Tag Archive: Food


I am all about saving money and getting the most bang for my buck, however, I do live by the rule ‘pay now, pay later, but pay you will’… in other words, you can buy the cheapest or mid-grade item right now, because its ‘cheap’, but you wind up having to replace it later on down road because it wears out faster, quits working or doesn’t work properly because its ‘cheap’.
The flip side to that saying is that sometimes you can find great items, expensive ones on ebay, craigslist or yardsales and be cheap but get the ‘expensive’ product. And that is what I usually like to do, find what I what I want at the cheapest price available.

But sometimes, like with pressure cookers, you really don’t want to buy used (too much of a risk and many time pieces are missing and yes, you can buy the replacements, but that just adds to the cost doesn’t it?) so last year, when I went looking to purchase a pressure cooker I turned to Amazon to get one at ‘cheaper’ price. There were two available by Presto and here is my tale of two pressure cookers:

Of course I wanted to save money so I went with the cheaper 6 quart Aluminum pressure cooker (about $25 at the time) by Presto. And this is a direct quote:

• Cooks three to ten times faster than ordinary cooking methods, saving time, energy, and money.
• Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically.
• Strong, heavy-gauge aluminum for quick, even heating.
• Includes cooking rack and complete 64-page instruction/recipe book.
• 9-3/4 by 16-2/3 by 8-1/2 inches; 12 year limited warranty.
4 and half stars from over 300 people…heck yeah I thought! The other one available was the Presto 6 quart Stainless Steel pressure cooker and at the time was almost twice the cost…nope, I thought, why spend the extra money for something ‘fancier’ and honestly what I thought was just a ‘shinier’ version designed to make Presto extra money?
And of course, I had done my research on pressure cookers and found mixed comments on using them on induction and glass cook tops (I have a glass one). So…I went cheap, ignoring my ‘pay now, pay later, but pay you will’ rule….

Fast forward over the past year…I used this aluminum pressure cooker weekly, not one problem…everything came out perfect, no problems, quick, easy meals…until one day last week…I put in my meat, proper water amount, etc. did everything I was supposed to do, got it wobbling properly and knew I had at least 20 minutes before it would be ready so I jumped in the shower (that one of the pleasures of using a pressure cooker by the way, get it going and move on to something else). When I got out of the shower I smelled the food, which is not usual, but this was really strong…something was a foot. Got dressed quickly and went to check on the cooker and the closer I got the more burn smell I got and then I noticed the whole POT was wobbling along…NOT A GOOD SIGN!!!
Alright, even though the timer said I had at least another 10 minutes to finish cooking I took it off the burner and did my quick cool down, the pot itself definitely no longer sat flatly on the stove, in fact it very rounded at the bottom. Got it open and the meat was burned beyond recognition, 1 inch think burned crap on the bottom of the cooker…lets just say, something went horribly wrong this go around. Warped and burned beyond saving it was…sigh…trash…complete failure on many levels…so much for trying to save money…

So, I bit the bullet and purchased the stainless steel version, a bit more money, but having used stainless steel pots and pans for YEARS I know this one will last forever….it even clearly states:

• Chicken, fish, meat, and vegetables cook to perfection fast; Helps tenderize economical cuts of meat
• Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically; Complete 64-page instruction/recipe book included
• Ideal for use on regular, smooth-top and induction ranges; Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
• Cover lock indicator shows when there is pressure inside the cooker and prevents the cover from being opened until pressure is safely reduced
• Helper handle for ease of handling; Extended 12-year limited warranty

You can check the stainless steel one out here:
<a href="Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Good news is that now that the old one has died I now have another base plate, weight regulator…threw away the seal as I suspect that the seal also failed since the pot warped on the base…at least I was able to salvage something from ‘trying to save money’…sometimes its just not worth it and in a SHTF situation, or another situation where you might not be able to replace something easily, just keep this little story in mind… cheaper is not necessarily ‘better’.

I have used my stainless steel pressure cooker and to be honest, wow! What difference I notice in the texture and taste of the food and the clean up was so easy (the aluminum was a bit of scrub to clean well)…all over the type of metal used…who woulda thunk it? So ladies and gents, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money if you are wanting to get into pressure cooking…it’s a great way to save time, money (energy bills) and get the slow cook taste in no time…get stainless!!

And be sure to browse the books for pressure cooking for great recipes and a few other favorite things I have found:

corned beef

With inflation rising, your money getting you less and less finding ways to stretch everything, or repurpose is becoming more important to live a comfortable lifestyle.
I will be writing a series of blogs over the coming weeks to spark the inner imagination for you on how to stretch your money and food (including leftovers!) and some great ideas on repurposing packaging and other odds and ends that you may have in the past just thrown out. Not only will you save money, but time and also get to have a hand in going green and keeping things out of the landfills!

Today as the title suggests I am stretching the dollar regarding food….This past weekend I made an absolutely YUMMY cornedbeef and cabbage dinner in my trusty crockpot. Cornedbeef (which is basically a bad cut of beef that has been brined/preserved in a saltwater solution) can be tricky to cook without drying it out and making it tough. Enter the CROCKPOT (and I am sure a dutch oven would work well too if you are camping out or find yourself without power but have access to a fire or wood stove).

Simply Sweet and Tangy Tender Cornedbeef and Cabbage In a Crockpot or Dutch Oven

1 Cornedbeef (and actually you can use ANY not so good cut of meat or game)
Crockpot or Dutch Oven (if you use the dutch oven be sure to coat the inside of it to keep things from ‘sticking’)
Potatoes (as many as you add to the crock/dutch oven)
Cabbage (one large head or two small ones) If you don’t like cabbage, skip it.
Apples (3 medium ones)
3 cups water
6 tablespoons minced garlic with the oil (not dried garlic)
4 tablespoons of yellow mustard
2/3 cup honey OR ½ cup brown sugar

Cut up your potatoes, cabbage and apples to your liking…I tend to just thickly slice up the cabbage in chunks, the potatoes the same way and cut the apples in quarters removing the seed area.

In a small bowl combine your water, mustard, minced garlic and honey/sugar, mix well.

Place your cornedbeef or other meat (deer roast is awesome this way) in the bottom of your crockpot or dutch oven.

Next, add your cabbage, potatoes and apples

Pour your water mixture over this.

Put lid on.

If you use a crockpot, low setting it will take about 10 hours if your piece of meat is large, high setting it takes about 5-6 hrs. Adjust time according to size of meat. Typically I use about about 2-3 lb piece of cornedbeef. Less time for smaller, more time for larger.
Dutch Oven users: It will be about the sametime…the key is to keep the heat LOW…I have used my own electric oven and set the temperature on about 250 degrees.

EAT and ENJOY

Now for the ‘reusing’ and stretching the dollar…after you have eaten your fill (and typically the meat disappears and I have veggies and the broth leftover) take your leftover veggies and put into a container or baggie (put in the frig AFTER it has cooled of, this is important! If you put the hot or warm veggies in the frig before they cool off enough to handle by hand when you go to reheat them they will go to MUSH and the taste is off) and then SAVE THE BROTH you have leftover in a jar or another container…this you can put immediately into the frig.
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Now you have a fast way to make another crockpot dish in a few days! No muss or fuss though it won’t make as much…in this case I used a small pork loin that came from the depths of my big freezer…yes, you know that piece of meat that has been there forever and maybe you would throw out…DON’T…slow cook it!20130821_9

Defrost the meat thoroughly, place in the bottom of the crock (this time I am using my small one) and get your broth out from frig and pour this over the meat (it is about 1.5 pounds in this case). Low temp setting for 6 hrs or high temp setting for 3-4 hrs. When the meat is close to being done (about 45 mins or so) take out your left over cooked veggies that you saved and put this on top of the meat and recover the crock, this will reheat them slowly and not over cook them and re-infuses them with the previous ‘seasoning’ making them even better tasting the second time around.

Bingo…time is up and everything is hot, tasty and delicious the second time around and no one is complaining about ‘leftovers’ and the pork that ‘freezer dead’ came out tender, delicious and falling apart!

Enjoy again!

The Garden of Rain SHTF

Seems to be the only thing this year that is growing well is the grass and the weeds!
Since I have been out in the woods I have had my hand at gardening after many years of not doing so and dang, I don’t remember it being so hard! I grew up gardening the old fashion way out in the Midwest and frankly, we just dug up the earth and in the plants went and things just grew well, no separating crops, no each one having their own ‘place’ or anything of the sort. Yes, we had ‘rows’ but everything grew together (separating the plants as needed, some on one end others on the other if they didn’t play nice together) but we companion planted in a small ¼ acre and always had a LOT of fresh veggies.
So in the name of becoming less dependant (read that not wanting to spend more and more of my hard earned money on food from the store) I have been trying my hand at intensive, companion gardening…

Since I live where there is a lot of tree roots and the soil can become very compact about 6 inches down I have put in raised beds over the past 2 years, tried growing in small containers. Got the soil right (peat moss for now until composting gets going), have learned a few things about what plants do and don’t like…did everything ‘right’…even prepared for hot weather with no rain or little rain! What I didn’t count on was rain, lots and lots of rain!
Got potatoes in old tires and yes, they grew well, died back and when I went to unearth them…well, found mush, tiny potatoes and only a few large ones…the soil at the bottom tire was soaking wet…not good…am thinking I may fill half the first tire this go around with rock and then the dirt and finishing off with straw as the plants grow (yes, I am going to try again this year, there is still enough time for another early crop).

Typically I have had zero issues with growing strawberries and have several different varieties growing together so I get early, mid summer and late summer crops…hahaha…the new plants grew very little until about 2 weeks ago when they decided to take off and grow literally like weeds and now, finally, I have fruit coming on (I did get a small amount at the beginning of May before the rain started in earnest) so fingers crossed there.

Tomatoes anyone? 4 plants and well, they grew fast when the heat finally came to my neck of the woods but then came the RAIN!!! Took forever for the fruit to grow and ripen properly…and then, after that one harvest (not many and small) they decided to die off (too much rain again). Then we had a week of nice weather and they are now perking up and setting fruit again, but I am not expecting too much.

Lettuce? What lettuce? I planted seed and in the past I have had so much lettuce that I couldn’t eat it all….this year…only tiny seedlings and then poof! The rain came and they went away…the ONLY lettuce that I had was what was left from last year in the raised bed and it bolted very quickly this year.
Carrots, never have had a problem with growing carrots either, but they did the same as the lettuce and what did survive…well, lets just say I have about 12 tiny carrots this year, the rest drowned.

Squash…sigh…miserable…the plants did very well, blossomed well, and actually produced well, BUT, once it started raining…the yellow crockneck only got to be about 6 inches long with skins on them that were ¼ inch thick…acorn squash…they are the size of baseballs and ready to be picked, out of planting 4 plants I got one viable squash per plant…now, the zucchini on the other hand did very well this year, a lot of it…that is until the plants started to rot at the soil line from all the rain…

I had also put in an onion bed in early March…can’t mess up growing onions right? They grew great tops, and then the rain came again and next thing I know I go out and the bulbs are on TOP or half way out of the soil…seriously??? Yes, that is how much rain we had day after day with little time in between rainfall…

My hops plants which I have been growing successfully since I moved to my home took off well and then drowned…not sure if they will come back next year…so instead of having fresh hops to pick now I have some straggly looking vines that are trying to come back, but the season is over for this year for them.

Sheesh…last year I struggled with not enough rain and high temps and this year fairly cool weather and rains that drowned everything and before anyone makes the comment that my raised beds are not draining well enough, its not that, they DO drain, very well, but no garden can survive the kind of rain that we have had this year…everything looks like a drowned cat right now, soggy and dying…

Peaches were another interesting thing this year, bloomed early, set fruit slowly, matured slowly to the point where I was wondering if they would every be done, they finally did ripen enough to pick but one tree did no fruit and raccoons or something nailed the two trees in the back before we got other…

And usually by this time of year I have large bed full of lobelia in full bloom…not this year, the plants are just now getting ready to bloom.

Its been a strange year this year for gardening…definitely a learning experience and I am not too sure what I can do in the coming years to defend against too much rain…am playing with some ideas such as tenting the raised beds (like you do to protect against frost) to divert water away from the beds. Drought I can handle, heat I can deal with, but too much water?

I am just happy that at this moment in time I do have time to learn to how to handle too much rain, too little rain, etc.

So how have you done this year with gardening?
Any thoughts on how to deal with too much rain?

A couple of months ago I had the good fortune to meet someone who is an avid hunter and fisherman, quite a good one too. And to top it off someone who has the same mindset of being able to survive come what may.
Having personally grown up in a family that hunted and fished out in the Midwest, as a child I can remember eating wild game, fish and fresh homegrown fruits and vegetables, some of it collected wild.
Well, you know how life goes, you grow up, move to the city and start to forget things…at least I did until the economic crash a few years back and moving to an area that is hurricane prone. Then I discovered the ‘prepping’ movement and down the rabbit hole I went, coming back around full circle to where I started from….but this isn’t a how to get back to basics blog or how to become more self-sufficient, rather, I would like to share a YouTube video done by VaCreepinOutdoors on how to use the should roast from a deer. People think that wild game is an acquired taste and that only certain parts of deer are ‘good’, but honestly, almost every part of any animal has its uses and most can be eaten if properly prepared and this video will show you how to cook that funny thing called a deer shoulder roast that most would throw away…enjoy the video!

Recipe:

1 Deer Shoulder Roast
Vegetables of Choice
Seasonings of Choice
Crock Pot

Marinate deer shoulder roast in olive oil and seasonings for 2 days in plastic baggie in refrigerator.
When ready to cook prepare vegetables as you wish, place deer shoulder roast in crock pot, place vegetables in crock pot, season to your own taste, basil, Italian seasonings are great seasonings for deer meat.

Place crock pot on low and walk away…will take approximately 6-8 hours on low…

It is absolutely delicious! Trust me, almost like eating roast beef, so this coming hunting season, don’t let that scary looking deer shoulder roast go to waste…its good eating.

Dehydrating Tomatoes!

Dehydrating Tomatoes

This is the year that I decided to become ambitious in my gardening, well, new raised beds were built, great soil mix put in, plants carefully selected (will say that after a disastrous year previously with heirlooms I went half with hybrids and half heirlooms) and put into the ground. But that is another story for another time. Last year was extremely hot and dry, bad crops…this year we were blessed with too much rain and cooler temps. My mother had mixed results with her tomotoes but she planted about 12 of them and its just her eating them, so she has some for dehydrating. Me, I only planted 4 and they took off great, then the rain came and came some more…got one good round of smaller tomatos which took forever to ripen and now the plants look like drowned cats…seriously, but that story and some ideas are for another post. I only mention this because I broke down and went to the store looking for some decent deals on tomatoes for dehydrating for use this winter. Got lucky and found different ones for between .99 and 1.39 a pound (yes, that much even though I live in the heart of tomato country the rain has caused massive crop failure of a lot of plants). So biting the bullet I purchased about 11 lbs of tomatoes, average cost of about 1.05 a pound.

In years past I have thinly sliced my tomatoes and then placed them on racks (I had an old round dehydrator that was labor intensive and not very good) stacked 5 high and plugged in to let it work. It was constant checking, moving tomato slices or chunks around, they stuck, broke…lets just say it was a nightmare and not fun at all. Some burned, some fell to pieces…arghh…what is the point in dehydrating if you have to do so much work and still wind up with something that is not good? Cheap is not necessarily the best way to go…so last summer at the end of the summer I broke down and purchased an Excalibur Food Dehydrator. Did my research on which one to get as some are really fancy and large and others are very plain jane. I settled on one with temperature control (mostly due to the fact that the little cheap round dehydrators dry at one temp causing more work than I wanted to put in) and 5 racks. More research into this I also purchased some solid drying sheets and while not the ones that Excalibur makes (thin silicone that supposedly lasts for ever but apparently don’t and are hard to clean, etc.) but an off brand that is much cheaper…harder to wash without crimping the sheet, but cheap…Made all sorts of things last fall including fruit roll ups that lasted about two seconds in my house. I was very happy with the purchase and Excalibur lives up to its reputation, so if you can, do get one, and no, Excalibur is NOT paying me, I just like it for its ease of use, clean up and the fact that I can easily control the temperature with ease. Cut, place and walk away basically…

This year I decided to try something different with the tomatoes on the advice of my mother who has dehydrated for years…first off, to prevent your tomatoes from sticking (and they will!) lightly spray or coat your racks with olive oil or something other oil that will not go rancid in a high temperature setting for a short period of time…olive oil is your best bet. And YES, I know ‘they say’ not to use ‘fats’ when dehydrating because they go rancid or someother goobly gook…I will put it this way to you, I know quite a few people who have dehydrated in my family and NO ONE HAS HAD AN ISSUE with using oil on their sheets or trays to date and my family has been dehydrating and preserving for generations. My own ‘need’ to ‘follow the rules’ resulted in a lot of wasted time, effort and energy, so, BREAK THE RULES!!!

Get your tomatoes ready by thoroughly cleaning them and then slicing THICK…about ½ inch thick. Now what size or shape you choose to finish cutting them up…sliced, diced…your choice, I chose to ‘dice’ them in about 1 inch chunks or so since my primary purpose will be adding to soups and such later on. Dehydrated sliced tomatoes would be best suited to casseroles, pizza or eaten like ‘tomato candy’ (dried tomatoes are VERY SWEET).

20130807_5

11 lbs of tomatoes took up every inch of the 5 racks I have available to me once diced up in 1 inch by ½ inch cubes/pieces. I layer one rack and then put it in the dehydrator (not running at this point). Keep doing this until you have filled your racks. By the way, I suggest NOT cutting everything up but cutting as you fill the racks, this way you do not have produce leftover that is cut up and no place to put it to dry.

With all 5 FULL (and again, I am breaking the rules, ‘they say’ NOT to allow things to touch, make sure you have enough space around your material that you are drying to allow ‘proper air flow’…ugh…time for the real world please!) and yes, they are close or touching…I put the door onto the dehydrator, set the temperature dial to 125 degrees (which is what is recommended for veggies and yes, I have found this to be ‘right’ otherwise they will ‘burn’) and walk away for the next 12 hours. Did not open the door or check on things until I woke up the next morning and this is what I found….

At this point I did switch the racks around taking the top and bottom racks to the middle rack area and the middle racks to the top/bottom. This does help with the dehydrating process especially if your dehydrator is full like mine was. Put the door back on and walked away again until after dinner (about another 12 hours) and found this…

NOW they are really starting to dry and I simply took my fingers and moved them around flipping them in a general way (not all were flipped…this not an exact science). Walked away until I was ready for bead and came back to the dehydrator. At this point, drying was well on its way and I took two racks out, put them on the counter top and added the remaining racks of the tomatoes still in the dehydrator to the two on the counter top leaving me only TWO racks to put back in, one near the top and one near the bottom. Yes, I combined the racks! With the tomatoes half dried and much smaller than originally started with you can do this and it really helps with finishing up the drying. Racks back in and off to bed I went.

Next morning I was pleased to find that my thickly diced tomatoes were done!

Nice and sweet, ready to cool off. Now that is important to make note of…allow your freshly dehydrated items to thoroughly cool off BEFORE packing, if not, you will wind up with condensation and the resulting mold and spoilage due to moisture!

With 11 lbs of tomatoes I wound up with less than half a quart zip lock baggie of dried diced tomatoes, ready to be sealed up and used at a later date.

It seemed to take a really long time (36 hrs) to dry these tomatoes, but keep in mind times for dehydrating will vary depending up the fruit/veggie used, thickness and humidity in the air (very humid in my house right now with all the rain). So, if you are thinking checking only every 12 is a long time, then check every 4 or 6 if you wish until you get comfortable with the process and learn to trust the process. But keep in the mind, the more you open the dehydrator, the longer it will take.

Enjoy trying out making your own dehydrated tomatoes this year!

Have you ever gone to make a meal, gotten almost done making it, and then viola! You are missing the last ingredient? Or how about outside working in the yard, pick up a branch or 2×4 or some such thing, gotten a splinter (why are you wearing work  gloves eh?) and then can’t take it out because you can’t find the darn tweezers? Or better yet, skipped putting gas in the car coming home from work even though you are almost on E and then wake up late the next morning (come on! Admit it! You have done this!) and getting gas is the LAST thing you have time for?

 

Well, these are all ‘little things’ that could really mess you up and points out an underlying principle in being prepared. Remembering the ‘little things’ in you plans. All the prepping and gathering won’t do you a darn bit of good and might even cost you your life if you don’t remember the little things. While ‘remember’ at the last minute right now might just be a hassle, if things get even slightly dicey (speaking from experience here and the little things that I overlooked for an itty bitty hurricane named Irene) you could find yourself up a creek without a paddle so to speak, and unable to get ‘it’ at the last minute.

 

So, a list of lists begins (yet again) of what I think some of the most often overlooked items to have. Some of this is based on personal experience and some is just plain knowing.

 

In no particular order except #1:

 

1)      keeping the gas tank filled…seriously, I am even lax about this sometimes and can find all sorts of excuses not to fill up the tank again when it gets down to half…bit me just today when lo and behold, when I went to go get my kids from the babysitters, gas had jumped 10 cents in just a few hours…sigh

2)      tweezers…these are great for all sorts of things but if you don’t have them, you don’t have them and I ALWAYS recommend having more than 4 in the house and even 1 or 2 in the car. From experience, don’t go ‘cheap’ on all of them. The dollar store ones are just fine for nabbing ticks or larger things, but have you ever tried to dig out a splinter with a rounded wide edged pair of tweezers. Not fun and more damage gets done than doing good.

3)      Work gloves, more than one pair and more than one type. You can often pick up wholesale lots on eBay or just wait for Walmart to put them on clearance. For some reason around my house one of the pair manages to disappear unexpectedly and sometimes that’s okay (don’t throw the lone one away!) but sometimes its not. I have a plastic shoe box full (over full really) of various work gloves including the plastic ‘chemical’ type.

4)      Needles as in ‘sewing’ needles. Not just for mending clothes but people too in a pinch, fishing out things in the skin, puncturing holes in things. The dollar store or Walmart will often carry big packs of them on the cheap.

5)      Electrical tape. No joke! Great for sealing things up tight, including leaky pipes in a pinch. Again, eBay has some great bargins on this.

6)      Cayenne Pepper. This great for all sorts of odd things in a pinch…bug control, controlling bleeding (including internal), clearing the sinuses and cooking too!

7)      Plastic Tarps…need I say more? How many do you have?

8)      Lighters. Anyone who smokes (no judgment here, we all have to have our vices) knows the frustration of not being able to find a ‘light’, but think about it. Small, compact, fire starting potential. Great for putting a seal on plastic (carefully) or even melting the end of a rope or shoe string.

9)      Nuts, bolts, washers, nails, screws…you get the idea. I absolutely HATE loosing one of these and then being SOL until I can make it into town. You can pick up ‘assortment’ packs at Walmart, Lowes, even the dollar store sometimes for a tiny investment. I particular LOVE LOVE drywall screws J Never have enough of these!

10)  A good set of hex keys, screw drivers (and not the little bits for the electric gizmos, but hand ones, unless you are lucky enough to get a non-electric ‘socket’ type screw driver set. But with that said, this might not fit in every where), tiny screw driver set. While the dollar store is a good ‘start’, I have found that the tools from there aren’t so great for heavy or hard use. Spend the money as you can to get a GOOD set. And don’t forget a good socket set too.

11)  WD40 or something similar. Oh the headache trying to break loose the oil drain plug on the new generator in 90 degree heat! I would have given almost anything for this right after the hurricane… but someone used the last of it and didn’t say anything to me about it…grrr…

12)  Manual Can Opener and more than one of them. I have used this type for several years, wearing them out eventually of course, but living out in the ‘woods’, weelll…lets just say I learned the hard way on this one. The can opener ‘died’ (wouldn’t work) and I figured out no one local carried them or didn’t have them in stock. 2 days without one really drove home the point on redundancy to me. And I don’t want you buying those cheap little skinny ones…those thing stink and are hard to use. Go to Wally World and spend the extra 2 bucks and get one with a nice size grip and twist handle. Your hands will thank you.

13)  Toliet paper and baby wipes…do I need to say more? Unless of course you are growing Lambs Ear in  your herb garden or plan on using your T-shirt in a pinch.

14)  Lots of batteries as money permits. Dollar store ones are okay. I have had some for several years that when I dug them out they still had juice. Can’t promise how long they will ‘last’ when used, but in a pinch, they work.

15)  Got pets? Don’t forget their food. I personally freak out when I have a full plastic kitchen garbage can full with one extra bag. 4 Pitbulls J they like to eat. But seriously. How many of you have pets and wait until you run out before buying another bag of food?

16)  Garbage bags…both the white ones (kitchen) and black ones (lawn/leaf/contractor) Great for a million and one things besides the garbage. How many do you have left in your pantry?

17)  Anti-histamines

18)  Got a baby? Diapers and more than one package of them.

19)  Scissors of all types and sizes from tiny to big.

20)  Zip Lock baggies of all types and sizes and not just a couple boxes of them…they are handy for a zillion things, reusable and take up almost no room.

21)  Thread, string, rope

22)  Salt

23)  A good book or two

24)  Comfort food, simple things, snacks

25)  OTC Pain killers

26)  Food staples such as bread, milk, eggs, butter, salt, rice (even if its freeze dried)

 

The list could go on and on, but these are some of my favorite ‘little things’ that when I don’t have them…well, I feel a bit stupid.