Category Archives: Prudent Pantry

By nature I am a pretty organized person, at least in most areas of my life. I find that it is very helpful when running a household to be organized. I like to know what’s in my freezer or pantry, it helps me to save money and plan our meals. There are many ways to stay organized. I have spent a little time on the Internet and here are some links to blogs, which will help you to be more organized whether it be in your garden or in your pantry!

Reformation Acres is a favorite blog of mine. Quinn is very organized and keeps track of all sorts of things. From homeschooling, pantry inventor, garden planning to seed inventory. She even has an Etsy shop where you can purchase her printables at a very reasonable price.Homestead-Management-Binder-13-678x1024

Simply Sweet Home wrote a post recently about Printable Blog Planners. I am constantly trying to stay on top of being organized in my blog writing. It’s a challenge to get the posts written, scheduled and then all the social media sharing that goes along with it. Jerri at Simply Sweet Home has some wonderful links for 12 Free Printable blog Planners and Tools for 2015.12-Free-Printable-Blog-Planners

Keeping your pantry organized and planning meal is key to spending less on your food budget. I have a couple of simple forms that I use. Jazmin over at Frugality Gal also has a free 5 Sheet Printable Set that was designed to help you lower your grocery spending. She has three inventory sheets, a shopping list and a meal plan. If you need help in this area this is a great place to start!free-printable-meal-planner-set

Do you want to be more organized in your budget planning? Bob over at ChristianPF offered 10 Free Budget Spread Sheets. His sheets are designed to work with Excel, OpenOffice and Google Docs. You should be able to find something that will work for you!free-budgeting-spreadsheets

Julia and Don from MiniVan Dreams also offer a free budget printable. If you are not organized in your finances you have no excuse. Download one of these helps forms to help you get on a better track.

Another favorite blog of mine is Jes’ blog Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth. In December Jes wrote a wonderful post on An Organized and Orderly Home. She has many inspirational and printable helps! She covers everything from basic pantry labels to organizing your bakeware. I am very impressed with her organized household!aa

Lindsey over at Chickadee Homestead was feeling like she needed more organization in her homesteading life. To help herself and you she has created a Homestead Monthly Checklist. You can download it for free HERE.homestead.checklist-791x1024

In most parts of the country we are not experiencing spring quite yet. While you’re waiting, determine what area of your life needs a little more help in organization and start today!

Linked To: MotivationMonday, TuesdaysWithATwist, PennyPinchingParty

 

I have a wonderful collection of cast iron. Some pieces I have inherited from my mother while other pieces I have been luckily enough to spot at yard sales. I even have an old cast iron muffin tin! I love them all and each has a specific purpose from cooking up a pot of soup to roasting nuts.

prudent living

Cast Iron Collection

The pieces I have found in yard sales have often needed to be restored. It’s a rather easy process. Use a nonmetallic scrubber to removed the rust. Wash with a mild dish soap, rinse well and dry with a clean towel.

prudent living

Does your cast iron pan need a face lift?

Then I re-season the surface by coating it both inside and out with an unsalted vegetable shortening.

Put the greased skillet upside down on a foil covered baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Let cool and remove the excess grease with a paper towel.

To prevent rust in the first place, never soak your cast iron in water or put it in the dishwasher! Also do not scrub with metal scouring pads or harsh cleaners. Put a paper towel, paper plate or round coffee filter between stored pans to absorb moisture.

If you take good care of your cast iron it will last forever and you will be passing it down to your children someday!

prudent living

Cast Iron Facelift

Linked To: MerryMonday, MotivationMonday, LinkUp#67, What’dYouDoThisWeekend, CleverChicksBlogHop, TheGatheringSpot, TotallyTalentedTuesday, TuesdaysWithATwist, WWHOP, PennyPinchingParty, RivertonHousewives, WakeUpWednesday, HomesteadBarnHop, SimpleLivesThursday, ThinkTankThursday, LovelyLittleLinkParty, FromTheFarm, DIYLINKY, SimplyNaturalSaturdays

 

The winter brings beautifully cool weather that can sometimes have nasty side effects on our homes. Ranging from simple clean ups to damage that requires professionals, the level of stress these mishaps can produce is astronomical. It is important to be aware of which problems require a simple fix you can do yourself and which problems should be left to the professionals. Below you will find some common winter home woes and what you can do to help prevent them and then handle them, should they occur.

Slippery Floors
One of the banes of every homeowner’s existence is muddy, snowy, wet shoes tracking the outside elements into the home.Soccer ball on ground in rainy day, outdoors Especially if you have young children or pets going in and out of the house, the floors can quickly become dirty and slippery, posing a potential safety hazard. Set aside a place close to the door most commonly used where shoes can be taken off and wiped down before entering the house. Be sure to keep some old towels by the door that can be used to clean off shoes. Not only will this help to keep your family safe and your home clean, but it will also protect any hardwood floors from damage.

Sweep Chimney
Use of the fireplace is a favorite part of homes in the winter. However, those that have not been cleaned since the previous year can pose a threat for carbon monoxide poisoning and even cause a fire in the chimney. To prevent this, hire someone to come in and clean the chimney and fireplace at the beginning of each winter season.

Be sure to also install carbon monoxide detectors close to the fireplace, so if a leak does occur, you are alerted before the danger increases.

Ice Filled Gutters
It is likely that your gutters are filled with leaves and other debris from autumn. While this may not cause many issues while the weather is still relatively warm, as cold weather, snow and freezing rain take place, this can cause serious issues for your home. This can be one of the causes of ice dams (see below) and can also lead to water backing up into your home, causing further damages.

To prevent this, make sure your gutters are free and clear of all foreign objects before the winter sets in. If wintery weather is already in full force in your town, try to find a professional to come clean out the gutters, as the winter conditions may make it more dangerous for you.icicles on old building

Ice Dams
As stated above, one of the causes of these woes is an ice filled gutter. However that is is not all. Poor insulation and air leaks, most commonly from attics, can also lead to ice dams, which can cause water to back up into your home, causing damage to walls, ceilings, and floors.

Removal of ice dams can be quite dangerous, so it is best to call a professional to handle this one. In order to help prevent them, keep your roof free from snow by using a rake or push broom to remove the snow. Make sure to always pull the snow down vertically, as a horizontal action can cause shingles to be uprooted.

Leaky Roof
Speaking of roofs, there really is nothing to put a damper on the festivities of winter like a leaking roof. While large leaks cause more immediate damage, small leaks can lead to more long term damage with the addition of mold and rotting wood. It is important to first determine the source of the leak and then do what you can to contain the water so that it does not cause additional damage.

Especially during the winter months, the roof can be a very dangerous place to be. For a leaking roof, it is best to call a professional as quickly as possible.

Flooding Basements
As snow and rainfall accumulate throughout the winter months, a very real concern is the flooding of basements. In order to prevent this from occurring, especially if you live in an area that is prone to such flooding, take the time to shovel snow away from the edges of the foundation of the house. It would also be wise to keep an eye on the gutter system and to keep it in tip top shape to ensure proper drainage.Keller abgesoffen 4

Winter can be rough on a home but there are things you can be watching for and repairing in order to prevent larger issues. If you ever doubt your ability to handle a situation, the best bet is to call someone who fixes these problems for a living. Having a secure home is important for you and your family, so don’t take any chances on keeping it in tip top shape.

This has been a guest post written by Alyssa Craig.

Linked To: You’reGonnaLoveIt, ThinkTankThursday, ChainLinkyClimb, FlashbackFriday

English: Just a normal first aid bag

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m curious, how many of you have a current first aid kit in your home?

Every family should keep a first aid kit at home and in their car. I have to admit when we had small children I was very good about keeping a current first aid kit on hand. We always had what ever you would need for small injuries. Now that our children are grown it’s time I updated our emergency kit and got it up-to-date!

You don’t need to buy a pre-made first aid kit. You can keep your supplies in a tackle box or other suitable container, which you can lock. If you have small children in the house or grandchildren that come to visit it needs to be childproof!

Your first aid kit can be kept in a tool box.

Your first aid kit can be kept in a tool box.

I asked my daughter, who is a nurse, what she kept in her first aid kit.

Top shelf, things you will use most often. Starting from the left:  Coband or Ace bandage–something that will help cover a wound, keep it secure, that’s why I include tape as well, small drawers for some meds: pepto for tummy, nasal decongestant and DayQuil, I also keep Anti-itch/hydrocortisone and gauze. Keep Normal saline somewhere in your kit. I use small flushes which can purchase  online. GREAT for flushing a wound an eye and keeping small doses on hand.

Top shelf tool box.

Top shelf tool box.

Second drawer: band aids, BENADRYL!! Must have, can help nip a reaction when it starts, I also have some syringes, but most importantly a sharpie, use it to outline areas of redness or inflammation to determine if they get worse. In the bottom I keep more gauze, wraps, gloves, aloe and hydrogen peroxide. Also a brown wash cloth for big bleeds. It can keep someone from passing out from the site of blood.

Second drawer of tool box.

Second drawer of tool box.

Here are a few

items that are suggested for your home first aid kit:

  • 1-2 rolls of adhesive tape for bandaging
  • Small, adhesive strips
  • Bar of plain, un-perfumed soap for washing wounds
  • Liquid acetaminophen for infants and small children
  • Chewable acetaminophen for older children
  • Regular aspirin or acetaminophen for teens and adults
  • One ounce bottle of syrup of ipecac (to induce vomiting)
  • A thermometer
  • Scissors
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Chemical ice pack
  • Emergency phone numbers; including your physician, hospital and local poison control hot line.

For a more fully stocked first aid kit add the following:

  • 1-2 rolls of elastic bandages
  • cotton balls and cotton swabs
  • Antiseptic cream (for minor cuts and burns)
  • Petroleum jelly (for blisters, chafing and chapping)
  • Calamine lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Safety pins
  • Tweezers
  • Snakebite kit
  • Tongue depressors (to use as splints for injured fingers and toes)
  • Anaphylaxis kit for severe allergy
  • Backup supply of prescription medication.

Now that we all know what to put in our first aid kits that’s make a resolution to make sure we all have a current first aid kit in our home! do you have any other suggestions as to what you should have in a first aid kit?

Linked To: MotivationMonday, PennyPinchingParty, HomesteadBarnHop

When we were busy raising our four children I made bread at least once a week. Our children really did not like store bought bread and much preferred my bread. I would bake three loaves at a time and freeze two to eat later. Sometimes this didn’t work so well as one loaf would get eaten right out of the oven. You have to admit there is nothing better than fresh baked bread still warm from the oven.bread

Now that it is just my husband and I at home we don’t eat as much bread. In fact I stopped baking bread all together thinking we could just buy some whenever we needed bread. You know what? I have to admit, my kids were right, store bought bread just isn’t as good. So I am back to baking our own bread once again.

I still make three loaves at a time and freeze what we aren’t going to eat. I often cut a loaf in half and just keep a half a loaf out. We’re so much happier enjoying our own homemade bread once again! Here is our all time favorite recipe. A friend of mine shared this fabulous no fail bread recipe with me years ago. I’ve made a few changes but basically haven’t changed it much. I grind my own hard white wheat berries and usually add a little King Arthur bread flour. I also use my Kitchen Aid to mix the dough.

recipes, bread, well loved

My well worn original recipe!

Nancy’s Delicious Homemade Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour*
¼ cup sugar (or other sweetener such as honey)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
¾ cup water
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter
1 egg

In a large bowl blend 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In saucepan, heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees F). Butter does not need to melt. Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture. Beat 4 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size. It usually takes 45-60 minutes.

bread, bread dough

Let dough rise about an hour before forming into loaves.

Stir down dough. On a floured surface, form dough into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size.

homemade bread, loaves

Dough formed into loaves, ready to rise again.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Can brush with melted butter. Serve warm or cool. Makes one large loaf or two smaller loaves.

Delicious Homemade Bread

Delicious Homemade Bread

Freezes well.

bread, whole wheat, homemade

We usually keep one loaf to eat and freeze the other two.

*I usually double this recipe to make three large loaves. I use 4 cups of freshly ground flour and 4 cups of King Arthur Bread Flour.

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The winter is always a tumultuous time for both your physical and mental health. The risk of you getting sick and missing work increase ten fold. However, with a little extra effort on your part, you can fight off both mental and physical sickness by doing just a few simple, but proven things.

1. Watch Your Weight
Clinical studies show that people tend to gain more weight in the winter than any other time of the year, and that weight is not easy to lose. With that in mind, try to say no to the extra helping of cake at the next company party. Your physical well-being will thank you in the long run.feet on a bathroom scale - isolated

2. Keep Up with Vitamin D
The sun reacts with chemicals in your body to create enough vitamin D to meet your daily vitamin D needs. Since the sun is rather scarce in winter, many people lack a sufficient amount of vitamin D and sometimes experience a common mental illness known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), more commonly known as Winter Depression. To avoid the winter blues, look into taking vitamin D supplements or increasing your intake of foods like milk, trout, and fortified cereals, all major sources of vitamin D.

3. Boost Your Immune System
Though the germs you find on door handles are the instigator, catching a cold ultimately depends on the strength of your immune system. The best thing you can do for your immune system is to maintain a habit of healthy diet and exercise and avoid unhealthy habits like eating too much sugar, smoking, and consuming caffeine.

4. Get Your Exercise
As mentioned previously, exercise is a major contributor to your overall health. People generally get a lot less exercise in winter because of the cold. However, if you want to stay healthy and happy over the winter, you’ll look into ways to add more exercise to your daily routine, such as joining a gym or finding exercises to do at home.

5. Avoid the Germs
Germs are everywhere you go, especially during the winter, and there is not nearly enough disinfectant in the world to stop them from reaching everyone. However, you can do your part by getting some hand sanitizer and using it often. This all natural hand sanitizer is a great option. It effectively disinfects without drying out your hands.

6. Sleep It Off
You can avoid a vast number of minor illnesses just by getting enough sleep. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night, but most adults don’t fill their nightly quota. Though it may not be obvious, there is a direct connection between your health and the amount of sleep you get.Man sleeping

7. Eat Healthy
Eating healthy is an important part of your lifestyle any time of the year, but especially during the winter. The right foods boost your immune system and help you keep off the extra pounds you might otherwise gain. A healthy diet is the key to preventing many illnesses and diseases, both now and later in life.

8. Moisturize
Don’t forget about keeping the outside of your body healthy too. Your skin has probably suffered plenty from the cold weather, making it integral to moisturize all exposed skin daily if you want it to stay healthy.

9. Fight the Stress
Winter weather leaves a depressed mood hanging in the air. The roads are generally bad, and you still have your high utility bills to pay at the end of the day. All that stress can really affect your emotional and physical health. Find healthy ways to cope with your stress, like taking time for yourself, practicing breathing exercises, using a stress ball, or talking it out. Avoid unhealthy forms of coping like comfort eating and alcohol consumption.

10. Drink Water
To keep your immune system strong and your body in general good health, drink enough water. Water helps to flush out bad bacteria in your body as well as allow proper function of all organs. The average person should drink about half their bodyweight in ounces per day. The frequent trips to the bathroom may be annoying at first, but you’ll soon get used to them, and your healthy body will thank you in the long run.glass of water

11. Lather, Rinse, but Skip Repeat.
Your hair takes quite a beating in the cold air. Even though it feels good to wash it often, using too much shampoo can actually strip essential minerals from your locks, making it more unhealthy than ever. When your hair is brittle and sensitive during the cold months, cut down on the amount of shampoo you use, as well as the frequency you use it, and definitely skip the repeat.

12. Take a Vacation
Vacations should not be reserved for the summer, though that does seem to be the most convenient time to go. For your mental health, try taking a short vacation in the winter as well. It will do wonders for you to get out of the cold drudgery of daily life and experience some really enjoyable family and/or friends time.

When winter swoops in and tries to put you in a cold slump, don’t take it lying down. Stand up and fight back in order to have a healthier, happier you all winter long.

This has been a guest post by Amber Brubaker.

Linked To: PennyPinchingParty, ThinkTankThursday, TheGreatBlogTrain

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