Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
In This Issue:
1. Going solar – Groupon Style
2. Learn how dangerously low our water supply is
3. Free homework help
4. Winter Composting
5. Why do you prepare – the parting thought
By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be boss and work 12 hours a day. --Robert Frost
Save Even More at Warehouse Clubs…
I don’t belong to Costco or Sam’s. When I owned my publishing company as was rather useful for stocking up on office supplies. My error was in taking my former spouse who could run up 100s of dollars in expenditures faster than the IRS can attach a bank account. Also, I dislike the annual fee, which is scheduled to increase this year. I can usually save just as month with shopping sales at my favorite outlets.
If you have a large family or are willing to create a neighborhood co-op deal, it’s worth the effort to join. You don’t need a membership to take advantage of Costco’s pharmacy services and if you can risk shopping at off hours, you can avoid the huge crowds, but then you might miss the free lunch provided by all of the free samples held throughout the day on weekends (hint: shop during weekdays to avoid some of the food impulse buys).
In any event, these big box warehouse guys are smart. For instance, avoid their ‘power aisle’ which features big ticket items such as mammoth TVs and such (unless that’s what you’re shopping for). Bigger sizes do not always mean an item is a bargain. Frequently, you can find the same item cheaper on sale at your local market, especially for paper goods.
In fact, a good shopper knows their prices. My Dad would line up all of the Sunday sales fliers and exam who had the best sales that week and that’s how he chose which store to patronize.
For the most part, you can save further by purchasing private label products and Costco’s name brand, Kirkland, is as good, or better than many national brands. Keep in mind all of these warehouse clubs have limited selections (Costco stocks about 3,800 items) compared to a typical supermarket which averages 40,000 different items.
Remove burned on food or baked-on stains off pans without scrubbing by covering the pan with water and add a few tablespoons of fabric softener; let stand a couple of hours and the food should wash right off.
PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources
Going Solar - Groupon Style…
It’s not a coupon purchased over the Internet. However, Daniel Parrella talks with people in his community and helps bring them together, so they can purchase solar energy for less.
“The logic is very simple,” Parrella said. “By going in as a group you can switch the power to the homeowners and negotiate favorable pricing.”
This summer, Parrella left the University of California at Santa Barbara where he was a sophomore studying political science, to orchestrate a group purchase of solar systems in Davis. Parrella signed up more than 150 Davis residents who expressed an interest in installing solar panels at their homes, and convinced REC Solar, based in San Luis Obispo, to offer these residents a 20 to 25 percent discount if they purchased a system over the next three months.
Participants in the deal will pay REC Solar about $5.45 a watt for their systems, or about $15,000 for an average-sized three kilowatt system. Parrella said state and federal tax credits and incentives will reduce that cost to about $10,000. The federal tax credit amounts to 30 percent of the total system cost while the California rebate is 25 cents per watt.
Parrella’s company, Spearhead Solar, which consists largely of Parrella and his partner, Chris Duran, 27, a former solar system salesman, receives a commission from the solar installers on every contract it signs. The size of the commission is based on the size of the system and ranges from 15 to 25 cents per watt. A contract for a three-kilowatt system would net Spearhead Solar about $700.
Learn how endangered our water supply is overall – from toxins that waste treatment plants don’t remove, to coordinated attacks on the water supply, to major shortages that won’t be helped by additional rainfall.
The free report is called Peak Water: Why Clean, Safe Water Could Soon Be As Valuable As Oil. Peak Water delivers 30 information-packed pages filled with research and analysis
Achievement Sparks Student Success
Junior Achievement (JA) empowers young people to own their economic success. Our volunteer-delivered, K-12 programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire kids to dream big and reach their potential.
Junior Achievement impacts 4 million U.S. students in more than 173,000 classrooms. With the help of 171,000 volunteers, JA students develop the skills they need to experience the realities and opportunities of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st-century global marketplace.
Plagued by bad odors (like a cat box)…Get this new product
Instead of masking odors, X-O Odor Neutralizer’s all-natural spray binds with scent molecules, changing their structure to permanently eliminate the odor. Go to KVSupply.com -- Enter the code 11902007 to get a 10% discount.
Free Homework Help
Sometimes, school work goes beyond the knowledge level of parents. Get help for your kids at these free sites.
Cramster.com - Provides answers from tutors for children in the ninth grade through college level.
Number2.com - Get practice exams for the SAT, ACT and GRE and track your progress.
CliffsNotes.com - Anyone can browse their library of articles, study guides and book summaries
Be wary of leaf and snow blowers - they make enough noise to damage your hearing. Wear earplugs whenever you’re exposed to one.
In colder climates composting doesn’t work outdoors without some source of heat. An alternative is to bury a few old trash cans in the ground (remove the bottoms first) about 20” deep or so. Push the cans into the hole about 6” leaving covers in place to prevent rodent from getting inside. Put sawdust or leaves on top of the waste and compact it.
When you go to use the compost, it’s pretty easy to simply grab the can and pull it out…often, you’ll find some good fishing worms at that point too.
The Nanny State Updates…
State of Chaos Starting…
All over the United States, livestock is being stolen from ranchers in unprecedented numbers. The following is from a recent Associated Press article....
While the brazenness may be unusual, the theft isn't. High beef prices have made cattle attractive as a quick score for people struggling in the sluggish economy, and other livestock are being taken too. Six thousand lambs were stolen from a feedlot in Texas, and nearly 1,000 hogs have been stolen in recent weeks from farms in Iowa and Minnesota. The thefts add up to millions of dollars in losses for U.S. ranches.
Authorities say today's thieves are sophisticated compared to the horseback bandits of the rugged Old West. They pull up livestock trailers in the middle of the night and know how to coax the animals inside. Investigators suspect it's then a quick trip across state lines to sell the animals at auction barns.
The reality is that a lot of Americans are so frustrated right now that even the silliest things will set them off. For example, one man down in Georgia recently firebombed a Taco Bell because they did not put enough meat in his Chalupa.
One of the clearest signs of rising anger and frustration in America is the Occupy Wall Street movement. These protests are a precursor to the mass economic riots that are coming to this nation.
“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr.(Warren) Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”…New York Times
According to an article in The New York Times, poor families that lost their homes to foreclosure were openly mocked during a Halloween party thrown by the law firm of Steven J. Baum. This particular law firm represents many of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States....
Photos from this Halloween party are posted on The New York Times website. To say that they are appalling would be a huge understatement. The following is how The New York Times described one of the photos....
In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.” My source said that “I was never served” is meant to mock “the typical excuse” of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.
To many on Wall Street, the OWS protests are one big joke. In fact, Wall Street executives have been spotted sipping champagne while watching the Occupy Wall Street protests from their balconies.
The Parting Thought – The Washington-Wall Street Cartel
Why do you prepare?
The American Ideal is in jeopardy, that "America's commitment to equality of opportunity is called into question." Unfortunately, he explained, President Obama is responding to these challenges by giving in to the temptation of exploiting fear and envy by embracing petty and trivial rhetoric, avoiding making tough decisions on spending and the debt, and by attempting to score cheap political points instead of building consensus:
Instead of appealing to the hope and optimism that were hallmarks of his first campaign, he has launched his second campaign by preying on the emotions of fear, envy, and resentment.
America is broken—economically, spiritually, morally, and financially. Somewhere, somehow, at some point, we’ve lost our way
Yours for “what is happening to our freedom”, the Poor Man
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