If you are a hard-core prepper or survivalist, you may be wondering why our first 2 Skills of the Month aren’t all about ways to stock up on food, reload ammo, or tan hides. Why did I choose Getting Organized and now, Switch from Store-Bought to Homemade?
Sometimes preppers and survivalists wear blinders that hold their focus to a very narrow view of what it really means to be prepared to survive. In an early episode of Doomsday Preppers, one of the women definitely was prepared with shooting skills and stocking up on absolutely everything imaginable, but I’ll never forget her opening a closet door and seeing a literal mountain of #10 cans. They were piled on top of each other, spilling off shelves, and there is no way that family would be able to quickly find what they needed, or even know what was on hand, especially in a sudden crisis.
Thus my emphasis over the years on decluttering and getting organized. What’s the point of stocking up in a big way if, when a sudden crisis hits, you have to leave it all behind because you can’t find what you need?
This month we’re moving our focus to another area, just as important.
Switch from Store-Bought to Homemade
On my first big shopping trip for food storage, I bought loads of salad dressings, bottles of ketchup, and cans of things like chili and ravioli. I still believe it’s important to have some store-bought items as part of your food storage since they are readily available, familiar, and inexpensive when purchased on sale and with coupons.
However, over time, those products either went bad (3 year-old salad dressings don’t do well over time!) or we used them up. I remember one day looking at all my 40+ jars of marinara sauce and thinking, “What will I do when all of these are gone someday?”
Even then, as a new prepper, I realized that I needed to know how to make things like marinara sauce, ketchup, crackers, and even breakfast cereals from scratch, and also have the ingredients to do so.
Now, with the knowledge I’ve gained over the past 7 years, I’ve added things like laundry soap, household cleaners, home remedies, soap, and lotions to that list. I mean, if I can make homemade cheese crackers, why can’t I also make homemade lip balm?
Knowledge + Skills + The correct supplies/ingredients
Starting this week our new skill will be all about collecting recipes, instructions, and supplies to begin making more and more things from scratch.
Not only will these items be healthier, since you will know exactly what goes into them, but for preppers, you’ll have the added advantage of knowing how to make necessary foods and products your family uses, along with a shopping list so you can make those things years from now.
Keep in mind that when you stock up on something like chili powder, for example, you won’t be using it just for homemade popcorn seasoning but for dozens of other recipes. Individual ingredients will be far more versatile and useful to you than store-bought, ready made items.
Does that make sense?
Let’s kick this off with these 2 recipes!
Ketchup was the first on the chopping block when I began searching out homemade recipes that were healthier and, in many instances, cheaper than homemade. I love making homemade ketchup because it is so easy to customize. Although this recipe calls for honey, we have made it with as little as 1 Tablespoon of honey and, at other times, used stevia or other sweetners.
Here’s my recipe for Homemade Ketchup:
6 oz. tomato paste
1/4 c. honey*, or to taste
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. water
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
Whisk all these ingredients together in a medium size saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes and allow to cool before pouring it into a container. We use squeeze bottles but you could also recycle old ketchup bottles for this use.
I highly recommend having more than one bottle to use because you will probably end up wanting to double this recipe so you don’t have to make it too often. It stores very well in the fridge.
We have made so many variations of this, including a spicy ketchup with Tony Chachere’s seasoning salt.
*Honey, sugar, stevia, Splenda, or any other sweetener will work well here, just be sure to add a little at a time to get the taste you and your family prefer.
The second homemade recipe I wanted to share with you comes from my friend Gaye Levy who blogs at Backdoor Survival.
DIY Miracle Healing Salve
The basic ingredients are quite simple:
1 cup coconut oil (not fractionated)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoon Organic Beeswax Pastilles
Along with these, you’ll add lavender, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils. This is one of Gaye’s most popular articles, and this recipe makes plenty of this salve.
Read details and instructions here.
You can do this!
How many more ordinary household items could you switch from store-bought to homemade? That’s what we are about to find out this month!
Coming soon is a webinar with author Lisa Barthuly. She has written extensively on mixing your own household cleaners and other products, and even a homemade “Vaseline”! You can buy her book on Amazon, A Simply Homemade Clean, if you want to get a jump start. That webinar is tentatively scheduled for the week of February 16. When it’s confirmed, I’ll post the details here as well as in my weekly email.
Ready to roll? What do you make from scratch that you would like to share with all of us? Post it in the Comment section. Thanks!
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