Stocking up for future shortages.

October 22, 2021

I have changed my mind set about how I shop now that we are starting to see shelves that are not getting restocked.  I don’t think “panic buying or hoarding” is causing empty shelves.  I think it is a supply and transportation SNAFU’s  that are the biggest problem in my area right now. I suspect that many of the items I am buying are on sale is to clear the shelves of the “normal” size packages to make way for another downsize of cans, bottles and bags of products. This is not new as the last few years I have seen a coffee can shrink from  three pounds to just a little over two pounds.  Products that were once sold by the gallon are now 3 quarts. Now we are adding in more inflation with rising prices with the packages getting smaller..  Or production has fallen off so much that some items are not available at any price. 

One of things that I’m seeing more shortages and rising costs is pet food. Especially good quality dry dog and cat food. I’m not talking the high end pet food but the above average grain free/no by-products types of pet food.  The bags are getting smaller and the price has jumped at least $2.00 for 14-28 pound bags and that is the sale price!  Getting quality pet food a descent price is becoming a challenge. 

My solution is to keep replacing/restocking those sale items I use that are on sale before the jump in price or the packages get any smaller.  It is not like buying up staples/basics in bulk to meet a prepping goal of 3 weeks,3 months or a year of food. It is more about keeping yourself stocked up on the week to week shopping trip of replacing what you use and adding more backups when stuff goes on sale. There is another I have noticed in stores the cheapest items are going up the fastest in cost. Staples are going up in price, Fresh meat, veggies and processed foods like ketchup, frosted flakes, crackers and frozen meals/snacks seem to be going up the fastest or have the most empty shelves. 

What I have done shopping is focus on getting as much good pet food before the price goes higher or the packaging gets smaller.  I bought a 14 pound turkey at $1.69 per pound just to make sure to have a turkey for Thanksgiving.  From what I understand there is not a Turkey shortage but You may not get that 69-99 cent per pound price or find a smaller 10-13 pound turkey. If  turkey goes on sale or I find a smaller turkey great!  I’ll just buy another turkey and keep it in the freezer.  This works out for me as I have what I want  on hand though I paid a bit more cost now. If the price drops in the future I can always buy more and my cost over time stays low. 

I have not seen a lot of talk about buying clothing.  The world wide cotton crop harvest was not good this year. Many man-made fabrics will also be going up in cost as they are oil based and the USA does not have a good textile industry. Almost all clothing is based in Asia and with the shipping SNAFU getting clothing might be a challenge. I’m focusing on building up things like undies, bras, socks, quality shoes and then simple T-shirts, shorts and sweats.  I change out my undies every day and don’t wear the 2 days in a row. Even if you can’t bathe daily you should always change out your undies as it helps keep you healthy and vermin-free.  Clean clothes tend to be warm clothes as sweat and dirty clothes trap sweat and are uncomfortable.  Undies, socks, t-shirts are easier to wash and dry without using a washing machine and dry quicker than most clothing.   Back in the day (Carter era) I had school clothes and play clothes and my Mom tried her best to make me change into my play clothes after school.  Did not work work all that well as I was a child attracted to dirt, grease and grass stains.  I don’t get as many grass stains now but I have more than made up for it in grease stains from tools and paint. 

I would recommend you top off your fuel backups and if you use oil or propane for heat you get your tanks filled  ASAP as the price will probably only go up the closer we get to winter. Sorry I don’t have any money saving advice for folks that get caught in rising heating costs in winter that use gas or electric to heat their homes.  I had a money hit it this summer dealing with the heat and using Window A/C units and a low water year that drove up electrical costs.  I can say that getting my wood stove was one of the best purchases I every made because I control my heat.  Every time I read about energy costs hitting folks I bless having that wood pile. 

Speaking of the I got the fire starters made. Paper egg crates are the best material as for holding the sawdust/chips and paraffin wax.  Cupcake papers are okay but I use a lot less wax filling up egg cartons compared to paper cupcake filled with the same saw dust/chips. I used about 5 pounds of paraffin wax to make 276 fire starters compared to using 10 pounds of wax using cupcake papers last year for about the same amount of fire starters. If you use only one of the fire starter per day you have over 9 months of fire starters.  All you need is some sawdust, some egg cartons, cupcake papers and melted paraffin wax.. You have to use low heat as paraffin wax is flammable at high heat.  You want just enough heat to melt the wax not ignite the wax. Mom has access to more free paper than I so she has leftover fire starters I gave her last year.  

Mom’s chimney has been cleaned up.  Mom used My shop vac with a Dry wall dust collection bag to clean up the last of the soot I could not clean out.  The bags are a little pricy at $18.00 for 3 bags but they do suck up the soot and keep you house clean.  It is just a paper bag so make sure there is no heat or coals that could ignite the bag before using a shop- vac to clean out soot from your chimney. I did not see any Dry wall level dust bags for any Shop-vacs under 5 gallons.

I think most preppers need to change how they shop and get into a different mindset about making themselves more sustainable. I know I’m not only focusing on food or heat and cooking but getting tools that I can use or neighbors can use to get projects done.  It is amazing the amount of work you can get done on your place if you loan out tools so a neighbor can get a project done but the don’t have a tool readily available

I don’t have every tool needed for a job, but I have added a small router and a table saw and every tool I add adds to my education to learning how to make stuff.  I screw up a lot but that is just tuition or the price I’m paying to learn new skills. If you are not willing to fail, make a mistake trying some thing new. You won’t learn anything.  

 


I finally got all the 55 gallon drums in the basement!

July 28, 2013

It took awhile but I wanted to get by with removing and rehanging the basement door only one time. It was a bit of a pain taking down the door multiple times when I added my big water barrels. The drums are all food safe types but I’m only doing the wheat and rice straight into the barrels. The mixed grains and beans will be in plastic bags and then stored in the barrels.  It looks like the bean barrel will hold about 300 pounds in 25 pound bags.  A guesstimate based on the barrel half full so far.  I’m keeping the beans in bags because I want  a bit of variety in my storage but Scifi Chick at the Blog  “Bacon and Eggs” has a cool bean mix if you want to go that route.

In the mixed grains barrel I repackaged the corn, oats and barley in two gallon freezer bags that weigh on average twelve pounds each.  The wheat and rice  barrel will be loose in the barrel and I will add DE to all to take care of any bugs and assist with freshness.  Once I start filling up the barrels I will get you an update on how many pounds each barrel will hold. As far as moving and using the food in the barrels I will keep my food grade buckets for transferring smaller amounts from the the barrels to the pantry.

I am also considering storing my beer grains in 55 gallon drums and setting up a beer making area. The beer area still needs more planning, but it would be nice to make beer without heating up the kitchen or turning it into a disaster area. I’m also playing around with the idea of an outdoor kitchen that sits on my covered patio.  A “brick” bread oven and some over sized propane burners along with a sink and counter top to work on would be handy.  That might be a goal for next year!  I have budgeted for my wood stove and solar generator to be my goals for this year and those are enough big goals for me and more critical for my energy independence.

I’m still working on the the wood pile and getting it stacked. The shop is getting cleaned up and reorganized so I can actually use it as a work shop and not a storage unit/catch all.  It has been nice to start getting things stored and put in the proper place.  I much prefer organized stuff rather than clutter.  So getting rid of the clutter has been good for me mentally though a lot of hardwork physically.  Still more worked to be done but I’m making progress!


Grinding for prepping or why I do this blog

June 14, 2013

I’m not talking about your grain mill but the work it takes to prepare.  I think it my nature to enjoy those small as well as the bigger goals that I accomplish.  Yes,  I do get a thrill on getting a few cases of canned veggies at a great price!  Since I’m living on a basic city lot in Idaho what I can grow is limited. That doesn’t mean I won’t do the best I can within the limits of the land. I have some lovely fruit and nut trees along with a fence line just full of grape vines.

A lot of prepping/survival and self reliance is just working everyday at some very tedious tasks.  Baking bread is simple but it takes practice as well as having a good supply of ingredients on hand.  Most people don’t get all that excited when you post or talk about buying 50 pounds of flour you got for under $15.00 for a 50 pound bag or the 50 pounds of salt you got for $7.00. A lot of what I do as a prepper is jut about as exciting as watching paint dry.  Many of the thing we do to preserve food just takes time and most folks get bored if they have to sit through a 30 second commercial.   Bacon is always at the store, but slow smoking takes hours if not days. Beer is always at the store but making it from malted grains takes weeks if not months for a good brew.  Many people can’t slow down and we have become an ADD nation.

I don’ care that your first loaves of bread tend to have the density of bricks while you are learning to bake!  I learned to make bread as a kid and when I didn’t bake bread for awhile I made a couple of flour bricks. It’s no big deal,  you will get it right and the making of a good bread it just takes practice.  Better to learn now when you can replace all those ingredients rather if/when all shipping stops.

How many folks actually sit down and read a book?  Heck I see people on the internet that post TLDR ( To Long Didn’t Read) on posts of less that 1000 words but they felt free to offer opinions on the text without reading beyond the headline or first paragraph. Most people could read that post in under 3-4 minutes  and it is still to long.  I try to stay around 500-1000 words because I know most people will get bored if they have to read words.  I love the written word to express ideas. I have tried very hard to express my point of view in few words. Not because  I’m reaching out to the ADD population, I think a good writer can express good ideas with only a few words.

One reason I started this blog was to become a better writer, to express my ideas via words.  While I still need to improve, I do believe I’m a much better writer than I was when I started this blog.  The best way to get better at any task is to practice it and be open to improvement. If you are afraid failure you will do nothing. Embrace failure and learn to love it  as people all ways tend to learn better from mistakes rather than success.


Biglots is having a good sale.

August 28, 2012

I ‘m going to focus on hard goods and food in bulk this month.  I also want to try making some all grain beer.

Big Lots back toschool sale has what looks like real wind up alarm clocks!  At $8.00 each I’ll get at least 1 but I’d like to swing 3 if  the budget allows.  They are having a sale on both TP and paper towels and some 8 GB jump drives.   I like the jump drives because you can keep copies of your important paperwork and Internet library on on them and then carry it on a key chain.  You might be surprised how much data you can store on a $8.00/8GB USB jump drive.

I’m picking up 25 pounds of of Grits/polenta for about $13.50.   You get over 15 servings per pound of grits and you can cook them so many ways for breakfast, lunch and dinner just by adding spices or cooking in different liquids.  So that 25 pounds will have about 375 servings and I want to add some different side dishes made with corn before the price really spikes up do to drought.  Having beans and rice is a good start but you want to mix up your meals to avoid food fatigue. If you like corn tortillas or cooking with Masa Harina I would recommend getting as much as you can afford and store in the next month.

While corn is in the news because of the drought almost all grains will take a hit on quality and go up in costs.  I’m already seeing rising prices for beer making grains and that is primarily Barley and most commercial beers use corn sugar in recipes,  so beer in the grocery store will be going up in price. Flour, breads and pastas will also be going up. These items that are on a lot of shopping lists and while we might see a drop in meat prices in the short term, I would not be surprised to see a huge jump in price of all meats, eggs and dairy very soon!

I know this sounds a lot like buy everything right now and few of us can afford to buy all we would like to have on hand. But hopefully we can save a little money on beef and put those savings towards buying up grains or dairy if you are a little  low on those items for the pantry.  I have been watching the sales circulars and we are seeing some great buys coming up in camping gear so if you are good on your pantry items this is the time of the year to grab a few of those items to finish up you backups and things for BOV as well as making a great “tailgaiting” setup.

I’m  getting the 9mm ammo  stocked up quickly and I figure I should be able to buy about 5 boxes this week. That will be my “metal” buy for this check.  I would like to have bought a little bit of silver but security comes before wealth preservation.  I’m thinking the PTBs will try and hammer silver and gold down again before it can take off,  because folks in metals are expecting it to go up.  We will see a rise on margins like when silver hit the $40.00 + mark.

I  think the PTBs are running out of “fixes” because if gas spikes because of hurricane Issac, higher electricity cost due to the EPA shutting down coal fired plants.  We have even  faster rising food costs due to drought and the Fed is talking about QE3 it won’t matter what the stockmarket looks like because Joe Six Pack is out of money.  Joe won’t worry about buying an Ipad, Iphone or anything but keeping food on the table,  heat in the house and gas to get to work, if still has a job.

Remember for all prepping, get your basic needs filled first.  Food, water, 1st aid/ sanitation, health, shelter(clothing, energy) and security are the critical items. You won’t need to barter if you already have those  items on hand.  Having skills and being able to make or fix stuff via tools is next to build on. Anything like silver and gold should be the last on your list of things buy if you don’t already have the basics.

Look at any local disaster and how quickly there are shortages of just basic goods to survive.  Or how much a generator costs or you can’t buy one at any price, or gasoline or water and food. All the gold and silver in the world may not buy the basics if no one will sell.  Don’t think you can use your guns and bullets will get you what you want as most preppers are well armed and will shoot back.  Darn easy to die from an infection or shock from a gunshot wound if you don’t have some basic supplies and knowledge.  It’s so much cheaper and less risky to get the basics now rather than possibly get shot looking to get your next meal after SHTF.  That’s if you know how to turn what most preppers store in to food!  Grains, rice and beans all take time to prepare, dehydrated food takes water and time as well.  You might get lucky and find a house with all MRE meals but even those are bulky and have a lot of weight and bulk.  Every gallon of water weights about 8 pounds, a case of soup over 12 pounds counting the weight of packaging. Sure you might play brigand and do a smash and grab and carry off at best 9 meals or about 3 days of food if you are in good shape and are lucky.

But why would you do it when you can trade green peices of paper and store what you need now? Especially when most preppers see what they have stored as life itself and they will be more than willing to shoot, shovel and shut up. The cops ain’t going to be around to read you your rights or give you 3 hots and a cot when you rob someone.


I think I know what I want to be when I grow up

August 8, 2012

I have  been a little bummed out with this darn disease. Sometimes it is tough to accept that I can’t do a lot of physical stuff.  I have been trying to think of a way to earn my own keep if the SHTF situation and I think I may have an idea that might work .  I can brew beer, make bread, so if I could store the  yeast culture from the beer making using it to bake I would have two really good products  to barter with bread and beer!

Some  advantages would be I could rest during the rising process with the bread while the beer is fermenting it’s doing the work not me! I already have several types of ovens so  I can practice with all kinds of bread recipes now and see how well they all work . I want to get a bigger solar setup done that could power my mixer as well as a grinder so that will conserve my energy at least some of the time.

I could also set up a small communication/office center with a few PC’s  office and gaming software,  a laser printer, copier and  scanner. Add a wi-fi network I could easily be a small information and entertainment hub. I don’t think I keep up with the younger kids physically but teaching teenagers is what I did as a NCO in the Army, add an online  school place to study/internet PC based library based on Kindle/free internet books via the Gutenberg project.  I have over a hundred movies and TV shows I got while in Germany so I could open a little video store or sharing books spot would be doable. I would have a good electronic library.

I need a new goal that takes advantage of what I can do. Teaching like the 4-H and FFA for kids and adults to learn skill like Home Economics/Financial planning via the Austrian school or history, basic electronics  plus have fun stuff  like model rocketry etc.

I should be finishing up most of my  projects and purchases next week.  I feeling a little better about my plans as I’m not worthless just because I’m handicapped. I have a new  goal to work towards  I can make happen.  I know I can teach basic first aid,how to  handle NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) threats, how to drive most wheeled vehicles including how to use a clutch. Marksmanship and basic defense tactics. I know my way around most small arms and can maintain them and do a little repair work.

I think I’m an good cook and baker and I know how to cook in bulk and time stuff from my seven years in catering so I’m really good at prepping foods to be cooked and timing it to be ready for the customer with a days notice of instructions I could have meals ready or freeze/refrigerated them and the customer could reheat at a convenient time.

Actually this may work out even better than I think as I could monitor other folks stuff like canners, baking bread and meals in a community oven sort of thing while people went about doing the real physical work I can’t do. They could drop off the ingredients and recipe or a pot, I cook it  and they have the main dish of the meal already to go for pickup in the evening.  Takes a little planning but it would be nice for folks to use a cheap cut of meat like brisket and I monitor the slow cooking all day and all they would have to do is pick up the finished product after a hard days work.  We could easily barter a portion of  that meal as payment or some thing else of value.

I’m feeling better at least mentally that I do have somewhat of a plan to be useful as well as providing something of value to someone if it is just saving time for them.  Still have to work out the bugs of my ideas but it’s a start and I think it might work.


My storage philosophy on pretty much everything. Focus on grains

July 14, 2012

A few questions came up on the last post about adding more stored  food because of the drought and getting more before the costs hit the supply chain.  Kellene had a post at preparednesspro.com on having 7 years of food on hand in case of famine or a long emergency. Greece has had a recession for over 5 years before the complete collapse started within the last 6 months. Heck even here in the USA we can say the recession started at the end of 2007 beginning of 2008 and has been going on for nearly 5 years in spite of what the talking heads saying we are in a recovery!  I’ve read about folks that have prepared but lost a job or had an emergency and have already used up a lot of their preps and are a little scared about how they will replace them in the future.  So having several years worth of long term storage items is certainly a goal to work towards and as long as you buy long term items and store them properly it is an achievable goal.

How I plan my food storage is a combination of total pounds and servings per pound and then meals. For example the second most used stored food is probably rice and beans right after grains. This will make up most of your long therm meals and it is really simple to figure how much you need as you will get 8-10 servings per pound. For 2 meals a day you will need about 75 pounds each of beans and rice. (365 days x 2 meals a day =730 meals then divide by 10= 73 pounds) but I round up to 75 pounds cause it’s nice number and gives me a little room for error.  Of course you won’t want to eat rice and beans every day for a year but you will know you do have food on hand.  Most food storage calculators recommend 60-100 pounds per person per year.

If you are store grains or flour I think about loaves of bread and one, 1 1/2 pound loaf of homemade bread per person per week.  So figure about 75 pounds of your grain will go for making bread. Then you start adding variety such as pancake mix (8 servings per pound),  oatmeal (16 servings per pound),  or grits (16 servings per pound)  for break fast. If you add 15 pounds of each breakfast item you will have about 45 pounds total to add the grain portion of your food storage.  We have only covered a few items but we are starting to build in some variety for breakfast and we can start adding variety to lunch and dinner. This is almost 200 pounds of grains and a very bland diet so I use the last 100 pound to start adding some variety,  easy to make meals and snacks.

Some other foods I store as part of  the Grains bulk goods:

  1. Barley can be used for both breakfast and dinner so having 25 pounds will add variety
  2. Pasta of all types about 4-6 servings per pound dried or make your own pasta by storing semolina flour.
  3.  Dent Corn, corn meal and  Masa harina, More variety and if buy and bulk you can get popcorn and grind it up for corn meal.
  4. Crackers

I did a 2 month test of living almost exclusivly on what I had stored. I had a good bit of meat and frozen veggies stored so my diet had plenty of variety but I really missed having some crackers and stuff for snacks. Once I paid off the big bill that caused me live on preps I went down and bought 12 pounds of popcorn and I buy saltine and Ritz  crackers on sale for snacks on hand.

I’ll do another post focus will be on beans and vegatables for storage and the choices I have made for the long term and why I picked up all kinds of beans and veggies!


Feeling nervous again/still….

July 12, 2012

I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy about this year’s harvest.  The USDA just declared a disaster 26 states because of  drought and they are never ahead of the power curve but always playing catch up.  I have quite a few folks on my blogroll that had a terrible time of it last year just getting feed for the critters.  Driving 500-1000 miles just get some hay if they could afford the gas or putting down animals early to prevent any suffering.

Idaho is having a problem with a new disease that is making out taters unattractive but not affecting the taste or food quality. But this state sells most taters for french fries, hash browns and potato chips and most folks won’t pay or eat potatoes with black or brown spots on them.  Still a small problem but it does have folks concerned.  The heat is lasting a bit longer than is good for our wheat crop so we may see a fall off in production.  I ‘ve not heard of any problems with the fruit orchards and I know my own little apple tree looks to be doing well and my walnut tree is growing like mad and has nice size nuts already formed.  The grapes are growing like mad and I have plenty of leaves but we still have a while to see how the fruit turns out.

I think it is a good time to lay in a few more long term food supplies. I’m doing good on rice but I feel a need for more flour, beans, sugar, oils/fats and yeast. I’m looking at getting some more whole grains because I think with my little power pak I’ll get next week,  I will be able to grind using power and not muscle energy.

I’ve seen some great buys on meat and I’d like to add some more to the freezer. You don’t often see wild caught salmon for only $2.00 a pound at Albertson’s grocery stores. I found out my local Winco stores honey is actually local honey from here in the valley. While there seems to have been a quality drop in my local Winco’s meat and produce,  they still have good value on bulk goods.  I’m cheap,  but I’d rather go without or pay extra for good quality meats and fresh veggies.

I focused on getting some junk silver this last month. But this month it feels like food should be the focus!  I’m still getting  the little water barrel and power pak.  I’m still going to get the little backup propane water heater next month as well as some tanks.  Perhaps because the food prices have come down quite a bit since earlier and it seems to me the best place to get the most bang for your buck.

I wish I could explain it better or that it’s more than “women’s intuition” but I can’t really say it’s more than a gut feeling like my 4 month gut check.  So far even if I’m wrong it usually works out for getting the best price on stuff as well as getting food stashed away for the long term.

Use logic on what you store but also trust your gut feeling!  You know where you are at for prepping and if you feel something is lacking and it is bothering you I think it’s your brain has put lots of different data together that you are not logically aware of, but your gut knows.


Planning ahead as a prepper

July 9, 2012

First off I want to thank riverrider for all the info and updates of him going through the 10 days without power to how he and his family handled the heat.  Darn good test of his preps and while he may feel he cheated a bit going for a drive or grabbing a snack,  he had gas for it and was ready if he needed to go scrounging for stuff to barter and trade or for getting to a market to sell his barter goods so I think it was a realistic test!

If you are like me you have watched the wild fires and this storm and not only thought about what you would do but have looked at what you actually done to survive and or make it an easier transition going without electricity or going to the store.  I, myself need to get some extra oil for the generators and run a good test under load to see how they will do supporting the household appliances.

I’m sure some folks that read this blog are what is called the procrastinating prepper.  You hit the websites and you got a pretty good idea of what you and your family needs to have on hand but you just haven’t gotten around to getting most of the stuff yet.  Life always comes up with things that eat the money you plan on spending on preparing.  Heck, you feel pretty darn good just keeping the gas tank filled when it gets down to 1/2 a tank.

Did you hear anything on the DHS or FEMA going to help folks 10 days without power during a heat wave. Just like the winter storm FEMA did not update it’s website for several days. I heard a few politicians posturing but did they call out the Nat. Guard to help clear roads?  Some of the city officials did open up offices and cooling stations but at a state and federal level nothing much happened. You and your neighbors are on your own for at least 2-3 weeks the government ain’t coming to help for at least that long. That’s 20 gallons of water, 5 pounds of rice and 5 pounds of beans plus oatmeal, grits and or 5 pounds of pancake mix for breakfast per person. That will give you 3 meals a day for 3 weeks. Even buying bottled water that’s less than $40.00 to be ready for 3 weeks per person.  I don’t know your family but that seems  pretty cheap to ensure you and your family eats and drinks safe water!

Things in the economy don’t look like they are going to get better for awhile cost and job wise.  With the drought and heat the corn crop is looking a little iffy right now which may mean higher meat prices later this year. August means kids going back to school and they will need clothes, classroom supplies and maybe stuff for band or athletics that will cost money.  So July is a good time to get a little food, water  and other basics bought cause you won’t have cash for it later this year.  September and October are good stocking up months as well but by November you are paying for heat and or the holiday season and you really won’t have any extra money to spend.


What an interesting week and good one as well.

May 7, 2012

I’ve been as giddy as a school girl with my plumbing fix. Today I used the dishwasher and wonder of wonders my dishes are actually clean!  I’ve been blaming it on the washer being old or the soap isn’t that good since it’s phosphate free.  But it seems it was a drainage problem and the washer could not get rid of the dirty water.  The $50.00 or so I spent getting things fixed was worth it big time. I’m no plumber but it was very satisfying to get so many benefits from some low cost tools and doing the simple repairs for myself.  I think these those things with plumbing have been gnawing at me for awhile and while it’s no great effort to lift the the water shut off arm on the toilet you know you are just making do. Things are just not right with the world, plus it gets expensive on water if you forget!

We had a frost last night and I’ve been waiting to put my plants in the ground. I think it was the right thing to do as my neighbor put her plants in late April and even with the plastic cover they seemed a bit droopy. It’s very strange we across the street from each other but her tulips took a beating in the frost and my were not effected at all.  I’m going to do a little bit of everything for planting beds and buckets. A few started and a few from seed and hopefully this year I’ll have a good harvest. One more year to go on the “lasagna” garden bed and one more rain barrel and I should have the basic garden stuff done.

Did up a batch of the dark ale tonight. I traded a beer for a friend to come over and break the sink strainer loose and he was happy with just a bottle. One thing I love about rednecks is you can get help if you offer beer as barter! I need to get some Lagers done for summertime as the “Tax” day party used up my stash LOL!  I’m not complaining it was nice that other folks also like my beer and not just cause it was free.

Got a new size bucket that holds about 2 gallons in volume that I’m setting up as my RV/BOV buckets.  I have 4 buckets and I’ll do one rice, one 16 bean mix, one Biscuit/pancake mix and one dehydrated goods.  That should be a good variety  of meals always on hand as well as ready to go with little notice. Needless to say the RV is not the greatest storage area for the  long term but these are small buckets and should be easy to rotate.

Last but not least it’s that time again to get out the spread sheets and do an inventory. I try to do this twice a year in May and November just to make sure  I got what I think I got as well as rotate.  I have added some new areas like a clothing shelf for storing basic warm clothing I get on sale and since I went to the Water barrels rather than just soda bottles for water storage my water footprint has change radically  for the better as far as space.  I couldn’t find a box of Kosher salt which I like to use for cooking and baking and I couldn’t find one.  Plenty of other types of salt from canning to Iodized but no Kosher so do I need to buy some or just find it?  If things get bad you don’t need the stress of looking for some thing you may have just forgot to update on your lists.

I’m a big believer that life is stressful enough just getting through the day. If you can make something simpler you need to do it.


Stick a fork in me I’m done!

May 1, 2012

Got the shopping all done but a couple of the plumbing tools and I passed today on the limes and lemons. I’m still working on the onions and I figure it would be better to wait until those are done before starting more processing.  Add in getting the eggs oiled and stored.  I  have plenty to do this week.  If I get everything done,  I have until May 6th before the sale ends. I did get everything else on my shopping list and need to add some more buckets for storage.

I got my rain barrel and the price seemed to increase almost 25-30% in just the last month. I’m not sure but it could be the price of plastics is up because oil is up, the season has created more demand or Ben Bernanke’s wonderful little printing press. It did take both Mom and I off-guard with the huge jump.  Still, I’m getting a darn good price of about $36.00 per barrel with Mom’s senior discount and only 1 more barrel to go for me to have my basic water collection system done.

Picked 12 of the metal water bottles from the Dollar store so those are ready if/when my little III per stickers come in the mail. I’m hoping to sell a few of them and if not the can be gifts or barter items.  These are the same bottles I tested for boiling water via my little Sterno stoves.

Even though I missed my walk-in greenhouse I did get some neat items at Big Lots.  Got a big bottle 116 loads of laundry detergent, for me that’s about a year’s worth of soap.  A couple packages of socks and undies and a good buy on Ritz Crackers in bulk.  So for all the cotton undergarments should be good for at least the next 2 years or more.  I love crackers and want to go back and get a couple more of those bulk boxes.

While at the farm store Mom and I got a few more plants.  My last Rosemary plant did not do well at all last year so we are trying something called an ARP Rosemary. It’s supposed to do better here in Idaho compared to your regular Rosemary plant.  Going to try a bush cucumber as opposed to the vine type and a couple of tomato plants from a big Beefsteak to a smaller but rainbow colored heirloom tomato. I’ve had pretty good luck raising Roma tomatoes each year.

My neighbor gave me eight Sunflower plants that I will pass on to my sister who loves them.  The darn squirrels are great at planting nuts and seeds but the placement leaves a bit to be desired!  I should be able to get everything planted this weekend as I do have a only 3 raised beds in the back.  Then next week I can go to work on the front yard edible/landscaping beds.

I got a couple of ‘junk silver” coins, a Ben Franklin 1/2 dollar and a couple of Mercury dimes. I’m kinda going easy on the silver and focusing on tools for May especially the plumbing tools. June will be getting a load of wood/mill ends (10 cords). Then go to work on the odds n sods for putting in a wood stove. If everything goes as planned and that demon Murphy stays away I expect the wood stove could be installed by October and it will have a huge impact on my winter heating bill.

All in all I’m pleased on how well I’m doing this year. I have gotten several Big ticket items as far as costs go that are in in the hundreds of dollars total. A few that took me some time to realize how critical they can be for survival. But no debt incurred and I’ve been able to handle little emergencies without freaking out. I have taken into account the new inflationary normal. It’s darn empowering to be able to be proactive rather than reactive when life hands you a nasty curve ball.  Some folks would think nothing of spending a couple of hundred dollars and some folks are grateful if they have $20.00 per month that they can actually spend on them selves/family and not bills or needs.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone. You have your life to make it the best of it you can, using your own skills and capability.