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Monday, June 30, 2014

Build an Easy Solar Dehydrator, Coffee Can Bin, Grill Without a Grill

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543




"Attack another’s rights and you destroy your own."
-- John Jay Chapman


Building a solar dehydrator

This is so simple that it can be done in an afternoon.

DIY Solar Dehydrator

Most things can be dehydrated. It involves removing the moisture from food items to preserve them.

You will need…

  • A piece of plywood about 3 feet long and a foot wide
  • Two pieces of 2×4 as long as your plywood
  • Two more pieces of 2×4 as wide as your plywood
  • A piece of plexiglass to fit on top of your finished box
  • Matte black paint
  • Nails or screws
  • A drill bit to make really large holes in the 2x4s
  • A table
  • A box as wide as your plywood – can be wood or cardboard
  • Screen to fit on top of the box

Assembling the dehydrator

  1. Take your 2x4s and screw them along the edges of the plywood to make a shallow box.
  2. With the large drill bit, make 6 or 7 holes in one of the short ends. These will be vent holes.
  3. Paint all of this with the black paint.
  4. After the paint is dry, attach the plexiglass to the top of the box. (This is your air warming unit.)
  5. Prop up the air warming unit on the table with the vent holes on the higher end. Set the box on the table next to the air warming unit, with an open end up. Vent your air warmer into your box so the warm air will flow into the lower side of the box. It will look like a slide. This whole set-up should be facing full sun.

Using your solar dehydrator

Place anything you want to dry inside. Use shelves if you need more space. Place the screen over this and wait. If you position your dehydrator in full sun facing east or south in the morning, you could have dry material by evening. Western sun will dry material partially and will finish drying in the next day or so


Storage bin rack from recycled plastic coffee containers

My basement shop is filled with hundreds of small parts of various quantities and types. I build lots of different kinds of things, mostly from found or salvaged items.

 I noticed that my office was throwing away at least one, sometimes more, of these nice, sturdy, plastic containers every week. There had to be a good use for them, I thought. So I began collecting them.

 I found that the big box hardware stores wanted hundreds of dollars for their plastic storage bin rack systems. I didn't have hundreds of dollars to spend. At least not on plastic bins.

Step 1: Materials and tools needed

Materials needed:

·         Qty 21 - plastic coffee containers (rinsed out, unless you enjoy that stale coffee smell)

·         Qty 1 - 24" x 48" plywood sheet, 1/2" thick

·         Qty 1 - 1x6 pine board, 8' long (ripped into 2-1/2" wide boards, then cut to 48" long each. This will give you 4 boards, but you'll only use 3 of them)

·         Qty 30 - 1-5/8" coarse drywall screws (to hang the containers on and to attach the boards to the plywood sheet)

·         Wood glue

·         Paint (if you want to get all fancy)

More at:





My relentless search for useful things turned up these gems…


Do Some Grilling Without the Grill

The SolSource Solar Cooker is a 4-foot parabolic disc that reflects the sun’s ray’s onto one point: your skillet or pot, etc.  It can boil water in as little as 10 minutes or cook a steak in 20…never worry again about propane or charcoal.



Catnip Beats DEET for Repelling Mosquitos

Here’s a DIY Recipe to Use:

·         Rinse 2 cups stemmed catnip

·         Roll lightly with a rolling pin, then place a quart jar and cover with 3-4 cups of mild rice vinegar

·         Seal the jar and store in dark place, shaking once a day for two weeks

·         Strain

·         Spritz on your skin, in the yard or other places for which you want to be left alone

·         Avoid cats…


Convert an Old Refrigerato or Freezer into a Garage Tool Storage Center, use kitchen pot racks in your garage to hang tools…



Col. Littleton No. 11 Survival Belt

MacGyver would approve of this American-made belt…the band sneaks in 27 feet of 650 pound-per-inch parachute cord, which can be used for shelter, tourniquet or towline…



15 Things You Can Always Get for Free

On any given day, you can get something shiny and new without paying a dime. Here's how to get free stuff, both online and in stores.


You’ll always find good stuff at our store…


Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


P.S.  Please share this with others who might benefit


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?


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Sunday, June 29, 2014

6000 Family Frugal Freebies (For Preppers Too)

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543



->->-> If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.


How to Be a Frugal Opportunist

When frugality meets opportunism there are dramatic savings.

The Rolling Stones said, in their 1969 hit song, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well, you might find you get what you need." That is exactly the attitude to take if you want to be a frugal opportunist. Getting what you need at a lower cost, instead of chasing after exactly what you want (and paying top dollar) can save you a lot of money, even if it is saved a little at a time.

For example, you might want oranges, but really just need some kind of citrus fruit, so you could be happy with grapefruit. Recent government data shows that the average price for navel oranges is $1.15 per pound in U.S. cities, while grapefruit averages about $1.00 per pound. Of course if you're a true opportunist, and all you want is to have some kind of healthy fresh fruit, you might wait to buy oranges or grapefruit when they go on sale and buy bananas at 60 cents per pound for now.

If you spend 13% to 47% less (as in the example above) on enough of the things you buy, the savings can really add up.

Save on Everything

 You can apply the same opportunistic strategy to almost any budget category. If you want to go to a movie, wait for a weekend matinee. For example, according to the AMC Theatres website, an evening ticket at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago will run you $12, while a matinee is just $6 per adult. But that's just one possibility. Maybe you just need to get out of the house for a while and do something. In that case you could check online for events where there are free movies or documentaries. Alternately you could go to a friend's house to share snacks and a rental movie on DVD.


Whether it's new furniture, an education, a vacation, or a meal out, there are less expensive alternatives to what you initially think you want. Here are three steps to getting what you really need at the lowest cost:


1.       Reconsider and redefine your needs and desires

2.       Identify lower-priced alternatives

3.        Search out and wait for lower prices. It takes some serious thought to be a frugal opportunist. Do you want a new car or just reliable transportation? Do you need guacamole or just a healthy tasty snack? Knowing what's really important makes it possible to find the right lower-priced alternatives.

4.       Patience helps too, because even when you find cheaper items to replace what you initially desired, you can save still more money by searching out inexpensive places to buy them, or by waiting for a sale. You might not get what you first wanted, but you'll spend a lot less to get what you need.


Think broadly when considering your potential choices. - See more at:



25 Ideas for Frugal Summer Fun




Find a local Farmer’s Market


Heart Healthy Aioli Sauce – Great on Veggies & Fish

-Put 4 cloves of a garlic through a press

-Blend with a little Kosher salt & a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

-whisk in extra virgin olive  until a mayonnaise like sauce is created


Handy Snacks

With two young boys at home, I am constantly on the go with various activities. I keep a basket in the back of our minivan labeled "snacks in the back." I frequent the discount grocery outlets on a regular basis and stock up on low-cost boxed juices, water bottles, crackers, pretzels, apple sauce, gummy treats, nuts, and beef jerky. (Be careful to avoid items that melt like chocolate and snacks that need to be refrigerated.) I keep the box hidden from the boys so they never know what kind of treat they'll get when we are out-and-about during snack times. It saves me a lot of money on unhealthy drive-thru snacking or impulse buys. And the boys are constantly delighted by the surprises from their snacks in the back!



The Poor Man’s Special Reports:  Self Protection Tips for Women & Children



Mylar Blankets Reflect Energy Savings

We have a couple of unused upstairs bedrooms that face due west, bake in the summer, and radiate heat to the rest of the upstairs. I took a Mylar blanket ($1.27/each on and covered the window of one room behind the curtain. When I went up there the next day, the room with the covered window felt air conditioned, while the other bedroom felt (as usual) baked. I'm going to cover most of the west-facing windows for the rest of spring, summer, and half of fall. I believe it will make a world of difference keeping the house cool.


More than 6000 Free Prepper and Related eBooks Online





Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


P.S.  Please share this with others who might benefit


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?


A Shallow Planet Production

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Secret the People in DC Don't Want You to Know

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

It would be nice to have elections again in this country instead of an auction to the highest bidder on Wall Street.  >>Bonnie R

Here's a secret the people in D.C. don't want you to know about.

The varied expressions of the government’s growing power, which get more troubling by the day, are merely the outward manifestations of an inner, philosophical shift underway in how the government views not only the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but “we the people,” as well.

I’m referring to the government’s widespread monitoring of Americans’ emails and phone calls, its persecution of Americans who challenge its corrupt practices, its over-militarized police who shoot first and ask questions later, and its practice of fining and arresting individuals guilty of nothing more than praying in their homes, collecting rainwater, and growing vegetables in their yards, to name just a few.

Thankfully, you are not powerless, nor are you without resources.

Too Big to Control".

And it goes beyond the NSA's spy programs that watch what you do online, and record every phone call you make. It's a fairly apt description for most government programs that have grown too big...

The systems the NSA uses to spy on you are so complex, the guys in charge don't know how to control them. If that doesn't make you worried about the direction the government is heading in, then we don't know what will.

But isn't that the norm for big, unwieldy government programs?

The Electronic Freedom Foundation, an international non-profit digital rights group, is suing them over their warrantless spy programs. And they're trying to get them from destroying the evidence they collect. The problem is the system automatically destroys evidence after a certain amount of time passes.

You see, if you were to sue the NSA for violating your civil rights, you'd need the information/data they collected in court. So if they destroy it, they'd be destroying legal evidence.

So if you find out the government violated your rights, but enough time has passed, then you can't recover the evidence to prove your case. It's a legal dilemma only the government could create for themselves.

So why can't they just preserve the information? That's the real scary part. Apparently, the guys manning the controls of these surveillance programs can't control them. When asked to comply by the court, they said in response:

"[A]ttempts to fully comply with the Court's June 5 Order would be a massive and uncertain endeavor because the NSA may have to shut down all databases and systems that contain Section 702 information in an effort to comply."

In other words, they'd have to shut down all the databases to comply with the court's order. And they really, really, REALLY, don't want to do that. Their response should have been, "Tough luck. Ain't gonna happen." At least they would have been honest.

This attitude by the government seems rather familiar...

In reality, those in power, those in control, those who are profiting from the screwing of America DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU!  Profit is their true motive!


Stay updated on privacy matters


The solutions to surviving the war on the Middle Class can be found in our new e-book.


 Discover life-saving ways in which you can survive and prosper during The End of the Monetary System As We Know It. This is the information that your financial advisor, your doctor, your police precinct and your government hope you never discover…plus learn how food is your best investment!



Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?


A Shallow Planet Production

Friday, June 27, 2014

FREE for Moms & Kids: SURVIVAL-PROTECTION-EMERGENCY WHISTLE…Plus Self Protection Reports


FREE for Moms & Kids: SURVIVAL-PROTECTION-EMERGENCY WHISTLE…Plus Self Protection Reports


Personal Rape/Jogger/Student Emergency/Auto/Camping


There are many situations where people feel they may need to defend themselves. It is best not to wait until something happens, but rather be proactive in knowing what you would do in a threatening situation. Using a whistle is recommended in many situations requiring self defense.

>> Attach a whistle to your purse, keychain or bag. The main thing is to choose something that you always have with you, so you can easily access your whistle if a threatening situation arises. If you are walking to your car late at night with your keys in your hand and a whistle attached, you can blow into the whistle to startle an attacker and to attract needed help.


>>Think about attaching a whistle to your cell phone.  This would work well in a difficult situation as you would first blow into the whistle to attract help and then use your cell phone to call for help.


>>Always keep a whistle in your car.  If you’re stuck somewhere hard to see, rescuers can hear you.



Plus, two reports on self protection tips you and your family need…


NOTE: There is a small charge for postage.  Download links sent upon ordering. Quantities are limited.




Free whistle with Pepper Spray


Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


P.S.  Please share this with others who might benefit

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Grinding it Out (Your Own Grain, that is)

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543


"Public apathy is more powerful than public opinion.
There's more of it."
-- Dr. Jim Boren


Grind Your Own Grain

 by Carol J. Alexander

   For years I used a hand grinder (which I still own) to grind wheat from 50lb sacks I bought locally for about $10-$15.  I made bread using only honey instead of sugar and when I cooled the loaves on the window sill, it seemed to attract all my neighbors, many of whom traded me fresh produce from their garden for a loaf of bread…sure makes great nutty tasting cereal on cold winter mornings ->>just clean the grain and soak overnight and then cook for 5-10 minutes –longer if you like it softer-

I got a lot of recipes for homemade bread from old issues of Mother Earth New!

In a quest for healthier, tastier eating, many folks have returned to the art of baking bread. What they don’t realize is that they go to all that trouble to get good flavor with flour that may be a bit short on nutrients when compared with the wheat it’s been milled from. That’s right – depending on the type, flour can lose up to 45 percent of its nutrients through oxidation within the first 24 hours of milling, and 90 percent within the first three days.


So what’s a home baker to do for best flavor and nutrition? Grind your own grain fresh, of course. With a hand-powered mill you can grind the wheat (and other grains) needed for a pound-sized loaf of whole-wheat in less than 5 minutes – and you’ll burn a few calories in the process.


Where did the nutrition go?

Of the 44 known nutrients essential for good health, only four are not found in wheat: vitamins A, B12 and C, and the mineral iodine. Commercial wheat milling to create white flour removes bran and germ, resulting in flour that is missing up to 80 percent of its nutrients. Manufacturers do enrich commercially made flour, but with only four nutrients. So what about the other 40? And the fiber?


Maybe you think all those nutrients would be destroyed in a 350-degree oven anyway, but not so, according to Sue Becker, founder and owner of BreadBeckers Inc. and former industrial food scientist. First, even though we bake bread at 350 degrees or hotter, bread is done when its internal temperature reaches 185 degrees. In a recent interview, Becker explains that the enzymes in the grains make the nutrients more bio-available when they are heated. Some nutritional value may be lost, but some is enhanced by this design. She also points out that the vitamin E found in whole wheat is not destroyed by cooking. Convinced? Let’s get started grinding grain at home.


The equipment

Before you go shopping for wheat, you need a mill to grind it. Grain mills come in two types: the electric impact mill that bursts the grain open, and the burr mill, which rubs the grain between two wheels of stone or stainless steel. Neither type of mill is better than the other; you simply need to know how you’ll use it before buying. If all you want is whole-wheat flour, any mill on the market can deliver. But if you want to crack your grains for grits, mill oily grains, seeds or beans, a burr mill might prove more useful. Generally, burr mills are hand cranked. Don’t let that deter you, though. Many come with motor and bicycle kits. With a little do-it-yourself spirit, most folks can handle this adaptation with no problem. The advantage of the impact mill is speed. It can mill enough flour for a batch of muffins in less than a minute – but it produces only flour.


The wheat

You don’t have to grow your own wheat to grind your own flour. If you want a local product, ask around at your local farm store to see if anyone knows a wheat grower in the area. If you can’t find a local farmer, check out the nearest bulk food supplier. I buy Wheat Montana wheat from a grocer that stocks bulk foods. A 50-pound bag costs $28 to $42 depending on the variety.


To make bread, or any kind of yeast dough, use a hard white spring wheat or hard red wheat. The red has a stronger flavor and darker color than the white. Some folks prefer stronger flavor in their daily loaf; but for something like pizza crust, where you want a milder flavor, use the white. Spring wheat has a higher protein content, which gives you a lighter loaf. To make pastries, cakes, pancakes, or any product using baking soda or baking powder, use soft white wheat. The hard wheat will work here, but the soft wheat will give your product a lighter texture.


You don’t have to mix store-bought white flour with your whole wheat. The secret to light, soft bread is to make it immediately after grinding your grain. If baking with whole wheat is new to you, and your bread is not light enough for your palate, try adding egg, honey or lecithin to your recipe. Some folks will start with a half-and-half recipe and slowly replace the white flour with whole grain until they are used to the flavor and texture of 100-percent whole wheat.


If you want to adapt a recipe you’re already comfortable with, just replace all flour products in it (flour, germ, gluten) with freshly ground flour. Measure the flour after milling, as you will get more than 1 cup of flour from 1 cup of wheat – how much more will depend on the variety and the coarseness of the grind. In my experience, whole wheat tends to be drier than white flour, so your dough will not be as sticky and you will probably not add as much in the kneading process. Baking times should be comparable.

If you want the health benefits of grinding your own grain, don’t be tempted to add gluten to your recipe. According to the Whole Grains Council (WGC), “If the grain has been processed, the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.” Becker says adding the additional gluten to the whole wheat upsets that balance that the WGC refers to, thus rendering the bread no longer “whole grain.”



Since I buy my wheat in 50-pound bags, I have to store it somewhere. If kept in an environment free of pests and moisture, wheat will keep indefinitely. In fact, legend holds that wheat kernels found in Egyptian pyramids have sprouted. When I bring my wheat home from the store, I pop the bag into the freezer for three or four days to kill any unwanted pests that may have made it home from wherever the bag has been. I then take it out and bring it up to room temperature – this may take a day – before transferring it into a food-grade, 5-gallon bucket, preferably one with a lid that screws off easily and has a rubber gasket to keep out any moisture. If you put the grain in the bucket right out of the freezer, it will produce moisture inside from the change in temperature. Likewise, if you choose to store your wheat in the freezer, you will need to bring it up to room temperature before milling.



Who can resist the smell of bread, fresh from the oven? Or whole-wheat pancakes heavy with home-churned butter and maple syrup? What about tortillas, soft and warm, right off the griddle? Someone once asked me how my whole-wheat bread turns out so light and soft. Now you know my secrets. And it’s not only healthier, it tastes better, too. 

Grinding or milling various types of flour in the home can be accomplished with only a few basic tools. Some tools make the job easier and some types of flour are easier to create depending on the type of grain or other substance that is used.
Some of the tools that can be used for home flour milling include: mortar and pestle, manually and electrically operated coffee mills, spice mills, seed grinders, small electric grinders, food blenders, and food processors as well as almost any type of homemade device that will pound or grind grain into a powder.
Because most types of flour are readily available it may seem pointless to grind flour at home, but the advantage is that only what is needed is produced. The resulting flour is fresh and full of flavor and none of the nutritional qualities are lost since all of the components of the grain or seed are included in the flour

Excerpted from GRIT,Celebrating Rural America Since 1882. To read more articles from GRIT, please visit or call (866) 624-9388 to subscribe. © 2014 by Ogden Publications Inc

Find more homemade recipes and tips at:


Secrets & Shortcuts of a Country Inn ChefYours free for the asking.  I wrote this a few years ago (my wife and I once owned a popular country inn which had been featured on PBS).

If you’d like a condensed version, download it at:


Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?


A Shallow Planet Production