Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Precious Metals (PM)

There is some controversy in the Survival/prepping community on PMs if you should have some or ignore them.
They tend to break down into the "You can't eat gold." and the "Barter/Real Money"  schools of thought.
I am in both camps because I think you want to as be flexible possible for any situation. That being said I think the first items to concentrate on is 1 year of the food and 3 months of water. Shelter/security, first aid, Sanitation and getting out of debt. A mortgage you may want keep making the regular payments, but all other debt must be paid off. Once you get everything else taken care of then look at the mortgage on payoff, sell or keep.
Now you have all of the basics covered for bugging in. Do you have a bugout vehicle and place to hold up for 3 weeks. California has had several evacuation orders because of flooding. Could you live 3 weeks away from home given 12 hours notice? It could be in a tent, an RV or with friends and family. But have a place to go and the stuff you need when you get there!
As you can see I think PMs are one of the last things to get and only when you have all the stuff you know you will need every day and a bit more. You can trade that extra sleeping bag for silver/gold if needed. But if you don't have the basics, all the gold in the world will not entice you to give up your sleeping bag. ( I hope!) LOL
After all the reasons I have given not to get PMs.  I do think PMs do have a place in prepping.
I look at PMs as a store of value, a hedge against inflation/hyper-inflation. The worse the economy does usually the better PM's accrue value. It's portable, most folks think it has a value all it's own, and you don't have to pay taxes on it to keep it. (So Far...)
Now this is about protecting yourself and is not investment advice. I think I'm right on PMs as insurance but I'm not an trader, investment guru or money manager. My info is based on my study of history, economics and my own gut instincts. Do your own research and find what level of risk you are comfortable with for yourself and family. PMs carry risk, I just think that risk is lower compared to most things including stuffing dollars in your mattress. Find 3 coin dealers in your area you trust, Buy only from trusted mints, mines . Don't pay extra for collectibles, focus on purity and melt weight.
If you are interested in learning more check out my blog roll. Both the Watchtower and zerohedge have good info. Both are very bullish on metals, I think with good reason but it does color their commentary.

Year end random thoughts...

I have really enjoyed doing this blog. I get to rant, post ideas collect my thoughts and learn from other folks. It's been a lot more fun than I thought it would be when I first started. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to post consistantly or have enough to write about to keep folks interested in prepping. I was wrong on both counts. I know I have just a small little blog but I was amazed how many folks stop by and give it a look. I hope they found something they could use or it sparked an idea of what they could do and make it work for them.
I live for the comments, it's kind like chatting over a coffee, a beer or over the fence with a neighbor. I learn a lot on how other folks prep, we have little victories and losses. So a little praying, hoping, cussing and getting back up, brushing the dirt off and doing battle again. Prepping is simple, but it ain't easy. It can be hard to keep positive and not give up on the whole shebang. But when you go into the pantry to get what you need instead of driving to the local mega-mart, when you have a multi- tool you carry all the time and you can help a child get his toy out and play with it on Xmas, or you take fresh baked bread to a neighbor. The little things are what makes it worthwhile.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gird your loins and get ready for the new year!

Almost everything you need daily will get more expensive. Food and energy will take more of your paycheck, I think about a 30% across the board increase in cost is what you should be budgeting for food, energy and basics. I think/hope that we have until May 2011 when we will really see the costs hit home. Yes, I know costs have been going up already I'm just surprised it hasn't happened faster or gone up more.
Anything oil based needs to be bought now! If you were thinking you need to get tires or a have a couple of gallons of oil on hand for car oil changes, Belts and wiring,  Kerosene for lamps and stoves.  Bike tires, WD-40, plastic bins. We have after xmas/new year's sales to git'er done. Food I think goes without saying , most of us have been going like mad to build a supply.
Now it's not all bad cause manufacture goods are dropping in price. Plus a lot of folks have overbought and need to downsize and get some cash. So that means yardsales, flea markets and your local Goodwill, Salvation Army and other places will have stuff you will be able to pick up cheap! So get your list ready of stuff you need, stuff you want and have a general price on what you can afford to pay for each item.
Sorry to say this about this about human nature but I'm sure folks bought up a bunch of stuff for the 2008 "Recession" and since the system did not collapse and the mainstream media says things are getting better they will sell off that survival/prep that's collecting dust or taking up space and "We never use it anyway so why not sell it?" I need the space for ....
Don't get crazy, that's why you have a list and a budget. LOL But I think this spring is going to be a great time to pick up hard goods that you will need/want at some great prices. Some extra heirloom seeds and stuff for the garden. Since the "Feds" snuck in the food bill on the "lame duck congress".
Have at least 3 cans (5 gal.) of fuel and 3 bottles of propane. Rotate the gas every 6 months or add Sta-bil and it should last a year. Every 3-6 months topoff the car from the cans and then refill the cans.
I'm still buying everyday goods when I find sales, but my big purchases this year will be new tires for the car, a solar oven and a small solar power set up for the RV and silver.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How much do you really need to have on hand?

I think at a min.you should have about 6 months worth of the basics. That takes care of any little emergencies, Snow storms, power outages, Hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding. It also takes care of some bigger personal disasters like losing a job, a big bill comes up, car dies and needs repairs or major appliance goes on the fritz and must be replaced. Plus it should give you enough time to get into the next growing season. Even if you don't grow a garden, foods are cheaper in season. Plus you shop sales for what you need in the future and not what you need this week, which is a big money saver.
Now if you have been around prepping and survival sites you have probably seen the  LDS food calculator for food for a year. Then you see the amounts needed per person and then you fainted or said there is no way I can do that, " I don't have the money, I don't have the space to store that much food." How much water?   per day per  person!!  are they insane no one can do that, unless they live in the country and have a root cellar a basement, a well and a barn.
Yes, you can do it, in fact you already have 30-50 gal. of water stored if you have a gas or electric tank water heater. Now they must be powered down and turned off from the main water supply in an emergency to prevent sewage from backing up and fouling the heater but that should be a part of your emergency checklist is turning off the water main to the house if needed. If you don't know how to turn it off to your house contact your local utillity provider and find out how to do it. Rain barrels are great I have 2 55 gallon rain barrel under rain spouts that will fill with an inch of rain. Not my drinking water of choice but it's great for gardens and could be filtered and boiled to make safe if needed. The barrels can be bought for $30.00- $50.00. Now soda bottles, I love my little 2-3 liter soda bottles. I fill them with tap water, place in a cool dark place and forget. Most city tap water has a residual of chlorine to make them safe to store and will prevent algae growth. If you are on a well or if you notice dark speckles on the bottle or in the water add about 3 drops of 6% bleach, also keep a couple of pitchers to pass the water back and forth and re-oxygenate it and it will taste better. If in doubt either dump it and try again or boil it just to be safe, assume your life depends on it cause it does.
Now food does 350 pounds of grains sound daunting to you? I know it sure gave me pause to consider time, money and space. That's for only 1 person for 1 year. Then you consider all the freeze dried marketing and costs of $4000.00 + for 1 person for a year and think no way you can do it.
I got nothing against freeze dried foods I think they are great but you must have water to use them. So dropping 4 G's on food and you don't have water to rehydrate them doesn't work. Plus you can buy cheap dried foods in your local super market rice and beans. Now your 50# bag of rice and or beans will give you about 500 4 oz. servings per bag. Now this isn't complete nutrition or a great meal plan. But you can see how it can give a person 2 meals a day for 6+ months for about $40.00. Now I have noticed most folks in the USA start building with whole grains, Wheat, corn, oats and flour I build on rice and beans first, then add flour, oats, corn and wheat.
I just think Rice and beans are a great meal, easy to make, and easy to change with some spices. I think that is a great place to start. Wheat just does not lend itself to being the main dish unless it's breakfast. but rice you have puffs,  pudding and gumbo and jambalaya, beans you have soups, chili, dip and tacos/burritos/ all kinds of meals. I bake my own bread and I love it but you just can't beat rice and beans as being a  multi-taskers.and a great start or great meal.

More great sales!

Sorry for the funk guys. Just when I think I can handle the stupidity in D.C the PTB's test me again. LOL
Thanks for putting up with me. I went out and splurged and bought a couple of bone in prime ribs @ $4.58 per pound 1 for myself and 1 for New Years eve for the family party/ Dad's birthday. More than I usually pay for meat but each roast cost about the same as having a large pizza and snacks delivered. Prime Rib just seems so decadent and special compared to Pizza!

Anyway back to the sales
Paul's Market ends 28 Dec. 2010
Butter $1.78 per pound
Libby's canned veggies .58 per can
Fred Meyer's 26 Dec.10- 1 Jan. 2011
Hunt's Pasta sauce 26 oz can .69 cents
NW steelhead trout 2.99 per pound
Cash & Carry Good till 2 Jan. 2011
80/20 hamburger 10 pounds $14.90
Long grain white rice 50 Pounds $16.97
Med. Cheddar Cheese 5 Pounds $9.98

So if you have a couple of dollars you can get some good food buys for the new year!
I noticed I got low on tinfoil so I'll be picking up a big food service size 1000 ft roll of tinfoil at C & C. It cost about $19.00 but it should last me a while. Plus tinfoil is one of the greatest multi- taskers and recyclable. Plus I'll need to replace my hat next year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Make Joyful noise to the Lord!

Heck we have time to prep, let him who has ears take heed! Don't get down,  look to triumph. Heck if it was easy everyone would play! You got it if you have BOB and 3 days dedicated you are ahead of 95% or more of the country. No time for being above average it's time to focus. What do you need and how do you get it?
Don't be bummed look at what you can do. The blinders are off. Yeah its annoying and you could go back to being a sheep or you can be proactive and be a wolf.  It's hard being a wolf, you sure won't be popular. 

Oh we haven't lost we just need to adjust plans

video
Things are a bit worse than I anticipated and stuff is getting a bit more sticky. But it's ok sparky cause while I never underestimate anyone most folks know how many days in the year. Have a merry Xmas!

Xmas

video

Bad day for Freedom in the USA

So few people know that Hitler was popularly elected, and all hailed Mussolini and Caesar Augustus.  Well the trains ran on time. Ask the Jews and the additional 7 million of inconvenient people about the trains being on time? Ask your mother or grandmother when Avastin a life saving drug is worth when they are diagnose with cancer.You can't buy it at any price.
FCC controls the Internet, only for our own good, Only to protect the children from Happy meals and desert. Start treaty we are caring to the Russians on missile defense. Cause a war isn't really fair unless folks on both sides die. We are to dumb/ignorant from the Dept. of Ed. to understand. Well I have to agree with that statement the dept. of Ed. has not educated anyone since LBJ concocted it. Just like the Dept. of Energy has not reduced our dependence on Foreign oil which was 50% in the 70's and is 70% now.
Well sparky the congress critters were paid off and S 510 is going back to the house where it will be passed I hope you are good with your sons and daughters living and showering with openly gay folks cause it will happen.Might as well open combat arms for women. Hell us chicks have got shot at for years cause there is no FEBA. I want women in combat cause I think they could do a good job. But guys in combat carry the load and I don't think waiting when we aren't involved in 2 wars to make the transition would be a good thing.
Both teenage males and females are not the most stable critters to base foreign policy on, or an invasion force.

Planning for the future part III

In part 1 we looked at local support and building neighborhoods/villages. Part 2 was about assessing your own strengths and weakness. Now part 3 is about having a plan and executing it.  You should have some ideas of what you need to do next, even if that list seems long don't give up, prioritize. Using the basic 5 needs as a model. Don't be afraid to start small, a paint bucket and lid, construction grade trash bags and some wood chips make a good 3-14 day toilet to start and can be had for under $15.00. Sure it's nice to have a water cistern or well but if you are in the city some rain barrels, Tarps and buckets, a water filter/bleach and a bunch of 2 liter soda bottles can work just fine. Get outside the box on your thinking check out all kinds of websites from all sides. Gosh you may hate the tree-huggers, but they are the best sites for off the grid info. You may hate the the Tea Party but they do keep close tabs on the feds. You may be angry at left or right politically but there is a lot to be learned on the basics. I think most of us humans tend to have a lot more in common than we realize. 
A warm home, good food, good friends, good BBQ and homemade beverage of your choice and coffee is all I need to be happy. I'll work the veggies and deserts in with it. LOL

Making a plan: Now I'm setting up my yardsale list. I always start this in Jan. and add to the list. Last year I focused on Cast iron pots and skillets, Kerosene lamps, good Knives and cleavers, pasta machines and coffee percolators/French Press coffee makers, and hand power drill or treadle sewing machines. Human power
Look at what what it will cost you to buy retail and then cut it in half for a yard sale.Be able to walk away. Yes it maybe a lovely antique but my life and the lives of my friends and family may depend on it. I ain't into pretty I'm into what works.
Layaway: Both Sears and K-mart offer an 8 week layaway program. Many of my local stores and pawn shops offer layaway. I've really gone away from credit cards, for me they are to easy, it's like I'm not really spending my money until the bill comes due. Ouch! So no credit cards for me and haven't had one for over 3 years. I miss them every once and a while, until I see the interest rates. I love layaway! lol

I think you need at a min. 3 weeks of the basic 5 from the planning for the future I .Three weeks means you can survive at least a fast crash. You don't have to shop, you avoid the mobs/riots.  I believe that 1/2 year of food and water is critical break point. You should have seeds, a garden and made a few connections or are growing your own protein. You can survive a bad harvest at the grocery store, cause you have a garden.
I'm buying more beans, rice and corn, cause I know the price will go up.

 Now long term:
 I'm going with silver. I was looking at paying my home off early but right now that's dumb as it is a depreciating asset. I'm making my payments but nothing more. Now silver looks too hold value or increase against the dollar. So that's where I'm focusing right now.
Now as of this month I pay off my car (4 months early) I'm debt free, I have over a year's worth of food and 3+ months of water, and backup of backups. LOL
I have to invest in some maint. on the car and Trike. Repair stuff, extra oil/filters, belts and spark plugs. Replacing tires and brakes need work on the car. Just normal wear and tear on the car. Extra tires for the trike, 3 in 1 oil, and a lockable box for shopping.
I'm assuming it (the economy) will all fall apart . If I'm wrong, Great!! I'd love not to face $5.00 a gallon gas or heating oil going through the roof or a $1.00 per pound of sugar. I want to be wrong. I just don't think I am wrong. Worse thing that happens if you follow my advice is you get debt free, you have food and water for any disaster. You have few shiny coins of silver of gold. You can take vacation, not shop for weeks. Xmas and b-day gifts are taken care are done.  If I'm right......

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Planning for the future II

Well as we are coming up on a New Year it's time to take stock of what we have done and plan what we want to accomplish for the next year.
Do your inventory, yes I know it's a pain, I did mine last month after about 2 months of procrastination. Well I had several nice surprises and a couple of shockers. What is scary is it's just me so I should know what's being used and I lost track. I can just imagine how bad it would be with family members. Look at your strengths and weaknesses and then put them on paper. Then develop a plan and find a place to focus. It maybe you have lots of guns and ammo, but no food or water. Financially you may be weak with to much debt, or you may not have heirloom seeds or no garden/place for a garden. Perhaps it's transportation, Gas goes to $5.00 a gallon how do you get to work/grocery shopping? Maybe it's knowledge or the lack thereof.
Remember the priorities, Shelter, Water, Food, Security, Sanitation then financial. The biggest thing is attitude will help you cover and complete the first 5. I truly believe that God has helped me prepare. I have had way to many minor miracles of just the right thing coming up after I wrote down my next need/want and prayed on it might be just luck. I don't think so, But you will have to stay positive and pro-active in your life. The only actions you can control are your own. Take care of yourself 1st then help others. You have value, stay strong and healthy. You can't help anyone if you are sick, hungry or thirsty and can't help yourself.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Planning for the future

Yes there is a future! I know many folks in the doom and gloom are nihilistic almost suicidal about the future but we humans tend to survive at least some of us do. If you read Cicero during the rise of Ceasar, or many German writers during Weimar, or Ukranians during the great famine and "Kolodor" or Mao's great leap forward, and all the average folks during times of strife. Somehow we survive.
Remember you aren't Rambo! Think local, it can start so easily. Who do you know in your neighborhood that put in gardens? Do you share, seeds, knowledge and harvests? How about canning, cooking and preserving? Trading chores, being part of a neighborhood watch? It can start simply with a knock on a door. A christmas card, a smile and a wave.
Be positive and proactive.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advertised sales aren't perfect.

I went into my local Paul's grocry store. They had a couple of sales items I wanted to check out plus see if they were selling the bakery(Food Safe) buckets again. They had some "Western Family" coffee for sale for $4.98 for 39 oz can. Now that is a good buy now that coffee prices are going through the roof. Also a great barter item since the only state that produces coffee is Hawaii, and must ship it from over seas.
What I'm saying you must count on inflation on the basics of food and energy. I know the talking heads say there is no inflation via the CPI which do not count food or energy in the inflation index. Houses are losing value and flat screen TVs are cheap! Dosen't exactly help the average American just trying to heat his home, fuel his car and feed his family.
Anyhoo back to price points these are 39 oz cans (most others are 34.5 oz now) for under $5.00. Now do you see what a good deal this is? I have tried the coffee it's pretty good quality and taste. Similar to Maxwell House, much better than Folgers. This is a great buy no matter what happens I think I'll get a years worth (12 cans) I'll have it for drinking or barter no matter what happens. I know I have coffee, plus a barter good. If the coffee I really like goes on sale or I get a coupon, I buy. The cheap coffee goes in the barter box or I give it away to folks that need some help even  if the economy does not collapse. It's a win across the board. How awesome is that?

Reset your attitude

Times are tough and getting tougher. I assume if you find my site that you are very concerned about what is happening and need some direction. I know that was me about 2 years ago. But I want you to enjoy this holiday season and to count your blessings, then write them down. Be a realist but also an optomist. Stay positive get the term "I can't" out of your vocabulary. Unless it is the realist kicking that says I will "Never slam dunk a basketball at regulation hoop" I'm short, fat, white and have the leaping ability of a safe. Stop buying lottery tickets have you really looked at the odds. You have a greater chance of being struck by lightning. That $5.00- whatever dollars will be better spent on something of real value today. The latte crowd did you know you can roast and grind your own blends. Green coffee beans are easily availible over the internet and can easily roasted in an oven.

Let's say you buy a coffee at a coffee shack, that's $3.00-4.00 every cup. Let's say you do it only on workdays that's $15.00-$20.00 per week, $60.00-$100.00 per month. Do you see how it adds up?
I'm not telling you to give up your lattes, just for the $720.00-$1200.00 for year.  I bet you could get an awesome coffee set up that will last many years. Make your own and you won't be dependent and you will save money!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Self Reliance Revolution on $300.00 a year!

http://www.preparednesspro.com/blog/is-it-time-for-a-self-reliance-revolution/
Okay kids it's time to get smart and be proactive. Kellene at preparednesspro is hosting free seminars on prepping. Please check out her website, Please check out Surving in Argentina http://ferfal.blogspot.com/
I consider these folks my gurus, if you have found anything I have posted of value. Please stop by the websites,
and the Grab the Apple forums. Kellene will be opening a forum as well in the near future. Most of what I know has been inspired by these people, and my own little tweaks.
We have been cursed to live in interesting times. Now all we have to do is survive them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I hope you stocked up on popcorn and your favorite beverage cause "Markets" have gone volatile

Sorry kids I think it's "now" and no longer a "what if" on the economic collapse. Get your food and water and other basics in order, cause the stuff is hitting the fan and that sucker is on high. I think we have about 3-6 months of fairly low prices and then all hell will break loose. I hope I'm wrong, and all you do is stock up for minor disasters and are ready for them. Plus have a kick-ass camping/tailgaiting kit to show for your efforts. If you are in a big urban area please look at freinds or family you might hook up with and share knowledge or resources. Don't give up if you are in an Urban area, Ferfal in Argentina has survived the "economic collapse" and is doing okay he just wished he was better prepared before it happened!
I believe he still has his book on sale for $14.99 USD at Amazon compared to the normal $24.99 USD. Check his blog http://ferfal.blogspot.com/ and sign up at Grab the apple forums to see what folks are doing to prepare.
You are not alone!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Good day today !!

I got a lot accomplished today.
Found a great website on how to cut down beef primals and cook them. There are a many that tell you stuff but this one really worked for me from the Cattlemans Beef Board. I'm really looking forward to trying to cut my own meat correctly. All downloaded to the PC. My ink cartridge will be here on Tuesday so I'll be able to get some more print outs and hard copy of the knowledge I need even if power goes down.
I got Dad's PC upgraded. New Motherboard, memory and CPU for $190.00. It get's him up to date and ready for Windows 7 when he want's to upgrade. I managed to save all his files, folders and didn't have to format the Hard drive, which was awesome!! I think it's the 1st time I got to just upgrade and not rebuild or build from scratch after a blow up. My Dad has done so much for me it feels great when I can do something for him and it works out even better than I hope.
New sales flyers coming out I should have a post on the blog Monday. Fred Meyers has a couple of good deals I want you all to know about.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Sales at Cash and Carry till 19th Dec. 2010

Cash & Carry is a Restaurant supply store and anyone can shop there without membership fees. It's located primarily in the Western States. But you may have a similar store in your area.
Cheddar cheese 5# for $9.98 I figure if you can get good cheese for around $2.00 a pound it's a good buy.  As I was wandering around I saw a boneless top sirloin for $2.38 per pound but the average weight was about 12 pounds so you are making a bit of an investment to get it at that price. But  if you can preserve it, a great buy. Top sirloin is excellent for making jerky.  I was going to pick up some rice 50# for $20.00 and they had a different brand 2 dollars cheaper. Every little bit of savings helps. LOL
Buttermilk Biscuit mix 5 pounds for $3.88 and pancake mix 5 # for $3.35. I like these mixes because you can use water, milk or buttermilk as the liquid. Plus they are easy and quick to put together.
As you can see by my blog I do a lot of cooking and baking from scratch.  But, you will need some easy stuff for when you are tired or not feeling so great . Plus if your main cook/baker gets sick whoever picks up the slack may not be good at scratch cooking. This gives them some simple items to prepare.
Paul's (a local store) had a couple items I wanted to check on. I get food grade bucket from the bakery for $1.00 each and all I have to do is wash and sterilize them. Darn it, they aren't selling the buckets till after the holidays. So anyway I picked up cross-rib roast for $2.18 a pound and 5 doz. eggs for $1.28 a doz. So I'll  either freeze or can the roasts and  mineral oil  the eggs for (up to 9 months) storage.