Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 17 Winning the Battle

Today was pay day for us so I feel like a real accountant starting a new month two days early but the finances will all work out. Today I bought hot dogs and hamburger. I'm delighted to have more variety to plan in the menu. We still have all the basics - rice, flour, wheat, salt, yeast, (macaroni, and spaghetti added on Wednesday), tuna, peanut butter, 7 dozen eggs, and 100 pounds of potatoes. We covered all the basics with shampoo, diapers, garbage sacks, ketchup (added Wednesday), tin foil and plastic wrap toilet paper and feminine supplies for just at $500.00 for May. This was over budget if I prorated from the time we started the challenge, nevertheless I feel victorious. I made some poor choices but caught some really good sales as well. (Feminine supplies were cheaper at the grocery store sale than the bulk I bought at Sams and the 8 ounce container of minced garlic I bought is the same price as the 48 ounce container at Sams. Garlic will store well in the refrigerator for a year or longer. For the same money, I wish I had a years supply! Oh well, I won't make the same mistake next month). Building a supply that is continually rotating basics that last for 10-30 or more years, maximizes the dollar spent because very little will waste. Items like white rice, wheat, corn, pasta, sugar, dehydrated apples, and dehydrated carrots if sealed in a number 10 can will last for 30 years. I feel it is best to buy these items first when starting to build a supply because they are cheap, they have great versatility, they take very little space per meal compared to a boxed prepared meal, and if you make it a point to use them regularly it is part of what a family will "normally eat." Our family normally eats rice in a dozen different dishes so rice is a natural item to store. We eat a lot of homemade bread. Storing wheat is a long term storage item that also fits into the everyday category. One the other hand a family may decide to buy 6 packages of taco shells because they eat tacos regularly. The taco shells have a limited shelf life, will taste stale in just a few months and can be used as taco shells, as taco chips but not much else. The money is in a short term investment. The Long term investment pays greater dividends if one is using the food. (Often people have no idea how to use wheat, but they buy it as just "food insurance." They are willing to let the money spent on wheat be a complete waste if they never use what they store. They feel good that at least they have something stored.) I would agree. Store something! but ideally learning to use the long term storage items on a daily basis maximizes both long term and short term returns.

On another front, with the wave of an Executive Order (which it is reported that Obama used today mandating that all the oil rigs- exploratory or producing- in the Gulf of Mexico be shut down for 6 months in the aftermath of the oil spill) thousands can lose their jobs over night. When such political power is being used, it is good for the common man to be prepared. I urge everyone to prepare as quickly as possible. Buying basics - white rice, flour, wheat, dried milk, etc... then living off the basics and using the savings to pay debt, build a reserve and put more food on the storage shelf is the whole goal of this 90 day challenge. How quickly can it be done? Can we buy a grain mill too?

Breakfast was also a success. I had a ham bone and cooked pinto beans as protein sources. I did not want to serve more eggs. I boiled the ham until I could cut chunks off the bone. Then I mixd the ham, cooked pintos, minced garlic and salt. We served it in small ramekins. The presentation made it seem more tasty. Two or three of the children commented that they loved the combo.

Lunch: Sandwiches made with tuna and some with peanut butter, fresh fruit.

Dinner: Spaghetti with hamburger, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, with lettuce salad.


  1. There are a couple of things you said that I wish you would give a bit more detail about. Firstly, that you made some poor choices--what did you do that you decided wasn't right? Secondly, you mentioned things that will last 10-20 years on the shelf. What would that be? The rice and what else?

  2. I editted the post. Hopefully it is more clear. If you still have questions, ask. I am approaching this from a little different angle than many "preparedness" experts. There is really no right or wrong way to build food storage. The key is to start and then keep rotating food as you use it.

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