Tag Archives: food storage

Zombie Q-pocalypse

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse with Coupons…

Those of you who belong to or follow the doomer blogs probably have heard of the importance of preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse by stockpiling food and other necessities that could be disrupted.  Now of course we’re not actually talking about zombies, we’re mostly talking about fossil fuel supply disruptions leading to power outages, empty grocery shelves, etc., that could last indefinitely. 

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I don’t typically talk about the apocalypse (in fact, I had to slow down and think about how to spell it each time I typed the word), but on some days I definitely fall into the “doomer” category.  I do, however, try to be an optimist.  But I think it’s important to have a supply of food and other necessities for emergencies that are more likely to occur, for example- power outages due to weather extremes, which will only become more likely thanks to our changing climate.  In fact, there are some people in our state who were without power for a few days after a strong system of thunderstorms moved through last week.  We didn’t lose power here, but in the event of such an outage, I can be sure that we’d be near the end of the priority list for the utility companies to turn the power back on.  They’re concerned with getting the electricity back on for the most people in the quickest amount of time, and since we live on a dead-end street with less than 10 houses, I’m pretty sure we’re low priority.  The big problem for us is water, since we have a well, so if the power goes out so does the water.

What does this have to do with coupons, you ask? After a recent discussion with a colleague who’s gotten into couponing, I realized how coupons could be the ticket to developing food stores for families like mine who simply can’t afford to go out and buy a stockpile of food when it’s not on sale.  Confession time: I never even looked at coupons until about two weeks ago.  I always figured that my store card gave me discounts and if I shopped the sales, I’d be all set.  But then I watched an episode of “Extreme Couponers” and started to feel like a chump! Here I’ve been, paying full price for most items all along, when I could be getting them for cheap or free! Who couldn’t use more money?

While I don’t plan to go the route of the extreme couponer, since I don’t need a “toothpaste room” or 100’s of containers of mustard, it couldn’t hurt to buy, say, an extra jar of vitamins or boxes of pasta when they’re on sale and I have a coupon.  The coupon discussion came up in the Green Moms Carnival yahoo group a few weeks ago and the consensus was that most of us won’t benefit from coupons because we tend to cook from scratch and avoid processed packaged foods, which are the majority of coupons.  However, I think there are some items that even the avid home cook should consider using coupons for: pantry staples that won’t go bad, basic cleaning supplies like baking soda and borax, vitamins, even bottled water. 

Now, I am typically opposed to bottled water but have come to the conclusion that I should have a few bottles in my pantry in case of emergency, since our water goes out with the power.  It’s a good idea to fill the bath tub before a storm so you’ll have water to flush the toilet, but that water’s not potable and I think it’s a dangerous practice with children in the house.  With a toddler, I’m simply not going to do that and will have to just resign myself to use flushes wisely.  You can, of course, use clean soda bottles with a drop of bleach for storing water, but that sounds like a lot of work to me.  If I have a coupon for bottled water, and that water goes on sale, why not stock up a little bit for pennies? It seems like a smart thing to do.

So, my resolution.  Once I’m out of school, I’m going to take both couponing and food storage more seriously.  I’m going to clean out and organize my kitchen and pantry, clip coupons, look for sales, and start stocking up on items I’ll actually use.  Since I’m hosting the July Green Moms Carnival and the topic is Food Preservation, I’ll be knee deep by then!  That picture above was my pantry back before I was a mom.  Look how orderly it was! Those days are gone, haha!

If you’re new to food storage, check out The Chatalaine’s Keys (formerly Casaubon’s Book) for a wealth of info.  And since I’m new to couponing, please share your tips in the comments!

This post is my contribution to the June Green Moms Carnival: Half-Year Resolutions, hosted by OrganicMania.

PS- I say “COO-pon” but I’ve noticed that all the extreme couponers say “Q-pon.”  How about you?

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Filed under Food, Home, Living from Scratch, Sustainable Living

Local Strawberries for Valentine’s Day

We don’t make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day.  Years ago, when Ed and I were first dating, we’d go out to a fancy restaurant.  But now, we’re just as happy to enjoy a quiet night at home.  I try to make a special meal for the two of us, and I always like to include a strawberry dessert.

Big red hearts on Valentine’s Day make me think of strawberries.  Unfortunately, strawberry season isn’t until June around here, and those berries shipped into the grocery store can be pricey, especially with this year’s weather.  Not to mention, they’re gassed to ripen and never seem to have the same flavor or aroma as truly local, fresh, ripe berries.

If you’re a strawberry fan like me, you probably preserved a bunch of berries when they were in season, making jam or jelly, freezing or dehydrating.  So, this year for Valentine’s Day, I’m going to make a strawberry dessert using the bounty of my freezer, and I wanted to share a few recipes that will work nicely with preserved or frozen berries.

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Strawberry Cutie Pies are the perfect size for a romantic dinner with your Valentine.  I think I’d put little hearts on the top this time instead of stars.  Frozen whole berries, thawed and crushed, make a great substitute for fresh.

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If you’re spending Valentine’s Day with the whole family, make a full size Strawberry Pie, or Strawberry Rhubarb if you’ve got rhubarb in your freezer, too.

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Strawberry Shortcake is a perfect way to use frozen sugared strawberries.

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And for those of you who simply must have chocolate on Valentine’s Day, try Chocolate Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping.  I made this last year for Valentine’s Day and I was so happy to have leftovers for days.

I haven’t decided which one of these recipes I’ll make for Valentine’s Day this year, but I’m currently leaning towards the cutie pies.  Any one of these desserts, when served after a meal cooked with love at home, makes for a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  Use some beeswax candles for ambiance, and I’m certain you won’t even think about how eco-friendly it is.  You’ll just enjoy the time with your sweetie.

This post is my contribution to this month’s APLS Blog Carnival, which is themed “Greening Valentine’s Day.”  To read all about how to have a more eco-friendly Valentine’s Day, visit Retro Housewife Goes Green on January 19.

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Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Working on the Pantry

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Ed spent most of both Saturday and Sunday in the garage working on the cabinets for our pantry.  Our pantry currently contains a bunch of stuff crammed into it, with no organization.  When we decided to build a house, a pantry was very important to me, along with having the laundry room on the second floor.  I can remember my great-grandmother’s pantry, how it contained mason jars full of preserved fruits and vegetables, all the ingredients required to make the Tollhouse cookies that were always in her kitchen, and gave her the ability to organize and store food to avoid frequent trips to the grocery store.  I look forward to being able to store my canned items in an organized fashion as well as stocking up on staple foods and not needing to go to the grocery store so often.  

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Ed got the bottom cabinets framed over the weekend.  Once he makes the face frames and the doors, I’ll be able to paint them and we’ll install them.  Ed has some black walnut that he’ll use for the counter top.  We plan to put bead board on the walls and open shelving above the bottom cabinets.  I’m really looking forward to using my pantry!

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Filed under Food, Home, Sustainable Living