were do I start to become more prepared
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  1. #1
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    Default were do I start to become more prepared

    I really started to think about this after 9/11.. Hubs and I were a new couple and not on the same page.. I lived in an area were therew as price gouging which Iknow is illegal but gas at every gas station in town was over 5 bucks a gallon..

    I had a small stockpile and savings...the banks was closed in my town for 24 hrs no atm withdrawals....

    It was a mini crisis here.... grocery stores were out of a few things..

    It has long lasting impression on me.... I do stockpile food, basic hygene, cleaning, tp, pet foods....
    But how do I get to the next step we have a strip for a very small garden...grandma and hubs have a green thumb..Grandma can process food and is willing to teach me to can.... were do I start..what is the easiest to grow and process..

    Hubs also wants a dehydrater to process food...

    I want to learn to make homemade wine to keep...

    am I on the right track.... suggestions please ... oh I am gonna dog ear this thread and maybe some on the depression....

    thank u

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Tomatoes are easy to grow and process, and you can make many products from them, such as tomato sauce, tomato juice, salsa, soup, whole or diced tomatoes, etc. They can be frozen or canned.

    Pickles are easy to make, too, and there are many different kinds. Cucumbers are easy to grow. There are other veggies that can also be pickled, including beets, green beans, cauliflower, carrots, etc.

    Jams and jellies are easy to make and are a way to preserve fruit in season. If you ask on Freecycle, you may be able to find someone who wants to give away apples or other fruit next fall. You can make apple butter, applesauce, or other canned apple products, or freeze apples for making pies, crisps, or other apple desserts later on. There may be wild fruits you can gather too, depending on where you live and what the regs are. Up here wild blueberries and chokecherries are there for the picking and can be made into syrups and jellies and all sorts of goodies. If you plan to make much for jellies and jams, you'll need LOTS of sugar because it takes a lot for each batch.

    All of those can be processed in a water bath canner, which is a lot easier and cheaper to start with than a pressure canner.

    Many foods can be frozen. Start saving plastic containers in the size you would need for the amount of stuff you'd use for a typical meal, such as dip containers, frosting tubs, cottage cheese tubs, etc. Then you'll have them when you need them.

    For fresh eating, lettuce, carrots, spinach and greens, radishes, etc, are all easy and quick to grow. Zucchini is easy to raise and can be prepped and frozen for making zucchini bread in winter.

    Start with buying seeds where you can find them cheap, such as at a dollar store. Our Ace Hardware has some left over from last year selling for .25/pack. Don't try to do everything all at once. Start out small and see what happens and how well gardening works for you.

    For canning, buy a current copy of the Ball Blue Book and also look at the food preservation section of any county extension service website. That will give you current info. Not everything that was considered safe in Grandma's day is considered safe now, for various reasons. The Blue Book will give you a step by step guide for basic canning, plus give guidelines and recipes and instructions for various foods.

    I would start with tomatoes and see how well that works for you. Otherwise it could get overwhelming. If the tomatoes work out, then next year add a thing or three more.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    O's Mom, I'm not a prepper, in fact I struggling to learn skills to support my family during our personal economic collapse. However, I do have a wine recipe. Easy Peasy.

    https://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/...7356-wine.html

    I guess the only thing I can add beyond that is knowing how to sew so you can make clothing. I can't tell you how sorry I am that I did not ask my grandmother to show me how. My closet echos, and what little I do have (with the exception of a few pieces which I wear outside the house) is thread bare, worn to the point of rags. If I knew how to sew I'd have decent clothing.

    I do know how to crochet, and that has helped tremendously. I can make simple things like slippers, hats, scarves, dishcloths. Old sweaters can be taken apart for the yarn.

    These are things I had to learn how to do

    Home Cultured Buttermilk | Foodie With Family

    How to Make Butter ? Joy the Baker

    Making Paneer or Cottage Cheese - How to Make Paneer - How to Make Cottage Cheese

    10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes : TipNut.com

    Homemade mayonnaise without tears (Basics) | Just Hungry

    Make up

    Homemade Face Powder Foundation Let This Mind Be in You

    Easy DIY Beet Blush and Lip Gloss: 3 Ways | YumUniverse?

    Make Your Own Natural Eyeshadow or Liner Out of Charcoal - YumUniverse? | YumUniverse?

    Recipes to Make Organic Lip Gloss at home

    All no sew. Just cut no fray type materials to size. Make my own cleaning solution (if needed) Store in baby wipes containers.

    Homemade swiffer pads, wet and dry.
    Homemade tissues
    Homemade baby wipes
    Homemade paper towel
    Homemade furniture wipes
    Homemade mirror/computer/tv, window wipes

    Don't underestimate the importance of having these skills if your OWN personal economy tanks.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Polly, you could learn to sew if you wanted to. However, generally speaking it's less expensive these days to buy clothing secondhand.

    When our kids were young in the eighties, I sewed almost all their clothes including jeans. But now, since so many manufacturing jobs are outsourced, the prices have come down so much and the quality of fabrics have also deteriorated while the prices have gotten crazy, it's usually much more expensive to sew something than to just go to a good rummage sale.

    Check out church sales in your area. They usually sell clothes very cheap, like a quarter or fifty cents a garment. You could probably find yourself some nice things without spending very much at all.

    I absolutely agree the more skills you have before you hit an economic crisis, the better you will be able to cope with that situation. It seems like too many people think they'll just wait till they're in trouble and THEN learn to do something. It's not exactly too late then, but it sure makes everything a lot harder.

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    Registered User Mr Fixit's Avatar
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    Spirit Deer has good advice, and getting to the point of being self sustainable is the right way to go. That will never let you down as growing your own food will do a lot to free you from the grocery stores.
    I keep around $3000 cash just in case the banks close, and 2 generators with lots of gas to keep power available in the house when needed.
    As far as gardening, sew some pole beans next to a fence, and you will have fresh beans till you are blue in the face. Beans are very nutricious and easy to can as well.
    Wise Foods sell freeze dried food that will last for 30 years, so until you get to the point of self sustainment, you may want to stock up on some of that. For around $500 you can get enough of the Wise food to last you 2 or 3 months, and it comes packaged in a sealed grab and go bucket if you need to bug out.
    Get some chickens, they lay eggs and you can eat them too if it becomes necessary.
    If hubs dont have a gun, at least get a .22 rifle and a few thousand rounds of ammo to protect your stash. .22 ammo is cheap, and easy to store and hide.
    Being prepared costs a lot of money, so the most important thing is to get started, and plan to do one thing at a time to reach your goal of being ready.
    A lot of factors for preppared depends on where you live. Do you live in the country or the city? From the sound of it, you already have the right ideas!

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Deer View Post
    Polly, you could learn to sew if you wanted to. However, generally speaking it's less expensive these days to buy clothing secondhand.

    When our kids were young in the eighties, I sewed almost all their clothes including jeans. But now, since so many manufacturing jobs are outsourced, the prices have come down so much and the quality of fabrics have also deteriorated while the prices have gotten crazy, it's usually much more expensive to sew something than to just go to a good rummage sale.

    Check out church sales in your area. They usually sell clothes very cheap, like a quarter or fifty cents a garment. You could probably find yourself some nice things without spending very much at all.

    I absolutely agree the more skills you have before you hit an economic crisis, the better you will be able to cope with that situation. It seems like too many people think they'll just wait till they're in trouble and THEN learn to do something. It's not exactly too late then, but it sure makes everything a lot harder.
    True SD *hanging head in shame* I wish I had been more thoughtful to the what if's like O's Mom here. I just had this idea that nothing could rock my husband's job sector for this long. Why worry other than having a "I'm laid off for a few months in the Winter stockpile"? Talk about stupid.

    I have a sewing machine. I need to learn how to use it. It's on my list. At this point my new garden venture and canning is on the forefront. As far as clothing, I buy what I can but it's slim pickings out there. I look, I find a few things.

    for you O's Mom, taking the bull by the horns and learning skills.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    OM, if your stove oven or a toaster oven can be turned down as low as about 140-155 or so, you may be able to use that as a dehydrator. That would save you some start-up money for dehydrating. Then if you find out you like it, you could look for a dehydrator, or if you don't, it hasn't cost you anything to try the idea out.

    I recently checked this book out of the library, among others:
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/The-Dehydrator-Bible-Includes-Recipes/dp/0778802132/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331580803&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: The Dehydrator Bible: Includes over 400 Recipes (9780778802136): Jennifer MacKenzie, Jay Nutt, Don Mercer: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ce%[email protected]@[email protected]@51Ce%2B0cBuWL[/ame]
    I had a half dozen dehydrator books home or so, and this was by far the best one IMO. I copied a few recipes from the others but I bought this one from Amazon. It seems to cover most everything and has good recipes too, including quite a few that can be made up just by adding water. I suggest you see if your library has a copy and look it over. If your husband is interested in dehydrating foods, he should look at it, too. It would give you an idea what's involved in dehydrating and how to do certain foods.

    I recently got a like-new dehydrator at Goodwill for $10, so keep your eyes peeled. You never know what you might find.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Polly, no shame! I know you have your hands full. My only point is it's never too late. Even being able to sew enough to do some patching and mending can be very helpful. Let me know if I can help you learn in any way.

    I don't think it's stupid not to have years worth of groceries laying around, either. It's expensive to do that, and doing it means you cannot use that money for other needs. It's hard to know what the priority is at all times. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.

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    Registered User Mr Fixit's Avatar
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    Spirit Deer, I seem to remember seeing a passive dehydrator made form plastic trays that had no heater. Or am I just imagining things. I was thinking that making one would be pretty easy!
    Last edited by Mr Fixit; 03-12-2012 at 04:53 PM.

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    youtube-prepper nurse does a great talk on medical supplies and stats on who will go first (MEDICAL)

    And LDS have a calculator for how much of ea. food per person for a year. (Millenium Ark-food calculator)

    Identify what you buy,figure out how often you buy it in 3,6,12 months. Coupons and sales.

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    SD I can mend small things, and can hand sew VERY simple things like a pillow case, a simple tube skirt or simple curtain panels. I mentioned it to O's Mom because it sure has become a problem for me. I'd hate to see her in the same place as me. I appreciate the not too late comment, I agree, I might be wrong, but I think with some instruction I could do quite well.

    I don't know about the food thing. If I had know SD, really known what a nightmare we were going to being living I'd have had 10+ years worth of food & HAB, and household if we could A) have afforded to do so and B) Had a place to go with it. We live in a rancher with 750' feet of living space. I could NEVER stockpile like people stockpile. It would fill the entire house and we'd be sleeping in the yard in tents. *snort* But if I can get skilled enough to supply my family with vegetables and fruits for a year, I can't tell you what a burden that would lift from my shoulders. Thinking about small livestock for meat too, but I'm not sure my heart's into that. However, since 3 of our family members are SUPPOSED to be following an animal protein diet, and I'm finding that I can't put meat on the table but very sparingly and it's greatly affecting our health, I just may have to get my heart into it. The very idea grieves me though.
    Last edited by pollypurebred39; 03-12-2012 at 05:10 PM.

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    You can always garden ..up. Lots of things can be tied to a trellis for growing. Grow in containers. 5 gallon buckets with holes in the bottom. Old tires. Bags of potting soil. Yes, even tubs.

    Start paying off your debts and start saving money. Preferably by keeping cash on hand at home in case of bank failures.Also check your change for old silver coins. PRE 1964 coins are mostly silver and are worth more.Also maybe check into buying old coins and gold.

    Learn First-aid. Find and train on a CERT team so you know what to do in an emergency.

    Allocate a certain amount for your supplies either from the regular grocery bill or thru "found" money from things like recycling metals( soda/beer cans,etc) or yard sales.

    Learn to harvest water and clean it for safe drinking.

    Learn wild crafting. Find the edible plants in your area and learn them and harvest them.

    Invest in a dehydrator and a vacuum sealer and bags for storage. Also large canning jars for storage.

    Scour your local library for books on all the subjects your thinking about.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    O's Mom

    It's probably some big no no, but I'll tell you this anyway. When I was a kid we took string and a needle and threaded string beans and hung them to dry. My Grandmother sliced apples and dried them on big screen doors laid flat, sheets lightly over top. Dried corn too, shakers corn I think they call it.

    Preserving More Than Just Food Straight from the Farm

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Polly, next time you need to sew a pillowcase or something simple like that, do it on the machine. Simple things give you good experience and a feeling of being successful, and you can build on that.

    Yup, we all would have ten year's worth of food if we knew we were going to need it for sure. But there's no real way to know that, and in the meantime, other things are a priority. It's not your fault your crystal ball was on the fritz. Don't beat yourself up over it. What is, is.

    I'd have a hard time raising my own meat, too. Also, I believe it's healthier for you, but may not save much money due to the cost of feed and stuff.

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    SD, looking for a curbside special for a desk to set the machine on. It's SO HEAVY, I mean crazy heavy. I need help to pick it up to put on the table, but I might be able to convince one of the guys around here.

    As far as small livestock, we were considering chickens just from chick to butcher, small time period. Rabbits, quick reproduction. Far less feed going on that way. I'm NOT really interested it it. It grieves me deeply, but unless our situation changes dramatically and soon, we are going to have to do things we hate to survive. Like I said, my hearts not in it, but my son's health is really suffering and he's the only one around here who is following his medical diet and the last 2 months food prices have risen to the point that I can't provide him meat for every meal (unless gifted to us by my in-laws) as required, and the amount of meat has shrunk and his starches have increased to make up the difference. It has caused his yeast load to go out of control and for him to become very symptomatic. Something MUST be done, so the garden and canning is not an option for us. I must succeed. The livestock *sigh* I just don't know, every time I think of it it's like an elephant is crushing my chest, and shoving all the air out of my lungs.

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