Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Cleaning the Fruit Room

This week I have not been cooking much instead I have been spring cleaning in my food storage room.  It is important to go through organize and inventory your food storage occasionally.  I prefer to do it in the spring before I get busy in the garden and in the kitchen canning. I do have to say that this did not take me as long as I was dreading.  I sorted, threw out the bad, washed the empty jar, and made new labels in about an hour and a half.  The best part is now I am excited for this summers harvest.

Spring Cleaning home canned fruits and vegetables
1.        Inspecting all of my home canned fruits and vegetables.  Throwing away anything that looks funny, is old, or we just didn’t like.  For example;
a.       This raspberry jam is just from last summer but it looks funny.  It should be dark read but it is cloudy and kind of white.  I am not going to feed anything to my family that is questionable. So the weird looking jam got tossed.

Yes this is supposed to be raspberry jam but it should not look like this.
b.      A little while ago I had a crazy idea.  I decided to grow garden huckleberries and then make jam out of them.  They were awesome to grow and all ripened at the same time so were great for making jam.  Too bad the jam was terrible.  Needless to say the jam got tossed.
c.       I love apricots and as I was cleaning out my food storage room I saw that there were a couple of bottles of canned apricots that we had not eaten from two years ago.  Awesome I thought.  Until I got them upstairs and really looked at them.  The apricots had started to deteriorate and turn a funky brown.  So instead of eating them we tossed them.
2.        Making New labels.  The good news is that my oldest can now read.  I love it.  When I send him down to the food storage he can read the labels on things and bring up the correct thing.  Too bad that home preserved fruits and vegetables don’t have labels.  I solved the problem by creating new labels and stapling them to my wood shelves.  I did move things around so that the things I send him down to get are at a level where he can reach them.   The labels I used are from  It’s a crafty life at  I use these labels all the time.  I love them because you can download them and then in word add whatever text you and  then print them out.  Awesome!   I do love the updated labels. You can tell from this photo that my old labels were somewhat lacking. 
The old labels.  I made them when we were moving in and they are well just barley functional.

Don't you love the new labels?  I do.
3.       Inventory what we have used up already and need to make more of next year (HOT salsa, and grape juice are already totally gone and I’m down to just one or two bottles of chili sauce and mustard pickles). 
4.       I also have been thinking about what I made too much of last year.  Sigh I love to make jam. I always make way more jam then my family eats.  Maybe I should start giving it away as gifts.  I also I like to see what we need to be eating more of.  I LOVE the apple sauce that I have been making the last couple of years. Last year we had eaten it all my Christmas so this year I have been using it sparingly.  But it looks like we are doing okay I still have quite a few jars of apples sauce so I think we can eat it a little more often.

Shout Outs: Where should I put all my Food Storage?

This week I have been spring cleaning in my food storage room (more about that later)  As I have been reorganizing and doing an inventory I have been thinking about where I stored my food storage before I moved into a house with a wonderful cold storage room.  I lived in a very small house with really no room for anything let along a year’s supply of anything.  But somehow we made it work.  If you too are living in a cozy home or apartment here are some ideas to help you stash your food storage. 

End Table you could eat from I dare you to eat it
Can you believe that under this cute end table is really 6 cases of wheat?  This great blog post show you how to build your own and also how to uses your cases of food storage for bedside tables.

Water Storage under a bed from Preparedness pro
Behind the couch from Food Storage and Survival

Information about the health benefits of freeze dried foods

I've had a lot of questions recently about the health benefits of freeze dried foods.  Here are some articles about freeze dried foods from reputable sources:
1.  Health Effects of Freeze-dried Foods from
Main points:  Freeze dried food is good for you because: long shelf life, retains antioxidants, and has fewer preservatives
2.  Freeze-Dried Fruits Are a Good Health Choice? By the American Institute for Cancer Research
Main points:  when eaten is sufficient quantities may help prevent cancer

Friday, April 29, 2011

Shelf Reliance E-mail Directory

These e-mail addressed were posted on the forum today and I thought it was awesome.  I never know who to e-mail about things. I’m going to print it out and tape it next to my computer.  To print it out using Google Documents go to Shelf Reliance E-mail Directory
**** Remember to print from a Google document go to the Google documents print button NOT the print button in you browser.   If I come across anyone else e-mail that you might need I'll add it to the list.

Question About
Food Processing, New Products, and Quality Control
Lost or missing orders
To schedule a time for instore pick up
Suggestions about website design or product reviews
Emergency Supplies
Training questions: how to fill out a host benefit order, how to improve your presentation
Your up line.  To find out who is in your upline sign into your consultant account and then press the blue link on the left that says "Upline  Consultants"  That will give you three consultants above you. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Food Storage for Mother's Day

Okay so Mothers Day is just around the corner and if you are like me you need to help your kids and spouse along.  Okay so here is how the conversation goes at my house

Me:        “Did you know it is Mother’s day in 2 weeks?”
Him:  “Umm I do now”
Me:  “So I have been thinking that I would really like  (fill in the blank)”
Him:  “That is great.  Can you send me a e-mail with the link to it?”
Me:  “I’d love too”

Guess what,  I usually get what I want, which makes me feel appreciated and loved.  So if you haven’t decided what you want for Mother’s day this year it is time to.
Maybe your kids and spouse are more creative with presents or maybe you have decided to send the Mom in your life something nice this year.  (I’ve already ordered presents for my Mom and my Mom in law)  I think they are going to love how organized they will be (hint, hint).  I recently ran across a new trend.  Mom’s sending their grown daughters (who are also Mom or Moms in the making) gifts on Mother’s day.  I think this is a beautiful concept.  I know that when I was childless yet an adult Mother’s day was such a weird holiday, but what a great time to celebrate Mom’s in the making or the mother of your grandchildren. 
If you are interested in purchasing at these prices go to my Shelf Reliance Website . No coupon code is needed. You can also e-mail me at

Here are my top Mother’s day gifts
1.       Tropical Fruit 6 Pack—$118.70 plus tax and shipping  

A friend of mine pointed this out today, and I looked into it and it is AMAZING.  This package come will all my favorite freeze dried fruits and it is a screaming good deal.  The retail price on this is $240.00.  But it is on sale for only $118.70 that is 49% off.  Or if you want to think of it this way that is less than $20.00 a can.  All come in a sealed number 10 can.  Shelf Life 25 years. But it is so delicious you will want to eat

Tropical Fruit 6 Pack includes: freeze dried pineapple, banana slices, mango, pears, and apricots.
Freeze Dried Pineapple—We eat them straight out of the can.  My 6 year olds favorite treat.  
Freeze Dried Banana Slices—Great for putting on cereal, snacking, baking. Real banana flavor. Rehydrate very well.
Freeze Dried Mango—My all time favorite.  I love how convenient they are. No more trying to figure out how to cut a mango and then feeling wasteful when I throw away the pit (which always seems like I should be able to eat more of).  These rehydrate very well and are great use in cold or cooked dishes.
Freeze Dried Pears—A great baby snack, healthy, real fruit, mess free.  I love feeding my kids real fruit snacks instead of the high fructose corn syrup variety.
Freeze Dried Apricots-Apricots are my favorite fruit, but they are only available where I live for like 2 weeks in the summer. That is not nearly long enough.  These freeze dried apricots are great dry as a snack, but also rehydrate very well for use in cooked dishes (like sticky chicken). 
Freeze Dried Mandarin Oranges—Wow if you have never tried freeze dried mandarin oranges they are an explosion of flavor in your mouth. When you eat it the orange melts away as it give you a burst of flavor.  Love them.
2.     Cansolidator Pantry $21.49 plus tax and shipping :  

This is what I am to my Mom and Mother in Law this year.  We were recently at my Mom-in-laws house and my husband was helping her move her large food storage shelf after doing some work in the basement.  When he was finished he looked at me and said.  She really needs a couple of consolidators.  She would love them.  Cansolidators are small   front loading can rack that rotates up to 40 cans. They are adjustable, expandable, and stackable. They work great on existing shelf’s in the food storage room but are awesome in the kitchen cupboards.  But the best part is they are easy to set up and use.  I received one as a gift about 6 months ago and I am amazed at how much more food I can store in the same space.  I also like that it makes it easy for my kids to help me make dinner by finding the ingredients I send them for.
They are inexpensive enough that you can buy a couple and get all of the canned goods organized.

3.       EntrĂ©e 6 Pack: $189.99 plus tax and shipping

This is the best Grandma present every.  My two grandmothers are both widows living alone.  Needless to say they often don’t eat very well.  It is hard to cook a nutritious balanced meal for one person.   When I first got interested in Shelf Reliance my Grandmother came to a party. She was interested in the entrees and bought a few. They have worked out so nicely.  She can make as much as she wants.  All she has to do is heat up some water on the stove or microwave, and she has a healthy meal.  The Entrees are made from freeze dried meats, veggies and with grains.  They are a great way to show grandma that you care.  My grandma’s have got to the point in life where they don’t want any stuff. So we like to get the grandkids together and buy her something healthy to eat.  This is my favorite one we have found so far. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Join me on Facebook

Follow us on face book! Search for "Cooking With My Food Storage"  A week from today May 4th. I'll have a drawing for everyone that has liked us and I you could win a pouch of freeze dried strawberries. 
YUM Strawberries!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to choose the home party plan that is right for you.

Choosing a Home Party Business Opportunity:  How to evaluate a home party plan
When I started looking for a home party business opportunity the first thing I did was do a search in Google.  It came up with tons of options which was so discouraging.  I felt like most of the products were not something I was comfortable selling, or they were too expensive for my area.  I remember finding one I thought was amazing and as I was looking at the products there was nothing in the catalog I could afford, nothing.  I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people who were consultants for various companies, to find out how they liked it and how much money they made. Sadly many of them did not make any money.  I was told by one consultant “it supports my habit” That is not what I was looking for.  I wanted to be compensated for my work.  I thought long and hard before I found the right opportunity for me.
Before you join any home-based party plan business you need to do some evaluation and decide if it is right for you.  I like to look at each home-based party plan in two parts: the product, and the opportunity.
Ask yourself the following questions before joining any home base party business.

Questions to ask about the home party products
  1. Do the products enrich lives? You need to be passionate about the product or you will not be successful.  If the product would enrich your life and that of others it is a good choice.
  2. Are the products consumable? If they are then the same customer can buy over and over again.  This creates a great customer base for you and allows you to have repeat customers. It's much easier to sell to a repeat customer than it is to find a new one.  If the product is something that is a onetime purchase it is much harder to have a repeat customers.
  3.   Are the products exclusive and/or competitively priced? Be sure the products are competitively priced and have a distinct advantage over  what is already be available.
  4. Do the products come with a money back guarantee? It’s important to find a home party plan company that stands behind its products

Questions to ask about the home party business opportunity.
  1. What are the volume sales requirements (quotas)?
  2. What type of business tools does the company have available? Things to look for consultant websites (be sure to find out what the cost is), brochures, DVDs, and online presentations.
  3.  When does a consultant become inactive and when are they removed as a consultant?  For many of us there are times when we need to stop working on our business for a couple of month (think having a new baby, having a major health problem, or going on sabbatical) what happens to you, your sales, your customers and your team if you have to take a little time off?
  4.  What kind of training and support is provided? Only choose a company that offers FREE ongoing training.
  5.    Do the home party company’s products sell well outside of the home party?  Look for other ways you can market the product (online,  at expos or fairs)  If you can find a business that works well, both in a home party setting and provides other numerous marketing possibilities, than you have an opportunity for greater growth.
  6.  What is the compensation plan like? The compensation plan should be simple to understand and easy for you to explain to others. Look for a generous plan where promotions are both achievable and maintainable. It should reward beginners as well as career oriented consultants with a good income opportunity. Does this plan have a track record of creating part-time and/or full-time incomes? Or are there just a few making significant incomes?
  7. Are the company’s values consistent with yours?

How much time do Shelf Relaince Consultants work?

The Short answer:
It depends.   I think it is good to plan on at least 10 hours a week.  But you can work as much as you want.  I like to have one party a week, but I have a consultant that has 3 or 4 parties a week.  That is too much for me but it works out great for her.
The Long answer:
It depends.  If you are thinking about becoming a consultant you should plan on 10 hours a week at least, although you can do whatever you want.  So what do I spend all that time doing?  I have been tracking how much time I spend in each area and here is what I have found.   
For each party : Total 3 ½  hours
                1  hour prep and driving (this obviously varies if the party is far away you will need more time)
                1 ½ house at the party
                ½ hour driving home and clean up
                ½ hour to input orders and do the host benefit orders
Weekly Communications: 3 hours
What am I talking about?  Mostly phone calls and e-mails.
                Who do I communicate with?
                                Hosts and potential host-answering questions and following up.
                                Downline consultants—training and answering questions
                                Up line consultants—asking questions and receiving training
                                Shelf Reliance Corporate office-mostly resolving concerns
                                Potential consultant—answering lots of questions
                                Past customers—keeping in touch, letting them know about sales and specials
Business paperwork:  1 hour
Okay well most of it is on the computer, but there is a reasonable amount of records to be kept. Forms to file, copies to be made, etc.
Training: 2 hours
I try to take part in every training opportunity I get.  Shelf Reliance has a weekly training conference call.  My up line has a monthly conference call.  I also like to use the food a lot.  This allows me to answer customer questions with firsthand knowledge.

What I believe about being a Shelf Reliance consultant

Do you ever listen to NPR?  I do and sometimes they have a segment called "This I believe"  it is a series of essays about what people believe.  Every time I listen to it I am touched.  Recently I have had some less then positive experience with other Shelf Reliance consultants and it has made me really think about what I believe about being a consultant. This is what I believe.
I believe…
·         that Shelf Reliance is a company that allows consultant to help others become more self reliant.
·          that being a consultant with Shelf Reliance is a great opportunity for consultants to build a successful business.
·         that now is the best time to become a Shelf Reliance consultant, it will never again be a ground floor opportunity.
·          consultants should always be honest with customers, and potential consultants, other consultants and everyone else too.
·         being kind is more important than making money 
·          that consultants should honor their commitments and train the consultants who enroll under them.
·         that potential consultants have a choice of who they want their enroller to be and should think carefully before they enroll.
·         there is enough customers interested in Shelf Reliance that every consultant can be successful if they put the required work into their business. 
·          that Shelf Reliance consultants can and should help each other, that another consultants success does not diminish mine.