This, that and the other thing

November 26, 2013

The Camp Chef big two burner propane stove just went on sale this week at the local farm store for $69.99.  I have been looking to get one of these for canning and doing the beer outside during the summer.  Sure would be a big help with keeping the house cool and a great thing to have for the outdoor kitchen idea I’d like to do next year.  Once I have the the propane burners the only things left to get is a prep area/sink and a brick oven for doing bread. I have an old plastic patio table I think I can turn into a prep area though I’m still working on how to do the sink and water spigot. The outdoor kitchen would make a life a lot easier and the house a lot more comfortable in summer.

Smokey the cat seems to be over her “cold” and the pekes are looking much better since I switched over to the real beef doggie treats instead of the biscuits.  These treats are more expensive but if the dogs are healthier and happier it will be worth the extra cost. I have to wait and see how long the treats last before I have an idea how much to add to the pantry for long term storage.  Thankfully it was a very easy fix for the pekes.  On the backup dog I’m going to look at a couple of new ones that are at the shelter. I want a dog that is not only bigger than the pekes I want one that is more of a guard dog so I think that leaves the pointer mix out.  The shelter is always getting more dogs so something will turn up eventually.

Got in a little more practice with the chain saw, it was one of the chunks of wood Mom brought over. This was more of an actual log and  long for my wood stove.  Oh it wasn’t huge just about 5 inches across but well within the capabilities of my little chain saw. I want to confident as well as competent with the chainsaw when I get the next batch of wood, just in case it is cut to big for my stove.  I got all of the backup buckets full and enough wood in standing by to be cut to finish up the last couple of party buckets. It hasn’t been to cold here so far this year, teens and twenties for the lows. But the wood stove is really making a big difference in my power bill this year.

I have been reading on some of the other blogs about people  having some trouble doing all those things that are recommended for preparing. Yes it can be hard to keep working on that debt, adding to the pantry as well as getting the basic equipment and fuel needed to be prepared.  I know there were a few times I felt I would never accomplish my goals and I would get frustrated at how much I was  “sacrificing” to get everything done. I think worst was about the third year of working on it when I was in okay shape but it felt like I was not gaining any ground. Like it took all my energy and resources just to stay even but that feeling did pass. Mostly because I stopped looking for a finish line and started to embrace prepping as a lifestyle.  A few things that helped me get over that hump:

  • Never stop looking for ways to save money.  Even if it is just $5.00 a month that can get you a start on a big box of wooden matches or your first aid kit.
  • Budget every month: You have to know exactly where your money is going and make it work for you. Most of us have a basic budget of the big items like the house payment or rent, insurance, cable, internet, phone that don’t vary a lot from month to month. If you don’t adapt your budget for what’s on sale or you let dollars trickle away from you in unplanned spending it will make things a lot harder to stay focused on those goals.
  • Know exactly what and how much you can cut on your budget for things that are not necessities.  If you are on track there is no reason not to have hi speed internet or cable/sat. TV if you can afford it.  I got great peace of mind knowing nothing is on contract and I could drop those items if I needed too for an emergency.
  • Mad Money: Have a ten or twenty dollar bill stashed away from your regular spending money in case you run across a great deal or if you need to pay cash if the electronic system goes down. Sometimes you will just want some fast food or a silly little item. As long as it is a just once in awhile thing that should not bust your budget.
  • Trick yourself:  I suck at using credit cards, but if you can use a credit card and pay it off every 25 days so you don’t pay interest and get all those bonus points and goodies, DO IT!  I can’t, in fact I notice a big difference when I paid in cash and using a debit card. For some folks it is writing out a check, however you spend pick the one you like the least when shopping!
  • Make a list: Write out your goals for the year, the month and the week.  Learning skills can be very cheap and those skills can never be stolen. Make sure to update those lists along with smaller goals that help you achieve the bigger goals.

It’s not easy and there will be times you may wish you could go back to being asleep and unaware. You will get over the hump and start seeing real progress in time. I think it is worth the effort!