The Survival Mom » Budget Tips http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Tue, 14 Oct 2014 12:47:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Frugal Fall Planting http://thesurvivalmom.com/frugal-fall-planting/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/frugal-fall-planting/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 06:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17788 Great tips here! Pin for later! Fall is not necessarily considered a time for planting, especially for folks in the colder growing zones. However, fall plant sales at your local nursery or greenhouse should not be passed up when thinking Read More

The post Frugal Fall Planting by Kathie Lapcevic appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
Frugal Fall Planting - The Survival Mom

Great tips here! Pin for later!

Fall is not necessarily considered a time for planting, especially for folks in the colder growing zones. However, fall plant sales at your local nursery or greenhouse should not be passed up when thinking of long-term food gardens and self-sufficiency needs. These sales give us a great opportunity to purchase plants at a super discount while also allowing the plants time to develop healthy root systems. Use this time of year and the sales provided at greenhouses to look beyond the mums and plan a self-sufficient perennial garden – consider it frugal fall planting for an abundant future.

Fruit & Nut Trees

Fall is a great time to plant fruit and nut trees. Trees begin moving their energy from producing leaves and fruit to using that energy to build deep strong root systems. Look for trees at the nursery that are free of disease and are generally healthy looking. Water well and as often as necessary until cold temperatures set in or the snow begins to fly.
In the spring, your trees should bud and produce leaves. Depending on the variety and age of the tree when purchases it could take several years to produce fruit. It’s a good future investment, as fruit and nut trees can provide much nutrition and calories in a survival situation and are generally good keepers for long-term storage.

Berries

Berries too can be planted in the fall and local greenhouses will likely have these marked way down from their spring prices. Be sure to plant deeply and cover well with mulch to keep tender root systems protected in especially cold climates. Remember to chose location well. Some berries, once they take root, can be a pest, so put them somewhere that won’t disturb the rest of the garden.

Herbs: Culinary & Medicinal

Fall of 2011

There can often be found very good deals in this department. Don’t overlook the plant that is perhaps a little brown or wilted. Take the one that is root bound and marked way down. Often these plants look about dead above the ground but are actually thriving root systems. Plant these deeply into flower and herb beds with a good sized scoop of compost and cover with soil and mulch.

The plant will establish is root system during the winter months and with proper watering and fertilizing come spring likely make a permanent and flourishing home in your garden. I started this herb garden in the fall of 2011 with sale plants from a local nursery.  You can see that in 3 years, it can grow to be rather bushy and productive.3 years

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Frugal Fall Planting by Kathie Lapcevic appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/frugal-fall-planting/feed/ 0
Prepping for Back to School http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-back-school/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-back-school/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:00:49 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17118   Amidst the joy of summer time swims, cold Popsicles, and sleeping in, the new school year sneaks up on us. I dread the whirlwind back to school shopping as advertisements plague the airways, and other media. I feel my Read More

The post Prepping for Back to School by Jessica Hentze appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Prep_Backtoschool

 

Amidst the joy of summer time swims, cold Popsicles, and sleeping in, the new school year sneaks up on us. I dread the whirlwind back to school shopping as advertisements plague the airways, and other media. I feel my wallet emptying before I even make the shopping list. Not to mention the kids exclaiming, “I must have this one!”

Here are a few things I have learned to prep for back to school season. It will help save money, time, and some sanity.

School Supplies

Every year, we use the same basic school supplies. Most stores overstock these items. I’ve learned to wait until the end of the back to school rush, when the stores mark the items for clearance, then I stockpile crayons, ruled paper, printer paper, composition books, pencils, glue, etc.

Also, the teachers will love you in the middle of the year when they run out of some supplies. With the low cost, I never mind sharing from my stockpile.

My ongoing school supply stockpile also saves us a bit of money each year. With the savings, each child can pick out a few of their “must have” items without breaking the bank.

When picking out a back pack, I spend a little bit more money for one with a lifetime warranty. That way if it gets over filled and breaks a seam, I simply return it for a new one.

School Clothes

One way I save on school clothes is not to buy them only at the back to school sales. Instead I buy clothing year round. At the end of the seasons, when items are on clearance, I try to buy the next size up for the following year. This especially great for basic items like jeans, socks, undergarments, etc. (Side note on underwear: all tightie whities look the same; if you buy every male in the house a different brand, sorting laundry goes sooo much faster.)

On gift giving holidays, I buy each child a new outfit and shoes. I work it into the gift buying budget. This helps balance out the cost of clothing my ever growing brood during the year. Plus, it freshens up their wardrobe.

Online Shopping

Skip all the driving around and shop online. Scoping out deals is a click of the mouse and most websites offer free shipping over a certain amount spent.

I highly recommend Amazon Student. I sit down at the beginning of my college semester, and put in one big order for the kids and myself. With the student discounts and Amazon Prime shipping it is a double win. (Living overseas as a military wife, Amazon Prime has been a true life saver.) Another plus: I can find all my college books used and sell them back later, or I can simply rent and return books.

While online shopping I also use MyPoints.com, a free online points system resulting in gift cards, and RetailMeNot.com. You can look up any website you are shopping at and get online coupon codes. Both of these web sites yield a good return, $5-$25 on average.

Setting a Budget

The most important part of school shopping is setting a budget. Even more important is including the kids. I sit down with them, show them how a budget works, and what our plan of attack is.

They help me compile our supply list. When it comes to the actual shopping part, I usually give them a small budget of their own to buy their wants. The catch is they do the math, and I help them make conscious decisions on quality and usefulness. The rest of the list, which is mostly basics, comes from the stockpile.

Prepping for the school year can be a tedious repetitive task. Enter the new school year fully prepared by creating a small stock pile of the basic necessities. This will save you time, money, and some sanity.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Prepping for Back to School by Jessica Hentze appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-back-school/feed/ 1
Survival Survey: Shopping & comparing the dollar stores http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-shopping-comparing-dollar-stores/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-shopping-comparing-dollar-stores/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 21:30:13 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13168 Dollar stores can be very useful when looking for items for emergency kits and overall preparedness. I’ve scoured the aisles of various dollar stores and left with everything from office supplies to canned foods. Once I was able to stock Read More

The post Survival Survey: Shopping & comparing the dollar stores by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
dollar stores

image by www.CourtneyCarmody.com/

Dollar stores can be very useful when looking for items for emergency kits and overall preparedness. I’ve scoured the aisles of various dollar stores and left with everything from office supplies to canned foods. Once I was able to stock up on a large quantity of Himalayan pink salt.

We haven’t done a Survival Survey in quite a while (where I ask a question and you answer!), but I’m really interested in your experiences with the various dollar stores around the country. The most widespread seem to be:

  • Dollar Tree
  • Family Dollar
  • Dollar General
  • 99 Cents Only
  • Real Deals Dollar Store

How do these dollar stores compare with each other? Do you have any strategies for shopping at certain stores on certain days? What survival and preparedness products have you found?

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Survival Survey: Shopping & comparing the dollar stores by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-shopping-comparing-dollar-stores/feed/ 11
52 Week Savings Plan: March prepping bargains to keep your savings on track http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-march-prepping-bargains-keep-savings-track/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-march-prepping-bargains-keep-savings-track/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12972 If you are on the 52 Week Savings Plan, then you are likely looking for super savings on just about everything you buy! The month of March brings with it opportunities to save on all kinds of items that will Read More

The post 52 Week Savings Plan: March prepping bargains to keep your savings on track by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

PicMonkey Collage 52 weeks 2.4If you are on the 52 Week Savings Plan, then you are likely looking for super savings on just about everything you buy!

The month of March brings with it opportunities to save on all kinds of items that will help you become more prepared for everyday disasters and worst case scenarios. Here’s a summary along with some helpful links.

(Be sure to print out this chart to track your savings!)

1.  Frozen foods

When you find these at rock bottom prices, especially if you have accompanying coupons, then buy, buy, buy! March is National Frozen Food Month, and you’ll find coupons in the newspaper as well as in the special Sunday coupon fliers.

Why frozen food? Well, you can stock your freezer with frozen veggies and fruits, in particular, but take that a step further and dehydrate those foods for a much longer shelf life. After all, when the power goes out, just how much meat and frozen foods can you eat in a 48 hour time span?

Dehydrating frozen veggies and fruits is the absolute easiest way to preserve food. Spread the frozen food on a dehydrator tray and push the ‘start’ button. That’s it. The foods have already been washed and chopped for you, so you save on all that prep time. For larger pieces of food, broccoli, for example, cut the large pieces in half before dehydrating.

Store your dried food in canning jars along with an oxygen absorber or vacuum pack the jars using something like a Food Saver. Store the jars in a dark, cool place for the longest possible shelf life.

2.  Winter coats and cold-weather gear

Stores want to get rid of this, you want to buy it at super-low prices for next year. It’s a win-win for everyone! Shop online as well as in local brick-and-mortar stores, and be sure to store your winter purchases somewhere where the clothing will be safe from insects.

Also look for items like snow shovels, hand/foot warmers, and ice scrapers.

3.  Craft supplies

March is National Craft Month, so look for coupons to stores like Michael’s, JoAnne, and Hobby Lobby. You may find products to organize your emergency supplies, plain t-shirts (buy the kids brightly colored ones so they’ll be easy to find in a crowd), yarn and other supplies for crochet and knit, sharpies, supplies to keep kids busy during power outages, and super glue.

4.  St. Patrick’s Day treats

If you love corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes, then this is your month! All these foods can be canned, and both cabbage and potatoes are easily dehydrated.

To can corned beef, you’ll need a pressure canner. Although this gigantic pot looks intimidating, canning expert Diane Devereaux says that canning meat and chicken is the easiest thing to can. Here are two recipes to get you started:

5.  Spring cleaning supplies

Again, watch for coupons and store sales, but for some reason, product manufacturers think that all of us will be spending our beautiful spring days indoors, busily scrubbing and cleaning…stuff.

image by Pink Sherbet PhotographyThat’s not my idea of fun, but you will likely find very good prices on all sorts of cleaning supplies for stocking up. Some to use now and some to set aside as part of your preparedness efforts.

6.  Junk food

March brings with it March Madness and with it, discounts on all sorts of junk food for sports fans. The only effective way to lengthen the shelf life of junk food is to repackage it, either in canning jars using a food vacuum sealer or in jars/mylar pouches with oxygen absorbers.

If your family typically eats junk food and you can find it at super low prices, you might as well stock up, keep it under lock and key, and then use it up over a period of a few months time. As long as it’s stored in a cool, dark location that is free from pests, the food should last at least 6 months.

7.  Easter ham

Follow these instructions for canning ham, so you’ll have it all year long. Go ahead and freeze some as well, but be sure to cut it into meal-size chunks before freezing.

If you can, hold off on buying Easter candy until after Easter. That’s when you’ll be able to scoop up bags of pastel colored M&Ms and boxes of Peeps. Why stock up on candy? They’re comfort foods for a lot of people and can be vacuum sealed for a nice long shelf life.

8.  Produce in season

Continue to think canning and dehydrating while watching for best prices on these foods:

Keep saving your coins and dollars and stay on track with your 52 Week Savings Plan!

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 52 Week Savings Plan: March prepping bargains to keep your savings on track by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-march-prepping-bargains-keep-savings-track/feed/ 12
52 Week Savings Plan Revisited http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-revisited/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-revisited/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 18:42:05 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12952 Last year in January I posted this article on a 52 week savings plan. I want to encourage all of you to try it again this year! Even though it’s the second week of February, don’t panic! It’s not too Read More

The post 52 Week Savings Plan Revisited by Brenda appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Last year in January I posted this article on a 52 week savings plan. I want to encourage all of you to try it again this year! Even though it’s the second week of February, don’t panic! It’s not too late to start! According to the plan, by the last week of January, all you needed to have saved was $15. Add $7 more for the first week of February, and you’re completely caught up until the end of this week when you’ll want to put $8 more aside. If you stick with it, you’ll have $45 saved by the last Saturday of the month and you’ll be off to a great start. After completing the full plan, you’ll have a nice pile of cash ($1378 in all) ready for anything from car emergencies to a small vacation!

52 Week Savings Plan

Don’t worry if you’ve never done much saving before. As I wrote about previously here, you aren’t alone. However, that doesn’t change the importance of saving money. The 52 week savings plan is a great way to get started on saving even if you have very little experience.

So how ’bout it? Will you commit to setting aside some money every week for the next year? Have you ever done this plan or a similar plan in the past? Join the discussion at the SurvivalMom forum!

Download this cool savings chart here.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 52 Week Savings Plan Revisited by Brenda appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-revisited/feed/ 16
New VIDEO conference! “Frugal Back-to-School” TONIGHT! http://thesurvivalmom.com/new-video-conference-frugal-back-school-tonight/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/new-video-conference-frugal-back-school-tonight/#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 20:20:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12416 There’s something new and very cool in the Survival Mom’s bag ‘o tricks! Beginning tonight, Tuesday, September 3, we are beginning a series of video classes for you. Everyone is invited! Tonight’s Video Vibe is all about beginning the school Read More

The post New VIDEO conference! “Frugal Back-to-School” TONIGHT! by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

moneyThere’s something new and very cool in the Survival Mom’s bag ‘o tricks! Beginning tonight, Tuesday, September 3, we are beginning a series of video classes for you.

Everyone is invited!

Tonight’s Video Vibe is all about beginning the school year on a budget. How do you save money on school supplies, groceries for packing lunches, clothes, and more? This is the time of year when parents are hit hard with sports fees, the cost of school uniforms, expenses for extracurricular activities, textbooks, and the list goes on and on!

Join our panel of experts, who will share creative ideas for saving money, not just this month but throughout the year!

Donna Miller hosts “Surviving on Shoestrings” and will be talking about ways for families to cope during tight times and timely money-saving tips.

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and the founder of The Dollar Stretcher. This man knows every trick in the book for saving money and establishing a sound financial future for your family.

Scott Fitterman‘s area of expertise is using the internet to track down online bargains. He’s the founder of Coupon Cactus.

I invite you to be a part of this live, fun event!

Here is the link you need to click on, just a few minutes before our start time: http://fuze.me/21163135

To really enjoy the full video interaction, that link will ask if you’d like to download the Fuzebox app. Do it! It’s super quick and will make a lot of difference.

SPACE IS LIMITED!

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post New VIDEO conference! “Frugal Back-to-School” TONIGHT! by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/new-video-conference-frugal-back-school-tonight/feed/ 0
7 Food Wasting Sins! Confessions from a former food waster http://thesurvivalmom.com/7-food-wasting-sins-confessions-from-a-former-food-waster/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/7-food-wasting-sins-confessions-from-a-former-food-waster/#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:57:24 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11010 Guest post by Heather who blogs at Prudent Pantry. I was once a young wife and mother to a toddler. Hard at work learning to be a good wife and mommy. I got to stay at home which meant I Read More

The post 7 Food Wasting Sins! Confessions from a former food waster by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Guest post by Heather who blogs at Prudent Pantry.

I was once a young wife and mother to a toddler. Hard at work learning to be a good wife and mommy. I got to stay at home which meant I made meals 3x a day for my family. I was a house wife. I had a food budget and yet I found myself calling my husband once or twice a week to pick up meals.

Old inedible foodWhen I went to my Mommy & Baby group I found that several families with double the amount of kids had grocery bills less than mine! How could this be?

Frankly I was confused. I didn’t know where I was going wrong. I had been raised in a variety of settings due to my parent’s divorce and remarriages. We always seemed to be learning to live somewhere new. I was never taught how to actually run a home.

It took time to admit it to myself but I was a food waster. I realized that I was making critical mistakes with our food starting with: what to feed my family: what to buy at the grocery store: how to cook at home: and very importantly how to put away our food.

1-      I was wasting our food money. I am a cookbook hound. I love looking at the yummy recipes in those glossy books and trying to recreate them. That is nice but most call for food that is WAY outside the budget of a college student’s family. Instead of using that money more wisely and stretching it over the full month I was buying high priced items that cut days off how far our food budget would go.

2-      I bought ONLY name brand items. This was a hang over from my upbringing when we could not afford name brand. Deep inside I saw being able to buy name brand as showing the world (or myself) that we had stepped up in the world. Again I was wasting our food money.

3-      Cooking low quality food. I had these lovely highlights of dinners that were great. But in order to get those highlights I had to skimp in other areas. That meant that Monday through Thursday meals were just scrapped together or Hamburger Helper type meals. Not healthy and not yummy. Made it that much easier to call for take-out when faced with day 2 of not so good food.

4-      Cooking too much food for our size family. At the time I had no extra freezer and we really were 2 adults eating with a toddler just nibbling. I tended to cook for a much larger crowd. That meant we tended to overeat, not healthy. Also there was a lot of food leftover. That food would generally go into the fridge and a meal of left overs might come from it but in general it was shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten until it crawled out and pleaded to be put out of its misery.

5-      Chaos is not a good form of organization. As you can tell from the food lost in the fridge my kitchen was in a state of chaos. There was no organization. I had no idea if cans were old or spices were out of date. You just pawed through the shelf in question until you found what you were looking for, or gave up and went out and bought it again. Yeap, back to that wasting the food budget.

6-      Using food to its greatest extent! I never thought to use the turkey bones and pieces leftover from Thanksgiving to make a broth. I didn’t use the ham bone to flavor a pot full of beans. When I was done with the meal immediately in front of me I threw out the rest and cleaned up for the night.

7-      The worst food wasting sin I committed was sheer laziness. There were times when I woke up the next morning and found that I had set last night’s leftovers aside but never put them away.

Acknowledging that I had these blind spots was the first step in correcting them. There is no shame in not having been told how to cook, maintain a home, raise a family, or homestead. Many of us have holes in our skills base. Consider how to run your kitchen, food budget, and food storage as another skill that needs to be worked on. Find a mentor. Search out a great blog or book. You can change from a food waster to a thrifty foodie mom!

 

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 7 Food Wasting Sins! Confessions from a former food waster by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/7-food-wasting-sins-confessions-from-a-former-food-waster/feed/ 27
ACTION STEP: Pay it forward http://thesurvivalmom.com/action-step-pay-it-forward/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/action-step-pay-it-forward/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:17:01 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=9486 This Action Step doesn’t have anything to do with the movie, “Pay it Forward”, although doing kind things for people is always a good idea. This Action Step is all about doing something kind for your budget. With warmer months Read More

The post ACTION STEP: Pay it forward by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

This Action Step doesn’t have anything to do with the movie, “Pay it Forward”, although doing kind things for people is always a good idea. This Action Step is all about doing something kind for your budget.

With warmer months approaching, many of you will be delighted to see the power bill in the mail because this season brings the lowest charges.  There’s (usually) no reason to turn on the heat, and often, just opening the windows and turning on a couple of fans is enough to stay cool.

If you live in a hot climate, the opposite is true.  Soon, you’ll be facing the largest energy bills of the year because at some point, the air conditioner will be running.  We have at least one $500 electric bill every summer.  It can be a real killer when times are tight.

Whenever you’re expecting the smallest power bills of the year is the time to pay it forward.  Add an extra $20 or $50 or whatever you can afford to that bill.  You’ll be accumulating a credit balance that will help cover the more expensive bills down the road or cover the expense for a month or two should your income take a dive.

Another method is to figure the average bill, using your annual total, and start paying that amount every month, beginning at the time of year when you’re using the least amount of power.

You can do the same thing with other utility bills.  It’s a good idea to stay at least a month ahead with this expense, if possible.  It’s money in the bank when you need it.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post ACTION STEP: Pay it forward by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/action-step-pay-it-forward/feed/ 23
Preparedness Mindset 1: Think Annual, not Monthly http://thesurvivalmom.com/preparedness-mindset-think-annual-not-monthly/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/preparedness-mindset-think-annual-not-monthly/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2011 20:51:21 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=7446 Guest post by Heather of Prudent Pantry, a member of our Survival Mom-Blog Ring. We are taught to think in a monthly budget or a paycheck-to-paycheck budgeting manner. What would you say if I said it’s time to throw that Read More

The post Preparedness Mindset 1: Think Annual, not Monthly by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Guest post by Heather of Prudent Pantry, a member of our Survival Mom-Blog Ring.

image by RambergMediaImages

We are taught to think in a monthly budget or a paycheck-to-paycheck budgeting manner. What would you say if I said it’s time to throw that idea out the window for your food and supplies?

Yes, I do mean buying a side of meat in the fall for the entire year’s needs. Or buying 100 boxes of pasta with coupons when it goes on sale in early March. It’s time we started thinking yearly rather than monthly!

The biggest obstacle to this is the quantity you will need. I am astounded at how much my family needs to keep going for 3 months, much less 12 months. In fact, this freaks me out at the grocery store, and I’ll chicken out when it comes to buying the larger amount. Then, I don’t buy the 100 boxes of food that I know we need to eat for a year

Figuring Out How Much You Need

Here is one of the easiest ways I have found to ease the pressure I put on myself when it comes to quantities. There are 52 weeks in the year. How many times in one week do we eat ground beef? We eat ground beef 2x times a week for lunch and 2 to 3 times a week for dinner. Each meal, at most, for my large family, would be 3 pounds of ground meat. That totals 15 pounds of ground meat a week. Then 15 pounds x 52 weeks = 780 pounds a year or 65 pounds a month.

image by GranniesKitchen

This information is great. Realize that I won’t cook this much ground beef every week. Some weeks I might be veggie heavy or chicken is on the menu. If I get this amount of ground beef, though, I know that I have five meals a week fully covered.

Why should you know how much ground beef you would use, or pasta, or salsa, etc?

Several months ago I was in Kroger when the meat manager was cleaning out the meats that would pass their expiration within two days. The ground beef was marked 60% off! I should have cleaned him out of all the ground beef he was putting in the clearance bin, but I didn’t. Why? Because I didn’t have a firm number in my head of how much we needed for a week, month, or year.

That loose idea of, “Gee, we need a lot,” translated into a queasy feeling when I had 25 pounds in my cart, so I stopped there. Firm reliable numbers would have assured me that I was doing fine and to keep on shopping.

Knowing your family’s average usage will make getting over the quantity hurtle much easier!

Knowing the quantity your family needs for a year helps you estimate costs. If you know that you use 780 pounds of ground beef and it averages $3.00 per pound, that will come to $2340.00. If you can save even a dollar off the cost through coupons or bulk buying, you are saving your yearly budget $780!!

I highly recommend that you take the time to write down your family’s favorite meals and translate that information from a week menu into quantities needed for a year. Take those amounts to find out how much your family needs for one year of eating the tried and true meals you enjoy. Don’t worry. You won’t get bored. Much of our menu revolves around the same food basics, just prepared differently.

Take the plunge and start adjusting your thinking and budget to a year long budget. That will help you know how much you need for your pantry, and roughly, how much it will cost. This is  a great way to fill up your prudent pantry!

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Preparedness Mindset 1: Think Annual, not Monthly by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/preparedness-mindset-think-annual-not-monthly/feed/ 27
Prepping on Pennies: #5 Learn one new skill this month http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-on-pennies-5-learn-one-new-skill-this-month/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-on-pennies-5-learn-one-new-skill-this-month/#comments Tue, 27 Jul 2010 10:06:10 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=4635 Sometimes we get too caught up on stocking up on this and stashing away that, all of which cost money.  When money is tighter than tight, there are still ways to be better prepared.  One of those is to learn Read More

The post Prepping on Pennies: #5 Learn one new skill this month by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Sometimes we get too caught up on stocking up on this and stashing away that, all of which cost money.  When money is tighter than tight, there are still ways to be better prepared.  One of those is to learn practical skills.

image by timetrax23.

Often a new skill is as close as your public library.  No special training is required to learn about medicinal herbs, for example.  Other skills can be learned by watching free videos on YouTube.  That’s how I learned some of the trickier knitting stitches.  Some of the videos I’ve watched recently are a treasure trove of preparedness knowledge and skills.

Canning chicken breasts

How to can ground beef

Building a shelter in the wilderness

Camping in comfort

See what I mean?  Free information is out there, everywhere.

One approach that works for many families is to find and learn a skill that involves everyone.  Orienteering is a great life skill for kids and parents alike, and one that might save a life someday.  Geocaching combines the great outdoors with navigation skills, and of course, target shooting doesn’t have to cost a ton of money and is a great sport.  Our kids have trained using inexpensive .22 rifles whose ammo sells for less than $20 for 500 rounds.  4-H clubs teach kids, and families, important agricultural and homesteading skills and provide a new circle of friends with similar interests.

Grab a phone book and browse through the various government agencies in your area.  They’re supported by your tax

image by GoodNCrazy

dollars and many of them have free resources.  The Game & Fish Department often has low-cost and free training available to would-be hunters and sharpshooters.  Cooperative extension offices, run by the USDA, offer an amazing assortment of free information on everything from food safety to disaster preparedness.  You’ll find them to be a source of hundreds of articles, perfect for your Survival Mom binder.

Another source of free training can be found in your circle of neighbors, relatives, friends, co-workers and their circles of friends and family.  Just find someone who is completely nutty about their hobby or interest, and believe me, they’ll give you all the information and training you could ever want!

A few years ago I was a knitting maniac and started a homeschool knitting group, made friends with other knitters, and spent tons of money and a lot of time at the yarn store.  I loved nothing better than to help someone learn how to knit.  Now that I think of it, people began to avoid me when I took out my yarn and needles…hmmm.  But my point is, by asking around you are sure to find hunters, fishermen, home canning experts, piano tuners, and experts in all sorts of areas who are passionate about their special talent and would love to mentor an enthusiastic learner.

Skills and Knowledge are an important area of preparedness.  Your dollars might not be stretching as far as they used to, but in tough times, others may be willing to exchange food and other goods for what you can do or for what you can teach.  The best thing is, you can develop many of these skills and gain massive amounts of knowledge without spending a dime!

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Prepping on Pennies: #5 Learn one new skill this month by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-on-pennies-5-learn-one-new-skill-this-month/feed/ 13