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Posts Tagged ‘self-sufficiency’

If you are a Christian, the Bible has a great deal to say about preparedness.  We believe the Lord will provide for and take care of us, no matter what life brings, but He does expect us to do what we are able.

We have an abundance of squirrels, and enjoy watching them play and also gather acorns for the coming winter.  The Bible talks about ants and how they prepare:

Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.
How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”–
Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:6-11)

and also:

The ants are not a strong people,
But they prepare their food in the summer. (Proverbs 30:25)
(The previous verse talks about them being small on the earth, but exceedingly wise.)

The Bible also has a lot to say about “worrying”.  This is not to be confused with “preparedness”.  The words “fear not” appear over 60 times in the KJV of the Bible.  We walk by faith that the Lord is in control, and we also use what the Lord has blessed us with to take care of ourselves and family.

In Genesis 41, the Bible records that Joseph put back seven years’ worth of food in Egypt.  They were given seven good years in which they put back enough to withstand the coming shortage.  All of the nations came to Egypt for food because the famine was so severe.  During the seven years of plenty the land brought forth abundantly.

So he gathered all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields.

Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure. (Genesis 41:47-49)

and:

When the seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end,

and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.”

When the famine was spread over all the face of the earth, then Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.

The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth. (Genesis 41:53-57)

There are biblical principles of “feast and famine”.

Fast forward to 2009 A.D.   We have just come through a period of prosperity, and are on the brink of sliding down an economic abyss.

The Bible says that in the end of days … “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.”   Matthew 24:7

also:

“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.

“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” Matthew 24:11-12

so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:33

If you don’t believe we are nearing the end of days, ponder this.  For thousands of years, things were basically the same.  People farmed their land for food, used animals for transportation.  We entered the year 1900 on horse and buggy, and zoomed out into the year 2000 with high speed internet.  Knowledge has increased DRAMATICALLY in the last 100 years, and continues to increase at a phenomenal pace even now.  I heard a scientist on tv the other day say that their knowledge of things is increasing at a rate that is astounding even them.  This was prophesied by Daniel:

“But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”  Daniel 12:4

Every generation believed theirs would be the one to see Christ return.  Generations from now may be saying the same thing, but I implore you to consider, we are closer now than we have ever been.

2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promises, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”

In Revelation 6, the Bible describes the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  The 3rd seal which is broken is famine:   “And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (verse 6)

A denarius was equal to a day’s wages.  (Inflation at least 10 times normal.)  Can you imagine working ALL DAY for a QUART of wheat?

Many economists are predicting hyper-inflation is coming within the next few years.  While we cannot prepare for all circumstances, you can do what you are able.  Prepare your house spiritually first – do you know Jesus?  If your answer is “yes”, then prepare your physical house for hard times.

Jesus stands at the door and knocks.  Will you hear Him?

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Scripture quoted from the NASB or KJV Bible.

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Outstanding list courtesy of Highlander at:  http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=36711

You could also buy ALL of the following items for around $200.00.  There is no excuse not to get started!

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For just $ 5.00 +/- you can buy the following storable things:

FOOD ITEMS

* Five packages of Idahoan instant potatoes (flavored)
* A case of ramen noodles (20 pkgs)
* five cans of sardines
* five gallons of purified water
* nearly two cases of bottled water
* four cans of peaches, pears or fruit cockatail
* 2 jars of mandarin oranges
* five pounds of rice
* three to four pounds of spaghetti
* Two cans of spaghetti sauce
* three bags of egg noodles
* eight packages of gravy mix
* four cans of whole or sliced new potatos
* four cans of green beans or at least three cans of carrots, greens, peas or mixed veggies
* Two cans of Yams
* six cans of pork and beans
* one 40 ounce can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew
* Two 12 ounce cans of chicken, tuna or roast beef
* One 1lb canned ham
* three cans of refried beans
* three 12 oz cans of raviolis or spaghetti O’s.
* Two 12.5 ounce cans of Salmon
* Five pounds of Oatmeal
* Four packages Dinty Moore heat and eat meals
* five packages of corn bread mix
* Four pounds of Sugar
* Five pound of Flour
* 1.5 quarts of cooking oil
* three one pound bags of dry beans
* two cans of apple juice
* a jar of peanut butter
* two boxes of yeast
* two bags of generic breakfast cereal
* 10 8 oz cans of tomato paste/tomato sauce
* four cans of soup
* four cans of Chunky soup
* 8-10 pounds of Iodized salt
* two bottles of garlic powder or other spices
* Two boxes of kool aid
* A can of coffee
* 2 bottles of powdered coffee creamer

Non-Food Items

* one manual can opener
* two bottles of camp stove fuel
* 100 rounds of .22lr ammo
* 25 rounds of 12 ga birdshot or small game loads
* 20 rounds of Monarch 7.62×39 ammo
* a spool of 12lb test monofilament fishing line
* 2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks.
* artificial lure
* two packages of soft plastic worms
* three Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
* A package of tea lights
* 50 ft of para cord
* a roll of duct tape
* a box of nails or other fasteners
* a flashlight
* two D-batteries, four AA or AAA batteries or two 9v batteries
* a toothbrush and tooth paste
* a bag of disposable razors
* eight bars of ivory soap (it floats)
* a box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies
* two gallons of bleach
* needles and thread
* a ball of yarn
OTC Medications (at Dollar General)

* 2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
* 2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
* 2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)–also available at walgreens under “sleep aids.”
* 4 bottles 500 count 325 mg aspirin
* 2 boxes of generic sudafed
* 4 bottles of alcohol
* a box of bandages (4×4)

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If you are like me, you struggle trying to determine how much is “enough” for your supplies and food storage.  How many rolls of toilet paper should you have put back?  How many cans of green beans?  These are the questions many of us who stockpile lay awake at night thinking about.  Although the food storage calculators online are a very good starting point, you do have to customize your storage for your own personal preferences.  Not everyone will use 50 pounds of green beans in a year, but some families might use twice that.

I have a practical suggestion which may make things a bit easier.  There are a couple of ways to do this, one of which will take more time but will be much more accurate.  Bascially, you need to keep track of how much you use of each item in a year, or at least within a specified period of time so you can calculate a year’s usage.

One method would be to keep a running list all year of everything you use – from cans of veggies, soup, potato flakes, canned milk, etc. to toilet paper, shaving cream, soap, razors, toothpaste, etc.  This method will be more time consuming, but will be spot on if you are determined to know exactly how much your family uses in a year’s time (and disciplined enough to keep track of everything).  Creating a list in Excel or Word and posting it in a prominent location (a magnetic clip on the fridge works great) will help make the task easier.

The second method (and my personal preference) is to write the date on an item when it is opened, and when it is used up, see how long it took to use it, and calculate accordingly to see how many you use in 12 months.  For example, say you open a tube of toothpaste in the morning (Jan 1st).  Write the date on the tube with a sharpie marker, and when the tube is used up (say January 31st), you know your family averages a tube of toothpaste in a month.  Buy 12 tubes and you’re good for the whole year.   I find it helpful to keep a running list of what we have onhand and how many I still need to purchase to achieve our storage goals.

Last night, I started working on new lists for the coming year and was determined to see what areas of our storage still need work.  I did some number crunching and decided our family averages about 4 rolls of toilet paper a week, which works out to be 208 rolls a year (4 rolls/week  x 52 weeks/yr =208 rolls).   We buy the big Northern packs at Sam’s Club which have 36 rolls per pack.  If we purchase 6 packs, that will give us 216 rolls which (theoretically) should last all year.  It will be interesting to see if this actually works out to be correct when I do a tally next December.

If you have tips for what works for you and your family, I’d love to have you share them with us.

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If you look at everything that needs to be done to prepare your family for hard times, it can be almost overwhelming.  I’ve decided to break my “to do” list down into more manageable tasks, and focus on what I can realistically accomplish in a day.

Today, I’m dehydrating a#10 can of mixed vegetables.  The can originally weighed over 6 pounds (with liquid), and by the time it’s completely dried, it should easily fit into a pint size jar.  This saves valuable storage space and also extends the shelf life of the veggies.

Another day, I plan on pressure canning a batch of pinto beans so they’ll be handy whenever I need them.  I love storing dried beans, but there are times I’m running behind and forget to soak them.  Having a few jars canned will help make some quick meals later on.

I also need to take a day and break down some larger sized purchases into smaller bags and vacuum seal them.

A little here and there adds up in the grand scheme of things.   The important thing is to actually start.  At the end of the day, I have a sense of accomplishment knowing I’ve done something positive towards my goal of being self-sufficient.

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Found this today and thought it was worth passing along.  THIS is one reason everyone needs to have food stored and also learn how to garden:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/27/11143/168/114/667032

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I have a few tips for things people don’t normally think of to use for food storage, plus you’re recycling items that would normally be thrown away.

Save #10 cans, wash and dry them very well, and either reuse the plastic lid that comes on some, or buy extra lids to use for this purpose (www.beprepared.com has them very cheaply).  It makes a great container to put either ziploc bags of food or vacuum sealed bags.  I label the outside of the can with masking tape for easy identification of the contents.

Save cardboard flats that cans come in or cut cardboard boxes to fit.  You can reuse the cardboard to stack #10 cans, or the canned food you buy at the store.  That way there is no wasted space on your shelves since you’re storing “upward”.  (Example:  cardboard, layer of canned food, cardboard, layer of canned food, etc.)  Utilize every inch of storage space you have.

Save 2 liter soda bottles,  wash and dry completely, then fill with rice, beans, sugar, etc. (use a funnel).  Add a bay leaf or two and seal the top with tape.  The only problem is the 2 liters don’t stack, but you can stick them almost anywhere (in a closet, under the bed, behind the couch – get creative!).

Save old peanut butter jars, spaghetti sauce jars, grape jelly jars, juice containers, etc. and use for food storage.  Look at every container before you throw it in the trash and try to think of another use for it.  You’ll be surprised how quickly your storage collection will grow.

Two-liter bottles and juice containers are large enough to store water extremely well.  Tap water will stay safe for use for literally years.  If safety is in question, you can always boil it first.  It does go “flat” after a while, so pour it back and forth between two containers to oxygenate it again – it will taste fresher.

Ice cream buckets are super for reuse and they stack very well.  I would seal whatever you’re going to put in them first just as an extra precaution, and throw in a few bay leaves.

5 or 6 gallon buckets are outstanding for storing flour, sugar, oats, rice, beans, etc.  For added protection, you can buy mylar liners for $2.50 each (again from beprepared.com), fill with food, then seal the top with a hot iron (use a piece of 2×4, scrap wood, or even a wooden ruler laid across the top of the bucket to have a firm surface on which to seal the mylar).  The mylar gets a bit sticky when it’s hot, but it will seal and firm up when it cools.  Fold the top of the mylar down and pound the lid on with a rubber mallet.

Be sure to label the outside of all containers with the contents and date.  You’ll be glad you did.  🙂

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I heard about this a few days ago, and thought it was an awesome idea.

What you need:

a Rubbermaid tote with a lid (or a 5/6 gallon bucket with lid)
toilet plunger with red rubber suction cup on end
laundry soap
water
dirty clothes

Cut a hole in the top of the lid big enough for the wooden handle of the plunger to go through.  A friend of mine suggested also drilling a few holes in the rubber part of the plunger to make the washing more efficient (haven’t tried this yet though).   Add water, detergent, and clothes.  “Plunge” the handle around 200 times (you don’t have to do this at a fast pace, and could even sit in a chair and plunge away!). Rinse the clothes, wring, and hang on a clothes line.

Be sure to stock up on extra clothes pins and clothes line. Also, something to use as a wringer (such as a mop bucket with wringer attached) would be helpful.

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