do a shorter term storage and be sure to rotate through before they expire in a year's time. After you have your list of items to purchase, buy them the next time you are in a grocery store, and get the items on your shelves. Update your Inventory Sheets, and sit back and enjoy Thanksgiving with your family!

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the blogpost that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November Week 3: oats, boxed cereal, etc

This week's food storage items are:

November Week 3: Rolled oats, oatmeal, cornmeal, cream of wheat, boxed cereal


For this week, try to consider all of the cereal items you use, as well as cornmeal. There will likely be some that you use for breakfast, but also think about the cookies and baking you do. How much of these items would you go through in a year's time? Just make an estimation, and make a list. Do you already have some of these things in storage? If so, take that into consideration, and adjust your list accordingly. Now you have a shopping list of what you will need this week. In the next couple of days, make a point to go to a grocery store where you can pick up the things you need. After you bring them home, update your Inventory Sheets and get the items on your food storage shelves. Woohoo! You are done for this week, and you are one week closer to having what your family will need for their food storage.

Now, if oats are packaged for long-term storage (like at the dry-pack cannery), then they can stay good for 30+ years! So, that means that you can have some long-term oats on the shelves, as well as some that you can rotate through for the next year. This is a food storage system that is meant for rotation. As I've mentioned before, I hate to throw away food storage that has gone bad. It feels like such a waste, and then it doesn't get me that excited about replacing it, UNLESS I rotate through the food and use what I am storing. If you check your shelves before you go grocery shopping, you can easily rotate through what you already have. That's why I like to have a little more than a year's supply of most items... so that when I get to the end of my year of "rolled oats", say, then I'm not completely out, but have some to get me by til my shelves are replenished.

Be sure to look at dates on your packages. Many cereals don't have a long shelf life, so work that into your plan.

You could also fill your shelves with everything BUT cold cereal, which is what I do. We don't eat enough of it for me to be concerned about putting it on my inventory sheet, but if you feel that's an item you want to keep track of, then add it to your sheet.

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the blogpost that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November Week 2: Chocolate Baking Supplies

This week's items are:

November Week 2: Chocolate Baking Supplies


Now, you may say to yourself that you can do without chocolate in an emergency situation. I beg to differ. If you find yourself in a long-term emergency situation, don't you think a little chocolate treat might be just the thing to put a smile on your face, along with everyone else's face (who will think you're the cat's pajamas because you have chocolate amid the chaos)? I rest my case.

But, even if you didn't plan for chocolate in an emergency situation, if you use chocolate at all throughout the year in your baking, then you'll want to have it in your year's supply. That way you'll always have it on hand when the chocolate need arises.

Figure out what you normally use in a year's time as far as chocolate chips (milk and semi-sweet), Nutella, cocoa, and baking chocolate squares. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving and Christmas are ahead, so you may go through a little more in the next couple of months then the rest of the year.

After you've come up with the chocolate you'd like on your shelves, then add that list to your grocery list and pick up the items in the next couple of days. Get them on your shelves and update your inventory sheet. It's as easy as that! You are done for the week, and you can feel good knowing you have a few more (yummy) supplies on your shelves for the days ahead.

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the blogpost that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November Week 1: Vitamins

November Week 1: Vitamins


What vitamins do you and your family take? Keep an extra bottle of each of the vitamins with your food storage items. I keep mine in a bin in my food storage room with medicines and extra first-aid items. Make a list of the vitamins your family takes, and plan on getting at least one bottle extra of each of the vitamins. In a perfect world, you'll want to have a full year's supply of the vitamins, but if you want to start slowly, just buy one extra bottle of each. It helps to buy larger bottles, and be sure to check the expiration date on whatever vitamins you purchase so that you know they'll stay good for at least a year.

In the next day or two, when you have an opportunity to get to the store, pick up the vitamins you'll need, and get them on your food storage shelves. Update your inventory, and pat yourself on the back for doing something to provide for you and your family in the case of an emergency. Yay for you!

And be sure to rotate through the vitamins. When you need more of your daily vitamins, run to your food storage and grab from there. One of the beautiful things about this system is that you shouldn't have things expiring and having to be thrown out. You rotate through and use what you have. Before I started this plan, I used to throw away too much of my food storage. Not any more. Rotate. Rotate. Rotate.

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.