My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

My March Preps: You Get To Hold ME Accountable!

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Although I started this blog because my friend, Alisa, encouraged me to do so, I had another motivating factor.  I wanted some accountability.  Like most people, I can talk a good game about what I am “going” to do.  But sometimes, maybe a lot of times, I allow time to get away from me, and I don’t do as much as I would like to do.  To keep me moving along a self-reliant path, I’m going to report to you at the start of each month and tell you what I did to build my food storage during the previous month.

 

Some months will be better than others.  I’m telling you that right now, but my goal is to keep going and doing and building.  If I do that, I will eventually get to where I want to be.  I hope, also, that by sharing my experiences, it will help you think about how you can prepare and then act!  Thought without action will not help you or me very much if we find ourselves in an emergency situation.

 

Without further ado, here’s a summary of my efforts to build my food storage in March.  Remember!  All of this came from my regular grocery budget (click here to see how I do it).  I did not use money from any other budget category.

 

Food and Water

 

Filled three old soda bottles with water after washing and sanitizing them.  I now have 7 2-liter bottles of water in addition to my water barrels (you can see them here) and regular bottled water.

Filled three old soda bottles with water after washing and sanitizing them. I now have 7 2-liter bottles of water in addition to my water barrels (you can see them here) and regular bottled water.

 

Last year, the GFCI outlet my chest freezer uses tripped, and I didn't notice for several days.  It was a very sad discovery when my son told me that the meat in the freezer felt warm.  I lost everything!  While a good lesson in not only checking my chest freezer daily (it's in the garage), it also reminded me that I cannot rely on my freezer alone for meat storage.  This month, my local Wal-mart had some great markdowns on meat.  I bought quite a few and feel that my "back-up" meat supply is good.  I used some of what I purchased this month, but this is the excess from March's purchases.  This is helpful, not only because I have some extra food on hand, but also because it allows me to wait until meat is on sale, so I never pay full price.

Last year, the GFCI outlet my chest freezer uses tripped, and I didn’t notice for several days. It was a very sad discovery when my son told me that the meat in the freezer felt warm. I lost everything! While it was a good lesson in checking my chest freezer daily (it’s in the garage), it also reminded me that I cannot rely on my freezer alone for meat storage. This month, my local Wal-mart had some great markdowns on meat. I bought quite a few and feel that my “back-up” meat supply is in good shape. I used some of what I purchased this month, but this is the excess from March’s purchases. This is helpful, not only because I have some extra food on hand, but also because it allows me to wait until meat is on sale, so I never pay full price.

 

I organized two group purchases through one of my favorite food storage companies, Emergency Essentials, one in February and one in March.  Since the February order didn't come until March, I'm counting it as a March prep.  I love these group food storage purchases, because I get an AMAZING price on long term food storage and free shipping.  I let my friends know what the special is and those who are interested order a few and I order a few, so we reach the minimum number of items.  February's special was Organic Freeze-dried Blackberries ($16 for a #10 can).  March's special was Freeze-dried Beef Brisket for $28 (per #10 can).  Freeze-dried foods, when properly stored unopened, can last 30 years and retain their nutritional content.  They are easy to use and are often preferred over dehydrated food as they retain much of their texture.  If you want to organize a group purchase in your area, please visit Emergency Essentials' website.  You can order directly online.  If you desire, you can sign up as a group leader.  It's free with no obligation to buy anything ever!  You receive advance notice for group specials and occasional bonus items with your shipment.  Click here to find out more.

I organized two group purchases through one of my favorite food storage companies, Emergency Essentials, one in February and one in March. Since the February order didn’t come until March, I’m counting it as a March prep. I love these group food storage purchases, because I get an AMAZING price on long term food storage and free shipping. I let my friends know what the special is and those who are interested order a few and I order a few, so we reach the minimum number of items. February’s special was Organic Freeze-dried Blackberries ($16 for a #10 can). March’s special was Freeze-dried Beef Brisket for $28 (per #10 can). (They extended the group special through April, so you can still get it for this great price!) Freeze-dried foods, when properly stored unopened, can last 30 years and retain their nutritional content. They are easy to use and are often preferred over dehydrated food as they retain much of their texture. If you want to organize a group purchase in your area, please visit Emergency Essentials’ website. You can order directly online. If you desire, you can sign up as a group leader. It’s free with no obligation to buy anything ever! You receive advance notice for group specials and occasional bonus items with your group shipment. Click here to find out more.

 

I canned beans for the first time with my pressure canner.  Find the details here.

I canned beans for the first time with my pressure canner. Find the details here.  I ended up with 17 pints and 3 quarts, and they are DELICIOUS!

 

Thrive was having a great sale on their entire inventory last month, so I picked up two cans of dried eggs.  If you've read my blog before, you know how much I love them.  See here and here.

Thrive was having a great sale on their entire inventory last month, so I picked up two cans of dried (powdered) eggs from my friend, Jenny. (She’s sponsoring my next giveaway which starts this week!) If you’ve read my blog before, you know how much I love to use powdered eggs in baking. See here and here.  Think chocolate chip pumpkin bread and cheesecake brownies!  Powdered eggs are a must have in my kitchen as they are shelf stable and make baking easy!

 

Garden

 

I planted two tomato plants.  They're growing and are starting to get flowers already!  Click here to see details.

I planted two tomato plants. They’re growing and are starting to get flowers already! Click here to see details.  Here’s the first one.

 

And the second one.

And the second one.

 

My spaghetti squash is not looking so hot.  I'm going to keep an eye on it and hope it improves.  Any suggestions from my experienced gardener/farmer readers?

My spaghetti squash is not looking so hot. I’m going to keep an eye on it and hope it improves. Any suggestions from my experienced gardener/farmer readers?

 

I planted a zucchini squash plant, and it's doing well.  You can also see my onion greens starting to push through the ground.

I planted a zucchini squash plant, and it’s doing well. You can also see my onion greens starting to push through the ground.

 

My eggplant is doing okay, but the bunnies like it.  I am going to put some metal mesh around it so they don't eat the entire plant.  I planted onions around it as well.

My eggplant is doing okay, but the bunnies like it. I am going to put some metal mesh around it so they don’t eat the entire plant. I planted onions around it as well.

 

 

Surprise Garden Finds!

 

I planted a bare root peach tree last year, and it's bearing fruit already.  Not a ton, but I have almost 30 peaches growing on it.  I can't wait to harvest them!

I planted a bare root peach tree last year, and it’s bearing fruit already. Not a ton, but I have almost 30 peaches growing on it. I can’t wait to harvest them!  I thought I’d have to wait at least another year.

 

My best find was this: a Valencia Orange tree.  I though it was a sickly bush for the past couple of years.  I almost pulled it last year, but I cleaned up the planting bed and fertilized it, hoping to save my "bush."  While I was weeding this month, I discovered a tag on it which said it is a Valencia Orange Tree.  If you look, you can see little oranges forming already.  Yeah!

My best find was this: a Valencia Orange tree. I though it was a sickly bush for the past couple of years. I almost pulled it last year, but I cleaned up the planting bed and fertilized it, hoping to save my “bush.” While I was weeding this month, I discovered a tag on it which said it is a Valencia Orange Tree. If you look, you can see little oranges forming already. Yeah!

 

New Skills

 

I learned to make Yummy Knock-off Auntie Anne's Pretzels.  Click here to watch me.

I learned to make Yummy Knock-off Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Click here to watch me.

 

 

I made crackers for the second time, and they turned out much better than my first attempt.  This new skill will add variety to our diet now, and especially if I need to live exclusively off of my food storage.  Here's the post with the recipe, if you want to take a look.

I made crackers for the second time, and they turned out much better than my first attempt. This new skill will add variety to our diet now, and especially if I need to live exclusively off of my food storage. Here’s the post with the recipe, if you want to take a look.

 

 

Now it’s your turn!  What did you do in March to help build your food storage or to become more self sufficient?

If you didn’t do anything last month, what will you do this month?  Commit, comment, and come back next month to “report.” 

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Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

11 thoughts on “My March Preps: You Get To Hold ME Accountable!

  1. Wow, March was a great month for you! Well done! And I completely hear you on the accountability front. It makes it so much easier to stay on task when you know people are watching! 🙂

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  2. Congratulations on your achiements, especially growing fruit trees. Awesome!

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  3. Show off! 🙂 I sanitized and filled three 2-liter with water. Go Karyn!

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  4. I’m so envious of your garden. We had a fabulous garden several years back, when we were in the Texas panhandle. I haven’t had time to start up a new one. You’ve inspired me. Thanks for the push.

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  5. You had a great month. I’m still learning to cook again while getting the left shoulder back in working order. And trying to do it all from a power chair, so not much progress with storage yet. Right now concentrating on packing my heavy sweat shirts away and finding lighter weight shirts and jackets for spring to put in easy reach. Still have most of last year’s food stored up where I can’t reach any more, so in a pinch I can get a neighbor to pull some stuff down for me, and share the bounty after I cook it. I’ve discovered they love the home cooked meals. Trying to make a container “garden” for my window, with herbs and small veggies. Had larger plans before falling and breaking the shoulder, but have to table them for a year or so.

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  6. I think I’m going to try getting that bread recipe started tonight. Yay!

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  7. Cool page! Great tips and useful information!!

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  8. Pingback: Do I Store Stuff Just To Have It? Or Do I Store Stuff To Use It? | My Foray Into Food Storage

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