Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Black Beans With Rice

This is a quick pantry meal, perfect for those days that you don't have time to go to the store for ingredients.  You can also used dried beans from your food storage if you plan ahead. The equivalent to a 15-ounce can is about 1 2/3 cups of beans. Just soak beans overnight, cook 1 cup of dried and measure out 1 2/3 cups. You will have a little extra.

Black Beans and Rice
3/4 cup uncooked white rice

2 cups water

1 (15 ounce) can black beans; drain and reserve liquid

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried cilantro (fresh is even better if you have it on hand.)


1.Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil, add rice. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Let rice simmer 15-20 minutes, until tender.

2.Place beans and rice in a medium size saucepan. Heat over a medium heat, stirring frequently. Stir in reserved bean liquid as needed. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice, garlic powder and cilantro. Let sit a moment, and stir in fresh oregano. Serve immediately.

Yield:  2 servings

Source:  allrecipes.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

Disaster Preparedness: How to Prepare for and Respond to a Tornado Warning

On Monday night, our family hunkered down in our basement storage room during an extremely rare tornado warning in our area.  After the devastating tornadoes that have been pummeling the U.S. this spring, we made sure to follow the directions of the weather service and seek shelter.  Thankfully, although a funnel cloud was spotted nearby, a tornado didn't touch down in our area and we experienced no damage but we did realize we should be better prepared for the next time.  The kids had a great time building a "base camp" out of blankets and eating crunchy chow mein noodles from food storage so hopefully they'll have a positive memory of our experience.  This event did make us realize that everyone everywhere should be prepared for a tornado.  With that in mind, I found this information on the FEMA website and thought I'd share it with you. 

What are Tornadoes?

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard.
Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible.
Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.
The following are facts about tornadoes:
•They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.

•They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.

•The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.

•The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 MPH, but may vary from stationary to 70 MPH.

•Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.

•Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.

•Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.

•Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.

•Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but can occur at any time.

What to do Before a Tornado

Be alert to changing weather conditions.

•Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.

•Look for approaching storms

•Look for the following danger signs:

◦Dark, often greenish sky

◦Large hail

◦A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)

◦Loud roar, similar to a freight train.

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

What to do during a tornado warning

If you are under a tornado WARNING, seek shelter immediately!  Do the following depending upon where you are: 
In a structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building):   

Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.

A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home:

Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

The outside with no shelter:

Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Source:  http://www.fema.gov/hazard/tornado/index.shtm

Cooking With Basic Food Storage: Simple and Foolproof Honeywheat Bread

Honeywheat Bread

3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast

1/3 cup honey

5 cups bread flour

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon salt

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1.  In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

2.  Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

3.  Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely


To make cinnamon raisin bread, roll it out, sprinkle a little water on it then sprinkle about 1/2 cup cinnamon / sugar mixture and lots of raisins on top. Roll it back up tightly and pinch the ends together. 

You can also have put a little more whole wheat flour and less bread flour to make it healthier. 

Source:  Allrecipes.com, STibbs photo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Financial Preparedness: Seven Ways to Boost Your Savings

Many Americans do not understand how to manage and save their money.  But this problem can easily be solved through education. If you feel that you need to better control money, getting started may be easier than you think – here are some tips to boost your savings. We must learn to invest in ourselves. After all, aren’t we worth it?

1.  Stick to cash:  When you're shopping or eating out, use cash instead of credit cards.  A recent study showed that people spent 47% more money when they used a credit card instead of cash.  You can use the extra money to jump start your savings.

2. Set a monthly savings goal and invest that amount each month:  Create some special savings funds.  Contribute to them monthly and have the money directly deposited in your funds if possible. If your employer has a 401k plan, take advantage of the companies' match.  Most employers match fifty cents to each dollar you save up to six percent.  This is free money.  Even if your employer has stopped making contributions, it's still a good idea for you to save in a 401k plan.  If you are already contributing to your 401k, try to increase the amount you save in it.

3.  Wheel and deal:  Go over every bill and start haggling.  Request lower interest rates from your credit card companies, ask companies to give you new customer promotions and threaten to switch if they don't.  You'll be surprised how much money you may be able to save.  A friend who recently lost his job called his internet/cable/phone provider and after attempting to cancel service was offered a significanly lower rate.  It's worth taking the time to ask for help lowering your bills.  I often call my telephone company and ask them if I am on the cheapest plan.  Almost every time I call, I end up saving money on future phone bills.

4.  Learn to say no to your kids:  Many children have little or no understanding of the value of a dollar.  Say no when your kids want something and encourage them to earn the money or to contribute some of their own money toward the purchase.  That way, they're not getting something for nothing and you'll get work out of them or save the portion of the money that they are required to contribute. 

5.  Refinance your mortgage or lower your housing costs:  Interest rates are at historic lows.  Money experts recommend you spend no more that 33 percent of your income on housing.  If you are spending more than that, consider making a change in your housing situation if at all possible.

6.  Track your spending:  There are several websites where you can securely upload bills, credit cards and savings.  These websites will then slot your spending into categories and allow you to view them in easy-to-read graphics.  If you follow your money, you'll be able to find ways to save and will spend less.  Check out Kiplinger's slide show which gives a snapshot of some of the most popular money management sites: 


7.  Save extra money that comes your way:  Did you receive a raise, a bonus or a tax refund?  Save it rather than spend it away into oblivion. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Disaster Preparedness: What to do Before an Earthquake

Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently and without warning. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time and advance planning can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake. Repairing deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations, anchoring overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling, and following local seismic building standards, will help reduce the impact of earthquakes.

Six Ways to Plan Ahead

Check for Hazards in the Home
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks.
  • Secure a water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
Identify Safe Places Indoors and Outdoors
  • Under sturdy furniture such as a heavy desk or table.
  • Against an inside wall.
  • Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures, or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over.
  • In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or elevated expressways.

Educate Yourself and Family Members

  • Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on earthquakes. Also read the "How-To Series" for information on how to protect your property from earthquakes.
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
  • Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.

Have Disaster Supplies on Hand

  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries.  
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Emergency food and water.
  • Nonelectric can opener.
  • Essential medicines.
  • Cash and credit cards.
  • Sturdy shoes.

Develop an Emergency Communication Plan

  • In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster.  
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
Help Your Community Get Ready
  • Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on earthquakes. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.  
  • Conduct a week-long series on locating hazards in the home.
  • Work with local emergency services and American Red Cross officials to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do during an earthquake.
  • Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home.
  • Interview representatives of the gas, electric, and water companies about shutting off utilities.
  • Work together in your community to apply your knowledge to building codes, retrofitting programs, hazard hunts, and neighborhood and family emergency plans.

 Source:  FEMA

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Brownies made from Black Beans

I found this recipe for brownies made from black beans on pinchingyourpennies.com and thought I'd share it.  If you try it, let me know what you think!

Mayme's Dark Fudge Brownies

This sneaky recipe has drawn rave reviews. Imagine peoples' surprise when they learn that black beans are the secret ingredient. One of these brownies has the same amount of fiber as a slice of whole wheat bread.

1 (15-ounce) can unseasoned black beans (Or if you're using dried beans, a 15-ounce can is about 1 2/3 cups of beans. Just soak beans overnight, cook 1 cup of dried and measure out 1 2/3 cups. You will have a little extra.)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 tablespoon light butter

6 egg whites

2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons rich cocoa powder

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- X 13-inch pan with nonstick vegetable spray. Place the beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly under running water to remove "slime"; set aside and drain.

Place the chocolate and light butter in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave for 60 to 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

In a food processor or blender add the drained beans and 2 egg whites. Blend or process until smooth.  Make sure beans are smooth (like frosting) or you will taste them in the brownies.

In a large bowl combine the bean puree, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and the remaining egg whites. With an electric mixer, beat until well combined. Mix in the melted chocolate.

Pour the brownie mixture into a prepared pan. Sprinkle the walnuts on top of the brownie batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the brownie pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars- rows of six by five.

Source:  http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/forums/showthread.php?s=9368e88582a6453853757bd2adc765f2&t=20639&page=2

Monday, March 21, 2011

Provident Living: Stores that accept competitors' coupons and will match prices

Recently, our family was in the market for some appliances.  My husband got an unbelievable deal by getting prices from several stores and making the other stores match or beat their prices.  Now you can do the same!  Here is a list of stores that will accept competitors' coupons and may match prices.  See individual store websites for complete coupon/price matching policies.

Grocery Stores
  • Harris Teeter
  • Lowes Foods
  • Giant
Home Improvement Stores
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • Menards 
Big-Box Stores
  • Walmart
Craft Stores
  • AC Moore
  • Jo-Ann
  • Michael's
Office Supply Stores
  • Office Depot
  • Office Max  
  • Staples
Pet Stores
  • Petco
  • Petsmart

Source:  about.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Panera Bread Black Bean Soup

I love Panera Bread.  It is a delicious restaurant near my home.  Since I've been on a diet, I usually order Black Bean Soup because it's low-cal, tasty and the fiber keeps me full through the afternoon.  I realized this morning that I could use black beans from my food storage and make my own "Panera-like" soup and looked for a recipe online.  Sure enough, I found one!  FYI:  Generally dried beans expand between 2 - 2 1/2 times when cooked.  A 15-ounce can is about 1 2/3 cups of beans. Just cook 1 cup of dried and measure out 1 2/3 cups. You will have a little extra. 

Black Bean Soup

1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/4 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 small chicken bouillon cubes
1 -1 1/2 cup boiling water
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained  (or  approximately 1 2/3 c cooked black beans)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a pot, combine the first six ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes. Add half a can of beans, salt and cumin; cook for 5 minutes. Puree soup (I use an immersion blender which makes it easy to do it right in the pot).
Add the rest of the beans to the soup. Combine the cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Add the lemon and the cornstarch to the soup; cook until thickened.

Source:  food.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lessons from the Earthquake and Tsunami

The images of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan have sobered me and reminded me once again how important it is to be prepared for major disasters. I was happy to see an excellent article written on Everyday Food Storage entitled "Lessons You Can Learn from Japan's Earthquake."  Please take a few minutes to watch the clip and read the article then do something to prepare for a disaster in your area. 


Also, here is a post from this blog which tells you what to do before and after an earthquake:

Sources:  Image:  Fox News; Article:  everydayfoodstorage.net

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Yummy Whole Wheat Pasta

Have you ever eaten homemade pasta?  It is to die for. . . so much better than the kind you buy at the store.  Here is a recipe for whole wheat pasta using your food storage.  Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 eggs
2 teaspoons olive oil

Stir together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt in a medium bowl, or on a clean board. Make a hollow in the center, and pour in the olive oil. Break eggs into it one at a time, while mixing quickly with a fork until the dough is wet enough to come together. Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is stiff and elastic. Cover, and let stand for 30 minutes to relax.

Roll out dough by hand with a rolling pin, or use a pasta machine to achieve the desired thickness of noodles. Cut into desired width and shapes. Allow the pasta to air dry for at least 15 minutes to avoid having it clump together. To cook fresh pasta, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly. It will float to the surface when fully cooked. Drain, and use as desired.

Source:  allrecipes.com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Cherry Almond Granola

This mouthwatering granola concoction is great for snacking or as an ice cream or yogurt topping.  Mmmm!  Enjoy!

Cherry Almond Granola

3 Cups rolled oats
1 Cup slivered almonds
¼ Cup, plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ Cup, plus 2 tablespoons honey
¼ Cup Vegetable oil
¾ tsp salt
1 Cup {or more} dried cherries
1 small package slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, cherries, nuts and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine honey, oil and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto a jelly roll pan. Cook for 1 hour and 15 min.,  stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool and store in an air tight container.

Sources:  Recipe:  Alton Brown, Photo:  Kate @ The Gaines Gang

Monday, February 7, 2011

Emergency Preparedness: Keep refrigerated and frozen food from spoiling during a power outage

I live in the Eastern United States and we have been hit hard this year by multiple ice storms and big snowstorms.  People often lose power because of downed trees during and after winter storms and severe weather.  How can you prepare to keep your refrigerated and frozen food from spoiling?  Preparedness Pantry had some great ideas:

• Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. An appliance thermometer will indicate the temperature inside the refrigerator and freezer in case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food.

• Make sure the freezer is at 0°F or below and the refrigerator is at 40°F or below.

• Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator or coolers after the power is out.

• Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately — this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.

• Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.

• Group food together in the freezer — this helps the food stay cold longer.

Steps to follow after the weather emergency:

• Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.

• The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) and the door remains closed.

• Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after 4 hours without power.

• Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40° F or below when checked with a food thermometer.

• Never taste a food to determine its safety!

• When in Doubt, Throw it Out!

Here's another great article from the blog to help you prepare for power outages:


Source:  http://preparednesspantry.blogspot.com/

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Improving Your Internet Security

"I just got a free ipad.  Check it out.  Click here."  or "LOL.  What are you doing in this video?"  or "I am in England and my wallet was stolen.  Please send me money so I can get home."  Have you encountered any of these internet scams?  I have seen them all and many, many more.  If you click on the link, you will then send that message or one even worse to all your friend's e-mail accounts via facebook.  So what can you do to prevent this from happening to you? 

First, don't click on links unless you're certain they are taking you to a legitimate video or link.  If in doubt, don't click.  Sometimes, I will message the friend and ask if it's a legitimate link but in general, I don't bite.  Second, make your passwords for internet sites more difficult to hack.  

According to an internet security expert, hackers use computer programs which go through the entire dictionary to find words in your passwords.  He suggests that if you're going to use a word in your password, put a number in the middle of it.  If you have a hard time remembering your password, use the same one everywhere, just change the first two letters.  For example, use the first two letters of the website you are accessing (For example am5happ13y for Amazon.com, fa5happ13y for Facebook.com, eb5happ13y for ebay.com, etc.) Hackers also use personal information such as names, children's names, personal and family birthdates and anniversaries to try and crack your password so avoid using them when creating a password.  This information can often be found in public records.  Using symbols in the password, rather than numbers also improves password security. 

You can do other things to protect yourself while surfing.  Invest in a security program like McAfee or Norton.  These programs remove many of the threats to your security and are well-worth the investment.  In addition, I have a friend who has an e-mail account which she uses to access websites and receive online offers which is separate from her personal e-mail.  My sister has an e-mail account solely for facebook notifications and correspondence.   If you have any other ideas, please share them.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Frugality: An Unemployed Single Mom Learns to Live on Less

I enjoyed this article which describes the challenges and blessings of frugal living due to unemployment.  Since so many are unemployed right now, I thought I'd share it with you.  For the rest of us, she illustrates ways for us to cut unnecessary expenses so that we can save more and live happily with less. 


Monday, January 3, 2011

Cooking With Basic Food Storage: Simple Wheat Bread


3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted


In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

Hint to cut rising time in half:  After clothes have come out of the dryer and the dryer's still hot, place the covered dough in the dryer & close the dryer door. Of course you don't turn the dryer on, but the heat from it causes the dough to rise faster.

Source:  allrecipes.com

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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