Category Archives: Food

Proper Food Rotation & Storage Procedures

The following article is a guest post submission from Lee Flynn, a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Proper Food Rotation And Storage Procedures

Rotating food supplies is important. During emergency situations, families must have plenty of food and if the proper food storage and rotation procedures are used, everyone will have enough food for several days or weeks.

Why Food Must Be Rotated

When food is rotated, the food will better maintain its nutritional content. Food must also be rotated often so that it maintains its flavor. When homeowners rotate their food items, there is always a suitable store because the stored food is not expired.

Rotation also helps families because everyone gets to try dehydrated or freeze-dried foods if that is what is stored. Learning how to eat these long-term storage foods is important because it may be the only option in an emergency situation. Eating long-term food storage items also offers health benefits because the items have less fat and plenty of nutrients.

Using Food Storage Items Efficiently

Many families store their food items in basements and in food pantries. These locations are great because they are cool and dry; these conditions make food last longer. This poses one unique challenge however…because basements and pantries are out-of-the-way places, homeowners usually do not use their food on a regular basis after it is stored. There is a way to solve this problem though. Many preppers use solutions that were designed by food storage specialists like the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System.

Kitchen Storage Procedures

Food items in the kitchen should be stored in small containers. These small containers can be used to remind others that there are more items in the basement. Because the containers are small, they will not take up a lot of space and will need to be replenished more often, resulting in stored food being rotated. Canned items should be stored on the kitchen shelves.

Designing A One-Week Menu

Many preppers test their food storage skills by making a menu. After they design a menu, they usually notice that certain items are not as efficient as others. A menu also helps preppers understand if they have enough food for certain meals, such as breakfast. In most cases,  an initial trial of the menu will demonstrate that you do not have enough items for certain meals; this is why a menu is important. An efficient menu also prepares families for disaster situations because they can test emergency meals and know what they need to have stored.

Advanced Storage Procedures

It is also an important practice to rotate your food storage items in to your current recipes. For example, many food storage professionals use cheese powder in macaroni and cheese. They also make pancakes using wheat. Beginning to incorporate food storage products such as these into your current recipes will allow you to become familiar with the qualities of the food products you store and how they can be included in recipes you are familiar with and know how to make.

How To Increase The Life Span Of Stored Emergency Food

Food usually lasts longer when it is stored in an area that is 40-60 degrees. Each food item should be rotated and dated properly. All new foods should be placed towards the back. Placing the food on the floor is not recommended because the air will cause problems. Instead, place all food on a shelf. Depending on the weather, the food could get very cold. However, the food should never be placed in an area that has a freezing temperature to best preserve it.

Date And Rotate

Individuals and families should practice their food rotation procedures. Rotation keeps food in great condition, as long as the food is also properly maintained. Most long-term items should be used regularly, such as bulk foods. This procedure is what best helps preppers rotate and replenish their inventory.

It is wise to remember that there are food items that do not last as long as others. For example, canned foods do not last as long as a bucket of grain. However, most items have a date that lets you know how long the food will last.

It is also helpful to remember to use organizing techniques when storing preparedness items. One way to organize food is to place the newest food to the left, leaving the older food on the right. Then as food is used, take food from the right because the items on the right are the oldest. The oldest food should be eaten first because fresh food is needed during emergencies situations and it will avoid losing valuable food resources to spoilage.

Photo Credit: Tim Patterson via photopin cc

All American Sun Oven Giveaway

HUGE NEWS TODAY!!!

I am excited to be partnering with an awesome group of preparedness bloggers to giveaway a Sun Oven package worth $448!!!

All American Sun Oven Giveaway
As you may know, September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. It is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), within the Department of Homeland Security. Americans are encouraged to take the necessary steps to prepare for any emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, churches, neighborhoods and communities. We all need solid emergency planning in order to get back to business after a terrorist attack, a tornado, flood, landslide, fire, etc. It is imperative to have a plan before a disaster strikes us unexpectedly. Have a plan and talk about the plan with family, co-workers and neighbors. If we put our plans into action before we need them, we will be much better prepared for the unexpected.

The bloggers that I have partnered with are:

Here is the fine print:

This All American Sun Oven Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Sept. 6th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the time designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month

ENTER TO WIN!!!

Emergency Food Storage: 7 Tips for Getting Started

No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.

Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.

Food Guidelines for storing:

  • Keep food in a dry, unused area
  • Keep food enclosed at all times
  • Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
  • Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
  • Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front

Starting a Storage

Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers.  Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.

1)     Create Kits

First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.

2)     Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals

Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.

3)     Stock PLENTY of Water

A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

4)     Stock up on Food Staples

You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.

5)     Plan for Fire Needs

You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.

6)     Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible

Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.

7)     Plan for Every Emergency

Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.

These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.

Huge Mountain House Food Storage Savings

Now is a great chance to stock up on Mountain House Food Storage at Ready Made Resources. There are many entrees, sides, proteins, fruits and vegetables to choose from. All at 25-42% OFF!!!

 

Mix & Match is Available! This offer is eligible for Free Shipping!

Act fast! This sale only runs through December 13, 2013. 

Emergency Food Fails Infographic

When it comes to prepping, there are a number of shortcomings and failures that one may be forced to deal with. It seems like the greatest failure comes from a lack of prepping, but there are prepping failures that are equal to inaction. Check out the infographic below of the Top 10 Most Common Emergency Food Fails, compliments of Food Insurance:

Top 10 Most Common Emergency Food Fails Infographic

Why Have Food Storage?

When it comes to food storage, some folks ask “Is it really necessary?” But recent events in the United States and around the globe are evidence to the fact that, sometimes, things just happen that are beyond our control. Take Hurricane Sandy, for example. Surely, the locals didn’t expect to endure such a trying disaster in the months leading up to the horrific event. Many endured losing everything they had. Others were forced to evacuate as soon as possible. But all involved experienced a level of uncertainty and instability.

Perhaps you are saying to yourself “That is a horrible disaster, but something like that will never happen where I live.” Maybe not, but maybe so. The fact is that many things are simply out of our control. Natural disasters seem to hit with increasing frequency these days. Do you want to be unprepared if you are forced to stay at home for days on end?

Let’s consider a few other situations where a food storage supply would certainly come in handy. First, with the economy like it is, many have been left without work or means of supporting their families. This has meant hungry little ones and frustrations at every turn. Or what about those who suddenly experience the loss of a loved one who has previously provided for them? Or even a loved one who can no longer work due to an accident of some sort?

The fact is that things happen in life that we just cannot control. But we can control how much we prepare for certain events, which includes obtaining a food storage supply. So while some claim it is not really important, others know it just might be the difference between life and death.

So what are some essential items to have in your food storage? Very simply, you need to include all the basics that will sustain human life and keep you healthy. These basics include grains, legumes, dehydrated milk, sugar, salt, oil, and garden seeds. Also, you’d be smart to get items that last a long time and that you really enjoy eating. If a disaster ever struck, you’d be grateful you did. In addition to food, it should go without saying that you need a pretty solid water supply. Some recommend having a gallon for each person per day (but as you don’t know just how long the emergency might last, it’s a great idea to store quite a bit). You can purchase bottled water or large storage containers from emergency essential stores.

A quick note: You don’t need to run out and buy your food storage all at once. In fact, doing so can be a bad idea, as it is a lot harder to rotate properly. Buy items every week or month, depending on your budget, so you always have a rotating storage that will sustain your family in the event of an emergency. As the saying goes “Better safe than sorry.” Food storage is not a paranoid measure for those who just like to worry and expect the worst, it is a precautionary measure that can save your life. As some say, once the event has occurred, the time for preparation is long gone.

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and food storage advocate.

Vertical Gardening For Survival

Did you know that you can grow pretty much any amount of fresh produce that you could possibly want regardless of the amount of space that you have available?  

The simple answer is to look up! Traditional gardening dictates that a garden must be grown on large expanses of flat land, however this is simply not the case, there is infinitely more space when you literally turn that notion on its head. 

Vertical gardening is the only logical step in this ever-expanding urban environment that we live in. While our forefathers and mothers were able to purchase houses and live off the land, this unfortunately does not hold true today. Even if you don’t live in an urban area, you may simply live in a place where the soil and weather simply do not allow for a traditional garden, or you may not have the time it takes to get your existing soil to become a suitable habitat for your plants. 

As our croplands shrink more and more, vertical gardening may well become the only choice for someone who wishes to flex their green thumb. Simply speaking, vertical gardening is making the most of your usable gardening space by utilizing climbing plants and vegetables, or by training non-climbing varieties to grow in small pockets of soil that are lifted away from the ground. This type of gardening has many advantages over traditional gardening, and once you discover how easy it is to move away from a traditional horizontally planted garden to a vertical one, you’ll be rewarded with a cornucopia of benefits. 

Your new vertical garden involves less work and places less strain on your mind as well as your back. Even avid gardeners with plenty of space for a traditional garden are slowly moving towards vertical gardening. 

A traditional garden can lead to tragically disappointing results, as the more growing space you have, the more likely you are to get discouraged by near constant weeding, pest infestations and diseases, not to mention that many find watering such a large area is a never-ending obligation. All of these combined create a daunting task for even the most expert gardener. With vertical gardening, you can GROW UP regardless of how much land you have to work with.

But the supermarket is just around the corner…right?

So why on earth would you want to go to the trouble of planting your own garden? Ask yourself: Why would you walk to the supermarket and pay for a bruised and chemical covered tomato, when you could simply pluck a ripe, delicious one from a vine directly outside your window? 

Most grocery stores pride themselves on having “only the freshest ingredients,” and while this is all fine and dandy in times of abundance, grocery stores only keep about two to three days’ worth of items on their shelves. 

During an emergency, when everyone is clamoring for the same items at the same time, there is a good chance that you won’t get what you need. 

The items that will sell out first are the ones that people know will help them get through a time of crisis. It is during these times when learning to grow your own produce can be a major boom in your survival and overall well-being. You will have enough fresh produce to sustain yourself and, if all goes well, enough to barter for other items or creature comforts (think toiletries, medical supplies, entertainment items, etc.)

Gardening your own fresh and self-sustainable produce should never be out of anyone’s reach… Make sure that it isn’t out of yours. 

Recommended Today!

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Top 5 Summer Food Storage Tips – Guest Post

Top 5 Most Important Summer Food Storage Tips

By Lee Flynn

Whatever time of year it is, and whatever your situation in life, it is always important to keep a good supply of food for emergencies. What this entails, is creating a store of nonperishable food, enough for you and your family in case of any kind of emergency that might make you unable to leave your house or purchase food for whatever reason. Natural disasters are the most cited reason for needing food storage, but anything from a blackout to the loss of a job could make a person unable to buy food. And when it comes to the summer, there are certain factors that you should take into consideration. Here are five important food storage tips for the summer.

1. Store Food Properly

With the summer, there comes a swarm of unwanted visitors in the form of pests, insects, and rodents. Bacteria also grows faster when it is warmer. If you don’t store your food properly, you could quickly run into trouble with contaminated food and infestations of certain creatures. Make sure that your food is stored in tightly sealed containers. As it is the summer, it is also likely to be much warmer. This makes it equally important to choose a good location for you food storage somewhere that is cool and out of the sunlight, preferably insulated.

2. Check the Type of Food You Store

Sometimes the only space that you have is in a basement or attic, or somewhere else with little to no insulation. If this is the case, you will have to be incredibly careful with the type of food that you store. Don’t store anything that can easily melt or suffer other alteration because of extreme temperatures. In fact, even if you do have an insulated storage space, you will still need to only include non perishable items in your food storage, as they are the items that will last until you need them.

3. Store Other Necessities

In any emergency food supply, there needs to be a stock of other important items to prepare for any eventuality. Such items include a first aid kit, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and medication. But in the summer, there are also other circumstances to take into consideration. Sunblock and insect repellant are both things for which you will be grateful, should you be forced to leave your house at a moment’s notice. Hay-fever medicine should also come in handy.

4. Plenty of Water

Any emergency that could occur would, more likely than not, affect the availability of good, clean water. For this reason, it is recommended that we store a gallon of water for each person who lives in the household. In the summer, you may need more; let’s not forget that we need water for washing, cleaning, and cooking as well as drinking.

5. Store Food that You Like!

You don’t know how long you may be stuck eating the food that you store, so it only makes sense to store food that you like and that is sure to be different in the summer from how it is in the winter. So if you are going to create food storage, why not make the most of it, and have some fun!

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer interested in helping others develop self reliance through food storage.

Best of The Prepared Ninja 2012

Looking back at 2012 makes me realize that it was quite a great year. While there are always some things that I wish I would have accomplished, I don’t have any complaints (in my personal life). For the country, not everything was a success…the elections I would not consider the highlight of the American dream last year. The United States Olympic team did a great job in London, even though they were forced to wear uniforms that were manufactured in China. I guess the point is that you can’t win at everything. With many thanks to all of the great readers out there, The Prepared Ninja enjoyed quite a successful year as well. Here is the top five posts that TPN had to offer in 2012:

1. 21 Things A Burglar Won’t Tell You – The economic and employment situation in America these days is, well…less than ideal. This is making life increasingly difficult for a growing number of individuals and families as the months tick by every year. To combat their money problems, many have taken the approach of doing whatever it takes from working odd jobs to going on government social programs and some have even gone as far as becoming criminals to make ends meet. This new breed of criminals is in addition to your other run of the mill burglars and crackheads that are out there breaking into houses. The following things you should know in order to protect your home but you won’t ever hear them from them from a burglar.

2. Do You Own Forever Foods? – I recently came across an interesting tidbit on the Mother Nature Network about forever foods which I found to be quite intriguing. The premise of forever foods is that certain foods as long as they are properly stored, can literally last for decades. Even after they have been opened! While they might not literally be foods that last forever, they are likely to last far longer than the average person would ever feel comfortable using them. Like all foods, normal storage practices such as placing items in a cool dark place and in air tight containers should be utilized.

3. “Roughing It”…Overcoming Toilet Paper Shortages – A lesser focused on area of preparing for the end of the world/the apocalypse/zombie invasion often involve things that we as Americans take for granted such as having toilet paper to clean up after…ourselves. There are essentially two options, stock up on so much toilet paper that you never run out or come up with the best possible substitutes. This post will serve to highlight some of the best possible substitutes for T.P. that I was able to identify.

4. 11 More Things A Burglar Will Never Tell You – I was so inspired by the post, 21 Things A Burglar Will Never Tell You, that I decided to come up with 11 more things that a burglar would not like for you to know. There is not a source for these ten items other than my mind and the recollection of certain items from previous training and lessons learned. Hopefully they will prove useful, thought-provoking, and perhaps even a little entertaining.

5. North America’s Top Ten Wild Edibles – Whether it all hits the fan some day or not, food is an everyday necessity. Ideally, as preppers, most of us will be adequately prepared if there is a tough time. Factually speaking though, even if you are prepared with a decent amount of food stores, wild edibles can stretch the amount of time that your stored food will last while also adding fresh vitamins/supplements to your meals. If for some reason you, your loved ones or friends are not prepared with appropriate stores of food, wild edibles may be a primary source of food for you during a food shortage. This makes finding, properly identifying, knowing which parts are edible, and how to prepare wild edible plants a must for anyone who plans on surviving in good times and bad.

Thank you all for taking the time to read the best of 2012 and making last year an outstanding one for The Prepared Ninja!

Friday Survival Scoop

Another week has come to an end and that means another round of the latest and greatest survival and disaster preparedness offerings that are available on the web. This week we have insight into the seven packaged foods you won’t have to buy again, choosing where to bug-in, the regular guy strategy, and medical preparations for your family.

The Nickel Pincher: 7 Packaged Foods You Never Need to Buy Again by Jean Nick from Rodale

This is a great article about seven store packaged foods that most families or individuals buy at that store that can also be made easily and affordably at home. The seven foods include crackers, corn tortillas, chips, yogurt, mayo/salad dressings, energy bars, and soda. The article also points out that by making these foods on your own, you can lose weight, save money, reduce the amount of packaging used, and also consume fewer chemicals when eating the same foods.

Bugging-In; Choose Your Location Wisely by Butch C. from Prep-Blog

Butch from the Prep-Blog gives additional thought in this post to his plan to bug-in in the event of a disaster. There is emphasis given to specific areas to consider when planning to stay put versus deciding to leave in a disaster. The specific areas to evaluate include:

  • Natural disasters that could occur in the area.
  • Man-made disasters that are possible in the area.
  • The distance of your location from any major towns or cities.
These are all serious considerations to keep in mind. More in-depth information can be obtained from reading the article.

The Regular Guy Strategy: Escaping Prepper Prison from SurvivalSherpa

The SurvivalSherpa does a great job of outlining the fact that sometimes being a prepper can feel a lot like being in prison. Why you ask? Because if you don’t keep what you are doing quiet you could get labeled a weirdo by your friends or even worse, a “homegrown” terrorist by your government. The Sherpa talks about building community, developing regular guy skills, and to prioritize tasks like a regular guy which allows the reader to look at prepping tasks from a basic perspective.

Medical Prepping in Three Months: A Guide to Safeguarding Your Family — Part 1 of 2 by Dr. Cynthia J. Koelker from SurvivalBlog

While this is only part one of a two-part series, this article is packed with information on how to medically prepare your family, group, community medically over a three-month period. The concepts contained include everything from establishing a means of keeping medical records all the way to identifying different rashes. Medical needs are addressed not only from direct patient care but also from learning the skills needed to treat patients as well as building community, medical resources, and preventive medicine. Because this is part one of two it covers weeks one through six of the three-month plan but will still provide you plenty of “food” for thought to help get you medically prepared for the worst.

What survival or preparedness articles caught your eye around the web this week?

Friday Survival Scoop

It’s Friday again and here is another batch of some of the tasty tidbits of survival and preparedness that the web had to offer this week. Check out these articles on the state of global food reserves, the pros and cons of popular water storage containers, knife care and maintenance, and signaling considerations for your vehicle emergency kit.

Global Food Reserves Have Reached Their Lowest Level In Almost 40 Years by Michael Snyder on Alt-Market

This article expounds upon the increasing global food crisis and highlights the fact that food consumption throughout the world for six out of the last eleven years has exceeded production. The end state has been the lowest level of global food reserves in almost four decades. Forecasters are also saying that if the trend continues, the world’s food supply is only one event away from global disaster and chaos. There is also a great quote included from the world bank that is eye-opening.

Pros and Cons of Popular Water Storage Containers on Food Storage and Survival

After surveying readers on what storage containers they use for water, Food Storage and Survival compiled the results and now are discussing some of the pros and cons of the different containers. The water storage containers discussed include gallon jugs, water bottles, refilled PETE bottles like 2 liter soda bottles, 5 gallon hard plastic jugs, 30-55 gallon drum, waterbrick, water bladder, and even cover emergency water boxes and pouches. The author also mentions the fact that they live in a “super small” house and lists the combination of water storage containers that they use.

Knife Care and Maintenance by FerFAL on The Modern Survivalist

This is half article and half YouTube video from one of the best known proponents of modern survivalism, Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre. The title says it all though, knife care and maintenance. A knife is a tool. It is a tool that could save your life some day though so make sure to maintain your knife/knives. For those who are not familiar with FerFAL, he is a native Argentinian and lived through the economic collapse that occurred in 2001 in his home country. This makes him and all of his writings, interviews, videos, and other resources that he had created incredibly valuable because his is a voice of experience.

Signaling Considerations for Your Vehicle Emergency Kit by Bryan Black on ITS Tactical

This is a great piece on some of the different possibilities that are available for signaling in the event of a vehicle emergency. Bryan Black from ITS not only covers some of the options that you may want to keep in your vehicle emergency kit but also recounts some of the requirements that every driver should look at when considering these options. On a side note, if you are not familiar with the work of Bryan Black or ITS Tactical, take a few minutes to look around the site. I am sure that you will find at least a few more interesting and useful tidbits. One of my favorites is Skilcraft – Pen of the U.S. Government.

Did you spot another great preparedness related article this week on the web? Post a link in the comments section and share it with everyone else!

 

Eat Your Way Free Of Inflammation

Life can be tough. Sometimes at the end of the day I am left feeling like I got hit by a freight train. Other days I go to bed feeling fine but wake up to find that the train came in my sleep. Modern medicine often uses medications to take care of aches, pains, swelling, and other feelings of discomfort that occur in the body. If it all hits the fan and medications are not available how do you plan on treating these same symptoms?

Last week, Dr. Mehmet Oz featured an anti-inflammation diet on his show that was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil who is an innovator in holistic medicine. The development of this specific diet was in support of Dr. Weil’s conviction that many serious and chronic disease processes are caused from inflammation in the body. The following excerpt about inflammation comes from Dr. Oz himself,

Most people are familiar with inflammation that appears on the body’s surface in the form of redness, heat, swelling and pain. Inflammation is how the body heals itself, bringing more immune activity to a site of injury or infection. However, when inflammation persists or gets out of control, it can damage the body.

While stress, lack of exercise, genetics, and toxins can all increase chronic inflammation, the average American diet, overloaded with trans fats and refined sugars, has become a major culprit. That’s because heavily processed foods are difficult for the body to break down, effectively taxing the immune system. Refined carbs raise blood sugar so quickly that the body can become immune to insulin, which also increases inflammation.

Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet promotes internal healing and reduces inflammation systematically. There are five key items in his diet that will have you on the road to optimal health.

Dr. Weil’s five key components to his anti-inflammatory diet are:

  1. Carotenoid-rich Fruits and Vegetables – Some of the best sources of carotenoid include cantaloupe, apricots, sour red cherries, purple passion-fruit, pink and red grapefruit, plantains, mango, guavas, watermelon, papaya, grape leaves, kale, turnip greens, baby carrots, mustard greens, dandelion greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, parsley, and butternut squash. At least 5 daily servings are recommended.
  2. Whole and Cracked Grains - These are grains that are completely intact or only cracked into a few smaller pieces in comparison to finely ground flours. Dr. Weil’s recommendation is to eat 3-5 servings daily of brown rice, groats, barley, quinoa, or basmati rice to name a few options.
  3. Oils Containing Polyphenols - Extra virgin olive oil is the best option for cooking oil in this category but other servings can be made up of nuts or avocados. One teaspoon equals one serving. Consume somewhere from five to seven serving a day.
  4. Fish and Seafood - One serving of fish and seafood equates to four ounces and servings should be limited to two to four every week. Some of Dr. Weil’s recommendations include black cod, herring, sardines, and wild Alaskan salmon. Keep in mind that certain persons might have special dietary limits on the amount of fish or seafood that can be consumed based on age, sex, or woman who are pregnant.
  5. Herbs and Spices - Some of the great ingredients in this category include chili peppers, basil, turmeric, and cinnamon. One of the spices that has been relied on by natural healers for a very long time is turmeric which is used to treat many ailments besides inflammation and include things like migraine headaches. The nice thing about these herbs and spices is that is no limit to the amount that can be consumed.
On top of treating inflammation through diet, what you eat can possibly increase your body’s inflammation response. Some of the foods that should be avoided to stay clear of inflammation include foods that include trans-fats, saturated fats, highly processed foods, large quantities of red meats, high-fat processed meats like sausage and bacon, refined white flours, and foods or beverages containing added sugars.

Sources: USDA, Dr. Oz, HealthMad.com

North America’s Top Ten Wild Edibles

Whether it all hits the fan some day or not, food is an everyday necessity. Ideally, as preppers, most of us will be adequately prepared if there is a tough time. Factually speaking though, even if you are prepared with a decent amount of food stores, wild edibles can stretch the amount of time that your stored food will last while also adding fresh vitamins/supplements to your meals. If for some reason you, your loved ones or friends are not prepared with appropriate stores of food, wild edibles may be a primary source of food for you during a food shortage. This makes finding, properly identifying, knowing which parts are edible, and how to prepare wild edible plants a must for anyone who plans on surviving in good times and bad.

The following is a list of the top ten wild edibles located in North America:

Arrow Root

Arrow Root – The arrow root is a water plant found across North America and is usually found growing along the edge of slow-moving rivers. The edible portion of the plant is the tubers at the end of the roots which is high in starch and can be eaten raw but may best be suited cooked as part of a stew. These tubers may also be dried and found into a fine flour. The arrow root is best harvested after midsummer to avoid bitter tastes. Easiest to identify by its arrow shaped leaves, the edible tubers can be dug up out of the mud at the base of the plants stalk.

Birch

Birch – The birch tree is found in many temperate climate forests across the country. Edible portions of the tree include the inner bark and the young leaves. It seems that the most popular use for the inner bark is to cut it into strips and use it as a substitute for spaghetti noodles. Because of the barks bland taste it pairs well with a pasta or other sauce. The young birch leaves make a soothing tea when they are dried. This tea is believed to help in treatment and cure of urinary infections, diarrhea, dysentery, kidney stones, gout, and rheumatism. It is also believed that birch tea is a mild sedative and a diuretic.

Blueberry

Blueberry – Blueberries are perhaps one of the easiest wild edibles to identify on this list because North Americans see them in the grocery store, in recipes, cereals, desserts, and other places all the time. The blueberries that you will find in the wild are not really any different. Located across most of North America, blueberries can even be found in the extreme Northern portions of the country. Just remember to be mindful of the fact that there are many wild creatures that enjoy blueberries as well, and no I am not talking about your mother-in-law! These berries are very versatile in that they can be eaten plain straight off of the plant or they can be used to make pies, breads, or added to a salad. If you are able to find wild blueberries, they are a great addition to foods that are easy to cook on the trail like bannock. The blueberry harvest varies depending on what area of the country you are in but typically occurs from June-August.

Bunchberry

Bunchberry - Located in the Northern half of the United States, the bunchberry is known to usually grow in areas along the margins of moist forests, on old tree stumps, in mossy areas, and in open/moist habitats. The fruit of the bunchberry are edible although I have never tried them myself.  What I have heard though is that these are dry and little gummy in consistency but are tolerable to eat.  I have also heard that the taste is sweet and the flavor resembles somewhat soft apples. What I have read also stated that bunchberries tend to be acidic so you should be careful not to eat to many at once. While the berries can be eaten raw, they can also be added to foods such as breads, cereal, or oatmeal.

Cattail

Cattail – This is another edible plant that is found across the United States, primarily in close proximity to water and usually stagnant water. It considered by many survivalists to be the best survival food out there. The entire plant is edible but the young fresh shoots are usually the tastiest and primarily consumed raw. The roots of the cattail are similar to the arrow root in that they are best used, cooked in a stew, like a potato. The cattail roots can also be dried and milled into a flour. Some say that the signature part of the cattail which is the top that actually looks like the tail of a cat is the best part and while it tastes different, it is similar to eating corn on the cob.

Cranberry

Cranberry – The cranberry can be found along the shores of lakes and ponds. This is the same cranberry that Americans traditionally eat as a sauce at Thanksgiving with our turkey. The harvest of wild cranberries is typically done after the first frost making it a perfect option for a survival food during colder periods of the year. Once harvested, these berries can be made into a sauce, added to breads, cereals, oatmeal, or eaten raw.

Labrador Tea

Labrador Tea – Found across the United States and Canada, this evergreen can be located in sphagnum swamps all year-long. The leaves are dried and then boiled to create a tea which is known to be rather acidic in taste. There are some recommendations to overcome this taste which includes adding sugar, liquor, or both if you have them at your disposal. The plant that yields these leaves is slow-growing so it is recommended that full branches not be harvested off of individual plants and instead individual leaves should be picked from different branches on several plants.

Milkweed

Milkweed – Found in Southern Canada and across the United States, the milkweed plant can be found growing in farm fields. One thing that must always be remembered is that the milk weed plant contains a bitter, milky sap that must be removed by boiling the plant two or three times, changing the water in between. The young sprouts of the plant are cooked and are similar to asparagus (the basic rule I have been told is that the smaller, the tastier). Milkweed flower pods are best gathered in late summer and can be cooked and stuffed with things like rice or cheese and breadcrumbs. The flower pods are also useful in soups, mixed with vegetables, and in stir fry.

Wild Leek

Wild Leek – Also known in some parts as ramps, wild leeks are located mostly in deciduous woodlots across North America. The wild leek’s stalk/root system can be a great addition to a salad but the leaves are edible as well as the stalk. The nutritional value is best when consumed raw but due to what some consider the overpowering onion/garlic odor and flavor some people prefer to cook wild leeks before eating them. In addition to being used in salads, wild leeks can be used as a substitute for onions or garlic in any recipe but are well paired with potatoes, egg dishes, and soups.

Wintergreen

Wintergreen – The wintergreen plant’s leaves and berries are edible but the plant is most valued for its leaves which are dried and boiled to use primarily as a tea. Native Americans used this tea medicinally to treat rheumatic symptoms, sore throat, fever, headache, and aches/pains. Located mostly in Northern areas, it can be found year round but the red berries of the wintergreen should be harvested in the summer and fall while the leaves can be taken from the plant year round.

 

If you have a favorite wild edible that I did not mention, please leave a comment telling us about it and why you think it is so great.

Long-Term Food Storage Resources

Photo Credit: self-sufficient-blog.com

There are some great tools out there on the internet and some of those tools include food storage calculators. I think the most important thing to mention up front is the fact that these calculators are a guideline and are only a starting point of what a family might plan on obtaining if they were going to purchase an entire year’s worth of food. Each family is different and some of these foods will not be eaten by everyone. I can tell you for one that I do not, nor will I ever, have lentils in my food storage. Ain’t gonna happen! With that being said, a food storage calculator can give you an idea of how many pounds of legumes that you should have for your family of four and this will let you know what you should shoot for. You can just get something else instead of lentils. I know I will!

The following websites all have food storage calculators or other information that I found interesting and extremely educational:

Ready NutritionSurvive & Thrive Food Storage Calculator

  • The Survive & Thrive Food Storage Calculator allows the user to calculate custom food storage for individuals and families for adults and children ages eight and older and children ages seven and younger. The time period of food storage can be calculated starting at one month all the way up to five years. Categories of food storage include legumes, grains, sugars, fats/oils, kitchen essentials, and dairy.

There is also a great list on the Ready Nutrition website that I absolutely love. It is by the site owner, Tess Pennington and is as follows,

“First Time Shopping List for an Emergency Food Supply:

1.  10 lbs. of white or wheat flour (both would be better.  Remember the Prepper Golden Rule: 1 is none and 2 is 1).  Those of you who have wheat allergies, click here for alternatives.

2. 10 lbs. of corn meal

3. 5 lbs. of oats

4. 20 lbs of rice (white rice stores better than brown rice)

5. 12 lbs of pasta

6.  20 lbs of beans (pinto beans are usually packed in heavier quantities)

7. 5 lbs of mixed beans (lentils, mixed bean soup, black beans, etc)

8. 5 lbs of sugar

9. 2 lbs of salt

10. 1 gallon of cooking oil

11. 2 large containers of peanut butter

12. 5 lbs of powdered milk

13. 1 lb of baking soda

14. 1 lb of baking powder

15. .5 lbs of yeast

16. 1 gallon of vinegar

17. 1 gallon of drinking water per day  (*I would round-up here.  You can never have too much water.)

18. 1 gallon of bleach for sanitation and treating water”

The Food Guys – Food Storage Calculator

  • From thefoodguys.com, “The following calculator will help you figure the minimum food storage amounts needed for your family. These amounts are based on the recommendations listed in the LDS Church’s Home Production and Storage manual. These figures are recommendations, and are basic year supply minimums only. You will need to choose the best options and foods you should store for your family.” This calculator will allow you to calculate your families basic food storage needs for a year based on adults and children aged seven and older and children aged zero to six in the categories of Grains, Legumes, Fats/Oils, Military/Dairy, Sugars, Cooking Essentials, Fruits, Vegetables, and Water.

Provident Living – Food Storage Calculator

  • Calculate food storage needs in the groups of Grains, Legumes, Dairy Products, Sugars, Leavening Agents, Salt, Fats, and Water for the number of weeks that you want for the number of adults and children over 12 and the number of children under 12.

Food Storage Made Easy – This resource is not a food storage calculator but does have a plethora of information on food storage and how to make it easy. I think that is where the name comes from? There is also an email list that you can sign up for that will get you periodic emails that include baby steps checklists that break down the process of long-term food storage into easy to swallow pieces. [Insert snare drum and cymbal sound bite here for comedic effect.] There is a food storage calculator on this website that is a little more inclusive than some of the others but it is in an Excel spreadsheet format which I find to be less user-friendly than some of the others at the same time.

I hope that some of these tools are useful and provide you and your families and loved ones the resources needed to survive the tough times that may be ahead.

If you know of any additional resources that can assist the preparedness community in storing food in being ready for difficult times please share them in the comments section below.

Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em…Fish That Is!

Life is full of opportunities, it is just a matter of finding them…at least that is what I have been told. When I saw the plans for this smokehouse recently, I saw an opportunity.

Opportunity #1

If there ever was to be a societal collapse, it is reasoned by many that opportunities to harvest meat are likely to become few and far between. Once the reality of the situation sets in, fish and game regulations and even the concept of private property will likely have little to no meaning as the “every man for himself” mentality takes hold. Individuals will only be concerned with providing for themselves and their families/loved ones and will begin killing whatever protein they can find, even going onto other people’s property to go after cattle, chickens, etc. However, if there is a collapse, will there be damage to the infrastructure? Will it be temporary or permanent? If there is a lack of power there will not be refrigeration or electricity to use to preserve food for any length of time. A perfect solution for preserving proteins in a situation like this is a smoker or smokehouse!

What happens if society manages to hold itself together? You will still have an awesome smokehouse that you can use to make your Thanksgiving turkey, homemade jerky, smoked sausage, ribs, brisket, pork butt, fish, or whatever else you can possibly think of.

Opportunity #2

Thousands upon thousands of smokers are sold in the U.S. every year and this could be your chance to cash in! If you are a handy person, there is a definite opportunity to make money here. I believe the key is to make a superior product that will not fall apart. This particular smokehouse already has a far greater capacity than any readily available commercial smoker. The gentleman that published the article and plans state that they built their smokehouse for $170 which includes the propane burner. It is conceivable that a profit margin of 50% or greater could easily be obtained for this product, especially if the customer is required to provide their own burner or heat source.

Photo Credit: Dexter Bar-B-QueThe business model that comes to mind for me would be to make one of the smokers and take it to local farmer’s markets, co-ops, feed stores, and maybe even the local sporting goods or hardware store to set up as a display. It is possible that a scaled-down model could be constructed for this same purpose. In addition to the display smokehouse, you of course would need to place your contact information, prices, how to place an order, etc. so that a potential customer could get in touch with you. As the manufacturer of this smokehouse, you would have the obligation to ensure that all the materials that you use are safe to be utilized in this application but that seems to be the biggest liability of this project.

Opportunity #3

Using a model that is almost, if not exactly identical as opportunity #2, smokehouse kits could be manufactured that are designed to be put together by the purchaser. This would allow for a lower purchase price which would make the smokehouse more affordable for the consumer but at the same time would result in a lower production cost. The end product is one that more consumers could afford while maintaining profit margins over 50%. The downside to this opportunity is that you have the potential to lose some of your market as a result of buyers that have no interest in completing any of the assembly themselves.

Opportunity #4

Use the smoker as part of community building by preparing great meals for the neighborhood at your block parties! It can even be part of your survival groups preparations for long term planning.

The plans for this smokehouse are free, where other smokehouse plans and designs can cost up to almost $50! On top of the many uses for this smokehouse, it can run off a variety of fuels from propane to charcoal all the way to wood that can be scavenged from local sources. If you like smoked meats and have preparedness in mind, this smokehouse could be the answer to all of your desires and potential problems.

Do You Own Forever Foods?

Photo Credit: SueBee Honey

I recently came across an interesting tidbit on the Mother Nature Network about forever foods which I found to be quite intriguing. The premise of forever foods is that certain foods as long as they are properly stored, can literally last for decades. Even after they have been opened! While they might not literally be foods that last forever, they are likely to last far longer than the average person would ever feel comfortable using them. Like all foods, normal storage practices such as placing items in a cool dark place and in air tight containers should be utilized. Here is the list of 10 forever foods from Mother Nature Network:

1. Sugar – It doesn’t matter what kind of sugar it is, sugar does not support the growth of bacteria.

2. Pure Vanilla Extract – Just like it says, it must be PURE vanilla extract.

3. Rice – Types of forever rice include white, wild, jasmine, arborio, and basmati. Brown rice is not a forever food because of its higher oil content.

4. Corn Starch – You’ll never have thin gravy because corn starch is a forever food!

5. Honey – Like the vanilla, to last for years on end, the honey must be pure. I hate when honey gets crystalized though, so check out the link below to the original list at Mother Nature Network for some great tips on how to deal with grainy honey.

6. Hard Liquor – This makes a lot of sense from many perspectives. Liquor can be used for drinking, cooking, medical purposes, and even for bartering. Make sure that you keep plenty of booze in the cupboard, it could be part of your investment strategy for 2012!

7. Salt – Great product to have around and cheap to buy, plus it never goes bad. Seems like you can’t go wrong with salt!

8. Corn Syrup – Even though Mayor Bloomberg would make all corn syrup illegal, there is good news…corn syrup will last forever so you can start storing it now in case there ever is corn syrup prohibition.

9. Maple Syrup – In order for this to be a true forever food, maple syrup has to be refrigerated or frozen.

10. Distilled White Vinegar – Vinegar is awesome! I must say that. It has a myriad of uses, including some that I have covered before. With applications from cooking to cleaning and almost everything in between, I am not sure that you can have too much vinegar in the pantry.

The list of forever foods and some additional information about them including best storage practices, why they last so long, and what some of their uses are can be seen in the Mother Nature Network article.

If you have any comments or additional information on these or other forever foods please leave your remarks in the comments section below.

Survival Stoves That Are Practically Free

survival stoves
Photo Credit: BackpackingChef.com

I am always looking for the next great idea. A new way to accomplish a task in a shorter amount of time or at a lower cost than before. My continuous search for ideas recently led me to the BackpackingChef which has proven to be a wealth of knowledge. While survival stoves are the subject of today’s post, the Backpacking Chef also has a plethora of information about dehydrating food, menu planning, cookware, food packing, food storage, and tons of recipes all designed for backpacking…which also makes them perfect for emergency preparedness! It is an incredible resource.

There are many aspects to preparedness but food is one of the most important and basic necessities, whether it be during a survival situation or just another day on the block. This makes having a way to cook or warm food fairly important…unless you like eating cold mystery meat and lima beans. Not me! This is where the backpacking stove (which I have dubbed the practically free survival stove) from the Backpacking Chef comes into play. If you have one of these survival stoves, you will not have to be concerned with eating nasty, cold food.

The beauty of the design behind these survival stoves is that with a little effort, most of the materials required to construct these particular stoves could be salvaged. I have acquired all of these materials or equal substitutes without any cost to myself other than the time required to collect them by visiting homes in my neighborhood that are being either built or remodeled. If the option of obtaining materials from a local dumpster or construction job site is not available to you these materials are still very affordable at the local hardware store.

There is also some flexibility with the types of fuel that can be used with the stoves. Suitable fuels could include candles, chafing fuel (Sterno), alcohol, and even cooking oil. Most of these options would be considered by most to be safer than other stove fuels like propane or white gas. The Backpacking Chef also provides some great information about the fuels that can be used with the stove and the efficiency of those particular fuels as well as how to cook dehydrated meals with the backpacking stove.

The instructions for completing the backpacking stove can be viewed on the BackpackingChef.com where a complete list of materials and required tools can also be viewed.

Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments area and let us all know about your good or bad experiences with survival stoves and emergency cooking.

Effective Food Heating in a Survival Situation

There are many potential issues that can arise during a survival situation. There are also many issues that will come about whether or not you find yourself in a survival situation. One of the absolute needs that everyone must address regardless of the situation in which you find yourself is fuel for the body, most commonly known as food. What complicates food preperation in an emergency or survival situation is a lack of cooking methods that are readily available. If the power is out then there is no electricity to use an electric stove, oven, toaster, microwave, etc. Even if a gas stove is available it may not be a viable option due to the dangers of doing so after a natural disaster. This leaves the option of an independent system such as a camp stove, backpacking stove, BBQ grill, or similar type of system. Any of these are likely to be good options for a home or base camp but because of their bulk, they are not good options for a bug out bag or vehicle kit.

So what is the answer to this quandry? My preferred solution is chafing fuel that is designed for foodservice use. This is also referred to as canned heat or Sterno and it is what you would see under a chafing dish at a catered event. What I think makes this an ideal solution for emergency kits including is the fact that there is no liquid or gas cooking fuel. Canned heat, being a foodservice product, is designed to be used indoors which is another significant advantage over other emergency cooking options which usually require significant ventilation.

The advantages that are offered by canned heat compared to other options are:

1. Compact Size

2. Light Weight

3. Low Cost

4. Long Cooking Time

5. Ideal Ratio of Size/Weight to Cooking Time

The disadvantages that must be overcome by using canned heat are:

1. Inability to boil water.

2. The need to purchase or create a stand that will hold a pot or pan over the can.

3. Flame is small and can be extinguished by stiff winds.

Canned heat is not the end all/be all of survival solutions. But for about $5 you can buy yourself about 12 hours of emergency cooking power that can be taken anywhere and used for a myriad of purposes.

Do You Have Skills?

I think that most people would agree that survival is about having the appropriate skill sets to sustain life. This does not only apply to Bear Grylls type survival, but daily life as well if you think about it. Isn’t the set of skills that you use at your job a survival tool? If you did not have the particular knowledge and abilities to perform your work you would probably be unemployed. This would significantly impact your chances of survival without an income and a way to provide for you and yours. With all that being said, one of my goals this year is to continue to expand my collection of skills in an attempt to make survival easier for me and my family.

One of my primary skills that I hope to improve on this year is gardening. It is getting to be time up here in the Northern states to prepare for summer gardening and that is what I am doing. I was raised in a family that did plenty of gardening so from a personal experience standpoint I have that angle covered but there are still a couple other obstacles that stand in my way of being a skilled gardener.

The two obstacles that I am facing:

1. I am new to the Northern climate.

2. We are living in a leased house.

These are my solutions:

1. We just moved to Michigan in the middle of last year and I do not have the experience of what a full year of living here is like. I am doing my best to research gardening and growing food in the colder climates and how to work with the shorter growing season. This has proven to be somewhat difficult as a result of the unseasonably warm temperatures this year. If everything was “normal” as far as the weather was concerned I think it might be a little easier because a traditional timeline for seeding and transplanting, etc. would work. Because of the warmer temperatures it seems like things should be started sooner this year but then many people still think that it will snow at least once more even though right now it is in the 70’s outside.

2. I am going to be using a variety of container gardening methods. This will allow us to work around the inability to have any area of the property that we live on “torn up” to plant a garden. The main effort of our garden will be using the traditional container gardening method as well as being supplemented with the gutter garden method. I must admit that I am excited to try out the gutter garden to grow lettuce, spinach, radishes, and some other small vegetables. The containers will be used for larger plants like peppers, squash, and beans to name a few examples.

This is an experience that my entire family (me, my wife, three boys, and our dog) is excited about taking on this summer so we will see how it goes. I have hope that it will be wildly successful but at the end of the day there is really nothing to lose. The worst thing that could happen is that we remain relient on the system that currently brings us our food. The outcome that I hope to see happen is that we get one step closer to food independence and my family’s independence as a whole.

How To Save 50% On Grocery Expenses

The opportunity to save literally hundreds if not thousands of dollars every year on your grocery costs can be accomplished through the power of community. The amount that you can save is only limited to the strategic relationships that you can develop and maintain. So what is the secret handshake that you have to know in order to take advantage of these great savings? Well the first step is just a simple handshake that transitions to…ok so I am just kidding about the handshake.

The key to saving this magical 50% figure on your grocery bill is to talk to your family, friends, neighbors, and community members. Sharing resources such as warehouse store memberships or access to a restaurant supply store will allow those in your inner circle to maximize the amount that can be saved without incurring the exorbitant cost of spending the money to gain access to all of these different stores. I will say that while I can think of hundreds of times that I have saved tons of money at these stores, if you don’t know what the local prices are in your area you can greatly overpay as well. Many of the box stores will sell items at a loss to earn your business on other items where most of the discount stores operate on set margins and will not always have the best price on certain items. The following four options offer the greatest opportunity for savings.

Warehouse Stores – Sam’s Club and Costco can be a great resource for food as well as many other items. Not only is there an opportunity to pick up items at a reduced cost but these are places that you can get items in large quantities as well. To get into warehouse stores there is an annual membership fee that must be paid. Some individuals have these memberships but some also have these memberships for their businesses which not only allows for the savings but the membership cost can be covered as a business expense. In addition to food items, I like to pick up clothing and other seasonal type items at these type of stores because towards the end of the season you can save a ton of money. Right now there are coats that sell for $100 new that are on clearance for $10 at our Sam’s Club. It is still snowing outside! Take advantage of the savings people and shop at the end of the season for next year.

Restaurant Supply Stores – There are some restaurant supply stores that are open to the public but it seems that the true stores that supply restaurants are not open to the public and knowing someone in the food industry can help you gain access to these stores. This does not mean that you have to be best friends with the owner of the local buffet. If you know someone who has a coffee shop that could be your way in. You can always check with the store and see what their policies are as well. Some may let you in if you are shopping for the high school concession stand or for your organizations fundraiser. It never hurts to ask. Of course there is always the option of starting up a hotdog cart so that you can take advantage of this opportunity!

Military Commissaries – If you live in a community that has a military installation, there is a good chance that there is a commissary there. For those that may not be familiar with military jargon, a commissary is a grocery store. You will find just about everything there that you can find at your local Kroger, Albertson’s, Safeway, or other local grocery store. Now military commissaries are not open to the public so unless you are a member of a military family you will have to know someone who is. This is where the community connections come in. So what if you do not live in a military community? Well, military retirees are entitled to commissary privileges and many will travel to the nearest military base at periodic intervals to stock up on items. If you know a retiree then you may be able to tag along and take advantage of some of the savings that are available at the military commissaries!

LDS Canneries – I am not a subject matter expert on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints faith or the services that are offered through the LDS canneries but I do know that there are many bulk foods that are offered for sale. From what I have seen on the internet it seems as though the restrictions on who can use the cannery depends on the local rules. If you know a member of the LDS church this is probably the best way to obtain access to your local cannery. The bulk foods available through the LDS cannery are prepackaged as well as cannable by the consumer and fall into the short and long-term storage food categories.

Anyone know how to increase these savings even more? You guessed it…coupons! Obviously coupons cannot be used in every situation but if the chance to use them is there then by all means take advantage of it. I have saved most of my money shopping at the military commissary where I can say that I have saved a ton of money. With coupons that amount has increased even more. One example that I can think of is a coupon that came out in the Sunday paper and was for $1.00 off of an Oral-B dental floss. The commissary has the dental floss for $0.95 and after taking the $1.00 off for the coupon I had a credit of $0.05 plus a roll of free dental floss! Not a bad deal at all.

The bottom line is that through family and community relationships you have the opportunity to greatly stretch your grocery dollars. There is nothing to lose other than your hard-earned money.

If you can think of any other great ways to save on the grocery budget, chime in and share them with the other Ninja’s in the community!

Simple & Awesome Bread Recipe

I just wanted to share this great bread recipe that my family and I have been enjoying for the last couple of years. It is super simple to make and never lasts more than a day or two it seems. It is just awesome. I find myself not wanting to ever eat any other bread if I have the time to make this bread.

This is also a great opportunity for income. For anyone that has ever been to a farmer’s market, you know that good bread sells quickly and for a premium price. For those that have not been to a farmer’s market, good bread sells quickly and for a premium price. This bread will not be as good once it is a few days old so it is not something that you could make all week and then take to market on Saturday. Someone that has the time to make a bunch of bread on Thursday and Friday to sell first thing Saturday morning could make a decent part time income with this recipe and a few other good breads, muffins, or pastries. During the busy season of farmer’s markets it could even be a full time income if the markets in your area rotate the days that they are open. Bread like this usually sells in our area for about $4 a loaf. Sell 100 loaves a week and you can make about $1600 a month and that is if you only have this one product. Something to think about. 

AMISH WHITE BREAD (Makes 2 – 9 X 5 Loaves)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembes a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

That is all there is to it. Give it a try and see what you think. I am confident that you won’t be disappointed.

LDS Preparedness Manual – A Must Have Prepper Resource!

The LDS Preparedness Manual is a valuable resource that offers a great start for those that are unsure of where to start with your preps.  This manual can be downloaded for free from ldsavow.com.  Some of the great information contained in the LDS manual includes a sample 96 Hour Kit, Food Storage Information, Basic Foods List, Emergency Shelter, Defensive Needs, Terrorism, and the impressive list just continues.  This is not something that I would consider as being a resource that is restricted to members of the LDS community but a tool that can be utilized by anyone that is serious about making steps towards preparedness and independant living.  Check it out today and see what a great addition to the prep library it will be!