Survival Pantry–Five Simple Tips to Outsmart Your Supermarket

It goes without saying that everybody’s trying to save money these days. But supermarkets are designed to appeal to our human wants, not necessarily our needs. When you go grocery shopping and want to stock up on a few extra things to put by, you don’t want to get ripped off.

Here are five tips to help you save money when you go grocery shopping. This is about as basic as it gets.

  1. Make a list and stick to it. If there’s something you see and think you should have that’s not on your list, check out the label for info on calories and nutrition facts. I’ll bet you decide to keep to your list.
  2. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Those smells from the bakery or deli can be enticing, but don’t give in. Get what you came for and go.
  3. Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where you’ll find fresh produce, lean meats, low fat and fat free dairy items.
  4. Shop for what they hope you don’t see. The items the store wants you to buy are at eye level. Sugary cereals for kids are put down at their eye level. If you don’t look up and down hard enough, you could miss generic or less expensive brands.
  5. Shop midway into the aisle. That’s where you’ll find staples. All those appealing items are at or near the ends so you’ll see them first. You may have to look harder for what you want, but it’s worth it.

For more common sense grocery shopping help, check out Groceries On A Dime from Living On A Dime.

Survival & Your Money–How’s Your Emergency Fund?

An emergency fund is a cushion you can fall back on when something serious comes up that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to pay for. Maybe the car breaks down, your refrigerator died, or you lost your job.

We’re talking about financial emergencies, not a slush fund for things you simply want.

If you’re like many people, you’re likely to put emergencies on a credit card or borrow it from a high interest financial services place. Believe me, I know what it is to be in that position. All you do is sink deeper into debt.

Many financial gurus say to pay down those high interest loans and cards as fast as you can. After all, why get 1-2% on a savings account when you can whack down that card that’s charging 12%, 19% or even 30%?

That’s a good idea in theory, but when you’re making payments and the financial emergency hits, what do you do when you have no savings set aside? It’s the debt trap all over again.

That’s why it’s crucial to have an emergency fund. It’s not for investments, so you don’t want it tied up in a CD or something else you can’t get at.

Your emergency fund needs to be liquid, such as a basic savings account, cash, or a combination. You need it when you need it, and you must resist the temptation to “need” it for anything but emergencies.

How much should you have in your emergency fund? I’ve heard varying amounts. A minimum would be $500. A thousand dollars is better. Some say to have three, six, or even eight months worth of income at your disposal.

If that last one sounds like too big of a bite, at least start somewhere. Set aside a little money each week or month as you can.

Even if you have $150 this month in savings and have to use it for a $300 expense, it’s $150 you didn’t have a short time ago. What would you have done without it being there?

Replenish your emergency fund before it’s totally depleted. Keep it going or you’ll wind up in the debt trap you’ve been trying to avoid.

Yes, the credit card interest rates will continue on as usual, and you have to keep paying down your bill. However, if something comes up and you have no emergency fund, you may miss at least one credit card payment, and that can only lead to more trouble.

It’s a balancing act, but do what you can to pay down bills while setting aside funds for an emergency. As with any survival strategy, start small if you can’t do anything else, but do something. You won’t regret it.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7, from the Holy Bible, King James Version.

Click here for more money saving strategies from Living on a Dime.


Surviving A Collapse: The Gold and Silver Game

Editor’s note: For those needing perspective on whether to buy gold or silver, the following is food for thought from Capt. William E. Simpson.

He is the author of The Nautical Prepper and Dark Stallions – Legend of the Centaurians, and has been my guest on DestinySurvival Radio. He occasionally contributes articles here for DestinySurvival. – John


Do Americans really need to worry about a financial collapse in world money markets leading to national rioting and chaos? History shows it has happened before in many countries around the world and many so-called experts say we do, but they are leaving-out the most important details.

Of course when the media voices the opinions of the ‘experts’ that alone builds some worry into financial markets. Some astute observers may ask if this is by design and if by doing so, they intentionally create niche markets for the products and services they sell related to gold and silver hedges and financial advice. Still, even if this is by design, the facts on the ground in regard to record national debt and quantitative easing are of themselves creating a situation where instability is a natural result; going too far out on any limb will ultimately cause the stress on the limb to exceed its breaking strength.

Central banks and equity markets around the world today are operating with hair-triggers and nobody wants to be the last one out when the music stops, and the music must stop soon. There is no such thing as unlimited debt and growth; corrections must and will come, one way or another. And since the markets have been manipulated to keep them afloat, when the correction (polite term) comes, it will now be far more devastating.

The people (elitist-globalists) who are directly and indirectly holding all of world debt, $20-trillions of which is owed by the U.S. Government) will at some point have to be re-paid, one way or another, and therein is the big worry. Of course at the same time, the debt holders also see that the odds of these debts being repaid, which have already been re-structured many times, are growing dimmer by the day.

So these same elitists are setting themselves up to profit from a coming world crash. They are now marketing and selling their gold and silver, which they acquired at market-lows, and are now selling it back to the masses at market highs, while they quietly diversify into other essential commodities that people and governments will require. The point of this visionary strategy is to be in a position to wait-out a market collapse and the ensuing chaos, and then during that chaos an instability, buy back all of the gold and silver at new market lows. But why would gold and silver go into the tank? Some may ask this question, and there is a very good reason why that may happen related to market demand.

First of all, we must remove the selective perception that the marketing psychologists have instilled into the masses via media; “gold and silver yield security” in tough times. For average people, this is false. For the purposes of intergovernmental trade, yes there is some logic to this, if there is an agreed-upon value for these metals. It’s important to keep in mind that the intrinsic value of these metals only relates to their industrial, medical and vanity jewelry uses, nothing more. But through the use of crafty psychological marketing, the elite have built a perception that gold and silver are now more valuable than the things people really need like water, food, shelter and other items that actually support life. Gold and silver are actually little more than illusions of wealth created by highly intelligent people who know how to manipulate the masses, as they have for millennia. And as history shows, for those who take the time to learn it, there is a cyclic pattern used by elitists who have extremely long-term wealth and power building models that are literally generational in nature, where one generation sets things into motion and the next generation follows the plan and reaps the benefits. By keeping the masses financially, and educationally oppressed (much of the brainwashing starts in school), the masses have great difficulty in emulating a generational wealth building strategy. Adding to the advantages of the elitists over the masses is that they have been employing their wealth-building strategies for many hundreds of years… this is why we see the same names over and over again as being the wealthiest people in the world.

Between hungry people who are defending their belongings from outside threats, which may include neighbors who are also doing without the essentials of life as a result of a massive breakdown of the financial and supply-chain infrastructures, gold and silver will never fill an empty stomach or warm a freezing child. So who among these people would accept a gold coin in such conditions for a case of tuna fish, a warm coat or a pack of cigarettes? The real answer is none of them. The reality is, as we saw during the period (1919-1933) of the Weimar Republic, society collapsed and descended into poverty and despair, where it took sacks-full of cash to buy a loaf of bread, while elitists bought-back gold and silver at huge discounts. But this time around, it will be brutally worse because we now find ourselves in a world packed with needy people and desperate nations all-around, nations desperate for the resources owned and controlled by the U.S.

During the collapse of the Weimar Republic, the world population was about one-fourth of what it is today, about 2-billion people. Today we have a world population of about 7.5-billion people. And all of these people require the same resources; drinking water, food, shelter, clothing, medicine and other items to support life. The demand for these resources is now at the very limits of the new ‘just-in-time’ supply chain infrastructure, which is extremely vulnerable to a myriad of potential points of failure, including but not limited to any financial collapse.

I will put it bluntly; if you fail to read ‘When Money Dies’, you will remain uninformed and in the dark.

And when a correction (nice way to articulate a collapse) comes, the effect of that collapse will be devastating this time around for many reasons which did not exist previously, as we now begin to understand. The parallels we now see unfolding between what happened in the Weimar Republic and the United States today are truly unsettling, and these are conclusions are not being drawn with some product or service marketing agenda associated. Quite frankly, they fly in the face of those people working for the elitists who are touting gold and silver as a safe haven for average people. I personally couldn’t disagree more. Ask yourself this simple question: If gold and silver is so hot, and is going to go up in value, why would they be selling any of it? It’s not like it will spoil or cannot be stored. The simple reason is the correct reason, the elitists are now diversifying and dumping gold and silver at market highs. They are getting out while the getting is good, while the masses are being sold on what a great investment it is. Of course this is typical behavior by these people; they feel they are superior to the masses and we only need to know what they want us to know. But the easily observable facts tell the truth.

First, we have huge population centers that are already disenchanted and ripe with unrest and lawlessness. The infrastructure of these cities is at the breaking-point. This includes the supply-chain infrastructure which provides the basic needs for life; water, food, health and sanitation, law-enforcement, etc. And it won’t take very much to trigger a complete failure of these integrated services, where one affects another like dominoes.

Sadly, the current role-models in power over the past 8-years at the top of the American government are morally repugnant and have failed to lead by a positive example. And worse yet, they allow the continued media brainwashing of the people via the psychologists who craft all of the political and marketing messaging that is poured-out onto Americans via all of the media outlets, which they control.

Some people are placing all their bets on the newly elected government in America, because hope is all they have. The hope that someone, anyone new, might make the changes needed to make America great again, as coined by president-elect Donald J. Trump.

There was a song by the band ‘The Who’ titled; ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, which has the lyrics; “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. As we watch the government appointments being made by Trump, the question that currently stands in American is; will Trump do what he promised Americans he would do, or, did he just say what he knew Americans wanted to hear? And will he instead embark upon the path that was preordained by the elitists? Americans voted for Trump because they believed in his campaign promises.

Americans who make-up a large percentage of our total population are currently living at or near the poverty level and have reached the end of their wits. And as a country we have reached a level of desperation never seen before. These people are not a tiny isolated pocket of the population; they number in the many tens of millions, and many of those are illegal immigrants who have not been assimilated into America and retain their own cultural set of values, which dictates their behavior in any society. They see leaders at the top of American government who are benefiting from corruption and lawlessness, while they barely manage to eat. This same group of so-called leaders at the top have in many ways, through speech and action, or lack thereof, have condoned lawlessness by making excusing for the criminal behavior of political activists who seek to foment more unrest in the interest of creating an environment where they may have a chance to rise to power again via a violent revolution. There are without a doubt outside forces that have infiltrated the highest posts of American government (radical Islamists) and who also see unrest and instability in America as ‘opportunity’.

But for the average American family, in the final analysis, the acquisition of gold and silver over the essential commodities of life is a failed strategy and plays into the hands of the elitists who intend to buy-back all of the gold and silver in the hands of the masses at huge discounts when the markets collapse and people become desperate for the commodities they really need just to stay alive!

For the people who live in the cities and who are fortunate enough to have some discretionary funds, my opinion is that land which can provide sustainable living is now the best investment for an uncertain future. A place to live that is not dependent upon banks or just-in-time supply chains, a place with a garden, some chickens and pure water would be hard to beat in tough times.

Hope and pray for the best, but prepare for the worst in response to what history teaches us; of course revisionist historians are hard at work deleting those inconvenient clues.


Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM Ret.
Member: Authors Guild


Forex and Preparedness– What’s the Connection?

Joe Gelet contacted me to refer me to an article entitled What Preppers haven’t Prepped for – the big gaping hole, which sets forth the idea that preppers have prepared for many things, but most have overlooked suitable financial preparation.

This affects our day to day lives both now and in the future, whether you’re concerned about your retirement fund or the ever increasing price of a loaf of bread. Joe’s remedy? The info in a book he wrote called Splitting Pennies: Understanding Forex.

What is Forex? And what is the connection to preparedness? We should know something about this if we’re going to understand how the monetary world works so we can best be prepared to live each day or face an economic collapse.

Joe and I talked about these things on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio.

Below I’ll pass along info to help you get acquainted with who Joe is. Then I’ll share observations about his book and our conversation.

Getting to Know Joe Gelet

Once you have a look at the following info, you’ll have to agree it takes such a bright person as Joe to tackle something so complex to the rest of us mere mortals.

“Joseph James Gelet was born in Anaheim, California in 1980 and grew up bi-coastal, in Southern California and Boca Raton, Florida. His interest in computers led him to electronic trading and algorithm development when there was no ‘program trading’ or algorithmic industry to speak of. Joseph Gelet has been trading since 1996. He began day-trading equities during this time and was always on the cutting edge of algorithmic electronic trading.

“In 1999 Mr. Gelet began a quest to develop an intelligent trading system for the markets – but at that time algorithmic trading was heresy. In 2002 Mr. Gelet founded Elite E Services in New Zealand, the first boutique Forex broker in the jurisdiction (currently, New Zealand is a Forex hotspot).

“In 2006 Mr. Gelet became registered with the NFA as a Member CTA (#373609) with a Series 3 designation, Gelet featured in futures magazine through Elite E Services, Inc. USA – and for many years, managed client funds using algorithmic Forex systems. EES was twice named top 10 CTA by Barclay Hedge, as well as receiving press from publishers such as Futures Magazine, Stocks & Commodities magazine, FX Magazine, and many others.

“Mr. Gelet is a well read author, he has authored 2 books on the topic of Forex as well as countless articles both in leading print and online publications.

“Always staying on the cutting edge of algorithmic electronic trading, he recently pioneered the first Binary Options Forex robot available in MT4 format. He also is an expert Forex consultant to Steinmeyer Law, a leading securities class action & anti-trust litigation firm. He holds a Series 3 license (Commodity Trading Advisor), and has developed an in-depth Forex training course which has helped many Wall St. professionals and international investors understand the nuances of Forex.

“Mr. Gelet has been the Forex & IT consultant to many FCMs, FDMs, Banks, Hedge Funds, and Universities. Due to the overwhelming amount of fraud and unscrupulous practices in Forex in the United States, Elite E Services decided to withdraw from the NFA in 2014 in pursuit of opening a Forex bank.

“Joseph Gelet lives in South Carolina with his wife.”


Splitting Pennies - Understanding Forex


Getting Into the Book

You’ll note from the following summary that this isn’t a book specifically about prepping. It’s a book about finances–an area many of us need help if we’re to be better prepared.


“What is Splitting Pennies all about?

Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex is a book about our global financial system and its direct impact on every human being on this planet Earth. Every day, our money is worth less and less. Splitting Pennies explores why, through the prism of its mechanism; Forex. Forex is the largest business in the world and the least understood. This is not taught in school – start your journey, and just read.

Splitting Pennies displays practical examples of how many have profited in Forex, the history of Forex, and practical examples of strategies to use for your portfolio. Readers of the book will know more than a Harvard MBA about Forex, and can consider themselves Sophisticated Forex Investors (SFI).

“Complex topics such as currency swaps are broken down in digestible form, for the average investor or for financial professionals. Splitting Pennies is a must read for those in investment banking, securities, fund management, accounting, banking & finance, and related fields. But it’s written for the layman, the worker, the average investor – the student in us.”


Parts of this book were smooth sailing as I read, while other parts went right on past me. If you get bogged down in certain parts of the book, like I did, stay with it because it makes for thought provoking reading.

Even if you’re like me and don’t get all that’s in it, you’ll get enough to move your understanding forward on what money is and how markets work. And you’ll get a good picture of Joe’s opinions on the Federal Reserve, banks in general, and the policies of those in power who don’t take kindly to threats to the supremacy of the U.S. dollar.

Like a mystery novel, Joe drops clues throughout the book as to the nature and scope of Forex.

Broadly speaking, if you know a little something about Forex, you’ll know why your dollar buys less and less as time passes. You’ll understand more about what has real value.

You may also be able to determine whether or not you should own silver or gold. And you can figure out for yourself what role bartering should have in your preparedness strategy.

If you have money tied up in investments, you’ll want to pay attention to chapter 7. It’s on investments and finding a good manager. The more you know, the less chance you have of getting scammed.

If you want to get into Forex trading yourself, check out chapter 8, which describes Penny Splitter, a software program useful for Forex investors.

By the way, here’s a bonus Joe offers.

“Every owner of Splitting Pennies is entitled to receive their free unlimited copy of “Penny Splitter Expert Advisor, a fully automated algorithm designed specifically for the foreign exchange market.”

The book winds up with references which include a multitude of Internet links.

Getting Acquainted with Forex

Joe and I had no trouble filling the time allotted to us for DestinySurvival Radio. He’s quite knowledgeable and explains things thoroughly.

When I asked him to define Forex, it might sound at first like he’s going down a rabbit trail. But he’s not. Listen carefully to what he says about the U.S. dollar and foreign exchange money markets, and it will make sense. Throughout his book he layers on finer points describing Forex.

Here’s how massive Forex is.

Forex is the driver of the global economy. It supercedes nation states, politics, even religion. It’s not governed by law, but by trading principles.

Our Federal Reserve plays a large role in Forex, as do other central banks.

In the book he asserts it’s irrelevant as to who owns the Federal Reserve.Things are what they are. We owe it to ourselves to know a little something about how the system works.

It’s startling to think our Federal Reserve can create money from nothing, and we accept it as such. Yet this plays a significant role in inflation, which affects all of us. Joe and I talked about this and explored what it means to have a fiat money system.

Even though the Fed can create money from nothing, it wouldn’t be wise to print ourselves out of debt. Nor would it be a good idea to go into default.

But about that ever present fiat money…

This may sound shocking to some, but Joe asserts in his book that the U.S. dollar isn’t backed by gold but by bombs. You won’t want to miss what he has to say about this during our conversation. If you’ve paid attention to the news for the past 10-15 years, you’ll observe he’s not saying anything we don’t already know.

To me all of this is terrifying. We’re living in a world whose system is based on feathers and fairy tales.

Does that mean the many dire predictions about a sudden economic crash are sure to come to pass?

Not as Joe sees it. Or at least not in the way most sensationalists would have us believe. That’s because there’s no good alternative to the dollar.

What does Joe mean when he says banks can’t do without the economy, but the economy can do without banks? We discussed that. And I think it bodes well for us, should we end up in the midst of the proverbial postapocalyptic scenario one day.

And what about Bitcoin and other alternate currencies? They’ve been touted as revolutionary and independent of the big banking system. But are they? Listen to Joe’s comments and draw your own conclusions.

If you make financial investments, Joe offers what seems to me to be a reasonable solution. But what if you can’t invest?

If you had $1,000 to put toward getting prepared, what should you do? I think you’ll be surprised by Joe’s advice. (Hint: It’s a practical position I have taken for quite some time.)

Joe’s goal is to help you and me be better prepared financially. Thus, his book. You may also want to see

Going Deeper

As usual, there’s much I’m simply unable to pass along in this post. Be sure to hear my conversation with Joe Gelet by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for October 13, 2016. (Right click to download.)

Then get Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex wherever you see it’s title linked in this post. Joe’s book is where you should go to get a better grasp on Forex.

Understand our world and be better prepared.


Snagajob is a Useful Resource to Help You Find Work

If you’re experiencing the consequences of unemployment or underemployment in your household, how are you getting by? Were you prepared?

Our economy is having an impact on families in ways we haven’t seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. I know of families who were glad they had extra storage food and provisions set by because it help get them through a down time.

The job market isn’t what it used to be. And not everybody can start their own business.

One resource to help you find work is Snagajob. I’ll pass along a few of their job search tips which I hope will be useful for you.

You might not know what kind of job you’re looking for or how to start searching. First, one of the best pieces of advice anyone can give you is to treat your job search like a job.

Spend time every day looking for new jobs near your area. You can do that on Snagajob. Update your profile often. Make sure to check for mistakes.

Don’t hesitate to apply to jobs you want, even if you’re afraid of not being qualified. You’d be surprised at how many employers are willing to take a chance on someone who may not have much experience, but is passionate and enthusiastic.

Be willing to work evenings and weekends. This can be a great way to get a foot in the door.

To find out how Snagajob can help you with your job search, click on their ad banner below.


Snagajob - Need More Money?


Not Enough Jobs to Survive On?

Perhaps you’ve mulled over the notion that globalization and cut-throat corporatism has led to loss of jobs, and those jobs aren’t coming back. Whether you agree with it or not, get used to it because this is the new norm.

No amount of promises from politicians can undo what’s been done for decades to America’s job prospects.

As if this isn’t pessimistic enough, maybe you’ve also heard the idea that there aren’t enough jobs to go around.

Who says? Are jobs a finite quantity? Only so many, and that’s it?

To overuse a worn out cliché, can’t we think outside the box? Why can’t we create our own jobs? Am I being idealistic or naive?

If I worked at it, I could write an analytical article describing how we’re being enslaved, forced into serfdom, etc., but what good would it do?

Why complain about the state of our sick world? If you’re prepping, you’re already at some level of awareness and are taking steps to improve your own situation.

It could be you want to get prepared, but you don’t have money to get the storage food or other survival supplies you’d really like to have. Maybe you’re struggling to make ends meet. Maybe you’re out of a job already.

Don’t give up. Tiptoe toward preparedness.

Many people have started their own businesses. Perhaps you’re among them.

More and more sites have popped up about living a more frugal and self reliant lifestyle. Swapping and bartering are on the rise. I suspect the underground economy is growing. Those in power know that, too, and are pushing us toward a cashless society to keep better control over us.

Some communities are doing innovative things, such as creating local money and putting their own value on goods and services. Ithaca Hours is one example. If you’re curious, search online for info about time banks.

I applaud these efforts. Wisely, we’re rethinking the work we do and what is of value. Let’s keep at it.

How can we pave the way for survival in the new norm? Why should we believe there aren’t enough jobs to go around?


The Penny Pinching Prepper Helps You Save and Survive

Who among us doesn’t want to save money?

With the economy in the shape it’s been in the past several years, we could all use money saving tips, couldn’t we?

But what if you want to get better prepared? It costs a lot of money, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t have to. Bernie Carr has written The Penny Pinching Prepper, which helps you save and survive by giving you practical guidance. Discover how to get prepared for a lot less money than you’d think.

Bernie is this week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest, and you won’t want to miss this one.

I didn’t try to discuss everything in her book during our visit because there would have been too much to cover. We touched on a few things you might say jumped out at me as I went through it. You’ll see other points of interest when you look it over for yourself.

Below I’ll combine several highlights of the book along with what we talked about.


The Penny Pinching Prepper in Person

It’s been my experience interviewing guests for DestinySurvival Radio the past few years that almost none are “gloom and doomers.” (I hate to even use the term.) Most of my guests do what they do because they put hope and optimism into practice by getting better prepared.

Some guests are more cheery and enthusiastic than others. But that could be said about the people we meet on the street, couldn’t it? I guess I’m playing the role of Captain Obvious here.

Anyway, Bernie is one of the cheerful preppers. She conveys an attitude that says, “Nothing’s going to stop me. I’ll find a way to get it done.”

When you view Bernie’s site and read her book, you know she’s the real deal. What she does isn’t mere theory.

You’ll find her to be especially encouraging if you’re living in an urban environment. If she’s doing it, there’s hope for you, too.

In case you’re not familiar with Bernie, here’s a bit of background info.


Bernie Carr became fascinated with survival techniques and self-sufficiency as a child, hearing stories of her father’s adventures in the wilds of Southeast Asia as a land surveyor and avid outdoorsman. As an adult, she developed an interest in emergency preparedness and self-reliance, having survived the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the evacuation of her home during the 1993 Southern California wildfires. She relocated to Houston, Texas, in an effort to avoid more natural disasters only to arrive in time to encounter the fury of Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Bernie has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Southern California and has worked as a technical writer in various fields, such as personal finance, insurance,and health care. She is the creator of Apartment Prepper (, a popular website about preparedness while living in small spaces. She has written two other books, The Prepper’s Pocket Guide and Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure.

Bernie resides in Texas with her family.


I interviewed Bernie once before for DestinySurvival Radio in May of 2014 when we talked about her book for children. You can view my post about that here.


The Penny Pinching Prepper


The Penny Pinching Prepper in Print

Is the lack of funds keeping you from geting prepared?

If you think prepping costs too much money, this book is for you.

If you’re on public assistance of some kind, or you know someone who is, Bernie has you in mind.

As odd as it may sound at first, Bernie says once you get started prepping, you can actually start saving money. By writing this book, her goal is to help you get your financial house in order by encouraging you to save money by doing DIY projects as well as learning new survival skills.

You’ll find numerous practical tips throughout The Penny Pinching Prepper. It’s easy to tell she practices what she preaches and passes along what she has learned. Most chapters are short, but each one is packed with tidbits you won’t want to miss.

This book is a terrific survey of a variety of preparedness topics. It’s great for new and inexperienced preppers.

If you’ve been at it for a while and have read several books on preparedness, you’ll see similarities in the information they present. But don’t shy away from this one because Bernie includes a number of gems from her own experience you may not have thought of.

The chapters cover…

  1. Raising Additional Funds for Emergency Supplies
  2. Water
  3. Food
  4. Shelter and Comfort
  5. First Aid
  6. Hygiene and Personal Care
  7. Cleaning
  8. Communications
  9. Safety and Defense
  10. When You’re on the Move
  11. Low Cost Survival and Preparedness Projects
  12. Making Your Own


Get Yourself Together

One of the first things Bernie says a new prepper should do is get organized. Actually, that’s good advice for any of us. Bernie doesn’t merely tell you and me to get rid of clutter, but she recommends what to get rid of. One of her recommendations is to have a garage sale.

I asked her what advice she has for someone who’s not an organized person by nature. She says not to let that stop you. Just get started. And as you get going, it gets easier.


Whittle Down Wallet Worries

Getting out of debt is an important component of being prepared. It’s possible to do that while working on your preparedness strategy. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

If you’re thinking of buying precious metals, Bernie has perspective on that in her book, too. My summary of the bottom line–have your other prepping ducks in a row first.


Keep it Cheap at Home

The Penny Pinching Prepper gives you tips on saving money in your everyday home life. For example, you don’t have to wash clothes in hot water. Save the energy needed to power your water heater. Washing in cold water will work.

Need to know how to turn your hobbies into cash? How about part-time jobs you may not have thought of?


Let Water Wisdom Seep In

Chapter two includes tips on collecting, storing and filtering water. Keep track of how much water you use so you’ll have an idea of how much to store. We tend to use more water each day than we realize.

Bernie tells me she loves her Berkey, but if you don’t have the money for one, you can take advantage of her DYI instructions for making your own gravity flow filter.

Find out how to distill your water as well.


Foster Food Freedom

Did you know you can start your food storage plan for just $10 a week? Bernie gives great tips on what you can buy and get the most for your money. Plus, find out how to package your own storage food.

You’ve probably heard of canning meals in jars. But did you know you can make meals in a jar with dried foods?

Of course, as Bernie and others will tell you, store what you eat. That way you can eat what you’re used to without stress or appetite fatigue.

Do you know how long you can keep eggs, potatoes or onions? These are a few of the practical food related tidbits covered in the book.

If your power goes out for very long, you’ll likely lose food. You may not want to waste it, but don’t take chances getting sick. See the tips on food safety.


Keep Comfortable at Home

In the chapter on shelter and comfort, find info on lighting, batteries, generators, and how to heat your house in winter and keep it cool in summer. Find tips on cooking without electricity, including solar cooking.


Practice Low Cost First Aid

The first aid chapter not only gives a listing of necessary supplies, but you’ll find useful tips and recipes. For example, do you know how to make your own ice pack or heat pack?


Make Homemade Home Products

Did you know you can make hygiene and cleaning products you use every day, such as: shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, hand soap, and laundry soap? If you make these items now, you’ll know what to expect from them when such things aren’t readily available on store shelves.

You can trust Bernie’s recipes because she has tried them herself, or she knows someone who has successfully done so.

If you’re not into making these items, then stock up. And then be ready to rotate them before their quality deteriorates as time slips by.


Put in Place The Rule of Three…Texters

When we think of communications, we think of two way radio, ham radio or CB radio. Bernie touches on those, but she also recommends setting up a calling or texting tree, where each person contacts three other people. That’s an idea I like.

Having three people in your texting or calling tree is an easy number of contacts to manage. Be sure to have a paper copy of information for those contacts.


Stay Safe and Secure

Practicing situational awareness is the first thing mentioned in the chapter on safety and defense. Along with that, don’t do things that call attention to yourself, and you’re less likely to be a target of thieves.

Bernie passes along good info on pepper spray and alternatives. Firearms are also touched on briefly.

Bernie encourages women to get a gun and firearms training. Be certain about it though. Could you actually shoot someone if it came to that?

Thankfully, in many situations, the presence of a firearm is enough intimidation to prevent trouble.


Realize Readiness on the Road

There’s a good chance an emergency or disaster will strike when we’re away from home. How well are you prepared for that if you’re at work? How well equipped is your car? Bernie has great info in her book to help you out.


Get Into Low Cost DIY and Survival Skills

As for low cost survival and preparedness projects, the first order of business is to get your head on straight. In other words, how’s your preparedness mindset?

Beyond that–and this goes back to the need for being organized–are your important papers in order and accessible? Do you have important phone numbers written down and at the ready?

But there’s more.

Do you know how to shut off your utilities?

When is the last time you conducted a fire drill with your family?

Do you know CPR?

Have you taken any CERT courses?

Do you know more than one way to start a fire?

The last chapter focuses on ways you can be more self reliant, including making meals from scratch, baking your own bread, making your own yogurt, canning and dehydrating food, and gardening (even if only in a window).

But what if you’re someone who doesn’t know how to cook? Bernie says it’s never too late to learn.

In fact, she says cooking is a survival skill. That makes sense when you consider how so many of us have become reliant on convenience foods and eating out.

How about making your own soap? Could you sew or mend your own clothes?

Many of these tasks are a lost art today in our high tech, convenience-oriented world.

But at one time Bernie didn’t know how to do these things either. Her example shows there’s hope for you and me to acquire new skills for survival.


The Penny Pinching Prepper on the Podcast

In case you think I’ve written more than I needed to for this overview, I’ve barely scratched the surface. You really do need to hear from Bernie herself.

Do that by listening to my conversation with her on DestinySurvival Radio for October 1, 2015. (Right click to download.) Then get your copy of The Penny Pinching Prepper by clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post. Why not buy it as a gift for someone you know who needs Bernie’s practical guidance?

Also, don’t forget to check out Bernie’s site at for her down-to-earth articles.

If you have thoughts on what you’ve read here or heard on this week’s show, feel free to leave a comment below. What part of prepping seems too costly for you? Where do you need help on cutting corners without sacrificing your chances for survival?

On the other hand, if you have answers, share your wisdom with other preppers. They’ll be glad for any money saving tips you have to pass along.