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Posts Tagged ‘updates’

Summer Updates, OMG It’s Really Freaking Hot Edition!

However, it doesn’t really feel as hot as it might.  I read Neil Strauss’ book ‘Emergency‘ about a year ago (I could have sworn I wrote a review on it, but I’ve checked the archive and can’t find it!), and while it was a little overtly political for my taste (and not the good kind), it has some good bits of information for the novice prepper.  One which I try to take to heart is where he talks about forgoing his heating and air conditioning, on the premise that in many disaster scenarios, one may be without them for an extended period of time.  While I haven’t go so far as to rip out our air conditioning unit, we do set our thermostats a little different than many folks I know.  In the summer, we’ve taken to leaving the thermostat at 80 during the day, and about 76 at night.  In the winter, we leave it at about 55 degrees.  My wife doesn’t always agree, but what we’ve found is that your body can and will become accustomed to a wide variety of temperatures, if you just let it.  Considering we used to keep it at 68 in the winter and 70 in the summer ‘to be comfortable’, the fact that we rarely notice the temperature anymore only tells me we were throwing money away on heating and cooling costs.

It’s like the New Englanders who visit Florida in the winter and wonder why the natives have windbreakers on while they are in shorts.  Working in the warehouse has started to affect me much the same way, and I’m grateful.  It’s not well insulated so its usually only about 5-8 degrees cooler than outside, and its gotten pretty hot the last month or so.  I went to a wedding a few weeks back…to a person, everyone complained about the heat, and many were sweating.  It was about 82 degrees, and I found the temperature just mild.

I’d recommend folks whose air conditioning or heat runs constantly to try raising the thermostat in the summer by 5 degrees and lowering it by 5 degrees in the winter for 3 weeks.  My bet is at the end of that time, you won’t feel any more or less warm or cool, but you will notice yourself saving money on your utilities.

On to the updates!:

  • We are very excited to announce we will be doing our first official Food Storage info-sharing get together in Harrison, AR the weekend of June 15, sponsored by a local store.  We’ll be bringing a trailer load of bags and buckets (partially so we can still get orders out in the timeframe customers expect!), but also so folks who want to pick up supplies ‘shipping-cost free’ can save a bunch.  We’re going to do a flat 20% off our website prices on everything, so I hope we’ll see you there if you are in the area!  We may also be stopping by Calico Rock, AR that weekend as well.  I’ll provide the details here and on Facebook (Go Like ‘Advice and Beans’ for our Facebook page) once they are nailed down.
  • We finally got our newest website, a Long Term Food Storage Calculator, up and running.  For folks who ever wondered what they should store to cover a particular period of time, please stop by and give it a try!  There’s a free version that lets you run the calculator and store your results, and a very modestly priced Premium version ($3/mo) with some more advanced features including being able to run reports as well as add your own items and categories.
  • Slowly but surely, I am getting our first official Youtube video done.  Our video series will be called ‘Spill the Beans’, and I’ll be answering questions and providing some info I don’t think you can find anywhere else.  Plus, I’ll be channelling my inner geek, but you’ll have to wait and see to find out what that means!  The first episode will be on oxygen indicator tablets and what they are and aren’t good for.  I hope to have the first video ready by the end of June.  As I get used to using the video-editing software, I hope they’ll come out quicker after that, maybe every 2-3 weeks.
  • As part of the seminar we are doing, I am writing what I consider to be the ‘Essential 8 Pages About Food Storage’ booklet.  Once its ready I’ll be doing a short print run (maybe 250 copies for version 1).  I’ll be giving them away with large orders, otherwise they’ll probably be just a couple bucks.  It will contain all the info a novice food storer will need to get started.  As an FYI, all the information in the booklet is available free here in the archives, so don’t worry about missing anything, I’m just combining it into a easy-to-read format.
  • As our base of small commercial customers has grown quite a bit, we are establishing a Preferred Merchant Program.  It includes the best wholesale pricing we can offer, plus we’ll be offering perks such as ‘at cost’ pricing of items such as the Food Storage pamphlet as well as seminars and demos for your customers. (For those within 800 miles or so of Nashville)  Folks who carry our products in survival/prep stores, gun shops, and Army/Navy stores have seen close to 100% sellthrough with some excellent margins.

 

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!  As always, you can reach me at admin@discountmylarbags.com with any questions or comments!

30

05 2012

Thoughts on the Year Behind and the One Ahead

Wow, what a year that was.  It was a year of milestones, and I have every one of our customers and readers to thank for it.  So I do that.  I thank you, sincerely and with great humility.  Without you I’d probably be getting a ‘bad attitutde’ on my annual performance review and fuming at my boss.

Poncho

I saw my 40th birthday (with my 41st only a week away!) and spent the day with the favorite people in my life.  I reached the end of one career and the beginning of another.  I accomplished many goals, and missed some as well.  (AT anyone?)  My wife and I worked a lot of 16 hour days, with a few days like today where we take a little break during the day (We watched Green Lantern today during lunch- 3.25 stars; he was my favorite superhero when I was a kid, with Iron Man a close second.)  While the business has required a huge amount of effort, the rewards it has provided have been immense as well.  I love spending the days with my wife and dogs.  I love having the freedom to work in comfortable clothes in a comfortable environment.  Listening to the Cat Stevens channel on Pandora today while building orders has been a nice reminder of why we decided to take a huge risk with our future.

It has been a little wistful as well.  I wish my brother Todd were here to see what we’ve done; I think he’d be proud.   I wish our insurance didn’t cost as much as our mortage.  (We’ll be looking for a cash only physician in Nashville once our COBRA runs out this year if you know one!)  And I wish I could find a Mylar bag with a spout!  (Still trying!)

Like many, my wife and I are setting some goals for the year ahead, both personal and for the business.  On the personal side, many might be the same as some of y’all are setting.  I had a physical a few weeks back and I lost 9 lbs this year just because I haven’t been sitting in an office environment all day.  Instead, I’ve been slinging 50 lb boxes and Postal Totes, something I haven’t done since I was a much younger lad.  So I’ll try to lose another 9 this year.  So why not 50?  At my former job at Dollar General, we did ‘SMART’ Goals.  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound.  Often, when we set ‘New Year’s goals’, we are Specific, but less than Realistic.  Sure, I’d love to lose 25 or 50lbs…but I know for myself, with all we have going on, it would put too much pressure on and I’d be more likely to give up than accept something more reasonable.  So why not just pick something Realistic to start with?

Arnold and our friend Meg

It’s kind of like that with everything in our lives, and I’ve always preached it to anyone I mention prepping to.  It’s better to set a goal of 1 month’s food storage if you won’t ever realisitically hit one year of food stored, whether it is due to space, time, or money.  Accomplishing a small goal makes us more likely to strive and succeed on a new one.  Failing at a goal makes many less likely to try again.

So this year, instead of the huge goals I attempted (and with more than a few, failed at) in 2011, I will be putting ‘Realistic’ at the forefront of our goal-setting. (Unless of course you are a venture capitalist and will grant us $300,000; I’d love to talk to you about some ‘Home Run’ ideas we’ve had kicking around!)  I still have some great things in store for those who have stuck with us (and another thank you!), but I won’t try to do so many at once I burn out and don’t get any done at all.

In my next post I’ll talk about the state of the business, where we are, and where we want to go in 2012.  You’ll also start seeing some guest posts from the AdviceWife later this month; she has some great things going on this year and I hope she’ll provide another perspective as to what goes on in our house in terms of prepping.

Again, thanks to everyone for a fantastic 2011, and we look forward to an awesome 2012 as well!

 

 
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04

01 2012

Winter Updates – Christmas Edition

Hey y’all, long time I know!  It’s been very busy here in AdviceLand, and I thank you for that.   Here are our updates for December!  We’re excited to bring you some new products and to help out our International customers!

  • We now have 2 new bags in the store.  We’ve had lots of requests for alternate size and style Zip Seal Bags, so we produced 2 new ones.  The first is a 10″x16″ Tamper Evident Zip seal, and the 2nd is a 4″x4″ Tamper Evident Zip Seal.  They are both a solid 5 mils thick.  ‘Tamper Evident’ means they are pre-sealed on the Zip side, with an open bottom.  This allows storage of your food, with the added protection of a Zip Seal once you’ve opened it.
  • For a limited time and in limited quantities, we will have a little ‘Survival Stocking’ available at the store.  It contains a selection of cool stuff for the survivalist on your list, pre-packed in a little red stocking!  It’s also a also a deal for all the stuff in contains, as we’ve set it at a flat $20.
  • I’ve started putting up ‘International Flat Rate Kits’.  We get a lot of email from folks in other countries wondering if we will ship to them (we will!).  To make it easy, we’ll be putting together our standard kits, but including the shipping in the price.  For example, a Large Bag Kit of 10 5 gallon bags and 10 2000cc oxygen absorbers will be a flat $40 to anywhere in the world.  From what I’ve seen, we will be able to offer better pricing than almost any foreign-based Preparedness Store, although admittedly it usually takes 10-15 days for your parcel to arrive.
  • Have a great Christmas (or Hanukkah!) everyone!  If there is anything I can do for you now or if you have suggestions for items or services we could offer in the new year, please let me know at admin@discountmylarbags.com!
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02

12 2011