Adding more “giftcards” to my money saving program and I like some Rye whiskey

November 27, 2021

We live in an online world even if we don’t like it.  The reality is we buy stuff online and in the Covid era of the unvaxed.  We are and could be more ostracized from interacting with society.  The covid inoculated are transmitting and catching the covid in higher numbers but some how the unvaxed folks are being portrayed as the Boogie man infecting the Vaxed people despite the fact that it dose not make any sort of logical sense. 

Sorry I went off on a tangent as my point was buying gift cards that act like credit/debit cards without those cards being tied to your bank account.  Now I can’t say how other people treat these gift card but I don’t want to spend them quickly online for silly stuff.  I want to get the most bang for my buck even if I’m buying digital goods. It might be a digital magazine subscription or tokens for an online game that you want to separate you bank account from your online purchases.  

The downside is you are paying a bit extra for the the gift card.  I don’t think it is for everyone but if you want an easy way to buy over the internet and keep your bank account separated Digital gift cards might be an option for you. 

Whiskey taste test:  

Tullamore rye whiskey is very smooth and very easy to drink over a bit of Ice. Glenfiddich is a bit less smooth and a more pronounced harsh alcohol flavor. Everyone has their own tastes. Some people prefer sweet or sour. Some people love spicy peppers and some folks prefer more subdued flavors. There is no right or wrong in your taste just what you prefer. I will buy a larger bottle of Tullamore Rye whisky to drink and I might buy a few small bottles of Glenfiddich whiskey for trade but I won’t drink. Your tastes might be different than my tastes. But I think you should stock pile goods for yourself first and then buy trade goods second.


Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, shopping loss leaders and it’s okay to splurge for Holidays

November 26, 2021

We had a great little Thanksgiving meal.  The turkey turned out just about perfect.  I wrote a mistake about cooking a turkey at 18-20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees F. when it is closer to 13-15 minutes per pound on my BBQ that averages 325-350 degrees F. Sorry for that mistake! I once again got the cranberry sauce chilled and forgot it once again and left it in the fridge. It’s a Thanksgiving tradition here at Casa de Chaos.  Both my aunt and Mom took the Cranberry sauce home with some Care package/ extra paper plates of leftovers so nothing went to waste.  Both of them took home about 3/4 of a pie, pecan or pumpkin.  The lemon merengue pie is MINE!  LOL

A great thing about turkey is it is almost always a low cost meat product.  Even if the price was a bit higher this year compared to the past.  You can make bone broth or stock out of the carcass after your holiday meal.  Be on the look out for sales on turkeys for the next couple of weeks as higher prices before Thanks giving might drop lower for the turkeys that did not get bought.  

Some one said the best cure for higher prices is higher prices!  I have noticed since the local Fred Meyer/Kroger raised prices shelves are full compared to the last 6 months. I don’t like that dry pet food prices have almost doubled in the last few weeks but the shelves are mostly full and it does not matter you can get a great price if there is nothing to buy at that price.  

Shopping Loss Leaders will help keep your budget from taking as big of hit. Almost every store I shop at has an ad online as well as digital coupons. Many stores offer 10 % discount days for seniors, veterans or teachers. Even if you don’t fall into one of those categories  you might know someone who does and you can share a shopping trip. Now a lot of those coupons are tied to a cell phone but most will load the coupons on a shopping card so you don’t have to load your cell phone with the coupons if you have a small data plan with your cell phone.  You can still be tracked but I think it is better to have a small data foot print rather than being completely “off the radar” as the absence of data can also send up a red flag to the PTBs.  Honestly being somewhat of a “Coupon Queen” should not be seen as much of a threat.  If you want to stay gray you should only use cash and never sign up for store discount cards or use someone else’s discount card/phone number so your purchases are not tracked back to you. 

Splurging for a Holiday.  It is in all the papers and news media that the Thanksgiving was 14% higher in cost.  I’m guessing in was at least 33-50% higher in cost for many people that did not buy ahead or used coupons.  I bought a 13 pound  small turkey at $1.69 per pound for a cost of about $22.00.  I bought another 12.5 pound turkey for about  fifty cents per pound at a cost of about $7.00.  For both turkeys I paid about 88 cents per pound.  That is a good price if you are buying chicken by the pound.  For my local stores I still got a good buy on over 20 pounds of good proteins even though I paid a higher price per pound. 

I will probably pay a very high price for the Prime rib I like to cook for Xmas and New years meals. I don’t make meals for a large group of foamily or friends. So a small 3-4 pound Rib eye will cost $30.00-50.00 at most and I have the bones for bone broth so nothing goes to waste.  Many people drop 2-3 times that much money on a meal at even a cheap restaurant or getting food delivery.  This is a Holiday meal, it is special and while inflation is terrible you probably don’t eat Prime rib every day.  If you are eating Prime rib weekly the cost per pound probably is not a concern. 

I am becoming a big fan of Visa/Mastercard gift cards not only for my own digital shopping but as a way to be anonymous online shopping.  A big bonus is you can buy subscriptions to online services and it is separate from your bank account.  I have been buying $ 25.00 Visa gift cards for myself to shop online for subscriptions to online services that I don’t want to give out my banking data. Even if I forget I bought a subscription the card limits any payout to $25.00 with no hit on my bank account. 

While us preppers talk about cash being king when the power goes out.  We have to recognize at the time there is a digital economy and it is very difficult to buy online if you don’t have a credit or debit card as long as the internet keeps working.  There are some work arounds via bitcoins.  I don’t have a lot of faith in that solution as it seems to be a combination of the John Law scam and tulip bubble. I think anyone that trades Bit coins for real assets is freaking brilliant. 

If you are middle class of upper or lower end what can you do? Ask yourself why do you work? The answer is to buy stuff survive and you taught to consume.  Debt and buying on credit was taught to you as a way of life.  You don’t need an emergency fund. You have a credit card and good credit! 

If you don’t buy into the Cooperate speak. If you raise some of your own food. If you use a little bit of solar power for small electric needs. If you realize the elites need coal miners, farmers, truckers, welders and families that are the building blocks of any society. You start to see your power because you can say no I will not comply to the any  and all Federal government mandates. 

I’m saving lots of money. On occasion I would order a pizza delivery from Pizza hut.  This fall they corperation got “Woke” I won’t order a pizza from them again.  That is sad as most franchise owners are not “woke” but all I have to fight the progressive beast is my dollar.  Salvation Army has gone “”woke” and demands all white people admit that are privileged bigots based on skin color and even if they are not racists or bigots.  It only proves they are bigots and racists. 

I suspect the Salvation Army got a big donation from the George Soros type of of funding. It is very sad to see how quick organizations will sell out and how low the price/cost is. I bet most of the volunteers for red kettle call won’t be notified about the Salvation Army going woke.  

It might get “sporty” when energy gets cut off to many folks and they can’t afford to buy food as inflation eliminates / eats into food stamps, and rent assistance. The more money the government tries to print the worse inflation will get and the poor will be hit the hardest. 

The Democrats created the Mob and think they can control it.  They can’t control the Mob. Don’t count on Republican congressional Senators or House Representatives  to say stop.  They have sown the wind and we the people will reap the whirlwind. These are not good people be it Democrat or Republican.  They are evil and we must stop there evil works. I’m not sure how to stop them but we must defy the evil they to enact and enforce. If just saying we won’t enforce the PTBs edicts. I was just following orders from above did not save many people in the Nuremberg trials that just followed orders and you medical folks should also take note.  I’ll be happy to support you  (if you first refuse do harm to your patients)  Let us know and  people will support you.  

Everything is simple. That does mean everything is easy! 

Thanksgiving prep, wood cutting and more winter preps done.

November 23, 2021

The small turkey has been in the brine for 24 hours and will be in the brine for about 3 days before it gets on the BBQ.  I use Apple Cider for the liquid and add canning salt, brown sugar and what ever spices I like for turkey/poultry.  You can use anything you want to brine as long as you use salt and sugar in your liquid you can get creative. I use about 2 quarts of the liquid to dissolve the sugar and salt.  I add my spices to this so the spice warm up a bit and release their flavors more easily.  Make sure you have plenty of cool liquid to remove the heat before you place the turkey in the brine.  I use a 3 gallon food grade bucket for the turkey and place the bucket in my shop fridge. If you don’t have fridge space for the turkey you can use a cooler and Sealed Ice bags/ Double Bagged to keep the bird cold but not frozen. Figure the cooking time will be about 20 minutes per pound at 325-350 degrees F. but use a meat thermometer to check that the bird is at least 160 degrees F. to be done. I rotate the bird front to back and give it a turn every 15 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly.  You might keep some tinfoil handy to wrap the wings and legs as they will cook/brown faster than the breast. Make sure the last 15 minutes of cooking and rest your bird on its breast after cooking so all the juices’ settle into the breast so the white meat does not dry out!  

I’m very happy my aunt  will be coming for Thanksgiving. I have most of the fixings on hand and I went a bit nuts buying pie because it was on sale.  So all my pie needs are fulfilled for the Holidays.  I’m not sure how it is going shopping for the holidays in other parts of the country but here in SW Idaho there is plenty of holiday foods but inflation is starting to show up on other products.  You need to be getting coupons and start shopping more for next year getting the stuff that is still inexpensive or isn’t inflating in price as fast as some other items right now.  

I cut more kindling today since Mom got another small box for her wood stove.  Nope, I have not filled up my  big outdoor kindling box.  I have kept the box full enough so I have at least 3-4 indoor boxes worth of kindling in it at all times and Mom can grab a small box of kindling if she needs it.  Mom got a box of some of the hardwood (apple, cherry, elm)chunks and sticks I cut up this fall.  Mom buys pine and poplar for her stove because that wood is cheaper. So she loves having some chunks of hardwood that burns longer but is small enough that the house does not get too hot. 

While I haven’t cut and split all the kindling I want to have on hand.  I have a better set up for cutting and splitting wood through out the winter.  Most of the wood that needs to cut with the chainsaw is under my carport awning so that cutting area is protected from snow and rain.  The little saw buck I built in the fall works great for cutting the bigger chunks of wood into woodstove size chunks and on clear calm days I can cut a lot of kindling in the kennel / breeze way area.  The garden cart makes it easy to move wood from the wood pile to the porch and if we get a lot of snow I have a toboggan to move the wood from the wood pile to the porch wood rack. 

I got most of the garden bed clean up done.  I have one small section to finish up but I ran out of space in my trash can but I can finish the last of the work after the holiday. I have some big changes and moving raised beds, compost bins and setting up the foundation of the green house. We added Pasture grass seed to Mom’s place and got some new ideas to expand her garden area in the spring. I bought a case of 30% vinegar and I hope to add another case in Jan. for weed killing that does not kill the soil.  

Some things to think about for your garden, yard and plants next year is fertilizers, weed killers that are oil/chemical based will probably be in short supply.  So get to composting, find a local supply of manure/fertilizer and find ways you can add what you need via local suppliers or make your own.  

With this inflation it isn’t just higher prices.  Some things just are not available at any price. If you made something in the past but you stopped for what ever reason start again.  I stopped baking my bread and making beer and wasn’t any big deal it just stopped being new and exciting to learn and use those skills.  Now is the time to get those supplies and get back to using those skills again.  For you it might have been sewing, knitting, woodworking or something else but now is the time to put those skills into use. 

I ordered some beer making ingredients. I bought up new flour to replace old flour and started making some new types of bread.  Both are great things as the heat of making the item also help heat the home so you get bonus of heating your home while you get those old skills back or learn new skills. 

You may not have a lot of power, but you have the power to say NO and find your own way.  Covid in a way was a blessing in disguise as many parents saw what was being taught in schools. Say no to school levies that increase your property taxes.  Say no to teaching racism/communism in the class room. Say no to corporatism and get local. Say no to lawlessness and vote out the no bail DAs. Hold cops accountable but don’t vilify every cop. Prosecute bad cops.  

The questions and answers are simple if not easy. 

Added some more flour and more dog food with a $6.00 coupon for dry dog food.

November 21, 2021

I’m not buying food for this year.  I’m trying to stock up for next year and get ahead of inflation. 

I prefer buying unbleached white flour. Especially when I can buy 50 pounds of white flour 5 pounds at a time when a 50 pound bag of flour costs over $20.00 and I can get it for about $12.00 per 50 pounds of flour.  Even if it is buying several 5 pound bags every time I shop. 

I got a great coupon for buying Grain-free Beniful dog food at Albertsons and I had to buy a bag to make sure my Doggo has somewhat good food to eat. No good size turkeys to buy as I want a small Turkey in the 12-13 pound range.  There is no reason to buy a big turkey if  it won’t fit in the BBQ.   

I can find ways to “justify” spending money. I’m sort of poor but not so poor enough to get all the government Goodies. I did apply for some government sponsored Internet access and I thought I might get $5.00-$10.00 discount.  I got a $50.00 per month discount for as long as the program lasts.  I don’t feel bad taking advantage of this government program. I can use that $50.00 of saving each month in better ways than paying an inflated/non-competitive internet cable bill.  

Unlike the elitists us poor folks are affected by compounding inflation everyday. Dog and cat food has literally double in price in 2 weeks at my local mega marts. I’m not really shopping for this year.  I’m shopping for next year.  Perhaps Inflation won’t get worse in 2022 but I’m not counting on it.  

I found some small parsnips cleaning out my garden. The roots got a little freeze and the roots look good.  I cleaned up most of the garden,. I have plans to move the raised garden beds and build up the 3 sisters beds.  I’ll need to cut back the grape vines to make it work.  I also want to build a green house. 

Just one step at a time, buy the tools, buy the materials as you can afford it. Then make it work.  It does not matter if you talking construction, sewing or food.  Just make progress one day at a time. 

Turkey defrost/brine and cleaning up after my older cat.

November 19, 2021

If you buy a frozen turkey you need to start the defrosting process for Thanksgiving dinner.  It is best to defrost your bird slowly in the fridge to prevent any sort of food poisonings from the bird getting to warm and germs could develop.  I like to brine my turkey before I BBQ it Thanksgiving morning. I use Apple cider as the liquid in a 3.5 gallon food safe bucket along with a cup of kosher salt and a 1/2 cup of brown sugar as the base of the brine. I find the Mesquite charcoal adds a sweet flavor to the meat and I prefer a savory bird rather than a sweet taste so I don’t use a lot of sugar.  Spices are entirely up to you but If you have some Rosemary sprigs for the brine and add a few sprigs to the charcoal it adds a lot of flavor.  I add some dried herbs like basil, oregano, Bay leaf, whole black pepper corns and some red pepper flake. I don’t inject my birds with any liquid flavorings while BBQing but I baste the bird with a bit of butter or the dripping as the bird bakes.  As far as BBQing the bird you want about 325-350 degrees F. and the timing that works for me is about 18-20 minutes per pound.  I cook the turkey. I don’t slow smoke it. I prefer small birds in the 10-14 pound range and recommend if you have a big group to feed you buy 2 smaller turkeys to BBQ rather than 1 large bird as easier and faster way to BBQ the same amount of meat. I also spin and rotate the turkey on the grill every 15-20 minutes to make sure the bird cooks evenly.  The wings and legs cook a bit faster so you might want a couple of sheets or tinfoil ready to protect those parts from excessive heat.  Last but not least cook the bird Breast down for the last 15 minutes of cooking and rest the turkey breast down while “resting” it for 15 minutes after taking it off the heat of the BBQ or if you oven roast the turkey.  All of the juices will settle into the breast meat during that ‘rest” so that dry white meat problem won’t happen. 

My “Smokey” cat is old and she does not always go in the litter box.  In fact she has peed and pooped a lot on the bed in “her” room and it has got disgusting though not her fault because of her age. I bought a cheap plastic mattress cover and I’m trying to clean up some of the cat urine that has hit the mattress despite my attempts to limit the damage. Smokey is not in pain and still eating and drinking okay and while her life may be a little more limited now I won’t put “put her down just because she does not use the cat box or poos in places I don’t prefer. 

This is my first use of the Hoover upholstery attachment and over all it seems to work well but It I sprayed cleaner above the fabric first rather than use spray and vacuum method.  I could still smell the urine and did a spray of vinegar mixed with water 3/1 in a spray bottle and will use the Hoover again to carpet clean the mattress again.  I expect I will fail but it is not a big deal as it is an old mattress that is starting to break down because of age. Still worth it! 

I have used most home model carpet cleaner and the Hoovers are not only better but generally the cheapest carpet cleaners.  The Hoover I have is very easy to clean after use.  It has a very simple 2 compartment tank system of cleaner goes here and dirty water is in this compartment.  I have use other carpet cleaners and you have to have a toolkit just to clean the cleaner after using it and it is not at all simple or easy. I had to fuss a bit getting the attachments connected but it was not difficult. If you want a good carpet cleaner that is easy to use, simple to clean and that cleans as good or better than machines that cost 2-3 x as much. Buy the low end Hoover Carpet cleaner or pay a grand or better for a high end machine.  

I cleaned out the last of my poorly stored meats and veggies from my kitchen freezer.  Yeah I can move one of the Ice blocks from the porch freezer into the kitchen freezer. I used a few Ice blocks to fill the space when I cleaned out my big freezer.  I need a bit more room for storage so this works out great!  All of my freezers will have some Ice backup if the power goes out and I have more potential storage for food. I also might save a little bit in electric costs as a full freezer is a cold freezer.  

Very few things go wrong in just a couple of days.  The longer things go wrong the longer it takes to try and fix things and original problem,  Some problems are not problems as people sort them selves out to fix that problem. 

Some problems don’t sort themselves out. Ask yourself what you need to survive and if it is possible to survive this paradigm.  I know it is possible for me in my situation.  Is it possible for you? Whining about you need more time when people have stated warnings for decades is not a good excuse. 

” I’ll buy a freezer when things get bad.”  I’ll buy a gun when things get bad’. I’ll learn to garden/ bake bread when thing get bad. You don’t have anything on hand to bake bread, yeast, flour, seeds or build simple garden beds in the real world.

All the empty grocery shelves is socialism.  

High gas prices is socialism, High energy costs is socialism. 

I expect we will see price fixing and shortages in the near future. What is the price of a product when you can’t buy it at any price?

Front yard mowed and a great shopping trip!

November 17, 2021

It took me some time to get moving  as it was a very cold 22 degrees F. this morning. A cold morning makes me appreciate having  fire starters a box full of kindling and a porch full of dry wood to make a fast, hot fire. This drop in temp hit me hard physically and mentally. I was warm but I was not ready for the cold mentally.  I puttered around inside most of the day waiting for the sun to hit the front yard and warm it up enough to get rid of the frost and dew.  I finally got the carpets vacuumed! Which is a simple job but with my ribs being a little tender from my fall last week I have avoided some household chores. My ribs are still a little tender but I’m mostly healed up from my fall.  The bruising is all gone and I had some small bit of swelling but now my side is just a little tender so no worries about a major injury. 

I got the front yard mowed and picked up almost all of the leaves in the front yard this afternoon. After the big tree was cut down the leaf issue in the front yard is much smaller and easy to take care of using my bagged lawnmower. This made the front yard look a lot cleaner and it’s not unusual to mow the lawn in November to put it to bed for the winter. 

I had a great shopping day for stocking up as I now have a another small 12 pound turkey for the BBQ to cook for Thanksgiving.  I got a 13+ pound turkey at a higher cost but with dollar cost averaging I paid about $1.00 per pound for both birds and I had a turkey on hand for Thanksgiving.  In my area there was a good selection of the smaller turkeys and most stores had a sale of spend $50.00 pay around 50 cents per pound for a turkey.  If you have freezer space adding a few smaller turkeys would be a good low cost  investment in protein for future meals.   I BBQ my turkey but  many people roast it.  Those methods are fine but the Turkey carcass makes great soup stock.  Any recipe that calls for Chicken stock can use Turkey stock/broth.  

I had a good shopping trip over all.  I had a little bit left over to add a some liquor to the cabinet with what I saved at the grocery store. I added more three pies that are for Xmas dinner. I went to the Liquor store to see if it had supply issues and pick up a couple of bottles of stuff for potential trade items.  The store looked full of all product and full of most items you would see at any well stocked bar.  More plastic less glass bottles on the lower cost liquors but the same cost. I tried a few new bottles for testing. Id recommend if you are storing liquor you go for some name brands and the cheaper knockoffs, rather than buy only high grade booze.  Buy what you want to have on hand for yourself first, then buy what you want to trade( think like a 16 year old that is showing off at a kegger).  I don’t think buying high quality booze will be as good trading item as low quality base on the price point.  There is nothing wrong with keeping a few bottles of high quality booze for a bribe.  There is the difference between trading stock and bribes. 

I have order new beer ingredients to restart my beer making. Beer making was a bit of a fad but I did not toss all my materials in the dumpster when the fad ended. Beer makers will have a product to sell and trade as making good beer is an art. Some folks will drink anything with an Alcohol kick but making a good brew/beer is a good trade item.

Start looking for the most bang for your buck and get local. It might not be the cheapest thing you can buy. I getting Raw milk delivered, Bought an 1/8 of a cow. Got a large sample pack of local pork and I eat less strips of the bacon because it is lean and tastes better that the store bought bacon.

I am biased. I hate the big meat packers. I prefer to buy from local butchers and local meat suppliers. I found local suppliers recently and the prices are getting equivalent quickly. Buy local and yes it will be a little more expensive for now. But the US government is getting involved with meat prices and suspect we will see spikes in prices and then price fixing and then no meat on the shelves due to rationing. Any one could sell Prime Rib for $2.00 per pound but no one could keep up with the demand or show a profit selling prime rib for that price.

Get local and deny the big corporations your dollars as much as possible. Start small, growing a garden, check out farmers markets and support small agribusiness.

Splitting up some wood and cleaning up leaves

November 15, 2021

I get  cut and split wood from my local wood supplier for my wood stove. Some that  of wood is rather large and not good for starting a fire.  While you may order cut and split wood. You will still need to cut up kindling and chop up that split wood into smaller chunks of wood that catch fire quickly from the kindling.  You can’t start a fire using only split fire wood.  You need to build a fire starting with kindling add some split fire wood in the 2-4 inch range and then add the larger chunks of wood.  Let the fire take hold in your wood stove and then you can start shutting down the damper if needed.  I’m a big believer you should be able to start a fire in a stove  with just one match. I also cheat by making fire starters with a bit of saw dust, and some paraffin wax in cardboard egg cartons. It’s not cheating if it works! 

If you get a load of firewood that is cut and split does not mean that you don’t have to cut kindling or cut and split wood into smaller chunks. All it means is most of the work is done but you will still need to make kindling and split some wood to make fire wood easy to burn.  I split my firewood today and filled my little wagon with a lot of smaller chunks of wood that are easier to light on fire compared to the larger chunks of “split” wood.  

I got most of leaves cleaned up and put in the garbage bin. I think I will move some of the raised beds into another area and change how I plant the 3 sisters garden beds. I need to kill the weeds and not destroy the soil so I’m going to lay down some black plastic this winter to cover the future beds

We added some Pasture grass seed to Mom’s field area and got a bit of rain to water it in. It’s a bit of a hope and a prayer that the grass seed will drive out the weeds. But if you don’t try.

you will never gain anything. Failure is only an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Life is simple that does not mean it is easy Start planning your garden now and get the seeds you you want to plant now. It does not mean you will have a great garden. You will only have a better start for a the planting season.

Think about making bread, food/meals plans, plant starts for the garden and the cost for products buying products. When inflation is doing up 5% each month. Inflation % is compounding each month. It becomes exponential as 4% X5% X 6%rasies the average price for staples start getting exponential.

I can’t imagine how people will react if they can’t afford food and or heat their home. Except to say the out come won’t be good. Every time I read about Nat. gas /heating oil prices going up. I love my wood pile and the ability to control my own heat level in winter.

Turkey is going on sale!

November 9, 2021

Albertson’s has Turkeys going on sale for 99 cents per pound.  Fred Meyer/Kroger has turkey on sale for 49 cents per pound if you spend at least $50.00 and a free turkey if you spend at least $150.00.  Spending $50.00 in a store is super easy especially if you can buy clothes, toys, house hold goods or electronics. My shopping goal is usually to spend the least amount of money but this is a good time to add a few non food items, gifts or decorations to get over that break point to get that turkey for a good price per pound. I prefer a small turkey (12-14 pounds) for BBQing the bird for Thanksgiving.  If you buy a larger bird you can get a lot of protein and meals out of an oven roasted turkey.  If you want to buy up turkey I would use the bird within a year of purchase. I have cooked a frozen turkey that was stored for over 2 years.  While the meat was not freezer burnt there was an odd/old/stale taste to the bird. I can’t articulate the flavor of that old bird but everyone agreed that the bird tasted not bad but OLD. 

I did a little shopping today and added a few more cans of coffee.  I suspect once the current inventory of coffee cans run out we will see a spike in coffee prices and the coffee cans might get a couple of ounces smaller.  It might be the same for teas as most good teas come from over seas.  I can’t say I have followed tea prices as closely as coffee prices.  Canned soda prices are going up or there are missing soda flavors on the shelves.  Finding store brand Ginger ale is almost impossible and Canada Dry Ginger ale is almost $6.00 a 12 pack. I could buy 2 liter bottles of soda cheaper but I don’t drink enough soda to finish off a 2 liter bottle before it goes flat.  At that point it makes no difference how good of a bargain I get for soda if I waste 1/2 a bottle because I don’t like drinking flat soda. 

I picked up two 18 pack of eggs on sale for $1.27 each.  Four cans of coffee from Fred Meyers at $5.00 per can but 1 can is for Mom. You can take advantage of those items on sale to stock up but it takes more effort and planning.  I have seen inflation creeping up for at least 5 years +.  It is now very hard to hide the inflation when people see the per pound price or the grocery cost goes up on their weekly grocery run. When you see tissue paper packs that cost $5.00 in 2019 now cost at least $10.00 people tend to notice inflation. When all beef cuts almost double in price per pound, people tend to notice and when some products are not available at any price, some folks get peeved. 

You can call us Americans spoiled but we do like having choices. 

It looks like old man winter will hit the USA and Canada with a big “polar vortex” around the 18th of November.  If the weather models are correct the cold will hit as far as Texas and move into the SE states with a lot of snow and freezing weather.  I would recommend you prep for a bad snow storm.  I know I’m preparing for some nasty weather.  

I’m good for stored water and food but most food I have on hand I wat to heat before I’d eat it.  I have a butane stove and a case of butane gas.  These stoves are safe to use indoors for a couple hours. I don’t know if there could be power outages but I think it you might want to prep for a power outage.  I think a Mr. Buddy propane heater is the safest option for an alternative source heater with the attachment for propane tanks.  Never run these sort of heater over night while you are asleep because they  do use oxygen and add CO2 when the burn.  How dumb would be to die as a preper or survivalist to CO2 poisonings just because you wanted a warm house in the AM. Start the Mr. buddy heater when you wake up and if you cold at night add blankets. 

Salt/sand and a snow clearing method.  I live in SW Idaho and what I need in winter is probably different than someone in the Mid-west, North east or South east. But if you have a weeks notice a winter storm is coming it might be a good idea to get stuff on hand, clean up and make stuff safe around your house.  I suspect we might see another Snowmeggedon year here in SW Idaho.  I hope I’m wrong( for myself) but a wet snowy winter makes for a lot of irrigation water for crops. 

While I agree with the strikes and boycotts I doubt the are effective at this time because most people are still getting most of what the need even if the cost is a bit higher this month.

I have know idea what would make people revolt! From food prices, energy prices, schools teaching CRT and Social justice. But I suspect many folk won’t wait much longer to rebel. I don’t expect anything flashy. I suspect most people will just say no to the government, no to masking, no to the shot and they won’t play the game of the elites.

Keep at it because you never know what can happen!

November 6, 2021

I took a fall and hurt my ribs pretty badly.  No cracks or broken bones as I have had both and this was not the painful to breathe pain, but it really hurt to cough/sneeze or move around sort of pain. I have learned from my many rib injuries is you don’t want to wrap your ribs even though that might feel better at first. If your lungs don’t move freely you can get liquid forming in your lungs and then all sorts of bad things can happen from that fluid build up.  If you hurt your ribs are hurt bad enough that it hurts to breathe go to the Doctor or ER ASAP!  My ribs were very tender the first couple of days so I took it easy and used aspirin, pain cream and heat for pain relief and that has worked at keeping the pain tolerable.  It’s about 3 days and now my ribs are just tender so the healing regime is working faster than I anticipated. I was concerned I would be down for a couple of weeks and while I’m not 100% I am 100% better than I thought I would be in just 3 days. 

I don’t think there is ever a “good time” to get injured. For me I tend to get injured while I’m trying to get stuff done around the house. So my timing is always off for having things done just in case some thing goes wrong!  I know I tend to look at what is going on in the news.  Politics, economy and how those big picture things might affect me.  I forget that the things that can happen to me can have an immediate and significant affect on my life like an accident or injury. I was not helpless as I could still take care of myself but my porch wood stack was not  as full as it could have been if I could not haul wood from my wood pile for several days. I did good in one aspect of fire wood in having plenty of kindling, fire starters and some split wood that made starting a fire easy. Easy to cook meals and feeding and watering my pets takes no special effort.  I had some backup help in neighbors that have helped me out as I have helped them when I could and then my Mom would have helped me if I needed it.  Now that may not sound like a lot of backups to some people. Many people have nothing and no one for backup.  Just something to think about if you are a bit of a loner or don’t have a network of people that you could have come over and walk your dog or help you do some other jobs if you get laid up.  Of course you have to offer to help them out so you can start building a network of support. 

Another thing I want to touch on is PROCRASTINATION.  I’m very guilty doing this in many ways.  I have a disability so I can’t physically get everything done that I want to get done, but and it’s a big one.  I do leave things undone because I just don’t want to do them and I don’t need to do them at that time.  I did not plan getting injured and I did have plenty of firewood for the couple of days I was resting.  I sure did not feel good about what I had on hand because I sort of ignored filling up my porch fire wood stack because I didn’t need it full as I had a few days of wood in the stack.  I had a similar problem just before I cleaned out my freezers.  I had stored a lot of stuff but I did not rotate it properly nor did I store it properly as I was saving money at the time or so I thought!

Honestly buy a Food saver vacuum system even if it is a small one.  It will save so much in not having freezer brunt foods it will amaze you. I can not tell the difference in vacuumed packed meat I stored a year ago meat from the grocery store bought yesterday. Even double wrap meat does not compare to Food saver saved vacuumed packed items. 

Fred Meyer/ Kroger still has ground coffee on sale and Marie Calendar pies on sale for the holidays.  So keep shopping those sales as there are still bargains to be had until the corporations downsize products again or the shelves don’t get filled.  Don’t worry about what isn’t available.  Keep on prepping the stuff that is available and remember that budget you have set for prep. Need and want are very different things. 

Have a great Holiday season despite of the Elites telling you have to downgrade your expectations.  Family and friends are worth more than mass consumerism. I don’t have to downgrade my expectations because I’m not about consumerism during the holidays. 

Weather, planting grass seed, storing lard, yard clean up and making stew

November 2, 2021

We had a day of cold damp and rainy weather move in today. It got cool and very damp as the rain moved in and it seems that I’m more sensitive to the cool damp weather this year. Almost any that has broken a bone, injured a joint or has arthritis suddenly becomes a human barometer and feels how the pressure changes when low or high pressure starts moving into your area. While it can be a bit uncomfortable during the weather change it can help you organize some jobs before the weather arrives. I got most of the leaves raked up before the rain arrived and threw out more grass seed before the rain arrived.  In my experience planting grass seed in the fall works much better than a Spring planting of grass seeds.  My uncle would throw grass seed on snow to seed his pasture.  That sounds a bit crazy, I have to say he always had a good amount of pasture grass to feed the 3-6 cattle he raised on a small acreage. 

I did good piling up the leaves and clearing the backyard lawn patch to add more grass seed. I threw out seed earlier this year but the leaves covered the ground so quickly I needed to add more grass seed after most of the leaves had dropped and were cleaned up and before a good rain to start getting the grass seed settle in the soil so it can sprout next spring. I need to fix my dependence on city water irrigation.  I have rain barrels but I need to add a solar pump and more water collection systems to become less reliant on city and store more water I have control over. 

I made a mistake raking up all the walnuts and the leaves together in a pile and not picking up the walnuts before raking.  Black walnut leaves makes a plant killer mulch and that is not the best leaf pile for nuts/seeds to be for a few days as you clean up leaves. Black walnut leaves make a great plant killing mulch that can be very useful in areas that you want to eliminate all plants but want some cover to protect the soil you are trying to build up.  Those leaves will kill nuts and seeds if left in a pile for a few days.  So I have a few walnuts in a bucket I have saved and a on a screen I tried for drying out the husks and nuts but I will miss out on a good harvest of walnuts. 

I’m a big fan of using animal fats and vegetable oil that have a long history of use.  Olive oil is a good example of a vegetable fat that has a long history but today the quality can be hit or miss.  I am a big fan of lard and butter for cooking depending on the heat of what you are cooking.  Lard has a much higher “smoke point” than olive oil and butter and is a natural fat. Before refrigeration Lard and suet was used to keep out air to preserve cooked meats in crocks in a root cellar or spring well that was cool but not freezing.  I think that was the original version of “potted meat”. I’m not making potted meat but I do want to have a good oil/fat to cook with every day. 

Usually the biggest problem with storing land long term is any meat particles or other contamination from the rendering process. I’m not blaming folks that render lard it is difficult to eliminate all bits of meat  that bacteria want to much on so it is understandable that people would (can) rendered lard at high heat as removing all meat particles is very difficult and time consuming. 

Big advantage of using lard from a store is the manufacturer has already removed all the meat particles that could provide bacteria food to expand and become rot in the lard. I use wide mouth jars to store lard as it simple easier to dip a paper towel in the jar or scoop ot the amount of fat into the pan for cooking.  I use a large glass mixing bowl to melt the lard in 1 minute intervals and then pour the lard into clean caning jars and I can hear the jar lids “pop” indicating a seal and I did not try to seal the jars. I just wanted a safe way to have lard on hand that was better than some wax paper and a waxed box from the store. 

I don’t make or can ghee or stored canned butter any more because butter stores very well in a freezer.  Ghee is supper easy to make you just melt butter and then skim off the floating bits and put the clarified butter in to a jar.  Ghee is simply clarified butter and anyone that cooks seafood knows how to make clarified butter. 

This has been a tough garden season for me.  I was so excited to start plants early and the plants were devastated by the hot summer. Now I have Tomatillos flowering and trying to put on fruit in late October. I did not plant those Tomatillos they reseeded themselves in the bed. It has been a very strange gardening season for me. Most of my early starting plant died when the heat hit my garden beds but I had a lot of volunteer plants that exploded with growth. I’m trying a new system of storing squash in a Styrofoam cooler with a bit of straw in my basement.  It isn’t “Root cellar” cool but it’s what I got.   

I made up the batch of stew and it did expand in volume that is normal for most of my cooking.  I roasted some beef bones in the oven before making the stew to make a bit of beef broth prior the making the stew. The bones had a lot of fat on them and while fat can add flavor I don’t want a layer of fat on my stews.  Super easy to skim off the fat  and then share. Honestly I think most slow cooked soups taste better after sitting in the fridge for 24-48 hour and reheated. 

It is okay to mess up, it also okay to make a good if small thing.  You probably won’t change the world if you learn to bake bread.  If you can keep your family alive, have trade/barter good and income.  You are ahead of 80% of people that have no idea about self reliance.   

I made buckets full of food that could sustain a person for a month and I could not give them away for free to my family. Just free food to live on in a disaster and no one in my family would take a small 3-5 gallon bucket to have a some food preps on hand. In my family preparing for a disaster/emergency mean you want a disaster to happen. 

I’ll admit to admit to a little bit of I told you this was coming. But  I really prefer people surviving. because I don’t want people getting crazy or dying that the must be buried in mass graves.  

I would suggest if you are not a long term prepper you focus on the basics and find local suppliers.  I think local suppliers are great for everyone. But we as preppers have built a stockpile and what we need  short term is not critical to our survival.  You are not going to die if you don’t get Gatorade flavor you prefer or a soda you want. 

We Americans can be a “spoiled brat” at times. Not getting what we want and we want it right now.  That probably won’t happen .  The next question is what will you do about it?