How Do YOU Prepare for Drought and Heat?

A dear friend asked me a while back how to prepare for drought and heat. After all, she remarked, it seems so much simpler to prepare for cold weather and how to keep warm if the power goes out. But what do we do if water rations take effect or for a summer power outage?

These are things I’ll be addressing soon – I’ve got two different articles in the works for you on the matter. In the meantime, I’d love to know how YOUR family adapts during hot weather and deals with drought. (And no, hiding in the air conditioning at the mall or library doesn’t technically count – it’s already on the list and what most folks automatically do!)


Dealing with Pantry Pests, Part Deux

Remember my first pantry pests article for The Organic Prepper, which focused on insects? Well, I mentioned in that piece that discussing rodents would be outside the scope of that piece. Luckily for me (and any readers trying to battle creepy crawlies), Daisy Luther very kindly asked if I’d be up for doing a companion article about rodents. I sure was! It’s now live on her site: Dealing with Pantry Pests: Rodents.

Y’all, I gave myself chills several times during the research for this article. I hope you are grateful for the lengths I went to for you! 😉 No, I’m kidding – you deserve my best.

Keep in mind that in areas where snakes can be an issue (I’m looking at you, Arizona and Texas…….), keeping the rodent population under control can be a big help. A fellow we met when touring homes in Texas years ago taught us that getting rid of the nesting areas and food options for the mice would help keep the snakes down as well. That’s stuck with me for, oh wow, almost six years now. I remember that particular home and property like we toured them yesterday. (In truth, it was also an amazing house. *swoon*) So whether you have concerns about rodents OR snakes, or cleaning up from the aftermath of a rodent infestation, this article may be useful for you. Let me know how you like it!

16 Ways You Can Prepare Anywhere

Hello out there! As some of you may recall, I’m working on a nonfiction book entitled Prepare Anywhere. Life, however, sometimes means that a part-time writer needs a bit more parts of time than originally expected. 😉 While this manuscript is in progress, I enjoy giving little snippets and sneak peeks to those who are interested – and with summer coming, I know a lot of you will be attending events and traveling all over the place. I thought I’d share a few things that will help you feel more prepared for any upcoming trips, or give you ideas of things to look for at touristy spots that you can check off as both fun and preparedness-related. As for the number I chose? Well, that’s just because it’s May 16th and I thought it would be a fun way to make a list. Remember – I’m all about preparing on a dime and in small spaces, so don’t feel like you have to spend big bucks and please, please, please don’t whip out the credit cards to do any of this! Do what you can with what you have, mmkay?

So let’s get going, shall we?

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Pantry Pests Piece Posted at The Organic Prepper

Try saying that five times fast, eh? 😀 I’m excited to share that my third article for The Organic Prepper has been posted. This time it’s about those creepy crawlies that can wreak havoc on our food storage. Pop on by and check it out – it’s entitled Dealing with Pantry Pests: Bugs. You’ll never look at your oatmeal the same again!

Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 28 January 2018

Now that we’re near the end of January, I loosened up a little on my No Spend Month, but not the Pantry Challenge. I did do some shopping this week on non-essentials, but went into the stores with a very specific list and made the most of the budget, and walked away VERY happy with the results. I also knocked several items off my house project list in the process.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following the news, the government shutdown that had us concerned when I last posted was short lived – this time. Hearing that things were bumped until 8 February was helpful, but only slightly. We are happy that there will be a paycheck at the end of January, but now we’re leery about mid-month pay for February. There’s always the chance that another shutdown will occur, so we’ll keep things tightened up until we know more. I’ve budgeted for an extra car payment but we’ll hold it until mid-month, just in case we need cash on hand instead. Same with some other items I want to purchase; they aren’t true needs, just filling in backstock as I’ve pulled the last of certain items to be used. That order will wait until mid-month. We’ll keep eating from the pantry and working those menu plans too. 🙂

Thank you, kind readers, to everyone who took the time to comment here and elsewhere, particularly those who expressed concern and care regarding our worries with the shutdown. That was lovely of you and much appreciated!

Alrighty – all that said, here’s my list of frugal accomplishments for the past week, with thanks to Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker for being a gracious hostess to all who participate in this weekly mashup.

  • Wrote up menu plan for dinners from items already on hand
  • Walked two nights (free exercise)
  • Homemade dishwasher detergent each load
  • Ate oatmeal five mornings (instead of buying fiber shakes)
  • Husband used the last of a can of Mountain House “Breakfast Scramble” that I had open to make lunch for himself and the kids, helping rotate it and preventing purchase of lunch out somewhere
  • Four Overdrive book holds came in
  • Husband learned how to download movies via Overdrive – he’s excited to watch them while working out!
  • Strange as this is going to sound LOL – doing the speed limit saved me money Monday morning! I usually watch my speed, primarily because I know it saves my fuel economy, but also because I don’t want to have to pay a ticket. While driving home Monday, I noticed an SUV coming up on my left REALLY fast – I was doing 55 in a 55mph zone, and they blew past me – then it suddenly slowed down. Within moments, said SUV was pulled over behind me by an unmarked SUV that was behind all of us. Yikes! Obviously I don’t know if the person got ticketed or not, but if there was one to be paid, I’m simply grateful it wasn’t for me. I’m hoping everyone got where they were going safely that day!
  • Watched a free PBS “Two Cents” video with my son about buying used vs. new vehicles
  • Pulled together the paperwork to submit to my daughter’s father for orthodontia reimbursement
  • Messaged the owner of the local bookshop to see what used books she might need/want; we are going through our bookshelves and if I can help stock her shelves while organizing ours, and maybe get a bit of store credit, it’s win-win!
  • Figured up the options for paying off husband’s car early; I have three scenarios, one of which will have it paid off this time next year (apx 3 years early) – we’ll see what happens with the paychecks in the near future though. Another option would have it paid off in 18 months or so, which is still nice and early. No matter which route we choose, we have concrete numbers to look at for the overall goal of early payoff.
  • Used drying racks for laundry
  • Used Sun Oven to bake cookies and eggs again
  • Discussed No Spend Month with a friend and committed to doing one with her in March
  • Looked up the retail prices of some homeschool curriculum I hope to sell, so I can price it competitively
  • Dropped off library books & DVDs while in town to prevent late fees
  • Made homemade all-purpose and window cleaning sprays
  • Received our utility rebate and transferred it to savings
  • Used a gift card my parents left for us to go to lunch; ate leftovers for dinner. (They bought gift cards for this restaurant before their Christmas trip and received 4x fuel points for them, but then left the remaining card here for us – it’s my step-dad’s favorite restaurant, so he splurged here but they don’t have one local to them.)
  • Filled the truck with $1 off fuel points, taking diesel to $1.69 per gallon
  • Replaced the cabinet handles of our TV stand – we got it in 2010 with a deep discount because of a chip on the back corner and a missing door pull; multiple PCS moves later, only one of the pulls is still attached (turned out they were just held in with a slip of metal the size of a paper clip). I picked four different pulls I liked and my family helped narrow it down to two they liked, then I chose the less expensive of those two. Total was $13 and it looks much nicer – and the doors are MUCH easier to open again!
  • Did a makeover of the desk space between our kitchen and dining room. I was getting really tired of/stressed by looking at the cork board of paperwork and the printer from where I sit in the living room and the IKEA catalog was getting mighty tempting! I could also use more counter space next to the stove and sink – so I decided to create a beverage center and tuck away the office supplies. (We use laptops, so the printer just sits there like a bump on a log until someone needs it anyway!) I had most of the items I needed, but wanted a shelf to organize our teas and a better mug rack, and decided to splurge on one large (size, not price) and one small item of decor for the space. I went over the Hobby Lobby website and narrowed down my options and preferences, came up with a budget, and hit the store. Once I could see everything in person, I made my choices. Everything came together quite nicely – I will post some before and after pictures here soon – and everything was 50% off. For $100, I was able to pull in items that will be perfect for any house we move into as we continue to move; all items that will be useful whether used in the same manner or spread out to various parts of a home based on each floor plan and space. And now we don’t have to drive to IKEA for no real reason other than me wanting to unleash my interior decorator side for a while. 😉
  • Went to a vintage book sale hosted by the Friends of the Library. Budget was $100, we only spent $26 ($36 if you count the $10 I gave my daughter as spending money).
  • Husband used his meal card from the class he’s in for breakfast and lunch all week, eliminating those meals at home, as well as the gas to drive home and back to class.