Monthly Archives: December 2011

Using Coupons to Prep

I have been using coupons for about 6 months but I have increased my food storage significantly. There is some truth to the popular belief that you can’t buy “good” food with coupons. In my opinion, if you’re starving, any food is good, basically.

I have gotten a lot of food for free or next to free including: pasta noodles, canned vegetables, pasta sauces, soups, soda, bread and yes, even milk.

I’m not too worried about finding produce coupons since I grow my own or buy from the local farmers market, so dried and canned things are great for my food storage.

I have also got for free: laundry soap, shampoo, soap, body wash, toothpaste, mouth wash, feminine products and other hygiene related items.  Not to mention a lot of free pet food and supplies (including free kitty litter!)

Most of these are from coupons that you can get sent to you in the mail. I get a coupon (ex: $1.00 off whatever, then wait for whatever to go on sale for a good price and use my coupons. I have found some great prices and got things for .50 cents or free.) Before anyone complains that this sort of thing is only possible on extreme couponing or only in the United States, I’d like to point out that I usually only use one or two coupons at a time, I have never stacked coupons and I do not live in the States. Anyone can do this; it is easy, simple and free.

Another great way to increase your storage is to sign up for free samples. Again, there is a lot more available in the States (*shakes fist at the lucky buggers*) but there is plenty other places. I have a lot of shampoo samples and the like, which fit very well into a bug out bag or can be used to barter.

Again, this is free and simple, it just takes a few minutes of your time to search out and sign up for some of the sample programs. The only thing I would advise is setting up a separate email address because most of the programs send you emails about their specials etc, and if you don’t check your email every day, it can add up quickly.

The items in the picture are all things that I have gotten for free either by using coupons or through sample programs, most of the things I have multiples of.

So try it out, you can save money and potentially build up some storage for free!

Knitting for Preppers

I knit. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for gifts, always for entertainment. After talking with some other great prepper ladies, I convinced them, and my DH that my hoard of yarn is, in actuality, a prep in itself. I can knit hats, scarves, sweaters and the list goes on.

Where I live, it gets pretty damn cold and in a SHTF situation, not everyone can knit, therefore not everyone will have what they need to stay warm once their original stuff wears out. I think I should be able to barter a blanket or a hat for something I might need, be it a can of soup or a few rounds of ammunition etc.

Now depending on feedback, I may give a quick beginner’s how-to for knitting. But for the meantime, find some basic patterns and make up some stuff. Hats, mitts, blankets etc. Don’t worry about the room they take up, if you put them in freezer bags and squeeze all the air out, they get quite small. Or even better, use a vacuum sealer machine for foods and they’ll get super small.

Doesn’t snow where you are? You could make simple things such as pot holders or wash cloths, a lot of people cooking over fires are going to get burned and will want the protection. How about children’s toys?

Here’s a basic hat pattern my DH’s grandmother taught me:

Cast on 76 stitches (more or less depending on weight of yarn, but keep in mind it stretches well).

I use a size 8US needles for an adult hat, smaller needles for smaller heads.

Knit row 1

Purl row 2

Continue alternating in this pattern for around 6 inches.

When ready to decrease, do so on the knit side.

To decrease: knit 5, knit together 2, knit 5, knit together 2 (continue this pattern to end of row)

Purl next row

Knit 4, knit together 2, knit 4, knit together  2 (continue this pattern to end of row)

Purl next row

Continue this pattern

When at end, knit 2 together all across. Then purl row.

Cast off final knit row. Sew together. Voila you have a basic rolled brim hat.

If you don’t like the roll, just knit every row instead of alternating purl rows. If you do this, I find its better to do more than 6 or so inches so that you can fold up the brim for better fit.

These hats are simple to throw together, they don’t take more than a few hours to make one and they are very forgiving if you happen to make any mistakes. Good luck!