Buying Junk Silver As Part of Your Prepping

When people talk about buying junk silver they are referring to US dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars minted through 1964. These coins were produced with 90% silver and 10% copper. They have an “intrinsic value” which means the metal to produce them actually has value unlike a paper dollar bill. The penny has always been copper or steel (for one or two war years) and the nickel is made of nickel and copper so they are not being referred to when people discuss the $1 face valuation of junk silver. A dollars worth (4 quarters, 10 dimes, etc.) of coins add up to .75 of a Troy ounce of silver, but because of wear it is accepted to use .715 as the multiplier. Generally you get the most silver for your money when buying junk silver as the premiums typically are the cheapest.

junk silver dollar signDon’t let the name “junk silver” fool you. They are designated “junk” because they don’t have value to a collector. They do however have melt value as a precious metal and that is what makes buying junk silver a great investment for emergency preparedness. Precious metals will always have value, even when the paper dollar does not. Most financial experts agree that everyone should have 10% of their investment portfolios in precious metals. People that feel we are on the very edge of the fiscal cliff believe in keeping a much higher percentage of their money in something as reliable as precious metals.

The Process of Buying Junk Silver

Junk silver is typically sold in $1 face value increments. The easiest way to learn the value of junk silver is to use a silver coin calculator since the price fluctuates. You can go to your local coin shop or buy online at places like APMEX, Gainesville Coins, or Provident Metals. All three have good reputations among preppers. Right now APMEX is selling $1 silver coin bags for $25.84 with a credit card and Provident is selling it for $25.28. Gainesville appears to be sold out at the moment. The more you can buy the better price you will get.  They all ship usually USPS in inconspicuous packaging and you will likely have to sign for your shipment.

Do you have junk silver laying around your house?

Keeping junk silver is something that most Depression-era people tended to do so it is not uncommon to find old quarter and nickles tucked away in drawers at Grandma’s house. She wasn’t nutty for keeping random nickles and dimes.

Also, there are still pre-1964 coins in everyday circulation. Always check your change in hopes of finding a little silver. It’s getting harder and harder to do but it happens. Some people even go to the bank and get $100 in quarter rolls, check them and cash back in all the silver they didn’t find and start over. Its a treasure hunt for them.

But for emergency preparedness, you are better off buying junk silver and then adding anything you find to your bags.

*Thank you to Beau for help with some of the research and wording for this article.

 

 

Stocking Up On Over the Counter Medicines

Stocking up on over the counter medicines should be a top priority for any beginning prepper. OTC medications are often inexpensive and easy to accumulate because they are widely available. Over the counter medicines can be lifesaving in an emergency situation and I encourage you to make sure you store each of the following in addition to the Physicians Desk Reference or a nursing guide to drugs which you can frequently find at the Goodwill for less than $1. Remember-I am NOT a doctor. These are things I personally store for my family and am sharing so you can determine what might be right for yours.stocking up on over the counter medicines

  • Aspirin-Aspirin is a known blood thinner, pain reliever and fever reducer. One of the first things an emergency department will give anyone with chest pains is chewable aspirin to help prevent a heart attack. It may also be able to replace drugs like coumadin in an extreme emergency. Do some research on if this is a good option for your family members.
  • Ibuprofen-Pain, anti-inflammatory and fever.
  • Acetaminophen- Pain and fever. If someone is ill enough, you can often alternate acetaminophen and ibuprofen to keep them more comfortable and bring a fever down faster.
  • Loperamide-In a situation where water and food may not be the most sanitary, Imodium (loperamide) could save lives by slowing down digestion motility and reducing water loss.
  • Senna-natural laxative.
  • Omeprazole or Ranitidine- acid reducer. In an emergency you may be eating foods that you are not used to. These will help control stomach acids and make the transition more comfortable.
  • Diphenhydramine- this antihistamine commonly known as Benedryl can be lifesaving in the case of an allergic reaction. Also, taken in higher doses can be used as an effective sleep aid.
  • Cough suppressant- or whatever type of cold medicine works best for your family.
  • Multivitamins-In an emergency, you will likely not be eating the most well rounded meals. Multivitamins can keep you healthy and fill in the nutritional gaps.
  • Potassium Iodide-Read direct from the CDC
  • Triple Antibiotic Cream-prevent infections from scrapes and cuts.
  • Miconazole cream or powder-treats fungal infections like jock itch, athletes foot, ringworms or vaginal infections.
  • Hydrocortisone cream- treats red, itchy rashes like poison ivy, eczema, and diaper rash.
  • Temporary Dental Filling-found by most toothbrush displays. Alternatively, clove oil can be used to soothe toothaches.
  • Bandages- all shapes and sizes from large dressings to small blister types.
  • Eye drops
  • Saline Spray
  • Vaseline
  • Burn Gel

Stocking up on over the counter medicines in pill form is best when possible but also make sure to have liquids for any children you may be caring for. I find that buying most of these at Big Box stores makes them ridiculously cheap. For example, yesterday I saw 350 Imodium generics at Sams for less than $4. You are likely to be able to get significant quantities to get you started on the list above for roughly $100 and that will be worth its weight in gold should you ever need them and not be able to run down to Walgreens.

How To Turn Off Water To Your House: Todays Sunday Skill

There are many reasons that you would need to know how to turn off water to your house: broken pipes, frozen pipes, and outside water contamination are just a few. For today’s Sunday Skill you will need to find where the water comes into your house. If you have a house with a basement, it is probably there. Mine happens to be housed in the basement next to the sump pump. If you have a single story house in a warmer climate, chances are your water shut off is in the garage or near your washer and dryer. This is what my water shut off valve looks like. Your valve may look very different than mine, it could have a lever, a screw or a hose bib.

How To Turn Off Water To Your House

As you can see in the picture, I took a sharpie and wrote on the concrete so that anyone in the house would know exactly which levers to turn and how. You could always create a nice looking direction sheet to keep near yours. Mine is in a closet so it didn’t matter.

How to Turn Off Water To Your House Video Instructions:

I’d love to have you check in by leaving a comment if you have done this simple prepping project and any hints you have for others trying to complete this weeks skill!

Flu Preparedness Supplies: Are You Ready?

Admittedly, its a little late in the season to be talking about getting together your flu preparedness supplies. However, every time I open my facebook page I am finding another friend lamenting that the flu has just hit their home. It starts with the littlest one throwing up in the middle night and quickly spreads to all the other kids. Just as mom has the final load of sheets in the washer, bam, the all too familiar wave of nausea hits her and dad. All across America this scene seems to be playing out. If you have been lucky enough to escape it thus far, today is the day to get prepared for the flu! Having sick kids is really hard, but having sick parents trying to take care of sick kids is the worst!

flu preparedness supplies

I keep my flu preparedness supplies in a separate bucket in the storage room. I do this because my kids are little gatorade hounds and it isn’t something that I normally keep around. If they get even the smallest hint it is in the house, it will be gone! I can’t tell you how many times I would get the flu and crawl into where I knew I had gatorade stored to find that one of the boys happily stole it for basketball practice. By having a dedicated flu kit I know I always have what I need put away.

My Flu Preparedness Supplies:

  • Powdered Gatorade (easier to store the powder, lasts longer, and I can mix it as strong or weak as needed)
  • Ramen. I don’t know why but when I turn the corner and start to feel better I crave chicken flavored ramen. Probably the high sodium in a dehydrated body.
  • Ginger tea and manuka honey
  • Peppermint tea
  • Hard peppermint candy (helps sooth stomach and get rid of bad tastes in mouth)
  • Peppermint essential oils
  • Ginger Ale
  • Homemade canned broth
  • Motrin and Tylenol (don’t take aspirin)
  • Immodium
  • Zofran (ask your doctor for a prescription to keep in the house)
  • Jello
  • Garbage bags for throwing up in
  • Paper plates and cups. More sanitary and just plain easier on a sick parent.
  • Crackers
  • Frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These are a super easy, bland lunch to  keep around for healing tummy’s and worn out parents. Obviously I don’t keep these with the kit.
  • Otter pops (throw them into the freezer as soon as you open the kit)
  • Freezer meals for people that are not sick in the house
  • Emetrol
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Masks and gloves for containing the spread of germs.
  • Extra laundry detergent
  • Shelf stable probiotics for the mending process. We like the Jarrow brand.
  • A new movie, book or video game to entertain those kids that always seem to bounce back quicker than we do!

No one can predict when the flu will hit your family but being prepared for the fact that it will should make it easier to get through. What is in your flu kit that I didn’t mention? I am always looking for new ideas!

*List created with Tammy from PrayingForParker.com

Emergency Radio Review: Ambient Weather WR-111A

An emergency radio is an essential part of every households disaster and emergency preparedness supplies. I decided to do a video review of my new favorite emergency radio after purchasing the Ambient Weather WR-111A from Amazon. I hope it helps some of you looking for a new model or gets you thinking about buying your first! For roughly $40 this one can’t be beat in my opinion.  This little guy is perfect for a bug out bag, a car and any household. I love that it can be charged by both a hand crank or solar power, serves as an emergency phone charger and has a 3-LED flashlight.

The link above does provide a really small commission to the site if you purchase it but I don’t have any relationship with the company. Just was really impressed with it for the price and hope if you don’t get this one, you do at least have one model for your family.

Are You Preparing For December 21?

The much discussed Mayan end of the world prediction date of 12/21/12 is just a few days. Are you preparing for December 21 any differently than you normally prep? Have you felt an urgency to step up your prepping regime in anticipation for Friday? Or are you just starting to think that perhaps prepper’s aren’t so crazy and you better get stocked up in the next 4 days?

Even with such assurances from NASA many people are feeling uneasy with the date fast approaching.

Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012.

Answer (A):The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

Mayan Calendar ImagePreppers by and large view this as another Y2K. The real threat of the day will probably occur from people acting crazy and wanting to make something of the day. I am not worried a meteor will end the world but I am concerned that some idiot will choose it as a great day to wreak more havoc and evil on the world. It’s certainly not unthinkable that local man-made havoc will occur. We are not I hiding in our bunker but I also am not planning to go to crowded places that I don’t need to be. That just makes sense to me.

I don’t need to prep for Friday because I am by and large prepped for something to happen on any given day. But if the Mayans have pushed you to freak out and start preparing for December 21 I am so happy to have the excuse to get you here! Not specifically to my site, but to the preparedness movement that is underway!

This site focuses on prepping out of the panic and fear and getting you to a place where a silly date on the calendar doesn’t stress you out. Here is where I suggest beginning preppers start:

I must say I have had some uneasy feelings lately more than usual. It has made me consider plans for more long term sustainability. I can’t say why that it is but it has stirred some more plans and preps for longer term water storage and the ability to grow more food. Maybe its the Mayans reaching out from the past to remind us that there is no way we can continue on the path we are on. Or maybe its just my feelings about the political and fiscal unrest happening not only in the US but most of the world. Whatever it is, I am grateful for the reminders that prepping is an important part of my lifestyle and something we need to be constantly vigilant about.

7 Manual Kitchen Tools I’m Glad I Have For Emergencies

Manual kitchen tools are important to have in your home in case of an emergency that includes no electricity. We inherited my childhood home from my Depression-era grandparents and I have been blessed enough to still have many of the high-quality manual kitchen tools that they used. But all is not lost if you weren’t this lucky! These kitchen gadgets can be found anywhere. Garage sales and thrift stores may be just the place to get the quality ones of the past, but IKEA, Target, Walmart and dollar stores sell most of these manual kitchen tools as well! Just always be thinking when you are in the kitchen “How could I make this if I didn’t have electricity?” I guarantee almost every new fancy appliance we have has an older generation solution! Here are some of my favorites!

My favorite manual kitchen tools for emergency preparedness:

manual kitchen tools for emergencies

  1.  Cast-iron pans. I am SO blessed to have many of these from my great grandmothers farm. They connect and ground me to my roots every time I cook in them. Cast iron really is one of those things that gets better with age. Seasoning new cast iron pans are a lot of work. This is one thing I really suggest you find at a second hand store or garage sale. I have heard numerous complaints from preppers buying the ones at camping stores and then not getting them seasoned right. But if you cant find it there? Buy a new quality set, take the time to season them correctly and pass them onto your grandchildren someday.
  2. Tea Kettle-not your decorative kitchen one! A camping one like this can handle the high heat of outdoor flames. Remember, if electricity is out, you probably won’t be cooking indoors unless you have gas burners that you can light manually. Also remember in your preps that herbal teas are a great way sooth sore throats, sinuses, and calm nerves. You can use this as a quick way to boil water for packaged soups or instant coffee as well.
  3. Egg Timer- Just the regular wind up timer. It’s going to be pretty handy when you are trying to cook something without anyway to see how much time has passed!
  4. Can opener-That was this weeks Sunday Skill so I am sure you all went out and got one already!
  5. Thermometer-You are likely to be using cooking methods that aren’t part of your daily routine. Things cook much differently on a propane grill or open flame than they do in your kitchen. Have a thermometer that has the safe temperature of common items marked out on it like this:
  6. High quality kitchen hand tools like a masher, peeler, wisk, egg beater, large metal stirring spoons, and large heavy duty tongs.
  7. Camping Stove- This is common item many of us had growing up. I just don’t know how many families are big campers anymore so I want to throw this out there as likely the most important thing on this list. None of the other items matter if you have no way to cook! Make sure you have a camping stove and plenty of the small propane tanks for fuel! Depending on what part of the country you live in camping items may be very cheap right now. It’s a great time to invest in one if you don’t already have one. You never want to use one of these indoors but I have all intentions of using mine in a highly ventilated room (open window in the basement) if we should ever get to the horrible place where we don’t want neighbors to know we have hot food.

A camping stove and as much fuel as I could afford would be my highest priority on this list. The rest of the items are things you should look for as you are out and about and hit sales or stop by a thrift store one day and browse for them. But if you don’t have an alternative way to cook without drawing a lot of attention to yourself like using that big BBQ you have in the back that the whole neighborhood can smell, go figure out a solution TODAY!

 

How To Open a Can: Sunday Skill

Today’s Sunday skill is teaching your kids how to open a can with a mechanical can opener. This is another one of those tools where most of us are so used to popping out the electrical can opener that if we have a mechanical one, it is likely buried in the back of your drawer and your kids have no idea what it is. It won’t do much good for you to have a stocked panty if your family cannot get the cans open! Every household should have a minimum of two manual can openers (in case one breaks). I personally have 3 of the ones below and numerous bottle opener types that would just do a V-shaped puncture open. You can pick can openers up super cheap if you keep your eye out for them. IKEA is actually one of my favorite places for picking tools like this up for $1 or $2. They are also commonly found at Goodwill Stores and garage sales for 50 cents.

Manual Can Opener

how to open a can with a manual can opener

I’m going to assume here that most parents are capable of showing their kids how to use one of these but here are instructions with pictures in case you need a refresher course.

 How To Open a Can WITHOUT a Can Opener

But what if you need to open a can and you cannot find a manual can opener? This is a super neat trick I stumbled upon that is a great Sunday Skill for us adults:

 

If you don’t have a knife, rub it a bit more and you can likely get your fingernail under the lid to pry it open.

How To Open a Bottle of Wine With Your Shoe

And as an added bonus….this is a fun little video on how to open a bottle of wine with your shoe. I haven’t tried it but I can think of a few times I would have been desperate enough to!

 

 

Looking for more easy ideas? This link to prepping for kids should help! Is there another skill you would like me to cover? Let me know in the comments! Have a great week.

*I’d like to thank the folks at www.survivalistboards.com for pointing out the two videos I included here.

Zombie Soup: Dry Soup Mix For Emergency Prepardness

I have always loved the story of Stone Soup. A community coming together to chip in and make something out of nothing is how I envision what I hope my community becomes in an emergency scenario. Homemade dry soup mix made from dehydrated vegetables is an excellent part of your emergency food storage plans. Before I get blasted by the people out there who keep prepping 100% OPSEC (operational security), I have built sharing into my prepping in a short term emergency. I feel the best security is to make sure that no one around me is truly in need. AKA a zombie. Prepping things like this simple Zombie Soup will hopefully go a long way in keeping the zombies at bay for at least a little while.

Soup makes me happy. It signifies warmth and comfort. This weekend I put together Zombie Soup preps out of our Thanksgiving leftovers. I now have everything I need dehydrated and ready to throw together a soup in our 36 qt. pot that fits on top of the turkey fryer, which makes an extremely efficient propane boiler that would provide that needed warmth, comfort, and nutrition in an emergency situation to a large group.

To make Zombie Soup you really don’t need a recipe. What you do need is the foresight to put away dehydrated foods in your emergency food preps.

Homemade Dry Soup Mix Ingredients for Zombie Soup:

Homemade Dry Soup Mix Ingredients to make Zombie Soup

  • I am a big fan of quinoa for prepping. One cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories and 8.1 grams of protein. Alternately you could use the prepper staple food- rice or beans or both. If you use quinoa put it in towards the end of your soup cooking cycle as it only takes about 20 minutes in a simmering soup.
  • Dehydrated mushrooms. One Costco sized mushroom container is dehydrated and packed into this Kerr 1 pint mason jar and 1 300 cc oxygen absorber.
  • Dry vegetable soup starter. The third pint size jar has 2 1/2 onions, 1/2 Costco sized bag of carrots, and 6 stocks of celery (had these leftover from Thanksgiving)
  • Bouillon cubes. Sodium and flavor! Or use canned stock. Personally, if I am feeding this to a large crowd I am saving my stock and using cubes with purified water here.

Add as much or as little as you need and want but mark on the outside of the jar what the original volume of the dehydrated foods are. Carrots and celery dehydrate into very small pieces so there is a good deal more there than it appears in its dehydrated state. You could also toss in any meat available.

To save space I could have put the mushrooms in with the soup starter mix, added the bouillon cubes in a small ziplock bag sealed on its on (they have moisture not good for the vegetables) and the quinoa also sealed separately (so it can be cooked less time) all into one foodsaver bag. But to be honest, I can’t find where I hid my last stash of foodsaver bags!

 

Do You Need a Tactical Flashlight For Your Bug Out Bag?

I’ll admit it. I didn’t get the hype on buying special tactical flashlights for emergency use. My house is stocked full of the big plastic ones with the D cell batteries. After reviewing this Nebo 5160 SE Redline, I am a total convert! Everyone needs to have a tactical flashlight in their Bug Out Bag and as a part of their survival gear. Instead of boring you with all the details in writing, I decided to just bite the bullet and show you how the Nebo 5160 works.  Presenting my first video review here on Simply Preparing:

As I mentioned in the video the folks at Gunner Security were awesome in helping me. They sent over the flashlight for me to check out and have one for a lucky reader here to win. I had no idea that they sold things like flashlights, holsters, knives and lasers. I will be getting my CCW in a few weeks and I plan to check out their holsters a little more seriously then. A little birdie told me pink range bags may be coming soon!

So, would you like to win one of these for your Bug Out Bag? Here is how (This giveaway is closed):

At $34.49 these would make excellent holiday stocking stuffers. I know you love to support small family business as much as I do so consider buying one of these tactical flashlights from Gunner Security for someone you love and want to be safe!