Monday, January 10, 2011

January List

On my stock up list for January: blanket(s), bandages, butter, beans and books. Better get busy.

What better to quietly work at as it snows, anyhow? This morning I got my trusty sewing machine, moved it under a bright window, and began stitching. Outside the window, snow dances. Over in the corner, Millie snores. It's peaceful.

I'm wanting to have a pillow, linens, and a warm, beautiful blanket at the cabin for everyone in my family. By the end of the year, that will be 11 people. Wow. It's a lot of sewing. Maybe, once these are done, I'll wrap and seal these in SpaceBags with a few sprinkles of lavender buds. Yes, I think that's what I'll do.

I continue to get handfuls of emails every week about preparedness. I quickly ran out of time to get the resources emailed out. If you're truly interested in preparing your family in case of a storm, layoff, extended illness, etc., there is a staggering amount of information and resources out there. I began as a student of preparedness a year ago, and in that time have picked up countless books, articles, and tips... many from bloggers or websites desiged to help concerned folks. So here's my recommendation: start your own hunt. Google "preparedness" and see what pops out. Get a feel for what's available. Then, maybe start here: The Survival Mom, $5 Preps - You CAN Afford to Prepare, and Food Storage on $5 a Week. As you find what fits your lifestyle, family, budget, time, faith, and level of concern, you'll quickly find your favorite resources. Some may stop there, others may go Patrice Lewis style, others may end up a Rawlesian.

The best advice I can give? Just start. Start somewhere. I make a habit to concentrate on buying certain items every month. From there, I try to pick up three extras of what I run out of every week. (Need a new toothbrush? Buy three extra. Toilet paper? Three extra. Canned peaches? Three extra. Dog food? Ha. At $20 a bag, I only have one extra. It's okay. Just do what you can. For your budget, that may mean an extra can of soup, fruit, and box of mac and cheese every grocery run. Ultimately, know that, more than anything, our faith (spiritually) and our ability to adapt (physically and mentally) is what will ultimately see us through whatever this life throws at us.

If you have resources or tips of your own, please feel free to leave them in the comments. Questions, too. Criticism of preparedness and the desire to provide for yourself and your family in uncertain times? Move on and do something productive and meaningful with your time. This likely isn't a forum for you. -Brin

15 comments:

rachel said...

Brin: thankyou so much for this! I am new to prepping and trying to urge on the side of "ready" rather than "panicking".
I love your blanket plan. My house is small, and I live alone, but I want to have enough to share, if and when the need arises.
So far I am building a (very small) stockpile of dry goods (rice, pasta, wheat flour) - it's good for my finances and such a relief to know I have things by in case.
I look forward to looking at some of the links you suggested :)
God bless xxx

Gayle from Southern Thresholds said...

I would suggest couponing as a means to really expand your stockpiles with very little money out of pocket (OOP)...I started doing this about 7 months ago and have a stockpile for my husband and myself plus I am able to give away tons of items to my friends..you can find coupons on the internet,magazines and Sunday papers...if you want/need particular items, you can buy coupons from people on Ebay or join a message board and trade coupons you have for coupons others are looking for... a couple sites that I use are hip2save.com and afullcup.com

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

I'm working on using leftovers more wisely and tasty this year. Best one so far, when making mashed potatoes, make a bit extra, because the best potatoe salad I ever made was from left over mashed potatoes! Love this post!

Christine said...

Excellent post. I find I do this automatically because my mother who was raised in the First Depression lived this way. When my divorce began 4.5 years ago, I made sure I'd be set for a lot of things. One problem, since it was only me, I didn't use food stuffs fast enough. About a month ago, I opened a can of tomatoes that spit at me. Looked at the expiration date and it was at least a year past. Checked more and over half my pantry was expired. Obviously I need to come up with a better rotation system. Just throwing this out for thought. Will be checking your links for any advice on this. Love the bright yellow quilt!

Brin said...

Christine - I'm no expert, but I tend to dork out to make sure my money and food stuffs don't go to waste. :) Keep up with what you buy (I have a spreadsheet), and rotate, rotate, rotate. When you buy a new bottle of ketchup, use one you've had stashed in your pantry and put your newer one in the back. Use a Sharpie to scribble the buy date/use by date on whatever you bring home. When expiration dates draw near, take a look at your stash. If you don't have time to use things by then, great! Consider donating the items to a food pantry, single mom, or hungry family near you - anyone who will appreciate the items.

It's always good to stock up on quick, easy-to-prepare meals and food stuffs, but if you're serious about putting away some food, consider buying long-lasting food from reputable companies. I like www.beprepared.com, and www.shelfreliance.com. These work for my life and budget, but you may find something else that works for you!

Sounds like you've already taken the most important step- starting! Best of luck... Brin

Susan said...

A little bit off topic maybe ...
just curious have you read Cormac McCarthy's The Road

It does seem like we're "headed for hell in a hand basket" - I'm not sure how prepared a person can be for this.

Susan said...

www.homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/

Alena said...

It sounds like you have really found a method that works for you! I'm glad *hugs* I can't wait to get our move finished so I can start (we're moving in our car, so stocking anything at all isn't an option at the moment). Thanks for sharing some of your favorites - I'll start there! :) I'm curious, Brin; how do you feel about bulk foods? Have you heard of Azure Standard (an organic farm-based bulk wholesaler in Oregon that ships nationwide)? I know a few families who use them, and are very pleased; we'll join their ranks once we're settled. God bless! :)

Rebecca said...

This is fantastic! Ironically, I just put together a sewing table today, creating my own working space; now I don't have to pack-up between sewing sessions. Your picnic blankets are inspiring! Thanks Brin!

Christine said...

Brin,
Thanks so very much for the ideas and links. The spreadsheet is brilliant! The Sharpie too, since the expirations are always in such small type and weird places. I use spreadsheets for other things in life, but never thought to use one for this. Perfect time to start these practices too, as I go through everything in the pantry. Plus there's a food bank near my house! Thanks so much for the ideas!

Brin said...

Thanks, y'all! :)

Susan - I agree. All indications seem to point to world events that will be difficult... if not impossible... to prepare for. As a Christian, my faith and hope lies in Jesus, and my efforts are focused on my family... making sure they have provisions and some degree of comfort, if possible. -Brin

Vickie said...

Love all that sunny yellow, Brin! That ought perk anybody up just looking at it! I'm getting the itch to quilt again...

Athena said...

Those quilts look gorgeous! But to be honest the tips on buying for $5 to build a stockpile are really strange. Especially nutritionally. The best and cheapest, longest lasting foodstuffs to stock up on (which I do anyway in case of snow or if I feel unwell, lazy, etc): Stock up on rice, different beans, dehydrated corn, dried tomatoes, dried stock, spices, salt/pepper, and a dehydrator for drying tons of veggies and dry soup mixes. Many other grains than just wheat to keep in dry goods such as cornmeal, buckwheat, whole wheat.. best stored in whole grain form and then ground into flour when needed in an emergency.. will last years that way.. flour actually doesn't keep very long without getting weavels which then cannot be eaten.

Brin said...

Athena- I agree, that list might not be ideal for everyone. And I definitely agree that whole grains (unground wheat, etc.) is far better than flour, which will go bad/get infested quickly. I buy the year of grains in buckets from www.beprepared.com, but they're bulky and expensive! These lists are offered in the hopes that they'll get folks thinking and even evaluating what they have vs. what they would need in an emergency situation.

I love your suggestions and welcome more! -Brin

sister sheri said...

Your quilts and the photos of them are beautiful. I love how you are sharing what is near and dear to your heart.