Food Storage and Provident Living Newsletters

The following newsletters about food storage and preparedness were originally written for a Relief Society organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The newsletters are meant to help people who are interested in acquiring and using long-term food storage, and becoming prepared in other ways as well. A number of people have requested copies of the newsletters. To make them more readily available, I am posting them here on the World Wide Web. Since the newsletters were written for a local audience of Latter-Day Saint women in Provo, Utah, some of the information may not apply to you - however, most of it should be OK. You are welcome to make copies to use and to share, but please don't make copies to sell or use commercially. Thanks, and good luck to you as you work to be prepared!

Table of Contents
Jul 1997 - Oatmeal
Aug 1997 - Basic and Expanded Food Storage
Sep 1997 - Start with a Bag of Wheat
Oct 1997 - BBQ Beans, Sourdough, and Food Substitutes from Food Storage
Dec 1997 - Healthy Holiday Feasting
Jan 1998 - Powdered Milk
Feb 1998 - Water / Gardening
June 1998 - Finding Money for Food Storage
Aug 1998 - Eat What You Store, Store What You Eat
Sep 1998 - Food Storage for the Insanely Busy
Oct 1998 - Taking Stock
Dec 1998 - The Gift of Preparedness
Jan 1999 - How Do You Eat an Elephant? (month-by-month preparedness tasks)

July 1997: Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods around. It's rich in soluble fiber, and has been proven to help lower cholesterol. It's also inexpensive and keeps well, making it a good choice for long-term food storage.

Instant vs. Regular. Instant oatmeal is just regular oatmeal that's been broken up so it will cook faster. All grains store better and longer if they're kept intact, so regular oatmeal is best for food storage. If you want instant oatmeal, just put regular oatmeal in the blender and pulse it a few times.

Where to buy. You can buy oatmeal in small quantities at the grocery store, but it's much less expensive to buy in bulk. Try Food 4 Less and Macey's, where 50 pounds of oatmeal is running around $17 right now (about .34/lb). You can also go to the Lindon Cannery and dry-pack oatmeal in #10 cans; stored this way, it will keep indefinitely. This is also cheapest; a #10 can is about $1.15, or .20/lb.

What do you do with it? What do you do with 50 pounds of oatmeal besides eat mush every morning? All kinds of things.

You can also make oat flour by grinding regular oatmeal in the blender (just pulse until it's very fine). Oat flour can be substituted for part of the regular flour in almost any recipe. Oat flour has all the health benefits of regular oatmeal. Plus, it's an ideal ingredient for low-sugar, low-fat treats. Because it's slightly sweet, you can cut back on sugar in a recipe. And because oat flour holds moisture, you can cut back on the fat in a recipe.

Oatmeal Recipes

Classic Oatmeal Cookies
(Abt 60 2-inch cookies)
oven 375 bake for 10-12 minutes
1 C butter/margerine
C sugar
C brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream til fluffy.
1 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Stir together, then add to creamed mixture.
3 C oatmeal
6 oz (1/2 bag) choc chips
1 C chopped walnuts
Fold in.

Drop by rounded tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheet, bake 10-12 minutes.

* To reduce the fat, cut butter to C butter and add C applesauce.

Non-fat, Low-sugar Banana Muffins

oven 350 15 minutes

1 C whole wheat flour
1/3 C brown sugar
1 T baking powder
C oatmeal flour
1/4 C oatmeal
Sift together.
1 C mashed, very ripe bananas (abt 2 large)
1/3 C milk/ buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
Combine, then stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Bake in muffin cups coated with non-stick spray.

Berry Cobbler Topping (This recipe is taken from Fat-free Holiday Recipes, by Sandra Woodruff)

oven 375 45 minutes

A sweet biscuit-type topping for any kind of berry cobbler (blueberry, raspberry, etc.)
1/3 C oat flour
2/3 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Stir together.
C buttermilk
Add and stir just till moistened.

Spoon on top of berry mixture and cook for 45 minutes, or til browned.

* To make a simple, low-sugar berry cobbler: combine 6 C berries, 3 T cornstarch, and 1/3 C sugar.

Oatmeal for One

In large serving bowl, combine 1/3 C oatmeal & 1 C water. Microwave for 3-4 minutes.

Muffins for One or Two (Fast, easy breakfasts)

Bake any muffin recipe as usual, then freeze. Individual muffins microwave in about 45 seconds, for great snacks or very fast breakfasts.

Easy Meatballs
(Abt 60 1" meatballs)
oven 350 25 minutes
1 lbs lean hamburger
3/4 C oatmeal
(*Can pulse into oat flour)
1 egg or 2 egg whites
C onion, fine dice
1 C beef bouillon
tsp pepper
Mix thoroughly. Shape into 1" balls. Coat cookie sheet with nonstick spray, and bake meatballs for 25 minutes.
Fast, easy meals:
Bake recipe in bulk, then freeze meatballs in meal-sized portions. Microwave & serve with frozen/canned veggies for a fast, easy meal.

Eat all different ways:

* Spaghetti sauce, meatballs, spaghetti
* Sweet and sour, meatballs, rice
* Cream of mushroom soup, meatballs, noodles

Families on the go:

* Combine meatballs and sauce in crockpot at beginning of the day. Dinner's ready when you are; plus, family members can serve themselves as they come and go.

For one or two:

* Make individual mini-meatloafs in muffin tins. Freeze in meal-sized portions.
* Cook meatballs in bulk, but freeze small portions in ziploc bags.
* Use the crockpot idea above, but use a "crockette" (very small crockpot, about the size of potpourri steamers).

Kitchen Tips

* Used 5-gallon ice cream pails make great food storage containers. You can them at the BYU dairy for 50 cents, including a tight-fitting lid.

* You can also purchase large blocks of high-quality cheese at the BYU dairy for a reasonable price. Buy in bulk (10-20 lbs) and you'll save a lot. Shred the cheese all at once, and freeze in small packets; it thaws very quickly, and is handy for salads, sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, topping soups, etc.

* Watch Reams and Storehouse for good sales on bananas (they were 10 cents a pound at Reams last week). Frozen bananas make great fruit smoothies (just whiz 2-3 in blender with yogurt - also good with peaches, raspberries, almost any other fruit); you can thaw them and use in baking; and they're also a good fat substitute in most any baked goods.

Aug 1997: Basic and Expanded Food Storage

Putting together a year's supply of food can be a daunting task! How do you do it? A step at a time:

1. Acquire and begin using basic food storage.
2. Decide what you'd like in your expanded food storage.
3. Gradually these items as they go on sale, then store, and use.

Basic Food Storage

Basic food storage should include life-sustaining food for a year. It might not be gourmet, but it would keep you alive! Basic food storage requirements for an average adult for one year are as follows.

Grains (wheat, rice, corn, etc.) 400 lbs
Nonfat dry milk 16 lbs
Sugar/honey 60 lbs
Salt 5 lbs
Fat/oil 20 lbs
Dried legumes 60 lbs
Water 2 wks supply

(Taken from Essentials of Home Production & Storage, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.)

Expanded Food Storage

In addition to the basic food storage listed in the table above, most of us would like to have some of the things we use everyday -- meats, cheeses, vegetables, seasonings, and so on -- on hand.

Here's a simple way to gradually acquire expanded food storage:

1. Keep a list handy in the kitchen. As you cook day to day, note what you use that you'd like to keep on hand.

2. Watch the sale flyers that come with the newspaper on Sundays and Tuesdays. Note the prices for things you use all the time. When there's a good sale on an item, buy in bulk -- enough for 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year, depending on how perishable the item is and what you can afford.

Buying on sale this way, you can get almost everything at to 1/3 off the usual retail price. The savings allow you to build up expanded food storage at very little extra cost.

Food Storage Sources in Utah County

Here are some sources for food storage here in Utah County, Utah. All have price lists available on request (except the Cannery).

Lindon Cannery. 785-0997, Center Street in Lindon. A wonderful resource for building up food storage, the Lindon Cannery offers both wet-pack and dry-pack family canning. Wet-pack includes things like meats, spaghetti sauces, and fruits. Dry-pack includes things like spaghetti, rice, hot chocolate, potato buds, soup bases, and more. Because it's a non-profit organization operated by the Church, the prices are some of the best you'll find anywhere. You must participate in a work session in order to receive commodities. Look for more information coming up.

Provident Living Center. 723-0635, 1538 W 860 S, Orem. Grains, beans/legumes, pasta, baking supplies, some dehydrated. Jeannie Sorenson runs this out of her home.

Security Food & Supplies/Grain Country. 756-1199, 756-9516, 1060 S 500 E American Fork. A full range of camping/emergency supplies, appliances, spices, seasonings, milk, honey, legumes/beans, dried foods, pasta, grains, etc.

Wholesale Foods. 785-3400, 580 West State, Pleasant Grove. A wide range of "regular" foods -- canned foods, juces, condiments, seasonings, baking supplies, cereals, frozen foods. Some bulk grains, legumes/beans, containers, baking utensils.

Lehi Roller Mills. 768-4401, 833 E Main, Lehi. Flour, wheat, cereals, wheat germ/bran, honey. Very fresh, because it's the mill.

Preparedness Plus. 226-4188. Dehydrated foods, legumes/beans, grains, appliances, some emergency supplies.

Cookbook Review: Too Busy to Cook

Emergencies that might force us to live on wheat and beans for an extended period of time are rare. But "everyday emergencies," when life gets super busy, are common. Wouldn't we all like to have lots of pre-cooked meals on hand as everyday-emergency food storage? (How about a month of meals on hand before a wedding, new baby, or missionary homecoming? Or at the beginning of December -- no cooking during the Christmas rush!)

Too Busy to Cook explains a basic method for cooking about a month's worth of meals at a time, which you then freeze so they're at your fingertips. These are the basic steps:

1. Choose 10 entrees you'd like to serve in the next month or so.

2. Make a grocery list of all the ingredients, then shop for what you need.

2. Prepare individual ingredients all at once (cook meat, grate cheese, chop vegetables).

4. Assemble the meals and freeze.

There's a set of 10 recipes with a shopping list and detailed instructions to get you started. The book also includes another set of 10 recipes with less-detailed instructions; reference tables; ideas for cutting back on fat and eating healthier; and a recipe section with about 40 recipes.

Too Busy to Cook (9.63 at Seagull books)

Lori L. Rogers & Chriscilla M. Thornock

Published 1994, 100 pages, softback

Everyday-Emergency Meal: Super Easy Fried Chicken

1 pkg croutons
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 T butter

Rinse chicken breasts. Grind croutons to fine crumbs in blender. Put in large plastic bag with 2 chicken breasts; shake to coat. Repeat til all are done. Spray large fry pan with non-stick cooking spray & melt the butter. Put the chicken in & cook for 15 minutes each side. This recipe is also good with chicken tenders, for finger food.

Food Storage Recipes: Cool Summer Salads

3-Bean Salad (Georgianne Dalzen)


1. In blender, mix:

2. Then gradually add

3. Last, add

Serve over rice or beans. May add your choice of green beans, raisins, peanuts, bell pepper, jicima, shredded carrots, onions, garbanzo beans, kidney beans.

Aztec Salad (Georgianne Dalzen)



Chicken Salad (Serves 20+)

1. Mix 2 T oil, 2 T orange juice concentrate, 2 T vinegar, and 1 tsp salt.

2. Pour above mixture over 5 C cooked, cubed chicken (6-8 breasts). Marinate overnight.

3. Next day, add 3 C cold cooked rice, 1 13-oz can pinepple tidbits, drained, 1 can mandarin oranges, 1 C chopped celery.

4. Mix together 1 C mayonaise & 1 C Miracle Whip, then add to chicken mixture.

Sep 97: Start with a Bag of Wheat

Whole grains are the backbone of long-term food storage, and wheat is the most important grain to store. Modern research confirms the health benefits of whole grains, and that wheat is uniquely suited for human consumption -- not surprising, since the Lord declared, "Wheat for man." In addition to its health benefits, wheat will keep indefinitely when stored properly. So wheat is the logical starting point for long-term food storage.

But What Do You Do with It?

But once you have hundreds of pounds of wheat stored down in the basement, the question quickly arises, "What do I do with it? How can I use it in real, everyday, non-emergency life?"

Whole Wheat - in Italian Food? Yes, and in Mexican and Chinese too!

Cooked wheat berries provide an excellent way to extend cooked, crumbled hamburger in almost any dish. Use about 1 C of wheat berries to 2 C of hamburger. You can't tell a difference in taste, but you can in cost (a cup of wheat berries costs only a few cents) and in fat (the wheat berries are virtually fat-free). You can slip in wheat berries anywhere you use cooked, crumbled hamburger: lasagna, spaghetti, sloppy joes, tacos, enchiladas, chili, beef and broccoli, sweet and sour, and on and on.

If your family won't eat a dish if they can see the wheat, try these tricks:

Convenience Cooking with Wheat Berries

To make using wheat berries convenient, cook a big batch all at once, then freeze so you have the wheat on hand when you need it. The easiest way to cook a batch is to use the crockpot; put the wheat and water in before you go to bed (one cup dry wheat plus 3 cups water yields 2 cups of cooked wheat berries -- for a big batch, try 3 C wheat plus 9 C water), and it'll be ready in the morning. Drain and freeze small amounts (try 1 or 2 cups) in freezer bags. Then, whenever you cook with hamburger, pop a bag of wheat berries in the microwave, thaw (it only takes a minute or so), and stir the wheat into whatever you're making.

Delicious, Convenient Whole-Wheat Breakfasts

Cracked wheat mush can be a hard sell for breakfast. But almost everyone likes whole-wheat waffles, pancakes, and muffins. In about an hour and a half, you can prepare a number of delicious whole-wheat breakfasts for quick, convenient use later.

Idea #1: Waffles and Pancakes.

Fix a large batch of batter that can double as waffles and pancakes; cook the waffles and freeze for quick heating in the toaster later. Then make pancake "batter bags" for quick, no-mess pancake breakfasts later.

To cook waffles: Toast in toaster.

To use batter bags: When you're ready to cook the pancakes, thaw the batter bags in a sink of hot water or in the microwave on defrost (make sure the batter is completely thawed, with no lumps - takes 10-20 minutes). Open the bag and check the consistency, adding more flour or liquid if necessary. Then seal the bag again and clip a small corner off the bottom. You can now "pipe" the batter onto a hot grill for delicious, hot, whole-wheat pancakes.

Whole Wheat Waffles/Pancakes

In a very large mixing bowl, combine:

10 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C sugar
4 tsp salt
4 tsp baking soda
In a separate bowl, combine:
C oil
8 eggs
10 C buttermilk (approx.)
Mix dry and liquid ingredients.

Idea #2: Whole-Wheat Muffins

Multiply your favorite basic muffin recipe by four or five (or use the sample recipe given), then prepare variations as desired. Cook the muffins, freeze, and microwave for easy 1-minute microwave breakfasts & snacks.


Variations: 3 C basic batter plus

Basic Whole-Wheat Muffins (5 to 6 dozen)

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine:
4 C boiling water
4 C wheat bran
In a separate bowl, combine liquid ingredients:
1 C oil
4 C honey or sugar
3 T + 1 tsp vanilla
8 eggs
4 C buttermilk
In a very large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients:
10 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
3 T + 1 tsp baking soda
Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, then stir in cooled bran mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wheat-Berry Pilaf

1. Cook wheat berries:

Combine 1 C wheat w/ 5 C water & let stand at least 8 hours or overnight. Without draining, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat & simmer until tender (abt 1 hours). Drain, cool, and cover. Makes 3 cups.

2. Add vegetables.

Heat 1/4 C oil in large frying pan over med heat. Saute 1 chopped onion & lb mushrooms until limp and liquid has evaporated. Stir in 2 chicken bouillon cubes w/ C hot water. Add mixture to pan w/ tsp basil leaves, 1/4 tsp pepper, and the 3 C cooked wheat berries. Cover & simmer. Thinly slice 2 medium zucchini and carrots. Add to pan, cover & simmer until wheat is heated through and liquid is absorbed (abt 10 minutes).

3. Add cheese & garnish.

Season to taste & transfer to shallow 2-qt casserole. Sprinkle w/ 1 C cheddar or jack cheese, then broil 4" from heat until cheese is melted. Garnish with 2 T minced parsley.
Oct 1997: BBQ Beans, Sourdough, and
Food Substitutes from Food Storage

Really Easy Barbeque Beans

These beans take maybe 5 minutes of hands-on time, and taste really good on a chilly day. They're also very inexpensive. Good with hot cornbread!

3. The night before you want to serve the beans, put 2 C of small white beans in a crockpot, then add enough water to cover the beans by about 3 inches. Cook on low all night.

4. The next morning, drain the beans and rinse. Using a 1-cup measuring cup, measure 3/4 C barbeque sauce, then fill to the top with molasses for 1/4 C molasses. (This way, the molasses won't stick to the measuring cup, making for easy cleanup.) Dump the mixture into the crockpot and stir.

5. Let the beans cook in the sauce all day on low, and they'll be ready for supper.

Yummy Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is easy and inexpensive to make (cost ranges from about 20 to 30 cents for a big round crusty loaf). Although the time from start to finish is long, the hands-on time is minimal.

1. First make a starter. Mix 2 C flour with 2 C water and 2 T yeast. Let the starter sit for two days, stirring occasionally.

2. Dissolve 1 T salt in 1 C water. Add 2 C starter and 5 C flour. Stir and knead into a ball.

3. Let rise overnight at room temperature.

4. The next morning, punch dough down and form into two round loaves.

5. Let the loaves rise for about 4 hrs. (Sourdough takes a long time to rise but it isn't fussy.)

6. Put a pan of water in the oven and preheat to 400. Bake bread for 35 minutes.

7. Replenish the starter by adding 1 3/4 C water and 1 3/4 C flour.

Low-cost Substitutes from Food Storage

You can use standard food storage items to make some useful, low-cost substitutes.
Note: the following ideas come from the Tightwad Gazette, a series of books by Amy Dacyczyn.

A Dozen Eggs for Twenty Cents

Did you know there's a whole-grain egg substitute you can use in baking that has no cholesterol and costs about twenty cents for a dozen "eggs"? It's soybean flour!
1 egg = 1 heaping T soy flour + 1 T water
I tried this in muffins, and it worked! A pound of soybean flour costs sixty cents out at Good Earth Natural foods, and 12 heaping tablespoons of soy flour measured 5 oz, so a dozen soybean "eggs" costs just under twenty cents. Plus, the soy flour has no cholesterol, and it provides high-quality, complete protein.

Pan Spray

To make your own homemade pan spray, fill a spray bottle with 5 oz oil and 1 oz vodka. Shake well and spray. This costs about a fifth as much as regular Pam. (Note: regular Pam contains alcohol, but if using the vodka bothers you, try it with just plain oil.)

Homemade Vanilla

Use some of the vodka to make homemade vanilla. Fill a pretty jar full of the vodka, then add a vanilla bean. Let it marinate for a week or so, and you have homemade vanilla for a fraction of what store-bought costs.
Dec 1997: Healthy Holiday Feasting

Holidays are hectic. Between presents, decorating, crafts, holiday performances, entertaining, and snacking on all kinds of treats, it's no wonder we're tired -- and no coincidence that everyone's getting sick in January and February. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here are quick tips and good recipes for healthy holiday feasting. They'll help you save time and money. They'll also help you avoid the cycle of being tired during the holidays and sick afterwards. And many of them use traditional food storage foods.

Don't think of cutting out -- think of adding in!

If you think in terms of not eating holiday treats, you set yourself up for a struggle right when temptation is greatest. Instead of thinking in terms of cutting out treats and traditional holiday foods, think of adding in lots of good, healthy food. Then go ahead and have some goodies without feeling guilty. Concentrate on eating well, with a focus on eating these things:

Make it convenient to eat good food

With tempting goodies so readily available, you have to make it convenient to eat healthy food. This isn't as hard as it may seem at first. First commit to do it, then prepare in advance:


Holidays are fun, but busy. Here are ideas for simplifying:

Plan quick meals. For everyday meals, plan things that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. The key to doing this is to plan ahead, stock your house with things your family likes and will eat, and make meal plans so you can combine tasks.

Do the day's cooking all at once. Instead of fixing breakfast, lunch, and dinner at different times during the day, do everything at once: Cook the breakfast cereal or whatever, make lunch sandwiches, and start a dinner stew in the crockpot, all at the same time. Then you only have to clean up the kitchen once. Plus, you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing dinner will be ready at the end of a busy day.

Do a bunch at once. Make enough salad to last three days, then store a day's worth in a ziploc bag to keep it crisp and fresh. Prepare fruits and vegetables for snacking this way, too. When you bake, double or triple the batch, then freeze the extras.

Festive Fresh Fruit Salad

Cut up any fresh fruit you wish -- such as apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, grapes. Stir in a cup of lemon yogurt, then sprinkle coconut on top. To make it "Christmas-y," slice kiwis and place on top, along with a sprinkling of dried cranberries. This is really easy and pretty, perfect for entertaining.

Easy, Nutritious Suppers

For easy nutritious suppers, follow this formula:

1) Fix a soup in the crockpot (start it in the morning - try beef stew with stew meat, barley, potatoes, onions, carrots; chicken soup with chicken, onions, carrots, potatoes; chili with canned tomatoes, pre-fried hamburger, and kidney beans, seasoned with chili powder; broccoli soup; potato soup; clam chowder, etc.)

2) Have a fresh salad (prepare 3 days' worth at once, as explained earlier)

3) Have a slice of good whole-wheat bread

4) If you wish, have a whole-grain cookie or some whole-grain cake

Vegetable Bags for Easy Soup

Preparing and freezing "vegetable bags" ahead of time makes it easy to fix a quick batch of crockpot soup. In the morning, just throw in the vegetable bag, water, meat, and seasonings. Cook on low all day, and it's ready for dinner when you are.

To prepare vegetable bags, buy carrots, onions, and celery in quantity (2 lbs carrots, 6 onions, and a large bunch of celery make 4-6 vegetable bags). Run the carrots through the food processor, and chop the celery and onions.

Then combine 1 cup of each vegetable in ziploc bags (3 cups total) and freeze. This is a good basic combination that lends itself to lots of variations. When you make your soup, you can add anything else you want -- potatoes, rice, noodles, canned peas, corn, beans, and so on.

Jan 1998: Powdered Milk

Powdered milk is a basic food storage item. But what do you do with all that powdered milk in your food storage, especially if your family won't drink mixed milk? Lots of things -- read on! (Note: recipes in this newsletter use non-instant powdered milk.)

Reconstituting Powdered Milk

To reconstitute powdered milk, follow the instructions for the milk you have. Usually, the proportions are 1/4 to 1/3 C powdered milk to 1 C of water. My family can't tell the difference between regular milk and milk mixed and with reconstituted powdered milk. Sometimes you can minimize the powdered milk taste by making the powdered milk mix a little weaker - for example, mix 3/4 C powdered milk with 1 quart water.

Baking with Powdered Milk

Use powdered milk whenever you bake. You can't tell the difference, and it's usually cheaper than regular milk: A cup of milk made from powdered milk costs about 7 cents (dry milk at $1.20 /lb); a cup of regular milk costs about 12 cents (at a cost of $2/gallon).

When you bake with powdered milk, use the same amounts you'd use if you were reconstituting it for drinking (1/4 to 1/3 cup of powdered milk to a cup of water -- for example, if a recipe calls for a cup of milk, you would use a cup of water and 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dry milk powder).

One advantage of baking with powdered milk is that you can include milk in dry mixes. For example, say you want to make bread in your bread machine using the timer, and the recipe calls for milk. If you use powdered milk instead of fresh, the bread mix can sit without spoiling.

Evaporated Milk

To make evaporated milk, mix 1 C water with 2/3 C powdered milk.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

To make sweetened condensed milk, mix
C very hot water
1 C powdered milk
1 C sugar
1 T butter
Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar & powdered milk.


For a decadent treat, make sweetened condensed milk (above) and stir in a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips. Chill, then shape into balls (a melon baller works nicely).

Cream Soup Mix

(from Heloise column)
Mix together
1 C powdered milk
1 T dried onion flakes
2 T cornstarch
2 T chicken bouillon powder
t dried basil
t dried thyme
t black pepper
To make soup, mix the above with 2 C water in a large saucepan; stir constantly until thick.
To make different flavors, add another ingredient - such as mushrooms, celery, potatoes, bacon, etc.

Kid Pleasers

My kids won't drink mixed milk plain, but they love chocolate milk, a "purple cow," and peanut butter balls.
Chocolate Milk (1/2 gallon):
Mix together
8 C water
2 C powdered milk
1/8 C cocoa
1/4 to C sugar
pinch of salt (optional)
a few drops of vanilla (optional)
I like to mix this in a half-gallon jug, which is small enough for kids to handle. If you want, you can mix together just the dry ingredients and use as hot chocolate mix (about 1/3 C mix to 1 C water).

Purple Cow

Mix reconstituted powdered milk and grape juice half and half. A good way to give kids grape juice, since when it's mixed with the milk, it doesn't stain like regular grape juice does.

Peanut Butter Balls (from the TightWad Gazette)

Mix together
C honey
C peanut butter
1 C powdered milk
Form into balls (a melon baller works well).

Home-made Yogurt

One of the very best ways to use powdered milk is to make yogurt. This is fast, easy, and inexpensive. (It takes 5-10 minutes to start a batch of yogurt. A pint of plain yogurt runs about $1.39; a pint of homemade yogurt costs about 30 cents). There are lots of ways to make yogurt. Here is one basic method (makes one quart). You'll need some plain yogurt with active cultures for the "starter;" a thermometer; and a way to incubate the yogurt.

Note: You can freeze yogurt starter. Just spoon into ice-cube trays, then store the yogurt ice-cubes in the freezer. Thaw 1 cube (don't microwave) for a batch of yogurt, and use as usual.

What to Do With Yogurt

Substitute yogurt for sour cream (1 C yogurt = 1 C sour cream) in dips, dressings, and sauces.

Fruit Smoothies. In the blender, liquify 1 pint yogurt, 2-3 frozen bananas, cut in chunks, 2 C frozen fruit (peaches, strawberries, pineapple etc.) You can vary the proportions as you wish; more yogurt makes it more like a drink, more fruit makes it more like soft-serve ice cream.

Creamy Salad Dressing

1 C yogurt + 2 T dry milk powder
1 t onion or garlic powder (or to taste)
1 t salt (or to taste)
1/4 t pepper (or to taste)
Additional seasonings as desired (parsley, dill, blue cheese, etc.)
Combine & let sit to blend flavors.

Cream Cheese Substitute. Put a coffee filter in a strainer placed over a bowl. Put 1 pint yogurt in the coffee filter and let sit overnight. You'll end up with about 1 C of thick, non-fat yogurt "cream cheese." Use as you would cream cheese, in dips, spreads, cheesecakes, etc.

Buttermilk Substitute. Mix plain yogurt with an equal amount of water (for example, to make 2 C buttermilk, blend 1 C plain yogurt with 1 C water).

Feb 1998: Water, an Essential Food Storage Item

You can live a lot longer without food than you can without water. So water is perhaps the most essential item in your food storage.

Store at Least 14 Gallons Per Person (a 2-Week Supply)

The recommended amount of water storage is a two- week supply, which is a minimum of 14 gallons per person. Seven gallons is for drinking (the average person needs at least 2 quarts of water per day), and seven gallons is for sanitary purposes. If you have dehydrated items in your food storage, you may wish to store additional water.

Water Containers

DO use

DO NOT use

LABEL containers clearly: WATER + the date

Sterilizing Water

You can store hard water straight from the tap (the Utah State Extension Service says Provo water contains adequate chlorine for storage and can be used as is without adding additional Chlorox or Purex). Water stored this way should be rotated every 6 months.

For long-term storage, you can sterilize water as follows.

Where to Store Water

Maintaining & Rotating Stored Water

Emergency Sources of Water

Purifying Water

The safest way to purify water is to boil it for 3-5 minutes. You can also disinfect it with regular household bleach, but use only clear water. Use 16 drops of bleach (1/4 tsp) per gallon. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes. Water should have a slight bleach odor. If not, repeat dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. Because bleach does lose strength over time, bleach used to purify water should be less than two years old.

"The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden"

"We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. . . Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots or planters. Study the best methods of producing your own foods." - President Spencer W. Kimball

Springtime is time to think about gardening! Whether you love to garden, feel guilty about not gardening, or have just never thought about it, being able to grow some of your own food is an important part of emergency preparedness and provident living.

You don't have to have a large garden and spend your life canning to enjoy the benefits of growing some of your own food. Everyone has different needs and lifestyles, and gardening can fit them all.

Container Gardening

Perhaps your time is limited, your health is failing, or you plan to travel extensively over the summer. In this case, a container garden might be a good option. Why not plant your food in pots? For example, you could have one zucchini, one tomato, and one cucumber plant. Set up on a drip watering system with an automatic timer, this arrangement would require minimal care, but could still provide a lot of fresh food.

Small Gardens

Even a garden as small as 2' by 3' can provide a family with lots of fresh food. Sample plans for relatively small gardens are given on page 3 of the Essentials of Home Production and Storage booklet.

Sneaking Gardens In

If you don't want to have a garden per se, how about "sneaking" a couple of vegetable plants into the landscaping? There's always the zucchini, of course. And there are other bush-type plants that yield a lot of vegetables, like yellow squash, tomatoes and cucumbers in wire cages. A row of radishes or lettuce could be planted early on; they'll be gone by the time the regular plantings begin to bush out.

Free Resources

Many books on gardening are available at the library. They cover everything you could ever want to know, from container gardening to organic gardening to gardening for complete self-sufficiency. All sorts free of information is also available on the Internet. You might want to start with some of the major seed companies' sites, such as PARKSEED.COM or BURPEE.COM. Free information brochures are also available at many garden centers.

June 1998: Finding Money for Food Storage

"Food storage, what a joke," a mother of a large family once said to me. "It's hard enough buying groceries; how do you get far enough ahead to buy food storage?"

This mother expressed a common concern: finding money for food storage. There's no one easy solution, but there are many ways to approach the problem. This newsletter offers some ideas on finding money for food storage.

Shop the Sales

It sounds basic. But shopping sales aggressively can often double your buying power. If you do it systematically over time, you can get a lot of food storage out of your regular grocery budget. Here's how it works.

Always scan the grocery stores' sale flyers. (In our area, these come with the newspaper on Sundays and Tuesdays.) Note the prices for things you know your family uses. When there's a good sale (30-50% or more off the usual price), buy up. If the item stores well -- such as canned goods, frozen goods, pasta, rice, other grains -- buy a 3-month, 6-month, or year's supply, depending on how good the sale is and what your budget allows. If money's really tight, just buy two instead of one (if the item's 50% off, you can do this without spending any "extra" money). If the item is perishable (fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products), buy as much as you think your family can use. (Plan meals around these items so you can use them up in time.)It takes only about 15 minutes a week to scan the flyers and make notes. After two or three months, you will have a very good feel for prices; you'll know right away if something is a good deal or not. Using this method, you can almost always buy groceries and household items for 1/3 to 1/2 off the usual price. Buying in bulk when there is a good sale automatically ensures that you have a good supply of food storage for family staples you'd have to buy sooner or later anyway. You might as well buy in bulk at the best price, and make fewer trips to the store.

Buy and Use Basic Food Storage

Basic food storage items, such as whole grains and cereals, are among the cheapest and most nutritious foods there are. If you're having trouble finding money for food storage, one effective solution is to buy some basic food storage and begin using it.The savings can be dramatic. For example, a 50-lb bag of oatmeal that costs $17 yields approximately 400 servings (1 serving = 1/2 C dry oatmeal, or approx 2 oz). That's about 4.2 cents a serving. In contrast, 400 servings of a dry cereal that costs 30 cents a serving would cost $120. If you eat the oatmeal instead of the dry cereal, you'll save $103 -- enough to buy 6 more bags of oatmeal!As another example, whole wheat bread made from scratch costs approximately 25 cents a loaf. Buying an equivalent loaf costs anywhere from $2 on up. If your family eats ten loaves of bread a week, baking bread instead of buying it would save at least $17.50. That's enough to buy about 75 pounds of wheat. 75 pounds of wheat will make many, many loaves of bread, freeing up even more money for food storage.Admittedly, using basic food storage foods takes some work. If all of this sounds too overwhelming, just pick one food that fits into your lifestyle and that you know your family will eat. Even if you start out small, you'll begin realizing savings immediately.

Have a Cheap Meal Once a Week

Certain foods make very inexpensive meals. If the budget's tight, one approach to finding money for food storage is to dedicate one night a week to a budget meal, and put the money you save towards food storage. Here are some ideas.

Potatoes. In our area, you can buy a 10-lb bag of potatoes on sale for 79 cents. What can you make out of potatoes? Baked potatoes with toppings; potato soup; scalloped potatoes; potato wedges with cheese; mashed potatoes; hash browns, and more. A 10-lb bag of potatoes will make approximately 20 average servings, putting the cost of a serving at about 4 cents for the potato part of the entree.

Beans. Beans are about the cheapest food there is. If you use dried instead of canned beans, the cost is lower still -- literally pennies a pound. What do you make with beans? Baked beans, bean soup, refried beans, chili, 3-bean salad, beans and rice, and the list goes on. If you serve your family baked beans and a green salad for supper, the cost to feed a family of 6-8 can be as little as $2; the cost of the beans alone would be about 2 cents a serving.

Bread. A loaf of good whole-wheat bread accompanied by a salad or vegetables feeds about four. At 25 cents a loaf, that's just over 4 cents a serving for the bread. Other bread-based entrees include things like sandwiches, home-made pizza, calzones, scones, muffins, pancakes, and waffles. With a green salad or a

vegetable, any one of these could make an inexpensive meal.

Pasta. Pasta can be the basis of many inexpensive meals -- spaghetti, manicotti, stuffed shells, macaroni and cheese, cold pasta salads, etc. Pasta is also a good item to include in your food storage, one that may be more familiar and appetizing to your family than things like bulgur wheat.

Eggs. Eggs are usually under $1 a dozen, and sometimes as cheap as 33 cents a dozen. Inexpensive meals made out of eggs include things like scrambled eggs, omelettes, deviled eggs, and egg-drop soup.

Go Vegetarian Once in Awhile

Meats and poultry are among the most expensive items in the average family's budget. In fact, it's estimated that the average American family spends 25% of its food dollar on meat. The cheapest meat I know is hamburger on sale for 80 cents a pound; on average, meat costs at least $2 a pound, and it can be much higher. In contrast, whole grains and vegetables cost literally pennies per serving. Cutting back on the meat in your diet can free up grocery money for food storage.

Have a Family Fast

Latter-day Saints fast once a month and give offerings to relieve others' hunger. What about fasting occasionally now to prevent our own potential hunger later? What about having a family fast every month or every other month, and dedicating the money saved to food storage?

Cut Back on Eating Out

Eating out is great for entertainment, but it's a very expensive way to obtain food. If the food storage budget is tight, but there's money for eating out, consider cutting back on eating out. For example, instead of buying a bag of fries for 79 cents, buy ten pounds of potatoes and make the fries at home: ten pounds of potatoes will make about 20 servings of french fries for your 79 cents, instead of just one serving. Instead of buying a burger for $1.50, buy a pound and a half of hamburger on sale and grill the burgers at home: you'll get six burgers instead of one.

Don't Always Shop at the Grocery Store

The grocery store isn't always the best place to buy food. In any given community, there are typically many alternative sources of food. Some are cheaper than the grocery store, some are not. A quick look through the yellow pages may turn up sources such as the following: wholesale outlets, discount stores, grain mills, dairies, egg factories, food co-ops, and farmers' markets. All of these can be evaluated to see how they might fit into your food buying and free up money for food storage.

Work for Food

There are ways to get food that involve more work than money. For example, I know of some women who clean at a local grocery store in exchange for the store's leftover produce. A friend once received bushels of free fruit in exchange for cleaning up fruit that had fallen on someone's lawn. Gardening can provide a great deal of low-cost food. In our area, the Lindon cannery provides a wonderful source of low-cost food in exchange for work.

Try It!

Every family is different. What works for one might not work for another. The important thing is to try different ideas, find what works for you, and stick with it. You'll be amazed at how little things add up.

Aug 1998: Eat What You Store, Store What You Eat

"Eat what you store, store what you eat," goes the old saying. But for many of us, this is easier said than done. If we buy a year's supply of traditional, basic food storage, it may go to waste because we don't like it or know how to use it. But acquiring a year's supply of regular groceries is a daunting, if not impossible, task.

What to do? One idea is to approach food storage from both directions: have some storage that consists of the traditional whole grains, powdered milk, honey, and salt. And have some storage that consists of the foods your family enjoys and uses every day.

This newsletter approaches food storage from the second direction, storing what you eat. Here are two ways to identify your own personal food storage staples.

Make a List of Favorite Dishes

Most people have 12 to 20 favorite dishes that they eat often. These are the old standbys that you fix all the time. They're what you eat when there's "nothing to eat," when you're in a hurry, or when you just want a dinner no one will complain about.

You may not be able to identify these favorite dishes off the top of your head, but if you think about it, you know what they are. (Our family's favorites include things like beef stew, chicken soup, and spaghetti.)

To identify your favorite dishes, get a stack of index cards and keep it handy in the kitchen. Over the next few weeks or a month, note what you're fixing for dinner, one dish to a card. Also jot down the ingredients for each dish (and the recipe, if there is one). These ingredients are your family's staple foods. If you keep all or most of them in your food storage, you'll always have something you can fix for dinner. Here is a form to help you identify you personal food storage staples.
Your Personal Food Storage Staples (worksheet)
Favorite dish Ingredients Number of times served Quantity to buy


1 large can spaghetti sauce

1 lb hamburger

4 oz dry spaghetti


(once a month for a year)

12 cans spaghetti sauce

12 lbs hamburger

3 lbs dry spaghetti

To make things even easier, you may wish to keep recipes for your standbys in a recipe file or book (you can use one of the small 4 x 6 photo albums that holds 100 photos, or those "sticky" magnetic albums we're not supposed to keep pictures in). When you're stumped for dinner, you can just take a quick look through your recipes, then take a trip to the food storage room. You'll never be stuck with nothing to fix for dinner, and you'll rotate your food storage automatically.

Make a Price Book

(note: Portions of this idea come from Amy Dacyczyn's "The Tightwad Gazette" book I.)

This second method of identifying personal food storage staples kills two birds with one stone: first, you get a comprehensive list of what your family needs and uses, and second, you get all of these items at the lowest possible price. What is this method? It's a price book. Here's how it works.

Get a looseleaf binder, small or large, whatever works for you. Then, every week when the grocery sale flyers come with the newspaper, take about 15 minutes to scan through them. When you see something that you use, note the item at the top right-hand corner of a page, one item to a page, and arrange items alphabetically. Then note the date, the store, the brand, and the price.

After about 3 months, your price book will show you what you use and should therefore store. Before long, you'll know the best prices for the things you use. Over time, you'll even be able to track the price cycles, so you'll also know the best time to buy.

When prices are low, buy in bulk. Note your purchase in the price book, including the date and the quantity purchased. This will help you to track how much you use of any given item, and identify how much you should store.

A price book takes some time to compile initially, but only a little time after that. Considering that it can save you hundreds of dollars, and help you identify your family's needs precisely, the time is well-spent. Here is an example page.

Canned Corn

4/14 Smith's Green Giant 14 oz .69

6/17 Reams Del Monte 14 oz .59

7/1 Maceys Generic 14 oz .25

7/1 Bought 1 case

September 1998: Food Storage for the Insanely Busy
(especially those working 9 to 5)

One common complaint about traditional food storage foods is "They take so long to cook!" Everyone's busy, and sometimes it's hard to find time to cook from scratch -- especially if you're away all day and get home exhausted, in search of a quick, easy dinner. If this sounds like familiar, this newsletter's especially for you. It focuses on

All of these recipes are geared to fit a schedule where you only have a few minutes to cook -- in the evening, the morning, or right before dinner.

The Crockpot is Your Best Friend

If you have no time to cook, but you'd like dinner to be ready the moment you walk in the door, the crockpot is your best friend! The crockpot is wonderfully well-suited to preparing whole grains and legumes that require long, slow cooking. It's perfect for dishes like soups and stews, too. These taste great on a cool autumn afternoon! Here are some easy make-ahead meals for the crockpot that you can prepare the night before, let cook on low all day, and have ready for dinner the minute you walk in the door. Notice that all of these recipes follow a common pattern: the night before, you start the ingredient(s) that require long cooking (like beans or tough stew meat). Before you go to bed, you add the other ingredients and turn the crockpot to low. Your dinner cooks all night and the next day, and is ready when you are. Once you understand this pattern, you can adapt similar recipes to the basic method, making it easy to fix dinner ahead, with only minimal effort.

Baked Beans with Ham. About 6 or 7 pm the night before, put ingredients 1 C dry white beans and 3 C water in crockpot and turn to high. Before you go to bed, drain the beans, set to low, and add 3/4 C catsup, 1/4 C molasses, and 1 tsp dry mustard. In the morning, check and add water if necessary. Let cook on low all day.

Chili. About 6 or 7 pm the night before, put ingredients 1 C dry pinto or kidney beans and 3 C water in crockpot and turn to high. Before you go to bed, drain the beans, set to low, and add 1 large can stewed tomatoes, 1 lb cooked, crumbled hamburger, and chili powder, cumin, and garlic to taste.

Beef Barley Stew. The night before you want to serve the stew, put 1-2 lbs stew meat,1 can mixed vegetables,1/3 C dry barley, beef bouillon to taste, and 1 quart water in the crockpot on low. In the morning, add 1/2 T cornstarch that's been mixed with a little water. Let cook on low all day.

"Dumping" Dinner

This section offers recipes for dinners you can prepare in minutes, using canned, frozen, and dried foods that are easy to keep in your food storage. You just "dump" in the ingredients, then let them marinate or cook in the same pot, making for fast, easy cleanup. (All canned goods are drained before use.)

Colorful Summer Bean Salad

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C oil
1/2 C vinegar
1/2 C water
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
3 cans beans, your choice (try garbanzo, kidney, & black)
1 can green beans
1 can corn
1/2 of a chopped onion
Combine ingredients and marinate.

Minestrone Soup (makes lots!)

1 can green beans
1 can corn
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can kidney beans
1 small pkg macaroni
1 lb hamburger, cooked & drained
handful of chopped carrots (optional)
1 quart water
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp beef bouillon
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Combine ingredients in large soup pan and cook until macaroni and carrots are done.

Turkey-Noodle Casserole (serves 4)

1 can turkey, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can peas (save the rest for soup)
1 cup dry noodles (or small shells or macaroni)
1/8 C dried or 1/2 fresh onion, diced
1/8 tsp salt
Combine ingredients in covered casserole and microwave for 25 minutes on high.

Make-Ahead Mixes

Another way to use your food storage is to prepare dry mixes ahead of time, especially for things you like to bake (bread, muffins, cakes, pancakes, etc.). Just combine all of the dry ingredients for a recipe in a Zip-Loc bag. For even more convenience, add a label that tells the remaining ingredients and gives instructions. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


This recipe for Italian flat bread (focaccia) is remarkably versatile and easy to make.
1 1/2 C flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp of rosemary, basil, red pepper, or any seasoning you like -- or combine seasonings!
To make the flatbread:
Combine the mix with 1/2 C water & 1/8 C oil. Mix til it forms a ball. Pat it out on a small cookie sheet or pizza pan and let rise 1/2 hr. Bake in 425 oven for 15 minutes.
Variations: This is good with parmesan or grated cheddar cheese on top. Try tomato sauce and cheese, and you've got pizza. You can try other toppings, too.
Add an additional 3 T sugar (1/4 C total) & omit savory spices for sweet bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon, raisins, dates, icing, anything you like.

Basic Muffins (1 dozen)

1 1/2 C flour (preferably whole wheat)
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
2 Tbsp powdered milk
To make the muffins:
Combine the mix with 1/4 C oil, 1 egg, and 3/4 C water. Bake at 375 for 10-14 minutes, til done.
Variations: The variations are infinite. Try about 1/2 C of almost any fruit; 1/2 C nuts; and/or abt 1 tsp of any sweet spices you like.

October 1998: Taking Stock

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine and earthquake cannot happen here... Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation, and has given us counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?"

- President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1980 Conference

The prophets have told us repeatedly to store a year's supply of food and other essentials. Some of these warnings, like the one above, are worded quite strongly. It's time to take stock, commit to follow the counsel of the Prophets, and acquire a year's supply. Doing so is not an easy task. But many, many Saints can testify that blessings follow commitment. Commit to get your year's supply, and begin working on it today.

What You Need

"We have never laid down an exact formula for what anybody should store...Perhaps if we think less in terms of ... what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn't have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year."

- Harold B. Lee, October 1966 Welfare Conf.

The Church has never told us precisely what we should store. But they have given recommendations for basic, life-sustaining food storage, as mentioned by President Lee above. These recommendations have recently been modified somewhat. The basic recommended one-year food supply for an adult is now as follows (approximate costs for our area - Provo, Utah - are in the last column):

Item Amount Approximate cost (in bulk)
Wheat/Whole Grains 400 lbs $120.00
Oil/Fats 4 gallons $25.00
Beans/legumes 60 lbs $25.00
Powdered Milk 16 lbs $25.00
Honey/Sugar 60 lbs $25.00 (sugar)

$60.00 (honey)

Salt 10 lbs $2.50
Water (2-week supply) 14 gallons cost of containers
Garden seeds (non-hybrid) variety varies
$222.50 to $257.50

Based on these figures, a year's supply of basic food storage for a family of four adults would cost just about $1000. This may sound prohibitive. But doing something is better than doing nothing. And remember, blessings follow commitment.

Make a plan based on your circumstances and needs, then determine to follow it. Remember, the brethren have warned us not to go into debt to purchase food storage. Most of us won't be able to get it all at once; but little things really add up. No matter how slowly you have to go, you'll get there if you just keep going. Here are some thoughts and ideas to help you along the way.

Small Sacrifices

Acquired over the course of a year, one year's worth of basic food storage for one adult would cost approximately $20 a month. What would free up $20 a month?

Family Commitment, Family Sacrifices

If the entire family is committed to getting their food storage, another idea might be to forego things like vacations, birthday and Christmas presents, etc. Then put the cost towards food storage until you've acquired a year's supply.

A Bite at a Time

If the idea of acquiring a full year's supply of even basic foods is too daunting to face all at once, you may wish to think in terms of acquiring three or six months' worth of food. Here are some tables to help you plan.
3-month Supply of Basic Foods for One Adult
Item Amount Approximate cost (in bulk)
Wheat/Whole Grains 133 lbs $40.00
Oil/Fats 1.3 gallons $6.00
Beans/legumes 15 lbs $6.00
Powdered Milk 5 lbs $6.00
Honey/Sugar 15 lbs $6.00 (sugar)

$15.00 (honey)

Salt 2.5 lbs $0.60
Water (2-week supply) 4 gallons cost of containers
Garden seeds


variety varies
$65 - $75

6-month Supply of Basic Foods for One Adult
Item Amount Approximate cost (in bulk)
Wheat/Whole Grains 200 lbs $60.00
Oil/Fats 2 gallons $12.50
Beans/legumes 30 lbs $12.50
Powdered Milk 8 lbs $12.50
Honey/Sugar 30 lbs $12.50 (sugar)

$30.00 (honey)

Salt 5 lbs $1.20
Water (2-week supply) 8 gallons cost of containers
Garden seeds


variety varies
$112 - $130

Perhaps we can't do everything, especially not all at once. But certainly we can do something, and we can do it right now. Small actions and small sacrifices can really add up. Perhaps most important, as we give our very best effort, we prepare the way for the Lord to see that effort and bless us -- sometimes far beyond our own natural ability.

Dec 1998: The Gift of Preparedness

Preparedness Brings Peace

A former BYU stake relief society president tells the following story.

"We had been emphasizing preparedness to the sisters throughout the stake. During this time, a young sister came up to me and told me that she and her husband had been saving all year for a big night out on the town to celebrate their first anniversary. They were looking forward to dinner and a play, then staying overnight in Salt Lake.

"But they took what we said about preparedness to heart, and changed their plans. Instead of the big night out on the town, they decided to spend the money they'd saved on acquiring basic preparedness items and a supply of food.

"This sister told me that their decision had brought them great peace. They felt like being prepared was so much more significant to them than a lavish one-night celebration, they never regretted their choice."

During the Christmas season, we all give and receive many gifts. Perhaps some of the most significant gifts we can give or receive are gifts of preparedness. Such gifts may not seem exciting on the outside, but they can bring us great peace on the inside.

Ideas for Tangible Preparedness Gifts

A table listing ideas for tangible preparedness gifts follows. You may wish to consider some of these gifts for your own family or loved ones this holiday season. They may not sound glamorous, but think of it this way: Is a roll of toilet paper an exciting Christmas gift? Heck, no! Might a roll of toilet paper seem exciting if you didn't have any and you couldn't get any at the store? Heck, yes!

Ideas for Preparedness Gifts

Free (or almost) Stocking Stuffer 10-20 20-50 Major
Education Red Cross pamphlets, various topics

Library books

(there are many at the Orem lib.)

"Essentials of Home Production and Storage"

(Deseret Book)

Any number of good books on preparedness


More extensive classes
Water Fill your empty canning jars w/ water & process

Fill pop containers with water

5-gallon water storage jug, $5

(OK, so you need a big stocking)

Water purification tools or system 55-gallon water barrels
Food Sit down and make a plan for what you want to store, then commit to do it

Inventory your existing supplies

Garden seeds


25 lb flour ($5)

25 lb sugar ($8)

5 lbs honey

50 lbs wheat

1-4 gals oil

50 lbs oatmeal

Etc, etc, etc, -- there are tons of food storage items in this category

Just buy bigger quantities Complete year's supply of very basic foods ($250 per adult)

Year's supply of foods of your choice

Food preparation A gift certificate entitling the bearer to a canning lesson, cooking lesson, or any other skill they'd like to learn Can opener

Paper plates

Plastic utensils

Thermos Freezer bags

Canning supplies

Sprouting kit

Propane tank

Hand grain grinder

Dutch oven


Pressure cooker

Electric wheat grinder

Bread mixer

Propane stove



Tools A gift certificate entitling the bearer to a lesson on any type of home/car maintenance skill Wrench



Gardening tools Axe


Rototiller & fuel


4-pack of toilet paper



Soap, shampoo, Etc, etc, etc

Case of toilet paper/paper towels

Year's supply of most any toiletry would fit here, or even cost less
First aid Some classes

Library books

Inexpensive first aid kit More expensive first aid kit
Fuel/Heat Scavenge firewood Matches

Heat packs


Heavy coats

Wood/Coal Sleeping bags

Fireplace tools


Wood, coal, propane stoves

Light Flashlight



Inexpensive Lantern More expensive lantern
Misc. Many classes

(gift to yourself, or bring a friend)

Transistor radio Smoke detector 72-hr kit

Emergency car kit

Fire Extinguisher

Other Gifts of Preparedness

But perhaps the best gifts we might give ourselves, our families, or our friends are more intangible. Here are a few to consider.

Jan 1999: How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Preparedness can be overwhelming. There are so many things to do that it might be tempting to quit before you start! But you can tackle preparedness just like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.

This newsletter offers a systematic, step-by-step plan for "eating the elephant." Here is a month-by-month calendar of tasks to complete so you'll be on top of emergency preparedness, financial preparedness, and basic food storage. After you've gone through the calendar once, start over again at the beginning, maintaining and improving upon what you've already accomplished.
Emergency Preparedness Financial Preparedness Food Storage (Very Basic 1-yr Plan)
Jan Take first-aid & CPR training.

Post emergency #s by phones.

Make a will/trust. If you have one, review & update it if necessary. Store 7-10 gallons of water per person.
Feb Update first aid kit and have extra medicines purchased. Commit to save a set amount each month. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking to a savings vehicle. Store 200 lbs of wheat and/or flour or whole grains per adult (approx cost $30-40 each). Also store 10 lbs of salt per person (approx cost $2 each).
Mar Obtain flashlights, batteries, transistor radio (or check existing). If you are carrying unnecessary debt, create a debt-elimination calendar and begin paying off the debt (see "One for the Money," p. 5). Store 10 lbs of powdered milk per adult (approx cost $10 each).
Apr Create a family plan in case of disaster (where to gather, where 72-hr kits are, emergency phone #s, etc.) Explain & practice in family home evening. Set up a basic household budget, using any method that fits your needs. Begin tracking family expenses in a way that's useful to you. Store 25-30 lbs of sugar/honey per adult (approx cost $7-12 each).
May Purchase fire extinguisher & learn how to use. Check smoke detectors. Also collect kerosene lamp, fuel, & matches. Review your insurance needs (home, life, health, auto etc.) Ensure you have adequate insurance. Store 30 lbs of dried beans/legumes per adult (approx cost $15 each). Or store canned beans if you wish.
June Create a car emergency kit including first aid supplies, coins/cash, flashlight, blanket, water, & food. Have a family home evening to teach children about using money wisely. Make sure children & spouses know where important financial papers (especially wills) are located. Store 10 lbs of fat/oil per adult (cost varies).
Jul Anticipate what kids might need to cope with disaster. Add to 72-hr kit. Create a filing system for your important financial papers. Store 7-10 gallons of water per person.
Aug Gather important personal items (birth certificates, photos, videos) and place in safe deposit box or other secure location away from home. Copy all important financial papers and place copies in a safe deposit box or other secure location away from your home. You may wish to place certain important documents in 72-hr kits. Store 200 of whole grains/flour per adult (cost varies).
Sep Gather clothing, bedding, first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, radio, food & water in 72-hr kit you can grab & run. Commit to educating yourself financially by reading one good book on a financial planning topic of interest to you. Store 10 lbs of powdered milk per adult (approx cost $10 each).
Oct Educate yourself by reading a book or article on disaster preparedness. Create a net worth statement by listing all assets & liabilities. Store 25 lbs of sugar/honey per adult (approx cost $7-12 each).
Nov Learn/review how to turn off electricity, water, & gas. Put crowbar, wrench, & shovel in 72-hr kit. Walk through your house with a camcorder or camera to create a visual record of important assets. Store 30 lbs of dried beans/legumes per adult (approx cost $15 each). Or store canned beans if you wish.
Dec Relax and enjoy peace of mind this Christmas! Be sure not to overspend on Christmas! Store 10 lbs of fat/oil per adult (cost varies).

Here are some notes on various tasks contained in the calendar.

Emergency Preparedness

Jan. The American Red Cross offers classes on first aid and CPR. They're at 865 North Freedom Blvd in Provo, and the phone number is 373-8580.

Apr. The Family Home Evening Resource Book offers a complete section on family preparedness activities beginning on page 322.

July. A pamphlet, "Helping Children Cope with Disaster," is available from the Red Cross.

Oct. Books and pamphlets on disaster preparedness are available at the Red Cross and places like Emergency Essentials, Preparedness Plus, & Deseret Book.

Financial Preparedness

Feb. Most experts suggest that you save and invest at least 10% of your income every month, more if possible.

Mar. "One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance" is a pamphlet containing the text of an LDS General Conference address by James E Faust. It's available at Deseret Book.

June. Resources on teaching children how to manage money: Family Home Evening Resource Manual, lesson on Money Management, page 210, and lesson on Tithing, page 227. Some useful books: "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees," and "A Penny Saved," both by Neale S Godfrey.

Sep. Some ideas for reading on money management: "One for the Money," James E Faust; "The Richest Man in Babylon," George S. Clason; "The Wealthy Barber," Dave Chilton; "The Millionaire Next Door," Thomas Stanley & William Danko.

Food Storage

An excellent resource on basic food storage is published by the LDS church: "Essentials of Home Production and Storage."

Numerous good books are available at Deseret Book & in the natural foods sections of bookstores.