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All posts for the month September, 2015

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

We live in a convenience-driven society. Fast food businesses thrive while home cooking flounders. Trips to the pharmacy can now be undertaken without getting out of your car, using the handy drive-through. Standard cleaning products are quickly being overtaken by disposable items you toss in the trash after one use. We’ve been brainwashed by the marketing companies to believe that the simplest things are wildly inconvenient, and that in our time-crunched society we must pay for shortcuts.

All of this convenience has a high price tag. Not only are you spending money unnecessarily at the check-out counter for all of that convenience, but the planet is getting buried under mountains of rubbish. The average American produces 1600 pounds of garbage per year.

Did you ever stop to think about how many disposable things you buy? We do our shopping monthly instead of weekly, and this makes it a lot more noticeable on our bill when we load up with things that will be thrown out. I just checked the price, and a 6 pack of good quality paper towels would add about $8 to my bill. If you’re in a position in which every penny counts, that $8 could be buying you a necessity like food. Even if you have no concern about the landfills, you probably want to save money, right? Pennies each week add up to dollars each month, and hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

From a preparedness point of view, having items that don’t have to be replaced on a weekly basis only makes sense. If you are unable to go to the store for a long period of time due to a personal financial crisis or some other type of upheaval, you won’t have to worry about running out of paper towels or diapers if you don’t use them. On the other hand, for power outages, I do stock a stash of some convenience items to make my life easier, since we also have no running water during those times. However, they’re for emergency use only, and are rarely pulled out of the stockpile.

A dozen things you’ll never have to buy again

It probably goes without saying that if you’re on a strict budget, you should not be buying silly things like cleaning wipes for the counters, paper plates, disposable dusters, and, for crying out loud, disposable toilet brushes. However, there are lots of other conveniences that can be just as easily replaced with reusable items.

Here are 10 things that you don’t need to spend money on during your regular shopping trips.   Once you make the initial purchase, you won’t need to replace these items for a very long time. Trust me, you won’t even miss the throwaway version once you get used to the higher quality reusable products.

 

  1. Coffee filters  We love coffee in our family. There’s a pot on for most of the day every day. Not only do we have a conventional drip coffee maker, but we also have a Keurig for a quick cup in the afternoon. Here’s the awesome thing: you can get reusable filters for both for well under $10. We’ve replaced the throwaway paper filters for our coffee pot with a little mesh basket like this.  They also have a pointy version if your coffee maker uses the cone type of filter. For the Keurig, you can get a 6-pack of reusable pods. This saves money by allowing you to use your own high quality coffee at a fraction of the cost of k-cups. I keep these filled and in the fridge so that I can have a quick cup of afternoon coffee without spending 75 cents for it.
  2. Napkins This is a no-brainer.  We have a lovely collection of cloth napkins, many of which have been purchased at yard sales or thrift stores. I don’t get fabrics that require ironing (made that mistake before!) and we simply toss them in the hamper just off the kitchen when they need to be washed. I think they look so much prettier on the table than the paper kind. If it isn’t yard sale season, you can start out with a dozen for less than $1 apiece. Some people like to stick to white so that stains can easily be bleached out.
  3. Paper towels At the brokest point of my life, I decided that paper towels were completely unnecessary when they meant the difference between buying a roast that would feed my family for several days or not. I use – gasp – towels. I’m a big fan of the barmop type of towels for cleaning. They’re very absorbent and soak up big spills quickly and easily. You can also use this easy  tutorial to make your own unpaper towels for an even lower cost.
  4. Feminine hygiene products Avert your eyes, gentleman readers. Breaking news: tampons and disposable pads are actually not necessary for life as a woman. Women had monthly cycles well before Tampax formed a company to convince them that a disposable product was imperative. There are lots of different options, including fabric pads, feminine cups, and natural sea sponges that just get rinsed out and reinserted. You can get washable, waterproof bags for storing the used pads if you are away from home that are designed to keep moisture and odor contained. These are all actually much healthier than commercial tampons and pads that contain all sorts of toxic “absorbent” materials. If you are a DIY kind of person, here are instructions to make your own pads.
  5. Diapers With baby number 1 we lived in a tiny second story walk-up with no washer and dryer, so I used disposable diapers. With baby number 2, our circumstances had improved and I cheerfully embraced cloth diapers. The cloth diapers today are so much better than the ones our grandparent used. They have liners, snaps, different sizes, and all sorts of conveniences to make a mama’s life easier. In fact, they look a lot like disposables. You can often pick these up secondhand since they can’t be used for other purposes like the old-fashioned foldable diapers. While the initial purchase is an investment, if you’re committed to using cloth, you will save hundreds of dollar throughout your child’s diaper days.
  6. Baby/Cosmetic wipes Umm….use washcloths. I don’t have any links or snazzy how-tos or advice, except that we have black washcloths specifically for removing makeup so that you don’t see any mascara stains.
  7. Dryer sheets Replace dryer sheets but still have soft clothing with those nifty dryer balls, or even tennis balls. Even a crumpled piece of aluminum foil can be tossed in to remove static cling, and that same piece of foil will be good for up to 6 months. You can make your own dryer balls using 100% wool yarn. I like to scent them with a little bit of essential oil so that I get a lovely clean smell without  the nasty dryer sheet chemicals. (My favorites are a mix of Basil and Lavender – trust me, it’s fresh and delightful! (Use the coupon code DAISY for 10% off your order from Spark Naturals.)
  8. Lunch bags Everyone is enamored with the pretty lunch bags that almost look like purses, but you can take it a step further. Get rid of the plastic sandwich and snack baggies and use fabric ones that can be tossed in the wash. You can even make your own in about 15 minutes. Of course, only you can judge whether or not these will make it home. If your kids toss them in the trash or lose them, the fabric version will be exponentially more expensive.
  9. Shopping bags In our area, many of the stores now charge for shopping bags. At 10 cents a pop, this can add up over the course of a year to well over $50. (It could be far more depending on how much you buy). Stash some reusable bags in your car so that you always have them available. You can buy 10 of them for less than $15.  Making your own from old t-shirts can be a fun (and free) project to do with kids.
  10. Swiffer covers We live on a farm. A dusty, dirty farm.  With a cat and dog that come in the house. This means our floors need to be dust-mopped every single day. I like the convenience of a Swiffer, but not the expense of the disposable covers for it. With these machine-washable covers, I can use a fresh one each time I dust-mop. Also, check out this super-easy-peasy version you can make from a sock. (Finally a way to make use of those lonely, single socks!)
  11. Water bottles Did you know how many water bottles get thrown out each year? More than 22 billion!!!!! That is almost an unfathomable amount. Purchasing water in individual bottles is awfully hard on the budget, too. If it isn’t too toxic, you can filter your tapwater and fill your own bottles. If you must purchase your water, go with the 5-gallon refillable jugs, and dispense it into your own, BPA-free bottles. My kids are older, and we use glass bottles with a neoprene sleeve for protection.
  12. Batteries With flashlights, remotes, and other gadgets, we go through about a kajillion batteries a year, although less than when my kids were little and had battery operated toys. We use almost exclusively rechargeable batteries. These have to be purchased far less frequently, need a simple recharging device, and can save you a bundle over time. This charger works for everything from AAA to 9V and even works on non-rechargeable batteries, and you can also get a solar battery charger to rejuvenate them for free.

When every penny counts, don’t throw away money

If your budget is tight like mine, every penny counts. Be sure to spend your money wisely by investing in reusable items, making the ones you can, and hitting the thrift stores to channel our frugal grannies.

What reusable products do you use in your household in place of disposable ones? Please share in the comments below so that we can revisit this topic in a second article!

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: 12 Ways to Save Money with Reusable Stuff in a Disposable World

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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The Proper Way To Butcher A Chicken

Image source: Pixabay.com

By L. Larocque Off The Grid News

Now that we are heading into fall, it is time to begin thinking about butchering those animals set aside for providing meat. Not all homesteaders or off-the-grid lifestyles include meat animals but for those that do, this is a busy season.

How you handle butchering on your homestead will differ depending on you, your time, your abilities, and the number of animals you will be butchering. You may be culling chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, yearling lambs, yearling goats, calves, steers and pigs. Hunting season is coming up, so you may also have a variety of wild game carcasses to manage as well. Many people choose to have their larger animals butchered by a professional due to the necessary space for proper handling of the meat, and so that it doesn’t get tainted accidentally. Rabbit and various fowl can be butchered on a large table in any clean, enclosed room or even outside if you prefer.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: The Best Way

ten-essential-survival-kit-items

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

Here is a list of 10 essential items which you might choose as a minimum to start any survival kit. Then build up and tailor the kit from there – depending on a specific purpose (for the kit), your personal preferences, etc..

When deciding what to include in a survival kit, first think about where you’re going to use it. Is it for your car? In your backpack on a day hike? A week-long camping trip? A bug-out bag with 72-hour previsions? etc. This will alter what you might choose to include.

Also think about the resources that may already be available in the area where you plan to be. This again will affect the decisions that you make as to what to include in the kit.

The following items are intended to present ideas to spark your own thoughts:

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: 10 Essential Items in a Survival Kit

syrian refugees

By SurvivoPedia

We talk of many different disasters to concern ourselves about and prepare for. Some are small, regional disasters, such as hurricanes. Others are nationwide disasters that will change the world as we know it. These disasters are the ones that we focus on, simply because of the great impact that they will have. That impact requires a much greater level of preparation… if we want to survive.

What if I was to tell you that we are all living in the midst of a world-changing disaster? One that will change life as we know it. A disaster that won’t just affect the United States, but if the people who are propagating it have their way, will take over the world.

This disaster is taking place right before our eyes, but we don’t see it as such. I’m of course, talking about the Islamic invasion of the western world.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: The Silent Invasion Of The Western World. US Next?

NASA

By Mike Adams – Natural News

(NaturalNews) After years of covering up the truth about flowing water on Mars, NASA has finally come clean and admitted what we’ve been telling you for years here on Natural News: Water flows on Mars.

I’ve covered this many times in radio interviews, articles and discussions about life in the cosmos, yet NASA has deliberately covered up proof of water on Mars and life on Mars for political reasons. See Natural News articles about water on Mars here, here and here, where I wrote, “There’s also liquid water on Mars — another fact that NASA has gone to great lengths to cover up.”

Today, NASA ended its cover-up of the water on Mars, admitting in a breaking announcement that “liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.”

Gee, really? We already knew that.
Continue reading at Natural News: NASA Ends Cover-Up And Finally Admits Water Flows On Mars… but still won’t admit to Proof Of Life On The Red Planet, Known As A fact since 1976

By AccuWeather

Joaquin may converge with another slow-moving storm in the East to add to a serious flooding situation into early next week.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, “The dry spell and local drought conditions will be washed away by heavy rain and flooding.”

JUMP TO: Joaquin’s Potential Impact on the East Coast

Small stream and urban flooding are a given in this case. How significant river flooding becomes will depend on duration, intensity and location of the subsequent rounds of rain.

The nearly week-long pattern has the potential to put some neighborhoods of major cities under water and can flood some communities along streams.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun, “Very heavy rainfall fell across a large portion of the East on Tuesday, causing localized flash flooding.”

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Hurricane Joaquin to Track Near East Coast, Escalate Flood Threat

RELATED:
AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Center
Northeast Interactive Weather Radar
The Science of Sinkholes: How Heavy Rain, Drought Can Help Trigger the Dangerous Phenomenon

By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Sep 30, 2015

Observing the Frontier Conference:
Pittsburgh: https://www.eventjoy.com/e/suspicious…
Phoenix: https://www.eventjoy.com/e/otf

www.Suspicious0bservers.org
www.SpaceWeatherNews.com
www.MagneticReversal.org
www.ObservatoryProject.com
www.EarthChangesMedia.com

Solar Alerts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whL9…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCUZ…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIayx…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ew05…
Pause on Pausing the Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZH46…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

Today’s Featured Links:
Earth-Like Planets: http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/0…
Honduras Flood Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VluJ4…
Goddard SVS: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov