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Making do with what you have

I wanted to write a post about making do with what you have. What I am referring to is needing something at home that you don’t have. Maybe the weather is bad and you can’t get to the store to make that special meal you had in mind. Maybe you need some laundry soap and have run out. Maybe you need a cup of milk for a recipe and realize you only have a splash left in your milk jug. Or did you forget to buy that whatever and find you need it now with no way to get it?

Image credit: WireCharm – DeviantArt

I think you see my point. You need something you don’t have so what do you do? My husband has a saying he likes to repeat to me. Two is one and one is none. You may have heard this phrase before as it is all about being prepared and planning. Are you ready for that next big snow storm, power outage, or SHTF situation.

Plan, be prepared and ready for whatever maybe coming. Learn to improvise and have a stocked pantry and a contingency plan. If you don’t have that certain something, how can you get by without it or substitute something else in its place?

Let’s see how we can work through these issues. In the case of no laundry soap, how about using a homemade mix of baking soda and borax or even some cheap shampoo would work. In the case of a missing food ingredient, why not have some dehydrated or powdered milk that you can substitute. Go shopping in your pantry and see what you have on hand that you can use. I love the idea “shopping” in my pantry. This is where the two is one and one is none really pays off. Buy things when they are on sale so you have extra items in your pantry. It is always very rewarding to go into my pantry and pick up that extra item that I need without the worry of running to the store or going without.

Making do with what you have doesn’t necessarily mean going without. Plan ahead and be prepared. This is the key so go forth and be ready!

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Empty Shelves After a Storm

After several of the recent winter storms, I saw many photos like this one with the shelves emptied at local grocery stores. So many people rushed the stores to stock up on supplies such as bread, milk, meat, water, and other necessities leaving the shelves nearly bare.

Empty Shelves after a Storm
Photo Source: Pinterest

Scenes like this are scary to see. Especially if you are witnessing them first hand and are in need of the items normally found on the shelves. This is why it is so important to be prepared.

Stock on the things you need in advance and don’t wait until there is an emergency to go to the grocery store to purchase them. Do you have enough bread and milk in the house if you couldn’t get to the store for a few days? How about a week?

Here are a few things you want to have on hand.

Bread
Milk
Water
Eggs
Meats
Pet Food
Coffee/Tea
Peanut Butter
Jam/Jelly
Meats
Tuna
Beans
Granola/Protein Bars
Crackers
Fruits
Veggies
Butter
Flour
Sugar
Cereal
Pastas
Matches
Batteries

This is a very short and basic list. Continue Reading →

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Homemade Grill from a Can


Check out this homemade grill that you can make from a tin can. This idea was shared on Living Off the Grid.

Its a wonderful way to improvise and make a grill from a recycled can. Even if you didn’t have charcoal, you could use coals from a fire to make yourself a small useful cooking grill. So tuck this idea into your prepping knowledge bank and remember it should you need it the future.

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Stocking Up and Prepping

With hurricane Sandy’s devastation in the news, I can’t help but be reminded to stock up and do more prepping. The stories are just heart-breaking and many people just aren’t prepared to go without power for days or do without going to the grocery store for daily needs. For those that do have preparations ready for just such a disaster, I applaud you. But it is a good time to review your emergency preparedness and go over the what if scenarios. After reading some of the challenges facing people after hurricane Sandy, here are a few things to consider.

Do you have enough water available to drink, flush the toilet, and wash up with?

Do you have food on hand that you can eat without cooking, such as peanut butter, canned fruits or meats, crackers, bread, etc?

Is there an alternative to electric cooking? Do you have a BBQ you can cook on or a woodstove you can cook on or in? Maybe you have a fireplace, do you have a dutch oven you can place in the fireplace or on your woodstove for cooking?

How much food do you have on hand that you and your family can eat? Do you have enough for at least a week, a month, or maybe even a year? Prepping for long term can be expensive but if you buy an extra jar of peanut butter or a can of tuna each trip to the store you will soon begin to build your pantry.

Do you have batteries for your flashlights and portable radio? Many people without power still from hurricane Sandy say that their portable radio is the only way that they can get news and hear the latest information. Make sure you have fresh batteries on hand and that your portable radio works.

How about keeping clean? I mentioned above about having some water available for washing up. Maybe you don’t have enough water for this luxury. Maybe think about buying a few packages of baby wipes for washing yourself up.

Anyway these are just a few things to consider. I could list many more things but sometimes it’s good to just stick to the basics. Every little bit helps, so think ahead and don’t be one of those people who hasn’t at least made a few preparations for power outages, storms, and other such challenges.

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Mountain House Sale

It is the last week for the 20-25% off sale of Mountain House canned foods at Emergency Essentials. Storing of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods such as Mountain House is an outstanding way to prep and have foods on hand should you not be able to go to the store and buy it.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared
These cans are ideal for use in home storage or emergency preparedness. Did you know that they can have a shelf life of up to 25 years? So why not buy some today while they are still on sale and put up a few extra items in your long-term home food pantry. Remember you never know when you may be faced with a situation where you will have to rely on your pantry to feed you and your family. It’s always wise to be prepared.

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Water Jug Storage

We drink a lot of apple juice and I reuse the jugs for water storage. The jugs are nice and sturdy for storing water in. Unlike some of the lighter weight plastics, it is Polypropylene (PP) which has a plastic code of 5 and is not known to leach chemicals into your drinking water. Polypropylene is the same plastic that yogurt cups are made from and they are safe to reuse. You need to be aware of this as some plastics breakdown over time and can cause serious health problems even cancer so beware of what you may be using to store water in.

You may be saying, yeah recycling those apple juice jugs is great but the water smells like apples. Well, I found a cure for that problem. First rinse out the jug thoroughly and then add about a half cup of white vinegar. Put the cap on and shake it well. Leave the jug to soak in the vinegar with the cap on overnight. Shake it a few more times if you get the chance to. The next day rinse it thoroughly again with water to get all the vinegar and odors out. Let the jug dry upside down on a towel until completely dry.

Now for the smell test. There shouldn’t be any apple odor at all. If there is, it will be ever so slight that it shouldn’t prevent you from using the jug for water storage. Fill your jugs right up to the top. Leaving little area in the jug does help prevent bacteria from growing. Also some people recommend adding 8 drops or 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to the jug if your water isn’t already chlorinated to ensure long-term clean water.

So if you have water stored in milk jugs that is wonderful. Use that water to flush the toilet or wash your clothes but just don’t drink it.

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