June 2010 - Posts - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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June 2010 - Posts

  • Being prepared is a good frugal investment.

    Last night I had the honor, once again, to be interviewed on The Doctor Prepper Radio Show. Feel free to go take a listen at the following link:   http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2010/06/24/doctor-prepper-talk-show


    I've had this honor before and hope to have it again soon since the subject of self-sufficiency, back-to-basics and preparing for the future are very passionate topics and a way of life for myself and our family. But for now, I want to share a topic that kind of brewed in my mind over night. 

    Every day, I have more and more people call my business line who are looking for products to make their lives more self-reliant and healthy.  (http://www.millersgrainhouse.com/store  in case you want to call too! Just go to the 'contact us link') Inevitably, the topic is nervously brought up about preparation. The callers often feel like they are completely alone in thinking there is a need to prepare and are trying to find a means to do so on a budget. Often I'm asked if it is wise....

    Let me emphatically say - YES it is!

    Let's say you invest in a grain mill and grain to store. Grain stores longer than flour, the freshly milled flour is WAY more nutritious than dead-processed-bagged flour, so it is an investment in your current and future health. Tell me what stock market will give you that kind of return? Present and future good health. None.  In fact, you KNOW you can eat the food you bought.... you don't know if you'll make any money in the stock market.  Seems to me a more frugal investment to build your long-term workable pantry and be prepared with food and skills than invest elsewhere.

    Let's say you invest time and supplies into growing a garden. In tending and harvesting that garden you have gained skills that not only are becoming more rare in our disposable society, but you have exercised (as humans were created to, not in a gym but by good  and productive work). Again two instant benefits of investing time and money (which is less than the items in the grocery store).

    Let's say that you in supplies to 'put up' (or store) your garden harvest. Again, whether you are canning, preserving, freezing, pickling or dehydrating, you have learned skills (and better yet if you can pass those skills to your kids or grandkids) that NO ONE can take from you. You won't loose them in a lay-off or company downsizing. You may be surprised that those skills may completely SAVE your budget in the event of a company downsizing or job loss. I know our family has seen that exact reality play out.

    Does it cost money to switch from a twenty-first century lifestyle of convenience foods and to-go boxes? Does it cost time to invest in making sure your purchases are USED and in using them you gain intangible skill that will serve you and other generations to come?

    It may cost a little up front, but the investment in being prepared pays off FAR more than the little green pieces of paper. It pays off in a feeling of assurance, caring for your family, confidence, health, and skills.  These are things that the money can't buy anyway. That is the greater pay-off in this frugal investment of being prepared.

    Until next time....

    Best Blessings!

    Donna Miller

    The Millers own and operate Millers Grain House which offers Chemical Free and Organic Grains, Grain Mills, Bread Machines,Grain buckets, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.

  • Encouraging the down-hearted, down-sizing dollar-stretcher...

    In most vocabularies the word 'down' does not evoke a really sunny outlook. Downcast, downpour, down.... I mean just the adverb part of the word 'down' has so many negative connotations:


    1. from higher to lower; in descending direction or order; toward, into, or in a lower position: to come down the ladder.
    2. to or at a lower value or rate.
    3. from a greater to a lesser strength, amount, etc.: to water down.
    4. to the point of defeat, submission, inactivity, etc.: They shouted down the opposition.
    5. in or into a fixed or supine position: They tied down the struggling animal.
    6. into a condition of ill health: He's come down with a cold.
    7. in or into a lower status or condition: kept down by lack of education.
    It's no wonder when the term down-sizing is thought of it carries a bit of gloom and doom.
    Here are a few things that I have used to encourage myself and others in the boat of down-sizing and dollar-stretching...to help keep us from being down-hearted:
    • So, you lost the farm, there's a park near by!
    • Smaller homes mean less to clean.
    • Less trappings means more freedom.
    • Now you're more easily mobile!
    • Rebuilding a life from nothing is easier than digging out of debt.
    • Necessity is the mother of invention - so I'm about to get really creative!
    If that's not enough - the word 'down' itself also can be turned around:
    1. in an attitude of earnest application: Let's get down to work.
    2. on paper or in a book: Write down the plan and make it clear.
    3. in cash : We paid $50 of our debt down each month.  
    Last but not least - wouldn't it be nice if this stuff just fell down off trees?
    ....It's all how we look at it....much like life.
    The most encouraging thing about down-sizing and dollar-stretching is that the attitude to face it is all in your hands and no one else can take that away from you. Cultivate the right attitude and mindset and you'll no longer be down-hearted but encouraging yourself and others around you!
    No matter what, enJOY the journey....because the destination may not be where you planned!
    Best Blessings,
    Donna Miller
    The Millers own and operate Millers Grain House which offers Chemical Free and Organic Grains, Grain Mills, Bread Machines,Grain buckets, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.
  • The finer things in the back to basics life.

    Each of us either had, want or work for 'the finer things in life' don't we? Some of us had/have material possessions that cost a great deal of money (or credit) at some time. Are those the 'finer things'?

    One could argue that paying top dollar for an item gives it the likelihood of a better quality than the other option. One could argue that all the 'extras' are what make life bearable. I tend to believe that the finer things in life are achieved only through the back to basics lifestyle.

    Do I say this because I've always been poor and have a disdain for the rich? No. I've lived on both sides of the tax bracket, even in the top percentile with limos and such...and found those 'finer things' to be suffocating and eventually part of the demise of society's reality.

    This is a VERY small list of the finer things that come from living a back to basics life:

    • Give me clean water, fresh air and some soil to dig in and my life is finer than it was in the limo!
    • Grant me peace in my home and a healthy recipe that doesn't break the food budget and I could be a queen!
    • Let me learn a skill that no bank, no boss, no down-sizing, no stock-market can take from me and I can make a living or at least help others!
    • Time at the board game vs. time in a movie theater is a relationship building experience.
    • Canning, baking, gardening and chopping wood together bonds a family more than a shopping trip to the mall.
    • Fresh wild-flowers in a vase and later drying hung upside down on a rafter.
    • Spring. New birds, kittens and lambs - basic life expecting the joy of each new day.

    Those are the finer things in the back to basics life. Drink it in DEEP and savour it!




    Remember, the best things in life - are not - things.

    Best Blessings!


    Making the Best of Basics


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Surviving on Shoestrings Radio Show: http://radio.thesurvivalmom.com/category/donna-miller/ Visit our online store at: http://www.millersgrainhouse.com/store There you can sign up for the complimentary newsletter with a free healthy, whole grain recipe and tips on saving money each month.
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