52 Weeks Savings Plan: April discounts are here!

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When I lived in Phoenix, I could never understand the fascination with spring. Phoenix has pretty much just one season, sunny! So, when I moved to Texas, it was amazing to see red-breasted robins show up at our house every spring and watch the forest and greenbelts around me come alive with pale green leaves. […]

52 Weeks Savings Plan: Watch for these March sales!

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March brings with it the promise of spring and some special March sales that can help you both prepare and save money. Two holidays that will generate some special savings are St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, and Palm Sunday, on March 25. We have Easter in April this year, but retail stores will still […]

52 Weeks Savings Plan: Watch for these February bargains

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If you’ve been following the 52 Week Savings Plan, you should have a whopping $10 set aside. Don’t worry, that little bundle of money will continue to grow! Each month I’ll be sharing tips for making the most of the money you have to enable that nest egg to grow and grow and grow. If […]

Upcoming Friday Of Color

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Black Fridays Matter!

This time next week we’ll all  be hungover from the Friday Of Color sales. Most advertisers will start pimping the sales early, but I fully expect my inbox to be jammed with spam from Stag, Rock River, Kifaru, Augason Farms, Cheaper Than Dirt, CDNN, and all the other usual suspects.

But this time…I’m gonna be ready. I’ve tucked away a a small bit of coin in case something really awesome turns up. (A big ol’ Glock 10mm would be nice.)

I trust that all of you are doing the same…keeping an eye open for a stupidly good sale on that piece of gear you’ve been having your eye on.

Avenues I use to keep on top of the sales include:

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/
  • http://jerkingthetrigger.com/
  • http://www.guns.com/

The left-leaning, class-warfare types will no doubt get their panties in a twist about ‘consumerism’ and that sort of nonsense. But thats usually the outrage of people who are simply jealous because they can’t partake. Me, I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of…I like cool gear and if I can afford cool gear then, by Crom, I’m gonna buy cool gear. Getting it on sale is just a bonus.

Oh..and there’ some holiday next week too. But, yeah, I’m all about the gear.

Soap

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Despite what you see on The Walking Dead, decent hygiene can make a big difference in a crisis. Ignore, for a moment, no one wants to be squeezed into a pickup truck with six sweaty guys in multicam who smell like the towel bin of an NFL locker room. Think about this, after a long day of sweating, getting dirty, possibly getting some bodily fluids of all sortsa flavors sprayed on you, and the infrequent application of bugspray/sunblock, etc, you wind up getting a decent size cut or abrasion  on you. In TWD our sweaty, grungy heroes carry on effortlessly. In the real world, you’re setting yourself up for all sorts of nasty infection-y badness.

Preparedness is about prevention. You’re stopping problems before they happen. You know how in the winter season we’re all told to wash our hands frequently to prevent catching colds? We all agree that’s a good idea. Well, a shower or some other form of bathing, with soap, on a daily (or more frequent) basis is just as good.

Soap is awesome stuff but it’s a mild pain in the butt to store. I like to use Ivory soap because I can use on my skin, in my hair, and even to clean clothes. It’s sort of a Swiss army knife of soap. Problem is, it is fabulously hydroscopic. Don’t believe me? Go grab a paper-wrapped bar of Ivory soap and peel the wrapper off. I guarantee you the wrapper will be damp, moist, or adhere to the soap in a manner suggesting a high moisture content. And if you leave soap exposed to air too long…it turns into a rock. (Which seems counterintuitive since you would think that if it absorbs moisture it would turn to mush.)

I mention it because while I like Ivory soap, I hate paying for it. Surprisingly, I found a deal on Amazon for 100 bars for $40. (Requires that Yuppie Survivalist luxury – Amazon Prime) Well, a hundred bars oughtta last me a while. So, I ordered ’em up and they arrived today.

thumbnailSo now that they’re here, and we’ve established that they fossilize after long enough time exposed to air, what do we do? Stop exposing them to air. Break the vacuum sealer out of storage and repackage things.

thumbnail2This is one of those situations where a vacuum sealer is great for a task other than storing food. Seriously, if you think they’re just good for putting food away and not much else, you really need to think more creatively. Go get one. You’ll never regret it.

A few years ago I came across a slightly better deal at my local grocery store. Three bars for a buck. I wound up picking up all they had and I packaged them the same way I’m packaging these. I finally used up the last ones last month and they stored just fine, I suppose it’s possible that with enough hot water and scrubbing, the dessicated bars of soap might work, but why take chances?

thumbnailSo, I’m set for the next couple years on soap and can keep myself clean and smelling awesome after a long day of looting burned out police cars, manning roadblocks, and fending off zombies. Or, more likely, I’ve simply knocked off one of many things on my logistical checklist for the next several years.

thumbnail4But, point is, if you’re going to store large amounts of things like food, ammo, toilet paper, and batteries you should also go just as deep on the personal hygiene stuff as well. Being stuck in Katrinaville (Or San Juan, I suppose) is no time for skin infections, bad teeth, conjunctivitis, ear infections, and that sorta thing. Floss, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, deodorant, washcloth,  toothbrush, talc, a comb, razors (Ivory works for shaving foam), and some hand sanitizer will give you pretty much everything you need to prevent the kinda funk that knocks your efficiency down when you need it the most.

Remaindered meat

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I’ve mentioned before that my local Albertson’s has what I have come to call “remaindered meat”. It’s when the meat is on its last day of “Use By” and the store has to sell it or dumpster it. Since half a (meat)loaf is better than none, they mark it down to either 30% or 50% off to try and blow it out the door. I’ve mentioned this before here , here, and here.

You have to remember, these little sales are, for the most part, completely unpredictable. I could go a week or two without finding something worth buying or I may wind up picking up forty pounds of meat in one week. It’s unpredictable. As a result, when the end of the month rolls around the freezer in my refrigerator might be more than a little full.

A few months back I instituted a policy where all the remaindered meat I pick up goes into the freezer in the refrigerator. At the end of the month, whatever meat is left in the freezer, half of it goes into the big freezer as ‘food insurance’. I’m finding that this little program is working very well for me. When the new month starts I usually have a huge amount of meat still left in the freezer, and my ‘just in case’ supply in the deep freezer keeps improving. As the month progresses, a few more remaindered meat sales wind up in the fridge freezer and at the end of the month half of whats left gets put back.

Today’s score? Bacon wrapped seasoned boneless pork chops, two per tray, in oven-safe foil trays….just remove the plastic and slide ’em into the oven…$5 each marked down 50%, so $2.50. Bought ’em all.

20170821_104729The nice thing is that since it’s all ‘remaindered’ meat, I’m not paying full price for anything. Even if there are no interesting sales for a week or two, there’s still at least that much worth of ‘remaindered’ meat in fridge freezer. As a result, I never have to pay $4.99/# for beef. This frees up money for other stuff, which is part of what survivalism is all about: efficient resource management. I know what you’re thinking “There’s nothing survival related about this! This is a post more fit for a mommy blog about coupon clipping!” No, not really. My point is that you have to eat. Now, you can eat as cheaply as possible by living on a diet of, literally, beans and rice which is exactly what many Third World denizens do. But you are not a Third Worlder. We are meat-eating, gun-toting, flag-waving, moon-landing, Japan-nuking, culture-dominating citizens of the premier First World country. Why live like a Third Worlder if you don’t have to? If you can procure $500 a month worth of food for $250, that frees up $250 to spend on ammo, gear, guns, books, radios, fuel, storage food, knives, gold, silver, etc. And that is most definitely survival-related.

Kerosene and the ghost of Y2K

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Well, I think I’m pretty much done on buying kerosene for the rest of my life. Last time I bought kerosene was here. That was an awesome deal.

Was tooling through Craigslist (when? When will I learn??) and, lo and behold, a fella selling 14 5-gallon drums of kero. For those of you who went to public government schools, that’s 70 gallons. Or, if you’re in a country that never put a man on the moon, 265 liters.

20170801_101755The fella was asking way, way, too much for the stuff so I made him an offer. Wound up getting it for $200…a tad under $3/gallon. (ok, fine….$2.86/gallon).

I  love kerosene…it burns hottest of the liquid fuels, keeps forever with no special treatment, is safe to store, and has a nice market of stoves, lamps, and heaters out there.

My anticipated use? Well, it’s winter for a good chunk of the year here and it would be nice to keep the house toasty in the event of a power outage. Most likely these will go into storage with the last batch of 5-gallon drums I bought. There they will wait until the day when it’s dark, cold, and dreary and I shall have light, heat, and hot food.

Here’s the interesting part… I met the guy, a rather old gentleman who, sadly, was dying of cancer, and as I was moving the cans out of his rather neat and nicely stocked garage I asked him why he had so much of it. His reply was that it was his leftover Y2K stash. Apparently he’d gone long on Y2K stuff. I suspected as much as I looked around his garage and saw the rifle cases, cases of ammo, etc, etc. All the hallmarks of someone who is on the same page. We chatted a bit about the Y2K thing and about how we’d rather have it and not need it, etc, etc. I thanked him for the deal and assured him it was going to a home that shared his concerns and mindset.

I also told him that if he had any other Y2K leftovers he wanted to sell, to please keep me in mind.

So for those of you who wonder how you meet like-minded individuals, there’s another example.

I did the math to figure out how may gallons of kerosene I have in storage and I think I may have actually gone a tad heavier than I planned. I’m going to have to contact a few of the LMI and see if they want some…I don’t think I really need more than 100 gallons for any forseeable emergency.

 

Return of the 10/22 mags

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As I mentioned earlier, they’re back.

20170316_170810

Serving suggestion. 20mm can not included.

The Butler Creek Hot Lips 25-rd, smoke colored, 10/22 magazines from January’s big to do have returned. I have 24 boxes sitting here packed up and ready to go. Each box contains 12 magazines, packed loose (meaning no packaging. If they were still in their packaging I wouldnt be able to fit them 12 to a Flat Rate Box).

Price is $110 for 12 brand new mags, including shipping. Email me and I’ll email you back a link you can pay through email. When they ship you’ll get a tracking number so you can follow along. Email me and say “Dude! Me want mags!”

Top 18 Holiday Bargains for Stocking Up

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The holidays are the perfect time for stocking up! Here are 18 bargains to look for. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comBeginning in October every year, grocery stores begin prominently displaying all types of food typically used in holiday cooking and baking. Every grocery store I’ve been to in the past couple of months has their holiday bargains right out front and center.

For Survival Moms who want to stock up their food pantry, this is an ideal time to take advantage of the coupons and sales that also come at this time of year. Today I took a look at this week’s grocery ads, and here’s a master list of items you may want to grab before the holiday season ends.

  • Ham and Turkey
    • Both of these can be frozen and/or canned to provide meals well into the New Year. A frozen turkey can remain frozen and still be safe to eat for up to a year. 
    • Stuck with a lot of leftover ham or turkey? Here’s a list of great recipes for turkey and more for ham that will give you something fresh and delicious to make with those leftovers.
  • Fresh oranges
    • Once the orange has been eaten, dry the peels and create your own orange zest for recipes throughout the year. If you end up with more zest than you think you’ll use within 6 months or so, use a Food Saver to vacuum seal the remaining zest in a pouch for longer term storage.
    • Speaking of a vacuum sealer, I highly recommend that you use it for vacuum sealing canning jars filled with foods of all kinds. It really is a must-have for a prepper’s kitchen.
  • Coffee
    • Grocery stores know that coffee is part of holiday entertaining, so you’re going to find lots of coffee brands on sale. Coffee beans, and especially green, unroasted coffee beans, will have the longest shelf life, but you can still repackage both beans and ground coffee in canning jars using the Food Saver jar attachment to suck out all the air/oxygen or seal the coffee in plastic pouches using your vacuum sealer.
    • Coffee is definitely worth stocking up on, but be sure to keep it stored in a cool, dark, and dry location. Even so, it will have its freshest flavor if used within just a couple of months.
  • Nuts
    • Again, this is the season for baking all types of treats and many of my favorite recipes include nuts. You’ll find nuts on sale but keep an eye on prices because they are still generally a higher priced grocery item.
    • If you do find a bargain, store those nuts in a cool, dry, dark location, and, if possible, vacuum pack them using a Food Saver. This will help the nuts stay fresh and stave off their tendency to go rancid.
  • Fresh fruit
    • Depending on where you live, you may find low prices on blueberries, blackberries, pomegranates, pineapple, oranges, and a lot more.
    • Dehydrating fruit is very simple and food dehydrators don’t have to cost a lot of money. I found mine on Craigslist several years ago for $30 and it still works fine. The Excalibur dehydrator is considered top of the line, and maybe if you have Christmas gift money, this might be a good time to buy!
    • You can also freeze fruit and even can it, so stocking up now on fruits that are in season is a very smart thing to do. Just make sure you budget your time so all that yummy stuff won’t rot during an especially busy time of year.
  • Butter
    • Right now my favorite grocery store has a pound of butter for $2.50. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen in a while. Butter can easily be frozen, at one time I had 40 pounds of it in our big freezer!
    • I’ve heard of canning butter but am not convinced it’s the safest thing to do.
  • Alcohol
    • Call me crazy, but it never hurts to have a few bottles of whisky or vodka around. Even if you’re not much of a drinker, vodka can be useful in making tinctures and from what I’ve heard, whiskey has medicinal uses as well. This article explains why preppers should stock up on alcohol.
    • If you’re thinking of stocking up on bottles of alcohol as a product for barter, stick with hard liquor: vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey and brandy, as they can all have indefinite shelf lives.
    • Learn how to make your own wine with instructions from a book like this one
  • Potatoes, both fresh and instant
    • Potatoes can be peeled, sliced, and dehydrated by following these steps.
    • When stored in a very cool location, around 45 to 50 degrees, they can stay fresh for up to 3 months.
    • Instant mashed potatoes come in handy for quick meals. However, they will need to be repackaged for a longer shelf life. Read these instructions. Once repackaged, I highly recommend placing them in the freezer for at least a week in order to kill any microscopic insect eggs that might be present.
    • Here’s a terrific collection of awesome potato recipes.
  • Canned vegetables
    • Store these in a cool location and they can last for more than a year. Do circle the “Best By” date and then open a can every so often to check for color and flavor.
    • You can always drain the veggies and dry them on your dehydrator trays for even longer shelf life.
  • Over-the-Counter meds for coughs and cold symptoms
    • These generally have a shelf life of more than a year.
    • During the winter months, you’ll also find coupons for these for added savings.
  • Batteries
    • Retailers aren’t stupid. They know that for every battery-operated gift purchased, someone is going to need batteries! Keep an eye out for coupons and combine them with store sales.
    • Batteries are among the most useful items you can stock up on, so go crazy when you find a really good deal!
  • Not-just-for-Christmas wrapping paper
    • Who said that white wrapping paper with red polka dots is just for Christmas? When you find wrapping paper that will be perfectly fine throughout the year, buy it!
  • Gravy and gravy mixes
    • There’s nothing like homemade gravy, but there’s also nothing handier than opening a jar of gravy and pouring it over mashed potatoes! A few jars of gravy in the pantry just might save dinner one day soon!
    • Gravy packets are great as a stock-up item. They have very long shelf lives, can be prepared quickly, and can make items as plain as white rice pretty tasty. I recommend a stash of these for a bare-bones food storage plan like this one.
  • Frozen pies
    • Now, you wouldn’t ordinarily think of a pie when it comes to stocking up, but one or two in the freezer can come in handy.
    • Think about any special occasions coming up, potlucks, parties — any even where you might have to make dessert. Now think about how busy you’re going to be this year. A frozen pie looks like a better and better idea, doesn’t it?
  • Baking staples
    • Sugar, flour, baking powder, chocolate chips — you’ll find all these and a lot more on sale. And, all of them can be stored long-term.
    • Flour, in particular, must be repackaged. Read this to learn how.
    • Watch this video to learn how to store things like chocolate chips, shortening, and candy.
  • Snack foods
    • Grocery stores know that serving appetizers and snacks are a part of the holidays. You’ll find things like Triscuits and other crackers on sale, along with pretzels and chips. If you find these at a great price, stock up and plan on portioning them into snack bags for your kids’ lunches.
  • Chex cereals
    • Everybody and their dog is going to be making one variation of Chex mix or another, so why not stock up on several boxes for breakfasts or other recipes?
    • If you want to store Chex or any other cereal for long term, follow the instructions in the video I mentioned above or package the cereal in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. This package includes both the bags and the absorbers.
  • Canned soups
    • Like most other canned foods, soups can have a long shelf life if stored in a cool location.
    • Buy soup flavors that your family members enjoy and soups that you normally use in recipes.

What other foods that are on sale during the holidays do you stock up on?

Election leftovers

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I suspect someone cranked up their injection moulder and went heavy on these lowers in anticipation of a Clinton dynasty. Either that or theyre just really, really sketchy lowers:

12-18_01_01I freely admit that a plastic AR lower kinda makes sense….all the heavy lifting takes place in the upper half, and I’ve seen guys make AR lowers outta all sortsa materials. But….while I have a lot of faith in the durability of polymer handguns, I am less confident in polymer rifles. Nonetheless….MGE Wholesale is selling these things and a case of them might not be a bad hedge against the future.

Food. It’s what’s for dinner.

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The post Thanksgiving turkey abundance has finally abated. I was in my local Albertson’s and, as usual, I did a quick pass through the meat department looking for bargains. They had boneless turkey breast, seasoned with rosemary or garlic, marked down 30% off the regular price. Hmmm.

“Excuse me. Is the manager around?”
“Is there a problem?”
“No problem, just wanted to ask him something.”
:::she trundles off to get the manager. Manager shows up.:::
“Can I help you?”
“Yeah, you’ve got a dozen trays of turkey breast in the bin there marked down 30%. Would you gimme a better deal if I took all of them?”
“Best I can do is 50%, I can’t…”
“Done.”

20161202_152435So, these will get vacuum sealed and then off to the cryo-nap. Now, lets do some math. Each turkey breast is enough for two people. With the discount, that’s about $1.35#. Add in a box of Stove Top stuffing at $1.00 (purchased in bulk when on sale), add a can of corn (also purchased by the case on sale). And you have a basic turkey dinner for two people at a price of..hmmm…about $1.50 per person. And thats for a not-inconsequential amount of food landing on your plate. It all comes out of storage or the deep freeze, so it’s good to go for the next, oh, five years or so.

We may store ammo & camo, but food is something we know we’re gonna wind up using. You can never go wrong taking advantage of sales like that. And…don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. They’re not gonna throw you out of the store or anything..worst that happens is they say no.

Security, thy name is food.

 

Steel/Hot Lips mag deals

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Well this is just a plain darn good deal…

FEB1220165From the guys at MGE Wholesale

That’s a ridiculously awesome price on the Steel Lip mags. Contrast that with $12.99 elsewhere.

Four words to keep in mind: it’s an election year.

(Plus, you know if Obama or Hillary get their way,  Scalia’s replacement isn’t going to be nearly as friendly towards our cause as we’d like. … cough*Heller*cough)

2(??) Lifestraws for $16 on Amazon

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$15.96 is a pretty good deal for a Lifestraw. However the description of the product here clearly says “Package Quantity: 2“, and if that is correct…well, thats an insanely good deal. Wonderful stocking stuffers. If it’s a typo, it’s still a good deal. Might wanna jump on ’em before they sell out.

I keep one of these in my Tromping-Around-The-Woods bag, and they should always be in your BOB/GHB type gear.

For the price, these are excellent pieces of kit for whatever cache of gear you’re squirreling away somewhere. I’ve a dozen or so in storage and scattered among various packs.

 

ETA: Wow, those didn’t last long. Link appears to be dead…musta sold out.

Pelican cases on Craigslist

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Just can’t pass ’em up when I sees ’em on Craigslist.

20151023_133702A pair of Pelican 1650‘s without foam. $150 for the pair. Not a bad deal. They are an excellent size for keeping winter gear for the vehicle, stashing a minimal cache at a buddy’s place, or a host of other uses.

Craigslist does turn up a ton of useless crap, but once in a while it does turn up some cool stuff. I’ll probably use one of these for winter vehicle gear, and keep the other as a spare.