Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Financial Preparedness: Prepare for Financially Hard Times

How would one prepare for financially hard times?

1. The breadwinner in the family should make every effort to stay employed and keep earning wages or salaries, profits, and benefits.

2. Try to build tenure or seniority with your employer, and demonstrate both creative and productive skills.

3. Keep knowledge and skills current through continuous upgrading; thus, you can compete with the best and offer the best service or product available in your field. Even family members not employed should do the same. Where possible, everyone should have or work toward a potentially marketable skill or product.

4. Protect yourself during a recession—or times of inflation—by keeping monthly expenditures well under control. It is no time to have any excessive debt or large installment payments. Also, you may not be able to borrow money for major things like houses, farms, or businesses. Wait until money is more available and the interest levels are moderate.

5. Have an emergency cash reserve. The longer or deeper the economic downturn, the greater the need for ready money in such cases as unemployment, reduced income, illness, or injury.

6. As much as possible, get ownership and clear title (or deed) to cars, major appliances, homes, farms, businesses, etc. During a recession or depression, repossession, foreclosure, and garnishment—and the resulting risk of bankruptcy—are more likely since cash demands continue and income may stop. Ownership of your major possessions would provide you with great security.

7. Have an adequate one year’s supply of food and clothing. It takes most families months and even years to build a good supply and learn how to store and rotate it properly. Get started now.

8. Be willing to make significant life-style changes. Economic hardship could force you to sacrifice many comforts and luxuries such as recreation, travel, nonessential clothing, eating out, entertainment, and gifts; can you make some of these changes voluntarily now? Expenditures might have to focus on essentials such as food, housing, utilities, health care, and transportation.

9. Organize your extended families to give help to each generation as needed.

10. Self-reliance is important. Knowing how to make bread, sew clothes, make gifts, toys, and home decorations, paint the house, fix the plumbing, etc., will become increasingly valuable. As much as possible, be able to sustain life. Grow a garden, cultivate fruit trees, keep animals, etc., wherever practical, or have access to these resources.

One of the best defenses against a recession or a depression is owning things like food surpluses (such as grain, sugar, corn, rice, beans, and dried fruits), precious metals and gems, coal and wood, land, etc. They have intrinsic value, demand for them stays high, and they can be used in many ways.

11. Be good friends and neighbors. During hard times, you’ll be exchanging products and services much more.

Source: Ensign, "Questions about Coping Financially: Welfare Services Suggests Some Answers," June 1980. This article was prepared under the direction of the Welfare Services Department by BYU’s Family Resource Management Department, including Dr. Gary Hansen, Dr. Kay Edwards, Dr. Susan Easton, Beth Bastian, and Connie Roberts. '

For many other resources about financial preparedness, click this link: http://preparednessmatters.blogspot.com/search/label/Financial%20Preparedness

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Gravy, Sauces and Dressings

Gravy, Sauces & Dressings add delicious flavors to meals made from basic food storage and food from your garden. Making sauces from scratch can also save you lots of money as you won't have to rely on prepared food or sauce mixes!

Mormon Gravy

8 T fat or meat dripping

4 C Milk

6 T Flour

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fry the meat and drain off the fat. Use an ample amount of the fat and drippings. Add the flour and brown it slightly. Add the milk and stir until well blended. Season and cook to desired thickness.

Milk Gravy

1 C Powdered Milk mixed with 3 C Water

1 T Margarine

3 Heaping T Flour

1/2 tsp salt

Mix the water and powdered milk together. Add the flour and salt. Cook over medium heat until the gravy is thickened. Add the margarine and stir until smooth. - Ruth Scow

Homemade Gravies

Chicken Gravy

1 1/2 T Butter or Margarine

1 1/2 T chicken bouillon

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/4 C Water

1/4 C Dried Milk (Instant)

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 T Flour

Onion Gravy

1/4 C Butter or margarine

1 T Beef Bouillon

2 T Cornstarch

3 C Chopped Onions

2 C Boiling Water

1/4 C Cold Water

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Beef Gravy

1 1/2 T Butter or Margarine

1 Tsp Minced Onion or powder

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 1/4 C Water

1 1/2 T Beef Bouillon

1 T Flour

Herb Gravy

1 Can Regular Strength Chicken or Beef Broth

3 1/2 to 4 T Flour

1 T Parsley

Pinch of Thyme

Drops of Kitchen Bouquet

1/2 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

1 tsp. chives

Brown the onions if they are used. Add all other ingredients except cornstarch (or flour) and cold water together in a pan. Cook until dissolved. Add the cornstarch (or flour) and water together. Pour them into the gravy base. Continue cooking until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. - Lorraine Dalton

Basic White Sauce

Prepare Ahead Mix:

1 C Flour

1 C Margarine

4 tsp salt

2 1/2 C Nonfat Dry Milk

Blend ingredients with a fork until resembles a crumbly coarse meal. Store in the refrigerator. To prepare: Blend 1/3 C Mix with 1 C Cold Water or Broth. Add liquid slowly. Heat to boiling, sirring constantly until thick.

White Sauce--thin, medium, thick


1 T butter

1 T flour

1 C Milk

1/4 tsp salt


2 T Butter

2 T Flour

1 C Milk

1/4 tsp salt


3 T Butter

3 T Flour

1 C Milk

1/4 tsp salt

Over low heat, melt butter in sauce pan. Add flour. Blend until smooth. Add milk at once and cook until thick. Stir constantly so it won't burn. Add salt. To make a cheese sauce, add 1/2 C grated cheddar cheese. - Leanne Beal

Cheese Sauce

1/2 C Cheese powder

3 T powdered milk

1 tsp. dried onions

1 1/2 tsp corn starch

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 C Water

Prepare the above recipe, stirring until thickened.


1 whole egg

2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 T Vinegar

dash of pepper

1 C oil

Put all ingredients in the blender, except for 3/4 C of the oil. Blend together well. While blending slowly, add the remaining oil until the mayonnaise is thick. -Connie Gardner

Tomato Sauce

2 C chopped onion

3 cloves garlic

3 T oil

3 1/2 C Bottled Tomatoes

2 small cans tomato paste

2 C water

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp basil

Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes, paste, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer 2 hours. Add more water if necessary. Add oregano and basil. Cook another 15 minutes until thick.

Tomato Sauce (from Dried Foods)

1 C Tomato Powder

3 C Water

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 T oil

1 T margarine powder

1/4 C onion flakes

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 bay leaf

pepper to taste

Simmer the tomato powder, water, sugar and salt on low heat for 20 minutes. Saute onions in oil and margarine powder until tender. Add onions and remaining ingredients to the tomatoes and simmer another 15 minutes. Stir often, until thick.

Tomato Catsup

1 C Tomato Powder

2 tsp Sugar

1/4 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Dash of onion powder

1 1/2 C Water

Combine all ingredients. Boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until thick.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

2 C pineapple juice

3 T vinegar

1 C Water

1/4 C Honey

1/4 C Tamari

2 or 3 T Corn Starch

1 tsp ginger

1 large tomato, cut in eighths

1 pineapple, cut in chunks (3 C)

1 large green bell pepper, sliced

Put juice and vinegar in a large sauce pan and heat. Add honey, tamari, and ginger. Remove some of the juice, add arrowroot or cornstarch to it. Mix to a smooth paste, then add to sauce. When sauce thickens, add tomato, pineapple, and bell peppers. Cook one minute, remove from heat.* Serve with fried rice, egg rolls or vegetables. *At this time, check your sauce. If it is too sour, add a little more pineapple juice and honey. Yield: 4 cups

Basic Sweet Sauce

Prepare ahead mix:

1/2 C Corn starch

1 C Margarine

4 C Sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Blend until mixture is uniform and crumbly. Store this in a jar in the refrigerator. Label it. Pack the mix as you would brown sugar. Blend 1/3 C mix with 2/3 C cold liquid. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.


Cherry Sauce: Add juice from red sour cherries and water to make 2/3 C. Add 1/2 C red cherries and red food coloring after mixture has thickened (optional: add 1/4 tsp almond extract)

Orange Sauce: Use orange juice to replace the cold liquid

Lemon Sauce: 3 T lemon juice and water to make 2/3 C liquid

Raisin Sauce: Water and 1/4 C raisins

Chocolate Sauce: Milk an 1/2 square of unsweetened chocolate

Pineapple Sauce: Juice from crushed pineapple and water to make 2/3 C. Add 1/2 C Crushed pineapple.

Strawberry Sauce: Add 1/2 C Fresh Strawberries and a few drops of red food coloring.

Barbecue Sauce

4 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T mustard

1 C vinegar

1 C water

1/2 C Sugar

1 C Catsup

4 tsp chili powder

2 tsp accent

4 tsp minced onion

1 tsp seasoned salt

Heat to dissolve all ingredients. Simmer 15 minutes.

Taco Sauce (dried foods)

2 C Tomato Powder

4 C Water

1/4 C Minced Onion

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 T vinegar

1 T brown sugar

dash of salt

1 T salad oil

1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and simmer until done.

French Dressing

1/8 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dry mustard

1/4 c sugar

1/4 c vinegar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp paprika

3/4 c vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Chill before serving.

Ranch Dressing

1 T parsley flakes

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 C buttermilk or sour cream

2 tsp. minced onion

1/2 tsp salt

1 C mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Blend until smooth. This can also be used as a dip for vegetables.

Source: Cookin' with Home Storage by Vicki Tate

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Powdered Milk Snacks

These healthy and easy-to pack-balls can go anywhere from school lunches to soccer practice. They're best really cold and will keep up to a week sealed in a zip top plastic bag stored in the refrigerator.

Crunchy Coconut Balls
1/4 C Cashew (or soy nut or almond) butter
1 T honey
1/2 C Crispy Rice Cereal (like Rice Krispies)
2 T nonfat dry milk
1/2 C Shredded Coconut

Combine cashew butter and honey with fork. Add cereal and dry milk, mashing well with fork. Form 3/4 inch balls and roll in coconut, pressing firmly. Makes 10 balls.

Nutter Butter Nibblers
1/2 C Crushed Fat-free pretzel sticks
1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/4 C Nonfat dry milk
1 T honey

Place half the pretzels in medium bowl; add choolate chips, peanut butter, dry milk and honey. Mix well with hands or fork. Form 3/4 inch balls and roll in remaining pretzels. Makes 10 balls.

PBJ Crunchers
1/2 C Peanut Butter
1 C Crispy Rice Cereal (like Rice Krispies)
1/4 C Nonfat Dry Milk
2 T grape jelly

Combine peanut butter, cereal and dry milk in a medium bowl with hands or fork, mashing well. Spread jelly over top of entire mixture and mix in slightly. Form 3/4 inch bals. Makes 12 balls.

Source: Christine Gable, Relish Magazine

Preparedness Quotes

"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, 'We can’t afford it, even though we want it!' or 'We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!'" - Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2009 General Conference

"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference

“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley

"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust

“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson

"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference

“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson

"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball

“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball



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