Green Smoothie Girl: Food Storage Make Over

Today we’re very excited to show you some before and afters of our Food Storage Makeover on the “Green Smoothie Girl”. We even got a video of the whole thing so make sure you read to the bottom. Robyn from Green Smoothie Girl is one of Julie’s long time heroes. Julie was introduced to Robyn’s blog years ago and credits her for a lot of the healthy eating habits she has made over the years. Robyn also happens to be a fellow blogger we are working with on a campaign called blendaid to to build a school for AIDS-orphaned kids in Africa through Mothers Without Borders.

During the summer we were meeting with Robyn and she asked us if we could get someone to come over and redo/makeover her food storage. Robyn has always been a believer in food storage, however last time she moved homes, a lot of it was actually stolen by the movers. She also hasn’t been able to keep up with it because standard food storage foods don’t coincide with her healthy eating lifestyle. We told her we would love to help her with this project and get her hooked up with some foods that would make sense for her lifestyle. You see anyone can do food storage, it just takes a little thinking outside the box.

A few weeks later we went to Robyn’s house, made a plan, and voila! A food storage make over we’re excited to share with you today!



Step 1: Inventory

The first step was for us to get together with Robyn and make a plan. We inventoried what she already had and found out what her goals were. Each and every household has different needs, budgets, and goals for their food storage. As long time followers and fans of Robyn’s blog we weren’t surprised to hear her tell us she wanted to stay away from certain kinds of foods. We also weren’t surprised she wanted a lot of vegetables and fruits in her food storage.

Robyn had a really great start on her food storage. The holes she had in her plan was from foods the movers had stolen and from not knowing how to store vegetables and fruits long-term. She even had a Thrive Food Rotation Shelf that was empty (and ready for some food). She did however have PLENTY of toilet paper! We maybe teased her a little about that one. Robyn also had a great supply of her very own protein powder and other nutritional foods. She had great 72-hour kits in her garage but very little water storage.


Step 2: Make a plan

Our plan was to get Robyn’s garage set up as her emergency prep zone with 72 hour kits, powerless cooking, water storage, and an evacuation station. The basement was designated for all her food and non-food toiletry type items.

The main things we found she would need was powerless cooking tools (Sun Oven, Helius), water storage containers and filters, and freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. Robyn had some healthy sugars, fats, and grains already. Since she relies so much on fresh fruits and vegetables in her diet she hadn’t figured out the solution for that. In came Thrive freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. If you’re not already aware of the health benefits of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables you can learn more about it on our Thrive page HERE. The best part is you can even use a hand crank blender and have green smoothies in an emergency!


Step 3: Purchase the products:

Purchasing the products was probably the easiest step in the process because we knew exactly where to go for everything. Through our Food Storage Made Easy Store and our Thrive Consultant Website we knew we were getting Robyn the best pricing and quality products. We had some things ship directly to Robyn and we picked up her big Thrive order for her big EMPTY Food Rotation shelf. We timed it all to come in around the same time so we could go over there with everything we needed to complete this super fun transformation.

We know that buying everything at once is not realistic for everyone. We have our Food Storage Made Easy ebook that breaks things up, and you can also sign up on the Thrive Q to get your foods delivered to your door on a monthly budget.


Step 4: Re-arranging the room/garage

You can see up in the before picture the two metal shelves Robyn had were close together and hard to navigate around. It felt more like a crammed row of shelves than a room. Also the Food Rotation shelf Robyn already had was in a separate area of the storage room and not accessible due to buckets blocking the way. It was empty so it didn’t really matter that it was not accessible. Other buckets were placed somewhat scattered around. We opened the row of shelves, moved the Food Rotation shelf over into the main room and put all the buckets in the other area where the Food Rotation shelf was.

In the garage we sorted through the miscellaneous things and made designated areas for like items. We now had a sports area, emergency prep/water area, and misc area.


Step 5: Stocking the shelves

Finally! This was the FUN part. We even had our kids help a little with this. Having lots of hands made it a little easier. We moved everything off shelves, put like objects together in the food storage room, put glass items on bottom shelves, lighter items up top etc. We also got everything in the garage placed on the shelves.

And then it was time for the reveal…. Robyn loved it! This is Robyn and Julie after she saw it for the first time!


*Disclaimer: While it would be super fun for us to do these types of makeovers for everyone, it’s not something we do outside of close friends and family members. We have a bajillion kids between the two of us. We will however be holding a FREE webinar on how to plan your year supply of food in a couple weeks.


Sourdough Sandwich Bread

About 2 years ago I was introduced to sourdough bread. I blogged about it in a 2 part series here: Sourdough Part 1 Sourdough Part 2 Since then I got pregnant, had a baby and let my starter die a slow awful death and haven’t revisited it much. Does this sound familiar? Well about a couple months ago I decided it was time to venture back into the sourdough and natural yeast world. I wanted to be able to make this type of bread regularly and use it in my kids lunches. I wasn’t going to stop until I learned it! Well I have been experimenting and studying a lot the past few weeks and have come back to this concept a lot more confident and excited.


If you need a quick refresher, sourdough bread comes from a natural yeast starter (which is a pancake/muffin batter type texture of wheat and water) and other bread ingredients. The starter is what raises the bread and while it does so it unlocks a lot of nutrients and makes them easier to digest. It’s the way we used to make bread before commercial yeast.

The book that changed everything

artofbaking I started round 2 of my sourdough journey by borrowing this book from a friend. Let me tell you, I LOVED this book. The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast is awesome! Usually books like this overwhelm me. I feel like they tend to have so much information and ingredients I can’t actually digest it. This book was JUST right. It was an easy read and full of information that I could understand and apply. I had a friend that could give me some of her starter so I wasn’t looking for a detailed book on how to make your own starter. I was looking for one on how to use it and maintain it. If you’re looking on how to start your own starter you can check out this link. Now that I’m feeling confident in how to use my starter maybe I’ll try making my own.

A Starter?!?!?

Ok back to the starter, I decided to make a very QUICK and informal video to show you what a starter looked like and how to feed it. I know seeing a friend do something with them makes understanding this a lot easier, so come on into my kitchen while I show you what a starter looks like:

Now what

After you have some starter made and fed you can use it to bake breads, muffins, crusts etc. Putting starters in your recipes and then letting it sit and sour will be what it needs to raise. This is how people made bread before commercial yeast. This is natural, this is sustainable. THIS IS AWESOME! Can you tell I’m excited. What has excited me most about this whole journey is learning how much healthier this is. The process of souring your foods will do great things. It makes breads more digestible, lowers the gluten content, increases the availability of nutrients and so much more.

When I was making my sourdough bread the first time I was making an artisan type loaf. My kids ate it just fine but I couldn’t make sandwiches with it and never got in the habit of making it regularly. I wanted to combine this sourdough bread concept with everyday life. With one of the basic recipes from the book (that included a kneading component that I didn’t do with the artisan bread) I have been making sandwich bread now for 3 weeks for my kids at school. I eat the bread with eggs in the morning. I make pizza dough with it. I have felt fuller longer and my gut feels great. Had that been regular whole wheat bread I couldn’t have tolerated as much.

Basic Recipe

This is the basic recipe I’m using, but in the book I got the author has 6 basic ones you can use and tweak for your liking. It has one that has molasses and honey (that is delicious). It was one that uses a little coconut oil. It has a bread machine variation and more. I have tried nearly all of them and just love that they have all worked great.

1/2 cup starter (after it’s been mixed)
2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
5-6 cups of whole wheat flour

Mix first three ingredients. Add flour one cup at a time. You’ll want the sides to come off the mixer but don’t over flour. Knead for 10 minutes. Let sit covered for 6-10 hours. Once the dough has nearly doubled in size after 6-10 hours, put into loaf pans and let raise another 2 hours. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 mins. This will make 2 loaves.

If this is something that interests you I would highly recommend getting The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast. I can’t adequately relate everything I learned (and I don’t really want to plagiarize)

Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Zucchini

We’re just dusting off our computers and are ready to get back at it after taking a little bit of a summer break. We have missed you all but we had some great times with our kids while they were home for the summer and hope you’ve been well!

This year was the first year I’ve planted and harvested a garden in my own yard. Prior to this year I have worked some ground in my mom’s garden and tried small things in pots. Last fall I convinced my husband to build garden boxes and now I have some of my very own garden produce to enjoy. It’s been really fun. My goal this year was to just TRY something. The day I transplated some tomato plants into the boxes there came in a giant wind storm and I was convinced nothing would survive. Well as luck would have it my plants didn’t all die and I’ve been getting some tomatoes and zucchinis. The tomatoes still need to ripen but the zucchinis are excellent and I’ve been enjoying find ways to use them up. Since this is the first time I’ve ever successfully planted vegetables in my own yard I get to show pictures of what it looks like. It feels great!


Back to zucchini. I love zucchini. My kids (half of them at least) love zucchini. I find ways to use it however I can. This last Sunday we were coming home from church and I hadn’t thought about what I was going to make for dinner. I had found these new meatballs at Costco (my 3 year old is a sucker for samples) the day before and I thought I could try and invent some sort of recipe using them. For lack of a better name, we’re going to go ahead and call this “Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Zucchini”. Don’t let the boring name fool you. This was way good and my whole family wants me to make it again. Well minus the 3 year old who just wants it to be “Sweet and Sour Meatballs”. I told you only half of my kids like zucchini.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Zucchini

Meatballs (I used pre-made but you could make your own)
Sweet and sour sauce (see below)
Zucchini (cubed)
Pineapple (cubed – reserve juice for sauce)
Any other vegetable you have on hand

Warm meatballs in a pan. In a separate pan fry zucchini, vegetables, and pineapple. Once vegetables and meat are cooked, add sauce. Serve over rice.

Sweet and sour sauce

1 cup pineapple juice
1⁄3 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a pan and sir. Bring to a boil. As it comes to a boil it will thicken.

Other Zucchini Recipes

Homemade Marinara with Zucchini
Spaghetti Bake
Homemade Coleslaw
Sweet and Sour Chicken and Quinoa
Chocolate Zucchini Bread (scroll down)

How to Make a #10 Can Grill

A few weeks ago we sent an email out about 8 Ways to Practice Preparedness This Summer. If you didn’t get the email make sure you are signed up for our Babystep Checklists which includes our newsletters too! One of the ideas was to do some powerless cooking activities with the kids. We’ve made #10 Can Stoves before but I thought it would be fun to try the #10 Can Grill which I’ve seen floating around on Facebook and Pinterest. It was so easy and would make a great little portable grill or a temporary one if you don’t have a big barbecue at your house. Here’s how I did it!


You need an empty #10 can. No shortage of these around your house I bet :)


Cut the can into 1 1/2 – 2 inch strips using “tin snips”. I didn’t know what these were but my mom had some that I borrowed. They can cut through the metal but it was still a little tricky. Keep kids away for this part and watch out for sharp edges.


Cover the entire thing with foil and place charcoal briquets in the bottom.


Light your charcoal (mine was old so I sprinkled some InstaFire on top to help get things going).


Place some sort of grill on top. This one came from my Volcano Grill and worked perfectly. You could use any wire rack that you have hanging around the kitchen. Cook that food. Yummmm hot dogs!


Let us know if you try to make this grill and share a picture over on our Facebook page if you do! I’d love to see how everyone else’s turned out :)

Making a camping plan

We’ve talked a lot on our blog about how camping can be a good way to practice some of your preparedness skills. This summer we have a goal as a family to camp a 3-4 times. Last summer we went once during a major rainstorm for one night and it was a disaster. I was newly pregnant and feeling sick AND got food poisoning from a gas station treat on our way up to the campsite. Let’s just say anything this summer will be way better.

That night has me determined to be better prepared for the elements and better prepared to go camping regularly. After last year’s disaster I decided I have two steps to take. I’m sure more will come as we become better campers but this year I’m working on two things:

  1. Get the right equipment
  2. Having camping headquarters where all my stuff is easy to access and pack/li>


Here are some immediate things I’m looking to change and purchase.

Tent: I wish I can say I have this one solved. I have a tent that’s super heavy duty for long term and winter conditions, but I don’t have one that is good for recreational camping yet. I’ve just borrowed from my parents until now. Here are things I’m looking for in a tent.

  • Without fail every time we camp in rains. Having a waterproof tent is really important to me. It seems as though every review I read on tents people complain of their tents leaking.
  • Easy set-up is a big deal too. If it’s hard to set up I’m sure camping will lose it’s apeal really fast.
  • I’m ok with a tent being heavy. I’m not a backpacker. Not yet at least? Who knows maybe this camping thing will turn out fun in the future, but for now I don’t need the material to be air thin and portable on my back.
  • Reputable company. I’d like a tent with a decent warranty. One that protects against 4 crazy young boys would be nice but we’d put them out of business with replacements.

“Air Mattresses”: I always make sure to bring some form of air mattress because I’m a giant sissy. Last weekend my husband and sons went on a Father’s sons camp-out and they didn’t bring the mattresses. They actually ended up being cold. Somehow it never dawned on us that having air mattresses on the ground insulates you from the cold. I’m thinking a big regular air mattress is too bulky but I’m looking for ones that will wrap up and do the trick.

I know a lot of tents have built in tarps. I’m looking to have a tarp under our tent to keep it clean. Cleaning the tent after camping isn’t that fun at all. I’m thinking if we place the tent on a tarp we can pack away the tent and then clean the tarp easily after.

Other stuff:
I’m pretty prepared in the outdoor cooking tools and fuels. These aren’t a problem for me. I did get an extra big cooler since my family has grown since the last time I bought one. I could do better with dishes though. We usually do a lot of disposable things and I’d like to get better at using more sustainable products.


My plan is to have all my stuff easy to pack in the car and go. Over the year’s I’ve realized I really like camping. I just don’t like preparing and packing for it. So far I’ve got the shelf put up and got some bins ready. I have a lot of gear scattered around and will be compiling it. Here are two great resources to help you put together your list. I’m looking at both and tailoring mine to our personal families needs.

1. Inspired by Misty’s post at Your Own Homestore I’m building a camping headquarters shelf. She explains her system in her post here. It’s amazing and right up my alley!

2. In addition to Misty’s list my dad is a big camper and sent me an excel spreadsheet of everything he packs for camping trips. Here is a link to the excel file. If you don’t have excel here is the list from his excel file. Like I said (this isn’t backpacking). Feel free to modify the list to fit your own preferences.









CHAIRS (4 lawn chairs and 2 tri-pods)





So my thought process helps you a little bit. I’ve still got some learning to do but this is where I’m starting. I’m kind of excited to see the adventures we have this summer!

9 Easy Ways to Use Freeze-Dried Vegetables

At Food Storage Made Easy, we are strong advocates of using your food storage on a regular basis so that you can rotate through it, as well as learn how to use it in your regular cooking.  So to help you out with that, we wanted to share with you a list of ways we like to use our freeze-dried vegetables. Don't just let those cans or buckets sit in the basement until there is an emergency!  Also keep scrolling down because we are announcing a HUGE sale on Chef's Banquet Vegetable Buckets just for Food Storage Made Easy readers.  


Some veggies are great to snack on straight out of the can.  Corn is a favorite among both kids and grown-ups.  It tastes a little bit like popcorn without all the added butter and salt.  Yum!
If you love making smoothies and want some added nutrition, you can throw in some green veggies along with your fruit to make your smoothies even healthier.  Our favorite is freeze-dried spinach because spinach spoils so quickly.
Freeze-dried veggies are perfect in soups and stews where they will just rehydrate while the soup cooks.  You don't have to purchase and chop up individual items, so it's easy to get a large variety in your meals.
Freeze dried veggies are great for making homemade baby food in a snap.  You simply grind up your selected vegetable in a food processor and add water until you get the desired consistency.  So much cheaper and healthier than store-bought baby food. The best part is you can keep the powder in your diaper bag and make up only a small amount and not worry about wasting a half bottle of uneaten food while you are out and about.
Do you love eating potatoes but hate peeling, dicing, boiling, mashing them, etc? With freeze dried potatoes you can make hashbrowns, potato salad, funeral potatoes, or even mashed potatoes in just a few minutes.  Perfect for a last minute pot luck side dish.
Most people don't realize that you can cook up freeze-dried vegetables and flavor them just like you would regular veggies and use them as a side dish.  We've found freeze dried green beans to be very similar to frozen green beans, and much better than canned.  Simply rehydrate, heat up, and serve.
If you have picky eaters you may find it hard to get them to eat vegetables.  If you stick vegetables in a food processor you can make a nutrient-dense powder that can be sprinkled into lots of main dishes, especially ones with a lot of color and flavor already such as spaghetti sauce.  Experiment and see what you can sneakily get your kids to eat!
Any vegetable that needs to be peeled and/or chopped can be replaced with a freeze-dried vegetable and be a huge time-saver.  Some of our favorites are onions, celery, and peppers.
Have you ever bought a whole green pepper when you just needed half of one for a recipe?  Or had a bunch of celery go bad after you only used 2-3 stalks?  With freeze-dried vegetables you can use ONLY what you need to for a recipe and can save money by not having as much waste.

For a limited time you can get a Chef's Banquet 320 serving vegetable bucket for more than 50% off retail pricing and free shipping.  Here are the pricing details:

  • Regular Retail price:  $262.43 
  • FOOD STORAGE MADE EASY SALE PRICE:  $109.99 + free shipping!
  • Price valid until June 5th (sale is on the 320 Serving Veggie Bucket only)
  • Limited quantities available, sale pricing valid until inventory runs out

(Use coupon code FSME58 at checkout)


Chef's Banquet Freeze Dried Vegetables come in mylar pouches sealed inside a bucket for easy storing.  Here are some details about the bucket

  • 320 Total Servings
  • Easy to open and use
  • Easy to Open zip-seal mylar foil pouches
  • Great for snacks
  • Great for storage
  • Up to 20-year shelf life (if stored in a dry, cool environment)
  • No additives or preservatives

This Freeze Dried Vegetable Variety bucket contains the following: 

  • Sweet Peas – 36 Servings (2 pouches – each pouch is 8.57 oz) 
  • Diced Potatoes – 28 Servings (2 pouches – each pouch is 6.9 oz) 
  • Corn – 40 Servings (2 pouches – each pouch is 7 oz) (Country of 
  • Green Beans – 62 Servings (2 pouches – each pouch is 3.3 oz) 
  • Cauliflower – 80 Servings (2 pouches – each pouch is 2.82 oz) 
  • Broccoli – 74 Servings (2 pouches – each pouch is 5 oz) (Country

(Use coupon code FSME58 at checkout)


Using Grains: A Recipe Index

This week in our Food Storage Do- Over we are working on incorporating some of the grains we are storing into our everyday cooking. Here is a resource for you on recipes using grains we have done on our site over the past number of years. Pick a grain you need to use or rotate and give a recipe a try!

Blender Wheat Pancakes
Whole Wheat/Multi-Grain Waffles
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Best Wheat Bread Recipe – Yup We Said BEST!
Food Storage Enchilada Pie
Homemade Whole Wheat Noodles and Lasagna
Peanut Butter Bread
3 Pizza Dough Recipes
Pumpkin Cake
No-Knead Bread
Sourdough 101: Part 2 of 2 (Bread)
Homemade Whole Wheat “Rhodes” Rolls
Boxed Cake Mix Extender
Best Sugar Cookies EVER!
Whole Wheat Bread (start to finish)
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Bread Making Tips
Cookie Clay Dough
Soft Pretzels
Buttermilk Biscuits

Corn Cakes
Buttermilk Cornbread
Cornbread II

Rice Flour Crepes
Homemade Rice-a-Roni
Swedish Beef and Rice
Curried Lentils and Rice
Pantry Jambalaya
Chow Mein
Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
Rice Pudding

Chicken Tortellini Soup
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese 1
Homemade Mac ‘N’ Cheese 2
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Mexican Casserole
Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguine
Chicken Tortellini Soup
Tarragon Chicken Casserole
Shelf Stable Poppyseed Chicken Recipe
Julie’s “Healthier” Pasta Salad
Spaghetti Salad

Honey Granola
Baked Oatmeal
Apricot Oatmeal Bars
Homemade Granola Bars
Honey Granola
Apricot Oatmeal Bars
Energy Bites

Multi-Grain Pancakes
Corndog Muffins
Fast and Easy Chicken Quinoa Soup
Chicken Barley Chili
Sweet and Sour Chicken from Scratch (+ Quinoa)
Whole Grain Banana Muffins
Ezekiel Bread
Cream Cheese and Jam Cookies made with HEALTHY White Flour

Save this for later on pinterest:

Food Storage Do-Over Week 4: Shelves and Organizing Spaces

We are excited to be starting week 4 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! Last week we saw more great progress from all those participating in the car kit and evacuation list do-over and we are excited to keep going. If you didn’t catch last week’s post you can see it here. You should also make sure to check out the Jodi’s Car Kit Post where she talked about what she did for her do-over.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!


In BabyStep 1: SHELVES we cover getting an area set up and designated for your food storage. We talk about different shelves to consider buying and areas to considering storing food. While it’s not crucial to have everything completely mapped out (because your storage will grow and evolve) it is important to have a place you feel good about putting your food. If you don’t have a place to bring food home to it will be hard to get started and visualize your goals.



If you are BRAND NEW and don’t have anywhere set up for your food decide on and clear out an area. Determine which type of shelf system you want to use and purchase one shelf to get started. Build your own, buy plastic or metal shelves, or splurge and buy a fancy can rotation system.

  • Don’t let small spaces intimidate you. For a comprehensive list of helpful ideas view our Small Spaces Storage Solutions post
  • There are a wide variety of shelf options available. Determine the amount you feel comfortable spending and consider what will suit your needs best.
  • Options for canned goods and other Three Month Supply foods:
    • Build Your Own – Cheap & offers the most flexibility, but time-intensive
    • Inexpensive metal or plastic shelving (i.e. from Walmart) – A cheap and easy way to get started, shelves may not be as durable. Be careful with cheaper metal shelves as they may bow in the middle.
    • Higher quality metal shelves – Heavy duty hardware store shelves should have no problem with bowing or collapsing under heavy food weights.
    • Deluxe Can Rotation System – Most expensive option, but very convenient for easily rotating through foods. Found at (formerly
  • Start with one set of shelves and add more as your food storage grows.
  • Plastic may be better than metal for storing heavier items (cheap metal shelves tend to bow in the middle).
  • Adjustable shelf heights will be useful as you store different types and sizes of foods and cans.
  • Clear a space near your shelves for 5 gallon buckets/water containers/etc. Cover with old carpet or pallets to avoid storing directly on concrete.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!



If you already have an area set up for your food storage consider some of the following:

  • If your family grows and you need more storage space do you have a plan for that?
  • Are you shelves set up to maximize rotation? What can you do to change it?
  • Do you have glass canning jars stored in a manner that would protect them from earthquakes or other potential disasters?
  • Do you have a 2nd area where you store some extra food in case your main area was compromised?
  • If you purchased cheaper shelves when you started are you ready to upgrade? Maybe move your old shelves to your garage where you can store other lighter items.


Having your kitchen set up in an efficient manner allows you to use and rotate your food storage more frequently. How does your pantry look? How does your spice cupboard look? Consider cleaning and re-arranging those areas. Here are some ideas:

  • Store small amounts of your grains in smaller containers in your pantry so you will use them. Thinking about having to go tackle a big bucket in your storage each time you want to use a grain will cause you to use them less frequently.
  • Store bulk spices in your food storage area and smaller containers in your spice cupboard to keep it cleaner and easier to use.
  • If using your wheat for making bread is a priority for you, consider creating an area in a cupboard for everything you need for bread. That way each time you want to make bread it’s simple and fast.
  • When you go shopping bring your food straight to your food storage room and then bring up food from the food storage room to your pantry. Don’t just put the new stuff in your pantry or you won’t be rotating efficiently.
  • Here are some tips from a spring cleaning post we did awhile back that shows these ideas with pictures and more details.
  • Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!


    Deluxe Food Rotation Systems: Thrive Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) produces high quality shelves are customizable in any shape and size to fit everything from tuna cans to #10 cans and more!
    CanSolidators: Sturdy plastic can racks also from Thrive Life that can be adjustable for any width of small to medium can. Available in three sizes and fit on a regular shelf or in a pantry.
    CanOrganizers: The cardboard rotating racks fit on any shelf in your cupboard or pantry. Three sizes available to best suit your needs.

    Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

    Small Spaces Storage Solutions
    How To Build a Can Rotating Rack
    DIY Wall-Hanging Food Storage Solution
    Can Organizers
    5 Gallon Buckets and #10 Cans: How Much Can They Hold
    Attic Storage Space
    Cute Shelf Labels
    Creative Uses For Old #10 Cans

    Please pin and get your friends joining in too!


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!)