It’s January. It’s cold in my part of the U.S. I’m bundled up with gloves, a scarf, and a hoodie or a heavy jacket. If you do know me, you know how much I love a good mug of hot chocolate (with whip, of course!).
People are still recovering from holiday shopping sprees. Budgets are tight. Splurging on yourself is still not an option for many.
You may be wondering why I am part of a giveaway for a Starbucks Gift Card as I don’t drink coffee. Remember, I do love a big mug of hot chocolate!
When meeting with fellow bloggers and business associates, we often times schedule our visits at one of the many Starbucks in our area. (Yes, there are many where I live. Many.)
I know you are all wondering about this awesome Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway.
I know a few people (one of my aunts, a cousin, and my vegan blogger friend in particular) will all be ecstatic to see I have posted this giveaway!
Good luck in the giveaway! If you do win, please let me know!
Without further ado…on to the Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with some blogger friends to give you the chance to win a prize you’re going to love — a $200 Starbucks Gift Card!
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to join the VIP Email List for details on how to be included in the next giveaway opportunity!
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs. Potential abuse of medications education will be available at each collection site. The next Take-Back Day is from 10 to 2pm on Saturday, September 26, 2015.
Take-Back Day is the safe way for drug disposal
Growing up, I remember we always flushed expired medicines down the toilet. This method was used to avoid accidental ingestion by children finding pills in the garbage. This disposal method is no longer recommended or encouraged.
Did you know expired medication can be harmful?
As explained to me by a pharmacist, an expired medication can become either less or more potent. Either the drug will work less or potentially a lot more.
If you are no longer using medications, why are they in the medicine cabinet? Unused medications are ones you no longer want or need to use. Maybe you were on a medication and then your doctor told you to stop taking. If that’s the case, is it still taking up room in your medicine cabinet?
What’s in your medicine cabinet?
To find a collection site near you, please visit DEA Diversion Control. (If you live in Pennsylvania or Delaware, these two states have already done the program.)
For this program, expired and unused medications are both accepted. There are some restrictions, so please check for specific place details. (For example, pharmacies are unable to accept narcotics. Some places cannot accept liquid medicine.)
I found more expired medications in my medicine cabinet than I anticipated. The Take-Back Day is on my calendar so I can drop off what I no longer need.
Please let me know if you take part. Where you surprised at what you found in your medicine cabinet?
In days gone by or yesteryear, canning was done at home on a larger and more consistent basis. People raised their own livestock. Cattle allowed them to have milk and beef to eat. Chickens provided eggs and meat.
Many things were grown and processed at home. Cows were milked and the milk and cream were used that day. Eggs were gathered to use in the daily meals. Produce was grown in the garden, harvested, and canned.
Over time, manufacturing processes allowed for the same items to be canned on a grander scale and for reduced costs (time, money, and effort). People began to buy items at the local store and put their time and efforts into other things other than growing their own foods and canning them.
Fast forward a few years…
For the past couple of decades, new options have been literally popping up all over for ways to buy and heat food. For example, microwave “TV dinners” take up large sections of the frozen section in grocery stores. Canned foods which you can heat in the microwave in just a couple of minutes. Boxed foods, which can cut the amount of cooking time, do make it easier to get something on the table.
It may or may not be faster than making it from ‘scratch.’ The quality of the ingredients and how fast you make the meal depends on what you buy and how you cook it.
Convenience Foods Can Be Helpful
Now, I am all for convenience and there are times that I do buy these products for that “quick” meal. However, the cost of the convenience is too steep for me most of the time.
After my husband had two major back surgeries in two days and was home after five days in the hospital, I did go out and buy a couple of days of meals for the entire family just so I could focus on my husband’s recovery. Not having to spend a couple of hours two or three times a day cooking was worth it for the short term.
I would rather spend the money on canned goods that we eat on a regular basis than on frozen foods that will be the first to go bad in a power outage.
Please do not misunderstand me. I mean no offense to those who often purchase convenience foods.
I want to help others build and keep up their food storage. Frozen foods do play into it. Budgeting does, too.
Convenience of having food now versus having food which is shelf-stable for months
The instant gratification of having food ready now (or in five minutes) versus having food ready in a few more minutes (making food from scratch or cooking up a meal) does have a price. The price is different for each person and family.
Another option for meals that is a drain on the budget (at least for us) is the all too super convenient drive-thru establishments offering fast food for 99 cents or more.
My family and I do love certain fast food places and meals. However, since we decided to focus on becoming more prepared for emergencies in 2011, our money has been spent on building our food storage and adding to our equipment. As time goes on, we visit the drive-thru less and less.
It appears the new focus is on how fast can the food be ready to eat. The focus is no longer on how long the food can safely be on the pantry shelf.
Where is the Pantry in Your Home?
Speaking of pantries, we’ve looked at many houses over the years. There is a trend in the newer homes to have a small or no dedicated pantry. Sometimes there is not adequate room to store food. Such a bummer for preppers like us!
There is less storage when living in an apartment or duplex. Huge bedrooms are nice. Accessible (and logical) places for pantry storage are even better for us.
Some may even ask, “What is the pantry of today?”
For me, the “ideal” pantry of today is easy to get access to (preferably right off of the kitchen). I want it indoors (not out in the garage) with built-in shelves or room some. I want to be able to store canned foods (cans and jars alike). Items I use regularly like paper towels, baking pans, and cupcake liners are in this dream pantry.
Emergency items including flashlights and batteries can be in this pantry as well. I tend to have flashlights all over the house. Why? We get power outages enough to warrant having them in each room.
We can lose power for a couple of hours to several days which happens once or twice a year on average. For other areas, a major blizzard may keep you inside for weeks.
I know some friends and family are beginning to or are still canning and dehydrating their own foods. It is surprising how canning, dehydrating, and growing your own food (produce, dairy, meat) is becoming popular once again.
The pantry of today may not have everything canned at home like in our grandparents’ time.
In conclusion, does your pantry have enough food for your family to survive in case of disaster or emergency?
How does the Pantry of Today Look for You?
Please share below. I love learning what people store in their pantries!