Top 7 Preparedness Tips - From Good Morning America

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
With another hurricane bearing down on the eastern seaboard and threatening the Gulf Coast, Good Morning America has done a piece on the top seven tips for preparing for a natural disaster. 

These are great tips for hurricanes, but they are also applicable for other disasters as well.  Read through them and see how prepared you are.

Story from Yahoo! News:

Preparation Can Dispel Fear

Sunday, August 26, 2012
"Members of the Church have been counseled for many years to be prepared for adversity. Preparation, both spiritual and temporal, can dispel fear. With the guidance of Church leaders, individual members and families should prepare to be self-reliant in times of personal or widespread emergency." (

Emergency preparedness includes being prepared in the following areas:
- Family home storage
- Family finances
- Family emergency planning
- Ward and Stake emergency plans

President Gordon B. Hinckley gave us the following counsel in 2002:

"I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family.

"None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us.

"We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary.

"I do not predict any impending disaster. I hope that there will not be one. But prudence should govern our lives. Everyone who owns a home recognizes the need for fire insurance. We hope and pray that there will never be a fire. Nevertheless, we pay for insurance to cover such a catastrophe, should it occur.

"We ought to do the same with reference to family welfare.

"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. As all of you recognize, this counsel is not new. But I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.

"Begin in a small way, my brethren, and gradually build toward a reasonable objective. Save a little money regularly, and you will be surprised how it accumulates." ("To the Men of the Priesthood", Ensign, November 2002)

The dog days of August...

Friday, August 17, 2012
Sorry folks, I've been a little MIA with the blog posts.

I'm working full-time for the rest of the month, and things have been beyond crazy!  I'll do my best, but I can't promise a ton of blog posts until September.  Stay with me though, please?

What I'm Buying - Smith's, 8/13

Monday, August 13, 2012
I got a chance to stop at Smith's briefly this evening to grab a few things from the sale before the ad ends.  Here is what I picked up:

(4) GM cereals, on sale "Buy 4 Get $6 off" or 1.49 after promo (.99 after coupon)
(4) Don Julio tortilla chips, on sale 1.00
(6) Starburst big packages, on sale 2.00
(3) Smith's medium dozen eggs, on sale .69
(4) Kraft Mac & Cheese 5pk, on sale 2.99
(4) CapriSun (FREE after coupon)
(2) Hormel hard salami, clearanced to .69
(2) pkg red grapes, on sale .99/lb
(2) pkg green grapes, on sale .99/lb
Bartlett pears, on sale .99/lb
Roma tomatoes, on sale .79/lb

I used (2) 1.00/2 coupons for the cereal (see SS-7/15) and then I totally scored with the Mac & Cheese because each box had a coupon for a FREE box of Capri Sun, any variety, when you bought the Mac & Cheese - so (4) FREE Capri Sun coupons!

Total:  $52.85

What I'm Buying - Macey's Case Lot, 8/10

Friday, August 10, 2012
Macey's was so kind to put their boneless, skinless chicken breasts on a great sale this week, so I had to pick some up.  And while I was there, I grabbed just a couple more things from the case lot sale.

(1) 20lb box IQF boneless skinless chicken breast fillets, on sale 29.90
(1) 50lb bag hard white wheat, on sale 14.99
(1) 50lb bag rolled oats, on sale 22.49
(1) 20lb bag long-grain rice, on sale 9.99
(1) 20lb bag medium-grain rice (calrose), on sale 12.99
(1) 25lb bag WF all-purpose white flour, on sale 6.99
(1) bag peaches, on sale .79/lb

I didn't use any coupons for this.

Total:  $103.66

Our view on Wednesday afternoon...

Yes, believe it or not, that would be Wildfire #3 in this picture...that's THREE...TRES...TROIS...yeah, not cool.  :(   Thankfully there was more advanced warning this time and they were able to get the northern edge under control before it got too close, although it did come right up to the city limits, again.

I cannot stress ENOUGH how important it is to be prepared IN ADVANCE.  You just never know when disaster might strike, or when an emergency of any kind might arise. 

As we monitored our city's Facebook page that afternoon for status reports and possible evacuation notices, a question that kept coming up from residents was about the notification of evacuations.  Out here they use the Reverse 911 call system to alert residents, and they also go door-to-door.  But in today's age with more and more people switching from landline phones to cell phones only or VOIP systems, it is hard for the Reverse 911 system to keep up. 

***If you don't have a landline phone, then you are NOT in the Reverse 911 database!***

SO - for SALT LAKE COUNTY RESIDENTS who have VOIP, or phone service through the cable company, or cell-phone-only phone coverage at their home:

Go to the Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communication Center website (link above) and register your home VOIP phone or cell phones (or both) so that you are in the Reverse 911 system.  It can take up to 2 weeks for your information to be corroborated and added to the database, so don't wait - do it now while you're thinking about it.  It only takes a few minutes. 

[You can also sign up to have any emergency alerts sent to your email, too!]

What I'm Buying - Macey's Case Lot Sale 8/3

Monday, August 6, 2012
So, this is the one I'm a little embarrassed to show you...I sorta went overboard on the case lot sale.  I don't usually buy much at these sales because I can get better prices throughout the year by watching deals and matching coupons.  But with the new babe, the deal scouring has been a little harder to come by the last 8-9 months, so I did stock up on this one.

Here's what I got:

(6) pkg Ball canning lids, on sale 1.55
(4) cans Festival pineapple tidbits, on sale .69
(4) Harvest Select frozen juice concentrate, on sale .79 (not pictured - in freezer already)
(24) Lindsay olives, on sale .99
(2) pkg MCP pectin, on sale 2.55
(12) WF black beans, on sale .49
(4) WF chili beans, on sale .49
(6) WF frozen peas, on sale .79 (not pictured - in freezer already)
(4) WF garbanzo beans, on sale .49
(24) WF great northern beans, on sale .49
(8) WF kidney beans, on sale .49
(12) WF peaches, on sale .79
(12) WF pears, on sale .79
(12) WF fruit cocktail, on sale .79
(4) WF pineapple chunks, on sale .99
(4) WF pineapple crushed, on sale .99
(8) WF diced green chiles, on sale .49
(48) WF turkey chili, on sale .89 (thank goodness for this stuff - it's dairy and beef free!!!)
(1) Fisher Boy family-size fish sticks, on sale 6.99 (not pictured - in freezer already)
(9) WF isopropyl alcohol, on sale .49 (for first-aid, and for making my own window cleaner and cold packs - more on this later)
(1) WF hydrogen peroxide, on sale .49

I didn't use any coupons on this trip.

Total:  $174.46

If you're new to case lot sales, or are just wondering what the best deals are, Valerie at Prepared LDS Family has a comparison chart to show you all of the items and the prices for the case lot sales compared to Sam's Club, Costco and the LDS Cannery.  It is a fabulous resource and she does an amazing job putting all the info together!

Now I just need Smith's to put their Hunt's ketchup in their upcoming case lot sale...  ;)

What I'm Buying - Ream's 8/3

I really like Ream's for my produce - they have great quality and very good prices!  So whenever I am heading to Macey's, I like to also plan a stop at Ream's since it is on my way home.

Here's what I picked up at Ream's last week:

(2) bunches bananas, on sale .49/lb
(3) green bell peppers, on sale .33 ea
(3) red bell peppers, on sale .33 ea (AWESOME!!!)
(3) 2lb pkg strawberries, on sale 1.59 ea (that's .80/lb - FABULOUS deal!!!)
(2) pkg red grapes, on sale .99/lb
(2) pkg green grapes, on sale .99/lb
(8) yams, 1.19/lb (for baby food)
(1) green leaf lettuce, on sale .79 ea
(2) romaine lettuce, on sale .79 ea
(4) Liberty Gold canned pineapple, on sale .99 (except they charged me for 5...grrr)
(2) boxes ShakeNGo drink mix, clearanced to .99 ea
(2) pkg boneless skinless chicken breast, on sale 1.69/lb (not pictured - they were already in the freezer)

I didn't use any coupons for this trip.

Total:  $45.43

What I'm Buying - Harmon's 8/3

Sorry this took so long to post - it has been a tough few days around here and I think we've got a cold that we're passing around.

There were two promos at Harmon's last week.  Select General Mills items were Buy 10 Get $5 Off, and select Kellogg's items were also Buy 10 Get $5 Off. 

Here's what I picked up at Harmon's on Friday:

(16) Kellogg's pop-tarts 8ct, on sale 1.79 (1.29 after promo, about .90 each after coupons)
(4) Kellogg's Krave cereal, on sale 2.29 (1.79 after promo, 1.29 after coupons)
(10) Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats cereals, on sale 2.29 (1.79 after promo, about 1.35 after coupons)
(10) Yoplait GoGurts, on sale 1.75 (1.25 after promo, about .90 each after coupons)
(10) Yoplait Trix yogurt 4pk, on sale 1.75 (1.25 after promo, about .90 each after coupons)
(1) Veganaise dressing (fake mayo, for the dairy-free), 5.69
(4) Daiya shreds (fake cheese, for the dairy-free), 5.49

I don't even remember which coupons I used on these, and I didn't mark them down on the list - so I apologize.  Some of the AF stores are continuing these promos this week, so check your local ads.

Total:  $89.36

I would have loved for it to be about half that price, but the days of the really cheap deals are pretty much gone.  It was, however, much better than paying full price!  ;) 

Food Storage Recipe: Cancun Chicken Curry

Sunday, August 5, 2012
We had this for dinner tonight, and all I can say is, "WOW!!!!"  It was so good - lots of depth to the flavors.  Normally something like this would be a little intimidating for me, but it actually was quite easy to prepare.  The secret is to do all of the prep work first, before you start cooking anything.  And have all of your items in separate bowls ready to go (called 'mise en place') because the first several steps go very fast and there is no time to prep in between.

Sorry I didn't get a picture - it was all gone before the thought even crossed my mind to get out the camera. 

But the picture on the original poster's blog tells the whole story, so take a look!

Cancun Chicken Curry, from La Fuji Mama

Really the only adjustment I made for this tonight was to use some of my home-canned chicken instead of fresh, because I didn't have time to thaw any this morning.  I also used the pre-minced garlic that I keep in the fridge.  I did use the Gourmet Garden items that the author suggested, even though I do have ginger in my freezer, because I wanted to save time.  But I think this could be modified to incorporate even more food storage.

I think you could easily use dehydrated onions and dry minced garlic in this, as well as canned diced tomatoes, for a similar taste.  Now that I know this is a definite keeper, I will make it again using the food storage modifications and let you know how it goes!

[A note on the spices:  I do keep turmeric, cumin, coriander and garam marsala in my pantry.  One trick for long-term storage on some of these items, like the coriander, is to store the seeds rather than the ground version.  They will keep much longer, and then when you need the ground version, you can grind some up fresh in a blender or coffee grinder.]

What I'm Buying - Smith's 8/4

Saturday, August 4, 2012
We ran out of milk this morning, and since I ran out of steam last night and didn't get to Smith's then to get the milk, I got up and went this morning.  Here's what I picked up:

(6) Quaker Quakes, on sale 1.00 (.75 after coupons)
(2) Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after coupons)
(1) corn tortillas, clearanced to .45
(2) gallons whole milk, on sale 2.00 (1.25 after coupons)
(1) ammonia, 1.19 (for making my own window cleaner)
(2) Easy Off oven cleaners, 5.79
(1) Kroger oven cleaner, 2.29
(1) pkg boneless skinless chicken breasts, on sale 1.69/lb
(1) pkg boneless skinless chicken breasts, clearanced to 1.18/lb (woohoo!!!)
(1) Kroger nail clippers, on sale .63 (broke mine yesterday)
(1) Mirra Daily nail clippers, 3.19

I used (2) .75/1 printable coupons for the milk (see GroupA at GrocerySmarts), (2) .50/1 printables for the cereal (see link at GrocerySmarts list - from the Kellogg's site), and (2) 1.00/2 coupons for the Quaker items (can't remember where I printed them from).

Total:  $49.78

GRRR - that seems so high for just three sacks of groceries...But unfortunately it's only going to get worse I'm afraid.  With more than half of the country in drought this year, they are estimating that we will lose 2/3 of our corn and soy crops.  That is HUGE because corn and soy are in EVERYTHING (not good, but that's the way it is right now).  So when the prices for corn and soy go up, prices for EVERYTHING go up - including for fuel.  Makes me really wish I had a garden this year!

Crazy case lot and grocery sales!

Friday, August 3, 2012
I got a chance to run to Macey's tonight to get some things during their case lot sale.  I don't usually get a lot at these sales because I have been able to find better deals on sales throughout the year using coupons.  But couponing has changed dramatically in the last year or two and together with the increasing food and fuel prices, along with having a newborn, I just haven't been able to get a lot of great stock-up deals lately.  So I took the opportunity to stock up on some of the case lot items.  Not stellar deals, but better than paying full price.

I also had to stop at Harmon's and Ream's while I was out - Ream's for some produce, and Harmon's for their great GM and Kellogg's promos!  I will post pictures tomorrow so you can see what I was able to find.