In November the Festive Friday will swap days and become a Festive Thursday instead. It will be held on Nov. 3 at noon at the county building upstairs. The theme is Attitude of Gratitude, positive thoughts on Holiday Survival.
In October the Festive Friday centered around smart shopping to save money as well as build your food storage items. Shandra Madsen has a blog and a website where she focuses on deals to meals and recipes and preparing for emergencies.
She encouraged everyone to get ready for the unknown, in our area it will most likely be an earthquake. "What will happen, can you survive for four-six weeks. In a large scale disaster, services won't be available for some time. You can live without air for about three minutes, you can live without water for three days. Start with storing water. Bottled water is expensive, but it works. Water will go stale after about two years, so have some flavorings available. You can use empty pop bottles, gatorade bottles, juice bottles, milk jugs, etc. You will need one gallon of water per day per person for drinking and two gallons per day per person for washing and cooking. I store wash water in empty laundry detergent bottles and it works because the water will be a little soapy."
She also recommended you get a water filter. If you don't have one, get one for Christmas. You can also give water filters for gifts. Madsen told the Festive Friday goers to simplify their 72 hour kits, some lists are extremely long as to what should go into a kit. "Be realistic, get water and food for three days and a jacket, have it somewhere you can just grab it and go. Remember to stock up on non-food items as well as food items. Get toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, candles and stock up. You can survive hard economic times if you are prepared. Build your own personal grocery store. If you don't have money and you can't go to the store, do you have enough to survive. I grew up with a grocery store in the basement and my grandparents had one too. I thought everyone did. It doesn't take a lot of money. Just be aware and be informed. Stock up. At our house, we don't eat a lot of treats, I put the money we might spend on treats into our food storage. Even if you only add one item a week to your food storage, it will add up. Start with getting a three month supply of food you are used to eating and foods you enjoy.
"One of the things you need in your food storage is wheat. Store it and it lasts forever. The pioneers had wheat and it saved them. You can boil wheat to survive. It's fairly inexpensive. It has so many vitamins and minerals. You need to store powdered milk. If you have young children, they need milk, they need those vitamins and minerals. Store oil as well. You will need powdered eggs. You will use it in a lot of recipes. Use one tablespoon of egg powder to two tablespoons of water. One cup of water and three tablespoons of powdered milk makes a cup of milk. Buy the non-instant milk.
Madsen recommended getting a wheat grinder.
Get a three month supply of meals. Think of your food storage in terms of complete meals. Think of breakfast, lunch and dinner items. If you have cereal, you will need the powdered milk. If you like oatmeal, you might need brown sugar, raisins and cinnamon. If you like tuna fish sandwiches you will need salt, pepper and pickles. For dinner you might have pasta, sauce and canned green beans. You would make homemade bread. Have a variety of items. As you build your own grocery store, you will have quick meals ready. You will avoid last minute trips to the grocery store and you won't have to resort to fast food to feed your family. Start with a three month supply and gradually work up to a one year food supply. See what you have and take inventory so you don't buy what you already have. Caselot sales can be good, but be careful and watch for the best deals. Some of the best deals can be found at your local grocery store. Watch the ads and when an item is on sale, then stock up. When peanut butter is a good deal, then stock up. Stores will have rock bottom, good deals on items only twice a year, when this happens stock up and buy as close to a year's supply of that item as you can.
Madsen said you can coupon if you want. She doesn't have time. She said the television news came to her and had her and a couponer go out and shop. They were each given $100 to spend. With her money she was able to get items for 17 home cooked and easy meals. The couponers had items like feminine products, deoderant and other non-edible items.
She encouraged everyone to plan ahead for their meals. If you go to the store more frequently, you will spend more money. Plan a two week menu, plan your menus around what's onsale. If chicken is on sale, have chicken enchiladas and chicken tacos. "Be aware and look at the ads, that's how you will save money. Made from scratch meals are the cheapest. Focus on good deals, meal planning can be fun. Make sure you have baking powder, baking soda, salt, flavorings, spices, etc. Rotate your stock, but don't worry about expiration dates. It will last for years after it's expired. Store your long term grains in cans or containers that are rodent proof."
Madsen said she stores sacks of sugar in large containers with lids and leaves the sugar in the bags. She has buckets in her pantry filled with flour, sugar and she refills these smaller containers from her larger supply. She said, she doesn't let a little weevil bother her either she won't throw out flour just because it has weevil.
The website is www.dealstomeals.com and www.myfoodstoragedeals.blogspot.com and www.dealstomeals.blogspot.com You can sign up for online services where Madsen does all comparison shopping for you and the best food deals of the week are posted along with easy meal recipes.