(Excerpted from Chapter 5: Food, Clothing & Bills: Stickin’ it to the Matrix)
The system is constantly conjuring up ways to nickel and dime you. Americans have become incredibly naïve, far too trusting of a system which proves over and over on a daily basis that it most definitely cannot be trusted.
Conversely we have become far too cynical of the people, who do heroic things every day. We must reverse this dichotomy. Trust the people, do NOT trust the matrix.
Be generous to friends, family, the people and the natural world, but learn to be stingy in your dealings with the system. This is another one of those dogmas which must be examined.
The programmers are constantly sending out their message that frugality is a bad thing. That’s not because they want you to buy your friend the next beer. You should. It’s because they want you to recklessly open your purse strings and donate all your hard earned grubstake to the matrix shopping complex.
So, take it a step further. The best defense is a good offense in any sport. Rather than being led around by the nose by the matrix ad department, be audacious and proactive. While you make it a practice to spend as little of your freedom on their stuff, take advantage of opportunities you come across to nickel and dime the hell out of the matrix. It changes the whole power equation. Your grubstake savings will grow. And it’s fun!
Little things add up when it comes to getting the grubstake necessary to bolt the matrix. Most people have some kind of space they can use to grow a garden. So get planting.
Don’t go out and buy some fancy tiller. It won’t break up new ground well anyway and will set you back hundreds of dollars. Buy a cheap shovel and start digging. Get to a depth of the length of the shovel blade, shake the dirt from the grass and weeds, and either discard the latter so it can’t replant itself in your garden, or better yet, plant the clumps as sod in an eroded area that needs it.
It’s a bit tedious, but efficient over time. Make sure you leave the heavy clay subsoil on the bottom. It other words don’t turn it over, just get under it, pry it loose and chop it up leaving the topsoil on top where this better soil will feed the roots of your veggies.
Other than a shovel, your only expense should be garden seed. Don’t buy high dollar seed from either corporate or boutique seed dealers. Buy the 5 for $1 seed packets at the Dollar Store or your local hardware store. After your first harvest, you can gather seed, which you can then use to plant your garden next year. This fresher seed germinates better and you can select the biggest seed and grow better vegetables. Soon you will spend NOTHING planting your garden.
As with all American pastimes, gardening has become a huge marketing opportunity for the matrix. Don’t fall into that trap and buy a bunch of needless garden tools, fertilizer or topsoil. You don’t need it. Stay out of Lowe’s and Home Depot. They are high-dollar money pits full of nothing you need.
It’s amazing what kind of soil seed will grow in. Brainwashed modern capitalist man vastly underestimates the wealth of historical knowledge within a seed, because we are alienated so badly from nature, including our own nature.
So we decide the matrix knows better than the soil and buy topsoil at Lowe’s that could have easily come from a polluted job site, or bring in $100 truck loads of “good topsoil” that is usually full of invasive weeds, moles and herbicides. Save your money. Use the soil you have. Have faith in nature.
Go organic for the same reasons, and because going organic costs less and works better. All that high dollar weed killer and chemical fertilizer will do is deplete your savings, give your family cancer and scare away all the good bugs, frogs, lizards and snakes which, left to their own devices, will handily eat the “bad” bugs in your garden if given a chance.
The easiest way to compost is to collect all coffee grounds, food waste and scraps to use as compost. We set one of those 34 oz. plastic Folgers coffee containers by the kitchen sink. Everything except meat scraps – which will attract unwanted nighttime critter visitors – goes in the bucket.
The more compost and organic matter you add to your soil, the better the tilth of your soil, the more good bugs are attracted to your garden, the less bad bugs can reside there. It is both simple and quite amazing, as many simple things tend to be.
Don’t go to the work of a compost pile. Sheet composting is just as effective. When your kitchen compost container gets full, simply spread it around plants in the garden. Hit a different area each time. Let nature do the rest.
Once your plants have come up, mulching your garden will supplant the need for much weeding and keep your topsoil moist through dry periods, which allows you to water much less. If you pay for your water, this also saves you money.
We use oak leaves, because we live in an oak forest and have them in abundance, but use whatever you can find readily and nearby in your ecosystem for mulch. If you have a mulching mower, grass clippings are excellent high-nitrogen mulch. If you don’t have a mulching mower, you can still rake the clippings onto your garden. Wood chips, sawdust and straw are other good mulches. Sometimes you can get wood chip mulch delivered for free from the utility company as they clear the power lines in your area. Never buy mulch.
At harvest time, most vegetables can be frozen or canned. We freeze everything except tomatoes, which we can. Instead of canning our cucumbers, we make refrigerator pickles in a large glass candy jar. Just make up your spice mix – using dill, garlic, onion and whatever else from your garden blended into vinegar and water – and put the mix in that glass jar in the refrigerator. Add cucumbers as they ripen and within days you have fresh pickles without all the fuss of canning.
Still, learn to can as well, because once you get a self-sufficient garden going, you won’t be able to fit all your tomatoes in the freezer. And the only way to make a large batch of salsa is to can it. Don’t forget to grow some essential cilantro for that.
Speaking of herbs, why not grow your own oregano, thyme, mint, lemon balm, fennel, sage, rosemary and tarragon. These are all perennials, so once you plant them, they come back every year on their own. Egyptian walking onions are a great perennial onion to grow as well.
Each May we cut and dry our own stash of kitchen herbs. My wife has written a book about it (see Jill’s blog, Show Me Oz). After years of trying different methods, we’ve found the best way to dry the most flavorful herbs is also the simplest. Go figure.
You simply cut the herbs and remove the leaves from stems. Toss the stems back on your garden as mulch/compost. Spread the leaves out on whatever stainless steel baking pans you have. Set the pans on a hot sidewalk or in any area with full sun.
The pan’s reflective heat dries the herbs fast. Drying herbs fast – but not too fast or too hot as in an oven – preserves maximum flavor.
The old Ozark method is to put those same reflective baking pans on the dash board of your car. If I want to dry something really fast I use this method. It works very well, but keep a close eye on your herbs. If you leave them on that dashboard a bit too long, they can get a little crispy.
We just dried a quart jar (three baking pans dried down and crushed) of Egyptian onion greens today.
Don’t waste your money on one of those nifty-sounding food dehydrators. I did once. These contraptions take far too long to dry anything. As a result, you lose lots of flavor. Using one also adds to your electric bill.
Spices at the grocery store have been sitting on a truck for God knows how long. The expensive micro-bottles are flavorless. Grow your own spices. You won’t believe the difference in flavor, nutrition and quantity. You’ll soon have big jars full of the stuff.
Perennials are the key to a self-sufficient garden. Other great perennials to grow include strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, horseradish, sorrel, rhubarb and Jerusalem artichokes.
If you live where you can raise animals, go for it. I just finished our chicken coop and goat/pig pen last week. I used salvaged lumber, fence posts, roofing tin and wire that we came across cleaning up the property. I bent crooked nails. I got some hinges from a friend who works at a big factory, then improvised on some latches for the gates. We scored some paint near a dumpster on the way home one day so I could paint the gates – bright orange. In the end, I didn’t spend one penny on the construction of this critter pen.
Animals can provide meat, milk, eggs, leather and warm winter clothing. Their manure is essential to keeping your garden healthy.
Hunting, fishing and gathering are also important ways to dodge the matrix and its expensive processed toxic GMO food.
I’ve been filling our freezer with wild black raspberries and blackberries of late. We put away 13 gallons this year. We gather black walnuts and persimmons in the fall.
If we pass a house where a fruit tree is going unpicked, we stop to inquire if they’d mind if we pick some. Offer to leave some with the owner in exchange for the favor, especially if the owner is elderly. Other times, we’ve found fruit trees at public fishing accesses and the like, and harvested this fruit.
Find out what wild edibles grow in your area and start looking around for foraging opportunities. There is nothing like the feeling of picking fruit or nuts that nature has provided for free. And you didn’t even have to plant them. Jah really does provide. You just have to pay attention and be audacious.
Still, no matter how self-sufficient we become, most all of us will have to buy some food at a matrix supermarket. Food is central to life and shopping for food can make or break your plans to exit the matrix. Shopping for food is an art. And it is a war.
Where you shop is important. Never buy food from a convenience store, gas station or one of those high-priced snobby organic food places like Whole Foods Market. What a scam!
If you have a farmer’s market in your area, these are great places to buy local produce. Look for farmers in your area willing to sell you a half a beef or hog. Look for signs on the road nearby for people selling eggs and other produce.
We are fortunate in this area to have many salvage grocery stores. These grocers buy large lots of food that didn’t sell at regular supermarkets. Often it’s a new flavor of a product that didn’t take off. Other times the items are near or just past the expiration date.
Most of these stores are well kept and clean, though occasionally we’ve come across one that looks more like a botulism laboratory. Those are weeded out quickly and soon close their doors.
We focus on two stores within 45 miles of our home. Once every two months we go to one or the other and spend maybe $125. At that distance you need to stock up to make the trip worthwhile and so that you have to go less often.
Look for no-frills groceries in your area. These are the ones that do not provide free shopping bags and where you shop shelves full of items still in the shipping boxes. Grab an empty box and use that to carry your groceries. The prices are lower than at conventional stores. The German chain, Aldi, is an excellent choice in our area.
Then there are the supermarkets. Make sure to visit each of these behemoths in your area to find out which one consistently offers the best prices on food. If you really compare, you will find that Walmart is never it, despite their propaganda to the contrary. Remember, their slogan is not “Always the Lowest Price”, it’s “Always Low Prices”. Walmart sucks!
If you have several supermarkets nearby, shop their weekly sales. Get in the habit of stocking up on the very best deals each store has that week. You can research their sale ads on the internet or by simply browsing the ads when you walk in the door.
Shop slowly and only buy those very best deals, then go to the next store and do the same. Eventually your home will be filled with most of the necessary ingredients for any meal.
Stocking up is very often not a good strategy. I have even noticed in recent years, as people have taken to this practice, that you can often buy a smaller container of a certain product for less per ounce than you’d pay for the “economy” size. I guess that’s code for helping the matrix economy out, because it sure doesn’t help your economy.
The worst way to shop is to decide on what you want to cook for just one night and then go off to the store looking for the specific ingredients required. Since most of it will not be on sale, you will pay an arm and a leg. This one small tweak in the way you shop can be huge.
Use coupons when you can find them. You can sometimes combine in-store coupons with manufacturers’ coupons and get items virtually free.
Only shop the outside aisles of grocery stores. Generally you’ll find the sale items at either end of store aisles. The healthier fresh meat, dairy and produce will be on the outside of the store. The inside aisles are full of high-dollar, over-processed junk food.
If you start to eat nutritious food, you won’t be as hungry and will in turn succumb less to expensive processed junk food snacks.
Another important thing to start doing is to add up the cost of your groceries as you shop. By doing this, you will soon become more familiar with what a “good price” is on various foods. You will also not get nickel-and-dimed by the matrix supermarket’s rigged cash registers.
Check your receipt carefully after checkout and compare the total with what you added up as you shopped. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to correct a cashier or go to customer service for a refund on an overcharge.
Most people are totally oblivious to this systematic slow bleed of their wallet. It seems to occur more at stores that use the in-house discount cards, which can easily confuse a customer at the register since items ring up full price and the card discount is deducted at the end. Keep an especially close eye on this if you shop at Safeway.
Eating out is where many people squander their grubstake. Many wage slaves feel that because they put in all those long hours for the man, they deserve to splurge often at over-priced restaurants. If you like eating usually bland, many times contaminated food, tipping an often rude waitress, and watching your savings whither, then go for it.
On the subject of tipping; I used to be a prep cook, and trust me, the hardest workers in a restaurant don’t get squat from your tips. Plus, it allows the owner to underpay his employees, with you picking up the tab through your tip.
Of course, on the rare occasion that you do eat out, you should still leave a tip. Until we can reconfigure this broken part of the system, servers have to rely on tips to earn their full wages. Conversely, this injustice is also as good a reason as any not to eat out much.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself once in awhile. My wife and I probably eat out every two weeks or so. When you do so, use a coupon or look for advertised specials. With the internet, they’re everywhere. Eat at a family-owned restaurant to support your local economy and choose something you really like that is difficult to cook at home.
I have to tell you, though, that once you grow a garden or raise some chickens, most restaurant food will no longer even be appealing to you. Last night I picked a beet, carrot and green bean medley for dinner. You can’t even get that at a restaurant. Nor could you get the custard pie with blackberry sauce that Jill kindly made us for dessert.
Clothing should take up virtually NONE of your hard-earned cash. We buy only shoes, socks and underwear. Most everything else we have gotten visiting friends and family, who were “just going to take numerous bags of clothes they were tired of to Goodwill”.
Once you get the “simple liver” rap, people who know you EXPECT to dump their out-of-fashion clothes on you. Wear it as a badge of honor. Be the coyote. Live off of what the system throws away.
Dumpster-diving can also be quite lucrative in the area of clothing, though we’ve procured perfectly good refrigerators, computers, couches and beds this way, as well.
There are simply too many clothes in the world. One trip to Africa will convince you of that. There, ships full of used US, Japanese and European clothing arrive to be resold at village markets. Don’t buy clothes, let them come to you. And they will.
Stay away from name-brand products. My friend, Jim, used to work at a household battery factory in NW Missouri. He says they shipped the exact same batteries out of the place, labeling some Duracell and other high-dollar brands, and others with cheap generic brands. The batteries were exactly the same except for the labels.
Monthly household bills can consume a huge percentage of a paycheck, which could have otherwise gone into that grubstake savings account. If you’re struggling to save and/or need to get out of debt, start by cutting off your cable/satellite TV and your internet service. I didn’t have either until I was in my late 30’s and saved thousands of dollars as a result. I didn’t even have a phone for a number of years.
TV is the central component in matrix programming plans to ensure your slavery. Whether you are aware of it or not, TV commercials and “programs” are constantly telling you how to be obedient and “fit in” through shopping and by being a sheeple. Getting rid of your television is quite a liberating experience.
The internet can also be a monumental waste of time. If you need it, you can access it at every public library in the land and many colleges and university libraries, as well. One of the worst decisions you can make is to have a mobile device with a high monthly charge that allows you to text or Facebook away your precious time and money!
If you do have cable/satellite or internet service at home, check your bills carefully. These companies are notorious in the nickel-and-dime arena. Never buy their “equipment protection plans”. I recently had trouble with both my phone and my TV. In both cases, I was able to sign up for these repair plans the same day I needed things fixed.
Pay for the service one month or as required, get you stuff fixed for free, then drop the service. And don’t forget to get your “time without service” credit, which will likely more than pay for that one-month of the extra charge.
Choose either a cell phone or land line, but not both. Such duplication is a waste of money. If you have kids, don’t spoil them by buying them each a cell phone and an internet computer and a TV for their room. Just because the other wage slaves in the neighborhood choose to unwittingly destroy their children’s minds by hard wiring them to the matrix, doesn’t mean you have to.
Be a parent, teach your kids why this junk is detrimental and they will respect you more for it in the end. You’ll also save lots of grubstake money.
Try to starve the power company monkey as much as possible. In winter, try keeping your thermostat at around 64 degrees in the day and turned down to 59 degrees at night. Wear a sweater by day and put an extra blanket on the bed at night.
In summer, open your windows overnight as much as possible. We only resort to air conditioning at night when the overnight lows hit around 75 degrees. Otherwise it’s much less stuffy, more comfortable, healthier and, yes, cheaper to open those windows.
If you’ve escaped the matrix day job routine and are at home, leave the windows open in the morning until it gets hot outside. Shut windows and sunny side blinds during the heat of day and open them again when it has cooled down. If it gets stuffy in the afternoon, run the A/C for a few hours, then turn it off and open the windows an hour or so later. Try running you’re A/C at 77 degrees and use “energy saver” mode, if available.
If you have access to free firewood, consider getting a woodstove. We love ours. I don’t even have a chainsaw. It’s just an extra expense, fossil fuel driven, dangerous, and not necessarily easier.
I use a $4 bow saw and cut smaller downed (and already seasoned) timber no bigger than four inches in diameter. It’s easy to cut (the bow saw was a great invention since its small thin blade offers less resistance and cuts through wood like butter), there is no splitting required and the smaller wood burns hotter so less is needed. Best of all I’ve not paid the oil cartel one dime.
Unplug all you can when you go to bed at night and when not using an appliance. Put up a clothes line to dry your laundry. Once we got ours put up at the new place, I unplugged the electric dryer and haven’t used it since. Just by pulling that greedy 220 plug, we now save $5-$7 off our monthly electric bill. Last month it was $45 and most of that was the $25 minimum charge.
If you live in a rural area, there is no reason to get trash service. Simply dig yourself a shallow fire pit well away from any structures or trees. Organize your trash into compost, burnables and what we call “outbound” trash – mainly metal and glass.
I burn anything that will burn. Some of my “environmentally-conscious” friends cringe at the idea of burning plastics, but I feel it is far more irresponsible to have someone else ship your trash off to a giant toxic landfill in some poor neighborhood and force those residents to suffer the health consequences.
Better to have to personally endure a small plume of noxious smoke once in awhile to remind you to consume less.
If you sort your trash this way, you will be blown away at how little “outbound” trash you generate. Never buy “garbage bags”. Simply recycle grocery store bags. Use these as your trash bags.
When we go to town once a week, we take our one grocery store bag of outbound trash and deposit it at a gas station or mega-store trash receptacle. The trash man will survive without your monthly check.
This is another good reason to stay out of the inside aisles at the matrix supermarket, since this is where the nutrition-less, landfill-consuming canned items lurk. You can’t burn a can.
If you have recycling facilities use them.
Never buy dish rags. Cut up old worn out clothes and bath towels for this task. Cut out all the various high-dollar specialty cleaning products, too. Vinegar, baking soda and dish soap will clean anything from your car to your toilet.
A particularly irksome development of late is this liquid bath soap craze. Isn’t it obvious that a bar of soap lasts longer, is easier to use, doesn’t get wasted and is way cheaper than this creepy liquid stuff that doesn’t even seem to get you clean?
Never buy envelopes. You’ll accumulate plenty in the mail from different places. Recycle them. Never buy paper. Recycled mail works fine. You can cut some sheets of these up to make smaller note pads.
Speaking of note pads, I’m a big believer in making lists each and every day of the things you need to do that day. This is especially true if you have wriggled out of that matrix job and are now relying on your own hard work and efficiency to stay free.
Lastly, keep track of your expenses every day. At the end of the month compare what you’ve spent with what you’ve earned.
Our income last month was only $1,288. But we spent only $533, adding $750 that month to our grubstake. Not bad for a couple of hillbillies.
Dean Henderson is the author of five books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries,Das Kartell der Federal Reserve, Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @www.hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com