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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Off the Grid Living Report, Food Swaps, Best Dollar Stores

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Best and Worst Dollar Stores

2.      Free Living Off the Grid Report+Video –Year round gardening

3.      The New American Food Swap

4.      Reducing food waste – Save $500 a year

5.      More erosion of freedom

No self-respecting mother would run out of intimidations on the eve of a major holiday.
Erma Bombeck

European Bank ‘Bailout’ Boosts Stock Market 490 Points…just another shell game

The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank have announced a coordinated plan to provide liquidity support to the global financial system. According to the plan, the Federal Reserve is going to substantially reduce the interest rate that it charges the European Central Bank to borrow dollars. In turn, that will enable the ECB to lend dollars to European banks at a much cheaper rate.

This move will be mostly "psychological" because it really does nothing to address the fundamental problems that Europe is facing.

The Federal Reserve is loaning piles of cheap money to the European Central Bank.

So where in the world does all of that money come from?

As a CNBC article recently explained, all of this money is created right out of thin air by the Federal Reserve....

Neither the dollars nor the Euros come from anywhere. They aren’t moved or debited from anywhere. They are invented right on the spot with a few taps on the key pad. And that’s all. There’s no printing press fired up to make new dollars or euros.

This is called “fiat money.” But that makes it sound as if some command from a sovereign created the money. It’s really closer to “keyboard money,” since it is created by data entry in a computer.

Recessions and depressions often mystify me.  The money supply in the world doesn’t vanish. Indeed, it often increases in supply thanks to the above actions.  What happens, I believe, is the money supply is no longer circulated in its normal fashion.

Somewhat of an exception is when Unemployment Compensation funds dry up for an individual.  That person is no longer spending (circulating) money to the local grocer, barber, gas station, etc.  Those merchants, in turn, are no longer circulating money to their suppliers and employees.

When US corporations don’t hire US employees, that money is no longer being circulated in our economy, but the money supply still exists.  Ironically, corporations and governments continue to rely on consumers to circulate money via consumer purchasing – a tough choice when lack of jobs no longer support spending.

It’s a Global Shell Game

As the Fed cranks up its printing press with unbacked or fiat currency, the dollar buys less and confidence levels go down.  The more they print to “help” the money supply, the less your dollar can purchase. It can’t go on forever and that is what worries everyone who is paying attention.  I look at it as a global ponzi scheme.  Our government can no longer service its debt and it prints cheaper dollars…just like a ponzi scheme that pays off old investors with newer, cheaper dollars.  Governments everywhere and at all levels have overextended themselves, previously banking on the idea “there’s more where that came from - aka: the taxpayer.  That is no longer a viable solution.

Do you live and work someplace safe. That doesn't mean leaving your family behind and moving overseas. And no, you don't have to dig a "gold and guns" bunker and stock it with six years of canned goods, either.

But you do want to stay away from states and cities that have made too many big promises it cannot keep. Those will be the most vulnerable to credit shocks that are on the horizon.

Smelly Clothes after being left in the Washing Machine. If you leave the clothes in the washer for a day or more, especially in warm weather, they will smell bad. Rewashing with 1/2 cup of ammonia gets the smell out better than laundry detergent does

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

Best and Worst ‘Dollar’ Stores

  When I was a kid, my mother always took us to Woolworth’s and Kresge’s to shop.  Each had a terrific variety of low cost goods and a cafeteria where one good get a good hot dog with a buttered grilled bun and real French fries.  Those Five & Dime stores have been replaced (to a degree) by the ‘Dollar Stores.”

Almost all dollar stores are good sources for cheap gift wrap, party supplies, cleaning supplies, greeting cards, candy and little stocking stuffer toys.  Dollar stores such as Family Dollar and Dollar General are beginning to give Walmart a run for the consumer dollar too.

In my unscientific research here is what I believe are the best and worst of the genre:

The Best:

>>99 Cent Store - Unfortunately, this retailer is currently located primarily in the Southwestern US.  Too bad, as they could easily crush their competitors.  Often featuring name brand goods including cosmetics, snack and frozen foods (we routinely found Stouffer’s frozen dinners for a buck, real butter, Planters nuts, etc.).  They also feature a well stocked fresh fruit and vegetable aisle with broccoli, 5lb. Bags of onions and potatoes, apples and other fruits, etc. all for a buck.

>>Dollar Tree - A national chain with a large variety and consistent supply, everything from kitchen goods, cosmetics and toiletries to first aid supplies, books and office supplies, greeting cards and more.  You can also order online in smaller bulk quantities.

>>Dollar General - Good store and fairly good value although not the traditional ‘dollar’ store in that the majority of its goods cost more than a dollar.  It’s grocery items are no deal at all.  Inexpensive clothing and staple items frequently make this the store of choice for small towns who often don’t have a supermarket or small retailer.

The Worst…

>>Family Dollar - Our least favorite.  On average, its prices are ten percent higher than everyone else (many times it is higher in cost than even Walmart).  Modest food items stocked. Example:  Scratchy cleaning pads price at 3 for $2.15…at Dollar Tree they were 5 for $1!

There are many independently owned dollar stores located in many communities but these are hit and miss as to what they carry and consistency of stock.  Most are good deals for such items as party supplies, gift wrap, greeting cards and the like.

As in the case of all shopping, one must be a constant comparison shopper!

How long each year can you eat fresh produce from your garden?
Visit their site and get a 100-page Living Off the Grid report FREE
Watch the following video to learn how to eat fresh all year long.

You could be like that gal on Facebook who got an average of $1200 a month in free food courtesy the dates she went on…that’s been occurring for decades!

Did you know that that a family of four wastes an average of $590 per year on thrown out food? This is definitely food for thought! Attention to details could reduce your food bill by over $500...Read more here:

To Start A Fire In Damp, Still Weather

Light a few bits of shavings or paper placed upon the top of grate; thus by the heated air's forcing itself into the chimney and establishing there an upward current, the room is kept free from the gas and smoke which is so apt to fill it, and the fire can then be lighted from below with good success.

The Nanny State Updates…

Obama’s Culture of Corruption - same old political shenanigans

The Obama Administration's Solyndra scandal that cost U.S. taxpayers $535 million is just the tip of the iceberg of the scandal enveloping Obama's use of taxpayer dollars to help his top donors. In the Solyndra case, Obama campaign cash machine George Kaiser personally spoke with the White House about the taxpayer loan, using his clout as a major donor to get the access needed to boost his fortune at the expense of the taxpayer.

Now, we are learning that this practice of using tax dollars to pay off contributors and enrich political allies was not unusual, but in fact was common place.

To show the gravity of the scandal, even Newsweek, in its November 13, 2011, issue writes, "Nevertheless, a large proportion of the winners were companies with Obama-campaign connections. Indeed, at least 10 members of Obama's finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting your money.

Brace yourself. The cost of a new car in America is set to explode, skyrocketing by thousands of dollars, all thanks to a new regulation proposed by President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Under a new 893-page proposal unveiled last week, automakers must hit a fleet-wide fuel economy average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025--double today's 27.3 standard. The government says it would cost automakers $8.5 billion per year to comply, which means a spike in sticker prices of at least $2,000 to $2,800, according to official projections. Other estimates peg the added costs at $3,100, and that could go even higher. As
The Wall Street Journal writes, "Vehicles that currently cost $15,000 or less will effectively be regulated out of existence."

Apply mineral oil over your shower doors and tile surface. That delays the mineral build-up in future use.

The Parting Thought – More erosion of our freedom

Proposed US Laws Threaten More of Your Freedom

Joel sent us an article that reminded us that nowhere in the world is truly safe from the wild, desperate grasps of our dying empire. From Infowars...

"The Senate is set to vote on a bill today that would define the whole of the United States as a 'battlefield' and allow the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens in their own backyard without charge or trial."

"'The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president -- and every future president -- the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military, and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself,' writes Chris Anders of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

"Under the 'worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial' provision of S.1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which is set to be up for a vote on the Senate floor this week, the legislation will 'basically, say in law, for the first time, that the homeland is part of the battlefield,' said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who supports the bill.

"The bill was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) before being passed in a closed-door committee meeting without any kind of hearing. The language appears in sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA bill.

"'I would also point out that these provisions raise serious questions as to who we are as a society and what our Constitution seeks to protect,' Colorado Sen. Mark Udall said in a speech characterized behavior such as buying gold, owning guns, using a watch or binoculars, donating to charity, using the telephone or email to find information, using cash and all manner of mundane behaviors as potential indicators of domestic terrorism, such a provision would be wide open to abuse.

"The ACLU is urging citizens to call their senators and demand that the Udall Amendment be added to the bill, a change that would at least act as a check to prevent Americans being snatched off the streets without some form of congressional oversight.

"We have been warning for over a decade that Americans would become the target of laws supposedly aimed at terrorists and enemy combatants. Alex Jones personally documented how U.S. troops were being trained to arrest U.S. citizens, in the event of martial law, during urban warfare training drills back in the '90s. Under the National Defense Authorization Act Bill, no declaration of martial law would be necessary, since Americans would now be subject to the same treatment as suspected insurgents in places like Afghanistan and Iraq last week. 'One section of these provisions, section 1031, would be interpreted as allowing the military to capture and indefinitely detain American citizens on U.S. soil. Section 1031, essentially, repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil. That alone should alarm my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but there are other problems with these provisions that must be resolved.'

"If you thought that the executive assassination of American citizens abroad was bad enough, now similar powers will be extended to the 'homeland,' in other words, your town, your community, your backyard."

Has our new American motto become "live scared and die cowering".

Yours for “the next revolution”, the Poor Man

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1 comment:

MinimalistGroup said...

As always your comments and resources are pertinent and useful. Keep up the good work.