This week on the show, my good friend; John Milandred (founder of Pioneer Living and the Prepper Podcast Radio Network) drops by to talk about the media, homesteading, “survivalism”, prepping and other important topics. Then, I interview Marshall Nelson; one of the founders of AwarenessAct.com – the fastest growing social network for patriots. If you’re no longer asleep and you’re fed up with the censorship and data-mining on Facebook, you should check this site out!
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By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival
Prepping, survivalism, emergency preparedness, disaster readiness – call it what you will, but having the mindset to take care of yourself in good times and bad is the focus of Backdoor Survival. That plus a healthy dose of living strategically and sustainably while having a bit of fun at the same time.
Today I would like to explore the survival mindset and preparedness as a way of life and as a path to self-reliance and independence.
THE SURVIVAL MINDSET
We live in uncertain times. Natural disasters are escalating at an alarming rate, global economies are failing, terrorists are threatening the security of the common man and climate change is affecting the ability of our food chain to provide adequate supplies to the populace. Add to this questionable politics and sneaky corporate policies and we have a recipe for crisis on our hands.
The solution, for many, to these woes is to embrace survivalism. The term “survivalism” is a word that has been around for eons.
Survivalism: An attitude, policy or practice based on the primacy of survival as a value.
. . . from Miriam Webster
Survivalism: The policy of trying to insure one’s own survival or that of one’s social or national group.
. . . from New Oxford American Dictionary
And the person who practices survivalism? That person is typically referred to as a survivalist.
Mention this term to your typical man or woman and you may be looked at with disdain and confusion. After all, aren’t survivalists those Rambo types that live in the woods wearing camouflage clothing and carrying rifles the way the rest of us carry a wallet or pocketbook?
Somewhere along the line, the words Survivalism and Survivalist became dirty words.
To overcome this perception, a more modern term has been coined. A kinder gentler term and one without negative connotations: Prepper.
What specifically is a prepper? Wikipedia defines a prepper as an “individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances or lifestyle without significant reliance on other persons or without substantial assistance from outside resources.”
More simply stated, a prepper desires and strives to enjoy self-sufficiency without the need for outside assistance, especially from government agencies or authorities.
THE TALE OF TWO FAMILIES
Let me relate the tale of two fictional families living close to each other in a fictional neighborhood.
Family #1 consists of a husband, a wife and two children. They are a two income family and the children, teenagers, do not work – not even performing home chores – for their generous allowance. The family has about $20,000 in savings, and a mortgage that uses up 60% of their combined take home pay. They eat out 3 to 4 nights a week, have a housekeeper and gardener and live a comfortable life.
A peek inside their pantry will show you a few canned goods but mostly cookies, chips and snack items. They rely on a weekly trip to the supermarket for food and even then, they don’t require much since they eat out a lot.
Family #2 also consists of a husband, wife and two children The Mom has a part time job doing something she loves: arranging flowers at a flower shop. The pay is not great but she enjoys both the work and getting out of the house. The family has a modest mortgage of about $75,000 and savings of $100,000. The two teens have part time jobs; one tutors kids with reading problems and the other flips burgers at the local fast food joint. Both the husband and wife enjoy cooking and prepare home cooked meals. They know how to take less expensive cuts of meats and use them in stews, stir-fry’s and other nutritious meals.
A look inside their pantry will show lots of dried goods including beans, rice, oatmeal and pasta, as well as cases of canned goods they have purchased at a discount at their local cash and carry warehouse store. Everything in the pantry is dated with the newer items stored near the rear and in the difficult to reach areas.
In the middle of one winter night, a huge snow and ice storm hits the town where both families live. Their neighborhood is especially affected because a utility company transformer has blown and the power is out. Trees have fallen and the roads are blocked. Typically there is not a lot of snow in their area so snow removal equipment is scarce.
Family #1 is cold, hungry and distressed. They have a few snacks on hand but other than that, very little food. They always meant to buy some candles and now the batteries in their flashlights are dead. As they stumble around in the dark, they are cold and desperate. They need help but the authorities are nowhere to be found. Without a battery operated radio or a wired phone, they don’t know what is going on and they are scared.
What about family #2? The wood stove is providing warmth plus their oil lanterns are providing an abundance of light. The family had a picnic around the fire consisting of canned stew, canned veggies and some canned peaches for dessert. Using the wood stove as a cooking surface, they were able to pop some popcorn while enjoying a board game around the glow of the stove and lanterns.
Their crank radio was fired up and they learned that there was a likelihood that the roads would be blocked and power out for at least 48 hours, possibly longer. They deemed this an adventure, secure in their knowledge that they had plenty of food and would be nice and toasty in their home.
Two stories. One is a family that survives and the other is barely scraping by with handouts (if they are lucky) from sympathetic neighbors and relatives.
THE FINAL WORD
Natural disasters can happen anywhere and anytime. Manmade disasters, civil disobedience, pandemics and terrorist attacks may or may not happen.
Even so, how would you deal with these events if they happened in your home town? Would you have food? Would you have water? Would you have readily accessible first aid supplies? If the transportation system around you was disabled for a period of time (a day, a week or a month), could you cope? What if fuel for your vehicle or to heat your home was not available? In the case of an emergency, how would you communicate with loved ones?
These are just a few questions you should ask yourself. They are practical questions with infinitely useful answers once you take the time to define survivalism in your own words and under your own terms.
Once you do that, you will have created a survival mindset.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
By John B. – Geek Prepper
Water is a high priority in most emergency situations; for something as simple as thirst, to decontamination, personal hygiene, or refilling a vehicle’s radiator. There are times that you need access to it, and it’s right there, but you can’t access it. One simple, inexpensive tool can change all that.
The tool I am talking about is called a 4-Way Sillcock Key. Every Automotive EDC kit, survival kit and bug out bag should have one of these.
What are these used for?
A 4-Way Sillcock Key is used to open tamper-resistant hose bibs (with permission, of course…wink). Next time you are out, start looking at the exterior walls of Malls and large buildings. You will quickly start to recognize and identify the freeze proof water spigots that this wrench will fit.
I have never been able to open one of these tamper-resistant hose bibs (again, frequently found on the exterior of fast food restaurants, malls, rest stops and office buildings) with a set of needle-nose pliers, and having a flat-head screwdriver that fits the square socket is a matter of luck. Eliminate the gamble with this inexpensive tool.
I learned about this tool once when I saw it used at a closed rest stop’s outside tap. It was used to get water, to clean up a sick baby.
Get one, even if it is only used to fill up a car radiator. Water is a very high priority in most emergency situations. Don’t be the prepper that needs water, and it’s right there, but you can’t access it! Don’t pass this one up.
amazon.com/images/I/41wZos52xdL._SY300_.jpg" alt="" width="225" height="225" />By John B – Geek Prepper
You’ve seen my previous post My Foray into Budget Ham Radio, in which I extol the virtues of the awesome BaoFeng UV-5R Plus. I must be honest with our readers, there was a dual band, hand held radio before the BaoFeng, and it’s a story worth telling.
Before I owned a BaoFeng UV-5R Plus, I bought the TYT TH-UVF1. The TYT TH-UVF1 is a Handheld Deluxe VHF/UHF Dualband Amateur Radio (2M/440) Transceiver with a Twin Display. It also can put out a full 5W of power.
I still own this radio and I still use it daily. I am a little more careful with this one, because unlike the BaoFeng UV-5R Plus ($50ish), the TYT TH-UVF1tips the dollar scale at a whopping $115 USD. This still falls into the range of the budget HAM radio, but as a prepper I like a bit of redundancy. For the price of 1 TYT TH-UFV1 I can have 2 BaoFeng radios.
Not to lessen this radio, it’s awesome, just like the BaoFeng and has a myriad of really cool accessories. It also comes standard with the 12v cable and the standard AC power cable, a nice perk.
One difference to note is that the SMA antenna connector is female on the TYT TH-UFV1, so you’d need a cable like this one: “SMA” to “PL-259″ Adapter Cable. This would also come into play if you opted to purchase an aftermarket handheld antenna for this radio.
This radio suffers from horrible documentation. The translation from Chinese to English is terrible. Luckily there is a TYT TH-UVF1 Manual Wiki page, written by some enterprising owners of these handy radios, that can help you with the basics of programming.
There is also a handy and Foldable pocket reference pdf you can download and print out. I have mine folded, and taped into a nice little package that I can stick in my wallet or backpack for quick reference.
I’ve used this radio for a couple years now and really liked it. I’ve used it many times to check in on “nets” and talk to other HAMS via repeaters. The only issue for me is that the economy price of the BaeFeng makes me worry less about breaking it, so it get’s tossed in my backpack and the car much more often. If you want something a tad larger than the BaoFeng and don’t mind spending a few more bucks jump on one of these TYT TH-UVF1‘s.
The following is a great, easy way to get started in prepping. Of course, it shouldn’t be the ONLY food storage you put up (unless you want to live on nothing but bean soup for a year), but if this is the very least that you do to store food, at least you’ll know your family won’t starve. For those who have already started storing food, this is a cheap way to bulk up your supply. And it can always be used for barter or to help out a family in need.
This plan is THE fastest, cheapest and easiest way to start a food storage program. You are done in a weekend. AND there are no hassles with rotating. Pack it and forget. It’s space efficient – everything is consolidated into a few 5-gallon buckets. You’ll sleep content in knowing that you have a one-year food supply on hand for your family should you ever need.
With the exception of dairy and Vitamin B12, this bean soup recipe will fulfill all your basic nutritional needs. It won’t fill all of your wants, but using this as your starting point, you can add the stuff that you want.
All of the food and storing supplies listed below plus 2 55-gallon recycled barrels to be used for rain catchment cost me $296, including taxes. I purchased rice, bouillon and salt from SAM’s Club. You can buy small bags of barley at the grocery, but if you don’t mind waiting a few days, special ordering a bulk bag from Whole Foods was cheaper. All of the beans I purchased from Kroger’s in 1-lb bags. Buckets, lids, Mylar bags and rain barrels were from the Lexington Container Company. Their prices are so good, with such a great selection that it’s worth a drive even if you are not in the local area. I went on a second-Saturday of the month because that’s when they host free food storage courses taught by Suzanne, an energetic, delight of prepping wisdom. http://www.lexingtoncontainercompany.com/
What you need:
8 5-gallon buckets
8 large Mylar bags
8 2,000 cc oxygen absorbers
8 gamma lids
A handful of bay leaves
90 lbs. of white rice
22 lbs. of kidney beans
22 lbs. of barley
22 lbs. of yellow lentils
5.5 lbs. of split green peas
5.5 lbs. of garbanzo beans
1 lb. of salt
A big box of beef and chicken bouillon.
A measuring cup
What you’ll do
Install the gamma lids on the bucket and insert Mylar bags. Place 2 or 3 bay leaves in the bottom and fill the buckets, adding more bay leaves after each 1/3 to full. Place an oxygen absorber in the top. Label buckets with the contents and date.
- 3 buckets with rice (shake it down good. Get it all in there!)
- 1 bucket each of kidney beans, barley, and yellow lentils
- In 1 bucket store the split green peas, garbanzo beans, salt, measuring cup and bouillon. (I removed the bouillon from the box and vacuum sealed it as bouillon contains a small amount of oil.)
- Yep, that’s a total of 7 buckets, so far.
I place a broom handle across the bucket and wrap the ends of the Mylar bag over the broom handle to give me some support. Then slowly and smoothly run a hot iron over the Mylar bag to seal all except the last 2 inches. Then I press out as much air as possible before sealing the remaining 2 inches. Make sure your Mylar is completely sealed from end to end. Now, stuff the bag into the bucket and rotate the gamma lid into place. This will protect your food for about 25 years. You’ll have excess Mylar bag at the top. Don’t cut it off, that way if you have to cut it open to get into it, you have enough bag remaining to reseal.
Where you’ll put it
It’s pretty easy to find a place for 7 to 8 5-gallon buckets even in the smallest of apartments. Discard the box springs and lay the kid’s mattress on top of the buckets, line the back of a large closet with the buckets. I made a couch-table by stacking buckets two high between the couch and the wall. The buckets are about 6” taller than the back of the couch. Add a shelf and drape and it looks fine; a convenient place for a lamp and books. Get creative.
Making your bean soupMeasure out · 8 oz of rice · 2 oz of red kidney beans · 2 oz of pearl barley · 2 oz of lintels · 1 oz of split green peas · 1 oz of chick peas/garbanzo’s
Add 6-7 quarts of water. Add bouillon or salt to taste. Then add any other meats, vegetables, potatoes or seasonings you have on hand. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for two hours. You should have enough to feed 4 people for two days. This is thick and hearty. You will be warm on the inside and full with one large bowl. Kids usually eat half a bowl.
When the emergency is over
This system allows you to open the Mylar bags, retrieve as much of the ingredients as is needed and then reseal everything after the emergency has passed. Just be sure to replace the ingredients used so that you always have a one-year supply.
The 8th bucket – other stuff I would want
This list isn’t included in the $300. This falls into the “what I want” category. As money and resources became available, I’d just go crazy adding all of my indulgences, starting with coffee! You can add what you want, but I’d fill it with:
- Dry onion. Let’s face it, what’s bean soup without onion! Sprinkle on the onions just before serving.
- “Just add water” cornbread mix packets. I just can’t eat bean soup without cornbread.
- Beef jerky and Vienna sausages. Add protein and zest to the bean soup
- Instant oatmeal. Do you really want bean soup for breakfast? Freeze the oatmeal for 3 days before packing to kill any bugs.
- 10 lbs of jellybeans. Now, don’t laugh – it’s a bean. Jellybeans don’t melt like chocolate might. The high sugar content is quick energy, and a morale booster – with just enough of a high to help you over the really bad days. Easter is about here – stock up!
Before you fill the 8th bucket
Buy small bags of the ingredients and fix a big pot of bean soup for dinner. Eat the leftovers the second night, and 3rd night, until it’s all gone. Find out now – rather than later – what your family might like to add to it. Anything tastes great the first meal, but quickly becomes boring after the 3rd or 4th repeat. Don’t wait until the emergency happens to discover what you SHOULD have stored in your 8th bucket. … Maybe some Beano!
When you are a prepper, you begin to think differently than the other folks on the block. Not only do you take steps to become physically prepared, with food, medical supplies and tools – but you are mentally prepared. You develop a problem-solving mindset.
Part of the reason for that is that preparedness is predicting problems before they occur. Let’s take a snowstorm for example, because where I live, this is a very common occurrence. We’re used to it, nobody panics about it and we have come to expect it.
We know that if there is heavy ice and snow accompanied by high winds the following events are likely to occur.
- We may lose power.
- We may not be able to safely get out of our driveways for a few days.
Next, we take each of these issues and break them down to their components. We play through the possibilities in our minds.
- If we lose power, we won’t be able to cook on the electric stove, our thermostats (if we have them) for central heat will not work, there will be no TV or internet, and our water won’t run (my place is on an electric pump.)
- If we cannot get out of our driveways, we cannot get to the store for items that we “need”, we cannot run to the pharmacy if we have a minor health issue or injury and we are staying here at the property for a few days.
Finally, we plan ahead to resolve these issues, and in doing such, they are no longer issues, just occurrences.
- We can heat food and cook on the woodstove, we can heat the house with wood or our back-up heat source, we have books and games for entertainment, and we store drinking water and flushing water.
- We never allow ourselves to run low enough on any necessary item that we MUST go to the store or we will suffer, we have a fully stocked medicine cabinet and first aid kit, as well as the knowledge to use them, and there’s just no place we have to go.
Now, many people write this type of preparedness off to “gloom and doom.” But here’s your alternative.
For a week before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, residents were warned of the impending disaster. Many areas were told to evacuate. Others were told to stock up for several days without power, food and water. I’m sure that many residents weathered the storm and it’s aftermath with dignity, taking their families’ survival into their own hands, heeding the warnings and preparing themselves. They are the unsung heroes in the story – how many reports did we see on the news of the people who did NOT have to stand in line for an MRE and a bottle of water? How many reports did we see of people who quietly used alternative heat and remained safely in their homes?
Few if any – and why? Because the government and the “powers that be” want the people to feel like victims. They need to be needed because if they are not needed, then they are obsolete. It’s all part of the grand social brainwashing that is meant to foster an attitude of dependence on the “state” instead of one of self-reliance and fortitude. Dependence on a person or entity for your survival means that you OWE that person or entity your allegiance. It means that in order for you to survive, you may also have to comply – and that the terms of that compliance are entirely up to those upon whom your survival relies.
The press played up the victims of the storm – the media encouraged victimhood instead of personal empowerment by these displays of people begging for the government to save them. Weakness was promoted, instead of strength.
“When is the government coming? We’re gonna DIE.”
I feel incredible sympathy for the people who lost everything in that disaster. I can only imagine the mental anguish of living through such an event. It’s one thing to require assistance if your home and everything in it was destroyed by severe weather.
But if a person is stranded in his home for a week or two without power, that is eminently survivable, even in the middle of winter. It might not be pleasant, but it would not require government intervention for anyone who has planned ahead – or for anyone who has a survivor’s mentality.
A survivor’s mentality means that you are the hero of the story. You are not the princess, waiting for a dashing prince to ride in on a white stallion and save you. This means that instead of looking for Prince Charming coming down the road in a FEMA truck, you’ll be…THINKING. That, right there is the real difference. Hero’s think, victims wait.
What is a hero thinking about?
- How to maintain a survivable body temperature
- What to eat and how to cook it
- How to protect his or her family and property
- How to overcome damage done by a storm or other catastrophe, particularly if that damage affects temperature and security
- How to keep those around them calm and focused
- How to prevent further damage from occurring
Each of the concerns above that a survivor has already prepared for allows his or her energy to be focused on the other needs that must be met. A prepper’s practice of thinking about the things that might possibly go wrong is basic training for survival – we are accustomed to thinking in a way that others are not. We don’t just think about meeting our current need for a drink of water; we think about meeting our future need for a supply of water and 3 different ways to filter it. Then we think about anything that could get in the way of our plans and come up with solutions for those issues as well. We don’t just rely on plan A – we have B. C, and D, at the very least because this is the way that our minds work. This is what sets us apart from the people waiting for hours in the FEMA lines.
What about you – are you the hero of your story or the victim in need of rescue?
Written by Daisy Luther
via Activist Post
Usually this goes without saying…however many don’t understand this as it needs to be understood in its full concept.
First off I will start off by saying this.
IF YOU WANT TO BE KNOWN AS A PREPPER, TELL EVERYONE YOU ARE A PREPPER AND YOU ARE FINE WITH THIS THEN DO IT!
I’m not one to tell ANYONE what to do with their life, if they want to live alone in the woods, more power to you, if they want to work a blue collar job and have buckets of food at a cabin somewhere, good for you, whatever makes you happy and increases the happiness in your life and your families as well as gives you the ability to care for them, man… do it!
However MOST preppers don’t want to be known as Preppers or for their friends and families to know that they do this, or they just fear that others will come looking for a handout or the government might come knocking, there’s a lot of reasons.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LAY LOW
- People wont come crying looking for help because they know you have a lot of stored stuff. You can choose when, how and if you will help them according to your conscience and faith.
- The government wont peg you as a “danger” to society since you well, are responsible.
- You wont have to worry about criminals or friends turned criminals putting your family in more danger because people know about your buckets and water barrels.
- You wont be asked to “give” your stuff to the local, state or national government for the “greater good”
- Overall its just smarter in my opinion. I may have a podcast and a site, but I can count on my fingers the amount of people who know where I keep my preps and that I do this.
HOW YOU CAN LAY LOW
- First thing is don’t call yourself a Prepper, don’t talk about it at office parties, don’t mention it to family, AND ESPECIALLY DON’T TALK ABOUT IT ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!
Like I said if you WANT to then do it, by all means. And a caveat is often you will end up meeting someone or a family member who is a prepper or is just starting to get into the prepper mindset and mentions it to you or around you. Play it smart ease into the conversation, make sure YOU ARE both on the same wavelength, be paranoid, like your CIA approaching a possibly Russian you can turn to your side; you have to be sure they are friendly to the idea before you verbally diarrhea all your pent up energy on this subject!
- If you want to “Like” Prepper Facebook pages (shameless plug…but wed love to have you stop by the GNP facebook page!), or talk to Prepper friends on that site, create a fake identity.
I know, I know, I have a GNP facebook page and I ENCOURAGE people to share it with their friends, etc. I assume that those of you who like the page or comment, etc are the “out” Preppers, and I would never try to force someone to do anything public like that if I didn’t think most of their friends knew it in the first place. To create a “fake identity” just read my post on ONLINE PRIVACY, and download the TOR browser. Once you get on that go to yahoo.com, and set up a email account, unlike GMAIL you don’t have to give your phone number! then use that to create a facebook page, upload the photos, use a fake name or a similar one. Conduct ALL YOUR PREPPING SOCIAL STUFF USING THIS IDENTITY. Log into forums, chat rooms, Twitter accounts, Pinterest, etc all using this identity, to insulate your Real person from the persona.
- For Pete’s sake DO NOT UPLOAD VIDEOS OF YOU SHOOTING A TARGET WITH SOME GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES NAME OR FACE ON IT! That includes elected ones! DON’T MAKE THREATS OR VEILED STATEMENTS ON ANYTHING! Don’t go around posting on facebook (real or fake identity) that you’ll shoot it out if they come for your guns, or that you hope X person gets shot, etc. That’s stupid, unnecessary and just not in good taste. Never wish death upon anyone.
Even if you use the fake identity to do this, you will be SMACK CENTER on the radar for investigation, and now your fake identity will be investigated and even with all the privacy this offers, I personally don’t think it will shield you from a full fledged intense investigation. So don’t try. After that you will be forever on every list known to (g)man.
- Purchase Prepping supplies, guns and ammunition with Cash. No Checks, Avoid Credit Cards.
If you HAVE TO buy something with a credit card try using a prepaid one like Green dot which is affiliated with Visa, your name will be registered with that Credit Card however it insulates you if you buy a few of them and use different ones sparingly. No matter how you slice it online purchases will leave a trail, but you can insulate yourself A bit (not much) more with a pre-paid credit card. Sometimes the best deals are on the net. I buy on the net quite a lot but i use various cards so no large orders are ever pegged to one card or to have a repeated history with them. Plus, you are smarter with your money that way. Especially since ammo (as of this moment) require no background check you can purchase large quantities without having a paper trail.
- DON’T ASSOCIATE WITH IDIOTS, NUT-JOBS AND A-HOLES
If you are online and looking for prepper communities there to talk to, check out their forums, see what others are saying, pay attention to the person who runs the site (if they put themselves out there) and what they are saying, read their posts and see their videos. If they are out there, talking about “going to war” or will “fight to the death” or that they want this race to rule over all or whatever. DON’T SIGN UP! NOT FOR A NEWSLETTER! NOT FOR A FORUM! NOT A LIKE ON THEIR PAGE! NOTHING! Its idiotic to associate yourself with whackos, you will be just inviting scrutiny. Why put all your hard work into jeopardy because you associated with a-holes like that?
- DON’T SIGN PETITIONS
Don’t sign these online petitions to stop the gun ban, or to impeach Obama, or to END THE FED. Don’t get me mixed up, I want to end the Fed, i want to stop the gun ban and I want that man out of the white house through legal means. However those mean nothing, they make you feel good, think that they will matter, but they don’t, and there’s no reason to have your NAME NAME NAME put on something, especially since its public and that along with say a few facebook likes and a YouTube video holding your gun, could be just enough to be put on a “watch list” people have been put on no fly lists and others for much much less.
A lot of this is common sense and once again, for the third time….If you want to be known as a prepper, if you want to be a loud voice, or feel you must be public then keep on trucking, go for it. However do not “look down” or call others “cowards” for not doing the same, each of us make a choice, weigh the options and decide whats best for ourselves and our families.
Basically the rule of thumb is, don’t use your real name, don’t be public and most of all DON’T DO ANYTHING TO DRAW ATTENTION TO YOURSELF!
By Scott – A Morefield Life
We’re by no means rich or even moderately well off, but we do believe strongly in living within our means. Granted, we’re probably not as strict on some things as Dave Ramsey would be, but on most financial matters we try to follow what we believe to be the spirit of Dave’s financial ‘school’ of advice. While he teaches specifics that any family who wants to get out of debt and attain to financial freedom should follow, the basic things we have done to get and (for the most part) stay out of debt (except for our house, unfortunately) include some of his and even a few of our own – one of which is… prepping!
Prepping?!?! When most people think about prepping, they probably think about spending gobs of money on doomsday bunkers, 30-year freeze-dried goods, solar panels, and other expensive items. Sure, those are fun and, given a few truckloads of discretionary income, would be great things to purchase; but prepping, ultimately, should be a money saver first. We firmly believe EVERY family, on even the most modest of budgets, should take some basic prepping steps. We even recently wrote an article on just what exactly those steps are. But today, in case you’ve been considering preparing your family for the inevitable hard times to come but have been holding back for financial reasons, we’d like to explore five ways prepping can actually save your family money over the long haul.
1.) No matter what you buy, buying in bulk is usually less expensive.
This is often true whether you are buying raw ingredients or your favorite canned, frozen, or dried items. While it’s certainly important to check the cost per ounce, buying things in bulk, especially from a wholesale retailer like Sam’s or Cosco, is normally less expensive than buying things one at a time. Furthermore, seasonal, local, fresh vegetables from a co-op or local farmer’s market can often be less expensive than the grocery store (gardening yourself is even cheaper!). This could be the understatement of the century but… preppers like buying things in bulk!
2.) Raw ingredients are usually cheaper and store longer than processed foods.
For our philosophy of prepping and overall wellness, cooking from scratch is a key. It’s less expensive than eating out or even buying processed foods from the store. Basic rule of thumb: the more ‘hands’ (or machines) that touch the food, the most it costs. Even buying that can of soup from the store is much more expensive than making the soup yourself. It’s not as hard as you think, but it does involve a lifestyle change, albeit one that is well worth it. Added bonus – cooking from scratch is healthier. Not only does processed food cost more, but it’s also usually less nutritious.
3.) Prepping allows you to buy almost everything on sale.
Except for fresh items like milk, eggs, fruit, and the like, we rarely buy a food item that’s not on sale. Let’s say you want to make a nice chicken casserole from scratch one night for dinner. Great idea, except you don’t have any chicken in your pantry – so you go to the store, only to find out that the chicken you need isn’t on sale. In fact, it’s marked higher than it normally is! Had you been prepping all along, you wouldn’t have run out of chicken in the first place, and the chicken you have in the pantry would have all been bought on sale. A smart prepper will pretty much clear the shelf when he sees a good deal (score!). After all, who knows when that deal will come around again?
4.) Prepping saves time, and time is money.
See point #3 – how much time, gas, and vehicle wear and tear do those avoidable trips to the grocery store take?
5.) Prepping in this way will help you eat healthier, and eating healthier will save you money in the long run.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Cooking and eating healthy ingredients from scratch is certainly not something only preppers do, but preppers who practice this will reap the same rewards. A healthier lifestyle = a healthier family = less medical expenses = more money in your pocket! Win-Win-Win-Win!!
Craigslist is an amazing marketplace for finding just about anything from your local community. This is a huge advantage over say eBay because you can drive up and inspect the item personally before buying it.
By diligently working Craigslist (CL), you can save lots of money on many of the items a prepper would typically buy. The items will probably be used but if they are in great shape, the money you save can go towards other purchases or investments/savings.
Although you will commonly find really great prices on CL, here are two quick tips that can get you even better prices.
Tip 1: If you routinely scan CL, you will find items people posted today that interest you. If the price seems even remotely OK, call them and take a look. If it is good, make an offer and tell them you have cash right now to close the deal and take that item off their hands. Emphasize that you are ready to do business right now. And if they don’t want your price, ask to leave your phone number and the price you are willing to pay.
While people are generally less flexible right away, many realize that someone with cash money at their place right now ready to buy may be the only offer they get on the item. It lets them exchange the item for cash and most importantly, means they don’t have to deal with other folks who are just looking, or worst don’t show up.
When we shop this way, we get an immediate acceptance of our low offer (after a bit if talking) about 20% of the time. And we get called back and close the deal at our price within 3-4 days another 10% of the time.
Tip 2: Use CL’s search function to find OLD listings, ones that have been sitting for 15 or more days. Sometimes these items sold and the person was too lazy to take the item down. But quite often, the item is still just collecting dust at home.
Contact these old listings and see if the item is still available. If it is, go see it and make an offer if it is right for you.
In this instance, you want to play up the fact that it is just sitting and they might never get another call. In other words, emphasize you are solving their problem by exchanging the item for cash. And be prepared to leave your phone number and offer.
We find that if an item is still available after a length of time, we can acquire it at a really good price 25-30% of the time.
The key to all this of course is to apply simple sales techniques – selling the seller on reasons it is in their best interest to get rid of the item right now and at your price.
If you are not comfortable with dealing with people, this could take a few practice runs before you get good at it. But with practice, you can succeed – and you can often snag savings of 30-50% off the original asking price turning a good deal into a really great deal.
By John Wesley Smith – Destiny Survival
A common complaint from new preppers–and even from some of us who’ve been at it a while–is that it’s overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you build your survival pantry? Secure your home? Learn to start a campfire? And on it goes.
You know how it is. You feel like you want to do everything, all at once, ten minutes ago. But, of course, you know that isn’t possible. And yet you worry we’ll run out of time before a looming collapse gets us all.
Not to be flip about it, but all you can do is all you can do. So do what you can, and try not to worry about what you can’t do today. And if an asteroid crashes into Earth, well, you’ve at least done something. And whether you did all you wanted won’t really matter, will it?
The challenge we face as preppers is that we have to know about so many things. We have to retool our thinking and become generalists or nexialists. (For an idea of what that means, see What is a Space Beagle? – Letter from Karl, the Survivalist.)
Recently, I gleaned a few helpful tips on branching out from Refuse to Choose!amazon.com/e/ir?t=destinysucom-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1594866260" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" /> by Barbara Sher. She addresses people she calls scanners. They’re the ones who are curious and passionate about a wide variety of interests. But several general principles about time management and organization provide good guidance for any of us.
Here’s one I especially like, and it can be applied to prepping.
To do it all, do it small.
This is the basis of Anna Hess’s book, The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiencyamazon.com/e/ir?t=destinysucom-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1616088826" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" />. She breaks large tasks into bite-sized, realistic pieces.
What if you did something different each night this week that’s related to prepping? For example, plan your garden Monday evening. On Tuesday make a chart of foods for your survival pantry which would get you buy for a month. Do a family fire drill Wednesday evening. You get the idea.
None of these has to take all evening. In fact, start by taking an hour at a time.
Let’s suppose you want to devote this coming Saturday to prepping activities. Draw out a schedule of what you’d like to do hour by hour. Don’t get bent out of shape if you’re not able to stick to it exactly. If you planfor five things and only get three done, that’s three things you didn’t have done before.
And if you don’t finish one project, schedule an hour some evening or for the following Saturday. Or if you unexpectedly find yourself with 30 minutes one evening, and you don’t know what to do next, look at what you didn’t get done on that Saturday you’d set aside.
Here’s another thought for you which will strike some as revolutionary. Do what you feel like doing. Here’s one small example of how that worked for me a few days ago.
After lunch I needed to get back to work on this site. But I didn’t feel like it. I noticed a seed catalog I’d been meaning to finish looking at. A night or two before, I started filling out a seed order, but I got interrupted by a phone call.
So I decided then and there to take an hour and finish my seed order. As it happened, an hour is all it took. In a sense, I had taken a mini-vacation. I felt a sense of accomplishment which allowed me to get back to work with renewed zeal.
Try it sometime. We need those little breaks to maintain sanity and be prepping productively.
Remember, to do it all, do it small. And just keep prepping.
By Gaye (aka Survivor Woman) – BackdoorSurvival.com
When I first started prepping, I was befuddled about wheat. I just simply did not understand why the heck anyone would want to store wheat for survival purposes. After all, you don’t eat it in its raw form? Or do you? And what about cooking with it? Being a bit naïve at the time, I assumed that the only thing you could do with wheat is turn the wheat berries into flour and then the flour in to baked goods. It sure sounded like a lot of work to me and hardly worth the effort.
Luckily, I was sent a copy of How to Live on Wheat by John Hill and I woke up to both the long term storage and nutritional benefits of wheat. I learned that storing wheat and using wheat was not a burden at all. All I needed was the proper mindset to learn to cook with wheat (and other grains) and I was off and running. Sprouted wheat, popped wheat, cooked wheat cereals and of course breads and pizzas – all of these things and more can be prepared from stored wheat.
Now I have to admit something to you. In spite of my good intentions, I have not learned to actually grind wheat into flour. Not yet, that is, and truth be told, I feel a bit guilty about it. What kind of prepper am I if I do not grind my own wheat?
So, as I do from time to time, I was chatting with my online palRon Brown and telling him I needed to get going with my wheat grinding initiative. I was thinking I would get myself an old fashioned grinder with a hank crank and give this wheat-ground-into-flour business a try.
And again, as he frequently does, he said he could offer up some tips.
How to Grow, Grind and Cook Wheat
You asked about grinding wheat on home scale. Please know that grinding is the middle of a three-stage process. First of all, you must grow the wheat . . . or otherwise obtain it. Then you grind it into flour. And, lastly, you convert the flour into something edible.
Growing wheat is a low-tech process. But that’s not the same as NO tech. A hammer is pretty low-tech. But you still have to know which end is the handle.
If you set out to grow your own wheat, best you know the “fly date” in your region for the Hessian fly. Else, after many hours of toil, you will harvest nothing.
So some homework is in order. Small-Scale Grain Raisingamazon.com/e/ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1603580778" alt=" Growing, Grinding and Cooking Wheat Backdoor Survival" width="1" height="1" border="0" /> by Gene Logsdon is the best book out there.
Then comes storage. Insect eggs are already on or in the grain when you put it in storage. Untreated, your carefully tinned wheat will spoil from the inside out. Heat, dry ice, and diatomaceous earth are all preventatives as well as opportunities for more homework.
At this point you may ask, “Why bother? I live in town. I’m not going to grow my own wheat. I’m going to buy it at the health food store. Or, better yet, why can’t I just buy already-ground flour and store that?”
The answer is shelf life. You may be able to store flour for a few months or even a few years. But sooner or later it will turn rancid. And in all likelihood it will “get wormy,” as my farm-bred mother phrased it.
In contrast, unground wheat berries (given the right moisture content, protected from insects, etc.) will potentially last for decades if not centuries.
So much for the wheat berries. The next step is grinding. How best to do that?
Grinders and Grinding
If you have electricity, a ten-speed blender offers the biggest bang for the buck. The procedure is to blend a cup of wheat, sift it, re-blend the tailings, sift them, repeat, repeat. You can either invest in a good blender or buy an armload of cheapies at yard sales. (Tip: Blenders are most often located between the National Geographic’s and the faded plastic children’s tractors.)
If you plan to ignore electricity and go green, please know that you are joining a fairly elite club. I remember years ago, back in my homesteading days, when the minister and his wife stopped by the house for something or other. The good reverend surprised me in the garage where I was cranking away.
“Wadda ya doing?” he boomed in his best hale-fellow-well-met voice.
“Grinding flour from wheat,” I answered.
“Outta sight!” he proclaimed. Then spun on his heel and joined the ladies in the kitchen. (Ministers are not exactly renowned for getting dirt under their fingernails.)
Simple hand-crank wheat-grinders can be had for about $30 on eBay. They clamp to the counter top and resemble meat grinders. There’s certainly nothing wrong with have one tucked away.
But don’t believe the claims. You will not grind flour in one step (i.e. one trip through the grinder). You will not get a cup of flour for one-and-a-half minutes of grinding. Including set-up at the start and clean-up at the end, an hour of hand-grinding will provide enough flour for two loaves of bread. But, hey! It’s eco-friendly, right?
My one word of advice is to stay away from stone grinding wheels. The stone will not be a natural stone anyway. It will be a man-made carborundum wheel, just like the grinding wheel on the knife sharpener out in the workshop.
I can predict with 99% certainty that the wheat you attempt to grind will be too moist and your stone wheels will be glazed over and useless within minutes.
Stone-ground flour evokes images of the candlelight era of the 1800’s. It’s more romantic-sounding than flour ground on “steel burrs.” But when it comes to a choice of being artsy-fartsy versus actually eating supper tonight, forget the stone. This is the voice of experience talking.
Using Your Home-Ground Wheat Flour
Now that you have some wheat flour, what do you do with it? It will be noticeably coarser than store-bought brown flour. If you use your hand-ground flour in your bread machine, please expect abysmal results; it will NOT be a family favorite.
One suggestion I’ll make is to try roti, a simple Indian bread. In large areas of India, roti served with mung bean soup is the dietary mainstay, eaten daily. I was introduced to roti by Indian friends in Canada. They came from modest backgrounds but were quite well to do by the time I met them . . . as in, he gave his wife a Mercedes for her birthday . . . that kind of well to do . . .
Roti is a no-yeast, whole-wheat bread, simple to the point of primitive.
DIRECTIONS: Mix 2 cups brown flour, 4 teaspoons cooking oil, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Take a gob of dough the size of a golf ball and roll it out THIN. Fry it in a non-stick pan (no oil). When it starts to bubble, take it out of the pan (with tongs) and toast it directly on the stove burner (i.e. the flame of a gas stove). It will puff up like a balloon. (You’ll find other techniques on YouTube.) Paint your roti’s with clarified butter using a basting brush. Done.
No need to get super-scientific about clarified butter. Melt some butter, pour off the clear liquid, and leave behind the residue in the bottom.
Serve your fresh, hot roti’s with split pea soup. It WILL be a family favorite. Not to mention it will for sure impress your Indian friends.
Some Facts About Wheat Used for Baking
There are two types of wheat commonly used for long term storage: hard red and hard white.
In the simplest of terms, red wheat, when used in baking bread, will result in a dark, dense, whole wheat loaf whereas white wheat will be more delicate in both taste and color. Both types are fairly equal nutrition-wise with the exception that red wheat has slightly more protein.
To get a bit more technical, the terms red and white are used to identify the color of the kernel and not of the flour that is eventually milled from those kernels. Most people do not know this but hard white wheat was actually developed from hard red wheat by eliminating the genes for bran color while preserving other desirable characteristics of the red wheat.
A major difference between the two types of wheat is flavor. For some, red wheat has bitter taste that does not exist is white wheat. For that reason many people prefer white wheat because reduced bitterness requires less additional sweeteners in the final product.
So what does all of this mean? At the end of the day, the type of wheat you choose for baking (and for long term storage) is really a matter of preference.
An Action Plan for Wheat
Coming up with an action plan for adding wheat to your long term food storage is easy. Get some, store some and use some with the emphasis on the USE SOME. As with anything else, having some #10 tins or 5 gallon buckets of wheat will not do you a whole lot of good if you wait until a crisis or TSHTF to learn how to use it. When that happens, you will have too many other problems to deal with to even think about learning to cook or bake with wheat.
On the other hand, with time on your side, you can learn to make pan bread or Ron’s Roti (but please use a cast iron skillet instead of a non-stick pan) as well as your own sourdough starter, sprouted wheat berry salad and more. As you become more experienced, try your home ground flour in artisan breads and pizza crusts (which, by the way, are fabulous when made in a cast iron skillet).
If you still have doubts, read Why Store Wheat – Wheat 101 for Newbies and you will be motivated if not hooked on grains.
The Final Word
Some of the best prices around for hard wheat (red or white) are LDS Cannery stores or even the LDS online store. In addition, you can purchase 40 pounds of Thrive hard white winter wheat for $37.29 through my Shelf Reliance Online Party. (This is less than the Costco price.) Of course there are plenty of other sources as well – just be sure to shop around since prices do vary considerably.
The other thing to keep in mind is that while an electric grinder is nice to have (albeit expensive), it will not do you a lot of good in a grid down situation. For that reason, you may want both a hand grinder as well as some buckets of pre-ground flour put away for long term storage purposes.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!