Which Survival Vehicles Should You Own?

Which Survival Vehicles Should You Own? Flashy cars are certainly a status symbol – and there’s nothing quite like cruising to the beach in a newer model convertible with the top down and the wind on your face. Except the flash won’t do you any good when a disaster strikes.

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When a disaster strikes, many people become stranded because the roads are impassible to ordinary cars. Debris clogs the roads – and if you try to take a flashy little car over debris on the road or through the slick mud-covered trails, you’re not going to make it very far.

Which Survival Vehicles Should You Own?

You have to have a vehicle that’s not going to wimp out when there’s a little trouble on the road. You need to get a four-wheel drive that will give you the traction you need when things get a little rough.

Not only do you need a four-wheel drive, but you have to have something that gives you some space. Having a small four-wheel drive is okay if it’s just you. It’s okay if you and your family want to run up to the corner supermarket, but loaded down with all the gear you need to take, that small four-wheel drive isn’t going to make the cut.

So get a vehicle that offers you all the room you and your family will need to pack it up and haul out of any bad situation. You want something easy to maneuver – so that doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy a truck with monster wheels.

You need to be able to get the vehicle through the area you want to go. So a good rule of thumb is to get a vehicle that can handle going off the road and make sure that you, your family, and all of your bug-out gear can easily fit into it.

Sometimes, not even a decent vehicle is going to cut it when the road floods. To make sure you’re covered by land or by water, you should have a survival boat. Don’t waste your time on an inflatable boat for long-term use.

The debris in the water will make sure it doesn’t last very long. You want something that your family can bug out in – but something that will also provide shelter if you have to stay on it for several days.

In the best scenario, a boat is merely a means of getting where you need to go, but the great thing about boats is that you can buy one that’s big enough to hold all of the equipment you need to survive temporarily.

You also want to have a four-wheeler. You want to have a four-wheeler if you need to get out and your vehicle can’t make the trip out. You can use the 4-wheeler to transport yourself and your family members (even if you have to make several trips) to an area where your boat or an alternative escape means awaits.

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The Top 5 Prepper Survival Vehicles You Can Own

When it’s time for survival, or when you’re planning to live on your own homestead off the grid, you want to have various vehicles at your disposal. The terrain will be different depending on where you live and where you want to get to, so you have to plan everything in between.


1 – Trucks or SUVs are good for carrying lots of items for a short-term emergency. They’re durable and can help you pass over things that a regular small car may not make it past.

2 – Motorcycles, Bikes and 4-Wheelers are essential because it allows you to get through certain obstacles without a lot of room necessary to get by. They’re also good for going off-road.

3 – Boats, Canoes, and Amphibious Craft are perfect if you need to go in or on the water. You might start with a small watercraft and build up to a formidable yacht that would take you seaward if you needed to go that route.

4 – Campers and Trailers are great for families who want to have a bit more protection than what a tent allows for – and they’re portable without having to pack up and set up every time you need to move. Trailers can store supplies for you while campers give you a ready-made shelter. We like Crazy Camping Gal for all things camping.

5 – Horses aren’t usually considered a vehicle, but you must have a way to navigate without fuel, and animal transportation is the way they did it in the old days, and it isn’t too good for us in a crisis now.

If you are building a homestead somewhere other than where you live now, and storing vehicles at another property, make sure you maintain their care. A car that goes unused can develop flat tires and rot in its shell if enough time goes by without it getting turned on and maintenance.

Consider getting some additional accessories for your vehicles, like fuel bladders that you can fill up and take with you if gas stations aren’t working or aren’t in your vicinity. Luggage racks might also help if you have more to carry than what your trunk allows for.

Consider getting the best off-road tires you can afford. There may be many cases where the roads are blocked with obstacles, or they’re not safe to travel openly – and you’ll want tired you can depend on to take you off into unpaved terrain.

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Which Survival Vehicles Should You Own with a horse

Setting Up Your Survival Seed Bank

Setting Up Your Survival Seed Bank? Some people avoid reading or watching the news because they don’t like what’s going on globally. But avoidance can’t stop what’s coming because you can’t control the things that affect the world’s food supply. 

Setting Up Your Survival Seed Bank article cover image with seeds

There’s an impending sense that a major food crisis is on the way, and the government is trying to prepare right now for that crisis.

Setting Up Your Survival Seed Bank

But if you know anything about how the world is run, then you know that if you’re not the one in charge of your family’s food supply, you and your loved ones could very well end up standing in a ration line or worse – going hungry. 

Why You Need to Have a Survival Seed Bank

Far too many people have the mistaken belief that if something terrible does happen that interrupts their access to food supplies, the government will have a backup plan to save their family. 

When millions upon millions of people rely on the same belief that there will be enough to go around, they’re going to end up disillusioned. There won’t be. The government isn’t going to be prepared for any major food crisis. 


Why? Because they can’t stockpile enough food to feed millions of people for a long-term situation. You might think that the hope for relief from a food crisis lies at the base of Mount Plateau in the depths of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which houses the world’s biggest seed storage. 

But the seeds in this vault aren’t coming to your rescue, and you won’t be able to get to those seeds. Take a look in the mirror. You’re looking at the person who’s your best chance of survival. 

It’s up to you to know what to do and to be prepared for any food emergency. That means that you’re going to need to understand how you can live off the grid. When every method of getting food is suddenly stripped away from you, it can’t be the catalyst that rocks your world. 

You have to have a way to replenish your food supply long term. Even if you have some canned goods socked away in the event of a flood catastrophe, having goods that will last you a few years isn’t enough. 

You have to be able to bring food back in. And if there’s no way to get food from a grocery store and the government’s hands are tied, then what are you going to do? You need to be able to have a survival garden that will take care of you and your family’s nutritional needs for many years to come. 

You start this by having the seeds that you need to raise a survival garden – and you need to have enough of them to plant a few acres’ worth of food. This means that you need to have the kinds of seeds that can reproduce themselves. 

They’ll keep on producing for you. And you also want to look for seeds that haven’t been modified. When you plant seeds from a seed bank, you can guarantee that you’ll have food year after year – regardless of what’s going on in the rest of the world. 

Using seeds from the foods you grow (and replanting those once your crops come in), you’ll ensure that your food supply will continually produce. You want to make sure that you look for seeds that offer a lot of produce return and ones that are high in nutrition and are long-lasting. 

What Seeds You Need to Have in Your Survival Seed Bank

To sustain life, certain seeds are a must-have, so the seeds you buy for your survival seed bank need to have these seeds in the container. It would be best if you had a variety of beans. 

Some of the better varieties are bountiful beans, October beans, and stringless black Valentine beans. Beans can produce a crop in a time frame of 47 to 90 days, depending on the type of bean seed you choose to plant. 


Beans are staples that provide you with protein as well as fiber. Beans are also very sturdy crops and can produce an abundant supply of food. Because of their protein and fiber content, they can give you plenty of energy. 

Corn seeds are something that you also need in your survival seed bank. Corn is a staple food that can keep your family sustained for long term food survival. You’ll want corn that can grow quickly, in less than three months. 

For that, look for seeds like Reid’s Yellow Dent Corn or Stowell’s Evergreen Corn. These usually grow in twin ears with an average length of between 8-10 inches, so they’re very hearty. 

Cabbage seeds – like the Copenhagen Market ones – need to be in your seed bank. These heads usually grow to be a decent size and offer gardeners a little over 3 pounds of cabbage per head. They can reach maturity in just over two months. 

When considering which seeds to get for your seed bank, you want to take a look at how those foods will help you maintain good health. You’ll want to look at whether they offer anti-inflammatory properties and other benefits. 

If you choose beet seeds like Detroit Dark Red Beets, these are a food loaded with anti-inflammatory assistance for you. Plus, they promote some internal organ benefits, too. These seeds can reach maturity in about two months. 

Remember when your mom told you to eat your greens because they’re good for you? She was right – especially when it comes to spinach grown from Bloomsdale spinach seed. 

These will grow into tasty plants that are packed with nutrients, including the A and K vitamins. Plus, they’re rich in Vitamin C and folate. These seeds produce a fast crop, and you can usually have viable plants in about six weeks. 

You’ll also want to get loose leaf lettuce such as Oakleaf or Red Salad Bowl for greens. Both of these seeds can reach maturity in less than two months. Other greens you’ll want to include in your diet are Green Arrow Peas. These can be harvested in about two months and produce an abundant crop. 

Cucumbers like Bushy Cucumbers are also a great addition to your survival seed bank. These can be ready for harvest in about six weeks. Carrots are also part of a healthy diet. Seeds that produce Scarlet Nantes Carrots can be ready to eat in a little over two months. This kind can usually grow carrots of about 7″ in length. 

Tomatoes can be eaten fresh, canned, or juiced, and ones that come from seeds like Brandywine Tomato. Not only will you get plenty of antioxidants, but these are loaded with vitamins as well. 

Squash and Eggplant also add much-needed vitamins to your diet. Look for ones like Waltham Butternut Squash and Rossa Bianca Eggplant. Don’t forget to bank plenty of fruit seeds like cantaloupes and melons and other varieties. 

You’re going to want to make sure that you have a wide selection of good choices to grow, not just for the vitamin and mineral content but also for each family member’s taste and preferences. 

If you’re wondering where you can get the seeds, you can find them online at specialty companies or online shops. You can find significant savings by buying the seeds in bulk, as well.

How to Store Your Survival Seed Bank

It would help if you had your survival seeds to start the garden that’s going to keep you and your family sustained for however long it takes. Right now, with food still being plentiful and most people able to get whatever they need from the grocery store, seeds aren’t considered all that valuable. 

But when a crisis hits and gets food becomes a free-for-all frenzy, the seeds you have will have a high value. Think of these as your currency and amass as many of them as you possibly can because once the crisis is here, it’s too late, and there will be a run on survival seeds. 

Setting Up Your Survival Seed Bank

When you have these in your possession, you don’t want to go around talking about the fact that you have them. Keep your survival seed bank hidden away, out of sight from prying eyes, to keep the seeds from getting stolen. 

Most survival seeds are shipped to you in packaging that makes them able to be kept viable in storage for a long time. Some of these are stored in such a way that you can even bury them to keep them safe. 

Seeds need to be protected from bacteria, fungi, pests, fluctuating temperatures, and moisture. The most critical issue you need to know about storing seeds is that humidity is not your friend. 

If moisture seeps into your seed storage, it can ruin it. And moisture isn’t the only culprit that can harm your seeds. If you keep the seeds stored in an area where the temperature is too high, it can cause some damage to the seeds. 

You want to make sure that the moisture percentage is kept as low as possible. If you can get it to less than 4 percent, that’s considered a safe moisture percentage for the seeds.

The storage temperature needs to be kept around 40 degrees. By taking care of how you store the seeds, you can ensure their longevity. You also want to make sure that you don’t keep your seeds anywhere in the sun. 

The sun’s heat can change the storage temperature, raising it above healthy seeds. If moisture and heat combined get to the seed, it kills the seed’s ability to grow plants. 

When you get the seeds, if they’re not in containers that are said to be moisture-proof, then you need to be put them in ones that are. When you harvest the crops that you grow from your original survival seeds, you’ll want to save those seeds as well. 

This is an essential step in banking seeds because you don’t know if you’ll have access to them anymore once your original supply has been planted. You’ll want to air dry the seeds from the crops you harvest and then securely store them in water-proof containers in a cool, dark place until it’s time for you to use them. 

When and How to Use Your Survival Seed Bank

As you know, timing is everything. That includes learning when to use your survival seed bank. You don’t want to rush and use the seeds too early – but you don’t want to wait so long that you miss out on the right time. 

You need to be aware of which climate zone you live in because you can’t just plant seeds and expect them to grow if the season that you’re currently in would only end up derailing your plans. 

All of the seeds should be planted according to the hardiness zone of your state. This means that your area will have a certain level of temperatures that make growing a garden with your survival seeds a viable option. 

Planting too soon or too late could not only diminish your crop yield, but you could end up not getting any produce at all – and you don’t want that kind of waste. Plus, counting on having a food supply and ending up not getting it could be a significant stressor for you. 

Plant your garden during your climate zone using your survival seeds when you begin to notice that a food crisis is imminent. And make sure you plant it before the time is at hand to need it. 

You can feasibly plant with your survival seeds and keep the garden producing for years. Remember to always aim for a garden that’s as carefree as you can make it. You’ll want to use your survival seeds to plant a garden that will sustain you and your family with as little fuss as possible. 

This way, you won’t be using any physical labor or any other means, such as bringing in water or setting up a water system. You also want to make sure that you plant your seeds so that you won’t draw attention to whatever it is that you have grown. 

If others see it, your garden could be a target. This means that you can forget about the kind of gardens you see that have perfectly uniform rows. Instead, plant a garden using your banked survival seeds and let nature help you grow that garden. 

Nature is perfectly capable of maintaining crop growth with a minimal amount of effort from you. Layout the garden so that you’re using the ground wisely. This means that you’ll want to plant seeds where the crops can grow together in companionship. 

You’ll also want to plant your seeds according to the height and sun ratio. That means that you need to plan out your garden so that each plant has access to the sun and the right amount of moisture. 

Some seeds offer natural pesticide control. For example, marigold and lavender are both natural pest repellents. Put the taller plants around in a perimeter to help shade crops that need less sun than other plants. 

Usually, this means you plant your bush-type crops. If you use crops that can benefit your pollination purposes, this can help your crops grow. Plants that are used for pollination purposes are seeds that produce fruit – like blueberries. 

If you’re someone who doesn’t have any experience with growing food, then you’re going to want to know how to do it before the time arrives that you must have the knowledge, or else it puts your survival at risk. 

Remember, in an emergency; you may not be able to log onto the Internet to find the answers you need. The best way to learn how to have a successful garden using survival seeds is by going ahead and getting some seeds and planting a garden. 

This way, you’ll already know what to watch for, what didn’t work, and what does work in preparation for the time you need to have the food supply ready. You can also plant other vegetation to help you hide your crops. 

For more gardening tips check out Try To Garden .

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Survival Prepping on a Budget

Survival Prepping on a Budget? Preparation is always the key to surviving whatever life throws at you. Some people try to be prepared for short term situations because they usually think that life will go back to normal quickly. 

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If you’re prepared to rough it without electricity or being able to run down to the store to buy food for only a day or two, you’re probably woefully unprepared. If you’re like most people, you don’t have a lot of money to spend on things that you don’t need to use right now. 

Survival Prepping on a Budget

That’s why it can be all too easy to push survival preparations to the back-burner. But you can take care of your survival needs even if you’re on a budget. You have to do it piecemeal and follow through with your plans.

Make a Plan So You Don’t Buy Haphazardly

Not being familiar with how survival prepping should be handled can lead you to make mistakes with the items you should have on hand for you and your family. 

If you think that prepping means making sure you have enough supplies to make it in the event of a crisis that disrupts the ordinary way of life, you’d be right. But that doesn’t mean that you run out to the huge food storage warehouse and start throwing cans of tuna in the cart. 

Not knowing for sure what you need to get is a fast way to end up short on supplies, not to mention it’s a way to waste the money you have. Having a successful survival method means that you have to plan it. 

You can’t run to the store and haphazardly buy whatever looks like it’ll keep for a while. It would help if you had a checklist of what you should get. This checklist should always start with the items that you must have first. 

Not every item for prepping is needed right away. You always want to start with the most important things first. These will be items that your survival will depend on. 

Usually, what this means is that you plan to buy the basics. It would be best if you started with basic food and water supply since you can’t survive without either of these for very long. 

If that makes you nervous, remember that you can start the short term with the plan to build toward a long-term supply. So your first step would be to aim to stock up a three-day supply of food and water. 

You’ll need to do this for every member of your family – including your pets. For your water supply, you’ll want to look for ones labeled emergency water pouches or survival water pouches. 

These come in packets for easy storage, and you can get them in a three-day supply. That’s your first goal. Keep your plan focused on setting aside supplies for 72 hours, then move on from there. 

Once you have your water supply set aside, then you’ll want to move to your food supply. Just like with the water, you’ll want to make sure that you have a three-day supply of food on hand. 

Figure this for each person. What you’ll want to look for are the emergency food bars that offer around 400 calories a bar and come in different food flavors. 

Be Picky About What You Splurge On

When planning for your survival, it can be easy to get caught up in what you think you have to have. This can lead to unnecessary splurging, which will then eat into the money you have to spend on what you need.  Survival Prepping on a Budget is all about being concerned about how you spend that precious money.

As you start to prepare, you’ll find that you’re faced with many different choices on what you need. Some of these items will be worth you spending more money on, but some of the things aren’t. 

If you’re faced with a situation and need to get out of your house, you’re going to need a way to carry a 3 day supply of food and water. You should have these items already set aside and waiting for you to grab and go. 

These are often referred to as bug out bags or BOBs. These bags should be made of durable material and should be strong and should be water-resistant. 


Buying cheap bug-out bags has the potential to ruin your supplies – so in this case, it’s a good idea to splurge on a good bag. What you want to look for are bags that have good load-bearing ability. 

You’re also going to want to make sure that you have a good dependable communication system. This system could be your only link to knowing what’s going on, and it can be invaluable for helping you to be able to reach your loved ones. 

What you’ll want to splurge on are communication devices such as ham radio or world band radio. You might also want to consider a short-wave radio. Splurge on a decent antenna and a solar charging system. 

What you don’t want to splurge on are items that have many features, can’t be carried along if you need to get out fast, or don’t have a lot of bang for the buck. For example, you’ll need a camp stove. 

You’ll want to splurge on a good one, but you don’t have to get one that has a ton of extras. A camp stove for $20 works just as well as the ones you can find for almost $100. 

When it comes to your eating supplies, you do want to splurge on heirloom seeds. This will be the foundation of your survival once you have your short-term supplies in place. 

This is what you’ll use to create your long-term survival garden as well as keep you and your family fed for the future. 

Buying in Bulk to Cut Costs

It makes sense when you’re buying the way you usually buy your supplies to buy what you need until you can replenish your supplies. But buying supplies for survival prepping works better when you buy them in bulk. Survival Prepping on a Budget means getting more, for less, every time you can.

Retail stores and online stores will always offer a better deal on supplies when purchasing more of them. You can quickly pay around $15 for a month’s supply of emergency survival food bars – but if you buy them in bulk, you can often get a deal where you only pay $60 for a six-month supply, so you end up saving $30. 

The best areas to look for savings on bulk items are going to be in all your basics. You can save money by buying your water in bulk. You’ll save if you do the same for your food or seed supply, too. 

It’s cheaper to buy sees for a year than it is for a few months. Since you’ll need these items anyway, it makes sense to buy them in larger quantities. If you know you want to buy a bulk item, set aside a little money at a time for a larger purchase. 

Also, watch for sales where you can buy items in bulk. Many stores will offer double coupons or bulk purchase deals on things you’ll need. Follow the lead of couponers who do strictly to save money. 

You’ll need a checklist when you’re buying in bulk, not to forget how much of each item you have. Staples are where you’ll begin. Start by purchasing bulk packages of rice. 

You’ll often find these in 50-pound bags. Make sure that you buy your sugar in bulk, too. You can find these in 25-pound bags, and often, they’ll be plastic wrapped together, enabling you to buy them in twin packs or more. 

Get your flour in bulk as well, but make sure before you buy that you have proper storage containers in place to prevent pests from getting into your food items. 

Buying coffee and tea in bulk will also cut your costs. Create a store of powdered milk as well. Stock up on different types of beans, too. Buy your canned goods by the case. 

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You can find these in 12 to 24 can packs. Any food that you normally eat that comes in a can you’ll want to stock up on. These canned foods are often useful for many years from the date when you purchase them. 

What you’ll want to do is keep an eye on the expiration date and rotate them into your normal meal planning if you have to. Then replace your stock with a new batch that has a later expiration date. 

Besides making sure that you buy water and food in bulk, you’ll want to get your hygiene items this way as well. Stock up on supplies like shampoo and soap, razors, toilet paper, feminine products, diapers, deodorant, toothpaste, and lotion for dry skin. 

Stock up on detergent and bleach – especially bleach – because it can be used to disinfect. Getting your medical supplies in bulk will save you money, too. You’ll need to create a store of bandages, gauze, medical tape, disposable gloves, compress, thermometer, antibiotic ointments.

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Make sure to add a first aid kit, wraps, medication to treat sickness or injuries, tweezers, eye drops, sunburn cream, insect bite, and poison ivy treatments. 

Adding to Your Arsenal of Supplies a Little at a Time

Indeed, we often have an all-or-nothing mentality. When it comes to making sure our needs or the needs of our loved ones are met, we want to go all out. With survival prepping, being fully prepared can be expensive. 

But fortunately, you don’t have to buy every one of the supplies that you’ll eventually need all at once. Buying what you would need to survive for the first 72 hours is a good start, and you don’t even have to buy all that at once. 

You can start by focusing your spending power on getting enough water and food for everyone in your household for one day. Then stock for the second day and so on. 

Once you’ve reached your store of three days’ worth of supplies, then you can start adding to your arsenal – hoarding enough for a week, a month, three months, and finally, a year and more.

As you start your supply, look at it like you’re going grocery shopping and get the items you would typically buy at the store but buy them in bulk. If you don’t have a food warehouse membership, that’s not a problem; you can buy what you need online. 

And you don’t have to stick with one supply at a time, such as buying several bags of 25 pounds of rice until you have a reserve. You want to concentrate on getting some of each category of the supplies and then rotate back through it again.

So you would buy your staples one week, making sure you get a large bag of rice. The next week, you would buy the flour, then after that the sugar, and within weeks, you would have your staples knocked off your list. 

That’s the way that you would handle every category. It’s probably wiser to buy your hygiene items while you’re buying your staples because you’ll need those things. 

When you write your list of supplies, put a heading for each area you’ll need to cover for your survival. After food and water, you should have areas marked as tools, shelter, communication, purification, heat, and so on. 

Under the heading of tools, you’d want to start stocking up on items like knives, self-defense weapons, multi-tools, axes, binoculars, shovels, and paracords flashlights, fishing gear, fire starter, manual can opener, cast iron pan, and more. 

For shelter, you would want to make sure you have a supply of Mylar emergency thermal blankets, sleeping bags, a good tarp, and tents. Weather gear can go into that category as well. 

These would be items like a poncho, rain boots, etc. Purification methods are needed because if you find water, you can use that if needed. Some of the methods used are filters or water purification tablets. 

Buying at Certain Times to Save You Money When Survival Prepping on a Budget

It’s a well-known fact that when a crisis is raging, there’s often panic among the masses. One of these reasons is that the media will often excite situations to drive up the ratings. 

This works because it whips people into a frenzy, and they make a run on supplies. You’ve probably seen empty grocery store shelves during times of uncertain weather. 

When this is going on, it will often create a state where the demand will exceed the supply, which only fuels more panic. What retailers do in response to this panic is they will jack up the prices. 

While it’s wrong of them to feed on people’s fears, it’s simply what they do, and it’s been done time and time again everywhere. So while you want to make sure that you get all the supplies you need to have your survival preparation supplies on hand, you want to be careful as far as the timing goes. 

By paying attention to specific times and what’s going on in the world around you, you can save money. When the news is all about doom, gloom, and panic, you shouldn’t buy any of your prepper supplies. 

You’ll only end up being overcharged. The time to purchase supplies for your survival prepping is when life is business as usual. This way, you won’t pay more than you should. 

However, there’s also another time that you should buy your necessary supplies, and that’s during times when there are sales. Throughout the years, various retailers will hold sales. 

You’ll see sales on holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other days. Watch for the supplies you need to go on sale then, especially if they’re the more expensive items. 

Pay attention to in-store sales, discount sales, and bulk buying sales. You can usually find something on sale in every one of the categories on your list. Keep it handy (and updated) and carry it with you at all times just in case. You will find that Survival Prepping on a Budget is easier than you originally thought.

Survival and prepping is something every household should be doing, regardless of their level of income. Dire situations don’t discriminate when it comes to wreaking havoc on society, and you want to be just as ready as your neighbors (if not more so) when anything causes you to go into a bug-out mode. 

No amount of prepping is too small. If all you can buy is an extra 3-pound bag of rice, then do it. A couple of cans of soup here and there is also a start. Don’t wait until you have plenty of extra money to buy everything all at once. 

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Setting Up a Shipping Container Survival Home

Setting Up a Shipping Container Survival Home? Your home is the hub of your family life. It’s where you can gain a respite from anything that’s going on. You can relax, spend time with the people you love, and be secure from harm, and you don’t have to pay a lot of money to have this safe haven.

Setting Up a Shipping Container Survival Home article cover image

When you look around you at the homes already in existence, you can see many owners’ problems. Not only that, but the homes manufactured aren’t always made with materials that can stand the test of time – let alone be sturdy enough to act as a survival home. 

Setting Up a Shipping Container Survival Home

Knowing this, many people decided to look for other housing options for their living needs. There’s a simple, affordable option that can protect you and your loved ones quite well – shipping containers!

What Is a Shipping Container Survival Home?

People wanting to make sure they have a sturdy home in the event of a survival situation aren’t the only ones buying and setting up container homes. Because they’re easier to put in place and can be turned into functional and beautiful homes, builders, architects on the cutting edge of design, and some of the grid home buyers are searching for these containers to use.

Shipping containers are in demand for use as survival homes, and it has to do with their reputation as almost indestructible. These homes are made out of square or rectangle shipping containers. 

Since the containers are made of steel, they’re incredibly durable. They’re strong enough to handle the rigors of long-distance shipping – even from country to country. 

They can handle travel by cargo ship, by truck over the road and by train. They can be lifted by forklift high into the air and settled on land or moved from one point to another without it affecting the structure of the container. 

You can’t do that with a regular home because they’re not made to withstand the kind of treatment a container can take. These containers are also built to withstand long periods of storage when they’re not being used for any purpose. 

They can be used repeatedly regardless of whatever was in them before purchase. You can also use these containers in any climate because they’re resistant to what would typically wear out regular home building materials that are built in harsher areas.

Like other survival homes, these are meant to be used as either short term bug out retreats or long term survival homes. They can be used as bug-out shelters or made into a permanent home that can withstand the fallout from a collapsing economy or society. 

It all depends on how the container is set up. One can leave the containers in their natural state – which means they look like a shipping container to anyone looking at them – or you can they can be retrofitted to look like a modern home. 

How this turns out depends on the purpose of the container and the amount of money and effort the buyer is willing to put into outfitting the container for use. These survival homes can offer a lot of amenities quickly and cheaply. 

While you might think of these containers as merely a means to survive, many of these can be turned into homes that are more beautiful than the high-end homes you see available on the market today. 

Anything that goes in a typical home can be used in a container survival home, and in fact, most of the container homes turn out to be far more eye-catching and comfortable. 

Why Do Preppers Love This Option?

There are several good reasons that preppers choose shipping container survival homes as an option. These containers are plentiful. You can find them everywhere. 

They’re in every state, every country, and you’ll find hundreds of businesses that have shipping containers available for purchase. These kinds of homes are a better choice for the environment because repurposed steel containers are kept out of the landfills or aren’t left empty and abandoned in some vacant lot for years. 

Besides being good for the environment, purchasing a shipping container is a good financial move as far as housing options go. These containers are very inexpensive to own. 

You can purchase ten containers for far less money than you would have to shell out to give a down payment on a traditional home. And with a shipping container, you’re not dealing with a mortgage payment for the next thirty years. 

These containers are built to last, and they have reinforced ends on either side. That reinforcement gives them the ability to be stacked and fitted together on top of each other with good support. 

That means you can use them to build a two-story or taller home if you choose to. The support of a steel container is better than what’s offered in a traditional home. 

There are plenty of bonuses from using a container home because some of the common issues that come along with living in a wood home, you don’t have to deal with in a container home. 

If you get water damage in a home that uses wood materials, you end up with mold issues, including the hazardous black mold. But with steel containers, mold is never a problem because mold can’t grow in or on steel. 

Another plus is that, unlike a regular home, these containers are fire proof. Steel doesn’t catch fire as wood homes do. So your family is safer living in a steel home instead of a bug out cabin. 

Pests can be a big problem for people who have their homes built from materials that are currently available. Termites can work to destroy a home and are often not seen until the damage is substantial. 

In some cases, a home isn’t livable after termites have caused extensive structural damage. But those who live in a container home don’t have to worry about termites and their destructive habits because termites can’t destroy steel. 

Preppers also prefer shipping containers as survival homes because you can easily hide them from view with foliage, trees, and other natural coverings. This helps protect your family against would-be thieves and people who might want to harm your family or your property or steal your supplies. 

Designing a Shipping Container Home for Your Needs

All shipping container survival homes won’t look alike despite their outward appearance. These homes can be designed around whatever needs you plan to have them serve. 

Some people opt for very simple and basic furnishings. They make only enough changes in the container to make it livable. Others prefer to make more drastic changes and outfit the container so that it looks more like a luxury home than a container. 

Whatever your needs, you can create a container to match it. Since these come in small or large sizes, you can choose the size according to how big of a space you want to live in. 

For some people, a small space works well. They’re able to live very simply and keep everything running smoothly in a smaller area. However, others either need a larger space due to their family size or prefer to have a roomier place to live. 

The sizes of these containers can range from six feet to 45 feet. The smaller the container, the less width you’ll have. For example, a twenty-foot container would give you just over 2,400 width space. 

All containers can be left as an open floor plan, or the sections can be divided into rooms according to need or privacy. You can take a forty-five-foot container and have enough space to make two or three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and bathroom, and each room would be spacious. 

The containers are low maintenance shelters, which leaves buyers with more freedom to make changes. The containers can be wired for electricity, or they can be fitted with solar panels. 

You can leave the walls in their natural state, or they can be covered by drywall or paneling. The ceilings can be changed, You can add skylights, and so can windows and doors. 

You can even have sliding glass doors installed. You do have to use materials that are specifically designed to fit with steel containers – since fitting them with doors and windows have different requirements than a wood home does. 

Any amenity that you have in a home, you can have with a steel container. That includes a fireplace if you want one. Heating, cooling, and plumbing can be done just like you’d see in a typical home. 

You can also use other means such as passive cooling and composting toilets if you want to stick with environment-friendly options. The good news is that a shipping container is so easily retrofitted that you can make most of the changes you want to do yourself without hiring help. 

How to Acquire the Shipping Containers You Need

You can’t run up to your local home improvement store and order however many shipping containers you’d like to have. Though they are plentiful, you have to know where you can get them. 

You can expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars or less for the container you want to buy. Don’t spend more than that because the going rate for containers is between $1,000 and $2,000 – depending on the size of the container you want. 

But another thing that can affect the cost is whether or not the container is refurbished or insulated. Some companies will charge more for high cube containers – but not all of them will. 

Buying the biggest container at a reasonable price will allow you to save money to customize your purchase. Make sure that you look for places that sell aftermarket containers. 

This means the container is no longer used for the company’s shipping purposes and has been retired. Many of these containers will have been in use for about ten years. 

Shipping companies have limits and regulations to follow for pulling containers out of service, but these containers are still viable home options for savvy buyers. 

Some containers are offered at great prices at auction sites, both local and online. You can bid on the containers as they come available. Some trucking companies have containers they will sell. 

Pay attention to certain code words that are used. For example, “one-trip” means the container was used to make a trip to another country. Sometimes, these containers are not reused for other purposes, but sometimes they are. 

You also want to make sure you look for words like “cargo worthy.” It’s in your best interest to closely inspect the container before buying or have it inspected. While some dents are typical in shipping containers, large dents indicate that the container experienced damage that may impact its support capability if the dents are in the corners where the support structures are. 

You can find the containers at local container companies in your area by simply searching online. Put in the phrase “shipping container sales” or “buy a shipping container.” 

If you want to be specific for your area, then type in your city and state. But what you want to look for are companies that offer delivery and set up. If you don’t go with a company that also offers delivery and set up for an additional portion of the selling price, then what ends up happening is you’ll have to pay extra to a third party. 

This is because you’ll have to have the forklift on your property that’s strong enough to handle retrieving the container from the bed of the truck and can situate the container where you want it to go. 

You have to have the area already prepared before you have the container delivered. The site should be flat and stable to support the container. If you plan to bury it underground, you need to have the hole dug out and prepped beforehand. 

What You Can and Can’t Do With a Shipping Container Home

Using a shipping container home is a wise investment, but there are some limitations to using these homes. Some buyers think that a container home means that nothing can destroy the house or cause it to be damaged, and this isn’t true. 

Some things are not safe to do with a container home unless you take a few extra steps to make sure it’s safe first. Some preppers believe that it’s okay to bury a container home under the ground to keep it safe from nuclear fallout, invaders, and other issues. 

But burying a container home is unsafe because it can cause the container walls and the roof to cave inward. This happens because the container is built to withstand a certain amount of pressure. 

When you bury a container, the pressure limits are exceeded by the force of the earth around it and the force on top of it. If you feel you have to bury the shipping container, you must take steps to keep the collapse from happening. 

This includes steps like building concrete barriers on the container’s sides to keep the pressure off the walls. The weight must be supported on the roof as well. 

Setting Up a Shipping Container Survival Home

You’d have to retrofit the container so that the weight of the soil was kept off the roof of it. You can use a shipping container home to grow a garden right on the roof of it. 

This serves a few different purposes. One, it helps to make the container blend in with its surroundings. Two, having a garden on top can be a source of sustainable food if you choose to have that over a flower garden, and three, covering the container from the impact of direct sunlight can help create a way to keep the container cooler in the summer. 

It can also keep the container warmer in the winter. Some people use the top of their container to create a small covered patio area where they can entertain and barbecue with friends or sit on chairs to enjoy the outdoors. Others simply plant grass seed to make it look like the container is part of the area. 

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A Simple Living Guide to Rainwater Usage

Water is one of our greatest natural resources.  However, when it rains, most of the water ends up in storm drain systems where it has to be treated to be recycled. But you can actually create systems to store and use rainwater where it will do the most good.  You can also save money and natural resources by following a rainwater usage plan for your household.

A Simple Living Guide to Rainwater Usage article cover image

A Simple Living Guide to Rainwater Usage

The Benefits of Storing and Using Rainwater

There are many reasons to store and use rainwater.  It benefits both you and the environment around you.  People have stored rainwater for thousands of years, so this isn’t a new idea. 

It’s just become more popular in recent years as we’ve learned what a great benefit it can be.  Understanding more about these benefits can help you make the decision to begin using rainwater.

First, storing rainwater actually reduces flooding and erosion that can be caused by the downspout of your gutters.  This can help keep your yard looking great and prevent water from ending up in storage drain systems.

Using rainwater saves money

When you store and use rainwater, you can also save money.  Normally, you have to pay for the water that you use to irrigate your lawn or to wash your car.  But with stored rainwater, this becomes a free resource for you.

Rainwater is better for your plants

When you use rainwater to water your plants, you’ll actually provide them with better nutrition.  Rainwater is naturally full of minerals that are good for plants.  It’s also free from pollutants and chemicals found in tap water.

If you live in an area that can be prone to drought, storing rainwater can provide you with a water source during those dry times.  City water sometimes becomes restricted during drought conditions, but your rain barrels will be accessible to you.

When it comes to the environment, freshwater is an extremely limited resource.  Only 3% of the world’s water supply is able to be used for drinking and other home use. 

Because water consumption is high in industrialized countries, natural sources of water are beginning to dry up.  Harvesting rainwater captures a renewable resource and prevents water from entering storm drainage systems where it can become contaminated.

Creating a Storage System for Rainwater

Collecting rainwater has become a popular way to conserve water in recent years.  That’s good news – because it’s made it possible to find many different systems for storing it.

One of the most popular and least expensive methods is using a rain barrel. Rain barrels are large containers that can collect rainwater from the gutters of your home.  They can be made from materials such as large trash cans or buckets.

You can also purchase commercial kits that you can put together easily designed specifically for storing rainwater.  Once you have a system in place, your bucket will begin to fill each time it rains.

With a rain barrel it’s important to make sure you take some safety precautions.  For example, the top needs to have a child and pet proof top that doesn’t allow small ones to fall in. 

You also need to have a filter at the top that prevents debris from going into the barrel along with the rainwater.  If you find that this system works well for you, you can even add multiple barrels so that you don’t have any overflow during a rainy season.

Rain barrels typically have a tap at the bottom for you to remove the water.  Some of them allow you to attach a standard garden hose so that you can use the water directly in your yard.

how to use rainwater

Always make sure that any material you use for your rain barrel is food grade.  This means it won’t leach harmful chemicals into the water and the water will be safe to use.

While rain barrels are the least expensive and simplest to install, there are more sophisticated systems if you’d like to have more water storage and can afford the extra cost.

A rain barrel typically holds around 50 gallons of water for use.  You can have several barrels to hold more water.  But if you’re interested in storing much more, you’ll need a different type of collection system.  One choice is called the Rainwater Pillow. 

The Rainwater Pillow is a system that holds up to 1,000 or more gallons of water using a fabric container.  The amount it holds will depend on the size that you purchase.  For the typical homeowner, the original 1,000 gallon size is sufficient.

This system is much more expensive, costing thousands of dollars, but if you use a lot of water in your household for gardening or even farming this could be a valuable investment for you.

You can also invest in an underground system that catches rainwater and allows you to pump it out for use.  You can purchase a system that will provide water for your lawn and garden, but can also be used for toilets.

This system is quite a bit more expensive than other options because of its size, underground placement, and materials.  However, it can pay for itself in the long run by replacing your dependence on other water supplies.

In order to have this type of system, you’ll want to look in your local area for a company that specializes in it.  The cost will depend on your area and your specific needs.

First Flush Systems for the Cleanest Water

One concern people have when using a rainwater barrel system from the rooftop is that it can become polluted by materials on your rooftop as the rainwater heads to the gutters.

This is a real concern as debris can contaminate the water in your barrel.  A great solution for this is to use a first flush system.  The first rain you’ve had is usually the most polluted as it washes away debris.

With a first flush system, the first five or even 10 gallons of water are stored and set aside from the rest of your rain barrel storage.  This is the water most likely to end up with sediments or chemicals.

rainwater use tips

You can simply use that water for your lawn and use the rest of the water for your purposes such as a vegetable garden or household cleaning. 

Rain Barrel Maintenance

Once you have a rain barrel, there are things you’ll need to do to keep it in good condition so that you can make use of the water you’ve stored.  These simple steps will help you get the most of your system.

First, you should empty your barrel at least once a month.  This keeps water from accumulating algae and developing an unpleasant smell.  If you want to be able to allow water to sit longer, you can add a capful of chlorine bleach to the barrel.

This will stop the development of algae and at that small concentration it won’t harm your plants.  However, if you use more than that, it could become harmful.  You also want to avoid using an acid such as vinegar because it will harm your plants.

When it comes to your gutters, you’ll want to make sure that you clean them regularly or install a gutter screen that prevents debris from getting in.  This will cut down on the debris and sediment that gets into your rain barrel.

If you notice that your barrel has developed a leak, you don’t have to throw it out.  In many cases you can use aquarium caulk made from silicone to seal up the hole.  This is available in hardware stores and is inexpensive.

Another concern for rainwater barrels is the development of mosquito populations.  Draining the barrel regularly is one way to prevent this.  But you can also add a larvae tablet to your barrel that can prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Adding this type of tablet won’t harm your plants and will prevent problems such as West Nile virus that can be spread through contact with mosquitoes.

You also need to be careful if you live in an area with very cold winters.  Freezing and thawing over and over again can weaken your rain barrel.  Before it gets that cold, drain your barrel and disconnect it to prevent problems.

When you’re storing your rain barrel for extended periods of time, it’s best to store them upside down. This keeps them free from debris.

How Much Can You Collect?

You may think it will take a long time to collect water in your rain barrel.  But you can actually collect thousands of gallons a year.  You can figure out approximately how much water you’ll collect for every inch of rainfall.

First, you’ll need to estimate the square footage of your roof.  Then divide that number in half.  The number you end up with is the number of gallons of water you can collect from one inch of rainfall.

how to store rainwater

The average house can collect over 400 gallons of water with a half inch of rain.  As you can imagine, that adds up fast during rainy seasons.  This is a great reason to have multiple barrels or larger systems.

Uses for Stored Rainwater

Rainwater isn’t usually used for drinking (although it can be), but it can be used for many other purposes.  It may surprise you to see how many different ways you can use stored rainwater.

The most obvious use for rainwater that you collect is watering your lawn and garden.  It can be costly to water your yard during dry and hot summer months.  Having a rainwater storage system allows you to have access to free water. 

It will also allow you to continue watering even if your water service has imposed restrictions due to drought. One of the easiest ways to use your barrel is to connect it to a soaker hose.  You can use it to keep your lawn irrigated and you can even use it to protect the foundation of your home.

While this isn’t available everywhere, many cities allow residents to use rainwater to flush toilets.  You can even set up a rainwater system where the water is automatically brought into your home for toilet flushing.

This can actually save you quite a bit of money on your water bill, especially if you have a large family or many toilets that are used frequently.

If you own an automobile, you can use rainwater to fill your radiator instead of the tap water you might normally use.  In most cases this will need to be mixed with antifreeze.

You can also use rainwater to wash your car instead of hooking up the hose to the city water system.  This will save money and conserve the water you would normally use.

When you need to clean your home, you can use rainwater instead of tap water to mop.  Simply fill a bucket and bring it inside to clean your floors and other surfaces.

You can use rainwater for washing dishes and even for bathing if you have a filter system to make it better for use inside.  It can also be used for laundry.  Laundry actually makes up a large percentage of water use in households, so this can save a lot of money.

Having water stored in rain barrels can help you if you have a natural disaster or other emergency that keeps you from being able to use your typical water supply. You’ll want to make sure that you have filtration and purification tools before using it. 

For example, you may need to boil the water before drinking or add water purification tablets in order to drink the water.

You can even share the water you’ve collected with neighbors if you have more than you can use.  This can serve as a great example and encourage others to install their own rain barrel systems.

You may not think that your small system of rain barrels makes a big difference, but it can make a difference for your household and you can create a ripple effect in your community.

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Why a Solar Panel is Worth the Investment

With the way energy costs are soaring nationwide, more people want to find a cheaper energy source. You may be wondering, “What is a solar panel, and how it can help me cut electricity costs for my home?”

Why a Solar Panel is Worth the Investment article cover image of solar panels on the roof

What Is a Solar Panel?

These panels are made from a type of silicon – and photovoltaic cells within the panel are what work to create the energy consumers can use. The cells in the panels are how the sunlight is collected and converted. Solar power occurs either through using the photovoltaic method or through a solar thermal set up.

You might think that you’ve never seen solar power in effect, but you may have and not realized it. Solar energy has been used in various devices for years. One such device is a solar calculator.

Solar calculators can run based solely on the power they get from the sun. The best part about solar energy is that it’s the energy that’s easily replenished and because it’s a natural resource. By using solar power, you’re saving financially and helping the environment.

It used to be that only businesses or the very wealthy used this type of energy because only they could afford it, but you don’t have to be a Bill Gates to have a home powered in part or wholly by solar panels.

It’s become a very cost-effective way to produce the electricity that you need. You can apply solar power benefits to your home and produce enough energy to say goodbye permanently to those staggering electric bills.

You can order solar kits yourself online and set them up to start producing the needed watts for your home today. You’ll want to get enough solar panels to take care of the electrical demands required for your home, so the amount that you purchase will be determined by the amount of wattage you use. You can figure that out by looking at your current electric bill, but ensure that you also check your seasonal electricity uses since it’s always more in winter and summer.

The panels that you buy can be used for recreational vehicles (like RVs), too. The sturdy panels can withstand some pretty intense weather – including hailstones. You can also use solar panels as an emergency supply of energy if you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to redo your entire home with solar energy.

When you decide to purchase these panels, you can find them separately or with a kit that includes everything you need for charging. A solar panel can save you money, provide your home (or vacation home) with energy, and help lessen your demand for fossil fuels. That’s innovative savings!

Why You Can Benefit from Solar Panel Cells

The cells in solar panels convert the light from the sun into energy that you can use as electricity. You can use this electricity to set yourself free from the rising costs of electricity served up through power companies, and you can use it to create a greener home.

are solar panels worth the investment

Not only is a greener home good for the earth’s resources, but it’s a healthier way for you to live as well. You might think that solar panel cells are new and haven’t been around that long.

These cells first put in appearance back in the late 1800s. Of course, there was a lot that scientists didn’t understand about the power and convenience that could be harvested by using these cells, but over time, this way of producing energy has gained in understanding and popularity.

At their simplest definition, these cells are semiconductors. The semiconductors get the light from the sun and then, through electrons, produce the power you can use. Think of the process as a current – much like you’d find the current flowing through a circuit in your home.

If you touch the current, you’ll get an electrical shock because you’ve come in contact with the voltage – the amount of electricity running through that contact point. To understand how these cells work to create energy, let’s simply explain it.

The battery in your car has both a positive and a negative charge. Solar panels work in the same manner. The cells in the panels, acting as semiconductors, create a positive and a negative.

Electrons in the semiconductor are released when the sunlight hits it (the contact point). This current is what’s used to create the electricity. If you’ve ever looked at a solar panel, the cell is inside the square module, which is inside the panel.

Several modules make up the panel. The bigger the panel, the more modules, the more cells you’ll have. What these cells can be used to power is amazing. Not only homes – but boats, RVs, and more.

Suppose you have a vacation home and it’s a good distance from civilization, and you don’t want your vacation to resemble life-like Little House on the Prairie. In that case, the solar panels’ cells can produce enough electricity to keep you in comfort.

Now, the good news for anyone who wants to switch to using solar energy is that you significantly reduce or eliminate your electric costs. But, in many cases, because you’re going green, you might qualify for a tax break.

The federal government offers a tax break to people who use solar energy. In many cases, the state also offers tax benefits for those who use solar energy. You’ll have to check with the state you reside in to see if you qualify. Be wise about saving and harness the power offered to you by simple solar panel cells.

What Solar Power Energy Can Do for You

Aren’t you ready to finally set yourself free from the grid? Solar power energy can handle most, if not all, of the same electric wattage tasks that regular electric energy does. When you’re ready to take a shower or a soothing bath and want warm water to relax in, the power of solar energy is the source that can make sure your hot water tank is ready to give you the temperature you want with your water.

Are you sick and tired of dreading every single winter season because you know the heating bills are going to be astronomical? They don’t have to be if you’ll tap into the abundance of electricity available through solar panels.

Even if you don’t want to go completely solar, you can have a considerable reduction in expenses and watch your savings grow to the point that you’ll have extra money to do some of the fun extras that families enjoy.

Take a vacation, buy the boat you’ve always wanted – by saving on energy costs, you free up a lot more of your money. You can set your home up yourself to start saving, or you can hire an expert to get the job done for you. And even with the labor cost of installing the panels, this will still be a project (unlike some home projects) that will pay for itself.

By having and using solar energy, you won’t have to worry about being left in the dark again. If you live in a state that often has power blackouts, you can still be up and running.

You’ll be able to have lights (a dark home can cause safety issues for families), and you’ll be able to keep your food from spoiling. Generators use gas (which depletes the earth’s natural resources), and they’re loud – but not only that, they aren’t always ready to work the moment you need them to. You want usable power that’s ready when you need it to be – power you can depend on.

solar panel tips

When you buy your solar panels, you can spend a little, or you can spend a lot. The type of panel you purchase will determine how much energy you can harvest from the sun. You’ll see labels like amorphous, monocrystalline, and polycrystalline used in conjunction with solar panels. These are referring to the different kinds of silicone within the panel, and the type you get does matter as far as energy production is concerned.

Solar panel energy comes from high-efficiency panels and can be purchased in single or multiple panels. You’ll need a charger for the panels, and you can either buy those separately or in a kit.

A small panel installed on the top of an RV can offer enough continuous use to last consumers for over 20 years. The energy can be stored and ready to provide power when you need it.

What to Look for in a Home Solar Panel

It seems as if everything is costing more today than ever before. Everywhere you turn, your pocket is getting tapped for you to fork over more money. Are you like millions of other Americans that are sick and tired of inflation in your energy costs?

If so, you might want to consider switching to solar energy created by using solar panels. You’ll find that not every home solar panel is made alike. They’ll differ in size, cost, and energy efficiency.

Some will only last approximately seven years, while others can last for 25. The long-lasting panels are not always the ones that cost the most. The best panels to buy are the ones that offer you the highest return electricity rate.

For example, panels that use amorphous silicone take longer to stabilize the amount of energy it produces, and it doesn’t make as much energy as other silicones. Many of these panels give approximately 5% in return electricity rate.

It takes more panels using amorphous than it does with other silicones, which means more cost to you. While these types of panels might be great for a smaller project, you wouldn’t want to use this type for your home. Plus, they’re just not a good bet if you live in a state where cold weather is an issue.

Amorphous silicone is one of three kinds that you can use. The next kind is polycrystalline. This is one of the most common panels used today. They’re very cost-effective and have a long-lasting history of dependability.

The most popular panel is the monocrystalline silicone. These panels are perfect for colder climates; they’re long-lasting and have a high return electricity rate. The return electricity rate is one of the essential factors that you want to consider when purchasing panels.

The type of solar panels you set up for your home will make a difference because some of the panels are specifically used with grid-tied systems. This means that your home is one that’s tied in with a utility company.

Most of the time, you can find systems that are tied to grids that end up costing you less and don’t require a rocket scientist to use. Not only that but if you end up creating more electricity than you need, your electric company can end up paying you because you’re generating electricity that can end up back in the grid.

There are a few things you’ll want to think about when you want to install a home solar panel. You’ll need to consider how many rainy days your area has versus good sunny days. Areas that have a more than average amount of rainfall aren’t good candidates for solar energy systems.

Solar Panel Cost – It’s Less Than You Think

There are a lot of questions about the bottom line of solar panel cost. Most people want to know the price of the panels when this isn’t an accurate way to figure out what it will cost you to set your home up on a solar panel system.

Before you do anything, look for your state’s energy office. Each state has one – some might be called the conservation office. When you find it, search their site for renewable energy links.

Use those links to see if your state offers any rebates or credits for outfitting your home with solar panels. If so, you can figure in that financial break as part of the savings for going green.

When adding up the costs involved with having a more economical way of getting electricity, don’t look so hard at the forest that you miss the trees. Because it’s what you overlook that can be where the real savings lie.

Let’s say you’ve decided to use a grid-tied system, and it’s going to cost you $1,000 to set up a small solar system. On your state’s energy site, you see that they’re offering a $300 rebate and a tax credit worth $75.

Why a Solar Panel is Worth the Investment

Your system now only costs $625 for you to buy. You look at your electric bills and see that your costs vary between $250 and $325, depending on the season. Once you have your system set up, your account drops to an average of $75.

You’re saving between $175 to $250 every month. Within a few months, that $1,000 system is paid for just by rebates and energy savings alone. Many utility companies also offer savings for people who want to set up their home with solar panels. When it’s time to file your taxes, you might discover that you get more savings from the federal government, too.

But before you decide which panels you want to buy, figure out how many kilowatt-hours of electricity your home uses and buy your system based on whether you want solar energy to cover all of your home electric output or only some of it.

Take into consideration too the location of your home and the number of daylight hours you get. Some solar systems can be expensive, but keep in mind that when you buy your system, the cost of living will continue to rise.

Electricity rates will rise, but with a solar system in place that takes care of all of your electric demands, you won’t have to be concerned with those increasing costs. What you pay for upfront will last you many years.

The solar panel cost you pay for your home gives you back dividends in energy resource savings, convenience (having power when a storm knocks out power to your neighbors), and financial savings. So the real question isn’t, “What does it cost me to get a solar panel system for my home?” but rather, “What will it cost me if I don’t?”

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