Monday, December 31, 2012

The final BY: #53

My BY for the day: Can of evaporated milk

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: This one has been visited again and again, but I would say that adding water would make it stretch for your cooking/drinking purposes...

Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you all the best for 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #52 for Dec. 30

My BY for the day: Can of chili

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: For fun, I would say corn chips. Don't think I have mentioned that yet--hard to say without going back through 51 other BY posts. 51! Hard to believe that we are almost there... I personally like chili because it's filling and goes with a lot of other things like the previously mentioned (or not :) tamales, tortillas, hot dogs, and the like. I do think I have mentioned all of the above, except maybe the corn chips, but sometimes repetition is good, right? :)

Hope you are having a great weekend!

BY #51: More soup...

My BY for the day: Salisbury steak with mushrooms and onions soup (ready-to-eat)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: I would probably put it over potatoes, as previously mentioned on another similar BY, but I did want to mention that if you have similar-but-not-same soups, they can go well together. Ever open a can of chicken and rice soup, and a can of chicken noodle soup, when you meant to open two of the same kind of soup? This, or something similar has happened around here, and it has turned out ok. I would mix beef based soups together, or chicken based soups together, but I would hesitate to mix totally different soups together. They might turn out, but they might not. Haven't tried any weird combinations, but if I were hungry enough, I'm sure in an emergency I would eat them anyway...

Wow, only 2 BYs left! Anyone care to share something they added that wasn't a can? Or something that I haven't thought of that was

Friday, December 28, 2012

A miscalculation--and an opportunity

When I started the BY series, I said that if you did it daily, you would end up with 53 cans. Yesterday was BY #50, so with today, tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, you would end up with 54 cans if you are adding a can daily until the 31st (or enough for one daily). I could skip a day. I could have waited until Monday to say, "Oops--my mistaken math skills mean that I now have a day off! Woohoo!"  But no--I chose today, because tomorrow is Saturday, and if you have added a can today, it means you can add anything you want to tomorrow to your food storage, and it doesn't have to be a can.

Naturally, that is and has been and will always be true, since there is nothing binding you to the BY series. However, I think that tomorrow, when I am adding another can to my storage, it might be a good day for other people to get, may I suggest, water? Or oatmeal? Or wheat? Or beans? Or salt? Or oil? Or yeast? Or meat? Or powdered milk? (If you haven't heard about potentially rising milk prices, you might want to look at this article for an idea of what might be coming.) I'm thinking about adding more stuff to my food storage outside the BY series as well...

Or, you could take a day off. But may I suggest, perhaps, getting more water in your storage? Yeah, I would definitely suggest water.

Have a good Saturday!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

BY #50: And more of the same...

My BY for the day: Campbell's chicken noodle soup (add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Have I mentioned frozen pizza? I'm pretty sure I've mentioned a lot of other things to go with soup....

I find that as I see this series ending, that I am leaning more towards getting more "meal-in-a-can" cans--something that would be considered the main dish for a meal, and would be pretty satisfying if that was all there was to eat for that meal. As I know that I've mentioned before, this kind of soup is a particular favorite around here...

Hope your BYs are still going strong!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

BY #49: Hopefully just an addition...

My BY for the day: Can of Great Northern beans

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Broth, soup, casserole, noodles--like the post title says, hopefully this would be an addition to something else, but if not, at least it would be good fiber and not too bad cold... (I think... :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Blogging ahead: BY #48 for Christmas

My BY for the day: Canned pasta

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Maybe some of those Vienna sausages, or some fruit to up my number of food groups included in the meal...

Have a Merry Christmas! All the best to you and yours!

BY #47: Getting closer to the end of the series...

My BY for the day: Sirloin burger with country vegetables soup (ready-to-eat)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: A drink of water. (A not-so-subtle reminder that I hope you are storing water, water, water, along with your BYs... :)

Going with the easy again--and hoping that in an emergency, there is heat to warm the soup...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #46 for Dec. 23

My BY for the day: Can of mixed vegetables

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Oh, definitely Ramen noodles, but I think I have mentioned this before, as well as soups or casseroles. The bad news is I am running out of ideas, but the good news is if you are doing a can a day (or more) in this series, you already have quite a collection of cans for an emergency... :)

I usually think in terms of main dishes, but if you add vegetables to a main dish, you are likely to have more food groups on your plate--gotta love that.... :)

BY #45: No surprise--a repeat

My BY for the day: Baked potato soup (ready-to-eat)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Enough cans so that I would only have to use and heat one pan for the entire group, if I were lucky enough to have a means to heat it in an emergency...

There's something to be said for being able to sit down with your group and eat one thing together, plus, fewer dishes to clean if you have the option of using a pan to heat it. But really, it's great to just have enough for everyone to eat, even if you have a number of different foods to choose from...

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, December 21, 2012

BY #44: Better with a sandwich...

My BY for the day: Can of tomato soup (add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Toasted cheese sandwiches...hence the post title. :)

Yeah, I almost didn't get this posted today. Almost doesn't count too often, as they say... :) And I have nothing more to say at this point.... :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

BY #43: Serving of fruit

My BY for the day: Can of pineapple

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: I happen to like pineapple all by itself, and figure a can would be good for breakfast. For those who like it with ham, or Spam, you might want to change things up with the addition of a few chunks of pineapple. Not my preference, but hey, it's not all about me... :)

Yeah, not much more to add about that. Just again that you need to think about what you would need to store that would help fill you up and give you enough energy to deal with whatever you have to deal with in an emergency situation...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BY #42: Again with a possible main dish

My BY for the day: Can of chili

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Well, if I weren't planning on using this as a main dish, it sure would be nice to put it over some hot dogs that I was storing in the freezer...along with the buns in the freezer...and drinking the frozen juice from the freezer. Ah, one can dream, can't one?

If you are new to the BY series, or just starting, I would suggest cans that would possibly serve as a main dish, and if I were super-motivated and had the means to do so, I would also choose to get enough of the cans to feed everyone in the group I would be responsible for in an emergency situation. If you get a meal's worth of cans a day, starting today, you will still have enough for 11 days' worth of one good meal a day, or most likely be in a good situation for a 3-5 day emergency situation...

Hope everyone's BYs are going well!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

BY #41: In unexpected places....

My BY for the day: Dinty Moore stew (15 oz.)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Mashed potatoes so that I could make shepherd's pie--think I may have mentioned this before in this series, but this is our stew of choice when it comes to shepherd's pie. I remember pretty early on in my marriage when I tried another type of stew over potatoes, and the results, shall we say, were less than encouraging. Yeah, we abandoned that idea pretty quickly, but when I saw the recipe for shepherd's pie on the back of the Dinty Moore stew, I tried it, and the type of stew made all the difference. Can't imagine that just having the potatoes over the stew instead of under it made all that much of a difference, but  I guess one never knows... :)

As for the title, I got this can for $1.50 in a store where I had gone Christmas shopping. You know, one of those stores that is basically for clothes, accessories, toys, etc., but also manages to put aside a couple of shelves of food that almost seem like an afterthought. The Dinty Moore stew was on sale for 2/$3.00, where it apparently is usually $2.19/can, if memory serves. Just for kicks I had looked at the limited food shelves at a similar store, and they had "cream of" soups for $.59/can, and the cheapest I have seen them recently where I usually grocery shop was $.75/can. So if you need a can of something for your BY series or otherwise, you might want to check out the cans available where you are doing other shopping--you might be pleasantly surprised...

Monday, December 17, 2012

BY #40: Enough to go around...

My BY for the day: Campbell's chicken noodle soup (add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: The standard crackers, but if I wanted more options I would throw in some peanut butter to go along with them. That jar (or jars) of peanut butter would probably additionally come in handy to go on apples, the defrosted bread, or by the spoonful...

With the group I would probably be planning to feed, I would need more than one can of soup to feed them,  and even with a small group, seconds are nice, right? Whether you're adding more sides, or more soup, make sure that there will be enough to go around...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #39 for Dec. 16

My BY for the day: Canned chicken

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Homemade bread for a sandwich, maybe? I think I've already mentioned casseroles and soups, and cracker sandwiches. In any case, it's a good protein.

Noticed when I picked this up that there are actually cans of canned chicken that are already flavored. Since I don't usually use canned chicken, and the cans I have are really for storage, I don't think I'm brave enough to stick a flavored (one example was lemon chicken, if memory serves) can that I've never tried before into my storage for the BY series. Maybe another time...

But I am curious--have you tried the flavored canned chicken? Did you like it? Would love to hear...

BY #38: Just peachy...

My BY for the day: Can of sliced peaches

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: I think I have already mentioned cold cereal, oatmeal, granola bars--anything that would reasonably go along with it, and add some calories as well, since a serving doesn't have that many. The can I have says that there are 80 calories per 1/2 cup serving, with about 3 1/2 servings per can. Eating a whole can might be somewhat filling, but you can s-t-r-e-t-c-h your cans by dividing the servings and adding them to something else.

If I ever repeat myself on these posts, please forgive the repetition--can you believe we're already on day 38? This is the most consecutive blogging I've done in a long time, if not ever. I realize that it is really basic, but what I want from it is for people to either bulk up the food they have in storage with some easy-to-fix, everyday type, easy-to-eat items, or to just start some storage. Long time readers may recall that dairy products have long given me sticker shock in terms of prices--and not so long ago I saw a 2 lb. block of cheese for $9.99. It was, thankfully, not the only cheese available, and there were some 2 lb. blocks for closer to $7.00, but to me that is still really high, and this is at the store that I consider to have the best dairy prices in my area. The way prices are going up, and the drought, and other factors combined make me worry about other items giving me sticker shock sometime in the not-so-distant future. Just hoping that I (and everyone else) will be able to have some storage that will help fill in the financial gaps if the prices do go up...

I don't know what to say about what happened yesterday, except that my heart and prayers go out to everyone affected in Connecticut.

Friday, December 14, 2012

BY #37: Again with the easy...

My BY for the day: Can of sirloin burger with country vegetables soup

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: You could put this over any kind of potatoes, I would think--baked, mashed, boiled. Or noodles or rice, but personally my first thought would be potatoes...sounds familiar, huh? :)

Yeah, another soup. Just pick up a couple of extra cans of the kind you like next time you go shopping, and put them on the storage shelf. Just don't forget to rotate them every once in a while--newest cans go in the back... (this from a person who is not the best at rotating the storage, but who can always get better... :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

BY #36: Sometimes it's all about easy...

My BY for the day: Can of potato soup (ready-to-eat)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: The usual--crackers, cheese, bread--in other words, anything else that I could get my hands on in my pantry/hopefully still working refrigerator that could feasibly go with soup in a semi-normal situation.

You can buy a bunch of things that you could put together in a soup, as mentioned in earlier BYs, or you can have cans of soup on hand that are ready to eat, and there are advantages to each. If you have three different items that could be combined to make soup, and you just didn't happen to be ready for an emergency when an emergency struck, you could s-t-r-e-t-c-h out those ingredients to cover more than one meal/snack. Combining them in any situation would be more work. If, however, you have a can of soup ready to eat, you eliminate the work aspect, but when that can is gone, it is gone--no saving of other cans for another snack/meal.

I guess it's just more convenient to be prepared, so that you can choose between the easy and the not-so-easy... :) Gotta love options.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BY #35: Separate or together...

My BY for the day: Chicken Vienna sausages

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Oh, maybe that bean/broth soup I wrote about in the last post... :) I haven't tried a soup like that, but it sounds pretty good to me. And, as the post title indicates, any of the three cans mentioned (beans/broth/sausages) could be eaten together or apart. But let's say you can't buy a can a day, or want to reduce the number of cans you would use per day--if you combine some of your cans to make a soup or casserole, it might work to feed more than one person, and you can make your cans last longer, depending on the size of the group you are responsible for.

Well, I hope people are still participating in the BY series. Better yet, maybe they were able to get all 53 items at once, so now they don't have to worry about it anymore, and are now adding to the cans at their leisure. Or maybe they will wait until Dec. 31st to get the last cans into storage. Or maybe they were prepared before I started this series. So many possibilities... :) Just hope that there will be more people prepared for emergencies than not...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

BY #34: Putting it all together

My BY for the day: Can of navy beans

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: One of the cans of chicken broth that I have, if I can spare it for a meal, and if there's hopefully a heat source to improve the meal overall. I actually thought I would do this before I ever saw the recipe for soup on the side of this particular can of beans, but that recipe asks for a lot more ingredients than just broth and beans. I do think that it is fitting to mention that the recipe there calls for 3 cans of beans/2 cans of chicken broth...I wouldn't hesitate to just use what I had available, no matter what the ratio was, in an emergency.

Do you have any food storage-friendly recipes that requires all cans? One I think that could be useful, though I have not had this in mind, is this one for taco soup. I've never used it with canned chicken, but I would use canned chicken in place of the beef in a can-only situation. Other meals that I might make that have very few/no ingredients other than cans are:

---Soup --you could get enough soup for lunches and dinners (and, let's face it, even breakfast if you wanted) for three days and call it good, but it might get a little monotonous.

---Shepherd's pie made by your favorite stew covered by some mashed potatoes would be good--two ingredients, if you get mashed potatoes that are of the "just add water" variety.

---Canned tamales covered with chili sounds like it would work out in a pinch, and as mentioned in an earlier post,  I think it could be heated in aluminum foil in an alternative heating source if necessary. Haven't tried it, but I wouldn't hesitate to try...

---You can always eat cold cereal dry, but it might not be the meal of choice. No refrigeration needed for canned milk--but you do have to have the cereal stored also. Two ingredients isn't so bad...

---There are "just add water" pancake mixes, and if you have a heating source and cookware that can be used on a grill, etc., you can have a "typical" breakfast food with two ingredients, if you call water an ingredient. I would call it that if it helps you to put more in storage... :)

How about you? What do you have planned in case you have to use your cans in a 3-day (ish) emergency? 

Monday, December 10, 2012

BY #33: Going tropical...

My BY for the day: Can of pineapple

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Well, kind of drawing a blank after the other things I have mentioned, but I sure do like pineapple juice. I might add some dried fruit for variety to my storage, but when you add dried fruit, don't forget to add more water....

How are your BYs coming along?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #32 for Dec. 9

My BY for the day: Canned chicken

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: The ingredients to make this dough so I could put the meat and whatever little things I could think of to make it taste better (olives, perhaps? :) into some kind of "chicken bomb" meatpie kind of thing.

No time like the present to say that if you like tuna, it would be a great thing to add to your BY list. I probably won't since I don't like tuna, but who knows--it may show up sometime anyway... :)

BY #31: Got milk...again

My BY for the day: Evaporated milk

If I were adding anything to this, it would be: If I weren't going to use the milk for, say, breakfast--over cereal, oatmeal, etc., I would probably use it with macaroni and cheese or the like.

Wow, 31 days in. If you were doing a meal's worth of cans a day, rather than a can a day,  you would now have enough food stored to have at least one decent meal a day for a month, and it wouldn't matter which month it was... :) That may not have been the goal--it would obviously be more ideal to have more than one meal a day--but it sure shows how quickly putting aside little food can add up...

Friday, December 7, 2012

BY #30: Favorites mean a lot

My BY for the day: Campbell's chicken noodle soup (add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Saltines, and oh yes, if it were available, cheese...

You may have noticed that I very rarely mention the brand name of products, but I do so here for a specific reason. One of my children loves, loves, loves, Campbell's chicken noodle soup. We all like it, but this child is my pickiest eater, and yet it seems like there is always a "yes" when this particular brand is an option. Hopefully, there would be a way to heat it in an emergency situation, because we haven't tried it cold...still, having a favorite has to increase the odds for actual food consumption, right? :)

Along with BY #29, where the subject was adding things to improve what you are having (check the great comments there!) storing brands that you know that people you are responsible for will like will make things a lot easier when it comes time to eating them, emergency situation or not.

In our case we won't forget the Campbell's chicken noodle soup--what will you be sure to include?


Thursday, December 6, 2012

BY #29: On the differing tastes thing...

My BY for the day: Can of black olives

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Chili, or tamales, maybe. Something that was substantial to eat, because olives aren't much of a meal, truth be told.

Oh, but my children love olives--and if they were tired of everything else, they might be a little more interested in whatever it was with a few olives thrown in. To be honest, I'll have to throw in another can of soup or what have you next time I stock up on more cans to make up for this BY, but I think there is a point to be made. What would cheer you up if you were in the middle of an emergency and living off canned foods? What would make your meal just a little better? What could you open that the people that you are responsible for would like enough that they would eat a can of that even if they were tired of canned food?

According to this series, whatever it is has to be in a can, so here I'm going with black olives. I think the can was $.98, and yeah, I'm thinking that whenever we open it, it will be enjoyed...

What about you? Everyone has their own tastes and preferences. Do you have anything that comes canned that is not really a meal, but is something that would either enhance a meal, or bring a smile to those tired of canned food already? Would love to hear what you would buy for your shelf... :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

BY #28: Short and sweet

My BY for the day: Can of chili

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Crackers, tamales, baked potatoes? The great thing about chili is that if you store enough for the number of people you are feeding, it is a meal all by itself...

And that's about all I have to say about that... :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BY #27: Making your cans s-t-r-e-t-c-h

My BY for the day: Can of chicken broth

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Heat, and the ingredients in the recipe left under BY #25 by Ejemory, who kindly gives a simple recipe for dumplings that is as follows:

"My mom used Bisquick for her dumplings and that's what I used for a while. Then I found a recipe (and I am afraid I don't remember where) and found out I could do it for less money.
3 T shortening
1 1/2 c flour (one of the few times I prefer good old white all purpose flour)
2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
3/4 c milk

Cut shortening into flour, baking powder, and salt until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in milk. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto hot meat or vegetables in boiling stew. Cook uncovered 10 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer. Enjoy.

You can substitute oil for the shortening, whole wheat flour for the white, and powdered milk for regular milk. "

Or, the ingredients in the recipe for noodles, also left by Ejemory (have I mentioned that Ejemory's comments are awesome?) also under the post for BY #25 (Have you noticed that BY #25 is on fire when it comes to comments?):

"Chicken and noodles. Homemade noodles aren't difficult, just a little time-consuming.

1 c flour (again I like white all purpose flour for this)
1 t salt
1 egg
Mix well together. Add cream or milk (or even water) a tablespoonful at a time until you have a fairly stiff dough. Knead several times till all ingredients are incorporated. Let dough rest for 10 minutes or so. If you plan to leave it for more than just a few minutes, cover with plastic wrap. Roll dough out thin and cut into strips. You can immediately cook them in boiling water or broth or you can thoroughly dry them and use them another time. Ok, I know what I'm making for dinner the next time I cook this week!"

Thanks so much again, Ejemory!

If, in addition to your cans you add some basic ingredients, like flour, salt, baking powder, etc., (and maybe in the case of the noodles, some dried eggs) you can make simple recipes like those above, and have a more filling meal, and really s-t-r-e-t-c-h your cans to last longer. Emergencies do not always include a loss of power, and it is good to have some easy, few ingredient recipes on hand to use when you can. It's also good to have an alternative way to heat food (grill, firepit, etc.) if you can work this into your preparation resources, but it sure is nice when the power stays on...

Hope everyone's BYs are going well! We're about 1/2 way through the series....


Monday, December 3, 2012

BY #26: A two-in-a-row (for a reason)

My BY for the day: Canned chicken

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Oh, anything that was mentioned in the comments on BY #25... :)

Thanks to Ejemory, who may have unknowingly encouraged me to have canned carrots as one of my future BYs by adding this comment:

"Chicken and dumplings! Of course, I would want it hot. I use a can of canned chicken, a can of carrots, a can of potatoes (ah, potatoes again!), a couple of cans of chicken broth and whatever else I feel like adding. I make dumplings and place on top of the boiling soup, 10 minutes uncovered and 10 minutes covered. Yum!"

Sounds good if you have heat to make it with, and if you know how to make dumplings. Looks like I have more to learn... :)

Thanks also to TM Frugal Gourmet, at TM Preparedness, who left this comment:

"Ha ha!! I will hopefully be canning chicken here at home next week! Too funny. As you may rememember, I can a lot of our food to make sure we can eat it with out having things "added".
I can: chicken, turkey, pulled pork, stew meat, hamburger, etc.. that is all pressure canner stuff. I also make my own broths and can those as well.
So what to do with it? EASY!!!
Chicken salad (mayo, mustard, pickles)
Chicken gravy (make a cream of chicken soup basically)
Chicken soup
Chicken pot pie
BBQ Chicken pizza
Noodle casseroles
Baked potatoes topped with ranch, canned chicken and bacon (favorite around here!!)
Pockets (bread dough stuffed with meat, cheese, and sauce, sealed and baked)
Chicken and Dumplings

Lots of stuff.. :)"

I'm especially intrigued by the chicken on potatoes, since if you didn't have the traditional heating methods you could wrap them in foil and cook them in the coals of a fire and the like. I had thought about doing that with chili, since we have chili on potatoes sometimes anyway, but the combination of chicken, bacon, and ranch sounds good...

Ah, more reasons I say it pays to read the comments...Thanks again to Ejemory and TM Frugal Gourmet!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #25 for Dec. 2

My BY for the day: Canned chicken

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Perhaps some of that bread that is hopefully stored in the freezer, or some of those crackers that were stored to go along with some of those cans of soup. Mini sandwiches of sorts... Or throw it in with some Ramen noodles if you have heat. Ah, gotta love options... )

What would you eat with your canned chicken? The more ideas the merrier...

BY #24: Something a little different...

My BY for the day: Can of refried beans

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Corn chips, or taco or tostada shells to spread the beans on. At the moment I don't know what the shelf life on the corn chips, etc., but they would be easy to rotate if you serve tacos or nachos at your house occasionally. Yeah, I think that some kind of corn item would definitely enhance the cold refried bean experience, but even if you don't add anything to this, the beans would be filling just eating them with a spoon.

I have bought another can of soup ahead, but I thought I would wait at least a couple of days to post another one... :) Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

BY #23: Yup, another soup

My BY for the day: Baked potato soup (do not add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Juice boxes (or a bottle of juice would do if you don't mind extra dishes in an emergency. Plastic cups, if you have them, would be disposable like the boxes, and with the bottle you might get more juice for your money...) I've mentioned this add-on before, but have you taken into consideration what your situation would be when it comes to beverages? Water would probably be best, but there are vitamins and energy to be derived from juices. I hope that everyone is thinking about water storage and considering buying a case of water a week between now and the end of the year.

Well, I got to the point that I had to go back through my list of  BYs and figure out what I already have--that's something, right? :) Well, on BY #5, I wrote about Ejemory's idea of canned ham, but I had not actually added anything for that day. So I'm thinking a can of Spam would do the trick until I go looking at canned hams... That's the thing about this series. If you have skipped a few days, if you are just starting now, if you are able to add more today than you will next week, just adapt the series to your needs. What you like to eat, how much you need, etc., will be personal to your situation. I just figure that the more everyone has stored, the better off we will be, no matter what type of emergency situation we find ourselves dealing with...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

BY #22: A can, a reader's price list, and a linked article

My BY for the day: Sirloin burger with country vegetables soup (do not add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Yeah, always better heated, but if it's in the budget, it would be good to throw some crackers in the pantry so they could be enjoyed with the soup.  And, although it's not strictly a can, a jar of peanut butter to go with the crackers might be appreciated when the electricity is out/you are snowed in/fill in your possible food emergency here. Feel free to expand the meaning of the BY series to fit your needs...

Thanks to Ejemory, who was very kind in leaving the following comment in yesterday's post:

"I live/shop in Utah County. Here are the prices on things I'm stocking up on:

Great Value tuna fish, 5 oz., .74
Great Value chicken breast, 10 oz., 1.88
Tyson chicken, 2 pack,25 oz., 4.00
Libby vienna sausage, 4.6 oz., .50
Great Value vienna sausage, 5 oz., .43
Hormel Spam, 12 oz., 2.48
Dak canned ham, 16 oz., 3.82
Great Value luncheon meat,(can't read my writing to know how many oz.) 1.88
Nalley's chili, assorted, 15 oz., .98 "

End of comment.

These prices look very similar to what I am seeing in Idaho. I did mention in responding to Ejemory's comment that the best deal I found that I wrote about was one that I found in Utah. It pays to read the comments... :)

I will say that not too long ago I heard about a fundraiser at a store that I rarely shop at, so I stopped by. The prices there were very different--I am not absolutely certain about the price of the Nalley chili there, but if memory serves, it was over $2.00. I hope I saw/remember it wrong, but I really don't think so. Thing is, even at that store, there was pasta available for $1.00/box. So the bargains are there if you look for them.

Let's say that no sort of natural disaster hits anywhere near you in the near future. This article about rising food prices indicates that there may be another reason to put a little aside as you are able--it will probably cost more tomorrow than it does today.

Whatever the case, I hope you are participating in the BY series, whether to use it yourself, to give as a gift, or to get ahead of rising food prices. Modify it to meet your needs, and don't be afraid to share your ideas.

Thanks again to Ejemory for sharing the pricing information! If anyone else in or out of Idaho would like to share the prices in your particular area, please do--the more we know, the better off we are...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BY #21: Well, you probably could have guessed this one

My BY for the day: Can of corn

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: You could actually add this to many different types of soup to make for a more filling meal, I'm guessing...

Oh, and the reason for the title is because I got a few cans of this on my best deal last week at $.44/can. At least one can is going into the BY storage...

Yeah, it wouldn't be all that exciting by itself, but it would be something that's ready to eat...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BY #20: Repeat, but with additional variety

My BY for the day: Can of chicken Vienna sausages

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: You know the various noodle/rice mixes that are available for about $1.00 that come in a variety of flavors, like parmesan, or alfredo? Some of them require milk, but some only require butter, and that is optional. I'm thinking that mixing in a can of Vienna sausages in with those would be great, if you had a heat source to cook the rice/noodles. And those mixes would be a great additon to your storage shelves if your emergeny didn't include loss of power, water, etc. Getting a few of those (or just some dried pasta with seasonings of your choice) could really add to your food options if you are snowed in, trucking gets interrupted, etc.

Also, hey, even though the cans are small, they are cost friendly at $.50/can at my nearest Wal-Mart. If they give me a good price, I don't mind a little free advertising. Anyone seen them for less anywhere else?

Monday, November 26, 2012

BY #19: What was the best deal you found last week?

My BY for the day: Can of green beans

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Oh, some French-fried onions, a little cream o' mushroom soup, some salt and pepper, milk, an oven to cook in... Can  you tell I made some green bean casserole last week? I love that stuff...

I didn't see as many wonderful deals as I thought that I might before Thanksgiving last week, but I did find a good deal on cans of green beans or corn -- $.44/a can. So I got a few and will make sure at least one gets into my BY storage--those vegetables go pretty fast around here.

How about you? Find any spectacular deals on food storage/emergency preparedness items anytime around Thanksgiving?


Friday, November 23, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #18 for November 25

My BY for the day: Can of canned pasta

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Since canned ravioli/spaghetti/beef-a-roni is basically a meal in a can, I would probably go with something to drink, like hot chocolate. Obviously, both of these items would be better heated up, but you could eat/drink them (having added water in the case of hot chocolate) cold if necessary...

Can you believe we're on can #18 already? Will probably be running into more and more repeats before we hit can #53, but it's all good as long as it's edible in an emergency... :)

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #17 for November 24

My BY for the day: Can of fruit cocktail

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Some cold cereal, or oatmeal, perhaps--some kind of grain might be welcome, and if you had something like that to accompany the fruit, the can would stretch farther. Of course, I guess theoretically with fruit cocktail you could please everyone, or no one, so you are kind of taking a chance... :) Still, it would be nice to just open something that you could eat without having to heat it up in order to make it taste good, so canned fruit could be very handy indeed...

BY #16: Would you like pasta with that?

My BY for the day: Can of Veg-All

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Yeah, probably Ramen again, but while I was typing the first line, I was thinking that a little can of a "cream of" soup would benefit from a can of Veg-All(mixed vegetables) and if you had pasta of any kind (macaroni, spaghetti, etc.) to add, all the better. Of course, you would need water and heat to make the mixture work, and you could eat the can of Veg-All as is if you didn't have the extra ingredients/water/ heat. Hope you remember the secondary challenge to buy a case of bottled water a week between now and the New Year--it could be really, really helpful in the case of a no-water-available emergency...

Didn't see as many deals on food-storage items as I thought I would  before Thanksgiving, so maybe I will be luckier immediately after Thanksgiving...

Hope everyone's holiday was wonderful! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #15 for November 22

My BY for the day: Can of chunk pineapple

I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Well, I already posted my ambrosia recipe, so I will now share with you a comment that the TM Frugal Gourmet left under that post: (BY #11)

"Have you used your canned fruit with cottage cheese?? OH WOW, my kids love it! But they love it even more when I make cottage cream and then make a frozen fruit "sorbet" to put on top.

I do use a VITAMIX to make these...

Cottage Cream

2 cups cottage cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. real vanilla extract

Mix all in blender until smooth. Pour back into the cottage cheese container or individual custard cups. Let set up in fridge

Frozen Sorbet

Frozen fruit


ONLY enough water so it isn't stuck when blending. Blend this until all fruit is smooth and it mounds in the corners. Use a cookie scoop to dish up on top of cottage cream.

OR use frozen, fresh or canned fruit arranged on top of the cottage cream.

Cottage cream tastes like cheesecake according to my kids, without the heavyness. "

This sounds delicious to me--granted, I like both cottage cheese and cheesecake, so it's not a stretch to think that this would be a treat. Of course, you would need both refrigeration and electricity for this to work out, but not all emergencies result in loss of power, so it would be good to have a stocked fridge and freezer in case of a different kind of emergency--higher prices, food transportation disruption, or the like.

Thanks again to TM Frugal Gourmet, over at TM Preparedness! She has left a lot of other great comments as well, so it is worth going to past posts and checking them out. Having blogged ahead, I didn't get to posting comments until today, so they are new, and informative. Also, didn't see until I went to link to TM Preparedness that the BY challenge is mentioned there--thanks, and there is still time to get in a lot of cans before New Year's--hope everyone will share ideas I haven't thought of...

Since this is the blog post that is for Thanksgiving Day, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope yours is wonderful!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #14 for November 21

My BY for the day: Can of green beans

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Wow, this would be a good time for Ramen noodles. In an emergency, it would be better to be able to eat the noodles as soup so as to utilize the water in the best way possible, although my preferred method of eating them is just to cook the noodles, drain, and add the flavoring to the noodles and whatever I have added as well--usually some type of vegetable like green beans...

You may ask yourself why I am blogging ahead. Wellll, I have already bought several of the cans in advance, but by no means all of them, and I want to blog while I have the list of things bought right in front of me. Also, since Thanksgiving is this next week, I'm thinking that there will be quite a few things on sale food-wise, so if people go shopping with a list of possibilities like the ones I have listed in my BY series, perhaps they can get some of their cans at an even better price than usual. Sometimes, it's not timing for a sale, but a coupon, which gets you a better price,and that is what happened with the can of green beans mentioned here--it was one of my choices for a limited number of cans being sold 2/$1.00.

What about you? Have you gotten any good buys on your BYs? Ah, fun with words... :)

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #13 for November 20

My BY for the day: Can of Salisbury steak soup  (do not add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: This would probably be a good soup to put over mashed potatoes.

Not much else to say about this one--of course it would be better to be able to eat it heated, and any mashed potatoes you could whip up would help make each can stretch farther. My only thing that I would add is that make sure, that, as I mentioned in an earlier BY post, you buy a brand/type/flavor that you know your family actually likes. Not absolutely necessary, but certainly a way to help ensure that everyone would be more willing to eat it, especially if you have to serve it cold.

What are your favorite soups? Any that I haven't mentioned? Can 13 already... :)

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #12 for November 19

My BY for the day: Chicken Vienna sausages

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Ummm, napkins? Actually, I think these handy little food items would go along with a lot of different things--throw them in with a can of corn or beans, and you're gonna have a lot more satisfying meal experience.

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant about getting Vienna sausages--I'm as sure as I can be that I have actually eaten them before, but when I saw in the store that there were Vienna sausages, and then chicken Vienna sausages, and that the packages were really small, I thought that maybe I would pass. The following comment from TM Frugal Gourmet convinced me to pick up a can for this series:

"Chicken Vienna sausages, can be eaten cold or heated up. 

Another great thing is sloppy joe meat in a can. 

Chili is great as you have tons of brands, but look at differences: with beans; without beans; jalepano; with cheese; turkey; vegetarian; white chili.. Many options.

Canned ravioli is sauce; ready to eat soups (holy cow tons of flavor options!); fruits; beans; veggies; sauces...

Also, you can now find dairy free milks in individual foil boxes! You can find cow milk like this also. This is a great option with lack of fridge.

One of the canned things I bought at Walmart this week was scrambled eggs. Yes you have to add water, and cook them, but I have several sources for cooking in emergency that we HAVE to use every winter. I love my StoveTec Rocket Stove and my Kelly Kettle!"

Oh, yeah... another example of an information-packed comment! I bought some chicken Vienna sausages ($.50/can, if memory serves--and good thing because those cans are tiny) when I had the chance because I thought I should at least try them.  I will have to try them out with different combinations, but you have to love a meat/protein source that can be eaten hot or cold--which I figured originally, it was just the size of the cans/servings that was making me hesitate. At $.50/can trying them is not a huge risk. :) Maybe my children will really like them...

I have not yet found sloppy joe meat in a can, although I did find sloppy joe sauce in a can. And the milk option and eggs are definitely worth looking into. I have no idea about the StoveTec Rocket Stove and Kelly Kettle, but a heating source would absolutely be a plus in an emergency situation.

I went over to check out TM Frugal Gourmet's website, TM Preparedness.  I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks again, TM Frugal Gourmet!

Hope your BYs are going wonderfully!

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #11: For November 18

My BY for the day: Mandarin oranges

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: A can of pineapple, some shredded coconut, some sour cream--voila, ambrosia salad as made all my life that I can remember, especially at Thanksgiving...appropriate, yes? :) Actually, I would have to look up the proportions of cans to sour cream, etc., so if anyone is interested, I'll find out for sure, but that is the list of ingredients as I remember them. Ah, memories.

But I digress. Since we are sticking with cans, as I mentioned previously in another BY post, if you are buying mandarin oranges, think in terms of servings. There are the little cans, and there are the big cans, and then there is the fact that someone in your group might not like mandarin oranges--so it's always good to figure in all the factors. Me? I like mandarin oranges...

"Orange" you glad it's the weekend? I know--groan.....

BY #10: Soup-a-licious (well, depending on your taste)

My BY for the day: Bean soup (just add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Ah, probably crackers again. Just warning you--there will probably be a lot of soup on my BY list, seeing as how there are so many varieties, and it's pretty easy to prepare. Wouldn't want to eat this bean soup without the water, but it would be doable, I suppose...just another reason to figure cooking in when determining water storage amounts!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

BY #9: A can of course, and bye to Twinkies...

My BY for the day: Beef tamales

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Umm, aluminum foil, because they would be easy to heat up on a grill or something? The question mark is there because I haven't tried this method, but given they are tamales, seems like you could wrap them up and heat them pretty nicely... The 15 oz. can I bought (for $.98!) says that there are three 2-tamale servings within. Six tamales per can. So, what would be an actual serving for the people you would be responsible for? If they could eat more than two tamales for a meal, plan accordingly... In terms of adding an additional food, I'm thinking a nice can of fruit would do nicely. Or maybe some chili over the top if you do get to use that aluminum foil. Looks like I have some experimenting to do.

Have you heard about Hostess going out of business? We are not huge consumers of Twinkies, but we do like the Wonder whole wheat bread that we can get for a pretty good price at the Wonder Bread store not too far from us. We like to keep some of those loaves in the freezer. What does this have to do with the BY series? At least two things:

---Speaking of bread, since you can freeze it for quite a while, stocking up with a few loaves in your freezer will make your life easier in the case of an emergency. If the electricity doesn't go out during your emergency, you can store the bread even longer to supplement the food in your canned storage. If the electricity does go out, the bread thaws, but should still be good for awhile, and still can supplement or even help replace some of your canned food at mealtime, especially in something like a 3-day emergency scenario. You would be able to eat better while waiting for help to arrive..

--I am sorry that as a result of this company going out of business, according to the article, 18,500 people will lose their jobs. If you find yourself out of a job, any food you have in storage will only improve your situation. There are many different kinds of emergencies.

Hoping your BYs are going well...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

BY #8: A coupon and a coincidental comment...

My BY for today: A can of sliced potatoes

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Cream of mushroom/chicken/flavor of my choice (?) I don't know because I don't recall having had canned potatoes before, but for this series I thought I'd give them a try, because, not only would they presumably be filling/edible cold in an emergency, but....

I had a coupon for various cans of vegetables, 2/$1.00, and canned potatoes (as I recall, sliced or whole) was one of my options. I got two cans, so I can try out one can with the family before I call it a dependable (read: my family will eat it with minimal complaining) storage item. I'm still putting one of the cans in storage so I can count it for this series...

Interesting thing is, I then saw a comment (thanks again, Ejemory) that said:

"Canned potatoes, though not my favorite, are a quick and easy way to fix a quick side dish. They also require less fuel to cook and enjoy. Sometimes I'm willing to trade taste/texture for a quick meal."

So, I'm thinking now, I wouldn't add anything, except of course, preferably, heat--so they would be warm canned potatoes. Salt and pepper, maybe, so that I could save my cream of (insert choice here) soup for other endeavors...

As I always say, check the comments--they're helpful--at times more helpful than the post!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

BY #7: A repeat, and why you may not have as much food storage as you think

My BY for today: A can of evaporated milk

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Canned fruit.

Yes, this a repeat of my BY #2, and one of the reasons is to highlight the fact that sometimes we think we have a lot of food storage, but it may not last as long as we might think/hope. If I may illustrate:

Let's pretend, for our hypothetical situation, that the group that we need to plan storage for is a family of four. How quickly, really, can you go through those precious cans?

Day 1: You are going to have canned fruit and evaporated milk for breakfast. (Fortunately, you have also remembered to store a manual can opener, thus avoiding even more emergencies in an emergency situation... :)

Let's say that you can get by with two cans of evaporated milk between the four people. Let's say also that you figure that you will eat half a can of peaches each, and call it good, thus using four cans total. Yay for peaches and cream!

Or, using the same amount of milk, since you have decided to store mandarin oranges, you are having oranges and cream. It's all good, but what size can of mandarin oranges have you stored? If it is a small size, you may find that the group you are feeding needs a can a piece to feel at least partially satisfied with the breakfast. If you have stored the larger size, you may be able to just divide two cans between the four people.

In either case, it's not exactly a hearty breakfast, but it is breakfast, with no cooking involved and some healthy components.

Hence, for breakfast, you will need at the least 4 cans, and possibly even 6 cans.

By lunchtime, everyone is hungry. If you have two adults and two small children, you may be able to get by with a regular size can of beefaroni/canned pasta of your storage choice per adult, and then divide a can of beefaroni between the children. If the children are growing and voracious eaters, they might be able to manage an entire can each by themselves after their peaches/mandarin oranges and cream breakfast. If you open up a can of fruit juice to go along with lunch, that adds another can.

So, for lunch, you will need at least 3 cans if you are eating only, 4 cans if you add juice in that scenario, and 5 cans for hungry people who each eat their own can of pasta and also need some good vitamin-filled juice.

For dinner, you decide to use some of your limited fuel and get some warm food going. This means that you can throw, let's say, two cans of cream of chicken soup in a pan, enough bottled water to make it soup, and a small can of chicken. You want to throw some vegetables in, so you throw in your choice of peas/beans/corn/other vegetable--one can. Let's say that you also have some noodles on hand, so ta-da! A casserole of sorts. So in terms of cans, you need at least 4 cans to make this casserole happen, even not mentioning the noodles that would add oh-so-much-more to the experience.

I personally would not want to eat cream of chicken type soup cold, but as one of my friends used to say, "A girl's gotta eat..." It would be preferable, I would imagine, to eat ready-to-eat soups, such as chicken noodle, cold, if one had to. In that case, you would need a can a piece for the adults, and perhaps one can between two small children, and a can a piece for children who have heartier appetites. So, 3 at least, with no heat source, and 4 at most.

Final tally, least amount of cans needed for 4 people for one day, using this scenario: 10
Final tally, using the highest number of cans mentioned in this scenario: 15

Soooo...if you are storing the equivalent of a can a day for emergency purposes, consider sizes of the cans, since some (such as the fruit) come in different sizes. Think about how you would actually put together meals with the cans you buy. Would you have enough to get by? At 53 cans, (which is the plan if you do all the BYs in this series) you would have about 5 days worth of food stored for four people. 53 cans sounds like a lot, but when you get right down to it, those cans can go awfully fast...

Please bear in mind that I am doing this series with emergencies like natural disasters in mind, where it may take time for aid to get to you, and there are power and/or water problems as well. This would be a short-term situation, hopefully, and most likely quite miserable, but I am sure it would be even more miserable should you have no readily edible food on hand at all...

I 'm doing cans in this series because they can have quite a long shelf life, and the emergency may not be as dire as a natural disaster.  The emergency that presents itself may be one of prices going up, a job loss, or food transportation problem with trucking, etc. In that case, you would still have power, and being able to cook things makes things a lot, lot, lot easier.

Also, if you had an emergency with no power, etc., that would be a great time to use your 72 hour kit. Emergencies don't tell time, however, and if the emergency situation were to extend beyond that 3 day time period, the cans you store here might really come in helpful.

Whew, that was long-winded. Look forward to shorter posts--they usually are. :) Would love to hear how you will put your cans to use meal-wise, if you are willing to share....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BY #6: Not chilly...

My BY for today: Can of chili (I know, very punny... :)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Crackers. If it were just an ordinary meal type of thing, it would be saltines. Since I would want to add more substantial crackers in an emergency situation, I'm thinking I would add the packets of crackers that are sandwiched with cheese or peanut butter. I don't have anything like those crackers on hand, so I don't know the longevity of such crackers--they might need more frequent rotation, or they might not. If they are good in terms of storage, they might also be handy to give away to other people in an emergency--compact, more calories, and easier to share than, say, chili. (Also, remember that crackers can be quite salty, so that water mentioned in my last post might be extra appreciated at this point...) While heated chili would be better, cold chili would at least be filling...

You might want to find out what kind of canned chili your family prefers, if you don't already have a family favorite. There are some brands that have different types that mix well, (i.e. thick, onion, etc.) and variety is always good...

Speaking of variety, would love to hear what other people would put in their 3-6 day storage that is ready to eat or just add water....good luck with your BYs--and if you can add it, the bottled water storage!

Monday, November 12, 2012

BY #5: Submitted by a reader

Thanks to Ejemory, who suggested this BY in a comment:
"How about a canned ham that could be used to create an omelet or sliced up as a side or used along with potatoes and cheese for a yummy potato casserole?"

There's all the information in one sentence--the product, plus what you could do with/add to it. I haven't bought a canned ham, but think it would be great. We have received one as a gift for Christmas before. Sounds like an item I could investigate further for price, longevity, etc.

Potatoes usually keep pretty well too, if you store them at cool temperatures and keep them away from the light. And even if you didn't have traditional heating methods, a little canned ham and some potatoes sounds like a tasty combination for a tinfoil dinner...

I know that this can-a-day series is so basic that it seems like it might be unnecessary, but I think that if we prepare enough, an anticipated 3-day emergency (read: hurricane, other natural disaster) that could potentially last even longer will go more smoothly if everyone has their own supplies. Enough variety in those supplies would make things more bearable. There might also be situations where someone might not have the supplies to feed everyone, but might have a heat source to share so that others could at least cook what they bring to the situation. Living on emergency food would not be ideal, but if you have emergency food that doesn't need to be cooked, you'll be ahead in the game. If you can share, other people will also be ahead in the game. I know it's just an expression, but emergencies are really not a game...

One more challenge for you--store water. Bottled water is more expensive than, say, the $.97 can of evaporated milk I posted about the other day, but if you added one case a week between now and the end of the year, you would have about six cases by the end of the year. Look for deals/coupons/really good expiration dates, and see what you can do. There will be BYs I post that need water added, but even if you get all ready-to-eat BYs, you can save the water for drinking, so it's all win-win-win.

Thanks again, Ejemory--canned ham was one I hadn't thought of. Would love to hear more ideas if anyone wants to submit them... hope everyone is doing well with your BYs!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

BY #4: Sunday edition on Saturday

My BY for today: Can of sliced peaches

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Instant oatmeal. Those little packets with flavoring would be good for variety, but any quick-cooking oatmeal would be good. Adding canned fruit of any kind would make for a more filling meal.

Any canned fruit that is not particularly enjoyed at your house? Peaches beat pears around here...good luck with your BYs!

BY #3: Edible, hot or cold--preferably hot

My BY today: Canned pasta

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Juice boxes. Depending on what kind of canned pasta you are talking about, when you add juice boxes, you might begin to feel that you are actually starting to fill some of the food groups. In my case, theoretically you would be providing meat and grains, since Beefaroni has both, plus tomato-ey sauce. Anyway, canned pasta would be filling, even if it would be less enjoyable without heat. You don't always have the choice when it comes to power availability in an emergency, but if you do have a way to heat it, all the better.

If you can, see what people you are responsible for prefer, and get that if you can afford it. Some brands are more expensive than others, and they do not all taste the same. In the case of canned pasta I definitely have a preferred brand, because I consider other brand(s?) I have tried to be too sweet for my taste. Sure, people should be grateful for whatever available in an emergency situation, but if you can get what you actually like beforehand, there is likely to be more comfort and less whining when you are actually in an emergency situation, especially if you end up having to eat your normally heated food cold. Annnnd, you might be one of the lucky ones whose "group of responsibility while in an emergency" prefers the 2/$1.00 cans, or whatever the least expensive deal is at this point. In a case like this, there is a question to answer--are you going for preference, if it is more expensive, quantity, so that you have more food to go around, or a mixture of the two?

As an aside, when it comes to macaroni and cheese, our family prefers a store brand that has been known to be on sale for 3/$1.00. Otherwise, if memory serves, it usually sells for around 2/$1.00. You may notice in the future that I won't put macaroni and cheese on my BY list, because it would require both water and heat to be edible. This series is focused on ready-to-eat can (or maybe jar) supplies. Macaroni and cheese is, however, at this point a great addition to food storage if you are preparing for an emergency of another sort, like job loss, rising food prices, trucking problems where store shelves go empty, or the like. Unfortunately, there are many reasons that emergencies arise. Fortunately, at this point, if people have the means, they can still store up, even if it's a little at a time.

How are your BYs going? (There might be some kind of pun in there somewhere... :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

BY #2: Thinking breakfast...

My BY today: Evaporated milk
If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Cereal! Pop Tarts! Dry...anything? (Within reason.... :)
Yeah, my can today is evaporated milk, 12 fl. oz of storageable (is that a word?) goodness. If you are feeding more than, say, two people, you will probably want more than one can of this at a meal.

I wouldn't ordinarily advertise the brand I bought, but hey, when I went here, Carnation gives you the opportunity to get a $.50 coupon off two 12 oz. cans of ...ding ding ding.. evaporated milk! The can I bought was $.97, so basically if I decide to buy more with the coupon at the same store, I can get two cans for roughly $1.50 (you know, what with tax added and all). Anyway, that's my BY for the day.

Any other breakfast/filling canned goods/fill in food storage needs here/ ideas out there?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

BY #1: Are you in?

There are 53 days until January 1st. If you add a can of food a day to storage between then and now, you will have 53 cans of food in storage. So I am starting a series of posts today, and naturally, I'm in. I will post what I am adding each day (Sunday "BY"s will appear either Saturday or Monday). I thought of calling this series, "Better Prepared By the New Year", but BPBNY is kind of cumbersome, so I'm taking the initials of the first and last words, hence, "BY". My goal is to add cans of food that are ready to eat, or add water only, even if they would be unpleasant to eat cold, because you never know what would be available in terms of fuel in an emergency. You will have something to eat, though--just don't forget to store a manual can opener! :)
After I post my can o' the day, I'll put other ideas, tips, links, etc. when I have something to add.

My BY today: Chicken noodle soup (Ready to eat, do not add water)

If I were adding anything else to go along with this, it would be:   Mashed potatoes or extra noodles or rice. Many kinds of soup would go well over mashed potatoes or noodles or rice, and this would make the food more filling and/or stretch farther.

What if you have a large family, are trying to store for everyone, and need more than one can to make a decent meal? Add one tomorrow and the next day and the next...according to your needs. Some of your BYs may be repetitive as a result. I would still like to hear about them, repetition or no. If you can afford to buy 3 cans at a time and want to think of this series in terms of being able to provide a meal a day instead of a can a day, that works too.  But getting cans, if only one at a time, is better than getting no cans at all.

Posting (or commenting) about a BY a day will keep food storage as a priority. What if someone goes shopping and buys 10 cans of food in one trip? As long as those cans are being put aside for storage, you now have 10 cans to write about, and have 10 days worth of posts and/or comments. Even if 10 cans only amount to 3 meals for your family, you will have enough for about 6 days' worth of meals by the end of the year--which will definitely come in handy in the case of an emergency. If you end up needing only 3 days' worth of food to cover an emergency, someone else may benefit from your preparation when you share it.

You don't need to have a blog to participate, just leave a comment here with your  BY and any suggestions you think may be helpful to others. If you do have a blog, leave a link to your BY in the comments so others can see what you've posted. (Please link to specific posts, so it is easier to find your BY.)

So....are you in?

Monday, October 29, 2012

For all those affected by Sandy...

Our prayers are with you. Saw this rundown of possible effects for different states. Wishing you all the best.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Need a gluten free conversion chart?

Heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, who... (thanks REO Speedwagon, whose song is now going through my head... :)

Well, after seeing someone post about this gluten free conversion chart elsewhere, I followed the links (whether this person heard about the other site from a friend or not I couldn't say) until I found the page linked. I have not tried to print it yet as my printer seems to be having issues, but in any case, I want a copy of it. If you go to the linked page, there is a link to download the chart for free, though as I have mentioned, I might be copying it down by hand....

I have had at least one reader comment on one of my blogs that gluten free options were needed, so I hope this helps someone. And you never know when you or someone you are responsible for may need gluten-free options.

Thank you to those who left the trail of links that eventually led to the above link... and to the website, Food Allergies on a Budget, who provided it. I don't know much about cooking gluten-free, so I need to learn more. This chart will be handy to have.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Worried about shelf/storage life?

I just received a link to the website, Still Tasty, in an e-mail from a preparedness expert earlier tonight. I haven't had a lot of time to look at it yet, but it looks like there is a lot of information included, and I was impressed with the section on lemon storage, for example. And in case the lemons that you are concerned about are not of the whole variety, you will most likely be amazed at your options for information when you feed in the word "lemons" on the home page...

 Many thanks to the preparedness expert who sent this, and for those who worry about stuff like this, (like I do) enjoy!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Found any good garage sale deals lately?

We found this little charcoal grill by driving by a garage sale on a street not to far from ours recently. It is a little (and I stress the little) grill that would be oh-so-easy to take camping, or throw in the back of a vehicle in the case of an evacuation. I pointed it out on the lawn in question, and my husband got out and checked the price--$10. It was later in the day (if I were a serious "garage sailer" I would have been out there early in the morning or even the night before, from what I understand) so I knew I didn't have much time if I decided I wanted it. Still, I'm not much of an impulse buyer, and since I only saw this little gem by accident, I needed some time to think about it. That, and a chance to check what prices for something like this little grill would be new. Soooo....we drove off.

Eventually, I got a chance to get online and check prices. My husband said that similar grills were available new at close to $10, and once again, he was correct. Still, it's nice to support individuals if the item is in good condition (which we knew was the case, since my husband checked it out when he was checking the price) so I got in the car and headed back to the garage sale. I bought the grill for the stated price, and brought it home.

When I talked to the lady selling the grill, she told me something interesting: she had had some charcoal out for sale as well, and it was one of the first things to go of the entire sale, even though one of the bags wasn't entirely full. When I headed out to buy some charcoal so we could try the grill out, I could see why the garage sale charcoal was so popular...

One of the reasons we bought this is because we didn't have a charcoal cooker of any kind, and we like to have options when it comes to activities that require fuel. Sometimes charcoal goes on sale with a really good price reduction, so next time I hear about a sale like that, I'm going to be a lot more interested in putting some aside... :)

Changing the subject--some of our garden has prospered, but some has not. The pumpkins, as usual, look good, and the corn and beans look promising. We had a pretty good raspberry season, too, so no complaints... :)

Hope everyone is having a great summer! Hope you are having/have had success with both gardening and any "garage sailing" you care to do!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

What about attitude?

I'm trying (yet again!) to use my other blog address. The newest post is here

Hope everyone's having a great summer! (Really hopefully, since it only started a couple of days ago... :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Got seeds?

We do! For Christmas, I received a very generous gift card from one of my friends (thanks again, A.!) to a local nursery, and the other day we went to pick out the seeds for the garden to use part of the card. Some of them looked like this:

Unfortunately, you cannot tell from the image (unless you take out a magnifying glass or something) that the upper seeds are marked "heirloom" seeds. Although we did not have a striking success with watermelon last year, our children once again wanted to make the effort with that particular crop. Not pictured are the scooped pea and corn seed that we were also able to purchase.

I will most likely have to buy onion plants this year because I guess you were supposed to start seeds indoors for onions like weeks ago if you wanted to use them this year, but I couldn't resist picking up onion packets marked heirloom when I got the chance. I always appreciate when the seeds are clearly marked non-hybrid, and I'm trying to teach my children the difference. I know they're listening because I heard one tell my husband, "Mom won't want those, she only wants non-hybrid..." No pressure. :) Unfortunately, the non-hybrid type of seeds are not always available (at least I can't always find them) so we take what we can find when necessary, even if they are hybrid. I love planting food because it perpetuates your food storage--let's hope the weather will be good enough that we get a good harvest.

If you are planting a garden, I hope it is going well. We did buy a couple of plants at the farmer's market a while back, and the pepper plant is doing well inside, while the oregano plant, sadly, did not last. I was glad that the pepper plant was inside the other day when it started to gotta love Idaho. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

We went to a Tolling of the Bells ceremony that was held by the Submarine Vets today. They concluded with a 21-gun salute and played Taps. That is an example of what Memorial Day is about.

With great appreciation for those whom we commemorate today--we will never forget.

Friday, April 27, 2012

And then, sometimes, it's all about the ingredients...

This could be considered a companion post, I guess, to my other blog, where I just posted about, how, for some recipes, you need a lot more than ingredients to make a recipe come out-- sometimes you need to know how to make the recipe work out, and practice it, because there are techniques involved that you may not be used to. This post, however, is a sad commentary on how sometimes what is promised on a box is not necessarily accurate, how when you just don't have time to do things from scratch you might find yourself in trouble, and how necessary it is to have vanilla flavoring in your home.

Yes, vanilla flavoring.  You read that right, and may be wondering why it was again that I actually write this blog. But I digress.

Here's the scenario: I had agreed to bring two dozen cupcakes to an event, so I thought I was prepared. I don't do much baking in the way of desserts, so I just picked up a cake mix. Said cake mix claimed that using its contents would result in a yield of 24 cupcakes. Perfect, right? My husband wanted to make the cupcakes with one of my children, so I let them have at it. It was a couple of hours before the planned event, so we would have wonderfully fresh cupcakes to present at the scheduled time, right? In theory.

My husband came to find me to let me know that the batter was gone and the count stood at 18 cupcakes. OooooK. There's always a recipe to be found on the iternet, right? Right, no problem. Well, no problem finding the recipe. Check, check, check on the ingredients, until we got to the vanilla flavoring. In my defense (which ends up amounting to not much) I was sure we had vanilla flavoring in the house. I was actually shocked to find that it wasn't in my kitchen cupboard. Well, then, it must be elsewhere, because I was sure I had some. A thorough search, however, proved me wrong, wrong, wrong. Now on to plan B. Time was running out. So I made some calls, found someone in the neighborhood to loan me some vanilla, and went to borrow it.

Long story short--the recipe in question took at least an hour to make, and we were running out of time. On to plan C.

I found someone else (don't I have great neighbors?) who was willing to part immediately with a cake mix, which would take a lot less time to throw together. The cupcakes were made and frosted, and I made it to the occasion, in the Idaho wind, only a little late. But late enough to be embarassing.

And then left at the end of the event with, if memory serves, 11 cupcakes.

So, what are the lessons from this experience?  Well, for me personally, I went out and bought more vanilla flavoring. As has been said elsewhere on the internet (sorry I forget who said it, since I have read so many great blogs) something along the lines of , "three is two, two is one, and one is none".  I thought I had one, but turns out I had none...

Make sure that what is said on a package is actually going to meet your needs. My package said 24 cupcakes, but it didn't work out that way. This was a dessert/treat thing, so not as big of a deal as say, a package of pancake mix that you are planning to use to feed x number of people that will only feed n number of people in the case of an emergency. Servings are not the same for everyone, and someone else's idea of a serving may leave you or someone that you're responsible for hungry when it's really inconvenient...

Just because you don't usually cook/bake something doesn't mean you won't wish that you had the means to do so in an emergency. In that vein, I now have a few cake mixes at my disposal, though who knows when I will use them... :)

Ah, yes, kind of embarassing, but I have never claimed to be an expert, so hope that someone else will benefit from what I'm learning as I go along...hence, that's one answer as to why I write this blog. Oh, and as a final note, the fact that I ended up with 11 cupcakes at the end of the day shows that sometimes things work out so much better than you think they will...

Thanks so much for reading--hope all is well with you and yours. Weird weather here (this is Idaho :)--it was snowing this morning....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On being ready...

Thanks to all who participated in my most recent poll about being ready in ten minutes to evacuate. According to the answers given, 25% of those who answered felt that they would be ready and organized, compared to 50% who feel that they would be semi-organized, and 12% each for the answers by those who figure they would manage without preparation and those who also haven't prepared and figure they would have some problems. I don't know if anyone would ever feel completely prepared for a scenario like that, but it would definitely help things to have practiced beforehand. The issues of medication being ready to go, (especially if refrigeration is required) as well as important documents, would be something that just not wanting to be hungry /thirsty/wearing same clothes for three days might not cover, so it is worth thinking about if you need more than a "typical" 72-hour kit.

Ah, the poll. One of the things that I have learned to do here on this blog that apparently would be entirely different if I switched to wordpress, according to what I have seen so far. I did do another post over there, and if I end up switching over, I'll let you know. Decisions, decisions...apparently making the leap entirely to switch when I don't comfortably know how to use wordpress is not a decision I'm ready to make today... :) Thanks for your patience, and thanks if you have visited my new blog! Until if/when I stop blogging here, I'll just put a link to a post on the other blog, if there is one, at the bottom of what I post here. Anyone who is using wordpress, would love to hear comparisons, pros/cons, etc...

Monday, March 5, 2012

The more you know...

...the better your blog address may be. Still trying to decide if I want to switch to wordpress, but I am learning more about it. If you would like to check out my latest post at the new site, it's here.

This blog was my first, hence I didn't know/think about the importance of the blog address, or I guess, the title, which when I look at it now, seems kind of long. :) Oh well. It is mostly about food storage, and it is an adventure, so I guess it's all good. I have gotten some feedback on the wordpress thing, so we'll see how it works out. The new blog's website address is:

Longtime readers may recall that I sometimes mess around with the background on this blog, and I have already changed it on the new blog from the first post. I'll most likely find something I'll stick with a while pretty soon--until I get bored with it again... If you check it out, I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thinking it's about time for a drill around here...

Have you ever thought about what your situation would be if you were given ten minutes to evacuate? I recently got this link in an e-mail, and the video shows what happens when two different families are given this evacuation information. The results vary--greatly. So how do you think you would do? There may be some things you hadn't thought about, but having a (up-to-date) 72-hour-kit (aka bug-out bag) is a good start. Just thought that I'd share in case you realize there is something you haven't included yet, but would hate to be without...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trying something new....

I'm not convinced that I will totally move over to wordpress, but I am considering it. I understand how to use this blog, and I have set up a blog on wordpress, though I don't know how everything works there as of this post. Aaaauuugh, etc. Anyway, I did post a post over there, so if you are interested in reading it, you can check it out here.

Thanks as always for reading! :) 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Have you called yet?

I usually don't talk about anything political on this blog, but I think this issue is so critical that I am now. Perhaps you have heard about the fact that a section of the healthcare legislation requires Catholics to act in ways that are contrary to their beliefs. 

I disagree that they should have to do that. Fortunately, according to an e-mail that I received yesterday, some people in Washington also disagree that they should have to do that (understandably, considering that they have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, and religious freedom is part of the Constitution) and the Blunt Conscience Protection Amendment will be voted on soon. Unfortunately, the timing of the vote is unclear, so time is of the essence for the phone calls to your senators. 

I consider this issue to be non-partisan, and want to protect our Constitution. The e-mail I received talked about a movement that Glenn Beck that has organized, and included the information that you can find here. If you go to the link, you will find out what you can do to stand up for religious freedom--in step-by-step detail. There is even a link so that you can find out who your congressmen are, and information in case you want to e-mail your representatives. 

If you already know all the information that you need to know, and just want to call the Capitol Switchboard, the number is (202) 224-3121. Ask to be connected to your representative, and they will put you through to that representative's office. 

Glenn Beck's campaign is called "We are all Catholics now". You may be familiar with the poem talked about here, where the basic idea is that when someone doesn't stand up for other people there are fewer and fewer people to stand up at all.  We have to stand up for each other when it starts, so that we can stop it before it goes any farther.

I'm not a Catholic, but I will stand up for their right to have religious freedom. I called my senators this morning asking them to support the Blunt Conscience Amendment. Sometimes we don't know what we can do when things that are obviously unconstitutional are paraded before us, but we can do something now, and quickly, before religious freedom is taken away. When enough people are willing to speak out, things happen.

United we stand.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Those seasonings--- gluten-free

I posted previously about this taco soup recipe, and was thinking how great it would be if it were gluten-free, since that issue has come up in my comment section before.Then I checked my taco and ranch seasoning packets, and found out that if I used at least one of them, (if memory serves, at least one had wheat flour in it) the soup wouldn't be gluten-free. Then, thanks to a friend, I found out about this post on do-it-yourself seasonings--taco and ranch, with a bonus of dry onion soup mix--over at Self-Reliance by Jamie. (I originally had (hopefully)  in the post title to indicate that I didn't see any ingredients that I associate with gluten, but if someone else who knows more than I do sees something that would be a problem, please let me know--otherwise, it's all good.) Love that I can use these recipes for much more than just taco soup... :)

Thanks to my friend for the heads-up, and to Jamie over at Self-Reliance by Jamie for sharing the recipes!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Price-wise, things are harder to replace..

Yeah, it's no big surprise that prices tend to go up. And up. And up. But I recently had a very specific experience with price/availability that shows that it can go up reallly quickly...

I've written in the past about the price of ground turkey--we like to buy it in "bulk" (if you can call 3 lb. packages "bulk") brown it, and freeze it in meal-size packages. Having done so, we went for a while without doing what we call "big-time shopping"--quite a while, in fact, and just picked up milk and the like occasionally instead of planning out weeks' worth of menus, and making do with what we had without adding to our storage.  (This applies to food and non-food items.) Not surprisingly, our storage went down, down, down while some prices were going up, up, up. Here's what happened with the ground turkey during this time:

I noticed as I was picking up milk or whatever that the ground turkey wasn't there. So I decided to keep an eye on it, because in the past it seemed to be a first-come, first served basis for the turkey, and you just had to be there at the right time. But this time, there didn't even appear to be a place marked for the packages of  turkey that I usually bought.

Fast forward to when I really needed to get some more turkey. We found that there were 2 pound packages available at our other preferred place for grocery shopping, and if memory serves, when we first started buying ground turkey there, it was $3.98/2 lbs. Since then, it has gone up to $4.98/2lbs.

Bad enough, right? Well, at our used-to-buy turkey place, ground turkey made a reappearance, perhaps a different brand, and perhaps a different fat content or something, but the bottom line is that there is only one kind of package of ground turkey available last time I looked, and it was $3.98/1.25 lbs. Ouch. Hopefully it does not soon become our buy-again-turkey place because it becomes the best buy in town again. Might have to swear off turkey if that happens...

Anyway, my point is that having some food on hand for price hikes alone is a good idea because they most likely will continue to go up. At least if you have something in storage, it gives you a little time to save up for/look around for your next purchase without going hungry in the meantime. It doesn't have to be an emergency per se  for a person to be glad they've put something aside for a rainy day...

And speaking of rainy days, it sounded like a rainy day outside the window today, but it was because of the melting snow, which was not melted enough after falling today to not require some shoveling when it came to the driveway. :) And thanks to all who participated in the poll about snow. I have mislaid the results, but if memory serves, 85% said they were getting less snow than normal, and everyone else who answered doesn't usually get snow where they live. The roads have been easier to drive on, but the really uncharacteristic lack of snow makes me wonder about the water supply.

Oh, I just found the post on my other blog where I wrote about the price of turkey. It used to be $6.22/ 3lb. package. Hope it comes back--it's happened before... :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

A bean recipe--and lots o' links--for the recipe file

I am always looking for more ways to use beans, and my family loved this one for taco soup over at Marie's Cooking Adventures (Yeah. No, that's not me, but I like the name... :).

It's wonderful what you can find when you go blog-hopping. Almost the entire family loved this soup. The only thing I had to change wasn't really a change--I followed the recipe as stated, and you really couldn't get any easier. I cooked it on low, but when I checked it about an hour before we were supposed to eat, it tasted really salty to me. To be fair, I had two of my children taste it as well, and they didn't think it was too salty, but I peeled and cut up a couple of potatoes and dumped them in  for the remainder of the cooking time, because doing so is  supposed to help remove excess salt.  I removed them before serving, and  the soup didn't taste too salty to me anymore, so it was all good. If I had been on the ball, I would have just cooked some black beans on my own and added those, because I wouldn't have added salt, and perhaps the seasoning packets I used were saltier than some others or something... In any case, this soup was an absolute hit here, and uses mostly canned foods, and I have wondered if you could just use canned chicken if you wanted instead of the ground beef (we used ground turkey) and then it would be an entirely pantry-friendly recipe. I highly recommend it. It has gained a place in the coveted recipe rotation. So many, many thanks to Marie for the recipe!

And now, at the risk of future posts, I am going to list some links to other recipes that caught my eye while I was doing some aforementioned blog-hopping. I haven't made them yet, but they look wonderful, (and ok, let's not forget that they also look like they would be easy to try, in most cases) and sometimes I just want to share what I've found sooner than it takes to actually make them.  Another one on the same blog is here  for Southwest Chicken Egg Rolls. (A little trickier, I guess, for just food storage, but I am thinking canned chicken, canned corn, and the cheese and frozen spinach might just to have to be freezer storage unless someone else has a suggestion... :) I actually found Marie's Cooking Adventures via

-- Cupcake Diaries, which also happens to have the recipe for the soup-I-am-most-likely-to-make-next-in-my-crockpot, aka Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup . This just looks really good to me, and combine the ease of a crockpot, a use for any potatoes that are lonely in storage (which I don't have currently, but have in the past and expect to have in the future) and it's all win-win-win. I would suggest checking out this recipe and others while you are there--you might find something else you would like as well. Thanks Cupcake Diaries!

--And of course, I check out the Harried Homemaker site regularly, and the recipe for chicken soup found here looks interesting. True confessions: I don't recall ever having cooked with parsnips before. But this recipe might convince me to start, seeing as how it is supposed to help you get over sickness and looks delicious in the pictures. It apparently is rather work-intensive, but soup that acts like an antibiotic might be an incentive for many people... In any case, talk about blog-hopping potential: beneath this recipe are links to 63 more soup recipes--thanks Harried Homemaker!

So, thanks again to the wonderful people who share over at Marie's Cooking Adventures, Cupcake Diaries, and Harried Homemaker! You make adding new recipes into the rotation during the New Year all that much easier... :)