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Saturday, June 25, 2011

End of June Preps

Well, basically I'm leaving the country to see my Grandmother in about 6 days. I will be gone for 2 weeks. There's a lot of stuff to pack and shop for and fulfill the requests of the cousins and Mom's who sit around and watch mangoes grow.

I picked up 8+ lbs of beef. Ground Round was only $1.87 a pound; 1/3 of it I cooked into 3 portions of taco meat for Mr. Man to eat while I'm gone, the other 2/3rds are for canning. I know what everyone says - he's a big boy he can cook for himself - sure he can - or he can just live on kettle chips and beer. At least it's there. At least I give a shit.

I also checked the freezer for anything that wasn't likely to be cooked by Afro since it involved prep/defrost time and I found a package of chicken breasts and another package of about 6 pork chops. I canned part of the chicken into chicken soup with potato and the pork i cubed and made into Filipino Style Adobo. 4 pints each.

I must say this chicken soup looks pretty tasty and I like all the colours and what not.

The adobo looks a bit boring but believe me the taste is not.

While the meat and chicken soup was in the canner I went ahead and processed mango lime jam, grape jelly and strawberry jam

11pm came and I still wasn't sleepy so I threw one more batch in the pressure canner - 6 pints of ground beef and 2 pints of chicken broth so there wouldn't be any "dead" space in the canner

One nights work:

20 pints assorted
2 half pints mango lime jam
12 four oz jars of preserves.

I guess I finally got my timing down.

You might ask why did I use these 4oz baby food size quilted jars for the jams? Well because Mom1 is supposed to be watching her blood sugar and if I make these mini ones she is less likely to overindulge.

3 mango lime jam
4 strawberry jam
5 grape jelly

They sure are cute. This will probably be the only prepping I do until I come back.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June Wk 3: Haul Update

Discernment: noun; the ability to judge well. I'd like to say that I have pretty good discernment, sometimes it's painful to be able to discern things because then people annoy you. Discernment is something that you should practice. To discern does not mean to judge people, it means the ability to weight potential outcomes or possibilities. To be able to discern quickly is a skill that will serve you not only in prepping but in many aspects of your life. If you can reflexively that situations are bad you are more apt to make a fight or flight decision faster than that random person next to you.

I mention this because I realized today that I have shopping discernment. Haha! That sounds funny but it's really true. I remember when Mr. Man and I first met and he used to always come along to do the shopping because we both worked late and it was extra time we could spend together. He always said when I went into shopping mode I literally got a game face and I somehow gravitated towards the deals or better purchases. I used to just laugh and wave it off and today - I really found some random things that you don't normally find.

Someone once asked me if I only prep what is on sale. Because we were able to complete our list of staples now we can add other items, but initially I suggest that a target goal be met for staples prior to using sales exclusively for your preps. But the deals I've got in the last week are ridiculous; today I was only supposed to hit 2 stores but something inside me said - try Walgreen's at this location and then my produce guy text me (see below). I know it sounds ridiculous to say that a person can have deal instincts - but you can.

Try your clearance rack discernment - Hit a clearance area of the store and give it a quick glance up and a quick glance down. See if anything catches your eye. If nothing catches your eye then scan the shelves like you would a book. That is when you find something that you didn't realize that you could use or put up for a rainy day. Anyone can go to a shelf and pay regular price for stuff - but if you can go through 50 -100 feet of clearance shelves and find a steal in less than half an hour - you are almost a pro - haha.

I was really looking for more sockeye salmon but I didn't find it - instead I found these things: vaporizer, sunflower seeds, aluminum tape, fly paper, sewing kit refills, and organic powdered red tea with powdered lemon and powered honey - Yada yada yada...maybe that will put some of those with their Organic Prepping high and Mighty bullshit on the SHUTTUP.

Anyway - it was all 99 cents each

My sister and I also stopped by dd discount across the street. I guess it's some kind of clearance center affiliated with Ross. But I was able to find a candy thermometer for only 2.99 and a granite ware cake pan for only $1.99

Hard to believe anything is made in the USA in a clearance store anymore...

Next we stopped by Marshall's because my little sister wanted a bathing suit from there and I actually found this square ceramic bake-ware for $5 - and it's made in Portugal: Oven and Dishwasher safe. This thing will be awesome for the solar cooker

I picked up some Aunt Jemima Instant Oatmeal - no high fructose corn syrup or any of that mess. not a bad deal: $1 a box - I think it has 10 or 12 servings inside of it.

Mom 1 took my cheesecloth so I went ahead and bought a few to keep in the cabinet - these were also $1 each.

DD discount had these multitools for $3.99. They are not the best like a leatherman or whatever but they will do for now. But it is a simple multitool, a swiss army style knife and an LED light keychain.

Whatever the case - it is a good price.

Before we went to Poppa In Laws for Fathers Day we stopped by the 99 cent only by his house to pick up a few things for him and I happen to find these organic coconut flour and whole flax seed - (all of it expires 2013 if that matters at all) know the drill - everything was 99 cents. I'm going to add Flax to our daily diet because we have 20 lbs of it put away already.

It's so awesome to find this because I have some recipes for it specifically. Funny how people sit all high and mighty about their "SACRIFICE" for an organic lifestyle and all that bullshit and I'm snatchin up stuff left and right for a penny.

Monday we stopped by Costco and Safeway to fill out Mom and Dads prescriptions. On the way home I said hey lets stop at this Walgreen's and check it out we never go to this one. Well I happen to find prenatal complete vitamins for 5.24 each PLUS they were buy one get one - that is 500 pills for 5.24 LOL.

They also had this ocuFresh eyewash for 1.99. It has 6 or 7 individual eye washes and an eye cup or something. I figured it wouldn't hurt to add it to the first aid kit.

Here's a receipt for all you disbelievers lol.

I happened to stop at one more walgreens on an alternate route home and they had these individual superglue things for only 80 cents. Pretty cheap huh. Then I got home and my tasters choice samples were there Yippee.

I also picked up another bottle of b-12 for 16.99. I know it sounds expensive but outside of Costco they are charging the same price for less than half the amount of pills.

Sickening how they charge so much for vitamins - and all the good ones cost the most --- no wonder people sit around and just be sick.

Last stop Safeway for my Dad's meds...I was trolling the store for mason jars and they didn't have any - but they sure did have these Pyrex with lids for 4.25 or something like that.

Here's another receipt for you disbelievers. That ain't my name on there - I use a dummy number from our childhood home. I use dummy numbers for all my discount programs, with dummy PO box addresses, and dummy emails - I've been doing it since 1997 like that ever since I worked on a data warehousing project.

Today's buys were pretty good:
Rice, long grain: 4lbs/$96 cents
Pinto beans: 4 lbs/$.96 cents
Mangoes: 6 pcs/$.96 cents
Liquid Pectin: 99cents each
Peanut Butter: $1 each
Coconut Milk: 99 cents each
Key Limes: 3lbs/$1

Strawberries: 88cents/lb
REAL Bacon Bits: 1.29 each
Sara Lee whole wheat: $1 each
Morehouse German mustard: .99cents each

I don't even know how to tell you I do it except it's a combination of memory, scanning and instinct. Just put yourself out there.

Jars with Coupon: $7
Sugar: $13.58 / 25 lbs.

Hard to believe sugar is actually down 20 cents since I last got it. But I will tell you this - at Costco sugar is now close to $16 for 25 lbs.

After I picked up Mom's request for Diabetic Robitussin I stopped at the Walgreen's for a rockstar energy drink and I noticed they had a clearance aisle.

Well wouldn't you know -they had these 60 watt light-bulbs for just 75 cents. 12 light-bulbs for 75 cents! That's nuts.

Mr. Man is adamant in always saying that we get light-bulbs for our preps because next year they will start pushing the blinking fluorescent from GE that are supposedly energy saving. 1) florescent lights give me a headache. 2) Florescent make your complexion look like shit no matter what color you are. 3) Yuck

I got 6 light-bulbs last prep mission for 75 cents and thought that was a good job but 12 bulbs is a great job.

Couple more things today:
Kerr lids and caps in small mouth size - I'm going to start carrying small mouth ones for the purpose of gifting them lol. The Lindt chocolate was only 2.27 and the Ghirardelli chocolate was only 1.12. The toothbrushes were $1. and the coffee filters were just 88 cents a pack. I also found another candy thermometer but this one I am mailing to a friend. And I found a strange little "finger cutter" for $2 and post its were only 50 cents. I also picked up another set of 3 funnels for $1 - these ones are really good quality. And I figure it doesn't hurt to have funnels.

This is my steal of the day!

Thank you to my Produce man - now I have to bring him cupcakes - because no good dead goes unpunished. haha.

He always sends me texts when he has something he thinks I'd like = last time he sold me Asparagus at 99 cents a kilo. Today he told me he had overstock of the organic baby spinach.

Well first of all I love Earthbound because they are near my hometown. Earthbound is based in San Juan Bautista, California. I also like this kind because it is crunchy enough to eat and not chalky at all but it is also strong enough to cook with...and that is rare for an organic.

Oh boo hoo hoo on the Organic Purists...Let's see you grow 17 lbs of Organic Spinach for a mere $16.50. Looool yeah you heard me it was about .97 cents a lb. Bwa hahahha.

1 lb: house eats
13 lbs: for canning
3 lbs: for dehydrating

It's not very cute is it - but it's very yummy to us. That's it, that's my whole story --- that's week 3 of the preps for this month. I wasn't really planning on doing much since I leave in a week but if you are given a blessing and an opportunity then by all means you have to rise to it. Can't be sitting around the house painting your toenails and eating ferrero Roche can ya?


Saturday, June 18, 2011

June Wk 2: Haul Update: Same Ole Just More

Been pretty busy around here and I haven't been the deal hound I usually am but I am not neglecting things either! Just do as much as you can folks...when in doubt - stock staples. Keep a little notepad with you and jot things down and cross them out as you get to them. Don't let people detract you from what you are doing with their purist ideologies of what you should or should not prep. Because when it gets down to it this is the bottom line: WHILE you are learning to grow your own food or situate in a more rural area you MUST eat. So stock what you can afford and tell them to kiss your robust ass.

Some days I feel like the stuff in our preps are better than what we eat day to day but most days I'm so burnt out a piece of toast and a scrambled egg is fine for dinner.

10lbs rice - $4
Romaine, Cheese, Celery Sausage $1 each
Oregano, Croutons, Salami; .99cents each

Just get out there and it will come to you, stuff you eat everyday and stuff you put away every day - it has to be done. Don't let your guard down and stop preparing.

Walgreen's: I had a $4 coupon, so I picked up some olive oil ($2.49), instant coffee packs (.60 cents) and a dozen iodized salt ($4.68).

Total cost out of pocket was $4.97

And don't listen to the dumb-asses who say you don't need iodized salt You need all types of salt. I keep 7 types of salt in my house and they each have their purpose. Do your own homework - I ain't lying.

Roma Tomatoes went on sale 4lbs/$.96, Jalapenos were also 4 lbs for $1. So I guess it's a salsa week.

Rainier Cherries were a steal at $1.99/lb. Avocados were 2/$1 and Green onions were 3 bunches/$1. The bellpepper was overpriced at 59 cents a piece. but oh well we wanted it for our salad.

8 lbs of Roma Tomatoes will make 8 pints of salsa. The recipe is in one of my earlier blogs. I also asked Mr. Man to pick up another 15lbs so I could make homemade spaghetti sauce with meatballs canned (recipe is also in one of my previous blogs).

Ground Round went up a bit that week - it was on "sale" for $1.99 a lb compared to the usual $1.67 a lb. but it was more than enough to can 4 pints and make 49 meatballs plus a bit leftover for taco meat. We bought about 11 lbs

I put 7 meatballs per quart then filled it with sauce to the 1 inch mark.

Making sauce is an all day let it simmer let it ride process. But the results were definitely worth it.

There was leftover sauce and no meatballs so I canned another 4 quarts of spaghetti sauce and another 4 pints of ground beef.

It is nice to have food up.

Strawberries went on sale for 77 cents a lb so I made more preserves and more strawberry sauce.

1 more case of pints and 8 more jars of the fancy pints. 2 four packs is all they had left.

a dozen lbs of butter - so Um 2 for $5 - so 30 bucks. We like salted, some people don't - but we like the salt and even when a baking recipe calls for unsalted butter I still use salted and everything I cook disappears - HAHA!

10lbs of butter makes 9 pints canned. And despite what anyone says - it is not hard to make it, Total time investment is maybe 30 minutes if you do it correctly.

I had to throw in a pic of the salmon cakes - recipe also available in a previous blog.

We are really starting to amass the canned goods. We have about 16.5 cases of goodies.

That's about 198 jars. Probably minus 3 jars after we give pops in law his salsa that he was hinting about!

Its getting a bit exhausting. But we keep on.