February 29, 2012
It seems every time the PTB’s or someone that charges you on utilities this is always the way they want you to accept the higher cost. I often use the same measurement but to show how money can trickle through your fingers and perhaps having 4 Grande Lattes per month at Starbucks is a need rather than 50 pounds of flour or 20 pounds of rice. I think that is a choice and I’m only trying to show how cheap prepping can be if you work at it a bit. I don’t have a choice concerning my utilities. I can’t turn them off without the city condeming me for violations of a health/safety code. I’m in town I must pay for trash service, needed or not. I must buy a min. of city water needed or not. On property taxes, little Johnny can’t read or isn’t fed at home or teachers are struggling to make it on two to three times my yearly income.
I have reduced my my power usage becuase of cost. I don’t get a pat on the back for conserving, I get a hike in rates as the public utilities is not clearing the alloted profits because folks are conserving like they were asked to do. Same thing for water and trash as I recycle and don’t put out even an average 30 gallon trash bag of waste. The USA has a surplus of refined gasoline and is exporting it along with shutting down refinerys because of lack of demand. Yet the price is going up quickly.
Suburbs are built with streets as wide as a six lane highway and postage stamp yards and if you want to grow a garden or have a couple of chickens or dwarf goats you will be in violation of some code. Then the city planners wonder why they have a runoff/ storm water problem.
How are poor folks supposed to eat real, and wholesome food if they can’t grow it? I can’t afford in the organic section of my local megamart, or a Whole Foods that does not exist in my community. I don’t want food stamps or subsidies. I want to grow my own food! Provide my own power and depend on me and not the government!
I have 7 years in food service, 13 years in the military learning all about sanitaion and was a inspector as well as a field sanitation NCO. But I can’t sell a loaf of bread because of regulations that my kitchen is unsafe because it’s not an industrial/comercial kitchen. I don’t about you all but killing off potential customers is contra-indicated as a sustainable business model. But if you are Tyson foods and have lobbyists you can have you chickens swimming in feces and give them a little spritz with ammonia or bleach and everything is good. Heck google pink slime or watch chicken nugget be made on youtube. If that doesn’t scare you look into salmon farming or GMO getting the green light for food and they don’t need to let you know the food is GMO.
But it’s only $10.00 for you to pay this month or this year and next year. I really wish these bastards would stopp helping to improve my life. With my money.
February 27, 2012
I don’t know about you folks but what I see happening in the world could probably scare the crap out of Superman. I will admit I get a bit frightened as well, not so much for myself but for average folks that are not ready for bad times. So far in my adventurers I’ve mentally gone from if SHTF to when SHTF to will I get another month before SHTF. Heck they almost had a riot over the privilege of paying $220.00 for a pair of glow in the dark Nike sneakers in Florida. This last Xmas we saw near riots and assaults over $ 2.00 toasters and waffle irons. I can just imagine the struggle over the last case of bottled water and frozen pizza rolls if SHTF really happens.
I don’t want you to get discouraged or think you are to late to getting ready and learning self-reliance. You are not to late as long as things keep moving along and the PTBs are desperate to keep everything moving along. I’m still seeing some good deals out there for store bought goods and my local stores. Heck I see brand new Hi-point pistols, a Mosin-Nagant rifles and 12 guage shotguns for less than a new pair of Nike sneakers. LOL Heck for the price of 2 pairs of those sneakers you could have a nice little arsenal of weapons and a little left over for buying ammo.
Yes, you will have to prioritize and no you will probably not get a great stash of money you did not know about to save your butt. It will take work and sacrifice and there will be a little pain. Or you can keep doing what you have done and you will keep getting the same results you always got in the past! No politician will save you. I believe you must start with saving yourself, then your family, then your community. If you can’t do that exactly how much difference do you think you will make in DC? You don’t have High priced lobbyists or can afford to travel to DC and sit in front of congress critters and tell them what you need. Hell your local cops are at least minutes away when you have a home invader. Fire fighters don’t come to save your house they come to keep the fire from spreading. They will do the best they can but usually they end up containing a blaze rather than saving your home. I don’t blame them there is nothing in my home worth a firefighter getting injured it’s just stuff. Sure it would hurt emotionally, but as long as I evacuate my critters and I’m out safely I’m okay and that’s why I have insurance.
If you are new hopefully you have looked through my getting started page. That give you a relatively cheap shopping list for some food and get your mind thinking in new ways. 2 books I would recommend is the SAS Survival Guide that you can find for $12.00 at Amazon and most book stores. Great book with everything from minor surgery to edible and poisonous plants. The Boy Scout hand book, not sure of the cost but I picked mine up for $2.00 second hand.
February 26, 2012
Don’t think you are to late to get ready and get prepared you are not to late! I know we all tend to focus on food but if you can buy a bottle of bleach a bunch of coffee filters an have a way of boiling water you should be mostly safe for water. But you have tap water so why not save your self time and energy by storing some water? Do you buy soda? Buy it in 2-3 litter bottles and instead of throwing the bottles away simply clean them and store tap water. The bottles can take up a little bit of floor space but the are relativly light and the work fine. I like lemon-lime soda so I have green litter bottles if you stash them under the bed or in a closet away from light you should have no problems with the water being good for years, though you may want a couple of pitchers on hand to re-oxgenate the water as it will taste a little flat. Yes, I tested this and all my water was fine up to water stored 2 years. Do not use milk jugs as the plastic is thin and tends to break down.
Food basics bought in bulk are still a good buy. Rice and flour are still about the same as they were on my $125.00 shopping list though beans and sugar are quite a bit higher. In 25 to 50 pound bags flour and rice can be had for less than 50 cents per pound though beans have jumped to 75 cents to a dollar plus per pound even in bulk. You must learn to make food from scratch to get the most bang for your buck. It’s usually takes time to prepare but you can always do something else while your bread is rising or your beans are soaking. As long as you think ahead they can be real darned easy to make and if you forget about starting your dinner in the AM a pressure cooker can will speed up the cooking process.
Growing a garden will not provide all your food for most folks but it can supplement your stored food and give you vitamins not in your basic survival diet. Getting a dehydrator, a hot bath canner and a pressure canner plus jars will let you buy low when veggies are the cheapest and preserve them till winter when veggies are the most expensive. I know things will be tough and things will not be the same. I choose not to suffer unnecessarily or more than is needed if I simply buy a few thing and know how to use those tools.
Buy books, take classes and download info you need. Learn the theory and put it into practice and learn what works for you. You can have the greatest BOB (bug out bag) in the world, but if it’s so damn heavy you can’t lift it or you can’t walk a mile with it on your back you are screwed. How would you move 5-10 miles a day without a car? got a bike, a wagon. Kids and pets what about them and what they need and what they are capable of doing daily. Practice and practice some more even if it is simply you flipping the main breaker for the house or putting the lights and electronics off limits for a day or two over the weekend. Camp out in the back yard just using your BOBs. Sure if it get’s nasty you can run inside and do up a list of the things you need or want. It’s not about suffering to meet an arbitrary goal. It’s about learning how best to survive and making the best plan you can and using your resources wisely. Every one can get together and say what worked and what didn’t. Dad the tent leaks, or honey if I don’t see a good cup of coffee, I’m going to kill something. Or Bears and mountain lions will attack if we don’t have a flashlight to scare it away. What do you mean no TV, texting, facebook or electronics for 24 hours? You may want to practice during a Holiday as your kids will probably inform everyone that the parents are so weird and go into detail. I’m out in the open but if you are concerned about security and keeping stuff quiet make sure the whole family is on the same page as you.
I don’t think it was just Signal officers in the Army but it seemed being miserable tend to equate to good training in the Army. I’ve been miserable and have no desire to practice being miserable as a civilian. Misery will come on it’s own and I have no desire to seek her out. A few dollars spent for a good thermos and a dollar spent on a water jug that will keep 1 gallon of hot water overnight is worth the world to me. I will be doing a no tap water, no hot water tank test starting 5 March for 5 days. I wanted to test my porta potties but I don’t trust March so the I’ll just flush using my stored water. I want my RV tanks and porta-potties ready in case the PTBs don’t fix all the problems in the EU, Iran, Syria and the economy.
It’s not a problem it’s only an opportunity to see how ready you are and what you need to do next….
February 23, 2012
I haven’t done a shopping post for quite some time as there have not been a lot of deals out there that really blew my skirt up. But I did see a few for the next week that look good and I will be taking advantage of:
- Big Lots has a walk in green house for $50.00 and 50′ garden hoses for $6.88. Both are good buys and are value added or at least hard to replace on your own. If you can’t construct your own green house on your property this stand alone and non-permanent green house may work for you.
- Big 5 Sporting goods has a couple of good sales on ammo, 22 long rifle brick of 500 rounds for $18.95 and a box of 50 rounds .223 for 20.99. Mom picked up a couple of S&W lock back knives for $20.00 and I’ll be sharpening the up and see how the edge holds.
- If you have a Cash & Carry in your area the have bone in pork shoulders for $1.08 per pound and some nice bone less pork sirloin roasts for $1.88 per pound. You have to buy 10-20 lbs. to get that price but if you want to stock up on meat quick and cheap it is an option.
- Walgreen’s has American seed company seeds 5/$1.00 both flowers and produce. I’ve used these seeds and they are heirloom and I have save seeds or simply let the plants go to seed and they come back. I guesstimate about a 60-70% germination rate which is a little on the low side compared to most heirlooms you can buy but they are also cheap so you can afford to buy extra seed packs.
A few little FYI notes on commodities. The Ethanol subsidy was allowed to die and the USDA is reporting a record number of corn acres planted this year. This may help out the meat producers as far as lower feed costs. That savings may also get eaten up in higher costs for transportation and fertilizers based on petrol-chemicals but at least we may stay even on costs or have a smaller increase in meat prices.
My own little ramblings on the PTBs and how they seem to have screwed the pooch. I think the PTBs timing is off and the sheeple are starting to wake up because they are getting hit in the pocket book. They are still ignorant of why things happen but it’s getting harder to spin that everything is getting better when food and gas is rising and jobs are still not there for most folks. I think that is a reason we are seeing the War Drums out against Iran/Syria to distract the sheep from the financial mess the entire world is in currently.
We are seeing the in the USA Red team(Republicans) against Blue team(Democrats) and lets bring in an emotionally charged issue like religion and morality to really get folks worked up. Look at who voted for NDAA and think again if voting in your guy makes a damn bit of difference. Look at who voted for the Bank bail out or the folks who voted for going into Iraq and tell me again about the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Just 2 sides of the same damn coin.
February 21, 2012
I finished up the house cleaning for the storm and I got everything in the yard and patio ready or put away. Looks like the weather service is down grading the wind to 40 mph rather than 60. Still a stiff breeze but a lot more manageable. Plugged in all battery chargers and the Laptop battery. I have one of those little Black & Decker portable power stations that you see folks use to jump car batteries. I got mine used without the jumper cables for a good price and I love it. It has a cigarette lighter outlet and a regular AC plug outlet, a 200 watt inverter built in, so it’s great for charging small items and I have one of those 12volt DC car fans that I have run about 48 hours on one charge. The cell phone is all charged up and it will be good for several days because I use it as a phone and not a toy.
I tested out my emergency Sterno Stove and a couple of containers for heating water. I was impressed in about 5 minutes the stove had heated a cup (12 oz. Aluminum) lightly covered with tinfoil to about 120-130F and I think a couple more minutes it would have been boiling. I also tested my Aluminum water bottle I got at the Dollartree store. This was a colored bottle in blue not the standard silver color and it holds 25 oz. I put about 20 oz of water in the bottle and within 10 minutes it had reached about 120 degrees F. I used a bit of tinfoil to cover the top of the bottle rather than the hard plastic cap. I don’t know if the blue color is painted on or applied in a different way but there was no bubbling or peeling on the bottom from the flame touching the bottle. I will be getting several more of those water bottles in different color as they will make a great way for rationing drinking water. Plus I’ll be adding them to the BOBs as a cooking vessel.
The Sterno Stove I got on sale for $4.00 and it folds flat. You can buy Sterno Emergency Kit that includes several candles, two cans of fuel and the stove for under $20.00. Cases of canned heat can be found in your average megamart or in camping sections for under $20.00. Each can should last about 1.5 -2 hours and you won’t be cooking a regular meal on one. But I think for making tea, coffee or boiling water for a meal or for safe drinking, this would be a great little stove to have on hand. I have one in my BOB and I keep one in the car in my little survival shoebox.
As you can see you don’t need a lot of money getting thing that will work for at least the basics and good enough. My total cost is:
- Folding Sterno stove $4.00 (on sale)
- Canned heat $1.00-$2.00 per can
- Aluminum Water bottle $1.00
So for less than $10.00 you can have several of these little stoves to heat water and won’t take much room and give you enough energy for cooking for 3 days easy with a couple of cans of fuel per person. I think this would be great for folks with kids as the kids could have their own personal stove that is relatively safe and little food/drink packs. You could make it a lot of fun by adding in the makings for s’mores in the kids BOB and have them practice a bug out.
February 20, 2012
Got a bit of snow today it didn’t stick as it has been in the 40-50s most days. On Wed. though the front is supposed to hit hard with winds 40-60 mph. So I’ve been puttering around making sure nothing can blow around and become a hazard. My house is somewhat sheltered so wind isn’t usually a big problem. I figure on giving the house a good cleaning Tuesday in case the power goes out. I did the dishes and laundry today and I’ll do dusting and vacuuming tomorrow. Get a little gas in the generator and run a quick test and make sure my extension cords are where they are supposed to be and untangled.
I need to grab a propane hose adapter for my little oven and Mr. Heater. Going from the 1 pound tanks to a standard tank. I can get the hose for under $20.00 at the hardware store. I’d like to get 1 more full tank but, I have 3 and that should see me through any minor power outages. Lights, lamps, flashlights and matches are all positioned for easy reach and batteries are tested. I think I’ll do a test of the kerosene lamps and another of the Kerosene heater. They have not been lit up this year.
As you know I got my SKS on layaway and I should pay it off next week. I can tell you I’m darned excited to get her home and give her a good going over and getting to know her. I still need to pick up some ammo and a bore brush for her but that looks doable. I think I’ll call her Sasha. I saw an article on yahoo on how layaway was a bad idea/mistake for a poor person. Some how it was worse than using credit. I can’t get my mind around that concept. I don’t pay interest or a fee, and have laid away many items that are on sale. I got my propane oven that way and if I waited to pay cash it would have cost me $30-$50.00 more than I paid.
I’ll be drawing down my cash reserves a bit more than I like or feel comfortable with normally. It’s kind of funny as I used to have the worse time on keeping cash on hand as little as 9 months ago. Trust me, I could always find something to spend it on that I needed and I never seemed to be able to put a few dollars in a stash and forget about it. Now I start feeling odd by not having a cash reserve. I think I changed my mindset when I started thinking in silver. I have a little junk silver and some rounds and I started asking myself would I sell my silver to get …….? If the answer was no, I wouldn’t get it. There is not a lot I’d get if I had to sell my silver to pay for it. It’s what works for me.
This is the greatest part of prepping for me. Any kind of storm that comes I can simply take a look at what may happen and tweak a few items and be ready. I don’t have to rush to the store and get food, fill my gas tank or buy fuel, a stove and new batteries as I have everything all ready to go. I won’t run out of clean clothes to wear for at least 2 weeks, and I have plenty of books and games to keep myself entertained.
I’m ready! So let it blow, let it blow
February 19, 2012
What you learn can never be taken from you. Once you learn to read you probably can’t stop yourself from reading. Perhaps the letters or even words are in the place. Folks use the wrong words like they’re, their and there. Yet given the context the grammar nazi’s will come and describe how you used a word improperly. Or your sentence lacks the proper constructs and lacks clarity. Yet they always seem to get the gist of what you are trying to say, though you may not have followed the rules.
Your mind can make it work, though what you have read has not been expressed according to the rules. You use imagination and work it out and see if it can apply to you. Pick an object and find 3 different ways you can use it for survival/prepping. A glass jar or mirror for instance think of 3-5 ways it could be used. Break it down in your mind and how will you use it? We are taught not to break glass, we never consider breaking it even if our lives may depend on it.
Look at items around your home and find at least one other use for it. If some one needs a wheel chair but you don’t have one. How about a desk chair? That will give them a little mobility and it is a lot easier to move a rolling chair than to carry a person.
It’s a cliche on out of the box thinking and I like think I’m good at it but I have quite a few Duh! moments. I did all kinds of things to cool my wort beforeplacing it in the fermenting bucket and adding the yeast. Up to spending money on a wort chiller because my sink wasn’t big enough for cooling a big pot of boiling water. But my bathtub is great has plenty of room for several big pots of boiling water. A tap full of cold water that is easily replaced and after I empty the pot I can wash it easily. I’m embarrassed it took me almost 6 months of beer brewing to figure it out. I was so wrapped up in brewing beer and doing it the right way I didn’t let my imagination roam and work the problem. My problem was cooling the wort quickly and safely, I simply assumed I had to do it in the kitchen. Yes, a bathtub of cold water will cool your wort very fast to 80 degrees F. in 20 minutes or less. Add this cooled wort to a fermenting bucket or carboy filled with cold/room temp water and you may have to warm it a bit to get the yeast working. Yes I read up on cooling the wort even had suggestions of sticking the pot in a snow bank and not one suggestion of a bathtub full of cool water.
We put restraints on our imagination as adults. The first step in problem solving is define the problem then find solutions. I was looking at solutions from others for the problem and never tried to solve it for myself. I used the experts when I should have used my brain. Look around your home, yard and garage and find a new use for an everyday item. Think of new ways to use common objects. I think you might be surprised on what you may come up with and how you will start automatically thinking of all the ways you can use any given object. It takes some practice at first, and if you are stuck ask an 8 year old child, google it or ask someone who went through tough times. Once you get in the habit you will find you will get better at it. Recycle and green sites are great for reusing stuff. Some of it’s dumb but it may spark a new idea in you.
Your imagination and adaptability will be a huge factor when thing change. Start using them today and you may surprise yourself on what you think up!