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Sunday, January 11, 2009


One relatively painless way to free up money for survival preps is to live frugally. Now, obviously, there are a lot of obstacles in your way. Your spouse lives as if the next paycheck is almost here and it will never stop. The house has another fifteen years to pay on. The car is new and has another five and a half years of debt on it. Gas and food are hard to substitute. If you are a hen pecked husband that doesn’t have the inclination to dictate how your money is spent, you can stop reading right now. No amount of begging will change your wife’s mind that her house ( you just pay the mortgage, it’s still hers ) will have any used furniture in it. I’m not judging too harshly. I was there before myself. Just ask yourself how important preparations are. Important enough to risk ending a relationship over? If you don’t mean the threat then your bluff will be called.

You don’t need to live in your vehicle. You don’t need to get that frugal. But so many things can be substituted with cheaper items. You can live off discards almost exclusively if you so desire. Lets start your frugal living ideas out with your most expensive bill. Your mortgage. If you want to stay where you are you won’t sell and buy cheaper elsewhere. So turn your house from an expense to an investment. Rent out a room. If those are all taken then convert the garage. If you have some property rent out a pasture to a horse owner. Cheap housing is hard to find. You will find a boarder.

Your car can be repossessed but most folks are scared of a bad credit rating. So they keep making car payments. And you don’t want to deliver pizza to pay off your car. The next purchase, buy a used car. New is over priced and going to bail out Detroit, not purchase increased quality. If you are fortunate enough to not have a car payment, keep it that way. Its only a money pit. Buy used where the value is closer to reality after depreciation. If you refuse to get rid of a car, how about moving closer to work or getting another job closer to home? Otherwise it’s the price of living in the suburbs.

You should never buy a new piece of furniture. There are oodles of used ones out there. Most furniture manufacturing is moving to China. Yet it is still expensive. Most of the markup goes to inflated overhead. And paying for idiotic schemes such as “make no payments for three years” advertising. It is cheaper to throw away your used furniture and buying more used pieces after you arrive at your new home if you are moving. U-Haul is expensive and the trucks get three to five miles to the gallon full. The same with kitchen goods and perhaps even clothing.

You shouldn’t buy new clothing other than underwear and socks. And footwear if you are worried about foot fungus. The thrift stores are full of used clothes. Slacks are three bucks each. Polo type shirts $2. Jackets are under five bucks. I spent $3.50 for my last two wool sweaters. And several polo shirts at a buck each ( going at half price days ).

Then use your wool sweaters to wear as you turn down the thermostat. Put solar troughs out at each south window to get free winter heat ( an insulated black trough covered in glass going from ground to window with the window open to let the air in-close at night to avoid losing the house heat ). If you are lazy or the Zoning Cops will get you, place a piece of black plastic in each south window, a few inches away from the glass ( hanging from the curtain rod ). The sunlight will hit the plastic and rise up into the room. If wood is cheap in your area, at least supplement your gas with a wood stove if not replace it altogether.

For entertainment, never buy new. The $26 hardback they sell today will be a buck in a year. The newest video will go down in price. The newest game system coming out drives down the cost of the older systems- get one of those ( I can’t see one of my readers buying the new PlayStation Three for $1200 on E-bay due to the shortages- wait a little and the PS2 will go under $100 and you can use it to bypass normal scrambling to copy DVD’s ).

For food, just buy all unprocessed foods. You will save lots of money, eat healthier and put the wife to work in the kitchen since she’s gotten really lazy with prepared foods and a microwave oven. Don’t buy instant mashed potatoes, always use fresh. I prepare with the skins for the vitamins and it saves skinning them ( or do peel them and then fry up the skins-yum ). For meat if I want beef I buy the brisket. $1.60 a pound, about $2 a pound after you trim the fat. Great in the crock pot but also surprisingly tasty just grilled. It is marbled with fat for a good flavor. You just need to buy it at ten or fifteen pounds at a time. Buy butter when on sale and freeze it. Margarine is foul and unhealthy. And butter is protein. If vegetables get too expensive, grow sprouts. If you can’t stand the taste just pour some tomato juice in the blender along with the sprouts. Puree. No expensive juicer to buy, no expensive vegetables to buy. And the most nutritious vegetables there are.

Make your own wine, roll your own cigarettes. Cut your own hair. Color your own hair. Perm it yourself, etc. Remove the service element from your purchases and you will save a bundle. Remember, China supplies cheap goods. We supply expensive services. Take out our services when possible to save.


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