Our Favorite Bread Recipe in the WonderMix Mixer

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We’ve posted before about the BEST whole wheat bread recipe. Yes we said BEST! We both make it quite frequently, sometimes doing a half batch, sometimes doing a full one. In the world of kitchen mixers people have normally had two options, a KitchenAid or a Bosch. Well we just recently got a new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer (produced by the makes of the WonderMill) to try out so of course I knew the real test would be in its ability to make our favorite recipe. It is too large to fit in a KitchenAid so we’ve always preferred to make it in a Bosch. Check out my video below to see how well it did in the WonderMix!

More About the WonderMix

I’ve used both a KitchenAid and a Bosch so it was fun to try out another kitchen mixer option. The WonderMix is not totally comparable to either one of them, it has some distinct pros and cons. Here is a summary of what I found just with this first experiment. I’m excited to try it out on some other baking adventures over the next few weeks.

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Large capacity for big batches of dough
  • Comes with lots of attachments
  • Dough divider helps knead small batches evenly
  • Great price point for a powerful mixer

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Dough comes up over the hook
  • Possibly feels less rugged than a Bosch but need to experiment more
  • When you take the bowl off the mixer it doesn’t sit flat on the counter, the center rod pokes out at the bottom

There are so many different things you can use the WonderMix to do such as: creaming butter, mixing cookie dough, whipping meringue, mashing bananas and potatoes, shredding meat, making smoothies, and much more!

Do you know what CERT is – is it for you?

CertlogoFor years I have heard of CERT certification and have been curious about it. I have wanted to become certified but between pregnancies, nursing babies, and my schedule I haven’t been able to make it work. This month however my church was sponsoring a CERT class that would run 2 Saturdays ALL day. I knew it would be a sacrifice to attend but I also knew a typical CERT certification course ran for weeks one night a week. A weekly schedule for many weeks just doesn’t work for me right now so I jumped on this opportunity. I am only finished the first Saturday but I’m really excited about what I am learning and wanted to encourage you all to check it out, learn more, and eventually become CERT certified if it works for you. As I finish the certification I’ll share some of what I have been learning with you.

WHAT IS CERT

CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. CERT educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT volunteers can assist others in their community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT volunteers are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.

Some things I learned on the first day:

  • More about disasters that can happen in my community with a lot of information on earthquakes
  • How and when to turn off utilities
  • What to do in case of fires
  • Triage and communication plans
  • Carries and holds for moving victims
  • Basic first aid
  • Search and rescue techniques
  • Basic psychology issues to be aware of
  • Organizing block captains and tagging/assessing homes
  • Using cribs to remove victims from under obstruction
  • Setting up an NEOC (Neighborhood Emergency Operation Center

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE


One of my favorite things was when we got to put out a little fire with an extinguisher. I can honestly say I have never used an extinguisher and if push came to shove and I had to use one I PROBABLY would have panicked. Now that I have practiced using one I feel confident I could use one in an emergency. It’s just like so much of what we teach and talk about. Practice, practice, practice (when you don’t really need it). Then when it comes time to using those skills you’ll have confidence in your abilities.

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Here are a couple links that might be of interest to you in learning more:

CERT information page
Find a nearby CERT programs

60+ Hand-Picked Self Reliance/Preparedness Resources

Do you LOVE when a deal is so good that there is just no way you can pass it up? We have something like that that we wanted to share with you today! We joined together with 60 other bloggers/authors to provide an INCREDIBLE eBook bundle that sells for 95% off of the cost of buying each book individually. Even if you are only interested in a few of the titles this is something that is worth grabbing now. PLEASE NOTE: This package will be gone forever after January 24th.

Introducing the Back to the Basics Bundle

The Back To Basics Living Bundle is a huge collection of eBooks, eCourses, and memberships to help you live a simple and more self-reliant life, even if you live in a high rise in the city. Take a look at all of the helpful topics that are covered in the bundle.

Our Top Picks

We bought an advance copy of this bundle and have browsed through tons of the materials already. We have been learning about preparedness for 8 years and still found multiple topics that we are excited to delve more into. Some of the items first on our reading list are:

  • Whole Wheat Bread Making
  • 10 Minute Prep Freezer Meals
  • Dehydrating eCourse
  • The Debit Card Envelope Budget
  • Easy Peasy Chores
  • Tips for the Beginning Beekeeper
  • Vegetable Gardening Basics
  • The Beginners’ Book of Essential Oils
  • Wonder Oven Cooking Videos
  • Your Own 72 Hour Kit Plan
  • Practical Simplicity
  • and the Household Organization Pack

There is enough golden content here to keep us with our noses in our kindles for weeks! If becoming more prepared, more self-reliant, and living a simpler life are part of your goals for this year, this huge collection of resources will be invaluable to you.

Limited Time Offer – Sale Details

Starting today you can get the entire Back to Basic Living eBook Bundle for just $29.97 (only $6 more than the retail price of just OUR ebook series). If you prefer to have the materials sent to you on a flash drive you can pay an additional $10. Here is what is included in the bundle:

  • Our Food Storage Made Easy eBook Series
  • Over 60 other preparedness/self-reliance resources worth $550
  • 8 digital courses/membership programs including: Empowered Eating, Dehydrating eCourse, The Debit Card Envelope Budget, Back To Basics Homeschool MP3 Collection, Vegetable Gardening Basics, The Mother magazine, Prepping Crash Course, and Practical Simplicity
  • Over 10 bonus offers for big discounts on helpful products
  • Free getting started guide to start your basic living journey


Learn More or Grab Your Bundle NOW!


 

Is Food Storage on Your Mind This Christmas?

This is the time of year where our readers, our families, and our friends all ask us for advice because they want to “get some food storage” for Christmas.  We love the idea of spending Christmas budgets on something useful that is a great long-term investment.  However, that’s sort of a hard question to answer with a one-size-fits all solution.

A common theme we tend to see is that a lot of people who want to “get prepared” don’t want to learn a whole new system of cooking, worry about rotating, changing their family’s eating habits, etc.  Their strategy is more of a “get it and forget about it” mentality.  If this is your style, or you are buying gifts for someone who tends to think like that, the best route to go is just-add-water meals.  

Even if you enjoy following a more traditional food storage plan or like to “eat what you store, store what you eat”, we recommend keeping about a 3 month supply of easy meals on hand for a shorter term emergency or to grab-and-go in an evacuation situation.  

We are so excited to share TWO fabulous deals we have worked out exclusively for Food Storage Made Easy readers specifically for these Christmas-time purchases people are looking to make.  These are the best prices you can get for this many servings.
 

SHORT TERM – GRAB ‘N’ GO

90 Serving Meal Bucket + Goal Zero Kit COMBO
For the month of December get a FREE Goal Zero Switch 8 Kit ($99 value) with each purchase of a 90 serving meal bucket. These two items together are perfect for your grab ‘n’ go kits. Have all the food you need for a short term disaster and charge your devices while you’re gone. PERFECT for Christmas gifts!
Click here to learn more or buy now.

LONG TERM – YEAR SUPPLY

Lindon Farms 1 Year Supply Package
Through December 31st, save 35% off of individual meal bucket pricing by ordering a one year supply (12 buckets). Each meal bucket features a broad variety of 19 different JUST-ADD-WATER gourmet meals and provides 3 meals a day, 4 servings per meal, 2000 calories per day for one person.
Click here to learn more or buy now.

COOKING TOOLS

Don’t forget that if you store these types of just-add-water meals you will need to store extra water and also have a source to easily boil water to cook the meals.  Here are a few items that can help with that!

  • WaterBricks - Easy to store a lot of water but small enough to be able to easily access and use.
  • Butane Stove - Use indoors, just like a regular stove-top.  Must store lots of butane.
  • Firebox - Can be used with a wide variety of fuels.  Light and small for portable use.
  • InstaFire - Versatile fuel that can quickly boil water using any small stove, firepit, etc.
  • All-American Sun Oven - While useful for many things, it also will cook your just-add-water meals without using any fuel.
  • HERC Tea Light Candle Oven - Safe to use indoors for when bad weather or privacy is a concern.  Cooks with tea light candles.

OTHER GIFT IDEAS

  • Inflatable Solar Lanterns - These make great stocking stuffers or inexpensive gifts to add to 72 hour kits.  Never worry about having batteries on hand or candles that run out.  These lanterns take up very little space and charge from the sun!
  • Snackies - Instead of filling up on unhealthy treats, get your kids (or kids-at-heart) some healthy snackies.  Our kids eat these like candy and we fell totally fine letting them do it!  Order these or any other Thrive goodies before Dec. 11th to guarantee arrival before Christmas.
  • InstaFire Packets - A 24-pack of instafire can be split up for multiple gift recipients.  It is a handy fuel/fire starter for backpacking, 72 hour kits, or stove-in-a-can type gifts.  It’s so easy to boil water and is very safe to store and use.  We love InstaFire.
  • Food Storage Books - Any number of these books would make a great gift for someone just getting started or for a veteran food storage pro in your life.  You can never have too many books on being prepared and there are always new ideas in every one.

Try Thrive Snackies FOR FREE!

Wow can you believe it is December already? The year has flown by and we’ve both had some pretty crazy things going on in our personal lives. This is a good time of year to look at your food storage goals you made and see how far you’ve come. Take a peek at Jodi’s and Julie’s goals. We’ll share how we did on them later this month. Now on for the excitement of today!

SHARING IS CARING – SNACKIES WINNERS

If you are on our email list, you will have seen the giveaway we did to encourage people to share our Black Friday sales over the weekend. As promised, here is a list of twenty-five people who won a free pack of Thrive Snackies! If you are a winner, please email us at info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net and let us know which flavor you want and your mailing address and we will ship it out asap.

  • Tara C.
  • Leigh Z.
  • Kay
  • Cynthia D.
  • Rebecca G.
  • Brad M.
  • Carmell S.
  • Barbara
  • Julie M.
  • Mare
  • Boni M.
  • Kathy S.
  • Stacey V.
  • Anna M.
  • Cathy P.
  • Alice
  • Rhonda
  • Rach B.
  • Keera J.
  • Meg C.
  • Jana J.
  • Nicole H.
  • Andrea H.
  • Jessica D.
  • Michelle D.

We will also send you an email as we know there could be multiple people with these names :)

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SNACKIES FOR EVERYONE

We wish we could send snackies to ALL of our readers as they really are a fabulous healthy snack and are a great way to transition (trick) your family into eating your food storage foods. So we are going to give EVERYONE the chance to get a free bag.

The best way to buy snackies is to add them as part of Thrive’s monthly food storage autoship program (The Q). You’ll have healthy snacks delivered to your doorstep along with your regular food storage items every month at the budget that you choose.

So here is the deal, for anyone who signs up for a Thrive Q this week and has their first monthly shipment for over $100 we will send you a FREE snackie bag of your choosing. First Q must ship by December 8 to qualify.

For a click tutorial on how to easily set up your Q view the video from our teammates below. Make sure you go to our website to sign up for your Q HERE. Once you have it set up it’s easy to add Snackies or whatever else you want, right into your monthly shipments.


2015 Black Friday – Cyber Monday Deals

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We’re excited to announce the 2015 Black Friday specials! We’ve heard from a lot of you who are looking to make this Christmas a “Preparedness Christmas”. What a great idea! There are really some amazing deals happening this year. Much better than we have seen in recent years. We have rounded up all the best deals on our favorite products and summarized them for you in one simple sale flyer. Make sure to check each individual item as different things are on sale on different days.

SHARING IS CARING: Help your family and friends be more prepared by sharing these deals with them and be entered to win one of 25 bags of snackies we are giving away! Details found on this email we sent out.


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SHARINGFACEBOOK

12 Days of Food Storage Christmas

If you have family, friends, or neighbors who you have been wanting to introduce to the world of preparedness, this could be a fun way to do it. We’ve put together 12 days of free or inexpensive (under $1) gifts that follow along our 10 Babysteps to help someone get started and hopefully peak their curiosity to learn even more.

12 Days of Food Storage Christmas

Feel free to adapt this to meet your needs. Spread the gifts out over 12 days, or you can do all 12 days at once as a “getting started” package. Each day has some recommendations for some more advanced gift ideas if you’d like to check them out. Don’t forget to download the tags and labels for each day and Merry Christmas!


Download tags and labels for all 12 days here

12 Days of Food Storage Christmas

Emergency Preparedness is always a great place to start. Print out our in depth Emergency Preparedness Plan that your loved one can fill out as a starting point for their family. Roll it up and tie a pretty ribbon around it and attach the Day 1 tags and labels to it. You could also include a personal note letting them know that you will be giving them some fun little gifts over the next few days to help them be more prepared.

More expensive gift ideas
Prepare My Life Planner
InstaFire
Pre-made 72 hour kits

We have two ideas for day 2. Babystep #1 is shelves so you can build a little rotating can shelf out of cardboard and stick the day 2 tags on it. Download the instructions here and you can even give them a copy so they can make their own additional units to fill their pantry. If you don’t have the time or patience to do this, you can opt to print out our Small Spaces Storage Solutions handout which gives lots of ideas on sneaky places to store food storage. Again, this can be rolled up with a cute ribbon tied around it and the Day 2 tags added to make it fun

More expensive gift ideas
Canorganizers (Commercially made cardboard can racks for pantry)
Cansolidators (Plastic can racks for pantry)
Harvest Shelves (72″ rotating can rack shelf)

Babystep #2 is water, one of the most critical components of any preparedness or food storage plan. For today you can either recycle a few empty pop or juice containers and fill them with clean water, or you can splurge and grab a few little water pouches that can be great for 72 hour kits or car emergency kits. Depending on how many you buy they can be less than $0.50 each! Whichever option you opt for, add your Day 3 tag to make it cute.

More expensive gift ideas
WaterBricks
Berkey Water Purification Systems

Babystep #3 is to put together a 3 month supply of regular foods. Print out these worksheets to help someone get started on their 3 Month Plan. There is an Instruction Sheet, a Menu Plan Sheet and an Inventory Sheet. You will need to print the Menu Plan Sheet multiple times depending on how many different meals you want to plan. There is also a video tutorial to go along with these forms found here. Put the printed worksheets in sheet protects or roll them up and tie a ribbon around them. Don’t forget to attach the Day 4 tag!

More expensive gift ideas
Subscription to Deals to Meals (grocery savings program)

Babystep #4 is an introduction to long term food storage foods. People often get overwhelmed with how much and what to buy. Here is a handout that includes instructions and a simple food storage calculator that you can print out, tie a ribbon around, add the cute Day 5 Tags, and give to someone. This will help them determine quantities of foods to purchase based on their family size.

More expensive gift ideas
I Can’t Believe It’s Food Storage
Country Beans
Dinner is in the Jar
Cooking with Food Storage Made Easy

Babystep #5 is learning to use grains, and more specifically wheat. People often have a hard time using wheat if they don’t have a wheat grinder. If you haven’t tried making Blender Wheat Pancakes you are missing out! This is something easy you can make that uses wheat with no wheat grinder required. Put the ingredients in a baggie, tie a ribbon around it and a recipe card with instructions. Don’t forget to add the Day 6 tag as well. It wont cost you much, but will surely impress and motivate someone to use their food storage.

More expensive gift ideas
WonderMill Wheat Grinder

Babystep #6 moves on to learning about beans/legumes. Legumes can be very intimidating to a lot of people so this is a great one to help people realize they aren’t so bad. Purchase a 1 lb bag of 12 bean soup mix from the grocery store ($1-$2). Tie a ribbon around it and include the Day 7 Tags. Include this 12 Bean Soup Recipe on a cute recipe card for them, it’s delicious!

More expensive gift ideas
Electric Pressure Cooker (makes it EASY to cook dry beans)
Instant Beans from Thrive Life (no soaking or long cook times)

Babystep #7 covers baking ingredients that are necessary for you to be able to make a lot of recipes using your grains and legumes. Salt is one of those things that you run out of, and don’t necessarily think of storing. Find or buy a container of salt and make it cute with ribbons, or put it in a gift bag, and remind them Food Storage isn’t just grains and legumes.

More expensive gift ideas
Instant Powdered Milk
Butter Powder
Pure Vanilla Powder

Babystep #8 is purchasing or preserving fruits and vegetables. While not critical for sustaining life, fruits and vegetables are a welcome addition to any food storage program for the health benefits, variety, and to help you save money on your day to day grocery shopping. Gardening is a great way to become more self reliant. Try giving a few packs of gardening seeds to help motivate people to get going on gardening. If you know the person doesn’t have a lot of space, pick herbs, or things you can grow on kitchen counters.

More expensive gift ideas
Excalibur Food Dehydrator
Canner and canning supplies
Freeze Dried Fruits or Veggies

Babystep #9 encourages people to store comfort foods for times of crisis. This is a great day for the holidays. Even just a candy bar or 2 in your storage for just in case scenarios are great. Pick up the person’s favorite one and surprise them with a little treat to have in time of need (and tell them they can’t eat it right away, they have to store it ;) Tie a cute ribbon around the candy bar and add the Day 10 Tags and you’re all set.

More expensive gift ideas
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer (great for preserving treats for longer storage)

Babystep #10 covers all aspects of storage that are NOT food. Although Food Storage (and Christmas for that matter) are a lot about food, we can’t forget the non-food items that are important and necessary to store not only for hygiene but also for cooking, cleaning, first aid, etc. Any inexpensive toiletry would be a great gift for this day (toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)

More expensive gift ideas
First Aid Kit

Once you have completed the first 11 days for a friend, or family member, it’s time for them to keep the journey going themselves. To help them do that, we have our BabyStep Checklists. Have the person you are giving to sign up for our free email checklists. You could even sign up for them with their email address and print out the first checklist for their gift. The checklists last for one year and are sent every 2 weeks. After following the 26 checklists they will have a full food storage for one person.

More expensive gift ideas
Food Storage Made Easy 3-Part eBook Program (buy and print out in a binder for them)


CLICK BELOW TO SHARE ON PINTEREST

12 Days of Food Storage Christmas - Budget friendly gift ideas for increasing preparedness awareness

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Lindon Farms Just-Add-Water meals

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The Lindon Farms special Black Friday deals will be available Friday, November 27 to Monday November 30!

90 SERVING BUCKET Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Kit COMBO

When you purchase a Lindon Farms 90 Serving Bucket you’ll receive a Goal Zero Switch 8 Kit FREE! ($99 value) This is a really great idea for Christmas presents!


LINCOMB
The 90 Serving Bucket features and contents:
Up to 25 Year Shelf Life, 2,000 calories a day for 1 week for 1 person, 4 Gal Rugged Stackable, ez store™ container, Capacity: 90 full servings, Delicious just-add-water meals, Each meal in 5-10 serving pouches, Easy to open zip-seal ‘metalite’ pouches

Breakfasts: Cinnamon Rice Pudding, Oatmeal (1) 10 serving pouch, Polenta (1) 10 serving pouch, Lunch/Dinners : Western Chili (1) 10 serving pouch, Hearty Potato Soup (1) 10 serving pouch, Red Beans & Rice (1) 10 serving pouch, Beef Flavored Vegetable Stew (1) 10 serving pouch, Chicken Flavored Vegetable Stew (1) 10 serving pouch, Cheddar Broccoli Soup (1) 10 serving pouch

TO ORDER >>>>>>>> Visit this page and on each 90 Serving bucket you purchase will get you a free Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar kit. DO NOT ORDER UNTIL FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27 FOR BONUSES


SCREAMING DEAL ON A YEAR SUPPLY

Buy 8 Lindon Farms 360 Serving Entree Bucket and receive (4) Lindon Farms 360 Entree buckets free. This is a one year supply of food for one person. This saves you over $1700!


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YEAR SUPPLY OF JUST-ADD-WATER MEALS:

Buy 8 Lindon Farms 360 Serving Entree Bucket and receive (4) Lindon Farms 360 Entree buckets free. This is a one year supply of food for one person. This saves you over $1700!

TO ORDER >>>>>>>> Visit this page and enter 8 for the quantity and 4 will be added to your order for FREE! DO NOT ORDER UNTIL FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27 FOR BONUSES

Fortress Clothing: Lifetime supply of warmth

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We recently had the opportunity to meet Dale from Fortress Clothing at a preparedness expo here in Utah. We knew that his products served a huge need we had been looking to fill, so when he offered to come show them to us so we could try them in action (in the freezing cold) we knew we needed to jump at the chance. We tried on the entire bug out bag set and went out by the lake with a bitter wind. We were thoroughly impressed and are looking forward to adding these items into our “heat storage” preparedness plans.

Please remember that while something like this can be critical and life-saving in cold weather, it may not be one of the first items to get as part of your preps if you have budget constraints. If you have food, water, cooking, and sanitation covered look to this as a solution as you delve more into the more advance topics of protection, shelter, heating, and cooling.

FSMECOUPON

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Enter coupon code FSME25 to save 25% on your Fortress Clothing order. Also get a FREE pair of mittens with every bug-out-bag ordered.  This deal is offered only to our Food Storage Made Easy readers through December 31st!

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Fortress isn’t just a coat – it’s not even just cold weather clothing. Fortress is your complete HEAT STORAGE SOLUTION, and the advantages to using this to provide your warmth in an emergency are obvious. Fortress RETAINS YOUR BODY’s HEAT. Instead of trying to heat the space around you (your home, tent, or cabin) with traditional resources like firewood, coal or propane, FORTRESS allows you to be comfortable while heating yourself. Whatever the conditions, you will be able to function!

Here is a video of us being introduced to the Fortress Clothing Line with Dale:

 

Here are a few of the key features we love about Fortress Clothing:

  • “Bug Out Bag” provides a complete outdoor clothing solution
  • Can purchase items individually to meet your personal budget and needs
  • Hood is adjustable in three ways to be best suited for how cold it is
  • Jacket liner is warm enough for -30 degree temperatures yet light-weight enough for a chilly day at the soccer field.
  • Breathable material that is easy to maneuver in and doesn’t make you hot
  • Mittens remove the need for expensive and disposable hand warmers
  • Pant liners are perfect for sledding or snowmobiling (very versatile)
  • Hot socks (booties) act as a liner inside boots or as comfy house slippers
  • No need to buy multiple expensive coats, simply wear a light jacket or hoodie over the Fortress Jacket for a perfect coat solution
  • Save money by storing less fuel for your family’s warmth

Complete Bug-Out-Bag

If you opt for the complete heat storage solution the entire set fits in a handy little “stuff sack”. This is perfect to attach to a backpack for your 72 hour kits to easily grab-and-go, stash in your car trunk for your car kit, or store on a closet shelf nicely compacted.

Click here to learn more or buy now and make sure to enter coupon code FSME25 to save 25% on your Fortress Clothing order. Also get a FREE pair of mittens with every bug-out-bag ordered.  This deal is offered only to our Food Storage Made Easy readers through December 31st! 

Five Tips to Save Time and Money This Thanksgiving

This is the time of year that you can stock up and save big on a lot of your baking ingredients. We are super excited to share a post from our friend Shandra who we actually learned our BEST wheat bread recipe from. She is an expert at saving money on groceries and has some amazing tools to make it even easier for all of us. Today we invited her to post on our blog with her best tips for saving time and money on Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing Shandra!

1. HAVE A PLAN

The holidays are in full swing and all of us are looking for ways to save a little money and keep from pulling our hair out from unwanted stress. I am excited to share a few of my favorite time and money saving tips to help you during this Thanksgiving holiday.

First and foremost, have a plan! If you are able, start planning your Thanksgiving meal at least a week (or more) before the holiday begins. Have a quick list of what items you would like to make, who will be making each recipe, and have a game plan for the busy day. There are lots of different components to planning a Thanksgiving meal, so think through the different aspects to the meal (and day) and put it on paper. Everything from decorations, shopping, food prep, cleaning can all be organized and put to a schedule to help the day go more smoothly.

Our free Thanksgiving Menu Sheet is a great way to stay organized. We upload this as a Google document so family members can all add to the document and decide what they would like to help with.

Want help with your menu plan as well? Deals to Meals is here to help simplify your life! On November 18th we will give all Deals to Meals members a detailed Menu Plan and Grocery List to help make your meal planning easy and fun! Members of Deals to Meals also have access to all of our tried and true recipes we know your family will love.

2. START EARLY AND MAKE EXTRA

Once you have a plan, it’s time to start thinking about ways you can relieve stress the day of your party, by doing things ahead of time. Many Thanksgiving recipes can be made a week, or several days before, and frozen for later.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that work well with this method:

*Sweet Potato Casserole freezes beautifully and can be baked an hour before serving (thaw in the fridge the night before).

*Homemade Cranberry Sauce can also be made several days in advance and either frozen or kept in the fridge.

*Homemade Pie Crusts are another great recipe that can made, rolled out into pie shells, and frozen until ready to bake (or of course, you can use store bought if you wish).

*Mashed Potatoes can also be frozen ahead of time. Make them as usual, let them cool, and then freeze in a large tupperware or Ziploc bag. Before serving, thaw the potatoes in the fridge the night before. When you are ready to reheat the potatoes, place them in a crock pot to heat slowly. Add some more heavy whipping cream and butter to help soften the potatoes and whip them with an electric mixer once they are warmed through.

*Turkey: if you are using a turkey breast, you can crock pot the turkey, shred the breast meat and freeze until the day of the dinner. When ready to reheat the turkey, you can place into a crock pot and warm on low heat for 3-4 hours, or until ready to serve. Add some chicken broth to keep the turkey nice and moist before serving.

*Homemade rolls are so fun to make ahead and have in your freezer (I use this method all year–no more Rhodes in our freezer!) Make the dough recipe as normal, put the rolls on a greased cookie sheet and then wrap with saran wrap. Put the rolls in the freezer as soon as you have them rolled out (you don’t want them to begin to rise).

The morning of Thanksgiving, pull the frozen rolls out of the freezer and place in a warm spot of your home. Let the rolls rise on the counter on a pan (about 2-3 hours) and when they have doubled in size, bake them as usual until they are golden brown. If you want to have these rolls on hand for other recipes, just put the frozen balls of dough into a Ziploc bag and keep in the freezer until ready to use. These work great for monkey bread, calzone dough, etc.

Another tip is to double your holiday recipes so you have plenty of leftovers you can enjoy the following week, or freeze the extras for later. For example, my family loves sweet potatoes all year but yams are rarely on sale besides in November. I always make 3-4 pans of the sweet potato casserole and then freeze several of them for later. Keep freezer tins/pans on hand to make freezing the recipes easier. We also love having cooked meat in our freezer for quick meals on busy nights. So, while I am cooking one turkey breast, I always throw in a second so I know I have lots of leftovers and turkey for another meal. You can do this same thing if you are cooking a ham, pork roast, beef roast, etc.

3. BE AN INFORMED SHOPPER

Being an informed shopper will save you BIG money this week. Most families will spend an average of $50-$100 on this one meal, so it’s important you know what you are buying and where to get the best deals. Some of the year’s BEST grocery deals are on this week. Nearly everything you need for your holiday meals will be on sale. Whether you are looking for turkey, canned pumpkin, frozen pies, stuffing mix, soda pop, potatoes, yams, etc., it is ALL on sale this week.

Deals to Meals will tell you where all of the best grocery deals are in your area. We compare all of the grocery store prices to Costco and Walmart and tell you when items go on sale for great deals (without having to use coupons). Just login to our website, click on the stores you want to shop at, and you’re set to save!

4. STOCK UP AND SAVE

There are over 25 grocery items everyone should be stocking up on this week. If you miss the chance to stock up on these items, many of them won’t be go on sale again for another 365 days! That’s a long time to wait for another sale–especially if it’s items your family uses on a regular basis.  So, save yourself from having to buy these items at full price throughout the year and stock up this week!

I went shopping last week and spent $109 on many of the Thanksgiving deals I wanted to stock up on and saved $166! That’s nearly 60% off Walmart’s regular low prices. How cool is that? Tip: don’t just buy the items you need for the one holiday meal, stock up and buy several to put in your pantry or food storage for a later time. Check the list below to see which items you might want to stock up on.

Visit Deals to Meals for a detailed list of where all of these grocery items are on sale. Focusing each week on the gold starred items (meaning they are LESS than Walmart and Costco), will save you the most money (up to 70% off)!


5. SIMPLIFY

There are many things you can do to simplify for the holidays. Here are some of my favorite tips:

*Use paper products instead of fine China. If you are less formal, this is an easy way to save you hours of doing dishes.

*Let people help you. Don’t try to put the entire meal together on your own.

*Keep your menu simple. Stick to only those recipes your family loves and cut out any extra recipes that don’t
seem to be people’s favorites.

*Cook a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. Turkey breasts can be cooked in a crock pot and are much easier to carve and bake. Here’s our favorite turkey recipe.

*Remember the real meaning and purpose behind the holiday season. It’s not a time to be stressed and run
around unable to enjoy the holiday. Keep your focus on family and relishing the moments we have together.

*Keep your meal plan simple, do a lot ahead of time, watch for the best deals, stock up when items are on sale, and you will be set for the greatest holiday season ever!

Here at Deals to Meals and Food Storage Made Easy we wish you a most delightful (and delicious) Thanksgiving season.