Prepping Things You Can Do While Spending Little Money

Yes indeed, prepping can get mighty expensive if you let it. There’s a seemingly endless array of products to acquire for preparedness – some of which are (or would be) quite useful. There are lots of preparedness ‘things’ that sure are “nice to have’s”.

For those who don’t have much money, or for those whose budget may be unforgiving… The question is “What can you do for prepping and preparedness without spending any money, or spending very little money?”

Not all preps are expensive. While you might say “I don’t have any money”, you can still acquire things on the cheap. Things towards prepping and preparedness.

How? Here are a few ideas:

Go to a garage sale or estate sale. You may be quite surprised to find what you can get for pennies on the dollar. And some of these sales have some great old stuff that may be especially useful for preparedness.

A packet of seeds is cheap! You can literally grow a garden for several dollars worth of seeds. Spend ten dollars and you’ll have quite a variety. Spend twenty and you will have the opportunity to harvest quite a crop indeed! (Assuming you have the space for it).

Educate yourself. We are living in amazing times with the wealth of information at our fingertips on the internet. Can you read? Then you can acquire knowledge for free. Go after your interests and figure out how those interests might cross over into prepping and preparedness.

Basic survival skills (e.g. bushcraft skills) can be fairly inexpensive to acquire. You might think that it’s easy to build a fire from scratch but have you actually ever done it?

Discount grocery stores dot the countryside. It is not uncommon to find all sorts of food varieties for cheap. It doesn’t take too much extra money to start building up a food storage inventory. Do you know how cheap it is to buy a 10 pound bag of white rice? (for example)

Mindset. You might not have much, or any extra money. But you sure can adjust your mindset towards preparedness – and it’s free. The more that you think about something, the more that it will come to you. It’s true…

Several more ideas for preparedness on the cheap:

  • Take advantage of coupons & sales
  • Use Libraries for their books and free internet
  • Give up a ‘want’ in order to save for the future
  • Go through what you do have, to see how it may apply to preparedness
  • Walk and Exercise for better health!
  • Before purchasing, ask Is this a ‘luxury’ or necessity?
  • Eat at home, cook your own food
  • Beware of ‘latest technology’ trap (early adoption tech is expensive)
  • Learn food preservation, ‘canning’
  • Strict budgeting, designate weekly/monthly/annual expenditures
  • Smart grocery shopping, understand cost per unit
  • Dollar stores
  • Scrap the paper towels, use washable towels
  • 2nd hand stores for clothes, etc..
  • Learn to fix things yourself
  • Write down all your expenditures, it helps to know where it’s going
  • Learn from others who are already good at what they’re doing
  • Cut the electric use in your home, shut lights out, etc..
  • Drop cable tv and get an antenna instead (if your tv has a built-in tuner)
  • Wild food sources such as fishing, foraging
  • Barter & trade (products and/or services) when you can
  • Make your trips count, consolidate your errands
  • Just get your butt in gear…

Okay, your turn for continuing this list of advice.
What do you recommend for others to do who say they don’t have any money to prep?

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54 Comments

  1. the best advice i can give is to live well within your means. save 1/4 of your of income to put into savings if possible.
    yeah i know its hard now with prices skyrocketing. and it’s very hard for the younger people to do this. when DW and I first got married it was hard, it was always something draining the bank acct.. beds, furniture, food, utilities. but we plowed through it and came out, and along the way we have learned to save for hard times. house and land has been paid for, we don’t need the latest phones and our older vehicles are paid for and still run fine. “for now : )”

    do everything possible to get out of debt and stay out of debt.

    good luck all

    1. Reminds me of the story of a couple who thought there was no way they could have any savings. To test it, the wife started putting away 5% of their income. In a year she had quite a tidy pile, and went to show her husband. He told her he’d been doing the same and they hadn’t noticed the difference.

      1. Lauren.
        there was an older couple who lived down the road from me years ago.
        every dime that they got in change they saved it, that’s what they bought Christmas with. they never missed the few dimes hear and there but over a year it added up.

  2. DO stuff. If you can’t…do it anyway. Fix your lawnmower, or your car, or your kid’s bike. Learn to paint. Learn to garden. If it requires a plumber to unclog a toilet or a sink, learn how to do it yourself and put away the money you would have spent on that repair.

    Keep all your change. I pay for Christmas this way. $1 per week is $52 per year, which could translate to some product that’s necessary but you can’t afford.

    That box of rice-a-roni or equivalent might be convenient, but for the same cost you may be able to buy rice and a pound of hamburger. If you forego one “boxed” meal this week, and put that money into rice or pasta, then do the same next week and buy a bottle of seasoning, you have multiple meals essentially for the price of one.

    Hang your laundry rather than using the dryer. If your electric bill this month is lower than a year ago, reward yourself by putting the difference in your cash jar.

    Go hiking, take pictures of any plant you don’t recognize, then come home and research it.

    Eat the weeds. Purslane just tastes like slightly tart lettuce. Lambs quarters (or pigweed) is also edible.

  3. I find alot of the mom & pop grocery stores are cheaper than big chain stores and their sales cant be touched .

  4. Lots of great ideas here. One thing I would also suggest is to keep what you have cleaned, maintained, and repaired. Organize your owner’s manuals or track down copies online for the big items to review for suggested maintenance. There are a lot of different household items with filters that need cleaned periodically or changed. Keep the oil changed on your vehicle. If you aren’t mechanically savvy, find someone you trust to do it and listen to anything they say may need repaired. But don’t automatically think you can’t. I have one daughter (high school math teacher) who does her own auto repair including brake work. The pickup she inherited from us is well over 300,000 miles but the maintenance was always done timely. The other daughter (dialysis tech) fixed a water pump on her washer after watching a video online. Small repairs not done timely can turn into large repairs that can’t wait and keep you from otherwise spending money on preparing.

  5. We find a whole lot of items we need for great prices at yard and estate sales. Kids’ consignment sales are great for clothes, toys, and books for the grandkids. Bargain outlets such as Ollies often have amazing prices. And don’t forget Buy Nothing Facebook groups and Freecycle.

    1. Helping older folks with yard work and general clean up I find them very generous with old “stuff” they don’t need. I also get a lot of good materials for my compost piles, nice cuttings to propagate and even apples and such they don’t want.

      A win-win situation. I even trade recipes with them I learn good ones, they get a meal to “Test” to see if I got it right :-)

      Also being willing to use some elbow grease on “Trash” I find some amazing tools, two so far small wood stoves and even some “Nasty” Cast Iron that cleaned up nicely after being burnt in a small bonfire.

      Sometimes I wish I had a pickup truck as my daily driver, sometimes by the time I get back there with my little trailer it’s gone :-(

      1. NHM,
        You gotta git, while the gittins’ good! You see it and want it, better stop and grab it. You know it won’t be there later if you go back.

        1. Minerjim
          NHM does not own a pickup truck. That is why he needed to grab his trailer for those goodies. At least that is what I read in his posting.

          1. Correct AC, at this time I don’t have a Pick Up but my little trailer is pretty busy :-)

            Much cheaper on Auto Taxes and fuel economy :-)

            But you’d be amused at what HAS Fit inside my little sedan :-) I carry a tarp for the messy stuff.

          2. NHM
            Is like a bud of mine who drives a mini Cooper, have seen him dragging carcasses out of that thing more than once,,,

          3. You can get an 8 ft sheet of plywood in a hatch back Pinto. Although not very many which is why I have a pickup truck. You cannot imagine the number of good deals I’ve gotten because I said “yup, throw it in the back of the truck”. Although, I have a trailer for the truck too for things that won’t fit in the bed, and have at times had to say “can I go get my trailer and come back and grab it?” I’ve had good deal buys where it was literally a race to see how fast I could get back with the trailer to get it. Most people that want to get rid of something will literally take “cash and carry” to an extreme. I’ve done it myself saying “first come first serve on some firewood”. “$50 take a truckload (or trailer load) until its gone”. I think the key for this discussion is that you need to be ready to go get the good deals when they are there. Know what you can carry in your rig, and be ready to improvise. I will tell you though, you can get a lot of junk in a hatch back Pinto. ;-) And I’ve seen 6 hay bales ratchet strapped onto a Fiero.

  6. While it’s convenient to buy canned beans, dried beans are cheaper. Saving up a bit to buy in bulk gets an even better price. On rainy/wintery days, cook up those dried beans, or make ham/bean soup etc, and can them up yourself. In the event of a power outage or a day when there’s little time to cook, just open and heat.

    Don’t have money for 600 rolls of TP? Save old sheets or t-shirts and make your own, to have ready when TP runs out. Yeah, some might not like the idea, but cloth diapers have been a thing for most of our history right? This isn’t much different. Have a way to clean/sanitize – bleach/borax soak. Can use different colors for different family members.

    Lumber for small projects can be had for free by breaking down pallets. We have a neighbor that lets me know when he has some, and I can pick them up. It’s a bit more labor intensive, but it’s free.

    1. Farmgirl, you got it right. Some of us grew up wearing cloth diapers. Although my kids never had them, I do understand the trouble my parents went through. Point is, it can be done. Leaves from trees work and so does moss. Agreed you don’t need to buy a connex full of TP.

      Lumber? People build whole cabins with an axe and a crosscut saw from raw logs. Some with only an axe. Pulling apart pallets is not so easy, although it may be free. There are some pretty cool tools you can buy or make to bust pallets. If you need to rely on pallet wood get a pallet buster. Its not easy, but it can be free to get wood that way. For building structures find a bunch of pallets with the same dimensions and don’t even break them down :-)

    2. Farm Girl, While dried beans are cheaper than canned (sometimes, not always), it is always wise to look at the cost of the energy to cook them. There is also clean up, and a watchful eye, unless you are using a solar stove. If you have lots of small wood and a rocket stove, this will save fuel.
      For those who can and know that they will have space for an extra jar in the canner, soak some beans, and throw them in the jar with whatever you would usually add. Even if the time is off, they will be partially cooked, saving energy later, when you might really need it. I keep both, but if times are tough, I am guessing I will grab a jar, since I will be very busy, putting out other fires. Wishing safe survival for you all!

      1. Abigayle,

        That is true, for sure. I keep both on hand, though more weighted to the dried as that fits the budget better. I have multiple ways to cook, but will be canning them up as time allows, with some hamhocks and seasonings. Yup, interesting times. Blessings to you and yours, also.

  7. Join a buy nothing group on Facebook. I’ve seen people give away really nice items they could have easily sold for some money. My group allows people to ask for things and it’s amazing what people are willing to give away.

    If you have young children, buy their clothes second hand, or get them for free from the buy nothing group. Do this especially when they are young and don’t have opinions on what they wear.

    Cloth diapering can save you a boatload of cash, but it’s not feasible for everyone. As someone who was only able to cloth diaper for nine months, it was a lot of work.

    1. I walked into Walgreens the other day–at those prices, no wonder people say they can’t afford to have a baby! $14 for a single package of diapers? $18 for formula? $3 for single serving baby food? Buy a really good grinder and make your own!

      1. My kids are the single most biggest investment I have made in my whole life. The cost to bring them up far outweighs what I have put away for retirement. I just hope that one day one of them will be rich and change my diapers when I am old. But I’m not holding my breath.

  8. I walked into Walgreens the other day–at those prices, no wonder people say they can’t afford to have a baby! $14 for a single package of diapers? $18 for formula? $3 for single serving baby food? Buy a really good grinder and make your own!

  9. There are amazing finds to be had all over. Up on Vermont this summer, visiting family, for example, I discovered there is a separate place at the “transfer station” (AKA dump) where people put stuff they figure other folks might want to use. That way its not in a landfill somewhere….at least for a while. And the price is right. I got a beautiful casting rod that way, free, but they had beaucoup other stuff as well.

    1. Bogan, Our local transfer station we do the same thing… an area designated for free giveaway stuff. One man’s trash – another man’s treasure?

  10. What ever hobbies you have or may want to pick up, make sure they are either cost effective, maintainable or has the ability to pay for itself. 4 decades ago, shooting and hunting led to competition shooting of rifle, pistol and some shotgun. This led to me reloading which led me to gunsmithing with a bench at 2 different shops. Now that I am looking at retirement from my day job in health care, my side gig of reloading match grade ammo at a premium price has come into its own in my AO. I learned long ago that hanging of plaques and trophies on the walls of a local gunsmith can bring in a lot of business along with the networking that takes place at the match between relays. Having worked as a policeman for a time exposed me to the demands placed upon a service sidearm and the requirements of qualification on an annual basis. Being an Asian guy with 4 cats, one would consider me to be a rancher. (I have not yet used my dog or p/u truck as a tax write-off yet so I am not a rancher). Years ago, I got my start in Civil Service after the fire captains saw that I cooked in restaurants. I still cook today and I still work on learning new recipes and modifying old recipes for a new target audience. (cooking with no MSG, lower sodium, tougher and cheaper cuts of meat).

    1. Cooking is a great hobby…the whole family benefits while we de-stress from our daily work. AND, I made a pledge years ago to try 3 new recipes a week….did that for 3 years….now I try 1 new recipe a week and have a 6 inch binder full of tried and tested recipes….get them off the net…look at what Hello Fresh and other home delivery services are “selling” just to spark a few ideas…no need to get fancy or expensive.
      AND, I found that cooking for two (after raising 10 kids) is difficult still….so we eat and I pack freezer meals ready to go for those odd nights when I am just too pooed to cook. SAVES a fortune on eating out or ordering in! And BTW, you can order multi compartment food trays (aluminum) for just that freezer dinner packing!

      1. Pioneer Woman, maybe this needs to be a different thread. But I get it, our 6 are gone and cooking for 2 is HARD. We wind up having so many left overs we don’t want to eat. Its really hard not to put the whole 3lb bacon pack in the split pea soup pot. For the first time I quartered it and froze the other 3/4 of the package before I cooked it. Got the smaller 3 qt crock pot out (the one we usually do little smokies in) to do the soup this time.

  11. Focus on your health and getting in shape. It’s great to have all of the greatest gear in a backpack, but won’t do you much good if you can’t carry it any distance. Your mind, body, knowledge, and experience are the real tools – people focus too much on acquiring things.

    1. Agreed! not much you can’t survive without a pocket knife and a bic lighter in your pocket. OMG if I reach for my pocket knife and its not there. My survival expectancy just dropped 70%. Growing up with those as my Every Day Carry (EDC), losing my knife would be worse than losing my gun. But even without a knife, I agree “Your mind, body, knowledge, and experience are the real tools”.

  12. Last Chance for Ham Radio,
    How much does it cost, REALLY:
    (2) baofeng radios. $30 each = $60
    technician’s ham license test = $15 each person, so $30
    Two people can have a very basic comms set-up for less than $100

    The rest is free. You’ll need to apply your brain and give a little effort. You can then improve what you have. Build your own antenna. That will improve comms dramatically. Most homebrew antenna are built with wire or other scrap materials. I really like old salvaged tv antenna. Learn to repair coax and use the free coax you scrounge.

    I have better (more money) radios, so I can contact VIPs. The above basic set-up WORKS for 20 miles around here. I live on the plains, so terrain is not an issue. Using your brain is free. Using your brain to improve your situation is what prepping is all about. Ham is like everything else, there is a cheap way to do it, and it works. I’ll not be “beating the drum” about ham anymore. The window for learning about ham radio is closing. If/when the internet goes down, no more info. If/when your cell phone no longer functions, you’ll either have ham radio or you won’t. It’s not about $, it’s about getting off your butt. Good luck

    1. Plainsmedic, agreed Amateur radio can be an inexpensive prep. There are enough of us out there that with the right mindset even a basic Amateur radio operator can significantly increase their preparedness. For example with an inexpensive 2m/70cm baofeng radio you can access the other Amateurs that might have more capable rigs. For me the Amateur prep is HF with the ability to talk all over the world. And if I can’t hit everywhere in the world, I can hit someone else who can. But getting a 2 meter VHF or 70cm UHF Ham radio will get folks access to a truly independent communications network that so far is not controlled by big tech or the government (for the most part).

  13. Getting outside just because…As a young man I would leave home and explore my area with a backpack and binoculars coming home late for dinner or maybe a day later. This was why I loved being a ranger as a young adult. I was able to hike and observe things and get paid for it. I thought I knew how to track until I was sent to the Tracking School run by the Border Patrol. I agree with Ben in that getting in shape is a priority. My home district was at 7000 feet altitude and that was in the valley where the ranger station was located. All of the trails went up for several miles. (We were all sucking wind for the first week or so) What you carry in your backpack becomes and exercise in Zen minimalism. (what do I REALLY need for the time I am away from base?)
    Years later I settled down in the lowlands with a REAL job, home and mortgage payment. Hiking trips were shorter on ranch and farmland with a smaller daypack and a rifle and binoculars. I no longer fished in clear mountain streams choosing to fish local lakes with a small kayak or canoe. No bass boat for me. I paddled or poled my way to some nice areas, set up my gas stove on a sunny bank and brew up some soup or tea just because…
    I did not always come home with fish to eat. I did not always fire my rifle. I was able to witness a cougar giving birth to a kitten, an osprey catching a fish from glass-smooth water. I do not walk around with a smart phone so I cannot share these things on the Internet. Your are just going to have to get out there and see it for yourselves.

    1. ” Your are just going to have to get out there and see it for yourselves.”

      That’s the best quote for this thread.

      I’m like Calirefugee, been there, venture out, prep what you need and learn from it. In my younger days of prepping I included everything. Then I remembered my experiences and realized I did fine with much less. It sure takes a load off your mind when trying to figure out what you need when you know what you can do with limited resources.

  14. The one thing you will never see within my home: a Peloton bicycle.

    The one thing you will never see me carry anymore: Golf clubs.

  15. Create a personal book of “How to” for yourself and your family. Yeah, you can look online, YT videos, etc. Maybe download those to a flash drive. How good is that if you have no power or equipment to view them with????? That is why i say, create a Hard Copy book of “How to” for yourself. I’ve got one that i started several years ago. I copy and put copies of articles on things i’d like to try, or may have need to do if things go really sideways.(as an engineer, i have a very high percentage of recall on technical stuff, but….. I am getting older, what if i get hit in the head? And, what if i want to show someone else “How too” in the future?) Its cheap enough to make paper copies, either down loaded or copied from a book. Put them in 3 ring binders. ALSO…. teach yourself how to draw simple diagrams of things, like how to build something. Can’t copy that article, learn to draw simple diagrams of what you see in the pictures, layouts, etc. Source reference material from cheap places, like used book stores and library sales. Old technical books do not retain value, so you can find them cheap, or sometimes free.(the older the better imho. The laws of physics and engineering pretty much stay the same). Create something physical that can be passed down to the kids. Things you want them to know how to do. Make it so that if you are not there to show them, they can pick up your “Book of How to” and figure it out for themselves.

    1. Minerjim:
      I agree 1000% on the “How To”
      The ability to fix stuff is a lost art.
      We are a throw away society now.
      I would suggest getting some of the Oldies but Goodies.
      Foxfire, Boy Scout handbooks, stuff like.
      Also as you said, get that printer fired up.
      If/When the grid is toast, that computer and Dumb-Phone will be worthless for a very long time.
      Try a Lights Out week for some real entertainment. He’ll people melt down if the power goes out during a storm, imagine when it goes out for 6 months.
      Ole Blue just gave me a nasty look. Time for a hike…..

    2. Minerjim
      Majority of my instructional books came from a bidding site, and Good will. They are stored inside of containers which are marked for the future generations to learn from, subjects on canning, gardening, medical information, carpentry, electrical, masonry everything that I have learned from those around me. They are my “How to” book collection, and a lot of old cookbooks which are scratch recipes-simple.

      1. I predict your “How to” book collection will become a very valuable family heirloom! (if it hasn’t already!)

        I have also gotten a lot of very useful books off of “Forgotten Books dot com”.

  16. Then there are history books and first person books like “Traplines North” by Steven W. Meader. There used to be web site about this book – don’t know if it still is up?
    Then first person videos such as the ones by and about Dick Proenneke. Also worth a look is “The Cree Hunters of Mistassini. an award winning documentry.
    There was/is a reason pioneers, gold seekers, etc. are so fond of sourdough. As I understand it, the fermenting process converts the starch in the flour to a protein. It has been found that sourdough contains the greatest amount of protein, for it’s size and weight, of any other comparable food. But the pioneers already knew this — they considered sourdough an energy food.
    Raising a young family during the 1970’s recession we relied heavily upon sourdough. There are so many things you can make with it and so many variations to each. Almost fifty years later, we are still fond of it.
    When we moved, the sourdough pot traveled the 5000 miles with us.
    Sourdough is also mentioned in Matthew 13:33

    1. Oh, forgot the Journals of Lewis & Clark. They were traveling along some river and spotted many trees with the bark removed. Presently they came to a village. Found out, during lean times the people survived on the inner bark of the trees…
      “Alaska Film Archives – UAF.” in particular check out the videos by the Helmericks. Also the series of books they wrote.
      Research what you can on the birch tree. The birch is truly Mankind’s most useful plant. Remember Otzi – the Iceman? He had a numbers of birch items with him.

  17. Reply to Minerjim: Thanks for the reminder. I do much the same at my place of work and I am starting to do that at home. I also realized that some information out there should not be shared with some people. Case in point: I tend to keep records and journals as part of my old job as a ranger. (ie. creel census, hunter info cards, duty logs, weather station data). I did much the same at my local reservoir when I went fishing or boating. (measuring and recording of sub-surface water temp at several different locations, mapping and noting rocky areas of shoreline, creel census of my own at same reservoir) After doing that for 7 years, I realized that I had created a poachers notebook for my favorite nearby reservoir so I removed the written pages and burned them. If it fell into the wrong hands of a poacher or game-hog, the contents could prove disastrous for the wildlife. I put my energy into creating spawning structures for smaller fish and helping the rangers sink the structures in key locations during the Winter.

  18. new person here:

    heirloom seeds vs regular seeds?

    where to purchase the best seeds?

    and would vacuum sealing be he best way to store them?

    saw an article somewhere the last couple days and it was inferring that plant fertilizer was getting difficult to get?

    You guys are just great for all your knowledge you pass on.

    1. Karen:
      Welcome “New Person”
      I personally like to use Heirloom whenever I can, there are some vegetables I like the Hybrid so, go with those. Remembering the Hybrid can not be harvested for seeds.
      Yes Burpee and all those are good as far as seeds, but I like the Bulk Option for a LOT less that those single paper packs that cost $3-4 bucks this coming year.
      BTW, do NOT buy a pound of Carrot Seeds….. 300,000 Carrot Seeds is a heck of a LOT of Carrots HAHAHA

      I get seeds from a place caller Everwilde Farms, good people to work with.
      They pack everything in resealable Mylar Bags. do not Vac-Seal seeds.
      I open them, use what I need, burp the bag and reseal, that toss them in the Refrigerator, do not freeze seeds.

      As far as fertilizer, I would not doubt the chemical fert. will be harder and harder to find, but ya know… Cow Poop is easy, … HAHAHA.
      Sorry, not a real fan of dumping chemicals on the food I’m going to eat, but Cow Poop, hummmm, let me think on that for a bit LOLOL
      Best of luck with your Preps

    2. Karen
      NRP has good advice on the seeds and if you can also locate ‘open pollen’ seeds.
      There are several articles on the site I am sure, if you delve into that area and have other questions. Just ask us.

      One item, be care of the cow or horse poop. Make sure the feed they consumed was not treated for weed reduction. It will inhibit any garden from growing as the bases of the spray used on livestock feed is a form of round up.

      1. Karen & AC
        Good point on the poop.
        Know the source of whatever you put in the Garden.
        That Roundup WILL destroy a good Garden quickly.
        Another peice of advice, if you are using city water, try to find a few clean 55 Gallon drums, remove the tops and fill them with the garden water, let it sit for a day or so to let the chlorine vap off.

    3. Seeds need to breathe and should never be vacuum sealed. I have frozen seeds. Most seem OK with it. They must be completely dry to be safely frozen.

      You can save hybrid seed, remembering that you’ll get a mix of both parent varieties. So not the standard “type” that you got from the original packet. Stabilizing hybrid varieties can be done, but it takes time. I don’t mind some variety, I just don’t keep seeds from a plant that doesn’t have the traits I like.

      Heirlooms in my opinion are a mess, most severely inbred and intended for just one particular environment. But if you want stability, heirlooms are your best option. Just like that small town where everyone looks the same…

      modernsurvivalblog.com/survival-garden/seed-saving-is-neither-difficult-nor-complicated

      Many fertilizers come from China, and most are chemically processed. Like everything else, the processes are reliant on the correct inputs, parts for the machines, people to run the machines, etc. So China this year said they’re not exporting fertilizer. Other places it is made are facing severe shortages of materials. So many farmers are not able to get the chemical fertilizers that they have come to depend on.

    4. Hi Karen, and welcome. I mostly read here and have not contributed much. I have gardened for forty-five years, in many different climates and soils. Your first consideration needs to be the area, in which you live. If you have a short growing season, you will need to look at growers that have test farms in your area of the country. I live in Georgia and us Southern Exposure for my non-hybrid seed. I have had good luck with Johnnies, but when they stopped selling to small groaners, during the pandemic and just sold to large farms, I stayed away, when they came back, once again wanting my business.
      If you only have a little garden experience, use some hybrid seed from a good grower. With that being said…..always, always….have some non-hybrid seed. Study how to best store them. Be careful with what you spray on your plants, as more growers kill tender plants by using harsh sprays, than any other way. They burn the leaves..
      Don’t have too many of one kind. Go on line and read reviews from those who have used seed you are considering. Make good notes on successes and failures you have…

  19. What to do? I’m sure I am not the only one here that has produced as much as possible for the past few years. Now we have reached a point where we can not consume all that we have canned, freeze dried, dehydrated, …. and the expire date has been exceeded in some cases.

    Now I hesitate to give away food that some people will question the safety etc. Also, giving away much food kind of defeats opsec. Perhaps a local farmer with more livestock than us can use the food.

    This year I will cut down on some gardening more in balance with our yearly needs.

    1. hermit us, I you have canned too many string beans and you know them to be good. change their storage form- dehydrate them…they will take up half the space,If you chop them short will take less space than that. and be exceptionally good for stews, soups. can re use the same lids for them so will require no extra lids. pack with oxygen absorber. Canned w/c corn same thing… except when it is done -grind it.. for fresh corn meal can be used to thicken , for bread or as creamed corn.packing with oxygen absorbers very dry will extend the date well into the GSM and all the changes that are cyclic.. it will mean you will be required to produce a little less to avoid starvation.. food independence is a wonderful thing, continue to guard it well.. Our gardens were a flop this year.. okra i had, tomatoes i had til rats ate everything produced.put out feed for them… still at their feed and mine. already have begun working on springs garden areas and have garlic and onions to get in the ground this week..
      Freeze dried has advantage of extremely long shelf life properly secured.still takes up same amount of jars.rehydrates quicker… ..would use thick mylar…i don’t have that option.

  20. hermit us:
    Agreed on the size of the Garden.
    Cutting mine down about 2/3s.
    Although I already screwed up.
    Garlic is planted in the Fall. So I did just that, all 160 cloves of Garlic LOLOL
    What can I say 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

    1. Blue, Tell NRP he will have plenty garlic, it is good for him… makes a healthy heart and good for many things… You take good care of him and stay by his side..we miss him when he doesn’t post much.

      1. Just Sayin, NRP, others
        Garlic, I transplanted some wild garlic 30 years ago. I have way more now, than I did then. It reproduces well on it’s own. The cloves are slightly smaller, but just use two instead of one. I’ve even given some away to neighbors who have transplanted it near their homes. Same result. Plenty of garlic for everyone. For some things, the wild stuff is better. What you find in your area will grow well there.

        Go for a walk in the woods. Carry a sharp-shooter (shovel) instead of a weapon. You might harvest more with the sharp-shooter.

  21. Too much garlic? Use it in a blender with water, a t spoon of dish soap (added at the end), and some cayenne pepper. Also add a small onion. Blend, let sit, spray on garden. Squash bugs hate it. Deer loath it. Yes, it sticks in the house, yes it is extra work, but it really works. If you have tons, can’t think of a better way to use it.
    Too many veggies? Maybe barter with a nearby farmer for some meat….can’t grow a cow or pig. If you are not self sustaining, this could be a start to a beautiful relationship. You might even run into another prepper.
    Same thing goes for HAM radio, meet like mined people…

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