Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I Do What I Do...

A couple months ago was a very unsure time around our house. We were facing unemployment for the first time in our marriage, but I can honestly say that I wasn't afraid. In fact I was looking forward to a change and even a little excited about the idea of being out of work. I couldn't help but look forward to a few relaxing weeks with my husband at home. However, if this had happened a couple of years ago I probably would have been up all night every night worrying.. We're in a better position now and part of that is because we've both been so good at managing our money the last couple of years. We've as Dave Ramsey puts it.. "Lived like no other... so we can eventually live like no other." In the past couple of years we have paid off almost thirty thousand dollars in debt and are now not only debt free (other than our house) but we have 6 months of savings and a full year supply of food in our storage. I wasn't afraid of my hubby losing his job because I knew we were as prepared as we could have been. I can't even describe how amazing that felt! And let me tell you.. the last two years of making my own bread and cloth diapering my babies and not going out to eat and buying things I don't really need.. it's all been worth it. And if I could do it all over again? I would in a heartbeat. The only thing I'd change would be that I'd have started this behavior a LONG time earlier. It may be hard right now but that feeling of peace is worth a thousand pouty nights of not getting new shoes...
In answer to the comment about not being able to run to your local wholesaler and buy a bucket of wheat... Don't let that stop you from getting some! If you haven't noticed, food prices ARE going back up. The LDS church has been pushing people to get prepared for decades and has done everything in their power to help people succeed to that end. I realize not everybody lives in Utah, but there are other options available to help you to build up your food supply. Here is a link to some family home storage sites where you can go to buy some inexpensive bulk foods. You don't have to be a member of the LDS church to buy food from them. In fact they welcome and encourage anybody to come buy food. They have full time service missionaries at these sites ready to help you. In fact, most of them are sitting around doing nothing all day just in hopes that YOU come. And If there is no Food Storage Center close enough to justify the drive, there are online stores able to sell bulk food. You will pay more, but I promise that you won't regret it should you ever need it. A few good sources are Emergency Essentials, BulkFoods.com, and Walton Feed. Don't let the shipping scare you- it's worth it if it's your only option. But also try looking into local grain mills, or food distribution centers if there are any in your area.
Right now I'm frugal with our grocery money (and everything else for that matter) because we're saving up for some projects around the house. We are doing good with our food storage, but if we weren't you'd better believe that's the first place I'd put the money we're saving! You never know what catastrophes are just around the corner... Use the time and the money that you have NOW to save for a time when you really may need it.
President Monson once said, "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves of their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food and were debt-free. Today we have found that many people have followed this counsel in reverse: They have at least a year's supply of debt, and are food-free."
Is he talking about you? He was once talking about me...

5 comments:

Veronica Bartles said...

:) Yay! I completely agree that things like wheat are an important investment to make. It's kind of difficult to find good local sources for those food storage essentials out here, but it's definitely worth the extra effort to research or the extra money for shipping! Things like whole grains and dry beans are important in food storage because they last for so long and are so full of a variety of nutrients.

A couple more things that you might want to mention:
* If you're going to store whole wheat in your food storage, learn to eat whole wheat. Introduce it into your diet gradually, so that your system doesn't go into shock when you have to start using it regularly. (Same with dry beans or any other staple that you aren't already used to in your diet.)
* Make sure that you have a way to grind your wheat. If you can't afford a wheat grinder right now, an inexpensive coffee grinder works. You can also use a blender, in a pinch, but it will burn up your blender motor if you're using it to make flour regularly. (Though I do have a great recipe for blender wheat waffles, which uses whole wheat berries, and since you blend it with the liquids, it isn't particularly hard on your blender. If you don't have that recipe, I can pass it along.)

Angie said...

Seriously where do I even buy a wheat grinder? I am feeling a little bit "House on the Praire" here. Am I going to have to churn my own butter next? =)

Amy said...

I'm already loving your posts! :)

Sheryl said...

Angie, stay tuned.. I'm sure at some point I'll post a bit on churning butter.. and probably soap making. get your spare LARD ready! Seriously though, nothing tastes better than bread made from freshly gound wheat! Also my wheat grinder is broken at the moment so for this month at least I'll be improvising with some of my recipes. As to buying wheat grinders.. Both Emergency Essentials & Walton Feed carry them(linked in post). Also try Amazon.com for a good selection, ebay for some deals on used grinders. You can also try DI (or your local second-hand store). That's where my first grinder came from and it worked beautifully for 7 years!

Veronica Bartles said...

Again, Sheryl, I'll just point out that outside of Utah, you won't be likely to find a wheat grinder at a secondhand store. eBay is great, though. I got my first wheat grinder there at a fraction of the cost for a new one. You may even be able to find one on Craigslist, if you're lucky...

The best thing about owning a wheat grinder and keeping some wheat in your home storage is that you don't easily run out of flour. Also, you can make all kinds of special multi-grain flours by running oats, rice, barley, popcorn kernels, even dry beans through your grinder.