Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why 72 Hour Kits?

72-hour kits or Grab and Go bags are meant to assist you after a disaster. Seventy-two hours is approximately how long it takes to get help after a disaster and for evacuation shelters to get up and running.There is so much involved that it's mind boggling. However, understand that immediately after a major disaster you will be on your own. You may not see an ambulance or police car for some time as the craziness begins. It takes time for community leaders to get organized. So plan to take care of yourself and your neighbors.

All Emergency Supplies will NOT fit in a backpack.

You will need several containers:

1. A personal kit for food, personal supplies, small flashlight, some water, etc. If you had very little time, this would be the one item you would grab, so very important items would be in it. I prefer a backpack for these items.

2. Another for the rest of your water, bedding, etc. I use totes for these as I would only take them if I could evacuate by car.

3. A bucket or tote to carry items the whole family needs to make their next few hours more pleasant. I use a bucket for these items as I would only take them if I could evacuate by car.

4. A family tent in it's own bag. I would take it if I could evacuate by car or if you have a small family you could attach a small tent to a backpack.

When choosing a container for your own personal 72-Hour kit, keep these factors in mind:

1. It should be easy yo grab and go in an evacuation (could be put in a car, or taken with you on foot. I cannot personally carry everything, but I can carry my backpack.)
2. Is able to handle various weather conditions
3. Is as waterproof as possible
4. Size fits various family members based on health, strength, age, and size

Do not wait until you have funds to purchase the perfect container before you start gathering kit items. If all you have is a cardboard box, use it for now. You can get a better container later. These container options are ideas I adapted from the book “Preparedness Principles” by Barbara Salsbury. Recommended are the best, Good are okay, and So-So are the least recommended.

Backpacks: Recommended to Good
Easier to use if you have to evacuate on foot. This is what our family uses.

1. They do not stack well, but can be hung, or leaned against each other on a shelf.
2. Water-repellent, but not waterproof.
3. More expensive (however, watch school clearance sales in September)

A sturdy sewn, not glued, roomy school-type backpack (meant to carry books) is easier for kids to manage. Remember to keep your supplies lightweight. A backpack shouldn’t weigh more than about 25% of the weight of the person carrying it. So if a person weighs 125 pounds, the total weight of the backpack should be no more than 31.25 pounds. Of course it should be lighter if a person does not have strength to carry it. You can see why you may have to put some of your water in another container. Backpacks on a frame can withstand bad weather and rough handling and could carry a sleeping bag. However, those on a frame are not suitable for small children or seniors.

Luggage: Good to Recommended
Choose one that is made of sturdy luggage material, not cloth material. Be careful not to overload or it will be too heavy. Keep it lightweight and portable. Wheels are helpful. Since most are not waterproof, keep your items inside in trash bags. Carry-on size is good for a 72-hour kit. This may be a good choice for seniors who might not be able to carry a backpack.

Duffel Bags: So-So to Good
Must be heavy-duty. Some are water-repellent and quite sturdy. Do not use college laundry bags as they are difficult to carry.

Containers that are not recommended:
Tote bags as they are usually too small.
A pproduce box is okay to start with, but replace with a better choice as soon as possible.
Trunks, footlockers, and ammunition boxes are too heavy.
Garbage cans are too heavy, and it’s difficult to get to supplies at the bottom.

Keep your kits accessible and together:
1. Keep your kits in a strong structural area of your home that can withstand earthquakes better like a closet, or under beds or stairways.
2. Keep items close to a door that exits your home. A garage is difficult to get into after an earthquake. However, if this is your area, keep items close to a door. Food items must be able to withstand varying temperatures in a garage.
3. Label your kits with your name or first initial and last name and phone number. We used duct tape and a permanent marker. Can you imagine the number of bags at an evacuation center?
4. If you have small children and have to walk, put items in a stroller or wagon.

72 hour kit start


6 (8 oz.) boxes juice
3 (8 oz.) boxes milk
2 granola bars
1/3 lb. graham crackers
5 (1.4 oz.) pkg. sandwich crackers
6 (.5 oz.) fruit roll-ups
4 (2 oz.) pkgs. trail mix
5 (1.5 oz.) pkgs. raisins
6 to 7-1/2 oz. peanut butter

3 ounce can tuna
7 beef jerky
1 package gum
18 wet wipes
Pack in an air 
and moisture-proof container


1 milk
2 juice
1 granola bar
2 fruit roll-ups
1 pkg. trail mix
2 pkgs. raisins
3 oz. peanut butter
2 pkgs. sandwich crackers
3 jerky
1 milk
2 juice
1 granola bar
2 fruit roll-ups
2 pkgs. trail mix
1 pkg. raisins
3 oz. peanut butter
2 pkgs. sandwich crackers
3 jerky

1 milk
2 juice
2 fruit roll-ups
1 pkg. trail mix
2 pkgs. raisins
1/3 lb. graham crackers
1-1/2 oz. peanut butter
1 pkg. sandwich crackers
3 oz. can tuna
1 jerky

Monday, August 23, 2010

Save Money Grocery Shopping

Including tips from Diana, EmilyFrugalWannabe, LJ, AllisonJenMarie, and several more.
  • Shop for produce at a local farm stand.
  • Never buy coffee, soda, or other drinks or snacks out.
  • Always grocery shop with a list.
  • Take advantage of sales on items that you would normally buy.
  • Only shop once a month.
  • Keep a price book and track prices by unit cost.
  • Stockpile staples when prices are low.
  • Buy generic items.
  • Use the Grocery Game.
  • Plan meals according to what is on sale that week.
  • Take advantage of rainchecks if the store doesn’t have a sale item that you need.
  • Take advantage of rebates at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid…but only if you’ll use the item and will follow through on the rebate.
  • Buy enough of a sale item to last 12 weeks. That’s about how long sales take to cycle.
  • Shop at discount marts: Grocery outlet, The Dollar Store, etc.
  • Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Many stores offer a small discount per bag.
  • Take advantage of stores that double coupons.
  • Watch out for deals on things that your friends need, and have them do the same for you.

Is Homemade Bread Cheaper? Well, Yeah!!

Here is my take on a loaf of whole wheat bread... I don't know what it costs you at the day old store, but this is what a 2lb loaf made by me costs. 

1 1/2 cup warm water - free
1 tbsp vegetable oil - .04 
3 tbsp sugar - .01
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour .11
1 1/4 cups white flour .6
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten .10
1/2 tsp salt - $.01 
2 tsp dry yeast .10

total cost for 2lb fresh loaf is about $.43.... And this really surprised me too, since I had never taken the time to figure it out. It would be less for white bread, since you don't need to add the vital wheat gluten or the whole wheat flour, and I usually use less yeast. 

Budget101.com - - Bountiful Harvest - Make your own Groceries

Budget101.com - - Bountiful Harvest - Make your own Groceries

Teenagers-- What to Feed Them

Over the years one subject always seems to be revisited by our members at the start of the Summer . . . "Just how am I supposed to feed these Teenagers?!" It wasn't until last summer that I realized just how daunting this task can be! Perhaps the most difficult part of keeping them filled up is realizing that at some point, you're not only going to be feeding your own children, but half of their friends as well. 

 If you're beginning the summer or back to school  with woes of how to keep your kids (seemingly hollow legs!) filled, here are a few suggestions on cheap eats:

  1. Meatballs- These can be made up ahead of time and frozen in ziploc bags. They can be warmed up in seconds and are excellent, use them in:
    1. Meatball Subs
    2. Ramen Noodles
    3. Quickie Calzones
    4. Sweet & Sour Meatballs
    5. Meatball Stroganoff
  2. Ramen Noodles- These can be prepared a plethora of ways. They're dirt cheap and the kids love them. They're a great way to use up small bits of leftover "anything" (ham/bacon/pork/beef,etc)
  3. Tortilla Wraps - Just about anything can be wrapped into a tortilla. They're dirt cheap, virtually mess free, healthy and delicious. I particularly like that the kids can throw one together without making a mess of my kitchen. Here are a few examples of ingredients that I keep on hand in the fridge
    1. Black Olives
    2. Chopped Veggies (green peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, celery bits)
    3. Tuna Salad
    4. Egg Salad
    5. Ham (diced or sliced)
    6. Crumbled Bacon
    7. Cooked Chicken- diced or shredded
    8. Lettuce
    9. Cheeses (various kinds, sliced, shredded, diced)
    10. Broccoli (raw flowerettes, chopped small)
    11. Salsa
    12. Peanut Butter - Jam's - Jellies (fruits/berries goes well w/ peanut butter too)
    13. Pepperoni
  4. Breakfast Burritos- made up ahead of time and frozen (scrambled eggs,bacon,sausage,cheese,veggies,etc) Simply toss into the microwave for 30 seconds and enjoy
  5. Muffins- various kinds made up ahead of time and frozen individually. Simply toss into the microwave for 20 seconds and enjoy. These are particular great for when the kids friends come over unexpectedly.
  6. Tuna Pea Wiggle - super easy, super fast and can be made ahead of time
  7. MYO 100 Calorie Snacks - dirt cheap snack Ideas to have on hand
  8. Mini Pizzas- sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, chopped veggies, etc - these can be made on Bagel halves, english muffins
  9. Veggie Sandwiches- "poor gwrls" - (toasted wheat bread with fresh sliced tomatoes & sliced Mozarella cheese melted under the broiler). One of my favorite lunches as a teenager was fresh cucumber sandwiches- sliced cukes fresh from the garden with a little miracle whip salad dressing and a tiny dash of salt. While these may sound strange, the taste is simply delicious and kids love them.
 Some other ideas, make your own cereal bars, cinnamon rolls, soup in a cup mixes, recipes that use eggs such as souffles & quiche (eggs are often very cheap & high in protein)

Read more: Budget101.com - - How to Feed Teens Dirt Cheap | Dirt Cheap Recipes http://www.budget101.com/frugal-living-articles/overcoming-summer-dilemma-feeding-teens-cheap-2596.html#ixzz0xUIXO0tx
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Food Storage Goal

This next month or few weeks try to start stocking up on cleaning products. Things like bleach, detergents, bar and hand soap. Don't forget to watch the clearance areas of your local stores, also CVS and Walgreens are great places to find deals on these items.
This is a great time to also stock up on tomato products. Whether you can them yourself, buy them, dehydrate them, get a good stock for the winter months.
With Labor Day just next weekend, this will be a good time to find deals on your picnic supplies. Things like paper products, condiments, and charcoal can be purchased at excellent prices. Example: Saturday while at price chopper there is an endcap with Chinet paper plates. I never buy them I think they are too expensive. They are on sale for $2.19. Each package of dinner plates had a $1.00 off this item on them. So I got very nice paper plates (environmentally friendly) for just $1.19 each. Yes I stocked up!! Paper plates are one of those things you wouldn't think to stock up on for food storage but if you want to save water, you don't want to be washing dishes!!

Killer Deal

If anyone noticed this week there is a great deal on spaghettio's at price chopper. They are $.39 a can. That in itself is a steal but price chopper has coupons under the shelf where the ad is in the door, that has lots of coupons. In each of those fliers there are coupons for $.55 off every two. Do the math and they end up about $.14 each!! That is a major savings and a great food storage item to stock up on . There is no limit either!! Good luck and I will try to continue to post those steals!

Menu for Week Aug. 23

 Well here it is again, maybe I can try to stick to my menu this time. I have it planned I just need to remember to follow through with it.

Ham and Sweet Potatoes, corn on the cob and green beans

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, salad and garlic bread

Taco Salads, fruit cocktail

Tuna Melts, watermelon and cantalope

Traditional Friday night Pizza from Papa Murphy's ( Come on who can pass up a $8.99 pepperoni pizza with 80 pepperoni's?)

Breakfasts for the week will include:
Chase's favorite Cream of Wheat, Bagels and cream cheese, cereal with fruit, and waffles.

Best Can Organizer

The best way to organize your food storage is to use this wonderful cardboard can organizer . I love them! They are like about $12 for 4 organizers. Check out their site