My Foray Into Food Storage

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


A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned… Or, In My Case, $270 Saved Is $270 Earned

I just saved $270 in about one hour. Not too shabby, huh?


How did I accomplish this amazing feat? I fixed some holes in 3 pairs of my hubby’s jeans.


Basic sewing is an incredibly valuable skill. Being able to sew on a button or to fix a broken seam can save quite a bit of money over the years. Not to mention that replacing simple buttons in a basic blouse with unique ones will give you a one of a kind, expensive looking piece to wear.


Yes, there are less expensive jeans out there, but my husband has a 28 inch inseam. Did you know that almost no retailers carry jeans for adult men with a 28 inch inseam? It’s true! The Gap sells them online, and occasionally in their stores, but that’s it. And Gap charges $90/pair. (Yes, I know you can hem jeans, but that’s another issue in and of itself, so I’m not going into it here.)


Back to my saving money coup, after letting the jeans sit in my closet for a couple of years, I finally bought the thread I needed to fix them. It was quite simple, and I think they turned out well. See?




Have you ever tried your hand at sewing?

If so, what was your most successful project?

If not, what would you like to learn to sew?



6 Reasons Why I Can’t Be A Doomsday Prepper & 6 Reasons Why I Should Be

6 Reasons Why I Can’t Be A Doomsday Prepper


1.  Boys Smell!  I have four sons.  If I have to live in a bunker with them, I will need like 50 years of air freshener!  Plus, I am sure that the most effective “boy smell” cancelling air fresheners must be toxic, so I won’t live long anyway.


As much as I love them, boys smell!



2.  I doubt the apocalypse will occur anytime soon.  As my son says, “Always doubt the apocalypse, no one will laugh at you if you’re wrong.”  Since I’m not sure the world is going to end in my lifetime, can I justify investing that much money and time when I could be going to Disneyland and having fun?


3.  If it started raining vampire-werewolf-zombies, I’m not sure I could defend myself.  Seriously, would guns even work?  They’re already dead!  I have a cat, but she’s super timid and only likes to torture bugs, not kill them.  Plus I don’t want to store 5+ years of food for her.  I’m good with a few months, but not 5 years.


4.  If the Doomsday Apocalypse actually happened, I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to, because my family always talks about “boy” stuff.  Would I want to be stuck in a smelly boy bunker, hearing my boys lament the loss of their video games for the rest of my life?  (My youngest just said, “We can have generators.”)


5.  There’s no where I could easily build a secret, EMP-shielded, underground bunker.  Too many earthquakes, land slides, etc, in my area.  I guess I could build one further out, but then the question remains, how would I get there?  No off-road vehicle in our household.  Hmm…  I guess I could use my basement.  Oh, that’s right!  No basements in southern California.


Super Delicious Lemon Bars!

Super Delicious Lemon Bars!  Find the recipe here.


6.  Brownies. I love them.  Can you actually make a good brownie in a solar oven or on a camp stove?  Is life worth living without brownies?  Or lemon bars?  Is it possible to have that golden brown crust without a real oven?  And will life be worth living without delicious desserts to mask the horror of life after the “end of the world”?  That is the million dollar question.



6 Reasons Why I Should Be A Doomsday Prepper


1.  I like being prepared.  Or, according to my hilarious youngest son, I’m paranoid.  He says I’m paranoid about lots of stuff.  Becoming a full-fledged “doomsday prepper” would fit right in with the “paranoid” person I apparently already am.


2.  I’m big on canning.  A little more couldn’t hurt.  Or a LOT more.  My sons are growing up and are bottomless pits for food.  So, we need more food anyway.


18 jars of marmalade in one day!

18 jars of marmalade in one day!


3.  It will be the ultimate “I told you so.”  If a doomsday apocalypse actually happened, some people would live long enough for me to say “I told you so.”  Of course, that would attract undo attention which is a big “no-no” in the prepping world.  Plus, I’m not real big on rubbing it in when someone else was wrong.  So scratch this one.


4.  Because I don’t want my cat to needlessly die.  Or my family.  Okay, maybe I should have mentioned my family first, because as much as I like my cat, I like my family more.  (Sorry, Mia!)  If a little prepping on my part can protect them, it’s totally worth it.  Right?


Mia, my cat.


5.  Bad things can and do happen every day.  While I don’t believe the world is going “end” in my lifetime, there are so many other events I can prepare for: unemployment, an earthquake, a storm, wildfire, etc.  Even if the doomsday apocalypse doesn’t happen, I will be prepared for just about anything.


6.  I can learn the skills I need now to make life after the apocalypse enjoyable.  Life is worth living, with or without brownies.  *BUT* if I become a serious prepper, I’m sure I can learn to make a really good brownie BEFORE the apocalypse!  Plus there are all sorts of other skills which can be useful in my life right now: gardening, baking, building things, etc.  I can learn to make brownies like this with non-traditional cooking methods now, so I can cover the boy smell in our bunker!  Plus chocolate makes everything better!


Best Brownies Ever!

Best Brownies Ever!  Maybe I could learn to make these with non-traditional cooking methods and have them after the apocalypse?  Learn how to make them here.


Could you be a doomsday prepper?

How about simply becoming more prepared?


Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA

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Am I REALLY Saving Money? Homemade Laundry Detergent

Another popular post from my “Am I really saving money?” series.

My Foray Into Food Storage

Before we begin, I have a quick reminder.  Don’t forget to check out my April Giveaway here!  And please visit my sponsor’s page.  🙂  Thanks!

When I first made my own laundry detergent and posted it on Facebook, telling all my friends how much money I saved, my husband said, “We have enough money to buy laundry detergent!”  And he’s right.  We do.  So, why in the world would I make my own?

1.  I like knowing exactly what’s in the things I use.

2.  I have a son with allergies who needs a fragrance free detergent.

3.  Every penny I save I can put toward building my food storage.

So, does it really save money to make my own detergent?  Let’s see.  We’ll start with the “recipe.”  I came up with this after reading several recipes online and took what I liked from a few of them…

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