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Monthly Archives: April 2013

  • Pennies for Prepping - Urban Girl's April Update

    Pennies for Prepping Banner


    Hi, friends!

    Did April fly by for you? It did for me, so I’m juuuuust sneaking in under the deadline for posting my Pennies for Prepping update in time for you to take advantage of the April sales! In April I followed the plan I had in March—take out a $20 bill in advance, and if I need it, I’ll use it. But I didn't need it, and I was able to save another $6.37 on top of that. Combined with the $1.28 I had left from last month, my budget for April was $27.65.

    There were a lot of great items on sale this month, but I’ll tell you what: if you can get in on a group order, do it! That’s what I did this month, so I got the Eight Pack Utility Flame Gel Packets (because I probably couldn't start a fire from scratch to save my life—no pun intended [okay... some pun intended]).

    Utility Flame fire-starting gel

    I also got the Hydropack 10-pack. If you don’t know how these work, they might seem a little weird to you—but they are awesome. You just drop the pouch into water (NOT salt water, anti-freeze, or water rife with spilled chemicals), go about your business, and 8-12 hours later come back and get hydrated! The water gets pulled through the pouch's membrane by forward osmosis, and the filter holes are so small, no viruses, protozoa, or bacteria will even think about making it through. (Do they think at all? Probably not. But you knew what I meant anyway, right?)

    10-pack Hydropack

    So, that’s what I got this month. If I hadn't joined in on a group order this month, I would have bought these items instead:

    The Nokero N200 Solar Powered Light. Solar power is awesome, and this lil’ light o’ miiiiine, I’m gonna let it shiiiiiiine. As soon as I buy one. You should today, before the sale is over. Right now it’s $11.99 on sale (MSRP is $19.99). I’m thinking I’ll get a couple in the next few months, and hang them off my patio railing during the day, then use them for reading lamps at night so I can save on the electric bill. Every little bit helps, right? Plus, then I’ll have them on hand for power outages. I’m all about killing two birds with one stone when it comes to preparedness.

    Nokera N200 Solar-Powered Light

    At least one, but probably two, packs of Emergency Essentials Nylon Emergency Rope. $1.99? Awesome. Having rope on hand in an emergency at home or on the road is so beneficial—how many times have you wished to yourself that you had a length of rope handy to stabilize something or tie something to the roof of your car to get it home? (Or tie your trunk lid down once you’ve finally managed to maneuver said item into your trunk?)

    Emergency Essentials Nylon Emergency Rope

    I would also want to buy a Bear Grylls Fire Starter. On sale this month for just $10.99. I would have to spend a little time practicing my fire-starting skills to make that purchase worth it (remember that I have no fire-starting skills whatsoever), but it’s a great investment—and I should learn how to start a fire anyway.

     Bear Grylls Fire Starter

    Alright, my preparedness peeps. That’s it from me. What did you get this month? If you’re saving pennies like me, were you able to save much in April?

    Let’s meet this time tomorrow to talk May sale items, shall we? See you then!


    --Sarah (a.k.a. Urban Girl)

  • Pressure Canning: Making Memories (and Making Mother's Day Awesome)

    I remember hot summer afternoons back in the 80’s, feeling sticky and tired from pushing piles of peach skin and pits off the counter. I can see my mom’s red cheeks, puffing with exertion and her hair all frizzed-out from laboring over the pressure canner. I also remember the stress and frustration; Mom yelling “be careful it’s hot!” and “¡Rapido, rapido! ¡Apúrate!” I know, it sounds like that wouldn't be a cherished memory, but it is.


    903 All-American Pressure Cooker/Canner

    Come fall my dad would pull out the pressure canner and put on the juicing adapter as I washed grapes in the sink. I’d stack the fruit inside; he would fasten the lid. Then we’d wait until the purple gold pushed its way into the Mason jars. “Stand back just in case it splatters,” he’d warn me, and I’d wish I was one of those farm kids who get to squirt milk straight in their mouths from the teat.


    I remember, months later, wrapped in a sweater on gray winter evenings, digging into soft, sweet peaches and feeling the warmth of summer shine into every corner of our tiny kitchen. Nothing, and I mean nothing, tasted as good as cottage cheese running with sugary peach juice. The grape juice was saved for special occasions like somebody’s birthday, or Thanksgiving, or a Sunday dinner when my dad thought we should celebrate for no particular reason.


    I learned a lot in those days; how to keep a sink full of soapy dishwater to clean as you dirtied dishes, how working now meant pleasure later, and how important precision is. These are lessons that I use as an adult; and it all came from my mother and one little machine.


    Pressure canning is still one of the most reliable ways to preserve food, especially produce. Preserve food and precious memories—get an All-American Pressure Cooker, and take a look at our pressure canning accessories. A pressure canner is a great gift for moms* who want to store their fresh produce for later. If you've never preserved food before, read up on Home Canning Methods, Canning Basics, and Canning Tips and Tricks, before you start.


    ~ Steph


    *And dads, of course. But Mother’s Day is May 10th, so we’re just dropping some hints on behalf of the mothers in your life. [Nudge, nudge]

  • Meet Angela


    Hey everyone!

    As the newest blogger at Emergency Essentials, I am excited to get to know you and to share experiences in emergency preparedness together. Growing up near the Washington, D.C. area has given me some unique insights on the definitions of emergency preparedness, and food storage in general.

    As a child, the term emergency preparedness referred to:

    • The 55-gallon water barrel that my mom purchased and then left in the back yard being filled completely by rain water for about 10 years (shameful, I know).
    • Making an emergency kit and having my brother eat the granola bars from it later
    • A map, route, and meeting place to reconnect with the family in case of emergency.

    As a college student, I learned the value of food storage. I had heard many other students express difficulties at building a food storage supply in college, so I began to collect cans of food, and built a basic supply over the years. One thing that I did learn from my mom about food storage was how to use it to create unique meals in a bind. In college I created a bean dip-like concoction that my husband affectionately refers to as “southwest in recession.”

    I know a little bit about emergency preparedness, but I still have a lot to learn. This is why I am so excited to work at Emergency Essentials and to learn from all of you.

    I am probably most excited to learn more about the various food preparation and cooking techniques used to create great meals in the midst of natural disasters and emergencies, like I started to do in college. I also want to start collecting supplies for emergencies and storing food.

    As a somewhat recent college grad, I think that the poorness of school has left me under- prepared. I would love to hear about how others stored up for emergencies during tough financial times.


    Stay tuned to hear what I have learned and other interesting tidbits that I discover and can share with you! I would love to hear your comments that would help me in my quest in emergency preparedness, food storage, and even camping. Especially since I might go on a camping trip with the in-laws soon . . .



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