Surviving these tough economic times

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    We all talk about SHTF times but what about changes we are making in our day to day lives as a result of the tough $$ times now.

    What changes have you made and what tips and tricks can you share with the rest of us. Most of us are already tightening our belts but some of us are also making changes that will endure even when the economy improves.

    I'm fortunate that I can live quite simply since I live alone so my footprint on the world is small.
  2. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Don't buy magazines. Gun magazines, motorcycle magazines, car magazines. Their sole purpose is to get you "jonesin'"for that new ( whatever) the ads ontop...

    Put racks,panniers ( bags ),and leave a few bungy cords on your bicycle. I'm more apt to run to the corner grocery store orpost office on the bicycle if I don't have to fight with carrying stuff around.( no insurance no registration, no fuel costs, and no "exhaust" if that matters to you ).
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    That is a subject that has been on my mind seriously for some time now. Most of my time in the past several years , has been spent over-seas, away from my family and home. I got stranded in Trinidad for several months after 9-11, so I know that this can happen. Now the airlines are getting weird and I could find myself in a position where I have to walk or paddle home and this is not acceptable. I took one real radical move; I am no longer employed by Resolve Marine Group, other than as a consultant, part-time. This was a big move, since I cannot afford to retire, or even take a serious reduction in income for at least ten more years.
    We are not driving as much now. It seems like costs of everything is escalating way beyond my fixed income sources. I will begin work for a local marine and diving contractor next week and although they cannot afford to pay me the salary that I was making working in salvage, I will get a percentage of the projects that I bring to the table. I am also in the process of putting together a small ensemble to play music and may work part time as a constable or private security guard for another friend's company. I am looking forward to having more time at home with my darling wife and puppies but have to admit that the thought of maintaining our present life-style is a little bleak, at least financially. I have recently started a new web-site that will eventually morph into a small consulting company or maybe it will change into a site for my new band? I enjoy the challenge of change. Today, I have to go to New Orleans to be finger-printed for my captain's license renewal; I might just drive a boat for a while. That is pretty low-stress when the only worry in the world is two hundred feet in front of you of a thousand feet behind you. Anyway, drop into or or and say hi.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I've started using the bike for small grocery lists, the bags will carry enough to make 40 mpg look pretty good next to 20 with the pickup. (Gone from two p/u fillups a week to one in about 10 days.) Eating out has become a treat rather than a requirement, even faced with limited kitchen skills. Next step is getting walking (and pack frame) muscles in better shape.
  5. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My income is limited by my clients ability to pay me. My receivables stretch out longer than they did in the past. Insurance and taxes take the biggest bite out of my income. For my clients out of my close locale, I've added a Transportation Charge equal to 1 hour of my time. That's pretty extreme but if it takes an hour commuting time and 50 miles and I'm only at the clients for 2 hrs it makes sense. I'm no longer willing to absorb it as a part of doing business. Living rural doesn't allow many options for errands but an auto.

    My biggest energy drain is my freezer. I try to cook only on weekends and freeze for the week.

    I keep my winter thermostat at 50 deg and wear extra clothing. I sleep much better in the cold anyway. I've always kept the temp in the house low so no change there.

    SC - you should really invest some of your newly found freedom in that book I've been trying to get you to write. How many years have I been encouraging that. I'm always looking for a good read and I know your's would be it.
  6. CBMS

    CBMS Looking for a safe place

    started to switch out of meats and into more protein rich grains. I've said it before, Quinoa is a great choice. Turn off water heater at night and just turn it on in the morning, I know you can get a programable thermos for it. Kill the idiot box, download your TV shows if you must. Shop at Kmart for clothes (like sox and such).Removing alcohol is a HUGE feat too, as well as quitting the tobaccy (or anyother substances) New Research states that its the smell of coffee that gets people going, not the act of drinking it (pavlovs dog situation).
    Thats All I can think of.
  7. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    Those researchers must have missed me, smell of coffee does nothing, need CAFFEINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![coffee2][coffee2][coffee2][coffee2][coffee2][coffee2][coffee2][coffee2][coffee2]
  8. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    But on a serious note, I have cut back on coffee once it broke $7.00 a lb.
  9. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I gotta cut back on the guiness stout at $8.50 a six pack adds up fast....
  10. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    How many of you use coupons at the grocery store? I started about five years ago after some prodding from a friend. Now; I use it as a challenge to myself. How much can I save? It takes me about half an hour of my time (each shopping trip) and for that half hour, I "make" (on average) at least $50.00 (in savings). My best day? A $220.00 food bill cut to $75.00. That one felt good! Haven't broken it yet (but I'm still trying). On several occasions, if you catch the item just right, they actually pay you to take it home (I really love that! :D ).

    You won't always find the best deal on coupon items - you still have to watch the price tags.

    Watch the quantity/weight on the items you're buying now. Rather than raising prices on some items, they are packaging them smaller. Your 1/2 gallon of ice cream is now 1 1/2 quarts. Wrigley's 5-pack of gum is now coming from them in a four pack. Kellogg's is reducing the net weight on each cereal box by 6 to 9 ounces. Who remembers an actual 3# can of coffee?

    Don't buy what you need when you need it. Buy it when it's on sale (ahead of time) and save yourself $$ (and frantic shopping time).

    For those that might think that I'm a "professional" shopper, let me just say: Shopping is something I detest. I consider myself a Buyer - I know what I want; I go, I buy, I leave.

    Best of luck!

    BTW: Great thread, RH!! [winkthumb]
  11. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Well I have not felt the pinch yet, things are fine here, Ride my bike alot but other than that, I will drive my F350 when the weather dictates it.
    Putting quite a bit into Mikes savings, Melbo knows about this one we talk alot about it.[chopper]
  12. toemag

    toemag Monkey++

    I have also done some of the afore mentioned, plus the following.

    Quit smoking if you are a smoker, I quit in Feb for other reasons, but am noticing the financial benefits, and enjoying being a bit healthier, or would be if I hadn't put a little weight on.

    I drive to Austria a few time's a week in a Company Vehicle, Trucks mainly. So I take a fuel can and fill it up, save about €0,20+ a litre. My car is used for Hunting and trips to the range or occasional shopping trips only as I walk or take my bicycle to work.

    I hear what's being said, we are here by choice and we are preppers by nature, but what are the others doing? By that I mean those that still believe that they can carry on wasting the worlds resource's as if there's no tomorrow? Are we by our actions allowing them a little more breathing space before the inevitable happens? What happens when things go pear shaped? How long before they show up begging for our help etc etc.

  13. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    This is what the sheeple here in the U.S. are now screeming.
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I don't think there are yet enough of us preppers to affect supply and demand for long term supplies significantly, we are not buying them time at all. It isn't clear if the general population has taken any of this pricing crisis to heart.

    A bit off topic (we do that well around here --)
    One of the more (to me) humorous aspects is the dot gov now actively recommending a 72 hour stash for things like hurricanes and other natural messes. Ask Katrina and Hugo survivors if that is enough. Then, if our native paranoia kicks in, we take up defensive positions to keep the ravening hordes away from the gates.

    But your question is valid, what if the neighbor knocks on the door for a cuppa sugar? If you give it to him, pretty soon the whole neighborhood knows you have it. If you don't hand it over, pretty soon you feel guilty, OR several weeks later you are still fat and sassy as the neighbors get scrawny.

    Our relatively close knit community of preppers have a pretty common trait. We are more than willing to share information and make suggestions here and there for folks wanting to do as we do. But in all the forum crawling I've done, not more than one have said what they actually have stored away in toto. (And should not.) Here and there, yes, some have mentioned a specific item in inventory, but none have listed the entire stock of supplies. One reason for that is the security gene kicking in, there is no clue for post mess "shoppers" to know where to look.

    (Often been around Aussies, Brits and the occasional Kiwi, but "pear shaped" is a new one. Out of round?) [coffee2]
  15. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Being a typically thrifty New Englander (elsewhere known less benevolently as cheap), I've always opted for the less expensive alternatives in my day to day living.

    A few drops of bleach in a spray bottle of water is a cheaper alternative to the expensive anti-bacterial kitchen counter cleaners.

    Vinegar and baking soda for drain cleaning.

    Vinegar, baking soda and water for general cleaning

    Vinegar and water for glass cleaning or for cleaning stovetops, etc.

    A Polident Tablet dropped in the toilet bowl every morning keeps the bowl clean.

    Heat a lemon rind in a bowl of water in the microwave then wipe down the oven with the lemon water. The moisture loosens the debris making cleaning easy and the lemon cuts any greasy surface. I use a lot of lemon in cooking and seasoning so I usually have rinds around.

    Take soap bars out of their wrapper when storing on the shelf. This dries them out and the soap lasts longer.

    I buy all soaps, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc at a overstock store - we have both Job Lots and Ocean State Job Lots close by.

    A little fine steel wool (00 or 000) with a drop of toothpaste works great as a scrubber.

    When I worked in the corporate world, suits and silk blouses reined. I got into the habit of soaking my lingerie and expensive blouses in a basin with laundry detergent every night. I still do this. They soak overnight then I scrub them a little in the morning, rinse, and hang to dry. That leaves only the heavy stuff for the washing machine. This works if you live alone but not if you have kids.

    I'm always amazed when people buy cans or bottles of iced tea. I put a few tea bags in a pitcher with boiling water in the morning. It brews and cools during the day and is perfect for my beverage of choice at night.

    Just a few of my tips and tricks
  16. toemag

    toemag Monkey++

    Thats just the point that I have tried making in the past, it won't take long for them to smell the coffee and demand their share of your stuff that you hamstered away while it was in abundance, missing out on the world cruise so that you could buy them solar panels for electricity and water, etc. etc. I recall a thread from not to long ago, where I said that I would take them out, most had a sissy fit at me, okay we'll leave it at that.

  17. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Recognizing full well the difficulties of doing so, find a remote location to stay fat and sassy. Making the MZBs use glass to see how fat and sassy you are will help, but not prevent greed from trying to get into your stock. Once again, the need for cooperation among tribal members becomes important. The odds of a loner making it over the long haul are vanishingly small. But this is off topic, there are better places on the forum to chase this in detail. See also "Lights Out" by halffast.

    Another thing one might do to extend a time without conveniences, take out one of the toilets (for those that have more than one bathroom) and install a bidet. If you have water, you have less need for TP.
  18. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I also run the motorcycle around; being a gl1100 goldwing it only gets low40's mpg so I've got a 72 honda cb 450 twin in the shop that needs first gear work( very common for that machine)...
    for one person around town even an1100 is over kill. I am hoping to significantly raise my overall mpg into the 50's or better....A 350 or 500 single would be more efficient yet...
  19. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    "Swap one toilet fora bidet? (creative; but(t)):... Er's upstairs the other down, make for some embarassing moments "penguining "up or down the steps....
  20. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Penguin walk; snork....there goes the coke out the nose...[lolol]
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