Author Topic: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!  (Read 7199 times)

Offline swoods

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A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« on: September 11, 2009, 12:19:24 PM »
Hello all,

I am new to prepping and have only my income to depend on. Although I set up a budget several years ago to get out of debt, I have medical bills that will continue to occur and will always be paying on. A couple things have me stumped..........I have little to no savings and would be able to live off of the food in my house for maybe a month. I don't know where I should concentrate my efforts, start socking money into savings so I can keep my house or buy food so I can eat. I can have a house and no food or I can have lots of food and no house.

I have been looking at the budget I have attempting to find ways to cut back, but I don't really have any luxuries. My house payment, no car payment, insurances (house and car), gas for the car,  medical payments to several places that total $300 per month, utilities. I do have DISH, but it is a small package and I don't go to the movies and I gotta have something to watch!

I want to be debt free, but to do that, I am stumped as how to stockpile supplies and save money at the same time.

I would appreciate some suggestions. I believe there is some urgency to getting a plan of action and I am hoping I haven't waited too long.  :-[

swoods

sarahluker

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 03:53:23 PM »
I think there are threads about prepping for $5 at a time.  There are also websites that address this too.  It may take a while for you to get to a place where you feel more secure but if you can't do alot at a time, try adding steadily in small increments.  Good luck and keep plugging. 

Offline Remington

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 05:04:36 PM »
Having stockpiles of food is a luxury. On the other hand, paying your mortgage is a necessity. So I would focus on that, and look at ways of how you can better your financial situation (most likely outside of your current job).

Now, as to saving some money. What kind of land property do you have? Keeping a small garden or planting some productive shrubs/trees might be a good long-term option for you if you can find some cheap enough (depending on your location you might be able to purchase some inexpensively). I know the growing season is winding down in many parts, but fall is the time to plant berry bushes and fruit trees.

Best of luck, and remember that if you think creatively you will find a way.

Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 06:55:04 PM »
I think there are threads about prepping for $5 at a time.  There are also websites that address this too.  It may take a while for you to get to a place where you feel more secure but if you can't do alot at a time, try adding steadily in small increments.  Good luck and keep plugging. 

I will look for those threads, thanks for your suggestion. It is a bit overwhelming and worrisome to those of us that don't have a spouse or significant other to help out! I am certainly not helpless, I have been divorced for many years and have learned how to do lots of things on my own but stocking food, water, and the things I would need is a big task.

Again thanks.


swoods

Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 07:06:11 PM »
Having stockpiles of food is a luxury. On the other hand, paying your mortgage is a necessity. So I
Quote

Yes, I agree that making sure I have someplace to live is important. As for my job, I am getting pretty darn close to the age of retirement, so I won't be changing jobs. I did work two jobs for awhile, but the wear and tear on me was not worth the hours I was putting in at the second job, plus it really screwed up my taxes, I ended up owing several hundred dollars.

As to land, I live in a small community and have the lot that my house is on. I have two raised bed gardens. After getting one done and filled with compost, a huge and I mean huge peoney bush popped up. Despite my best efforts it will not die! I have done everything except put vegetation killer on it. I don't want to ruin the raised bed for future veggies. Anyway, I have had no luck with green beans, peppers, cucumbers, the usual garden crops. I have been watching the Youtube gardening clips to get some pointers and it appears that watering or lack of watering may be a problem. I like the idea of fruit bushes. I will go check that out this weekend.

Thanks for your suggestions, I am so glad to have found this forum.

swoods








Goatdog62

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 07:12:43 PM »
Food is a necessity in addition to your mortgage, more so even. Pay your mortgage of course, but use any extra for food buildup. Remember that the food isn't wasted. You'll stock only the types of food that you normally eat and you'll rotate it, so none goes wasted. Start slow, buy a few extra groceries every time you hit the store. It won't take long to have a months worth, then two, then three or more. When you have enough food to be comfortable, switch to saving cash and/or paying off more stuff.

Saving money is important, but a short period of food saving will give you a great peace of mind.


Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 07:48:11 PM »
Goatdog,

Peace of mind is the key! Sometimes all it takes is someone saying something, well, in this case, type something and it all makes sense.  :) I think I was looking at the "big picture" and was overwhelmed that I had so much to do. Small steps first and I will still get there. Thanks.

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 09:40:40 PM »
Still don't know enough about your situation to make a suggestion beyond what GD and the others have said.  Is there a possibility of picking up an extra part time job for 6 months to a year to help get you over the perverbial hump?  By doing that, perhaps you can get a jumpstart.  Also, can you unload anything of value that you can't eat or live in?  I've been garage saling the last couple of off weekends to lighten the load and put the cash in my safe instead of buying more crap.  Also, since you have the puter and net access, take a look at American Preppers blog, then find your state preppers blog and maybe start networking and getting helpful information on deals, ideas for frugality, best practices, etc.

Good Luck and let us know if any of these suggestions help you out. 

Berserker Prime

Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2009, 08:15:18 AM »
Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. Beserker....good suggestion about checking out garage sales. Never really thought about that being a medium to acquire prepper goods. I have worked two jobs several times in my life and now that I am more "mature" :) I don't have the stamina to work more than the one job I have. Even though I am an "office worker", I manage a prosecuting attorneys office with 23 employees, which is hectic and stressful. It's a county government job, so I don't make gobs of money, but the benefits are the reason I am still here after 23 years; 14 paid holidays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an hour for lunch, 12 sick days and pay for any not used, and I have accrued 4 weeks of vacation, soon to be 5 weeks. My plan is or hope to retire in six years. Want to have my ducks in a row with prepping before the retirment can happen.

I will check out the blog and I sure will let everyone know what I find. I also will go over my budget and rethink some categories and will post that info as well. As with many other folks, I am betting there are things I can cut back on or do without, I just have to decide what is more important. Gotta get outta the comfort zone!

Love the forum. I have learned many things and been inspired by comments and stories. Learned about the podcast from the local EMA director. He is a fan also. He recommended a couple books as well that I have ordered from Amazon, cuz they are cheaper!

swoods

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2009, 08:29:28 AM »
Isn't being around Lawyers all day like the 7th level of hell?! ;D  Anyway, what about setting up an offduty legal advise or service from home?

Not only think about going to g-sales but having them, then using the money for your preps. 

I can certainly understand about you being busier than hell, I guess it just comes down to how bad you really want to get your preps up and situation changed. 

good Luck! 

BP

Offline donaldj

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2009, 08:46:12 AM »
It's hard not to want to have things prepped instantaneously. It takes time, and you can't just go out and buy "prep". 

If it were me, I'd save up, get about a month's worth of reserve cash, then as new cash comes in start prepping.

I decided to dehydrate food as one way of prepping. Potatoes and apples are very cheap right now, and a bag of rice is always good to go. I have a dozen apples in the dehydrator now, and a bushel waiting...   Search the forums on how to make this stuff last, and get free things (like buckets from Walmart!) to help along the way.  For a month's worth of reserve, you can easily rely on canned foods, pasta, etc, and rotate as mentioned.

Since you get reimbursed for your unused sick time, I would make sure that $ gets used for prep items. Don't buy a vacation, a new TV, or anything with it, and don't let bills pile up because you know this "windfall" is on the horizon. My tax return is going to paying down some long term bills I have, and to getting a decent amount of prep work done (hopefully some training, and some freeze-dry stuff).

Do the things you can do for free. That means going on walks and runs to stay in shape, and LEARNING everything you can. These forums, YouTube, and other like minded souls can be a wealth of info. Your brain will be the most important tool you have.  Prepping is not just about stuff.

D



Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2009, 10:04:58 AM »
Isn't being around Lawyers all day like the 7th level of hell?! ;D 
BP

Actually, it's the 7th and 8th on some days!! Just had a fire drill complete with 100 jurors who were called in today. Geez, as if we don't have enough to deal with.  :) Thankfully, my office staff knows where our "location for taking attendance" is at and I didn't have to search for anyone. Would hate to tell the nice firemen that one of my employees is in the burning building!

I spent some time doing some google searches and let me tell you..........I found some terrific stuff; Keep it simple survival; the survival mom; survival acres, and steath survival are all great resources. I've printed some stuff out and bookmarked some sites to visit later.

You guys and gals are awesome, I feel so much better after reading posts and following up on the suggestions. I also plan to do an inventory and see if perhaps a garage sale might be in my future. Before computers I typed papers for college folks, that money bought a serger sewing machine and fabric. I made clothes for both my daughters right down to their winter coats! I canned veggies and fruits............geez, I have the skills, I need to ressurect them.

And yes, this all hinges on how seriously I want to accomplish this goal and I am serious. My book club just read Patriots by James Wesley, Rawles and although I had to stop and start reading several times, I did finish it and I think that is why I was so overwhelmed with the thought of prepping. I know nothing about weapons, radios, livestock.....the list goes on and on. I vow to learn and educate myself so I can and will survive no matter what.

When my plan comes together, I will post it so all of you wonderful folks can see how your suggestions helped me out.

thanks so much.
swoods

Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2009, 10:18:56 AM »
Since you get reimbursed for your unused sick time, I would make sure that $ gets used for prep items. Don't buy a vacation, a new TV, or anything with it,


Geez, didn't think about that. I was planning on buying a new computer, mine is 7 years old and pretty slow. Guess I need to rethink that. I usually spend it on something that is a major expense that I wouldn't buy normally.

Educating myself and learning as much as I can are top of my list right now. Good thing I love to read. :) I have been checking out Youtube as well. I had no idea that Youtube had so much stuff that wasn't crap. Watched a couple about dehydrating, just trying to decide now whether I want to purchase a dehydrator or a pressure canner. Scale is tippin' toward the dehyrdrator right now.

swoods

swoods


Offline HelenWheels

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2009, 10:21:48 AM »
SWoods, a few other sources:

Craigslist and FreeCycle are great sources for free, nearly free and doggone inexpensive items.

Taking advantage of the couponing and BO-GO sales at the grocery stores helps.

You mentioned you did sewing for your children. Perhaps you can pick up some alterations / repair gigs with the local dry cleaners.

Good luck! It can be done on a tight budget... and you have the most valuable preps of all already - the KNOWLEDGE of how to do things. Just from looking at your messages in this thread you've exhibited a number of skills:  organization, logical thinking, diplomacy, sewing, canning, money management, a willingness to learn.

You're a lot further ahead than most everyone around you, if you think about it. Take encouragement from that and keep moving forward.

Offline mamabear

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2009, 10:36:21 AM »
Watched a couple about dehydrating, just trying to decide now whether I want to purchase a dehydrator or a pressure canner. Scale is tippin' toward the dehyrdrator right now.

swoods



How about this, you buy the canner and I buy the dehydrator? I have been doing some of my own research and can find some cheap-o dehydrators. You know me and my deals!

Offline soccer grannie

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2009, 10:39:56 AM »
There are new and refurbished Excalibur dehydrators on Ebay.

Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2009, 10:42:23 AM »
Yes, I looked at them earlier this week online. Ok, mamabear, sounds like a plan to me. I've got some tomatoes that need to be dehydrated before they rot away on the counter! Not enough to can, but enough to dry out I think.

Offline stayfrosty

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2009, 10:57:13 AM »
There are many great suggestions and I want to second HelenWheels suggestion of using Craigslist and Freecycle. Personally, I have not had much success acquiring anything I've really wanted because there must be 10,000 people in my area that have nothing better to do than watch Craigslist all day and snatch up anything that is free.

I HAVE had some good success using Craigslist to make money. I don't know your background but almost anyone can tutor. I make an extra $40 a week reading with a 7 year old for an hour. Also, you'd be surprised how many items you can "flip" on Craigslist. I have been selling off some of my silver for $1.50 over spot (which is better than most places) and then rebuying on the dips. I've been able to stock up around 15 ounces of silver for free over the past 6 months! At $16.50 an ounce thats over $250. Those are just a few things that have worked for me, but if you are creative and desperate like I am... you can find ways to make some bucks on Craigslist.

frosty

Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please! UPDATED
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2009, 11:15:04 AM »
I said I would post when I had something to share. Well, I have done several things that have been positive and helped with my situation to share.

First, I have gone over my budget to see how I can stash some cash back. There are places that I have spent money that I don't need to, so I will curb that spending and put the cash back. I am such a huge book person....................and spend way too much money on books, although even as I type this, I am not sure how anyone can spend too much money on books. But there it is, I will try. I use MircoSoft money and have catergorized all my spending to see where I spend my money and it was an eye opener to say the least. I do have money that I can save and now I know where I spend and what I spend my money on. That has been a HUGE benefit to me. There are charts, reports, all kinds of ways to show in black and white what and where which makes it very easy to cut back and say WTF, I had no idea I was spending that much money on that!

Second, I inventoried my food supply, my health and beauty item supplies, laundry soap, cleaning supplies to determine what I had enough of and what needed attention. I have a lot more stuff that I realized I had, which made me feel much better. It appears that I need to work on my organization of supplies. :)

Third, cleaned everything out of my shed to determine what I could sell/trade, etc. I would add that everything is still strewn about my garage, it was a bigger job that I thought, so I am still in the process of sorting. I have a table saw in the box from Menards that I didn't even remember that I had! I also have a circular saw in the box from Lowes that I did remember I bought, but have never used it. Both were clearanced out, but still I am wondering what project I thought I would need them for????

Fourth, I have had two knitting lessons to learn to knit socks, which will be a handy skill to have in good times and bad times. Seems to be going well so far.

Fifth, I have drawn plans for more raised bed gardens and my plan is to have those in place before spring planting. I planted some lettuce seeds and have little sprouts now so I will have some fresh lettuce soon.

Still trying to work out the details of learning to shoot. Have had too many time commitments with me and too many with my friend who is going to teach me.

I have no BOB, so that is a project that I plan to start on this weekend. After my inventory, I discovered I have quite a few items already on hand. Plan to visit my local Big Lots to see if I can snag something of use. :)

All in all, I am feeling much better about where I am in my preps. As all of you who responded said, it can't be done overnight and organization is key to success.

Thanks to all who responded to my query. I have seen several places on the forum that everyone seems to be feeling the same way..........that gut feeling that things are getting out of control and we need to be ready. Those of us who are beginning this journey feel like we are playing "catch up" and can't possibly get as ready as some of you who have prepped for years. I have been able to sit down, take a deep breath and figure out what I have done, what needs to be done, and most importantly work on budget issues to accomplish my goals. One important issue that I had to figure out and come to terms with is that I can't do everything. I am one person; I can't do everything and some things I can't do at all. I am working on a list of things that need to be done, which ones I can do, which ones I can't, which ones will require outside help and which ones just aren't feasible for me. I don't have a separate bug out vehicle and I don't have a bug out location. I have to use my good old 97 Ford Explorer and plan to bug in at my house. I do realize the importance of having someplace to go if there is a need, but another property isn't something I can manage.

Once I realized what was reasonable and doable for me, much of the stress I was feeling disappeared. A plan for prepping is supposed to make you feel better and safer, not stress the crap outta ya! I had to accept the fact and/or idea that I will do what I can on an ongoing basis and if or when the SHTF, I will be better off than some, not as prepped as some and if nothing happens then I am still all the better for it. It's a win/win situation!

Again, thanks for all the suggestions. This is a caring forum and I am so glad to be part of it.



 




Offline dflem62

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2009, 09:37:58 AM »

I have been looking at the budget I have attempting to find ways to cut back, but I don't really have any luxuries. My house payment, no car payment, insurances (house and car), gas for the car,  medical payments to several places that total $300 per month, utilities. I do have DISH, but it is a small package and I don't go to the movies and I gotta have something to watch!


Not sure how much $ your dish package is or if you have internet at home, but one way to squeeze out a few more dollars from your budget might be to drop dish, and go to watching TV online and over the broadcast channels. Couple this with a netflix subscription for under $15 a month (for two movies/discs of tv shows at a time), and you would have yourself a pretty good entertainment package.

Good luck on your journey!

Offline Capt Cook

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2009, 03:24:47 PM »
Here's one way you can get a food stock cheap. Find an Estate Sale and offer to buy all the food. Explain your situation and make them an offer for al of it or see if they will give you a fair price. Most Estate dealers don't want to deal with the food anyway and usually give it away to a food pantry anyway.

Offline swoods

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2009, 08:01:52 AM »
Here's one way you can get a food stock cheap. Find an Estate Sale and offer to buy all the food. Explain your situation and make them an offer for al of it or see if they will give you a fair price. Most Estate dealers don't want to deal with the food anyway and usually give it away to a food pantry anyway.

Really..........I had no idea. How do you locate them? I've seen them in the local newspaper, but I would think by the time the notice is in the paper food items would have already been dealth with.




Offline Pathfinder

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2009, 09:04:46 AM »
Really..........I had no idea. How do you locate them? I've seen them in the local newspaper, but I would think by the time the notice is in the paper food items would have already been dealth with.


Estate, farm, ranch, house auctions are all listed in the papers. People are always prepping to put a relative into a nursing home and the like. See who is running the auctions, and contact the auctioneer to set up a relationship. Be honest with them (they are not all honest in return BTW) and see if they will agree to call you when they are contacted by a family to conduct the auction. That way you can get access to the stuff before the auction is even advertised.

You can also get stuff pretty cheap at some auctions. Out here, a lot of people are coming for the big ticket items (furniture, air conditioners, tractors, even silos), and I have seen 2-5 boxes of housewares etc. go for a buck. If you're attending and see something not selling, offer a low amount, then see if you can sell the stuff on Craigslist.

Also put your info on Freecycle and offer to buy food from

BTW, I too am very familiar with the book "disease". It is a hard addiction to overcome. Good luck!

Offline Capt Cook

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2009, 12:17:10 PM »
Pathfinder is spot on with this idea! The auctioneers seldom want to deal with the food & would be more than happy to make a deal for something they would end up giving away. You might even get some meat & other stuff from the freezer along with the canned/boxed stuff.
You can also find Living Estate sales or local run estate/garage type sales & get good results. If some of the food is not to your liking then you can pass it on to another in need.

Offline mamabear

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Re: A place to live or food to eat....suggestions please!
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2009, 01:39:14 PM »
Off Topic:
Capt Cook, I love your tag line!