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survival on a budget

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by cstmp8r, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. cstmp8r

    cstmp8r vancouver Member

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    I have been reading various posts and articles and something came to mind. Mainly money. It seems quite expensive to stock pile food for a family, buy containers for food and water, water filtration, generator or back up power source, fuel/gas, ammo, just general survival gear and necessities. And buying bartering items such as gold, silver etc. Any suggestions on stock piling on a budget?
     
  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Prioritize your survival needs. Basic needs. Food, water, shelter, defense. Start small and work into it as money becomes more available. Just the proper mindset is the most valuable thing you can have, and its cheap...
     
  3. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    I'm in the same situation, CST and IMHO, first thing to do is start with water and get a lot of it on hand and a good method for purifying more.

    -d
     
  4. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Stock up on knowledge! Study! We as a nation have forgotten how to live off the land, hunt and cook our food, grow our own crops, provide medical assistance to ourselves and others, store food, live with out electricity and running water and a toilet....lots of knowledge about survival is out there on the internet for the taking. Stock pile up on knowledge then spend your money wisely. You will not be able to afford everything that you will find out you need. Think rationally as you learn and its best to be confident and hope for the best.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  5. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    You said money. OK. You could go buy animal feed in the form or whole uncracked wheat. Don't buy seed wheat, it's treated with preservatives so it won't rot after planting. Buy animal feed.

    Wheat has for millennia been called "the staff of life." I'm not saying it's the best diet, but it beats starving. It's cheap. Stock way up. If you can afford it, buy used plastic food containers, clean them with water and a touch of bleach and then add dessicant packets. If you can't afford it, just stack the sacks of wheat on pallets in a cool dry place and replace it every year.

    Some people like the Victorio hand powered wheat grinder to make flour and they are about $75. If you have heat you can make tortillas. If you have sourdough starter you can make lots of things with recipes you can get off the internet now. If you don't have sourdough starter, scrape some of the white powdery stuff off any kind of berries and use that. It's yeast. Some tastes better than others. Learn about sourdough on the internet. You can get decent sourdough starter cheap on ebay.

    Flour, salt, sugar and sourdough starter got the wagon trains here, and it sustained the mountain men.

    If you don't have a grinder or heat, you can soak wheat in water for 24 hours and it will be soft enough to just eat. Lucky you if you have some salt and sugar to add to it.

    If you have small children you'll want that grinder so you can make a hot or cold cereal - something soft.

    Right now I believe wheat is about $170 a ton wholesale. Figure on paying about $200 a ton. How much do you need? I think that's about $5 a bushel. Depending on the variety, I believe wheat weighs about 60 pounds per bushel but I really can't remember. Look it up on google.

    So, wheat, lots of salt and lots of sugar stored are all cheap.

    I would add some whole, uncracked, shelled (off the cob) dried feed corn too, It's cheap and you can handle it just like wheat. It won't keep as long, but it should keep a year. You can make cornbread with sourdough. You can make corn tortillas, for instance.

    Last I knew Costco was selling wheat in long term storage containers. I think maybe they were 25 pounds? They have a very long self life - years.

    Now, if you have water you can live a very long time on just wheat, salt, and sugar.
     
  6. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    Don't get overwhelmed.

    Start small, focus on the basics. Get yourself squared away with 2 weeks food and water. Then a month. Then 3. So, on. Get one quality defensive firearm and some ammunition. Then, get the 2nd, etc. Take it step by step.

    Don't overinvest in hardware vs. your training (software) either.

    That's what I'm doing. It can be overwhelming, but one thing I always keep in mind...being better prepared than most everyone else will be a huge advantage no matter what happens. So, every preparation I make, I say, "One step further along than 99% of America".

    Good luck and I hope it helps.
     
  7. smurf hunter

    smurf hunter Auburn, WA Active Member

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    All good suggestions, but don't overwhelm yourself.

    Establish a budget each month. Even if only $50-100 each month you can start improving your situation. Make your priorities.

    Example might be:

    Month 1 - water storage containers/water filter
    Month 2 - basic store food: rice, beans, wheat, etc. If you can only afford a week's worth, that's a week more than zero :)
    Month 3 - first aid kit
    Month 4 - ammunition/save towards firearm
    ...

    You see how easy you could do this. Just commit some money amount at a regular interval and always know your next expenditure - only you can prioritize for your needs.
     
  8. smurf hunter

    smurf hunter Auburn, WA Active Member

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    Funny - unionguy and myself said mostly the same thing at the same time :)
     
  9. nixuser

    nixuser nw Member

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  10. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    Decide what is the most likely SHTF event to hit us, then, start a plan to respond to that one. IMHO, an earthquake ranks #1 (I know there are lot's of dissenting opinions out there; you are welcome to yours :))

    After you completed executing your preparedness plan, move to the next most likely. Preparing for an earthquake is not the same as for TEOTWAWKI. But a lot of the former can be carried over to the later.

    Misc thoughts:
    * When SHTF, access to Internet will be unlikely. Have everything (manuals, procedures, checklists, plans, contact phone numbers, etc.) printed out and weather proofed, or committed to memory.
    * In case of an earthquake, consider the possibility that most if not all your emergency response items will not be retrievable from your house.
    * A 4x4 vehicle may be a good addition if you do not already have one. Check Chile pics on the papers. Many roads became impassable. And to not park it in your garage.
     
  11. tonyspdx

    tonyspdx Gresham, OR Member

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    When it comes to food, by what you eat. Instead of buying things when you run out, buy things you eat each time you go to the store even if you don't need it. Over time you will build up your stock pile. Of course you need to buy foods that are storable. If you like wheat, then buy wheat, but if you like canned chili, buy canned chili. When it comes to water, we live in one of the rainiest places in the country; I would focus on rain water capturing systems. This will go a lot further. You will almost always come across water in the NW, but purifying it will be the biggest obstacle. You need a renewable heat source (wood stove, fireplace, burn barrel, ect).
     
  12. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    Smurf Hunter--Yours was more detailed, so you win!!:) Or, maybe it just proves the wisdom of our sage words!:laugh:

    Have a good weekend!
     
  13. matt_w

    matt_w Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    What he said. Spending $20 extra in groceries each time you go to the store will allow you to build up a several month supply of food over time.

    Water storage containers are cheap, or invest in a decent filtration system.

    That should cover the basics (I'm assuming you already have some form of firearms being on this forum).
     
  14. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I've lived thru several climatological emergencies (i.e. hurricanes). I learned:
    * Water and electricity are the first to go out.
    * You live off your refrigerator the first 2-3 days or until you run out. Then, you consume non-perishables.
    * Water is paramount.
    * You can "survive" w/o a decent meal for several days or even weeks w/o panicking, if you have the mental discipline.
    * Don't store everything (food and water) in one place.
    * MREs are expensive and don't taste that great, but can be stored pretty much anywhere and for a long time. So, diversify your food supply.
     
  15. cstmp8r

    cstmp8r vancouver Member

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  16. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    Every little bit helps. You have to keep after it every week. Here are some of the cheapest resources I have found:

    Costco for #10 cans of fruit, vegetables, tomato sauce etc.

    "Cash and Carry" for 50# sacks of cheap rice (breakfast lunch and dinner!)
    pasta, lentils, beans, peas, spices, etc.

    Know any Mormon folks? They are good people to know if you are looking to stock up on storable food cheap... They buy in bulk and usually have a local cannery where you can load your goodies into #10 cans for long term storage.

    Craigs List for plastic food grade drums (water/dry goods) and ammo cans.

    Like the man said - study, study, study.

    If you fail to store enough food, I'm sure Uncle Sugar will be happy to trade you a $50.00 food voucher for your firearms at some point in the future.
     
  17. SSG

    SSG Lane County New Member

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    Survival on a Budget : Grab a backpack and a 45...go to Alaska...get on a Crab boat...when the bomb, aliens, attack hits...you will be 1500 miles in the middle of nowhere...
     
  18. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Greater Seattle Area Member

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    Brush up on bushcraft? Do lots of research on "roughing it" if there is a chance that you will have to abandon your residence.
    It took me a little while to put together a Bug out Bag... but I don't think it cost too much money. Basic emergency goods like water purifiers, ESBIT stove (can be had for like $10), canteens, canteen cup.
    One thing that you could do is look into ultralight backpacking for inspiration with constructing a BOB. I opt for a tarp instead of a tent, titanium spork (it IS actually lighter than the polycarbonate "Light My Fire" spork). A couple days worth of rations... a couple extra socks, change of clothes etc.

    It depends on your method of survival. Sheltering in should always be your first choice, but make a back up contingency in case that is not an option. IF you haven't built up stores of goods, obviously water is #1, then food that lasts... Mountain House, while expensive compared to other bulk options, is very tasty, and lasts a long time. Some MREs are always good to have on hand. Bartering items are good, but may be perishable.

    One important note... if you are taking any prescription meds... you want to maintain a stock on hand (say a month or so) and rotate them out so the ones in your cache are always within usage dates.
     
  19. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    I think gardening supplies, which are not expensive, should be a part of everyone's preparedness plans. A collection of seeds that work in your climate (rotated if not planted), hand tools, fertilizer, and pest and disease control items do not cost a lot and store well. Also consider a good stock of seeds for sprouting, plus a sprouter that works for you (I like tray sprouters the best).

    Edible landscaping (in place grass and ornamental trees/shrubs), conventional beds, raised beds, planters, etc.

    Growing it yourself is healthier, cheaper, and will be there when you need it.
     
  20. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    +1. Seeds should be heirloom seeds and not hybrids so that the plants will produce new seeds to kind. Hybrids either don't produce new seeds, or they produce seeds which won't grow the same variety and you don't know what you'll get. There are a lot of heirloom collectors and sellers online and even on ebay.

    Most seeds sold in stores and most fruits and vegetables sold in store are hybrids.