Monthly Archives: May 2013

Ways to Save a Buck

These days, making the family budget work is an art form in itself.  Let’s be honest, times are getting hard and we are all starting to feel it.  There are times when it seems that no matter how much money you save, there is nothing left from your paycheck at the end of the month.  This is mainly due to extraneous and unforeseen expenses such as medical bills.

Slashing the family budget is a daunting task where the end product is frustration.  Some have tried bundling their services, cutting back on extras such as movies and eating out, and some are beginning to see the wisdom in clipping coupons.  As much as the above mentioned can help the family budget, some of us are going a step further in our endeavors to save a buck.

7 Ways to Help a Person Save a Buck

Remove the phantom charges.  Did you know that when you leave your appliances (computer included) plugged in to the electrical socket, they still consume electricity?  You can reduce your electricity charges by 10%, simply by unplugging the kitchen appliances, TV and computer.

Buy food staples in bulk.  Learn from businesses, they save more money buying in bulk than they would buying individual products.  Use what you can and store the rest for another day. Due to the increasing food prices, it’s a positive way to buy your food staples at the most economical price.  This is a great time to start an emergency food supply.  Foods such as flour, sugar, oatmeal, and popcorn can be bought in bulk quantities at discounted prices.  Instead of paying $2.50 for a pound of sugar, you can buy 25 pounds at $13.00.

Create a rotating refrigerator – Just like rotating your stored preps every 6 months, rotate perishable food items in the refrigerator.  Foods such as produce, eggs and meat every week. If no one has eaten the fresh fruit or vegetables you bought last week, dehydrate it and store it for another time.  Each household wastes close to $600 a year on spoiled food.  Start making an effort to cut down on this.

Go Vegetarian a few nights a week.  Who said that you have to have meat with every meal?  Buying meat for every meal is expensive.  Making a few vegetarian dinners will save you money.  For instance, make a vegetarian pizza.  It’s filling and healthy.  Or make use of those beans and make a vegetarian chili!

When you do buy meat, make sure it’s on sale:  When you see deals for meat, buy them and do one of these tricks to and save it for a rainy day:

  • Freezing meat in a marinade can be enjoyed at a later time, as well as is a life saver on those days that get away from you.
  •  On weekends, my family enjoys eating buttermilk pancakes.  I always make an extra batch and freeze them for weekday breakfasts when we are running late.
  •  Another way of saving time is to freeze a crock pot meal.   Adding some vegetables, meat, rice or potatoes and spices and freezing it will save 20 minutes in preparation time.  Just take it out of the freezer and put into the crock pot and viola!
  • Another easy solution to free up time is to take frozen vegetables and add a cheese sauce or a herbed butter sauce and freeze it for another time.

Homemade is better tasting and cheaper.  Let’s be honest, a lot of the products we buy are to make our lives easier, but can be costly.  Find ways to make it yourself.  For instance, make your own granola mix to make for healthy snacks.  This can later be made into granola bars, cereal or yogurt toppers.  Another easy snack to make is homemade fruit leathers.  The kids love them and they are healthy.  It’s a win-win situation!

Do-it yourself. Start simplifying your finances by doing things yourself.  Mow the lawn yourself, fix the plumbing and wash the car by yourself.  There are great how-to articles, as well as helpful neighbors who would be more than willing to help you out if you need some pointers.

Go solar!  Some of us can’t afford all the solar gadgets, but that shouldn’t stop you from harnessing the power of the sun. Dry your laundry outside on lines to save money on the electricity bill. Furthermore, doing your dishes by hand will cut down on electricity used by the dish washer.

Via: readynutrition


“Martial Law” declared in Oklahoma!

Were you paying attention to the news of last week’s
devastating tornado in Moore, OK?

I ask, because there’s a “hidden story” few people picked up

You see, during emergencies like this, it’s heart-warming
and patriotic to see people from all over respond to the
emergency and come to help out with the search, rescue, and

But what happens when a thousand people show up to an area
struck by disaster to help out… and they have no

Volunteers were turned away because frankly, there isn’t
enough food, lodging, or water available to handle everyone.

Local communities responded to their needs though… by
price gouging on everything from lodging to bottled water!

What does this mean to you?

Well, even if you’re not affected by the eye of a storm (or
other disaster), you can still be the victim of a loss of
local resources such as food and water as these supplies are
sucked up by responders and volunteers swarming into your

They’ve even declared “martial law” in the Moore, OK area  

due to looting, and there may be a time where it’s better  

for you and your loved ones to “get out of Dodge” for a  

while and retreat to somewhere away from the chaos.

Maybe this is the time to do a self-evaluation and see how
you would have fared if you lived near Moore, OK this past
week, eh?

Just a few things to review now…

*  Is your home well-stocked with dry goods (food) and a
way to purify water for when the grocery store shelves
go empty?

*  Is your vehicle gas tank always filled for when the gas
stations lose power (or triple their prices)?

*  Do you have a “bug-out bag” ready to go with the
critical survival gear you need to evacuate if needed?

(Bug-Out Bag Instructions)

I’m sure a lot of Moore residents and local community
members are wishing they’d been better prepared.

Learn from their mistakes.

Trouble in socialist paradise

Anytime a free market guy rails against central planning and socialism, there is always someone who stands up and says “what about Sweden?”

Ah, Sweden… a socialist’s paradise… a place where taxes are among the highest in the world, few people are wealthy, and the government is involved in people’s lives from cradle to grave.

And in all of these government surveys on ‘happiness’, places like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark consistently rank among the happiest countries in the world.

Well… the veneer is cracking.

Though the coverage has been limited, there’s been rioting in Sweden over the past week, specifically in the immigrant-dense suburbs around Stockholm where 80% of the population are first or second-generation immigrants.

Dan West, a right hand man at Sovereign Man, is actually Swedish and on the ground right now in the country. He recently sent a note describing the situation:

“Hundreds of cars are burning. Schools were set on fire. Police stations were set on fire. Businesses were vandalized. Rioters clashed with police. Hundreds of masked rioters ran wild in the streets.

Seeing photos and video of this you’d think it was a war zone in some unstable part of the world, not Stockholm.

Allegedly it started last week because the police fatally shot a 69-year-old man who wielded a machete in public. Now people are angry and destroying things.

Swedish politicians say the root causes of these riots are inequality of the immigrant minorities.

Bear in mind, this is a place so obsessed with equality that the words “him” and “her” have been blended into “hem”… and taxpayers fork over 70% of their income to ensure that everyone can live to an equal level.

But to those of us living outside of this statist bubble, the real problem is obvious: however well-intentioned they may be, welfare states almost always attract people who want to be taken care of at the expense of others.

And ultimately this engenders serious conflict… between those who are on the receiving end, and those on the paying end.

Occasionally this conflict becomes violent. And that’s exactly what’s been playing out.

The government has all sorts of propaganda to influence the way Swedes view the welfare state and convince us that we should pay huge taxes to support others.

In other words, we should not be economically free so that others can live for free. This is the definition of a welfare state.

And in addition to such ‘thought controls’, the Swedish government also rules with capital controls, people controls, and media controls.

The government here tries to churn citizens out as if we’re widgets coming off a factory line, influencing everything from what we think to how we spend our time.

Yet despite such a finely-tuned system, the capital suburbs practically turned into a war zones over the past week.

The politicians here claim it can all be fixed with more redistribution of wealth. It’s not enough that the average working Swede pays ~70% in taxes; if only they could extract 80% or 90% in taxes, they could solve everything!

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

People have the wrong idea of this place. It is not a well-functioning welfare state. Any system based on giving people something for nothing, and sticking hard-working, productive citizens with the bill, is doomed to fail. Sweden is no exception.

People in North America who are rapidly being dragged into a welfare state should pay very close attention… because this is the future that awaits.”

Via: SovereignMan


Simple Techniques to Organize Your Preps

As reassuring as it is to have long term supplies in case of a disaster, organizing it is another story.  Those that have made the commitment to prepare long term require one to have a well-organized storage area that is both maneuverable as well as easily accessible.  Organizing bulk storage items requires a bit of forethought and planning in order to have foods easily at one’s disposal.  These quick and easy tips will help a person create a storage area that is both functional and pleasing to eye.

Store Items in the Right Spot

To maintain optimum quality of the food, make sure that the area where the food and long term items are stored have minimum exposure to sunlight, heat, moisture and air.  Items that are stored in a dark room will last longer than if they were in a pantry or garage where the temperature and light fluctuate.  Additionally, canned goods will store twice as long if they are stored at 70 degrees compared to them being stored at 90 degrees.  Temperature has the largest effect on foods.  It effects nutrition, texture and taste.  Moisture is another force to reckon with when storing foods long term.  So find a dry spot to store food items.  Avoid storing items next to certain products such as soaps or fuels; this will prevent the spread of odor and other possible contaminants.

Be Practical

Initially, when a person decides to prepare long term they make a list of long term items that will be needed.  Purchasing staple items in bulk can help a person save a bundle.  However, it will do no good to purchase foods that a family will not eat, so make sure the foods that are purchased will be one’s the family already enjoys.  Otherwise, the food will go to waste, and end up being a bad investment.  A person will make the most of their money if they purchase foods and items that will be used within their allotted time span, so check the expiration date.

It is wise to bulk up on items that can be used to make other foods such as wheat, flour, oats, sugar and powdered milk.  These staples can be enjoyed by the family in a multitude of ways.  If a person purchases bulk quantities of these staples, it would be a good idea to find recipes to use these foods in.

Rotate and Resupply

Any items bought for a long term storage closet should be used, rotated and resupplied into the storage closet.  This is the best way to have the freshest foods available in the event that a long term disaster occurs.  When organizing food reserves place the item that has the earliest expiration date in the front so that it is used first.  FIFO is a well-known acronym used in the restaurant business.  It means, “First In, First Out.”  This is a great acronym to use when organizing food storage.

*Do an inventory check every 6 months to make sure that canned goods, preserves and other storage items are within their expiration dates.  It is a good idea to have a checklist of supplies so that it can be looked upon during an inventory count.

Organize According To Your Taste

Everyone has their own way of organizing.  A person can group like items together such as soup, fruit, vegetables, meat, snacks, breakfast, baking needs, medical supplies, teeth cleaning supplies, etc, or group them alphabetically.  It really does not matter as long as it is organized to your liking.  The labeling system is a great way to organizing long term storage items.  Additionally, adding the date of purchase and expiration date to the label will save you some time later on.

Don’t Forget About Water

Having an ample supply of potable water in the home is more important than food.  A person who goes 3 days without water will be in very bad shape.  Many disaster organizations suggest having a two week supply of water stored up.  That is 14 gallons of water just for drinking.  A person would need extra if bathing, cooking and cleaning with.  Used soda and juice bottles can be used to store extra water for the family to use in case of an emergency.  These can also be frozen in the freezer to be used at later times.  An additional water pump or filtration system would also be good to store in case one needs it.  Since water is a fairly bulky item to have on hand, a person should store and stack as much as they can in the area they have.  Many people use unused closet space to stash their drinking water.  While some put their water in the laundry room on the floor.  Again, it does not matter how one organizes their long term items, as long as it makes sense to them.

Get Extra Storage When Needed

Because of the large amount of items needed for a person to live off of long term, they will more than likely need additional shelving and cabinets  to condense space.  Having a shelving unit out in the open for items that are rotated more frequently such as canned good, baking staples, etc. can save a person time searching.   Can dispensers could also be used for frequently used storage items to save needed space and keep items rotating.  Hanging door spice rack is a great place to store teas and bulk spices.  Modular storage containers work wonders.  If a person wanted to purchase multiple cabinets, they could have a cabinet for medical supplies, toiletry supplies, food, tools, cleaning supplies, etc. When buying in bulk, transfer the food into large plastic containers that can be stacked and labeled to save time and condense space.

Having a well-organized storage area takes time.  But if it is properly managed, then it will be an effective use of time and energy.  Everything will be at your fingertips and ready to use in case the worst case scenario occurs.

Via: readynutrition


World Health Organization: Virus “a threat to the entire world”

On 5/28/13 CNN provided the first mainstream reporting on the deadly MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) and it’s 50%+ kill rate.

This is the same virus AlertsUSA warned subscribers of more than TWO WEEKS AGO via a text message to their mobile devices, followed the next day by a more detailed threat update via email.

Read that threat update HERE.

In light of both of these stories it is fair to say that there are deadly public health threats now facing you and your family. It is important that you take precautionary steps NOW….as opposed to waiting for the likely panic reaction by the general public if H7N9 or MERS-CoV manifest into pandemic-scale outbreaks.

CDC Preparing for H7N9 Pandemic
May 25, 2013
What You Need to Know
It was revealed late this week by researchers at the University of Hong Kong that the H7N9 bird flu virus which has infected 131 people (and killed 36) can be transmitted not only by close contact but by airborne exposure. Their study, published this week in the journal Science, indicates ferrets were passing the virus cage to cage. Additionally, inoculated ferrets were infected before the appearance of most clinical symptoms, demonstrating there may be more cases than have been detected or reported.

Additionally, tests were conducted using pigs, a major host of influenza viruses. These tests also definitively showed that they could also get infected with H7N9, leading to the belief that H7N9 may combine with pig viruses to generate new variants.

A particularly important, though unreported aspect of the entire H7N9 topic is that severe cases are reported to be hemmoraghic. What this means is that those infected could experience, among a myriad of other symptoms, excessive internal bleeding, liver or kidney failure similar to dengue, tick-borne encephalitis and Ebola.

Readers are reminded that while reported infection numbers are still relatively low, H7N9 clearly has world health authorities seriously spooked. So much so, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC this week published a 1 BILLION dollar cost plus Federal Solicitation for the purposes of emergency experimentation with H7N9 Flu vaccines and emergency experimental antiviral treatments.

The Solicitation specifically references “preparation for a possible large scale national H7N9 influenza vaccination program.”

Earlier this month, the CDC issued a presolicitation announcement of their intended $600 million dollar acquisition of 512 million syringes, alcohol prep pads and other related products necessary to meet the vaccine administration needs of the American public during a pandemic influenza event.

Further still, the CDC is considering using the two oil-in-water emulsion adjuvants in its stockpile with an H7N9 vaccine in order to increase effectiveness. Of particular note here is that the CDC has never before allowed the use of adjuvants in either the seasonal or pandemic influenza vaccines as their use has been tied to onset of Narcolepsy, as was the case with their H1N1 vaccine.

And something you can be assured of is that if a nationwide H7N9 vaccination program is implemented, this will no doubt be made mandatory for school-aged children given the close proximity of students in a school setting.

Official Findings:

“Human infections with a new avian influenza A (H7N9) virus continue to be reported in China. The virus has been detected in poultry in China as well. While mild illness in human cases has been seen, most patients have had severe respiratory illness and some people have died.” (See This)

“On April 19, 2013, HHS Secretary Sebelius determined there is significant potential for a Public Health Emergency related to Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Virus.” (See This)

Risk Countermeasures:

While it is impossible to predict if H7N9 will progress to a pandemic state, the authorities are clearly more than a little worried about this possibility. This should be a strong indicator to you, the individual, to pay attention and to take a few preparatory steps of your own BEFORE a panic starts.

Below we suggest 3 risk countermeasures to help you shore up your preparedness for such and event.

It is important to keep in mind the CDC’s findings and actions. The mere fact that health authorities are making public declarations of this kind and throwing tremendous financial resources into preparing for a possible H7N9 pandemic should speak volumes to readers.

DO NOT WAIT until the problem shows up to make a few reparations of your own. In the event a severe Influenza pandemic, products will be SOLD OUT fast.

1. Medical Grade Skin Cleanser

In principle, influenza viruses can be transmitted by 3 routes: aerosols, large droplets, and direct contact with infected surfaces or secretions. One of the best risk mitigation steps you can take is to acquire a medical grade skin cleanser, as well as surface cleanser.

Of these, one of the gold standards in hospitals and other clinical settings is Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is sold under the product name HIBICLENS.

The product is intended for use as a surgical scrub, as a health-care personnel hand wash, a patient pre-operative skin preparation and a skin wound cleanser. The antimicrobial cleaner bonds to the skin to create a persistent antimicrobial effect and protective germ-killing field against a wide range of microorganisms.

The link below leads to an assortment of HIBICLENS products on Amazon.


2. N95 Surgical / Filtration Masks

Another wise risk countermeasure useful for reducing infection would be to acquire a supply of N95 surgical masks. These are (currently) inexpensive and an excellent addition to preparedness supplies. There are an abundance of scholarly studies demonstrating the effectiveness of N95 filters in reducing the spread of influenza viruses.

The link below leads to an assortment of N95 masks on Amazon.

Inventory Management for Survival Supplies

A successful prepper knows the importance of  managing their survival supplies and keeping everything organized.  Many businesses use an inventory management system to store their products because they know the importance of rotating products in a timely manner. Without having a proper organizational system, items will not be found, misplaced and expire past their shelf lives.

How to Organize Survival Supplies

 Short and long term food supplies should be placed in a safe and dry spot.  Many people who feel they do not have adequate space for a food supply make use of unused wall space and create shelving units to use as their storage area.  Another method is to use unused closets or rooms.  As long as the space is dry and large enough to store foods, it can be used.  Additional shelving units can be purchased to accommodate larger food supplies.

  • Take all items off the shelf and sort items into categories.  Sort items for needs such as baking supplies, breakfast cereals, canned goods, medical supplies, bartering/charity, etc.
  • Store items next to one another that are used together.  For example, keep baking needs such as flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, etc next to one another for easy access.
  • Place goods with the longest expiration date in the back and work forward to the closest expiration date.
  • Have a Inventory Management spreadsheet or listing system. You can find some good ones here and here. Keeping an inventory list of foods that have been purchased and adding to the list when more items have been purchased will provide a well-rounded supply.  Categorize the inventory into sections such as items for baby, baking, water/beverages, cleaning, condiments, 72 hour bag, emergency supplies.  The Prepared LDS Family, has a thorough suggested inventory organizational method that would be helpful for those starting out.
  • The food storage inventory should be checked every 6 months to make sure that food items are properly rotated and are used within their expiration date.

Managing Your Inventory

Many find that stored food is convenient to have in their home.  When they need a can of food, they go to their storage supplies and use it.  Storing food is a continual process of using, rotating and resupplying.  If a short term food supply is bought, the food must be used and more food purchased to resupply the storage shelf.  Additionally, if any food is canned or jarred at home, a storage area can also be used for these goods.

Guidelines for Food Storage:

Use within 6 months:

  • Powdered milk (in box)
  • Dried fruit (in metal container)
  • Dry, crisp crackers (in metal container)
  • Potatoes

Use Within 1 year:

  • Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups
  • Canned fruit, fruit juices and vegetables
  • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers)
  • Vitamin C
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Hard candy and canned nuts

May Be Stored Indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions):

  • Wheat
  • Vegetable oils
  • Dried Corn
  • Baking powder
  • Soybeans
  • Instant coffee, tea and cocoa
  • Salt
  • Non-carbonated soft drinks
  • White rice
  • Bouillon products
  • Dry pasta
  • Powdered milk (in nitrogen packed cans)

Source –

Via: readynutrition


Simply Simplifying

There are times in your life when you realize that things are not as they should be.  A vital component is missing in your day to day life, but you are unsure what it is.  There is so much chaos and clutter spinning around you that nothing seems to make sense the way it used to.

You realize that the lifestyle to which you’ve become so accustomed is a necessary evil, a constant struggle between the life you want to achieve and the life you have to give up right now to achieve it. But you don’t have to live your life dreaming of what it could be – you can stop spinning and start simplifying right now!

It starts with willingness to change and the willingness to realize that you need to get back to basics and focus on the things that matter most, not at hopefully achieving those things at some time in the future, but right now.

Shifting Your Direction

Those who live a stress filled life tend to be very familiar with the Three C’s: Chaos, Clutter and Confusion.  It does not make for a happy existence.  In fact, it drags you and your spirit down.  In plain words, it’s toxic.  In order to avoid this altogether, start making minor changes in your life to naturally shift your perspective. Peter Holy, founder of 123 Feel Better, calls them micro movements. The key to achieving your goals, according to 123 Feel Better, is to break your goals down into their smallest, most manageable parts. Where you may feel tired or overworked attempting to achieve a single, massive goal in one fell swoop, simplifying that goal into micro movements will seem like you’re hardly working.

Realizing that you want to take this journey towards simplicity requires some preemptive planning on your part.  To begin this, you must find some time to reflect and think about what is important and how to enhance those priorities.  For example, if  family is a main priority, start scheduling a designated family time.  The football game can wait.  Or, if you have been putting off planning your off-grid home, sit down with the family and start planning what you want your homestead to incorporate. Nothing should interfere with those designated priorities.  Here are some additional tips.

  • Sit down and contemplate the priorities in your life.  What matters most in your life? What can you live without?
  • Set short and long term goals to get to your simplified destination.
  • Break down each goal and create micro movements, or mini-goals, that will help you to achieve success
  • Take action and start integrating your micro movements into your daily life.

6 Practical Tips to Simplify Your Life

After shifting your direction toward simplifying your life, you will find that you only need a few things to really make you happy.  Somehow in the middle of everything, you realize that whatever void you had in yourself before, filling it with superfluous products, services and habits often leaves you feeling just the opposite – unfulfilled.

Many are adopting this voluntary simplicity.  In fact, trend researcher Gerald Celente has been quoted in saying that “between 5%-7% of adults are pursuing some type of voluntary simplicity.”  It should be no surprise, then, that the percentage of those who are simplifying their lives are also the same percentage of individuals who are prepping.  Preppers are already practicing living a more simplified lifestyle.  Here are a few tips to help you begin your road to a simpler life:

  • Simplify your finances – Having debt creates a lot of unwanted stress and uneasiness in your life.  Start making steps to live within your means and start paying off any unnecessary debt.  Do some research into what credit solutions seem right for you.  There are websites available that can give tips on how to reduce debt.  Creating a manageable budget can also be an invaluable tip to reducing credit and stress.
  • Simplify your life–  Get back to the basics and downsize your life.  Start weeding out the areas in your life that cause you pain, suffering and confusion.  Sometimes you have to weed out those toxic friends, stop hanging out late at night in order to get up early, learn to say “no” to people.  Over-committing yourself can also cause a buildup of chaos.  Start prepping!  Preparing for emergencies beforehand creates a safety cushion to fall back on in case an emergency arises.  It eliminates the headache of gathering supplies in a high stress environment.  There are plenty of sources to start your preparedness journey.
  • De-clutter Your Home and Office – It’s easy to have those organized “catch all piles” lying in strategic places around the house.  But the more clutter that piles up, the more disorganized things are in your life.  Clutter brings uneasiness to life.  Make a short term goal to clear these piles out.  If you are not using these items, then throw them away, give them away or sell these items in a garage sale.
  • Simplify your health – Research has shown that stress takes its toll on a body.  Those who live a stress free life are more inclined to live longer, be healthier and overall pleased with their life.  So, start getting some fresh air every day.  Additionally, cutting back on those greasy junk food items is another way to clean and detoxify your body.
  • Rely on yourself – What a great concept!  By relying on yourself, you will find freedom.  This is the threshold to prepping.  Once you realize that you can be self-reliant, everything changes.  Your goals change, your attitude changes, you change.
  • Feed your spirit – This is often a highly overlooked area.  If you do not feed your spirit on a regular basis, it will not grow. That is the missing component in most of our lives.  We forget how important this is.  Try and do something every week to be at one with your spirit.   Some people meditate, some pray, some go to Nature to be in thought, some climb mountains – find what brings you peace and continue doing it.  Because, without a spiritual foundation, we are lost.

The Time/Energy Yield

In the spin cycle we call life, we spend our time and energy on work and other distractions that keep us from doing what we need to thrive.  Rather than spending our time on what’s important in life and sitting back in quiet thought, we have to entertain ourselves with thoughtless television programming, gossip websites or magazines, etc.  It’s important to relax, but these activities will not relax you.  They will only stimulate you into not moving or thinking.  Your time/energy yield is not a positive reflection of what you are trying to accomplish.  An example of good time/energy yield would be: rather than exchanging your time for excessive work at the office to generate more money to buy more food at the store; take that time, and rather than going to the office, spend that time building and developing a home vegetable garden.  You will use your time and energy to not only fulfill your consumptive needs, but you will be feeding your spiritual, emotional and physical wellness needs at the same time.

Starting Fresh

It’s a new day where anything is possible.
Simplifying your life will create more room for you to do what you need to be at peace.
I’ve read stories of people who dreamed of living near the water.  So, in order to save money, they sold their McMansion, their gas guzzler truck and bought a boat.  They found a creative solution to their problem that ended up being the right decision not only for their stress load, but also for their spirit.

Making the realization to simplify does not mean that you are giving up your life in order to live a life of poverty.  Quite the contrary, it means to getting rid of the non-essentials that cloud your life.  By ridding yourself of these non-essentials, you begin to clear the distortion and haze, and begin concentrating on the important things in life.  This sensible lifestyle creates a well-balanced and harmonious living environment.  Think of it, you are deliberately taking the reins and slowing down your life to actually give yourself the opportunity to look at the beauty and treasures surrounding you.

Via: readynutrition


Pandemic (BBC Documentary)


A simple virus brewed in the belly of a dead bird is set to embark on a global killing spree. The likely culprit is H5N1 – a bird flu virus with the dangerous potential to mutate into the next pandemic flu virus.

In a feature-length special, we tell the story of what could happen if a flu pandemic hits. Experts predict the next pandemic will be more disruptive than any disease we’ve seen before. And they’re particularly worried that it will be most deadly for the young and otherwise healthy.

The last flu pandemic in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. Nowadays, with extensive global travel and movement, the virus will be able to spread even more easily. The estimates are that hundreds of millions could be infected and potentially die.


There Is Now a 100% Chance of a Market Collapse

This article has been reprinted from Stansberry and Associates and appeared at The Daily Crux.

From Porter Stansberry in The S&A Digest:

As you undoubtedly know, financial newsletter writers get paid to make bold, exciting predictions. Judging by the hyperbole in our industry’s sales letters, you’d have to imagine that we’re all bipolar. After all, according to newsletter writers, the world is always either about to end… or about to boom.

Today’s Friday Digest is no different. In fact, what I would like to show you today is without a doubt the single greatest threat to your wealth you will ever face. Even so, I’m confident almost all of you will ignore this warning until it is far, far too late. And that’s at least partly my fault. So before we get to the finance, I’d like to share something about my own company that I don’t like and wish I could change.

The reality is, the terrible things and incredible booms we predict (almost every day) in the sales presentations for our newsletter business rarely come to pass. I’d like to think our sales presentations are better than my fellow publishers… but truthfully, I’m pretty sure an outsider wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. So how can you tell when a newsletter writer’s dire warnings or emphatic recommendations are real… or at least likely to turn out to be right?

As you would imagine, I have some insight into this question. After all, I have written some of the most famously hyperbolic headlines of all time in our industry. Some of these predictions turned out to be right, like when I predicted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were going to zero.

New subscribers might rightfully wonder why a newsletter publisher (like me) would write such things about his own work and draw attention to the occasional excesses in his company’s marketing. Why would I remind our clients of the single biggest weakness of our business model – our need for hyperbolic sales pitches?

What can I say? I can’t help myself. I feel an obligation to tell you what I’d like you to tell me, were our roles reversed. That’s why I write the Friday Digest. I firmly believe that if you combine the strategies I explain in these notes with our investment research, you will excel as an investor. And then you’ll forgive us for the hyperbole required for our marketing.

In fact, I know thousands and thousands of investors around the world have used our work to become world-class investors. They depend on us for reliable and profitable ideas. When I meet them, they always ask… “Why do you people use such terrible marketing?” Well, we use what works. We assume, were you in our shoes, you’d do the same.

Sadly, though… perhaps because of our marketing, most of the people who try one of our investment newsletters either demand a refund or simply allow their subscription to lapse. The main reason that happens is because the reason they subscribed – the original hyperbolic headline – did not pan out the way they expected. (Or at least it didn’t pan out soon enough to suit their desires for the end of the world or the beginning of a new boom.)

Even worse… when the facts change, we’re likely to change our minds. But… nothing costs you more in publishing. That’s a fact. I can’t explain it… but it is the truth. Likewise, nobody wants to read that their cherished financial nonsense is going to come to a bad end. I can’t count the number of Peak Oil believers who’ve sent me angry demands for a refund – never mind the soaring oil and gas production numbers. Or the latest craze: digital currency Bitcoin. Just mentioning that Bitcoin might turn out badly will likely cost me several thousand subscribers. I’m not kidding.

So… how can you know when a newsletter writer is going to be right about an outlandish prediction… perhaps one that goes against your own beliefs about the market? In my opinion, the best guide is history. When history says the prices in a market have gotten completely out of whack, the newsletter writer is going to be right every time. If history isn’t your bag, you can look at the data and the trends and remember your statistics lessons: the central tendency, reversion to the mean. Let me give you one recent example from these pages.

About a year ago, I made an “outlandish” prediction – that natural gas prices were going to go up and oil prices were going to come down…

There are few things in life I know with certainty… But I know this: Barring the end of the world, the price of oil is going to fall and the price of natural gas is going to rise.

At the time, natural gas producer Chesapeake was collapsing because of low natural gas prices and nearly everyone on Wall Street was short natural gas. I recommended buying Chesapeake bonds and its competitor, Devon, and I predicted a huge rebound in natural gas prices.

In fact… I guaranteed that natural gas would soar because I knew it was certain – a 100% chance – that natural gas couldn’t continue to trade for less than $2 per thousand cubic feet (MCF). A year later, the price of gas has doubled. How did I know?

A barrel of oil contains 5.825 million British thermal units (Btu) of energy. One thousand cubic feet of gas contains just a little more than 1 million Btu. Thus, a barrel of oil has approximately six times more energy than 1 million cubic feet of gas. On an energy-equivalent basis, you would expect natural gas to trade for one-sixth the price of oil. But of course, oil is more highly prized as a fuel source. It’s more easily portable and thus is a better fuel for transportation.

Historically, looking at the two commodities, the average multiple of gas to oil was about 10x. That is, a barrel of oil was, on average, 10 times more expensive than one thousand cubic feet of gas. By last April, that premium had reached an all-time high of 55 times.

There was no way that kind of price relationship could have lasted. A reversion to the mean was 100% certain. And that’s what happened. Today, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil at $95 per barrel and natural gas at around $4, the ratio is still wide, at almost 24 times. But it’s half as wide as last year. You should expect oil prices to continue to decline and gas prices to continue to rise. I believe the future 10x equilibrium will be reached when gas is around $6 and oil is around $60.

Now… let me give you another “outlandish” prediction. The U.S. bond market – particularly junk bonds – is going to crash. When this crash occurs, it will be the largest destruction of wealth in history. There has never been a bigger bubble in U.S. bonds.

How do I know? It’s simple. Junk bonds (aka high-yield bonds issued by less creditworthy companies) have never yielded less than 5% annually. But they do today. Likewise, the difference between the yields on junk bonds and the yields on investment-grade bonds has almost never been smaller. That means credit is more available today than almost ever before for small, less-than-investment-grade firms. The last time credit was this widely available – and at such low costs – was in 2007. And you know how that turned out…

The coming collapse in the bond market will be far worse than it was last time, too. This time, the Federal Reserve’s actions have driven forward the huge bull market in bonds. The Fed is printing up almost $100 billion per month and buying bonds. That has forced the other buyers of bonds to buy riskier debt that, historically, offered much higher yields.

Today, those yields have been incredibly “compressed.” You can imagine the high-yield segment of the bond market to be like a spring whose coils have been driven together by the force of the Federal Reserve’s market manipulation. As soon as the Fed’s buying stops (and it must stop one day, or else it will trigger hyperinflation), the yields on those riskier bonds will soar again. As bond yields rise, the price of bonds will fall sharply.

To give you a specific example, car manufacturer General Motors recently issued bonds to investors. The yield on these securities was only 3.25%. I’m fairly certain that inflation in our economy will exceed that rate.

That’s why a company that went bankrupt in the last five years… that operates in a highly competitive market… and still suffers from massive overcapacity… is paying essentially nothing for capital. That doesn’t make any sense. Investors are being paid nothing, in real terms, for their savings – or to accept the real risk that GM could default. Investors ought to be getting at least 7.5% on these bonds, a yield that would cause the price of these bonds to fall 50%.

I believe we’ll see a real panic in the corporate bond market at some point in the next year. I expect the average price of non-investment-grade debt (aka junk bonds) to fall 50%. Investment-grade bonds will fall substantially, too. (I’d estimate something around 25%.) This is going to wipe out a huge amount of capital… and believe me… it’s 100% guaranteed to happen.

The Daily Crux Note: Porter recently released a report he’s been working on for the past ten years… and if you own gold – or are considering buying it today – you should drop everything and read it now. In short, he says you could become “unbelievably rich” or “disastrously poor,” based on one simple gold decision almost everyone gets wrong. Click here to see the full report for yourself.

Via: shtfplan



Illnesses caused by viruses usually run their course in 7-10 days. Illnesses caused by bacteria can sometimes be fought off by the body for the most part if not treated with antibiotics they just get worse and can result in death.

Antibiotics are not like pain killers. You cannot just pick your favorite brand. The bugs that antibiotics fight are different. Intestinal diarrhea bacteria are much different from throat, sinus and ear infection bacteria. You have to match the antibiotic with the bug you are fighting. Additionally, some people are allergic to some antibiotics especially the penicillin family. Finally, if you take antibiotics when they are not needed, say for a cold, or if you don’t take them correctly or for the full length of time prescribed, you can help produce antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The FDA and the medical profession control the dispensing of antibiotics through prescriptions. In some countries like Canada and Mexico, you can buy antibiotics over the counter without a prescription. I feel everyone needs to store antibiotics for SHTF scenarios. The questions are “What do I store?”, “Where do I get it?”, “How do I use it?”, and “How do I store it?”

I am not a doctor. My medical background is 3 years as a Med-Tech in the US Army, 1 year of which was spent in a microbiology lab working with some very nasty bacteria, and a life of helping to raise kids that had more than their share of aches, pains and ills. I am not giving medical advice. I am only giving you my opinion based on my personal experience and study. If you need medical advice, seek out the help of a licensed medical professional.

What do I Store?
Everyone has an opinion on this and I will give you some references to study this on your own. Everyone is a little different. Different bugs hit different areas of the country. Kids cannot take some antibiotics that adults can take. Some antibiotics are inexpensive and some cost a bunch. Some antibiotics are easy to obtain and some are hard to get a hold of. I am going to give you a list of the antibiotics that I store and tell you why.

First some references:

Cynthia J. Koelker, MD
Amoxicillin, Cephalexin, Cipro, Doxycycline, Erythromycin, Metronidazole, SMZ-TMP

The Patriot Nurse

Zithromax, Ampicillin, Cipro, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline

Dr. Bob
Basic – Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Cephalexin, Sulfa
Penicillin Allergy – Doxycycline, Sulfa, Cefdinir, Cipro

As you can see there is a variety of opinions. So I’ll add one more list to the mix. This is based on my family’s needs. We have no young children or infants and we have one family member that is allergic to some penicillin family drugs. I am giving the generic names since these are cheapest and in the US are just as effective.

Azithromycin – Treats middle ear infections, Upper Respiratory Infections (strep throat, sinusitist), Lower Respiratory Infections (pneumonia, bronchitis) Mycoplasmal Infection (walking pneumonia), Typhoid, Syphilis, PID, Chlamydia, Traveler’s Diarrhea, Lyme Disease and other infections. Azithromycin is derived from Erythromycin but is more effective against some bacteria.

Most common side effects are gastrointestinal: diarrhea (5%), nausea (3%), abdominal pain (3%), and vomiting. Fewer than 1% of patients stop taking the drug due to side effects.

I like Azithromycin because it is a broad spectrum antibiotic and it is not in the penicillin family so you don’t have to worry about the penicillin allergic reactions. It is more effective than many older antibiotics and as of yet, bacteria has not shown much resistance to it. A point against Azithromycin is that it is more expensive than other antibiotics. If cost is a concern Cephalexin and Erythromycin cover pretty much the same bacteria spectrum.

Cephalexin – Treats middle ear infections, Upper Respiratory Infections (strep throat, sinusitist), Lower Respiratory Infections (pneumonia, bronchitis) Bone and Joint Infections, Skin Infections (except MRSA) and Urinary Tract Infections, and other infections.

Cephalexin is well-tolerated in children and is safe in pregnant women. Most common side effects are gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and abdominal pain.

Ciprofloxacin – Treats Urinary Tract Infection, Prostate Infections, Respiratory Tract Infections (Pneumonia, Bronchitis), Bacterial Diarrhea, Mycoplasmal Infection (walking pneumonia), Gonorrhea, Diverticulitis (in combination with Metronidazole), Anthrax, and other infections.

Ciprofloxacin should not be used by children, pregnant or nursing women or patients with epilepsy or other seizure disorders.

Doxycycline – Treats Respiratory infections, Sinus Infection, Mycoplasmal Infection (walking pneumonia), , Syphilis, PID, Chlamydia, Prostate Infections, Typhus, Lyme Disease, Malaria and other infections.

Doxycycline should not be used by children, pregnant or nursing women. Side effects can include Skin Sensitivity to the sun, Renal Impairment, and impaired effectiveness of birth control.

Close Runners Up

Amoxicillin – Treats middle ear infections, Upper Respiratory Infections (strep throat, sinusitist), Lower Respiratory Infections (pneumonia, bronchitis) Mycoplasmal Infection (walking pneumonia) and other infections. Erythromycin is also used before dental work to prevent infection.

It is safe for children and pregnant women. It is well-tolerated, causing few side effects.

So why don’t I include it with my main stores? Some people are severely allergic to it and it has been so over used in humans and in animals that many bacteria have developed resistance to it.

Erythromycin – Treats middle ear infections, Upper Respiratory Infections (strep throat, sinusitist), Lower Respiratory Infections (pneumonia, bronchitis) Mycoplasmal Infection (walking pneumonia), Early Syphilis, Chlamydia, Lyme Disease and other infections.

Erythromycin is also used before some surgery or dental work to prevent infection. It can be safely used in children and pregnant women.

Erythromycin tends to cause the intestine to contract. Common side effects include, cramps, diarrhea and other Gastrointestinal disturbances like nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

Why don’t I include it with my main stores? If I didn’t include Azithromycin, I would include Erythromycin.

Special Cases
A couple of special cases antibiotics. If you have the money and want to add a couple of specialty antibiotics to your stores just in case you run into the unusual, here are two antibiotics to consider. If I only added one of them it would be Metronidazole.

Metronidazole – Antibiotic used particularly for anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. Treats Bacterial vaginosis, PID, Diverticulitis, Aspiration pneumonia, Lung Abscess, Diabetic Foot Ulcer, Meningitis, Brain Abscesses, Bone and Joint Infections, Septicemia, Eendometritis, and other infections. It is also effective for amoeba conditions like Trichomoniasis and Giardasis.

Metronidazole should not be used to treat children. Common side effects include diarrhea and nausea and metallic taste in the mouth.

SMZ-TMP – Contains Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim. Sulfamethoxazole is effective against some Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract Infections and Urinary Tract Infections. Trimethoprim is used mainly for Urinary Tract Infections. SMZ-TMP is effective against skin and wound infections, especially treating resistant staph (MRSA).

Common side effects include painful or swollen tongue, dizziness, spinning sensation, ringing in your ears, joint pain, or sleep problems (insomnia).

Where do I get it?
This might be the Sixty-Four Dollar question but I’ll try and give you some options.

Option 1 – Find a sympathetic doctor who you have a relationship with and is willing to write a prescription for you. Make sure you are knowledgeable and can explain what you want, why you want it and how you plan on using it. If you can’t talk intelligently with your doctor, they won’t feel good about writing you a prescription.

You can tell your doctor about prepping and ask for prescriptions for stores. Another possibility is to get antibiotics in preparation for a trip to a third world country. When I went to the far east, my doctor gave me a prescription for Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin, and Doxycycline to take with me. The Azithromycin was for any upper respiratory infection I might get, the Ciprofloxacin was for any urinary tract infection I may get and the Doxycycline was for protection from Malaria. I had a great illness-free trip and put the antibiotics in storage when I returned home.

A variation on this theme is Dr. Bob is a real physician. He understand a prepper’s need to store antibiotics. He has 4 ready made antibiotic packs ranging from $120 to $220. You fill out a patient information form and then order your antibiotics. The antibiotics come in your name with information on their use and dosages. This is all legal and above board.

Option 2 – Visit Canada or Mexico. Both countries sell antibiotics over the counter without a prescription. You notice I said VISIT Canada or Mexico. Don’t order the antibiotics, especially from Mexico. Mail order drugs have a good chance to be nothing but placebos. Drugs bought face to face over the counter in a pharmacy will be okay.

As I understand US customs laws, you can bring 50 units (pills) per person of any antibiotic for your personal use back into the US with you. If the total cost of the pills exceeds $300 you may have to pay a customs fee.

Option 3 – This one is a grey area. From my research it appears that antibiotics made for animals (especially fish and birds) are the exact same antibiotics made for humans. The key is to ensure that the antibiotic is the only ingredient in the pill or capsule and that the dosage is the same as the human dosage. I have to add that ordering or having a controlled substance with intent to use it other than its intended purpose is against the law. Buying pet antibiotics and storing them in preparation for buying fish or birds as pets seems to be within the law. If SHTF and you had to pull out the pet antibiotics and use them in an emergency, I don’t think you would receive any grief.

Here is a list of pet antibiotics and their generic equivalents.
• FISH-MOX (amoxicillin 250mg)
• FISH_MOX FORTE (amoxicillin 500mg)
• FISH-CILLIN (ampicillin 250mg)
• FISH-MYCIN (erythromycin 250mg)
• FISH-FLEX (keflex 250mg)
• FISH-FLEX FORTE (keflex 500mg)
• FISH-ZOLE (metronidazole 250mg)
• FISH-PEN (penicillin 250mg)
• FISH-PEN FORTE (penicillin 500mg)
• FISH-CYCLINE (tetracycline 250mg)
• BIRD-BIOTIC (doxycycline 100mg)
• BIRD-SULFA (SMZ-TMP , sulfamethoxazole 400mg/trimethoprim 80mg)

You may have noticed that a pet equivalent for Azithromycin was not listed.  At this time, Azithromycin is only licensed for humans.  The other antibiotics are available at Amazon, PetMeds, ebay and lots of other places. Just do a search.  Some of the least expensive places I have found are,,,

One last thought. If you add the cost of antibiotics using this animal antibiotics option and the cost of the antibiotics packs you can order from Dr. Bob, there is less than a 5% – 10% difference.

How Do I Use It?
The dosage and length of time to take an antibiotic varies depending on what infection you are treating. There is no way I could cover all that information in this blog. The best source is to get a copy of the “Nurses Drug Handbook”. It will provide dosage and other information. I havee even seen this is a App for iphones, ipads, etc.

If you are going to store antibiotics and other drugs you need a reference book to help you use them properly. With that said, here are a few of the most common used for each antibiotic on my list.

Tablets come in doses of 250 mg and 500 mg. The 250 mg tablets are often dispensed in packages of six and commonly referred to as a “Z-Pak,” A common dose of oral azithromycin therapy consists of a “double dose” of medication on the first day of treatment and subsequent treatment for four or five additional days.

Usual Adult Dose for Ear Infection – 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 10 to 14 days
Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection – 250 to 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 7 to 10 days

Urinary Tract Infection (Mild/Moderate) – 250 mg every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days
Urinary Tract Infection (Severe/Complicated) – 500 mg 250 mg every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days
Inhalational Anthrax – 500 mg 250 mg every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days

Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection – 100 mg orally every 12 hours for 7 to 10 days
Usual Adult Dose for Bronchitis – 100 mg orally every 12 hours for 7 to 10 days
Usual Adult Dose for Pneumonia – 100 mg orally or IV every 12 hours for 10 to 21 days

Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection – Mild to moderate infection: 250 to 500 mg (base, estolate, stearate) or 400 to 800 mg (ethylsuccinate) orally every 6 hours.
Usual Adult Dose for Otitis Media – Mild to moderate infection: 250 to 500 mg (base, estolate, stearate) or 400 to 800 mg (ethylsuccinate) orally every 6 hours.
Usual Adult Dose for Bronchitis – Mild to moderate infection: 250 to 500 mg (base, estolate, stearate) or 400 to 800 mg (ethylsuccinate) orally every 6 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Vaginosis – 500 mg orally every 12 hours for 7 days
Usual Adult Dose for Amebiasis – 500 to 750 mg orally 3 times a day for 5 to 10 days

How Do I Store It?
The military conducted a series of drug shelf-life tests in conjunction with the FDA and drug companies. The drug companies participated on condition that the results would be known only to the military to aid them in stock piling drugs but the results should not be made known to the public for fear of lost revenue.

Here is a DOD news article about the tests.

Here is another article by Laurie P. Cohen, staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

The result of the testing was that they found out that more than 90% of medications were still effective up to 15 years after their expiration date.

Shelf-Life of drugs has a lot to do with storage conditions just like it does with food. Cool, Dry, and Dark are the optimum storage conditions. I use a reseal able paint cans from Home Depot to store my drugs. I have a gallon size for antibiotics and a quart size for pain medication. I put an oxygen absorber in with the prescription bottles and seal the lid tight. If I need to open the can to add or use some pills, I add a new oxygen absorber and reseal it. A glass jar would work just as well but make sure it is stored out of the light. (Metal and glass are the only air tight containers).
If you have a vacuum sealer you could vacuum seal the bottle of antibiotics in a bag before placing it in a paint can or glass jar.

Via: kissurvival