Category: Financial


I grew up in a family where we kept months of basic food stuffs on hand and only went ‘shopping’ 2 or 3 times a year and yes, this included toilet paper, dog food and laundry detergent. My father was a Reservist and we didn’t have access to the commissary all the time, so we just ‘stocked’ up when he was ‘on’. At the time, I didn’t think anything about it, but my mother tells me that this was drilled into their heads by the military during the ‘60’s ‘just in case’… so it was natural for me to carry this behavior into my adult life, even when I was living on the edge as a young mother and wife in my early 20’s. You just kept food in the house beyond your immediate needs. You only went to the grocery store to get bread, milk and eggs twice a month. I was just what I did and I was very happy to have that mindset in me as I started my own businesses…I always had at least a month’s worth of food on hand and tried my best to have more, but never let it fall below that level…you never knew or know when or if ‘pay-day’ would come and you have to eat right? So I was quite comfortable with my food storage even though I wasn’t a prepper, it was just the prudent thing to do given the circumstances of my life. But over the past few years, and especially this year, it has really come to my attention that our way of life here in this country is in a very precarious position and looking at my ‘storage’ which seemed so smart to me just even a year ago, I now realize just how unprepared I am/was when it cames to food storage and even I must do something to ‘fix’ that to be prepared for more than what I am now.

For those needing help in getting started, I have made some suggestions below to get you started:

Getting Started:

First, check your mindset: If you are not running to the grocery store every other day then you are probably already ‘storing’ food! Perhaps only for a week at a time, or even for just a few days, but you can take that and turn it into a solid food storage mindset and easily start extending that time out of what you already do to ‘store’ food. Instead of 6 cans of green beans that week, get 8. Instead of just 1 package of rice, get two and so on and so forth. Start looking into bulk storage items such as ‘staple’ dry goods or cases of canned goods that you use regularly this if you can afford it. Sam’s Club and Costco are great places to buy in bulk (just be aware that sometimes they aren’t the cheapest).

However, if you don’t already keep more food in the house than is needed on any given day then you need to ask yourself why you don’t keep a bit of food beyond the cheese-its on hand.

Ask yourself this:

What would happen if a storm hit and you couldn’t get out? Being a part of the stampede at the market before a storm hits isn’t too smart is it? Long lines, not enough food available and can be dangerous in the wrong conditions.

What would happen if you lost your job? Having a bit of food on hand for this emergency can save you money and give you a peace of mind that is priceless.

What would happen if your sole source of transportation (car) broke down or you couldn’t get gas?

Next I want you to think about these things:

Remember Katrina? There were people who DID all the right things, had extra food, water, basic first aid and STILL had problems surviving after a week.

Look at what is and what did happen inJapanin the aftermath of the earthquake and resulting tsunami…the shelves CLEARED in less than 6 hours and this country was considered ‘prepared’.

Then look at the list below:

Natural Disasters
Terrorism
Labor Strike

Economic Depression/Collapse
Drought
Crop Failure
Personal Tragedy
Civil Unrest

Unemployment

Inflation/Hyperinflation

What would you do if any of this happened to YOU? Do you really want to be apart of the horde that descends upon the Walmart or local grocery store? Or have to ‘get in line’ just to eat? I don’t mean to be a fear monger, but these things DO happen and they happen almost everyday somewhere in the world. You buy auto insurance, medical insurance and all sorts of ‘insurance’…just think of storing extra food as ‘insurance’…after all, without food you can’t live! So next time you are out, just pick up an extra meal or two. Get in the HABIT. Its pretty easy once you get going.

Now that you are getting the mindset…

Get a plan!

With pen in hand and paper in front of you (or your keyboard)…figure out what it is that your family LIKES TO EAT on a regular basis. Fresh fruit and veggies? Heavy meat eaters? Rice and pastas? I am not referring to fast food or convenience foods (though they do have a place in your food storage plan), but what I am referring to is this: what does your family eat if you MAKE the food yourself?

Staple items such as cereal, milk, rice, beans (or not), pasta, vegetables and meat will make the ‘core’ of your food storage preparations and you need to know what they are…my family doesn’t do beans that much so I won’t be ‘stocking’ up too much on these, but we do eat meat, so I spend my money ensuring meat and the occasional beans.

If you don’t cook yourself and rely upon convenience foods, take out and such that is okay! There is a solution for you too! Just figure out what types of foods you like to order  or pick up to eat at home (or microwave at home).

Make the LIST of your most common foods, from this list will come all your food storage items. List the drinks, the bread (if your family does sandwiches or eats rolls), the types of veggies and fruits, diary products, etc. You want a list that would show your dietary habits.

After the ‘LIST’ is made you then need to sit down and make another list…this time I want you to write down all the condiments that you use daily and even occasionally…ketchup? Salt? Vinegar? Spices? Mixes? The little things in your food life that often times we overlook as ‘using’ and being a part of our diet.

With both lists in hand you can then move onto the next stage of planning…just how much do you use and of what in any given week? (you can then plan from there on how much to buy and of what). This might seem challenging at first to figure out, but a simple way to figure this out is take the time to think about what your meals over the past week have been…this will give you a good idea of ‘how much’ you use in any given week, if need be, write a family food diary for a week, noting the ‘what and how much’. This even works for those of you who eat out a lot or use a lot of prepared food items.

For instance, if you eat cereal for breakfast each morning…how long does a box last for you or your family…1 week? A few days? A month? And don’t forget the milk! If you eat sandwiches and soup for lunch each day (lets say on the weekends) then how much do you use for you or your family? 1 can? 3 cans? For dinner, lets say you eat a steak, rice and salad with a veggie on the side or baked potato. How many steaks? How much rice? How many potatoes? You get the idea now…even if you eat out a lot or bring home meals that are ready made from the grocery store or buy those TV dinners you still know what is in them and you know what you like to eat. Just write it down. What is in your normal meal?

If you are into meal planning then figuring out what you will need should be easy. If not, make the lists to figure out what you need to get started. We can worry about drilling down to the details later.

Put your list into action!

With both lists in hand now you are ready to get going on your preparedness food storage…you know the basic ‘what’ and about how much without too much effort exerted. An extra box of mashpotatos, a few extra cans of green beans, an extra bag of rice, canned meat if you are meat eater. If you are a shopper who makes ‘lists’ when you go shopping, pick up an ‘extra’ of each of the basics you buy each time you go out. If you coupon or shop sales, more the better! Saving money is a great way to go and get prepared at the sametime.

For those who don’t know how to cook from scratch or don’t cook at all, go with can goods and MRE’s or other prepackaged meals that all you have to do is add water, like the ready made meals that many campers use. You can google MRE’s or camping food to find out where to get these. Walmart sometimes carry them in their sporting goods section. Ebay and Amazon are good places to look also as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods. But only buy what you KNOW you will eat. Or maybe its time for a change in your habits…learn now how to cook and prepare food yourself, only you can make that judgment call. But don’t let the fact that you can’t or don’t cook stop you from storing food.

Don’t try to do it over night, each time you go to the store add to your storage. Make a goal of having 3 extra days worth at first, then a weeks worth, then a months worth. Just keep at it. I understand that for many it may be hard to find the extra money to be able to store food…use coupons, shop sales, buy in bulk, cut back on fast food, eat a ‘cheap’ meal. Examine your expenses to find the extra money. It is there if you look. Do what you can when and where you can. If you find meat at a reduced price then buy all that you can afford and either dehydrate it or freeze it for food storage use. But make the commitment to have your food storage ‘just in case’. It will give you peace of mind by taking one less worry out of your life if something were to ever happen.

There are lots of ways to prepare your preparedness pantry…some people buy in bulk and store large quantities of ‘raw’ food stuff such as wheat, powdered milk, rice and beans and gather freeze dried foods in #10 cans. Others pick and choose between store bought items (can goods) and ‘raw’ food stuffs, #10 cans and canning and dehydration (this is what I personally do). Others go with can goods only. Others still go the MRE route entirely and there are a whole host of in betweens. No one ‘way’ or ‘type’ of food is perfect for everyone. That is why I ask you to make a list of what you normally eat and then buy that for your food storage.

 

REMEMBER the GOLDEN RULE OF FOOD STORAGE!!

 

Get what you will use!  people have this funny habit of NOT eating when they aren’t used to eating it. In fact, children will starve themselves rather than eat something unfamiliar. If you don’t eat beans, don’t get beans, if you don’t eat pineapple then I don’t care how good of a deal it is, it will go to waste and don’t fall prey to the ‘this is what is recommended’ food storage guidelines that are found everywhere. Store what you use and eat ONLY…it can’t be repeated enough…if you won’t it eat or use it, then you are wasting your time and money. As a by-product of getting what you will eat and use, you will also gain a sense of comfort and stability when things aren’t so good. Familiarity gives a sense of well-being that is priceless, and this includes food too!

At this point I should address something. If you like to eat bread or like ‘fresh’ veggies or fruit and want to incorporate pressure cooking or baking into your food preparedness plan, I will offer this caution. Learn to do it now and stock up while you are learning how to make your own basics. I can tell you that making breads and canning is more difficult than it seems and I applaud those who can do it with the grace and ease that escapes me at the moment. So for right now, I am buying a bit of the ‘from scratch’ basics and putting more money and effort into getting what I know I can cook with with ease until I am sure that I know what I am doing with the ‘basics’. This goes back to the ‘get what you will use’. If you can’t or don’t know how to use it then it will not be used.

General Guidelines for Food Storage

Once you are getting into the swing of the food storage mindset and acting upon it you will need to use the following guidelines:

If you decide to buy in bulk such items as wheat, dry milk, rice or other such items (dry goods) then be sure you have containers and packaging ready when you get home to put them into storage. There are a few ways to store dry good long-term such as bucket, mylar bags, air tight plastic containers, mason jars etc. You will need these items if you store in bulk. Do your research to select what will work best for you, your needs and what you will be storing.

Learn proper storage techniques: general rule of thumb, no extreme temperatures, no moisture. Food lasts longer the cooler and dryer it is.Think about where you can store your food storage. Your cabinets and pantry will get full. Think about the garage, under beds, in closets…I know some people who even put can goods behind books on the book case! Get creative.

LABEL your storage with what it is and date you put it into storage. This is especially important for bulk storage.

Rotate your food storage! The MOST IMPORTANT thing I can tell you about food storage is that it is necessary to ROTATE your food. Use the container (or can or package) that’s been stored the longest and replace it with newer stored containers behind the older ones. Food storage that spoils or lies untouched is garbage. This is especially important if you are freezing any items such as meat or buying frozen veggies. Don’t waste your time, effort and money by forgetting to ROTATE YOUR FOOD! Develop a method to rotate your food that works for you. Use what you store…this helps to rotate the food so you don’t waste your time and money.

So that is the ‘get you started’ basics in food storage. It is really just about recognizing the need, figuring out what you do eat and then getting a little more than you normally do. If you can afford to do so, do it quickly and if you are like me, do it one trip at a time, one item at a time as you can afford to do so. Just get started.

Here’s a good one that is rather telling: Yesterday in my mail I received a ‘renewal’ notice for my ‘new’ car tags. The tags which I just got at the end of May are good until May of 2013…and the DMV sent me a renewal notice that noted my tags were due for renewal (but clearly stated they were set to expire in 5/13)…now, I can understand a glitch that would send this out…but I am not the only who got something like that this week…Me thinks that the State is getting creative in finding money, after all, how many people get something like that and unthinkingly pay for it without a second thought? It is ‘just one of those things’ that you do, that you are trained to do. Of course I am not paying it and actually sent it back to them pointing out that I am not paying forward on a vehicle that I may not even have then (not exactly those words, I was a bit more creative).

Now, what does this have to do with surviving SHTF? It is part of the preparedness mind set. Understand, we have been taught to, more or less, as good little sheeple, to pay things like this on demand, without looking at it, simply because we get it from the state or the Feds or whatever ‘authority’ (including telephone companies, credit lenders, etc.) sends it to us. Many people get it and pay it without taking the time to look at the ‘bill’ to see if it is indeed valid. It is called ‘questioning’ what is the ‘truth’ or appears to be ‘true’ just because an ‘authority’ says it is true. Those who will survive turmoil in whatever manner it may come, will have the ability to openly question and spot BS or something that is not true. This is a survival skill folks, it is a mindset. And that mindset starts with LOOKING at what is being said to be ‘true’ and either confirming or denying it instead of just ‘assuming’ it is true. This means that you think for yourself and not follow the crowd or authority unthinkingly and without question. And yes, we are taught from birth to unquestioningly ‘follow’ authority even when everything inside us says that it is not right. We are taught, in this society that still holds to ‘conformity’ (and there is nothing inherently wrong with ‘conformity’ as long as it serves the good of both the individual and the whole), that to break away from the ‘herd’ means becoming an outcast and way back when, this meant death. People were cast out (literally) for not conforming to ‘community’ standards and group think. Think the Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials and even NOW, a woman faces jail time for going against ‘normal’ in growing her own food in the front yard. Yes, we are taught that to go against ‘norms’ and not conforming can get us in trouble.

In the media, the ‘survivalist’ movement and mindset is continually attacked with labels as ‘extremists’, fear mongers, and even the word crazy…uhuh. But what is really going on, underneath the surface in most cases, is that the people who live the preparedness lifestyle and have that mindset are going against ‘norms’ and groupthink. You are strange if you don’t have a college degree (or lazy or not smart) and the slavery known as student loan debt (and I have this puppy myself, but not a big one). You are strange if you put food up ‘just in case’ and don’t run to the grocery store every other day or don’t have a 401k plan and horrors…you are even stranger if you work for yourself or attempt to provide for yourself and have a weapon! You are going against the grain, against the group, against what ‘they’ are trying to say is ‘normal’. You think for yourself in most cases and this makes you QUESTION almost everything that you come across, simply because you don’t just ‘go along’ with the standard program and for someone who has the preparedness mindset, this is just ‘normal’ and becomes automatic. I like to think of this as the BS detector.

The powers that be know and understand that people are growing aware and asking questions, that their BS detectors are starting to go BEEP! They are just beginning to realize that perhaps, just perhaps, that they won’t survive if they don’t start questioning. But many people are still just going with the flow, ignoring their early warning BS detector beeps, which is just enough to encourage the ‘authorities’ to try things like sending out renewal notices or adding strange charges and such because they are playing the odds that you will ‘just do it’. Many people, who are questioning ‘the truth’ and just beginning to get prepared because they hear the faint beep, beep, go with the flow because they are afraid that if they don’t they will be labeled, cast out or thought of as ‘not being a good citizen’…they are afraid that if they are ‘found out’ they will get into trouble somehow. But as someone who is firmly set on her path of surviving SHTF in whatever manner it may come, I see it, I see what they are up to and call a spade a spade…yep, caught ya!  All because I question what the ‘truth’ is and am prepared to think for myself instead of just handing over my money, my property and liberty all for the illusion of safety and being ‘safe’. Does this make me or you a ‘radical’ or ‘unusual’ because of going against the ‘norms’? Hmm, seems to me the ‘norm’ goes against the natural order of things…

In my mind, one day, this non-sheeple mindset might just might save my home, my business or my life and that of those I love, but at the very least, yesterday it  saved me a nice chunk of change which I can put to better use right now. I am not going with the crowd, I am not giving up my liberties and I am definitely not being quite, but I am not an extremist and certainly not ‘unpatriotic’ nor ‘not a good citizen’…in fact, the exact opposite is true. But my mindset is preparedness oriented, on the look out and ready for whatever may come. I think and question and take action based on what I see to be the truth instead of being a part of the sheeple crowd…I can’t afford to be otherwise and neither can you…get your BS detector out folks…the beeps are coming hard and fast.

Today a few things have come to my attention that bears ME looking at my own personal GOOD plans and preparedness and perhaps you should too…first on the agenda of things that will come to pass…The state of Minnesota went into shut down mode a couple of weeks ago over an impasse in the budget (hmm, sounds familiar) where a lot of people who worked for the state have been placed on an indefinite leave of absence, but today, the Miller Brewing Company announced, that because no one is available to process licensing, they may have to shut the plant down and pull all their beer from store shelves and bars. While this in and of itself doesn’t bother me too much, it’s the large picture that does. We are so regulated in our everyday lives that even a partial shut down of the big gov brother would cause untold misery. Not that not having the beer of your choice is a big deal (though I suppose it will wake some people up to the impending reality of economic crisis) but it’s the fact that we take for granted so much of a government running (somewhat) efficiently that when it stops, even for a short time, that it can have dramatic impact on our personal and daily lives, especially if you are a business owner such as I am, let alone our food supplies that are so heavily regulated… This is troubling…and is starting me thinking even more about the little things that I take for granted in being able to get right now…liquor for my herbal medicines, herbs from out of the country, heck, right down to the envelopes that I use for mailing things (which aren’t made in this country). It also makes me wonder about law enforcement (which is already hurting from cut backs) and what the roads and areas are like up there right now and what it could be like in my neck of the woods if my state every went into meltdown mode (or my country for that matter since the state is so hooked on that feeding trough). My other business is dealing with the courts…and right now in the state I live in they are backed up to the hilt (which has other consequences) and are not hiring even to replace key people such as court clerks that make the wheels of justice MOVE with speed…what would happen if this continues along as it is and people quit or get laid off? Nothing will happen, no one get anything done in the courts and it basically would become a septic tank back up that would take years to unravel…definitely not a pleasant thought on top of everything else…in China yesterday a 12 year old bridge came apart…and in California they are closing a 10 mile stretch of a major highway for a couple of days…THEY ARE WARNING people to expect 30 mile back ups and to BE SURE TO HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS…(and this happened in China not too long ago…took DAYS for people to get home) What’s my point here? From a survival and preparedness stand point it reminds me that we are so dependant upon our infrastructure that isn’t being taken care of (I vaguely recall somewhere where a large section of highway peeled up because of the intense heat) or that is getting hit hard by the weather this year that it becomes imperative to keep that full tank of gas and know all of the get out of dodge routes that you can possibly know and don’t depend upon that navigation system either that thing is programmed for major roads and doesn’t know its head in the ground sometimes. But escape routes are important no matter where you are at and for many reasons. I for one don’t want to be caught at the grocery store and not know how to get home if something happens to my normal route or having to leave home or the area for some reason in all haste and be stuck having to use major routes with everyone else (think Houston during that hurricane). And having a full tank of gas, well, that’s nice too but getting caught in a 30 mile back up? Just how long will that tank last…and the highway authority is TELLING people NOW over construction work that was planned…hmmm…just something crossing my mind today…

In short, I am reassessing my GOOD plan today and need to remember to top off the gas tank too this afternoon. This GOOD plan (get out of dodge) should include escape routes, mode of transportation, what you will take with you (food, water, clothing, personal items, pets, valuables, you have to make choices and doing so now, having that plan will make it easier just in case) and knowing where you will go in the advent of such and such. You should also have a GOOD Plan for if the SHTF when you are work…same drill…and this means having in your car a good BOB (bug out bag) that would or should conceivably get you home or to the agreed upon location with your family. I am thinking about the ‘what if’ plans for my businesses too and need to make some decisions soon about particular things dealing with my businesses. Continuity type things…And again, I am thankful today that I don’t live inMinnesotaorCalifornia…they are dealing with some major SHTF issues and its not even bad yet.

Do you have a GOOD Plan? A BOB bag? Know the routes that can save your life and get you out of Dodge without facing the hordes and zombies? (Yeah, the very same ones who no longer have their beer) And yeah, I know it sounds funny that way, but humor keeps you sane you know?

Are They Serious?

This morning while listening to CNN (okay, I am a CNN news junkie…it gets rather boring sitting at my computer all day long working without something going on in the background and for me, it helps me focus) I snapped to attention when an ad for Lending Tree came on offering…of all things…’new’ adjustable rate mortgages! yes, sir, one of the very same companies that I hold responsible for some of the mess we are in is back in ‘business’ with lines such as NEW LOW RATES OF 3.85% (um excuse me but whats wrong with a 4.5 % rate? or even a 5.5 % rate that is fixed?) and GAURENTEED UNTIL 2018 (yeah and then you will HIKE IT THROUGH THE ROOF based upon what fictional ‘basis’?) and then it will adjust ONLY ONCE A YEAR AFTER THAT (umm…yeah, so for the remainder of the life of the 30 year loan I can count on my mortgage rate going up anywhere from 1-5% a year and forbid that my credit rating starts having problems!) BUT WHY PAY THOUSANDS OF EXTRA DOLLARS IN INTEREST ON A HOME THAT YOU PROBABLY WON”T BE IN IN A FEW YEARS…are they KIDDING ME?!?! the market is in the dumps, foreclosures on the market that the banks refuse to sell at market rates and homeowners are upside in many markets and homes sit on average on the market for AT LEAST 9 MONTHS NOW? and you want me to get an ARM and think that I will be able to sell in the future to get out from under the ARM with ease and grace into something bigger and better? Um, excuse me, while I recognize that I am ‘just’ some ignorant homeowner who works for herself and has (apparently to them) no clue about the economic situation in this country, isn’t this an example of EXACTLY what got us here to begin with? (okay, I admit, it is a small part of it, but really!) I am really starting to feel like bankers are insane creatures who have no clue about what they did a few years ago (okay, I am giving them no credit for their intelligence, the DID KNOW and went after the quick buck and just figured they would be able to sell distressed properties to the next sucker when they repo’d it) but greed, I recognize has no boundaries it seems…so they and the powers that be it seems, have decided that in order to ‘sell’ overpriced houses they will give teaser rates again, but this time we will make sure they can afford it (uh, yeah, at the teaser rate) and cross our fingers that the snow blowing around about the economy will clear up soon. Sounds like a receipe for another meltdown…and btw…of interest is a builder in Florida who is so desperate to sell houses that he is letting people in with no money down and special financing again…

Me, I stay put and watch the warning signs and get myself and my family prepared to weather the coming storm…its kinda like watching a hurricane form on the weather radar in many respects…but I have to ask this one question:

ARE THEY SERIOUS?

Just another day?

Just another day today. Get up, get kids out the door or settled down, me out to work, get mail done, edit websites and spend time doing what needs doing around the house…but today something really got my attention while on the way to the babysitters house. There was a man, on a bike, on the side of the road with a broom stick fishing rod. (Don’t really know why, it just did). Neat in appearance, very unassuming with a bed roll on sitting next to his bike. Now, for some, seeing someone like this could be ‘normal’, maybe in an older urban area where homelessness in good times is still around, but out here where I live, this is unusual, and it is especially unusual ON MY ROAD out in the middle of nowhere. Where did this guy come from? I have seen him on several different occassions and honestly, thought nothing about him, just a guy riding his bike with a homemade fishing pole…hmm, maybe homeless, maybe not…I would look right at him and he would look away, but today, as I drove by him, he kinda straightened up from what he was doing and looked right back at me. Almost daring me to stop and say something. I kept on going. But this got me really thinking, its not the norm to see the homeless out in the country, out in the open, especially in a small town setting. (And I would consider anyone with a bed roll next to a bike homeless, why else would they have it?) The cops don’t dig it and people around here are bit suspicious of anyone they don’t know, still friendly, but wary if you catch my drift.  And come to think of it, I have seen, a few times, people walking up the sides of the road with children in tow behind them and no broken down car behind them. Not real often, but just enough for me to remember it.

I don’t know why I am even bothering to write about this, but something is very unsettling about where my brain is taking me with these seemingly unrelated and uneventful occurances. I used to live in a city where I saw things like this or similar to them all the time. It was what it was you know? What you expected to see in the city. But to see it out here leaves me with a feeling that I can’t quite explain except that it is unsettling and it makes me wonder how bad it is in the city closest to me. There are no real jobs out where I live, they are in the city and suburbs of the city…so why am I seeing this out here now? In some ways it confirms what I already know, that its coming…’it’ being a further decline in our country and economy (remember my SHTF senario of a slow roiling boil?) and it makes me very much aware that I need to be paying more attention to my surroundings when out and about, even on my property…’the stranger’ is coming to a place near me sooner rather than later. This isn’t paranoid thinking, this is the pattern of behavior in countries where the economy is shot to hell in a hand basket…they leave the city because the myth is that things are better ‘out in the country side’…Thinking about this today has shifted something within my mind and is nibbling away at my feelings of security (one reason why I moved out where I am, to get further away from what could get ugly). There have been a few other things that have happened in my small town over the past month or so that compound this ‘feeling’ I have that its getting worse and its probably much worse than I am aware of if the movement is beginning to start from the cities out into the countryside both in terms of the homeless and in terms of crime…this is just sitting there in front of my face today, in my awareness now, on a day that just started off as just another day.

One thing that I am always on the look out for is a GREAT deal…after all, what mom who is preparing for SHTF wouldn’t be? Its more important than ever to stretch the dollar, make the most of what you have and get ready for ever increasing self-reliance. So, lo and behold, I found strawberries (organic) at the local grocery store today. On sale by the pound, many on the point of being overripe (but those are the BEST aren’t they?) and I just couldn’t help myself. Had to buy what I could reasonably manage to eat and dry in the next few days. My family loves to eat them enough that I put in about 100 bare root strawberry plants this year, but being small they only produced a handful of small (but sweet) berries this year. Made a mistake though, didn’t get everbearing plants so right now the plants are growing but no fruit for the rest of the summer…oh well, next year unless I can find some everbearing plants on eBay in a couple of weeks. Last years plants were eatten by my greenie Pitbull (the same one who over the past couple of weeks has somehow managed to get 1/2 of my very small peach crop inspite of the fence)…trial and error..yes, pitbulls like to eat plants…especially tasty ones.

Making do for now with my great deal at the store and will be drying them tonight and tomorrow to go with my growing collection of dehydrated foods. Dehydrated strawberries are a great addition to cereal and wheat berries btw. You can also rehydrate them and add to bread or blend into a smoothie at a later date..and the great thing about this is that I saved $$ Am playing around with making my own sorbet too perhaps instead of feeding my children the stuff from the store. A bit of time invested would be well worth the cost savings and knowing that the food is good.

Now for the BEST part strawberries are an excellent source of healing and help for your and your families’ body…check it out:

Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections too. The anti oxidants such as vitamin-C, Flavonoids, Phenolic Phytochemicals and Elagic Acid, present in strawberries can help avoid this situation to a great extent. One more factor is ocular pressure, i.e. the pressure of the eyes. Any disturbance in it is also harmful for the eyes. Here too, strawberries are helpful as they contain potassium, which help maintain right pressure.

Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which help mobility of the joints and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals present in our body, which are primarily responsible for Arthritis and Gout. Strawberries, with their team of anti oxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever

Cancer: Vitamin-C, Folate and Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (few of the many Flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumors. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.

Brain Function: It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. Actually, the free radicals, the agents very much responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. Due to them, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves get weaker. Strawberries can help you out. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are very good in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are very effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.

Heart Diseases: High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.

Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties

the above is taken from: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-strawberry.html

So the next time that you are in the store and see a fruit or veggie that your family loves to eat at an awesome price, why not go ahead and pick it up? Break out your dehydrator, trusty mason jars and 02 packets and save yourself a buck or two down the road and still enjoy the fruit and veggies? Actually, in my house they are munched down on by themselves dried…much better than candy (sweeter) and no mess, no fuss. And be sure to get organic strawberries to avoid high levels of pesticides that can be found in much of the ‘regular’ strawberries.

Simple way to dehydrate:

Just chunk them up (I like to make them about 1/3 of an inch in size so they don’t fall through the screen plate) and then spread evenly around the tray and let it go until nice and crunchy!

Here’s to happy eatting the fruit of summer…strawberries…and helping the health of my family on the cheap.

Just for added thought…here is the nutritional value of strawberries…

One cup of whole strawberries contains 0.96 grams of protein, 46 calories and 2.9 grams of dietary fiber.

Potassium – 220 mg
Phosphorus – 35 mg
Magnesium – 19 mg
Calcium – 23 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Iron – 0.59 mg
Selenium 0.6 mcg
Manganese – 0.556 mg
Copper – 0.069 mg
Zinc – 0.2 mg

Vitamin A – 17 IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.035 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.032 mg
Niacin – 0.556 mg
Folate – 35 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 0.18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.068 mg
Vitamin C – 84.7 mg
Vitamin E – 0.42 mg
Vitamin K – 3.2 mcg