This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com

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By Kellene Bishop

I’ve have to admit I’ve got buckets on the brain right now. A friend suggested that I share with you why that’s the case. To put it simply it could just be because that’s how I alleviate anxiety. But for some of you, buckets may be a way to peacefully organize your storage items, including food and preparedness supplies, in a more strategic manner.

5 Gallon Buckets with Gamma Lid photo c/o Home Food Storage

5 Gallon Buckets with Gamma Lid photo c/o Home Food Storage

I’ve stored food, medical, camping, and many other supplies in plastic buckets for as long as I can remember. They are tough enough to store nails in and very versatile. If there ever is a flood, I’ve ensured that a lot of the supplies in buckets will be undamaged, and if there is an earthquake, a great deal of the items will stay in tact and unbroken. I make sure that I use food-grade buckets only. When it comes to the lids, I use regular 5 gallon lids, but I have several gamma lids also. I replace the old lid with a gamma lid once I’m getting into the bucket regularly for items such as wheat, beans, and rice. The gamma lids have a great seal on the bucket, but can be easily unscrewed in the inner circle of the lid for my use. The gamma lids cost about $5 to $7, so that’s why I don’t just use them on all of my buckets. The 5-gallon buckets also have “toilet seats” for emergency sanitation. (I’d like to pat the guy on the back who came up with that idea.) I’ve been using 5 gallon buckets to store a great deal of my items almost exclusively until about 2 years ago. That’s when I discovered the 4 gallon square bucket.

4 Gallon Square Bucket with Flip Top Lid

4 Gallon Square Bucket with Flip Top Lid

Although only 42 years old, it doesn’t take much for me to throw my back out, so hefting a 5 gallon bucket isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do. Also, when I see a group of round buckets, I can’t help but notice the space I’m wasting—both inside and outside the buckets. So when I discovered 4 gallon square buckets, my biggest concerns were alleviated. They are manageable to lift, they store nice and tight with the wall and other items, and are easy to fill more thoroughly. They can also stack about 6 or 8 high comfortably (depending on the weight of the contents). While there isn’t a “gamma lid” contraption for the square buckets, there are rubber sealed lids with essentially a flip open top. Much like I use the gamma seal lids, I use these more rugged lids in place of the standard ones when I’m regularly using the contents of a square bucket. They even have a nice little “stay open” feature when I’m scooping contents out. Then all I have to do is snap the lid back into place.

Since discovering the 4 gallon square bucket, I’ve begun using them even more than before. One way I utilize them is by storing all of the contents of a particular meal in a bucket along with the recipe. This way, I don’t have to go hunting for the various ingredients when I go down to my pantry. And in the event of a survival situation, I can give myself some peace of mind without having to stress “what will I cook?” since I label the buckets according to the meals that are inside. Sometimes I have enough for 20 servings in each bucket, sometimes 50. It all depends on how “ingredient intensive” the meal is. For example, for my Chicken Poppy Seed casserole, I put the Rice-A-Roni in a FoodSaver bag (in its original box), along with the cans of chicken, cream of chicken soup, Ritz crackers, poppy seeds, powdered sour cream, salt, and pepper with a large label on the bucket that says “Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole.” I’ve created several recipes for items which are “pantry friendly” that I know the hubby and others already love and have buckets of these meals stored accordingly. Can I just tell you what kind of a peace it gives me to go into the pantry and see buckets of meals that actually sound good and are easy to make? I mean really, which would you rather see? A bucket labeled “wheat” or a bucket labeled “Beef Stroganoff?” 🙂

When I use items from the buckets (which I do all of the time) I simply replace the ingredients with future grocery shopping trips OR with other items I have in my supplies. Either way, what I don’t want is a false sense of security when I see labeled buckets. I want to know I can rely on them to have the meals inside. It’s also MUCH easier to take a semi-annual accounting this way.

Stacking Square Buckets photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Stacking Square Buckets photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Buckets are also great to keep other types of contents in them. For example, I’m frequently getting good deals on small bottles of olive oil. (Thank you, coupons!) Instead of stacking them on a shelf and leaving them to the wiles of an earthquake, I wrap them up with newspaper (again–thanks to coupons) and place them in a bucket marked “olive oil.” (Yes, I came up with that brilliant label all by myself. Hee hee.) Now, with these square buckets full of olive oil, I can easily and securely stack them on top of each other. Whereas with my large containers of olive oil that I got from a warehouse, all I can do is have their big selves take up space on the shelf or floor in a single layer. That sure is a waste of height, don’t you think? This way I’m not forced to shell out for expensive shelving for everything. The same goes with BBQ sauce, spices, salad dressings, etc. Some items simply come in awkward sizes and shapes, but the buckets sure make things nice and organized for me. Since I don’t buy my items “by the case” usually, I can’t store them that way. 

Here’s another thought. If I had only a day’s notice to move all of my things, wouldn’t it be a heck of a lot easier to take buckets out of the pantry than stopping to pack regular sized bottles or boxes of food and supplies?

I also use buckets for storing medical and hygiene items, as well as groups of supplies such as cheese waxing, egg preservation, sewing, dental, etc. This prevents me from purchasing or paying “too much”. What I mean by that is when I see deodorant on sale for 59 cents, I may think that’s a good deal. But when I go downstairs and see two buckets marked “deodorant,” I’m easily reminded that anything more than FREE is a bit expensive to me. In other words, when I know I’ve got a bucket full of a particular hygiene or medical item, chances are I already have enough and don’t need to spend the money.

Now remember, you can put diatomaceous earth IN your buckets of goods and prevent the insect critters from bothering anything. I would definitely put the DE in the bucket if it’s a grain, legume, rice, or pasta. But when you have a cluster of buckets full of items that don’t already come with their own supply of insects *grin*, then you can simply sprinkle DE around your grouping of buckets instead of putting it inside of them.

Where do you find these buckets? There’s several options. “Wally World” sells them, but I hate their prices. You can easily get used buckets that were used for food grade purposes. During the harvest season you can get them directly from fruit growers for 50 cents or so. You can also obtain them from bakeries in your local grocery stores for FREE. So try making a few calls and make the most of those options first. However, in many areas I’ve lived, getting them year round has been a challenge. Thus I’m in love with Five Star Preparedness as my bucket source for this reason. They have used, 4-gallon, food grade buckets all the time, and tons of them too. (You can get about 25-28 pounds of grain and such in each bucket.) Each used bucket and lid are $2 each. They guarantee that each bucket and lid will be in sound condition or they will replace it cheerfully. Even better, for those of you who are in Utah or who come through the area, if you pick up the buckets yourself they are only $1.50. They will ship them in increments of 10 all over the continental U.S. with no additional handling charge. Another option is that you can have them make a massive delivery to your area based on a minimum bucket order. Apparently they frequently have church and community groups that request these by the hundreds. The minimum bucket count for the order depends on where they are being delivered. You can also get the new lids that I mentioned as well for only $2. I found these same lids at “Wally world” for more than 3 times their price! You can e-mail them at fulfillment [at] fivestarpreparedness [dot] com or you can call them during business hours at 801-734-9596 (which is answered in the same office as our executive answering service in Utah.)

So now perhaps you’ll look at buckets a bit more differently. Didn’t you know? Plastic is the new gold? 🙂

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

The second most important aspect of preparedness is your Mental Preparedness. This category isn’t just about attitude, it’s about knowledge as well. Today you will receive some resources for mental preparedness that I have found incredibly useful, all in one article.

James Wesley, Rawles, author of www.survivalblog.com

James Wesley, Rawles, author of http://www.survivalblog.com

To start with, yes, there is an abundance of information available on the internet. However, a word of warning. In order to get the most reliable information for your mental preparedness, use the internet to access university studies, copies of speeches, and previous news articles. Obviously, if you have a website that you trust, use that as well in order to maximize your learning time. I believe that Preparedness Pro is one of those sites you can rely on. Personally I go to www.survivalblog.com since this is founded by James Wesley, Rawles. (He’s the author of “Patriots”, an excellent novel that teaches sound preparedness strategies. He’s truly an expert on matters of preparedness and is also a former US Intelligence Officer.) He has written on his blog every single day for five years, but recently his wife passed away after struggling with cancer. So I’m sure he’s taking a break. In the meantime, you MAY have a chance to catch up on a great deal of his content. I also love everythingunderthesunblog.blogspot.com (corrected link). This is created by one of my heroines, Wendy DeWitt. She was employed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for years to travel all over to teach various aspects of preparedness. The girl knows her stuff! (You can also find some video footage of her classes on YouTube.) Although she doesn’t update her site regularly, there’s a feast of information available otherwise. One last site that I would recommend is www.theheartlandusa.com by Dr. Gregory Evensen. (The site isn’t pretty, but the content is riveting.) Read his editorials and if you get a chance to attend one of his events—DO it! My husband and I attended an all day event of his last Saturday and I can assure you it was worth just about every minute! It’s great to associate with like-minded people, get to the root of concerns, and be educated by knowledgeable individuals instead of just web-spinners.

In addition to reading sites, I’ve found it VERY helpful to get to watch instructional videos for my mental preparedness as well. Videos on making solar powered heaters, or pressure cooking, making wheat meat, etc. I know, I know. You’re probably hollering at your screen right now wondering when I’M going to get on the stick with instructional videos as well. Well, it’s going to be THIS week, so there! :))

This may sound a bit self-defeating, but when it comes to getting information on preparedness, focusing on the internet should not be your only resource. In fact, I smirk a bit every time someone asks me to “post links” to my resources when I write an article—as if we no longer had telephones and libraries anymore. I mean really, folks, not all “facts” are backed up with links to other websites. Seriously though, books are a great resource to have on hand every day—now and even in the midst of calamity.

I personally enjoy and highly recommend the following books for your mental preparedness:

  • “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. (A real eye opener! This is the first book I recommend everyone read who’s thinking about getting into being more prepared.)
  • “Passport to Survival” by Esther Dickey. (Marked up all over with tags, etc.  I use this book all the time. Packed full of information on the use of only 4 food items for long-term survival, it’s also got lots of recipes.)
  • “The Amazing Wheat Book” by LeArta Moulton. (Another book that is all marked up. I’ve never understood the value of wheat so well and felt so confident using it as I did after reading this book. It’s invaluable!)
  • “One Second After” by William Forstchen. (Opened my eyes to components of a disaster I hadn’t thought of before…unfortunately. Note the realistic language in this book does make it “PG-13”.)
  • “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse” by James Wesley, Rawles.
  • 5000-year-leap“The 5000 Year Leap” by Cleon Skousen. (This one is critical reading to me because it helps me study what kind of a government must be put back into play after the crisis, as well as what kind of government I need to strive for now in order to ensure that our freedoms stay in place.)
  • “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” by James Wesley, Rawles. (This book just BARELY came out but I’ve already devoured it.)
  • “Cooking Under Pressure” by Lorna Sass. (I consider her the foremost authority in cooking with a pressure cooker and MOST of her recipes have been great! She’s got many great cookbooks for pressure cooking that I would also recommend.)
  • “When There is No Doctor” by Jane Maxwell. (Great resource book!)
  • “When There is No Dentist” by Murray Dickson. (Another great resource book!)
  • “The Bible” by…well, you know who all wrote that.
  • “The Boy Scout Handbook” (This is also a regular read in my house—and not just by my husband.)

The key is that you actually READ these books–not simply have them on hand as some informational reading DURING a crisis. The time for preparatory learning is before the opportunity manifests itself. I heard a gal the other day claim that one of her preparedness “assets” was the fact that she had so many books on preparedness. Uh, nope. Not unless you think you can learn by osmosis.

If you’re inclined to read books from the LDS genre, I highly recommend Chris Stewart series, “The Great and Terrible.” This 6-book series is addictive! It’s like “Alas, Babylon” but on steroids and I absolutely loved it—when I could sneak it out of my husband’s clutches, that is. I also LOVED the book “Prophetic Statements of Food Storage for Latter-Day Saints” by Neil H. Leash.

Ok, those are the books that I’ve read that are fit to recommend for mental preparedness. (Unfortunately there are at least 50 others I’ve read in the last 18 months that AREN’T fit to recommend.)

May I also recommend that you go to as many classes on preparedness topics that you can possibly handle! Anything that fits within the 10 Areas of Preparedness would be worthy of your time. Take your family with you as much as possible, and understand that getting this kind of information is an investment in your family. I had one gal who drove 200 miles last Friday to attend two of my classes. There is another delightful woman who regularly drives 3 ½ hours to attend my classes whenever she can as well. (Yes, I call her a stalker. Hee hee.) And I don’t want to hear any griping about how I’m not any closer to YOU or in your area. I’ve told you a hundred times that I’d be willing to teach in your area if you just took care of travel expenses. All you have to do is contact my assistant Sarah to arrange for dates. We don’t charge anything to teach the classes–yet. It just can’t cost me anything except for time—otherwise I’d definitely go broke.

Bottling butter photo c/o Adventures in Self Reliance

Bottling butter photo c/o Adventures in Self Reliance

Attending classes is an investment in time, and sometimes money, but with as much as you all think I know, you should be aware that I also attend classes at every possible chance I get. It also presents a great opportunity to “interview” other individuals. In doing so, I’ve been turned onto aspects of preparedness that I never would have thought about otherwise—such as cheesewaxing, bottling butter, canning meat, diatomaceous earth, etc. In fact, last Saturday my husband and I spent a rare “free” Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at a Dr. Greg Evensen event. I loved it. It was also great realizing that my husband isn’t crazy. Hee hee.

To be perfectly blunt, if I could do a “mind dump” to share what I know, what’s in these books that I’ve recommended, and what Dr. Evensen teaches to only 500,000 people in America, I would sure sleep better at night. And frankly, every other American could sleep better at night knowing that there are people like you who care and are prepared.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

This will be a short one, folks, as I have 5 hours of teaching and 3 hours of traveling to do today. Which brings me to my point.

There seems to be a mythical view of how I get prepared… as if I spend every waking moment doing so. And as a result I perhaps have more time than others.

Photo c/o blogs.zdnet.com

Photo c/o blogs.zdnet.com

Well, let’s be clear. I have a JOB, just like all of the rest of you. My JOB involves teaching, writing, researching, and communicating. I easily work 12 hours a day. Then when I’m finished I have meals to plan and cook, groceries to buy (not to mention the couponing I do), time to “veg” by going to a movie or being social, church responsibilities, and being an accessible family member. Additionally, I have all of the added responsibilities of running a business (legal stuff, taxes, employee issues, etc.). Oh, and somehow I manage to put preparedness priorities in there as well. As you can see, I don’t have any more time to dedicate to preparedness than the rest of you do. In fact, in some instances I may have a great deal less. The difference in what I do and what others may do has nothing to do with time. It has EVERYTHING to do with priorities.

The same holds true with money. My husband and I have been through some doozies over the last 2 years. I certainly don’t have an excess of money–which is exactly why I’ve picked up on couponing. Since preparedness IS a priority to me, couponing aids me in accomplishing that goal as well as being able to afford some other preparedness priorities. Again, it’s about priorities, not money.

With a little creativity, food storage can be done in an 800 sq ft apartment. Photo c/o move.com

With a little creativity, food storage can be done in an 800 sq ft apartment. Photo c/o move.com

Space is the exact same thing. While I don’t live in an 800 square foot apartment anymore, I used to before I got married 10 years ago. And yet even then, I still had a year’s supply of food and water in my 800 square foot home. It was about priorities, rather than some aesthetics. I still entertained in that little apartment and thoroughly enjoyed my surroundings. But I made all of my aesthetic judgment calls based on being able to be an independent, prepared woman, rather than just one more single, helpless female. I got creative with storing item under the bed, behind the clothes in the closet and made it work.

Knowledge is a priority to me as well. Yes, I need a fluffy mental break periodically and I would also give up nearly any time to enjoy the company of my nieces and nephews. But when I have a choice between a good novel or a book that will help me to be more informed and reliable, I choose the latter and I love it. I feast on it. It’s not about gloom and doom for me, folks. It’s not just about being able to “say” I love my fellowmen, but actually PREPARE to love them in every sense of the word by possessing the skills and supplies to aid them if and when it’s necessary. Believe me. I have family members that worry me to no end because of their lack of awareness about what’s going on around them. But I don’t stop in my efforts to prepare and teach them because they ARE my priority.

Recently I had a friend who had been ill for several week. She was also having some serious financial hang-ups and couldn’t even afford to go to the grocery store to get some items for her household. Well, I didn’t have any money that I could share with her at the time, but can you imagine how happy I was that I could give her FOOD? Lots and lots–even food that she loved and enjoyed.

jesus-second-comingForgive me if I offend anyone by bringing some scriptural aspects into this topic. (I try to be sensitive to the beliefs of a very general base of readers.) Most who read the Bible believe in prophets and prophecies. That being the case, isn’t it obvious that we cannot pick and choose which prophecies we believe in? We can’t possibly believe in a Second Coming of the Lord and not believe in the Armageddon that is sure to precede that coming. Hopefully we strive everyday to be ready for that Meeting with the Lord. That said, it’s equally important to prepare to survive the prophesied turmoil and chaos so that we can be present AT the Meeting. Ultimately, preparedness is the ACTION that comes from believing in the prophecies.

So there you have it. Preparedness Pro shows you that she’s got a life and challenges just like you. The question is what we do with those challenges and how we prioritize.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Preparedness is a full-time job for me. I live it, breathe it, and think about it constantly. Obviously I teach and write about it regularly as well. I used a Saturday this weekend to learn about how I can be better prepared. Then I spent some more “spare” time reading a novel that illustrates other possibilities I may not be prepared for yet. Why? Because I believe that preparedness is about honor. 

US Military in Iraq, February 2008. Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

US Military in Iraq, February 2008. Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

Many people would label those who strive to be better prepared as paranoid lunatics. And yet they would not think of calling our honorable men and women who serve in the military, who are on night watch with AR-15s in hand right now, “paranoid.” Are those of us who are watching carefully to what is going on around us and trying to mitigate our losses of life and freedom “paranoid?” No. A person who is prepared is honorable. They are willing to carry their own weight to protect themselves and those they love, instead of naively or cowardly delegating that responsibility to others. We are all night watchmen. We all need to honorably command our posts as careful guards over our family’s safety, nutrition, and peace. None can delegate that responsibility without bringing shame upon themselves. It’s hard to think this way when we’re enjoying life’s luxuries or being tossed to and fro with life’s schedule, but it doesn’t change the state of what truly is. There is honor in being prepared, not paranoia.

Police Firearm Training photo c/o SSAA.org.au

Police Firearm Training photo c/o SSAA.org.au

If you’re not paranoid, then surely you must be crazy, right? Tell that to the police officer who disciplines himself to train 3 times a week with his firearm instead of relinquishing his lifesaving skills to the whopping TWO times a year his department pays for firearm training. He’s not crazy. He values the breath of life—whether it be his own, his partner, his family, or members of his community. The Supreme Court says he’s not obligated to protect any citizen—he’s only required to protect the interests of the State, City or County he’s hired by. So certainly he doesn’t require shooting practice 3 times a week to protect a non-living, breathing entity, right? (Yes, that’s sarcasm.) We are ALL defenders of our community, family, and selves. We cannot delegate that responsibility to someone else—not today and certainly not in the future in the midst of some disaster. There is honor in being prepared, not a label of being mentally deranged.

Preparedness isn’t about hoarding. It doesn’t mean you have a scarcity mentality. If that were the case then there are millions of farmers, Amish, and Mennonite people throughout the U.S. that believe that the world as we know it will end tomorrow. (This list would also include the founders of Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s!) It isn’t hoarding to have a year’s supply of food, water, and other necessities. Rather it’s the epitome of the Boy Scout theme! Having supplies of food and water has nothing to do with hoarding. It’s about fighting back against inflation, poisonous food recalls, disasters, crazy crowds, limited time, future “nutrition” manipulation, water contamination, etc. It doesn’t take much more time to pay for 6 cases of chicken than it does to pay for one. And at least one who prepares is PAYING for their items. Would our critics prefer that we simply become looters in a time of trouble and chaos? I watch herds of looters on my television screen every time a disaster of a hurricane or tornado is imminent. And I still have yet to seen one of the cowardly opportunists be prosecuted in court. Is it not more honorable to financially stabilize our homes by being prepared with the bounty that is available now, rather than become criminals or desperate cowards in the future? Clearly, there is honor in being prepared, not a scarcity mentality.

There is honor in being prepared. Image c/o pkuperspectives.com

There is honor in being prepared. Image c/o pkuperspectives.com

Is there one shred of honor in the person who claims “I’m coming to your house when things go south” and means it? How would you respond if a person were to say, “When I run out of money, I’m coming to your bank account”? Or “When I get sick because I was foolish, I’m bringing my disease to your house to let you care for me.” “When I lose my job, I’ll just eat your food, have you pay my bills, and pay for my schooling.” Of course there’s no honor, integrity, or virtue in these thought processes. And yet it is these same individuals who mock and impede those who would prepare themselves for just such occasions. When one takes themselves out of the selfish “me, me, me” mode and begins to think about the care and nurturing of others, there’s honor. When one decides NOT to violate eternal laws by delegating the responsibility of taking care of their fellowmen to some governmental agency, there’s honor. When one looks past today to prepare for the well-being of those they love tomorrow, there’s honor. When one actually prepares to put themselves in a position where they actually HAVE something to share with others who have nothing, there’s honor.

Yes, there is certainly honor in being prepared.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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wheat-investment

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By Kellene Bishop

How long will your wheat last? What’s the best way to store it? How do I keep insects out of it?  What do I do when it smells like the can?

Today I was doing a training which involved going over the shelf life of various foods. One woman in attendance incorrectly stated to the entire class that “wheat goes bad easily because it has oil in it, and so it goes rancid if you’re not careful.”

I got to talking to my husband and asked him what other misinformation he may have heard about wheat. Turns out, there sure is a lot of MIS-information out there. So, I decided to help dispel some of the rumors so that you can more confidently store this vital food.

First of all, what IS the shelf-life of wheat?

Wheat does have an oil in it. It’s called vitamin E. It’s what gives the grain some fat content which makes it an even more complete food. (Nice how God is so thorough that way, eh?) In fact, by extracting the oil in wheat, you come up with the expensive oil called Wheat Germ oil. (Very healthy for you, by the way.)  However, oil doesn’t go rancid because of its mere existence. It goes rancid when it’s exposed to oxygen, primarily. 

Storing wheat for 30+ years is a drop in the bucket—excuse the pun. The key is to store it in its whole grain form. I do the same thing with dent corn. I store dent corn in its whole grain form so that I will have plenty of cornmeal on hand when I need it, otherwise just plain cornmeal would go rancid relatively quickly. In the cornmeal stage all of its oil is fully exposed to oxygen. Oil exposed to oxygen is what makes things go rancid. It’s nice that whole dent corn is easy to store for 30+ years. I’d never get that far with cornmeal. The same goes with groats instead of oats. Groats are the “whole” form of oats.  By the way, when you store grains in their whole grain form, you can sprout them—YUMM-MEE.

Use the whole grain Photo c/o uniflour.com

Use the whole grain Photo c/o uniflour.com

The ideal temperature for storing wheat for the longest shelf life is 75 degrees or cooler. However, yes, you can store wheat in a warmer environment so long as it’s packaged well. Ideally you’ve got it in a double-bagged packaging. Or in a bag and then in a bucket. Or better yet, in an number 10 can—although more expensive to buy that way (you can always buy it in the bags and then use a canner). Wheat stored in a Mylar bag in a bucket would be another good method, however, it’s also more expensive than the simple bag or bucket method. So long as you keep your wheat off of a heated cement floor, and out of direct sunlight, you’ll have success in storing it long term. Remember though, the cooler, the better and the easier the wheat will be to work with in your recipes too.

Continuing on with the temperature issue… Keep in mind that wheat was found in the pyramids, and Egypt is NOT known for its cool climate. 🙂 I had someone comment to me recently when I told them this: “yeah, but the deep dark corners of the pyramids are rather cool.” First of all…have you been to a pyramid? It’s flippin’ HOT in there. Sure it’s COOL-ER than outside of it. But it’s not a cool 75 degrees. (Although SOME have been found to maintain 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Why can’t I build my home to do that?!) Second of all, such a statement presumes that the wheat came fresh off of the stem before it was put in the pyramid. *heavy sigh* In other words, it’s presumed that it was never exposed to any heat prior to being placed in the pyramid tombs. As I’ve shared in a previous article, when I lived in the Philippines, they would frequently “dry” their grains by spreading them out on the road for a couple of days. And yes, it is extremely hot and humid in the Philippines, and yet whole grains are the most vital food source they have. Whole grains are just another one of these neat miracles that God has given us to feed us, if you ask me. They are temperamental foods that the majority of the world can’t store without refrigeration.

A metal can is the ideal way to store wheat simply because varmints can’t chew through it. But to be forthright with you, I have very, very little wheat stored this way. Most of mine is in the big, thick, double 50 pound bags. The wheat of my mother’s that we kids moved around for 18 years was also stored this way. I’m sure many of you have parents and grandparents with their wheat stored the same way. Remember, that if you do get little bugs in your wheat, there’s no need to throw it out. Simply put it in 180 degrees for about 20-30 minutes and Voila! You no longer have bugs. You simply have extra protein. (Don’t worry. You’ll get over it.)  

When you open a can of stored wheat it may smell a little “tin-ish.” Don’t worry about that. It’s natural for the ingredients to take on that smell. But the good news is that it’s not permanent. Simply aerate the wheat for a couple of hours outside of the can, and you’ll eliminate that smell just fine.

I don’t mess with buying the more expensive wheat. I almost exclusively store the hard red wheat. It’s more environment- hearty and tolerant to store than the hard white wheat. My bread, pie crusts, and cookies turn out just dandy with the hard red wheat. When selecting your wheat for storage, make sure that it doesn’t have a moisture content higher than 10 percent in order to successfully store it long-term.

Well, I hope this helps answer some of your grainy questions about wheat. (Sorry, I’m in a punny mood today.)

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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Coupons = $$$  Photo c/o insidesocal.com

Coupons = $$$ Photo c/o insidesocal.com

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By Kellene Bishop

As you may already know, the use of coupons is mandatory for my personal preparedness of food and medical supplies. I have truly obtained a bounty of free or dirt cheap goods over the last 6 months that has nearly doubled my original supplies. As a result, it’s really freed up money for items such as solar ovens, fuel, pressure cookers, butane stoves, foam, etc. When I share this information in passing (read: Outside of the confines of my 3 hour Coupon Training Boot Camp) I frequently get a lot of negative comments with a touch of whining such as “coupons are only for junk”; “I can’t find coupons on items I use”;  “It’s not worth the time and effort it takes” or “I shop at Costco instead.”

I’ve got great news for you. These comments are misinformed perceptions, pure and simple. Let me share a little bit with you. 

 1)      I only spend 2 hours a week couponing. However, these last three weeks I’ve been doing so many classes that I literally have not even been able to invest that much time and so I haven’t even bought any groceries. And guess what? We didn’t even miss it! We still had all we needed because of all that we had previously from couponing.

 2)      I don’t just use coupons on “items I use.” I try new things many times—especially when they are free or cheap. I have three key rules on couponing. 1-You can’t afford to be brand loyal. When things go south, you’ll be happy that you have toilet paper. It doesn’t matter that it’s not Cottonelle, when Charmin was on sale for dirt cheap. 2-If I would be willing to use the product if it was FREE or CHEAP, then I cut the coupon. 3- I only use the coupon on items that are already on sale, thus making the majority of what I buy 70-100% almost ALL the time. This strategy has also allowed me to discover new things that my family likes. For example, I fell in love with the California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzes. (I know. Not exactly “food storage” but it sure did come in handy when I had no time for lunch other than a microwave meal. I also discovered that I preferred a completely different brand of mayonnaise than I had been buying all my life. Who knew? I only got the other brand because it was only 75 cents for a large jar with coupons.

 3)      Because of coupons, I literally cannot afford to shop at Costco or Sam’s Club anymore. Seriously. For example, Costco used to have the best deal around on zip-lock bags. When they would circulate one of their coupons, it would cost only 5 cents a bag. BUT… a local grocery store chain last week had boxes of Hefty Easy Zip bags on sale for 10 for $10. And guess what? I had $1 off coupons for Hefty Easy Zip bags! Um, sorry. No matter how much volume Costco buys, I doubt they could match that price.

 4)      You shouldn’t waste time trying to match coupons with sales. You need to align yourself with a coupon shopping service. I have my favorite services that I like to use for my area. It’s not a normal day without me checking out www.couponcarousel.blogspot.com or www.krazycouponlady.blogspot.com as well as www.savvyshopperdeals.com. The first two sites give me hot spot highlights for deals. But the latter site actually allows me to use a software service that tells me all of the best deals in my area…and I can pre-sort my search by store, product type, or even percentage of savings. As I browse I can make my grocery list and be in and out in a jiffy. Heck, the site even tells you what section of the store you can find something in! Not only that, but there’s also a video tutorial on the site that you can watch to get your feet wet with couponing—at least until I give you a more thorough webinar. 😉

Coupons = $$$ in Your Pocket!

Coupons = $$$ in Your Pocket!

5)      Next, I think that ANY of you would be hard-pressed right now to tell your boss that you want to earn $100 an hour, and you want to be able to work two hours a week for that money, and in you slippers, while you watch TV and talk on the phone. Right? Well, that’s what I save EVERY week that I do coupons! And that’s just for 2 of us in the home. I buy items that we eat regularly and items that we can store away. That way I’m storing what I eat, and eating what I store. If your family is bigger then you can save even more. I have a friend who recently got off of food stamps thanks to what she learned with couponing. I have another friend that has 7 in her family. Her monthly grocery budget is only $100. And guess what? She spends half of that on food storage!! My sister just went to a store last week that I loathe because of how un-coupon friendly they are. And she was STILL able to walk out of there with over $160 in groceries and medical supplies for which she only paid $20.55. Oh and by the way, she also received a $5 Target Gift Card. (Way to go, Sis!)

6)      Last, but not least, coupons are not only for junk—although I’ve managed to find my share of chocolate coupons. Hee hee. I simply don’t have the time, energy, or resources to share with you all that I’ve been able to purchase, at what  price, and where. But what I will do is give you SMALL list of items that I’ve purchased for FREE over the last few months. This is not even an all inclusive list. So when your jaw drops to the floor after reading this, pick it back up and give couponing a try. Surely you’re not going to be conquered by a few harmless coupons, are you?  🙂  

A-1 Steak Sauce
Almond M&Ms
Apple Jacks
Apples
AquaFresh toothpaste
Arm & Hammer toothpaste
Aspirin
Aveeno Face Cream
Ball Park Beef Franks
Bananas
Band-aids
Bar S Hot Dogs
Bayer Quick Release
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
Butter (unsalted)
Capri Sun Drinks
Carefree Maxi pads
Celery
Cesar Dog food
Cheerios
Cheese
Cheetos Astro 100 calorie paks
Chef Boyardee
Chef Michael’s Dog Food (dry)
Chef Michael’s Dog Food (wet)
Chicken Breasts
Children’s Bayer Chewable Tablets
Clean & Clear (facial cleanser)
Colgate toothpaste
Crest Whitestrips
Crystal Light
Degree Deodorant
DelMonte Fruit Cups
Digorno Flatbread Pizzas
Dole Salad mix
Dove soap
Dry Idea deodorant
Earth Grains Wheat Berry Bread
Ecotrin
Eggs
Energizer batteries -6 pak, AA
French’s mustard
Fusion Razor
Gatorade (32 oz. and 1 liter)
Grey Poupon
Hefty Fresh Extend zip bags
Hunts Ketchup
Isopropyl alcohol
Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce
Jell-O Pudding Snacks
Johnson and Johnson First Aid Kit
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal
Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats cereal
Kellogg’s Rice Krispie cereal
Kellogs Raisn Bran
Kens Salad Dressing
Kraft BBQ Sauce
Kraft Easy Mac & Cheese Microwaveables
Kraft Ranch Dressing
Krafy BBQ sauce
Lint Brushes
Listerine Advantage
Manwich Sauce
Milk
Nature Valley Nut Clusters
Nexcare bandages
Nexcare bandages
Nexcare Disney Tatoo bandages
Office Depot Copy Paper
Oscar Meyer Balogna
Oscar Meyer Beef Franks
Oscar Meyer Bologna
Pantene Shampoo & Conditioner
Peanut M&Ms
Post Raisin Bran
Puperoni dog treats
Quaker Life cereal
Reach Dental Floss (55 yards)
Reach toothbrush
Renu Contact Cleaner
Right Guard Deodorant
Ritz Crackers
Sara Lee Hot Dog Buns
Schick Quattro Razors (non-disposable)
Schick Razors
Scotch 3 pack Tape
Scotch Double Stick Tape
Scotch Mailing Envelopes
Secret Deodorant
Sirloin Steak
Snickers Candy Bar
SoftSoap Essentials
Steamables (vegetables)
Sure deodorant
Tennesse Pride Sausage Gravy
Tide liquid detergent
Tylenol Aspirin
Vaseline Hand Lotion
Velveeta Microwave Cups
Western Family Tuna
Wet Ones
Wheat Thins (Multi-grain and regular)
 

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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