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Saving money to buy preps
4 March 2015, 21:30,
#11
RE: Saving money to buy preps
Just going back to your original comments. Most people in the UK are not poor in the sense that they will starve to death. We have different levels of poor as we all decide how much we will spend to live and then any spare is for prepping. Some people will spend £50pm on Sky and spend £10pm on preps. Each to their own.

When push comes to shove I'm sure we can all dramatically reduce our outgoings. We just aren't there yet.
Skean Dhude
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It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. - Charles Darwin
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4 March 2015, 21:32,
#12
RE: Saving money to buy preps
You could try withdrawing legal consent but you don't have that much clout and they all do the same. You have to go somewhere.

The plan IS to control your usage and monitor you. Why would they give you an opt out.

You could cover it in silver foil though. Means they have to visit to do anything.
Skean Dhude
-------------------------------
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. - Charles Darwin
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4 March 2015, 21:39,
#13
RE: Saving money to buy preps
Does the silver foil trick actually work? I hate the idea of smart meters.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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4 March 2015, 22:31,
#14
RE: Saving money to buy preps
SD, with regards to your poor comments, I totally agree. We don't have much cash left at the end of the month, but its because we spend the cash through the month on stuff that can easily be cut back on if/when needed. Swimming for example is about £15 a family session including hot chocolate out of the machine afterwards & we do that weekly so £60 can be saved instantly if we needed. The £50 a month we put away for the wood burner is another instant saving. There are other things aswell, so we wouldn't ever starve as a family in normal times. It's more a case of we have a comfortable life right now & my wife (and myself to a certain extent) don't want to cut back if we don't need to. It's a case of priorities & what each person decides what theirs are. I want to spend as much time with my family as possible while the kids are young & sadly a lot of activities cost money.

However growing up, it was a different story. My parents didn't have 2 pennies to rub together (despite both working full time) & on some occasions a proper evening meal didn't exist because they just couldn't afford the food, though I will say those instances were thankfully few & far between. Porridge for breakfast & evening meal on the same day wasnt fun. School uniforms from charity shops because they couldn't afford the school prices & trainers with a brand that you knew were guaranteed to have your mates ripping it out of you for the rest of the term. We literally lived week to week & they were desperate for their next pay packet. That's how I know I'm not poor now & that's how I know I'll do virtually anything to ensure my kids don't have to go through it like I had to. Plus if I really needed the cash for essentials after I'd already cut back on the desire items & unnecessary costs, I would default on my debt payments & worry about the consequences later. Thankfully I've never ever missed any repayment & I'd only ever consider that as an absolute last resort out of desperation rather than something I'd do before cutting back elsewhere.

I'm not so sure about the opting out currently. If you tell a company to not use your data & the do, the ICO comes down pretty hard on them. A quick change in legislation due to pressure by energy company lobbyists however & your power as it was is gone.

Like Mary, I'd be interested to know if the tin foil thing works. I've wrapped my mobile up in tin foil before & rang it. It still rang.
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5 March 2015, 17:57,
#15
RE: Saving money to buy preps
What sort of personal information do you feel your gas meter is relaying to TPTB ?

Are they not generally inside of cabinets or some such over there ? (Over here they are usually on the exterior of the dwelling)

I think I would prefer the meter relaying a signal to the office than to have a reader tromping through my home monthly. I did not even like them walking through the garden to read the meter back when that was the norm.

As for shutting off your supply remotely ??? What is the difference between that and turning a valve at the wall ? All of my utilities are on remote reading and remote access. That is simply the way our utilities work. Cable, gas, phone, internet; any of it can be shut off remotely. What's the difference?

I never heard of a utility that required ones permission for a shut off. Just breaking the rules, or nonpayment is enough.

Three years ago this month we had a SHTF situation in my area. A tornado touched sown and wiped out a path for 100 miles, destroyed countless homes and killed 20 people.

The electricity for the entire region was shut off for three days to prevent fires. My cell phone service was shut off for two days and all cell usage reserved for emergency services. I was standing beside a police officer who was talking on his government issued cell phone and mine was stone dead.

I do not think a bit of tin foil is going to restore your control over something you never controlled to start with.
When you're nose deep in crap keep your mouth shut.
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5 March 2015, 19:56,
#16
RE: Saving money to buy preps
(5 March 2015, 17:57)Mortblanc Wrote: What sort of personal information do you feel your gas meter is relaying to TPTB ?

Are they not generally inside of cabinets or some such over there ? (Over here they are usually on the exterior of the dwelling)

I think I would prefer the meter relaying a signal to the office than to have a reader tromping through my home monthly. I did not even like them walking through the garden to read the meter back when that was the norm.

As for shutting off your supply remotely ??? What is the difference between that and turning a valve at the wall ? All of my utilities are on remote reading and remote access. That is simply the way our utilities work. Cable, gas, phone, internet; any of it can be shut off remotely. What's the difference?

I never heard of a utility that required ones permission for a shut off. Just breaking the rules, or nonpayment is enough.

Three years ago this month we had a SHTF situation in my area. A tornado touched sown and wiped out a path for 100 miles, destroyed countless homes and killed 20 people.

The electricity for the entire region was shut off for three days to prevent fires. My cell phone service was shut off for two days and all cell usage reserved for emergency services. I was standing beside a police officer who was talking on his government issued cell phone and mine was stone dead.

I do not think a bit of tin foil is going to restore your control over something you never controlled to start with.

For me, the concern with Smart Meters is the ability for suppliers to implement "load limiting".

At the moment there is no need for this, but in the future if additional capacity was lost, the supply companies could easily start to restrict the flow of gas or electricity into either individual properties, or entire regions where the properties are fitted with smart meters.

So image if one or more of the UK's main power stations had to be taken off line, or if gas supplies were restricted by Putin, then these are the types of scenario's when load limiting could be applied to households who have smart meters in order to try and reduce consumption and preserve the nations reserves.
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5 March 2015, 21:15,
#17
RE: Saving money to buy preps
Good to hear you're making savings and things are moving in the right direction. Just a few ideas you might like:

Have you thought about going solar? Not full scale crazy solar. I just mean small bits here and there? Like a solar phone charger, solar battery charger, etc. Preps and money saving, also good for camping. 3 birds 1 stone. Then using the savings for larger stuff, like laptop solar charger, etc. Always worth considering.

Don't forget growing your own food. That saves money. If you have a few willow trees you can get a mini coppice for the wood, a 3 year cycle seems to work well.

I go out with the air rifle and use that to get rabbits for the dogs. The wife's still a veggie, so no such luck feeding the whole family with bunnies....yet. But dog food ain't cheap...when you're feeding 3 dogs.

One major money saver, go old-school, we have no gas, no TV's or landlines in our house. So we pay no license fee, no line rental and no gas bill. Our electric is low as we use an open fire and candles to heat the house, but I don't really feel the cold, so I never heat the house if the wife's not around, but when she is around, we exercise together and that keeps us warm enough. We use books, conversation, and the computer for entertainment, and we have mobiles phones as phones....no wait, that's what they are. You know what I mean. With a Zero-Limit internet contract on the mobile, it doubles up as Wifi router.

Total saving? I don't know, as we purchased this house with those things in mind, but it's amazingly easy to go old-fashioned.

Because you're looking at a log-burner, I assume you have a chimney? If so, do you have an open fire at the moment? If you do, have you thought about recommissioning that, firstly as a prep, but also because it's something you'll need to do, and you could use it as an open fire too. When out walking, I've heard of people picking up logs and the alike for their home fire's. I'm not sure how legal that is, but I've heard of people doing it.
Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism - Thomas Jefferson
Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither - Benjamin Franklin
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6 March 2015, 11:08,
#18
RE: Saving money to buy preps
Mort, until a gas leak at my home last year, both the gas & electricity meter were installed inside the house. Now the mains gas is outdoors. If the utility company sent somebody around to cut the supply, I'd simply deny them access until they had a court order & a copper smashing the door down. Although in today's ever increasing police state, I'm sure that would come sooner rather than later. Telephones & Internet access can already be remotely shut off here aswell Mort, however not being able to get online wouldn't risk my family freezing or not being able to cook during a period of low supply. We do have back up options for both of course, however I'd rather keep these for when there is really no choice rather than when the utility company decides I've used enough already.

Dev, my concerns were also about remote access to the meter & either terminating or limiting the supply my house uses. These came a close second to the health concerns you read of on the Internet.

For the avoidance of doubt, my position for the health risks are I really don't know which camp to believe. The safe or dangerous camp. Because of that, I'm going for the side of caution just now until there is more evidence pointing in either direction. I've been in a position where I was popping pills for my skin condition that my doctor said were safe for over 10 years. Now the recommended dosage has been cut by 1/4 & the current thinking is it increases your long term risk of cancer. Like I say, these were hyped up as safe, risk free & generally all singing, all dancing when they 1st came on the market. Now they're prescription only & only after blood tests every 12 weeks to show there is no damage caused. Because of this previous experience, I'd rather wait & see for smart meters than dive right in & regret it.

Scythe, nice to see you back mate. With regards to your solar idea, it's actually something I've considered. Although I don't own the house (council rented), I actually want to get a mains install put in. The council are very supportive as their property suddenly becomes very green (box ticked on some form or another no doubt), however have made perfectly clear they won't put a single penny towards it. It has to be self funded as the free install companies won't touch council houses. As an alternative to this, I was looking at a small scale diy setup. A few panels on the shed, a bank of batteries inside the shed linked to an inverter & then a cable running to the house to power some appliances. For this though, I'm not sure it it would ever be a positive thing financially. If it was, it'd take years to pay back rather than a couple of months for the bulbs. Obviously mains solar also takes years, but that supply's free electricity & also the feed in tarrif payments to cut the payback period down. Something not available on diy jobs.

I've looked at the smaller solar phone chargers & that. It's something I want to get as part of longer term preps so if anything did happen, I could try to wean my kids off gadgets rather than have them cut immediately & altogether. While some argue that gadgets (iPads, consoles etc...) are a bad thing, I think they're good for child development as it gets them thinking for problem solving, increases reaction speed & I think helped massively improve my daughters hand/eye coordination when she played the nintendogs game on my wife's ds when she was about 18 months. For the weaning comment, I mean keep it as an entertainment item rather than because they're addicted to it. They both read a lot, however no light in the evening = no reading. They also play board games together but no light in the evening = no games. At least with a solar charger they could top up the battery during the day & play during the evening. By the time the electrical components packed up altogether, hopefully they'll be more used to the idea of limited resources compared to now in these times of plenty. Obviously any sort of emp & we'd be buggered, but I'm happy to take that chance. But going back to saving cash, if I did buy them, I'd definately use them now rather than keep them hidden in a cupboard somewhere.

No gas? How do you heat water for washing? Or do you have an electric shower? We have a gas powered combi boiler & the shower is linked to the hot water supply so we pretty much need the gas I'm afraid. But thank you for the suggestion. We do indeed have an open fireplace (currently blocked with a metal plate & an electric fire - never used, just because my wife thinks it looks pretty) however there is also a mains gas pipe runs down the chimney from the boiler from the old gas fire that replaced the original coal fire. We are looking to have this pipe removed as its now redundant, however I still favour the wood burner rather than the open fire purely for safety. I'm happy to lose a bit of heat output in exchange for a physical barrier between the flames & my kids. For the wood to power it, my work friends boyfriend works as a joiner in a small furniture factory & they do dumpy bags (1 cubic metre bags to those not familiar) of mixed wood offcuts for £20. Some of it is cheap pine, however mostly it's good chunks of hard wood. I think a couple of bags should see me through the winter & supplement (if not mostly replace) the mains heating nicely. The house is very well insulated already & I plan on getting the chimney insulated aswell if we do get a wood burner installed. I want to get secondary glazing put in (we already have allegedly d rated double glazing in the house) but the additional secondary glazing will be more to cut noise from outside than to save heat. We have cable broadband along with our tv package & the fixed phone comes as part of the package. What we spend on the broadband & phonecalls though, we save from our mobile bills. At 1 point our mobile bills were getting on for £50 a month each. Now it's down to between £5 & £10 per month each on pay as you go. I also have a mobile wifi dongle @ £15 a month, but I use that for when I'm at work so it pays for itself in the sense of I'm not using my mobile phone bill for data.

Air rifles. Looks like that's all i'll be allowed since I don't think my shotgun & rifle application went well. The copper (well police staff, not even a proper copper) was hostile from the start during the interview & pointed out that the police view me as "anti-police" due to the fact I've reported what I thought were bent coppers abusing their powers. Never been charged with any offence & only been arrested for a driving offence - later the charges were dropped when I took the driver improvement course, but that doesn't seem to matter to the group of thugs in the black paramilitary uniforms with blue & white battenburg patterns on it. The gun club I'm at still says I have nothing to worry about as they wouldn't of even bothered coming to do the home vist if I was going to get rejected, but I'm not holding out much hope. For feeding my dog with rabbits, there's not many farms or open grass areas around here (I know a few places infested with rabbits but its public land rather than private) so that's a none starter. What we did save a lot of cash for dog food on was mixing between wet food & dry food. Originally she got tinned food from the supermarket daily. Then we added a bit of mixer biscuits. Then we went to the complete dry food every other day. Now she gets dry complete food constantly (her bowl always has food in so she can get it whenever she likes) but we give her meat or fish aswell every few days. She gets that & also any meat scraps left over from meal times from us. It's substantially cut the amount we spend on food (one sack of complete food from aldi is about the same price as 12 tins of dog food, but the sack lasts for about 3 months) & at the annual vet check she is always fit & healthy despite getting on a bit now. If you switch to any sort of dry food though, make sure you increase the amount of water available to the dogs as they'll drink a lot more than they do now. Food for us, I'm hoping my allotment really repays what it's cost me this coming year. I've been a G.Y.O. type for about 6 or 7 years now & with this allotment it's massively scaling up what I've done previously. It's a good job my wife & kids eat plenty veg. It's cost about £800 to get it where it's at now (including rent last year when I got this current plot too late to grow any summer/autumn harvest veg) + its costing me £105 for 3 tonne of local authority compost delivered for my raised beds, so I really need a few years produce out of it in return now otherwise I'll have to consider letting it go as a financial failure. I'm sure it won't come to that though, I have faith in my growing skills.
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14 June 2016, 19:41,
#19
RE: Saving money to buy preps
(3 March 2015, 14:36)Geordie_Rob Wrote: Not sure about anybody else on here, but I'm pretty much always skint & having money at the end of the pay month is a luxury. That said, we live a fairly comfortable life, spend money on kids, hobbies & buy a lot of material crap for the kids, so I won't say I'm poor. I've been poor (for the 1st 18 years of my life) & it's awful so I know I'm definitely not now. However like I say, there's never much left by the time next payday comes around 28 days later. Maybe between £5 & £10. Feel free to put it down to bad money management or whatever, I just put it down to that's life.

As some older (been here a while, not age) members might remember me saying, my mrs previously thought prepping was stupid & was a waste of time. She's slowly coming around. She has a winter "just in case" bag in her car boot, we have a berkefeld filter with spare candles for all our drinking water, a few extra bits & bobs for food & she even shocked me by suggesting we cut back on our hobbies a bit to save up for a wood burner installed to save the gas bill & also incase there was any cut to the gas supply.

I'm sorry this is a bit long winded, I promise I'll get to my point eventually. Hopefully it'll be worth the extra reading.

Anyway, I want to increase the amount of foodstuff, add waterbutts at the allotment & most of all, get myself a frontier stove. Trouble is, money is tight as I've said & my wife said we can't afford the extra as we're cutting back already to save for the wood burner. We came to an agreement that any money I can save without cutting back further, I can have for preps. I'm assuming she thought I'd just give up & leave it at that - she still mustn't know me very well after 12 years.

1st stop, Martin Lewis website. Switched my energy prepayment supplier & going to save £10 a month. And this is cash in hand since we have to top up at the shop (we could go to bill meters to save more, but I don't like not knowing what I'm using or more importantly, how much it's costing me).

During my switching, we found out we are very high electricity users (4 tv's - 2 are either switched on or are on standby 24/7, 4 set top boxes switched on 24/7, iPads, iPods, phones, games consoles etc..). Infact we use almost double the uk national average. There was a lot to do to save cash there. 1st thing I done was bought some plugs with a remote controlled kill switch built into them. 5 plugs & remote was £20 from amazon. Savings (my own calculations) are going to be about £130 a year. So now I'm upto £250 savings.

Next I done a very geeky thing & done a lightbulb audit. Counting all my lightbulbs, the total wattage came to 830w. Because I'm now an energy nerd, I worked out this costs me £182 a year. I've looked at led lightbulbs & from a uk supplier I can get all bulbs for £121 (going to borrow the money from the wood burner fund), 98w consumption & cut my lighting bill to £31 a year. It'll save me £40 or so this year & then £150 a year for the following 4 years as they have a 5 year warranty. So my £250 from before + £40 this year means I'm going to save £290 this year & then upto £400 a year afterwards. Incase anyone is thinking of getting led bulbs, look at the lumen output rather than the wattage to find out which bulbs are brightest. The higher the lumen output, the brighter the light. Also cold white = a blue kind of light, while warm white gives off a more traditional bulb type light.

I'm estimating I will cut the amount I top up my electric meter by £30 a month (currently topping up £65-£70 per calendar month). It'll take 4 months to repay the wood burner fund & then after that, I've freed up an extra £30 a month I can use for preps.

£30 x 12 months = £360. More than enough for everything I'd planned & then the extra food items aswell. I'm also hoping by having the extra food, it might also cut the amount of times we go to tesco & in turn cut the amount of impulse buys we get, that'll easily save us another couple of hundred quid over a year. Once I've got everything I wanted, plus extra food preps, I'm going to save up for a new gas cooker rather than the current electric. For those not in the know (I didn't know until the other week), gas cookers use about the same energy units (kwh's) as electric cookers. It's just a gas unit is roughly 1/3 of the price of an electricity unit. The payback period for a new gas cooker is about 6-7 years mind so don't rush out & buy one to try & save cash quickly.

Just thought I'd post it incase anybody else is looking to cut back without actually cutting back, and in turn, freeing up cash that you can use elsewhere like preps. Apologies again if it's a bit long winded, I'm not a natural born writer.


I know exactly what you mean about the kids, i am in a slightly different position because mine are grown up, but i am in a bad position as they both get ill for quite some time at a time that is, so i need stuff in but have to make sure i do not cut back on their stuff so just like you.
i am not as poor as some either, but that said i am very similar to you with hardly anything left at the end of the month worth speaking of.
I made a plan, that is basics like rice and pasta sugar and salt and flour so cheap buys, the containers and strong shelves were hard but i did it slow but sure, then as the tins i had a few methods that was buy in the months worth then instead of replacing them at the end of the month i did it as i went along, another is to buy 2 replacements so one tin of beans used and buy 2 one to replace and one spare, also a bread machine and flour trangia etc, the main thing is plan, write it down and use a method of say you go out 4 timea a month to fast food, go out somewhere free like the park and take sanwiches go somewhere that you cannot spend money then use that for spare tins things like that, be crafty
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14 June 2016, 19:45,
#20
RE: Saving money to buy preps
grow bags in the back, how much space have you got,
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