Get your basics first! Then you can go play

February 28, 2011

You must get your basic living stuff first! My top 5 of stuff to have in your home. That will get you through any “minor” emergencies. Then you work on skills and sustaining. Most of us can’t have cows or sheep or goats. Our gardens tend to small. It all helps but most of us are at the mercy of JIT deliveries and the supply train.
#1 Don’t be dependent on the supply chain. It’s to fragile, Buy ahead 6 months to a years worth of food. You will at least have a growing season to work with and preserve.
#2 Learn skills:  baking bread each loaf costs me about 30 cents. That’s power and ingredients, but I bought when ingredient were low cost. How much are you spending at the store for bread? Artisan breads are about the same price per pound, about 30 cents. different techniques but ingredients tend to be the same, cooking time the same.
#3 Never underestimate the greed and stupidity of people.I bet this year we will see all kinds of down comforters and quilts at yard sales. Cause they aren’t in fashion. I’ll bet that folks hit the local hardware store and got all kinds of “snow clearing” equipment, home heaters, fuel jugs, lanterns and it will be on display at yard sales. Think ahead, get those oil lamps, candles, sleeping bags. As many folks that needed stuff since it didn’t get really into hard times it won’t happen to them.
#4 Learn, get books I’m anywhere from a week to 3 months ahead of the power curve. It’s not cause I’m so brilliant. I’m just an amateur historian and I take in a lot of info.
#5 The American Dream is dead, and we killed it. We allowed it to happen. Admit it and move along. Just stop denying. it. We screwed up, the boomers, us and our kids. Your fault, My fault, No ones fault it doesn’t matter we got to fix it.

I want folks to wake up. Bad things are happening and we are descending into a dictatorship. No president can decide what laws he will enforce. If he disagrees with a law he may fight it/repeal it or submit a new law. But not enforce it? Next is contract law. If I tear up a contract that makes it null and void. If a Mortgage holding bank shreds a note isn’t it null and void? Not according to Washington states new bill.
We bailed out the bankers cause if we didn’t the economy would collapse. Yet those banks got bigger and Frank Dodd bill were good with that.

Go Galt and get local is my answer. Starve the beast and the beast is the feds.Think about a co-op. You can’t fight the Fed or City hall. So I won’t. Co-ops worked great in the 30’s-80’s. It may take some tweaking but it’s doable. Go barter and trade.
 Now I’ll have some low level ideas for trade later this week.


I think we will see "price fixing" soon in the USA

February 25, 2011

Nixon started this in the 70’s, and as much as I hate Carter, he was handed a load of crap. Economically speaking. Printing money and mandating prices is BS. Black and gray markets will find a true price point. Be it bread, gas or drugs. It’s all the same, “what will the market bear?”. Actually drugs work on a a more free market system than most legal product in the USA
I really expect rationing to happen again but it will be a government mandate. I think it’s your money and you can spend it on a flat screen TV, an Ipad or rice or grain. It’s your choice.

Excuse the light posting. But here are a couple of updates

February 25, 2011

Pauls market has Chicken Quarters (Legs&Thighs) for $.66 a lb. in a 10 lb. bag
Albertsons has “London Broil” $1.99 per lb. This is a great cut of meat that can be broiled, roasted and stewed. It is my favorite cut to use when  I’m making jerky.
Walgreens has T-shirt (Hanes and Jer-Zee) 4 for $10.00 on sale until 5 Mar. 11.  With Cotton jumping in price you need to get your undies and socks along with everything else. It’s always best to get it on sale!! I buy name brands with these items because of  the quality and how long they last compared to the no-name brands.

With so much happening in the world my mind seems to be all over the place. Panic right now is a rational response, it’s just not a very helpful one! I’m trying to get a few postings that give you some info and how to prioritse what you need to get and what you may want to get depending on you can afford to spend. I hope to have the posts up this weekend that will help folks just starting out and those that have been prepping for awhile.

Setting priorities

February 22, 2011

1. Why are you preparing?
This is the mental/spiritual asspect of preparing. Things will get tough, I don’t think anyone can make what’s coming easy, just less hard if you are ready.
2. Shelter is critical.
If you are caught in a snow storm in t-shirt and shorts with no shelter or heat you will be dead in a couple of hours. Now that is an extreme example but please take note you will need to stock extra clothing. Some good blankets, tent and sleeping bags can help protect you retain heat and are great multi-taskers. This just a start you can add to this easily if you don’t already have it on hand.
3.Water is critical
I’ve said this before water helps your body do everything. Water is also very heavy so if you decide to go with the big drums for storing water get some smaller carriers if you need to bug out. I like soda/pop 2-3 litter bottles, camp jugs 5 gallons and under for this task  Have 14 days worth on hand for a gallon a day for each person.  Filters: Almost everyone on survival sites recommend the “Berkey” water filters as being the best and easy to use. A little high in cost for me to afford, but there are some sites on the web for making your own gravity fed water buckets using just the replacement filters. That can save you a lot of money!
Coffee filters and cheesecloth, Start with the clearest water you can get before putting it through a filter. It will make your filter last longer. If you get water from a natural source make sure fish and frogs are alive around it. If everything is dead but Algae it’s probably badly contaminated/fouled and you should look for another spot. Bleach 6% solution is cheap a great sanitizer and cleaner. 1 gallon of bleach could sanitize over 3000 gallons of water. Get your eyedropper and know how much you need to sanitize water. More bleach is not better and can be dangerous.  Boiling water, clear water held at a roiling boil will kill  the bad bugs/and viruses but will have no effect on chemical/ nuclear contaminators. Harvesting your own water, Rain barrels, tarps and buckets. I love my rain barrels. I have 2, 55 gallon drums that are filled with 1 inch of rain falling on the back half of my house’s roof. I have a smaller than average home at about 1200-1400 sq. ft. I don’t consider this water for cooking or drinking, but for watering plants and the yard and flushing toilets. But, you can also lay out tarps and buckets and as long as the tarp is clean and the buckets are food safe, you could see how a couple of rainstorms can really extend your water supply.

This is a personal issue if you will use violence to protect yourself.  But at least make yourself a harder target at home. Alarms, security cameras, burglar bars/wrought iron, motion-detectors/lights all will help.  Situational awareness, look how you park and how you drive. Do you get as close as you can to the store or how quickly you could drive away if needed? At a stop light do you get bumper to bumper or leave a car length or two? Could your car jump the curb or does your car ride so low you scrape the undercarriage going over speed bumps and train tracks?
You will need this though I know most of us in the USA have already built in some reserves on our bodies. But when hunger/starvation really sets in all you can think about will be food. I know that beans&rice can seem like feast. But heck we are preparing so I hope not to go through that and we got some time so let’s avoid “food fatigue” grow a garden, and learn to cook and preserve food. Now in my “Start Here” page I give you some basics of long lasting foods that will keep you alive. I happen to like rice and beans though Pintos are not my favorite bean. But it got me out of “Panic mode”. Not a great solution, but I knew I could eat no matter what happened, and gave me time to plan. Now many sites will tell you to get whole grains. I’ll admit they (whole grains) do last a long time. But I stored white unbleached flour which is good for 5 years and I make bread weekly. If the STHF and last’s longer than 5 years I’m guessing I will adapt. I do store whole grains but it’s stored along side my flour not instead of flour.  Go look at your produce section at your local mega-mart and look at the price of herbs and spouts. Whatever you buy that is the most expensive pick that for your garden. Or something you like to take it’s place.
6. Insurance Monetary

Fiat currency is dying, I don’t trust paper currency backed by the full faith of the US government. Diversify; hopefully you got 6 months worth of basic staples of all the above. Plus bit more for 1st aid, medicine, heat. You are doing good, now how to protect all you have worked for your future or something for your kids.
PM’s tend to do the best when other investments go to hell. Silver is very cheap compared most PM’s to buy.
I’m not market guru. I’m still learning and this is not investment advice. If you have all of the above taken care of first. You have gotten your basics for 6 months to a year. Don’t get greedy look to survive the first 1-3 months. Then be flexible, I don’t think most folks will be able to buy out of STHF. After 3-6 months you may get food, water or power for gold and silver. I can tell you I won’t be selling my food or water cheap and it won’t be for greenbacks.
Your Choice, be ready or be paying!

A couple of Updates

February 20, 2011

Walgreens is having a sale on Seeds. 5 for a $1.00.  Now theese are a small packages and are “Heirlooms”
Fred Meyers has Tuna 5oz. can 3/$1.00 both water and oil packed.
Didn’t see any other sales that really blew my hair back.

It seems my city has declared my bunnies an agricultural  animal so I’ll need a permit or I have to get rid of them. So I’m giving them to my aunt since she is out of the city and started raising bunnies again, I’ll be working a trade of the cages for a quilt she makes. This way I’ll have access to bunnies but no hassles. I’m goinng to keep a couple of the cages just in case I need to start raising them again.

A Little humor

February 18, 2011

No one get’s out alive so let’s have a little fun.

Don’t Panic!! get ready.

February 18, 2011

I do hope you bought some popcorn (Alton Brown has a recipe to make your own Microwave popcorn and your favorite beverages and are ready for the show. We are living in historic times. Somewhat comparable to the Fall of the Roman Empire but world wide in scope, and this one will be recorded and broadcast live via the Internet.
Bank runs in S. Korea, a stealth bank run in Ireland, Taiwan will prosecute “hoarders” the Middle East is on fire, and here in the good old USA, housing is getting crazy and MERS states they can’t foreclose cause they  can’t prove they own the note.
Google “mersinc” and check out who has supposedly owned your mortgage. You may want to check with your county assessor if those sales were recorded properly. I know I was was somewhat surprised that my note had been sold 3 times including to Deutche Bank (Germany’s National bank). I’m not telling you to stop paying your mortgage. I’m telling you to get the data for your debt and ask for the “wet ink” and registered info for your mortgage to protect yourself. Make sure you have copies of all payments made. Please cover yourself, cause I think the banksters are out of control.
Commodity prices of the things you need to live and work are up 50-100% across the board. Manufacturers and stores must pass on these costs to stay in business. Anyone on a budget in the middle class is seeing more outgo and less income. Coffee up at least $1.50 per 34 oz can. Gas here in Idaho is up almost .30 cents per gallon in less than 2  weeks. I guessed this inflation was coming and adjusted my budget 3 months ago. I feel for the the folks that listened to the talking points of the MSM (Main Stream Media) and believed them and thought they were well informed. 
You must protect yourself. No one cares about your  well-being as an individual more than you. Watch folks actions and not their words. I’m sure many of us have seen folks “That are all hat, and no cattle”.
Get local and know who you can trust and not trust. Build networks, be nice, help out. It really does work!

Be positive and do your best. Not a guarantee of success. I just I know you will fail without it.

A few interesting sales going on.

February 16, 2011

All of my stores are having sales on Chicken. Paul’s and Albertson’s at $.88 per pound legs and thighs and Fred Meyer’s has Whole chicken for $.79 per pound. Since Chicken move through the production cycle so quickly we will probably see them reflect the rising commodity prices first. So now is a good time to get some in the freezer or some for canning.
Cash & Carry is having a sale on pinto beans 50 # for $18.98. A great price for 500 4 oz. servings. Plus beans and rice make a complete protien.
Big Lot’s flyer for Feb 20th has a big (34oz.) bottle of Racantto Extra Virgin Olive oil for $5.00. I’ll be picking some up. I’ve got a couple of gallons of regular olive oil, but very little of the extra virgin and with spring and summer coming that means salad dressing and marinades for the BBQ. Olive oil stores well if kept in a cool, dark spot. Big Lot’s has Xtra laundry detergent 77 loads for $2.50. I have used and I like this detergent. Depending on how much laundry you do a week, you could get a couple of bottles and be set for 6 months to a year.

Lastly folks you will or are seeing some News reports about fresh produce cost jumping up because of the Freeze this year. Don’t freak out!!  You may have to shift from fresh to canned as they are already been priced and now you want to get some seeds anyway for the garden.
Do a salad in a “Bucket”. Start with a 5 gallon bucket. Poke or drill a couple of holes in the bottom, add a layer of rocks for drainage and then potting soil or dirt. Then start filling with your favorite salad veggies. Place a cherry or grape tomato in the center, add some leaf lettuce, some root veggies like small carrots, radishes and green onions. Don’t crowd your plants to much, you can have more than 1 bucket if you like and set in a sunny spot in the house. If you get a warm day you can set outside then bring it in at night, since the buckets are so easy to move. Make sure you have some thing under the bucket to catch any water drainage.
You may want to check out sprouting as well. and no sun is needed for that and tons of info on good sprouts to eat and all you really need is a jar, water and time. 

Big News Coffee on sale a Fred Meyers !!

February 13, 2011

$5.99 for the Fred Meyers brand 34.5 oz can. Not a coupon and there is not a limit in the flyer.
If you are a coffee feind like me this is a good time to stock up. I like the French Roast the best, and I think we will see much higher prices this summer, in the $9.00-$10.00 range for a big can of coffee.
Just buy the latest use by date and you can get at least a year and it will taste fine.

Looking forward to the garden

February 13, 2011

I’ve got a couple more raised beds I’m mapping out in my mind. It is a great time to get those seeds ordered and think about the getting those starts going. Now for those who can’t devote an acre of ground or 12 hours + aday for just growing vegies or are new to gardening.  I got a couple of ideas for you to try out…

  1. Grow the most expensive things at home. Herbs,  are pretty easy to grow in a  sunny window sill and do great in pots. I also bet they are some of the most expensive items you buy in the produce section.
  2. Grow what you eat, just like you store what you eat. Just cause a plant grows well and you get a great harvest means nothing if you despise it. 
  3. Know how to preserve your crop. This could be a root cellar, Pressure or hotwater bath canning or a freezer. Get what equipment you need before the harvest from vacume/ziploc bags for freezing to jars, lids for canners, to boxes or straw for root veggies. To making wines, beers, ciders and vinegers and ferment cabbages to pickleing, salting and smoking. Don’t get narrow in your outlook. Both grape and cabbage leaves can make great wraps for food. I’m looking to use both leaves  frozen and pickled.
  4. Get ethnic in your cooking, the flour that makes egg noodles, makes flour tortillas, biscuits, bread and yorkshire pudding. Corn makes grits, polenta, corn mush, hush puppies not counting the breads, muffins and breading. Add masa and you have corn tortillas, sopas. Add rice into the mix evertything from stirfrys, to rice cakes and all the southern gumbos and jambalayas. That’s only 3 staples and 3 cuisine types, mostly USA. Curries and Asian cooking is great. And European root cooking is faboo, and all you need is a few different spices,oils and different techniques of cooking. This will prevent food fatigue.
  5. Don’t be afraid to try new stuff.. I like most vegetables even the smell of canned spinach turns my stomach. But I love it fresh in salads. Even steamed as greens I like. Something in the commercial canning process screws it for me. I know folks that put vinegar and cinnamon on the canned stuff and say it tastes better. But as far as I’m concerned on canned spinach. You could sprinkle it with Ajax and not make it taste worse. While I’ll never store canned spinach.  I got no problem dedicating some garden space for the fresh stuff.

I guess what I’m saying is have a plan not only for the garden but how to preserve the harvest. Plant what you know you will eat, but be open to new menu ideas and using stuff in new ways.