xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' May 2015 ~ The Prepared Guy

Friday, May 8, 2015

One simple way to save some money.

Like most anyone I HATE wasting money.  Here is one simple, inexpensive gadget you should have that I guarantee will save you some dough.

We are a family of 7 that has game consoles, flashlights, cameras, remote controls, child's toys, radios, smoke/CO2 detectors etc. that all require batteries.


I find that many of the devices we use that require batteries don't use all of the energy that a battery stores.  When, for example, a Wii remote stops working because it shows the batteries are exhausted, I will use this awesome little cheap battery tester that I got at Harbor Freight to see how much energy is still in any common battery.  I find that the batteries either still have about 1/2 of their capacity remaining or only one of them is weak or almost completely exhausted.  

There are plenty of simple electronics that don't require a full battery to function property such as LED flashlights, children's toys, TV remotes and many others.  So, when the digital camera won't work any more because the batteries are too low, but not completely spent, I will set them aside to be used in a flashlight or some other low priority device like a child's toy or flashlight.    

I use this battery meter to match up already used batteries, that have a comparable level of charge, and use them in a different devices until they are completely dead.  I figure that using a battery meter saves us one pack of batteries for each pack we buy effectively cutting what we spend on batteries in half, or better.

Yes, I do use rechargeable batteries too and this meter works on them as well. But frankly, rechargeable batteries suck.  I haven't yet found any that hold a charge for very long, or nearly as long as a typical alkaline battery or that don't loose their charge sitting on the shelf after they have been charged.



This is another kind of battery tester that is not as accurate but works fine.  You could also use a multimeter as well .

So, don't just assume that because your device no longer works that the batteries are completely dead.  Check them and re-use them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

5 Gallon Buckets

There is one item that I do not see on many "Preppers" lists of items to stock up on.  This item I use on a regular basis and I can see many more uses for them than just my everyday uses.

The versatile lowly 5 gallon bucket.  Whenever I am at Home Depot or Wal-Mart and only need a few things I grab a 5 gallon bucket to use as my shopping basket.  They usually cost less than $3 and have a myriad of uses, especially in an emergency or SHTF situation so I recommend that you have several on hand.



Here is what I do and would use 5 gallon buckets for:

1.  Carrying supplies.
2.  Use it as a toolbox.
3.  Storing supplies/tools.
4.  Food storage. (use white food grade plastic buckets, not Home Depot buckets)
5.  As a garbage can.
6.  Yard work;  carrying soil, weeds, crops, etc.
7.  Mixing cement, plaster, etc.
8.  Growing plants.
9.  Catching Rainwater.
10.  Emergency toilet.  (There are lids and bags that are made specifically for this, but you could improvise.)
11.  Turn it over and use it as a seat.
12.  Washing clothes.
13.  Use a metal bucket as a fire pit. (You can usually get these from paint stores)
14.  My son keeps his Legos in camo 5 gallon buckets.
15.  Use them as weatherproof containers to stash supplies outdoors.  (Don't forget the lid.)

And there are many other daily and emergency uses.  

The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a Prepared Guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
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