Saturday, October 30, 2010

Using Your Food Storage: Pasta with Beans

Served over buttered noodles and garnished with Parmesan
I've been making this meal since Hubby Dear and I were newlyweds. This family favorite is a great meal to add to your food storage plan. It is quick, easy, and, most importantly, delicious. Hubby Dear loves this one even though it is vegetarian.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Pasta with Beans, originally published in Southern Living magazine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 onion, chopped (or use dried)
1 carrot, diced (or use dried)
2 garlic cloves, minced (or use dried)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (ditto)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 (16-ounce) can Cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (I keep butter in my freezer. You can also use butter powder, reconstituted, or more olive oil.)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/4 cup liquid.

Saute onion and next 5 ingredients in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until onion is tender. Add tomatoes, reserved liquid, salt, pepper, and, if desired, sugar. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in beans; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Toss cooked macaroni with butter; top with bean mixture, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

NOTE: I extend this recipe for my family of six by adding the entire contents of the can of tomatoes, adding more carrots, and cooking an entire pound of macaroni. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Month Five in Review and Month Six Preps

I achieved all of my Month Five Preps with the exception of #6 - the exercise component. I still need to work on being better with that. But I have more cash in my BOBs and vehicles, food storage containers, lots of new additions to my food storage, and more matches and toilet paper stocked.

Month six of my Prepping Plan is going to be fun. I'm feeling flush since Hubby Dear suggested we increase our prepping budget by about 40%. You could have knocked me over with a feather when he told me that. Not that he actually believes in this stuff. Nope, he doesn't think this is necessary even after reading One Second After. We're debt-free now and he is proud that I was able to stick to my prepping budget for five months so we could get there. Gotta love him! :)

So, this is what I'm thinking of for November:
  1. More cash for our BoBs.
  2. Stock up on oil and wicks for my oil lamps.
  3. Buy a box of exam gloves for potential medical emergencies
  4. Buy a quality hand grain mill. This one I'm really excited about.
  5. Buy a case of dry milk. I've been putting this one off for a while.  
  6. Pick up some freeze-dried and dehydrated odds and ends for food storage and bread making.
  7. Exercise at least three times per week.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Keeping Hydrated in a Crisis

Unsanitary conditions spread disease
Unfortunately, Haiti is in the news again for another catastrophe. This time it is because of an outbreak of cholera. Cholera is a disease unknown to most Americans because we have an ample supply of clean water. Not so in Haiti and other disaster-ravaged places around the world.

Cholera is marked by severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. It inevitably leads to dehydration. If you can keep a patient hydrated, chances are they can fight off the bug themselves, although sometimes they need a course of antibiotics.

In the wake of a serious disaster, we too could find ourselves battling cholera. Even more likely, there could be another pandemic flu outbreak. Or what if you have a sick family member and are plum out of cash to buy some Pedialyte or Gatorade? You wouldn’t use a credit card, would you? ;) Or maybe there’s a blizzard and you find yourself snowed in with sick children for several days. Whatever the scenario, it is important that you are able to treat your family when dehydration is a concern.

Here’s a homemade electrolyte drink that was passed to me by an RN during the H1N1 scare. Print it off and add it to your preparedness binder.


1 qt water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
3-4 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt substitute (You may wonder why this included. It has potassium.)

Mix well. Can be flavored with lemon juice or sugar-free Kool-Aid.

These are the notes from Ursie: "If a family member is having trouble keeping down any fluids, this can be spoon fed. Some will prefer it cold...others just room temperature. KEEP SPOONING. This is the mix that is used in crisis situations world-wide, when IVs are not available. It can save lives. NOTE: Check with your pediatrician or other MD re: their opinion on the situation. In normal MD will want to SEE a child who is dehydrated.

This mix is for when things go bad in society or when there is an epidemic...and a doctor visit may not be possible."


I hope "third world diseases" like cholera never become an issue in the USA, but you never know what could happen in TEOTWAWKI. Get ready now!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Humoring the OCD in me

Woohoo! It's pantry makeover time! I love to organize, so this kind of thing is almost as good as a trip to Disney World.  Now that I have large amounts of staples like rice, flour, and beans in my basement storage room, I need a way to store what I bring up for current use. I decided to buy a large amount of air-tight food storage containers and got a great deal on it, even when you factor in shipping.

First I bought what they call a "10 piece Canister Set".

It's only 10 pieces if you count the lids, but it still worked out for me. The small, 4.4 cup ones on the ends are filled with salt and yeast respectively. The canisters are freezer safe and a small one will easily hold one of the pound bags of yeast I keep stashed in the freezer. I've started buying salt in unwieldy boxes from Sam's, so it is also nice to have a more managable container to put it in.

The mid-size containers hold 11.1 cups. They hold regular rolled and quick oats. The largest one holds 15.9 cups and is perfect for rice. Looks like I need to refill these bad boys from the basement.

This set also comes with a bonus of three long handled measuring scoops.

The next item that I needed to find a storage solution for was pasta.

To that end, I bought three pasta canisters. I only store three types of pasta - penne, spaghetti, and elbow macaroni. I used to buy lots of different types, but I find that these work for most applications and I can buy them in 6 lb bags at Sam's. I was able to fit an entire 6 lb bag of spaghetti in a container, but only about half that for the other two types of pasta.

Contrary to all things OCD in me, I realized it really wasn't feasible to get all matching containers. I had to consider function as well as form.

These are part of the MODS line of Snapware. I thought they were a better fit for brown sugar, sugar and all purpose flour. They hold a TON (that's over 7 lb of sugar there in the middle) and stack easily.

My flour and sugar containers have an added bonus. The lids flip up and the opening will easily fit a measuring cup.

I could've gone crazy and found the perfect storage container for every item in my pantry, but I think this is good for now.

The finished product:

Hopefully I'll be buying a lot less "Sara Lee" and making more "Emily" with my food storage.

I love my pantries with the sliding shelves, especially now that they're organized.

Over the next few months, I'm going to be re-organizing my long-term and short-term food storage areas. Heh heh hehe! (Rubbing hands and cackling with glee) More fun awaits.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And now for something completely different...

"SHTF" is one of the most common prepper/survivalist acronyms. It stands for "stuff" hitting the fan, an apt description of something crazy like a societal collapse.

Do you want to know what real "stuff" hitting the fan would be like? If so, tune in to Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel at 9 pm Eastern on Wednesday, October 20th. The episode summary on reads in part:

When the poop hits the fan, does everyone get covered in the ensuing chaos?

I'll be watching!

*If you don't know who the Mythbusters are, read this.

Using Your Food Storage: Refried Beans Without the Refry

Got beans?

You should if you know what's good for ya! They are cheap, healthy, filling, tasty and store for a looong time. Go beans! (Said in my best "Hillshire Farms" commercial imitation)

The cheapest, most efficient, and longest lasting way to store beans is dry packed  in either a #10 can or in a mylar bag/bucket combo. If you're anything like me, though, you find it far easier to pop open a can of beans than use your dry ones. Well, fret no longer!

The following recipe has been floating around on one of the forums I frequent and has garnered rave reviews. It is originally from All Recipes and is one of the easiest, yummiest ways to use up those dry beans you should be storing. A big plus in my book is that it uses a crockpot, one of my all-time favorite methods of cooking.

I included some helpful comments from Bethany on the bottom. (Waving hi to Bethany!) Check out Bethany's blog while you're at it. She has lots of great recipes there.

Refried Beans without the Refry

1 onion, peeled and halved
3 c. dried pinto beans
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 T. minced garlic
5 t. salt
1 3/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. cumin
9 c. water

Combine all ingredients in crockpot; stir. Cook on high for 8 hours. Strain, reserving liquid. Remove onion halves. Mash beans, adding reserved liquid to desired consistency.

Bethany's Notes: "Use this recipe as a starting point and tweak to your liking. It freezes well. I always double it, but make sure your crockpot is big enough first. There are several options with this dish. Beans - all pinto, half pinto & half black. Jalapenos - none, one, half diced & half intact, all diced. Water - all water, half water & half chicken or veggie broth (use less salt if you add broth!!). Onion - all diced, half diced & half intact. Cumin - as directed or way more. I don't measure the water either. Instead I just make sure the beans are submerged in liquid, adding more water if/when necessary. I also freeze the extra liquid and use it when making rice. If you choose to use it in rice, then add a little more water to your rice than normal because the bean liquid is partly solid."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quick Tip: One item that doesn't need O2 Absorbers

I bought a 50 pound bag of sugar at Sam's this weekend. Unfortunately I ended up bringing less than 50 pounds home as the bag sprung a leak in the middle of the Sam's Club parking lot.

I packed the sugar in a mylar bag and food-grade plastic bucket, much like I described in my post on long-term storage. There is one major difference in how I packaged it - no oxygen absorbers. If you put oxygen absorbers in with your sugar, it will turn hard as a rock and you'll need a chisel to get it out later.

By the way, I managed to get about 44 pounds in my 6 gallon bucket. The remainder is in my pantry for my current use. I'm awaiting my order of Snapware to store all my dry goods in my pantry.

So when it comes to sugar, leave out the O2 absorbers and you can keep the hammer and chisel in the garage where it belongs.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Working Out at Home

You would never know it by looking at me now, but I used to be a serious fitness addict. Back in the day, I drooled over the newest fitness gadgets the same way I do prepping supplies today. I hadn't even left the delivery room with newborn Mini Me before I started badgering my doctor for permission to exercise. I even asked for (and received) a profesional barbell set one Christmas and considered becoming a personal trainer.

Yep, my physique might resemble a gumdrop nowadays, but inside me beats the heart of an exercise fanatic. You just have to work a little bit to find her.

It's easy to agree that physical fitness is an essential part of any preparedness plan. Actually getting started on that goal is another story. Like you, I'm busy 24-7. I have a lot on my hands: taking care of four young children, homeschooling, housekeeping, and husbandly maintenance. What, then, is a harried homemaker to do?

Workout at home.
That's an easy choice for me. For one thing, there are no gyms to join in our area. I would also have to drive a bit just to find a safe place to walk. An evening stroll on our hilly, gravel road could be suicidal. Trucks pulling livestock-laden trailers pass by at an alarming speed.

The best part about working out at home? I can fit a workout in whenever I have a spare moment. I don't have to worry what my hair looks like or if my outfit matches. I simply throw on a pair of good shoes and get going.

No cheesy leotards here! Home workouts can be fun and challenging.

A big myth that many people believe is that home workouts or workout videos are inferior or a waste of time.

You don't have to go to the gym to get a good workout. Trust me and see my recommendations below.

If you need the motivation of going to a gym and interacting with real, live people, go for it. You obviously live somewhere with options and do not share my agoraphobia. :) The object is to get fit, however you may go about it.

Here are some tips to help you get started with a home workout plan:

  1. Think used. You might have heard the motto "Buy used and save the difference." I haven't always been the best about this, but I certainly believe it to be true with fitness equipment. How many people make a resolution to get fit, buy a bunch of exercise equipment and then end up never using them? My treadmill cost me all of $50, delivery and set-up included. I bought it used at an estate sale. It isn't a fancy treadmill, but it gets the job done. If I get super excited about running or walking, I can upgrade later. If not, I'm only out $50. I can probably sell it to somebody else for about that much.  
  2. Find something you like to do. Don't torture yourself! If the thought of walking on a treadmill makes you want to beat your head against the wall, don't do it! Find something you do like. Try pilates, yoga, kickboxing, circuit training, step aerobics, dance, bootcamp-type classes, etc. Or simply go outside and play with the kids.
  3. Add in variety. I love pizza, but if I ate it everyday for a week, I'd soon get tired of it. Mix up your fitness routine to keep things fresh and to maintain your interest. If you get bored, you're likely to quit.
  4. Start small and build. You can't expect to go from couch potato to super woman in one fell swoop. Back in the day, I worked out 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours per day, 5-6 days a week. If I tried to do that now, I'd kill myself. I'm aiming for 20-30 minutes per day, 3 days a week. Once I build up some stamina and get in a good routine, I'll start increasing the duration and frequency of my exercise.  
  5. Don't neglect all areas of fitness. There are four main components of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. You need to address each area to be truly fit and ready to handle anything in a post-TEOTWAWKI world.

Here are my favorite activities/videos for each of these components, for a wide variety of fitness levels. I have a strong preference for step aerobics, kickboxing, and athletic-type training and that is reflected in my list.


Couch Potato/Beginner  -
  1. Walking - on a treadmill or around the block, whatever floats your boat. Try the Couch-to-5K Program (C25K).
  2. Gardening - useful and a workout at the same time!
  3. Anything by Leslie Sansone - Her walking-based workout videos are completely unintimidating and encouraging. 
  4. Cathe Friedrich is my absolute favorite workout instructor. Beware: most of her videos are intended for advanced exercisers. That chick doesn't play. These videos, however, are a good introduction for beginning exercisers, particularly the Low Impact Step + Total Body Sculpting.
Intermediate -

  • The Firm - I haven't used their latest videos/gadgets, but I have had results with Body Sculpting System 2, Body Sculpting System 3, and the TransFirmer series. These are definitely a notch above the beginner videos and yet aren't too difficult to follow. You can easily find their videos and equipment used. Yes, The Firm might have an infomercial, but the workouts do work.
Advanced -

    My girl, Cathe
  • Cathe Friedrich- She's my vote for a real-life super hero! She has a wide variety of DVDs in different workout genres. Some of my favorites include: Kick, Punch and Crunch, Rhythmic Step, Low Impact Circuit, Low Max, Imax 2 and so on. I have too many favorites to name. Did I mention that I love Cathe? And that I own a lot of workout DVDs? (Don't ask how many. Hubby Dear doesn't know ;)


Beginner -
  1. Tamilee Webb's I Want That Body. This is an oldie but a goodie. You can get a great workout for your arms, abs, or derriere in just 15 minutes.    
  2. Jari Love's Get Ripped. This is the first of Jari's videos. A weight workout that shows lots of modifications for varying fitness levels. My only quibble with this video is that I hate the music. I can tune it out, though.
Int/Advanced -

Yoga is a bit of a controversial topic, at least in the circles I run in. Yoga was originally designed as part of the Hindu religion, and some people feel that to practice Yoga is akin to idolatry. I understand where they are coming from and would feel uncomfortable in an overtly Eastern spiritual/New Age-y yoga class.

I prefer a more athletic-style stretch workout, such as Cathe Friedrich's Stretch Max. I also have some balance ball workouts based on Pilates that I enjoy.


If you have Netflix, they actually have a decent selection of exercise videos. It can be a good way to try some different kinds of videos and see what you like to do.

Another fabulous resource is Collage Video. They have extremely detailed descriptions of the workouts they carry, both in their catalog and on their website. They also have video clips available. I can testify that it's a good company to do business with and has great customer service.

I hope you have made fitness part of your personal prepping plan. If you workout, what kind of things do you like to do? Do you have any favorite workout videos you would like to suggest?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Snag yourself a deal on food storage containers!

I'm in the process of reorganizing my pantry - I'll post about this soon - and I came across a deal that could really save you money if you're in the market for storage containers.

Snapware is one of the most popular brands of storage containers for good reason. You can buy it online and in various brick and mortar stores, but it's hard to find a place that combines the whole line of Snapware with low prices and/or low shipping.

If you "like" Snapware on Facebook between now and 11/15/2010, you can get a coupon code for 40% off your next order from their website, That's quite a deal! Simply go here when you're signed into Facebook, press the "like" button at the top of the page (what used to be "become a fan"), go to their wall, and get the code.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My name is Emily... and I'm an applesauce-aholic.

The applesauce I made last month has been a big hit with the whole family. It kicks Musselman's and Mott's respective tushies. I have been eating, breathing and dreaming of applesauce. I can't help it. I keep making more of it.

In my spare refrigerator is another two bushels of apples. Over the next few days, all 80 lbs of apples will be turned into more applesauce and apple products of all descriptions.

A rainbow of apple products, made by me
On the left is the Chunky Applesauce I made last month. I had to peel, chop and smush all those apples by hand. Next is the same thing, only cooked with the skins on and processed through a food mill. Even though the skins were eventually removed from the sauce, they still gave it a pink color. The third sauce is called "Rich and Spicy Applesauce". It has the addition of brown sugar and spices. Yum! The last jar is full of what I call "brown gold" - apple butter.

One factor in my new applesauce addiction is my handy dandy new food mill. Someone recommended the Roma Food and Vegetable Strainer to me and wow, will it ever revolutionize my canning. A whole new world of canning possibilities is now open to me from tomato sauce to ketchup to pumpkin to... applesauce. :)

The food mill, set up and ready to go

I had a very hard time putting the food mill together for the first time. I pretty much have zero mechanical aptitude, but I managed to get it together eventually. The second time was a snap, though. I'm slow, but I learned. :)  It is pretty sturdy and should last a lifetime, provided I don't figure out a way to screw it up. There are different strainer cones available for different types of produce. It comes with one that is for soft, squishy foods like tomatoes and apples.

First, you core and roughly chop the apples and cook them until they are soft.

Then you load up the super-sized hopper, turn the handle (The Thinker and Mini Me love to help with this part) and voila!

The pulp comes out one way

And the waste goes out the other

The result is a smooth, skin and seed-free sauce.

I need to buy more canning jars. The applesauce awaits!  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Check those expiration dates!
The last week and a half saw a flurry of activity at the Harried Homemaker Acres. I barely had time to breathe and yet I needed to plan and shop for a party I was throwing in the midst of my chaos.

I figured out what I was going to cook and raced to my  local grocery store in the hopes that I could be in and out in a hurry. Those of you who live in, shall we say, less rustic locales, would be amazed by our little country store. It has a fairly decent selection of food, although I have on more than one occasion found that the only chicken for sale was frozen and in nugget form. The elderly gentlemen who wheel your groceries to your car (You have NO choice in the matter, by the way. They are going to take your groceries for you regardless of any protests.) are charming. What our store is most notable for, though, is high prices. So when I whipped through the store last week and found 16 oz. containers of sour cream on sale for $1 each, I was elated. I bought three.

When I got home, I noticed the expiration dates. Two of the sour cream containers had expiration dates in November. The third one had expired on August 16th.

All of this is to say that you need to check your expiration dates before you buy your food! This is especially important when it comes to food you intend to store. Check your cans, bottles, and jars and make sure the food you bring home is as fresh as possible. Generally speaking, most canned food has at least two to three years of shelf life before it starts to degrade in quality. It could very well be edible past that point. Check out this handy website for more information on the shelf lives of various foods.

Remember, sometimes a sale is merely a method for a store to get rid of a bunch of food that is nearing its expiration date. Et tu, Mom-and-Pop grocery store?

The best thing you can do is to buy your storage foods from a store that has high turnover. As we all know, dry beans have an amazing shelf life. My little grocery store in Podunkville, USA doesn't turn items over very fast and even the dry beans are worse for the wear. I'm going to have to go somewhere else to buy my 15 bean soup in the future.

Learn from my mistakes and get the most for your food storage dollar.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Using Your Food Storage: 15 Bean Soup

Fall has arrived in our part of the country and the cool, crisp weather makes me crave one thing - a comforting soup. Here's a hearty soup recipe you can make entirely from food storage. It's even better with some smoked sausage added in, but you can certainly leave it out.

According to this food storage calculator, you should store 5 lb of dry soup mix per adult per year and 1 lb per child (under age 7). I'm storing a lot of 15 Bean Soup Mix.

This soup is delicious and even my pickiest child has been known to eat it occasionally, depending on the phase of the moon. I usually leave the seasoning packet out because it contains unpronounceable ingredients, but you might consider using it if you do not add meat to your soup.

15 Bean Soup - My variation on this recipe

1 pkg 15 (or 16) bean soup mix, with or without the seasoning packet
1 onion, chopped (or dry onion)
1 T. minced garlic (or dry garlic/garlic powder)
2 t. Lawry's seasoning salt
Salt and pepper to taste
1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
Oregano and Italian seasoning to taste
Drizzle of Olive Oil
1 lb of smoked sausage, cut into large-ish pieces or a meaty ham bone

Pick through and rinse the beans, discarding any stones, twigs, or other flotsam and jetsam. Place the beans in a 6 qt slow cooker (ie. Crock Pot) and cover with water to about 2 inches above the beans. Add in remainder of ingredients. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until you have gone mad from the savory smells wafting from your kitchen. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste. If you used a ham bone, slice meat from bone and stir into beans. Serve with Tabasco sauce and/or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.   I make garlic bread to go along with this, but it would also be lovely with cornbread.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Financial Preparedness, Part IV

This is the four part of my Financial Preparedness series. You can find Part I, Part II and Part III here.

I'm debt free so now what?: The Rest of the Baby Steps and What that Might Look Like for a Prepper

You saved up $1,000 for a baby emergency fund and then you started working your debt snowball. You put your debts in order from smallest to largest and paid them off with lightning speed. You've made a budget and, remarkably, you even followed it! Congratulations! You're better than 95% of all Americans.

Now what?

There are still five more Baby Steps to financial freedom if you follow Dave Ramsey's plan, many of which have implications for your prepping.

Keep working those baby steps!
Baby Step Three: Save up 3 to 6 Months of Expenses.

The next step is to save up some serious cash. Dave says that if you have a secure job and lifestyle (ie. no serious things looming on the horizon that could zap your cash), you can aim for cash to cover 3 months' worth of expenses. If things are more uncertain, you should have more money saved up. Other financial experts think you should have more like 8 or 9 months of salary saved up in this economy. Honestly, you really can't save too much as long as you are meeting your other financial goals (See Baby Steps 4-6).

It is important to note that this money is NOT to be invested. This should stay safe and easily accessible in a place like a Money Market Account. You should also have a good amount of it in cash at home. Obviously, you should not advertise the fact that you have a bunch of cash in your home. You should also buy a water- and fire-proof safe to store it in.

You might also consider your food storage to be part of this Baby Step. Hubby Dear does, and he has reduced the amount we are putting into Emergency Fund accordingly.

Baby Step Four: Retirement

Dave Ramsey says you should invest 15% of your income into a mix of growth-stock mutual funds with proven track records. No matter what the stock market is doing, Dave has consistently said that he believes in American capitalism and that all things will work out in the end.

Dave is against buying gold or other precious metals and certainly would not advocate putting some of your emergency fund in gold. In fact, he says gold is "the new Snuggie" - just a fad. You can read what he says about gold here.

What I didn't understand until recently is that a gold purchase isn't so much an investment as it is insurance. The difference is that you expect an investment to consistently increase over time. Insurance isn't there to make you money, its purpose is to protect what you already have. Read this piece on the SurvivalBlog for more about tangibles.

So with such different advice, what are we to do to prepare for the future?

Frankly, I doubt things like the Roth IRA are going to be around when we reach that age. The government is simply spending too much money to allow growth in Roth accounts to remain tax-free. I expect tax rates to increase exponentially.

We are going to hedge our bets and do a bit of both approaches. We're going to do some traditional investments and think about getting some tangibles as well.

Baby Step Five: College for your Kids

Many people make the mistake of taking care of their kids' college funds at the expense of their retirement savings. Your kids can find a way to work through college. Not so with your retirement!

We have 529 plans set up for each of our children. Our goal is to have enough money saved for four years at a state university. If our children choose to go elsewhere, great. They need to figure out how to make up the difference either with scholarships or by their own hard work. Hubby Dear and I were accepted to several "elite" universities but chose to go to a state school for financial reasons. We're doing just fine today, thank you very much! :)

Baby Step Six: Pay off your house

This is the Holy Grail of financial preparedness, in my opinion. Owning your house free and clear would give such peace of mind. Think about it. If you have no consumer debt, no mortgage, and a year's worth of food storage, how confident would you feel? If you lose your job or the economy tanks even further, you would be far more secure than the Average Joe.

If you currently have a 30 year mortgage or adjustable rate mortgage, you should think about trying to refinance into a 15 year fixed rate mortgage. You should take advantage of the low interest rates if you can.

Baby Step Seven: Build Wealth and Give

Dave Ramsey advocates giving during all stages of his plan. We believe in tithing and beyond, and I encourage others to do so as well. After you are completely debt free, however, you will have an abundance of money to give freely. You might consider buying extra food storage and supplies at this time. Should the SHTF, you will be in a position to give charity to others who are not prepared. This is also when you can really step up your investment in tangibles and other wealth vehicles.


So that's my quick and dirty run-down of Dave Ramsey's BabySteps, prepper style. Read The Total Money Makeover for many more details and wise counsel.

Get debt free, and save, save, save. You can do it! We have paid off nearly $80,000 in the last 18 months and we're finally DEBT FREE!!! It feels awesome!

Remember: The borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). You should be no one's slave.