Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tis the Season . . . . to Listen to That Still Small Voice.

****I am not MIA, just been busy and had more things to do than I had energy. I did want to share what I have been up to and some thoughts and that I have been having. Hopefully I will be able to express myself clearly and it will also do you some good.

**** This indicates a new section of this post. If I try to split it up, I will never get it all done.

This is just SMALL sampling of some my projects . . . sorry, but my family's needs come first over the blog, etc . . . .
****My husband and I have been taking extra steps to create a better preparedness plan. We felt like I might be getting carried away with food storage and maybe we should focus more on actual savings. The only thing is that I have been "driven" to get the cases of food from BB (Bountiful Baskets) to can and have on hand. At the same time, I have had strong feelings that I should also keep an eye on sales and can meat. Not an easy or fun thing to do by yourself. I also have had strong feelings to get our storage more organized and accessible for rotation . We did this for years when finances demanded it, but now . . I have to dig into my memory bank to remember how I used to utilize and use food storage in our every day diet. So with Jon's support, in many ways, we have been very busy following that still small voice that never goes away if we try to ignore it. It has given me so much peace of mind!

****Last night, Mariah and I were talking about the way things seem to be developing, economically and morally. She has made some interesting observations in how the different generations are reacting to it all. That led to how we had each been receiving promptings of the spirit in our lives. We don't always understand why and may even be a little worried by the directions that we are receiving, but know that through faith and sincere desire to obey, we will be blessed.

It is comforting to hear that your children are sensitive to that guidance and willing to follow it. It may not be an easy thing to do, but I know she and Stephen will do all that they can to be good parents and do what is best for the welfare and raising up of their sweet boys.
****I have been talking a lot about the Bountiful Baskets (BB). It is a produce buying co-op or group that saves a lot of money! Every other week, we have the opportunity to donate $15 plus $1.50 handling fee and pick up a lot of produce.

If you don't happen to live in the Phoenix, Tucson or Salt Lake City area, get on the internet and do some searching. I would be surprised if there are not more co-ops out there. I did something similar to this for years in N. AZ and it really enabled us to stretch our money and take better care of our children.

1. The "conventional basket" is a surprise package and we are never sure what it will have in it. It has introduced some new fruit and vegetables to my family that we had never tried but now look forward to eating in the future. The $16.50 donation, covers this.

2. They usually have some "specialty packages" that are a group of foods commonly used in ethic cooking, such as:
  • Italian- Italian squash, eggplant, fresh basil, rosemary, flat-leafed parsley, and oregano, mushrooms, and onion.
  • Mexican-Garlic (1 head), Yellow Onions, Dried Chipotle Chili (grind and use in salsa or enchilada sauce), Pablano/Pasilla Chilies (used to make Chili Relleno), Dried Anaheim/California Chilies (used to make enchilada sauce), Green Onions, Limes, Jalapenos, Cilantro, Corn Tortillas.
  • Asian- Garlic, sugar snap peas, fresh ginger, bok choy, etc.

These normally cost $7.50. I have gotten the Italian and Mexican, missed the Asian and was so disappointed! They have a lot of produce, the herbs and other flavorings are very fresh and last a long time. The first time that I got the Italian pack, I priced the rosemary, oregano and basil and figured that it would have cost $15 just for those three items! When there is too much for me use up, I share them or wash, dry and freeze in an airtight bag.

3. I have also gotten the Cases of fruit and had a wonderful time canning up a storm, in fact that is "where I have been" and why I have been slacking on this blog. Following is what I have gotten by the case:
  • Peaches - $0.64 / lb.
  • Bing Cherries - $0.75 / lb.
  • Apricots - $0.65 / lb.
  • Mt Rainier Cherries - $1.05 / lb.
  • Nectarines - $0.64 / lb.
  • Black Berries - $1.00 / 4.5 oz. pack
  • Granny Smith Apples - forgot, but it was a gonga deal or I wouldn't have bought them!
These prices have been lower than an that I have found in any of the grocery store ads.

4. Bread is also offered each delivery. There is always at least one type that is whole grain with just the five basic ingredients. Wheat, salt , sugar or honey, water or milk, yeast. No preservatives. These loaves are nearly $4 / loaf at Costco. Through BB we are able to get them in a lot of five, for $10. If you don't want to get that many, talk to to other family members, friends or others at the pick up and you can share. I have been doing that from the first order. There are also some wonderful round breads that are out of this world. They usually run $1.50 / loaf and come in 3 loaf packages.

**** I guess what I have been getting at is:
  • I have been so tight financially that I was thrilled when I could add a $ .19 box of salt to my food storage. I was determined to add something for "hard times" and it took me quite a while to find something I could pay for!
  • Look and ask around. Think out of the box. There is always a way to prepare. If you "can't find the finances", sit down and analyze your life style, budgeting and mind set, you will find a way to prepare for the hard times.
  • Make this a family project. The more everyone is involved, the more support you will be for each other, the more minds that will be thinking about it and coming up with ideas.
  • Each of our families is different. We have different tastes, needs and will deal with differerent challenges. Making these decisions and plans should be done prayerfully. We have a loving Heavenly Father who wants to bless us. He will guide you as you plan for taking care of your family.