How to Escape From a Sinking Car

Monday, February 28, 2011
Oddly enough, today's wikiHow post is about how to escape from a sinking car.

Here's the link: ARTICLE

You can also check my previous post for other links and videos on this same topic.

The newest addition to the car kits

Saturday, February 26, 2011
We added a new tool to our car kits today:

This is the Auto Buddy, from Emergency Essentials. It has a window spike, seatbelt cutter, LED flashlight and amber flashing LED beacon.

If you're a fan of Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters" show, and have seen the episodes about how to get out of a sinking car, you know how important a window spike/hammer can be.

[One thing to note: These tools are used to break the SIDE windows of a car - they will not work on the windshield.]

I've been meaning to get some for our cars for several months now, but just hadn't gotten around to it. Then our church group passed around a signup sheet last week to do a group order on these and some freeze-dried strawberries, and I just couldn't pass it up!

We got ours for $8 each, with a bulk order, but they retail for 9.99 (still a good price). You can find similar items at auto parts stores and even sometimes at Walmart and Target or hardware stores. And there are lots of options online, too.

LifeHammer Emergency Hammer, 14.95 at

Emergency Window Hammer, 9.95 at

Swiss+Tech BodyGuard auto tool, 14.88 at

Automovite 3110, 13.99 at (this one includes a crank flashlight, radio and cellphone charger, as well as the window hammer, seatbelt cutter and beacon)

And why do you want these things and how do you use them?

MSN Video - Escaping a Sinking Car

How to Escape a Sinking Car, from The Art of Manliness

What I'm Buying - Reams 2/25

Friday, February 25, 2011
So, by now you've probably heard about the wide-spread crop devastation in Mexico. The effects started hitting many grocery stores this week - less produce, lower quality, MUCH higher prices... (news story)...

(We went to Wendy's the other night and they had a sign on their menu board explaining that they were taking tomatoes OFF the hamburgers because of the high price and poor quality - although they were still willing to put them on if you requested it.)

The price of green leaf lettuce shot up to $2.49/head this week at my Smith's. It was .40 MORE than the organic stuff! Ugh...

Well, apparently Ream's has an inside source or secret connection or something, because although their produce prices were slightly higher than normal, it wasn't the $1.00 increase like I had seen at Smith's. And the stuff at Ream's looked GOOD!!! I was thrilled!

Here's what I got this afternoon:

(3) GINORMOUS heads green leaf lettuce, 1.59 ea
(1) bag Dole spinach, 2.29
(1) 5lb bag carrots, 3.29
(3) 1lb containers strawberries (US grown), 1.33 ea
(3) bunches green onions (scallions), .59 ea
(1) 8oz pkg sliced mushrooms, 1.39
(3) lbs roma tomatoes, .79/lb
(2) Twizzlers, 2.00 ea (total impulse buy - just pretend you don't see them)

No coupons used.

Total: $24.75

If you're looking for produce this next week (especially the stuff affected by the terrible frosts in northern Mexico and the southwestern US - peppers, zucchini, lettuce, asparagus, cucumbers, spinach), you might want to give Ream's a try.

Expect the prices on these items to stay high (sometimes as much as double or triple the normal price) until the end of March or the first part of April, and availability may be limited.

What I'm Buying - Smith's Valentines Clearance

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
As I was leaving Smith's yesterday, the manager was so kind to wheel out several carts full of Valentine's Day stuff with big signs saying "All Valentine's Items Now .25!!!" Had I made it through the checkout 2 minutes earlier I would have completely missed it. But there they were - four carts full! And just look what I found...

(12) Laffy Taffy valentine kits
(4) strings heart-shaped lollipops 12ct
(2) small stuffed animals
(2) rubber duckies
(2) rose pens
(2) heart cups
(4) packages stickers
(3) packages napkins
(1) stuffed Pez dispenser

No coupons used. ;)

Total: $7.85

What I'm Buying - Smith's 2/21 (Daytona 500 Event, Round 2)

Monday, February 21, 2011
I had a few additional things that I wanted to get from the Daytona 500 Event sale, and today seemed like as good a day as any to get them. Here's what I got:

Transaction 1
(2) Hefty waste bags, on sale 4.99 (4.39 after promo & Catalina, 3.39 after coupon)
(8) Chef Boyardee pasta, on sale .99 (.39 after promo & Catalina)
(2) Kellogg's PopTarts 12ct, on sale 2.69 (2.09 after promo & Catalina, 1.59 after coupon)
(2) Best Food mayo, on sale 3.19 (2.59 after promo & Catalina, 1.97 after coupon)
(1) GM Trix, on sale 2.29 (1.69 after promo & Catalina, 1.15 after coupon)
(4) Hefty OneZip bags, on sale 1.49 (.89 after promo & Catalina, .39 after coupon)
(6) M&Ms candies, on sale 3.49 (2.89 after promo & Catalina, 2.14 after coupon)
(2) Coke 20pk, on sale 6.29 (5.69 after promo & Catalina, 4.69 after coupon)
(3) Breyer's ice cream, on sale 2.99 (2.39 after promo & Catalina)

I used mostly coupons from the list at GrocerySmarts, but a few were coupons that came from a Smith's store mailer received last week. And one of the Hefty garbage bags had a 1.00 off peelie coupon on it. And the coupon for the Trix was an e-coupon from the Smith's site.

I used my $3 Catalina coupon from last week, and also got an additional .55 off from a Cellfire give-away ecoupon last week.

Total: $57.00 + got (3) $3 Catalina coupons

Transaction 2
(4) SunDrop 2-liter, on sale .99 (FREE after coupon)
(2) Silk PureAlmond milk, 2.99 (2.24 after coupon)
(2) bag grapes, on sale .99/lb
(1) bunch bananas, .57/lb
(8) Totino's pizza, on sale 1.25 (.65 after promo & Catalina, .34 after coupon)
(10)Totino's pizza rolls, on sale 1.25 (.65 after promo & Catalina, .45 after coupon)
(2) Orville Redenbacher popcorn 3pk, on sale 1.99 (1.39 after promo & Catalina, .99 after coupon)

I used coupons from the list at GrocerySmarts, and also (2) .75/1 Catalina register coupons for the almond milk. I then used my (3) $3 Catalina coupons from the previous transaction.

[Oh, the coupons for the FREE Sun Drop soda were in Sunday's paper - in The Life section of the Deseret News, and in The Mix section of the Tribune.]

Total: $15.84 + got (2) $3 Catalina coupons

And you'll never believe the crazy deal I spotted just on my way out of the store...but that will have to wait until tomorrow. ;)

KSL Story on Emergency Preparedness Items

Sunday, February 20, 2011
Did you catch the story yesterday evening on KSL News?

Modified Parker House Rolls

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wish I had a better picture for you, 'cuz this one just doesn't do them justice. These were fantastic! My great-grandmother used to make these all the time when we would visit, and she had them down to perfection.

Parker House Rolls (modified for food storage)

2 packages active dry yeast [I used 1/2 oz instant yeast]
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water

6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons dry nonfat milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon powdered egg
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canola oil
5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the powdered milk, salt, powdered egg, oil and remaining sugar, water and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll out each piece to 1/3-in. or 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter. Brush with butter if desired.

Using the dull edge of a table knife, make an off-center crease in each roll. Fold along crease so the large half is on top; press along folded edge. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

If you'd like to try your hand at the original Parker House recipe, you can find it HERE - straight from the source! [The only thing I would recommend is to keep your water just under 120F, rather than the 120-130F specified in the recipe, because yeast begins to die at temps of 120F and higher.]

What I'm Buying - Smith's 2/16 (Daytona 500 Event)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Smith's is holding their annual Daytona 500 Sale this week, and there are some great deals! Some of them don't even require coupons. ;)

Buy 10 participating items in one transaction and you'll save $3 instantly PLUS you'll get a $3 Catalina coupon good off your next order.

This was a good stock-up sale for me, since we were running a little low on spaghetti sauce and canned pasta.

I got to the store just before 7am so I could do my shopping and make it home in time to get the first-grader off to school so the hubs could get to work. I wasn't sure how the Catalinas would work (whether you had to do it in separate groups of 10 in order to get multiple Catalina coupons), and was going to ask the cashier when I got there, but all the employees were busy giving statements to the police regarding a customer who had been having some "issues" at the store this morning...So I figured it was just easier for me to play it safe and do mine in groups of 10.

BUT - the good news is, you don't have to split your transactions into separate groups in order to get all the Catalinas. You can get 30 items all together and it will print you out 3 of the $3 Catalina coupons.

Here's what I picked up:

Transaction 1:

(8) Pillsbury Grands! biscuits, on sale 1.29 (.99 after promo, .84 after coupon, .54 after Catalina)
(2) Barq's 2-liter, on sale 1.29 (.99 after promo, .69 after Catalina)

I used (4) .30/2 coupons for the biscuits [see GM-12/5 or GM-1/2 or GM-2/13].

Total: $8.79 + received $3 coupon

Transaction 2:

(10) Totino's pizza, on sale 1.25 (.95 after promo, .65 after Catalina, .33 after coupon)

I used (2) 1.00/3 printable coupons [see link at GrocerySmarts] and (2) .75/2 printable coupons [see GroupA at GrocerySmarts]. Then I used the $3 Catalina coupon from the previous transaction.

Total: $2.38 + got a $3 Catalina coupon

Transaction 3:

(1) Kellogg's PopTarts 12ct, on sale 2.69 (2.39 after promo, 1.89 after coupon, 1.59 after coupon)
(9) Chef Boyardee pasta, on sale .99 (.69 after promo, .57 after coupon, .27 after Catalina)

I used (1) .50/1 coupon for the PopTarts [from a Smith's mailer received this week] and (3) .35/3 coupons for the pasta [see SS-1/2]. Then I used the $3 coupon from the previous transaction.

Total: $4.40 + got a $3 Catalina coupon

Transaction 4:

(10) Chef Boyardee pasta, on sale .99 (.69 after promo, .39 after Catalina coupon)

I used (1) .35/3 coupon for the pasta [see SS-1/2], plus the $3 coupon from the previous transaction.

Total: $3.85 + got a $3 Catalina coupon

Transaction 5:

(10) Campbell's Chunky soup, on sale 1.29 (.99 after promo, .59 after coupon, .29 after Catalina)

I used (2) 2.00/5 printable coupons for the soup [see link from GrocerySmarts list] and then the $3 coupon from the previous transaction.

Total: $3.29 + got a $3 Catalina coupon

Transaction 6:

(1) Scott bath tissue 12rolls, on sale 6.99 (6.69 after promo, 5.19 after coupon, 4.89 after Catalina)
(1) Sprite 2-liter, on sale 1.29 (.99 after promo, .69 after Catalina)
(8) Campbell's Chunky soup, on sale 1.29 (.99 after promo, .62 after coupon, .32 after Catalina)
(4) Dannon Activia 4pk yogurt, on sale 1.88 (.88 after coupon)
(1) gal whole milk, on sale 2.09

I used (1) 1.50/1 coupon for the bath tissue [from a Smith's mailer received this week], (2) 1.50/4 printable coupons for the soup [see link from GrocerySmarts list], (4) 1.00/1 coupons for the yogurt [see SS-1/9] and the $3 coupon from the previous transaction. I then used my $11 rewards certificate that I got a week or so ago in the mail.

Total: $3.42 + got a $3 Catalina coupon

Transaction 7:

(2) Betty Crocker fruit snacks, on sale 1.99 (1.69 after promo, 1.19 after coupon, .89 after Catalina)
(2) Kraft Mac & Cheese 5pk, on sale 3.49 (3.19 after promo, 2.19 after coupon, 1.89 after Catalina)
(5) Ragu pasta sauce, on sale 1.75 (1.45 after promo, 1.15 after coupon, .85 after Catalina)
(1) Country Crock spread, on sale 2.49 (2.19 after promo, 1.79 after coupon, 1.49 after Catalina)

I used (1) 1.00/2 coupon for the fruit snacks [from a Smith's mailer received this week], (2) 1.00/1 printable coupons for the mac & cheese [see GroupA at GrocerySmarts], (3) .30/1 coupons for the pasta sauce [see RP-1/30] and (1) .75/2 coupon for the pasta sauce [from a Smith's mailer received this week]. I then used the $3 coupon from the previous transaction.

The total came up about $2 higher than I expected, and I quickly scanned the prices, but everything looked right, so I figured I just estimated wrong and continued with my next transaction. Now that I'm home and have reviewed the receipt more thoroughly, I see that they missed scanning two of the $1 coupons...but somehow added them to the next transaction (see below).

Total: $13.32 (should have been $11.32) + got a $3 Catalina coupon

Transaction 8:

(6) Chef Boyardee pasta, on sale .99 (.69 after promo, .39 after Catalina)
(4) Hefty OneZip storage bags, on sale 1.49 (1.19 after promo, .89 after Catalina)

I used (1) 1.00/1 coupon for the Hefty bags [coupon that came with my rewards envelope] and (1) .15/1 peelie coupon that was on the outside of one of the Hefty boxes (I could only find the one box with a peelie though...). I then used the $3 coupon from the previous transaction.

And it shows two additional $1 coupons off, which should have been from the previous transaction that didn't get scanned before.

Total: $2.93 (should have been $4.94) + got a $3 Catalina coupon

SO - my final total is as follows:

TOTAL: $42.38 + I still have one $3 coupon to use on a future trip

Net total was $39.38 after factoring back in the last Catalina coupon.

Food Storage Salsa

Sunday, February 13, 2011
I'm not sure there is much in this world that can beat the taste of great salsa made from fresh tomatoes, but in the dead of winter, fresh anything is a little hard to come by. So, when the craving strikes - what do you do? Do the best with what ya got! Here's where food storage comes to the rescue...

Food Storage Salsa

2 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes, drained (we like the "Fire Roasted w/ Garlic" kind)
1 small can diced jalapenos, or 1-2 whole jalapenos (today we used some jarred whole jalapenos)
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lime juice

Put all ingredients together in a food processor and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.

Great food storage option for tight spaces

Thursday, February 10, 2011
I just love this idea! It is so neat and organized, and doesn't take up much room at all. Even if you only did the one shelf unit full of the 5-quart jugs, you'd still be in really great shape. Plus, having the food in the jugs makes it easily accessible, which makes it easier to incorporate into your daily food preparation.

Take a look at this post over at Living Prepared.

What I'm Buying - Winco 2/8

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Winco sent out some great coupons this last week, did you see them in your mail?

(2) Sierra Mist 12pk, 1.98 with coupon
(1) ~10lb chub ground beef 85% lean, 1.99/lb (no coupon needed)
(1) SuperPak boneless pork sirloin roast, 1.68/lb (no coupon needed)
(2) gal whole milk, on sale 1.97
(2) bunches bananas, on sale .48/lb
(1) Kraft colby jack cheese 2lb, 2.98 with coupon
(2) Santitas tortilla chips, .78 with coupon
(3) Emerald Harmony trail mix, 3.48 (no coupon needed)
(1) bulk Parmesan cheese .75lb, 2.78
(1) Quilted Northern bath tissue 12 double roll, 3.98 with coupon
(2) Bar S bacon, .98 with coupon
(1) Nabisco Premium saltine crackers, .78 with coupon
(2) Bertolli pasta sauce, .98 with coupon

The only coupons used were the store coupons from the Winco sales flyer.

Total: $66.93

Surprise Food Storage Finds

Saturday, February 5, 2011
I was at Walmart this afternoon getting some Liquid Nails so we could fix our shower surround. It had been a long day already, and I opted to take a few minutes for some mindless "retail therapy" in the clearance section while I was there. I am very glad that I did!

Walmart hardly ever puts food items on clearance, but for some reason they had half an aisle of stuff today. Not that I'm complaining... ;)

(1) 3gal LouAna peanut oil, clearanced to 15.00
(2) #10 cans lime gelatin, clearanced to 6.68
(1) Kraft snowman-shaped marshmallows, clearanced to .68 [not pictured]
(2) Red Feather canned butter, clearanced to 1.85
(2) Betty Crocker sweet potato casserole, clearanced to .99
(6) Kraft Halloween Shapes Mac & Cheese, clearanced to .50
(12) Quaker granola bars 10ct, clearanced to .98
(12) GreatValue canned sliced carrots, clearanced to .25

No coupons used.

Total: $54.05

[This was at the Walmart on 54th South and Redwood, in the holiday clearance section. There were still LOTS of canned carrots, granola bars, potato casserole and mac & cheese when I left at about 4pm, as well as a few cans of the butter, some canned cheese, and one more #10 of the gelatin. They also had a whole bunch of Glade air freshener items.]

Evil, Thy Name is Pizzookie!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I just couldn't resist... ;)

(See my previous post for a link to the recipe.)

The Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos Get Even Better!

So, I am totally addicted to these awesome little things, and would probably eat them every meal if I could... But I previously had NO idea they came with a Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing dipping sauce!!! Even better!!!

The girls of Our Best Bites were on Studio 5 this week, doing a segment on these masterpieces and they showed how to make the dressing/dipping sauce.

BTW, I am SOOO buying their cookbook the moment it is available in stores!

Oh, and you're not going to want to miss the end of the video clip - if you aren't drooling after they finish the taquitos and dip, you definitely will be by the time they finish the caramel sauce for the Pizzookies!

Video Courtesy of

Actually, my favorite part about the entire clip is the tip about using green salsa instead of fresh tomatillos! Several times in the last few weeks I have thought about making Cafe Rio pork salads, but you really need the cilantro lime dressing with it, and that requires tomatillos, and I don't keep those on hand, and I never remember to pick them up at the store. But NOW I know a way to "fake" it, and I can have pork salad with cilantro lime dressing anytime I want, right from my food storage!!!

(Also, I noticed on the clip that they did their taquitos with flour tortillas, but I've been doing mine with corn tortillas.)

Here is the link to the recipes for both the taquitos AND the cilantro lime ranch dressing, from the Studio 5 website.

And here is the link for the Buttermilk Caramel Syrup they used on the cookie sundae cups (they call them "Pizzookies" on their site).

Or if you prefer, here are the links directly to each recipe on the Our Best Bites site:

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

There are some things you just can't prepare for...

Thursday, February 3, 2011
...Like when your soon-to-be-7-year-old tells you, out of the blue, that he swallowed a large key...and he can't remember when, but he thinks it was last YEAR...and you have to take him to InstaCare to get x-rayed to make sure the key has successfully "moved on"...and then they check his throat just to make sure there is no damage, and it is all red...and they ask you if he has complained about a sore throat, and you say, "Why no, he hasn't"...and then they do a strep test just to be safe, and lo and behold, it comes back a BIG FAT POSITIVE!!! And then you have to take the younger sibling in to get tested because she HAS been complaining of a sore throat...and the hubs has been sick, so he better get tested as well...and the next thing you know it's 6pm and everyone is starving...thank goodness for Little Ceasar's drive through! (Yes, we really do have a drive-through Little Ceasar's here - how awesome is that?!?)

What I'm Buying - Smith's 2/2

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Smith's is continuing their Game Day Mega Event sale this week! I recently acquired (thanks Grandma!) a stack of additional coupon inserts, so I went to Smith's to see if I could put any of them to good use. ;)

The total was about $43ish after coupons. The receipt is all the way in the other room buried under a pile of dirty laundry (don't ask). When I get a chance to dig it out, I'll post all the particulars.

Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Heh-llooo honey goodness all smothered in green chile sauce and melted cheese!!! Food storage isn't supposed to taste this good, is it? Can it be true?!?

These came together very quickly this evening. I used my homemade canned chicken, but you can also use freshly cooked, or leftover chicken, or you could even use a rotisserie chicken from the store (remove skin and bones and shred meat).

For the tortillas, I used the uncooked ones from Costco that I keep in the fridge or freezer. I just cooked them for about a minute on our griddle before using in the recipe.

Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas

1lb chicken, cooked and shredded
6 T. honey
4 1/2 T. lime juice
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
10 flour tortillas
2 10oz cans green chile enchilada sauce
2 cups Colby or Monterey Jack cheese
Optional: 1 cup heavy cream

Combine first 5 ingredients in a ziptop bag or plastic storage container, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Pour one can of green chile sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Place 2-3 T. of chicken mixture onto each tortilla, top with a little cheese, and roll. Place enchiladas seam-side down in the dish. Top with remaining can of chile sauce (mixed with the heavy cream, if desired) and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to lightly brown the melted cheese.

Recipe courtesy of a brilliant mind at