Rich begins his story, about his recent travels around America…and why.

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…Finally Back Home… It’s been exactly a year since I began the job that took me across America, into the backest back roads, up mountains, down valleys, and across rivers, up the west coast from Mexico to Canada, down across the entire western tier of states, all around the parts of Texas I grew up […]

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How to Make Dried Fruit without a Food Dehydrator

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com I’ve been wanting to try dehydrating fruit but I do not have room for a food dehydrator.  There is just not enough space in my small apartment for another gadget.  But I there is a way to dehydrate fruit without a food dehydrator – just use your oven! I had a couple of apples that were a bit past their prime but still in good shape.  They were perfect for my apple chips […]

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15 Ways You Can Prep for SHTF Without Spending a Dime

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If you’ve recently started prepping, one of the first things you’ve probably noticed is how expensive it is. From stockpiling ammo to food to gear to medicine to water and so on, the cost of getting ready for a disaster can add up really fast. This is why budget prepping has become such a popular […]

The post 15 Ways You Can Prep for SHTF Without Spending a Dime appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Money Mondays: Advice on How To Prep On A Limited Budget

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A lot of readers are concerned about preparing on a tight budget.  Here is some budget prepping advice from a fellow blogger. Advice on How To Prep On A Limited Budget Written by Tony Out of all the challenges preppers face, one of the most difficult and most common is the challenge of getting yourself ready for disaster on a limited budget.  The problem certainly doesn’t become any easier when we watch shows like Doomsday Prepper. I remember one night, early […]

The post Money Mondays: Advice on How To Prep On A Limited Budget appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Budget Friendly Survival Kit

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A popular new trend in the prepper community–which I really like–is using gadget pouches and tool rolls to make survival kits and bug out bags. It makes perfect sense because, rather than digging through a bag and struggling to find what you’re looking for, you can just unroll the pouch or roll and immediately see […]

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25 Survival Uses for Rubber Bands

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Everyone has a few rubber bands somewhere in their home, probably in the bottom of their junk drawer. When I was a kid, my brother and I shot them at each other. I even had a rubber band gun (until he stole it from me). You might be surprised to learn that rubber bands aren’t […]

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Money Mondays: 10 Ways to Cut Your Living Expenses and Save for Emergencies

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Written by Allie Shaw Normally, you expect the bulk of your monthly salary to go toward items like rent, cable, utilities, groceries, and childcare. It’s not fun, but it’s a part of being an adult. But maybe you want more of your money to stretch further. This article will cover ten common living expenses and will teach you the necessary tips to cut down on those expenses, letting more money go toward family emergencies and other household needs. 1. Rent […]

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Money Mondays: A Guide that will Help You Prepare for the Most Likely Disaster that Can Happen to You

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com As I write this I just heard Sam’s Club in my neighborhood is closing its doors. Several other locations are closing as well. There has been no warning to the community, or the employees. The report did mention the affected employees will be paid for 60 days so they can be counted as fortunate since they can count on a paycheck for a couple of months. I still feel bad for the workers, […]

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50 Preparedness Items for Less Than $5 Each

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Prepping can be expensive if you’re buying huge boxes of freeze-dried food and the latest survival gadgets. But if you buy a few small items every week for several years, eventually you’ll have everything you need to survive a disaster (short of something apocalyptic like a nuclear war). In this article, I’m going to prove […]

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7 Ways Being A Prepper Can Save You Money

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There are many reasons to start prepping, but the most important is so you’ll be prepared if a disaster ever heads your way. The problem is, prepping can be very expensive. I know many people who are worried about being unprepared in the event of a hurricane or civil unrest, but since they make less than […]

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Money Mondays: Homemade Cards and Gifts

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com   The day after Thanksgiving, we started decorating for Christmas.  This year, we are reusing decorations from previous years. Also I started to make Christmas gifts and cards. Cards We grew up thinking that store bought cards are better, but over the years I found handmade cards are appreciated by the recipients.  I like to draw Christmas images free-hand, but for variety, I am also trying these ideas out:  Fingerprint Christmas lights card […]

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Money Mondays: Homemade Cards and Gifts

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com   The day after Thanksgiving, we started decorating for Christmas.  This year, we are reusing decorations from previous years. Also I started to make Christmas gifts and cards. Cards We grew up thinking that store bought cards are better, but over the years I found handmade cards are appreciated by the recipients.  I like to draw Christmas images free-hand, but for variety, I am also trying these ideas out:  Fingerprint Christmas lights card […]

The post Money Mondays: Homemade Cards and Gifts appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Money Mondays: Use Food Storage for your Thanksgiving Feast

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com This week, while you are planning your Thanksgiving menu, consider “shopping” from your food storage items that are nearing expiration.  If you are short on cash, this is also a way to save a few dollars. So why not include some of your food storage items for Thanksgiving? A few ideas Canned corn and green beans can be used for casseroles Mountain House Noodles and Chicken makes a tasty meal all by itself […]

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Cryptocurrencies for Preppers: Investing in Cryptos for Self-Reliance

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Intro: What is Cryptocurrency? Most of you have probably heard of Bitcoin and the concept of cryptocurrency, or “cryptos.” But if you’re like most people, beyond the fact that it’s some kind of new digital money that a handful of tech wizards somehow got rich off of, you probably don’t know a whole lot beyond. . . Read More

Cryptocurrencies and Preppers – a Match Made in Heaven?

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Cryptocurrencies are taking off! Values for many cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed this year. You will be hearing about them more and more so you had might as well begin understanding them now. Disclaimer: I own some Ethereum and Ripple cryptocurrencies. Before I begin diving into this subject, let me give a very brief overview of cryptocurrencies.. . . Read More

40 Emergency Supplies You Can Find In Dollar Stores

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If you’ve decided to stock up on emergency supplies but don’t have a lot of money, you’ll be glad to hear that you can buy several of your necessities on the cheap at any ordinary dollar store. In my town we have a Dollar General and a Dollar Tree, so last weekend I went walking […]

The Average American Spends $687.72 Per Kid for Back to School Shopping

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If your kids are enrolled in school, you know that back to school shopping can make this the second most expensive time of the year.

This year, the National Retail … Read the rest

The post The Average American Spends $687.72 Per Kid for Back to School Shopping appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

7 Ways to Prepare for a Financial Crisis

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The Great Recession officially ended in June of 2009–over 8 years ago–and since the United States has never gone over 10 years without a recession, something tells me hard times are just around the corner. If you’re not prepared for a financial crisis, it’s time to get started. And even if there’s never another recession, […]

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JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward [Updated]

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Yes, I am living it right now. I made a decision and quit a job with the state of Wyoming, moved to Nashville with everything I owned (that I hadn’t sold or gotten rid of) and started from scratch again. Had a job building corporate Dell PCs for two weeks, but after knee surgery 6 months […]

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Top 5 Easy-to-ID Edible Mushrooms for Beginners

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Edible Mushrooms for Beginners

There’s something otherworldly and mysterious about the world of fungi, which is part of the reason taking the dive into wild mushroom hunting can be so intimidating. Even after becoming an avid plant forager myself, I held off from expanding into mycophagy, or wild mushroom foraging, assuming it to be more “advanced” than plant foraging,. . . Read More

The post Top 5 Easy-to-ID Edible Mushrooms for Beginners first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward.

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Yes, I am living it right now. I made a decision, and quit a job with the state of Wyoming, moved to Nashville with everything I owned (that I hadn’t sold or gotten rid of) and started from scratch again. Had a job building corporate Dell PCs for two weeks, but after knee surgery 6 months […]

The post JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward. appeared first on SurvivalRing.

Money Mondays: When You Don’t Have Time to Cook

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com One of the biggest reasons people give as to why they don’t cook at home is, “I don’t have enough time.”  I can certainly relate.  I work full time, and write this blog after hours.  After a busy day at work, it is really hard to get motivated to do anything, much less cook a dish that takes a long time to make.  But the family still has to eat dinner and eating […]

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10 Ways to Get Survival Supplies When You Have Almost No Money

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Prepping for a disaster can be expensive. While fully-stocked private bunkers and steel safes full of weapons and supplies are great for the wealthy, low-income people need to be able to survive when the SHTF, too. Thankfully, prepping for tough times doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you are looking for a way to get […]

The post 10 Ways to Get Survival Supplies When You Have Almost No Money appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

15 Things You Should Be Hoarding (And Why)

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Nearly everyone has a drawer, closet or room filled with, well, stuff. The word ‘hoarding’ generally evokes terrifying images of a house overflowing with useless junk – newspapers from the past thirty years, every can or bottle the hoarder has ever drunk from, and a seemingly endless supply of containers, wires, screws, and other things […]

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Frugal noodle

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frugal

Let’s use our frugal noodle to come up with some frugal ideas. For me personally, I’ve grown up frugally, I didn’t know or even understand it when I was younger, I just knew we didn’t throw things away until they were used up, worn out and even then it was probably saved for parts. We didn’t call a repairman when things broke, my dad fixed it, we didn’t go out to eat, my mother cooked, and she cooked from scratch. For us, it was just a way of life, we didn’t have the money to pay someone else to do the things we could do for ourselves. I suspect that even if we had been wealthier, my family would have still been the same way, frugal.

Being frugal is about saving money, but it’s also a mindset, here are some of the ways to be frugal, I suspect it will remind you of your grandparents 🙂

1. Save jars. Frugal people never throw away good glass (or even plastic) jars or containers, especially if they have a good lid and a wide mouth. When we moved off grid, I remember bringing out a few boxes of empty jars.

2. Buttons, did you grow up with a button jar? I did. Every button was saved, even if it was just one button, they are infinitely useful. If you have a shirt that is going into the trash, be sure to cut off all the buttons and save them.

3. Fabric, even small fabric scraps are handy, from patching things to quilts, fabric scraps are very handy to have around. I even save the legs of jeans I cut off for shorts.

4. Newspaper, it has so many uses after it’s been read, from wrapping gifts, crafts, cleaning glass, filler in boxes for moving or shipping…

5. Bread ties, this so reminds me of my dad, we had this junk drawer (don’t laugh, you have one too), it was full of straightened bread ties, they are great for tying other things together.

6.
Rubber bands, this was one of the other things in the junk drawer, all sorts of rubber bands, they are so useful, and if nothing else, you can make a rubber band ball to keep you amused. Of course, rubber bands have a limited life, especially out here where we live, it’s so dry that the rubber becomes brittle, so they have to be used quickly…

7. Hardware, drawer pulls, hinges, screws, nails, anything that you could take off of anything that would be tossed in the trash, again this was stored and found in that junk drawer, or perhaps in a small glass jar.

8. String, I have fond memories of this piece of wood with a long length of string wrapped around it, it belonged to my dad, he would dole out a length of string to use for what he was working on, but he didn’t cut it, it was often one of his projects where he would need a straight level line, then he would carefully wrap the string back onto the piece of wood. Occasionally he would have to cut a piece to use in something, it was always done with care so as to not use too much. Other string, if quality string and long enough, it would be wrapped up and saved.

9. Food scraps, when cutting up vegetables, carrots, onions and the such, the bits that are cut off can be frozen, when you get enough, you can make a very tasty stock, either a vegetable stock, or used with meat trimmings to make meat stock. You can also compost what’s left over to enrich your garden.

10.
Time, it’s the one thing that can’t really be saved and yet it can, it can’t be put up for later, you can’t make more of it, you can waste it, but understand it’s a most precious and valuable commodity, once gone, once it has passed by, you can’t get it back, so make the most of the time you have each day, it’s not a matter of getting more done, but make the things you do during the day meaningful things.

What about you? What do you do that is frugal? What would you like to do that is more frugal? Let me know below in the comments.

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Money Mondays: 10 Ways I Save Money with Baking Soda in My Apartment

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com We haven’t had a Money Mondays feature in a while so it’s time for another one!  Everyone knows about using a box of baking soda to avoid odors in the fridge, but many people stop there in spite of all the known uses for baking soda. I’ve read hundreds of tips, and not all of them work for me.  I know you can brush your teeth with it, but I am not ready […]

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27 Ways To Prep When You’re Poor

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I’ve known many people who talk about prepping for disaster but never actually do it. Their reasons vary, but the reason I hear most often is, “It’s too expensive.” While it’s true that stocking up on supplies can cost a lot of money, that’s no reason to give up on prepping altogether. There are many […]

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Save Money with Increased Self-Sufficiency

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Becoming more self-sufficient can help you save money in so many different ways. Perhaps the original driving force behind becoming more self-reliant wasn’t money, but once you start developing skills and independence, it just might become a pleasant side effect.

Of course there are so many different ways to increase your self-sufficiency, and most of these aren’t going to happen overnight. But let’s take at five things that your great-grandparents probably did, and that you can do, too, in order to save money.

Grow it, keep it, use it and don't forget about the sun. Five tips for increasing self-sufficiency while saving money. Try the free solar calculator to find out what you need.

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Grow It Yourself

This is DIY, except with food! You can grow your own fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs. There are a variety of different ways that you can grow your own food, including planting your own vegetable garden, growing non-hybrid vegetables and harvesting your own seeds, and using square foot gardening techniques in order to grow a lot of food in very small spaces. You don’t need a hundred acres and a team of horses to grow your family’s food.

Want to get even more self-reliant and frugal? Homemade compost and composted manure are fabulously frugal, even if you need to get them from someone else. Just be sure to source your compost and manure locally.

Potatoes and winter squash, in my experience, grow with almost no attention, and a 10 pound bag of seed potatoes can easily become a hundred pounds or more of storage potatoes in your root cellar! The frugal way is to plant the potatoes that sprout over the winter.

Did you know that you can get varieties of many fruit trees that can grow in a large planter pot? What’s more frugal and self-reliant than an apple tree? Well, an orchard, to be honest. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is always ‘today’.

Frugal gardeners don’t like being bound to short growing seasons. Build a greenhouse, or pick up a kit that lets you put one together quickly.

Go Au Naturel

No, no, no – leave your clothes on. That’s not what I meant.

There are SO many ways that you can use renewable, natural resources in order to be more self-sufficient AND save a boatload of money.

Do you heat with wood? (If you can, you should.) Instead of buying split wood, buy it in chunks or even logs and split it yourself. As a comparison, we can buy 8′ lengths of hardwood logs for about $100 per cord. Split wood that is ready to age, though, is well over $300 per cord, and aged firewood – I don’t even want to ask anyone.

How about water? I realize that there are some areas where rainwater harvesting is restricted for a variety of reasons. (Just as not everyone is about to burn firewood) But if you CAN harvest your own rainwater, do it! Rainwater is great for watering your garden. That’s a common bit of advice. What you might not know, though, is that rainwater is soft water and therefore fabulous for washing your hair and for cooking dried beans! Just make sure you filter the water well if you’re using it for beans.

And then there is … the sun! It’s funny how often we ignore it because the sun is one of the best ways to increase your self-sufficiency in so many different ways. The most obvious, in my opinion, are solar panels.

I despise paying electricity bills. If you find yourself sending hundreds of dollars every month to the power company, and especially if you then deal with power outages throughout the year, you might be wondering if there’s a better way.

There is. Install solar panels and get a solar array set up for your home, and say goodbye to power bills. If it works for us, here in dark and cloudy Nova Scotia, where we average something like two hours of sunlight a day in December … it can work for you.

Try this fun, simple to use solar calculator!

The power of solar goes beyond solar electricity, though. Some people heat their homes entirely with solar heating panels, and solar water heaters do away with the cost of your electric or gas hot water tank. And don’t forget that retro-progessive, solar-power method of clothes drying – hanging them out on the line.

Grow it, keep it, use it and don't forget about the sun. Five tips for increasing self-sufficiency while saving money. Try the free solar calculator to find out what you need.

Be Like Old MacDonald

No matter where you live, you can probably figure out a way to raise some livestock. Even apartment dwellers can raise a few bunnies or rent a field and barn to raise some pigs.  Some of the most common small livestock are chicken and ducks, sheep, goats … and even bees. Chickens and ducks provide eggs, meat and manure. Goats or small cows give milk, pigs essentially turn compost into bacon, and bees make honey.

It goes farther, though. Goats and sheep (provided you have the right breeds) can provide you with materials for spinning, knitting and crochet. If you learn to spin wool into yarn, you can make some of your own blankets and clothing. Snuggle under a warm wool blanket on a cold winter’s night and you might think that you’ve discovered how to spin straw into gold!

Store It

There’s no sense going to the work of growing all of that food unless you know how to store it. If it’s possible, consider building a root cellar. Learning to can foods means that you can preserve a lot of what you grow or cook and enjoy it all year.

Use and Reuse

You’ve probably heard that slogan from World War II – Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. When you use and reuse whatever you can as much as possible, you reduce waste and find new and creative ways to do things. Not only does this increase your self-sufficiency, but it will save you a lot of money.

There are many ways that you can become more self-sufficient. Be conscious of alternative techniques to improve your health and well being, your impact on the environment, and your wallet, and you may find other ways to increase your self-reliance as well.

20 Things You Should Never Throw Away

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With all the garbage piling up in our landfills, everyone should take the time to recycle whatever they can. Especially if their local government provides recycling bins. But even if they don’t, it’s still worthing finding ways to recycle and upcycle used items, if only to save a little bit of money. Odds are, you’re […]

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Doomsday Preppers? You’ve GOT to be kidding me…

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This post was written exactly 4 years ago, on my Facebook page. I still stand by it. Rich Fleetwood – February 7, 2012 · Riverton · Watching “Doomsday Preppers” on NGC this evening, with an as objective as possible viewpoint. I’ve been doing this stuff myself for 20 years, and in my position and experience, with the […]

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Is Your Energy Bill Eating Too Much of Your Money

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Is your power bill out of control?

How do you get a lower energy bill when it is out of control?

It doesn’t matter where you live. I have a friend in South Africa who worries about her power bill, too. As we are moving from an off-grid cabin in the woods to an on-grid house that has never been renovated for energy efficiency, the thought of money trickling away through the power line is at the front of my mind! Where we live, there is no time-of-day billing, and we pay a base rate (somewhere around $10/month, I think) plus $0.148 per kilowatt hour, which gives us the second-highest electricity rates in Canada.

If you’re in Ontario, congratulations, you’re #1.

It’s no surprise that you’re trying to figure out ways to cut expenditures. The logical place to look is your living costs, and a major cost of living is your energy bill.

Most of us don’t receive our power bill and immediately think “Oh, well, that’s not too bad!” (Unless you’re totally on alternative energy like solar)  If you’re looking for some very actionable tips on a variety of utility bills, head over here. If your energy bill is much larger than it needs to be, you might be running it up in ways you don’t even notice.

Now who am I to tell you how to get your power bill down? Well, for three years we lived in an off-grid cabin in the woods and we learned how to make the most of our limited electricity. At the height of the summer, we had about 2kwh of electricity per day. Since moving our family of six to a 2800 square foot, 4 bedroom house on grid, we’ve gone to an extravagant 16 kwh daily. (We’re still getting used to living in this big house – that will go down!)

When you do things that waste energy, you’re also throwing away your money.

Decide you’re going to fervently find and address all the ways you’re leaking energy and money at home. The enjoyable result of your diligence will be some relief from those large electric bills!

Check out these hidden energy drains that eat up your funds (and I know you do at least one of them!)

Leaving your cell phone and electronic tablet chargers plugged in all the time

This might come as a shock but did you know that even if you don’t have your cell phone or tablet plugged in at the other end, these chargers are using energy?

Speaking of chargers, if you leave your cell phone charging after it reaches 100%, it continues to waste valuable energy. So, avoid plugging your cell phone in at night before you go to bed. If you do, it will be draining wasted electricity all night.

Not changing air filters often enough

Have you vowed to change your air conditioner/furnace filter monthly but then don’t do it? Your blower is trying to get precious warm or cool air to you through the vents. But the air can’t get through to be sent through your house if your filter is all clogged up with dust bunnies, pet hair, and dirt.

However you set reminders – your planner, your cell phone or Google emails – make sure that you’re reminded to change your filters on the first of every month.

If appliances don’t have to work hard to heat and cool, you’ll save dollars.

Using appliances that aren’t Energy Star

As you probably know, the Energy Star rating signifies reduced energy utilization to run the appliance, which is a good thing that saves you money.

Even though it probably isn’t economically feasible to run right out and replace all your major appliances with Energy Star appliances, it does make sense to replace old, worn-out appliances with Energy Star products. Insist on Energy Star products when you’re shopping for new appliances.

The seller of our new house included all of her appliances. They’re not old, but they’re not Energy Star. We’ll be keeping our eye out for sales!

Having standard incandescent light bulbs

Do you avoid compact fluorescent bulbs? If you were to replace the 3 most used lights in your home with LED or compact fluorescent bulbs, you would be pleasantly surprised with the results on your electric bill.

Here in Nova Scotia, if you qualify as low income (less than $30K annual income for a family of four, I believe), Efficiency Nova Scotia will replace all incandescent lights with LED without charge. Check to see if your local government has a similar program.

Appliances, gadgets, lamps, televisions, and more that stay plugged in all the time

Although it might be a hassle to unplug and plug in things frequently, the electric companies stress you can save some money if you only plug in items when you’re actually using them.

It might be a bit more exercise to plug and unplug things, like the coffeepot, toaster, lamps, televisions and the like. But you stand to save considerable energy and dollars if you do.

Water heaters set at too high a temperature

Sure, you like to take a hot shower, but does it have to be that hot? Think about the fact that if you set your water heater for 130 or 140F, then it is constantly trying to keep all of the water it holds at that temperature, not knowing when you’ll need the water. You can see how that would waste energy and cost you money.  And there is a increased chance of children or the elderly accidentally burning themselves.

Instead, reduce the temperature setting to 120 degrees. You’ll save quite a bit.

Of course, this only works if you have a gas or electric hot water heater. If you are heating your home with hot water (as is the case in my new house), the water is automatically heated by the furnace and arrives at your tap piping hot and anti-scald devices must be added to all taps and showerheads. In that case, lowering the temperature would reduce the effectiveness of your heat.

In fact, we will be looking into installing a small electric hot water tank to use during the summer – that way we can turn the furnace off entirely in the summer and keep the hot water tank at 120F instead of 160F+.

When it comes to saving costs to run your home, consider doing something about the above drains on your electricity and wallet. You’ll feel great when you do what you can to reduce your energy and budget expenditures every single day.

A lower energy bill makes everyone feel better.

SurvivalRing Radio Podcast – Show 103 – Jan. 20th, 2017

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Friday night’s  show is done…news of the day, homesteading tips, frugality, home security, and brain science…understanding how your brain responds to danger…and how to make it better. SurvivalRing Radio…we’re gonna make it out alive….catch the podcast here… http://www.freedomizerradio.com/blog/2017/01/survivalring-radio-01202016/ As always, you are invited to be part of the show every week, either calling in, emailing […]

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Start New Year with a New Family Budget

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Do you need a family budget that works for you this year? I can see you squirming. You’re not the only one. For singles, creating a budget is relatively easy. They tend to have a good handle on how much money they have coming in, and when tracking expenses, they only have their own to think about. Of course singles can overspend, too, but it’s at least a bit simpler to see where the income and outgo are. But creating a family budget is a whole new ball game. Most families have multiple sources of income, so it’s not as

30 Cheap and Brilliant Dollar Store Hacks

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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 […]

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More Food from the Wild and Your Yard – Graft Fruit Trees!

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LoquatVeneerGraft4

Despite a smashed thumbnail, the author bravely grafts a loquat tree in his food forest.

I once did a horticultural analysis of a property way out in the scrublands. The owner had good clean water, no real neighbors, a great location… and hot, fast-drying, mineral-poor sand that was really, really bad for gardening.

There was no couching it. I had to tell him: this area just won’t cut it for most of your planned annual gardening projects. It will barely support much in the way of fruit or nut trees.

What it did have was a decent amount of native American persimmon trees. They were dwarfed by drought and stress, but they were strong and alive. That said, I saw very few with fruit.

With antive persimmons you deal with a variety of drawbacks. Unlike their cultivated Japanese persimmon relations, they’re dioecious. That means you have male and female trees – and you need both to get fruit. The male won’t make fruit but it does provide the pollen that allows the females to fruit.

Japanese persimmons are self-fertile, plus they make hefty, sweet fruit that’s very worth growing. They’re also regularly grafted onto American persimmon rootstock.

Seeing the wild trees gave me an idea: why not use the existing trees as rootstock for Japanese persimmons? They’re already established and growing in poor soil, making them a perfect support for a higher-producing and delicious variety of improved persimmon!

Sometimes our first observations aren’t the best. You might see a crabapple with lousy fruit in your yard and think “I hate that thing! I’ll tear it out and plant a good apple in its place!”

Step back and think about it: maybe that tough tree is a resource you can use. With grafting you can go nip some twigs off good apple trees and just graft them onto the tree you don’t like. If it’s a happy and healthy mature tree, use it! If you can graft fruit trees, you can grow more food for less money.

Another interesting factoid to consider: you know those stupid ornamental pears people grow for the blooms? You can graft REAL pears onto them. There are folks doing that in California right now by illegally “guerilla grafting” street trees:

Doesn’t that change the landscape a bit? Ornamental trees are generally a non productive liability… productive trees are a serious asset. If you’ve got ornamental pears, plums, peaches, apples, etc… why not switch them up by grafting on some good varieties?

Grafting In Local Woods and Property

Here’s another thought for you.

In my neighborhood there are wild persimmons growing here and there around the block. Some of these are on empty lots and in unused property with absentee owners. We don’t know how bad things are going to get in the future so it makes sense to grow as much food as possible near our houses… even if that food is on other people’s land right now.

Wild persimmon fruit is only found on 50% of the trees (since the other half are male). That fruit is about 1″ in diameter, plus it’s astringent and seedy.

I have Japanese persimmons in my yard that make fruit that looks like this:

Hachiya1

That fruit is as large as a beefsteak tomato and just as delicious (if not more so).

Though the legalities are rather grey, I don’t think anyone would really mind if I were to take buds off my Japanese persimmon tree and graft them into the wild trees here and there around the neighborhood. People will find it rather puzzling, sure – but be upset by it? I doubt it. Heck, at the very worst all I’ve done is improve somebody’s tree. Hehhehheh.

Just thinking out loud here. In your local woods you may have quite a few trees growing which could be judiciously improved, turning them into fruit-production machines rather than marginally useful wild specimens.

Grafting Is Easy

I know what many of you are thinking: “All the above is nice, Dave… but I don’t know how to graft fruit trees!”

I understand that feeling. I was in your shoes for a long time. Grafting was something that seemed… complicated. Planting beans? No big deal. Drying fruit? Easy.

Grafting? OMIGOSHNO! THAT LOOKS HARD!

Well… it takes a little whittling experience (unless you go this route)… and a couple of decent tools… but it isn’t really hard. If you’d like a quick illustrated guide, click here. Though it states that wood should be dormant, I’ve been able to successfully graft in summer here in Florida, at least on loquat trees.

One of my favorite (and most successful) ways to graft is called “veneer grafting.” At my site you can see how I saved the genetics of an improved loquat tree hit by a string trimmer by grafting some of its buds onto some seedling loquats.

Don’t worry about messing up. We all mess up. There’s no harm in trying something new.

This spring I grafted a big, sweet improved plum onto a sour native plum tree. I did five grafts – one took:

WildPlumGraft1

The leaves on the grafted plum variety are about 10 times the size of the weenie leaves on its native plum host. The author finds this strangely hilarious.

Now, in the fall of the same year, that branch is about 3′ long. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to have it bear fruit this coming spring.

Get yourself a sharp pocketknife, some pruning shears, a roll of grafting tape and your courage… then start experimenting.

Grafting can help you get food from unproductive trees and lots – harness it and you’ll be just that much more prepared for an uncertain future.

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63 Practical Tips to Live a Frugal Life

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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 …

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5 Ways to Make Candles Last Longer

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Candles are both decorative and functional.  We tend to use more candles beginning in Thanksgiving and throughout the fall and winter seasons.  They give a great ambiance at the dinner table or throughout the house, and can be used as emergency lighting in a power outage. Soy candles are said to last longer than regular wax candles.  Quick tip:  For emergencies, choose long lasting candles, and don’t forget to store matches next to […]

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Gift Giving on a Budget

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The most memorable Christmas of my childhood was the year my parents bought the house where we grew up. They closed on it in September and, when Christmas time arrived, they had absolutely no money for presents. But my father had done a carpentry job, building a barn, and had the scrap wood from it. Mom had been taking on sewing jobs and had plenty of odd pieces of fabric. That year, we received the wooden toy box and doll bed that my children still play with, plus homemade doll clothes and blankets. Other gifts that have stood out are

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The Traps Retailers Use to Get You to Exceed Your Christmas Budget (and How to Avoid Them)

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traps-retailers-use-to-get-you-to-exceed-your-christmas-budget

As adults, we’ve all discovered the painful truth that it isn’t Santa Claus paying for the big stack of ever-more-expensive presents under the Christmas tree. It’s us, and we’ve learned … Read the rest

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Roll Your Own Cigars

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If you don’t see tobacco as important to survival, I feel for you.

I’ve been growing it for years (and you can too) and during the worst days of the crash, when I was unemployed, watching friend after friend go broke and seeing folks lose their homes right and left… a good cigar was one of the few simple pleasures that made things better, at least for 45 minutes or so.

That’s not to say I was rolling my own. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to master that skill – but this video has given me some hope that I will one day:

The packing of the interior seems to be where my attempts always fall short. I’ve noticed that the elasticity of the tobacco leaf on the interior wrapper also presents problems, though I’ve been working on hydrating it better and my last couple of attempts did quite a bit better.

Sometimes it’s “try, try again,” especially when you don’t have a teacher locally.

If you don’t think you can manage to roll cigars, you might try making your own pipe tobacco or even grinding snuff with a coffee grinder. That works really well and ladies totally dig the snorting and sneezing associated with this arcane pleasure.

If all else fails, it’s pretty easy to roll a cigarette, too, but I don’t go in for those. It just doesn’t pack the “awesome” that a cigar does.

Trust me, though: if SHTF, tobacco is going to be a highly desirable commodity, no matter how it’s processed or consumed. Learn to grow it, at least – then pray you can find a Cuban friend to roll it for you.

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Frugal Holiday Meals – Celebrate without breaking the bank!

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The idea of frugal holiday meals may sound like an oxymoron, because we’re usually talking expensive turkeys and extravagant abundance, but it really isn’t so impossible. No matter what holiday we’re talking about – from Thanksgiving to Christmas to Easter (or whatever other holidays your family celebrates) – an abundant celebration need not stretch your budget beyond its breaking point. Even when we stopped celebrating the commercial aspects of Christmas, I have always refused to let go of my big – okay, huge – Christmas dinner. I have always tried to follow my mother’s holiday tradition of having guests at our

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Freeze Your Buns November Update

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My goodness, have we been in our new home a full month? We still sometimes feel as though we’re rattling around in all of this space. Let’s see what has happened, at least regarding our heating fuel. Floors We pulled up carpet in the living room and the rug in the dining room. The boys decided to pull up the carpet in their own room – all by themselves. The dust and dirt and even mold that I found in a supposedly clean carpet makes me anxious for when we get the rest taken up. Unfortunately, bare wood floors are

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He’s alive…and part titanium! Plus, the very core of preparedness

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Me after no sleep after surgery…19 hours later…Advertisements I wrote the below about 6 hours ago while trying to find some semblance of sleep. Considered it a brain dump towards that goal, and found I needed to thank a lot of folks on Facebook who knew this surgery was hard-fought for, difficult to reach, and […]

50 Interesting Facts About Life In The Great Depression

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Although the Great Recession is officially over, our economic problems have just begun. Wall Street and the Federal Reserve essentially papered over the systemic problems that led to the stock market crash in 2008. They may have kicked the can down the road, but they are almost out of road. I believe shortly after the […]

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Your Getting Started Guide To Fall Gardening Like Your Life Depended On It: Part I

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I used to wait for spring with bated breath. I would watch for a good day for tilling, go out and buy a bunch of transplants and seeds, and then have a wild and crazy weekend tearing up the earth and putting everything in the ground.

Thinking ahead? Naw… I had Spring fever! I wouldn’t think much about gardening until the seed catalogs started arriving… and then I would mostly browse and dream.

My nice garden beds were a good supplement to our diet but they weren’t a huge part of it. I was playing around with pretty beans and purple peppers, a few garlic plants, an heirloom corn I wanted to try… but it was haphazard and not planned for a long-term food security situation.

About a decade ago I realized how shaky the world was getting and knew things had to change. I also realized that just tearing up the ground and tossing fertilizer around wasn’t the way to ensure our piece of land was going to be healthy and strong enough to grow all of what we might need in a crash.

Even if you do work hard to build the soil, growing “all you need” is a tall order and it’s one even I haven’t reached yet… though every year I get closer. In 2015 I hit 1,000lbs of produce from our gardens (counting the random produce my children ate before it hit the scale) for the first time and the curve keeps going up.

The reason? I now work on preparing year-round by clearing and digging new patches of land, producing compost, planting fruit and nut trees and testing crops to find varieties that will go through the cold, the heat, the pests and the many diseases that want to rob us of our gardening sweat and toil. Much of this knowledge and experimentation culminated in my Survival Gardening Secrets course.

This fall, Chet and I want you to get ahead of the curve and get growing on a larger scale that takes less money out of your pocket and puts more produce on your table.

Here’s how you can build a fall garden – and an upcoming spring garden that will keep you fed through the year.

Let’s start with chickens.

Chickens Are Gardening Machines

When you pull out the gnarled remains of your summer tomatoes and squash, why not let chickens do the hard work of preparing your fall garden plots?

Get a good chicken tractor or fenced area in place around that plot and let those claw-footed tilling and manuring machines go!

My friend Larry built this simple chicken tractor for about $150:

He raises a good portion of his large family’s meat in there while improving his lawn. If you did the same thing with a garden plot, you’ll reap the benefits of all that turning and manuring. Chickens will compost in place while ridding your garden plot of stinkbugs and cutworms. I’ve pulled out a mess of spent vegetable plants from a garden bed and have been amazing to see just how many destroying insects are crawling around in the suddenly uncovered shade area beneath the brown stalks. Chickens turn those pests into eggs!

While this is a GREAT approach if you have a flat lawn, this sucker gets real heavy to pull through loose garden soil, up hills, in and around tightly planted Orchards or over raised Garden beds, which is why Chet Created these plans for a more light weight Chicken Tractor:

The Ultimate Portable Chicken Tractor

(Chet’s Chicken Tractor Blueprints Can Be Purchased Here)

Paul Gautschi of Back To Eden fame has a different approach. He uses his chickens to make good soil in their pen, which he then sifts and takes to his garden beds. If you have a big problem with predators snagging your Kentucky Fried goodness, this is another approach worth considering:

Kill the Weeds While the Sun Shines

I used to avoid using plastic in my gardens. Then I discovered its power for weed killing and I haven’t looked back.

If you have an area you’d like to garden but you haven’t gotten around to tilling it yet, summer and fall are the time to use the remaining heat of the sun to get it ready for later.

Get yourself some thick sheets of clear plastic and put them over the area. Pin down the edges with rocks or logs and let the sun create a weed-destroying greenhouse effect that will kill what you don’t want without removing the good biomass of all those weeds. They’ll bake and put humus into the soil beneath that plastic, then you can get out there and loosen the soil with a broadfork (this one from Meadow Creature is my favorite) or spading fork, then get planting when you’re ready.

When you till you turn up a lot of seeds that are waiting in the ground. When you kill with tarps this is less of a problem. I used to prefer black plastic until I saw some tests that were done side-by-side. Now I’m in the clear plastic camp.

An Alternate Approach

If you want to kill the weeds and really improve the soil long-term (and if you don’t have a big problem with pests like snails and slugs in your area), sheet-mulching is a good approach. The downside of sheet mulching is how much material it takes to cover a large area. If you have a friend with a tree-trimming company, great. If not, it’s not easy to get everything you need.

I successfully knocked out a persistent patch of Bermuda grass by putting down a double layer of cardboard and then stacking a foot of tree company mulch on top of it for a year. Back when I tilled that same area I had a very hard time keeping the grass from invading my beds and sapping the life from my tender domesticated vegetables.

Get Digging

One of my favorite ways to improve the tilth of the soil and reduce the water needs of my crops is to deeply double-dig garden beds. This is hard work but it’s good work. If you double-dig a garden area it adds more oxygen to the soil, improves the drainage and helps your crops delve deeply with their roots so they can get what they need in the soil.

I once did a test where I created a perfect square foot garden bed and a double-dug bed in sand that had only been amended with a half-inch of compost on top. The double-dug bed gave us about the same yields but needed a lot less watering. It also ate up a lot less compost, as a “proper” square foot bed is 1/3 finished compost. That’s too much pile-turning for me!

If you dig a garden bed well and then don’t step on it, it can stay loose and friable for a year or more. Pick areas where you can expand your garden beds while you’re planting your main beds in the fall, then get digging. If you’re not going to plant them right away, cover the area with tarps – or even better – woven plastic professional landscape “fabric” and then they’ll be ready to go when you need them. You can also dig beds and plant them with bags of beans, peas, rye, buckwheat, lentils, fava beans, chick peas, mustard or wheat seed from a local organic grocery store with the bulk bins. That’s a cheap way to cover the ground to keep out weeds while improving the soil at the same time. Sometimes I make a big seed mix from these bins, scatter it on the ground and rake ‘em in. As a bonus, you often get a bit to eat from these beds.

Double-digging is time consuming but when you dig a bed here and there on nice days, you’ll find eventually that you have a lot of long-term space in which to plant.

Get Composting Now

Composting used to be a chore for me. Now that I’ve realized Nature doesn’t care all that much about turning and aerating and that jazz, I’m having a lot more fun. After over a decade of extreme composting experiments, I even wrote a popular book on it. I’ve composted meat, sewage, pasta, paper and all kinds of other naughty things and my gardens just keep getting better and better. There are two main ways I compost without much work.

The first way is to choose a garden bed that I think could use some help and then start piling up compostable materials there, like this:

The other way is even cooler. It’s borrowed from the Koreans and isn’t anything like most compost most Westerners have seen.

All you do is find materials you want to compost and throw them in a barrel of water to rot down and ferment. I pick highly nutritional items such as urine, manure, moringa, seawater and comfrey to start with, then add whatever else I have around. Like this:

That looks insane but it works.

Let that rot for a few months and then thin it out as a liquid fertilizer for your gardens. It’s the bomb and it grows some danged good corn. Corn is needy, so if that crop likes it… imagine how the others will do!

On the downside, it smells horrible. Get a clothespin for your nose and don’t worry about it. And don’t pour it right on anything you’re about to eat. That’s nasty. It’s best for the establishment phase of a garden up until a few weeks before harvest. It’s also powerful growing magic for fruit trees.

One thing you absolutely DON’T want to do is buy compost or manure for your gardens.

Why? Because a lot – and I mean a LOT – of compost, manure and straw now contains persistent long-term herbicides that will utterly wreck your beds for a year or more. Don’t believe me?

Just ask Karen about her tomatoes.

Yikes.

I’ve read a lot of stories like this now and it happened to some of my own beds almost 5 years ago. Don’t let it happen to you.

BONUS IDEA: Plant Fruit Trees!

Fruit trees are really cheap compared to their potential yields.

What is an organic pear worth? Maybe $2? Imagine getting 400 of those from a tree you paid $25 for! That beats the heck out of most investments. Yet many of us don’t want to wait the 5-10 years it takes for impressive yields on fruit trees.

I used to feel that way… and then I got older. I plant on being here in a decade. Don’t you? Then get planting.

Plant more fruit and nut trees than you ever think you’ll need. Every fall, plant more. Go, drop $500 on fruit trees. Seriously. Get them in the ground, mulch around them, water them for the first year or two… and then, each spring as you plant your new garden beds, watch them wake up and grow. Eventually they’ll bear a few beautiful fruit. And then more and more and more. You can dry and preserve them. You can turn them into wine or hard liquor with a still. You can barter with them. You can fatten pigs on the fruit that falls. You can make incredible pies and cobblers, serve your children sun-ripened apples and peaches.

Look – just do it. Don’t wait to plant. Plant now and in the future you’ll look back and thank the “you” that is reading this right now.

Conclusion

We haven’t even covered all the potential vegetables you can plant in a fall garden yet… but what I’ve shared in this post will hopefully get you thinking long-term about your survival gardening plans. Get those chickens working. Get those weeds torched. Dig some new beds. Start some batches of compost. When you have the proper groundwork in place, your cabbages and turnips will almost grow themselves.

And so will the purple peppers (shh!).

Want More Survival Gardening Ideas?

Grab a copy of my Survival Gardening Secrets course that teaches you how to grow enough food to feed your family, even after the gardening centers close and you can no longer buy seeds, fertilizers, or pesticides to keep your garden alive.

Click here to access Survival Gardening Secrets

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The Reality of 2 Weeks of Food Storage

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The thought of food storage can be very overwhelming, especially if you are new to being self sufficient. You have just realized the need for food-storage and the dangers of what is happening in the world. So now what are you going to do about it? You may find some very good answers in the video below.

The best answer that I have is research and lots of it. You Tuber ObessivePrepperAz shares her thoughts on an easy and affordable way to start off making sure you have two weeks’ worth of food. She walks you through how to calculate food storage for your family and points out some very helpful hints.

However, ObsessivePrepperAZ is just touching on the bare minimum you will need in her video, but by adding things like rice or noodles to some of your storage you can turn one can of soup into a pot of stew. Her tips and secrets are very helpful for a beginner prepper.

She focuses on how many cans of Campbell Chunky Soup you would need for one meal a day. One of her viewers suggested a very effective way to stretch those cans to feed four people 2 or 3 meals per day. That is a LOT more than one can of soup for one person.

“Tip: Double that food storage with one bag of rice, one bag of dried potatoes, and two packs of cubed bullion. Take two cans of that chunky soup, add I cup rice OR potatoes, and a bullion, add at least 3 cups water; make it into a large pot of stew. Feeds four, 2-3 meals per day. Stew is salvation.”

We hope you enjoy her suggestions and please feel free to comment some of your tips and advice to help the newbies!! We all have to help each other become reliant on ourselves.

The Reality of 2 Weeks of Food Storage

 

The post The Reality of 2 Weeks of Food Storage appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Money Mondays: Should You Keep Receipts?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com One of the challenges of staying organized in a small space is dealing with receipts.  Receipts from purchases, bank transactions seem to keep multiplying and cluttering up pockets, wallets and purses.  It is tempting to just get rid of them.  However, I have found you need to keep receipts for a certain period of time before discarding them. Dealing with receipts: Cash machine transactions:  When I use the ATM I keep them for […]

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Unplug and Save

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Have you ever heard that you can save a whole lot on your energy bill just by unplugging your unused appliances? But really, how much could you possibly save by unplugging everything when you’re done using it? 
Just how much money can you save by unplugging appliances? More than you might think.
If it’s not in use can it really be using that much energy? Well, you’d be surprised at just how much energy you can save simply by unplugging those unused appliances.

What Draws the Most Energy

Your TV and coffee maker which are powered down individually might not draw that much energy, but all of these electrical appliances together are still drawing power and can add up to 10% to your electric bill each month. And in general the biggest drains on your power even when they are powered down is any device with a remote control.
Also anything with an external power supply, a charger (for your phone or gaming device), anything with a continuous display (an alarm clock, microwave, or oven with a digital clock), laptop computers, and cable boxes (especially with an integrated DVR) are all huge offenders. They use an average of 9 watts to 44 watts of electricity even when powered down.

Older appliances will use less power when not in use because they aren’t doing anything.

A washing machine without a digital display has nothing to power when not in use. But of course the older appliances then have the unfortunate fate of not being energy efficient when they are in use.

The drawing of power when appliances are not in use is something that is beginning to become a thing of the past.

Many newer TVs and electronics are drawing less energy when turned off because of energy star guidelines.

How to Know Which Appliances to Unplug

Obviously you can’t unplug everything when it’s not in use. Your alarm clock is probably something you need to keep plugged in at all times unless you switch to a manual alarm clock. Your cable box with the DVR in it is set to record things at certain times, so unplugging it might cause you to miss your scheduled recordings.
Your refrigerator and programmable coffeemaker are obviously appliances that are completely useless should you unplug when they aren’t in use – in particular your refrigerator. For these appliances the best way to save on your energy cost is to make sure you check the energy star ratings. You will need to check for the standby ratings on the item before you purchase it.
Of course there is one other option – get rid of your refrigerator. Yes, it’s possible.
But the TV and DVD player and your computer are all items which can be unplugged when not in use. Probably the easiest way to accomplish unplugging these items is to have them attached to a power strip which has an on/off switch. Flip the switch when you’re done using the items. And with a quick flip of the switch you can power everything back up.

We are off-grid and count every watt of power. Because of this, we turn off everything at night. Yes, quite literally, we turn off all the power for the house! Obviously, we don’t have any appliances that need to draw energy continuously.

One thing we have learned, if you are turning off your entire computer system, is to turn them back on in a certain order. First, turn your modem back on. Then, once it has booted up completely, turn your router back on. Finally, turn on your computer.

You likely aren’t going to see huge savings, but you should see a 5-10% decrease in your electric bill if you begin turning off all appliances and devices when they are not in active use. And just think about what would happen if all of your neighbors cut back and unplugged from the wall. The effect it would have on the environment as a whole would truly be impressive. 
And with something so simple, who wouldn’t want to save even $5 a month on their electric bill?

Budgeting – and following a budget – seems like it should be easy. Unfortunately, too many of us struggle with it. Like the tiny bits of electricity that add up on our monthly bills, the money seems to trickle away, untracked and unaccounted for.

The skills can be easily mastered, but most people have not been taught the basics of personal finance. Make no mistake – frugality and personal finance is something that can and should be taught!

Enroll in Common Cents and join me for a 16 week course that will take you from budgeting through mortgages and identity theft. Each week includes videos, slides, printable affirmations and of course a detailed lesson. A private Facebook group provides ongoing support and training for all students.

Enroll today in Common Cents!

Could you handle economic collapse?

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Welcome! You’re concerned about the economy and I have to say – I don’t blame you. No matter where you live in the world, the news is unsettling. Countries are going bankrupt, currencies are collapsing and there is no sign that anything is going to be improving soon.
We don't like thinking about the possibility of economic collapse, but it is increasingly likely as the world economic system destabilizes. Be prepared and survive.
When the economy begins taking a turn for the worst, knowing what to do to survive is absolutely essential, and this can change depending on the conditions you find yourself in.
In any scenario, though, saving up enough money and resources for basic sustenance is the first step. This preparation will reduce your dependency on your job and grocery stores.
Ideally, with zero income, your existing savings should be enough to sustain you for at least six months, and even then, it would be better to be able to rely upon alternative income sources to generate additional earnings.
Economic collapse - could you handle it? As currencies collapse and countries face bankruptcy, this is a reality many of us should prepare for.

When the Government Takes a Nose-Dive, Don’t Follow!

These preparations will enable you to stay afloat and even prosper in the worst financial conditions:

Consider your current lifestyle in terms of your future

Do you and your family spend money like there’s no tomorrow? If you do, when tomorrow does come, you’re likely to find it particularly difficult. Making a few changes now can vastly strengthen your situation.
Start thinking about what’s really essential for you and your family and budget for these things. Once you have these necessities taken care of, then you can include non-essential luxuries in your budget.
Look for ways to supplement your income and save even more. If there’s anything that you can be certain about, it’s that you surely can’t have too much money for the difficult times that may be looming ahead.

Accumulating gold and silver is particularly smart since the current currency may yield little to no value in a failed economy.
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Stockpile essentials

Having the basics, like food, water, and tools, will enable you to survive. Having extra to sell or trade will help you prosper.

Ensure you’re sufficiently stocked up on food supplies, water, hygiene items, and other basic necessities.
If you can purchase a piece of land outside the city, especially one with a fresh water supply, you’ll have access to, and the means to produce more, fresh food and water.


Strengthen your survival skills

Survival skills are things like living off the land and natural medicine. Your community may offer inexpensive classes to increase your knowledge and skills.
In an economic collapse, these skills will not only help you survive, but others will gladly pay for your services as well.
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Don’t be a lone wolf!

While the urge for you to “go it alone” may be really strong, the truth is that surviving all by yourself will indeed be a difficult and cumbersome task. This is something that I have repeated over and over again.
Historically, humans have always flourished the best when they worked together.

Being able to work together with others will be among the most important survival skills that you can have at your disposal.
Strengthen your bonds with your friends or neighbors and make plans together. For example, you could stockpile complementary items to share. Take note of the different skillsets among those you know and trust.
As cold as the world may become prior to an economic collapse, your kindness and compassion towards others will certainly pay you dividends you would’ve never expected otherwise!
Yes, you can survive – and even prosper – if the country suffers a financial collapse. Starting on these preparations now will give you greater confidence in your ability to provide for your family in the years to come.

5 Things You Need to Know About Debt

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Welcome! It’s so wonderful to see you. 

These days everyone is looking for ways to reduce debt and save money, and you are likely just like the rest of us – wondering how you can make that happen in your life. It is certainly possible to wipe out your existing debt and learn how to live your life within your means.

If you want to get out of debt, you need to know your enemy. Here are five things that you need to know about dealing with debt.

Here are five tips that will help you on your way to debt free living

Stop using credit cards

One of the leading factors in the current economic crisis is people buying things on credit they cannot afford. The next thing they know, they find themselves unable to do anything more than make minimum monthly payments.

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 Minimum payments will keep you in debt because every month interest continues to accrue on your original balance. A $1,000 balance on a typical credit card can take 22 years to pay off if you make only the minimum monthly payments!
·Don’t fall into the trap of credit card debt. Instead, avoid the hassle and expense by paying cash for the things you buy. If you want a big-ticket item, save the cash before you make the purchase. Only buy when you can afford to pay for the item in full before you bring it home.

Credit cards have their uses and I use one. It is extremely difficult to run an online business without one. But if you cannot pay your credit card off in full each month, set it aside and use cash at least until you have your finances under control.

Need to learn more about Saving, Making and Managing Money? You need Common Cents!

It's possible to get rid of debt and live within your means, but first you must know what you're dealing with. Here are five things that you need to know about debt.

Buy luxury items with cash

We all have extras and luxuries we want, but using credit to get them is a dangerous path to take. You’ll get much greater enjoyment from the extras in your life when you pay cash, rather than ongoing monthly payments.
Nothing takes the excitement out of a new toy or nice vacation more than the large payments that strain your budget month after month.

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Create a realistic budget that includes debt repayment

The first step in gaining control over your debt is creating a workable budget. Rather than stifling you, a budget can bring you freedom! You’ll know where your money goes and you’ll set a spending plan so you can continue buying the most important things in your life.
Your budget should take into consideration all facets of your lifestyle, including housing, food and household items, utilities, savings, recreation and debt repayment.
If your budget doesn’t include room for debt repayment, there will never be enough money to pay off your debt. Take control of your financial reality by working with a realistic budget every month. Before long, you’ll see your debt diminishing while your savings grow.

Need to learn more about Saving, Making and Managing Money? You need Common Cents!

Seek the help of a professional credit counselor, accountant or financial planner

The best way to be sure you’re making sound financial decisions is to seek out the help of a financial professional.
Credit counselors, financial planners and accountants are experts in the areas of savings, debt repayment, investments and tax deductions.
Implement each of these areas into your finances to eliminate financial strain and secure a stable financial future.

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Negotiate better rates with the banks or credit card companies

Many people assume they have no choice but to accept the interest and finance rates offered by their banks and credit card companies, but that isn’t always the case!
Talk to the people at your financial institutions. You may be surprised at how willing they are to budge.
If your credit is in good shape or you’ve made steady, progressive strides to improve it, you may be able to get lower interest rates on your debts.
You might also receive higher interest rates on your savings, giving you a double shot at eliminating your debt entirely and moving forward with your finances in a positive direction.
You can repair your debt problems and learn to avoid creating them in the future. These five steps will point you in the right direction and get you started on a new path to financial freedom and prosperity!

Money Mondays: If You Don’t Have a Job, Make One Up

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 Written by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper This article first appeared in The Organic Prepper With unemployment rates skyrocketing, going out and finding a new job can be nigh on to impossible these days.  This is only going to get trickier as the government continues to force businesses to increase the minimum wage. Workloads that used to provide employment to two people are now forced onto one. The work performed gets shoddier as the one employed person struggles to keep […]

The post Money Mondays: If You Don’t Have a Job, Make One Up appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

17 Urgent Preps For Under $100

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If you’re reading this, you no doubt want to be prepared in case of a widespread disaster. But if you’re like most people, you probably don’t have a lot of money. Hopefully you can come up with $100, but how prepared can you actually get with so little money? More than you think. Although you […]

The post 17 Urgent Preps For Under $100 appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Money Mondays: Can a Crisis Like Venezuela’s Happen Here?

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  This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com You can’t help but feel bad about the citizens of Venezuela, as they suffer under miserable economic conditions:  People waiting in lines all night and day to buy basic necessities, formerly middle class people having to hunt dogs and cats in their neighborhood for their next meal, with widespread rioting and looting. But can it happen here?  This post certainly got my attention Coming Destruction? Alan Greenspan Warns “Venezuela Under Martial Law […]

The post Money Mondays: Can a Crisis Like Venezuela’s Happen Here? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

On a Frugal Grocery Budget? The Prices of These 10 Foods Have Skyrocketed in the Past Year

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With the crazy instability of the economy these days, nearly everyone has a frugal grocery budget as they struggle to cut expenses where they can. Those of us who are … Read the rest

The post On a Frugal Grocery Budget? The Prices of These 10 Foods Have Skyrocketed in the Past Year appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Learn About 5 Habits Of Successful People To Become One

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habits of successful peopleSuccess is not a destination. Success is achieved on a daily basis and our routines go a long way towards determining our ability to achieve our most important goals. But how exactly should we go about that? Perhaps people that have already proven to be extraordinary individuals can teach us something on the topic. We have listed five habits they stand by for, and perhaps by adopting them you too can become a high achiever! Read on to learn more:

1. Don’t Be Scared To Read

Reading is sometimes considered to be the exclusive domain of the nerd, but highly successful people typically make time to enjoy a good book or simply read up on a topic that they are not already familiar with. Bill Gates makes sure to read for at least an hour a day, while Mark Cuban believes that reading for three hours a day is a key to his success. By reading, we are able to learn more about the past mistakes of others, as books provide us with a road map to steer clear of these errors. If your excuse is that they’re too expensive, look into Discountrue coupons and you will discover that you’re able to shop at many popular stores such as Kohl’s or Abebooks on a budget.

2. Getting Up Early

It can often seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day and if you are not waking up in a timely fashion, time slips away even more easily. Getting up early is difficult, which is why it is important to lay the proper groundwork. Don’t fall into the habit of looking at screens before bed, as this affects circadian rhythms. Don’t use your snooze button and be sure to make a to do list to start off your day with.

3. Avoid Becoming a Couch Potato

Even though a successful person can easily afford to obtain cosmetic surgery or other treatment if they’ve let themselves get out of shape, they will typically do everything in their power to take care of themselves. Why is that? A successful person knows that achieving their goals starts with the proper fitness and dietary regimen. Regular exercise keeps the mind sharp and allows us to click on all cylinders.

4. Working When You Don’t Want To

Spoiler alert: successful people do not always want to work. The difference between someone who is successful and someone who is not? Their willingness to push through these types of emotions and force themselves to work anyway. The next time you are not in the mood to work, push yourself for an extra 15 minutes. It’s a great way to develop positive momentum.

5. Keep Distractions To A Minimum

Checking e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, these are all massive drains on our time. A successful person checks their e-mail and their social media accounts, but they do not keep tabs open and do not monitor them constantly. The best course of action is to set aside a designated period each day to check in on them, so that you are not wasting valuable work time.

The post Learn About 5 Habits Of Successful People To Become One appeared first on American Preppers Network.

25 Prepper Items To Look For at Flea Markets and Thrift Stores

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If you’re interested in preparedness, flea markets and thrift stores can be goldmines. Everyday, people clean out their garages or attics and give away things they don’t want, completely unaware that many of the items they donate are valuable to preppers. These items end up in secondhand stores […]

The post 25 Prepper Items To Look For at Flea Markets and Thrift Stores appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Dollar Store Prepping

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Dollar Store Prepping

Most of us don’t have a ton of extra income, so when it comes to prepping, it often takes a back seat to every day expenses. After all, Jay Leno used to have a segment called “Things found at the dollar store”. There were creepy toys, and my favorite, a small toilet, that when you lifted the lid, had lip gloss in it!

 

 

 

Dollar store items are often overruns, have minor defects, and often are major brands. Here is a list of things to look for in dollar stores.

  • Over the counter medications. Why spend five dollars or more when you can get aspirin. Acetaminophen, allergy medications, Imodium, triple antibiotic cream, (We even found some with zink and some with silver.) and more for a dollar! Here is where a smart phone comes in handy. You know that for a dollar you aren’t going to get 100 pills, sometimes only a few, so check the prices and compare with other stores.
  • Band-Aids, gauze, tape, elastic support bandages, wrist, ankle and knee supports. Don’t forget the icy hot muscle relaxing pads. I keep them in my suitcase, for when I overdo when I travel, and my bug out bag, too.
  • Security items: Door stops can keep, or delay people from entering a door. I use them in hotels as well as putting Band-Aids over hotel room peep holes so no one can spy on you.
  • Board games. Yep, checker, backgammon, playing cards, and balls. Boredom is bad, especially when there are kids.
  • Hoola hoops and jump ropes are good exercise in a small space, like a bunker or a tent.
  • Clothes line is good for more than clothes.
  • Plastic tubs galore! Good for storage, washing yourself in, washing clothes and dishes…
  • Buckets
  • Cleaning supplies of all kinds.
  • Zip lock and other plastic bags
  • Blanket and garment storage bags.. not very thick but they keep the bugs out.
  • Duct tape, electrical tape, wire, nails and screws, screwdrivers and wrenches, flashlights, little pocket fans, garbage bags.
  • Small bags and even kid sized backpacks.
  • Food! I have found tuna, salmon and spam in foil pouches, which are great for bug out bags. Protein in a lightweight, slim pouch.
  • Boxed milk. Yes, it’s real and tastes good. Their expiration dates are months away, unlike regular milk, does not require refrigeration, but don’t get them hot, and they even last longer in the fridge when opened.   I keep it around for when I don’t  want to make a trip to the store.
  • Condiments: all kinds can be found here including sea salt, mustard with turmeric, hot sauce, spaghetti and sauces, parmesan cheese, ( check the cellulose levels ) spices..food boredom is bad for people in survival mode. Ever gone to the kitchen hungry and just didn’t want anything you had on hand? That’s food boredom. So when you prep, remember to get a huge variety of things you and/or your family, eat every month, like Mexican, Asian, Italian. Juices, powder drink additives..avoid ones with equal! (aspartame) and spices to pep the taste buds.
  • Clothes: Think socks, gloves, and hats.
  • Little miniature cloth wash cloths shrunk to the size of a small block, that when placed in water, spooing! (often called towels and have cartoon and super heroes on them.)
  • Pets: Food, collars, leashes, litter, pee pads. Which are great for kennel liners.

We have seen lots of brand name food and merchandise at dollar stores, sometimes it was made for a foreign country and did not sell well. We have gotten t-shirts, towels, lots of kitchen stuff, aluminum pans.

The cooking bags you sometimes see during the holidays can be used as crock pot/pot liners for easy cleanup. Really good when water is in short supply.

And speaking of the Holidays..seasonal items are always a time to get deals, like nuts for cheap, $1.00 solar yard lights, etc.

 

Things not worth getting:

  • Potting soil, you get about 5lbs for a dollar when Lowes and Home depot have 20lbs for less than $3.00.
  • Seeds..I have bought them several times and never had anything produce. So, poor quality seeds.

Never knew you could get so much eh? And different locations of the same stores will often have different items, check out stores around you and when you travel. Dollar Tree stores have where you can order cases online, and have them shipped for store pickup, for free.

Now grab those dollars and go shopping!

Guest post by Gwen!!

The post Dollar Store Prepping appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Foodie Friday: Snow Day Edition

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Welcome to Foodie Friday, snow day edition!

This feature will be chock-full of all things food related: news, preservation, and delicious real food recipes.  As always, I really hope you’ll share your links and ideas in the comments below. As well, we’ll have a question of the week on each Foodie Friday post.

Cookbooks

How are you going to use the ingredients in your food stockpile? If you are new to preparedness or using the pantry principle to save money, check out The Prepper’s Cookbook. It’s loaded with ways to use up your beans and rice, tuna, and dehydrated foods.

Do you have a grain-free kitchen?  More and more people are going lower-carb and reducing their consumption of grains. I got Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple for Christmas and I absolutely love it. Since my family is not Paleo, specifically, I adapt the recipes that use alternative milks to use the raw milk I have at my disposal.

Foodie Friday News

GMO Potatoes will soon be on the market. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll soon have another genetically modified food to dodge. The USDA and the FDA have put their stamps of approval on a new spud, modified so that it doesn’t brown or bruise. The potato was engineered for use in fast food restaurants and potato chips. Thus far, there is no evidence that these taters are in your local supermarket, but I have little doubt they’ll soon appear in a processed food aisle near you.

Imported shrimp raised on pig feces approved for American consumers.  Remember the outcry recently when Congress decided we had no right to know the country of origin for meat sold in American grocery stores?  Well, here’s another reason you might want to know where your food is coming from. Just approved for our consumption is a special shrimp from Vietnam. The shrimp are fed a diet of pig poop, then tossed into tubs of ice made from water so dirty that the local government advises consumers to boil it before drinking it. Then, the shrimp are packaged and sent here to us. Bon appetit.

Has your favorite food brand sold out?  It seems like there are a million different brands at the grocery store, but the sad fact is, many of the brands you find out there are simply different labels from a handful of parent corporations. Check out this article to see if your favorite brand is part of a conglomeration that may lobby against GMO labeling (because they use GMOs) or have otherwise questionable business ethics.

Food Preservation

What’s better than a piping hot bowl of stew in the winter?  You don’t have to get a grocery store can of soup with questionable ingredients to enjoy stew as quickly as you can heat it up in a pot. Learn to can your own, using healthful ingredients you know you can trust. One of our family favorites is home-canned Hungarian Goulash. Check out the easy instructions here. (This recipe is from my book, The Organic Canner.)

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Does a big canning marathon seem overwhelming? I love canning but it can be time-consuming, messy, and a whole lot of work! Here are 15 sneaky tricks to make a canning marathon go a lot more smoothly.

Here’s a quick, thrifty way to add shelf stable veggies to your stockpile. Many preparedness pantries are lacking a sufficient supply of vegetables. The freeze-dried ones can be prohibitively expensive. This time of year, many frozen vegetables go on sale at the grocery store, but in a power outage, those would be at risk within a day. The solution? Dehydrate frozen veggies that you pick up at the store. Here’s how.

What to Eat This Week

What should you eat if the power goes out? With a huge storm bearing down on the Eastern United States, it’s a good bet that some folks will lose power. If you don’t have a back-up cooking method, you’re going to want food that you can eat immediately, without the need for cooking. Here’s a list of some of our favorite no-cook foods.

After playing in the snow, warm up with rich homemade hot cocoa.  Don’t touch those little packets. Making hot cocoa from scratch only takes a couple of extra steps. This recipe is positively decadent and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand. (You can substitute whatever mik and sugar that you use in your home.)

Or, make fancy coffee. If you’re like me, coffee is your favorite cold weather beverage. But please, skip the unhealthy grocery store creamers. Instead, be your own barista and make one of these 25 tasty and non-toxic homemade creamers.

Have you made homemade noodles yet?  If not, you’re totally missing out. Not only are they absolutely delicious, but when you make them yourself, you’re guaranteed to have food with wholesome ingredients. Here’s an easy 4 ingredient recipe with flour and this one is a gluten free recipe without all of the weird gums.

Do you have a bread recipe that uses only food storage ingredients?  In the event you can’t get to the store for a while, it’s important to have recipes that use the shelf-stable ingredients that you have on hand. This incredibly easy, mouthwatering artisan bread uses only 5 common pantry ingredients. For diabetics or others who are avoiding grains, here’s a unique and easy grain-free bread recipe – you’ll want to stock up on the supplies to make this one!

It’s a homemade stew kind of weekend.  Wherever you happen to be this weekend, it looks like the weather will range anywhere from chilly to downright BRRRR….this simple real food beef stew will provide a comforting and delicious meal to warm you to your little pink toes. Serve it over homemade noodles or with one of the homemade bread recipes above.

Products

Are you looking for a high quality cocoa for your food storage? Look no further. Check out Frontier’s Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Powder.

Got milk?  Unless you have a dairy animal, you may want to store some powdered milk for emergencies. Unfortunately much of the dry milk available is from cows treated with hormones and antibiotics, so it’s important to shop carefully. Food for Liberty offers some very high quality options. They offer a certified hormone-free choice as well as a premium organic one, depending on your budget. Both are offered in larger quantities at better prices, too.

Foodie Friday Sound-off: What is your favorite cold-weather meal?

This week’s Foodie Friday question: When the snow flies and the mercury drops, what is your favorite thing to make to warm up your family?

Somehow, an entire dozen muffins vanished at my house during the night, and I’m not sure if it was teenagers or the dog, so it looks like I’ll be doing some more baking in a few minutes. Are you doing some scratch cooking or food preserving this week?

Dish with me in the comments below!

The post Foodie Friday: Snow Day Edition appeared first on The Organic Prepper.