We don’t have a lot of money, however with everything that is happening in the world today and all of the signs yelling in my face that I better get ready or face not being able to feed my family of 6, I started prepping. I have taken a class at our local community college on the subject and learned a lot of very useful information. However I didn’t stop there. I sought out and purchased numerous books that are on the book list here at Survival Blog and did some extensive research on the subject. Just recently I decided to write my story to share with others because I noticed that most people are purchasing their food storage items from different food storage companies and while we don’t have the money to be able to do that, I have still been able to help get my family better prepared for WTSHTF.
The first thing that I did was invest in two pigs, one of which we’ve already butchered, which was quite a learning experience. I purchased what I was told was eight hens, and ended up with six hens and two roosters. Which is fine because without roosters you can’t get more chickens unless you purchase them and WTSHTF we will not have that as an option. I also purchased 8 goats of different breeds, six of which have died for undetermined reasons. This left me with just one male and one female. While the death of most of my goats was a great inconvenience, I would much rather it happens now while I am able to easily replace them. The pig that I still have is currently pregnant and is due to give birth the 1st week of October, and I have made the arrangements with a local farmer to trade one of her babies straight across for one of his males that have not been altered for breeding purposes. With us taking these steps now, we have been able to practice butchering the animals and will have a consistent supply of fresh meat therefore taking that out of the list of things that we will need. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to any type of livestock is that you do not need to stock up on commercial wormers and things of that nature. Do your research and you will find out what you can use as a natural means to take care of these issues. An example is that cantaloupe is a natural wormer for goats and pigs. I just cut one up and feed it to them and they love it. Also after you are done with your garden at the end of the year, don’t just leave what is left to rot or till into the ground. You can chop up most of the stocks and use it as food for your animals. The corn stocks are good for chickens and pig, and the list goes on and on. Once you are done with that, just let the goats lose in your garden and they will do the rest of the cleanup for you while also fertilize the ground for next year.
Most of what we have in our food storage is done at home by me. I can, dehydrate, and preserve almost all of the food in our storage. There are numerous things that you can do yourself that will save you money instead of purchasing it from a food storage company, not only that you will know what is in it and can alter the ingredients to suit your family. Today for example, I have way too many eggs in my fridge and instead of letting them go bad, I am making egg powder with the extra’s and adding it to my food storage. To make homemade egg powder, you put the eggs in a mixing bowl, do not add milk or grease to your frying pan, and then fry them up in your frying pan, just like making scrambled eggs, but without the grease. Once this step is complete, you put the eggs on a cookie sheet in a single layer and then put them in the oven at 135 degrees for about 10 hours. I prefer to use the food dehydrator to do this since it takes less electricity and does not heat my house while it is getting done. Once your eggs are completely dry and brittle, place them in a blender and blend them into a fine powder. To store them, I use an old jelly jar that I cleaned when it was empty and then pour the egg powder into that and then place an oxygen absorber on top, seal the lid and then label it with the date and what it is and the reconstituting information. To reconstitute powder eggs is simple, 2 T. is the same as 1 egg, mix the 2 T. with 4 T. of water and then use as you would a fresh egg.
|The wheat that we buy for our food storage is purchased from the feed store that we currently get our animal food from. I took the label off of a bag of wheat and called the company and asked them what the difference was between what they sell and what I can get at the store. The guy that I spoke to explained to me that farmer’s do not decided what field they plant is going to be for human’s and what is going to be for animal’s and the only difference is that what is bought at the store goes through another [screening] cleaning step that can be done at home. What I do is, I have an old window screen, take the wheat out of the bag and then shake it around on the screen on a breezy day. I would not suggest doing this on a windy day as it will blow away a big portion of the wheat, but on a breezy day, it is just enough to help blow away the extra dirt or left over shells that were not completely removed. Once I am done with this, I store it in a food grade bucket that I get for free from a local fast food owner.
The point that I am trying to get across is that you do not have to buy everything that you will need for food storage from a company, there are many things that you can do at home and then you will also be able to do it without everyone and their brother knowing what you are doing. I can’t express enough to do your research before you begin and do not listen to everything that you hear. I was once told that there is no way of preserving cantaloupe and I didn’t listen, did my research and found a great recipe for cantaloupe preserves that my family loves.
When it comes to water storage, we buy all of our soda and juices in the plastic containers and then when they are empty, I wash them out, sanitize them, and then refill the containers with water. Do not do this with milk type containers as the jugs are now made to naturally decompose and when you need to use the water that you stored, you do not want to find out a minute to late that the containers have started decomposing and all of your water is now on the ground. I go out every six months and dump the water in the garden area and refill the containers with fresh water so that I know that it has not gone bad. When you store your water you want to keep it in a dark area, what I did for this was, I got an upright freezer that no longer works and store my water in that, it stays dark all the time except when I am adding more jugs or changing the water in the jugs. People will give you these old none working freezers and fridges for free, you just have to look for them. I also like using this method because I don’t have to worry about stray animals getting into them and doing their business on my containers. Also WTSHTF and they start to get empty from using the water these containers will be used as containers for gardening, this will allow me to plant more crops without the worry of small animals getting them before we have a chance to eat what is grown. It also is a way to grow more without others not in our group knowing what is in there, from afar it will just look like an old appliance.
With the money that we save on our food storage, I go to the local thrift stores and seek out other items that we will need. I have purchased wheat grinders, meat grinders, and none electric items that would be useful and some that will be just nice to have. One of the items that I purchased was a hand crack ice-cream maker. Now if there is no electricity then you are wondering how I have going to use it, well when we hit freezing temperatures outside I can make ice that way and it will be a nice treat to the kids. The one thing with kids is that they don’t care how cold it is outside, they just know that they like ice-cream. I have saved so much money by going to the thrift stores and buying the items that people don’t want because they can get the new and improved version that takes less work. These are the items that I want and use. I have gotten 2 dehydrators from the thrift store and am able to dry twice as much in one shot. Always remember that someone else’s trash can be your new treasure and can make life so much easier WTSHTF.
You also do not need to purchase heirloom seeds from a manufacturing company, I get mine from an organic farmer that has a roadside stand that only grows and sells heirloom varieties. I purchase my produce from them and then preserve what I buy and then save the seeds for storage. It is cheaper this way because I am cutting out the third party. Just make sure that the farmer that you are getting these from is a reputable farmer and is not just saying that they are heirloom when they are not. Again, do your research.
Soap is one of my favorites. I e-mail the company that sells Fels-Naptha and Borax and they will send you coupons in the mail, I then take these coupons to Wal-Mart and purchase these items as well as Arm and Hammer super washing soda. Do not get the regular baking soda as it does not work the same, you need super washing soda. I make our laundry soap and this soap is also good for washing dishes. I have stocked up on enough ingredients to make two years worth of soap for laundry and dishes for under $10. To make the soap you need, 1 bar of fels-naptha, 1 cup Arm and Hammer super washing soda, and ½ cup borax. In a large pot boil 4 cups of water and grate the fels-naptha soap into it. Mix it until the fels-naptha is completely dissolved. Then place this mixture into a 5 gallon bucket and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until everything is mixed together and then fill the bucket the rest of the way with hot tap water. Let sit overnight and the soap will gel. When you need to use it, stir the soap in the bucket and dilute half soap and half tap water in an old laundry container. Shake to mix prior to every use.
I also save money when it comes to personal hygiene items. Do not overlook the fact that you will need soap, shampoo, toothpaste and brushes, and so on. I get most of these items for free or for fewer than 50 cents apiece. I am able to do this because I jumped on the coupon bandwagon and do my research prior to going to the store. There are many web sites that have already done the research for you if you do not have the time to do it yourself. An example of one that I use is TheKrazyCouponLady.com. When I purchase toilet paper for the house I get the bigger package and then take a few rolls out and repackage them in old plastic bags from the store and then put them up. It is cheaper to get the bigger package and put some away for storage then it is to get the package for your house and then another for storage. The plastic grocery bags will be used in other areas such as trash bags WTSHTF. Always look at prices of things and try to think outside of the box when it comes to storage. Everything has a use, don’t overlook this and think that you need to throw away things because there is nothing that they are good for. Look around and you can probably think of something. WTSHTF, we will need trash bags, but I am not going to stock up on them when I save the grocery bags that I get at the store for free package other items in them now and then have them with I need them.
We have four children and WTSHTF, I feel that they will be affected more than us adults will be. What I am doing to help them during this time, is, I buy small cheap toys, coloring books, and reading books for them that are a part of our storage. The toys that I buy are ones that do not take batteries that have been clearance out during the year and at the big clearance sales after Christmas. I plan on using these items as birthday and Christmas presents for my kids. This will better enable them to adapt to the new way of life as we will know it without then having to give up on everything as they know it. They will still have these special times of the year to look forward to and will also give them a sense of normalcy in a time that will not be normal to our current way of life.
As a final thought, I would like to say, that while there are easier ways of preparing, don’t let not having the money stop you from getting ready for a time that I believe is fast approaching and is inevitable. Think outside the box and make use of the Internet for some of your research. Just remember that if you research things on the internet, you write down the steps of how to do whatever it is that you are looking at. Don’t rely on your memory since WTSHTF, we will all be living life much different than we do now and it is better to have a written copy of something then try to remember something when life is already going to stressful enough. Good Luck to everyone.