Preparing for Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am a single mother with a modest income, no credit card debt, but I have a large house payment, high utilities, and many other expenses for my children. I am trying to figure out how to best prepare for Y2K on very little money. I have hardly any savings, but we do live out in the country. I do grow a garden and can much of our food. I would like to buy a wood cookstove, a windmill, and other non-electric items, but do not think I can afford to. I don't want to take out a loan. Does anyone have any suggestions for preparing on very little cash. Most of the preparations that I read about cost alot and speak about buying gold coins. What are low-to-middle income concerned people supposed to do??

-- May Stoll (, April 18, 1998


Mary- check out Gary North's Food Forum- ther is a lively discussion going on there. Contact the Sims Stove Co. 406-259-5644. Ther sell an fairly inexpensive ($140) folding wood burning stove. It could be set up outside to cook on. Coleman sells a folding oven that you can bake bread in. (Works best if you cover the sides with tin foil. Contact your local LDS congregation to find out where the nearest Bishop's Storehouse is. They will have a dry pack canning setup that anyone can use. The prices are very reasonable. I just did some canning at my local one last week. I'm not a Mormon, but everyone was very friendly and helpful. Store the supplies to make whole wheat bread. Use the Cornell bread recipe: For each cup of flour required place 1 tsp. soy flour, 1 tsp. wheat germ. 1Tbs. nonfat dry milk in measuring cup, then add flour to equal 1 cup. Use about 2 c. whole wheat flour to 1 c. unbleached white flour. The LDS facility can supply the white and whole wheat, and the powdered milk. You can purchase the whole soybeans and wheat germ in bulk from a health food store, and can these at the LDS site. You will need a hand grain grinder to grind the whole wheat and soybeans. The back to basics model 800-999-1863 isn't too expensive and can process the soybeans- they are oily and shouldn't be ground using stone wheels. You can use a coleman stove to heat the coleman oven. I would purchase a quality ($150) range water filter. Send an e-mail request and I'll send more info on food and water storage.

-- skipper clark (, April 18, 1998.

May, You like me won't loose much from the savings and investment point of veiw, and like me my house, car, utilities and such take up most of my income. My wife and I buy extra groceries when we go shopping, aquire usefull items a bit at a time and if we don't have all of what is on our list will have to make due. My best advice is to try aquire a skill that would be very valuable. Are you a Nurse, Doctor, or Paramedic? These skills will still be valuable in any situation. I wouldn't mortgage the house or anything like that.

-- Robert Holmes (, April 24, 1998.

High utilities? Why high? Can these be brought down by insulating the house or converting heavily used lighting areas to flouresant?

On the wood cookstove you can get a cheap folding stove from Lehman's for $99 (, next step up is a boxwood style of steel for $199 postpaid, or the same in cast iron and U.L. approved for $399 from Cumberlands 1-800-334-4640, catalog is $4 and worth it. Now none of those have ovens, the least expensive with oven is the enterprise Queen at $995 + frieght from Lehmans.

Of course you can go the do-it-yourself route and get a barrel kit for $54 from Lehmans (26#) or $65 from cumberlands (32#), or airtight versions for $79 (31#) or $99 (43#). You can get a second barrel kit for on top (recovers more heat) for $29(15#) or $49(18#). I list the #s to note that they aren't the same and better costs more. With a single barrel you can flatten the top for a cooking suface. If you or a friend can weld you could conceivably turn the second top barrel into an oven.

Please note that your barrel kit or cheap $99 and $199 stoves aren't U.L. approved, which might cancel your household insurance policy! Also some states or counties require stove to be EPA approved. All cook stoves should be installed in a metal clad area with insulated isolated stove pipes where close to joists, roofs, ceilings, etc.

Windmills and towers start at $3,000 and go to $10,000 not including pump. See Cumberland's catalog pages 166-169. How deep is your water? If you have water at 20' down you can use a vacuum type or cistern pump (pump at top, pipe goes down , about $65-200). If you have water deeper than that you'll need to go the head, pipe, rod, and submerged pump route about $500-$1,500. If it's over 175' to water it'll require either Arnold Schwartzenegger or a windwill. The Lehmans catalog has several pages on how to choose the right cylinder, head, rod, for your depth to water.

For water treatment the cheapest is buying swimming pool bleach, with nothing but calcium hypoclorite in it - no clarifiers or other additives. Five pounds costs about $10-15. Create one gallon of bleach for 24.5 grams , about 10 Tblspn. of CaHypo (do this OUTSIDE in a breeze!). 1/2 tsp. of bleach treats 5 gallons of clear water or 1 tsp of cloudy water, takes about 30 minutes. So for $15 you can treat about 700,000 gallons. If you have an all weather creek, this might be the way to go for little money. Bleach does not kill tuberculosis germs.

There are ways to survive on a budget.

-- Ken Seger (, April 29, 1998.

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