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10 steps to save money

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We chose to downsize our lives, though in many ways we are living better than we did before. By turning our backs on consumerism, choosing to live more simply, being more frugal, we are able to live on so much less. This has done a couple of things for us, by giving up most things that create monthly bills, we don’t have to worry about falling behind and losing things or going into bankruptcy. We don’t do anything that generates bills, ie no credit cards, no loans, no car payments and such. Of course we have bills, I’d say that everyone does, but we have actively worked to pare them down to the bare minimum.

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Community

Turning hobbies into cash

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AKA, doing what you love and getting paid for it!
Have to be careful here, it’s starting to sound like one of those infomercials :)
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

I have had people ask me how I earn a living, since everything we have here is paid for, it makes it very easy to live on very little. Saving money is as good as making it, bartering is gold! Voluntarily living on less, doesn’t make me feel like I’ve given anything up, in fact I feel like the richest person I know :) My main “job” is being a caretaker for my friend, I get paid to do a little cleaning, some cooking, some shopping and walking the roads with her, the hours are flexible, and it’s not hard work at all.

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Community

Hate shopping…

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Living out in the wilds of far west Texas, major shopping (for me) has been curtailed… not that I mind though, I’m not a big shopper in the first place. I think that’s why I have not gone crazy since moving from the big city. :)

It’s a 20 mile drive (one way) to the closest town, it has one grocery store, a small one… there is a thrift store and a couple of restaurants, not counting the 2 hotels with their restaurants… I tend not to eat in them, not that they aren’t good, they are very good, BUT they cater to the tourists and tend to be a little more on the spendy side.

Another 20 miles down the road, gets us a slightly bigger town with more shopping, but still nothing like big towns like Dallas, Fort Worth, Odessa and such. To get to a town with malls, WalMarts and such is a 3 hour drive.

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Food

What to Eat When You’re Broke

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The lower your income is, the more difficult it is to be particular about what you feed your family.

This probably isn’t an earth-shattering revelation to anyone, but if you feel like experimenting, try to buy a week’s worth of healthy food for a family on a budget of, say, $50-75.  Food manufacturers that target lower income shoppers with more affordable products tend to include more GMOs and toxic ingredients in their offerings.

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Community

Freezer-fridge conversion update

Had to clean out my fridge today, while that’s not such a big deal to most, to me it’s (almost) a pleasure to do because of the kind of fridge I have. Living off-grid, using solar panels and batteries, on limited power, one looks for ways to use as little power as possible, one of the things I found that really ate up my power was my little, tiny dorm sized cube refrigerator, the kind that opened in front, had a tiny tiny tiny freezer, in fact I couldn’t even put a full size ice tray inside it, they make micro-ice cube trays.

Most of the time I didn’t even plug in that cube fridge, we just learned to live without refrigeration for the most part, honestly it just sucked up too much precious photon juice from my system. So on the odd occasion when I brought home a gallon of milk, or some meat that didn’t get used up quickly, I would plug in the darned thing and wonder how much time it was taking from my surfing the internet…

With the cube fridge, it ran 15+ minutes at a time, a couple of times an hour, more if I actually opened the door, think about it, when you open the door on a standard fridge, all the cold air drops out of the box onto your feet, feels good for the moment but the compressor kicks in immediately to compensate for all that lost cold air.

I’ll not go into detail about this because I’ve written about it (in detail) in previous posts here… this is really just a follow up on how well I like (love) my chest freezer-fridge conversion. :)

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Community

Prepping on a budget – part 7 – getting started

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It’s NOT too late to start prepping! If you are still breathing, and you are reading this, it’s not too late to start prepping! Even though the main stream media is doing its utmost best to make preppers look like the bad guy, that’s not your problem, your focus needs to be on taking care of yourself and your family, the more people you are responsible for, the more you need to buckle down and get ready for whatever may be coming down the pike.

The USA is still considered a prosperous country with lots of safety nets, I’m here to tell you that we are on a very slippery slope, what is at the bottom of that slope? Well, look around at what’s going on in other countries that were once prosperous and see where they are now. With the dollar being devalued quicker and quicker, hint that means the buying power of a dollar is less and less, saving money, ie savings accounts, hiding it under your mattress and such shouldn’t be your top priority right now, unless you already have a major stock of food and other necessities put back.

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Prepping on a budget, part 2 – book review

While scouring the internet looking for ways to be more self sufficient, I ran across a great (new to me) author, her name is Susan Gregersen. As I dug deeper about Susan, one of the things that really interested me was her very down to earth nature, she writes using everyday language, nothing pretentious here. If you have lots of money to prep with, then this book isn’t for you, but if you are on a tight to impossible budget, like most of us are, then this will be a great book for you.

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Periogen trial and review

I am finally ready to give Periogen a final review (though there may be followups in the future), I must say that I am very happy with it, it does what it says it does, it is removing the tartar from my teeth.

Living off-grid and making very little money, dental and health insurance is pretty much out of the question, so being proactive about my dental health is something that has really become something important to me. I know that many health issues are directly influenced by the state of your dental health, mainly from bacteria and infections that might be simmering just below the surface.

My dental history:
Growing up, no one of my family went to dentists, it was just too expensive. We must have had pretty good teeth though, none of us had any dental problems or emergencies. When I was 16 years old, we were unceremoniously taken to the dentist for the first time. I have to say, that dentist had a terrible bedside manner, this was my FIRST trip to the dentist, of course I had a tartar buildup, he decided the best thing to do was deride me about it, making rude comments and making me feel very bad. Needless to say, it was many years before I went back to another dentist.

As an adult I decided I needed braces, I had very crooked teeth and knew if I wanted to take better care of them, they needed to be straight, and of course there was a bit of vanity in there too, I wanted to smile without feeling self conscious. Well, 5 years and many many many hundreds and thousands of dollars later, I had straight and healthy teeth.

I loved going to the dentist, not to see my dentist though, I had a great hygienist named Beverly, she really knew me and my mouth. All too soon though, she moved away and I just wasn’t happy with anyone else. No one would spend the time she did, no one would baby me like she did, and I need babying when it comes to my teeth and mouth, I tend to be a major wimp about my mouth. I eventually stopped going to the dentist all together.

Move ahead 15 years and even though I still have pretty good teeth, but I had a major buildup of tartar, I knew this wasn’t a good thing, I worked on it myself from time to time with dental picks but that only got some of the worst buildup, it didn’t do a thing for what was below the gum line and between my teeth. I started looking for products that might help remove tartar, I had even looked at some of those tartar removers for dogs, yes I was that desperate. I know I should go to a dentist, but I already know …

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Community

As Seen On TV

How many times have you seen those wonderful gadgets advertised on TV? These infomercials tend to air early in the day, or late at night, enticing you to part with your hard earned money, if you would just order within the next 10 minutes, your life would be so much easier… but wait, there’s more!

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