Financial Preps: Julie’s Do-Over

For our Food Storage Do-Over this week we are focusing on financial preps. Like all aspects of food storage and preparedness you can’t just do this once and be done with it forever. You have to “rotate” so to speak. In other words, you need to update.

For a complete list of things we have thought about updating see the week 2 do-over post here.

Today I’m sharing one of the things I have been working on this week. This isn’t a one-size fits all kind of project. It’s personal, some of it private, and custom to each families situation. Some of these ideas may help you. You may have additional suggestions or experience. I’m just sharing a portion of what I have been working on today.



While I did work on updating my emergency binder, wills, passwords etc… my main project was to come up with a list and set of instructions on how to pay the bills for my husband should a big “What if?” happen to me.

Now before you go all “gender role” critical on me… my husband is great. We are great. We have a great marriage. Just because I do the physical act of paying the bills doesn’t mean anything. I had to get that out there because I’ve seen people get critical on this subject matter. In our house we divide and conquer and I manage paying the bills.

Before going on vacation, having a baby, or putting our tax paperwork together I always start worrying. What if I died? That’s hard to even type. It’s a thing no one likes thinking about or talking about. However, if I did die there would be a whole lot of C-H-A-O-S around here and just the thought of that makes me want to be better about “preparing” for that.

So this week I made a list of ALL the bills we pay, how we pay them, and when to expect them etc. I used my credit card statements and bank statements for the last year to check myself in case I forgot something. Since I was doing my taxes anyways I had all this stuff pulled out. It was the only silver lining that came from doing my taxes this year.

I thought you all might like to see a template of what I did. So I made a more generic file to give you that you can modify and make your own. If you use excel you can type it all in. If you don’t have excel there is a PDF version with an example on page one and a blank one on page 2 you can download and use.


Here are some disclaimers:

  • I erased all my personal information and put some pretend stuff in this spreadsheet so you could see examples.
  • It’s in excel so you can modify it to fit your needs.
  • When I made mine, I chose not to put the passwords directly on the saved file. I printed it out and hand wrote them in. As I update this each year I will have a great start and just check the passwords, add new bills, remove old bills.
  • I’ll store a couple copies in different safe, undisclosed locations. Well I’ll disclose those locations to my husband and another family member.
  • If you have any suggestions on things to add feel free to leave a comment or email us. I didn’t attempt to guess every single bill everyone would ever pay so just add line items to fit your needs.
  • This is strictly bill payment. In my emergency binder I have retirement account info, bank account info, a will, and a whole slew of other information.

When I told my husband this was all ready for him he got a panicked look on his face. He said “Can’t you just make me a video explaining this all and I’ll just watch it if I have to?”. Yes it’s hard to do this folks. But you’ll feel better after you do!


Food Storage Friendly Thanksgiving

Today we are sharing some ways you can make your Thanksgiving a little more Food Storage friendly. It’s always a great idea to rotate your food storage. Enjoy!


Green Bean Casserole

Use freeze-dried beans to save time and rotate your beans, use bean flour cream of chicken soup to make a healthier version with less fat and preservatives.
Click here for Julie’s green bean casserole recipe experiment.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Some people like whole baked sweet potatoes, others love the sugary sweet potato casserole. You can use dehydrated or freeze-dried sweet potatoes to save time in the kitchen, and it’s a great opportunity to rotate some of your basic baking ingredients like powdered milk, eggs, etc.
Check out the freeze-dried sweet potatoes at Honeyville Grain.


Making homemade rolls is definitely not a time-saver, but it is a delicious tradition for many of us. You can use your favorite bread dough recipe and make your own homemade Rhodes Rolls a few days before the craziness of Thansgiving begins.
Click here for a tutorial on making frozen rolls using our favorite recipe

Cranberry Sauce

If you love cranberry sauce you will love homemade cranberry sauce even more! You can easily make your own using freeze dried cranberries. So delicious!
Click here for an awesome recipe for homemade cranberry sauce.


If you are in a pinch on Thanksgiving Day and have forgotten to buy onions and celery, no fear. Food storage to the rescue! You can use dehydrated or freeze-dried vegetables to complete your stuffing recipe. It may not be quite the same texture (smaller chunks) but you can save time on chopping and the flavor will still be delicious.
Click here for our favorite food storage veggies.


Don’t mess with your turkey! Here is how my mom and I do turkeys and they turn out awesome. Stuff your bird with a really wet stuffing, lots of butter in it. Then cook your bird breast DOWN. All the juice will flow into the breast during cooking and it makes the best most moist turkey you will ever taste. Give it a try!

Mashed Potatoes

My LEAST favorite part of Thanksgiving is peeling hundreds of potatoes. (ok it just FEELS like hundreds, but still …) If you are willing to give it a try, you can actually make really yummy mashed potatoes using food storage. The new Mashed Potatoes from Thrive Life are made of REAL potatoes and have no additives so they are a great alternative if you just can’t face making real potatoes this year.
Click her to see the new Thrive Mashed Potatoes plus a delicious recipe.


My mom always sneaks in some mashed up carrot chunks into our turkey gravy to add a little bit of texture and some pretty color. If you want to try that but don’t want to add another item to cook, just toss in some dehydrated carrots. You may want to let them hydrate for a while first as they can tend to take a while.
Click here to check out the dehydrated carrot dices we like.


Desserts are one of the ways we recommend “sneaking” food storage into your meals if you have family members that are picky or don’t like to try new things. You can use freeze dried fruits in a fruit pie, or sub whole wheat flour or powdered eggs and milk into a cake or other baked good. Here are a few of our favorite holiday yummies that you can try yourself.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cake
Blackberry Pie
Best Sugar Cookies Ever (don’t use food storage on this one!)

7 Day Challenge 2014 Recap

We are so glad to be through this year’s 7 Day Challenge. It is such a fantastic learning experience every year but it sure is exhausting! We appreciate everyone who joined in the fun and participated whether it was through actually practicing the scenarios each day, or thinking through them and still discussing on facebook or on the blog comments.


Day 1: Natural Disaster – “Ice Storm”

Day 2: Economic Crisis – “Utilities Disrupted”

Day 3: Terrorist Attack- “Time to Bug-Out”

Day 4: Pending Crisis – “Prep Day”

Day 5: Pandemic Strikes – “Ebola Virus”

Day 6: Dietary Limitations – “Eating Grains And Legumes”

Day 7: Everyday Emergency – “Recipe Organization”

Thrive Life Anniversary Sale


Did you know Thrive is celebrating 5 years of parties with an extra big August specials sale! August items are founders’ favorites, so you can grab great THRIVE items from Budge’s faves and Palmer’s picks.


To make your life a little easier we’ve compiled the sale items by % of savings. Here is a breakdown of the sale:

30-40% savings
Blackberries (FD) Sale price $12.60 – You save $12.60 per #10 can 40% discount
Pineapple Chunks (FD) Sale price $20.99 – You save 13.40 per #10 can 40% discount
Granny Smith Green Apples (FD) Sale price $15.59 – You save 7.10 per #10 can 31% discount
Budge’s Pick Package Pantry Cans Only Sale price $82.18 – You save $33.83 30% discount

20-30% savings
Pasta, Egg Noodle Sale Price $6.39 – You save $2.60 29% discount
Cherries, Sweet (FD) Sale price $34.29 – You save 13.20 per #10 can 28% discount
Peach Slices (FD) Sale price $23.99 – You save $5.30 per #10 can 28% discount
9 Grain Cracked Cereal Sale Price $5.79 – You save $2.30 per #10 can 28% discount
Quinoa, Organic Sale Price $37.29 – You save $10.80 on a #10 can 22% discount
Palmer’s Pick Package Pantry Cans Only Sale Price $82.18 – You save $33.83. 29% discount

15-20% savings
Béchamel creamy white sauce Sale Price $9.49 – You save $2.20 per #10 can 19% discount
Grapes, Red Seedless (FD) Sale price $28.79 – You save 6.00 per #10 can 17% discount
Strawberries, Sliced (FD) Sale price $20.99 – You save 4.70 per #10 can 18 % discount
Green Peas (FD) Sale Price $14.39 – You save $3.20 per #10 can 18 % discount
Sausage Crumbles (FD) Sale Price $39.69 – You save $8.90 18% discount
Beef, Ground (FD) Sale Price $42.99 – You save 9.50 per can 18 % discount
Yogurt, Blueberry (FD) Sale Price $34.19 – You save $7.70 per #10 can 18% discount

Up to 15% savings
Beans, Instant Black Sale Price $12.39 – You save 1.80 per #10 can 13% discount
Banana Slices (FD) Sale price $22.79 – You save $3.30 per #10 can 13 % discount
Chef’s Choice Sale Price $6.79 – You save $1.00 per spice can 13% discount

5 Minute Homemade Coleslaw and Dressing


One of my favorite kitchen appliances is my Bosch mixer. I talk about it a lot on here because of how AMAZING it is at making bread. Since this is a Food Storage blog and most people store a lot of wheat in their food storage, bread is something that gets brought up a lot.

Today however I’m going to tell you something I do with my Bosch that has nothing to do with wheat or bread. Did you know the Bosch has a new slicer shredder that is AMAZING? It fits over the top of your mixing bowl and shreds, slices & grates directly into your large bowl. I have used a food processor in the past for these kinds of things but the container is much too small for big batches of things. You can buy your own slicer shredder attachment at our store with FREE SHIPPING.

Also right now there is a special going on: BOSCH SUMMER SPECIAL
Through August 26th receive a FREE set of cookie dough paddles (regularly $34.99) and bowl scraper (regularly $22.99) with purchase of a Bosch Universal Mixer. Get $57.98 worth of accessories for FREE!

This summer I have loved making homemade coleslaw with my Bosch Slicer Shredder. I love it because I can throw in virtually any vegetable along with some cabbage and get a fresh and healthy salad in 5 minutes. It’s awesome! I also found a great recipe online for the dressing. I’m loving this shredder.

Homemade Coleslaw

1/2 head of cabbage
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
6-7 radishes
Any other vegetables you have on hand:

Shred and add dressing. It’s that easy!


Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

1 cup mayo
2 tablespoons of sugar (I use honey)
2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard seed
1/8 teaspoon of celery seed (I have skipped this)


Sun Oven Cinnamon Rolls

Last month we challenged our readers to do some powerless cooking. Summer is a great time to practice your powerless cooking skills. A couple weeks ago it was seriously hot around here (it still is actually). We were out of bread in the house and I couldn’t face turning on the oven. I decided to pull out my Sun Oven and skip the heat in the house. Half way through making the bread I decided to take a loaf of the dough and make cinnamon rolls in the oven. Why not? Well they turned out great and it’s probably something I’ll be doing again. My regular oven has been kind of quirky lately and dries things out. The Sun Oven however made these rolls turn out amazing! So moist and delicious.

Sun Oven Cinnamon Rolls - Perfect treat for a hot day!

Before starting your dough get your Sun Oven out in the sun and pre-heating. It won’t matter if it keeps heating for longer than it needs because the energy you are using is free and plentiful. If you are lining your Sun Oven up correctly your oven should get to 350 degrees within 20-30 minutes.

Dough Recipe

For the dough I use my regular bread recipe. Since this recipe makes 6 loaves I usually make a couple pizzas, some bread, and this time some cinnamon rolls.

Emilie’s Whole Wheat Bread

(From Deals to Meals blog, directions are modified for Julie’s methods)

7 c. whole wheat flour (grind your own with your Wondermill)
2/3 c. vital wheat gluten (buy at Honeyville)
2 1/2 T. instant yeast (we like the SAF brand)

5 c. hot water (120-130 F)

2 T. salt
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey or 1 c. sugar (we like honey the best!)
2 1/2 T. bottled lemon juice

5 c. whole wheat flour

Mix together the first three ingredients in your mixer with a dough hook (we both use and love our Bosch for this). Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes (this is called sponging). Add salt, oil, honey or sugar, and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes very soft dough.

Spray counter with pam and take dough out of the bowl. Do NOT flour your counter, this will add dryness you don’t want in the bread. You basically want your dough to feel a “little” sticky. Separate dough into bread pans, and let rise until double in size. For conventional ovens bake at 350 for 22-30 mins or until browned. This depends on your oven, just watch it a little and cover with foil if it looks like it’s getting brown too fast.

Cinnamon Roll Modification

This recipe will make 6 loaves of bread. Take about 1/6 of the dough to make a medium size pan of cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Filling
1 c. packed brown sugar
1-2 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. butter

Cream ingredients together and spread over rolled out dough.

ingredients rolled out

After you have the butter and sugar rolled out on dough, roll dough into a ball. A trick to getting evenly cut (not smashed rolls) is to use dental floss to cut the rolls. Take a long piece of floss and place it under the dough. Pull the floss up and cross it to make the cut.

1 2

Place in Sun Oven and cook for 30-40 mins if the oven is at 340 degrees or above. If your oven isn’t getting that hot (due to time of day or cloudiness) let them cook a little longer. The beauty of cooking them in the Sun Oven is that they won’t burn and they stay moist!

3 4



Spring is in the air… and with that comes spring cleaning. I admit I buy into the spring cleaning frenzy. I love clearing things out of my house. Recycling, de-cluttering, donating things, and throwing things out makes me happy. Today I wanted to talk about Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Spring cleaning!

A few Saturdays ago something happened in our schedule that never happens. We had NOTHING scheduled. Well I got giddy with excitement, pulled out some post-it- notes, and started on a rampage. I wrote down every project I wanted done. I got started working through the projects on my post-it-notes one by one. I placed all of them on my fridge and as I completed a task I pulled the note off. I still have a few more post-it-notes to get to, but I feel awesome. These areas weren’t related to my food storage and eprep specifically but the concepts apply.


I realized all the post-it-notes were certain areas, closets, or piles. Of course this is applicable in eprep and food storage. Why not spring clean your eprep and food storage areas using this method. Let’s talk about the areas or ZONES of preparedness that you can tackle this spring. You may not have the same physical zones as these, but they are universal concepts and areas.


  • Throw away any expired foods
  • Donate any foods you aren’t going to end up eating after all
  • Move foods you know you should get around to eating to the front
  • Make foods you use more frequently more accessible
  • Install cansolidator rotating shelves to make rotation easier
  • Combine like foods that you may have more than 1 bag open for (pastas, cereals, etc)
  • Sweep out the bottom of the floors and wipe shelves down
  • Keep smaller containers of grains you use less frequently in your pantry to save space
  • Store multiples of the same foods on your food storage shelves if you have a separate area to save space in your pantry
  • Check to see if some of your containers are empty and just taking up space
  • Create granola or trail mixes with foods you have just a little bit left of
  • Clear out old tupperwares with missing lids and old dishes you no longer use
  • Go through baking cupboard and consolidate foods and combine like items


  • Combine like foods on shelves (fats, grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes etc)
  • Date foods with a sharpie so you know when you bought them if they don’t have expiration dates on them
  • Move older foods to the front, and newer foods to the back
  • Inventory what you have on your shelf for your Three Month Supply and for your Long Term Food Storage
  • Make a purchasing plan for what you need
  • Assess your non-food items (this one is easy to forget)
  • Wipe down any shelves that may need it (dust,spills, dirt)
  • Move foods close to expiring to your pantry to encourage and remind you to eat them
  • Have your kids help


  • Review your 72 hour kits (part 1) (part 2)

  • Rotate 72 hour kit foods by using them for a camping trip or snacks
  • Swap out clothes for kids that have become too small
  • Check batteries in flashlights etc
  • Look over our Emergency Prep Guide to see if you are missing anything
  • Review your emergency protocols with your family
  • Update eprep plan with new phone numbers for family members etc
  • Update your evacuation list with any items that may be new or obsolete
  • Rotate water in your kits
  • Assess and update your Emergency Binder


  • Clean out weeds or old plants from garden beds
  • Make your 2014 garden plan
  • Refill gardens with new compost if needed
  • Prune fruit trees and bushes as necessary
  • Plant vegetables (check out this guide to when you can plant each type of vegetable specific to your area)
  • Rotate water storage by watering your gardens
  • Check water filters


  • Inventory your fuel supplies
  • Make sure your fuel is still good for powerless cooking
  • Test your powerless cooking tools to ensure they are in good working order
  • Store extra or old dishes cleared out of your kitchen with your supplies instead of buying new ones


We would love to see this list grow. Please leave a comment with any other ideas of things you do when spring cleaning your food storage. We will add them to the main post and make this list as comprehensive as possible!

Just Getting Started

Welcome to our Blog. We’re Jodi and Julie, two busy moms who love blogging, and love Food Storage. We have a lot of new visitors this week from our 7 DAY CHALLENGE. If you’re new and intimidated by building a food storage, MAKE SURE you check out our checklists. They are FREE checklists that help you figure out what to do, and when.

We’re happy to have you, and come visit us on our FACEBOOK PAGE to ask questions, and see what all our readers are up to.

When life gives you lemons….

You know that saying… “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Well let me tell you about my front porch. It is quite possibly the hottest place in the state at about 5pm each night. We also have a lot of windows on that side of the house, which allow way too much heat into the house but that is a different story. Last summer I was always using my sun oven in our side yard and getting decent results, but never could get it quite up to 350 degrees. It never even dawned on me to use it on my front porch.

Yesterday was one of those days. My kids were kind of wild, it was way too hot to even play outside, and I didn’t feel like cooking. Knowing that the family still needed to eat and the kids needed to be occupied I had to come up with something. Why not do a cooking challenge with my kids and pull out the Sun Oven. So we set the oven on the front porch this time instead of the side yard. Then we went inside to make some bread dough. If you read my post a couple weeks ago about involving kids in the kitchen, you’ll know my son is into cooking “classes”. I told my boys for the challenge we had to come up with THREE things to make out of the bread dough.

The recipe we used was our “Best Wheat Bread” recipe found here.. I told the boys we had to cook whatever we made in the Sun Oven. Kids are so fascinated with how things work, and with being involved. Well before we were even done making the dough, we went to check on the Sun Oven and it had gotten to 350 degrees in NO time out there. I have the Global Sun Oven, but I’d be curious if the new and improved All American Sun Oven would get hotter. I was so excited! In case you want proof, here it is:


The boys decided on bread, pizza, and pizza hot pockets (more on hot pockets here). We got the pizza and bread cooked in the Sun Oven, but by the time we were ready to cook the hot pockets it was getting too late. Even though we fell a little short on the challenge of cooking the whole thing in the Sun Oven, I think I’ve found a new place to cook this summer. Tomorrow I think I’ll cook some quinoa out there.

So YES my porch is scorching hot, but I got a GREAT place to cook this summer and practice my powerless cooking skills! How’s that for lemonade?

Homemade Ranch Dip or Dressing

As I’m getting ready to write this post today, I realized I’ve been on a kick to share my friend’s recipes lately. Here are a few of them:

Our regular readers know I’m not the type to follow a recipe, so sharing my recipes has been really hard for me. I always get anxiety trying to come up with the exact measurements I use. Well the beauty behind sharing my friends’ recipes is that I can share real measurements and I’ve tasted them so I know they are good.


So this recipe is for a homemade ranch-like dip. This dip tasted so fresh and delicious. I’m a big fan of the recipe for a lot of reasons:

  1. It is homemade and free of preservatives and ingredients I can’t pronounce
  2. It uses ingredients I often have on hand (thanks to freeze dried spices, and powdered sour cream)
  3. I can make it as thick or thin as I would like depending on how much liquid I add
  4. The fresh (or freeze dried) instead of dehydrated spices made it delicious!

photo 3 (5)

1 c plain greek yogurt (full fat)
1/2 c. sour cream (or sour cream powder)
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dill (I used freeze dried cilantro instead)
1/4 t. pepper
3 T. minced fresh parsley (or freeze dried parsley)
2 T. minced fresh chives (or freeze dried chives)
salt to taste

Since I couldn’t help but put a food storage spin on the recipe, I’ll explain what I did. For the sour cream, I used sour cream powder and I put the same amount, and then just added water until I got the texture I wanted. I was using this for a salad dressing, so I went a little on the runnier side than a dip would be. I also added a teeny bit of lime juice, since I opted to use cilantro instead of dill. I like this because sour cream is something I never have on hand.

You’ll also notice I used freeze dried spices… which are currently my favorite! If you haven’t tried them, you really need to. They act like fresh spices instead of dehydrated. The flavor is amazing, and I don’t have to worry about rotting parsley and cilantro in my fridge anymore! You can buy them at discounted prices at our Thrive Life store here.