How To Make Whiskey Step by Step Who doesn’t like a shot of whiskey on a cold night? I love it. My granddad has been taking a shot of whiskey every night before bed for over 50 years and he swears it keep him healthy. I did a post on how to make watermelon moonshine …
70+ Preparedness Gardening Projects Gardening has and always will be an important preparedness tool in aiding us towards self sufficiency and survival. With out it we wouldn’t last log in a SHTF situation. Having food stockpiled is great and will keep you fed but what would you do if the emergency you were in didn’t …
How to Get a Free Survival Map of Your Local Area A survival map is an important part of any survival kit. There is no excuse not to have one because getting one is quick, easy, and free. Print maps of all areas you may need in the event of an emergency. If you have a …
How To Make Natural Tiger Balm The time-proven blend of herbal ingredients in Tiger Balm provides safe and effective topical pain relief for sore muscles, arthritis, neck and shoulder stiffness, and just about any other minor muscle or joint aches or pains that may come your way. Tiger Balm is a topical analgesic (pain reliever) …
DIY Mason Jar Bee Hive Making a mason jar beehive is super easy and the benefits of having one will help you out beyond belief. These are so simple this hive thrives in urban areas too. If you know anything about bees you know that having your own hive can be as easy as a …
Emergency Car Repairs / Hacks If SHTF **WARNING** SOME OF THESE REPAIRS / HACKS ARE DANGEROUS AND WILL KILL YOU IF NOT DONE SAFELY PLEASE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING BEFORE ATTEMPTING. These emergency car tips and tricks will help you get going again in a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario. They are quick, dirty and easy ways to …
Easy DIY Forge Out Of An Old Sink Easy DIY project we all could at least try and get some sort of blacksmithing skills before SHTF. I love the simplicity of this forge set up.I think having a little knowledge of this old skill could come in very handy if SHTF. Not only is this …
How To Build A Semi-Permanent Family Shelter Shelter is one of the most important things you need to know how to make in an emergency situation. This awesome, family size shelter is just a large “debris shelter” for all intense and purposes but with the added protection from the rain because of the tarp or …
How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract From Scratch Making your own vanilla extract from scratch is so easy. This is Perfect to keep stockpiled for when SHTF. Yummy vanilla… It’s easy to imagine that a lot of the kitchen items we now take for granted will be scarce if SHTF and since I like …
28 Innovative Ways To Upcycle Old T-shirts I don’t know about you guys, but I have probably a good 30 old T-shirts laying around the house that i tell my wife to keep and not throw away because we could use them if the power goes out to keep warm. After seeing this tutorial I …
How To Stop Invasive Plants From Taking Over Your Garden If you love lilies and black-eyed Susans, but hate the way they’re taking over your garden and choking out other plants, here’s what you can do: Many plants multiply by dropping seeds and by sending out roots that establish new plants. A layer of mulch will prevent the …
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12 Cheap Ways to Become a Better Prepper Prepping seems to ask more from your wallet every day. If you don’t have money to convert your grid to solar, it doesn’t mean you have to just sit on your hands. If you don’t have the resources to get started with rain barrel water collection, you don’t …
The Cheapest Bug Out Bag: 11 Steps and Less Than $100 Yes, you could throw together a cheap bug out bag for practically free. But will it help you survive when SHTF? You could also spend all your money on a bug out bag and let it sit in a closet and never look at …
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Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch Spring will be here in a couple of months and if you are new to gardening this article may give you the upper hand, you may have tried before and had failed crops or the veggies didn’t grow well enough. I scoured the internet for hours looking …
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How To Make a Barbecue Planter If you have an older BBQ trolley laying around why not transform it into a mobile greenery machine… If you do not have one laying around look on craigslist or your local paper. These look amazing and you can have all your herbs and small vegetables in one place. …
10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner My wife and I can all the time and love it. It gets us together as a family unit and after a good batch of canning you can sit back and look at them and say, “well dear, that’s us good for a week or so if SHTF” …
Late Winter and Early Spring Checklist For Prepping The Gardens Gardening is a great hobby to have and I would recommend it to anyone. Gardening is good for the body and keeps the mind busy… If you are preparing a survival garden or you want to have the prettiest garden in the neighborhood, you still …
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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “the little things make a big difference.” That’s true in preparedness and really true when we consider food storage! Let me walk you through a scenario.
The “hammer” has finally “dropped” and America is in the middle of TEOTWAKI. Chaos ensues and it is not pretty! After a while, depending on where you are located in the country (some places might take longer than others), things finally die down (maybe literally) and eventually a “new normal” emerges in American’s everyday life!
Maybe it looks agricultural. Maybe it looks industrial. Who knows? But one thing that everyone will have to do is eat!
Now, imagine putting in a long day of…working in the field, patrolling, working in a factory or whatever. Imagine working a long day and then coming home to sit down to eat…the same old, bland food.
Many people say that if someone is hungry, they will eat whatever is in front of them. I actually believe that. But, remember, we are now in a “new normal.” People aren’t necessarily hungry. It’s just that the food sucks! Can you imagine what that would do to morale eventually?
Now, what if the person responsible for making the food knew tricks and tips and knew how to make things that tasted good? What would that do for morale? Just imagine, dinner time would once again be the centerpoint of the day. Families would come together to eat a good meal and enjoy each other.
Now, many of us have food storage. Some of your food storage might include MRE’s and dehydrated Mountain House meals. But the bulk of most preppers food storage would include basic staples like rice and beans. After your MRE’s and Mountain House is gone, how will you cook your rice and beans and other long term food storage in a way that won’t eventually get boring?
The truth here is that cooking, knowing how flavors come together, knowing what to use and when, is an important skill, not only when the poop hits the fan, but it can also be very useful now!
I would like to announce that I’m partnering, as an affiliate, with Chef Keith Snow and his new cooking program that has been designed for preppers!
Many of you know Chef Keith Snow from his own cooking podcast and his appearances on The Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko. He sits on Jack’s Expert Council when the topic is food.
In realizing the frailty of our system, he got serious about prepping and food storage. He also realizes the challenges that many preppers have when it comes to making their food storage taste good over a long time. He has developed a course to help his fellow preppers!
Keith has put together a course with 17 modules that covers everything from “What Food to Store” to the equipment you need to the specifics on food storage staples. He is just now launching it and adding to it weekly.
But, this isn’t just a course. When you learn how to really cook well, you are learning a valuable skill. You will use all your preparedness skills at some point. But you will eat everyday!
And, this course will help you save money because many of the main ingredients in the recipes are from food storage staples, which means they will be very affordable!
Good food at a great price…and learn a valuable skill?????? It’s a win-win-win!!!!
The cost of the course covers a lifetime membership and includes access to all of Chef Keith’s written materials as well as videos. The written material includes recipes and even items that you will want to purchase to add to your food storage.
Since the course has just launched, but isn’t completed yet, Chef Keith is offering an introductory offer to join his new program – $169. Again, this includes a lifetime membership and unlimited access to all of his materials, including a forum.
To sign-up for his course, CLICK HERE!
If you’re not convinced yet, and would like to get a little more information, subscribe to his mini-course which will get you access to a 45 page ebook in PDF , two written recipe with everything you need to know how to make these recipes and information from Keith’s perspective and rationale of the course.
To sign-up for the mini-course – CLICK HERE!
To put my money where my mouth is – I signed up for the course myself! I am excited to improve my cooking skills. I plan on putting out some of the recipes I try on my social media channels. Be on the lookout for them!
10 Ways To Prevent Frozen Pipes What’s worse than a major home maintenance disaster? How about several major home maintenance disasters at once? For the quarter-million families who have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter because of frozen water pipes, frigid nights can very quickly turn to ongoing, inconvenient, extremely expensive ordeals. …
How To Make Vodka Vodka, one of my all time favorite alcoholic beverages. I like vodka because of its ability to be mixed with pretty much any other drink to create a wonderful adult beverage. I must have had my head in the sand all my life because I never knew you could make your own …
DIY Portable Solar Power Unit For Camping Or Emergencies Having electricity is a huge convenience, even if you’re camping. Not only can it charge electronics you can use for critical equipment, it can make things more comfortable. Having a small power unit can help you run an emergency radio, run the lights around your camp, …
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12 Ways to Radically Cut Expenses Most people would be surprised at the changes that can be made when they rethink the definition of the word “necessities”. With the gloomy economic forecast, it’s not reasonable or rational to expect things to improve in the near future. If you want to be somewhat immune to the …
27 Clever Alternative Uses For Kitchen Appliances This is a really good article to read and get some extra usage from an old appliance you may have laying around the kitchen, remember any item that has more than one use is worth it’s weight in gold, especially if you are a frugal homesteader. We all …
Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables If you grow your own garden every year and always wondered how to save the seeds, this is your article. If you are a prepper, this article will show you how to collect and store the seeds from common vegetables. It is vital that we save the seeds …
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A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles Stinging nettles have been around from the beginning of time, they hurt us a kid but these green wild plants can actually be very useful in the kitchen. Here is something that I have just found out today! Stinging nettles actually have a similar flavor to that …
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4 Easy To Manage Ways To Pay Off Your Mortgage Earlier Being able to pay off a mortgage early will not only ease the stress of worrying about losing your job and being able to make a house payment but if you are prepping or wanting to live a homesteading life having no mortgage will …
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12 Survival Hacks Using Just Leaves When in a survival situation pretty much anything and everything can be upcycled into something that can aide you in surviving. Over at willowhavenoutdoor.com Creek shows us 12 survival hacks that we can use just by using leaves. Obviously in winter this will be a little harder to achieve but …
35 Creative Ways To Recycle Wooden Pallets When you’re sticking to a self-sufficient, green, and economic lifestyle, you become familiar with salvaging and repurposing materials. Pallets are great for repurposing since they have a sturdy build and are usually made out of quality wood. They make for easy repurposing if they are in decent shape, …
Saving money isn’t just about finding good deals–it’s about finding cheap alternatives. For example, rather than buying a terrarium, you could make your own out of picture frames. And instead of buying a mini grill, you could make your own out of lasagna pans and cooling racks. Here are a few more ideas: Turn pool […]
17 Free Kindle Books for Preppers While it may be hard to pass over freebies, sometimes they are free for a reason. Free books, in particular, have a reputation for being pretty bad. So we combed through the free books available for the Kindle and found a few good resources. Whether you are looking for …
Christmas never seems as big and grand as it does when you’re a child. For weeks prior to the big day, their wide eyes see lights go up and they watch a thousand or so TV commercials advertising the latest and greatest “must have” toys. Anticipation grows and grows, and it’s really amazing their little bodies can contain it all!
Once the 26th arrives and all the presents have been opened and the relatives have gone home, there’s a natural feeling of a let down. “Is that all there is?”
Enter: after Christmas surprises!
I love having one last holiday surprise for my kids in the form of a fun Christmas outing that takes place a few days after Christmas. One year it was attending The Nutcracker. Once we drove up north to play in the snow and anther year, we drove over to Disneyland for a quick trip to catch their spectacular holiday displays. Whatever it is, it’s fun for the entire family to have one last “something” to look forward to, even a pre-planned family game and pizza night. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something special enough to look forward to.
After the flurry, focus on friends
If you can, grab your calendar right now and schedule 1 or 2 simple get-togethers with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and any other group you’re a part of, post-Christmas. By “simple”, I mean, no stressing over the house looking “perfect”. If your friends come over to critique your home, you seriously need to get new friends. Don’t stress over the menu, either. It’s the conversations, the laughs, the shared memories and building of bonds that will be remembered, not that your party was catered by Chef Frou-Frou.
Very simple menu ideas?
- DIY sandwiches, burgers, or hot dogs
- Baked potato bar
- Soup or chili with salad and bread
- A big pot of spaghetti or baked rigatoni
- Pizza from the cheapest place in town
- Frozen lasagna (Don’t judge!)
For entertainment? How about…nothing! Nothing but talk with some music playing in the background. If the weather is cool, a fire in the fireplace cozies up the house and even a couple lighted candles add atmosphere. Your house is already decorated and is at its prettiest.
Have kids? Turn off the lights and let them play “Midnight” Hide and Seek. Adults can either sit in the dark or move to a lighted area somewhere else in the house. Card games and board games, allow for conversation — TV and video games do not! I recommend arranging an activity for the kids that won’t require a lot of supervision, or maybe pay a teenager to babysit the kids right there in your home as a way to diminish interruptions.
This year, my family fell in love with the dice game, Tenzi. It’s suitable for players of all levels and combines a very simple concept (tossing dice) with lots of competition and racing against time. I highly recommend it!
I probably don’t need to remind you, but banish all political talk for the night. Even if you’re among 100% likeminded people, you don’t need the stress or elevated blood pressure!
Whatever you plan for your post-Christmas event, don’t keep this a secret. Anticipation is part of the fun, and I always let my kids know ahead of time about our plans. How could you extend your Christmas just a wee bit longer this year?
7 Unusual Multi-Purpose Items for Survival I personally think that this article in the link below is a perfect example for why having multi-purpose items in your house or bug out bag is always the best option. What I mean by that is, say you are a woman or you have women in your group …
How To Make an Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe I prefer to support the body in fighting the infection rather than take something that bypasses this natural process. If we were in a SHTF situation, we may not have access to normal over the counter medicine to soothe a sore throat or a nasty cough. That’s …
The Best Prepper Christmas Gifts of 2016 As Christmas gets closer, you may find yourself needing a few more gifts under your tree to complete your list. Whether you are dropping hints for friends and relatives, or need to get the perfect present for the prepper in your life- we got you covered. Check out …
63 Practical Tips to Live a Frugal Life Did you know that no matter how much money they make, more than 70% people in the US have less than $1000 in savings? Crazy, right? What’s more interesting is that this doesn’t have anything to do with income. Even people who are making more than $100,000 …
Build An Underground Year-Round Greenhouse For Less Than $300 This underground greenhouse is perfect for anyone who wants to grow food all year round. If you are a prepper or a homesteader this should be your goal, if not now, for the future. If you have enough room to place this greenhouse you can enjoy …
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Here’s an idea for something even the youngest members of your family will enjoy making and receiving: their own collection of photo memories. When my daughter was three years-old, I made a photo collage for her room. I combined small photos of family members and close friends, a pic or two from recent vacations, and a few of her and put them in a store-bought collage frame. Even though she was just a preschooler, she loved having her own collage of memories and the people she loved.
This year she placed about a dozen photos from past family vacations in our Christmas tree. Once sentimental, always sentimental, I guess, but I realized how inexpensive photos can decorate for the holidays and throughout the year.
Our tree has ornaments made of tiny photo collages and photos inside clear glass balls. Add some shiny tinsel to that glass ornament, and you have something that is both memorable and beautiful. These make great gifts for teachers, friends, and even your kids’ friends. At barely over $1 each, they are gifts manageable for even tight budgets.
Another very inexpensive tree ornament are plastic sparkling snowflakes, like these. For years we’ve nestled these in the branches of our Christmas trees, but with a little hot glue, you can easily personalize them with family photos. What a great family project to select photos from this year’s best memories and create a scrapbook of sorts you can enjoy all season long. Be sure to store these in a cool location during the rest of the year in order to preserve the photos.
Take this idea a little farther by making photo ornaments that feature old photos from past decades. What a treat for a grandparent to receive a collection of ornaments with photos from her past and of her kids and grandkids as they grew through the years!
In today’s age of digital photographs, it’s easier than ever to compile incredible memories from months and even years gone by. You can store thousands of them in the cloud, on a flash drive, or your computer’s hard drive, and then quickly sort through to find the best photos to keep when the holidays arrive. There are so many different gift options beyond tree ornaments.
For gift-giving, consider sorting your photos in different categories, depending on who the gift is for. Once you’ve selected the best of the best, you might find that some are best suited for different people:
- Grandparents on each side of the family
- Long-distance relatives on each side of the family
- Grown kids who have left the nest
- Close family friends
These very simple craft foam photo frames can be decorated by even the youngest family member. Online sites like Canva and Pic Monkey allow you to edit photos, add captions, and create collages, all for free. Add a frame and you have a gift.
For the past two years I’ve taken this idea and applied it to wall calendars using Shutterfly and Snapfish. Sadly, I’m not a scrapbooking queen, but even I was able to make beautiful digital collages for each month of the year. In addition to the photos, there is space on each calendar page for a few words. I included favorite Bible verses one year, and this year, phrases from favorite songs.
One year I created a hard-cover book for my parents. It was a collection of the many “mom and dad” type sayings they were famous for over the years and placed a few photos of us kids and the grandkids on each page. Are your parents or some other family member famous for certain sayings? This is a fun way to remember their words and add corresponding photos. Here’s a sample from the book I created:
Putting together photo memories is do-able on any budget, and the finished product is priceless. Online companies like Shutterfly make it possible to have your photos printed on calendars, mugs, fleece blankets, canvas wall hangings, note cards, and so much more. Printing digital photos at home or through an online service like COSTCO or Walgreens has never been cheaper or easier. Even when Christmas is only days away, it’s possible to print photos at home or through a one-hour service. One year, with my back to the wall, I was able to design our annual photo Christmas card, get it printed at Walgreens and then sent out the same day. Whew!
If you’re an Amazon Prime customer, and I highly recommend becoming one, in 2 short days you can have answers to your gift giving dilemmas. This cute clothesline-of-photos caught my eye because the photos can be changed and you can add other mementos, including your child’s artwork.
If you’ve ever doubted the value of photographs, then imagine what it would be like 10 years from now to have no images at all of precious moments like birthdays, holidays, or just hanging out as a family. When you give the gift of memories, you give not only a gift but something far more precious.
Nothing says I Love You like something homemade.
These recipes are also frugal, so bonus.
For obvious reasons I use only CPTG essential oil.
One thing I love about my favorite oil company is that there aren’t a ton of different products, therefore, I feel, focussing on the oils.
It is so easy to make your own.
I buy the majority of my supplies from Amazon using Amazon Prime to get free shipping.
Homemade Shaving Cream
“If you have not yet tried making your own men’s shaving cream, I have to beg you to try it at least once. Nothing out of a can feels as nice or smells as nice as this Homemade Mens Shaving Cream”
Read more here
Homemade Hand Scrub
I think this would be a great replacement for that harsh ‘orange scrubbing’ stuff under the sink. You know the one in the gallon pump jug.
“Hubby and I recently went to a mall and we were drawn into a popular store where they sell anything and everything scented.
I couldn’t find anything remotely pronounceable, so we didn’t end up buying anything. But my husband did fall in love with a hand scrub that was at the little washing station. So I decided to make it myself – and use essential oils for an extra therapeutic kick!”
– See more at: http://simplyeo.com/hand-scrub-recipe-for-men/#sthash.SFzMSxlc.EaWDYIsT.dpuf
Read the rest here
DIY Aftershave Balm
This would go under Not your Father’s Aftershave
“Put your lotion-making skills to work and make a soothing aftershave balm for men. Formulating products for men isn’t very different from making a regular moisturizer, but men usually want a lighter-feeling lotion, so I’ve used a higher water-to-oil ratio to formulate a thinner product. This recipe makes approximately 250 grams or 8oz of finished lotion.”
Go here to read more
“There’s nothing like a nice-smelling man, but sometimes aftershaves and colognes are a bit overpowering. Mix him his own personal scent that he can spritz all over — and won’t cause others to hold their breath as he walks by. And this man spray also does a great job of quickly making spaces smell better.”
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Family Physician Kit = $25 cash back
Home Essentials Kit = $50 cash back
Natural Solutions Kit = $100 cash back
Thank you for using affiliate links and such.
It doesn’t cost you extra to use them, so thank you.
Sometimes I get free stuff to review.
I promise you I will always be honest with my opinion
of any product regardless of if I were paid in addition
to receiving the free product. You can trust me.
Do you need Essential Oils of your own?
You can send me an e-mail and I will personally assist
you in choosing the best oils to fit your needs.
You can also visit my store.
Please use discretion if using oils.
I am not a doctor and can not diagnose or treat what ails ya.
I can just give my advice. Essential Oils have yet to be
approved by the FDA.
Christmas is coming, and my wallet isn’t nearly as fat as it was last year. This year some real creativity is called for if I’m going to have gifts for everyone on my list. That’s what I was thinking about last week when out of the blue, my awesome sister-in-law unknowingly provided the answer: gifts of service.
You see, the Paranoid Dad is extremely proficient when it comes to everything electrical. His sister has been longing for outdoor lights on their patio, and when he drew her name in the family gift drawing, she said, “What I really want for Christmas is for you to put up those lights for me!” This started me thinking about giving in a whole new way.
Unlike a new tie, a gift card, bedroom slippers or just about any other gift you can think of, a gift of service is primarily given with the needs of the recipient in mind. Stay-at-home moms with young children and homeschooling moms would love nothing more than to have a couple of free hours every now and then to themselves. How about offering a, “Mom’s Day Out” coupon to provide free childcare once a month? Any working mom would likely cry at the offer of half a dozen frozen homemade dinners, and a dad too busy working long hours to tend to his backyard would love having an extra pair of hands, or two, or three, to help pull weeds and mow.
See what I mean? A gift of service comes directly from your heart to touch the heart of someone in need. The gift is unique and unforgettable and can be given as often during the year as you like. What talents or skills do you have that might fulfill a need in the life of a friend or family member?
It may take some time, observations, and some clever conversations on your part to figure out what service you could provide.
This time next year my sister-in-law won’t remember who gave her which gift twelve months earlier, but she’ll never forget who installed her patio lights.
Do you ever get tired of all the beautiful, sparkling lights decorating trees and homes at this time of year? I never do. I love watching the faces of our kids when they spy yet another home all lit up for Christmas. We’re keeping a list, and checking it twice, of all the homes on our block that are lit up! One year every house but 2 were lit up, and it was a special treat.
Most of us say that our homes are at their most beautiful during this time of year, but not everyone has the means or ability to decorate. Charitable Christmas giving can go beyond a bag of groceries or a donation to the Salvation Army. Is there a senior citizen in your neighborhood or a family struggling to make ends meet who would love a strand or two of lights scattered around their front yard? An inexpensive wreath and window decals can add a touch of extra Christmas spirit to a hospital room or the smallest apartment. You might even have an unwanted artificial tree sitting in the garage or attic that might be an appreciated gift to someone who won’t be able to afford a real one.
A couple of years ago, my daughter got together with a group of friends and they made beautiful holiday cards, ending up with 70 or 80. The following day, one of the moms took the kids around to a few nursing homes where they delivered the cards to the residents there. So many of these elderly folks have been forgotten by family and rarely, if ever, get a visitor. If there’s just one thing I could urge you to do this Christmas, it would be to find a way to reach out to these lonely hearts.
Charitable “Holiday Buckets” can include simple decorations for doors, windows, and mantles, as well as groceries, baked goodies, and small gifts. Over the years I’ve donated dozens of Christmas decor items to Goodwill and other organizations, so I’m certain you could find holiday decorations at thrift stores at very low prices. Just make sure they are operating, in the case of lights or music, and in near-new condition.
Another way to enjoy the holiday lights is to give a homemade certificate to the “First Place Winner” among all the homes decorated in your neighborhood. Last year we handed out two certificates, left them by the front doors, actually, to the two homes we thought had the best light displays. It was fun biking around our neighborhood late at night, and then having a family pow-wow in the freezing temperatures to make our final choices!
This season can be one of beauty, warm memories, and there are thousands of newly unemployed people, and more families than ever who won’t have money for gifts and all the other holiday traditions of the past. This Christmas, more than ever, let’s all look for ways to light up someone’s holiday.
How To Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater That Works All Year Round If the power goes out there is very little chance that you can produce enough hot water to fill your needs through wood fire alone. There are many methods of warming water with no power. The easiest and most simple is to just …
For the last 20 years I have been working on my genealogy. The research is fascinating to me. Old certificates and wills captivate me and the search for my ancestors is like a treasure hunt. One part of genealogy that I have found most valuable are their personal journals. Their stories of survival and endurance have always left me in awe and reminded me that I have life pretty easy. I have done my best to apply their wisdom to my family and learn from their life experiences. I want to share some of the lessons we can all learn from the branches, twigs and occasional nuts in our family tree.
1. Eat real food.
Whole grains, milk, eggs, cream, butter, seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with fresh eggs, seafood and other meat. My ancestors, and yours, ate them usually in the form closest to how God made them. They used herbal remedies as medicine. Nowadays, we have to seek out information in books like this one (something for beginners!), because we probably won’t learn it from our own parents and other family members. They also grew and preserved herbs to season food. Many of these foods were home grown or found out in the wild and were full of vitamins and minerals. Could you forage for food? Most people nowadays cannot and would walk right by edible foods and herbs. This foraging for beginners book has been helpful to me in learning the potentially life-saving skill of foraging.
Real food is better for you and tastes so much better than the processed food at the grocery store. There are not words that describe the difference between a store bought tomato and one that is picked right from the vine in a garden.
2. Grow a garden and raise animals.
There is something to be said for planting, caring for, harvesting, and eating your own food. It helps you appreciate the food on your table each day. Not only is the food you eat full of more nutrients, but you are healthier for working in the garden. It counts as exercise and gives you your needed sunshine. Being outdoors and listening to nature is good for the mind. Spending time away from any screen and being with yourself can be therapeutic. Having your hands in the dirt and caring for your plants helps connect you to Earth. A reverence and feeling of gratitude for nature and animals can be felt.
An old farmer once told me, “It takes 10 years to really get to know your land.” Even if your land is just a backyard, this is still true. Think about it. You plant a few things one spring…and nothing grows, or only the mint grows and ends up taking over your entire garden plot. Well, that’s Year #1. Next year, you know you need to better amend the soil, move some of your plants elsewhere in the yard, keep your mint in a pot!, b or maybe even move the entire garden to a sunnier/shadier spot. This time around, your garden still experiences successes and failures. That’s Year #2!! (I know experienced gardeners out there are nodding their heads!)
This is why you need to start growing something right now, even if it’s just a windowsill herb garden. The learning curve for growing anything successfully is surprisingly steep.
3. Notice your surroundings.
Our ancestors went outside and paid attention to nature. The migration of animals and the life cycles of certain vegetation let our forefathers know of the changes in seasons. Specific species of animals are sensitive to changes in the atmosphere. Farmers were able to pick up on the behavioral changes in these animals and know what weather may be coming their way. Understanding how to read the sky above and the ground below was once a skill passed down throughout the generations. They knew their environment and were sensitive to its fluctuations. Observation skills are something we can learn and teach our children. This article gives a few tips about what to look for when you’re observing nature.
4. Use it up, do not waste anything — Another survival lesson from old-timers.
Old-timers didn’t spend money freely and, often, there was nowhere to shop! Clothes were worn, handed down to the next child, and then the next. When it was not able to be worn, the article of clothing was then taken apart and reused, often for quilt squares, patches for other clothes or a dust or dish cloth. There was so much wisdom our ancestors had, and this list is just a partial collection of what we can learn from them.
Last year’s new shoes became “new” shoes for the younger sibling or old work shoes for this year. In fact, back in the 1930’s a product that used beeswax to seal shoes was invented! Sno-Seal is still a popular product today and something that can extend the use of our own, modern-day shoes!
Scraps of leftover food went into a soup later or they were used to feed the animals. My grandfather could extend the life of ordinary items with odd stuff he had in the garage. Any lumber or hardware was stored away for future needs. An old paper bag could be found filled with bolts, nuts, washers and nails. Over the years he learned to fix and maintain cars, appliances, and homes. It kept him out of my grandmother’s hair, saved money but also kept his mind and body active.
5. Be dependable and helpful.
Many of my ancestors were farmers. When harvest time came, everyone chipped in. It required many people with a variety of skills to get the job done. Harvesting from the fields, cleaning the produce, getting it ready to sell or for preservation was a big job that needed everyone to help. My great grandmother Nelson lived on the same block as her 2 daughters, 2 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. This arrangement allowed her to stay in her home. There was always someone around to drive her where ever she needed to go, to help with the avocado tree or move something heavy.
Now that she has passed, those simple tasks are beautiful memories for our family. It has also served as an example to the future generations about caring for your elders. There were other times when someone was sick or had a baby, the neighborhood women would get together and help. Between caring for the sick, cooking, cleaning or tending children, the job got done. Friendships and a sense of community grew from service towards another. Pitching in and assisting those around you benefits everyone.
6. Plan ahead and prepare for the unknown.
Our ancestors’ lives depended on being prepared. Food needed to be preserved in the fall so they had something to eat in the winter and spring. Wood needed to be cut and stacked during the summer months, and food for livestock and the family needed to constantly be stored up.
Life was more unpredictable for them. Disease could come and take out their livestock or family in a matter of hours. Injury required more time to heal, death was more of a possibility. My third great aunt buried more babies than anyone should ever have to. With every pregnancy, she knew there was a chance that her baby may not survive. So in her mind, she mentally prepared for a possible burial.
For some ancestors, one snow storm could keep them homebound for weeks. We may not need a winter’s supply of hay for livestock, but being prepared and having a backup is wise. Having additional light sources, additional food, water and medical supplies, fuel and money set aside is a good idea. Check your life, health and other insurance plans. Maintain your physical, mental and emotional health. Set money aside for a rainy day, because it rains in all of our lives at one time or another. Do not assume the worst will happen, prepare for it in case it does. Survival Mom’s family preparedness manual is the best one around for getting started on all this, which can be overwhelming!
7. Have hope, maybe rebel a little.
America would not be the great country that it is if it were not for those who were willing to rebel against the King of England all those years ago. Others left behind their homeland and risked their lives to come to America. Many of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom. My Irish family traveled to America because of the potato famine. Others came with the simple hope that things will be better, if not for them, then for their descendants. They had a hope and perseverance that carried them through obstacles in life.
Most of us have not had to leave behind family, learn a new language and culture and try to assimilate to a new life. Our ancestors did it for us. What we can do is follow their example of hard work, hope and maybe rebel a little. Stand up in our communities when an injustice is done. Or get involved in our local government. Be the kind of citizen that stands up for their rights, and give a hand up to someone in need.
8. Be a thankful and happy person.
Our society bombards us with advertisements for all of the things we do not have. Some have the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses. Most of my ancestors were not rich. They had what they needed and were content with that. There was not the desire to have excess that is in today’s culture. Everything they worked hard for, they appreciated and took care of. They blessed the food before they ate, just content to have a good meal. The Bible was read after dinner and children were taught to acknowledging their blessings. We forget to look at what we have and be thankful for the blessings in our life.
This is all part of being a survival, both mentally and emotionally. It’s surprising how often people who have everything, both for everyday life and survival, often do not thrive and may even perish. This article explains why that sometimes happens.
9. Have a hobby and laugh.
In my home I have a christening dresses made by a talented great grandmother. Every tiny pleat and gather is pure perfection. On a shelf I have wood animals, hand carved without a detail left out. These items were not necessary to my ancestors or my survival, but it is a reminder for me. To slow down, to take the time to develop a talent, do something new. It is a reminder that life is not all about a “to do” list, it is also about doing things you enjoy. Nowadays, we have to really seek out time for hobbies and then, once we have a bit of time on our hands, it’s not easy to decide what to do with it! Check out the Survival Mom Skill of the Month for a ton of ideas to keep your hands busy and productive.
10. Develop a sense of humor.
Tough times come to all of us at one time or another. It is better to laugh during some of these times. My great grandparents had their car break down on them 3 times during a road trip in the 1930’s. Money was tight and they were hoping to drive from California to Colorado to buy a chicken farm, to provide income for the family. When the car broke down 2 hours from home, they just laughed about it. The family camped on the side of the road until they could get the part they needed to repair the car. Even now, my older relatives get together and laugh about all of the things that happened in their younger years. They learned to have a logical perspective during those difficult moments.
11. Learn more than one skill.
My husband’s 2nd great grandfather, old-timer Noah, was a great example of this. He farmed and raised pigs to sell. He learned how to become a blacksmith, which came in handy when the water and grain mill burnt down. When family needed a place to live, he was able to clear trees and build a home on his land. If something broke, he fixed it himself. If he wanted to learn something, he worked for someone who would teach him. He was never a rich man, but had learned a variety of skills that he was able to take care of his family.
His wife, Leona, was able to use their resources wisely. She knew how to prepare healthy meals with whatever they harvested. She made and mended clothes for the family, made sure the kids went to school and she helped with the crops and animals. They were able to give their newly married children a better start in life by helping them build a home, giving them land and learning a trade. Between Noah and Leona, they were able to do just about anything. Being educated in one thing is good. Knowing you have other skills to fall back on is better. Think about learning about home/car maintenance and repair or other employment skills.
We begin each day with the opportunity to learn from the lessons of those that have gone before us. Their sense of family, traditions and faith is something that can be shared with future generations. In us we can carry their bravery, dreams, beliefs and the lessons learned from their life.
28 Outdoor Lighting DIYs Are you looking to brighten up your garden this summer with light? Check out these great DIY projects and have the best garden on your block! It’s no secret that I love finding DIY projects and sharing them with you on shtfpreparedness.com. I love it that much, I try and make/do …
14 Off-Grid Projects to Cut Your Energy and Water Usage Living off-grid is pretty much every preppers dream. I know it has been my dream for ever and having the ability to not rely on the government or big corporations for power, food and water is just around the corner for everyone if they put …
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190+ Seasoning & Spice Mix Recipes & Blends Did you know that many store bought herb and spice blends can be very expensive, and a lot of them contain additives, anti-caking agents or MSG. That for me was enough to hunt down the best homemade spice and seasoning recipes and blends. For the past 2 …
Winter Preparedness: Handy Household Tips for Weathering the Winter Winter is coming whether you like it or not, and homeowners around the country are preparing their homes, yards, and vehicles for the colder weather. Winter weather might be a drag, but with the proper preparation, weathering the winter is much more feasible. Keep your car …
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17 Ways to Master Expanding Foam Insulation Now’s the time to work on insulating your home before the temperatures dip down too low. Insulating gaps now is one of the best ways to ensure you’re not letting heat out or cold air in this winter. Your furnace will thank you and so will your wallet …
Make Your Own Gel Ice Packs How many times have you used gel ice packs in your life? Their uses are almost limitless: from medical applications to keeping your sandwiches cool, gel ice packs are handy to have in the freezer. The problem for most people is that the only ones they get are from …
Realistic House Security Home security is something on everyone’s mind lately. It seems there’s unrest everywhere you look. From the inner city, to the suburbs, and even out into the country. People are voicing their disagreement and in many cases, violence erupts. The average person needs realistic home security solutions but what can they really …
How to Stockpile Food and Other Goods Cheaply Stockpiling can be an enormously expensive task if you go about it in the wrong way. Even if you’re doing all that you can to keep costs down, if you’re stockpiling for a big family, it can still be exceptionally pricey to get your stockpiles to where …
Amazing Benefits and Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide Hydrogen peroxide is most often used for first aid and it has become a common item in every household. However, hydrogen peroxide can do so much more than disinfecting wounds and staving off infections. It is known that hydrogen peroxide reacts with organic material and it breaks down …
Crunchy Dill Pickle Recipe There is nothing like nibbling on a crunchy, fresh crisp dill pickle. I am sure we have bought them from the supermarket and noticed that they are way overpriced. The ones from the store also have added ingredients like GMO’s and carcinogens. carcinogens can cause cancer. Well, do not worry. You can now …
DIY $20 Outdoor Cob Oven for Great Bread and Pizza This project is easy, frugal and a great addition for any garden, no matter the size and best off all… Gives you an emergency oven if you ever need one! I have a few friends that have made their own cob ovens and they are …
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How To Make The Warmest, Cheapest Wool Boots Ever With Winter in full effect, it is important to have the right footwear or risk getting frostbite. This is something you DO NOT want to get. If you are like me and are on a tight budget a good pair of snow shoes/boots can set you …
10 Smart & Practical Uses for Rubber Bands That Actually Work Look no further than your junk drawer for the solution to these common home problems. A rubber band (or two) may be all that you need to execute home hacks while painting, using tools, or moving furniture. These 10 rubber band solutions are simple, …
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Winter Wild Edible Mushrooms Knowing how to forage wild mushrooms is hard skill to learn. If you are not 100% certain it is edible, I wouldn’t risk eating it. Just because you see animals eating them doesn’t mean it will be safe for human consumption. That being said, mushrooms offer us a lot of nutrition …
See How Houses Were Kept Warm Before The Age Of Electricity Every year the cold sets in and my bones ache from the shivering. I am lucky enough to have a home with a wood stove and central heated air. I can warm the house and me as hot as I want. The only trouble …
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How To Make A Mountain Man Fur Hat Humans have been making clothes out of animal skins for thousands of years. People that live in the Yukon make these hats for their heads in winter and they say they work better than store brought hats. I have never worn a real animal hide hat but I …
11 Secrets To Properly Freezing Produce Are you sick of freezer burned food? Check out these amazing 11 secrets to properly freezing produce and have fantastic frozen food. Never throw away another frozen item again! How many times have you gone to the freezer and discovered that your food was freezer burned? I know I …
Busting the Canned Food Expiration Date MYTH I know that a lot of people in America and in Europe have a thing about sell by or use by dates. I am guilty of this too. Did you know that this is totally wrong and you can actually use canned food many years after the date …
How To Build A Cold Room In Your Home Basement A cold room is a new term for a root cellar. Cold rooms / root cellars are for keeping food supplies at a low temperature and steady humidity. They keep food from freezing during the winter and keep food cool during the summer months to …
How To Start a Homestead From Scratch With No Money This is a great article for those of you that dream of starting a homestead (and who doesn’t!), but just don’t have the cash to get started. When FrugalChicken and her family started homesteading they dreamed of a self-sustainable life where they produced more than they …
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How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home Knowing How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home is a not only for homesteaders, survivalist and people on a budget should be doing this too. I have been canning for years, I love doing it. It’s never …
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41 Creative DIY Hacks To Improve Your Home If you have been following us for a while you will know we like life hacks, especially DIY hacks. Hacks are just amazing if you want to save money when doing DIY projects and in an emergency up-cycling items will help you in everyday life. In the article …
30 Healthy Dinner Recipes For Less Than $1 A Serving Food is expensive. Raw and healthy food is even more expensive. That being said, I have found a great website that gives us 30 Healthy Dinner Recipes For Less Than $1 A Serving. Yes you read that right.. less than 1 dollar! Check all of the …
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20 Awesome Garden Shed and Cottage Ideas Whether you are looking to add some value to your house or just have the best garden in the neighborhood, this article in the link below will certainly help you do that. They have compiled a grid of 20 awesome garden shed and cottage ideas to inspire you. …
How To Grow Multiple Different Fruits On One Tree Grow multiple fruits on one tree… This is known as “grafting”. Imagine having one tree with 2, 3 or 4 different fruits growing from it! This is great for people with smaller gardens who want to have all the same fruit as people with larger gardens. Now …
How To Cut Glass Perfectly With Household Items I personally have never tried this but I have been looking into up-cycling my old vodka and wine bottles into glasses. I also thought that I could use my larger wine bottles as planters or even as a mini green house in the garden over Fall. You …
Eating Well with Foraged Food When we think of survival food, there are some standard meals that often come to mind: MREs, wild berries and roots, and wild-caught fish. It’s not the kind of spread that would impress your mother-in-law, that’s for sure. Well, I’m writing this to tell you that it doesn’t have to …
If I’m going to post the best and most popular blog articles, I have to include this one. It launched a very popular Facebook group page and an entire month-by-month series of money saving articles. National Preparedness Month may not seem like a natural fit for a money-saving article, but with no money at all, it’s hard to get fully prepared.
I spotted this ingenious and simple savings plan* on Facebook, posted it on my wall, and it went viral with 3,074 likes and 4,230 shares within a couple of days. I’ve never seen anything like it. Obviously, this plan hit a nerve with a large number of people who know they need to save, want to save, but are dealing with the reality of tight budgets.
On many calendars, each week is numbered, beginning with Week #1: January 1-7. On this 52 weeks savings plan, you save the amount of dollars that corresponds to that week’s number. If one week you find yourself with extra cash, add it to the pot. You’ll end up with more than the $1378 total by the end of December or you’ll have created a bit of a padding for weeks that don’t have any extra cash left over. The 52 Weeks Savings Plan is highly versatile. You can begin with Week 52 in January, or start on whichever week is easiest for you.
Print out this chart or make your own and check off each week as you save. If there are other members in the family with an income, encourage them to do the same. A family with 2 breadwinners could end up with a grand total of $2756, and that’s no small-potatoes! *I have no idea who originally created this chart, but I thank them!
UPDATE: Since this was posted, readers have made some really great suggestions
1. Get the whole family involved. Discuss how you’ll spend the savings, give some to charity, etc. and then post a progress chart. Kids who earn money for odd jobs, babysitting, and the like can contribute, so everyone learns how to save and then gets to share in the rewards!
2. The last half of the savings plan can be pretty pricey per week. If that’s too much for you right now, go through weeks 1-26 twice. You’ll still end up with a nice balance at the end.
3. Others have suggested starting with Week 52 at the beginning of the year so the larger savings can be set aside at a time of year when holiday expenses aren’t an issue.
For more help following the 52 Weeks Savings Plan…
Follow along with a special series of monthly sales, tailored specifically to the needs and interests of Survival Moms and their families. Check out these examples:
Retailers typically offer the same types of sales each month, year after year, so these articles continue to have value and important info for bargain hunters!
Join other Survival Moms in our very active 52 Week Savings Club on Facebook! 1625 members and growing!
Read, “10 Ways to Make the 52 Weeks Savings Plan Work For You” — even more creative ideas!
Easy DIY Pallet Shelving One thing that people never seem to have enough of is shelf space. While store-bought units are generally flimsy or expensive, inexpensive strong high-capacity shelving can be built quite easily from common, cheap (often free) wood pallets. One can often obtain many pallets of the same dimensions just by offering to …
How To Build A Cold Smoke Generator For Smoking Meats People have been smoking meats for generations, my granddad smoked meats all the time but that was the way back then. It is a lost art that is coming back thanks to people being more into homesteading and prepping. This projects is easy and cheap …
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How To Build An Earthbag Root Cellar For Cheap Root cellars are just fantastic. They were essentially the first refrigerators built. They can keep your fruit and vegetables good all year round by keeping your food 40 degrees lower than the summer temperature outside and in winter the root cellar will keep the food just …
How to Remove a Tree Stump Painlessly Last spring we had a huge locust tree removed from our back yard. It was 50 feet high and the trunk must have been about 6 feet in diameter. The tree cost us a pretty penny but the contractor wanted more for the stump to be ground. We …
How To Choose The Right Rainwater Tank I am sad to say that the subject of collecting your own rainwater is getting more and more controversial because states are starting to make this illegal. I can’t say I agree with the reasoning, but I can guess it comes down to money. Some good news is that a few states …
200+ Canning and Preserving Recipes These 200+ Canning and Preserving Recipes will rock your socks off and will keep you busy for a long time. If you are anything like my wife, you will be constantly looking for new canning recipes, she loves to can, if she could can my socks I think she would. Canning is …
Whole Foods For Longer Shelf Life Preppers tend to want things that will last decades in their stock pile. They look for whatever has the longer shelf life. They buy freeze dried food by the bucket loads and tend to overlook storing whole foods! There are numerous reasons why storing whole foods is a very …
22 DIY Projects That Will Increase the Value of Your Home If you own your own home you will know that the slightest improvement could dramatically impact the value of the property. Sometimes for the worse so be sure you are adding value, not taking it away with your DIY. I found a pretty cool …
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30 Recipes To Self Sufficiency If you are looking to stop eating artificial flavorings, preservatives, and unhealthy foods then you have come to the right article. In the link below I have shared a great article that gives us 30 recipes that are all homemade, have no artificial preservatives and are actually good for you. There …
All You Ever Need To Know About Eating Roadkill This is a touchy subject for some people but for preppers, survivalists and homesteaders this is a great source of meat for their diets. Roadkill has been here ever since the horse and cart and probably been around longer than that, I wonder if the Romans …
7 Easy DIY Plumbing Repairs You Need to Know Knowing how to fix your pipes is great knowledge for emergency situations. Would you know how to unfreeze your pipes in the winter? What if you power went out and you had no way to heat them? Over at shtfdad.com they have 7 easy DIY pluming …
Easy DIY Teardrop Camping Trailer The weather is perfect right now for camping. If you are like me and love camping in a little style, this project is for you. A teardrop camper is small, economical to tow and has everything you need to camp comfortably. If you have nowhere to bug out to, having …
How To Have A Fire Pit: No Smoke, Odor or Ashes And Plenty Of Style I have to say this fire pit tutorial is just wonderful.. No smoke, odor or ashes is great in my books. Fall is just beginning, so enjoy the cool evenings around a wonderful odorless and less work fire pit with minimal installation. …
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How To Bring Dead Ni-Cad Batteries Back To Life Stop having your Ni-Cad batteries stop charging and losing power and dying all the time. Save a lot of money over the year and have a way to keep your Ni-Cad batteries in peak performance in an emergency. I love learning something new everyday. This is why …
How to Build a Root Cellar and Storm Shelter Having a root cellar is just awesome… Easy and cheap to make with an added bonus, a storm shelter! The warmer weather brings extra baggage, namely storms! This awesome root cellar is also a great storm shelter anyone can build for a very LOW price! This …
100+ Ways for Preppers to Spend a Buck at the Dollar Store Dollar stores. OR should we say, $1.07 stores with sales tax. They have for the longest time been a haven for people on a tight budget, low income or party goers. They offer cheap products for a low price. Obviously, they are dollar …
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