By: Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
Several years ago I was minding my own business watching TV and a crazy show called “Doomsday Preppers” came on the screen. I watch about a half an hour of those weird people before turning it off. But the concept of the show sparked an interest in the back of my mind and got me thinking about the safety of my own family. I really started wondering if they would be taken care of or if they would be safe if anything (SHTF) bad happened. I concluded that we were grossly unprepared and our family’s journey began.
I am a list maker so the first thing I did was make a list of what I needed for my family to have just two month’s worth of supplies (food, water, soap, toothpaste …). Once finished I looked at my list and then at my checkbook, I am a father of six with a stay at home wife, and I quickly got over whelmed and then I panicked. After a few days I got brave enough to broach the subject with my wife and we figured out where the disposable income needed would come from. Like most of you, the economy has not been good to me. I have not had a real raise in years and the price of everything keeps going up, even while the government is telling us there is no noticeable appreciation.
My wife came up with the idea of prepping in little bits and watching it all add up. We spent one evening going over our budget and found ways to save money. I cut out my bi-weekly trip to Starbucks, started taking lunch to work a few day a week. We even cut out some of our soda habit and we realized we could easily find $10 a week to put towards our preps, and that is what we did.
You will not believe what $10 can buy until you really start paying attention. Here are just a few things you can get from a discount store like Family Dollar or Dollar General:
Rice (3 lb. bag) $1.69 – you can store 5 bags for $8.45
Dried beans (1.5 lb. bag) $1.99 – 5 bags = $9.95
Sugar (4 lb. bag) $2.39 – 4 bags = $9.95
Toothpaste $1.79 a tube – 5 tubes = $8.95
Kraft Easy Mac (2.05 oz. container) $1.00 – 10 containers = $10
The list goes on and on. Again I can’t say it enough that you can quickly store lots of supplies for as little as $10 a week. When we found a big item we wanted we would just save our $10 weekly prepping money until we could afford to buy the item. I think the first big item we got was a propane burner. In just a few weeks we had the money needed.
The key is to be consistent and disciplined and make that $10 purchase every week. In just a few months into your prepping journey you will be amazed at what you’re accomplishing. Then at the end of the first year you will look into your prepper closet and feel a lot better about your preparedness.
Once you get the basics of prepping started, you will quickly start doing things like gardening, canning your own food, seed saving and other inexpensive prepping activities that will quickly increase your safety and preparedness.
For more information on prepping please visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PalmettoPrepper
By Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
There is a lot of information out there today about “prepping” which is really nothing more than following the old Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared”. In everyday life there are many things that we might be prepping for that we did not even know would come up.
There are moments in life that will change everything and shake things up for you. It may be the loss of a job, a positive pregnancy test that you were not trying for or a natural disaster. Not all unexpected events are negative, but they are all unexpected and that is why we “prep” or prepare in advance for what life has in store for us.
One of the first step in preparing for the unexpected is to have a solid emergency fund in place. An emergency fund is money that you have set aside that will allow you the freedom to take care of these unexpected emergencies.
In a real emergency such as a large winter storm or anything that could cause a prolonged power outage where debit or credit cards would be completely useless, having cash on hand could be a game changer. Not all emergency would make these types of financial transactions impossible, but we need to prepare for the worse so I strongly recommend having cash on hand.
I recommend keeping cash in small denominations in both a home safe as well as a bug-out bag. Most people don’t carry much cash anymore so if the SHTF you will be one of the few who will have cash to purchase items like gas, food, water or other supplies that you might need. Hopefully as a prepper, you already have most or all of these things stored at you home.
My goal is to have a three months’ supply of cash on hand. This should be enough to keep my family with enough cash to make the house payment, buy groceries, paying bills and generally living life while I try to get ahead of the moment that has shaking up my life. I recommend starting with about $100 in small and medium sized bills (nothing larger than a $20) and work up from there. When you have a spare five or ten dollar bill at the end of the week add it to your stash. It will add up faster than you think. Good luck and happy prepping.
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By Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
There was a time when you could buy a loaf of bread for a quarter or a soda for a dime. Those times are long behind us. Now, a loaf of bread can cost almost $4.00 and a 20 oz. bottle of soda cost close to $1.75. Today those same yesteryear coins have about the same or more buying value as they did back then. According to today’s silver value ($32.29/oz.) a yesteryear quarter is worth $5.85 and a dime is worth $2.34.
Why is that? Because pre-1964 dimes, quarters, half dollars and silver dollars contain silver, they are composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. Even nickels from 1942-1945 are made up of 35% silver. These coins were in standard circulation until silver was removed from all coinage about 1964. These pre-1964 coins have come to be known as “Junk Silver” because they have no real numismatic (coin collecting) value.
If money becomes worthless, and it is becoming more worth less every day, possessing junk silver currency in a collapsed economy may help you get the food and services you and your family need. The reason is, that almost since the beginning of time, gold and silver have had value. With the price of gold it would not be advantageous to attempt to use it in exchange for everyday goods and services but silver would be. The other reason for collecting Junk Silver to use as a money source during a time of a collapsed economy is because people recognize it as currency. This might not be the case with silver billion.
I have even heard story’s in parts of rural America where people are currently trading Junk Silver for things like gas and food. These store owners already understand the value of silver compared to the worthless money of today. An example of this, based on melt value of the metals used in today’s money vs. Junk Silver; a 2010 dime has a melt value of $ 0.0188501 and a 1964 dime’s melt value is $ 2.3430. Which one would you want? I know I would want the pre-1965 coin.
How much Junk Silver?
This is only a question that you can answer for yourself. I know that someone of my income level (single income family of 9) that I can hope to obtain somewhere between $300 and $400 worth of face value. I only started saving Junk Silver three months ago and have obtained a face value of $17 worth (silver value of about $400). So I have a long way to go to hit my goal.
If you are just beginning to obtain Junk Silver, you should only consider saving it after you have laid in food, medical supplies and tools. Before I started, I made sure I had a months’ worth of water, food, medical, hygiene supplies and a minimum of 100 rounds of ammo for each of my guns. Only once I completed that goal did I start putting up Junk Silver. Once I get a $20 face value of silver coins I will work on another month of prep supplies. I will repeat this until I achieve my goal of protecting my family the best I can.
Where do I find Junk Silver?
There are several ways to obtain Junk Silver and I use them all. The first thing I did was go to my local bank and obtains rolls of coins. I always asked for rolls that customers brought in and not what the bank obtained from the mint. The customers rolls are were you will find the Junk Silver. You have to be patient because people have been gleaning the silver coins out of circulation for years.
Another way that has worked for me is by placing an add on Craig’s List offering to buy Junk Silver. In my ads I always gave a price to purchase the coins that was lower than the spot metal price. EBay has been another source of securing Junk Silver; just make sure the purchase price and shipping are not much over the spot price of silver. Lastly I check local coin and pawn shops for Junk Silver, most will try to sell you the coins at a large markup but if you are lucky you will be able to find a dealer that will treat you fairly.
Which Junk Silver coins?
The Junk Silver dimes, quarters and half dollars are an alloy made of 90% silver and 10%
copper, as are the new “proof” coins. But because of wear and tear I always try to get the newest coins available. I start looking for 1964 coins first. There are several reasons for this. First is that the older the coin the more wear it has, resulting in less weight in silver. Another reason is that lots of people seem to think that older coins are worth more because it is old. They think a Barber circulated dime is worth more than a circulated Roosevelt dime because Barber dimes are not as easy to find. We have to remember that circulated coins don’t really have any coin collecting value and all we care about, as preppers, is the value of the silver.
One resource that I have found to be very helpful is www.coinflation.com . Before I buy any coin I always check its melt value. It also will show you which coins past 1964 contain silver. I would add this website to your list of favorite sites.
Your thoughts and ideas are always welcome so please feel free to comment and share this note.