Thursday, September 29, 2011

Food Storage at Hannah's house

Yesterday, Abbie shared some pictures of what's going on in her life, and how she plans to utilize her new home's space for food storage.  Today, it's my turn!

(For the life of me, I cannot find the pictures I took of us moving!  But, here's one we took just a week later, when we celebrated my daughter's second birthday.  I know it's not the same thing, but.... here's what we all look like! :)

My husband graduated from the same school as Abbie's, just one year earlier.  So, in May of 2010 we moved from Georgia and spent one year in a little apartment in Virginia (near Virginia Beach).  Since we were only there for one year, I didn't focus too much on acquiring much food storage; rather, I just saved as much money as I could so that I could stock up quickly after moving into our more permanent home.
Which brings us to now!  My husband finished his internship in Virginia and now we're in Florida for 4 (possibly 5) years.  (If we don't stay here for that fifth year, we will do another one-year stint somewhere else.  Yes, my husband will be 35 before finishes this whole thing and gets his first "real" job.  Whew!) Thankfully, we were able to buy a small home here so we have a little more space than Abbie does (but, no basement, so I'm pretty jealous of hers!).  We are liking it so far, but it. is. HOT.

Anyway, I loved all of the pictures Abbie shared yesterday of her new home.  I took a walk around my home this morning and snapped some pictures of great areas for potential food storage.  I am excited for all the possibilities!

First, the laundry room.  My "laundry room" is no more than a pass through between our garage and kitchen, but it does the job!  And there's actually a lot of empty space that I can utilize for my food storage.

There is a lot of empty space on either side of the dryer - wide enough for #10 cans to be stacked on either side.  That is definitely a possibility!  I have also been toying with the idea of building something like these shelves with wheels, one for each side (that link is a great tutorial!).  What do you think?  There are also equal amounts of space on either side of my washing machine.

While Abbie has a lot of food storage space down in her basement, I don't have that option.  So, I've been looking up.  Look at all that empty space above my washing machine!  There is one shelf on that wall, but there is so much wasted space underneath.  That shelf could be lowered, and then I would love to see some shelves go up the wall - maybe even three or four more shelves, all the way to the ceiling.  Of course, we would have to ensure that they are installed well and sturdy, but I am sure it can be done.  Also, I would keep the foods light.... flour, oats, pasta, powdered milk, etc.  I could also use those shelves for things like toilet paper, paper towels, medicines, etc.  Whatever isn't too heavy. :)

 And look at all that space above my cabinets!  Again, I will have to be careful about weight, but that is a lot of empty space that can be utilized.  Would I love to keep that space empty and "airy" feeling?  Yes.  In truth, this will probably be a "last resort" place, after all my other options have been filled.  But if I have to do it, I will!  I'd rather be caught by the "home decor" police than the "too little food storage" police (you know those exist, right? ;)  Oh, and see my itty-bitty pantry there on the right side of the picture?  It's tiny, and it's all I've got!

In our master bedroom, we put our bed frame on 7" risers (bought them at Walmart).  That is where we currently store all our #10 cans, and I'll be writing a whole post about that in a few weeks.

Another area of potential is in our master closet.  Look at all that empty space!  I can see a second shelf up there, lined with food storage.  What about you?

And finally, this dresser.  We have a good sized master closet but it's still too small for this piece of furniture, so it's in our bedroom.  However, we don't store any clothes in it because our clothes are in the closet!  So, this is a definite option for some food storage.

I am excited to be in our new house, and seeing all these potential food storage spots gets me excited to start stocking up again!

Where do you like to hide food storage in your home?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's About To Get Personal...

Moving, moving, moving! It's all we ever talk about right? Truth be told, a lot of you can vouch that moving can take over your life, and it did mine. Mountain Man and I had lived in Georgia for SEVEN years, and hadn't ever moved with kids, so it was quite an adventure. An adventure that I'm glad I won't have to repeat for quite a while.

Since we had to take a break, Hannah and I thought we would share a little bit about our families and what's been going on, as well as a little food storage tour of our new places.

So here goes...
As most of you know, I had a little baby girl at the end of last year, bringing our grand total up to THREE girls!

Mountain Man graduated (FINALLY) from all that higher education stuff. The girls thought it was rather boring: "No more graduating!"

We left Georgia...and my beautiful kitchen, where many a food storage friday was documented.

We drove for a very long time...

...and finally crossed into New York state.

I found my new cupboard kitchen.

And unpacked lots of boxes and various other items of junk we had accumulated.

We spent a few weeks getting to know the area, we decided we liked it.

Now school has started and Mountain Man is back to work and I am trying to get back on the bandwagon. The great thing about our new place is we finally have a basement! There aren't very many basements in Georgia because of pests and flooding, and I'm excited to utilize the space. The bad news is that we are a family of five in a 2 bedroom apartment, so space is really tight and the basement has to be used, not just for food storage, but also for regular storage, the playroom, laundry room and my sewing studio (Yay! I moved my sewing machine out of my living room!).

The other issue with our basement is that it is prone to flooding when it gets really wet outside (which I'm told is quite often) so nothing can be placed on the floor--especially not food. So knowing all those factors, here is a little tour of where I have begun my itty bitty food storage.

To check out a tour of my food storage in my old house, click here.

I have a pantry in the closet kitchen, where I keep a lot of my food stuff, but a lot of it doesn't fit, so my pantry is extended to this shelving unit at the bottom of the basement steps. I have my cansolidator on it as well. Notice how all my food is on the shelves, I'm not storing anything perishable on the floor. There's a lot of room to grow here.

In front and next to the shelves, are my emergency essentials buckets containing rice, wheat, and flour. My sugar bucket is currently empty and needs to be cleaned out before I refill it. Next door, so to speak, is my deep freezer.

Across the room is another shelving unit that I have dedicated to longer-term storage, like my #10 cans and mylar pouches. We tried to eat a lot of this stuff before we moved, because it's heavy, so this is all we have left. I still need to find out where the closest cannery is, but I'm going to have to be inventive when this unit fills up because I lost my prime can-hiding space (behind the couch) in this new place.

On the top of the longer-term storage shelving unit is the small amount of canning I was able to do this year: pickles, salsa (this is the recipe I use), and jam, we missed strawberry season, so we improvised with cherry-peach jam and blueberry-peach jam--amazing!

So this is where I'm starting from. I'm going to be joining the weekly posts in order to bring my food storage up to speed. I'm glad to be back, and I'm glad that YOU'RE glad that we're back!

What is your favorite thing about moving?

I have lots of un-favorite things (is that a word?) but my favorite thing is being able to reorganize things and have everything have a spot. And I really like using my label maker.

*New* Emergency Essential winner!

We never heard from the winner of our Emergency Essentials giveaway (Granola with Milk & Blueberries), so we used random.org to find a new winner!  Congratulations kdonat, who said,

The first book of the Left Behind Series, I'm a late starter.
Congratulations, kdonat!  Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your prize.
Everyone else, come back later today because Abbie will be blogging about her new home, and we all know what that means: new places to hide food storage!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Food Storage Tuesday

Every Tuesday, we post specific items you should gather in order to supplement your 72-hour kit, your three-month supply, and your longer term storage.  If you are new to our blog, don't worry!  You won't be left behind.  Just start up where we are and follow along.  You will eventually have everything completed.  Once the 72-hour kit is complete, we'll be putting together emergency car kits again (week by week).  Once those are done, we'll gather the 72-hour kits again.  So don't worry, just jump on in and join us where we are today!

Instead of assigning something specific this week for your 72-hour kit, it's actually rotation week!  What's rotation week, you ask?  Well, every 6 months we remind you to rotate things in your 72-hour kits and your car kits, and this is the week!  So, what should you be rotating?

Food, for one.  Check the expiration dates of your food, and make sure it's still edible-looking. :)  Food in the car kits may look a bit scary if it's been sitting in the car all summer (depending on what it is!).

You should also check batteries to make sure they are charged still.  Replace anything you have taken out of the kits for any reason (the car kits might be especially low if you regularly use things from there).

Finally, swap out the clothes for the colder weather!  Make sure sizes are up to date and that your diapers (if needed) are also the correct sizes.  Also, if you have wipes in your car kit or 72-hour kit, make sure they are still moist and usable (mine tend to dry out in the heat).

How's your three-month supply coming along?  Make a food storage plan and then buy things for your supply according to that!  Stock up on "sick" foods!  Since "cold and flu season" is approaching, be sure to stock up on medicine, canned soups, Gatorade, crackers... anything you need while you're sick.  Planning ahead will be a lifesaver when one of your kids is sick and you can't run to the store (or when you are sick and can't run to the store!)

This month (October) we are gathering "other" foods for our longer-term storage.  If you had to live off only your basic longer-term foods (oats, wheat, beans, rice), life would get pretty boring!  Consider white flour, sugar, yeast, spices, honey, chocolate, salt, pasta, chicken/beef/vegetable broth etc.).  You certainly don't need to buy an entire year's worth at once, but you should start somewhere!

Finally, don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook if you haven't already.  We'll be updating it frequently with links to articles, questions for you, pointers, etc.  We also hope you'll use it to ask/answer questions from each other!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Motivational Monday

"Provident living requires us to develop proper attitudes—a willingness to forego luxuries, to avoid excess, and to fully use what we have—learning to live within our means.
Unrestricted by programs and projects, bricks and mortar, the Lord’s real storehouse is indeed in the homes and the hearts of His people. As the members of the Church follow the counsel to become self-reliant, they represent an immense pool of resources, knowledge, skills, and charity available to help one another. This storehouse, the Lord has said, is “for the poor of my people, … to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven.” (D&C 78:3–4.)"

Robert D. Hales, “Welfare Principles to Guide Our Lives: An Eternal Plan for the Welfare of Men’s Souls,” Ensign, May 1986, 28

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Misto and Blankets Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in all our giveaways this week!  We used random.org to find our last winner, so congratulations to #14, Grace, who said,

I was in love with my elliptical...until I met an arc trainer! I call it the mean machine. Holy cats! It gives you a real workout in no time flat without (most important!) harming my already shredded hips and knees. It's evil, but I love it (in a slightly masochistic way.)

Thanks, Grace!  I love ellipticals so I'll have to give the arc trainer a try. :)

Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your prize.

Also, we are still waiting to hear back from one of our other winners from this last week - Sharon, who won the Granola with Milk & Blueberries.  Sharon, please email us by the end of the weekend or we will have to choose another winner to announce on Monday.

Thanks again, everyone!  And thanks to everyone who "Liked" our Facebook page!  

We'll be back with more articles next week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Giveaway #4 - Emergency Thermal blankets AND a "Misto"! (with two ways to enter!) *CLOSED*

**This giveaway is now closed**

Today's giveaway is from us! We are giving away TWO prizes to one lucky reader.
Emergency Thermal Blankets (4 Pack)
The first thing we are giving away is a 4-pack of emergency thermal blankets. I have never personally used emergency blankets before, but I do have them in our 72-hour kits and it gives me peace of mind to know we have some protection against the elements (although I'll admit, in this Florida heat I'm not sure how useful they will be, but I still want to be prepared! It does get cold here, right??). Anyway, these blankets are a great addition to your 72-hour kits or your car kits.

Misto M100S Gourmet Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer
The second thing we are giving away is a "Misto"! One thing that Abbie and I think is important when it comes to food storage is efficiency. Abbie recently told me that she was tired of buying cooking spray, not only for her food storage but also for her day-to-day cooking. So, she tried out the Misto, which is basically an olive oil sprayer.

Anything that cuts down on the number of items that need to be stored is a winner in my book. I know that many of you have a real lack of storage space in your homes. While this may not make a huge difference as a space saver, it's still a fun little gadget that could improve your food storage (and by not having to store cans of cooking spray, you have a couple extra square inches for more fun things, like Nutella and chocolate chips. Right??).

You have two ways to enter into this giveaway. The first is to leave a comment here on this blog post, answering the question,

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Kind of random, I know, but I'm always looking for tips and ideas to give me a little variety!

And the second way you can enter into today's giveaway is to head on over to our Facebook page and "Like" it! (Click the "Like" button at the top of the page) Once you've done that, come on back to this post and leave a second comment telling us that you liked our page.

I know we're a bit late to the Facebook bandwagon, but we are really excited about it! One of our goals in coming back to blogging is that we want to create more of a relationship with you, our readers! We want a public place where you can ask questions, and where you can also answer questions that others may have! We want to post links to things we find interesting, and we just basically want to interact more with you, and we feel that Facebook is a good platform for that. By "liking" our page on Facebook, you'll get updates in your news feed about what we're blogging about, questions we have, tips, etc.

This giveaway closes tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. and a winner will be announced shortly after that. Thanks!!

Can of Seeds Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday's giveaway!  You all made me really miss Fall.  I grew up in New England but now live in Florida, so your comments left me feeling very nostalgic.

We used random.org to find a winner of the #10 can of seeds.  Out of 78 comments, our lucky winner is #35, Sariah, who said:

I would have to say the cooler temperatures, the smells that come with the baking that gets done and the holidays.
Congratulations, Sariah!  Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your prize.
And, everyone: come back soon because our final giveaway starts very soon, and you'll have two chances to enter!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giveaway #3 - A #10 Can of Seeds! (**Giveaway now closed**)

(*This giveaway is closed*)

Today's giveaway is sponsored by Heather from Shelf Reliance! Heather is offering a #10 can of garden vegetable seeds. We've never given away something like this on the blog, so we're excited!

Garden seeds might seem like an unconventional "food storage" item, but food storage is all about self reliance, right? I love the idea of being able to buy a whole can of seeds to store with the rest of my food storage. I also love the idea that I could potentially have fresh veggies available to me even if we were living off our food storage (during the right season, of course).

This #10 can contains seeds for beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, corn, cucumber, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, radishes, spinach, summer squash, winter squash, and tomatoes. Also included is a "how-to" guide for planting and growing your garden. Even if you don't have a yard for gardening, some of these plants do really well in porch containers!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling us:

What do you love most about Fall? (or, if you live in a more tropical climate, what do you miss most about Fall, assuming you have experienced it before!)

One comment per person, please. Giveaway will close tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. EDT and a winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

Feel free to check out Heather's Shelf Reliance store for more products! These cans of veggie seeds would make great Christmas gifts, for yourself or others! (In fact, Heather did her own review of this product here)

Heather also has a blog called Cooking With My Food Storage that you should check out. She's currently giving away a Harvest Shelf, so you won't want to miss that!

Emergency Essentials Winner!

We had 127 comments on yesterday's giveaway, and used Random.org to find a winner.  Congratulations to #94, Sharon, who said,

Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber - great series, especially if you like naval history & battles at sea.
Congrats, Sharon!  Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your prize!  And thanks everyone for all the book recommendations!
Come back soon because our next giveaway opens in just a few minutes!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Giveaway #2 - "Just-Add-Water" Granola with Milk & Blueberries (**Closed**)

Granola with Milk and Blueberries
Today's giveaway is sponsored by Emergency Essentials.  They are giving away a #10 can of one of their new "Just-Add-Water" foods - Granola with Milk & Blueberries!

This month Emergency Essentials is introducing five new Provident Pantry Just-Add-Water Meals and to celebrate, they are all on sale. Each of these meals are so easy to prepare. They are perfect for food storage, taking out on a backpacking or camping trip, or they are a great easy meal for a night when you don't want to cook.

Want to win your own #10 can of Granola with Milk & Blueberries?  Just leave a comment on this post telling us,

What's the best book you've read recently?

I realize that "recently" may mean a year ago for some of you (everyone is so busy, I know!), but I always love book recommendations so let me hear them!

This giveaway is open until tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. EDT, and the winner will be announced soon after that.  One entry per person, please.

Be sure to head over to Emergency Essentials to see all the other good stuff they have!  I don't know about you, but I've already started my Christmas lists (giving and hope-to-receive lists), and I'm definitely thinking of leaning toward more practical gifts this year (you know, food storage/emergency prep stuff -- really!).  Emergency Essentials is a great place to start!

Cansolidator Winner!

We had 82 comments in our first giveaway of the week, and I used random.org to find a winner.  Our winner is comment #47, Mrs. Mordecai, who said,

I did some fun projects with my kiddos! I love spending quality time with them.
Congratulations, Mrs. Mordecai!  Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your prize.
Thanks everyone for participating!  We loved hearing about all the fun things you did last summer.  Our next giveaway opens in one hour so come back for that!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Giveaway #1 - Cansolidator Cupboard!

Cansolidator Cupboard

*This giveaway is now closed*

Fran over at Shelf Reliance is offering up a Cansolidator Cupboard for our first giveaway this week!  Abbie and I love our Cansolidators, and we know many of you do, too!

If you have a hard time storing all your canned goods efficiently, or if you can never remember to rotate (OR, if you just love to organize!), these Cansolidators are a lifesaver.  (And P.S.... Right now, this Cansolidator Cupboard is on sale for under $20... that's over 40% off!  Christmas presents, anyone??)

To enter this giveaway, please comment on this post and tell us,

What was the funnest thing you did last summer?

One comment per person, please.  If you get our posts via email, click over to this post and comment there.  Giveaway ends tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. EDT and a winner will be announced before the next giveaway opens up at 10 a.m.

And finally, feel free to check out Fran's Shelf Reliance store.  Right now she also has a 2 Person Survival Pack on sale for 50% off!  Thanks, Fran!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Starting over, and this week's schedule

Hey everyone!  Hannah here.  It's great to be back!  In a way, I feel like I'm starting over with food storage.  My family just moved from Virginia to Florida, so our last couple of months in Virginia were spent eating through a lot of our food storage in order to pack/move less (although to be honest, we really didn't have that much to begin with, since we only lived there 12 months). Abbie is in a similar boat, since she and her family just moved from Georgia to New York.  

So, we are ready to kick off the blog again, starting with a week of giveaways!  That's right, we've got FOUR awesome giveaways scheduled for this week: two from Shelf Reliance, one from Emergency Essentials, and one from us!

Each giveaway will be posted at 10 a.m. EDT (Tues-Fri) and they will run until 8 a.m. EDT the next morning (so, each giveaway is open for 22 hours).  We'll post the winner about an hour after the giveaway closes, and then the new giveaway will start soon after! (I hope that makes sense?)

You can enter the giveaways the same way you always do: by commenting on the actual giveaway post.  If you receive our posts through your email, you'll need to go to our actual blog site and comment there.

The reason we're telling you our detailed schedule is that sometimes Google Reader doesn't show our posts until giveaways have closed, so some people miss out.  So be sure to visit our site every day this week for your chance to enter each giveaway!

And finally, a quote that I am loving right now:

“The first step [in food storage] is to begin. The second is to continue. It doesn’t matter how fast we get there so much as that we begin and continue according to our abilities.”

Presiding Bishop H. David Burton

I feel like I am "beginning" again, and it will probably be slow going at first (gotta find the room, save up money for it, etc.).  I feel like I am always learning new things about food storage, and I'm excited to share those things with you (and also learn from you in the process).  I hope you are excited to join me!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We're baaaaack!!

Well okay, we WILL be back.... starting on Monday!!

We took a longer break than planned but we are coming back so get ready to dive into food storage again!  Abbie and I each moved over the summer, so we are excited to share all our new ideas about where to store food storage, some new food storage recipes (of course), and more.  We are also trying to put together some great giveaways soon.

See you next week!