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Frugal Prepping: 12 Cheap Ways to Prep Like There’s No Tomorrow May 17, 2017

With economic times being what they are, it only means that we become more frugal when it comes to prepping. No one wants to be overdrawn in their accounts because they were trying to prepare for emergencies. Frugality is an art form, and if used properly, it can save you lots of money. The key is to know where to find these hidden gems. With a little “out of the box” thinking and some patience, you can acquire prepper items like food, tools, shelter, first aid and weaponry for pennies on the dollar.

Before you begin, keep these tips in mind:

  • Find out what your budget it and set aside an allotment each month for preps.
  • Take inventory of what you already have so that you don’t purchase multiples of items.
  • Have a list of items you need and don’t deviate from the plan!
  • When you are prepping on a budget, be patient and wait for the right opportunity to purchase.
  • Don’t ever panic buy or shop impulsively. This is where you lose money and the key here is to save it.

There are many strategies you can take to save money on your preps, you just have to choose which one is best for you. Here are 12 suggestions you can take to frugally purchase preparedness items.

12 Cheap Ways to Prep Like There’s No Tomorrow

  1. Buy in bulk. A lot of preppers use this frugal shopping strategy so they get more bang for their buck. Discount warehouses are great for this type of purchasing. As well, when you buy in bulk, you will enough of this item for a short-term emergency, so you can cross the item off your prepper list until you need to buy more. The LDS warehouse is another place to get bulk items inexpensively.
  2. Purchase a small item at a time. If your budget is so tight that you only have $5 extra in your account – you can make that work. Take a look at these prepper food items that are $5.
  3. Barter in your community. Your skills and services can carry you far if you allow them to. Consider what abilities and knowledge you possess that can be shared with others and barter them for goods or other services. Here are some great tips on how to barter better.
  4. Go to farmer’s markets and get in contact with local growers. If you work a deal with a vendor at a farmer’s market, you can get lots of food relatively inexpensively. Work a deal such as, get 5 lbs of strawberries to turn into jam and give 4 jars to the vendor. This is a great way to practice self-reliant skills and put food in your pantry. If you are an avid hunter, work a deal and see if someone will preserve the meat. See what I mean?
  5. Thrift stores. Thrift stores are a great way to collect vintage or antique items for a fraction of the cost. Ready Nutrition writer, Ruby Burks found cast iron pots, old cookbooks and kitchen utensils to use in her home. Remember, keep a list of items you are looking for and don’t deviate. This will keep your budget in check.
  6. Look for free stuff. I know this one is a long shot, but there are items you can get for free at garage sales, Craigslist, and even rummaging through items people have thrown out. Freecycle.com is another place to look for items. At this website, people recycle previously owned items and give them away for free.
  7. Go to the Dollar store. Not only can you buy food at the Dollar stores, but tools and medical supplies. This could be an untapped local source of preps for you!
  8. Use coupons. Finding coupons in the Sunday newspaper, magazines, local grocery stores or even online is a great way to start the search for what you need.  Not only can you use coupons to use for short-term and long-term food supplies, but you can find deals for camping equipment or warm clothes, etc.  You can literally save hundreds of dollars using coupons.
  9. Purchase gently used items. Pawn shops, Ebay, military surplus stores, and Craigslist are great places to look for used items. You can save a lot using this method, but take all necessary means to ensure the products are not damaged in any way. As well, if you are meeting someone at their home, practice safety and go with someone else.
  10. Look for deals – When you are shopping and you come across a deal such as 10 canned goods for $5 – get it! This is a great way to save money and stock up your pantry. This cumulative savings strategy can go for any of your prepping needs – medical supplies, dental care, garden seeds, etc. Typically, these type of deals can be found in your local newspaper. Don’t forget that coupons are your best friend in this situation.
  11. Do-It-Yourself – Whether it’s DIY projects or dehydrating your own food, this method can save you a lot of money. For example, instead of spending $4 on waterproof matches, dip them in wax yourself and viola! Or, if you need dehydrated food, buy a dehydrator and do it yourself.
  12. Grow your own food. Having food stashed away for a rainy day is one of the must-have items in your preps. Why not start a garden and grow your own. Any food that comes from our harvest can be dehydrated or canned for long-term use. This instantly saves you money at the grocery store too and is a great way to practice self-reliance.

We are all looking for ways to save money in our prepper ventures and hopefully some of these suggestions can help you. What are frugal strategies you use to save money on your preps?

 

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The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 17th, 2017
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Here’s the Key to Urban Prepping That Most People Don’t Consider April 7, 2017

new york city wikimediaIf you live in a rural or suburban area, you have a very distinct advantage over your fellow preppers who are living in densely populated cities. It’s not that you don’t have to worry about hordes of desperate, hungry violent people. It’s not that you’re more likely to live near a wilderness with fresh game, or that you have friendlier neighbors who you can rely on.

Although certainly those are all advantages, your biggest advantage is that you have more space. You have more room to grow your own food if you want. You have enough space to stock up on a wide variety of supplies. That allows you to hunker down, and wait for the chaos to pass.

That’s a bit more difficult for urban preppers. A family living in a tiny apartment can’t stock up on enough food to last for three months or more, much less any other essential supplies. Or they can, but only if they don’t mind losing their entire living room.

While it’s a good idea for every prepper to stock up on as many essential supplies as they can, that’s just not enough for most urban preppers. They require a slightly different strategy. Rather than trying to figure out how they can stock up and isolate themselves from everyone else, what will give the urban prepper the greatest chance at survival is figuring out how they can trade with everyone else.

If you stop and think about what makes cities and rural areas different, it makes sense. In rural areas, regardless of whether or not there’s a disaster at play, self-sufficiency is one of the most important virtues. In densely populated cities, cooperation is more important. That’s because your neighbors aren’t a mile down the road. They’re right up against you, all the time.

So if you’re a prepper in a city, you have to think more about what you can trade with your neighbors for. Rather than just focusing on filling your apartment with bins full of freeze-dried food, you need to also think about stocking up on stuff that you can trade away down the road when your limited supplies run out.

Preferably, these trade items should be small. And to give you the most bang for your buck, they should be items that are cheap now, but will be worth their weight in gold after a disaster. Consider the following:

  • Water filtration and disinfection supplies are usually very compact and affordable. Take for instance, the crystallized iodine that is found in Polar Pure. That tiny jar is capable of disinfecting 2000 quarts of water, and only costs $20 (but don’t stock up on it too quickly. Crystallized iodine is used to make meth so that might look suspicious). Alternatively you can stock up on pumps and especially filters. None of these items are particularly expensive now, but in a crisis, most people will give their right arm for them.
  • Reloading supplies. Specifically, you should buy up a wide variety of primers. Brass casings can be reused, lead can be scavenged, and gunpowder can be made just about anywhere. Primers are incredibly cheap and compact, but this is an item that you would be hard pressed (pun intended) to find during a prolonged collapse.
  • Over the counter drugs would also be a great idea. They’re cheap, small, and have a shelf life that’s a lot longer than what you see on the label. Same with most prescription drugs. Though you can’t stockpile them for obvious legal reasons, if you’re ever prescribed pain killers or antibiotics and have some pills left over after you recover, you should hold onto them.
  • Sewing kits are another really cheap and portable item. We live in a throwaway culture, and you’d be surprised by how many people don’t have this sort of thing lying around. But if society collapses, everyone will have to squeeze as much life out of their clothes as they possibly can.
  • And finally, consider building up a supply of supplements, especially multivitamins. There isn’t going to be as much food to go around, and the kind of food that’s available probably isn’t going to be nutritionally balanced. There will be a lot of diseases showing up in the population that are caused by poor nutrition. Unfortunately, you can’t stock up on too much of this because supplements have a limited shelf life. But boy, imagine what someone with scurvy will give you for a handful of vitamin C pills.

Do you have any more ideas for small, affordable items that urban preppers should stock up on? Let us know in the comments.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 7th, 2017
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A Prepper’s DIY: Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms March 30, 2017

ReadyNutrition Readers, there can never be enough emphasis placed on the importance of weapons cleaning and maintenance.  We had a piece recently on how to maintain your weapons during the wintertime.  Keep in mind: the game changes completely when you fire the firearm.  You cannot afford to allow that weapon to sit with carbon buildup after you’ve fired it.  The moisture will come into play, and neglected, the weapon will be in really bad shape in about a week’s period of time or less.  If you are taking the tips on a regularly-scheduled maintenance program seriously, then it should be no problem whatsoever to incorporate your cleaning sessions into it after you have fired.


Keep this in mind: If you’ll maintain your car, can you do any less for your weapon…a piece of equipment where cleanliness and function may mean life or death?


Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

So, how about a cleaning kit for your weapon?  Here’s what you need: One large “mothership” cleaning kit for general purpose and maintenance, and one cleaning kit that is portable, for what you carry or tote into the great outdoors.  There are plenty of different brands to choose from, and in the manner that fishing gear is more tailored to catch fishermen than fish, the same principle applies to cleaning kits.  You need some basics, and it is the basics we’ll cover.  First, your component parts:

  1. Cleaning rods: brass or steel is preferable; aluminum if there’s nothing else.  You want enough sections to be able to clean out your longest rifle barrel, and extra sections and handgrips for pistols and other rifles, as well.
  2. Bore Brushes: these are often stamped with the caliber (.22, .38, .45, etc.) on the base just past the threaded part you screw into the rod. They are also made for your chamber…to clean where the cartridge is actually seated when fired.  The ones stamped with the caliber are meant to pass through the entire length of the barrel. If you have multiple firearms, consider getting this bore brush kit.
  3. Patch-tips: have an “eye” hole at the end, and are threaded to screw onto your cleaning rod. The larger the eye, the bigger the patch it takes.
  4. Cleaning brushes: You will have some that are made with nylon bristles, akin to a toothbrush, and some with wire/metal bristles. This latter group is especially helpful with carbon buildups.
  5. Patches: can be 1” square, 2” square, and so forth; usually made of cotton or muslin fiber to clean the inside of the barrel and other locations with your firearm.
  6. Pipe cleaners: especially helpful for small holes and other locations that have interworking mechanisms, such as trigger or hammer assemblies. Very useful in cleaning out carbon from around springs, deep within the magazine well, and in front of your firing pins.
  7. Bore light devices: Once again, there are numerous types to choose from. I carry a small “mini Maglite” that uses one AAA battery; however, I recommend the little Plexiglas 90-degree angle “sticks” that are L-shaped.  You place one end into the end of your barrel, and the other end point toward a light source (a light bulb, the sun, etc.) and it will illuminate your barrel.
  8. Lubricant: Self-explanatory here. The function is to clean and also to coat with a light coating.  If you caught my other piece, then you may recall: I recommend 5W/30 Mobil Synthetic Motor Oil, available at about $7 to $8 per quart.  All the name-brand oils (Outers, etc.) sell for little 1 – 2 ounce bottles for about $3 to $4.  You do the math.  The Mobil Synthetic is a better oil, and far less expensive.
  9. Bore Solvent: On this one I don’t cut corners, because other solvents can leave a film…I pick up the brand-name stuff from Outers, RCBS, etc. A small bottle of it will last you a long time if you stretch it.  You need it to clean off hardcore powder fouling…the type coming from when you burn off more than a couple of hundred rounds in a weapon.  Search your catalogs, and you can find volume deals for a gallon at a time.
  10. Cleaning rags, pouches, and other accessories (magnifying glass, scraping tools, etc.)

Now as we mentioned in the beginning, what you can do for ease of simplicity is work from the “mothership” principle: consolidate the majority of your supplies in one box/chest, and “work” off of smaller, independent “kits” for individual firearms.

You want the ability to clean each weapon no matter where it is.  If they’re consolidated in one location?  Fine, but you want the ability to throw together a pouch with all of the supplies and materials listed above specific to any firearm.  Tote the kit with you along with the firearm when you leave home, away from the consolidated supplies (the mothership).  You will find that you can build numerous “kits,” or pouches for each firearm.  Keep them all together until the time you take the firearm away.

The rule of thumb: if the firearm is away from the home, the cleaning kit should be with it.  You will find military issue nylon pouches (they have three snaps) are exceptionally useful for these individual kits.  They hold all of the rods (broken down), your brushes, patches, and a small bottle for your oil.   This photo shows an issue kit you can order from www.amazon.com for $16.20 called a UTG Model 4/AR15 Cleaning Kit Complete with Pouch

Although specifically for an M-4 (AR-15), as it is a 5.56 mm/.223 caliber weapon, you will find it can be used for a variety of different weapons cleaning applications.  Use your imagination, as necessity is the mother of invention.  You want to keep your cleaning kits and supplies in a water-tight, sealable case that will prevent moisture and perhaps take a beating.  Supplement this kit with cleaning rags and a small tool kit.  Patches you can make from something such as a white or cream-colored bedsheet that has outlived its original use.

Use your creativity and your imagination to make what you want and tailor it to your use.  Bottom line: your weapon can’t take care of you unless it is properly taken care of.  You can be smart and use some of these tips to lessen the bite to your wallet.  Just don’t cut corners when it comes to maintenance.  When you’re done at the range, either take it down and clean it there, or take it home and clean it right away.  Practice hard, clean those firearms, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 30th, 2017
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