Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thank you for stopping by!

If you need help organizing your "stockpile" this is the place!

Please take a minute to look around. Shelf Reliance is a company dedicated to helping you with your Pantry and Food Storage needs. You will find HIGH - quality shelving, and long term food storage at budget friendly prices.

** Please email me if you are interested in trying the THRIVE food. I would LOVE to send you some samples to try out! Expect 2-4 weeks for delivery.

Also, they have a HUGE selection of items that are Gluten Free, MSG and GMO free.

** Email me for additional coupon codes and savings from 15-35% off retail prices!

I suggest reading about My Story and then working your way to the shelving, my favorite part!

Thanks for looking!

Here is a cute little 20 second video showing the different shelving units!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What is Taco TVP?

My sweet husband was my videographer, he doesn't know how to focus the camera! I apologize for any motion sickness :)!

A very common question I get is, "What exactly is Taco TVP?"

TVP in general stands for Textured Vegetable Protein. You have actually probably had it many times and didn't even know it. Many restaurants and fast food places use it often in their menu. Most of the canned chili at the grocery store has TVP in it.

"TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is an excellent protein source that is easy to store and use. TVP is made from soy flour that has had the soy oil extracted. It is cooked under pressure, then extruded and dried. TVP is high in fiber and low in fat, making it ideal for food storage and everyday use. Because TVP is not made from meat, it does not run the same contamination risk from bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella. TVP is soy based, Kosher certified, and perfect for those on a vegetarian diet."

My kids
LOVE it, and I love it that they can make it themselves and not have to turn on the stove! We use it all the time in quesadillas, enchiladas, tortilla soup, taco's and burritos. In the video here I am showing you how my kids use it in nacho's! A little goes a LONG way! Only 1 T. makes an entire plate of nachos.

A #10 can this week is only $9.32, the can says 42 servings but we get WAY more than that out of it!

For a free sample, email me at

Monday, March 29, 2010

What does your pantry look like?

Last Monday this is what my Mother's pantry looked like. 

She needed help!

She also hates change.

She decided to get some of the Cansolidator 40 can shelves and see what she could do with them. A few hours later, and her entire pantry on the kitchen floor, she found "treasures" beyond her wildest dreams!

Do you know what happens to cans of pineapple that go 8 years past their expiration date?

Yes, they explode.

All over the back of her pantry! 

This is the before picture.

The shelves themselves were super easy to assemble. It only took minutes. In fact, my Mother recruited some little granddaughters to help.

She stacked two on top of one another on the floor and put two side by side up on the shelf.

A day later, and an archaeological dig behind her, my Mothers pantry now looks like this! 

She keeps the door open.

I think she is bragging...

It is organized for the first time in the 22 years that she has lived there. She was able to find the source of the moths that were getting her boxed items, there is a ton more room, everything is easily accessible and she found cans from the 80's that she tossed!

It is hard from the picture to tell exactly how much more room she has, but in person it is striking!

I am so happy for her and my Dad, way to go!

Thankful for Food Storage!

Almost 18 months ago my front yard looked like this... Two of my big beautiful trees had fallen during hurricane Ike....
We hadn't let enough water out of the pool, and the back of the house almost flooded due to the pool overflowing. First lesson learned!
The week before we knew it was coming and set out to get the house ready. We brought in all the plants and kids toys we could. Nailed down everything possible and taped all the windows.
While many people were panicking and spending all their available cash on supplies, we were comforted knowing that we didn't need to join the rush and that we were well prepared. We ran into Walmart on Thursday evening and were stunned to see the shelves. It was a very errie feeling when your huge super center is cleared out COMPLETELY!
Because of couponing and my food storage there was nothing that we needed, save for some fresh fruit and vegetables. 
On Friday, everything was closed, the kids were out of school and we just had to sit around and wait. Paul, myself and the DuBois Family, took the shotgun and hand guns down to the creek to do some shooting and relieve some anxiety! We heard reports on T.V. of all the chaos surrounding the stores closing early and people not having any food or water. I can't understand not being prepared? Why would you live so day to day that you can't take care of your family in an emergency with the basics of food, when you have the ability with coupons to do it almost free?

Friday was very still, it was hard to imagine what was coming. I can understand how so many people were killed in the 1909 hurricane, you really have no idea what is about to happen. That afternoon the wind started to pick up a little and by bed time we were getting a little rain and large wind gusts. At midnight we lost our power. Paul and I laid down to try and get some sleep, but at 1:30am our first tree fell on the house. We ran to see what had happened and could tell that we might loose more, so we grabbed the kids and put them all in the center of the house. I can't describe how loud the wind was! It was amazing!
When morning came we were stunned at the damage. I guess we thought it would just pass over and we would have a few downed power lines.
We got to work quickly, cutting down trees and helping neighbors. It was a really neat experience for myself and my family. It was difficult. We were without power for almost a month. Paul had to go to Dallas for work and I was alone with the kids, two were having major asthma problems, it was HOT outside and honestly I was scared at night. Without power your world is completely different, we talked a lot more, we played a lot more and it was really nice. Psychologically it was difficult because we were some of the last to get power back. So when everyone else has it at church and school they move on, not realizing you are still struggling to prepare every meal.
Try getting your kids ready for school for two weeks without power. That is exciting. NOT.But I am very grateful for a few things. I am grateful for all food, water, and batteries that I have stockpiled all for almost free with coupons. This is one of many shelving systems I have for storage. It may not be pretty, but I never want to have to worry about how I am going to feed my kids. I can't imagine a more sick feeling than not having anything to feed them or wondering who is going to help us, I hope that never happens.
We were also able to donate almost $1,500 dollars personally, of toiletries to our neighbors and to my kids elementary school. Many people in my subdivision were flooded out of their homes. The kids and I went to "The Ivanovsky mini-mart" in my garage and pulled together almost 40 gift bags for families who had nothing but the clothes on their backs. We also were able to make dinner and bake items with the solar oven that I had and give warm food out to friends.
I am so thankful we were kept safe physically during the hurricane last year, and that the damage to property was fixable. I am also thankful for a supportive family who helps me use coupons and tolerates my stockpiles/food storage around the house! Hopefully we never have to go through any significant power loss again, but I know that if we have to, we will be prepared.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Giveaway: Freeze Dried Strawberries!

Woo Hoo, I had to pry this can away from my children and barely got it before they opened it! 

Below is all the technical stuff, but all I really know is that I have found at least 438 different ways to eat these in the past month. I LOVE them!

THRIVE Freeze Dried Strawberries will have you snacking and munching the healthy way. GMO-free and a strong source of vitamin C, our strawberries are cut length-wise and then freeze dried. This makes them perfect and lovely in anything from your morning cereal to parfaits or decorative cakes.
Freeze dried strawberries retain almost all of their original taste, nutrition, and color, whereas dehydrated strawberries tend to lose these things. With 45 servings in each #10 can and an optimum shelf life of 25 years, this favorite fruit is a perfect match for your long-term food storage. Whether eaten from the can or rehydrated with a little water or the juice of your choice, THRIVE Freeze Dried Strawberries are an economical and delicious addition to your food storage system!
To enter to win, leave a comment telling me what your favorite way to eat strawberries is!
* Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win!

My Story

This is us, well almost all of us. 
Were missing one, I am due to have our 7th in July. 

This isn't really a good example of our family, no one is pinching anyone, at least that I can see. 
(Isn't that the cutest little baby boy you have ever seen?)

I began couponing about 4 years ago with the help of a friend who was a "coupon queen". Every now and then I would venture the 30 miles away to Costco and drool over the rotating can shelving that they had there. But, I never felt like I could afford it. I always put it on my Christmas list. 

Santa never brought me a set. 
Someone talk to my husband about that please. 

I had sets of gorilla shelving everywhere with stacks of cans piled in and never a system to rotate or even know what I had. I would repeatedly buy more cans of things I didn't need because I couldn't see what I had. 

About 2 years ago, my husband got laid off at work. O.K. no big deal, we will just find another job in his same field paying the same salary. WRONG. Out of the past 24mo. he has been unemployed for 19 of them. Our lives changed dramatically. What was a fun hobby, couponing became a necessity and literally saved us each month. My "stockpiles" and "food storage" were what we lived on (and still do). I learned to make dinner for under $1.00 a person and worked hard at cutting every corner. 

We cut our food budget from $1,300 a month for food and toiletries to $425 (in march of 2010) a month and are always looking for ways to make it even less. We found a few things that were very interesting. 

1. Statistics show if you go to the store without a list you spend on average 40% more.
2. If you have someone (usually husbands) run in on the way home to "grab a few things" they buy on average 60% more than what they came in for. 
3. You re-buy many of the items that you already have at home because you don't know that you have them. 

To sum it up: Those little trips to the store are nickel and diming you to death!

What we did was create our own little "Ivanovsky Mini-Mart" in our house. That sounds great and all, but you don't have room?? We didn't either. Our house is a whopping 2,000 square feet, with almost 9 of us and a large dog we are cramped! I had to make it work! I have food EVERYWHERE.

In January of 2010, I read an article about my beloved shelving. Hallelujah! It actually had a name! Shelf Reliance... 
WHAT! They were not going to be selling them anymore in retail stores?
I called the company to whine. 
Where would I get a set?

They informed me that they were only going to be selling them by way of home parties or on the website (home parties have much better pricing BTW) and they also carried long-term food storage items. They forwarded my name to a THE ONLY CONSULTANT IN TEXAS and the rest is history.

I was already writing my money saving blog ( and wanted to be able to pass on the savings to my readers, so they could afford a set or two of the shelving in their home that I had needed for so long. The best way and most affordable for my readers was for me to become a consultant. So I am. 

My home is now quiet and peaceful and all is good in the world. Wait. No. But it is now finally much more organized. We have stopped all the hemorrhaging of unnecessary trips to the store. With the Thrive food by Shelf Reliance I have all the "staples" at my finger tips all the time. No running to the store for eggs, milk, sour cream, etc. I have it all here, all the time. I have also saved so much time in my preparation of food. No more cutting and dicing of vegetable, now I just throw in a handful. In fact, my husband has gotten much more involved in the cooking because he doesn't have to cut up anything. 

So thats it. Thats how I became involved. I wanted to pass on the savings to you, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me, 

P.S. Yes, I finally have my set of shelving!! Wooo Hoooo! It is a Christmas Miracle!