Archive for the ‘Article Contest Entries’Category

Prizes, Prizes, Prizes!!

First, I want to thank everyone who participated in our Article Contest.  I know putting oneself out there is not always an easy thing to do.  They say that public speaking is the 2nd biggest fear in the world next to death.  I think that’s part of why I haven’t done any official Advice and Beans Youtube videos yet.=)  (Though I do plan to in the coming weeks!)  But you all did great, and I am honored you took the time to enter.  I had some great email exchanges with many of you, and I learned a lot I didn’t know before.  And a special thanks to Don, the first person to ever write me an email about the blog as well as entered our contest.  I never even knew if anyone was there until he said something!=)

Because we had fewer folks participate than I estimated, I’m happy to announce that everyone will receive a cash value gift certificate to the store! (Of course, if someone wants some cool stuff from the Gear Department of Advice and Beans, let me know and I can do that instead!  I have things like messenger bags, camp showers, paracord, drier lint and the like in the Gear Vault.)

Prizes were assigned using a random number generator (Basically, I rolled a die.  I used to play D&D when I was younger, so I have all sorts of many-sided die hanging around!  Yes, geek, me.)

So without further ado *Drum roll*, the winners are:

$250 – Laura

$150 – Tessie

$100 – Alan

$75 – Don

$50 – Tim

$50 – Rob

$50 – BKB

$50 – Teresa

I will have your gift certificates attached to your email addresses in the store by Tuesday morning so you can go shopping!  Again, thanks everyone and a big round of applause!


07 2011

Article Content Entry – Dehydrate!

Thanks to Rob from Michigan for today’s entry!  My wife loves her Excalibur Dehydrator.   She uses it to make dog treats, dehydrate fruit and make other yummy concoctions!


Dehydrate to help save space and money.  Besides having rice, beans and can vegetables stored for the unexpected, use a dehydrator to add to your long term storage. This is a great way to buy food when it is on sale and save money by doing the work yourself.

I found the easiest way to do this without getting  frustrated and saying the heck with it is to buy frozen bags of corn, green beans, peas, peas and carrots, hash browns, pineapple chunks, peaches (cubed), and whatever else you and the family will eat. I like buying them frozen because all the hard work is done. No stringing the beans and snapping them, they are already are cut, washed and all the same size.

The nice thing about having dehydrated food stored, it makes a great backpacking item. Light weight and easy to use. The food will hydrate to almost the same size as when you started and taste great. Plus it will store for a very long time. I will use storage baggies for things that will be eaten in a relativity short time. But for long term I like to use canning jars with a food saver vacuum sealer for the lids. The sealer will suck-out the air and give you a very tight seal on your jar.   You can open the jar, take out the portion you need and reseal it over and over. You can fit a lot of food in one jar, a 6 pound can of corn will dehydrate to about a pound saving a lot of space and weight.

We like to eat the fruit as snacks while hiking and camping. It taste great, not heavy to carry and will give you the nutrition you need while out. This is just one way of many that you van build your long term food storage. Buying it from the manufacture can be very expensive but well worth adding to your food storage.


07 2011

Article Contest Entry – Prepare With a Friend

Great advice today from Tim in the Land of 10,000 Lakes about preparing with a friend.  Only 2 days left to get your entries in.  Due to the number of participants, I guarantee everyone who has participated so far but doesn’t win one of the first three prizes will get at least a little something from the Random Survival Hoard!  For those who have participated but didn’t leave me your address, please email it.  Gift Certificates will mail next week.  My wife is having knee surgery tomorrow (prayers welcome!) so I’ll be picking up a lot of extra tasks, so it might be the following week to be able to mail the other prizes.

From Tim:

If I could give any advice on food storage from my limited experience, it would have to be doing it with a friend.  My first time storing food didn’t go so well.  I had 5 pails with the Mylar bags inside them and had filled them with food, and the oxygen absorbers still in their sealed bag.  I only did 5 pails my first try because I was not aware how much work it would be, but I learned it would have been a lot nicer to do it with a friend. 

When I had all the food in the bags (rice, and pinto beans) I had already heated up the iron to seal the bags but I had not anticipated how long I would be leaving the absorbers open.  When I broke the seal I threw each absorber into a pail and started sealing the bags with an iron but it took longer than I thought it would, exposing the absorbers to air for a longer period of time.  Though I have read that this isn’t too big of a deal, obviously it is best to keep them exposed as little as possible. 

My next time around I filled ten pails with a friend of mine.  This went a lot smoother and a lot faster than if it had been just me.  We each sealed five pails in a quicker fashion than I had last time, saving a lot of work and time.  It was also good to talk to someone about why I was doing this, and it got him to start thinking about doing it as well.  So not only was the efficiency of my food storage increased but I also exposed a friend of mine to it.  As a younger guy with little income, I can’t include friends or neighbors in my storage plans so much, I am focused on myself and my family but; I think helped expose the world of preparing and self reliance to a dear friend of mine. 


07 2011

Article Contest Entry – Sound Advice

Thanks to Teresa for today’s entry into our Food Storage Article Contest!  I definitely relate to what she recommends; I did my ‘Buy-one-get-one’ day at Publix yesterday and got a cartful.  I don’t have any broth to speak of, but I’ll keep watch around turkey day this year!=)  Time is getting short so get your entries in; we’ll do the giveaway the weekend of July 15! 

     One piece of advice I have about food storage is to store even amounts of food in each 5 gallon bucket. For example, instead of storing one bucket of rice, one bucket of beans, one bucket with baking ingredients- put one or a few of each in every bucket. Of course you would probably want each item in a separate Mylar bag. This way each bucket contains a variety of items and you don’t have to open multiple buckets to get things you need during an emergency situation. I also developed a labeling system so that I know exactly what is in each bucket and the date it was packed. Obviously the date is very important so you can rotate your buckets accordingly.

Advice & Beans gives very good advice about buying an extra can item or bag of beans each time you go to the store. This helps those of us who cannot afford to buy everything at once. I always watch the store advertisements and when something I always use goes on sale, I buy quite a few of them. For example, canned chicken broth always gets down to .29 cents around Thanksgiving. I tend to try and store lots of it, partly because it works great in rice instead of water. That can come in handy if you’re trying to conserve as much water as possible during a crisis situation- plus it adds flavor.

 When thinking about long-term food storage, water is something many of us forget about yet it is the most important necessity for our survival. If you ever get in a situation where there is no running water, and you run out of stored water- remember there is usually 20-50 gallons in your hot water heater tank. It also would not be a bad idea if you kept some water purifier tablets on hand in case you had to get water from another source such as a lake or river. Good luck and happy storing!


06 2011

Article Contest Entry – State of Mind

Good advice from BKB from picturesque Oregon for our Food Storage Article Contest!  And it’s something I don’t cover enough: 

State of Mind

“If I could give just one piece of advice…uh, what were we talking about?…Oh yeah, food storage.”

Most of us never forget to eat or go to work.  We manage to juggle crazy, out-of-control lives with never enough time or money, and still succeed.  Yet somehow the idea of putting a little food and money aside for the inevitable, rarely crosses our minds. Maybe we don’t want to be depressed by thinking about the different scenarios that might threaten to starve us to death. The fact is that we will all face a calamity, whether individually, locally or globally, we will have our own gut check.  Surviving and thriving through the crisis will depend on the preparations we make now.

What’s my advice?  Don’t be ignorant to your situation, threats to your safety, and the remedies that will save you. The first priority is to be aware. What do you have in the cupboard?  If it is an old can of tomato soup and a handful of single serving taco sauce packets, you have a problem.

Pay attention to current events, economic trends and political changes.  As grimy and distasteful as politics and world news may be, it is important to be informed.

In this modern age, we are running full tilt, putting all of our trust in electronics.  Until this system crashes, use it to educate you and your family. 

Listen to your crazy family members, read what the survivalists have to say about what they know.  Use the internet and access the newest developments and products; putting up peaches in glass jars, like grandma once did, may not be helpful. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. There are smarter, and better prepared, people out there than you and I; use them.  Be educated and develop an opinion. 

Make a plan to do something.  Buy an extra can of spaghetti sauce or build the bomb shelter under the rose beds; doing something as frequently as possible is the key. Coupon clipping has helped hundreds of families collect a year supply of household items in a hurry and stay in budget.  Copy canning, buying extra of what you use everyday, is a painless way to get started.  Another tip: if you skip straight to digging a bomb shelter, you might as well take your last breath and cover yourself in the dirt. 

Preparedness is a state of mind.  It starts with being aware of your surroundings and the world we live in.  Anticipating the problems and preparing to deal with them is as much a mental game as it is a physical one.  Once you condition yourself to visualize the need, you will incorporate being prepared into your life.  Food storage, you ask? No problem.


06 2011