Coupon Warrior!, by GRITS (Girl Raised in the South)

You look at the economy, and you are alarmed. You see the direction the world appears to be headed, and your eyes glaze with near panic. You realize you must prepare for disasters and shortages, but you are overwhelmed by the scope of the project and wonder how you can ever afford to build a stockpile of necessities.
I hope I can throw out a few ideas that will help you build up that stockpile over time with a painless, cost-effective method.
I’ve always hated to shop. The grocery store was a place I raced through, snatching only what I needed and hoping to pick the fastest check-out line. I’d paw through the Sunday coupon pages and the weekly grocery store circulars, hoping for the rare free can of dog food or cup of yogurt, but that was the extent of my interest.

All that changed when my … Continue reading

Three Letters Re: A Doctor’s Thoughts on Antibiotics, Expiration Dates, and TEOTWAWKI

I must first thank you, Mr. Rawles, for your advice. I truly believe it will one day save my life. Also, the amount of knowledge I have gained from all of the contributors to SurvivalBlog is astounding!

My profession is in the animal industry, so I am familiar with antibiotics and other meds. At work, it is many times frustrating to pull out dosage instructions from a bottle of medicine, only to find that they’re all written for humans. Especially the antibiotics! I order only from veterinary pharmacies, but these drugs are manufactured and labeled for human consumption. Now I laugh when I go to the local Rite-Aid. I recognize many of the bottles on their shelf.

In addition to fish antibiotics, I strongly suggest making use of livestock supply companies. I love my local Tractor Supply, but I could never afford to purchase meds from them. I … Continue reading

Practical and Affordable Food and Medicine Rotation

In addition to stores of long-term food in #10 cans (Mountain House and cans from the LDS cannery), I keep about a six month supply of “grocery store” canned and boxed food and a multiple-year supply of
OTC medicines. A lot of this stuff goes unused because I’m pretty bad at rotating and while they are items we like, we just don’t eat them that often.

Every year around the holidays I box up a ton of stuff and donate it to the food bank. The tax deduction I take is the “fair market value” (i.e., current grocery store price) of the goods donated. Inasmuch as
I typically pay less than half of retail by using coupons and catching sales – and every year have thousands of dollars in consulting income that I pay 40% tax on, this results in my short-to-medium-term … Continue reading

Two Letters Re: How to Bypass Blocked Web Sites

I have several friends in China under different guises, work or school visas for instance, but their main purpose is evangelism. When we e-mail them we have to be very careful about what we say because the Chinese government reads incoming e-mails. For instance “I’m praying for you” would be written as “I talked to Dad about you”. Just so we aren’t thinking all our e-mails are secure. – Richard C.

Mr. Rawles,
I would like to say the article “How to Bypass Blocked Web Sites, by Tamara W.” was technically correct, and I will not question the legality of the methods used. One word of caution: trying to use any of the mentioned techniques will get you fired if you use them at work to bypass security measures in place. As a consultant for several mid-size companies, it is my job to provide the evidence … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

Several readers mentioned this: IMF Says U.S. Financial System May Need $76 Billion in Capital

G.G. suggested a piece by Niall Ferguson: Sun Could Set Suddenly on Superpower as Debt Bites.

China Becomes Second Biggest World Economy

Reader “AmEx” (American Expatriate) spotted this: Fed’s Bullard:Worried About Possible Deflationary Outcome For US

Also from AmEx: Top Hedge Funds That Dodged Crash, Rode Market Back Turn Gloomy

Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader Mike P. forwarded a link to this BBC News article: Greek police clash with hauliers amid crippling strike. Mike’s comment: “The truckers’ strike is in its fourth day, gas stations are empty, and the government is implementing emergency measures originally intended for wartime or natural disasters. Does any of this sound familiar?” Reader Tom G. sent a link to a fascinating companion article: Greece Haulier Strike – Your Experiences.

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Some charming news, courtesy of reader R.F.J.: Rats Overrun Manhattan Park

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Also from R.F.J. comes a link to an Instructables article: How to build a log cabin with dovetail notches.

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K.A.F. flagged this: 100 Million Facebook Users Learn True Meaning of Going Public. I told you so! Also from K.A.F.: White House proposal would ease FBI … Continue reading

Note from JWR:

Today we present two entries for Round 29 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest.

The first article might seem off-topic for SurvivalBlog, but it isn’t, especially when you consider that both the Internet and political world are dynamic.We cannot predict how political situations might change. Consider this part of your preparedness.

The prizes for this round of the writing contest will include:

First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost between $500 and $600, and B.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees, in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $392 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from (a $275 value), D.) A 500 round case of Fiocchi … Continue reading

How to Bypass Blocked Web Sites, by Tamara W.

Web sites can be blocked for many reasons. Employers block web sites to protect productivity. Parents block web sites with violence, pornography and illegal activities to protect to their children. Internet Service providers block web sites with child pornography because of the law. Some nations block certain web sites with opinions that dissent from those of the predominant political powers. Unfortunately, whether it is through the proposed “Internet kill switch” that the federal government has proposed or a deployment of government Internet censorship as China and Iran already employ, there is a possibility that those in the “free” world will find the government censoring web sites.

These blocks can be bypassed through changes in web site references, connections to anonymous proxy servers, Google redirects and changes in web site connection. All of the methods described here require either no technical skills to very little skill. The last section gives advice … Continue reading

How it Started to Where I Am, by C.C.

Introductory biographical note: The author is 64 years old, father of nine children, BSAE Aeronautical Engineering, Ex-Army Infantry Training Officer (1970-1974), former Gym Trainer (1996-1997), Firefighter and EMT training and certification (2009-2010), Real Estate Broker/Owner

Phase I
I began realizing my vulnerability in 1998-1999, when Y2K-induced turmoil was a potential real possibility. I began, in all haste to find and prepare for the possible disaster that might come when the clock struck 12:00 midnight and 2000 would ring in. My first step was to find enough land that would be secure enough for my family and to design a place we could live and that would handle any disaster, whether it was of nature, man-made or God directed. My requirements were simple. It needed to have relatively high elevation (1,500ft+ above sea level), close enough to a populated city , but rural enough to not easily … Continue reading

Wound Suturing, Gluing, and Bandaging, by David in Israel

Having suture equipment even if you don’t have the skills to use it is useful since you can hopefully find a veterinarian, doctor, nurse, PA, or Dentist qualified to use them. Having your own sterile medical equipment for the medical professionals you find is still a common bit of advice for people planning to visit third world countries.

If there is an injury requiring suture and you are not qualified especially in the highly enervated regions where suture can cause serious nerve damage and local paralysis of the body such as the hands and face there is a better way to use steri-strips and butterfly bandages.

Super-Glue related adhesives made of newer 2-octyl-cyanoacrylate instead of the skin irritant traditional Super-glue or cyanoacrylate (that have been in use in surgery and wound management since the 1970s). Qualified health care providers can provide treatment using surgical adhesives like … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

Brett G. sent this: Fed’s Bullard: US at Danger of Japan-Style Financial Crisis.

The latest over at Dr. Housing Bubble: Banks cherry picking individual foreclosures that show up on the MLS.

Frequent content contributor K.A.F. sent this: SEC Provision Shocks Observers

“A modern day depression” Rosenberg sees “tough slogging” for the economy. (Thanks to Trent H. for the link.)

Rep. Bachmann: U.S. Faces ‘Disaster’ From Financial Reform Bill

K.A.F. forwarded this one: AP survey: A bleaker outlook for economy into 2011

Odds ‘n Sods:

Kevin S. forwarded a link to a piece on building with compressed earth bricks (CEBs) (Also called compressed earth blocks.)

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Reader Joshua H. sent this: Tight budgets and fewer cops; time for citizens to ‘arm up’

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Ready Made Resources now has just one or two full mil-spec AN/PVS-14 Gen 3+ weapons sight monoculars remaining on hand, in their special sale. These are autogated and complete with military issue monocular head mounts, manuals, sacrificial lenses, mil-spec soft nylon carry cases, et cetera. The price is just $2,995, which is less than most dealers charge for a standard Gen 3 scope. (As I mentioned before, these are the much more sought-after Gen 3+ variety.) Once they’ve sold out, that will be the end of the special sale price, so don’t miss out!

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Courtesy of … Continue reading

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"Whoever looks upon them merely as an irregular mob will find himself much mistaken. They have men among them who know very well what they are about, having been employed as rangers against the Indians and Acadians; and this country being much covered with wood and hilly is very advantageous for their method of fighting." – Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland, from a letter written April 20, 1775

Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 29 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round will include:

First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost between $500 and $600, and B.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees, in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $392 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from (a $275 value), D.) A 500 round case of Fiocchi 9mm Parabellum (Luger ) with 124gr. Hornady XTP/HP projectiles, courtesy of Sunflower Ammo (a $249 value), and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises (a $179.95 value).

Second Prize: A.) A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and books from … Continue reading