Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Prepping with no cash

Economic news is so grim I want to go on a shopping spree to prep! What a crummy time for my husband to be unemployed, when I want to prep.

-I got a bag of charcoal for free when I bought sausage for dinner. I already have some heavy-duty tinfoil, and I finally got my hands on an empty copy-paper box so I can make an outdoor oven, I need to find a few wire hangers to finish up collecting supplies for making an outdoor oven. I don't think I'm going to make it right now, just put the materials together. Here's some examples.

-I got 50 pounds of chicken feed FOR FREE! I asked at the feed store if they had any ripped bags that I could buy for a discount, and he gave me two 25# bags!! Gotta check more frequently!

-I want to get our propane tank filled soon, although when I think about how little meat we eat, I think I can leave that task for "last." I really do want to fill my 5-gal gasoline can. I'd like to be able to keep the car's gas tank full, and also keep the 5-gallon in the garage (rotating it out, of course). Five gallons is better than nothing, I guess. Gas here fell to $2.55. When I started driving, gas was always .79, .89, or .99 for premium. Those were the days!

-I felt really productive when I tackled my pantry with a stack of empty cardboard boxes. I put one of each staple food in a box (oatmeal, flour, sugar, beans, rice and macaroni). Now, instead of dunes of Mylar bags, I have them ready to use, give, or go. Getting them out of piles and into boxes makes my pantry and my mind alot more clear. I can see progress and quantity instead of disaster and mess.

Making a "shopping spree" list when I have little to no money really makes me weigh the value of each item. Here's my wishlist:
  1. 2 55 gallon drums for water
  2. 3 15 gallon drums for water (more transportable size)
  3. 2 12-inch loaf pans
  4. 3 seed packages from Everlasting Seeds (half off for disabled vets!)
  5. another set of Berkey water filters
  6. my sustainable living/prepper book wishlist
  7. fruit trees/strawberry plants/garlic bulbs
I really want to beef up my medical supplies. I was reading on some mother/ community leader epidemic-prepper website and there is a lot more I can do besides having an unopened Motrin, some Gatorade, and a 12-pack of ginger ale.
  1. N95 masks
  2. 1st aid supplies
  3. iodine tablets
  4. Epi-Pens
  5. suture kit
Since this is a wishlist, I'd like to jump off the deep end of reality for most people and bite the bullet and say that I'd love to get
  1. 6 mos of staple foods (oatmeal, flour, sugar, beans, rice and macaroni) from the LDS food storage
  2. 50 large (5-gal) Mylar bags for staples
  3. 4 55 gallon drums for storing staples
If I was able to compile all this before TSHTF I would feel successful.

We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!


kdonat said...

My lists have lists. I didn't think of an Epipen for the first aid box. We do keep antihistamine tablets on hand but in a crisis the epipen could mean a life.

suek said...

I'm not where you are yet. I don't have much in the way of dry stored goods, but hubby complains about my freezer being too full. I'm a compulsive shopper I guess. I always check the meat "clearance" section when I'm in the store. In my area, we have Vons (Safeway in the rest of the US, I think). They have a "clearance" section in the middle of their meat department, with 30% off meat that has two days before "last day of sale", and 50% of meat that is one day before "last day of sale". If I go at between 11 and 12 AM, there's usually a pretty good selection. 5PM - usually nothing I'm interested in. My Dad used to go to swim at the Y at 6AM, and stop at the store on his way home. They ate almost nothing but 50% off steaks! Timing is everything!

55 gallon drums are outrageously expensive new - about 80$ each in my area - but there are places that buy them for product, empty them and then have to dispose of them. I have about 15 that I got free from various was a liquid soap refill service place (did you know there _was_ such a service??) that generated about one a week until they went to the newer aluminum "cages" with huge plastic liners for dispensing. Another source was a place that made beef jerky commercially - they used huge quantities of soy sauce and had a couple of barrels a week. If you _do_ go that route, just be sure of what was in the barrel prior to your getting it.

Also, for some storage stuff intended for commercial use, but might be interesting for your purposes, check out U-Line. They also have the blue barrels, but with the cost plus shipping...yowzes!! The interesting thing about their catalog though is the different types of blue barrels - some have the two hole tops (that's what I have) and some have an entire lid that comes off. In using these for horses, I've found that the blue barrels have a longer life in constant sun exposure than do white barrels. The white plastic ones get brittle and break more easily after just a few years.

mama4x said...

You better get some sort of backup for that freezer! Here, Safeway is Randall's and my parents do the same exact thing. We don't eat a lot of meat ourselves. Have you gone to your local craigslist and searched the term "rainwater collection" or "barrels?" Here they are $25 each.

suek said...

I haven't gotten the Craigslist habit yet. Don't need any more barrels at the moment. Have enough for the horses and still have about 13 sitting in my driveway. Unexpected use: we have a cement block wall along the driveway. Blue barrels standing between the wall and the car means no door scrapes from the cement block, even if we park too close!

suek said...

We have a generator -gas powered. Don't know if it's "man enough" for the job. Have to do some info-seeking on that.

Also...looking through my Farm Tek catalog, they had lots of face masks with different standards. Some of them _appeared_ to be N95, though I'm not exactly sure what that means - I'm just going by the numbers they have listed in the description. The prices seemed reasonable. Operating on the assumption that if you go outside standard sources you may find better prices*, it might be worth checking them out.

*Meaning that if you are looking at sources that specialize in "health needs" or "survival gear", prices are likely to be higher than if you look at a source that has them to meed commercial needs of some sort. No guarantees, but worth checking out...