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OFF GRID EXPERIMENT

On April 19th, we are going to shut off our water and power and see what it will be like to live without public water and power for two weeks.  During that two weeks, I will try to blog every day to let you know what went well and what little surprises popped up that we didn’t expect.  I think we are pretty prepared but this little experiment will show us where we have preparedness weaknesses.

My plan is to use and test all of our main and backup systems during the two weeks.  I want to put both our generator and small solar system to the test.  I want to cook at least one day on each camp stove, BBQ, and wood burning stove we have.

I want to see just how far 3 gallons of water a day can go.  I want to try out our DIY drip water filter and see how much pond, pool or rain water it can handle.  I hope it rains during the two weeks so I can test our ability to catch and use rain water.

We are going to eat from 2 different food supplies that I mention in “Keep It Simple Survival – 2 Week Emergency Plan”.  The first week we will use the “Shoestring 2 Week Food Supply”.  It is made up of simple, good nutritious, yet cheap food.  A whole 14 day supply for one person can be purchased for $9-$10 (14 days food supply for one person will feed two people for a week). That is $.64 – $71 per day.  Here is what’s included:

  • Rice – 1.5 lbs. – 15 servings
  • Corn Bread Mix – 1 pkg. Jiffy – 6 servings
  • Flour – 1.5 lbs. – 21 servings
  • Rolled Quick Oats – 1 lbs. – 10 servings
  • Pasta – 1 lb. – 8 servings
  • Ramen Noodles – 6 pkgs. – 6 servings
  • Beans – 2 lbs. – 14 servings
  • Tomato Sauce – 8 – 8 oz. cans
  • Peanut Butter – 18 oz. jar
  • Jam / Jelly – 16 oz. jar
  • Oil – 28 oz. bottle

 

The second week we will use one-half of an Augason Farms 30-Day Food Supply (one-half a 30 day food supply for one person will feed two people for a week). I just found these on sale at Sam’s Club for $102, so the one week supply will cost $51.  Here is what’s included:

  • Vegetarian Meat Substitute Beef (flavored)
  • Vegetarian Meat Substitute Bacon Bits (flavored)
  • Vegetarian Meat Substitute Chicken (flavored)
  • Dried Whole Eggs
  • Dehydrated Potato Gems
  • Dehydrated Potato Dices
  • Dehydrated Chopped Onions
  • Freeze-Dried Sweet Corn
  • Freeze-Dried Broccoli Florets & Stems
  • Honey Coated Banana Slices
  • Freeze-Dried Whole Strawberries
  • Cheesy Broccoli Soup Mix
  • Creamy Potato Soup Mix
  • Chicken Noodle Soup Mix
  • Southwest Chili Mix
  • Orange Delight Drink Mix
  • Chocolate Morning Moo’s Milk Alternative
  • Country Fresh 100% Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
  • Long Grain White Rice
  • Creamy Wheat Cereal
  • Buttermilk Pancake Mix

I also add flour and sugar to round out the Augason Farm Food Supply.

We will also use what I call an “Essential Pantry” of Spices and Basic Kitchen Supplies.  Everything on the list is available at the Dollar Store.  Here is what’s included:

  • Bouillon Cubes, Chicken
  • Bouillon Cubes, Beef
  • Hot Sauce
  • Chili Powder
  • Cinnamon, ground
  • Cumin, ground
  • Garlic Powder or Granules
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Onion Flakes
  • Pepper, Black
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder

Total food cost for two weeks for two people will be about $65.

As far as Gasoline for the cars, we are not going to fill the tanks the night before our experiment.  We usually keep at least a half tank of gasoline in the car so where ever the gas gauge is at on the morning of the 19th is what we will have to work with.  We are retired so we can adjust where and how often we drive.

That’s the basics.  No trips to the store, live on what power we can produce, and eat a shoestring food supply.

 

Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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