Keep Our Service Free-Donate

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Disaster-Don't Rely on Gov't; 20 Cash Saving Sites

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Heating with a woodstove

2.       20 sites that will save you money during the holidays

3.       Secrets of a grocery store clerk

4.       10 ways to use a food dehydrator

5.       In times of disaster, don’t rely on the state



Few things come to him who wishes; all things come to him who works.
- unknown




Winter has already hit some parts of this country and others are not far behind. With that brings cold weather and the need to heat our homes. Flipping the switch from off to heat, however, is a daunting choice for some folks because of the expense. But with a little investment and a lot of hard work, you can cut your heating bill from 50-100% and have a reliable heat source during power outages. Let me show you how.


1. Heating with a Wood Stove

We purchased our wood stove for $700 ten years ago. Today, the same stove sells for around $1,600. That might be a big investment for some folks, but take into account that it could pay for itself in one season. Also, you can still purchase a used stove for under $1,000. Before installing a woodstove, however, you will want to check with your homeowner’s insurance agent. They will want specific information about the stove for your policy. Our agent came to the house to take pictures for our file to show that it was installed properly.


Wood stoves have many advantages. With a glass front door, you have the beauty of a fire in your living room. You also have a warm spot to go to when you get chilled. But the best part is the cost over the long haul. In ten years of heating with wood, we’ve only bought firewood once. Otherwise, we have been allowed to cut downed trees from other’s property.


Even if you have to purchase your firewood, a cord only costs around $100. All in all, I estimate we’ve saved around $12,000 over a ten-year period by not using our electric radiant heat.


2. Heating with a Pellet Stove

Pellet stoves burn wood pellets. According to Home Depot’s Buying Guide for Wood and Wood Pellet Stoves, “wood pellets typically come from either mills as scrap wood, furniture manufacturers, recycling centers, roadside scraps, nuts, sawdust logging residue or paper packaging plants.” They are dried and pressed into shapes that resemble rabbit food.


A pellet stove looks and costs much the same as a wood-burning stove. A 40-pound bag of pellets runs about $4 in my area and lasts about a day. One source from western New York says they spend about $1,300 per year for wood pellets. Even though it costs a little more than burning wood, some folks prefer the pellet stove because it is cleaner than wood. If this interests you, check with the stove manufacturer.


Some pellet stoves will burn other things like corn, making it advantageous in case of a pellet shortage and cheaper for those who live in a farming community and can buy corn from their neighbor for cheap. However, since a pellet stove requires electricity to run the auger that feeds the pellets and the fan that blows the warm air, you cannot rely on them during a power outage.


3. Heating with a Coal Stove

Not as popular as the wood or wood pellet stoves, the coal stove is still a viable option for those wanting an alternative to the typical electric or fuel heat. You can purchase a coal-burning stove for around $1,000 that will also burn wood. And since the cost of coal is comparable to that of the wood pellets, it is not any more costly. Like the woodstove, you can purchase a coal stove with a cooking surface on top that makes it a life saver in times of power outages.


Final Thoughts

Some areas of the country have outlawed burning wood and coal due to the emissions. You will want to check with the municipality in which you live before purchasing a stove. Also, you will want to make sure that your stove is properly installed according to the manufacturer’s directions with the proper clearances. If you purchase a used stove without an owner’s manual, check with an authorized woodstove installer or your local fire marshal.


With a little research, you can find all kinds of alternative ways to save money

Learn more at:


Many, many idea-starters and resources including a downloadable special report on Firms Known to Hire At-Home Workers



PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources


Secrets of a Grocery Clerk
I have worked in the retail grocery environment for two years in two different grocery stores in different areas of the country. I am a cross-trained meat, deli, and produce clerk who also serves as a meat cutter and night closing clerk. I am also a notorious tightwad. Here are five juicy secrets of grocery shopping that I have never shared before…




20 Websites to Help Save Money During the Holidays

The Internet provides great tools to help you save money when shopping. And now, at peak holiday shopping time, they are more handy than ever.  Also…



When you get tired of eating Thanksgiving leftovers, use these recipes to transform your leftover turkey into something new and exciting.


Become a Free-Range Human Being

Take some advice from my British friend, Marianne Cantwell on choosing to make your rules in the work world by visiting this short video clip regarding her new book.  She’s also featured on my site under our BootStrapBiz tab…she’s a real delight!


What if you could take greenhouse gas and convert it to fuel for an energy-hungry world? Scientists, using modern genetics, accomplished exactly this; the researchers’ findings are just a first step toward converting carbon dioxide, one of the most abundant emissions from fossil fuel use, into usable hydrocarbons.  Read more


·         Here are 10 ways to use a dehydrator to make long-term storable food for preparedness:



Fruits & vegetables at the front of a supermarket display contain the most healthful benefits.  USDA research shows, apples, broccoli, carrots and the like in the front get the most exposure to light and even fluorescent light helps maintain their stores of immunity-boosting nutrients.



The Nanny State Updates…


Manipulation of Social Media

Software is being developed for the US Military, to let it manipulate social media sites. The plan is to use fake personas to influence conversations and to spread propaganda favorable to the United States. As reported in a Guardian article;

"A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world."

Simply "adding" information under false pretenses may not sound too nefarious, but Centcom will also be able to...

US: we initiate terrorism to create terrorists to overthrow governments

Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander NATO, testifies in this 2-minute video that the US planned to overthrow seven countries after 9/11: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Therefore, the US caused the “war on terror” as a policy choice; 9/11 was pretense and not the cause.  More at:


The Parting Thought- Watch where you plant your garden!



America’s Continuing War on its own Citizens…Bureaucratic Stupidity runs amok!


Folks who went through that whole Sandy Storm fiasco got the message. Don't depend on the state. You have to provide for yourself in times of crisis.


A Nov. 5 headline on NBC Connecticut announced "N.Y. Man Charged in Gas Hoarding Case" and addressed an incident from the flood zone. "According to investigators, Yunus Latif... collected money from his neighbors, bought gas at a Valero station almost 80 miles away... and planned to bring it back to his neighborhood, where they had no power and gas." In short, people were taking care of their own needs with their own money and effort -- something a free society applauds. Instead, both Latif and the owner of the gas station were arrested for violating regulations concerning flammable liquids. The real reason was an authoritarian "horror" at the very whiff of hoarding. Meanwhile, the gas was reportedly returned to underground tanks.

A Nov. 7 headline on Click Orlando (Florida) stated, "College Park Man Fights to Keep Vegetable Garden in Front Yard." Why? Property owner Jason Helvingston is in violation of a city code requiring gardens to be planted in a "finished" manner that keeps up property values.
The city ordered him to dig out the garden in a week.

In both stories, government refuses to allow people to use their own property to provide for their own needs. The situational dynamics differ


1.      Government regulates the minutia of people's lives and property.

2. People who use their lives and property as they see fit are denying authority to government. In some cases, they may be denying the need for government itself.


Historically, government has frowned upon hoarding. In an economic collapse or disaster, that frown turns into a scowl in a flash. Anti-hoarding laws are passed or miscreants are arrested under frivolous laws like transporting gasoline in unapproved containers. Again, government criminalizes hoarders not merely in order to assert its control, but also to deflect blame from the policies and inefficiencies actually responsible for empty shelves.


Government is watching the minutia of people's behavior down to the type and arrangement of vegetables grown in their gardens. In a time of crisis, private stockpiles of food known to exist will be confiscated for "the general good."


There is ample historical precedent. Consider the Food and Fuel Control Act, which became law in 1917. Its official name was An Act to Provide Further for the National Security and Defense by Encouraging the Production, Conserving the Supply, and Controlling the Distribution of Food Products and Fuel. Anyone possessing more than a 30-day supply of food could have been arrested.

The May 30, 1918, New York Times carried the headline, "Navy Man Indicted for Food Hoarding." The man had invested his wife's inheritance in a year's worth of food that was stored in the family home. He was arrested on $3,000 bail, which was an extraordinary sum at the time. The food was confiscated.


Hoard quickly, which means starting right now. The full force of inflation and the prospect of shortages are still in the future. Hoard quietly, which means not buying too much of anything at one place. It means being discreet.


Excerpted from Should You Be Hoarding? by Wendy McElroy


 “Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man


Follow us on Facebook




Keep our services free, visit our sites…

Check our Resources


New self sufficiency books added weekly


A Shallow Planet Production

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gov't Strips Away More of Your Rights-Who Cares?

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Government strips away more rights

2.      If you lose electricity for more than four hours…

3.      Guard against false charges

4.      Audit your own energy

5.      Nationalizing your retirement funds


A goal without a plan is just a wish.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French philosopher



"America's government has taken on a life of its own," said one of our readers. "The government now justifies its own existence and pillages the serfs to fund its ever growing appetite. My concern is how do you avoid the poorhouse in this situation?"

Democrats Introduce Privacy Bill Before Election . . . Obama Administration Rewrites Bill To Strip Away Privacy And Democrats Push For Passage


Many civil libertarians refused to vote for President Barack Obama given his dismal record in the expansion of the security state, surveillance law, and assertions of unchecked executive power. The Administration went into radio silence on such issues during the campaign in an effort to woe back liberals (as they did on medical marijuana) only to announce after the election that they would resume the same policies. The Democratic leadership has shown the same duplicity on civil liberties for years -- including hiding knowledge of the Bush torture program and surveillance programs as well as blocking any meaningful investigations into those alleged crimes. Now, the Democrats have put on that hypocrisy on public display again. Senator Patrick Leahy introduced the bill and, as originally written, required warrants for the reading of emails and was heralded by Democrats in the election as their showing of fealty to privacy after years of betrayal. The Justice Department then took the bill and flipped it to serve as a sweeping denial of privacy rights . . . and Leahy and the Democrats are pushing on passage. The bill includes warrantless access to university email systems.

Proposed law scheduled for a vote next week originally increased Americans' e-mail privacy. Then law enforcement complained. Now it increases government access to e-mail and other digital files.

NOTE:  Mr. Turley was a contributor to our How to Take Back America from Dysfunctional Politicians & Bureaucrats  series.


The truth about so-called Toning Sneakers…research indicates there is no evidence that ‘shape-up’ shoes help you exercise more intensely or to burn more calories or tone muscles.


PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources


Save Time on Ordering Household Supplies Online

This site offers free shipping and assists in locating coupons and other deals.


If you lose electricity for more than four hours…

Throw away perishable food items from your fridge, including meat and dairy products, leftovers.  Uncut produce should be fine for 2-3 days.  A fully stocked freezer keeps its temps for at least two days.  The freezer portion of your fridge does not stay cold as long.  Toss melted ice cream.


Peer-to-Peer lending sites help you rent tools…

Cameras and other items, or you can sign up to rent out your own tools.  Listings are generally free but sites charge a security deposit in case items are damaged.  Here are a few useful sites:


Guard Against False Charges…

Sign up for the free account monitoring service at, which alerts you when any questionable charges or fees occur on up to three credit or debit accounts.


Audit Your Own Energy

Improve heating and cooling efficiency to lower your utility costs.  Go to and select “Assess Your Home” under ‘Home Improvement.’



 To get more from your batteries, don’t mix them.  Use batteries which are the same brand and age.



Billions in post-9/11 taxpayer dollars have paid for combat-style gear

 In spite of strained city and state budgets in local years, the trend has continued thanks to generous federal grants. According to a new story by the Center for Investigative Reporting, $34 billion in federal grant money has financed the past decade’s shopping spree.

Less well known is that police forces in small towns and far-flung cities have also been stocking up on heavy equipment in the years since Sept. 11, 2001.


Despite already overspent budgets, there is a dizzying array of grants that local communities are eligible for from the Department of Homeland Security and sometimes the Justice Department. A few grants existed prior to 9/11. After DHS was created, Congress kept creating new programs to meet perceived needs around security.  Essentially, steering the country toward more insolvency…


How Does a 91% Income Tax Sound to You?

To Paul Krugman, the left's economist,
it sounds just about perfect.

And forget everything you've ever learned about common sense and economics. Krugman says we'll thrive under those tax rates.


The Parting Thought- Nationalizing your retirement funds…


The National Seniors Council has announced that “Obama (has) Begun to Push for a New National(ized) Retirement System”. According to them, a recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRAs and 401k plans.

Department of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, “...stagnant wages and rising costs are making it harder and harder to build up a nest egg through a retirement savings plan (e.g., a 401(k) or IRA) or otherwise.”

You see, productivity has increased, but wages have stagnated, and yet prices are rising. This is the “middle class squeeze” that is at the core of the so-called retirement crisis. People are simply not able to save enough to one day live without a wage

Both the pension and Socialist Insecurity legs of the “three-legged stool” are bound to falter. It's simple savings that people will need to rely on. Yet saving is impossible because of rising prices in the face of stagnant wages, while what can be saved constantly loses purchasing power over the years. But what could possibly cause rising prices when the people doing the buying don't have any money with which to bid up the general prices? The central bank, of course. This is how inflation works over time. Wages may rise, but prices tend to rise more quickly.

The government is calling for a remedy to a problem that the central bank creates in the first place. Declining pensions aren't the problem. Currency debasement is as can be shown by the massive drop in worker wages ever since Richard Nixon removed the lest vestige of gold from the dollar in 1971.

Because of this problem, which was caused by the government and central bank, the politicians and their pet economists are proposing the creation of a new kind of private retirement fund: Universal, Secure, and Adaptable Retirement Funds (USA Retirement Funds).

According to a publication recently put out by the Committee, “USA Retirement Funds would be privately-run, licensed, and regulated retirement plans. Each USA Retirement Fund would be overseen by a board of trustees consisting of qualified employee, retiree, and employer representatives. The trustees would act as fiduciaries and be required to act prudently and in the best interests of plan participants and beneficiaries.”


Immoral, world-improver, Teresa Ghilarducci has been peddling her plan before Congress. In a recent New York Times op-ed she warns: “Almost half of middle-class worker, 49 percent, will be poor or near poor in retHere’s the bottom line:

a) Government creates a crisis. In this case the Federal Reserve, through the slow pickpocketing of inflation, destroys the ability of the average person to take the simple option of saving money for retirement, and instead forces them to take risks in the financial markets to get returns greater than the rate of purchasing power destruction caused by central bank inflating the money supply in the first place.

b) Government offers a solution that is really an excuse to either increase their power or steal more money. In this case the target is the roughly $4.5 trillion in retirement funds held in private defined contribution plans (as of the end of 2011).

The writing is on the wall. It’s been written for a while and only a few, such as we at TDV have been ringing the alarm bells. In 2011, with the federal debt ceiling about to be hit , Timothy Geithner (who is now calling to do away with the debt ceiling and have debt to infinity) was planning to borrow the pension funds of federal employees. Those funds are already within easy reach. And Obama's new pension plan will put all American's private retirement funds within easy reach, too.

It's not like there isn't precedence in the Western world for this kind of behavior from governments.

In late 2010 Hungary's government gave its citizens a choice: hand over all their savings to the government or lose all their state pension money. The government sought control over Hungarians' $14 billion in individual retirement accounts. The Bulgarian government did something very similar when it tried to transfer $300 million in private early retirement savings into a state pension scheme. They only managed to get roughly 20% of the funds they sought. Last year Ireland raided the private stash in the National Pension Reserve Fund with a 0.6% levy under the label of a “jobs plan” in order to bail out insolvent Irish banks.


We’ve said for a few years that this is where things are headed. It’s baked in the cake. The US government, and almost all Western governments are bankrupt. But before they die they will do what almost every nation state in history has done and try to confiscate as much wealth as possible from their tax cows before the collapse.

Source:  Excerpted from the Dollar Vigilante

“Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man


Follow us on Facebook




Keep our services free, visit our sites…

Check our Resources


New self sufficiency books added weekly


A Shallow Planet Production