Neighborhood Nativity Open House and LIVE Nativity

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Are you looking for a great family activity this weekend? The Herriman Utah Rose Canyon LDS Stake is hosting a free Neighborhood LIVE NATIVITY and Nativity Display this weekend!

There will be hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of nativities from around the world on display. Live music and live performances along with a few sweets and treats. And you'll be able to walk the streets of Old Bethlehem outside at the LIVE nativity - just watch out for the live animals! ;)

The event is free and open to any and all who would like to come!  [Be sure to wear cold weather gear, as the live nativity is outdoors.]

Event is Friday, November 30, from 6-9pm and Saturday , December 1, from 5-8pm.

Location:  7079 W Rose Canyon Road, Herriman, UT

[Since most everyone will be coming from Bangerter most likely, here are the directions:  Go west on 13400 South, past Smith's and through the intersection and keep going until you come to the stop sign at 6400 West.  Turn left/south on 6400 West and go about two miles until you come to a stop sign at Rose Canyon Road.  Turn right/south onto Rose Canyon Road.  Follow this road for about 3 miles.  On your left you will pass a small park and fishing pond, and the church building is just beyond that on your left.]

Additional information in story at the South Valley Journal.

Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness is NOT for the end of the world...

Sunday, November 25, 2012
There has been a lot of talk lately about the end of the world, what with the whole Mayan calendar 2012 deal and other such theories, but I would like to gently remind us all that the gospel principle of preparedness is NOT for the end of the world, or some coming doomsday scenario.  Preparedness is a principle of self-reliance.  It is a principle of strength and wisdom, and also one of service.  I really like this quote by Bishop Brown.  Although this talk was given in 1976, I think it still applies today:

"For many years the Brethren from this pulpit have stressed and will continue to stress the need for personal and family preparedness. Personal responsibility is basic to the Lord’s plan. From some of the reports we receive, altogether too many members feel that home storage is the total program. May I remind you of the six elements of personal and family preparedness, all of which should be taught.

"They are: first, literacy and education; second, career development; third, financial and resource management; fourth, home production and storage; fifth, physical health; and sixth, social-emotional strength.
"Home production and storage is a very necessary element of personal and family preparedness; however, it is not the only element, nor is it necessarily the most significant element. Some people have reacted to the theme of preparedness as if it were a doomsday matter. In reality, all six elements of personal and family preparedness are to be emphasized so that the Latter-day Saints may be better prepared to meet the ordinary, day-to-day requirements of successful living.
"Our emphasis on this subject is not grounds for crisis thinking or panic. Quite the contrary, personal and family preparedness should be a way of provident living, an orderly approach to using the resources, gifts, and talents the Lord shares with us. So the first step is to teach our people to be self-reliant and independent through proper preparation for daily life."

(Victor L. Brown, "Welfare Services Essentials: The Bishops Storehouse," Ensign, Nov. 1976, pp. 112-113)

What I'm Buying - Walmart, 11/17 (the Thanksgiving meal trip)

Saturday, November 17, 2012
I needed to get a few items to finish out my ingredients list for Thanksgiving, and there were a few deals I still wanted to grab, so I decided to head to Walmart today to price match.  I had planned on getting my turkey over at Smith's, because I wasn't sure Walmart would price-match it since they don't have a store brand for their turkey, but when I got there they had frozen Jennie-O turkeys for .69/lb, so I figured I would save myself the trip and just everything at one place!

Here's what I picked up:

(8) Sierra Mist 2-liter, price matched to .79 (Fresh Market/Peterson's)
(2) dozen large eggs, price matched to .99 (Fresh Market)
(2) bunches bananas, price matched to .45/lb (Ream's)
(2) GV dried cranberries, 4.88 (I was going to price match the Ocean Spray 5oz Craisins for 1.67 at Harmon's, but these ended up being cheaper)
(2) fresh sage, price matched to 1.99 (Smith's)
(2) fresh rosemary, price matched to 1.99 (Smith's)
(4) Johnsonville mild Italian sausage, 2.98 (2.48 after coupon)
(1) jar GV minced garlic, 4.48
(4) Libby's canned grean beans, price matched to .47 (Peterson's - .22 ea after coupon)
(6) Lindsay olives, price matched to .79 (Harmon's - minus a $1 off coupon)
(1) 2lb baby peeled carrots, price matched to 1.88 (Ream's)
(1) 22.5lb Jennie-O frozen turkey, 15.57 (.69/lb)
(6) GV cranberry sauce, price matched to .69 (Fresh Market)
(6) large onions, .48/lb
(3) huge bags of sweet potatoes, price matched to .33/lb (Ream's)
(2) Marie Calendar's pies, price matched to 3.99 (Peterson's - 3.24 after coupon - not pictured)
(1) Sara Lee apple pie, 2.98 (1.98 after coupon)
TOTAL:  $92.10
I did use coupons for the canned veggies, the olives, the sausage and the three pies.
It wasn't the cheapest trip ever, but I felt like I got the best deals possible on what I needed.  The turkey was a pretty big expense - I miss last year's $4 and $6 turkey deals at Smith's...  :(
For those in Utah, here is a comparison list on store prices for common Thanksgiving meal items:
Thanksgiving Meal Deals 2012 at
[If you're in northern Utah and can get to Lee's, or are in an area where Walmart will price match Lee's prices, they've got some really great deals this week!]
I stocked up on cranberry sauce for use in recipes throughout the year, and I got the last 6 cans of Lindsay olives (.79 a can is the best price I have seen on these ALL YEAR).  I also got as many sweet potatoes as I thought they'd let me out of the store with.  ;)
So, just in case you're wondering (which you probably aren't, but I'm going to share anyway, he he he) here are my Thanksgiving recipes:
Pioneer Woman's Soul Sweet Potatoes (these are new this year - I made them last night and my husband informed me that if I even DARE think about having Thanksgiving without them, he will divorce me on the spot...they were THAT good, seriously)
Lion House Rolls - I make mine from scratch
We usually go really simple on the vegetable, like just frozen corn.  And since my family doesn't stick around for dessert, and I'm usually on my fourth round of ibuprofen by the time we sit down to eat, I'm opting to go for pre-made pies to make things easier on myself. 

What I'm Buying - Smith's, 11/5

Monday, November 5, 2012
I apologize that it has been so long since I've posted one of these.  Things have been crazier than crazy, and I'm afraid that chasing down grocery deals has had to take a back seat for awhile.  And even when I have done some coupon deals, I haven't had much of a chance to post about them.  But hopefully things are calming down a little bit now and I can get back to posting more of these.

The purpose of putting these up is not to brag about getting cheap deals.  It really started as just a way to show examples for others that were learning how to use coupons, but has proven to be very useful in showing how I work on adding to my food storage little by little by stocking up when I find good deals.  I want people to see that food storage is not just all about what comes out of a big #10 can.

Smith's is running a great Mega Event right now with some fabulous deals on holiday meal items!  I find really great grocery deals in November and December, and do a lot of stocking up.  Baking items go on sale (sugar, flour, chocolate chips, etc.) along with soups, broths, mixes, chilis and other hearty items.  And good thing, too, because we just used our last can of chicken broth a few weeks ago and were completely out!  :)

So, here's what I picked up at Smith's today.  The promo is "buy 10 items, save $5 instantly".  There are some great coupon matchups that make for some really good stock-up prices!

(2) whole milk, on sale 2.89 (2.14 after coupon)
(2) 32oz Kroger shredded cheese, on sale 5.99 (4.99 after coupon)
(2) green leaf lettuce, 1.29
(2) organic green leaf lettuce, on sale 1.59
(1) organic romaine lettuce, on sale 1.49
roma tomatoes, .99/lb
(4) Duncan Hines cake mixes, on sale 1.25 (.75 after coupon)
(4) StoveTop stuffing mixes, on sale 1.29 (.79 after promo, .29 after coupon)
(4) Kraft JetPuffed marshmallows, on sale 1.19 (.69 after promo, .44 after coupon)
(4) CoolWhip, 1.39 (.89 after promo, .39 after coupon)
(2) Dove Men + Care body wash, on sale 3.99 (3.49 after promo, 1.49 after coupon, .49 after Catalina offer)
(8) Hormel chili, on sale 1.39 (.89 after promo, .39 after coupon)
(4) Blue Diamond almond milk, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, 1.62 after coupon, 1.12 after Catalina offer)
(4) Swansons broth 32oz carton, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .99 after coupon)
(9) Pringles chips, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .83 after coupon)
(6) Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup, on sale 1.19 (.69 after promo, .44 after coupon)
(5) Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, on sale 1.19 (.69 after promo, .44 after coupon)
Total:  $57.55 + I got a $2 Catalina coupon for the Dove and a $2.00 Catalina coupon for the almond milk
All of the items you see in the picture (except for the lettuce, tomatoes and milks) are for my food storage.  My pantry is my food storage, and my food storage is my pantry, so we definitely store what we eat and eat what we store!  No need to have just boring bland grains and nothing else in your food storage.  If you can store it, you can count it as food storage!  So feel free to include fun items, like cake mixes, candy, chocolate, potato chips (short term) in your food storage.  Just make sure you rotate them!  ;)

Can you charge your cellphone when the power is out? You can if you have something like this...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

***This is a re-post from 2009, but I wanted to bring this up because all of the power outtages caused by Superstorm Sandy have highlighted the need for communications/device-charging options that can be used when there is no electricity available.  I think it is very important to have a radio in your emergency supplies, specifically one that can get the NOAA weather alerts.  And if you can get one that has a built-in light, hand-crank and solar abilities AND can be used to charge small devices like your cellphone, EVEN BETTER!***

(Sorry the picture is a little blurry...)

This is the Kaito Voyager KA500 5-way Powered Emergency AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio.

As I was doing more research on communications during emergencies, I was looking at our little hand-crank flashlight/radio combo and realized that it did not pick up the weather alert stations, so I wanted to make sure we had at least one portable radio on hand that could pick up those channels in an emergency.

I happened to find a good deal on this radio on Amazon a week or so ago. It is powered by one of four options: rechargable battery that is charged by a hand crank, regular AA batteries, AC cord, or solar power. It receives AM and FM stations, the 7 weather stations, and shortwave stations 1 & 2. It can also receive wireless NOAA weather alerts. It has a built-in light, and has ports so that you can use it to charge other small electronics (like cellphones) - total bonus and very handy to have, considering what we have seen happening in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and all of the power outtages.

There are a lot of similar products with similar options out there, so you really can take your pick based on the kinds of features you would like. Here are some links for examples:

Kaito Voyager at AMAZON

The Kaito runs about $50, but here is a very highly rated option on Amazon for only $40:
Ambient Weather Adventurer Solar Weather Radio
In some ways, I kinda like this one better than the Kaito Voyager, as this one is a digital tuner.  It's a bit smaller but still has all (or more) of the same capabilities of the Kaito.

Emergency weather radios at L.L. Bean

Several options at REI

Various options at Cabelas

Options at Bass Pro Shops

Lessons We're Learning from Superstorm Sandy

Friday, November 2, 2012
There are so many mixed emotions surrounding the aftermath of this historic storm, from grief and disbelief, to shock, to anger and frustration.  The East coast is still very much in the thick of the disaster, and will be so for at least several more days before they can even begin to start work on clean up and recovery.  But those of us on the other side of the country would do well to observe and learn from what is going on.

The biggest thing that I'd like to point out today, is that there is only ONE person you can count on to help you out in an emergency, and that is YOU - everything else is out of your control.  The government and other agencies and law enforcement/firefighters/paramedics will do all that they can, but sometimes the devastation is so severe and there are so many needs that they just cannot attend to everyone quickly enough.  You CANNOT depend on the government or other relief agencies to immediately come to your aid - it may take time before they can help you.  And in many cases, it very well may take significantly longer than the "72-hours" we tend to talk about.

YOU need to be prepared.  YOU need to be in charge of getting preparations made.  YOU need to make plans for evacuations, sheltering in place, no power, no water, health needs, etc. YOU need to gather supplies and have them ready. 

What we're learning from this storm aftermath is that you need to plan for it to take AT LEAST 72 hours, and more likely, LONGER than that, before outside help can reach you.  So 72-hours is a good start, but don't stop there. 

  • Make sure you have a 2-week supply of water stored (1 gal per person per day, so 14 gal total per person).
  • Have several meal options in your storage or kits that DO NOT REQUIRE electricity to prepare (items that can be eaten right out of the package, like peanut butter and crackers, dried fruits, canned meats, etc.).
  • Make plans for an extended power outage.  It could take 2-3 weeks to get power fully restored to areas after a wide-spread disaster. 
  • Have a communications plan in place.  Do NOT rely on your cellphone as your main method of communication.  When the power goes out, it's only a matter of time before your cellphone battery dies.  Consider purchasing an emergency radio/flashlight with wind-up power or solar panels that can also function to charge your cell phone.  Keep a corded telephone in your home (not cordless, not wireless) - they will often still work even when your house is without electricy, whereas cordless phones will not.
  • When the local authorities issue an evacuation order, PLEASE follow it!  We are hearing so many stories of those who did not heed the evacuation orders and ended up paying for it with their lives.  Do not put yourself at risk - it is not worth it. 
  • PLEASE be mindful of neighbors around you who may need additional help, especially those who are elderly or have special needs. 

I am so touched by the many stories of people who are opening up their homes, sharing their food, sharing their electricity and other resources with neighbors, friends and in many cases complete strangers!  What a blessing to be able to serve others like this!  But we cannot serve others if we have not made our own preparations FIRST.