My Foray Into Food Storage

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


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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?

 

 

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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?


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Am I Really Saving Money? Microwave Popcorn

Sorry I slacked off last week.  I was in need of a mini vacation, so I vacationed from my responsibilities, including my blog.  But I’m back!

 

Many moons ago, I remember reading something about all the things that cause cancer.  If I remember correctly, this article contended that everything on the planet, save 7 things, caused cancer.  Is that true?  I don’t know, but I remember one thing on that list broke my heart: microwave popcorn.  Who doesn’t love microwave popcorn?  A self contained snack, hot and ready in less than 3 minutes.  Truth be told, microwave popcorn is good, but it isn’t my favorite.  My most *FAVORITE* popcorn is oil-popped popcorn (which most likely also causes cancer, because everything does, right?). 

 

A little popcorn goes a long way!

A little popcorn goes a long way!

 

Now we have a lot more to worry about with GMOs, pesticides, bees dying, etc.  Is there an up-side to popcorn?  If what I read on the Internet is true, not only is popcorn a whole grain, it is not (yet) GMO (see article here).  That’s great if you are a popcorn lover like me, but is it good for anything else?  YES!  If you have a grain mill, you can grind popcorn to make cornmeal and have non-GMO cornbread!  Most of the corn grown in the USA is a GMO, and, if that concerns you, this is a great solution.  At least for the time being…

 

But, back to traditional popcorn.  Today, I’m going to show you two ways to make popcorn and compare the cost of homemade microwave popcorn to store-bought microwave popcorn.  First, here’s my favorite way to pop popcorn: in a pan with oil.  YUM!

 

To begin, I pulled out my popcorn and some Kettle Corn seasoning.

To begin, I pulled out my popcorn and some Kettle Corn seasoning.

 

I added 3/4 cup of unpopped popcorn to a large stockpot with oil.

I added 3/4 cup of unpopped popcorn to a large stockpot with oil.

 

I put the lid on the pan and turned the heat on medium high. I let the popcorn pop until there was a second or two between pops, then I removed it from the stove.

I put the lid on the pan and turned the heat on medium high. I let the popcorn pop until there was a second or two between pops, then I removed it from the stove.

 

My 3/4 cup of unpopped popcorn became about 24 cups of popped popcorn!

My 3/4 cup of unpopped popcorn became about 24 cups of popped popcorn!

 

I sprinkled on some of my favorite "Kettle Corn" popcorn seasoning for an indulgent treat!

I sprinkled on some of my favorite “Kettle Corn” popcorn seasoning for an indulgent treat!

 

Now, microwave popcorn.

 

I measured about 3 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn into a plain, brown lunch bag. If you don't have a lunch bag, you can put this into a microwaveable bowl and put a plate on top to cover it.

I measured about 3 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn into a plain, brown lunch bag. If you don’t have a lunch bag, you can put this into a microwaveable bowl and put a plate on top to cover it.

 

There are two ways you can seal the bag. First, you can fold the top over 2-3 times.

There are two ways you can seal the bag. First, you can fold the top over 2-3 times.

 

Or you can fold down once and put one staple at the top to hold the bag shut. No, this will not hurt your microwave. Yes, I'm aware that it's metal, but it will be okay. I promise. Well, maybe I shouldn't promise. I was told it was fine, and I've been doing it FOREVER (at least 5 years), but I am not an expert and cannot guarantee your experience will be problem free. Consult a microwave expert before proceeding.

Or you can fold down once and put one staple at the top to hold the bag shut. No, this will not hurt your microwave. Yes, I’m aware that it’s metal, but it will be okay. I promise. Well, maybe I shouldn’t promise. I was told it was fine, and I’ve been doing it FOREVER (at least 5 years), but I am not an expert and cannot guarantee your experience will be problem free. Consult a microwave expert before proceeding.

 

Turn your microwave on high and pop until there is 1-2 seconds between pops. Then remove from the microwave.

Turn your microwave on high and pop until there is 1-2 seconds between pops. Then remove from the microwave.

 

DO NOT TRY TO TAKE PICTURES OF THE MICROWAVE WHILE YOU ARE POPPING POPCORN, IGNORING THE ACTUAL POPCORN. You will end up with a stinky mess like this one.

DO NOT TRY TO TAKE PICTURES OF THE MICROWAVE WHILE YOU ARE POPPING POPCORN, IGNORING THE ACTUAL POPCORN. You will end up with a stinky mess like this one.

 

Your popcorn should look something like this when you open the bag. You can either fold down the bag and eat it right out of the bag (after adding anything else you want: salt, butter, etc.)...

Your popcorn should look something like this when you open the bag. You can either fold down the bag and eat it right out of the bag (after adding anything else you want: salt, butter, etc.)…

 

Or, you can pour it into a bowl and serve. Just under 3 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn popped about 6 cups of popcorn.

Or, you can pour it into a bowl and serve. Just under 3 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn popped about 6 cups of popcorn.

 

So, are you saving money to pop your own popcorn?  Here’s the cost breakdown:

 

Grocery Store prices (in Southern California on June 9, 2014)

 

Homemade

Popcorn – $1.20/16 ounces, which contains 11 servings (3 tablespoons each), making is just under 11 cents a serving

Lunch Bags – $3.09/100 bags, making it just over 3 cents a bag

Total Price – 14 cents per serving using a bag or 11 cents if using a bowl.

 

Purchased from grocery store

Least expensive microwave popcorn – $5.99/25 servings = just under 25 cents a serving.

You save 9 – 14 cents per serving if you shop at my local grocery store.

 

Warehouse club prices (in Southern California on June 9, 2014)

 

Homemade

Popcorn – $23.98/50 pounds, which equals just under 4 cents a serving

Lunch bags – $3.09/100 bags, making it just over 3 cents a bag (My warehouse club doesn’t sell paper lunch bags, so this is the grocery store price.)

 Total Price – 7 cents per serving using a bag or less than 4 cents if using a bowl

 

Purchased from Warehouse Club

Store-bought Microwave popcorn – $7.28/56 servings (2 servings per bag) = 13 cents a serving.

You save anywhere from 5-9 cents per serving if you shop at my local warehouse club.

 

Is it worth it to you?  I can’t speak for you, but it’s worth it for me.  🙂

 

What’s your favorite way to save money making something at home?

 

 

 

Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA


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How Much Food Do You Need To Survive For One Year? And Where Do I Buy It?

This post answers one of the most basic questions for those looking to build food storage: How much food do I actually need? And how much will it cost? Enjoy!

 

 

Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA

My Foray Into Food Storage

If you had to go to the grocery store right now and buy all the food you need to keep you alive for one year, do you have any idea how much that would be?

Expensive?

I would guess that most of my readers do not know, because I didn’t for a long time.  I felt like it must cost a huge, unattainable amount.  It isn’t!

The key part of this question is the word SURVIVE.  This is not the amount of food one needs to be happy or thrive.  Here is a breakdown of the amounts needed for one person:

Grains (wheat, rice, etc.) – 400 pounds

Beans (any kind) – 60 pounds

Fats (cooking oil, butter, etc.) – 10 quarts (2 1/2 gallons)

Salt – 8 pounds

Powdered Milk – 16 pounds

Wheat and Flour

How much does this cost?  Not as much as you’d think.  I buy…

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