Friday, January 29, 2010

Got oatmeal?

If not, or if you need more, you might want to head over to an Albertson's near you. I don't usually give out the names of where I shop, but hey, a good deal deserves a little advertising...

In Wednesday's flyer (which says prices are effective Wed., Jan 27 thru Tues., Feb. 2, 2010) in the newspaper, there are these deals mentioned (I would always suggest that you call your local store to make sure the deals apply in your area.):

--When you buy 5 (42 oz) packages of Quaker Oatmeal, they are only $1.40 each. There is also syrup available, but this time I was all about the oatmeal.

--When you buy the instant oatmeal (in those yummy flavored packets) in the 10.69-15.1 oz select varieties, you can get them for $1 each when you buy 5. I didn't get any this time, but it was tempting...

--Quaker Chewy Granola Bars or Dipps (7.9-8.7 oz.) are also $1 each when you buy 5. I'm thinking 72 hour kits... These were apparently very popular, because I had to get a raincheck.

--There are also some cereals (14-16 0z., select varieties) that fall under the $1 each when you buy 5. (Oatmeal Squares are among them, but also Cap'n Crunch, or Life.)

You will need an Albertsons Preferred Card if you don't already have one, but it might be worth it to get one for these deals.

So I went last night and checked it out. And I bought some oatmeal--old-fashioned, which cooks in about 5 minutes, and some instant, which cooks in about 1 minute, I think. Wasn't exactly wild about the instant, 1 minute type until I thought, well, that would take a lot less energy in an emergency situation....

And the 42 oz-ers are the big packages. I don't use oatmeal all that much, but I did see a recipe for oatmeal bread over at the Harried Homemaker that I want to try. In the same post is a link to the Krazy Kitchen, which is highlighting oatmeal this month. Hence, many links to many recipes. So I will need to head over there to see what will work for my family. After all, I have a lot more of the main ingredient now.... :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Very little, but a little is better than none...

First of all, my apologies to those who have left comments or sent e-mails lately. I have sadly neglected my e-mail accounts and blogs since the earthquake in Haiti. Years ago I lived in Haiti, and it breaks my heart to see and hear what is happening there. I have mostly been watching the reports on TV, and trying to find out information when I have been on the computer. My heart goes out to all those affected, and my thanks goes out to all those trying to help in this devastating situation. I'm praying for you all.

I have not entirely neglected my preparation efforts, but no huge strides have been made. For instance:

--I spent a grand total of $1.98 (plus tax) on Top Ramen last week. Not the most exciting of purchases, but hey, 12 more packages of easy preparation makes me happy...

--In one experience, I gained a little knowledge, and it wasn't, shall we say, of the happy variety. You may recall that I have mentioned the (what I consider to be) outrageous prices of cereal these days. I cut out a coupon that had several varieties of cereal listed for under $2.00, and planned to take advantage of the deal. I went one night, and they were out of the items. I asked (probably my first mistake) if it would be better to get a raincheck now, (since I had always been able to get one previously) or come back the next day, since the person I was talking too said that they had just received a shipment, and there hadn't been time to unload it yet. The person said that it would be better to wait until the following day, because previously items in coupons had been on coupons because they were being discontinued, and the items on this one might not be available in the future.

Sigh. So I went back the following evening, and the shelves were as empty as ever. It was also the last day that the coupons would be honored, so I headed to the customer service desk again. It was a different person on duty, and when I asked for a raincheck, I was asked if someone had specifically said that I could have a raincheck on the cereal coupon. I said no, but I had talked to someone the previous evening who had told me a shipment had come in, and there still weren't any of the mentioned sizes available. She then said, well, sometimes the coupons are "while supplies last", and proceeded to show me where it was mentioned on said coupon. I then said, well, I wished that the other person had told me that the previous evening, because I probably wouldn't have come back, and that I was sorry that I had bothered her.

Old coupon pros are probably shaking their heads because this would appear to be somewhat of a rookie mistake, but in my defense, I have used this store's coupons many times, and have never seen the second paragraph where this phrase was found. I honestly think that this is a new addition, because I have always been able to get a raincheck before. I trust that I will not make such an error again. So I learned a little bit... :)

--A couple of weeks ago, we bought some powdered milk in bulk for our storage. Now to use it like it isn't storage---so I'll be able to use it when there's no fresh milk available....

And that's about it, but I'm planning to try out some new recipes soon. Hope all of your efforts are going well....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sometimes you just need other people--or at least someone else's jeep

A couple of weekends ago we found ourselves in a scenario that perhaps many people find themselves in, especially in Idaho. It snowed. This is fun when you have no place to go. It is not fun when the accumulation on the road is such that you and just about everyone else on the road is in danger of being stuck. One of our neighbors told me she got stuck three times before she got out of the neighborhood. Another told me that she got stuck in the driveway and promptly went inside and told her husband she was taking the truck. That morning my husband got out while he was driving and helped someone who was stuck in the middle of the road. While we were together as a family, we did not get stuck. But conditions were a little worse when my husband was out in a neighborhood helping a moving party...

Our neighborhood was not the only one in bad shape that day, and my husband said the neighborhood where he was helping load furniture, etc., was in even worst condition than ours was. When he was ready to go, things were not looking good because the snow was so high in the road that he was getting stuck just trying to leave. So someone else there offered to tow him out to one of the main roads with his jeep. My husband accepted. I'm not sure my husband had even met that gentleman before that morning, and I don't remember hearing his name, so it is unlikely that I know him. In any case, if he is reading, I say thank you!

I have been thinking about that situation (because, obviously, I have not been writing about it :) for awhile. There are times when you are just going to need other people. I suppose that there are scenarios where you could do all of the heavy lifting/pushing/ trying to extricate your vehicle from a snowdrift all by yourself until you finally got to where you were going. I suppose. I'm sure that there are some people that have situated themselves so that they really wouldn't ever need other people, and they have the self-sufficiency aspect down to an art. But I think that most of us would need other people in at least some ways in certain emergency situations, and those situations are different depending on where you live.

Who will you call if the power goes out and you have no alternative source of heat when it is -14 with a windchill of -26? (Ah, Idaho.) What if you have an earthquake, and have to evacuate? What if your probable weather emergency is a hurricane? A tornado? A flood? A mudslide? A heatwave? What if your probable emergency is of a financial nature, and you find yourselves in need of shelter or other basic necessities? What if the probable emergency has to do with a situation that requires defense of property, and you need strength of numbers to protect you and yours? I'm sure that there are more emergencies that could occur, but those are the ones that come to mind.

There are many ways that we can prepare ourselves so that we need minimal/no help during emergency situations, but there are also many emergency situations that are likely to eventually lead to our seeking help from other people. My husband and I have discussed some of the scenarios that might lead us to seek out other people (most likely family members) but we still have work to do in this area. For us there would likely be a plan A and plan B at least. But we do think that it would be best to have a plan with the people we would seek out in an emergency situation, so that there would be less confusion and better transfer of supplies, etc. if an emergency were to arise.

What about you? What is your most likely emergency situation where you would need the assistance of other people? Do you have a plan? We're still working on one here, and are so grateful that we still have some time to do so, and are hoping that we would never have to put such a plan into action.

Just so you know, don't come to us if you need to be towed by a jeep. However, if you get stuck in the snow in our neighborhood, don't be surprised if my husband shows up with a snowshovel. Hey, you do what you can... :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here's hoping 2010 will be one of great preparation! Or great rotation, increase, and use of everything already prepared... :) Little by little, everything counts!