Monthly Archives: March 2013

Home Economics: Smart Spending = Preparedness

Here is a great article that talks about Budgeting for preppers.


I want to talk about this more in-depth. I know many of you have already done this or already are doing this, but many are not, or have thought about it and have not!

I was a bad spender, bad prepper and overall just a person who didn’t have his financial SH (you can figure the rest) together.  I didn’t spend more than i had normally but often I was left was a nice balance of $0.0 at the end of the month.  This is fine if you never plan on retiring or having preps!

The first thing anyone who is getting into the preparedness mindset/lifestyle should do, and even if you’re not, Is get your financial house in order.


Sit down, and gather your bank statements, credit card bills, utility bills, etc from the last few months.

Get out a notepad and write down Expenses in one column and Income in another.


  • Itemized Utilities (Water, Electric, Sewage, Trash, Phone, Cable, Internet, etc.)
  • Cell phone
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Itemized Insurance (Auto, Home/renters, Life, Medical, etc.) To get this just go over the 6 month/yearly bill and divide by 12 or 6, etc.
  • Clothing
  • Entertainment (Movies/Rentals, Eating out/Order In, Bars/going out, Dates, Books, Pay per View, etc.)
  • Alcohol/Tobacco
  • Kids Food/Clothing
  • Etc.


  • Full Time Income
  • Social Security
  • VA Compensation/Education
  • Part Time/Secondary Income
  • etc.

Now these are just generalities, not a full list everyone’s list will look different but think of EVERYTHING you spend money on, look at every expense and mark it down.  Something Like Post it’s and pens could be in Office supply category if you buy them often, 409 and Windex could be cleaning, smaller things that you don’t usually buy can be put in expenses.

The farther back you look the better picture you can get, this is also a good reason to SAVE every receipt!  I save every receipt possible, a few may get lost or thrown out here and there, but about 99.9% are in a Folder marked by each month, then scanned and filed in a computer folder month by month.  I have probably everything I’ve bought marked down since 2008.  If you purchase it on the net, have a separate folder(s) for those, print them out and file them hard copy as well.

The reason for receipts is that you can better see your expenses, hold yourself accountable and also if you are ever audited by the IRS you will need them.  IRS audits mostly are concerning write offs and deductions, so definitely keep ALL OF those, and you need to go back 7 years for those.

Once you get your numbers together you can get a better picture of your finances, where your money is going and where you can cut back.


Ok now no matter whom you are or how much money you make you can find areas to cut back on, because even if you make 300k a year you will still only have so much to spend on your preps, and by cutting back you will have more.

These ideas for cutting back are all situational, but the general advice works the same.

Some areas to cut back on are pretty standard and easy such as not going out to eat twice a week, but perhaps once a month or not going out to bars as much, etc.

When I looked at how much i was spending ordering in, going out to eat and drinking at bars (I was 25 and contracting so i had the money) I was astounded, I figured because I was making 100+ a year (at the time, DEFINITELY NOT ANYMORE!) I could go out whenever i wanted and not worry about it.  I didn’t have to technically, but when i broke it down i realized I was an idiot.  It was a BIG chunk outside of living expenses.

So I cut back, I didn’t go out as much, I stopped going to bars as often and started to cash that money away.  I bought guns, silver, food preps and other things with that.

Looking at your utility bills see where you can cut back on those.  Some of the suggestion may sound “extreme”, you can choose to or not to, but they are ideas! and you can fit them to you and your family’s life.


  • You can take fewer showers per day, maybe 1 instead of 2.
  • You can perhaps speed up the process.  One way is called “Navy” Showers.  You get wet, turn off the shower.  Lather up and clean.  Turn it back on and wash off, turn it off and get out.
  • The old “If its yellow let it mellow, brown flush it down”  Don’t flush for pee, only #2
  • Hand wash dishes, and turn off the faucet between.
  • If you filter water Get a Berkey, over a 5 year period you will save hundreds of dollars vs. Brita or PUR and it filters more and is overall A higher quality filter.


  • Turn off lights when not in a room
  • Don’t leave the T.V. on at all times.
  • If you are leaving lights on for security use a timer to shut them off and turn them on instead of leaving on all the time.
  • Use Surge Protectors for the T.V. area (where a DVD, Gaming system etc. is also located), Office (where computers, screens, speakers, etc) and when you are done and shut them off hit the surge protector as well so it doesn’t continue to draw power even when they are “off”
  • Unplug EVERYTHING if you are going to be gone for days, many things such as your oven and microwave, etc continue to draw power when “off”
  • Set the Thermostat lower if you have electric heat, or perhaps invest in a good wood stove to complement it.


  • If cost effective and you own the home look into replacing windows with double/triple pane.  If not cover unused rooms windows in bubble wrap as I describe in the post a few days ago.
  • Buy door draft blocker, or just roll a towel up and tape the ends to keep it from unrolling.  This will keep the cold air out and hot air in, or vice versa depending on your climate.
  • Use towels again to block any drafts coming in your windows.
  • Keep doors to unused, or rarely used rooms shut, they will be slightly cooler or warmer depending on the climate but will reduce the need for your heat/AC to kick on
  • If you live in a warm climate, consider a cheap swamp cooler for the garage instead of A/C.  They can work in the house as well, BUT they do introduce a lot of moisture into the air which can cause mold and mildew.


  • Look at your plan and see what you can get rid of
  • Can you downgrade a portion of your plan? Do you need unlimited texts? Could you live with just calling or emailing?
  • Can you eliminate data? do you really need to get on the net on your lunch break or post on Facebook constantly?
  • Could you get by with just a “basic” phone?  Smartphones often carry a $25 a month fee on top of the existing plan!
  • Could you just have 1 Basic cell phone for emergencies and a cheaper land line in your house instead?
  • Look at Companies like NET 10, TRACFONE or AT&T “Go Phone”.  Many of these can cost significantly less if you are smart about your use and have no contracts.  Many of these start out at around $20-$40.  You can even get smart phones like the HTC EVO for around $150 and then pay just $50 a month.  Overall you save a lot more money than sticking with contracted companies, but it has more upfront cost.


  • Do you need more than a basic package?
  • Could you get by without having more than local channels?
  • Look into competitors to your current company.  Call them up and ask them…”Currently I am using X cable company and i get [this and this] for [this price], what can you offer me that’s better? Can you give me a better deal to switch to you?”
  • If you can get a deal offer from a competitor get that person’s name and the details of the offer.  Then call up your company, tell them you talked to X competitor company and they are willing to offer you X package for Y price.  Tell them you want to stick with them because you appreciate their service thus far, etc.  Then ask them to match it or to see what deal they can make for you.  In the world of cell phones and cable, it is MUCH more expensive to find a new customer than to keep an old one, so if they are smart they will offer you something to keep you on-board.  If they don’t take the other offer.  You can also just call them up and tell them you are looking for new service at a lower price so you have been calling other competitors, don’t say who or what they offered you.  You can just ask them to make you an offer, a “Why should I stick with you” conversation, see if they are willing to give you a month off, or $20 off your bill a month for six months.
  • Smaller companies can give you good deals as well, so if they are in your area don’t ignore them.
  • If you have it, do you need a DVR? could you just catch the show(s) you like when they rerun?
  • Could you just BUY a DVR like TiVO off the internet and have a one-time cost instead of a monthly add on? Would that work out better financially?
  • Do you need that high of a speed of Internet?
  • Call your company ask if they have any deals going on right now for internet? See if you can switch to a higher speed for a certain time? Often they will have an “Upgrade to the Fast as a roadrunner package for nothing for 30 days, etc.” Switch and set an alarm on your phone or put it on your calendar/whiteboard whatever to call and cancel.  This doesn’t save you money BUT does give you something “more” for “nothing” for a short period.


  • I am not a specialist or expert in the field of mortgages and home loans so take this with a grain of salt
  • Check to see if you can refinance you home mortgage if you have been in the home for a while and/or the value of your home has dropped significantly.  Refinancing incurs additional charges so make sure the benefits outweigh the cost
  • If you are renting and planning on staying in that city/town/area for the near future 10 years+ can you afford to buy a home? Could you afford a mortgage?  Rates are so low right now, and home prices are still down in most areas so it’s about the best time to buy in recent memory.
  • If you don’t have good credit start working on that, consult a free credit counselor like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, they are non-profit and offer free or low cost credit counseling.  The way upped my credit from 300 to 788 was to take out small personal loans (around 1000) and pay them off over a year.  This COST me money in interest but is started to show a credit history of payments over time.  I also got some credit cards AND INTELLIGENTLY used them for only GAS and part of my food bill.  I then would pay about 3/4 of it off and then roll it over.  I only had a $500 limit, called and set it at that SO I COULD MAKE SURE I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING STUPID.  This was AFTER I made my first mistake with owning a credit card, which if you read the About Me section on the site you’ll know more.  I then would make sure I never spent more than I had in the bank, and I kept enough constantly in my bank to pay if off all at once if I had to (on top of the other money I needed to pay monthly expenses, etc.).  I then kept paying over minimum of course but under full payment, so that it showed that i could pay monthly on debt, month after month after month.  This is what I did, and is by no means a foolproof plan, but that’s my experience so I’m sharing it with you. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE ALLURE OF A CREDIT CARD TO SPEND BEYOND YOUR MEANS!
  • If you have some money socked away and can put that down for a down payment, go and see if you can at least get pre-approved for a loan, if you military look at the VA home loan that doesn’t require a down payment, however if you can make as large of a down payment as you can.  Lending agencies want to get more mortgages out there, but they are still skittish after 07/08 so if you do have money to put down that could mean a lot.
  • If you plan on continuing to rent, and have been a good renter, paid on time consistently, no problems with any complaints than you are probably a landlords dream.  If they are not a corporation like Weidner, etc. and are an individual renting out a few properties, see if you can finagle a better deal.
  • Ask if perhaps cable or internet could be included with the rent?  See if they can reduce the rent from say 1000 to 950, if you have the money available, offer to pay X months in advance to show good faith, etc.
  • See if you can take over some of the maintenance duties for them, i.e. cutting the grass, shoveling the snow, misc. duties.  So that either “they” don’t have to do it, or “They” don’t have to hire someone else to.  If you are in a winter climate, ask how much they are charged per month or per snowfall, etc. to have someone clear the driveway and sidewalk areas, ask how much it costs them to hire someone to upkeep the yard, etc.  If they are willing to tell you tell them you will do it for half that, 3/4 that, etc., and just to take it off the rent each month.  Tell them you’ll do it for “free” for a month or two, if they like the job you do, and then they prorate you those months against your rent, etc.
  • See if it’s possible to “downgrade” to a similar apartment in a similar area for less money or to a smaller one.
  • Look into storage units if you are downgrading.  You could possibly move from a 2 bedroom to a 1 or a studio and save 350 a month, while only spending 75 to store your stuff in an storage unit, a net savings of 275 overall.  This storage space can also be used to hold your preps (which if you read 299 days, “Grant” did the same to keep his prepping from his wife!)


  • Look into getting a cheaper more fuel efficient car for working and commuting.  I understand if you don’t want to give up the suburban or van for bug out uses.  But look and see if the cost savings over getting a 2000 civic vs continuing to use the gas hog for commuting will save your money over the life of the vehicles.
  • Look into riding the bus, see if that will overall save you money vs. time.  This doesn’t mean give up your car, just using it more sparingly.  Lower mileage use also equals LOWER INSURANCE PREMIUMS!
  • Look into getting a large Fuel Tank at your home, this way you can buy half a year’s use of gas in one fell swoop when the price is lower.  There are winter and Summer Grade Gasoline’s.  Summer grades have slightly more “energy” thus more fuel efficiency, while winter grades are cheaper.  You can make your own decision.
  • If you don’t want to get a large fuel tank, try buying some gas cans or getting them cheap.  Store them safely and securely as they are explosive and a fire hazard as well as a very valuable commodity and do get stolen (some a-holes stole a car with a few gallons in it right out of my driveway, which I stupidly left next to the truck!).
  • You can find gas cans for cheap or free off of craigslist or others, but nozzles (the old ones, which are the best) might run you a little bit of money.  If you have reward fuel points at some grocery store then fill up your car and use the remaining gas allowed to be pumped to pump into gas cans in your car (usually a $100 or specific gallon limit, depends on location).  This can mean .10, .20, .90 cents off a gallon and over time you can store a lot at this cheaper price! Fill up as needed over time out of the storage as needed.  And it’s always good as a prepper to have Gasoline stored, you never know.  Rotate the gasoline out, First in First out, so it doesn’t go bad and cause some issues with your engine, if you want to store it longer term look into getting STABIL, fuel stabilizer.  Normally your gas should be used seasonally, say if you fill in the spring use by Christmas.  With STABIL you can get 1-1.5 years out of it, and with PRI-G you can get 5+.
  • I know it’s a pain, but just learning how to change your own oil can save you money as well, and it’s not that bad.  Constantly check your vehicle, keep all the fluids topped off at appropriate levels, check you belts, etc.  Keep on top of regular maintenance and you WILL save money.  If you have issues with the car, take it in, or find a friend who knows about cars and have them look at it.  Letting that “Tick” run for six months, years can be fine and “Save” you money at the moment, but what could have been a $75 repair cost now will cost you hundreds, etc.  Find a GOOD, HONEST mechanic and stick with them.


  • Now I won’t be a Teetotaller and tell you no more going out, however of all your bills, this is pretty much the easiest and most obvious cut
  • Eating out is on average much more expensive than dining in, however this can vary from place to place, of course if you buy quality fruits and vegetables, meats, etc. It might be a tad more expensive than a salad at the local gas station/mini mart.  This is of course not an apple to apples comparison.
  • Try to limit yourself to a small budget every month for “entertainment” say enough to go to a dinner and a movie only once or twice a month, if you have been eating out 2-3 times a week, even fast food, you will see an immediate result in your pocket book…..and waist line.
  • If you rent a lot of movies from Blockbuster or other video rental chain, this can COST a lot of money, given that they will charge 3.99 for a one night rental of a new release.  Get netflix for 8 bucks a month for an unlimited selection whenever you want.
  • Wait for new releases to come out on a REDBOX rental kiosk (if you live in/near a city/town) this can be a savings of 2.80 per rental!  Plus you can sign up for promo codes (i.e. coupons) to be sent to your email/phone and get .50 off per week.  Look for other promos on the Internet.
  • Go to the Library if you have them, often they have a great movie section, and its free!
  • Consider not watching movies constantly and just turning the T.V. off.  There is so much information out there, start reading books, find out about the history of this country, study economics, politics, gardening, etc.  Become informed.  And of course read the GNP blog constantly…just kidding. Or am I?
  • Look at getting into more “productive” things for entertainment, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, learning new skills like sewing, crocheting, leather work, all things that can add to your preps as well as being fun for you and your family.


  • Now this is something that I have had an issue with, in that I have started to try to move my family to a higher quality food intake.  Organic foods and items without high fructose corn syrup can and usually are more expensive.
  • Consider if your bill is tight to just switch a few items here and there to higher quality organic foods and start growing your own vegetables in a garden, even if it is just window sill beds.  Even just a few carrots here and there can help to teach you more as well as give you quality food to eat.
  • Shop at big box stores for your big items if you are able.  If the $100 annual membership gives you pause consider going in with other families.  One person will be the Shopper for the other families.  They can chip in for the membership and you can get their lists and buy for them as well.  Costco is higher quality but slightly higher in price than Sam’s club.  I prefer Costco.  We buy our big bags of rice and other canned goods there, as well as cheeses, meats, etc.
  • My wife being Gluten intolerant has given us a more limited array of food to choose from.  However shopping online helps immensely.  Thankfully many stores now offer Gluten free products…but they are MUCH more expensive.  However I found that where we had been spending 19.99 on a 4lb bag of Gluten free bread mix I was able to find a 25lb sack on Amazon for $68  A big savings, from paying $4.99lb to $2.72!!!
  • Don’t buy into the EXTREME COUPONING hype, it has been pretty much found out that these stores give big breaks for these shows and drastically oversell (no pun intended) the savings you can get.  That combined with the fact that these women have a full time job with a decent amount of overhead running around getting all of these handouts/newspapers to clip the coupons.  That being said if you want to do it, go for it as well as I save a lot by doing a bit of hunting for matching manufacturers coupons for the things we buy often and using them with/without store sales.  Take a little time to do it and you can save a little and put that into your preps, or buy stuff for your preps at a discounted price.
  • The choice to go for more organic or not is your choice, however I can’t implore you enough to at least do a little bit here and there.  It’s not hippie granola propaganda, trust me I am by no stretch of the word anything close to that.  However it’s not like going “vegan” where it’s a choice to NOT eat meat because of moral issues.  The Chemicals pumped into our food supply is NOT good, and if you take the time to look into it you will see the same thing.
  • The most important thing is to look at what you have been spending on food and see what that total number is for the month.  Then look at where you can save, through coupons, buying bulk, cutting out, etc.  Set that budget and stick to it.  Just “buying what I need” is not a plan.


  • I wouldn’t sit in judgment of anything you do, you want to drink do it, you want to smoke, do it.  It’s your life.  However as a prepper we want to maximize the survivability of ourselves and our families.
  • Tobaccos is horrible for your body, but if you must, then look into rolling your own cigarettes or switching to a cheaper brand.  If you have friends/family in a state like North Carolina has them bring them to you whenever they are in the area and come to visit.  Unfortunately The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, which was signed by the President on March 31, 2010 which prohibits them mailing them too you.  This is so the market can’t operate freely and you just buy cigarettes elsewhere and opt out of crazy high taxes in places like NY.  Rolling your own tobacco can save you A LOT of money overall.  Of course the taste will be different, but you can also put away unrolled tobacco in your preps if stored properly.


  • Disclaimer for this section is first that any and ALL income must be declared to the IRS and your state in regards to income tax.
  • Consider starting a small part time business for yourself for just a few hours on the weekends or days of the week where you aren’t as busy, etc.
  • This could be things as simple as mowing lawns and weeding gardens/flower beds.  I have done this all my life (often I feel as though I haven’t advanced past being 14!), it does add a little to my pocket.  I can often get as much as $40 for an hour of work, I usually work by the job and not hourly, however it can depend on the client.
  • Another good one is pet services.  Put out ads on local community boards, craigslist, etc. offering to come and clean up their pets poop in their yard.  Look at local companies already doing this, off your service for less as well as a “First time is free” or “if you don’t like how my work, you don’t pay” to get your foot in the door.  I have done this as well and had a tiered rate depending on numbers of times a week as well as how many dogs/sizes.  My biggest job was $50 a week to come by three times and spend about 20 minutes there, so basically $50 an hour, and if you are smart about it and make your route efficient you can knock out 2,3,4 within an hour on the way home!
  • Look at re-selling books.  Now this can take a bit of homework and be time consuming for the return, its hit and miss for me.  Here’s a run-down on how I do it…….
  1. I get my books from 3 places.  Local Libraries.  They often have bins of “free books”, most of them are in tough shape and don’t sell AT ALL, however a few gems can be gleaned on occasion.  Local Universities.  Across the whole campus in their libraries and various buildings there are stacks of free and extremely cheap books!  Some of these don’t sell at all and some SELL BIG.  I found a stack there of about 20 textbooks and other books, that ended up giving me around $250 after months sitting on Amazon.  I also found a complete Encyclopedia set that I bought for $25 and sold for $320.  I also look through craigslist as well, as many people sell random books when they clean out an attic, etc.
  2. I use a smart phone and access Amazon there and check the ISBN number or book title and see what the lowest USED price is, if it’s over $5 I’ll go for it, anything less than that, I wont.  You also have to be careful I once bought a book for .25 because it said the lowest used price was $150…well that was because there was only one person selling it, and he wanted WAAAY more than it was worth, ended up dropping it down to about $35 before it sold.  Yes i made a big profit, but not as much as I thought, and other circumstances like that I still have the book sitting on amazon.
  3. Also be careful about Amazon, they have a weird system of what their “take” is, and I was once burned on a book because i listed it too low and ended up “paying” about $1.20 to send this book out….I could have canceled the order, but it was my fault so i took the hit.
  • Consider starting your own blog…yeah like me!….it may never be a money maker, but it could be.  The key is to find a niche (that’s a small piece of a larger puzzle, say instead of blogging or starting a website about cars, which has massive competition, a niche would be 1980′s Honda Sedans, you get what I mean).  You can over time through trial and error and education learn how to make money from them.  Although i don’t make a lot from this site yet, it’s pretty much paying for itself at this point, this is a passion project.  Yes I hope to one day make this a part time job with part time income, but it will always be a passion first.  I do have other sites out there, one on how to get security contractor jobs and one on a guide to play a popular game on Facebook.  I don’t make a lot but it ranges from 150-200 extra a month.
  • If you have any passions outside of prepping, whatever they might be, from model trains to bicycles look through craigslist postings, eBay, flea markets etc. for those items that you know a lot about.  You can make a small business based on buying and reselling these items.  Now i would have no idea what to look for, you do, use that knowledge to your financial benefit.


This post was in no way meant to be all encompassing, but just some ideas, hints, etc that I have learned over time and have experience with.

They main thing is to figure out WHAT YOU ARE SPENDING and how to cut back, to make a budget and incorporate your preps into this budget as well as saving for the future.

Via: greatnorthernprepper

Getting Started With Food Storage

Starting a supply of food does not have to be a budget breaker.  Think like a squirrel gathering a little bit at a time.  Start with a short term supply and then compliment that with a longer term supply of food.

Comparative shopping at the large volume supermarkets typically has better deals than at the smaller stores.  Finding local ads from the large supermarket store websites can save on gas money as well as on shopping time.  Even the Dollar stores carry canned goods and food products that would be good for short term/long term food supplies.  Look for sales at the stores and buy as much of the item as your budget will allow.

There are a few things to consider besides the price of the cans.  While at the store, take a few moments to consider:

  • Expiration Dates
  • Find Items On Sale
  • “In Season” Vegetables Are Typically Cheaper
  • See If Larger Canned Food Items Have Better Deals

Find a shelving unit and begin shelving your supplies in any unused space in your home (coat closet, bedroom closet, basements, etc).  There are other supplies one would need such as medical supplies, radios, stoves, sleeping bags, warm clothing, etc.  This blog will concentrate on what to store and how to to store the foods that you will need.

I love this video that the Deschamps Family made.  They used a bathroom for their food storage.  This is really making good use of space.  It’s obvious in the video they have a longer term food supply, but you can see that you start out buying staple foods and add on.


Grocery List for Survival Supplies

Short Term Supply

It is good to have a well-rounded short term supply to compliment your long term food stuffs.  A properly stocked pantry will help supplement your long term food stuffs.  Short Term Supplies and Long Term Supplies go hand in hand in order for your preparations to last longer.

  • Water
  • Canned Goods (meat, veggies, soup)
  • Vitamins
  • Food Condiments, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Mustard, Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, etc.
  • Drink Mixes/Tea/Coffee
  • Flour, Sugar, Salt, baking powder
  • Spices
  • Oil
  • Pre-packaged foods – beans, dried peas, rice, noodles, oats, grains
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Self-Canned Goods – Self canned goods adds variety to diet.  Find vegetables that have high nutrient such as pumpkin, etc.
  • First Aid Supply – Iodine, Pain Medication (Asprin, Tylenol, etc), Bandages, Antibiotic Ointment
  • Antibacterial Wipes or Hand Disinfectant
  • MRE’s
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Infant Formula – call me crazy, but this has a huge amount of vitamins and nutrients and could help for immune boosts.
  • Powdered Milk
  • Matches and Other Fire Starting Equipment
  • Paper Plates, Plastic Eating Utensils – You don’t want to waste water on washing dishes.
  • Bleach
  • Freeze Dried Foods
  • Personal Hygiene (Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, Soap, Shaving Cream, Toothpaste).
  • Food For Pets
  • Gasoline and Other Fuels (Kerosene, Lamp Oil)
  • Candles (Camping Candles Burn Longer)
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Garbage Bags
  • Batteries for Flashlights, etc.
  • Weapons – Just in Case

Long Term Supplies

Higher levels of food are needed to last 3+ years.  Keep buying some of the Short Term Items To Compliment the Long Term

  • Water
  • Larger Amounts of Short Term Supplies
  • Vitamins
  • Longer Term First Aid Supply
  • MRE’s – susceptible for temperature and storage problems.  good for more short term problems.
  • Canned Goods – find some on sale and make sure of the expiration date.  Most last 1-3 years.
  • Drink Mixes/Teas/Coffee
  • Oil
  • #10 cans – Freeze Dried foods can last for  20-30 year shelf life.  Buckets of mylar packaging material.
  • Seeds of all kinds – Heirloom and Non-GMO seeds are better. Some to grow and some to be used for sprouts (pumpkin, alfalfa, broccoli, lentil).
  • Mylar Packaged Goods or Super pails of Goods – grains, rice, beans, oats, legumes, flour, corn meal, powdered milk, sugar, salt, baking powder.
  • Spices
  • Large Storage Containers
  • Tools – Axes Shovels, Wrenches, Hammers, Multi Use Pliers, Farming Tools
  • Wood – pre chopped
  • Matches and Other Fire Starting Equipment
  • Paper Plates, Plastic Eating Utensils – You don’t want to waste water on washing dishes.
  • Matches and Other Fire Starting Equipment
  • Paper Plates, Plastic Eating Utensils – You don’t want to waste water on washing dishes.
  • Bleach
  • Freeze Dried Foods
  • Personal Hygiene (Paper, Towels, Toilet Paper, Soap, Deodorant, Toothpaste)
  • Clothing (Lots of Warm Clothing, and Items to Layer Under)
  • Food For Pets
  • Gasoline and Other Fuels (Keronsene, Lamp Oil)
  • Candles (Camping Candles Burn Longer)
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Garbage Bags
  • Batteries
  • Weapons – Just in Case (protection / hunting, etc.)

Via: readynutrition

Expect these eight steps from the government’s playbook

To anyone paying attention, reality is now painfully obvious. These bankrupt, insolvent governments have just about run out of fingers to plug the dikes. And history shows that, once this happens, governments fall back on a very limited playbook:

1) Direct confiscation. As Cyprus showed us, bankrupt governments are quite happy to plunder people’s bank accounts, especially if it’s a wealthy minority.

Aside from bank levies, though, this also includes things like seizing retirement accounts (Argentina), increases in civil asset forfeiture (United States), and gold criminalization.

2) Taxes. Just another form of confiscation, taxation plunders the hard work and talent of the citizenry. But thanks to decades of brainwashing, it’s more socially acceptable. We’ve come to regard taxes as a ‘necessary evil,’ not realizing that the country existed for decades, even centuries, without an income tax.

Yet when bankrupt governments get desperate enough, they begin imposing new taxes… primarily WEALTH taxes (Argentina) or windfall profits taxes (United States in the 1970s).

3) Inflation. This is indirect confiscation– the slow, gradual plundering of people’s savings. Again, governments have been quite successful at inculcating a belief that inflation is also a necessary evil. They’re also adept at fooling people with phony inflation statistics.

4) Capital Controls. Governments can, do, and will restrict the free-flow of capital across borders. They’ll prevent you from moving your own money to a safer jurisdiction, forcing you to keep your hard earned savings at home where it can be plundered and devalued.

We’re seeing this everywhere in the developed world… from withdrawal limits in Europe to cash-sniffing dogs at border checkpoints. And it certainly doesn’t help when everyone from the IMF to Nobel laureate Paul Krugman argue in favor of Capital Controls.

5) Wage and Price controls. When even the lowest common denominator in society realizes that prices are getting higher, governments step in and ‘fix’ things by imposing price controls.

Occasionally this also includes wage controls… though wage increases tend to be vastly outpaced by price increases.

Of course, as any basic economics textbook can illustrate, price controls never work and typically lead to shortages and massive misallocations.

6) Wage and Price controls– on STEROIDS. When the first round of price controls don’t work, the next step is to impose severe penalties for not abiding by the terms.

In the days of Diocletian’s Edict on Prices in the 4th century AD, any Roman caught violating the price controls was put to death.

In post-revolutionary France, shopkeepers who violated the “Law of Maximum” were fleeced of their private property… and a national spy system was put into place to enforce the measures.

7) Increased regulation. Despite being completely broke, governments will dramatically expand their ranks in a last desperate gasp to envelop the problem in sheer size.

In the early 1920s, for example, the number of bureaucratic officials in the Weimar Republic increased 242%, even though the country was flat broke from its Great War reparation payments and hyperinflation episode.

The increase in both regulations and government officials criminalizes and/or controls almost every aspect of our existence… from what we can/cannot put in our bodies to how we are allowed to raise our own children.

8) War. National Emergency. When all else fails, just invade another country. Pick a fight. Keep people distracted by working them into a frenzy.

Via: sovereignman

New Find made for being prepared

I was doing a little shopping at Wal-Mart today and came across this neat little find.

You get instant mashed potatoes and gravy.

Each package has four ½ cup servings and currently I got them for $1.50 each.

Not a bad little deal for this.

You may want to check them out.

Knorr Side Dishes Potato Sides

You can Drink the Kool-Aid or Cook with It!

Ok, let’s be honest with each other, not everything in your food pantry is healthy, right? Many of us cannot live without some of our favorite high calorie snacks and drinks. In an emergency situation, it is important to have some comfort foods stored away to create an air of normalcy. Some of these comfort foods have more than one use, so there is no need to feel guilty about storing them. For instance, many preppers are storing carbonated beverages. These have multiple purposes in the prepper world – they can also be used to marinate and cook meats or used in flavoring baked goods. Cokes, in particular, can also be used to clean rust off of metal.

My purpose in this article is help others realize  how to help others use their food pantry effectively. It’s time to start thinking outside of the pantry closet and get creative with your preps!

Kool-Aid and other powdered drink mixes are one of those prep items that have more than just one use. In fact, they can be added to baked goods, added to gelatin or even used to make more elaborate tasting drinks. Use some of these recipes to practice using your drink mixes. After all, they could become your family’s next favorite recipe!

Kool-Aid Pie

  • 1 (12 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 pkg. unsweetened flavored drink mix
  • Whipped topping
  1. Coat a 9-in. pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom and sides of plate with wafers.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add whipped topping and then pour condensed milk.
  3. Then, add Kool-Aid mix and stir with a wire whisk until smooth.
  4. Spoon over lined pie plate; chill for at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped topping if desired.

Kool-Aid Cookies

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ butter or shortening
  • 1 cup sweetened Kool-Aid, your favorite flavor

Note: Omitting the drink mix from this recipe makes delicious sugar cookies.

  1. Cream shortening, butter, sugar, and Kool-Aid mix together with a mixer.
  2. Add eggs, combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together remaining ingredients and add carefully to sugar mixture.  Mix well.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
  5. Roll dough carefully to ¼ inch thick.
  6. Drop by spoonful or cut with cookie cutters.
  7. Bake at 375° for 7-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Kool-Aid Frosting

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 small packet of powdered drink mix
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whip until butter is whipped and ingredients are combined. 
  2. Allow frosting to chill 30 minutes prior to using.

Flavored Whipped Cream

  • 1 container whipped cream or Cool Whip®
  • 1 packet Kool-Aid
  • Powdered sugar for sweetening, optional
  1. Fold in a packet of Kool-Aid into a container of thawed Cool Whip®.
  2. If the frosting tastes a little tart, add in sugar, a little at a time until it tastes good to you.

Po’ Mans Sherbet

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 (.13 ounce) pkg. Kool-Aid or un-sweetened drink mix
  • 1 cup milk
  1. In a bowl, stir sugar, soft drink mix and milk until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Pour into a shallow freezer container; cover and freeze for 1 hour or until slightly thickened.
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl, beat until smooth. Return to freezer container; cover and freeze until firm.
  4. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving.

 Kool Aid Popcorn

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 packets Kool Aid (flavor of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 quarts plain popcorn (or about 4 large bags worth)
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Remove middle rack, leaving the bottom rack in.
  2. Pop popcorn and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine 2 packets Kool Aid and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil. Let boil for three minutes stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
  5. Pour in Kool Aid and baking soda mixture to saucepan and stir in carefully. It will expand a bit from the baking soda so be careful not to get burned. Once it is mixed in, pour immediately over the popped popcorn in a large container.
  6. Stir well until all popcorn is evenly coated. Place popcorn in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and stir well again. Repeat the 10 minutes in oven 2 more times and stir in between each time frame.
  7. Once you are finished and popcorn has baked for a total of 30 minutes, stir the final time and remove from pot to cool.

Note: You want to separate out the popcorn into small clusters while it is still hot or it will break apart.

Via: readynutrition


The Best and the Worst Foods to Freeze for Long Term Storage

There are those of us who never think about which foods are best to freeze. However, when using the freezer as your long-term food storage method, you will want to be informed.

The following are some of the best and worst foods to store in the freezer. Keep these in mind the next time you want to freeze something.

Best Foods to Freeze

  • Meats – beef, poultry, wild game and fish
  • Baked goods – yeast breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, pizza crusts and even pies 
  • Dairy – butter and margarine
  • Grains – wheat berries, rice, quinoa, etc. freeze well.
  • Nuts – any nut varieties freeze well.
  • Beans – all bean varieties freeze well. Further cooking some beans in advance and then freezing them will cut down on fuel consumption during emergencies.

Some Foods Will Change In Texture

  • Fruits and vegetables  – fresh fruit and vegetables that have a high water content will not freeze well. 
  • Potatoes – This popular food staple may freeze well, but it needs to be cooked before you place it in the freezer.  
  • Pastas – if fully cooked pastas are frozen, once thawed their texture will be very soft. Cooking them three quarters of the recommended time will cut this down. Keep in mind that pastas frozen in liquid or sauce will absorb much of the sauce.
  • Milk and dairy products  – these products can be frozen but may separate after being frozen. Cheese will become crumbly and hard to slice but is fine for cooking or melting.
  • Herbs – herbs textures may be more limp once thawed, but their flavor will remain. Drying the herbs in a dehydrator and freezing them will prolong them.
  • Raw eggs – if you have a surplus of eggs, freezing them could be the answer you’re looking for. Eggs removed from their shells can be frozen but are mixed with a bit of salt or sugar to keep them from turning rubbery.
  • Cooked eggs – eggs that are scrambled or used in a recipe freeze well. Boiled eggs don’t do as well because the whites get rubbery.
  • Fried foods – this type of food will not freeze well. The fried food will lose its crispness but if reheated in an oven, it should crisp up.
  • Salty fatty meats – meats such as bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs, some lunch meats and some fish do not last long in the freezer. The USDA only recommends freezing these items for 1-2 months. The salt causes fat to go rancid in the freezer. Many people freeze these items longer so use your best judgment. If it looks or smells ‘off’ toss it.

Foods That Shouldn’t be Frozen

  • Cornstarch loses its thickening power. Use a rue made of butter and flour (or rice flour if you’re gluten free) instead.
  • Gelatin weeps, or loses water.
  • Vegetables such as lettuces, celery, radishes and cucumbers become a watery mess.
  • Melons get very soft and lose much of their juice. They can still be used for smoothies but generally are not frozen.
  • Meringue toppings become tough and rubbery.
  • Custards and cream puddings can separate.
  • Mayonnaise tends to separate.
  • Crumb toppings for things like casseroles or desserts can become soggy.
  • Egg white based icing or frosting can become frothy or weep.


Via: readynutrition


Fight Like a Girl: Watch This Little Girl Shoot Like a BOSS

Katelyn Francis is 13 years old. She’s a 3-gun competitor and she is now our favorite athlete. This has been making the rounds so you may have already seen it, but if not, check this young lady out. THIS, boys and girls, THIS is raising kids RIGHT. This is Katelyn at the Fallen Brethren 3 Gun in TX.

Katelyn is from Missouri. The rifle is an automatic ACR, the shotgun a 12ga Benelli (nearly as big as she is) and the pistol an S&W M&) 9mm PRO. She says, and we quote, “For those of you who say I need to find cover and try doing it with people shooting back……I am 13 and this is a competition. For those (few) of you who think I should be playing with barbies instead of guns and who think this type of sport will make me a bad person. I play on several sports teams at my school. I also make straight A’s. I am a girly girl (notice the finger nail polish). I have been shooting since I was 5 and do not play video games. Not that I don’t like them, I would rather shoot real guns than fake ones. I have never had any professional training except from my dad and a couple of his buddies.”

Keep up the good work Katelyn.

DIY Electrolyte Powders

Most experts would agree that drinking water is the best way to curb your thirst.  According to experts, a good guideline to use when preparing for any type of outdoor activity is to drink two cups of fluid two hours before the activity.  That helps ensure you are well-hydrated before you ever go outdoors.  Then, during the activity drink 4-6 ounces every 15-20 minutes to keep your muscles well-hydrated.  If you are planning on an extensive outdoor activities, fill a water bottle with about 16 ounces (or two cups) of fluid and take it with you.  Last, drink up after you’re finished with your activity.

Making your own electrolyte powder is a low cost alternative to purchasing expensive sports drinks.  An added bonus to making your own electrolyte powder is it gives you complete control over the ingredients of the electrolyte drink.  Carrying the powders with you in your 72-hour bag, your vehicle, and even in your child’s back pack would be prudent especially during the summer months.  Using the correct proportions of water, salt, potassium salt and optionally baking soda, you can make a very effective electrolyte drink.  It will both rehydrate you as well as keep your electrolyte levels up to par. Let’s take a look at three recipes to make your own drink with electrolytes–two with sugar and one without:

Sugar Option

This option is made with sugar: When you work out, your body does not only lose water and electrolytes, it burns energy as well. To make sure you can keep your activity level up, it is a good idea to add some kind of sugar to your drink.

2 quarts of water
5-10 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium salt)
1 pack of sugar-free drink flavoring

Sugar-Free Versions

Sugar free: Although adding sugar to your drink will help you keep your energy levels up, it’s not a good option for everyone. People on a low-carb diet or people with diabetes, can choose a recipe that doesn’t add sugar to the electrolyte drink:

Version 1

1 quart of water
250 ml of orange juice (citrus juice is a natural source of potassium ions)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
¾ teaspoon of salt

Version 2

2 quarts of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium salt)
1 pack of sugar free drink flavoring
Artificial sweetener to taste

Via: readynutrition


Homemade Gatorade and Pedialyte

At the beginning of summer I will buy about a dozen Gatorades on sale then I reuse the bottles all summer. I hold on to all store bought bottles (Gatorade, Soda, good water bottles I don’t keep the flimsy water bottle they get holes in them to quick ) that I can get. I have saved all the ones from this summer so hopefully I won’t have to buy any more for a long time.

Home Made Pedialyte

2 Quarts Water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute
1 packet sugar-free Kool-Aid*
*optional but gives flavor
Mix all together well and store in refrigerator for no more than 3 days. You can also freeze this into ice cubes to put into child’s cup or bottle. You can also make Popsicles from it.
Tape this inside a kitchen cabinet door for easy reference. There’s nothing worse than a sick kid in the middle of the night and you know that you have this recipe but can’t find it and/or the stores are closed! I showed my pediatrician this and she actually hands it out to her patients. I have used regular Kool-Aid since it is optional anyways for even more savings (they go on sale 10 for $1). I never substitute the salt substitute, regular salt dehydrates. If you don’t have it on hand don’t add it. This recipe has saved a bundle verses the named brand Pedialyte and even the store versions. I figure that 2 quarts costs about .25 using the regular Kool-aid.

 Homemade Gatorade

1 pkg unsweetened kool-aid (any flavor)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon salt substitute (potassium chloride) 2 quarts water
Just stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Chill.

Via: frugallivingonthewatkinsranch


Make your own Brown Sugar

Making your own brown sugar is so easy and taste so much better not to mention it is way cheaper.

Start with one cup of sugar.

Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of molasses (depending on how dark you want it to be) I always use 2 Tablespoons.

Mix with your mixer.

It will be a little lumpy just mash the lumps with a fork. Continue mixing.

You will have nice fluffy fresh brown sugar.

So now you won’t have to worry about your brown sugar getting hard or running out.


Via: frugallivingonthewatkinsranch