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About GettinReady

  1. I've dehydrated lots of potatoes! Russets, Reds and Sweet. Reds and Sweet worked the best for me, I'm thinking because of the starch content (they aren't as "crumbly" and not so quick to break during the steaming process) but all have turned out great. They are a little labor intensive but the end result is fabulous. I slice mine thin, steam or blanch, then dump in to a sterilized sink full of cold water (depending on how many potatoes I'm doing I may have to drain and refill the sink to keep the water cold.) We are very impressed with our home-dehydrated potatoes and have used them in several meals. Like CoM...I don't use lemon juice either. Once they're steamed you have locked the enzymes so they shouldn't turn. Good luck and enjoy!
  2. Loved the idea of Mint Water! That sounds SO refreshing! One of my favorite uses for Mint is to make a fruit salad with whatever fruit is handy and a quick syrup (no cooking, just mixing) of some lime juice, a little dab of honey and some shredded mint leaves. The lime juice gives the fruit a zesty little zing, the honey adds a little sweetness but the mint "cools" everything off. My favorite summertime fruit salad!
  3. I wouldn't freeze it until July. I don't know what the ingredients are but 7 months in a freezer doesn't appear to bode well for any type of coleslaw. I don't know how big your family is but if the coleslaw is good, DH and myself could go through quite a bit of it in a week if it's tastey (we like coleslaw/cabbage) barring other side vegetables. I know the temps are frigid across most of the states but maybe you could cook some BBQ Pork or Pork Ribs to go with it and save whatever side dishes/vegetables you have in your own freezer? What about Hot Dogs with Slaw and Chili? Can't say I've ever done that before but know alot of people that swear by it. Maybe a piece of Beef in a Crockpot with a side of slaw? At any rate, I wouldn't freeze it for any significant length of time. I'd go for using it now. Just my 2ยข worth.
  4. Yes, on occassion I've asked for rainchecks but only if it's something on sale I really needed or wanted. The point is, my grocery store is now running out of product which they have NEVER done in the 20+ years I have shopped there. That's what worries me. The demand is now overwhelming their supply. This tells me they are changing their stocking habits by either ordering limited supplies, using the JIT System or the Sheeple are waking up and stocking up on the sale items sooner rather than later. In any event, I need to be more on my toes if I want to keep my food storage up.
  5. I am also a Publix shopper and have been for many years. My store has been making some noticable changes over the past few weeks. Their specialty Deli Case (olives, salads, etc.) has been emptied and now only holds deli meats. Their free standing specialty cheese case doesn't have near the amount of variety it used to have. As a matter of fact, I was in one day a couple months ago when a manager and employee were discussing what products they wouldn't be carrying anymore. The Dairy section has been reorganized and offers less variety. Today, it was the Orange Juice section. They were emptying out the shelves and moving things around. Produce section, the last three times I've shopped has had nearly empty bins or completely empty bins and the stock people have no idea when when replacements will arrive. Canned goods are only stacked three to four deep now, not all the way to the back of the shelves like they used to be. Also, several times I've noticed that if I don't hit the sales or BOGO's as soon as they hit, they run out of product. All this is very disturbing to me and definitely tells me things are changing rapidly.
  6. Oh Deerslayer! Thanks for reminding me! I also changed homeowners insurance companies. The old company has been absolutely killing us for years but it seems I could never get around to researching new companies. I finally made it a point and found one that saved us just over $600 a year! Bad news is, they had a rate increase just after I signed with them. When my renewal comes up in November I'll be paying a higher premium but still not as high as the old company. I also reduced my auto policy to the bare bones when I paid off my car earlier this year. While the reduction in coverage was quite substantial, the cost savings wasn't enough (around $125 a year) to make it worth it. I got nervous and went back to full-coverage. I guess that's a way they keep you hooked. Drastically reduce the coverage but not make the overall savings worth it so you continue to pay the higher premiums. Amish, great prices on the pork! I wish I could find meat and produce that cheap. With our high retiree population you'd think we could get cheaper food but it's not the case. Our meats and produce are very expensive. Way to go on getting your shopping under control! It will certainly add up over time! Here's something interesting I've noticed the last couple times I've gone shopping...a few weeks ago I stocked up some pork that was on sale to can (also pork butt but mine was $1.79#) and got several of them as well as a couple beef roasts. The young girl cashier, probably no more than 22, asked what in the world was I making with all that meat. I just told her it was on sale and I was stocking the freezer. The younger female bagging clerk said, "Wow, no kidding! Some of these are only $5 or less!" And the shopping trip before that I had seven $1 off coupons for things I was buying. As the cashier was beeping them through I only heard six beeps so I asked to her recheck my stash. She found it and we all commented that "A buck is a buck." The young bagging clerk said "You got that right!" I just thought it was very interesting to find such young people, most of whom appear to be young college kids possibly still living at home, so critically aware of grocery prices and savings. To me it shows that even they are feeling an incredible pinch right now and are recognizing the value of a dollar.
  7. We are going to tighten up, again, as well. We've already done so many things, there aren't many places left to cut. We got rid of our house phone but DH needs his cell for work. I went on his plan and it only costs $9.00 more. We have cable but only the mid-grade. Not the bottom of the barrel, but no HBO or other premium channels. We cut out all outside entertainment and no longer order the Pay Per View movies that we used to do every Friday night. Our internet is bundled to our cable but if we get any increases in the bill I will have to start shopping around for alternatives. We gave up our favorite Friday night delivery pizza and now eat frozen store-bought. I'm going to reduce our grocery budget even further and start shopping with cash only again. It's the best way to stay within our strict budget. I'm going to start incorporating more beans and rice, egg dishes (my mom always called it Breakfast for Dinner) and get back in the habit of eating spaghetti once a week. I'm also going to try to kick the soda habit again and go back to water or iced tea. Not only a money saver but good for my waistline as well! I've started saving all my Wal-Mart shopping bags because they are white. Just over a year ago we finished remodelling the bathrooms and I've been buying those small white Glad trash bags. They are super expensive for what they are but I stuck with them because they are white and helped to keep the bathrooms looking so nice. Everytime I get home and get things put away I spend a couple minutes at the table folding them and putting them in ziplocks bags so they will fit nicely in the closet. I'm goint to start timing my showers. I'm a self-admitted shower hound. I could spend all day in the shower but we need to start reducing our utility bills as we just don't have many other places left to cut. In the summertime I will do my darndest to control the A/C but living in Florida, I just don't know how successful I'll be. As soon as my stockpile of store bought laundry detergent runs out we will be using the homemade stuff that I tested earlier this year. I also have a "recipe" for homemade laundry softener but haven't tried it yet. Hopefully it will be as good as the laundry detergent. Once all my store bought cleaning supplies run out I'll be using more homemade varieties like vinegar and baking soda. And somewhere along the way I'm going to start hitting the second hand stores for clothing items. Both our jobs allow us to wear shorts and T-Shirts. We are both extremely picky about our shorts but living in Florida, I should be able to find an abundance of decent T-Shirts. And, we plan on starting our garden this year. We've tried a few things in the past and weren't really successful so we gave up. Now we need to make it a priority to start finding out where our issues lie and how to become successful at it.
  8. Went to a big box store today, used some coupons that were getting ready to expire and stocked up on some toiletries and other odds and ends to fill in some gaps. Of course, filling in the prepping gaps from a big box store leaves other gaps...like in the budget . Only thing I'm telling DH is "I saved $82.00!!"
  9. The first time I canned them I diced them. Was only able to get 6#'s in to 16 pint jars. This last batch I cut in to "fingers" and hand shoved them in to each jar. I was able to get 7 1/2 #'s in to the 16 pints and it took two batches of syrup. Go with the fingers. Takes longer but you can get more in the jars
  10. Actually this was last night... Normally when I make this I sear a couple of chicken breasts and remove from the pan. Dump in some salsa (I don't measure when I cook, I'm a "dumper") and pour in a little cream or Half and Half, enough to make the sauce pinkish in color. Give it a stir, put the breasts back in, pour some Chipotle Tobasco on the breasts and spoon some sauce over top. Finish cooking in the oven and serve with rice. Last night I had some Half and Half that needed to be used up and didn't feel like cooking. Grabbed a can of home-canned chicken from the pantry, made the salsa-sauce to my liking, drained the chicken and dumped in the skillet. The meat was so tender that after a few stirs it fell apart, like shredded chicken. I was beat and ate before DH. Spooned my Salsa Chicken over my yellow rice, showered and went to bed. DH tells me this morning how GREAT dinner was last night . He took his rice and Salsa Chicken mixture and spooned it in to a wrap. WOW! Did that sound good! Sadly, there was none left over. I can see it and taste it even now...Salsa Chicken, a little lettuce, some sour cream and shredded cheese. YUM, YUM! AND, I even had half a jar of home canned Pinto Beans in the fridge that could have been added to the wrap. Shucks!! Tonight it's leftover soup for him and chili dogs for me...Ah, Well...next time I know what to do!
  11. Over the weekend I canned some sweet potatoes in light syrup (16 pints) and 8 pints of turkey meat and a few odds and ends of beef that were in the freezer.
  12. Excellent ideas! Thank you so much! Sometimes the simplest of ideas can escape me, especially when I think too hard, LOL!
  13. There is a long story behind this and I'll try to keep this short but feel some background is warranted. There is a neighbor girl I took under my wing years ago when I moved in to this neighborhood. She is a sweet girl deep down but grew up in a house with her single mother who suffers from severe mental illness. The girl has been seriously neglected for years and there are lots of issues here. I took her in as My Own for years. Bathed her, clothed her, fed her, tried to teach her to cook, tutored her in all subjects to the best of my ability (her mother pulled her out of public school in 7th grade because everyone was "evil"). I soon discovered, on my own with no formal teaching attributes, that she was at a 4th or 5th grade learning level and has a learning disability. She reads well but has poor comprehension and math, including money conversion and telling time is a total bust for this girl. I also discovered, as sweet as she was, even with all my positive influence, she couldn't escape years of negative upbringing. As she grew up she got a bad attitude, fell in with the wrong crowd and eventually started lying and stealing from me. I kicked her out and told her if she ever stepped foot on my property again I would have her arrested for trespassing. Over the past two years she has tried to rekindle a relationship but always with a motive because she wanted or needed something. This may be another one of her manipulations and I've fallen for many of them...she learned from the best, ie, her mother, who may be crazy but is far from stupid. But here's the latest story. Last night she came to the door, said she's had enough of her mother "stealing" her disability check and is moving in with her "boyfriend". They found a trailor somewhere but have NOTHING. And I mean NOTHING. No pots, pans, blankets, bedding, furniture, etc. So, I told her, when she gets settled to call me next week. It was kind of a blow off on my part to see how serious she is. But secretly, I have spent the entire day putting lists together of what she will need to set up a basic household, things that can be gotten from Goodwill. Problem is, our Goodwill is pretty lame and they still need to eat (I could care less about the "boyfriend", I've only met him once and made him stay on the porch. She thinks he's a gem but, well...whatever). So I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with CHEAP food than can be cooked in a single pot or pan or oven dish until we can scrounge up more cooking utensils. And I DON'T DARE bring beans and rice to the table. That's all her mother would feed her until she met me. I'll have to work those in easily. So here's what I've got so far...using the least amount of cooking utensils and things that are really cheap...also keeping in mind her math difficulties... Jarred Spaghetti Sauce, noodles and buttered bread Hamburger Helper Egg/Bread Casserole Beanie Wienies Baked Potatoes smothered with Canned Chili Manwiches Grilled Cheese with Canned Soup/Stew Spam/Potatoes/Eggs Chicken noodle casserole Toss in some frozen, boil veggies to round out some meals and some frozen juice concentrate to get some Vitamin C. I also have some Egg Salad, Tuna Salad and PB&J's for lunches. If she is completely serious about making it on her own I can dedicate some time to cooking here in my home and setting her up with some freezer meals but right now, as the holidays are approaching we are getting ready to leave town. She needs easy meals to get by on. Anybody have anything to share with extremely limited funds and extremely limited cooking utensils?? Nothing with too many spices or "from scratch" ingredients as it will take some time to build these up, ingredients and skill wise. Thank you so much!
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