Sunday, January 31, 2010

Home Made Goodies

I read over at the Texas Survivalist blog about boring trail foods and about making your own. They were not too happy with GORP (good old raisins and peanuts).
I always liked GORP.
But, over the years, I have developed my own combos for trail foods or snacking.

Some of the ones I have tried (and loved!) are:
Walnuts + Dried Apple (cut it up in small pieces) sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and a touch of sugar
and mix up.
Walnuts + Dried Cranberries
Walnuts + Dried Cherries
Almonds + Dried Apricots (snip apricots up to smaller sizes)
Almonds + Dried Pineapple + Coconut Flakes
Pecans + Carob covered Raisins
Pecans + Dried Cranberries
Filberts (Hazelnuts) + Dried Cherries
Filberts + Dried Apricots

Mix it up a bit! Use nuts and dried fruit that you prefer. Mix several kinds of fruit with your favorite nut. Spice your mixes. Cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices can give you a nice *pop* of flavor in your mix.
Sprinkle dried fruit with orange juice or pineapple juice, mix to coat and let set in the fridge overnight. Then mix with your favorite nut. Only do this if you are going to eat it pretty quick, within one or two days max, otherwise the nuts may go soft from absorbing the juice.

It has been a bit chilly here and I am craving...unreasonably craving lentils.
I LOVE lentils.
Green lentils, the lovely orange/red lentils, French lentils...I just love some lentils during cold weather.
Lentil chili is an amazing dish in cold weather. Thick and rich--no meat needed!
There are LOADS of recipes for lentil chili online. Go check some out.
I plan on making a lentil chili verde', that means no tomato sauce!
I cheat a bit and use a large can of green enchilada sauce in my green lentil chili.
I use a mix of white beans (navy beans) and green lentils. A jalapeno or two (depends on taste), a bit of salt and pepper and I serve with grated cheese on top.And a dollop of sour cream...
Making myself hungry here! Guess I know what is for dinner tomorrow!

Lentils are a good meat substitute. They are inexpensive, tasty and nutritious. They cook quickly and will readily adsorb the taste of spices or other foods.They are light-weight and blend well in dishes with beans, rice and other grains.
I like to toss some cooked lentils into salads and pita bread sandwiches.
Lentils also work well to stretch meat in a dish. Use cooked lentils as a substitute for half the meat in chili, spaghetti sauce, even hamburger helper! Making tuna salad? Open your can of tuna the day before and mix with an equal amount of cooked lentils, then refrigerate overnight. Next day, make your tuna salad as usual, just treat the lentils as tuna.Same for chicken salad. Add cooked lentils to sausage as you cook it up (loose sausage, not links or patties) to stretch out the sausage.

Get some lentils and experiment!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Florida is prepared, are you?

Yes, a town in Florida is now prepared and has plans in place in the event of
Read it all here.:

Now, while it may give many of us a chuckle, it is a good exercise for cities/localities to use--to simulate a total breakdown of society during a pandemic, etc.
The plans are pretty comprehensive and cover what to do in the event of localized zombie outbreak, statewide outbreak, national, etc.

Read it...print it an entertaining way to think about your home security, survival plans, evacuation plans, etc.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cookbooks, TV and other random stuff

If you have a printer, fire that puppy up!
You might want to stock up on extra ink cartridges first, though!
Go Here:

This site has many, MANY out of print cookbooks.
Some are from the early 1800s, so measurements, and even ingredients are sometimes a confusing thing, lol!
The attitudes of some of the authors can be a bit off-putting...especially cook books written by men but directed toward women and references to foreign born peoples or ethnic groups.

But, the recipes are OUTSTANDING!

On to TV.
I am currently downloading the latest episode of "Survivors", a BBC drama.
It originally came out in the 1970s, right now the 2nd season of the remake is going on.
The premise:
A plague has struck, almost everyone has died. Survivors is the story of those who didn't die in the months afterwards. It is set in England.
The acting, plot lines, stories, characters...everything is wonderfully done!
If you have access to the BBC, watch it. If you can download it, do so.
It is very much TV worth watching!
Movie worth watching:
Book of Eli
Go see this movie.
It is a post apocalyptic movie, but is so well done--it is absolutely brilliant.
I promise you will enjoy it.
For those concerned with such things, there are a few bad words. I think the *F* bomb gets dropped maybe 3 or 4 times (actually not that much for todays movies), but in the context where it is used, not out of line.
Question of the Day:
If right this minute:
All the stores closed down
There was no more gasoline to be had
The government was no longer there to help you...federal, state or local...
You and your family are now ON YOUR OWN
Think about it...think about your pantry, your garden, your livestock, your firearms and ammo, your first aid and hygiene supplies...everything.
Try to sleep well tonight....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This new post is an old post

I have had a lot of comments about this post that I made early on and several people have told me it changed the way they look at food scraps!
So here it is..

Here is a wonderful way to save money, have gourmet items in your pantry and enjoy great tastes!

You will need a food dehydrator or an oven and a way to grind the dried material into a powder. Spice grinders, coffee grinders, food processors are all good. Work with what you have or are comfortable with. Once ground into powder, store the powders in baby food jars, spice jars or whatever tightly lidded jars you have handy. Sterilize and COMPLETELY DRY jars before putting powder in. Also, put an O2 absorber in each jar.

Those tomato peels that are usually flung in the trash when you can tomatoes? Dry them out, nice and VERY dry, grind them into powder. Tomato powder sells for big bucks in gourmet shops, but essentially, it is made from peels that would otherwise be discarded.

Use the powder to boost the flavor in soups, stews and sauces, add some to your tortilla recipe to make those gourmet *tomato wraps* most people pay a premium price for. Make your own pasta? Add tomato powder! Add to softened butter for tomato butter (great on steaks and fish!) Combined with dry milk and a few spices, you can have a quick and easy instant tomato soup! Toss tomato powder into your favorite breading recipe to add a little sparkle to the flavor of fried chicken or fried fish. Add a teaspoon to your salad dressing and shake!

Grate orange peels or toss in a blender or chopper to have your own orange zest without paying those high supermarket prices. Orange zest can also be used in home made soap recipes. I have even dried out orange peels, ground them up and added a teaspoon or two to a regular bottle of shampoo for a citrus-wake-me-up scent. Orange powder can also be used in sachets and pomanders to repel insects and freshen closets.
Orange peels (powdered) can have a *bitter* taste to them if you get too much of the inner white peel in the powder, so be careful of that! You can also add orange powder to salad dressings, breading, butter, ginger ale (orange ginger ale is pretty good). Use your imagination!

Dry those apple peels out nice and very dry and grind into powder as with tomato peels.
Apple peel powder is great to add to oatmeal and other cooked cereals. A teaspoon in a glass of ginger ale is lovely on a hot day, or add a teaspoon to a hot mug of tea on a cold winter night. Toss some apple powder into your body wash for a wonderful scent, or add to unscented talcum powder and dust some on! Apple powder can also be used as a sachet scent or in a pomander.

Slice up your leftover raw broccoli very thin and dry it completely. Grind into powder. Mix with cream cheese and sour cream and a smidge of tomato powder for a great dip. Broccoli powder + dried milk + water = cream of broccoli soup. (I always scatter some grated cheese on top) Again, use your imagination!

Dry out completely. Grind into powder. Spinach powder + sour cream + cream cheese + spices = terrific dip or spread for crackers! Cream of spinach soup when mixed with dry milk and water.
Add to pasta dough when making pasta. Add to flour tortilla recipe. Good to add to salad dressings or mayonnaise.

You have to be careful with this. If you grow your own or buy locally, you should be okay. You cannot dry out most store bought cuke skins as they are wax coated! That being said--dry out totally and grind into powder. Add to cream cheese or sour cream (or both-mixed) for a nice dip or flavorful spread. Cucumber is a pretty popular additive to bath salts, soaps, shampoos, etc. Add to alcohol and water (half and half) in the summer and put in a spritz bottle. Spray yourself to stay *cool as a...* you know the rest! A teaspoon added to a bottle of salad dressing is great for cool summer salads. Add to mayonnaise.

Slice thin and dry completely before grinding into powder. Use in place of celery seed in soups and stews. Add to salad dressings, dips, spreads or mayonnaise. I like to sprinkle it on deviled eggs (VERY lightly!).

This one always gets me weird looks, lol! Okay, there is ALWAYS some leftover *meat* in that rind. Dig it out, slice it into thin slices and dry it out. (NOW you can toss those rinds in the compost heap!) Once dry, grind into powder.
A teaspoon in a glass of ginger ale is absolute heaven on a hot day in July! Adding watermelon powder to hot tea sounds weird, but is actually pretty good! Add some to unscented bath salts.
I have used watermelon powder in a white cake batter to make a watermelon cake. (It was terrific! Just add 3 to 5 teaspoons (depends on your tastes) to batter and mix in well. Add to softened cream cheese, sour cream and add a bit of honey and mix well to make a dip for fruits.

So, there you your garbage!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random Stuff to Consider

Well, here we are in a New Year and while I have enjoyed a few days of wallowing in the decadent pleasure of browsing seed catalogs (fruit and veggie porn!), there are a few pressing issues on my mind.

One is how many people say "I don't have the money to buy ...insert random prepper thingabob here... .
A neighbor told me "I would have a garden, but I don't have the money to buy the plants and no way to start seedlings." I asked what they were talking about. They seemed to think you had to have perfect little peat pots and such to start seedlings.And potting soil from the garden center. Etc., etc.
Bull hockey!
I have recently started seeds (we have an early growing season here in south east Texas)
Soil, I dug myself.
Pots? The bottom section of 2 liter bottles.Plenty of room for a seed to get started. To lessen shock when transplanting, I just cut the very bottom off when I put it in the ground, leaving a band of plastic around the plant. (Stops various cutworms) I save the top of the 2 liter bottles to use as little mini-greenhouses for my seedlings after I put them in the ground. Protects them from chilly winds that may crop up or the surprise little frost that may occur. In cool weather it will also heat up the seedlings...but not to worry about it getting too hot, just take the caps off! Some tops of 2 liter bottles get recycled into funnels. Handy things to have around.

Quit looking at what you don't have and look around at what you DO have!

I need a curtain for one window. I have a sheet. I make a curtain. It is simple, functional and looks nice. If I want to dress it up a bit, I can make tie-backs of a pretty material or add trim.
I didn't freak out about not having the money to buy a new curtain or new fabric, I used what I had on hand.

Perhaps that is the lesson here...most of us (in the US, at least) have LOADS of stuff. A lot of it just *sits*. We do nothing with it. It takes up space and adds no function.
Today I am going through my room and pantry and seeing what I have that is just taking up space without providing function. If something has absolutely no function in my life, it will go on to someone that can use and appreciate it. (Freecycle!!!) I honestly do not think I will find a lot of *non-functioning* items. I try to have everything serve several purposes.
The exception would be the art work on my walls...but then again, that serves a function for me. I paint to relax and the majority of the artworks on the walls are ones I did myself. I'll never be a famous artist, but it makes me happy to paint.
I don't have a lot of *knick-knacks* as I hate to dust. There is the odd vase or two, but I use those to hold things like my hair scrunchies, paperclips and office items, etc. Pretty containers.

I watch t.v. on occasion and I have been driven into fits of giggles watching the HGTV when people go to buy a new house. 2500 square feet? Please, people...that is unnecessary unless you have 6+ kids...and even then, it is kinda large. I had 7 kids and I don't think we ever lived in a house that was over 1500 square feet.
But many of these are young couples buying themselves into poverty by mortgaging their futures for 2500 square feet of suburbia on a less than a 1/4 acre of land. Worse yet are the ones that get loans for 200 or 300 thousand to buy an APARTMENT! Okay, I am being judgmental here and I know it. But why not take that 30 thousand they saved for a down payment and buy a couple of good acres on the outskirts of town, slap a decent trailer/mobile home on it and build their own home as they can afford it? Little to no debt, room to garden or raise small livestock and a healthier lifestyle.

I am not jealous of those people. I actually feel sorry for many of them. They buy those huge houses and have the next 30 or so years looking down a long, black tunnel of debt. What if they lose their jobs? What if someone in the family gets sick or has an accident and there are huge medical bills?
So many things to consider...but many people just don't think things through.
Hence we have people living in homes that are worth thousands less than they paid for them, we have people defaulting on mortgages and walking away from homes, we have many unemployed that had not prepared themselves for the possibility that the good times were  going to end.

Sit back today, even just for 30 minutes, and take stock of how truly you are prepared. Make a few lists. Make a *what if* list. It really does help to write it down.
*What if* you lost your job?
*What if* your spouse had a serious accident or died?
*What if*  you had to raise 50% of your food?
*What if* , *what if*, *what if*...if you have personal fears/concerns for your particular situation, write that down and figure out a Plan A, Plan B, heck, go all the way to Plan Z if need be.

90% of being prepared is MENTAL preparation. Panic will kill you and yours. If you have a plan, you won't panic. Sure, we all get those stomach-in-knots moments, but with calm reasoning and planning, we can survive.

Back to functionality...go through your house this week and find 5 things that are sitting there doing nothing. Either re-purpose them or get rid of them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Things I Stock Up On and Why

I have already posted how I stock up on lemon juice in quart bottles at Family Dollar and how I use it.
There are other items I keep stocked up on from the Family Dollar and Dollar Tree that are cheap and multi-use.

Here are a few items you would see if you peeked in my pantry:
Baby Shampoo
Olive Oil
Brown Sugar and/or White Sugar

These three items seem to have darn little in common, but here's the deal...1 cup of sugar (white or brown), Three or four tablespoons of Olive Oil and One Tablespoon of  Baby Shampoo. Add a scented oil--maybe a couple drops of lavender essential oil--if you have it. If not, drop in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
Mix well.
Smells awesome, the olive oil mosturizes, the sugar exfoliates, the baby shampoo adds bubbles.
MUCH cheaper than going to Bath and Body Works!
Store in a pint canning jar. You may have to stir it up before use.

Olive Oil is available at my local Dollar Tree. Twelve Ounce bottle for a buck. Not bad.
I use it for:
Salad Dressings
Hair conditioner
Skin Moisturizer
On my nails to keep them healthy and shiny.
Furniture polish (mix with a wee bit of lemon juice)
A little in my dogs food to keep her coat shiny
Squeaky Hinges

Baby Shampoo:
Shampoo (d'uh)
Body Wash
Hand Washing delicates
Dog Shampoo
Mix well with Olive Oil (50/50) for a moisturizing body wash or hand soap (no chapped hands in winter)
Housecleaning duty...I mix it in a spray bottle with water (1/4 cup baby shampoo per quart of warm water) and a tablespoon or two of lemon juice and scrub counter-tops and such. This cleanser is also good on walls (won't strip off paint)
Oil stain on driveway? Pour hot water mixed 50/50 with baby shampoo on the stain, scrub in, let set 15 minutes, rinse off. Repeat if necessary

White Sugar:
Look, I almost NEVER cook or bake with white sugar. I drink herbal tea, but I sweeten it with honey.
However, I do use my sugar for some things--even in the kitchen.
I like to peel an orange, a lime and a lemon and put the peels in a quart jar and then feill it with sugar. Citrus sugar! After a couple of months, the peels are all dried out (and sometimes crystallized) and the sugar has taken on a citrus-y flavor. I make this citrus angel food cake once in a while and this sugar is AWESOME to *pop* the flavor!
You can also make spice sugar by putting a couple star anise, a nutmeg and a cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves in a quart jar, add white sugar and shake it a bit. Leave for two months before using.
Sugar can be used as a scrubbing agent that will not scratch in your stainless steel sinks, granite counter tops, etc. However, RINSE VERY WELL, otherwise little ants will come to visit--bringing their extended families with them!
Keep a few packets of sugar in a ziplock bag in your first aid kit. Sugar and honey both have been used for wound treatment for over a thousand years and they work! Less infection and faster healing!

Brown sugar should be kept moist. If your brown sugar is drying out, tuck a fresh slice of apple in the bag and seal it back up.
I use brown sugar in cooking/baking, but I use it for many of the same uses as I do white sugar.

I am so insistent on multi-uses for everything I buy, stock up on or use regularly. Look at your pantry...I am sure you can find multiple uses for many items in there!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Joys

I am having a lovely time today. I decided some time ago to redecorate my room, but never got around to it, due to all the BS I have to deal with here. my paint, brushes, rollers, etc.

I finally decided on a color scheme.
My walls are going to be a soft gray (called *Silver Sword*), my trim will be bright white and I am painting the fireplace (non-working) jet black. My shelves and such will be jet black as well.
I am going to pick an accent color...maybe spring green for pillows and such, but that will come later.

Nothing really *prepper* about this...except that I will be rearranging my storage here in my room and trying to be more efficient in my use of space.

I think, also, that having your major living areas painted and decorated in a manner that is comfortable to you helps with prepping. You are more relaxed and can focus more on tasks at hand, rather than being distracted by an uncomfortable room.
Also, you can practice skills that will help you later on.
In my case, I will be constructing a closet. I currently do not have one, so this is important to me. I need a safe place to store my firearms, so the closet will have to be sturdy and have a lock.

This also provides me an opportunity to inventory the preps that I keep in my room. I have already discovered I have WAY more flashlights than I thought I did.
Fortunately, I also discovered I have a major league stash of batteries for them...and two battery rechargers.
Still, I need to get all this in my inventory binder, so I do not waste monies buying stuff I already have.
So...I'll be painting for the next couple of days, and came across some terrific food prep recipes that I just gotta share!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pucker Up!

Yes, that's right, pucker up! Today's blog is about one item I ALWAYS make sure I have in my pantry.
Lemon Juice!
I know, lemon juice doesn't seem that exciting, but I LOVE it! It is one of the most versatile items you can have on hand,
I get 32 oz bottles of lemon juice at my local Family Dollar store for $1.50, although sometimes they have it on sale for just $1.00. That's a great bargain (at either price).

Lemon juice can be used for cleaning:

Air freshener

An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle that sprays a fine mist will create a wonderful chemical-free air freshener for your home.

All purpose cleaner

Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first).

A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.


Heat a bowl of water and lemon juice (about 1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons lemon juice) in your microwave for 30 seconds to a minute; then wipe out the oven. Stains will be easier to remove and old food odors neutralized. I have found that a shallow bowl is best---more surface area has something to do with it, I think.


Like baking soda, lemon juice stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells. Put a small bowl or tupperware container with a small sponge in the bowl. Moisten the sponge with water and lemon juice (50/50 mix), then set the open bowl in your fridge. Change every one to two weeks.


Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.


Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!

Lime scale

Use lemon juice--full strength-- to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; just dampen a sponge with lemon juice, apply, let set for a few minutes and then wipe off and rinse well.

Clogged up shower head? Soak overnight in a bowl of lemon juice.


For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry.

A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.

For Blood stains particularly on white fabrics, rub lemon juice and salt and hang in sun for about 4 hours.

Please remember to NEVER use lemon juice on SILK fabric! It will eat a hole in them!


A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power

Ever get a residue on the inside of a crock pot that won't come off no matter how much you scrub or soak? Fill 3/4 full with water, then add 1 cup of lemon juice. Turn the crock pot on high and leave it for 2-3 hours. Allow to cool before rinsing; all the stains will be gone. It's like having a brand new crock pot!


Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems.

Chopping boards

Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.

Glass and mirrors

4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner


Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser


2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!

Personal Hygiene and Medicinal Uses for Lemon Juice:


To lighten hair, dampen it with lemon juice and sit out in the sun for an hour. This does work, I tried it myself. Hey, it was the 70's!

I've read that the juice of a lemon mixed with one cup warm water makes for a great hair conditioner. It should be allowed to stay in your hair for a few minutes then washed off. Exercise caution if you have a sensitive scalp.


The smell of fish or onions or garlic can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap - rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.

Itchies, Stings and Bites

Dab lemon juice on mosquito or chigger bites. Dabbing lemon juice on itchy rashes can also help. If straight lemon juice proves to be too harsh for your skin, use a 50/50 mix of lemon juice and warm water.


Dabbing lemon juice on pimples, blackheads and whiteheads before bed helps dry them up before morning! Wash face with a mild soap to wash off in the morning.

Foot/Body Scrub:

Mix regular table sugar or brown sugar with lemon juice to make a foot scrub. If you have problem perspiration, use the scrub all over! It exfoliates skin and will leave you sweet smelling all day! This is really good for scaly dry elbows!

Lemon Juice for Deodorant:

Use lemon juice as an alternative to high-priced chemically nasty deodorants.

Just wipe lemon juice on a washcloth or cotton balls under your arm pits. Lasts for hours! If you can't use straight juice, try the 50/50 mix with warm water.

Lemon Juice for Weight Loss:

Two tablespoons lemon juice in a glass (8 ounces) of water every morning helps *kick up* your metabolism and can help with weight loss.

Lemon Juice Mouth Wash and Denture Soak:

Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons in a cup of warm water makes a great mouth wash. If you have thin enamel on your teeth, check with your dentist first!

If you wear dentures and are out of your usual denture cleanser, put dentures in hot or very warm water and add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Soak for 2 to 8 hours for fresh, sparkling dentures.

Lemon Juice for Sore Throats and Coughs:

Mix 1/4 cup honey with 3 tablespoons lemon juice for a great throat soother. Make it better by adding a half teaspoon ground ginger.

Lemon Juice for cooking:

Now on to the yummy stuff! Lemons are high in Vitamin C, so adding them to your diet just makes sense, especially in the winter!

If you dry or can apples, you know they turn brown after being cut and exposed to air. Toss apple slices with a 50/50 lemon juice-water mix and they won't turn brown!

The acidic character of lemon juice also makes it a great meat tenderizer. Add a couple of tablespoons to your favorite marinade.

Lemon juice *brightens* the flavor of salad dressings, especially ones used on fruit salads. Just a teaspoon is usually enough in 1 cup of dressing.

Lemon juice + water + sugar = Lemonade! But lemon juice can be added to a lot of other beverages to enhance flavor or add a *sparkle* to the taste. Add a teaspoon of lemon to a glass of ginger ale--or any other carbonated beverage. Add it to fruit punch, tea (hot or cold), herbal teas, juices...just about any beverage--as long as it doesn't contain milk!

In baking, a teaspoon or two of lemon can *brighten* up the flavor of breads, cakes and pies without adding a *lemony* flavor. Mix the lemon juice with the sugar required for the recipe BEFORE adding to other ingredients!

When you are making sauces , adding a teaspoon of lemon certainly enhances the flavor! I especially love to make lemon butter to serve over vegetables--especially broccoli. Make a sauce of lemon, butter and herbs--I suggest rosemary and thyme with a touch of onion or garlic to serve over broiled chicken breasts. (Okay, I am getting hungry now!)

As you can see, lemon juice is a wonderful thing to have in your pantry! The bottles of lemon juice I buy have to be refrigerated after opening. Check expiration dates and buy bottles that have the further-est out *use by* date.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

A new year has arrived. With the new year comes a new opportunity to get yourself organized for food storage, frugal living and prepping.
Make some resolutions...not big ones, just baby steps.
Here are a few suggestions to add to your resolution list:

Commit $5.00 a week to your food preps. Five bucks is not a lot. You can get a few extra cans of tuna, some boxes of macaroni and cheese...look and find inexpensive items to add to your pantry.

Go to the range one more time a month. Getting competent with your firearms is a GOOD thing!

Walk more. Park further away from the grocery store or on the other side of the mall or at the far end of the parking lot at work. A few extra steps has health benefits!

Learn one new skill every 3 months. It may be sewing or baking bread or canning or starting a campfire without matches. Doesn't matter. Just one new skill every three months. Practice at it until you feel confident in your abilities.

Read more. Read history, particularly American history and the history of revolution all over the world and throughout history. Read up on farming, read up on livestock management, read up on alternative/primitive building techniques. Read up on anything that will help you in your endeavors.

Cook at least one meal every two weeks using your food storage! I cook one meal a week, but you might want to start slow. I will be posting some of my favorite food storage recipes in the next couple of weeks to give you some ideas!

Once every three months, buy a "tool for living". A grain mill, a dehydrator, a sewing machine...whatever tool you do not have but feel it is necessary or prudent for you to have. If you have all the tools you need (like anyone ever will?)--but on the off chance you do, go beyond competent and get to be an expert on on one every 3 months.

So, Happy New Year, Happy Prepping and may the best of the past year be the worst of this new year for you all!