Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Saving, Preparing, Growing!

Today, B bought a piggy bank. For his birthday, my sister Jenette gave B a TEN dollar bill. Over the past month, B has pointed out the piggy banks at the store, I don't even know how many times he showed them to me. His favorite was the Thomas piggy bank. I told him it was nice, but seeing as how the piggy bank cost $9.84 and he had $10, I didn't think it was the best use of his money, because he wouldn't have any money left over to put IN the piggy bank. Then today he once again showed me the piggy banks and I got kind of excited because I saw the price on the shelf was $5. Then I realized that Thomas was on the wrong shelf and he was still $9.84. But then I had a thought. If I was willing to let him buy the piggy bank for $5, then why don't I offer to pay half. So I asked him what he thought. Would he be willing to pay $5 from his birthday money, if so, then Mommy would pay the rest, then he would be able to put his remaining $5 into his bank. 

Well, as you can see, the piggy bank now lives at our house and B is a very, very happy boy. He has even asked how he can get MORE money to put in his piggy bank. So now, Ken and I will need to sit down and make a list of chores and how much those chores are worth. I'm hoping both boys will be excited to earn some money.
Speaking of Saving for the future. I recently started feeling like we needed to make sure we had our 72 hour Emergency Kit in order. Why? Well I think it started when I saw a friend post a picture of the food from her 72 hour kit, it was old. I think she had done a pretty good job making sure that her children's kits were updated but she hadn't looked at hers in quite a while. Seven or Eight years ago, I put together some food for Ken and I. At the time it was just Ken and I, we were set! Well, last year or maybe it was two years ago, I went through those kits (they had been sealed in Mylar bags) and pretty much everything had gone bad and or was oddly mint flavored, there had been gum in the bag too.

I remember thinking "I'm going to make the whole family some 72 hour kits". I didn't. We have even more family members now. AAAAAHHHHHHHHH. So I saw my friends picture, and quite a few of her food items were MRE's. I had just seen MRE's available in the Bulk Food section of WinCo. So I decided I would see what they had. It was PERFECT I thought. I'll buy MRE's! We'll be set for years!

But alas, the MRE's available at WinCo were not things I felt like buying. Crackers with cheese spread, peanut butter and jam. I'm sure we would be grateful for those items if we were in desperate need BUT I didn't really want to buy a bunch of them, I figured I could find something we'd like better.

It was about this point when I realized that our long term food storage was also in dire need. We had some, but not much and I had discovered that some of what we had was not the best (I had opened a can of flour and discovered that it smelled and tasted metallic, which I really didn't enjoy), also, what we had probably wouldn't last too long if we had to subsist on it, we had 5 pounds of dry milk, 21 pounds of rice, 6 pounds of pasta, 3 pounds each of dehydrated onions and carrots. I really felt like we needed more.

It was about this time that I spoke to Ken's Aunt Donna. She too was feeling the need to be more prepared and she told me about a company she was considering buying some freeze dried foods from. There are quite a few companies that offer a months worth of meals in one bucket. She told me about the sale price this company was offering and I remembered that I had seen one of those types of meal buckets at WinCo! So I looked up the company that Aunt Donna had told me about and I went to WinCo and took a look at the bucket they were selling. They were different. WinCo's bucket was a 72 hour kit for 4 people OR 12 days worth of meals for one person. After comparing the two buckets I decided that the 4 person 72 hour kit would actually work very well for my small family. It had 2,000 calories per day for each of the 4 people each day. We could totally make that work for our family of 2 adults and 3 children. It was also, in my opinion, a really great deal! So we bought one. BOOM! The food for our 72 hour kit is now taken care of!
I asked Ken if he would be in charge of collecting games and coloring books and other things to help keep the kids occupied should we ever need to actually use our 72 hour emergency kit. He's on it! We now have 2 awesome coloring books for our kit. Thanks to the back to school sales we also have crayons and markers.

I'm still not sure what to do about clothes and shoes. I'm considering going to the DI and trying to find sweatpants/ sweatshirts in a size or two above what the kids wear now- because that way I wouldn't have to switch the clothes in there every 6 months. I'm pretty sure I'd forget to switch them. BUT Sweat Pants, those stretch! So even if I did forget for a year or two, they might still fit, they would be tight, but they'd fit, right? I'm still not sure, but I'm thinking AND I'm going to get it done this time.

The same day that I decided we would buy the 72 hour food supply, I also started shopping around for long term storage. I did some research and found some sites that helped me decide what types of things to get.

We actually do have money set aside in our budget for "Food Storage" but we haven't used it for long term food storage, we've usually just used it to stock up at case lot sales on things that we use regularly. I felt like we probably should buy some more long term storage and I knew that we couldn't buy a years supply of food for the whole family so I decided that I would see what we could get. I also knew I would be really sad if we were living off my food storage and all I had was metallic flavored flour with which to make food for my family. Since 2007 I've also discovered that things made with whole wheat flour are quite yummy, SO I started pricing out hard white and red wheat, and a hand crank wheat grinder.

I discovered that WalMart.com had some amazing prices for Augason Farms wheat and so I ordered some of them, in fact 200 pounds worth. They are in 26 pound buckets. I also purchased 100 pounds of Augason Farms Rolled Oats from WalMart.com, they are in 10 pound buckets. From what I had read online, an adult will need between 300 and 400 pounds of grains, so that 300 pounds was, in my opinion a great start. I also was pricing out rice that had been packaged for long term storage and found that the LDS Home Storage Centers had the best price around here, same with Sugar, so today Baby E, my little buddy B and I went down the Lindon Family Home Storage Center and bought 10 cans of Rice (54 pounds- so we now have 75 pounds total), 10 cans of sugar (58 pounds) and one can of dehydrated apple slices. I've got about $20 left of our budgeted money, I figure I'll purchase some salt and other items like oil and leavening agents (though they won't really last long) that will make all the other storage items more usable should we find we need to use them sooner than later.

Even with all those purchases, we don't quite have a years supply for one adult. Maybe for Christmas we'll ask for 60 pounds of beans (black and pinto) or maybe some honey, powdered eggs or a pail of Augason Farms "Morning Moo" which is so much yummier than the average dry milk, mmmmmmmm and it comes in chocolate. It will probably take us 4 or 5 more years to have a complete years supply of food for our family, but it will be worth it, and I think we will be blessed for our efforts. Hopefully, should there be a major emergency in the next few years before our year supply of food is complete, we will have enough for our needs.

AND Finally, what you've all been waiting for, an update on BABY E! She cut her 4th tooth on Sunday. While I was getting her dressed this morning she was smiling so cutely, you could see her first top tooth and it was so sweet. Our camera hates us, it really does, it has this NEED to wait a second or so before it takes a picture and by then our children have inevitably moved or stopped making the cute face. BOOO, Booo to you Camera! So this is as good as I could do trying to show Baby E's darling teeth. Even in a not so great picture she's one cute baby!
Another recent milestone for the baby is that she can get into the sitting position all on her own and she does it all the time. She is also starting to try to lunge forward when she is on her tummy or her hands and knees. Crawling is probably not too far away, I remember wanting the boys to crawl but I'm kind of hoping it takes her a while longer to figure it out. Baby E has also entered the "if I can hold it in my hands then I probably should put it in my mouth" stage which sadly has been accompanied by "I see EVERY LITTLE THING on the carpet and I can pick it all up" stage. She seems to know what she SHOULDN'T eat and those things she still puts in her mouth but she just chews on them, and if we try to get them out of her mouth she shows us just how strong she is. Jaws of STEEL!

So that's a little update about a few of us and what we've been up to. Tomorrow is a busy big day, J has his first day of reading group down at our town literacy center, B has his first day of preschool and I get to go to a meeting where I learn all about how to be a Room Mom. I'm pretty sure we are going to survive but, yeah, most days aren't that busy around here.

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