Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Getting Prepared (Part 2)

Life isn't always easy and our plans can be interrupted at any time. We have recently heard of "hard times ahead" on the economic scene. As I talk to people around the country, I hear that most are concerned about how all of this news will end. So with those concerns in mind, I've put together my 2nd list of suggestions (Part 1 can be found below), hoping that it will jump-start our imaginations, make our lives a little easier, and give some peace to our hearts.

1. Cook up a big pot of beans (cost very little and has lots of servings per pot).
2. Make a pot of brown rice and keep this around for a quick breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. It's very nutritious. Refrigerate.
3. Make a gallon of sun tea, Koolaide, or other powdered drink instead of buying pop or expensive coffee drinks.
4. Learn how to make your own delicious bread by hand. It's so much better than "store bought" and will give you an enormous sense of accomplishment.
5. Start making big bowls of popcorn for snacking, instead of buying chips, crackers, etc. Keep it on the kitchen counter for anyone who gets the munchies.
6. Clip coupons.
7. Keep a pad and pen handy on the kitchen counter and jot down needed items as you run out.
8. Shop with a list and stick to it.
9. Substitute dry milk for fresh milk in your cooking.
10. Plan uses for leftovers. Can you eat leftovers for lunch or the next day's dinner?
11. Buy cereals that will need cooking, instead of buying the sugary, boxed, quick-eating type.
12. Shop newspaper ads and buy with sales in mind.
13. Make a big pot of vegetable soup and eat it over a couple or more days. It's better on the 2nd day, anyway.
14. Boil a dozen eggs at one time and keep them in the refrigerator for meals and snacks.
15. Buy cheese in blocks. It's usually cheaper that way.
16. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead of buying fast-food burgers and nuggets.
17. You may want to invest in a dehydrator so you can take advantage of fresh fruit in season.
18. Think of having someone teach you to sew, if you don't know how already. Knowing how allows for all kinds of possibilities--from making your families clothes to creating holiday gifts. Sewing is a great creative outlet.
19. Consider raising a few chickens, if you have room on your property. Gathering fresh eggs can be fun for the entire family and they are so delicious.
20. Conserve gasoline by making a list of all your errands and drive in a circle around town instead of repeating your path (going back and forth).
21. Drive only when needed. Try car-pooling, take public transportation, ride a bike, or walk.
22. Buy meat in bulk. Decide how many meals it will make and divide into plastic bags; freeze until needed.
23. Get back to meals around the dinner table with good food, home-cooked, by mom and dad.
24. Cut your own wood for winter fires. Make a day of it with the entire family; go into the forest with a picnic lunch and a cutting permit (if needed). You'll love the smell of the forest and the freshly cut timber. The kids will love it and they'll also learn something about becoming self-sufficient. Cut only dead trees.
25. Speaking of the forest....cut your own Christmas tree this year. Make it a family tradition. Watch the movie "Christmas Vacation" with your family.
26. Plant a garden and reap the benefits. If you don't have room for a garden, you can do container gardening on your patio.
27. Don't forget hand-me-downs for the kids, as long as the clothes are still in good condition.
28. Wash in cold water whenever possible.
29. Hang clothes out to dry on sunny days.
30. Save on your energy bill by turning off lights when you leave a room.
31. Consider an "old fashioned Christmas" this year. Make handmade gifts and bake a birthday cake for Jesus. Let the children blow out the candles. Also, encourage the children to make handmade ornaments for the Christmas tree. They'll love it and it'll make a wonderful memory.
32. Learn to say "no" to yourself and to your children.
33. When life is strained, gently share your concerns with your family and ask all members to "pull" together. Everyone loves to be needed.

I'll list more ideas later. This is only a partial list.

Share your own ideas under "comments." We love the interaction.



Kara said...

Thanks for all your ideas...it will come in handy:)

Barbara said...

Kara- Thanks for dropping by.

Joanne said...

I'm glad to see I already do much of these. I love the clothesline, and sometimes it feels like no one even uses them anymore. Does anything smell better than clothes/sheets hung out to dry? Like the dozen eggs tip - that's one I'm def going to add. Thanks for all these ...

Barbara said...

Joanne- My grandmother hung clothes on the line even in cold weather. When she brought them inside they would be as stiff as a board.
Yes, you are certainly right, there is nothing like the smell of fresh air and sunshine on freshly washed clothes dried on a clothes line!!
Glad to hear you like the egg idea.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Part II was just as good as the first. ;)

Barbara said...

Angie- Thanks

Christina said...

All my friends thought the list was full of wonderful ideas. Keep em coming. :)

Barbara said...

Christina- Thanks a million for passing the list on.

Ritergal said...

Barbara, what wonderful lists. These are all such great suggestions. May I add one more?

Those of us old enough to know how to do these things need to write stories about "the olden days" and tell how we did things then. Make them a sort of training manual for living a more simple life. What a legacy to leave to future generations who may need to regain this knowledge. Much of it has been lost. Who remembers how to haul water up out of a well with a bucket? Who knows how to put a fresh mantel on a kerosene lantern, or make candles from scratch without a kit from Michael's?

I don't think that my own children, who are long since grown, ever saw a clothesline in use, and they may not know what a clothespin is. They surely don't know how you overlap the corner of one shirt with another and anchor the two with one pin. We need to preserve this wisdom.

Barbara said...

Ritergal- What a great idea. I'm going to think about your suggestion. Thanks!

Barbara said...

Ritergal- Just one more thing... One reason I started this blog was to be able to share my thoughts and life experience with my children and grandchildren. It is a virtual journal of sorts; a way to preserve the life I've lived and the person I am. I hope they take the entries seriously and hang on to the things I write in this place.
I also print out each posting and place them in a notebook.

Christina said...


I wanted to add something as well. I used to do 2 week meal plans. It really helps as long as it's a low-maintenance recipe. I would cook for 3 days and the rest we would have leftovers. Breakfast isn't bad for dinner either. :)

Barbara said...

Christina- That's a great comment. Thanks.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Barbara, we are so in tune. I do most of the things you've suggested. When life gets me down I weed, water, make soup, pound bread, and focus on the small and simple, most important blessings of life (as you do).

Your list should be printed out and posted on every refrigerator.

Keep up your great writing and treasured thoughts.
Sharon (sharonlovejoy.blogspot.com)

Barbara said...

Sharon- I think there's a place here for old recipes and instructions on how to live a more simple life. I'm starting today with the series.

I would encourage my readers to visit your blog. It's very special.