10 Tips to Simplify or Survive During Hard Times

by | Feb 14, 2011 | Emergency Preparedness | 82 comments

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    The following article has been provided by Activist Post for your reading and preparedness pleasure.

    simplifyMany of us are caught in the precarious position of being intellectually aware that we are heading into a worsening economy with signs of a looming global food crisis, and feel as though we must simplify or streamline our lifestyle to prepare for possible disruptions in our standard of living.  In a world where consumption has become a sport, you may actually find it more satisfying to shed some material weight.  Even if your financial situation is not too dire, it is still a sensible idea to keep preparedness in mind.

    An increasing segment of the population is already feeling the pinch from losing a job, while the cost of living continues to increase.  This group has no choice but to get creative in the way they manage their limited resources for optimal survival.  The key to becoming a content minimalist/survivalist is to develop the most efficient ways to provide for basic necessities.  The goal is simple: reduce your daily, weekly, and monthly expenses without giving up items that keep you sane.

    We can look at the extreme examples like The Moneyless Man, Mark Boyle, for inspiration.  His book is an essential guide into the techniques, as well as the lifestyle that has enabled him to live completely and happily off the grid, without money, for more than 2 years.  His radical path is not one that many people would choose, however he proves that you can survive with very little money if that is your goal.

    Outlined below are some relatively painless and often rewarding tips to survive hard times on a shoestring, or to free up additional funds for discretionary spending.

    Turn Off the TV: Why does anyone with an Internet connection still pay for TV service?  You can get your news and sports fix, and find all of your favorite movies and shows online.  The rest is just expensive noise. Join the growing trend and cut out your paid TV service.  You’ll find the financial savings is just a minor part of the benefits to unplugging.  If you absolutely need to watch your favorite team’s important games, you may have to get to know your neighbors or socialize at a friend’s house.

    Make Your Own: With the TV now turned off, we’ll have plenty of time to produce things we would normally purchase.  Our modern world of conveniences has stripped much of our knowledge of how to support ourselves. One of the costliest and least healthy areas of our daily lives are cleaning and personal care products. Using very basic ingredients you can minimize most toxic chemicals in your household, as well as save money for items that help optimize your simplicity.  Personal care products such as soap, shampoo, and deodorant are simple and cheap to make at home. Three ingredients to keep on hand; baking soda, distilled vinegar, and Dr. Bronners.

    Minimize Transportation: Cars are one the most expensive items we think we need to be functional or happy. They’ve also become one of those staple luxury items that shows your status in society.  Let this illusion go; it’s far more important to have your simplicity and the extra savings. Understandably, personal vehicles are necessary in many areas that have inadequate or no public transportation, and cars also represent a tool of trade, as well as personal freedom.  But if your family has multiple cars, consider if it is feasible to eliminate one of them. If not, budget and plan wisely for limiting all costs related to the car; fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc.

    Reduce Household Energy Use: Conserving energy is one of the most obvious ways to reduce monthly bills.  The topic has been written about and promoted for years.  You already know the easy stuff like turning off lights, turning the hot-water heater down or off when not in use. But now it’s finally time to get conscious of your precise energy use and begin to turn the meter back using all tactics.  Look into supplementing with solar power or other alternative sources to become as self-sufficient as possible.

    Produce Your Own Food:The most important step that anyone can take, immediately, is to design a simple garden.  With of the average household budget spent on food, and prices skyrocketing everyday, discovering ways to prepare for food inflation is vital to survival. A low-cost way of producing food off-the-grid is always a great investment no matter the economic conditions. Nearly everyone can engage in some level of food production to save money and increase independence.

    Boycott Big Box Stores:  There’s a belief that big box stores like Wal-Mart provide the only option available to those on a tight budget who need to get cheap items.  Although Wal-Mart does indeed sell many items at low prices, a recent study shows that Wal-Mart stores have repeatedly destabilized the economy of local communities where they are located.  Therefore, we should consider the larger picture and support small, local businesses in our quest for simplicity.  We also should do our best to avoid frivolous boredom shopping altogether, which big box stores encourage, and resist our culture’s tendency to to make unnecessary impulse purchases based solely on an item’s “special” price.

    Buy Local: If we hope to restore prosperity to our communities, and ourselves, we can start by supporting truly local producers instead of mega-corporations.  In many cases you’ll find that essential items like food, used tools, and other items can be found far cheaper than at big box stores — if not free.  You can begin giving true support to your local community, while obtaining healthier food, by searching for farmers markets and family farms close to where you live.  Local Harvest has a database that can be searched by zip code.  By connecting with a local farmer, you can obtain healthier produce, often at a much lower cost, while strengthening your local economy.

    Foraging: We should re-learn the ability to forage. There is no shame in foraging and many items can be found in our throw-away culture. Even if you can afford to buy something new, discovering a vintage used item for less, or perhaps free, is something to be extremely proud of.  This isn’t middle school anymore where you must have shiny new brand name items to be accepted.  Your current friends won’t disown you for being more frugal.  In fact, when they see your pride of accomplishment on an amazing deal or find, they will likely be envious.  As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  Happy hunting!

    Freecycle Bartering: Beyond the “green” trappings of the Freecycle Movement lies the heart of the best survival technique of all: cooperation.  According to Recycling Group Finder, there are nearly 5,000 groups with over 8 million members in 85 countries looking to trade or give away items that are otherwise may be destined for the landfill.  On Mark Boyle’s website, Just For The Love of It, he has a wealth of resources to live within what he has termed the Freeconomy.  Here you can meet people, learn skills, trade tools and survival items, and even write about your own experiences to help educate others.

    Do it Yourself: If you absolutely must have your nails manicured or get frequent haircuts, why not do them yourself? Is it that important to have a “professionally” groomed hairdo?  Determine what services that you pay for that can be done yourself.  Mow your own lawn, wash your own car and change your own oil; hand wash your dishes instead of piling them into the dishwasher; and learn other new skills for increased self-sufficiency.

    We are eager to hear your ideas about what has worked in your own life.  Please leave a comment, or submit your own article that can help others to gain independence.

    This article has been provided by Activist Post for your reading and preparedness pleasure.


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      1. I don’t understand the Walmart derangement syndrome.  Fine you hate something I get it.  Some people hate those of other races and some hate big box stores or McDonalds.  But why put your bigotry out there???  My locla Walmart employees local people, a lot of people.  They live, spend and earn in this community.  Why should I hate them just because YOU hate them???  And Walmart saves the average shopper $2300 a year thanks to their low prices.  So in my opinion your advice SHOULD HAVE BEEN to buy at the big box stores and save money!!!  DUH!!!

      2. GWTW

        How many small businesses no longer exist because of that Walmart?  How many good jobs did it kill to create the bad ones?

        Your local Walmart is nothing more or less than a global corporation that exploits people and places for profit.  It does not care about you or the people it gives “jobs” to.

        That is the problem.  People like you believe that the price on the sticker reflects the cost of the item, when the real cost is in loss of small businesses and local production.

        One day you will wake up to the reality that it is corporations that you are fighting, not people.  Supporting corporations to save yourself a dollar in federal reserve credit will end up costing you far more than you bargained for.

        Do it sparingly as required, and no more.

      3. get some silver coins for barter and colloidal silver for medicine

      4. Oh, and I do not hate Walmart. 

        All corporations are created equally for the sole purpose of conducting criminal activity without accountability for the owners.

        Thus, any Man of reason would hate all corporations equally.  Even if one gives you more for your federal reserve credits than another, they should be equally despised.

      5. So Walmart disrupts price competition in hundreds of communities?That’s bad only for businesses that compete on price alone. If they offer superior product knowledge and personal service they have nothing to fear from the big box. Shoddy products sold cheap by indifferent help just culls the market for quality products sold by knowledgeable small businesses.

        “Do it yourself” he says. Back in the day almost every man did the routine maintenance to keep the family auto running. Many men could install a toilet or build a playhouse big enough for the daughter to play in. And regular folk ate in restaurants only to celebrate a special event. You’re calling for the demise of industries that employ a lot of people who will never have those “one job supports the family” jobs again.

      6. gwtw – “duh”???  grow up – and show some respect; mac is giving excellent advice – if you don’t agree – fine – but no need to be rude!

      7. Comments….. Well now, since BigSis has moved her butt into WalMart, and she wants shoppers to rat on anyone that is acting suspicious, I won’t shop there,  just go to peopleofwalmart . com and there’s some scary people shopping there.  If you have a BigLots, shop there, better prices, and no RFID’s sewn into underwear and jeans like WalMart does.  The game is on, have yourself filmed at WalMart or enjoy what little privacy you have left and shop someplace else.

      8. G’Fox and everyone:  I won’t ever report shop lifters anywhere and here’s why:  Several men were fired at Best Buy in Ohio, and 4 men were fired at another Walmart for  stopping shoplifters (grabbing, chasing, restraining, etc) and trying to protect the store, and all for nothing…so let ’em shoplift in front of me and I’ll completely ignore them and walk away.  The bad guys won in these cases.  If their camera’s won’t pick up illegal activities in these stores, so be it; I’m not getting paid a dime to turn anyone in and no one that does is appreciated or thanked.   Besides, who wants to go to court and testify.  Stores that condone shop lifting like these mentioned are losers anyway.

      9. Laura m.

        To take it one step further, nowadays shoplifters have an actual reason to do it. In my opinion more and more people have not the means to feed their families. So im with you. Let me share a small story and then you decide dear friends.
        There is a super market near my house. Until some months ago, every night when the store closed at 22.00, all spoiled fruits and veggies were left outside bags. Poor families and homeless people used to drop by and take everything which could be eaten.
        Suddenly, the company’s managers decided to load all that stuff in trucks and transport them to the dump. I really don’t get the meaning of this decision. But who am i to judge and condemn those brilliant harvard managers?
        Sometimes the hunter must give his  prey, a way out. Otherwise the scared animal will show its teeth and nails…

      10. I like the stylish clothes WallyMartians wear at Wally Mart.  I shop there for Mobil 1 by the gallon.

      11. Why should anyone stop a shoplifter, none of anyone’s biz anyway, it’s the shop’s responsibility to take preventive measures, why get into troubles to stick the nose where you are not called for? One word of advice, and it’s simple: Mind your own business, unless there are lives or someone’s safety at risk! And if this is the case, intervene if you really can and do it intelligently.

      12. Comments….. Anon: Would that motor oil be with or without butt crack showing?  Tattoos would be an added bonus.

      13. @gods Creation – take your anti-capitalistic ideals and shove it. Small business owners like myself, who are corporations, take offense to your generalization which indicates not only your lack of education but also your anti-business agenda.  Where is your outrage against the large farms, the large trucking firms and shipping firms that deliver all the goods that you consume? The gas that you burn? The gas that you cook and heat with? Oh, what’s that? You use wood? How about the companies that mine the ore to make the steel of your axe? Think of all the blacksmith’s that no longer exist because of this. Oh, the outrage!! How about your shoes? Get healthcare? Those machines that examine your blood, produce your medicines and trained your doc are all the product of corporations that you so loathe.

        Sorry, but your agenda against corporations and Walmart only illustrates your hypocrisy.

        Why do’t you rebel against the large corporations that you are fighting and get off the internet, which is run by some of the largest companies. Stop sending your email, porn, etc. via Cisco routers, stop using Intel chips, stop the insanity that you so preach to others.

        “Any man of reason”? No … any idiot who needs an education more like it.

        To everyone else – sorry for the rant, but I’m sick of people like this who have such an illogical agenda that its mind boggling to think that they can even get through life muttering crap like they do without comprehending that actual logic of their hypocrisy.

        And to the rest of you who justify stealing – try justifying yourself to Him when you are called home. He gave us 10 commandments for a reason. 10 simple rules to follow. I’m not judging you, He is. Don’t reply to this comment since I don’t matter in your salvation. He does and He alone is the path.

      14. Nice Opting Out article.
        I don’t hate Walmart either, Goldenfoxx described it well.
        I myself prefer Dollar General, now those prices are low.

        One thing that I did that saves me a small bit of money and increases my security is to not use/have an electric garage door opener. I really miss the convenience, but I read somewhere (maybe it was here?) that the new thing in the burglary-world is to use a wire fish hook and run it through the top of the garage door to snag the release and open the door.
        Also, when the power went out a few winters ago my neighbor couldn’t use his electric garage door so he had to smash in his boarded up side window, if he would have been out of town that week on business his wife would have been stranded as she was too small to smash in the boarded up window.  

        Manos, in your example, the stores may have been experiencing an increase in theft and vandalism from setting that food out? I used to lay out a pile of aluminum cans next to my garage for the homeless guys who walked the alleys, but then other things started disappearing and my car was broken into. So I stopped leaving out the cans which attracted the homeless, as a result, things stopped disappearing and no more car break ins.

        It’s too bad they have to ship that food to the dump, likely because of goberment regulations they cannot give it away at another location, that may be another reason the managers stopped giving away slightly spoiled and tarnished food, they might have been given fines if they kept it up?
        That is similar to here in the U.S. when goberment stops individuals who set up homemade food giveaways to the homeless, the goberment wants People to depend on goberment services and not get by due to the charity of private individuals.

      15. Narley rant, Surfer Dude, I like it.

        It’s the Corporate-State merger a.k.a. the BigSis/Walmart combo that I don’t prefer, if they would just drop that nonsense I would shop their stores, and now that I’ve discovered the lower prices at Dollar General I would likely shop both places.

        In the meantime, month by month Walmart has lost a small sliver of income.

      16. Another Dollar General fan here. There is one right down the road from me and it is easy to get in an out when I need a few things. I also love Big Lots because you can find unusual food items there. I try to keep the Wallyworld shopping to a minimal because I like to spread my bidness around and keep other people employed.

      17. Sorry Goldenfxxx, I’m not over weight and I know how to wear my slacks around my waist.  I also carry with a holster, not with my hand in a pocket holding up my britches below a pair of dirty boxers.  Three gal of oil is for my truck.  No art.

      18. Brew your own beer, make your own wine, and distill your own spirits!  Propagate your own yeast strains…bake your own bread, Plant fruit trees, build a small greenhouse and grow a garden .Get some canning jars and lids and preserve your food for the winter months. Buy a pressure cooker and can your own meats and sauces. Get a bucket, a washboard, some clothesline and some clothespins. Cut and split your own firewood, Tap maple trees in the spring and make your own maple syrup.Get a rod and reel, some bait and tackle, and take your family fishing!  Just like Grandma and Gram pa did…when they didn’t have a TV, or time to watch TV. Save yourselves a bunch of money,buy the above items at thrift, and second hand stores.Use the Internet to your advantage…Educate yourselves on sites like these!              and may God bless you all!

      19. Re enstate the Miller-Tydings and McGuire Acts.

      20. Surfer dude

        There was a time when corporations were chartered by the peoples government for a limited time and only for the public good.   After the civil war, they became “persons” and they no longer had to serve a public purpose.  They became legal protection for criminals and a way for the government (incorporated in 1871) to control and get a cut from all commerce the corporation involved itself in. 

        Not one single truck has made a delivery to Walmart specifically for me, and the criminal nature of the corporations have made it impossible for me to obtain many of the necessities from a smaller shop.  Am I a hypocrite because I have to get some things from a corporation?  Don’t think so.  I have been given no other choice in a lot of instances.

        The problem is in the lack of accountability of a legal fiction.  If a corporation breaks a law, who pays?  Especially when it is the legal property of the government corporation that spawned it and has a monopoly over the courts?

        Also, not one single corporation has ever invented anything that has helped me in my life.  They don’t exist.  The good that comes out of a corporation comes from people who work for them.   The ideas are from humans.  They are only abused for profit by corporations that exist contrary to the natural law.  How many good ideas have been shitcanned by corporations because they were not profitable? 

        I am outraged at many things I can do nothing about.  Therefore I do not waste my time.  Most people are like you when it comes to corporations.  They credit them with far too much good and dismiss their evil nature. 

        Also, I think you referred to me as an idiot.  You can kiss my arse for even having such a thought.  While you may be a happy slave to the corporations, and even have become one yourself in more ways than you know, some of us resist the fraud that you hold so dear and credit for everything in your life.

        Ahole dude, you can continue to support the corporations, starting with your  US Government.   You can fight for their fictitious life if you so choose.  Just remember what you are selling out to.

        The corporations will rule until the people come together and stop it.  But with idiots like you out there crediting legal fictions for everything good in the world and people for everything bad, it is not likely to happen here until the matter is forced.  That time is fast approaching.

        Until that time comes, I will live in the world I am presented.  What kind of moron would suggest that using anything that comes from a corporate origin can not be used if you are against the idea of a corporation?  That is like telling someone who doesn’t believe in God that if they feel that way they should stop breathing his air.

        Corporations will become a thing of the past in due time.  But only when people like ahole dude realize that things are best run when they are run by people who can be held accountable for their actions, rather than hiding their crimes in a corporate setting.

      21. Everyone wants to shop at Wal Mart, but no one wants to work there. Hmmm… something is wrong here. Did you know the majority of workers at Wal Mart qualify for welfare and food stamps? Why do you think that is? If you like what Wal Mart stands for then you are in favor of your own company cutting your hours and your benefits just so they can undercut all their competitors and cater to the lowest wrung of society. The hypocrisy and shortsightedness of people who are in favor of Wal Mart is simply astounding to me.

        Capitalism is great, but there is a point that it gets to where it isn’t even capitalism anymore. Look at Egypt. It’s the perfect example of Wal Mart-ism. The very few in the Egyptian gov’t – like the Wal Mart executives – have 90+% of the wealth while the people have barely enough to scrape by – much like the workers at Wal Mart.

        I realize this isn’t a perfect example because the people of Egypt aren’t as free to leave as the Wal Mart workers are, but in this economy where the unemployment rate keeps rising their choices are getting fewer and fewer. The bottom line is that Wal Mart gets what they pay for in an employee. You offer me no benefits and crappy pay and I’m not gonna take the job because I have skills that a better employer is willing to pay for, but the way these workers are treated is downright sub-human.

        Pretty soon America is going to become like a giant Wal Mart and anyone worth a damn will be looking for jobs outside the country. That will be the ultimate form of “outsourcing”. I don’t want to see that happen to my country, and that’s why I’m against Wal Mart.

      22. Sam Walmart would shoot his kids & go camping if he only knew.  Ammo & Coleman camping equipment are the only basic things made in Amerika sold there now.  Ammo & guns only sold in safe neighborhoods without the hoods.  Maybe he would go camping and shoot the kids.  I’m not sure….

      23. The Egyptians are F!  Don’t be common.  It’s headed this way.  They have very few trees.$#@ked

      24. Comments…..Anonymous said:

        Sorry Goldenfxxx, I’m not over weight and I know how to wear my slacks around my waist.  I also carry with a holster, not with my hand in a pocket holding up my britches below a pair of dirty boxers.  Three gal of oil is for my truck.  No art.

        LOL! That’s a big turn on.  I can visualize you now, Clint Eastwood type – Dirty Harry – fist full of dollars, heading to WalMart in his power stroke diesel with his gun in his holster.  Does WalMart allow you to carry in their store?  With all the nut cases running around there you might get turned in.  Then BigSis will have to confront you!  LOL! I can visualize that too.  Coming to mess with your junk!

        LOL!  Just heard that Wall Street downgraded WalMart today.  The cocoapuffers continue to shop there while  those who choose to spend the extra money shop someplace else.  That would be me. 🙂

      25. @SURFER DUDE
        Please step away and don’t talk about God, He would not want you to be any kind of ambassador for Him. It is people like you that give Christians a bad name.

        Finally someone else knows about the biggest kept secret in America and probably the world, the Act of 1871.

        Are you privvy to the New Republic?

      27. Thanks, excellent advice.
        “boycott wall-mart!

      28. God is my co-pilot.  He just lets me think I’m the pilot.

      29. “Nearly half of all Americans now use prescription drugs.”

        That’s 160 million Americans. Doesn’t matter if religions your bag or not. We have become a drug induced society. Drugs for the psychotic, drugs for the physically impaired. One third of those, over 50 million take more than two drugs a day. And 16 million use five or more prescription drugs on a daily basis. We’re not even talking non-prescribed drugs, i.e. illegal drugs, or alcohol.

        Of the many of you that come here and fall into that category, have you thought what might happen when the system shuts down and/or the availability become cost prohibitive?

        Can you imagine what American’s might transform into if the supply stopped overnight? Imagine Wal Mart shoppers in that state.

      30. You are socially impaired.  Take a Bayer aspirin & tweet me tomorrow after ten hundred Hail Mary’s.

      31. @BJ – So I give Christians a bad name for calling out the Ten Commandments in response to a conversation that attempts to rationalize stealing. This is an open forum to discuss, and that’s what I think about the conversation trying to apply social justice to approve of stealing. What gives Christians a bad name are Christians who deviate from His word and tell others what they can and cannot say.

        Only Satan works to silence the voice of a Christian speaking the Word. I pray for your soul and may God have mercy on the blasphemy you type.

      32. European American;  how right you are!  There are two doctors and three nurses in my immediate family.  They filled me in on some facts.  Over 80% of ALL pain meds manufactured in the entire world are consumed in the United States.  Like you said, this does not include illegal “medications” either.  We have become a nation of pussies who can’t stand even the most minor pain.  People who have a toothache or a broken finger routinely show up at the doctor demanding Oxycontin.  Women delivering babies are routinely given epidurals with extremely dangerous medications when good old nitrous oxide (laughing gas) works just as well and presents no danger to mother or infant.  Doctors in the USA routinely ignore the effectiveness of sleep aids like Valerian (natural, safe, cheap, and available everywhere) so that they can write prescriptions for things like Ambien (extremely dangerous with a long list of well documented side effects).

        Part of your prep should be getting ALL family members off of all pain meds, and if possible, all meds entirely…Keeping Tylenol and Ibuprofen around the house is one thing, being tied to a prescription (and very likely, a dependency) to opiates is something else entirely.  When the SHTF, you can bet that these intoxicants will become a hot commodity, and anyone holding a supply will be an immediate target for looters.

        The good news is that dopers can’t stop themselves from doing dope, so the supply will run out in short order (another good reason not to be dependent on the stuff in the first place).

      33. walmart  also exacts a cost on peoples sense of greater purpose and personal destiny.  do you have a more satisfying sense of purpose being a local shopkeeper, local service provider, etc. or stocking shelves at walmart?   when walmart comes in to a town and all the mom & pops shut down, do you think those people are just as happy going to work at wally world?

      34. Manos; In the United States, supermarkets typically take their dated food and produce and donate it to a food bank, then take a tax deduction for the donation.

      35. oh gawd, johnny v is back???? the self righteous little prick who walks around nude in a glass house tossing rocks from his balcony the qualityand iq of this site just went down a little.

      36. @ Jonny V

        I couldn’t have said it any better. It’s an epidemic out there. I sympathize with those who need their insulin but insulin is not going to heal them. Time to get off it “slowly” while there is time. As with the rampant abuse of pain killers, well, when they are no longer available reality will set in and I don’t want to be in the same neighborhood. Then we have the “steroid” use. These are the scary ones. Recently a news report estimated that 25% of police in America were on them. Steroids are being abused by US troops not to mention the massive drug consumption to alter the pain of how they are aggressively abusing (killing) children and women and other innocent “collateral damaged” bystanders.

        If you are on prescribed drugs and want to get off, read “Food Is Your Best Medicine” by Dr. Henry Bieler. Not something you want to do overnight, but overtime, as the body strengthens, the right food is the solution and prevention. Best do it now, while there’s still time. The body is capable of miraculous healing. Unfortunately, It’s the mind that most often gets in the way.

      37. Boy.  Lots of strong comments here.  I can see both sides.  The only time I ever went in a WalMart was to purchase some Coleman fuel that I knew was cheap.  I was in and out in 15 minutes with 8 gallons of fuel.  I didn’t feel bad one way or the other.  I got a deal, they got my cash.  As a builder, I won’t shop at any of the big box lumber yards because they sell crappy lumber and because their service sucks.  When our local Home Depot first opened up I was excited to see what they had.  I purchased a Dewalt cordless driver that was priced way low.  After 2 weeks it stopped working.  I took it apart to see if I could fix it and was amazed to find all the plastic gears had stripped.  I ended up taking the thing back.  My locally owned Ace Hardware sells the real deal.  I’m sorry I wasted my time.  All big boxes are only worried about price.  They don’t give a rip about the customers, their employees or the community.  Big box stores of any kind suck.  I’d rather pay a few bucks more and support my locally owned, smaller stores.      

      38. I got off blood pressure meds by controlling my food intake and starting to work out.  I always had the same excuse everyone else did…”I work HARD all day!  (drywalling, it really is hard too), but you know what?  Being prepared means that Dad (me) has to get off his ass and take Aikido lessons with his 20-something daughter.  Two things gained (self-defense prep for both of us, and PT for me).

        Most Americans have confused “freedom” with the “right” to eat 2-4 plates of food at dinner.  Then they pile on dessert.  If there was ever a society in the world that didn’t need dessert, it’s us.  One plate with no dessert works for dinner just fine.  Running around at 250 with sky high blood pressure , medications, and mediocre insurance doesn’t.

        It’s way past time for Americans to get tough on themselves.  The thing about “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps” is that it requires you to “PULL YOURSELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS”.

      39. “Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’—I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry n’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.” – Tom Joad – Grapes of Wrath
        “Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’—I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry n’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.” – Tom Joad – Grapes of Wrath

      40. I think one of the best things you can do to simplify your life is to stay out of debt.  When you are not concerned about money it frees up your mind to concentrate on more important things.  Less stress is a simpler lifestyle too.

      41. I have a Walmart about a mile from my home and I go there all the time to get cases of water and ammo. There is no way you can beat Walmart’s ammo prices for 7mm Magnum and for 12ga slugs 🙂

        If there was a mom and pop shop that sold this stuff at Walmart’s prices then I would go there, but there isn’t. I don’t think I have ever bought food there. Winco has better prices than Walmart but I am thinking of canning some ground pork and beef soon so where I buy will depend on the price. Oh I did buy all my canning jars there a couple years back when they were on sale for almost nothing.

      42. As for the foraging; Best be sure of the layout of the land before gathering. Most farmers/land owners around my area consider it trespassing with intent to thieve and act accordingly up to & including use of deadly force. It’s going to get worse with the food prices rocketing upwards. One had his apple orchard raided and the tree limbs broken so badly last year causing tree loss, he’s hiring armed security guards and putting in sensors for this years season and denying gleeners access.

      43. @SURFERDUDE
        not necessarily what you said but the manner in which you said….definitley not a spirit of love, which makes it not a spirit of Christ.
        And please do pray for me, I appreciate it, cause we have a family of 5, both out of work, poor and just got woke up to all this very recently and have no idea how we are going to prep….I fear we are screwed. So I appreciate your prayers  🙂

      44. It’s a Cummins diesel.  Your talking big now and showing off.  Have you ever changed your oil?  CA gun laws suck.

      45. One thing most of us do is waste a lot of food.  I am really trying to cut most of that out.  It still happens despite my best efforts.  But cutting waste helps reduce food costs.  We rarely eat out anymore.   BTW Husband took me out for a nice dinner on Valentine’s Day.   I just got off one prescription,  one month’s savings was almost enough to pay for dinner for all 5 of us.  We do still have basic satellite.  But I called Dish recently and asked if they could do anything to lower my bill.  The guy helped me save $12 per month!

      46. The government, the elites and the PTB WANT us to fight amongst ourselves so that we WON’T have any time or energy left to fight back against their oppression. You play right into their hands with all the constant bickering going on here.
        This article is about how to save money on your basic living expenses. Still hve a home? Water heaters (electric) are 220v and use a ‘s–tpot’ of electricity. Put either a timer or an on/off switch in-line to control your water heater. Set the timer to come on an hour before you wake up and off when everyone has finished bathing/using hot water in the AM. Set it to come on for another couple of hours in the evening, if you need to. You can save around $40 each and every month doing this. Live in an apartment? Talk to your manager, most are very understanding about your need/want to save money and conserve electricty. A 220v switch will cost you less than the timer. For $100 or so, including the $50 you slip the electrician to do the work for you, you can save some serious money in the very first year.

      47. Comments…..my mother told me, more than once,if you can”t say anything nice,don’t say anything at all. she also  said,it was better to be thought of as a  fool, than to open ones  mouth and remove all doubt  .stay on the subject.

      48. Interesting positions, thoughts and comments. I patronize mom and pop establishments. Most are family operated like the True Value Hardware (inherited from wife’s family, run by mom, dad and the adult children.), the propane and kerosene place (mom & dad, adult son), The little (and I mean little) corner grocery store where I buy 99% of my meat (aging father butcher and two older-older daughters), the liquor store (father and son), the dirt and rock place (family lives on premise, wife cashiers and scales, kids run around, dad drives and loads and brother does truck and equipment repairs), feed store (two brothers and sister), nursery, (100 yr old family operated, workers are Spanish speaking), recycling yard (sole proprietor, Spanish speaking help), auto repairs (husband and wife) convenient store/gas station (family owned with two non family workers who are always whining about how little they make and no benefits). And, I’m suppose to not patronize Wally World or Dollar Tree because both are large corporations and they pay low wages and take away jobs from the community.  What???

      49. BJ

        Everybody should know that the US Government is just a commercial corporation acting in a private character through the use of debt notes.  For some reason, few seem to realize it.  The US codes are copyrighted material, private law for the corporation.

        Another thing people need to realize is that the Supreme Court never granted the status of “personhood” to corporations.  It was done in a footnote to an unrelated decision that has been abused by, drumroll…., CORPORATIONS.

        To think that most of the people, even on this blog, would allow these fictions not only to obtain rights superior to their own, but also to allow them to make laws for the people, makes me very sad.

        Too many people are fighting the wrong enemy.  they are trying to get legal fictions to take responsibility and correct the problems caused by the same fraudulent corporations that can not be held accountable for anything.

        It is a sad past and present for the country, and an even sadder future will surely result. 

        I do not do the New Republic.  Until the bigger problems are resolved, there can be no protection other than that which you provide for yourself.

      50. Ladyhawk

        You should shop where you need to without feeling bad about it.  The corporations spawned by the US Government will be there conducting their criminal enterprises until the mother corp is dismantled.

        I foresee a day in the future when the people will begin to understand what they face.  The only question is will it be too late?

      51. “We are not going to be running up the credit card anymore”.

      52. “…a local supermarket had a power outage, and bagged up lots of frozen and refrigerated stuff and put it in their dumpster as unsaleable.  People came and took it and were eventually visited by police and charged with “theft by finding.””


      53. My point is what is the difference between the two?  The family enterprises are not going outside their circle to hire any community members and when they do, they too  go for cheap labor and low pay.  And this isn’t a recent trend – think dealerships, drug stores, tire shops – family, relatives and friends first.

      54. MadMarkie – a major point is about where to shop as saving money allows one to have more disposable income for basic living and prepping needs.

        You’re right in that the exchange needs to remain civil. 🙂

      55. Comments…..Bert Gummer
        February 15th, 2011 at 12:31 am
        As for the foraging; Best be sure of the layout of the land before gathering. Most farmers/land owners around my area consider it trespassing with intent to thieve and act accordingly up to & including use of deadly force. It’s going to get worse with the food prices rocketing upwards. One had his apple orchard raided and the tree limbs broken so badly last year causing tree loss, he’s hiring armed security guards and putting in sensors for this years season and denying gleeners access…
        This is one of my biggest pet peeves on three prepper sites I visit..(grow a garden…get it started now ..get those seeds started inside under special lighting…raised gardens using 2 x 4’s.)

        Don’t these people realize all of us don’t have 10/20 acres…don’t have money for 12 foot fencing, not that fencing would keep out looters anyhow!!!
        It’s just not feasible to plan on growing a row of corn, green beans, tomatoes, etc. and have someone with a weapon guarding it 24/7…IT AIN’T GONNA WORK…when children get hungry, parents will cross an electrified fence to feed their babies, guns or not. 

      56. Sad to say, but JJ is right on one count.  When the little crumb-crunchers start crying, “parents” will do just about anything to feed them.  Never mind that the breeding of these kids was probably irresponsible in the first place.  It’s like in that old Steve Martin movie, “you have to get a license to catch a fish, but they’ll let anyone be a parent”.  The world is way over populated, and every new baby is a burden that the planet (and our political/food/energy/society) cannot stand.  Doesn’t matter how much the “parents” love it, want it, whatever.  I’ve never heard a reason for having kids that didn’t start with “I want” or “We want”.

        For what it’s worth, you CAN garden on a low budget and in a small space.  Sunset magazine runs lots of articles on small-space gardening projects.  A surprising amount of food can be grown using container gardening in areas as small as 4′ x 8′.  Probably not enough to totally survive on when TSHTF, but enough to be a big part of the solution anyway.

        Something that home gardeners/canners might be interested in is this tomato press (I got one for X-mas).  It separates the seeds and skins from the meat of the tomatoes.  Can’t wait for canning season this time!


      57. @JJ

        I just posted on the previous thread- Major Food Distributor Sysco- directions on making a vertical mobile garden. I grew vegtables for five years using that method – PVC pipe, tote containers, Miracle Grow,  vermiculite and seeds.

        I don’t think I’m allowed to post an article twice. It was around the 50th post.  Let me know what you think. 

      58. Update -it is currently towards the bottom of the article – I called the PVC pipe “planted” with loose leaf lettuce a Salad Tree -  It would make a great Bug Out garden as would the totes.

      59. I’m not buying that tired old arguement that Walmart drives out the little guy.  About 25 years ago they put in a Walmart close to me and prior to that there were maybe 25 bussiness within a mile.  Today there are 300-400 businesses and almost all of them are small businesses.  Walmart tends to be the “anchor” business that attracts other businesses around it.  Contrary to the union propaganda it would seem that Walmart is good for small business.  Also I know for a fact that 100% of my Walmart’s employees live locally!!

      60. Just remember walmart,mcdonalds and monsanto(to name a few) gave(and continue to) gobs of cash and lobbiests to support NAIS(animal ID#) and other things like S-510 aimed at giving themselves and the govicorp control over all food,even what you raise in that container on the porch…be careful who you support,they may not be supporting you….just saying…..Thanks!

      61. Comments….. “GoneWithTheWind” you’re an idiot. My “local” Walmart only managed to drive out small business owners, increase crime in my area, and lower home values. I stopped shopping with them when Sam Walton died. The values he instilled within the company were lost soon after to corporate greed. Their treatment of women in the work force is shameful, and their pay is likewise insulting. And if you’re truly concerned with how much money you save try growing your own food, canning, dehydrating, and buying from local farmers. You’ll save more than $2,300 a year. Laughable you even believe that. How does that invisible robe you bought fit by the way?

      62. In our home town of Keokuk Iowa, Walmart DID drive out the small businesses…all of them an there were many, not even counting the mall, that is now a ghost town…drove out more than it brought in

      63. K & BJ you need to re-examine your Walmart derangement syndrome.   I can’t speak about Keokuk but as you know many small towns have experienced malls and downtown areas losing business and it typically has nothing to do with Walmart.   However if Walmart is more competitive and offers what the people want then would you deny them that option?  We have three Walmarts in our town and also a couple thousand small businesses.  Maybe you need to look for another scapegoat for Keokuk’s problems. 

      64. Comments…..I think the jist of this guy’s article is start doing things yourself.  “Gonewiththewind” needs to lighten up.  Yo can argue either waybut you cant deny the fact that most of the stuff is from China which is destroying our dollar through trade deficit spending.

      65. Keokuk was once a booming town, nicknamed little Chicago….and many years ago there were reason for that, illegal ones! Never the less the town did start dying down after the 50-60’s era. Until the Avenue of the saints running though it helped bring a lot of industry back to the town. It sits ight on major highways and the rivers, both the MIssissippi and Des Moines. Then she was getting back and the mall started to flourish again as did main st…..then Wal Mart and Stan’s Bakery…gone. Henke Hardware…..gone, McGlaughlins….gone, Mall…..almost completely empty, Johnson’s Pharmacy….gone and literally dozens of others. This happened when Walmart came to town. Before things settled down and got smaller but were revivable…Walmart killed anything left beyong ever being revived.
        If it comes down to money alone…not to mention Walmarts agreement with the govt to be an emergency inoculation center or their agreement to tell people to spy on one another (totally unpatriotic and absolutely nonsense)  I would rather spend a tad more and know I ma helping the local mom and pop stores AND keeping my money in America vs. China. On your next trip to Chimart do your best to find all the American made products you can and come back and let me know what you found.

      66. Sorry, BJ we are going to have to disagree on this one – In a previous post I identified the mom and pop establishments and their make up.  For those jumping on Walmart – low wages, taking jobs from the community, China products, I can say the same about the Mom and Pop’s.

        In my experience (including pre-Walmart)  Mom and Pop’s hire/hired family, relatives and friends before an outsider.  None of my immediate circle benefited job wise from mom and pop businesses. 

        Those few that do have outside help are now hiring  illegals, cheap labor.  No one’s asking about their loyalty to the American worker? The two American workers at the gas and go store say they are not earning a living wage and no benefits. And a lot of their products, including chips, drinks, candy, snack stuff, phone cards and magazines, cater to their Spanish speaking customers and those made in Mexico products are not supplied by US vendors.

        The True Value does have some tools and stuff made in USA.  But they also have many of the same products I find at WalMart, only 25% higher.  My last purchase,  solar tiki torches – made in China.   

        The pots, baskets, gardening tools at the nursery are not only China, but several other third world countries and their labor force, illegals. 

        No one mentions how malls and cars and no more neighborhoods contributed to what happened to the Mom and Pop businesses or that times change. 

        Help me understand this, those that won’t shop WalMart but will the Dollar Tree’s, Generals etc which have stores all over, in neighborhoods, strip malls, communities just like WalMart and their products on the most part are from where???

      67. Keokuk must of been really uniqwue then. Small town  of about 12,000….there were no outsiders?? No foreign speaking immigrants either?? And I gotta say that some things were cheaper at Wlamart and some things were not.

        As far as  not shopping there anymore, I thought I gave our reason for that, but if not, here it is. At Christmas we could not find one toy anywhere that was NOT made in China or anywhere besides the USA.  That got us paying more attention to thi and Walmart stuck out the most. Then I found out about them being an emergency inoculation center for the guber mint in one of those “emergency” times. And the final stike was the day we heard about big sissy’s videos being played in the Walmarts talking about telling on your neighbor for suspicious behavior. Mind you the letter that came out a few years ago told what “they” consider suspicious behavior…here are a few  anti abortion (that’s us) Christian (thats us) against government (we are aginst big guber mint) Tea Partiers (that’s us) pay for things in cash (agains sometimes us) and the list goes on. So Shellie and I marched into Walmart adn talked to the Store Manager and told him how we felt in a polite manner and told him that we would never spend another dime in a Walmart, we would take our xx,xxx.xx a year spent here adn go elsewhere. We won’t even go into the huge Walmart building and spend money in any of the other business’s

      68. BJ

        Welcome to my world, it’s called profiling and even the Mom and Pop’s do it and if I  stopped doing businesses because of that, well …..life would be difficult.  As I said, on this topic let’s just disagree.  There is so much we do have in common.

        The general reasons given for not patronizing  just seems like a double standard and the thing about inoculations for the government?  The majority of cocopuffers believe in shots and pills, if there is an epidemic, do you want all those people overwhelming the hospitals and clinics where there are  infectious people?  (I’m not into “flu” shots, so you won’t see me there.)

        The government also uses them in disasters to bring in water and supplies cause of their warehouse stockpiles and fleet of trucks.   Seems they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

        Hey, it makes no difference to me, I use them mostly for preps: ammo, totes, oil etc.  – no clothes cause I don’t by new.  Things my mom and pop’s aren’t into.

      69. @LADYHAWK,
        I hope you don’t think I was being argumentive…I din’t mean to come off that way if I did. I know what you mean about disagreeing. But please re word or explain your first sentence, I am not sure I totally understand what your saying…sorry  🙁

        I don’t do flu shots either, no one in my family will get them and our children will only be vaccinated up through the 1982 levels.
        And  yes I imagine we agree on way way more than we disagree on  🙂


      70. BJ, you ask the most interesting questions.  🙂

        And we are cool with each other.

        Profiling – There are several types of profiling. The one targeting you and the Mrs seem to be over your political and religious beliefs. In other words, you have committed no crime or violated any rules or laws, but you are being singled out of the general population for additional scrutiny, for no other reason then you don’t think or believe as the power elite. And you are rightfully outraged, because it violates your constitutional rights.

        My world is I am a woman of color.  I get singled out for no other reason then the color of my skin. Except for the color of my skin, my appearance, attire, decorum, speech and mannerisms are those of the general population, and like the majority of the population, I have no criminal record, 50 years of hard work and am a citizen tax payer. This does not stop law enforcement, security personnel, or other bigoted types from violating my constitutional and civil rights.

        Mentioned my RV travels. Guess seeing a single woman of color behind the wheel, of then a 23 ft motor home, un-American or what? No crime or moving violation, but it didn’t/doesn’t stop law enforcement from pulling me over on a tail light check or other bogus reason. (I referred to the tail light as the “trick tail light” – doesn’t work when the police are there, works fine once they leave.)

        My touring and sight seeing were traveling the blue highway (blue lines on a map) – the non interstate routes. When I first started traveling, had a concealed carry weapons permit (CCW). The permits are referenced to one’s driver’s license, vehicle registration and plate. 

        It was bad enough LEO’s were violating my rights by running my plate without any crime, moving or equipment violation. (Remember no criminal record and my CCW was proof) They would pull me over. I always tried to be in a public place. In larger populations, they would sit behind the rig until a second car would show up. Intimidation. At first I was. Then I got angry. They would ask me questions, especially about my hand gun (also, had a 22 rifle) both secured in the living portion of the rig.

        At first I was cooperative, then, I wouldn’t say a word and along with my license, registration and insurance was an index card – it stated that if there were no charges or violations, I should be free to go.  Stapled to the card was my attorney information and four quarters taped to the card. (This was before cell phones.)

        After enough of those episodes, I surrendered my CCW permit and made sure all references were purged from my records.  As long as there are _____ law enforcement officers out there, I tell people of color to DO NOT get a CCW permit – you only become a target. That’s what racial profiling looks like.  Since I’ve been to a few Tea Parties and hold beliefs unacceptable to the establishment and visit Wally World, just another reason to be singled out and profiled.

      71. Sure i have many problems with all the BS i have seen in all these posts. I have also been of a like mind to some of it. However when i read the steaming pile that the European American spouted telling people on insulin that they should get off of it !! So i guess when people on insulin take your advice and die if they don’t go blind first loose a foot or leg or have a stroke or heart attack or lose the use of their kidneys. So sure after a few years less and less evidence will exist. What do i care, not much since only an idiot would consider coming here twice. F.O.A.D.

      72. Lady Hawk,  seems to me you are free to open up your own small business and hire all of the non family members you want in any neighborhood that you want.  To run a small business nowdays requires family members to work long hard hours and many times without pay or even paying into it (sometimes with borrowed money).  Get new LED tail lights and ask them what their PC is.  Then ask if you are free to go.  Document everything, name, tag number & car number.  We are all colors.  I can give you some stories about police officers and the problems that they have to put up with.  Speak with them and ask how to keep a good profile.  It’s kind of like customer care. 

      73. PC????

      74. I have a friend who has worked for wal-mart for 10 years. He makes 11 dollars an hour. No real benefits, has welfare for his kid. WalMart hires anf fires at will and could lose his job tomorrow.

         He’s lucky, his mother left him her house when she died so he doesn’t have to make rent or a mortgage. His wife was a Home Health aid.  They recently lost her car and her job. they are on income with 1 car now.

        My friend has an assoc degree in communications but cannot find work in his field. 

        If walmart paid accordingly he would be making 15-20 dollars an hour, have benefits and some job security.

        Think is this is what TPTB want for ALL of us. They want to make America into a 2 class system. No middle class. Degrees would mean nothing and we will all be working for Wal Marts making half of what we should and living off whatever help we can gain.

      75. Rachel; You just don’t get it!  If your friend could get a better job then he would have already gotten it.  Instead of being mad at Walmart for hiring him we should all be thankful.  He has a job!!  An apparently unhireable person has a job thanks to Walmart.  And all you and other’s sufferring from Walmart derangement syndrome can say is his pay SHOULD be $15-20 an hour!!  By what reasoning should an associate at a big box store be worth $15-20 an hour???

        A degree means nothing what matters is what you know and what you can do.  You may want unions to secure higher pay based on degrees but the taxpayer does not.  If this guy was smart enough to get hius degree then he needs to get off his ass and get a job that challenges his skills.  Until he does his degree means nothing!

      76. @ Michael Ogden;  EA was right.  Most all of these diabetics are disgusting fatbodies who need to stay the hell away from McDonalds.  There are lots of people who’ve been able to stop using insulin, and the common denominator is weight loss.

        There are some cases where individuals do need medications, however that number is less than 5% of all the people who are on meds.  Diabetes is near totally preventable by (guess what?) not being fat.  These days, whenever someone gets a sprained ankle, runny nose, headache, hang-nail, or whatever, they run to the doctor demanding pills.  Nothing but weaklings and pussies.

        You came back here and read this too, I know it and you know it.  No one can help but to watch the train wreck.

      77. Diabetes is genetic you get it from your parents not from your food.  If you have it then a diabetic diet can help you cope with it but it does not cure it or make it go away, it merely diminishes the symptoms.  If you don’t have diabetes you can eat anything you want to even McDonalds and it won’t give you diabetes.

      78. All the talk about WalMart reminds me of some of the ‘quality’ stores which have gone bust:  Montgomery Ward, Zayres, Caldor, Lechmere, Computer City, Service Merchandise, Bradlees, almost K Mart. 

        Bashing WalMart is dumb for the simple reason that you can choose not to shop there.

      79. Rachel said “…I have a friend who has worked for wal-mart for 10 years. He makes 11 dollars an hour. No real benefits, has welfare for his kid. WalMart hires anf fires at will and could lose his job tomorrow…” 
        Why blame WalMart?   Not to be rude but perhaps your friend is only worth $11 per hour.  We need to make it easier to open a business here.  The problem is red tape and government intervention which prevents private job creation.  More jobs will increase wages for motivated workers.

        An interesting article from a while ago.
        The primary reason our unemployment level is lower than in Europe is because it’s easier to lay people off here, as paradoxical as that might seem. This is a classic example of the law of unintended consequences.

      80. My dad is a Vietnam vet, exposed to agent orange which causes diabetes.  Just sayin’.

      81. Agent orange was investigated inside out and up and down.  The only thing it causes is acne.  There was a tiny statistically meaningless bump around dioabetes so the government decided to throw the lawyers a bone and allow them to sue for diabetes.  However the statistical blip was so small no real scientist would have given it a second thought.  Since then because of political pressure almost anyone who “claims” to have been exposed to agent orange and has a disease can get free VA care.  Frankly I don’t have a problem with vets getting VA care even for non-military related reasons.  My concern is that those who would distort the facts for personal gain, I mean lawyers, are getting rich on the public taxpayers.
        I also think it is a shame that the people who disinform for the purpose of lawsuits cause a lot of turmoil in people’s lives (like your dad) by creating the fear of acquiring some disease from past exposure to things like agent orange. 

      82. people in general never prepare for anything.  make sure you have access to electricity along with other supplies.  soalr panels are available via many outlets on the internet.  i also bought a pedal generator at http://www.econvergence.net/electro.htm that lets me pedal to create electricity to power and charge things like radio, stun gun, heating plate, walkie talkies, lights, etc.

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