Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Details and Planning Could Mean Budget Stretching

The “next day” could mean savings or the ability to stretch your budget a lot. If you can stand the crowds and the hustle and bustle (kind words for a lot of pushing and sometimes aggression), you’ll find some great deals for your budget the morning after a major holiday, but only if you go with a battle plan already in place. Here are some more details to arm yourself with. You just have to know how to sort through the hype. And of course, one of the main reasons you might want to enter the foray would be to add to the preparedness portions of your pantry.

As everyone knows, as they say, the day after Christmas is one of the biggest “sale” days of the year. A lot of scheming and planning has gone on, on the marketing side of the counter to convince you that “‘tis the day for you to spend”. Many stores run fabulous sales for just one day, and sometimes for just a few hours in the morning of that one-day, to entice you into their store. They figure, and pretty accurately, that once they get you into their store, you’ll do most of your shopping while you’re there, and not just for the blowout sales items. You’ll pick up many regularly priced items at the same time, just to avoid the traffic and lines and crowds of another store.

If you are a brave soul that can tolerate the throngs of shoppers pushing and shoving for the best deals you will have the opportunity to save some serious money. The trick is to know before you go exactly what you want and not get sucked into the crowd mentality of buying everything you see, just because a thousand other people are buying it. Keep in mind, some of the product “for sale” may not be the store’s regular line “on sale.” It may be there just because of the “hype” of the “After Christmas Sale” and the incredible amount of impulse buying that will take place because of the atmosphere. Also, keep in mind that “for sale” does not necessarily mean a “bargain priced’ item. It may be an item at a regular price placed in the display as part of the mix.

This year, because of the economy and the sales tools being used to try to take advantage of every opportunity to sell, some things have been marked down before the “last buying days” for the holiday, so the discounts after the fact may be deep – or not. I was in a discount department store immediately after Halloween and watched as the clerks put the Christmas decorations on the shelves. Immediately they placed “SALE” signs on all of the shelve – in red – proclaiming 30% off. That to me indicates several things: the item are already priced too high for the market, or the “sale” sign is used to give the impression of lower prices and increase impulse sales or it could be the store really wants to sell their products. You choose.

However, especially this year, remember the Barbara Rule of price consciousness! It is essential in the “SALES ARENA”. Santa is not the only one who needs to make a list and check it twice. Make careful plans, and detailed lists and then stick to them like glue. Starting now, take the time to joy down regular – or good –prices for the items that you are particularly interested in. Then you can come out ahead … at least within your budget. Should you be thinking this is a lot of busy work, just remember it’s your budget. Consider it homework – homework that will benefit you! If you don’t need some encouragement and help, I do, write to me and tell me how you do it.

The morning after Christmas is a great time to save money, providing you’ve planned ahead so there is a little money left after Christmas shopping and activities are over. Or you can assess the other portions of your budget and do some creative juggling to allow your buying power go further.

The day after Christmas, and usually that weekend, is the time to pick up next year’s supplies: cards, wrapping paper, party goods, and decorations, even generic gifts for calendared occasions. It’s also the time to include preparedness items and staples to replace the batteries or like items that you may have used. You can usually save 50-80% on holiday clearance items, because it is cheaper for stores to sell for a fraction of the usual costs than return it to the manufacturer, pack and store it for a year, or throw it away. There is still a profit margin in it for them

Once again, you are the one that has to face the crowds, but with a battle plan in place, next to a sense of humor, the savings can be worth it.

Remember the chocolate sales! Red and green wrapped chocolates are red and green wrapped bargains. 

check out the changes cominbg on my website

Thursday, January 20, 2011

blog radio list


Thanks for coming to my blog. As you may see I have not blogged for awhile. That's because the roller coasters that come into our lives sometimes prove to be so big that a blog disappears from our priority list for awhile.

However, let me give you the list of things you may want to consider as you think and plan for your indoor farm. Is is a very rewarding project, even though a few weeds of different vaieties may find their way into your plans as well as the container pots.

I would love to hear how your garden grows - or not.

Liquid Vit B12 for plants
root start (optional)
Pots/containers big enough for your plants to grow up and out.
check out the thrift stores
Potting soil
plant food (or compost tea)

these DO NOT have to be organic!
Vegetables with roots/
leaf lettuce
green onions

For those of you who find this blog and think it strange or mysterious - you may want to join us on Thursday evenings on the Blogtalk radio/Preparedness Network at 7pm. MT or 8:00 pm. CT or 9:00 pm. EST or in the West at 6:00pm. We are talking about Indoor Farms this week and next Jan 20 and 27. Yes, you read it right. Indoor Farms. I am the host

Barbara Salbury

Friday, June 25, 2010

You Need a Binky in Your Cupboard!

I think I should tell you, you need a binky in your cupbaord!

As this year continues to progress, the headlines that cause fear and the struggles with the economy are not going away. All these things are affecting more and more of us. The failing economy continues to wreak its toll.

And so, I encourage you to do what you can, where you can, when you can. If you say you have been trying, try some more. I am in a somber mood as I write today, and would truly encourage you to keep trying. As an individual you or I cannot resolve the situations that are generating the fear from the headlines. Nor can we resolve situations in the city, state, or country. BUT, what we can do is resolve to do something, to create our own safe haven in attitude and action in our own preparedness program. Even if you are in a small apartment there has to be one corner that you can set aside to hold a few things that will benefit you. If you can’t create a “safe room”, plan and create a comforting “safe corner.”

Preparedness and provident living go hand in hand. You can help yourself deal better in the economic foray, and, at the same time, have things in your cupboards to get you through tight situations.

Remember you can get prepared without panic and hype, a little at a time – consistently, constantly and regularly. Even if as you look at what you think might be an exceedingly little amount, the key word is consistent! (You can pretend your middle name is Barbara, and no matter how small the amount of supplies in a box or on a shelf, you can hug it and say “Thank You, Thank you!”)

Being prepared does not mean there is no crisis, as some would have you believe. I’m afraid my experience has shown that I personally cry a lot: tears of frustration, tears of fear and foreboding, and then tears of gratitude, as I plod along doing my best to cope, a little at a time.
The following ideas are presented to help you cope.

Your Preparedness Program “To-Do” List
Mother Nature is not alone as she lurks around the corner waiting for us to relax. Her companions are the twins “Les Power” and “Les Fuel.” With the onslaught of hurricane season, tornado season and severe thunderstorms (whose companions are floods, floods and more floods), affecting many parts of the world, perhaps you have recently had to use most of your preparedness commodities to get through a short-term emergency. Are you breathing a sigh of relief because you made it through this one? Don’t allow complacency or careless forgetfulness to deter your consistent action plans. One of the most important priorities on your list should be to replace or obtain those necessary items to get you through the next power outage ... or whatever. That means food and non-food alike.

With cold and wet being a major factor this time of year, make sure that the gaskets, wicks, adapters, etc., that you are relying on to keep equipment functioning are where you think they are. Locate, and pull together, in one easily accessible place, all of the small but essential parts that will allow the larger pieces of equipment to function. (While you can do something about it, think about how dark dark is without light!)

If you are relying on battery-operated equipment and have had to use it this season, the power capacity in the batteries may already be dissipated. Obtain and keep on hand a sufficient number of the various sizes of required batteries so that your equipment will work each time you need to use it. A rule of thumb is that if you change some of the batteries in a piece of equipment, you should change all of them. (Have you checked to see how many batteries each lantern or light uses at one time?) If you have had batteries in storage for a long time be sure to check the expiration date- before you need rely on them.

Remember; don’t store batteries in the freezer. Freezing will cause them to expand and crack the seal or seams. And if the opportunity presents itself, (and the budget cooperates), consider replacing the equipment that uses fuel with equipment that uses batteries. It’s so much safer!
How many of the games, radios, CD players and other items in your household are dependent on batteries? Divide all of the battery-operated devices into categories of priority use in an emergency. Do you keep an emergency supply of batteries separate and restricted from those used for entertainment? If not, the supply you thought you could rely on to see you through an emergency might have dwindled to nothing.

Prepare to have your “binky blankets” in place before you need them. In case you don’t have any tiny children in your family, a “binky” is the pacifier that helps tiny children exist in this world. We all need a “binky” of one sort or another in on our practical preparedness shelves. Mine gets dipped in chocolate! Continue to read those headlines, knowing you are doing something about your own safe corner.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Aphids and Attitudes

Aphids! APHIDS!? How in the world could I deserve to have aphids? Now mind you these are not the ordinary, garden variety aphids. These are aphids IN THE HOUSE, devouring the tiny, fragile plants that I have been protecting and talking to for months. These are the plants that I gingerly sprouted from seed, kept warm, watered – even prayed over. These are my garden vegetables!

The pioneers had crickets, but the seagulls came to rescue them. Please note that I’m not saying I want seagulls in my kitchen. But aphids IN the house, munching away until many of the little plants drooped and sagged, appearing to be “done for”. Aphids, some so miniscule I had to strain to see them. I could not just smack them and knock them off the plants or I would destroy my plants. I struggled to come up with a solution that would be effective and not destructive. I could not spray them with insecticide because the plants were very fragile. They were too little to hold under the faucet or dip up and down in soap water. How did they get IN? How and why did they find my plants? I didn’t see any house-broken seagulls helping me.

I finally got a Q-tip and brushed them off, trying not to break stems in the process. For several days I knocked aphids back down onto the little brown peat-pots in the war over my future garden.

Some of you may be thinking, Ok Barbara, we get the picture, you had aphids. No, they weren’t just aphids. They were aphids in the house, not in the usual place or circumstances!

However, does there seem to be a line of trial here that is intended to be another visual aid? Once again, I was in the process of trying to do the right thing at the right time. (Please note, this is not written as the thesis for guilt trips or the foundation for a sermon on “perfection of anything ”. It’s just another “pondering in the process of preparedness.” In other words I still have a lot of lessons to learn.)

It seemed to be the time of year that all of the catalogs, articles and experts indicate that the “plant the garden” juices” should be flowing. With the floundering economy continuing to take its toll on budgets and disposable income, this seemed to be a good place to try to save some money.

One point to recognize is that Larry and I are serving a full time-part time mission, as well as working full time with our business. Therefore, planting a garden, let alone attempting to do one from “scratch,” was not “just a hobby” right now. It seemed to be “a right thing to do.” You know from previous discussions and articles that preparedness really is part of my DNA. Preparedness therefore to me, means to have a garden; no matter how small, no matter how limited in variety of plants, it is the principle of the thing. You must see that I am counting on having at least one zucchini plant, with enough to eat and enough to share. It’s the principle of zucchini!

I spent two days in the dirt plot transforming it into a garden plot ... I talked to the plants, prayed, talked to the plants some more and thoroughly checked for remnant aphids. I watered well, watched and waited. IT LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE IT: zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, beans, more zucchini, one pumpkin and a jalapeƱo for Larry. More waiting and watching, and talking to plants in the garden.

Then came the news; it was spring time in the Rockies and the freeze was in the air! I cried. I ranted. I raved. Why me? Why my baby plants that I had worked so hard to get to grow. Why? Wasn’t I doing what I was supposed to be doing? Hadn’t I worked to do it right; you know all the digging and weeding and fertilizing and weeding and weeding. Did that keep the freeze from sweeping down into my little garden? NO! (In my mind I can see the green plague coming, as in The Ten Commandments movie :} )

When I checked again the next day, all the baby leaves were shiny, droopy and frost killed! Oh well, there aren’t any aphids!

Back to the mission, back to working, back to feeling terrible about my little garden. And now what do I do? Remember that Primary song, “Try, Try, Try” ? I’ve been working at how to find the budget to buy some bedding plants. If I have to start over I have to start over, at my house the zucchini principle must be met. … I haven’t been able to get the courage to pull out “the little ones yet.” I just keep hoping there might be a tiny miracle and they just might survive.

It’s now a week later. Just thought I would share with you … I just checked again,. I discovered tiny, green leaves on the zucchini and beans.

Aphids in the house? What a lesson in an oh-so-tiny adversary that had crept in, needed to be recognized and dealt with. Attitude in the garden? Try, Try, Try! Send me your address so that I may share my zucchini.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Finger Licking Treat for Power Outages

Spring has sprung and summer is "a comin". This of course means summer storms in all of their fury and more power outages. So your challenge is to gather your equipment and supplies, and perhaps practice while it is light. Then you can become a master cookie maker within the glow of an LED lantern or a camp lantern on the patio.

Equipment note: A Sterno stove and Sterno (canned heat) or one of those marvelous small single burner temporary stoves would work well for this. Check out our website to see the stoves

I found a fun thing I could not resist sharing with you.

I collect old cook books. In one, a week or so ago I found a perfect recipe for power outages.

When things get tough ... and, dark you have to stay cheered up, right?

In this instance plan ahead to have the right, as in correct, equipment and the right ingredients on hand.

A practice session or two just might be required to make sure the taste is just how you want it.

Warning: this is a lick your fingers recipe :)

Skillet Cookies
1 cup chopped dates Combine in a skillet and cook over medium heat until
1/3 cup water dates are softened and the mixture is sticky.

1/2 cup chopped nuts Add and mix well. Remove from heat.

about 2 cups cereal flakes Stir in enough dry cereal to give the desired consistency.

coconut shape with fingers and roll in coconut

Place on plastic wrap on cookie sheet to set up. Note that date nuggets may be substituted for regular dates. You may want to reconstitute them prior to making recipe.

Yield is about 2 dozen small cookies