One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas

James Walton
By James Walton October 2, 2020 08:51

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas

Our little prepping universe has been hit with a bunch of newbies, who are either fully on board, or are looking for a reason to do prepper-related kind of things. Many of these new preppers are just looking to act in a way that will help them sleep at night.

Never forget that the average American went from staring into their phones and complaining about their jobs to losing or nearly losing their jobs, being stuck inside a packed home, teaching their children, watching riots and a pandemic from their front porch, and wondering “What comes next!?”.

Many new preppers don’t have the money to put towards prepping, so there is a real struggle to get off the ground in prepping on a tight budget. The good news is, I am here with 30 days of no money preps that really make a difference.

Related: 30 Supplies for Pandemic Survival

#1. ERP (Emergency Response Plan)

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas When you start a business, you need to create an ERP or Emergency Response Plan to assure your employees know how to react to a variety of emergencies.

From things like fire drills to active shooters, you need everyone to know where the ERP is and what’s inside of it.

So as long as you have access to a computer, you can start writing an ERP and making a difference. It costs you no money. Written plans are highly underrated in the prepping and survival world. They save lives all the time in the business world. Build an ERP.

#2. Go for a Run

While this might seem simple, going out for a run does a number of things. It gives you some time to think about the nation, yourself, and the world around you.

It also gives you an opportunity to clear your mind and get into the meditative motion of plodding one foot in front of the other. Most importantly, you are training endurance every time you run and trust me, you will need it.

#3. Meetup with Your Neighbors

This doesn’t have to be a prepper meetup. It doesn’t have to be a meetup to discuss how you are going to defend your neighborhood from riots. Of course, we all want to be ready if something like that happens.

Start with a cookout, a picnic, a block party, and the like. Be sure that you can get out and look the people who live around you in the eye, and enjoy spending time with them! From there a deeper relationship will be much more effective.

Related: 5 Things You Can Do If People Find Out You’re A Prepper

#4. Workout

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas Your physical fitness is essential to your level of preparedness. Fitness is not a piece of the prepping puzzle, instead, prepping is just a piece of the fitness of the puzzle.

Fitness is a testament to your overall health and without that you have nothing. Take care of yourself, do some pushups, squats, and sit-ups every day.

#5. Wild Edibles

Whether you use a library book, a computer, or a phone app, you can spend a couple of hours in the woods or around your neighborhood learning about and tasting wild edible plants.

#6. Useful Trees

While wild edible plants are great, trees are even better, because they are around all year. After that first frost 90% of your wild edible knowledge is useless. If you understand medicinal and edible trees, you can keep that wild foraging going year-round.

#7. All Your Blades

If you have a stone or a sharpener, you can spend a day simply sharpening all your blades. If you have a chainsaw sharpener and a puck style sharpener, you can head into the shed and sharpen up things like axes and chainsaws.

#8. QA Bugout Bags

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas When was the last time you opened your bugout bag? Do you have any idea how old those granola bars in your bugout bag are?

At least once a year you need to open that bugout bag and take everything out. Lay it across your kitchen floor and have a look at the contents. Modify the contents to what you truly need.

#9. Conduct an Area Study

Popularized by Sam Culper of The Forward Observer, an area study is free to conduct and will explain your area to you in deep detail. It takes time and thought, but you can basically knock the whole thing out without any money. There are some great YouTube videos on how to create your own area study.

This is a task that most people do not want to undertake because you have to find out about resources, crime and even gangs in your area. You might not be thrilled with the results.

#10. Zero Rifles and Firearms

5 million Americans bought firearms in the month of July. That means there are a bunch of people who have guns that aren’t yet zeroed. Are you one of those people?

You can zero a weapon for free, if you have bore sight and a quiet place to focus.

Related: Firearms for Emergency and SHTF Situations

#11. Free Mobile Apps

There is a slew of great preparedness mobile apps. You can organize your preps, learn about bushcraft, or even practice some tactics on a survival game. Don’t deny the benefit of a little survival simulation gaming.

#12. Your Pantry

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas You haven’t had company over in a long time. People have been hiding from you because masks and riots and inequality and so forth.

When you stare into your pantry, do you see something you’re proud of? Remember, the more organized you are, the more space you have for more preps!

Related: What Do I Store in My Pantry As a Prepper?

#13. Library

The library is full of free books where you can read about history, prepping, nature, and survival.

If your library is closed, than you could also use the application called “Hoopla”. This allows you to take eBooks and audio books out from your library without going there.

#14. Freecycle for Preps

Check the local classifieds, craigslist, and other similar websites to see if there are local free preps you can pick up.

Gardening tools, firewood and building materials are always great options.

#15. Free Classes

There are lots of free classes online and free classes in your immediate area. One of the best examples of this is the annual first aid courses in your local area.

You can also visit Red Cross to see the free courses they offer.

#16. Make Some Money

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas You probably have a little foothold on your preparedness knowledge. I am sure you have at least one thing you can teach the people around you.

So, knowing that, you can create a course that you can charge money for, or just teach for free on sites like UDEMY.

These courses also help you fortify your prepping knowledge.

#17. Free books

These things are everywhere! You might have to sacrifice an email, but you can get a ton of free prepping eBooks just by search “free prepping books”.

#18. Meditate

Prepping can drive you completely mad! If you are not careful, a diet of disaster and apocalypse will just destroy you.

One of the best ways to deal with this is to find a quiet place and just run a mantra over and over in your mind. Do it for 5 minutes to start and just try to keep your mind clear of thoughts.

#19. Hike with Your Bugout Bag

A simple walk, ruck, or hike with your bugout bag on is great for fitness and a better understanding of your gear.

#20. Go Fishing

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas If you have some old fishing gear or new fishing gear, get out and have some fun catching fish.

Remember, every fish you catch is food in a survival situation. Fishing is an underrated survival skill, but it’s one that will really make the difference.

Related: How To Catch Fish With A Bottle

#21. Walk or Drive to Your Bugout Location

It is never a bad idea to take a trip to the old bugout location. Whether you run, walk, or drive there, you can learn so much about your route/routes by simply heading there.

Don’t wait ‘till you have to go in a hurry.

#22. Practice Bandaging a Wound

Make a red dot on your arm or the arm of a family member. This is now a wound that is bleeding profusely. Bandage that wound with your current first aid preps.

What do you need more of, or what do you need to learn?

#23. Tap Water

Storing tap water is just a matter of having some clean empty containers. Store these out of sunlight, as they can grow algae if exposed to light.

#24. Sell

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas We all have too much stuff! Someone might really enjoy the old thing that you have been holding onto for years. Have a yard sale, or put some items for sale online.

You might be able to make some cash for more preps.

#25. Build a Fire

There is always the option of working on the craft of making fire. A fire is not only a great skill to practice, but setting down by a fire is a great feeling.

#26. Free Checklist

The internet is full of free prepping checklists and they can go a long way in helping you understand some things that might be missing form your preps.

#27. Gather Seeds

If you have a garden out back, spend a day just harvesting seeds from the plants. Now is a great time for this. Collect seeds and store them in an organized fashion for next year’s garden.

#28. Battle Tracking

One Month $0 A Day Prepping Ideas The next time there is a riot you can sit down, and battle track that riot. You can use things like social media, the Broadcastify app, and other intel sources to follow the riots in an area in real time. Twitter is great for this.

Bring up a map of the area and try and pinpoint the location of riots. Then, using intel, follow the riot in real time and follow the police actions, too.

Mark up your map to show you where the violence, fires, police, firemen and other things like road closures might be. This is a great little learning activity.

#29. Survival Caches

All preppers can benefit from spreading their preps into new areas. Having everything in one place is a tough situation to be in. Lots can go wrong.

You can make a survival cache with scrap PVC and epoxy, and bury some preps in a special place.

#30. Always a Great Option

Camping is always a great option. Your local wildlife management area or public lands are great places to go to and camp for free!

As you can see, there are all kinds of things you can do for free that will bolster your level of preparedness. While money can really help you make great strides in prepping, you don’t need a deep bank account to spend a full month prepping away and preparing for what could come.

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James Walton
By James Walton October 2, 2020 08:51
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58 Comments

  1. Sarge October 2, 15:55

    Very informative and should be a must read for all who seek to Prepare.

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  2. Debbie October 2, 16:30

    All great ideas – we have even set up camp in our backyard to make sure everyone knew how to perform their assigned tasks.

    Reply to this comment
  3. left coast chuck October 2, 16:41

    Two comments: Does th Red Cross actually offer free courses? Quite a few years ago I took their first aid course. It cost $30 and I felt cheated and that I had wasted my time. If one were absolutely clueless about how to react upon finding someone unconscious on the ground, it might have been helpful. It actually was less advanced than the Boy Scout First Aid Merit Badge course I took over 70 years ago.

    I already put into practice handling a moderately sever cut this past week. It was my first experience in using steristrips or butterfly bandages. The steristrips I used worked exceedingly well and I did it all one handed too which added to the experience. I had managed to stab myself at the base of my thumb on my left hand. Glad it was the left hand as it made first aid easier than if it had been the other way around. My new Cold Steel Finn Bear knife is satisfactorily sharp and pierces flesh quite easily I am sort of happy to report. I recommend it as an inexpensive utility knife. The 4116 steel used in the knife is not D2 by any means, but for all an around G.P. knife, it works fine. And for self-defense, although the 4″ blade is shorter than I prefer, in an extreme situation, it penetrates quite easily.

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    • City Chick October 2, 21:33

      LCC – I know they do good, but truthfully have mixed feelings about the Red Cross. Those feelings were reinforced when I happened to walk by their magnificent building in Washington, DC. Sounds like you did a good job on that jab, but when was your last tetanus shot? Might be time for a booster.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck October 3, 00:11

        CC:Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon how one views the glass, I am somewhat accident prone and thus current on my tetanus inoculation.

        A little off topic for this list but do you know what a
        shobi-zue is? You don’t? Well, join the club. Until a few hours ago I didn’t either. It is a felony to even have a shobi-zue in your home in the PDRK. In case you are breathlessly waiting to find out, let me further say that the California Supremes have even ruled on shobi-zues. If they are used primarily for other uses, they are legal, even if they meet the strict definition of shobi-zue.

        Now, pull back the curtain: A shobi-zue for those who are not really expert in arcane Japanese weapons, is a stick with a sharp blade stuck in the end to use as a weapon. In other words, a spear.

        Many years ago I was plagued with gophers in my yard. Inasmuch as they seemed to favor certain expensive plants, I was determined to encourage them to move somewhere else. In order to place the traps I used, I had to locate their burrows. I fixed an SKS bayonet to a piece of broom handle and called it my gopher yari, “yari” being the Japanese word for spear.

        I successfully used it for many years. This year a gopher moved into a planter in my front yard. I had been probing to find its burrows when a young man walked by with his wife and child. He asked me rather sharply, although I didn’t think anything of it at the time, what it was. I explained that it was for finding gopher burrows — luckily gave the right and he just nodded and went on.

        Obviously he was a cop who had been reading the California Penal Code recently and recognized the dreaded shobi-zue. Fortunately for me, I gave the instrument the sanctifying agricultural use which made it legal.

        Is that insane or is that insane?

        In addition, Goobinator Gabby Nuisance today signed the microstamping bill that was wending its way through the legislature mandating that semi-automatic handguns sold in the PDRK from January 1, 2022 must have some device that leaves an individual and indelible mark on ejected shell casings. I thought Maryland went through that and finally gave up after spending a couple billion to find out it did nothing except keep cops and crime labs busy doing busy work.

        While touted as a crime bill it is nothing of the sort and is another attempt to end run the Second Amendment and disarm the serfs.

        Off topic, but inasmuch as we had a long discussion about silent weapons, I thought I would alert list follows to beware the dreaded shoji-zue. I am sure the PDRK is not the only state to have banned this weapon of mass destruction.

        It really doesn’t make sense when even Ole’ Two-Shot Joe thinks having a double barrel shotgun is perfectly fine and he recommends it to think that possessing a stick with a sharp point on it in your own home is a felony.

        Good think I wasn’t planning on using it to stick some bad guy, just gophers. Cold Steel sold me that assagai at their yard sale here in the PDRK which they sometimes hold, selling seconds and overstock. Apparently an assagai is okay to own but a shoji-zue, that dreaded ninja slaughterer is too dangerous for the poor befuddled serfs in the PDRK to own. That’s probably the reasoning behind it. It is a little known ninja weapon and by inference is somehow mysterious and especially deadly.

        I wonder if all the folks who pick up trash with sticks with nails sticking out the end know that they are using a mysterious, deadly ninja weapon?

        Well, sorry for the long rant. I thought in view of my enlightenment, I would share it with readers who might give the wrong answer to law enforcement if they happen to have a mole locater when interrogated by law enforcement.

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        • City Chick October 3, 02:42

          Gee, LCC, I’m sure I saw quite a few of those ninja weapons while walking through Nagoya Castle, but the signage there at that time was all in Japanese Kunji characters so the exact names escape me! Very impressive exhibition of Japanese culture and history presented there along with an unbelievable Chrysanthemum Show in the Gardens. Absolutely amazing.

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck October 3, 04:03

            CC: A lawyer of Japanese ancestry here locally many years ago had the finest collection of Japanese armor and weaponry I have ever seen, including collections in museums in Japan.

            I bought my Japanese long sword from him. It was a presentation piece to someone going off to war. When I took it apart to look at the maker’s mark, I found a partial letter in the handle. Unfortunately there was not enough left of the letter to be able to make any sense out of it. The sword was made in Seki which is in Gifu prefecture and is a famous weapons manufacturing center going back centuries.

            Unfortunately, the lawyer’s children didn’t appreciate his collection which he had given a lot of thought to and they sold it to a dealer who pieced it out. I didn’t know the exact value of the collection but could appreciate that it was very valuable.

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            • red October 3, 12:49

              LCC: Yeah, sounds like neolib contempt for the elders. My youngest likes to go bottle hunting. When he and a friend were digging in an old dump outside a small coal town, they found a sword and a few other things. When they showed me, I checked, and it was an Italian cavalry sword, circa 1900. It was in good shape, so he kept it on his wall. Later, at Mom’s viewing, I met an older lady and we got to talking cavalry and so on and she said when her grandfather died, her parents threw all his things out on a dump. Then she said what town it was. Hm! I asked for her number saying the kid liked to go digging out that way. I told the kid and he asked how much I thought she’d pay to get it back. I said, how about a hug and a beer? He laughed, called her, and she flew to our town to see it, and broke down in tears. He got more than a hug and a beer, and I know that sword is on her living room wall to this day, and respected by her kids. niio

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        • Miss Kitty October 3, 03:05

          L.C.C.
          Of course, if you should happen to have to use your pokey stick on an intruder, you could try saying that you thought it was a really BIG gopher….😉

          Reply to this comment
          • red October 3, 20:39

            Miz Kitty: My grandmother had a saying about those big gophers, especially sissy rats like dems, why is it the good Lord made more horses a**s than horses.
            Never kick one out the door. You’ll lose your shoe and probably fall in and drown.
            nii

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        • red October 3, 12:10

          LCC: Not a rant, a lesson and an interesting one! Some things are memory jolts but too much of this makes me say you probably forgot more than I learned. Again, thanks. niio

          Reply to this comment
    • IvyMike October 2, 23:45

      Red Cross charges for everything, which is fine, but a company I worked for sent me for CPR certification, it was a very basic 4 hour course with a couple of minutes doing compressions on a dummy. The instructional film was good in that all the victims needing CPR were different varieties of ugly and hairy, it is never Hope Hicks needing mouth to mouth in the real world.
      Sounds like, LCC, you have become a danger to yourself and should ship all of your sharp objects to me, especially the Japanese ones. For your protection.
      Camping, hiking, getting in shape are all great ideas. #1, the ERP, can also be done using paper and pencil, or pen if you never make mistakes.

      Reply to this comment
      • Prepper In Training October 3, 15:04

        L.C.C. – You should not even consider sending IvyMike your sharp objects! It was VERY RUDE of him to not even offer you a hug and a beer while discussing your protection. 😛

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        • IvyMike October 4, 00:28

          Me and LCC are crusty old men, when we hug someone you can bet it is someone soft!
          Red told a really sweet story about the cavalry sword, not hugging him either.

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          • red October 4, 01:54

            Mike: I weigh 250 pounds, but thanks for the no hug! when the kid gets too Teutonic (his gramma was a Saxon) I remind him of that and he gets mad, but gets over his iron cross attitude.
            Got garden seed today, winter rye, clover, and buckwheat (for soba noodles!) Now to fence it all off from garden raping friggin birds.
            niio

            Reply to this comment
            • IvyMike October 4, 23:00

              More about buckwheat? Never eaten or grown it…

              Reply to this comment
              • left coast chuck October 5, 01:11

                According to an article reputedly written by a former Spetnaz trooper who had NOT enjoyed his stay in the sandbox, buckwheat is the main staple of the Russian Army. According to him it is buckwheat three times a day. They get other food too, but he said that buckwheat is the main source of carbs for the Russian military man.

                I had always thought it was potatoes and cabbage but maybe I have my armies mixed up. After all, if a former Spetnaz trooper says that it was buckwheat who am I to say that it is not.

                This morning I read a report written by the local county DA about a police shooting sometime earlier this year. It had some interesting facts in it about the efficacy of pistol bullets. If some would be interested in my take on it, post an affirmative response and I will write a detailed post based on the DA’s investigation of the fatal shooting.

                Reply to this comment
              • red October 5, 04:21

                Mike: related to burdock, but produces both grain and a very heavy, dark honey. No gluten! It can get to 5 feet tall, but, it will not thrive in the heat. Short window plant for a cover crop and it’s usually harvested with 60-100 days. Frost sensitive, likes a lot of moisture but not waterlogging. Does well in poor soil, and a mat of hair roots make even heavy clay easy to work. thrives on being cut for mulch. All in all, a great weed. It’s predator resistant, meaning animals do not like the plant or the grain. Problems, seeds tend to shatter when ripe, so plantings under a quarter acre are harvested by hand–literally with the hands.

                There are perennial varieties native to the southwest (California and Mohave buckwheats). American Indians were beginning to domesticate, but Europeans had their own, better producing annuals. It’s great for a hidden garden because it doesn’t look like food. A lot of people grow it for the flowers and harvest the small grain from it. niio

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                • Gailastetson@comcast.net October 5, 07:03

                  Red, Very interesting. Looked up images and it is an attractive plant. Question- If someone sowed a small plot, say size of a standard sheet of plywood, how much would that yield in seeds? Equal to a bag of Bob’s Red Mill or what? Thanks.

                  Reply to this comment
                  • red October 5, 11:42

                    Gail: First, where are you? You would get a few handfuls, but I’m guessing. Give it a shot and write about your experience. BTW, I don’t buy red mill. I had bought a bag of chia an wanted to sprout it. None sprouted. I called the company asking where it came from. They had no clue, but this company guarantees it’s products organic and charges for it. I asked if it were imported. They didn’t know. Was it irradiated? They didn’t know. Irradiation is OK, but it kills the seed. niio

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                    • Govtgirl October 5, 22:20

                      I am in north Puget Sound WA up near the San Juan Islands. Just looked up an excellent fact sheet from Washington State University which says buckwheat has to be grown in summer, but can still be useful as a cover crop for future plantings. Well, at least I know what a cover crop is now. Pathetic, but progress of a kind.

                • IvyMike October 5, 23:22

                  Thanks!

                  Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck October 5, 01:31

            Yeah, to be honest, I am not into hugs by fat old men, thank you. Now if Ivy Mike was a nubile twenty something female, I might consider trading my sharp pointy things for a hug or two.

            There is an organized program to return Japanese war souvenirs to the family of the unlucky former holders of same.

            it was a tradition in Japan when someone went overseas for friends and family to write message of encouragement and best wishes. My wife has an autograph book from her fellow employees at her place of employment and some of the sentiments are truly touching.

            Young Japanese men going off to war were usually given a Japanese flag on which friends and relatives had written sentimental sayings and good wishes. They were worn as both a memento of happier times and according to superstition as a good luck charm against harm.

            As a good many Japanese soldiers were buried in a pit dug by a bulldozer and the site not even marked, a lot of Japanese families have no idea what happened to their sons, fathers, brothers and other male relatives. Getting the flag back that their relative carried with them when they left Japan means a great deal to them as it was the last thing their relative touched before his death.

            Knowing all that, I can appreciate how much the lady appreciated getting her grandfather’s sword back from the dump. How ignoble! Even if I didn’t want it myself, I would donate it to the local museum with an historical note to go with it.

            If you or some family member has a Japanese sword from WWII and you don’t want it, I would urge you to go on line and find an organization dedicated to returning such to the family. It may be that it was just a military issue with no connection to a particular soldier.

            With my sword, it was a dead end. There was absolutely nothing to trace to some Japanese family who had given it to a son or brother or nephew. It belonged to an officer as swords were too expensive for the average family to give such to a relative and lower drafted ranks didn’t carry swords, only officers and some NCOs did. An NCO would carry an issue sword stamped out by the Kokura Arsenal or some other army arsenal. An officer from a poorer family would also carry an issue sword, but an officer with a sword from his family would have come from a family with some money.

            Reply to this comment
            • red October 5, 04:38

              LCC: to the best of my knowledge, no one who was in the Pacific theatre kept anything from Japan. The other islands, yes. Most i the family who were there were transferred to Europe before the end of the war. All spoke Dietsch which is 18th century Deutsch alt kens.
              You’re right about this as a thing of honor. I will keep this in mind and ask. niio

              Reply to this comment
  4. PirateRooster October 2, 16:50

    I beat the baker, I beat the cook
    I beat them all to the back of the book!!

    I enjoy ALL your prepping ideas and pay attention to most.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck October 5, 01:39

      Rooster must have had a couple of beers too many as he later on demanded that he be expunged from this list.

      Or perhaps it was later that he had too many beers and forgot that he enjoyed all the ideas. Certainly is a 90 degree turn around.

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  5. red October 2, 20:08

    I like it and hope everyone reads it. And, I hope the whiners lay off. Not talking of tyos, but those who would complain if hung with a new rope types. niio

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck October 3, 00:14

      I have often remarked that you can go around handing out free $100 bills and someone will complain about how hard they are to use and ask if you don’t have 5 $20s.

      Reply to this comment
      • red October 3, 11:35

        LCC: Major thumb’s up! niio

        Reply to this comment
      • PB- dave October 3, 13:49

        I see many people that “step over a $20 bill to pick up a dime” …. either because they don’t know the values, or they are too wrapped up in fine details. There is wisdom in gathering that low hanging fruit when possible…..

        Reply to this comment
  6. City Chick October 2, 21:55

    #20 Go Fishing – This one kills me! My bestest fishing buddy of the last thirty some odd years is into catch and release! I did everything I could to make sure he had a well rounded fishing education too! Salmon fishing off San Juan Island, large mouth bass fish in the deep south. Salt water fishing all over the East coast and fresh water fishing inland. Now, it’s all expensive equipment and catch and release! Most recently he sent me pictures of 20-30# Blue Fish caught surf casting off Montauk! All put back. Nothing for the frying pan or freezer! Where did I go wrong?

    Reply to this comment
    • red October 3, 11:45

      CC: Sand trout are very relaxing. They’re trout that evolved to exist without water. Instructions are, buy a 6-pack of cold beer. You find a river in Arizona, something easy, they’re all over. Bait a hook with something dead, then cast into the deepest dustiest part of the river (most rivers only have water once every few years). Sit back in some shade, crack open a col one. Relax. Check line on occasion. When beer is gone, sleep of leave. While I like fishing, I have to say sand trout have their points. niio

      These are an urban legend created by college students looking for an excuse to be along for a while and have some beer.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Miss Kitty October 3, 00:02

    #31 – Learn how to prepare a meal from your preps. Having forty pounds of dried beans won’t be much help if you have no idea what to do with them. Also experiment with cooking over an open fire.

    Reply to this comment
    • Govtgirl October 4, 13:16

      Miss Kitty-This is a great idea. The “Lost Ways” book is good for that. Also bean institute.com has a free Bean cookbook that is easy to download, but they don’t do any good if we don’t open them. Thanks for the nudge. Will give it a try this week.

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty October 5, 02:05

        Even if you don’t care much for beans, white beans have a mild enough taste to sneak into stews and not overpower the rest of the ingredients. I’m also planning to do some experimentation on “hiding” beans in other foods. I made oatmeal raisin muffins and added about a half cup of leftover plain black beans, mashed, to the batter (with the wet ingredients) to increase the protein. Even my mom liked them, and she usually refuses to eat beans in any form other than traditional baked beans…a major achievement! Split pea soup is another easy recipe with a lot of room for variations, is fairly quick to cook, and is very high in protein. Lentils and chickpeas are other options for you to consider. All have varying nutritional profiles, but keep well dried and either cook quickly or are easily found canned for quick meals. Remember to have fun experimenting!

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck October 5, 03:03

          Great suggestions, Miss K.

          Reply to this comment
        • red October 5, 04:44

          Miz Kitty: Lazy man’s refried beans. Put cooked pintos or other beans into a roasting pan, onions and so on over them, then meat. Roast till the meat is done. Drain beans and mash or eat as is.
          If you like baked beans but not the sweeteners, a pound or two of cooked pintos in a roaster. Out in a quart or two of cooking salsa (has a strong onion taste) raw peppers (have to be ripe!) over the meat, cover till the meat is almost done, then blacken the peppers. It caramelizes and makes the beans taste like you have molasses in them but it’s sugar free. niio

          Reply to this comment
        • Govtgirl October 5, 06:51

          Miss Kitty,
          Appreciate the encouragement. You are right. Need to start simple. Often when looking for a bean recipe I end up in the weeds. Like on the Goya Foods website they had all these spices I never heard of and don’t want to invest a lot of money in something I will find too spicy. So will start with some white beans maybe with a little ham, lentils with some rice etc. again that phrase I dislike applies- “It’s a process.” Sigh.

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          • Miss Kitty October 5, 10:32

            In the “ethnic” foods section of my local Shaw’s there is a brand called “Badia” that puts up small packets of spices for about a dollar. You can try them out without buying a huge bottle that you won’t use up.
            I would suggest googling any unfamiliar spices too, or going in on a jar with someone else if you want to try it at home. Maybe you could borrow a bit from someone.
            You can always tell us what you are looking at… someone here is bound to know what to do with it.

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            • Govtgirl October 6, 04:33

              Thanks for the ideas, Miss Kitty. Other than cumin or red pepper flakes, most of these are spices used for Mexican foods. There are some end cap packets in the Mexican food section at Walmart so can check for small amounts. Also, there is a Hispanic meat market near there that might carry spices so will make a list and start by checking those out. And there is a yuppie granola grocery that might have them since it caters to the vegan folks. Can’t eat Shake n Bake all my life.

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  8. Miss Kitty October 3, 03:13

    #32 – Drive around late some Sunday afternoon and check out the leavings from the weekend’s yard sales and cleaning projects. Often, people will put usable items by the curb with a sign saying “free”, and you can take what you want. Check apartment house dumpster areas at the end of the month for more stuff from people who have moved. Self storage areas may have some things too. It all depends what you are looking for and whether or not you are able to recycle or upcycle items.

    Be sure you check for funky odors, damage and insects like roaches and bedbugs before you commit to loading it into your vehicle and taking it home.

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    • red October 3, 11:39

      Miz Kitty: We call that a treasure hunt. Back in the 30s, a man from up in Pennsylvania was desperate for a job. He tried Florida but no one need fruit pickers. As he was driving thru a ritzy part of Miami, he saw a lot of good stuff put out for the trash. Being smart on his feet–being an Irish gypsy helps–he went home, borrowed a truck and trailer and worked his way thru several towns loading up on treasures. Back home, he held a garage sale and even in the midst of the depression made a killing. Very fast on the brain, and his kids inherited it. niio

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      • Miss Kitty October 5, 02:22

        Most of my furniture is “reclaimed treasures”… looking around, about two thirds, including my TV and microwave.

        I spent an enjoyable half hour yesterday afternoon dumpster diving with my friend. I got several books, a “new” ledger book, and a bundt pan that looks like new. That was not one of our more productive hauls. My friend got a small table, (which I considered but don’t have room for) some books and a nice double picture frame complete with prints. Last week we did better, but the point is that the stuff is out there if you want to dig for it.
        Remember, if you are upgrading your stuff, if the old stuff still works someone else will benefit greatly from you passing it along.

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        • red October 5, 04:54

          Mix Kitty: Always ask that. we have a good thing here. If you don’t want it, put it out by the alley or out front with a for-free sign. If it’s too nice to just put out, we have the my town for-sale-and-free. I posted a nice, but smell rocker chair. the woman who wanted it was scared to come here 🙂 I’m a redskin redneck, ya see. niio

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  9. General Pain October 3, 21:44

    Don’t know where you live, but in CO very little camping is free or readily available. You can hike into the back country but you need $400 worth of gear to do it safely.

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  10. Govtgirl October 4, 13:00

    Thank you, James, for a great article. The area survey and checking the buyout bag were especially helpful. I can add maybe one more and that is to pick out a YouTube offering on a skill and watch it perhaps even with a view to following it up by trying to do it yourself afterwards. Even once a month would help with some basic skill-building over time.

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  11. Susie Harrison October 4, 16:39

    I love it! Especially the first part. I usually hand out goods from my garden and make baked goods for my neighbors. When I show up with my homemade banana/Zucchini bread, someone always rushes to answer the door!!! I start small chit chat and then venture into ‘with the way the world is today, I hope you have a gun for protection?” I’ve pretty much found out who can defend themselves, who can’t, and who hates guns’. It brings awareness and I mention maybe ‘we’ can start a trading post if things get bad… tho I don’t have much (lol, that’s what I say anyway).

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    • PirateRooster October 4, 18:13

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE UNSUBSCRIBE ME! I HAVE TRIED AND TRIED BUT NO ONE WILL HELP ME. MY INBOX IS FILLED WITH YOUR E-MAILS AND IT WON’T LET ME UNSUBSCRIBE ME. WHEN I TRY TO UNSUBSCRIBE I KEEP GETTING ERROR 404 MESSAGE. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME UNSUBSCRIBE!!!!!!!!

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      • C. Davis October 5, 07:47

        Hello. Thank you so much for letting me know. I checked the unsubscribe button and it works. I am sorry to see you go Pirate Rooster. I unsubscribed you manually.

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    • PirateRooster October 4, 18:14

      PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!
      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE UNSUBSCRIBE ME! I HAVE TRIED AND TRIED BUT NO ONE WILL HELP ME. MY INBOX IS FILLED WITH YOUR E-MAILS AND IT WON’T LET ME UNSUBSCRIBE ME. WHEN I TRY TO UNSUBSCRIBE I KEEP GETTING ERROR 404 MESSAGE. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME UNSUBSCRIBE!!!!!!!!

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      • Govtgirl October 5, 07:25

        How to get help unsubscribe get. Go to top. Click on white box in upper right with lines. Drop down menu has a contact choice. I’m sure they’ll help. We are not usually this active, but I guess we all got tired of making sourdough. Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

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    • red October 5, 00:01

      Susie: Good, good idea. niio

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  12. left coast chuck October 5, 01:37

    Rooster: There is an easy solution. It is called the delete button. Just click on the unwanted e-mail, mark it as spam and hit the delete button. Boom! Gone forever. If that doesn’t work, go to extras under the delete mode or spam mode and hit the block button. It might ask you if you really want to block it and you hit yeah, you betcha and presto chango, all the e-mails form that source will be blocked and never ever appear again.

    Just because something appears in your inbox doesn’t mean you have to read it. Delete works very wll.

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