Those are good suggestions to just live better, retreat or not. Coincidentally they are also cheaper. Technology and modern comforts make you comfortable, complacent and mentally and physically weak since you don't need to have discipline to plan ahead or deal with adversity.
-- Starches are not just the cheapest, but also the healthiest way to eat. Dr. John McDougall actually advocates a starch based diet to overcome most chronic care issues like type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, ischemia, etc. So you will also pay less for medical services, but actually be healthier, since you deal with the underlying diet based causes.
On his forum
McDougall Newsletter wrote:Cutting Food Costs in These Times of Economic Downturn
...Eat for Less than $3 a Day on The McDougall Diet
The McDougall Diet is based on starches—potatoes, grains, and legumes. These plant foods, which provide for the bulk of your calories, cut expenses in several important ways. Starches are inherently inexpensive—a full days supply of calories from starches will cost less than $1.50. You can stockpile grains, potatoes and legumes, cutting costs of transportation to the market. These foods are easily stored for long periods of time without the energy costs associated with refrigeration. Since they do not easily spoil there is little wastage. Clean up after plant-based, low-fat meals is easy and cheap because there is no grease requiring expensive, environmentally toxic, cleansers. A simple rinse will often do.
The McDougall diet also includes some perishable fruits and green and yellow vegetables. These items are more expensive than starches; but they are consumed in small amounts; thus, adding relatively little to the food bill. Focusing on fruits and vegetables that are in season will also help keep your food budget affordable. With the starch component costing less than $1.50 daily
, this leaves an additional $1.50 to spend on fruits and green and yellow vegetables; keeping the total food costs at $3 a day per person on the McDougall Diet.
Mary provides several of our favorite inexpensive meals in her recipe section this month. For example, the ingredients for her Stove Top Stew cost $1.40 (fills up four adults) and the Pea Soup ingredients cost $1.80 (fills up 6 adults).
, some people who follow the McDougall plan actually have contests to see who can eat the cheapest, and they are eating healthier while doing it. Alot of them get down to $2 a day or sometimes less. If you buy at wholesale prices and stock up, you can pay even less.
-- Outhouses are disgusting and unsanitary. Years ago I read a book that presented a better alternative called the The Humanure Handbook which is available for free online
. The author advocates that people put organic material like sawdust, dried grass, dirt, etc. into the bottom of a bucket. Then you defecate or urinate into it. Afterwards you put more organic matter ontop to trap in the odor. You can build a wooden enclosure for the bucket modeled after a Western toilet, but that is not vital. The author also recommends you build two wooden enclosures outside to compost the humanure and organic materials. When the bucket is full you dump the contents into one enclosure for a year. After that year you fill the next enclosure. After 2 years the author Joseph Jenkins says that the thermophilic action of the composting will totally destroy all parasites, bacteria and viruses that could have been present and it is safe to use as compost for farming.
-- Solar and heating: There are alternative ways to construct houses and buildings like Earthships
which use solar for electricity, and thermal mass so they don't heating or cooling and it recycles waste and grey water. However it does cost more upfront, but saves in the long-term, however it is not for every climate. There is also architect Chris Benedict
who constructs buildings in New York City that cost the same as a regular apartment complex, but only use a fraction of the energy.
But yeah, no power is beneficial and really helps clear your mind. I hope another adverse weather event comes to my region soon, so I can go without power and clear my head out again. I am overdo.