Get ready it’s coming

November 19, 2010

I lived for 2 months on my storage/prep my first year. Because of a high vet bill. I think a lot of us are the same we will do anything to save our critters from pain. Yes we can put them down and that’s fairly cheap. But my pets are members of my familiy as well. I was thankful God gave me this test. It was actully easy to go 2 months without shopping for regular meals. That was easy, have you ever gone 2 months without a mocha, some chips, dips, crackers, snacks and popcorn? First thing I did is get 12# of popcorn, real butter and start building a snacker survival kit. I’m learning to make tortillas in to chips, have some salsa and learn to make and can it.
A good thing I did have this option to live 2 months without shopping. Bad thing my snacker got the best of me. Better to plan for it than get blind sided.

I’m sure many of you have dropped an income or on unemployment. You have scrambled on what’s important and what is critical. I don’t have kids but pets. I’m willing to do most anything for my critters. I think children are much higher than pets. I can only imagine what you are going through as parents. $20.00 per month is all it takes to prep, that’s a going Mc D’s or a movie 1 time. We can show you how. I can bitch about snacks cause didn’t prep well, but paid a vet bill about half my monthly income and still paid all my bills and ate well.
Could you take a hit for a bill of over 1/2 of your monthly income and not use credit? and still pay all bills? If not, why not? look to yourself and look at who gave you credit?

Got some great deals and few more items to buy

November 19, 2010

Preparedness/Survival isn’t a shopping list or storage. It’s a way of life, an attitude, something our Grandparents and ancestors took as a given. A garden was in everyone’s yard, that was normal plus an agricultural animal from chickens to pig, goat or a dairy cow. A basement, root/storm-cellar was normal. Yet I had to buy a an older (1940) house to get even a partial basement. I’m the only one in the family with a basement of any sort. We hunted for meat and mushrooms, huckleberries and peaches. We worked for our food and valued it.A cow or goat does not care about your human vacation, she needs milked 2 times a day everyday. Yes it is long hours and at dark but there is a lot of satisfaction as well. Saving a bunny beats the crap out of Dancing with the Stars.
Planting your first pot of herbs and seeing it grow is awesome. Sprouting seeds and knowing you can grow and have a nutrient dense food to feed your family that only needs a bit of water and time is priceless. Smoke a bacon or ham, not hard work just the fire needs tending. Bake a loaf of bread, you have to wait for it to rise and all the technology in the world can’t make yeast work faster. Sometimes it’s good to slow down, be still and know that God is with you.
Take a look at yourself. What do you want for your future and for your children. What is the point of your 401k? I assume you want a good retirement. To be able to eat, drink and survive and leave/help your family. Why not do that now? You know you will have to eat, you know you need water, shelter, heat, security. For about $300.00 USD I can show you food and water security for 1 person for a year. Is it easy know you will have to work a bit. But it’s not hard either, time consuming but not hard. What are you putting into your 401k that is controlled by Wall Street, banksters, the Fed and what has been your loss? You played by the rules. Why are you bailing those that don’t play by the rules? GM stocks were at $52.00, an IPO goes for $33.00 and  dropping to $31.00 and some change, this is considered a success by the feds.
Get out of your 401k, at least go metals or mining stock. Get out of JP Morgan, BofA and the other to big to fails. Go credit unions, and local banks. Get real assets you can hold in your hand or take delivery. I like Silver cause its still very cheap but I also am ready for food/commodity inflation and buying as much as I can.
Get food, water and security first for at least a year. then go for PM’s. Your $4000.00 dollar deduction will cover that easily. Until PM’s are sold there is no Capital gains.

How to store food

November 10, 2010

I started of with a few bins from Rubbermaid, Steralite and foodsafe gallon bags. I broke down big parcels to small parcels always using food safe (mostly ziplock type bags). Nothing is wrong with that idea. I had only 1 infenstation in 2 years and it was a storable container for the Kitchen via brown rice. All grains have a bit of critters in it,  unless you you have a walkin freezer to kill critters in bulk how will you deal with it? Food grade DE.
Food grade DE is a drying agent and a great insect killer. It’s safe for you and your pets to eat.  It’s not perfect and has no residual effects as an insecticide.  It’s great as an odor killer among bunnies, it stops fleas, it’s natural. Great to put in your storage bucket it kills insects yet you can sporout it does no kill the seed of your storage.
I did bins 1st just to get started. No not perfect but it seem to work with my storage area that was cool, dark and mostly dry. No big upturn of rodents or bugs. Got a cat and that cleared the garden of critters.
Now I’m getting food safe buckets for about $1.00USD with a gasket lid. Easy to store and clean ( a bit of bleach and dishsoap). I get them at the local grocery store’s bakery.
Get out side the box on your thinking, I did great on foodsafe bags in the 1-2 gallon range for over 18 months. Now I’m doing buckets on the cheap with a little prep.

It’s not all that expensive to prep smart. You just have to be smart and know what you can and will do to make it happen.  Start small a gallon/6lbs at a time and it easy. 

The BOV Kitchen

November 4, 2010

Cookware: such as a cast iron skillet and “Dutch oven” and pressure cooker should be considered the minimum for pans. A cookie sheet and a cake pan will be useful for breads and cakes. I recommend a percolator or a French press for making coffee and a heavy duty Thermos.
Why the above?:Cast iron, very dense and holds heat well. plus it withstands high heat /direct flame. It is good for all kinds of things and is easy to clean. Cast iron is not the best for steaming,boiling or any cooking method that involves lots of water.
This is the time for the pressure cooker to steps in and saves the day. You can leave the lid off and boil water. But you can cook Brown rice in 10-15 minutes instead of 40 minutes. Dry beans, cut the cooking time by 3/4th’s. Imagine the fuel and time savings . Freezer-burnt meat? don’t throw it out, put in a pressure cooker and make stews, chili and stocks.
I like the French Press coffee maker because they are cheap and easy to find. You boil the water and then let the coffee steep for 3-5 minutes which save energy and it never boils over like a percolator can, if you don’t watch it. The thermos can be used as a slow cooker, and if you want warm water in the morning for washing your face no need to heat up some water as you did it the night before.

Utensils: Get some long spring loaded tongs and a good, heavy duty can opener in addition to the normal utensils you use. Don’t scrimp on quality, your life may depend on these items.  

The BOV Pantry: You may have to store this in some totes or buckets in the house so they are protected form extreme temps but are easy to grab and go. 
Salt: iodized salt needed for good health.
Peppers and Herbs: I like those little grinders you get can buy with peppercorns or sea salt and other spices. Whole spices last longer and are best when freshly ground.
Condiments: Whatever you like, many recipes exist on the internet for making your own mayo, ketchup, salsa and mustard.
Vinegar: for flavoring, a preservative, vitamin C and a good window cleaner
Oils and or shortening::Olive oil and Crisco have the longest shelf life. But if you do any deep fat frying I recommend Peanut oil. It has a high smoke point and can be reheated several times with no effect on taste.
Food: Easy to prepare items. Water will probably be the heaviest thing to pack and carry. If you are limited on how much weight and bulk you can carry go for dry goods and a good water filter.
Powder, canned and/or UHT milk 
I get some great bread and biscuit mixes at the local restaurant supply store. I really like them because you just add water, rather than milk like most scratch recipes need.
Staples: The usual suspects of sugar, beans, rice, grains/flour. Canned or dried meats, fruits and vegetables. Baking soda, powder and yeast.
Snacks and goodies

Cleanup and sanitation
Dish soap, Bleach (Sanitizer) Extra Spray bottles. Dish cloths/towels , paper towels/newspaper. Sponges, steel wool and a bottle scrubber. I like having several of the flexible plastic cutting mats. Use one for meat, another for veggies. This will reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination and they are very easy to wash and sanitize.
Food service or latex gloves. 

Cooking: Fuel and how much you can carry and if it is available will probably dictate how you heat your water and cook your food. You might want to look into a Solar Oven as an option. Extra strike anywhere matches,a couple of Bic lighters and starting fluid if needed.

Refrigeration and or coolers:
Check local stores have Dry Ice available, very good info to have on hand. I have 2 stores within a mile that offer dry ice.

Now you will be replicating your items somewhat, that’s a good thing. But, if you don’t need to Bug Out and instead shelter in place you will have replacements for your items at home and you will be able to barter or share. Or even use it on a camping trip and you are ready to go on a moments notice.

Positioning yourself for the Future

November 2, 2010

I have harped on getting your basics, how to do it on a small budget. Getting out of debt and buying items and tools you need to be as self-relient as possible, and store up things you can’t produce for yourself. I don’t expect you to go out and mine your own Iron ore in order to make a knife. I do expect you to buy a good quality knife and be able to sharpen it. Remember the most important survival tool is that thing between your ears. Knowledge can never be stolen from you. Get some! and practice new skills. Get to know your neighbors, relationships will be critical. Know who will have your back and who will stab you in the back. Nice thing is about 85-90% of folks you meet are good and decent folks. That 10-15% are bad and not great to have around. Get involved in your community it all starts with you. You are doing the right thing saving yourself and your family. You will have your food, water and other resourses and won’t be a burden on a supply system that will be overburden. Now you should have touched base with your neighbors and know who you can trust and you are saving a neighborhood with growing gardens, pulling security making  and growing things from food to bread, Canning and preserving foods, just trading some stuff or lending/sharing.
I thinks will get tough economically but you can rise above that if you prepare. Stiking your head in the sand and ignoring what’s going on will just allow you to get kicked in the butt. I will be getting back to the basics of the BOV kitchen and the “Hold in place” post this week. I am very excited to try some canning of butter, bacon, chicken and waxing some cheese. I did some dehydrated hamburger, onions and tomatoes for a start on soup mix and I will be testing the Pizza Survival kit and see what I need to add or subtract to make it work.