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    Tips For Stocking Up

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    The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

    October is Energy Awareness Month. That makes it a great time to upgrade to new ENERGY STAR APPLIANCES, televisions or computers to save money on your home energy bills. After all, one of the main reasons we grow our own food and preserve it is to save money. Old appliances don’t always work as well as they should and sometimes cost us more to run than a newer model would, not to mention when a kitchen appliance such as a freezer or refrigerator breaks down, unless we are home, we often lose the food inside of it. Best Buy has more than 2,300 unique ENERGY STAR certified products available. You can view these products in Best Buy stores and online at http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global-Promotions/ENERGY-STAR/pcmcat149900050024.c?id=pcmcat149900050024&ref=184&loc=01

    The average home’s annual energy bill is $2,200. That’s a lot of money to put towards a single bill each year. Believe me, I know.  Energy efficient products can save you money.  It’s easy to find out just how much you can save by replacing an older appliance in your home with a new appliance by simply visiting http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global-Promotions/ENERGY-STAR/pcmcat149900050024.c?id=pcmcat149900050024&ref=184&loc=01

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    While this may seem like a topic that needs to be in the gardening section, it really is a topic that should be filed away under tips for stocking up. After all, if you are growing your own food and preserving it, you do need to know how much to grow!

    So here is a simple chart that hopefully will help you plan your garden and stock your pantry!

    Beans: 1/4 pound of seed plants one 25 foot row. Each 1/4 pound of seed yields somewhere between 12 to 15 pounds of beans.

    Broccoli: Plant five plants per person.

    Cabbage: Plant five plants per person.

    Carrots: Each 25 foot row will produce 1 pound of carrots.

    Celery: Each 25 foot row will produce 30 pounds of celery.

    Corn: Plant a total of six 25 foot rows per family of 4.

    Cucumbers: Plant 22 plants for a family of 4.

    Lettuce: Plant five rows of lettuce that are 5 feet in length per family member. Plant one row per week for five weeks, then begin again as the first row is cleared away. Remember to keep lettuce cool by planting in a partially shaded location or using shade cloth in the heat of the summer.

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    The first week of the year you should look for nuts. Look at the after Christmas sales. The nuts may be 50% or more off. The dry roasted ones store best, but you can freeze nuts as long as you put them into a freezer bag and keep them for a long time. Try to buy at least two pounds per person.

    The second week of the year is the best time to look for cleaning supplies. An average is one gallon of bleach per person. The average person does 156 loads of laundry per year, so stock up on enough laundry soap to get by for the year. Also look for other types of cleansers at this time unless you make your own. If you do, take time this week to stock up on supplies you need to make your own cleansers for the upcoming year.

    Week 3: This is a good time to stock up on needed supplies such as feminine products, Pepto Bismal, Vicks, cough drops and syrup, Tylenol, Calamine Lotion, Kaopectate, Ipecac, and sunscreen. Dispose of all outdated medications in your medicine chest. If you make any of your own salves, creams, etc. take this week to stock up on supplies you will need over the coming year.

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    Everyone eats different foods and different amounts of various foods. Knowing how much to store depends on many things including the space you have to store food in and what foods your family eats. Before stocking up consider how you will store the extra food you buy. Do you have plenty of freezer room and a back-up plan in case the electricity goes out? Will you be canning all the food you store? Maybe you will dehydrate your extra food or use a root cellar. Whatever method you choose, make sure it works for your situation. After all storing food is useless if you will not use the items you store.

    There are some general guidelines from the FDA to help get you started, but the reality is you will have to do your homework. Some things you may not use at all and others you may use more of. Some things you will need to buy and some you can grow. Anyone can stock up, even if you live in an apartment.

    There are different times of the year when it is best to stock up on certain things because they can be found on sale. Here are some yearly averages according to the FDA. These are based on one adult, so multiply this by the number of people in your family to get a better idea of what you will need.

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