Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What don't you want to live without?

Here's another thing to think about...some little thing, perhaps a luxury, that you really would hate living without.  I read something written by a man who'd lived for years in a war torn area.  He said he'd seen people trade much needed food for a bit of make up or soap, to make them feel more human.  I found that to be very interesting.  So I started thinking.  The first one I decided to store extra of is lip balm.  If I have to go all day without it really bothers me!  So whenever there's a good deal on chapstick, even if it's not my favorite kind, I stock up!  The other thing is my hair has a lot of static normally.  I often think that if I didn't have the hair product I use to get rid of that, I would have to shave my head because it would drive me batty!  So I got 2 years of that product last time I bought it.
So give it some thought.  Is there something you use every day you would really HATE being without?  If so, buy some extra!  You'll be so glad to have it someday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Heat packs-another cheap way to keep warm

My father taught me a wonderful trick with those heat packs that are to warm your hands.  Knowing this has allowed always cold me to go ice climbing & camping without shivering for hours!
Activate the heat pack, & put 2 sided tape on it.  Put one in each under arm.  Having heat there stimulates blood vessels, & helps you generate body heat.  This is awesome since sometimes I think I don't generate any body heat myself.  Just putting them on your hands gets them warmer where the pad is touching, but putting them under your arms helps all over.
A couple safety notes:  putting them on your skin may cause burns.  Ideally a thin layer of clothing between the pad & your skin is wanted.  I don't always have this, & did get burned once.
Also, don't use duct tape to attach it if you can help it!  Very hard to get the pads off, & it leaves a lot of residue!
We've also considered sewing pockets into a warm shirt to hold these.

Now this is cheap & effective!  Usually the pads stay warm for about 6 hours.  When I've slept with them, even after they run out, by then the sleeping bag is warm & so I'm warm while I'm in the bag.  Now it would be hard to store enough for an entire winter, but I do have a pile of these around for a short term emergency.  Not to mention all my cold outdoor outings!  Or for prep storage, there are some with longer warming time; up to 20 hours.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Zaycon foods review

Zaycon foods link

I recently tried ordering from Zaycon foods.  I'd often seen info about getting chicken there, but as it wasn't any cheaper than what I'd been getting on sale at the grocery store, I'd kind of ignored it.  (Since then I've been told by friends that Zaycon's is way tastier than the grocery store).
But then they had a really great deal on ground beef.  You have to have 90% lean or leaner to can ground beef.  And it's rarely on sale for cheap enough to can a lot of it.  And it's never in 40 lb boxes like chicken.  So when Zaycon had it for $2.89 lb at 90% lean, I ordered a 40 lb box.  The instructions were to pick it up during certain hours at a local bowling alley.  I was picturing mayhem, lots of people, me trying to carry a 40 lb box.  But I was impressed with how quick & easy it was to pick up.  They had a truck full of the beef, & cones to direct your car.  You drive up, the mark your name, put your box in for you, & you're gone!  Super fast!  The beef came in 2 long packages, & it wasn't frozen so I could can it right away.  I got around 1 lb in each pint jar.  The other times I'd done beef, I'd browned it first to get rid of some of the grease.  This time I raw packed it, as browning it all would about triple the time & work.  Everything went great!  The beef is super tasty (we used some fresh for dinner too).  It was a great price & easy to pick up!  I will definitely be ordering from them again!  Might even try the chicken!
Right now they are taking orders for bacon, seafood, chicken & beef (availability depending on where you live).
zaycon foods link
Get on their site & sign up for the notification list so you have an option to order when some is coming near you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

clearance candy!

Now that it's after Valentines you might want to consider stocking up on chocolate & candy!  You can store it in jars, put it in #10 cans, things like that.  Then if you're living off your food storage someday you have treats!  After some holidays we end up with a lot of extra candy around!  Or sometimes there are super great candy deals!  I always stock up, & then the next time I seal #10 cans I put the candy in those.  It's my belief they will be a huge moral booster someday!  And they might be fabulous for trade too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Band Aid Deal

Band Aid deal
Band Aid brand band aids, $4.99 for 12 boxes (20 each box).  Cool design too.
Shipping is $5 for up to 3 sets (12 boxes each).  So for $20, you get 36 boxes of bandaids for your storage!
That's $.55 a box.  720 Band Aids!
Today only, will probably sell fast!
I'm being told that a box this size of "designer" band aids at Walmart is $2.50 each. So instead of $20, you'd pay $90.

Warm in winter-foam survival clothing!

One thing that has constantly worried me about my prep efforts is keeping warm in the winter.  I am one of those people who are always cold!  I sometimes start shivering on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night!  My home doesn't have a fireplace...I've thought of putting one in, but you also have to store enough wood.  Propane heaters are great for a few days.  But I've always wanted something for if I had to go longer without heat.  I know some people in the US were without power for weeks last winter...and that was just for a localized natural disaster.
So I decided to look into these foam winter survival suits designed by Jim Phillips.  His clothing has been used in the Iditarod, North Pole expeditions & by the military.  The foam is very breathable...you don't wear anything water proof over it.  Your body heat alone will dry it out & keep you warm.  You can buy the materials to make a full suit for around $100.  Now that sounds pricey...but start adding up the cost of your snow pants, coat, shell, hat, gloves, etc.  Or compare to the cost of putting in a fireplace, or a year worth of propane.  As an added bonus, you can use these anywhere.  If you have to evacuate, or even live outside, you could still use these.  To me that's a big plus.
Now my understanding is you have to have a stronger sewing machine to sew on the foam.  Additionally, I don't know how to sew.  So I paid someone to make the suit for me.  Stylish it is not.  But is it warm?
The first time I tested it, I wore it to an outing my son had outside.  It was sunny & about 37 degrees.  Soon I was HOT.  Good sign for someone who's always cold!  Next I tested it outside in the dark when it was about 21 degrees.  I could tell it was a lot warmer than my regular winter gear.  I stayed comfortable & toasty!  And that's saying a lot considering how cold I usually am!  They are also a lot more comfortable than I feared.  I was picturing a wet suit like feel.  But it's quite flexible & not uncomfy.  You can also wear clothing over the top (although not something waterproof, that stops the "breathing" capability).  This would be an especially good idea if you were evacuating so others wouldn't know you had the clothes & want to steal them.
I am now having an outfit made for my son.  With him we are making the arms & legs longer, & making it just a bit bigger around than he is.  I'm hoping in this way to have it "fit" for a few years.  Then I will pass it on to younger cousins.  I will probably keep some foam & a pattern on hand as well.  Worse case we could sew one by hand if necessary.  Then I'll have to make him a new one every few years.
Ok, this still wouldn't be my first choice for a whole winter!  I don't WANT to have a winter without heat!  But so far this is the most versatile heating method I've found.  It would help in almost any situation, & it's actually affordable.
Any search online for "foam winter clothing" or "Jim Phillps" will help you find more information.  Many people do group buys on the foam to get a better price.  Here's a few websites with info to get started:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Good hot chocolate deal!

Carnation hot cocoa, 50 pkg box for $6.99 shipped to you!  Rich or dark chocolate.
hot cocoa
Will probably sell out fast!  I love to stock up on hot chocolate for my food storage at a good price!  This is $.14 a cup!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Free cat litter

Ok not only is free cat litter a good way to stock up for your pet...but I've been told in a pinch, you can use cat litter for humans.  Obviously not our first choice, but hey, it's free!
Free cat litter rebate

Volcano grill review

My brother recently bought one of these grills.  He liked the idea of being able to cook with wood, propane or charcoal.  But after thinking about it, he decided against storing a lot of propane.  It's expensive, & not really safe to store.  So he got a lot of charcoal.  The first thing he noticed is it didn't collapse down as easily as on the website. It was kind of frustrating.   Then he tried cooking with it.  He said it took a lot more charcoal than he thought it should, & that it cooked really slowly.  So he started to wonder...if using charcoal or wood, is this stove he paid over $100 for, really any better than a cheap grill?  So the next time he was making hamburgers; he bought a $5 grill,& cooked on them both at the same time to compare.  His result?  No difference.  If you're really wanting to use propane, this may still be a great choice for you.  But my brother is now trying to sell his.