Thrift Store Prepping Tips

I just watched an interesting YouTube video that you might find helpful. It’s by Kellene Bishop, the Preparedness Pro. On this occasion Kellene had a friend film one of her regular thrift store shopping trips while she commented on the value of various items. Check out Preparedness Pro Tips at the Thrift Store and don’t overlook other people’s comments and the comment I made, suggesting a few more things you can do with thrift store purchases! Here’s a comment I made on another post about thrift store prepping.

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Read more about this..

I just wanted to let you all know that I have just updated my Home and School Solutions website. Among other things I added numerous links to all the section favourite link pages, brought the various testimonial (introduction) pages up-to-date, and fixed all the broken links.

The major thing I did, though, is add a Blogs-Plus tab/page. If there is anything I want to add to the website that cannot be naturally included in any of the existing sections (Hebrew Roots, Health=Wealth, Home Schooling, Faith Matters, Desktop Publishing, Store and Services, or About Home and School Solutions) then I will put it here.

Since most of my activity and research in recent years has been in the areas of prepping and gardening, I have put material about these two areas on the Blogs-Plus page. You are invited to go there now and check out all the links I have provided for you.

Have fun!

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100 Days of Prepping

Whooohooo. Kellene Bishop of Preparedness Pro has just announced she is doing a “100 Days of Prepping” series chockful of information in many different forms–videos, articles, books, forum, lists, etc.

Sometime during that period she will be unveiling her new cookbook, which I’ve been looking forward to for awhile because she believes in tasty food from her food stores, which is something I’ve been agonizing about, and since she is a very practical person I know these will be recipes I can really use.

Read all about it!

Have fun!

P.S. I don’t know what’s going to be included but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume the following categories will be mentioned somewhere in there. If not, please forgive me.

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Borax is a multpurpose cleaner that we should buy for bugging out?‏

According to this article, you can use borax along with washing soda (both are powders) to wash dishes, which is what I was thinking of doing in camp:

http://www.ehow.com/how_6182569_use-borax-soap.html

That, combined with the fact that borax is good in diaper (and therefore family cloth and menstrual cloth) buckets as a disinfectant and in diluted form as a hand-washing solution means I’m pretty much sold on the idea we should buy lots of borax (and washing soda) for bugging out. I’m astonished that it only recently occurred to me to wonder how we were going to keep our hands clean in camp; what’s up with that?

Which reminds me, we’ll need a covered bucket for soaking soiled family (or latrine) cloths and menstrual cloths in before laundry day. I’m thinking it needs to be just a tad larger than the breathing hand washer (which is 8″ in diameter) I’ve ordered so that the cloths can be washed right in that bucket (which will also help with the ick factor). Here’s a picture of what I’ve decided to do myself because I already have the materials, but you can purchase the complete set-up from Anitra Kerr at Simply Living Smart–another one of my favourite preppers! 

I’ve purchased four small Rubbermaid totes to use as kitchen sinks (dedicated basins for washing and then rinsing dishes, and whatever other stuff ones does in a normal kitchen) and bathroom sinks (dedicated basins for washing and then rinsing hair and other stuff one does in the bathroom). I’m really going to miss my taps!!

I also found a small blue bucket to go into our Luggable-Loo for easy waste removal (both of which will need to be scrubbed regularly). We will have to place something small underneath the small bucket to raise it up to the top edge of the Lug-A-Loo to reduce spillover, but that’s not a biggie. And that reminds me to stock up on rubber gloves, each pair of which will have a dedicated purpose. I don’t want to be washing clothes with rubber gloves that were used to scrub the toilet!

I’m loving the powdered laundry soap I made from borax, super washing soda and Linda bar soap (see a previous post on that) so I have no problem using the same ingredients for washing dishes. My major concern while searching out a suitable recipe was whether or not any other ingredient was necessary. I don’t really see using a laundry bar soap to wash dishes, but Octagon was highly recommended on Annienygma’s website and she’s one smart frugal cookie. Hey, if a bar soap helps with washing dishes I might just as well use the same homemade laundry detergent for my dishes! But why bother with a recipe at all if equal parts borax and washing soda can do the job with no additional ingredients? I may still search out a recipe and/or a local source of Octagon bar soap but in the meantime, I think I’ll buy another box of borax and washing soda and experiment!

By the way, in the course of all this research I’ve discovered there is a raging controversy over whether or not borax is some foreign toxic poisonous substance. I’m satisfied now that it’s not–it’s perfectly safe to use for all the cleaning we’ll need to do and might even be a useful dietary supplement! Wow, did I really type that? Check out this (lengthy) article “The Borax Conspiracy” and decide for yourself!

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Homemade Laundry Detergent

Posted on 18th November 2012 in Environment, Health & Fitness, Money & Finances, Prepping, Survival

I’ve been researching the subject of making my own laundry detergent for several months and am pleased to report I have discovered an awesome and simple recipe. I’m not a fan of cooking up so-called simple goopy liquid products, so this is a dry powdered mixture that is easy-peasy to assemble. It will travel easily, so I’m thinking it will be perfect for the trib.

Because I like things to do double-duty, I experimented with using this for handwashing dishes but it doesn’t suds up so I was disappointed with that. Dear son says it doesn’t have the chemical ability to lift food off hard surfaces (he thinks suds are needed for that). So I suppose I’m looking for an ingredient with that property that is powdered (or can be powdered at home) to add to this recipe. Or maybe I need a totally different set of dry ingredients, who knows. If you have been making and using a great powdered soap recipe for hand washing dishes, please share! 

Anyway, back on topic. We love how soft our clothes are when we wash them in this homemade laundry detergent! Dear daughter especially likes the fact that she doesn’t have to deal with scents and tells me there is no more itchiness, either! I like the fact that we use just the tiniest bit (about a tablespoon) of the homemade detergent per load (and can use more or less as needed), so it goes a long way. If you use a level tablespoon per load, you can wash 96 loads with one batch. When I costed this out earlier this year, that meant that I could wash one load for $.034! I haven’t done any stats on the number of loads per bucket I got out of any of the commercial detergents I’ve purchased in the past, but here’s a quick calculation on the most recent one using the numbers printed on the product which I purchased at Costco. I paid something like $18 plus taxes for a bucket that would do 200 loads, so the cost per load was $.102. Wow–I can wash three times as many clothes with my homemade laundry detergent! 

I’ve seen variations of this on the internet (of course; where else would I find this stuff?) and some of them are very helpful videos, so by all means look for them if you don’t believe me. 🙂 However, if you are ready to try this recipe here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups superwashing soda
  • 2 cups borax
  • 1 x 9.5 oz bar Linda laundry soap
  • (optional) 1 cup of baking soda if you have hard water

Instructions:

Put the bar of Linda laundry soap into the freezer overnight or until you are ready to assemble the ingredients. (I’ve had mine in there for weeks; just pop it in the freezer when you bring it home from the store and leave it there until you are ready to make the recipe.) Remove it from the freezer and use a big knife to break it up into chunks. (I cannot speak to whether or not the soap needs to be thawed because I have never chopped it up right away. You might want to leave it for awhile.)  There is something about freezing the bar that makes it much easier to break up into chunks, so be kind to yourself and do it. If you simply must have the detergent right away, though, go ahead and chop the bar when you take it out of the grocery bag. Place the chopped soap into a food processor and run it about a minute or until the soap has been broken up until tiny grains. Pour the grated bar soap into an 8 cup or larger container and let it dry out for a couple of days. Mix in the superwashing soda and borax, plus baking soda if using. Store in laundry room with a small scoop that holds about 1 level tablespoon and use 1 scoop per load. Experiment–if you can get away with 1 teaspoon per load, go for it!

Note: if you would rather not use your food processor to transform the bar soap into tiny pellets, you can (I’m told) simply grate the bar using one of those graters you use for cheese. They say it’s not so easy to get the soap and/or the taste off the grater so you’ll want to have one on hand just for grating the bar soap. I can’t speak to that, either, but I’ve had no problem cleaning or using the food processor after making detergent.

Speaking of cheese, please be sure to keep the Linda bar soap away from cheese-loving children because it looks exactly like cheddar cheese!

By the way, several different kinds of laundry bar soap (such as Fels Naptha) are listed as ingredients in the recipes I’ve seen online, but I live in Canada and prefer to buy off the shelf rather than order ingredients online. I also prefer to shop at the cheaper groceries stores, like Food Basics. That’s where I found the Linda laundry bar soap and the borax, and of course the baking soda (which I don’t need to use). I did have to go to Home Hardware or Canadian Tire to get the superwashing soda. I bought the borax in a 2 kg box and the superwashing soda in a 3 kg box. Which brings me to a…

BIG BATCH IDEA: If you buy 6 bars of Linda laundry bar soap, you can use up all of the washing soda and borax in one fell swoop. In other words, get a big bucket or tote that can hold more than 36 cups (with stirring room) and dump in a 3 kg box of superwashing soda, a 2 kg box of borax, the baking soda if using, and the 6 bars of Linda soap after it’s been powdered, then stir it all together. That’s enough laundry detergent for 576 loads–about 3 years’ worth if you only do 3 or 4 loads per week. Hmm. That’ll get me through the trib, don’t you think?

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Preparedness Pro Contest

Ack! I just went through all the articles to this point (1-76) to see how many times I’ve already voted and I’ve already shot my wad! Did so before I even wrote this article “Cause That’s What Preppers Do”! I should’ve prepped by not voting for anyone just-in-case! But people have been writing such great stuff, I couldn’t help myself!

Anyway, I can’t vote anymore so you are going to have to do it for me! The competition is stiff, folks. There’s somebody with 162 votes already! Another one has 102 votes! There are several in the 30 to 70 range, and many in the 10 to 29 range! So if you really would like me to win something great (and there are many things I’d really like to have–Big Berkey, Sun Oven, WonderMill, even the buckets or the Tattler Lids) you’re going to have to work at it! You can vote FIVE TIMES each, so please do. Others have gotten their families and friends on board and they’ve all voted five times each! If they can do it, you can do it. Helping each other is what preppers do! Many, many thanks to all of you.

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‘Cause That’s What Preppers Do”

I’m attempting to win an awesome prize at PreparednessPro. If you’d like to help, please read the article entitled “Cause That’s What Preppers Do” that I just posted there and vote. Your comment is your vote. Many thanks!

After that, please look around the website. Kellene Bishop is the Preparedness Pro and she’s on a mission!

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100 Great Tips for Saving Money

Posted on 5th March 2012 in Money & Finances

I just found a great website called “The Simple Dollar” and thought you might like it, too. Here’s a link to one article that I’m sure everyone will look at:

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/02/06/little-steps-100-great-tips-for-saving-money-for-those-just-getting-started/

I think I’ll subscribe to Trent’s e-letter!

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The Dollar

Posted on 13th January 2012 in Money & Finances

Just read Cam Mather’s latest post “The Ponzi Scheme that is the Dollar” and thought “if anything is about preparedness, this one is.”  This is what I commented to him:  

I agree–get your hands in the dirt, people! When the house of cards falls there won’t be time for playing solitaire. Get the skills now for surviving then!

’nuff said. Gotta get back to work. Just wanted to point you to some thought provoking material once again.

 Connie

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