2 cups powdered milk

3/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup instant chicken bouillon

2 tablespoons dried onion flakes

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients together.
To substitute for one can of condensed soup: Combine 1/3 cup of dry mix with 1 1/4 cups cold water in a saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened. Add to casseroles as you would the canned product. Makes the equivalent of 9 cans of soup.

Add : 3. T. dehydrated celery for cream of celery , 3 T. dehydrated mushrooms or Freeze Dried for cream of mushroom , 2 T. Instant Chicken Bouillon for cream of chicken , 3 T Dehydrated Brocolli or Freeze dried for Cream of Brocolli . You could add Freeze Dried Chicken to make it chunkier. I have.

DIY Essential Oil Case for Next to Nothing!!

I finally found a really inexpensive way to store my oils! So I thought I would share in case anyone else liked the idea.  The Large was about $14 total, medium was about $9 and the small was $4.


DSCN0576 copy

 The Large oil case was about $14 dollars total!! It holds 70 oils!! It was so easy I am kind of mad at myself that I didn’t think of it before now! I bought the large black foam from (I am local so I picked it up). Here is a link to the large foam. The plastic snap case was from Walmart. This large size is 6.25 quart and was about $4.

Update: I have been offline for a while with a sweet new baby. My Oil Business is now Oil Life. Here is a link to their Large foam. You will still have to trim it a little to fit. 

P.S. I had to cut a little off one end of the foam to make it fit.

Med EO Case_edited-1

                               The medium case was also from Walmart, it is 2.5 quart and was about $3. This case holds 30 of the 15ml bottles of oil and 10 of the 5ml bottles of oil. Again I bought the black foam from (Now Oil Life.comHere is the link for the medium foam. This one may work for you too.

      sample case


The sample size case is probably my favorite BECAUSE I have found the best way to use your oils is to have them in a convenient place. The small case is great because anytime I need an oil it is at my finger tips!! I keep one of these in the kitchen, the bathroom, my bedroom, and my car. Well I keep 2 in my car, one for personal use and one for free samples to give away when I run into someone that could use some oils. (It happens all of the time! EVERYONE can use oils right…)  🙂

The small case is 1.2 quart for a little less than $2. (you can fit 2-3 foams in the small case if you want to) It can hold 35 sample bottles in one foam! If you triple layer the case it can hold 105 sample bottles!!  You can buy the small foams from (Now oil life.) here.


If you need any oils to fill yours up call me at (319) 455-6457. 😉




Home Storage – Water

There are so many options for home water storage. here Are a few we use. Just remember FEMA recommends 1 gallon of water per person per day. Start with getting your 72 hour in home supply and build up from there.

Small Scale Storage Ideas

Juice Jugs – Save, Wash, and fill with water.

When choosing a container always look at the number on the bottom to see if they are good for long term storage. I had a friend (also in 2008 when it was flooding in Iowa) who bought quite a few of the inexpensive gallon jugs of water in case they needed them. She didn’t have to use them so she just left the water jugs in her attic. They ended up breaking down and leaking all over the place. They had water damage from the walls in the attic all the way down to the main floor of the house. (Not a fun fix) I always look for above a 3.

Water Bricks are handy and easy to store. They have a handle which makes them easier to carry and they stack really nicely.


Water Barrels

You have your regular water barrels. The Super tanker is one of our favorites because it has a spigot and holds a lot but fits into a smaller space. We bought ours at Stokes If your local you can also find out more and where to buy one here.


We lived in Iowa during the floods of 2008 if the river rose just a few more inches the towns water supply would have been contaminated. We decided it would be nice to have some extra water for personal hygiene. So we went down to the local Farm and Home and purchased a Water Tank . It was a little over two hundred dollars, but it was well worth the money and it is nice knowing if we needed it we would have it. Luckily with a lot of sandbagging from volunteers we were able to protect our water supply. This is what ours looks like and I found it here. Theirs is a little more expensive.

water tank

You can sometimes find good deals on craigslist or if your local. Just make sure you know what was stored in them if you buy them used!

Rain water barrel
I think these are awesome! Process of buying some land and I cant wait get a few of these put together. There are plenty of DIY ideas here.

Here are a couple I like and their links.

rainwater-system Link 1

dscf7388 Link 2


Bug out bag- Water


The goal is to have at least a gallon per day per person. For us I just don’t think we can carry it. I will be carrying Rue in her pack along with both of our bug out Items. Joe will be carrying Briar on his back plus their needed Items. Add 6 gallons of water each and I don’t think we will get very far. So here is what we have done instead.

Step 1- Joe, Alexander, and I each have a utility belt with two (full) stainless steel bottles attached to them.

Black Aluminium Canteen

Step 2- Then on top of that we have invested in 4 of these life straws. They provide quick water filtration on the go. (Purchased here)


Step 3- We also each have water filtration tablets in out pack. These take about 30 min to purify your water, so keep that in mind.

water pure tablet

After you get those things done if you want to take it a little farther.

Step 4- Prepare a stash of water at your bug out location.

Step 5- If it will take you a while (few days) to get there you might want to consider burying a small stash or two along the way. (A plastic bin/ tote with a lid works.)

On a side note. Sometimes filtered water doesn’t taste the best. We carry Wild Orange in our Bug Out Essentials Kit to help. A drop or two makes a world of difference.

Small Space Food Storage Ideas

So I told everyone I knew of some good ideas/websites that had small space storage ideas and then my computer got a horrible virus and I had to send it off to my computer genius dad so he could fix it. So I started the search all over again to try and find my favorite ideas. I may be adding to this when my computer is back and put together.

First off I will share a few that I use myself. We have cute little house that was built about a hundred years ago (literally) and even though I love it I don’t love my storage options.

I use the extra space above my cupboards. You could use boxes or baskets as shown in the photo below or you can go the cheap way. Go to the Wal-Mart bakery and ask to buy the medium size buckets that get their frosting in. My Wal-Mart sells these for .50 cents a piece. I then covered them with contact paper (there are some really cute designs out there) and added a cute label. I have keep buckets with my basic staples up there such as flour, sugar, oatmeal (and oatmeal packets), granola bars, and I hide my candy up there where the kids can’t see it. 🙂

above cabinets

My very handy husband also created an awesome can rotation system for me a few years ago. He added to it and now it is on the wall in my very small kitchen. I love it! (I know how you can get one, if you’re interested.) It gives me a lot of storage, rotates my canned food, and doesn’t take up much space. (I didn’t have it completely full in this picture.)


Lastly I again take advantage of the inexpensive buckets at Wal-Mart. Their bigger buckets are $1.00 each and are food grade since the come with frosting in them. I wash and dry them very well and then use them for things like food, lotion, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. (Pretty much whatever you want) They obviously stack well and prevent anything from getting squished and spilling.


Below are some of the ways that I have come across. Keep in mind that some of these things may seem extreme to you but will work great for others.  I am only listing these ideas to get the ball rolling. You will have to take what you want and figure out how to best use it for your family.

1- Under Bed Idea 1


Under Bed Idea 2

6985569 (click the link above to see the finished project.) There are a couple other ideas on this bloggers site for covert storage. I won’t add the pictures but you may find them interesting. Here is one in which she uses pillows.

Under Bed Idea 3


Under Bed Idea 4

006   These easy diy under bed storage boxes would make it a lot easier to get to items under the bed in my opinion. (also if you don’t want to build them the shorter plastic bins/totes at Wal-Mart would work. Baskets or even plain old boxes would work.)

Under Bed Idea 5


This idea is sort of like something I have been thinking about building. I was thinking about putting something under the bed that was on a slight incline on one side. The cans could be loaded from one side and taken out from the other.

2- This is an idea, but if it were me I would probably add a cute table skirt or something so I didn’t have to look at all of it everyday. 🙂


3- I also found this video of a self rotating can rack. It may take a little work but its a  good idea.

4- This blogger got a little creative and maximized the empty space in her kitchen. There was a 6″ opening between her wall and the refrigerator and she decided to take advantage of it!  Check out the full post for full instructions with a shopping list, wood list and full tutorial.


5- Here is a video with an awesome use of space!! It is a very creative storage solution. It may not be that realistic unless you are building or are willing to put money into a remodel.

6- These homemade rolling cabinets the organize all the tools in the garage are a great idea! It was thinking it could be altered to hold food storage. This idea could also be applied to closets. It would improve accessibility to food storage as well as utilize the space more efficiently, especially if the opening eliminated the wasted side and overhead space.

dsc04351jpg_1fe076b0a8662e39380227c271550a76 dsc04353jpg_39f6c702d13d3883fca8e4050a5ba083

7- Last (for this post anyway) but not least are some small space storage solutions ideas for around the house. There is even a PDF you can print if you want to.

Here are a few of my favorites.


My husband and I decided to convert one of the bedrooms into our food storage room. We took the smallest of the three, bought heavy duty shelves from Costco and ordered a Shelf Reliance storage system for our canned goods. The closet in our food storage room holds our wheat, powdered milk, and bottled water. We also raised our bed up, and have rolling totes underneath for additional storage.

I have wheat boxes behind my bed headboard against the wall, in a layer under my daughter’s mattress (she doesn’t have a frame or box spring), and under the TV (that layer is covered with a blanket). We hardly notice they’re around. I also have water stored under my bed (I used to store it under the couch – that’s a great place to store extra diapers, too).



We put short bookshelves in our son’s closet and used them for food storage. Since his clothes were small they fit great over the top of the shelves. We also stacked boxes of #10 cans in the ends of the closets. Just make sure the boxes are labeled with what’s in them and put the things you will need to get into most often on the top or it can be a real pain to find things.

Create false bottoms in your closets! Clear everything out of the bottom of your chosen closet. Fill that space with either #10 cans or a couple of cases of canned goods. Cut a piece of plywood (or have it cut for you!) to size and place on top of the cans. Now, use your closet as you normally would!



What I’m planning on doing is curtaining off two feet or so along one wall of the dining room (IKEA has curtain rails you can mount on the ceiling) and putting all my food storage on shelves behind it.

The laundry/utility room often has extra space above the washer and dryer that can be used. Even if you don’t want to put food there, it works for storing toilet paper, dish soap, shampoos, etc.



The food storage boxes from the church canneries (the kind that hold six #10 cans each) fit very nicely between the wall and my couches. Every piece of furniture in my living room and family room has food storage boxes behind it. I stack them about 3 boxes tall, and then extend them as long as the couch. It leaves just the perfect amount of space between the wall and the furniture — nobody would guess there was anything back there. Those boxes also can be stacked to form a table — my telephone sits on one such table. It’s just boxes with a cloth over them.



We have used the top space in closets, a drawer in a bench, under beds (even propped the beds up on blocks so the food would fit underneath), lined every closet with food and/or water. Pull a dresser or couch away from the wall a couple of feet and you can fit lots of cans or buckets behind it where they won’t be seen too easily. We put food in the mylar pouches in the rolly boxes that go under beds and in giant 55 gal metal drums in the carport (the drums sealed so the insects/rodents/critters weren’t able to get to our food. Make a table with a board on top of a couple of cases of canned goods and cover it with a cloth. I’ve stacked 2 liter pop bottles of water horizontally between my filing cabinet and the wall. I’m also okay with the fact that my house doesn’t look professionally decorated—it’s disguise the food décor!


Like I said you may not like all of these ideas and some might make you laugh 🙂 but there are some really creative ideas that will help you get the ball rolling on ideas that work for you.


(There are food inventory ideas here if you need them)



The Easy Way To Save MONEY on Groceries and STOCK UP

I don’t know if you have heard that food prices are going to be going up quite a bit in the next little while. Well I heard that along with a million other things and I didn’t pay that much attention. Some of you probably know that my husband and I work hard at saving money on groceries and having a good supply of food storage. We go about it in a couple ways. First we buy some bulk items from our church store, a nearby Amish store that sells bulk, and when there is a good deal from bulk warehouse stores.

Second, (for the most part) I do coupon shopping. Now I don’t have ANY time to clip coupons and I don’t want to, so I do it the easy way.

I found and signed up for a website called It allows you to choose stores in your area and it then tells you everything per week that is on a good sale. Grey items are an OK price, Blue items are a stock up price, and Green items are free (or you get cash back for buying them.) It also tells you what coupons you need and everything (if you need one)

(Note- At first I used this site, which is awesome, but now that I am more familiar with prices and what is a good sale in my area and then just look at my local ads, choose what I want, and look for coupons that go with them.)

So I look at this website and instead of buying newspapers which are 2.00 each and then clipping and organizing. (Which takes forever!) I go to or the and buy only the coupons I want. It is really easy! There are usually in sets of 10 or 20 coupons and most the time I pay about 99 cents to 2.49 for 20 coupons and many have free shipping. We have saved a lot of money this way! I have been at the register and my total came to a little over 400.00 and I ended up paying around 80.00 after my coupons!

The reason I am posting this is because I have noticed something that worries me. On this site there are usually hundreds of deals to look through. I have noticed in the last couple months that the list is getting smaller and smaller.

So basically food prices are going up and fast. I just wanted to offer my help. If any of you are interested I will walk you through how to do this. Or if you don’t want to do it yourself I have started a facebook page that I post the top deals I find. So all you would have to do is order your coupons and get the stuff. It is really easy and it is really nice to know that if something happened like my husband lost his job, or a bad storm hit we would have plenty of food to last us for a good while. Also if you have a small house and don’t know where you could put extra food, let me help you. Check out my Small space food storage ideas post.