What I'm Buying - Smith's 3/29

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Ran in to Smith's last night to pick up a few more items before the sale ends on Tuesday. Unlike my trip to Winco, I felt like I got some phenomenal deals at Smith's! Here's what I got:

Transaction 1

(6) Pillsbury Grands! biscuits, on sale .99 (.84 ea after coupon)

I used (3) .30/2 coupons for the biscuits [see GeneralMills-1/3] and also used one of my $3 catalina coupons from last week.

Total: $2.22 + got $4 catalina coupon

Transaction 2

(2) Snuggle fabric softener, on sale 3.99 (.99 after coupon)
(3) Gold Medal flour 5lb, on sale 1.50 (.75 after coupon)
(6) Kellogg's pop tarts 12ct, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, 1.58 after coupon)
(2) Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats Little Bites, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, .99 after coupon)
(4) dozen eggs, on sale .99 (.48 ea after coupon for Buy 1 Get 1 Free)
(5) Sunny D, on sale .79 (.54 after coupon)
(2) Barq's rootbeer, on sale 1.25 (.75 after promo)
(1) bunch bananas, on sale .49/lb
(6) Oscar Mayer Lunchables, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, 4 free after coupons)

I used (2) 3.00/1 coupons for the fabric softener [see RP-3/28], (3) .75/1 printable coupons for the flour [no longer available], (3) 1.25/3 coupons for the pop tarts [see RP-3/28], (1) 2.00/2 coupon for the cereal [see RP-3/28], (2) B1G1Free printable coupons for the eggs [from a Facebook promo - no longer available], (5) .25/1 coupons for the SunnyD [see SS-2/7], and (4) 1.00/1 coupons for the Lunchables [see SS-3/21].

I then used my remaining $4 and $3 catalina coupons from last week, and the $4 catalina coupon from the previous transaction.

Total: $15.27

What I'm Buying - Winco 3/29

I got a Winco flyer in the mail yesterday with some great store coupons on it. I went to the store last night to grab some of the good deals. I was quite disappointed when I got to the checkout and they told me that, unlike most other stores, Winco is NOT accepting the use of store coupons combined with manufacturer coupons. What?!? I asked them where I could get a copy of the store's coupon policy so I would know in the future what they would and would not accept, and guess what they told me - THEY DON'T HAVE ONE! Well, if they don't have a coupon policy, then how do they know they can't accept store coupons combined with manufacturer coupons?

Overall I was really quite miffle'd...everyone we asked last night had a different answer about the coupons. The manufacturer coupons I wanted to use would have only saved me an additional $4 total, but I just went away from that trip feeling like I hadn't really gotten as great a deal as I had wanted. And for the first time in months, Winco didn't have any good prices on any of their produce (except strawberries, but they were already starting to look bad and lots of the containers had mold). I think I would have rather saved my money and spent it elsewhere later this week, but at 10pm I just wanted to get out of there and go home.

Here's what I ended up getting:

(2) family packs pork top sirloin roast, on sale .98/lb
(2) twin packs young fryer chickens, on sale .68/lb
(1) 10lb bag russet potatoes, on sale .68
(2) Honey Nut Cheerios, .98 ea with coupon
(2) 36oz Hunt's ketchup, .98 ea with coupon
(2) Nalley chili, .48 ea with coupon
(3) Bumble Bee chunk light tuna, .28 ea with coupon
(1) Hytop milk, on sale 1.66
(2) BarS bacon, .98 ea with coupon
(1) bunch bananas, on sale .49/lb
(2) Darigold unsalted butter, on sale 1.50
(3) Kellogg's pop tarts, .98 ea with coupon (first 2), 1.48 for third [which she wasn't supposed to ring up but did anyway - I wasn't paying very good attention]
(2) frozen wild Pacific salmon, on sale 3.98 ea
(2) 1lb clamshell strawberries, on sale .97 ea

No coupons used (other than the store coupons from the ad flyer).

Total: $58.67

Homemade Butter

Monday, March 29, 2010
I have been following a thread in the forums at PYP where they've been talking about making your own butter. I remember doing this when I was in elementary school, you know, the shaking the jar with cream in it and passing it around for forever...and then finally seeing it turn into some big yellow chunk... :)

Anyway, it piqued my interest and I decided to try my hand at making some homemade butter. It was a LOT easier than I expected, thanks to my KitchenAid mixer.

It took awhile (like almost 20 minutes), but thankfully all I had to do was watch during that time. I think mine took forever because I didn't let the cream come to room temperature first.

Here's the end result:

I used one quart of heavy whipping cream, and I ended up with a small plastic container's worth of butter (maybe about 1 1/2 cups worth) and 2 cups of real buttermilk!

Even better, I learned in the forum thread that you can use the Gossner's shelf-stable whipping cream for this - AWESOME for food storage! I have been looking at ways to store butter for long-term, and other than butter powder or some REALLY expensive canned butter (like $6 for a tunafish-sized can), there aren't many other options. [There are instructions floating around the web for "canning" your own butter, but it is not actual canning and it is not recommended by the National Council on Home Preservation.] But now I've got a great option - I can store the Gossner's UHT whipping cream and in the event that I need butter, I can just make my own! (Yeah, it's a little strange that I'm so excited about being able to make my own butter...)

Of course, it's easiest if I have access to electricity and my KitchenAid mixer, but even if I didn't, all I would need is a glass jar and tight fitting lidand, and I could churn my own butter, no electricity needed.

The basics of making your own butter are pretty simple:

You just need whipping cream or heavy whipping cream (heavy will give you slightly more butter than regular)

Churn it in your mixer or food processor, just as you would for making whipped cream (only leave out any sugar or vanilla). After stiff peaks form, keep churning. It will go from stiff peaks, to slightly yellow and thicker, to more yellow and grainy textured. Keep going! When it gets pretty thick and grainy, turn the speed down and watch carefully, because it will go from grainy to a large clump of butter in a matter of seconds. When it does, all of a sudden you'll have a clump of butter in a bath of buttermilk and if your mixer is still going at a good clip, you'll make a huge mess all over! After it coagulates into butter, you'll need to wash out any buttermilk that is left in it, to prevent it from going rancid too quickly. You can squeeze it out or work the butter in a bowl of cold water. Drain off the water after a minute or two, then add clean water, and keep working the butter until the water runs clear. (Make sure you use cold water or the butter will start to melt.) You can also add salt at this point if you'd like (mine needed a little). Wrap or cover your butter and place in fridge for storage. You can use the buttermilk in your favorite recipe (think buttermilk pancakes, or biscuits, or corn bread), or just discard it.

Here are some links with more detailed instructions:


Spiritual Self-Reliance

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Revelation is communication from God to His children. This guidance comes through various channels according to the needs and circumstances of individuals, families, and the Church as a whole. When the Lord reveals His will to the Church, He speaks through His prophet. Prophets are the only people who can receive revelation for the Church, but they are not the only people who can receive revelation. According to our faithfulness, we can receive revelation to help us with our specific personal needs, responsibilities, and questions and to help us strengthen our testimony.

The scriptures tell of different types of revelation, such as visions, dreams, and visitations by angels. Through such channels, the Lord has restored His gospel in the latter days and revealed many truths. However, most revelations to leaders and members of the Church come through the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.

Quiet spiritual promptings may not seem as spectacular as visions or angelic visitations, but they are just as powerful and lasting and life changing. The witness of the Holy Ghost makes an impression on the soul that is more significant than anything we can see or hear. Through such revelations, we will receive lasting strength to stay true to the gospel and help others do the same.

Preparing to Receive Revelation

The following counsel will help us prepare to receive promptings from the Holy Ghost:

Pray for guidance. The Lord said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matthew 7:7–8). In order to find and receive, we must seek and ask.

Be reverent. Reverence is profound respect and love. When we are reverent and peaceful, we invite revelation. Even when everything around us is in commotion, we can have a reverent attitude and be prepared to receive guidance from the Lord.

Be humble.Humility is closely related to reverence. When we are humble, we recognize our dependence on the Lord.

Keep the commandments. When we keep the commandments, we are prepared to receive, recognize, and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Partake of the sacrament worthily. The sacramental prayers teach how to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit. When we partake of the sacrament, we witness to God that we are willing to take upon ourselves the name of His Son and that we will always remember Him and keep His commandments. Our Heavenly Father promises that when we keep these covenants, we will always have the Spirit to be with us. (See D&C 20:77, 79.)

Study the scriptures every day. As we diligently study the scriptures, we learn from the examples of men and women whose lives have been blessed as they have followed the Lord's revealed will. We also become more receptive to the Holy Ghost in our own lives. As we read and ponder, we may receive revelation about how a certain scripture passage applies to us or about anything else the Lord desires to communicate to us.

Take time to ponder. When we take time to ponder the truths of the gospel, we open our mind and heart to the guiding influence of the Holy Ghost (see 1 Nephi 11:1; D&C 76:19; 138:1–11). Pondering takes our thoughts from the trivial things of the world, helping us gain a more eternal perspective and bringing us closer to the Spirit.

When seeking specific guidance, we should study the matter out in our minds. At times the Lord's communication will come only after we have studied a matter out in our minds.

Patiently seek God's will. God reveals Himself "in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will" (see D&C 88:63–68). Revelation will often come line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. We should be patient and trust in the Lord's timing.

Recognizing the Promptings of the Holy Ghost

Amid the many noises and messengers in the world today, we must learn to recognize the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. Following are some of the principal ways the Holy Ghost communicates with us:

He speaks to the mind and heart in a still, small voice. The Lord taught: "I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation" (D&C 8:2–3). Although such revelation can have a powerful effect on us, it almost always comes quietly, as a "still small voice" (see 1 Kings 19:9–12; Helaman 5:30; D&C 85:6).

He prompts us through our feelings. Although we often describe communication from the Spirit as a voice, that voice is one that we feel more than we hear.

He brings peace. The Holy Ghost is often called the Comforter (see John 14:26; D&C 39:6). As He reveals the will of the Lord to us, He will "speak peace" to our minds (D&C 6:23).

—See True to the Faith (2004), 140–44

Becoming Provident Providers

Saturday, March 27, 2010
Check out this great video message from Elder Hales' conference talk, "Becoming Provident Providers".

And have you seen the gospel topic page devoted to Self-Reliance yet?

FREE loaf of bread at Fresh Market stores - through Saturday

Friday, March 26, 2010
Go HERE to get a coupon (just print the page) for a free 24oz loaf of Western Family white sandwich bread - no purchase necessary! (You will have to pay the tax on it, though.)

Coupon expires Saturday, 3/27.

Cheap Fabric Softener or Dryer Sheets!

There's a great deal on Snuggle fabric softener or dryer sheets this week at Fresh Market.

The 32 load liquid fabric softener or 80 ct dryer sheets are on sale for 3.99.

Use the 3.00/1 Snuggle coupon in this week's Red Plum insert (RP-3/28) and you'll get it for just .99 (plus tax)!

If you miss getting the Snuggle at Fresh Market, it looks like Harmon's will have it on sale for this same price (3.99) for the week beginning on Monday, 3/29.

What I'm Buying - Smith's 3/24

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It has been a difficult past week or so around here.

I went to Smith's last night to get in on the Pillsbury and Betty Crocker catalina deals (see this post at PYP for details - FREE Betty Crocker potatoes!).

It was late and just as I was getting to the register, the alarms went off and they had to go chase down some shoplifters and call the police, so the transactions didn't go quite like I had planned, but that's okay.

(2) Wesson 48oz canola oil, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo)
(8) DelMonte canned tomatoes, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, .24 after coupon)
(6) American Beauty pasta, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)
(15) Betty Crocker mashed potatoes, .99 (free after catalina coupon - you have to buy in sets of 3 in separate transactions, so I had to split these up into 5 transactions)
(6) Pillsbury Grands! biscuits, on sale .99 (.84 after coupon, .17 after catalina deal)
(4) LandOLakes half & half, clearanced to .75
(2) Van De Kamp's fish sticks, on sale 3.49

On my first trip through the registers, I got everything above except only 3 of the Betty Crocker potatoes. I used (2) 1.00/4 coupons for the tomatoes [see GrocerySmarts list for coupon link] and (3) .30/2 coupons for the biscuits [see GeneralMills-1/3]. Then there were two electronic coupons that came off (forgot I even had them on there): 1 for .30 off 2 biscuits, and 1 for .40 off 2 potatoes.

I then got a $4 catalina coupon for buying the 6 biscuits, and then a $3 catalina coupon for buying the potatoes (making them free).

Total: $27.23 + $4 catalina + $3 catalina

I took my groceries out to the car, and then went back in to get more potatoes. I had to use the self-checkouts because everyone else was helping with the shoplifting situation.

I grabbed 3 more potatoes and checked out. The total was only 2.97 before tax, so I couldn't use the $3 catalina coupon from the previous purchase (the catalina cannot be used to pay any portion of the sales tax when you check out).

Total: $3.09 + $3 catalina

Once things had calmed down inside, I went back and got 9 more potato pouches. I also grabbed 3 Twix candy bars to add so that I could use the catalinas to roll and pay for the potatoes. So then I did three transactions that looked like this:

(3) Betty Crocker potatoes, .99
(1) Twix candy bar, on sale .50

That brought my pre-tax total to 3.47, which was enough for me to be able to use the $3 catalina coupon.

Total: $.57 + $3 catalina coupon

I did that transaction 3 times.

All together, I spent $32.03 out of pocket and I still have $10 in catalina coupons for my next trip to Smith's! So all those groceries for essentially $22!

Had it not been so confusing at the store with the shoplifting situation, I would have broken my transaction into different chunks so that I could better roll all of the catalina coupons, but oh well. I'll just use the $10 towards a future trip.

Spiritual Self-Reliance

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. Agency is essential in the plan of salvation. Without it, we would not be able to learn or progress or follow the Savior. With it, we are "free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil" (2 Nephi 2:27).

God's children have power to choose; they had this ability even before they were born. In the premortal life, Heavenly Father presented His plan, which included the principle of agency. Lucifer rebelled and "sought to destroy the agency of man" (Moses 4:3). As a result, Lucifer and all those who followed him were denied the privilege of receiving a mortal body. All who have been or will be born on earth chose to follow Heavenly Father's plan.

In this life, people continue to have agency; even if their personal freedoms are restricted or taken away, they can choose how to feel and react. Their use of their agency determines their happiness or misery in this life and in the life to come. People are free to choose and act but are not free to choose the consequences of their actions. The consequences may not be immediate, but they will always follow. Choices of good and righteousness lead to happiness, peace, and eternal life, while choices of sin and evil eventually lead to heartache and misery.

—See True to the Faith (2004), 12–13

The (Almost) Completed 72-Hour Kits (Cont.)

Friday, March 19, 2010
I know I promised you the list of contents in our 72-hour kits a few days ago, and I must apologize - it has been a very crazy week at our house. We've gone from corneal erosion to pinkeye to sore throat that wasn't strep but sure looked like it. And we've had little ones waking up at all kinds of odd hours of the night.

Anywho...here's the list for the green backpack:
  • extra clothes (long pants/sweats, long sleeve shirt, underwear, socks)
  • toiletries
  • extra roll toilet paper
  • latex-free gloves and face masks
  • poncho and solar blanket for each person
  • collapsable bowl and sporks
  • 2 flashlights
  • emergency radio/light/charger
  • water purification tablets
  • multi-tool and knife
  • can opener
  • bug repellant wipes
  • whistle/compass
  • fire starter
  • cording
  • Book of Mormon
  • 72-hour food packs
  • tube of glow sticks

The blue backpack contains mostly the same items, with a few changes:
  • first-aid kit
  • matches
  • water filter bottle
  • sewing kit

While packing the backpacks, we noted that we were missing a few items that have been purchased but were not in the plastic buckets with all the other items (so we're going to have to search around the house for them):
  • wool socks for all
  • whistles for the kids
  • medicine kit (I know where this one is, I just haven't pulled it all together yet)
  • small glass dropper of bleach
  • hand warmers
  • marker and roll of duct tape

Hence, the "(almost) completed 72-hour kits" title...there's still a little bit to do. And more tweaking...

It's coming up on conference time, and we'll be rotating out some of the food in the food packs. I'm looking for other alternatives for some of the heavier food items in an attempt to cut down the weight of these packs. We're thinking maybe a few MREs perhaps...we did find some with the chemical heater sleeves that don't require fuel or fire, just a small amount of water.

What I'm Buying - Smith's 3/18

Thursday, March 18, 2010
What a great sale at Smith's this week! They were so well stocked and had everything I needed, plus some. :)

Hang on tight while I go through the list - it's a long one (the receipt is 3 feet long)!

(6) Ronzoni SmartTaste pasta, on sale 1.25 (.75 after promo, free after coupon)
(4) Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta, on sale 1.25 (.75 after promo, .25 ea after coupon)
(4) Ken's salad dressing, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(12) American Beauty pasta, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)
(10) Powerade drinks, on sale .75 (.25 after promo)
(12) Mott's 100% apple juice no sugar added, on sale 1.49 (.99 after coupon)
(2) Dial liquid soap, clearanced to .79
(2) Smart Balance sour cream, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(1) Mountain Diary milk, 1.89
(4) Coke products 2 liters, on sale 1.25 (.75 after promo)
(1) bunch bananas, on sale .49/lb
(6) granny smith apples, on sale .99/lb
(1) California Pizza Kitchen pizza, on sale 4.47 (free after coupon)
(1) Kroger Value 10lb russet potatoes, on sale .99
(2) Oscar Mayer Lunchables kits, 3.89 ea
(2) Oscar Mayer sub sandwiches, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, one was .25 after coupon)
(2) Oscar Mayer deli creations sub sandwiches, clearanced to 1.29 ea
(2) Rubbermaid snap lock lid containers, clearanced to 7.69 ea
(2) Rubbermaid Easy Find lid containers, clearanced to 5.49 ea

I used the following coupons (if I remember them all correctly):
(4) 1.00/1 coupons for the salad dressing [see SS-3/7]
(2) 1.00/1 coupons for the sour cream [see RP-2/14]
(6) .75/1 printable coupons for the SmartTaste pasta [see link HERE or SS-1/10]*
(2) 1.00/2 printable coupons for the Healthy Harvest pasta [see link above or SS-1/10]
(1) .75/1 printable coupon for the Lunchables sub [no longer available]
(1) e-coupon for free CPK pizza [from the March to Madness instant win game online]
(1) e-coupon for 5.00 off [also from the March to Savings game]

I then got $28 off at the end for all of the promo items [57 total promo items].

Total: $69.54

$25 of that was on the Rubbermaid containers, and another $10 of that was for today's lunch (we had a rough night last night and I just didn't have the energy to make up lunch today, so we grabbed the Lunchables and the Deli Creations sandwiches). Had I not bought those things, my total would have been about $35.

*I printed two of these about 2 weeks ago from a different link, but I can't remember now where I found it. Then, I was able to print two more from the link I posted above, and then another 2 from THIS LINK, all from the same computer.

What I'm Buying - Rite Aid 3/15

Monday, March 15, 2010
I went to Rite Aid today to get some items for their $25 Johnson & Johnson rebate.

See this post at PYP for details.

I did two nearly identical transactions. Some of the coupons are from the RP-3/14 which I only had one copy of, but that's okay. It still means nearly $50 worth of J&J products for free after rebate!

Transaction 1:

(1) 25ct BandAid "Barbie" adhesive bandages, on sale 1.99 (.49 after coupon)
(1) Neosporin Plus ointment, on sale 3.99 (2.49 after coupon)
(1) Johnson & Johnson hair detangle spray, 4.29 (3.29 after in-ad store coupon, 2.29 after manufacturer coupon)
(1) Benadryl allergy, 5.49 (3.49 after in-ad store coupon, 2.49 after manufacturer coupon)
(1) Sudafed PE, 6.49 (4.49 after in-ad store coupon, 2.49 after manufacturer coupon)
(1) Visine drops, on sale 4.99 (1.99 after in-ad store coupon, free after manufacturer coupon)

I used (1) $5 off a $25 or more purchase coupon [see link above], (4) in-ad store coupons (2.00 off Benedryl, 2.00 off Sudafed, 3.00 off Visine, 1.00 off J&J product), combined with (1) 3.00/2 coupon for the bandaids and Neosporin [see SS-2/21, must purchase 1 of each], (1) 2.00/1 coupon for the Visine [see RP-3/14], (1) 1.00/1 printable coupon for the J&J spray [see GroupA at GrocerySmarts], (1) 2.00/1 coupon for the Sudafed [see RP-3/14] and (1) 1.00/1 coupon for the Benedryl [see RP-3/14].

Total: $6.77 [Holy Cow!!!]

Transaction 2

(1) 60ct BandAid "Sheer" adhesive bandages, on sale 1.99 (.49 after coupon)
(1) Neosporin Plus ointment, on sale 3.99 (2.49 after coupon)
(1) Johnson & Johnson shampoo, 4.29 (3.29 after in-ad store coupon, 2.29 after manufacturer coupon)
(1) Benadryl allergy, 5.49 (3.49 after in-ad store coupon, 2.49 after manufacturer coupon)
(1) Sudafed PE, 6.49 (4.49 after in-ad store coupon)
(1) Visine drops, on sale 4.99 (1.99 after in-ad store coupon)

I used (1) $5 off a $25 or more purchase coupon [see link above], (4) in-ad store coupons (2.00 off Benedryl, 2.00 off Sudafed, 3.00 off Visine, 1.00 off J&J product), combined with (1) 3.00/2 coupon for the bandaids and Neosporin [see SS-2/21, must purchase 1 of each] and (1) 1.00/1 printable coupon for the J&J spray [see GroupA at GrocerySmarts].

Because I didn't have another copy of the Red Plum insert from 3/14, my total on Transaction 2 was a little higher.

Total: $10.76

Now, all together I purchased $54.48 worth of J&J products, which should qualify me for a $25 rebate through the RiteAid Single Check Rebate program. Since I only paid about $18 total out of pocket, my net ends up that I get everything for free! Holy cow!

[IMPORTANT NOTE: I just went back to make sure all of the items qualified, and the J&J shampoo and detangler DO NOT qualify for the rebate, so I will need to take those back and get the right items. You need the Johnson & Johnson Head-to-Toe wash or the Johnson & Johnson baby lotion or the J&J cotton swabs...*sigh* Here's the LINK to the list of participating products]

[ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: 3/18 I checked on the status of my J&J rebate at the RiteAid site, and even though I purchased the J&J shampoo and detangler, they have approved my $25 rebate, so hooray for not having to take those back and exchange them! :)]

What I'm Buying - Target 3/15

Target is having a great sale on Kellogg's products this week - Buy 4 participating items and get a $5 gift card! Many of the items are 4 for $10 (2.50 each), which makes them 1.25 ea after you factor the gift card back in. Get them for even less with some great coupons!

To make the most of the deal, buy in sets of 4, then use the gift card you get from one set to pay towards the next set and get another gift card at the end. You can repeat this as many times as you'd like, as long as you buy in sets of 4 and all the products are valid for the promo.

Here's what I did today:

Transaction 1
(2) 12ct Kellogg's pop tarts, on sale 2.50 ea
(2) Kellogg's NutriGrain bars, on sale 2.50 ea

I used (1) 1.00/2 coupon for the pop tarts [from inside a cereal box last year] and (1) 1.00/2 coupon for the cereal bars [also from inside a cereal box last year].

Total: $8.15 + received $5 gift card

Transaction 2
(4) 12ct Kellogg's pop tarts, on sale 2.50 ea

I used (1) 1.00/2 printable coupon for the pop tarts [see link HERE] and the $5 gift card from the previous transaction.

Total: $4.15 + received $5 gift card

Transaction 3
(2) Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats Bite Size, on sale 2.50 ea
(2) Kellogg's Frsoted Mini Wheats Strawberry Delight, on sale 2.54 ea

I used (2) 1.50/2 printable coupons for the cereal [see GroupC at GrocerySmarts] and the $5 gift card from the previous transaction.

Total: $2.23 + received $5 gift card

Transaction 4
(2) Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch, on sale 2.50 ea
(2) Kellogg's Rainin Bran Extra, on sale 2.50 ea

I used (1) 1.50/3 printable coupon [see link in Transaction 2] and the $5 gift card from the previous transaction.

Total: $3.65 + received $5 gift card

So, all in all, I paid $18.18 out of pocket for 16 boxes of cereal/pop tarts, and I still have one additional $5 gift card left. So my net ends up being $13.18, or .82 a box! :)

The (Almost) Completed 72-Hour Kits

I have a confession to make. I've had all of the stuff for our 72-hour kits, but until recently, it was all sitting in two plastic bins in the garage. I just had never gotten around to separating it out and putting it in the backpacks. But no more!

Here are the (almost) completed 72-hour kits:

[Not the best photos - I think the photographer was tired!]

We purchased two internal frame backpacks at Cabela's last year on clearance. We have two younger kids who wouldn't be able to carry a heavy backpack on their own, so we figured we could pack the stuff for one adult and one child in each of these bigger backpacks. We also figured these packs could come in handy for camping or Scout trips later on.

The green pack is for daddy and son. The blue one is for me and the youngest. With all of the items packed, the things weigh close to 50lbs each! The majority of the space is taken up by the food, and the food is heavy. Each day's worth of food weighs 2-3 lbs, but when you have 6 of those, the weight adds up. Plus the packs themselves are a good 5-10 pounds even empty. It's not so bad because the backpacks are well-made and distribute the load well on the hips, so it's not uncomfortable to carry (we both tried ours on once fully packed), but we were really surprised at how heavy it all was.

Which has led us to maybe rethink some of the things we are including and other options we have. We are still missing a few things that have been misplaced - wool socks, gloves, extra clothes for the littlest, etc. I just need to find them out in the garage and then add them to the packs. I'm sure I'm going to be modifying what we have packed, but these will work just great for right now - at least I have gotten them finally pulled together and packed.

I will post tomorrow with the list of what is included in each pack and some additional specifics. Remember, these are just what we felt we wanted for our particular family - you might want to do something totally different for your family, and that's totally okay!

Spiritual Self-Reliance

Sunday, March 14, 2010

On the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus Christ met with His Apostles and instituted the sacrament (see Luke 22:19–20). After His Resurrection, He instituted the sacrament among the Nephites (see 3 Nephi 18:1–11). Today the sacrament is an ordinance in which Church members partake of bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice. This ordinance is an essential part of worship and spiritual development. Through this ordinance, Church members renew the covenants they made with God when they were baptized.

When He instituted the sacrament, Jesus Christ said, "This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. . . . This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:19–20). The sacrament provides an opportunity for Church members to ponder and remember with gratitude the life, ministry, and Atonement of the Son of God. The broken bread is a reminder of His body and His physical suffering—especially His suffering on the cross. It is also a reminder that through His mercy and grace, all people will be resurrected and given the opportunity for eternal life with God.

The water is a reminder that the Savior shed His blood in intense spiritual suffering and anguish, beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane and concluding on the cross. In the garden He said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matthew 26:38). Submitting to the will of the Father, He suffered more than we can comprehend: "Blood [came] from every pore, so great [was] his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people" (Mosiah 3:7). He suffered for the sins, sorrows, and pains of all people, providing remission of sins for those who repent and live the gospel (see 2 Nephi 9:21–23). Through the shedding of His blood, Jesus Christ saved all people from what the scriptures call the "original guilt" of Adam's transgression (Moses 6:54).

Partaking of the sacrament is a witness to God that the remembrance of His Son will extend beyond the short time of that sacred ordinance. Part of this ordinance is a promise to remember Him always and a witness of individual willingness to take upon oneself the name of Jesus Christ and to keep His commandments. In partaking of the sacrament and making these commitments, Church members renew the covenant they made at baptism (see Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37).

In return, the Lord renews the promised remission of sin and enables Church members to "always have his Spirit to be with them" (D&C 20:77). The Spirit's constant companionship is one of the greatest gifts of mortality.

In preparation for the sacrament each week, Church members take time to examine their lives and repent of sins. They do not need to be perfect in order to partake of the sacrament, but they should have a spirit of humility and repentance in their hearts. Every week they strive to prepare for that sacred ordinance with a broken heart and a contrite spirit (see 3 Nephi 9:20).

—See True to the Faith (2004), 147–49

What I'm Buying - Fresh Market 3/13

Saturday, March 13, 2010
I stopped in to Fresh Market today to use some of the online store coupons for free items before they expire [see THIS POST at PYP for more details].

(1) Western Family Mac & Cheese, free with online coupon
(1) Western Family 16oz salad dressing, free with online coupon
(1) Western Family 5oz tuna, free with online coupon [only I unknowingly grabbed the wrong kind, so it rang up 1.39 with only .39 off - GRRR!]
(2) Pantene products, on sale 2.88 [2.50 ea after store coupon, 1.00 ea after manufacturer coupon]
(2) Gobstoppers candy, on sale 1.00
(3) seed packets, .95 - 1.07
(3) Loreal/Almay/MAX Factor lipsticks, clearanced to 1.00 ea
(2) Sunday Preview papers, 3.00 each
(1) Natural Directions organic soy milk, on sale 1.99

I used the online store coupons [see link to PYP post above], and then (1) 3.00/2 manufacturer coupon for the Pantene [see P&G 3/7].

I also wanted some of the WF apple juice and the Hormel canned turkey that are on sale, but they were out of both, so they kindly wrote me a raincheck for each.

Total: $16.86

[Oh, and ignore the box of eyedrops in the picture - they were actually from a doctor's appointment this morning...]

"Preparing for the Big One"

Earthquake Protocol

When the ground stops shaking...
  • Check for injuries
    • Render aid as possible. Do not move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Cover injured people with blankets to keep them warm.
    • Do not use the telephone unless there is a severe injury. (It helps keep lines free for those with true emergencies.)
    • Wear shoes in areas near fallen debris or broken glass.
  • Check for hazards
    • If possible, put out small fires. If not, leave your home immediately, notify the fire department if possible and alert your neighbors.
    • Use a battery-powered flashlight to inspect your home. Turn the flashlight on outside before entering, because the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
    • Check gas, electrical and water lines, and check appliances for damage. If - but only if - you smell gas or see a broken line, shut off the main valve from the outside. Do not switch on the electricity again until the power company has first checked your home. Remember, if gas is turned off, a professional must restore service. Do not search for gas leaks with a lighted match.
    • Switch off electrical power if there is damage to your house wiring. if the sitaution is unsafe, leave your home and seek help.
    • Do not touch downed power lines or broken appliances.
    • Check the building for cracks and damage, particularly around chimneys and masonry walls. Leave immediately if it looks like the building might collapse. Use fireplaces only if the chimney has no damage and no cracks.
    • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches and gasoline and other flammable liquids.
    • Check to see that water and sewage lines are intact before using the toilet. Plug bathtub and sink drains to prevent sewage backup.
    • Check water and food supplies. If the water is cut off, use emergency water supplies in water heaters and melted ice cubes. Throw out food that may be spoiled or contaminated.
    • Check closets and cupboards. Open doors cautiously. Beware of objects tumbling off shelves.
    • Use charcoal or gas grills for emergency cooking ONLY outside - NEVER inside.
    • Do not use your car unless there is an emergency. Do not go sightseeing through areas of damage. You will only hamper the relief effort.
    • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • If you have to evacuate
    • Post a message in clear view that statees where you can be found.
    • Take your disaster supplies kit.
    • List reunion points in case of separation, such as the homes of friends, schools or community centers.

"Preparing for the Big One"

Friday, March 12, 2010
From the Deseret News, Sunday, January 17, 2010:

Things you will need [in an emergency]...but won't have time to find
  • personal identification
  • cash and coins
  • credit cards
  • extra set of house keys and car keys
  • copies of the following:
    • birth certificate(s)
    • marriage certificate
    • driver's license
    • Social Security card(s)
    • passports
    • wills
    • deeds
    • inventory of household goods
    • insurance papers
    • immunization records
    • bank and credit cart account numbers
    • stocks and bonds
    • emergency contact list and phone numbers
    • maps
    • list of addresses and telephone numbers
*These items are best stored in a waterproof container


Thursday, March 11, 2010
Anyone getting tired of seeing my shopping trip results yet? (Come on now, be honest...)

What other things would you like to see posted?

What food storage/emergency preparedness projects do you need help on?

What topics would you like to see covered?

Are there things you're struggling with, or need for information on, or have questions on?

What to see more canning? More kit ideas? More storage ideas? More recipes? First-aid info? More non-coupon-related stuff?

Seriously, this is a blog for YOU, the readers, so I would love to know what kinds of things YOU would like to see posted! :)

You don't have to be a member of our LDS ward (or even LDS) to answer. Everyone is invited to comment, and feel free to leave comments anonymously if you prefer.

"Preparing for the Big One"

The following is from a Deseret News article, Sunday, January 17, 2010:

"A 7.0 earthquake - the sie of the tremor that devastate Haiti last week [in January] - could hit Utah anytime over the next 50 years. In fact, experts say the Beehive State is due for what many call 'the big one.' If a quake of that magnitude hit in the middle of a winter night, a worst-case scenario, the effect would be devastating. It would kill an estimated 3,000 people and casue at least $35 billion in damage.

"But local residents can do much to reduce risks they would face, from securing water heaters and large bookcases to learning what to do when a quake strikes. Also, officials say residents with first-aid kits, 72-hour emergency kits of food and water and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training will fare better and likely save the lives of others."

12 Things to Do to Make Your Family Ready for a Disaster

  1. Have an emergency plan
    Develop, maintain and practice a written, comprehensive plan for emergencies.

  2. Get an emergency kit
    Assemble and maintain a portable 72-hour kit.

  3. Have an emergency food supply
    Fortify home base with food, water and other essentials to care for the needs of residents.

  4. Prepare to shelter-in-place
    Evacuation might expose a population to a greater danger than "staying put."

  5. Know your home
    Learn how to operate electic circuits, natural-gas controls, main water valves, outside air vents, etc.

  6. Take inventory
    Inventory items of special value and importance. Know their convenient location.

  7. Equip your car

  8. Prepare to go powerless
    Prepare the home to remain secure and reasonably comfortable during short or extended periods without power.

  9. Plan for pets

  10. Figure financial contingencies
    Anticipate and plan for the interruption of income because of loss of employment, illness or even the unexpected death of a breadwinner.

  11. Remember your health
    Plan for medical needs during a time of extended emergencies. Emphasize critical, life-supporting medications and supplies.

  12. Remember those with special needs
    This may include someone outside your home who may need your assistance.
SOURCE: State of Utah, "Be Ready Utah"

What I'm Buying - Ream's 3/10

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Another good trip to Ream's today! Here's what I got:

(8) Langers 32oz juice, on clearance .99 (had 1.00/2 hang tag on them, so .49 ea after coupon)
(2) bunches bananas, on sale .53/lb
(12) roma tomatoes, on sale .79/lb
(2) red bell peppers, on sale .69 ea
(2) large Hass avocados, on sale .89 ea
(2) 3lb clamshell green seedless grapes, on sale 2.50 ea

The only coupons I used were the hang tags that were on the bottles of the Langers juice.

Total: $18.59

What I'm Buying - Sunflower Market 3/10

Here's what I picked up at Sunflower Market this morning:

(1) bunch broccoli, on sale .88/lb (except I just noticed that they charged me for broccoli CROWNS at 1.49/lb - GRRR!!!)
(3) head organic green leaf lettuce, on sale .77
(4) 1lb pkg strawberries, on sale 1.50

No coupons used.

Total: $11.26
[but should have been right around $10]

What I'm Buying - Macey's 3/9

Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Went to Macey's this morning to get some cheap chicken!

(1) Big Buy bacon, .99 with coupon
(1) 2lb WF medium cheddar cheese, 3.49 with coupon
(2) French bread, on sale .88
(2) cottage bread, 1.28 + .20 off peely coupon (so, 1.08 after coupon)
(2) pkgs boneless skinless chicken breasts, on sale 1.48/lb (.82/lb after coupon, 9lbs total)

I used store coupons from a little coupon booklet for Macey's that came in the mail last week. [If you didn't get one, you can ask for one at the store.] The coupons I used from it were: .99 Big Buy bacon (limit 2), 3.29 WF medium cheddar 2lb loaf (limit 1), and $3 off any super saver pkg meat (limit 2).

Total: $16.57

What I'm Buying - Fresh Market 3/9

I stopped in to Fresh Market this morning to pick up some honey that is part of their case lot sale. This is about the cheapest I have seen it during a case lot sale, so I decided to grab some. I personally can't stand the taste of honey - any kind, on anything - plain, but I love it in my wheat bread recipe. Strange, no? Anyway, wanted to make sure I had enough in food storage for making plenty of bread.

(2) Western Family clover honey 80oz, on sale 9.99

No coupons used.

Total: $20.58

I also stopped in hoping to get a copy of the ad that starts tomorrow, so that I could start on the GrocerySmarts Fresh Market list early, with no luck [but that's a story for another day...]

Additional Emergency Supplies

I was at Walmart today looking for printer ink, and I decided to walk through the camping section to look for a few more emergency supplies. Here's what I found:

[I apologize for the blurry picture]

The dry sacks are for our 72-hour kits, for keeping our extra change of clothes in, so that they're not just loose in the backpacks.

I was really excited to find the sporks - there are four in the package, made of a thick plastic so they're reusable. They are small, lightweigt and easy to throw in with the 72-hour food supplies.

The cording is just to have for making emergency shelter, but I don't know whether it will end up in the 72-hour kits or not. It's farther down on the priority list.

The folding shovel is to go with our camping gear. It will probably not go with the 72-hr kits, but it could since it is small and fairly lightweight.

The water purifying tablets will go in the 72-hour kits, along with the water filter bottle and a small glass bottle of bleach. I'm not sure you can ever have too many back-up plans for drinking water - it's the one thing you can't live without, so I want to make very sure that we have several different methods available for procuring it.

The dry sacks (pkg of 3) were $10, and everything else was $6 or under.

What I'm Buying - Target 3/8

Monday, March 8, 2010
Free Crest Kids toothpaste and Band-Aids this week at Target!

(2) Huggies jumbo packs diapers, on sale 8.99 (7.49 after printable store coupon, 6.00 after manufacturer coupon)
(2) Crest Kids toothpaste, on sale 1.49 (.49 after store coupon, free after manufacturer coupon)
(2) 40ct BandAid adhesive bandages, on sale 1.50 (.50 after store coupon, free after manufacturer coupon)

You will need the following Target store coupons which you can print HERE:
* $1.50 off Huggies
* $1.00 off Band-Aid
* $1.00 off Crest Kids

So, I used (2) store coupons for the Huggies and (1) $3.00/2 manufacturer coupon [from a home mailer], (2) store coupons for the toothpaste and (2) .75/1 manufacturer coupons [see P&G-2/7 or P&G-3/7, use the one for any Crest toothpaste 4.0oz or larger], and (2) store coupons for the bandages and (2) 1.00/1 manufacturer coupons [see RP-1/3].

Total: $13.14


The Crest Kids that is on sale at my store is just the tube kind, not the little standing bottles.

There are several different BandAid packages that were under the $2 mark. There was a 60ct plastic strips for 1.77 and some 20ct character bandages for 1.81. Or you can get some of the bigger packages that were about $2.30 and then you'd only pay $.30 for them.

They should adjust one of the coupons for each item down so that you don't have overage, but your mileage may vary. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't and you'll get the overage applied to other items. If you go for only the free items, and they don't adjust one of the coupons down, there will be overage and the register will beep. If that happens, just tell them that they will need to adjust one of the coupons so that together they match the exact sales price instead of going over.

Also, the store coupons state that you can only use one per similar item per transaction, but they let me do two of each this morning with the manager's approval. Your mileage may vary based on your store's particular policies (they may make you do separate transactions, or you may have to do separate trips if you want more than 1 of each).

6.0 Earthquake Hits Turkey This Morning

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey this morning...

Link to story at yahoo.com HERE

Link to story at KSL.com HERE

Alternative Long-Term Storage Methods

Here is an example of an alternative method for long-term storage of certain food items. You've seen me use the FoodVac before to vacuum pack brown sugar. This time I used it to "can" my baking chips and some candy.

Chocolate lasts quite a while, but eventually over time starts to turn white and brittle, especially if it is exposed to temperature changes. Putting the chocolate in mason jars and then vacuum sealing them can greatly extend their shelf life.

I wanted to do some of them in the smaller pint jars, but I was able to get the sealer attachment to work with them.

I vacuum sealed several bags of Hershey's Kisses from December 2008 and we opened them up periodially throughout the last year. The last jar we opened was about 2 weeks ago, and they tasted great still! I am all for having easily accessible chocolate in my food storage. :)

Spiritual Self-Reliance

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Apostle Paul taught that "faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Alma made a similar statement: "If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true" (Alma 32:21). Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work toward a worthy goal, we exercise faith. We show our hope for something that we cannot yet see.

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

In order for faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 4:10–12; Mosiah 3:17; Moroni 7:24–26; Articles of Faith 1:4). We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, a correct idea of His character, and a knowledge that we are striving to live according to His will.

Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him—trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. It includes believing His teachings. It means believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does. Because He has experienced all our pains, afflictions, and infirmities, He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties (see Alma 7:11–12; D&C 122:8). He has "overcome the world" (John 16:33) and prepared the way for us to receive eternal life. He is always ready to help us as we remember His plea: "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (D&C 6:36).

Living by Faith

Faith is much more than passive belief. We express our faith through action—by the way we live.

The Savior promised, "If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me" (Moroni 7:33). Faith in Jesus Christ can motivate us to follow His perfect example (see John 14:12). Our faith can lead us to do good works, obey the commandments, and repent of our sins (see James 2:18; 1 Nephi 3:7; Alma 34:17). Our faith can help us overcome temptation. Alma counseled his son Helaman, "Teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Alma 37:33).

The Lord will work mighty miracles in our life according to our faith (see 2 Nephi 26:13). Faith in Jesus Christ helps us receive spiritual and physical healing through His Atonement (see 3 Nephi 9:13–14). When times of trial come, faith can give us strength to press forward and face our hardships with courage. Even when the future seems uncertain, our faith in the Savior can give us peace (see Romans 5:1; Helaman 5:47).

Increasing Our Faith

Faith is a gift from God, but we must nurture our faith to keep it strong. Faith is like a muscle. If exercised, it grows strong. If left immobile, it becomes weak.

We can nurture the gift of faith by praying to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. As we express our gratitude to our Father and as we plead with Him for blessings that we and others need, we will draw near to Him. We will draw near to the Savior, whose Atonement makes it possible for us to plead for mercy (see Alma 33:11). We will also be receptive to the quiet guidance of the Holy Ghost.

We can strengthen our faith by keeping the commandments. Like all blessings from God, faith is obtained and increased through individual obedience and righteous action. If we desire to enrich our faith to the highest possible degree, we must keep the covenants we have made.

We can also develop faith by studying the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. The prophet Alma taught that the word of God helps strengthen faith. Comparing the word to a seed, he said that the "desire to believe" can lead us to "give place" for the word to be "planted in [our] heart[s]." Then we will feel that the word is good, for it will begin to enlarge our souls and enlighten our understanding. This will strengthen our faith. As we continually nurture the word in our hearts, "with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life." (See Alma 32:26–43.)

—See True to the Faith (2004), 54–56

Why We Need to Prepare

Saturday, March 6, 2010
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises us that:

"Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.

"If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.

"You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area - hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.

"You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation."

Coupons for this weekend

Here is the link to the TaylorTown Preview of the coupons for this weekend:


It looks like we are indeed scheduled to get a SmartSource in addition to the P&G. :)

The 15-Minute 72-Hour Kit

Thursday, March 4, 2010
The unprecedented series of major earthquakes in the last few weeks (did you hear that Taiwan was rocked by a 6.8 magnitude quake early this morning?!?) has gotten a lot of people thinking about emergency preparedness. While not officially part of the food storage program of the LDS Church, 72-hour kits are still great things to have as part of your emergency preparations.

I think we all understand the need for having one, but I think there are still a lot of people with many questions about what to include, how to put one together, and wondering how to start.

When you think about putting something together for an emergency, you naturally try to think of all the possible situations and what you would need in each one. And what starts out as a small list of survival basics can quickly turn into a huge storage container of "stuff" that you would want to have for X, Y and Z contingencies. Then it starts to get a little overwhelming - How do we gather all that stuff? How do we pay for all of it? What do we store it in? How are we going to carry it all? When are we going to find the time to put together this intensive emergency kit?

It doesn't have to be that way. I want to give you an idea for a simple, basic kit you can put together in about 15 minutes with stuff you probably already have around your house. Sure, this isn't the "deluxe" model, but this is fast, lightweight, easy, cheap and most importantly, will still put you in a much better position in an emergency than having no preparations or kit at all!

So here goes...I started by just jotting down the things that, in an emergency situation, would be directly involved in sustaining or preserving life.

Here are the most basic concerns:
  • drinking water
  • wound care
  • basic sanitation
  • warmth
  • food
To that end, here's what I gathered up:

small backpack [this is a super el cheapo, only one main compartment, backpack]
bottled water [sure, it's not the recommended 3 gallons worth, but it's WAY better than none at all!]
small assortment of adhesive bandages
antiseptic wash [you could use alcohol wipes or iodine, I just couldn't find mine this afternoon]
antibiotic ointment
bar of soap
1 day's worth of food [I just grabbed 6 granola bars - simple, easy, no cooking involved, and easy to ration if needed]
small bottle or individual packets of pain reliever
roll of toilet paper
(for the gals) sanitary pads/tampons

That's it. That's all there is. It took me all of about 15 minutes to round up these items from around my house. Remember, this is not a deluxe kit - this is a bare basics, "only those thing that would be necessary to sustain life", kind of kit.

Sure, it would be nice to have a full change of clothes, or shampoo, or a folding shovel, or a portable toilet, etc., but those things are not absolutely necessary to sustain life. In the context of an emergency situation, those things are "luxuries" - you can survive without a change of clothes, you can survive with dirty hair, you can relieve yourself without having a sit-down portable toilet, you can spend the night without a tent...It wouldn't be pretty, and you might be downright miserable, but you'd survive.

But you CAN'T survive for very long without water. And if you have a wound that gets infected, you WON'T survive for very long.

Here it is all packed in the backpack. There was still a good 6 inches at the top of the backpack AND nothing in the small outside compartment, so you could add additional items if you wanted. All together, even with the water bottle inside the backpack, the entire thing only weighed 5lb 10oz!

The idea is just to give you an example of something quick and easy that you can put together without much expense and in very little time. If you don't have an emergency kit yet, make this your first! You can always add to this later. You can add additional items as time and finances allow. But even just this little basic kit will still get you much further ahead in an emergency than not having anything at all!

Yes, there ARE coupons this weekend!

Just got the word that there is a coupon insert scheduled for this weekend.

So far the only one I know for sure is the Proctor & Gamble insert. Still trying to find info on whether we will have a SmartSource or not. But if you use a lot of P&G products, you might want to consider picking up a few papers.

What I'm Buying - Ream's 3/3

Wednesday, March 3, 2010
My last stop of the day was at Reams. This little oft-overlooked grocery store has some AMAZING deals this week!

(2) 10lb boxes frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, on sale 12.90 (that's 1.29/lb!!!)
(2) 3lb clamshells green seedless grapes, on sale 2.50 (makes them .83/lb)
(7) navel oranges, on sale .33/lb
(6) d'anjou pears, on sale .69/lb
(1) 4pk Ivory soap, on sale 1.25 (.25 after coupon)
(1) loaf fresh baked wheat bread, .99 (sorry about the picture - we ate half the loaf on the way home...)

I used (1) 1.00/1 coupon for the soap [from a P&G home mailer].

Total: $36.80

What I'm Buying - Fresh Market 3/3

I stopped by Fresh Market this afternoon to pick up a few things from their case lot sale this week:

(8) Western Family apple juice, on sale .99
(4) Western Family ketchup, on sale .88
(1) Western Family bath tissue, on sale 4.78
(2) Keebler Fudge Shoppe cookies, on sale 1.50 (.50 after coupon)
(4) Hormel canned turkey, on sale .98
(2) Hormel canned ham, on sale .98
(8) Old Orchard 100% Juice concentrates, on sale .98 (.73 after coupon)

I used (2) 1.00/1 printable coupons for the cookies [no longer available] and (2) 1.00/4 printable coupons for the juice [see LINK].

Total: $30.52

What I'm Buying - Smith's 3/3

I got some great deals at Smith's this morning:

(12) Progresso soup, on sale 1.00 (.63-.67 ea after coupons)
(7) Kroger shredded cheese 8oz, on sale 1.00
(2) Mountain Dairy whole milk, on sale 1.67
(8) SunnyD 64oz, on sale .79 (.54 after coupon)
(2) bunches bananas, on sale .49/lb
(2) Green Giant Fresh Valley Steamers peas, on sale 1.28 (.88 after coupon)
(1) bunch broccoli, on sale .69/lb
(2) Tennessee Pride sausage, on sale 2.00 (1.00 after coupon)

I used (2) 1.10/3 printable coupons and (2) 1.00/3 printable coupons for the soup [see list at GrocerySmarts], (8) .25/1 coupons for the SunnyD [see SS-2/7], (2) .50/1 printable coupons for the Steamers [see list at GrocerySmarts], and (2) 1.00/1 coupons for the sausage [see RP-2/21].

Total: $30.65

What I'm Buying - Sunflower Market 3/3

Here's what I picked up at Sunflower Market this morning:

(1) basil plant, on sale 2.99
(1) rosemary plant, 2.99
(1) green leaf lettuce, on sale .88 [they were out of organic ones this morning]
(1) bunch asparagus, on sale .97/lb
(1) 1lb bag baby carrots, on sale .87

No coupons used.

Total: $8.89

Coupons for Sunday

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Right now, there is only one coupon insert scheduled for this weekend's paper, a RedPlum. Which means, that for those of us here in Utah who no longer get the RedPlums in the paper, there will be NO COUPONS in the paper this weekend (so don't go out and buy any like I did a few weeks ago only to find out there are no coupons and you just wasted $8 - ARGH!).

If this info changes, I will let you know!

The blog on Facebook...

Monday, March 1, 2010
Ok, so I've finally gotten around to figuring out how to set up a Facebook page for the blog. It is named "Prepare Every Needful Thing" and if I did it right, you should be able to search for it on Facebook and become a fan if you'd like.

You'll then get all of the blog posts in your Facebook news feed (if you choose) so that you don't have to check the blog page itself (there is a delay of several hours though).

If it isn't working, or if you can't locate the page, somehome give me a heads up! :)