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How can someone on a fixed income stockpile food and supplies?

April 4, 2011 by  

Dear Bob,
I thank God and you for the opportunity to learn many of the things you have notified us of, but most of the solutions involve investing money or buying "something."

With those of us who are low income, who probably could not even afford to pay for your [Personal Liberty Digest™] newsletter, if there were a charge (thank you, there is not). I mean it seems that we low income or "poor" people (I am on disability, not much of an income!) we have no chance of survival. Can you comment on this?!?!?

Rich

Dear Rich,

Yes, living on a fixed income is difficult. I do not know your situation, however, I believe if you think outside the box a bit you might find you have more resources than you suspect. To increase your stockpile of food you could frequent a “scratch and dent” store. In fact, you can shop there for all your canned and boxed goods and save yourself some money.

Perhaps there is something you could find to do to augment your income. The Internet opens up all sorts of opportunities for people who want to work at home: proofreading, typing, etc.

With any savings or extra income you accumulate you can purchase silver bit by bit. A silver dollar is currently selling for about $38. Many—myself included—expect the price to more than double in the coming months and it will be invaluable once hyperinflation kicks in later this decade.

Best Wishes,
Bob

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • granny mae

    Rich,

    I can understand where you are coming from because I too am on a limited income, however I may be able to give you some hints on what to do. I will tell you what I have done and how I started. I have done a lot of home canning and dehydrating at home. The main thing I had to purchase was first a vacuum sealer, which is not anything fancy. I got the cheapest one I could find and started out with it and moved to a more expensive one this year and I will tell you that my cheap one does just as good a job as the more expensive on. Now as for canning at home, you will need a bigger outlay. Look on line or in second hand stores or even put an add in the paper or a local shoper paper for a pressure cooker canner. Not just a pressure cooker, but it must be a pressure cooker canner. You can, can up fruits and tomatoes in what is called a waterbath canner. This is simply a very large pot with a lid, large enough to hold about 7 quart jars upright with enough room for about 2 inches of water to cover the top of the jars. This will serve as a waterbath canner or you can buy a waterbath canner at Wal-Mart but I don’t know how expensive they are any more. Again you can look at yard sales and secondhand stores or on line or in the shoper papers. Look for a Ball Blue Book of preserving. It will give you a lot of information on canning and lots of recipes. Also check with you local home extention office for instructions on canning. It really isn’t hard at all it is just a matter of following directions all the time. Next if you can’t afford a dehydrator you can use your oven on your stove or even build your own. There are books at the library that can tell you how to do that. My grandson is 16 and he built one for his dad so don’t be afraid to try. My problem with the oven has been that I can’t get my oven temp. low enough. Ideal is 120 degrees.
    Now what I have done is this. I search out for the least expensive products I can find. I look everywhaere for them not just in my local stores and I find that it is helpful if you can go looking often not just once a week. When I see rice on special I try to buy a couple extra bags. We don’t eat a lot of rice normaly but it is easy to store and if we get hungry we will surley eat it with vigor! I check out the dollar stores a lot and have gotten use to some of the off brand names in products such as graham crackers or soda crackers and so on. I have started shopping at stores like Save-A-Lot for soups and jams and jellies and peanut butter, real butter and so on. Also shop at the everything for a dollar stores if you have one near you. Ours is called The Dollar Tree. Nothing over a dollar and they carry food stuffs, such as canned meats and beans and so on. I don’t stock pile dried beans in the dry form as I have found them to get too old to cook up soft after a while so what I do is buy several bags and sort them and soak them over night, in the morning I drain them and cover them with water and start to cook them for maybe an hour and then I put them in jars to about 3/4 full and cover them with fresh water and a teaspoon of salt put on a hot lid and ring , tighten them firmly but not real tight and I cann them in my pressure cooker. That way they keep for years. Also when buying flour and rice to store put it in the freezer when you frist get it home , for about a week, that way you will not be bothered by weevils. If you don’t have a big freezer use your refridgerator freezer. The next step is to vacuum seal them in bags and store them in some big buckets with snap on lids. We have found these buckets at bakeries and restraunts and also we have purchased them at Home Depot and Lowe’s. Get as many of them as you can, you will use every one of them. Next is to look around till you can find wheat grinder ! I finally broke down and sent for mine from Emergency Essentials. They have a web site so they are easy to find. I paid about 50 or 60 dollars I think for mine. Once you have one you can then start calling the farm stores or feed stores near you for prices on 50 lb bags of wheat and corn. These you divide up into your big buckets and vacuum seal them. It isn’t hard but you might want to look up on the internet to see how others have done this. In the mean time plant a garden from seed. You can use big containers , or plant beans and carrots and tomatoes and lettuce and cabbage around the house where most people plant flowers. I have done this and also dug up my back yard and seeded it to garden vegetables. I was renting at the time so when we moved I just threw out some grass seed and raked it over and watered it and called it good. It grew back into grass real nice ! Above all things, think out of the box and always do some little thing each week to add to your food storage. A bag of beans here a bag of rice there, some tuna in cans and so on. Never use your storage till you have too and then replace it as soon as possible. It is a matter of doing a little at a time continuously. Don’t forget to add things like toilet paper and tooth paste, deodorant and any toiletries that are necessary. Just start. You can add the big things as you go along and as you find them at a good price. It is kind of fun to start looking for these things and see where you find them. Please do buy a vacuum sealer though and some bags as they will be very helpful in putting away dried foods and keeping the bugs out of them. Bugs can’t live in a vacuum . Just start. Store bought dried soups are good for storring and so are canned soups. Look for dried products that you like and also canned foods you like. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on these big storage foods that are all done up for you and cost thousands of dollars. They are nice if you can afford them and there are some of these things I buy individually, such as powdered cheese and broth powder but you don’t have to go that way. Buy what you eat and store what you eat, eat what you store. Rotate, rotate, rotate ! I have canned for years now and do up a lot of meats and chicken, butter, veggies and sloppy joes and chili and meat balls for spaghetti and so on. It is fun and my husband and I do it together. He has to help me with some things as I am in a mobility chair. Makes things difficult but not impossible ! You can do this so just get started! God bless ! If I can be of any more help just e-mail me at heyyou63plus2@ gmail.com .

    • libertytrain

      I was worried – hadn’t seen a post from you for a while. Love all your info!

      • granny mae

        Hey libertytrain,
        I have been off line ! My computer took a dump. Lost my hard drive and everything on it. My one son from North Carolina came down and replaced the hard drive but didn’t have time to do much else. My son from central Florida is coming up for Easter and will see what he can do to retreive my pictures and e-books and what ever else he can get. He knows some tricks but said he can’t promise anything. He will also set my computer up the way I had it before, thank God. I’m trying to get him to go into it from his house long distance so he can do a lot of this stuff before hand. I’m anxious to get back to normal, but I know he is real busy so I won’t push ! Too much !!!! I didn’t realize how much I missed everyone on here till I lost y’all ! I even missed the agrivators ! Now I know I miss spell a lot of words but can’t do much about that either as I don’t have my tool bar yet! I can get e-mail but I can’t send e-mail. Don’t ask me why! Just another thing to straighten out. I also lost my Livingston news letter so I had to fish around till I found him again ! Not easy for a computer illiterate ! Tried to reorder my bank checks on line this morning but that didn’t work either! Go figure. How ever since I have been gone I got a new great grandson and have a great grand daughter on the way and I got a new puppy ! Just what I needed! I must admit, that I just love him to pieces though. He is as funny as a rubber crutch ! The vet says he is going to be a big dog and I believe him. He is 8 weeks old and already weighs 21 pounds! Any way I’m getting long winded so I will sign off for now. Thanks for being concerned !

        • libertytrain

          I was concerned. I’m glad you are back, you’re like an old friend nice to “talk with.”

          • granny mae

            Thanks. You too for sure !

        • http://?? Joe H.

          granny mae,
          glad to see you are safe n sound!!! Guess it’s true, God takes care of those who believe!! Take care and keep us up on both those new babies!!!

          • granny mae

            Will do ! It is good to be back ! God Bless

  • granny mae

    Rich,
    One more thing, when getting a pressure cooker canner it must be a 21 qt capacity. That is the entire cooker holds 21 quarts of liquid, but it will only hold 7 quart jars. Make sure it has a rack that fits in the bottom so the jars are up off the bottom. A neet trick is , if you don’t have a rack use regular jar lids and place them large opening down on the bottom of the cooker then set your jars on top of the lids so the jars are up off the bottom and in that way they won’t break from the intense heat. You can also do this in a water bath canner if you have to. I have even used a folded up heavy bath towel when it was necessary !

  • Traci

    as the mom of 7 children I am always trying to stretch my dollars as far as possible. I live in Ft Worth. Sunday When my husband and I went into a hispanic grocery store on the north side to pay our water bill I was overwhelmed at how much lower the prices were than walmart, sprouts, brookshires, kroger etc…the chips that are 4.99 at brookshires were 1.69 here!!!!There were about 20 items that I use frequently just like this… Am I the only person who didnt know this? it was called Carnival. they also make fresh corn and flour tortillias every hour for 1$ a pack and they were hot. They also had more meat selections and cuts than Ive seen anywhere…

    • granny mae

      Traci,
      It pays to shop around and often. I know a lot of people that won’t be seen in a Family Dollar store or a Dollar General store because they think it is beneath them ! Ha! Not me. I love those places and find a lot of bargins. I know their goods come from China but on my income I can’t be choosey ! I try to buy all my paper goods in bulk so I can save a little that gives me a little extra to pick up an extra bag of rice and beans and so on. Once I got my wheat grinder I started buying my wheat and corn in bulk from the farm and feed store and that saved me a lot too. 50 pounds of wheat was like $12.00 I packed it up myself and used my vacuum sealer a large mylar bag and my old iron ! Got the job done in no time. I did find though that the corn was quite dirty so I will use the air compressor to dust and clean it before I grind it to use. I raised 5 children and still support my grand children from time to time. One of them I am raising so it is tight around here, most of the time ! Good thing we raise chickens and rabbits. Also raised three turkeys this past year and that was an experience! Won’t do it again because it cost’s too much to feed them. They eat a LOT ! It is cheaper to buy them on sale at Thanksgiving and Christmas already butchard and plucked and cleaned. No more thurkeys ! The chickens are different. I don’t feed them as much and they roam the yard and give me lots of eggs that I can sell some of and it helps to buy the feed ! They love raw table scraps and parrings from dinner, also love apple peeling and banana skins ! My grand kids hunt grass hoppers to feed them and any kind of bug they can find. They also get the ticks from the surrounding wooded area and garden. Sometimes they get a veggie or two but that is ok because they get the bug pests out of the garden too. Just a little reward for a job well done. I’m urging everyone to plant a garden this spring. No matter how small. Even if it is just some things in big pots on the deck or patio. Apot of cherry tomato’s and a trough of lettuce and a pot of cucumbers and some green onions will make a salad and help on the grocery bill. Also friends if you know of some elderly folks that don’t have much you can offer them some extra veggies from your little garden. Also another big producer from a small space is zucchini and yellow summer squash. Pots of bush type green beans go like crazy too. You can also have the kids plant some yard long green beans and they will be surprised at the length of them. Just remember to stake them because they are a pole type bean! About 5 or 6 of them cut up will almost fill a pint jar for canning ! Water mellon is easy to grow also and they are good to eat cold on a hot day and then save the rinds to make watermellon pickels the next day ! Also grow muskmellon and do up mellon balls into some sweet and spicy mellon pickles. Grab some bags of apples and get out the crock pot and make some apple butter for canning later too. Also for those of you just getting started , sit down and try to figure how much food and other items you think you will need for a years supply. On veggies I figure how many veggies I need for meals a week and then multiply it by 52 weeks in a year, so I can get a general idea. I always plan on at least a dozen or two more because of holidays and company from time to time. I buy toilet tissue in the very large packs and figure we use about two and a half rolls a week as we have two bathrooms and so on. Write it down in a notebook and keep track of what you have so you don’t run out. I replace an item when I use it that way it is always on hand, only I put the new to the back and use up the oldest first. Just some ideas for those that may be just starting. The most important thing is to start and do not quit. Time is running out. Don’t panic but get prepared. There is nothing to fear if you are ready for anything. Good wishes and God bless !

  • granny mae

    Oh yes, one more important thing is to also stock vitamins and any meds you feel you will nead, such as alergy and sinus tabs, cold medicine and cough syrup etc. Alcohol, peroxide, ace bandages and band aides and so on. I also do something that floors some people but I don’t care it saves me a lot of money. I wash out my plastic bags that don’t have holes in them and let them dry and reuse them and I also do the same with aluminum foil that is not badly used and I reuse it. My granny and mom taught me to do that years ago and in recent times I have started doing it again. Save money , get stingy with yourself, it works !

    • http://?? Joe H.

      granny mae,
      don’t know if they recycle Aluminum cans there or not, but I throw all my aluminum foil in with my cans. It only makes a few cents difference but every little bit, as they say. I take them in about twice a year and last time I got just shy of 100.00!!!

      • granny mae

        Joe H.

        Yes I do too. All the used foil that is too used to bother with is put in the aluminum recycle along with the cans. In fact the old guy just took it all to the recycle place the other day. Didn’t ask how much he made but I know he had enough to get chicken feed and rabbit feed and dog food and cat food ! Now days that is a good amount ! LOL ! God Bless

  • Traci

    I love you granny mae! for the last year I have been downsizing EVERYTHING! simplify..simplify..simplify..I am soo thankful for your posts, they have encouraged and instructed me and kept me sane:) the more you have the more you have to spend to house it! the simpler you eat the healthier you are!I live in the city and commute 40 minutes a day to my job..if gas goes over 4.00 per gallon I will only open my shop 3 days per week and I will devote more time to my garden and do bootmaking and repairs at my shop behind my house(Im really looking forward to this)I barter alot!Ive glued more tennis shoes and boots and sandels together this year for free than Ive done in my whole carreer.. normaly I would have charged 5 bucks each to do this but now Ive accumulated fresh eggs, pomegranites, beautiful shelled pecans, braces for my children etc….my income is very sub level but my pantry is filled very well and I am overwhelmingly blessed…anyone who is on a fixed income can find ways to do what Ive done! this very sweet 81 year old lady comes into my shop once a week and she brings me a homeade oatmeal cake and I make her husband knife sheaths out of scraps or sharpen all of their friends knives…if they need something we always figure something out…

    • granny mae

      God Bless you Traci,

      I am rolling in your love! Got it all over me ! LOL ! It is so refreshing to hear from people like you and see how you have put it all together and made it work, just by thinking out of the box ! Being able to barter is great. I know people that have been able to acquire the things they need , through barter. You talk about glueing shoes tickles me because that is how I learned that buying cheap is not always a good thing. Some shoes are made so cheap that when the shoe comes appart there is nothing left to reglue! Boy I wish you lived in my area. We need a good boot shop in these parts. Since we left the big city down state and moved to the boonies, there is no such place for over 50 miles! Traci, you keep up the great work the world needs more people like you and my friend libertrain !
      God Bless.

      • granny mae

        Well would you look at that, I mis spelled libertytrain ! Sorry!

        I do that most of the time when it is late at night like now but I guess I was just not with it ! God Bless

        • libertytrain

          I think that’s ok! :)

          • granny mae

            My son from down state came up for Easter and not only fixed my computer but he brought me a new key board ! The old one was black and I couldn’t see it to know where I was on it. This one is white and I can see it just great. It is so nice to be blessed with such wonderful kids ! Well they are not kids any more, but they will always be kids to me !

    • granny mae

      Traci,

      Isn’t it funny how we can down size and find that we still have what we need? I have never been one to want a lot of stuff. I have some very nice dishes from family hand me downs and I try to use them on special occasions but other than that I don’t need much. Just a few cloths to cover me and some food to take away the hunger growls. I have enough to pay my bills and I thank God for that blessing. Other than that I figure I can’t take anything with me when I go so why worry about it now? I saw my sister change into someone I didn’t know when my folks died and she was going through the house saying I want this and this and oh yes I want that! I was shocked. I decided then I wasn’t going to leave anything that would turn my kids into someone I didn’t know when I was gone ! That was horrible ! I guess that I like to give away my good stuff before I go. There is a old saying, Do your gining while your living so your knowin where it is goin ! Good advice. Doesn’t give the devil a chance to take hold of your loved ones ! I have to laugh when I think back years ago about something a friend said to me. She had lost her husband to a car accident and had just recieved a settlement, and bought a large above ground pool for her back yard. She told me she hoped I wouldn’t feel bad because she had a pool and I didn’t !!!! I just had to laugh and tell her not to worry that was not my style and besides she didn’t have anything that I couldn’t have if I was willing to pay for it ! I wasn’t willing to do that. She didn’t quite know what to make of that ! Some people are so small !

      • Traci

        yes mam! my 62 year old husband and I were blessed with twins 3 years ago….this is the best way to shock your adult children!!!!!!It has been an awesome adventure…We have made radical changes to elliminate stress. we now live in the house he grew up in..we are enjoying our children and grand children but realistically I am not planning on retiring any time soon but its amazing how many bills weve eliminated. I wish I would have been taught to live below my means 20 years ago!! I really am a brat and it just never occurred to me.ouch.I would never have believed I could be happy living in a little house in the city! now my main focus is taking care of my sweet husbands and my health so we can raise our delightful twins together! I am 100% convinced our most important investment is quality time spent with children…no matter what the economic outlook is.

        • granny mae

          Traci,

          LOL ! I guess that is a great way to shock the kids and mom and dad too! What a blessing, and twins at that ! I was raised as a not so well off kid. We had next to nothing when I was small and dad was a hard worker and worked two jobs for about 15 years to pull us up out of poverty, but we never did get rich ! I don’t know that I would have known that we were rich anyway because we always lived the same as we always had. No sense to waste and squander ! I was fortunate to not ever know that we were poor because everyone around us was poor too so we just thought it was the way life was. Don’t loose sight of your children and enjoy every moment with them. I can see you are a person that is also an independant thinker and you are flexible. That is important. You have to be able to change directions when life demands it and boy life demanded it when the Lord presented you with twins. To see it as a blessing and a gift is something not too many people would have done so my hat goes off to you and your hubby ! It is real hard to convince many people that children are truly a blessing at all times. I love children at all ages! I bet those twins will have fun helping you plant veggies and seeds ! I was doing just that today myself, however I don’t have children to help me I have a puppy that loves to dig in my pots after I get them all set up ! I had to use the paper on him and it broke my heart ! He put his head down and ran away yiping. He has never been struck by me before and I could see he was crushed. He was only doing what puppies do, but he will have to find another place to do it ! Have the twins each take an old pair of boots or shoes and fill them with dirt and plant either hot peppers or flowers in them. It is fun and quite a conversation piece. I did that one time with a old pair of boots that my brother-in-law left at my house. I put hot pepper seeds in them and when they grew up I put them on the front porch and the peppers were so colorful and pretty ! Also useful for seasoning ! I told my brother in law that it was my way of giving him a hot foot ! He laughed ! This week is my time to get my container garden together. I am experimenting with different things. I’m planting some pole beans in some hanging baskets to see how they do and if I can use them as a plant screen to hide some ugky things close to my back deck, like a huge TV antenna and radio antenna tower ! So I thought I would see if I could grow something useful and eddible at the same time ! We will see !
          Keep up the great work !

  • Traci

    Rich..my money has been so limited this year that I almost panicked because I havent bought any garden plants this year …2 weeks ago I started my seedlings indoors and they are looking very good and I will be planting them outside very soon with my girls..they have loved watching the day to day progress this week. Ive also started a spring mix in an old wash bucket..I make my own sprouts to add to my salad. I have no idea what your habbits are but missing one trip a month to mcdonalds could fund this venture. if you just buy 1 canaster of oatmeal or 1 bag of beans or 5 for a $1 vegetable seeds each time you shop it adds up.. I could have bought sooo many seeds with what Ive wasted on lotto tickets . without knowing what you spend and what you select at the grocery store each month its hard to give you specifics.Ive simplified my menu to potatoes, frozen fruits and veges, whole wheat pastas, eggs, freshproduce that is in season, dried beans. old timey popcorn,nuts, teas, 0ld fashion oatmeal, meats,plain yogart, honey, pancakes, real syrup, real butter, my worst habbit WAS we ate out up to 3 times a day every day and then you dont know what your eating! my older kids balked at first but now its their chalenge! they love to help me dehydrate stuff.. and thanks to granny mae I put my extra beans,flours,oatmeal… in the feezer for 2 weeks before I store them. they are so proud of our bean supply!especially my 17 and 11 year old. we always have something that smells wonderful in the crockpot.

  • bruce

    years ago i started buying gold,guns and land,my friends and relatives all said what do you want that stuff for.i stock pile food for long term storage,as well as ammunition.my wife and i built a log home in the middle of a forest that is full of dear and moose.i have solar panels to run the water pump and a 14k propane generator in case of power loss.we can food from our victory garden which is just like my late dads.for heat i use oil and a wood stove that you can cook on.

    • granny mae

      bruce,

      God Bless you for being an independant thinker. I’m glad you went with your own thoughts and didn’t allow yourself to be intimidated by others. I love the idea of a log house. I always wanted one and the hubby and I considered it when we bought this house we now have. We decided to give up our dream of the log home because my eyes are not so good any more and I have difficulty being able to see well in the darkness of the wood interrior and thae wood interrior is what we really wanted. I also can’t see to operate things that are black. Like the DVD player, the keyboard to my computer etc. If my hands aren’t positioned just right on the keyboard I hit keys from the ether world !!!LOL ! Anyway, it sounds like you are living my dream so keep up the good work. I love it !

  • Traci

    Granny Mae my twins and my husband loved the planting in the boot idea! Thank You!

    • granny mae

      Traci,

      I just had a thought, you could have the twins each plant a flower in a pair of their old shoes ! You know what? That would be a neat idea for in front of your boot shop ! Set out a couple crates by the door with a pair of old boots and the kids old shoes and put flowers in them. Could become quite a conversation piece ! LOL !

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