Where to Begin - Or - Becoming a New “PREPPER” Primer

Adopting a Common Sense Prepper Lifestyle... Our Story... We realized early on in our 26 year+ marriage being self-employed HVAC contractors with only seasonal regularly paying work & a household teeming with healthy, constantly hungry kids - Our finances have always been totally dependent on the economy & local weather extremes. We HAD to learn to rat-hole just about everything we consumed in non-perishable foodstuffs & common household items - Just about ANYWHERE that we could FIND to stuff them. Honey & I WERE those ODD ones who took BOTH vehicles grocery shopping every other month & bought $800-$900 worth of non-perishable groceries, meats, & household goods in family-sized lots - but ONLY on SALE of course & on Double Stamp Day at our grocery stores, cleaning out at least TWO registers' worth of good ol’ S&H Green Stamps at one wallop - Ahhh... DO you still REMEMBER those days??? Later joining the FIRST local SAM'S Club as Small Business Members,& getting a much better discount than other members - several of our Senior family members instantly became “our employees” so that THEY could also enjoy the SAME discount volume purchasing power that WE did & still DO - even now that the kids are grown & Olds have passed on & there's JUST the Two of us Honey & I! I think tho newly but WIDE "awakened" to the current perilous political & socio-economic times our country's facing - We don't so much fear being PERSONALY ATTACKED in our beds per se - But we ARE realistically VERY concerned about saving EVERY precious & too few expendable penny & keeping well-stocked ahead in everyday consumable goods, medicines & first aid supplies up to & including those for more than minor injury items since I served many years ago on volunteer Rescue Squads & First Responders. We keep stockpiles of standard household supplies, self-prepared & packaged foodstocks for OUR healthier diets! Wheewww... To those ends, we enjoy sharing what we've learned in common sense stockpiling techniques & willingly share them with those not yet used to thinking PREPPING - much beyond re-charging the batteries overnight on all their electronic cell phones, iPods, PSP' s - Berry's Wii's & other idiot toys they just SWEAR they just could NOT LIVE WITHOUT! Can you say - EMF??? POOF - Electonica, & Toys instantly DEAD & GONE! So in the spirit of returning to a more self-reliant lifestyle - I have TWO NESCO 18 Qt. ovens and 20 qt. stock pots to make & freeze ahead HUGEMONSTROUS batches of thick & meaty hyper nutritious soups, chili’s, stews, or two pork loins at once, smoked hams, roasted brined turkey chests & drumsticks, Italian Meat Loaves etc. We prepare en masse when the makings are on sale or fresh from our "yardens" THEN freeze ahead in single meal serving sized Gladware for Honey & I. So in 30 minutes or LESS we can re-heat & eat any number of our favorite meals with no mess to speak of. LESS wear & tear on these aging bodies of ours & particularly MY disabled one! We keep the kitchen freezer stuffed with things we regularly use SOONER than later & a huge upright freezer in the laundry room for more long-term frozen food storage. $$$ Savings HINT: If your freezers aren’t kept FULL all the time - FREEZE clean gallon milk jugs of potable filtered WATER in them to help insulate & make the freezer work MUCH more energy efficiently - Plus keep another fresh water supply source readily avaialable!!! In our case, our icemaker bit the dust years ago & it’s just simpler for Honey to pick up FREE coolers FULL of that wonderful filtered water “hotel ice cubits” on his daily rounds in town or whenever close to one of our HVAC contractor supply houses, & store it inside the crud loads of plastic grocery bags we save just for such things! INSTANT re-stocks of ice cubes & LESS energy $$$’s spent running a partially empty FREEZER! Inside a HUGE pantry / storage utility room in our garage - We store our stocks of non-perishables, jarred fruits, coffee, rice, grains & cereals & other staple items, canned goods, several condensed soup bases, tomato pastes, dry goods like beans, peas etc, & sauces et al... lined up on floor to ceiling steel shelving units on every available wall space. So at a glance we can SEE whatever we NEED to re-stock, & can & DO virtually LIVE off our stores for months during periods of non-paying or regular income. NICE weather in our case means - WE‘RE STONE BROKE!!! So we live comfortably a la the Ant vs the Grasshopper of Aesop's Fables! Everything OLD is coming round NEW again Ya'll! We employ above ground berms in mini yardens everywhere & raised planters across our entire patio & extensions using HUGE plastic window planters & 5 gal. laundry soap & birdseed buckets with drilled out bottoms for excellent drainage, perched atop - ummm let's just call 'em "liberated" thick plastic commercial milk crates, to help DETER undesirable poaching wild critters from the lake across the street from our home. I grow vegetables, aromatics & culinary herbs atop rows & rows of double-stacked cinder blocks to raise the planters across landscape ties so that even using forearm support crutches I can still fairly easily maneuver around them. I have a "Yarden" dedicated food processor - That we grind up all unused but not fresh enough to consume green products we didn't eat the week before, rescued from the fridge veggie rotter drawer, along with used coffee grounds, banana peels & veggie skins, rinsed eggshells for natural calcium & to help promote great drainage in our planters & whirl all that up into an instant "Green Goddess" Alchemy Tea that we continually "dose" & “re-charge" our spent Wunder Soil constantly with - even when sleeping over the winter which only lasts about 15 minutes in central GA. ; } I also make huge batches {in 2 gallon lots} of my own "Fire & Spice" Cajun seasoning mix - something akin to a DIY version of Longhorn's Steak House’s Prairie Dust - that's just terrific IN & on everything but cereals & desserts, so far anyway. ; } I also make a heart-healthy no-fry oven-crispy breading mixture that will beat ANY panco bread crumb mixture you ever tasted & you'll NEVER MISS FRIED chicken nuggets or fish filets again! I'll include that recipe later if you like! I mix it in one of the 18 Qt Nesco pans & we FREEZE the better part of it in HDPE plastic containers until smaller jugs of it are used up in the fridge! It is quite simply TO DIE FOR & both heart & diabetic diet LEGAL!!! Honey is a 63 y/o heart patient & I'm a 57 y/o Type-II Diabetic & fairly mangled Arthritic - So we've also adopted & specialized in perfecting a VERY healthy diet & health-maintenance program in self-preservation. Especially when 12 years ago - our STATE FARM health insurance premium SHOT up over $1000 a month - JUST for LOUSY Hospitalization for Honey & my coverage - WITH a whopping $2500 deductible per occurrence upfront out of pocket expense, THEN only paid 80% of ONLY what happened IN hospital! NO coverage whatsoever for Rx medications, or even a Post-Op follow-up Doctor’s office visit! So we weren’t DROPPED per se - We were simply PRICED OUT of ANY affordable healthcare insurance!!! So now we are completely aware that we are TOTALLY on our OWN until Honey turns 65 in ONLY TWO MORE YEARS & finally qualifies us for whatever if anything’s left of Medicare - which I’m personally bloody DETERMINED to LIVE long enough to BREAK their cheap @$$ BACKS - IF I can just make it that far! But don’t even let me get started on that one! Anyway - When Honey had his mild warning shot heart attack 5 years ago & subsequent THREE arterial STENTS installed without having to crack open his CHEST to DO it - We figured out VERY quickly that $600 a MONTH for just his MAINTENANCE meds for the rest of his life - meant that NEITHER of us could afford to SMOKE or EAT STUPID again! Hence the RUSH to find THE perfect healthy heart legal & Diabetic “friendly” DIET that didn‘t taste or look like wall plaster! I couldn’t expect HIM to NOT eat STUPID & STAY on our new diet if I didn’t go on it with him TOO! Well… That’s another entirely different adventure quest I’ll fill you in on in one of the next postlings. Meanwhile Gang… Take a long hard LOOK & take inventory round your home & household supply stockpiles. Identify WHAT stays & your Must-Go’s List - Make a DATE to have a massive THROW OUT PARTY & have a garage sale or donate anything you no longer have USE for to your nearest Rescue Mission. Toss out or donate to a local food bank ANY & ALL junk “foods” with anything in it that you CANNOT PRONOUNCE or recognize as a natural food source. You probably shouldn’t EAT IT if you can't PRONOUNCE it! Get RID of anything in the transfats lineup & really familiarize yourselves with FOOD LABELS transfats, saturated fats & Cholesterol counts!!! You'll find yourself saving Beau Coup $$$ & becoming MUCH HEALTHIER overall! You’ll also discover that regularly having a house wide THROW OUT PARTY is extremely LIBERATING & catch yourself marveling at ALL your NEW Re-claimed living /storage SPACE! THEN start making your lists of the items you’d NEED to just cover the most basic needs of your entire household for a minimum period of about 1-3 months to begin with! Start your methodical gatherings slowly but steadily & soon you’ll know the comfort of being PREPARED! I also heartily suggest employing something to HELP you keep track like some sort of logbook or a filing card reference system… Get those heavy duty steel shelves set up & LABEL every items’ row, so you'll KNOW what you’re LOW on & WHEN it’s time to re-stock at a glance! Make up a VERY basic 72 hour Survival Kit - Grab & Go Emergency Bag with very basic first aide supplies - water - food, multi-tool knife, parachute or heavy nylon cording, radio, LCD flashlights & batteries, fire-steels or water-proof matches, basic camping & food service gear, small canned meat / fish tins & energy bars, all necessary & OTC meds, space blankets etc for every member of your family & keep it handy or in your home &/or car trunk & rotate the contents before expiration dates. Include glycerine / alchohol based hand-sanitizer gels which in a pinch also makes an INSTANT Fire-Starter! Be prepared to have your friends & some family members laugh at your odd new “Prepper Eccentricities” & take it & them in your stride. Rest assured - THEY’LL be the very FIRST ONES on YOUR doorstep with empty mouths & hands - When / if the WORST SHTF situation happens! You’ll soon discover that adopting this lifestyle isn’t a hardship & WILL SAVE YOU $$$ when it becomes habit! Use it UP & MAKE IT LAST - Join & follow online PREPPER Networks across the nation & your state APN {American Prepper Network" organizations. Quick Links to those are on the right side of this blog. Here's a wonderful site for obtaining unmodified / hybridized seeds & GROWING guides to help you start your "Victory Gardens" at: http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/organicgrowingguides.html Wishing you Health & the COMFORT of BEING a PREPPER & PREPARED for WHEN / IF TSHTF! More information will be posted & please feel free to ask questions. Please note that this is a family friendly site & ALL comments will be in English please & moderated before posting. You can see more of my interests, photos, postings & such here: http://bz304.multiply.com/journal Be well - Be Happy & Be Prepared! Teri


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Jessika said...

Amen, Sister!

Anonymous said...

Can I move in with you? lol. At 52 I'm slowly coming around to the realization of getting rid of the excess crap in my life (although it does not come easy to me). You seem to have so much energy. I'm kind of at the lay down & die stage, lol. Actually, I've fallen on really hard times & my role was "grasshopper" not "ant". But your blog is encouraging and if I ever have enough money to buy food again, I will definitely take your advice and make up loads of chili, meatloaf, etc. that will maintain me thru these tough times. And yes, please share your recipe for the "better than panko best ever chicken nuggets" :) --Debi P.

FootePath said...

after 28 yrs of marriage in alaska, my wife and i just bought a 10 acre farm near spokane with the intent to live more sustainably and more on our own terms. we have found ourselves becoming beginner preppers and your site is invaluable for this. plus, you don't seem to be one of those site that spout religious, anti-Obama, anti-liberal, anti-conservative political BS. thanks for that. we will continue to subscribe and come here for advice and answers.
thom & torie foote
colbert, wa

Teri said...

Thanks FootePath - I TRY to keep my religious views & personal politics to MYSELF. Thanks for noticing that. : } Teri

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