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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lay Away Makes a Comeback, Free Chicken Coop Plans & More

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

Your choice for usable Urban Survival information

Inside this issue:

· Build your own chicken coop-many plans to choose from

· Become a recycling hero-learn about low energy lighting

· Dr. Doom’s prediction for the economy

· Make a smoker from a trash can

· PM Quick Guide to alternative magazines

“Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.” --Kenyan Proverb

Lay Away Makes a Comeback

Something I thought had gone the way of party lines (some of you might wonder – what’s a ‘party line?’ If you need to, ask someone over 55) is the layaway plan, a once popular way of making a purchase when you didn’t have the money and easy credit wasn’t available.

Layaway plans set aside your item while you pay for it gradually, usually up to 13 months and with usually a slight finance fee. Sort of like the old Christmas Club accounts at banks…do you need to ask?

As our nation becomes more frugal and credit averse, layaway is making a comeback as a payment option. Appliances, clothing, furniture, electronics and more are all being sold in this fashion again. Merchants such as Best Buy, Sears, Kmart, Home Depot and even travel agencies are offering this buying option.

Check these sites:

Finally, another way to save some money….in upgrading the eco friendly ways to cut utility costs, we lowered our hot water thermostat and put a energy saving wrap around it and along all of the pipes. We also changed all the filters in the furnace but was in for a shock when I pulled the humidifier filter out. It was very obvious it had never been changed and looked pretty well shot.

Of course, no one in our town carried a replacement filter and those online wanted an average of $20 for a new one. An overnight soak in CLR and a high-pressure hose to clean it off worked wonders and at no cost!

One more thing…using the same plan outlined in our free Poor Man’s Eco report, and using products from GreenIrene.Com/PoorMan, we cut out electric bill in half within 30 days of making a few changes and saved more than $75 this month! Have you taken advantage of our money saving ideas in this free report?

According to a recent survey by the Mercer Co. – not one US city made it into their top 30 ‘Quality of Life’ cities. Vancouver, Auckland, NZ were in the top five.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Save Money!

Many free DIY online videos to save energy & money

How to Make a Smoker from a Trash Can

Mighty easy do-it-yourself plans can be found at:

Ed Begley with the CEO of Enviro-Energies Jim Rowan about the benefits of wind turbines at the Los Angeles Heartbeat News Studio with William Shatner and Doug Llewellyn of "People's Court". Here's a portion of the interview online that aired on the Heartbeat of America National Television Show today. Hope you enjoy it!

Oh, you can send the Discovery Channel a message telling them you’d like to see the Poor Man do a show on cheap ways to construct DIY alternate energy projects for the home.

Nearly 2/3rds of Americans cannot name a single member of the Supreme Court


Free Chicken Coop Plans


So you're thinking about building a chicken coop but don't want to spend a fortune on

coop plans and building materials? This was my thought when I built my own coop a

few years ago. I've read that the average person spends $300.00 to build their coop

and I didn't want to spend that much - I scoured the internet to find free (or cheap)

but well made chicken coop designs that I could either build myself or buy.

I've included the links to FREE coop designs on the left side of the page.

The links contain plans to big or small chicken coops, depending on your needs. I've

also added some ideas for cheap or free chicken coop supplies i.e. building

materials, chicken feeders, chicken water containers, chicken nest boxes, chicken

roosts, and a few recommended books on how to care for chickens.

5 Tips to Becoming a Recycling Superhero

Tip #1 - Break Bad Habits - Your first step to becoming a super recycler is to break old habits. Begin paying attention to your trash and what you're throwing away that should be recycled.

Tip #2 - Review Recycling Rules - Every city has the ability to recycle different items. Check with your city and get a list of every item you can recycle. You're probably throwing away items you should have recycled.

More at:

Related Sidebar:

Like most kids Jared Mann enjoys playing with bubble wrap. Thanks in part to his ingenuity and the Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventor’s, Jared is also the creator of an energy-saving device made using bubble wrap.

Jared was awarded second place in the Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventor’s, and received a $5,000 savings bond for inventing the “Fridge Guard”.

The invention uses sheets of bubble wrap to help trap cold air inside the refrigerator whenever you open the door. By keeping the cold air inside, the fridge uses less energy.

Jared’s father says they use the invention in their own home, and have seen a savings in their monthly power bill.

Low energy lighting…CFL or LED?

By now, most of us have gotten the word that compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are much more energy-efficient than incandescent light bulbs. That's very true; they use about a tenth of the electricity. They also last about 5,000 hours, which is 5-8 times longer than an incandescent.

But if you really want to save on electricity, buy one of those newfangled LED bulbs. Admittedly, they cost at least 50 times more than an incandescent bulb (for the moment), but they also last at least 50 times longer--and use only 5%-10 of the electricity.

Ferret out phantom loads

Believe it or not, you can install low-energy bulbs and do else everything right, and still end up with a high electrical bill. Assuming your electric company didn't raise rates suddenly (always a possibility), you may be getting hit by phantom power loads.

You see, some appliances and electronics chow down even when powered down. Power draw during "sleep" cycles, or even when a device is completely turned off, can account for up to 40% of a home's energy use every month.

To avoid this, you can physically unplug each and every appliance, computer, charger, TV, DVD player, etc. when you're finished using them, but this can get old real fast. Instead, connect them to a power strip and switch it off when the item's not in use. That will cut off the flow of electricity completely.

See our Green Irene site for more information.


Self Sufficiency-Not Dependency!


Resources for Stockpiling and Disaster Preparation

Make Your Own Energy

Step-by-step guide reveals how to
make your own energy for $100 or less.

Terrific sites for resources and green, eco-friendly goods:

Don’t Get Caught With Your Pantry Down – the all time best book on family preparedness has been updated & now includes an online video segment as well. Highly recommended 11th Edition.


Quick Guide to “Alternative” Magazines

Mother Earth News

Mother Earth News is “the original guide to living wisely”. Its content leans left, and includes articles on subjects such as renewable energy, green homes, organic gardening, green transportation, and sustainable farming. I knew its founder, John Shuttleworth, who passed away last year.

The Mother Earth News website is polished and filled with content, with stories on:

· How to cut your food bill in half

· Keeping the stimulus bill green

· raising chickens and building a chicken a coop


BackHome is “your hands-on guide to sustainable living”. It covers topics like owner-built homes, backyard livestock, rural heritage, green building, and country skills.

The BackHome website offers a taste of the magazine. You can see the table of contents from the most recent issue, and view PDF versions of articles like:

· Mortgage-free building

· Edible weeds

· Biodiesel

Backwoods Home

Backwoods Home, is like the first two publications in this list — but with guns. Backwoods Home leans right (or libertarian), and offers “practical ideas for self-reliant living”. Offers how-to articles on owner-built housing, independent energy, self-employment, and country living. And there’s a regular column on gun ownership.

The Backwoods Home website is packed with useful information, including articles on:

· City gardening

· Growing fruit trees

· Kicking the credit-card habit

· Ways to make money on your land

· Chickens: the most valuable animal on the homestead

· Build your own home in two years.

Small Farm Today

Small Farm Today is “the original how-to magazine of alternative and traditional crops and livestock”.

Hobby Farms

Hobby Farms is a magazine about “rural living for pleasure and profit”. Its marketing copy says that it “embraces the growing segment of population that is returning to farm life in search of a more meaningful existence”.

The Hobby Farms website includes plenty of useful stuff, including:

· The basics of beekeeping

· A useful article on planning your vegetable garden

· How to grow and sell heirloom tomatoes

· How to build raised beds

· Another article on building chicken coops


Countryside & Small Stock Journal is “the magazine of modern homesteading”. It features articles on constructing a homestead, the homestead as a business, the country kitchen, and self-reliance and survival.

· Marketing your crafts

· Stocking your emergency food pantry

Raising your own backyard pig

If you know of another good online resource, drop us a line.

You’re better off knowing what the rules are before you try breaking them”

--Stephen King


Economy adds 431K jobs but few in private sector

WASHINGTON – A wave of census hiring lifted payrolls by 431,000 in May, but job creation by private companies grew at the slowest pace since the start of the year. The unemployment rate dipped to 9.7 percent as people gave up searching for work.

The Labor Department's new employment snapshot released Friday suggested that outside of the burst of hiring of temporary census workers by the federal government many private employers are wary of bulking up their work forces.

Washington's "bought and paid for" economic recovery is stalling out as the easy money effect wears off.

Just consider what we've learned in the past several days ...

• Building permits for single and multifamily homes tanked 11.5 percent in April. That left permits at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 606,000, the lowest since last October.

Builders pull permits before they begin projects. So this leading indicator of construction activity is pointing to a renewed slump in the coming months.

• Initial jobless claims stopped declining in February. After hitting 439,000; they've begun a gradual upward climb again.

• Almost 4.7 million Americans are now stuck on the jobless rolls, with little prospect of finding gainful employment. That's roughly two million above average.

• Durable goods orders outside of the volatile transportation sector fell 1 percent in April. A key indicator of business investment in the report slumped 2.4 percent.

• First-quarter Gross Domestic Product growth fell to 3 percent from 5.6 percent at the end of 2009.

• Personal spending growth? Same story. It dropped from 0.6 percent in March to nil in April.

• To top it all off, a benchmark gauge of manufacturing activity lost steam in May, while purchase mortgage applications just fell to the lowest level in more than 13 years.

Still think the economy is improving and you won’t need the Poor Man Resources? Read on!

Lowered Expectations - Shattered Dreams

You’re probably screwed no matter what you do regarding job losses in the US as most are not coming back.

…a roundup from Yahoo news groups

PROSPER, Texas – Advised by a Walgreens superior that a promotion was "very highly likely" if he transferred to the drugstore chain's Dallas division, Chris Cummings uprooted his family and bought a spacious house in this hopefully named suburb.

"The sky's the limit," he was told.

But instead of a promotion, the company for which Cummings had been an assistant manager three and a half years cut his hours so drastically that he had to take a second job. In March, he was laid off, and his part-time second job became full-time.

And so that is how a 40-year-old father of four with a master's in business administration from the University of Notre Dame finds himself bagging groceries at Sprouts, a local health-food store.

"I never thought I'd be here with the education that I have and that I'd worked hard on," Cummings said before a recent shift in the checkout lane at the Sprouts in nearby Frisco. "Probably where the frustration comes most is when I get the alumni magazine and I see what my classmates are doing. And that's not a good feeling."

The federal government says the "Great Recession" is over ” has been for months now and that we're well into the recovery. But don't tell that to Cummings, who has seen his income cut by three-quarters and can't afford health insurance for his family.

Or Af Shirinzadeh, who went from a $100-an-hour chiropractic job to part-time work as a docent in an Atlanta museum that features plasticized human cadavers…(my wife says this display is rather amazing)!

In the previous issue I provided several links for virtual jobs…how many of you took advantage? My eldest son decided to return to college – I told him he might as well enlist in the Coast Guard for the ‘duration.’ At least he’d get fed and get medical insurance with other benefits thrown in that he probably won’t find in the private sector.

That’s it for this edition of your eagerly awaited fountain of knowledge and inspiration!

Bruce “The Poor Man”


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