Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Can Anyone Help Me Out?

I am a very random person (if you hadn't noticed). Not really sure why that is--genetics? personality? upbringing? Just not real sure, but I'd love to overcome it. I'd love to be so together that life is just easy and just a matter of upkeep; not always putting out the same fires over and over again. Am I being unrealistic? Is it just that on the other side of the fence everyone else looks so organized, orderly and together, but it's just how it looks? Or is it really that I've missed out on some of that somewhere? If that's the case, where do I get some of that?

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time with the pamphlet "One for the Money." I have organized a budget, and I feel really good about it. I've said this before, and I'm sure I'll say it many more times in my life, but I love it when smart (and inspired) people share their brilliance with the rest of us.

One of the things it says is, "Accumulate your basic food storage and emergency supplies in a
systematic and orderly way." When I went to visit my dad yesterday, his wife asked me how our year's supply was doing. I told her we had food storage. She encouraged me to inventory it. But, to be honest, I know we don't have enough--not for nine people for a year. We're getting there, and coupons are helping a TON (thanks, Rebecca)! The thought of inventorying it is overwhelming to me right now. She asked if we had wheat. I said yes, but it was purchased years ago, and we don't have a grinder for it, so what's the use? I'm much more of the attitude of store what you eat, but I know that some long-term storage is also needed.

So, here's where I need your help. What do you do that is in alignment with the charge from "One for the Money?" How do you keep it all systematic and orderly? With a family of nine, it's a daunting task just to think about buying it, but accumulating it, storing it, and then inventorying it is a completely other thing. Ugh! I know I will be helped as I strive to be obedient, but part of being obedient is being smart. That's where I come to you, my smart (and inspired) friends. Can you help me out?


Alyson said...

I guess the only help I can offer is that I'm trying to keep this ship sailing, and to fill it with stores to feed the nine passengers for a year too. And I'm completely random about it, too. I started off by buying an extra complete meal a week. Then when I had about a month's worth of complete meals, I went to toiletries. Since then, I've just been buying whatever the heck I want. I'm probably up to about six (?) months of food minus the wheat (which, I have no idea how long that will last me; also, MUST GET YEAST *adds to list*) and I have no inventory because I know I'd just wing it when making meals. "We have peaches and spaghetti? Let's see, what can we make with that...?"

I have no plans to inventory it either. Rebellion alert! I'll just keep adding the food we eat to the best of my financial ability.

Made a budget from One For The Money, too. Took me about four drafts to make it workable, but I love knowing which bills are paid with which paycheck and knowing I'll have enough to cover them.

Devri said...

I think the important thing to remember, it can't happen all at once, I do the coupons and I buy extra everytime I am at the store

I know how hard it is for a family of nine, I am in the same boat!

Grace said...

Julie the most we ever had at home at one time was 7 and I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed in trying to not only get and organize food storage but all that goes with it...recipes, foods kill will and won't eat. Last month or RS handed out a month by month list of things to buy to help build up our food storage...if you would like a copy of it, I can get it to you. Let me know.
I think the reason the Church came out with the 3 month plan was that a year or 2 year planned might have seemed overwhelming to so many. That is just my guess but there is something to that.

Oh and can I share something with you regarding fuel? President Bell shared with our Ward that what he does for his years supply of fuel is that he keeps charcoal for his fuel..it's rather inexpensive, of course it could not be used for heating but it can be used for cooking...

I think the best thing overall is to focus on the basics first...flour, oils, sugars, beans, rice etc...and non food items..such as health related items and medicines and then add to these the "extras" that your family eats. I hope that helps some :)

Hesses Madhouse said...

For anyone who's interested, I found this link today. It seemed like a good way to get things going in the right direction.


Rachel said...

Food storage is something we have tried really hard to focus on this past year too. I completely agree that you should only store what you eat-- and I have given in and started storing wheat and using it. My family loves homemade wheat bread--my wheat bread! Hard to imagine, I know. :-) I know that I don't have enough for all of us for a year-- I am seriously lacking on the toiletries and that kind of stuff, but I know that because I am continually working on it and thinking about it we will be blessed.
I don't think that you have to have a running inventory and have every meal planned down to the last morsel to be in "compliance" with the prophets counsel. Like many other things we have been commanded to do-- it's a personal thing between you and the Lord and you do the best you can with what you have.

The Garver Family said...

Dude, when you figure it out...let me know. Just kidding. I've really no real insight to give except for this. My friend has this handy little gadget that works amazingly well. It is a scanner of sorts. When she buys groceries she scans the bar code of items purchased and the quantity and then uploads it to her computer and whala! There on a neat little page that prints out it tells her all sorts of things like when a certain item was purchased, when it'll expire and when she gets low it'll remind her when she needs to get more. I know right? Pretty awesome. She plugs in that she has a family of 9 and it tells her what she needs still and what she's good with, etc.

If you want the name of this gizmo, let me know. I can't remember what it's called, and the reason why I've not gotten one myself is that it is, if I remember correctly, rather spendy.

Rory Baxter said...

I agree that this is a daunting task. I have a storage room and 2 separate pantries that need organizing and inventory.

I have wheat (which is prob 10 million years old) - which we have discovered that Colton and I cant tolerate at all - so I guess if worse comes to worse we use it for bartering in some emergency?

Preston's mom is the stake emergency prep person in their area. She has been to and has taught multiple workshops on how to better organize and inventory food and emergency supplies - easy, simple, everyday kinds of tasks.

I will fill you in on a couple - and then if you feel up to coming down here to learn -she will be here with us the week after school gets out in June. We are planning on canning/re-doing my whole storage plan! You are welcome to come down to watch and then maybe I can come up to you to help you do yours?

Tip 1 -
store most of your food in complete meals (ie - everything goes together with recipe in 1 box/bag) Mom has a whole list of meals that can be stored this way, including detailed item list for every meal. We have also found recipes to add to the list. You should see her storage room - everything stacked nice and neat and complete meals at her fingertips - it is amazing.

Tip 2 - Easy/cheap emergency light - 1 container of vaseline and a birthday candle - serious - it will give you light for HOURS if needed in an emergency. How simple is that?

Tip 3 (my fave) start collecting
5lb buckets from your local bakeries. You can usually get them for free or $1. These are AWESOME for storing your basics (flour, sugar, pasta, etc) in a water/air tight container that will stack and keep things safe for 1-2 years. We use our buckets for everything and I am needing to get more to re-plenish. This is a great way to store lots safely but not take up tons of room because you can stack the buckets.

Hope these ideas might help a little. I am totally serious about you coming down in June. Preston's mom is AMAZING and she can really teach us tons. I wish she was closer so I could learn from her all the time. I know she is specifically staying longer to help me. If you are feeling up to it - it would be great to have you here too.

vaxhacker said...

Being way too random myself, I'm not sure I have much to offer besides completely understanding where you're coming from. It's been a long time since I read that OFTM pamphlet. I'll have to get a copy again and I'll check out that link you posted too. Thanks for those!

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