The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

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JAG
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The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

I have often observed that the dreaded inflation/deflation debate is often boiled down to one critical argument: 


  • The inflation camp believes that the Fed is all powerful and that it can create inflation (or deflation) at will.
  • The deflation camp believes that the Market is all powerful and that inflation and deflation are intrinsic to the marketplace.

Putting aside any judgments to the validity of each argument for now (or for forever for that matter) I want to discuss the inflationists’ “ace in the hole” that supports their argument: If the deflation becomes a severe enough problem, the government can always bailout the consumer with a “stimulus” check. of “x” amount of dollars. Dr. Martenson suggested this as a real possibility in his latest Martenson Report: Its Time To Prepare when he wrote the following:

Many observers raise the point that it may not be possible for the Fed to print fast enough during the next wave down, but I think they've got a few more tricks yet to try.  For now, they've been content to shovel money toward the usual suspects - their friends and revolving-door colleagues on Wall Street and big banks - but I have no doubt that they will pour money into the pockets of every man, woman, and child, if that's what is needed. 

 

(emphasis mine)

Personally, I have never considered what I would do if this occurred, because I don’t believe that it could happen to any significant degree, but I’m frequently wrong so that it why I bring this topic up. 

 

So I think its prudent that we put the community brain-trust to work on this and figure out what is the best thing to do with a potential bailout check from the government. For discussion purposes, lets say that the amount of the check is $20,000 and that you have to spend it in one week's time. Based on this scenario, I ask for your feedback on the following questions:


 

  1. What would you do with the money?
  2. Who would get the check and who wouldn’t, or would everybody get it? What are the ramifications if only a portion of the populace is entitled to this money?
  3. How would the money be distributed by the government? Logistically, how would the government give everyone a check?
  4. Would the government tax this money as income?
  5. What limitations would the government put on what could be purchased with this bailout money?
  6. If you couldn’t by gold or silver with the bailout money, what else would you buy or invest in?
  7. What do you think most people would buy with this money? And based on this answer, is there a particular corporation or industry that might significantly benefit from the velocity and/or flow of this bailout money?
  8. Do you think the general public would know in advanced about this personal bailout check or would it be a surprise event?
  9. Would the government specify that the bailout money could only be used to pay on existing personal debt? And if so, how are debt-free citizens going to benefit from this event?
  10. Would the public view this event as a good thing or a bad thing for our country?
  11. How would the rest of the world view this event and what would be the international ramifications of thier view point?
  12. Would a person be able to refuse to accept/spend the check? And if so, are there ramifications to this refusal?
  13. Is it possible that this consumer bailout fails to stimulate the economy? If so, how does it go wrong?

Thanks for your time and feedback....Jeff


JAG's picture
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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

Farmer Brown, lets say the US government sends you a check in Costa Rica as well.Wink

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

90+ reads and not one reply to this thread.....hhhmmmmm. Perhaps my gut feeling on the likelihood of this happening is correct.

C'mon all you inflationists out there, someone walk me through this....

Can someone page Peter Schiff to this conversation pleaseSurprised

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

I would use it to make a move towards self sufficiencyhand tools, land, and food with a long shelf life.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

If I could spend it on time before it becoming worthless, I'd buy tools, seeds, fertilizer, and a copy of "How to win friends and keep them from stealing your food."  If I couldn't spend it on time, I'd frame the bills for future "art" and "historical" value.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

I would donate to a group like Campaign For Liberty to help create a nationwide educational seminar that teaches others the importance of our Founding Fathers principles and the logic of Austrian economics.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

Wow if this happens we will all just be a ward of the Govt....more of a Welfare state than we already are. This would certainly send the signal that all regular channels are failing. In keeping with the true tradition of the welfare state the money would only be handed out to the less responsible not to the people that have lived below their means & saved money with no debt....so I know I will not receive anything at all.

As have been proven by the past it has paid to be irresponsible so you "receive".

If I was one to receive this 20k I would 1st pay off debt but this will not be allowed IMHO even though Turbo Timmy says Americans need to save more.....go figure LOL. My guess is they would force more Clunkernomics on us with this money so spending it on something real that will be needed in ones future of learning to live with less would be wise IMHO. We could always go for "broke" with the money & make a big party with it at Jaq's place to live it up one last time LOL.

The best thing we could do with it (if allowed) is to turn the money back on Washington to use it to lobby for "SANE" economics & let Madoff have some of his friends to play with……the banksters.

Maybe there is such a thing as a jobless recovery if you can just digitize money & have it show up in people’s accounts with nothing but an I need I want behind it to back it up LOL. How could they ever sell our debt to other countries if they see the Govt  this desperate? It would be the end of the game once they have to monetize 100% of our debt IMHO.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?
idoctor wrote:

The best thing we could do with it (if allowed) is to turn the money back on Washington to use it to lobby for "SANE" economics & let Madoff have some of his friends to play with……the banksters.

LOL idoctor!  I hadn't thought of that. What a great idea!  

The more I think about this, the more I believe that the government could never pull it off without major nation-ending chaos resulting. If it does happen, I say lets get out of the country and party at Farmer Brown's farm in Costa Rica!

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

JAG

Well, with the first stimulus check from Bush 4-5 years ago, my wife and I bought a TV.  We're a little wiser now.  From what I've heard on Zimbabwe and from a narrative on the Roman Empire when it ran into its monetary crisis, the stimulus checks will be going to the military, police officers, politicians, etc.  or if we get a $20,000 stimulus check, then those just listed above will get a $100,000 check.  The Fed first and foremost needs the people that will protect them to be well fed and happy.

A $20,000 stimulus check would imply that the country would be in dire straights.  I suspect I would be running quickly  to the market to obtain food and other necessities for staying alive. 

Brian

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

Jeff,

When I read your proposal, unlike the respondents so far, very specific ideas sprung to mind.  I would have my Amish friends build a small barn for me, put up enough fencing for a small pasture, buy a couple beef calves, a milk cow and chickens, get a couple Welsh Cobs or Norwegian Fjords (small draft horses) buy some equipment to expand my garden space by horse power (literal) and buy enough feed and hay to get me through a couple years.  I could supplement with my own money to finish the project if the $20 Gs run out.

Or, I would acquire enough alternative energy equipment to go off grid.  But, more than likely I would just continue on my current efforts to build my own at relatively lower cost.

Would it be taxed?  Of course.

What corporation or industry would benefit?  The Amish, although I don't think they fit either category, and local farmers.

With only a few exceptions, most people wouldn't concern themselves with whether it is good for the country, they would view it a positive for themselves.  Other countries would view it as a sure sign of national insanity and start baling out of the USD.

Would people be able to refuse it?  Yes, we all have the right and privilege to donate money to the gov't, even if they give it to us first.

If you're talking about $20 Gs per person, that comes out to about $4.6 trillion.  I think the dollar would collapse overnight.  So. forget everything I wrote before.Wink

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

I highly doubt it would ever be straight up 'given away' - we're too sophisticated a culture for that.  It will always have strings attached and it's already happening.  Cash for clunkers is direct stimulus, as is the $8k credit for 'new' home buyers (meaning you haven't bought a home in three years).  These are being used to goose the prices and provide incentive for people to go into debt some more thereby indirectly feeding the money supply (and providing someone else with some of your newly spent debt money that they can use to fill the otc derivatives hole).

It's another way to conveniently transfer new money to banks and transfer some debt back to the people.  If it slows down, it just means the gman will up the incentive, dip the carrot in chocolate and make a whipped cream and sprinkles trail leading to it.  I think we'd be in really desperate straits if they started giving money unburdened by an obligation for the consumer to leverage it with some of their own.

That said, if I got a stimulus check $20k from the gov't, I'd put it straight into storable food and water (or some equivalent technology designed to get me food or water).  I'd spend it as fast as I could because that amount per person in our system would be terribly inflationary.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

No reply because I've never qualified for any of the handouts so far. The government defines me as rich and therefore unworthy of any assistance. In fact, they think I should give them more of my hard earned money to waste. And continue to pay my $250,000 student loan debt. Gotta love it. 

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

I'd do what would hurt them the most....buy gold and silver.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

I would send it to India and then buy PMs Wink.

Although I do not hope that they would give any to me ...

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

Buy gold and silver.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

Buy gold and silver.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

Taxes,being my only debt, is where any "free" FRN's would go.

 

robie                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

huband,father,farmer,optometrist

 

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

Oh, hey, this is easy.

$20,000?  From the Fed?

Stuff.  Things.  As fast as possible.

Silver, a scooter, gold, metal roofing material, cases of wine, chiecken feed, a water pump....anything.  My lists are very long.

I would leave smoking trails of rubber on the way too. 

And I wouldn't stop at $20k either, I would empty my bank accounts too and 'translate' them into more stuff.  In the worst case I would have to retranslate them back into cash at a loss, but that's a remote possibility.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

 Copper pipe =  dozens of uses.. water / heat conduction, distillation,  algae prevention (add piece to your water containers or rainwater butt),  grain/hop filters (brewing), 

and can be had for not too much above spot price for copper.. think of it as bullion in a vital & depleting resource, already in a usable divisible tradable form. Chinese peasants aren't dumb...

 Wood in standard sizes.. 2x4 etc = constructing shelves, building a greenhouse/polytunnel, reinforcing windows, emergency fuel,

 5 gallon polypropylene buckets = food storage, water storage, fermenters, diy sand filtration of water, container gardening.

 Glue, nails, tools,

 Books.. square foot gardening, herbal medicine, DIY,

  Then a bit more silver.. if I couldn't think of anything more urgent..

 

 

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

toilet paper!! collidial silver, animal salts & minerals, coffee, tea, solar fence chargers and nails/screws.

and I think I might beat Chris to the store to get it!

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

First, check for strings.  Only if none are found, then buy building materials for the shelter/dwelling I want.  $20k should be plenty.  I'm not fancy.  I just need a little concrete and steel to hold the soil up off our heads.

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?
EndGamePlayer wrote:

toilet paper!! collidial silver, animal salts & minerals, coffee, tea, solar fence chargers and nails/screws.

and I think I might beat Chris to the store to get it!

I don't think we'll need any extra toilet paper... Laughing

Samuel

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Re: The Fed Just Gave You $20K, What Do You Do With It?

I would buy several large storage tanks for gasoline and then fill them. I think I could trade for all kinds of stuff after the collapse... 'cause if they're giving out that kinda money then something is terribly wrong.

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Solar...

I would buy the solar system I need to complete my preps.

Whatever was left would go to more traps. I have a greenhouse, but not enough room for full on sustainment garden. So I will trade game for veggies.

http://www.flemingoutdoors.com/animal-traps.html

http://thomastrapping.com/store/fish-traps-cages

Best Wishes,

Jager06

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My Answers

I figured I'd try answer this without reading anyone else's answer. That's the best way, I think.

  1. What would you do with the money? I would buy some physical gold and silver immediately due to the fact that inflation (if not outright price-gouging) would definitely rise with all that money floating around cashing goods. Saving it in the bank would b the worst idea if prices rose.
  2. Who would get the check and who wouldn’t, or would everybody get it? What are the ramifications if only a portion of the populace is entitled to this money? Right now, only banks get it. You could make an argument that maybe people on Social Security, SSDI, Medicare, food stamps, get it, since the government borrows to spend. It wouldn't be fair if only some people got it, but better than giving it to banks, I'd say give it to adults, but not children.
  3. How would the money be distributed by the government? Logistically, how would the government give everyone a check? It would be easy for taxpayers, since taxpayers file taxes. However, for those homeless or working under the table, or who don't file, it would be harder to locate them. Then again, that might encourage people to file. I'm sure there would be fraud, obviously.
  4. Would the government tax this money as income? If it wanted to, it could. But taxes on even 3 trillion dollars wouldn't close our annual deficit.
  5. What limitations would the government put on what could be purchased with this bailout money? Can it put limitations? If it put limitations, wouldn't it just free up money for other purchases? Ideally, if the government was going to bail out banks, it should have considered giving people money towards paying off debt incurred up to the day of distribution.
  6. If you couldn’t buy gold or silver with the bailout money, what else would you buy or invest in? Land, equipment, durable inventory, copper, platinum, something like that.
  7. What do you think most people would buy with this money? And based on this answer, is there a particular corporation or industry that might significantly benefit from the velocity and/or flow of this bailout money? Most Americans would use the money to pay off debts, buy consumer electronics, or put money towards a car. That's what they did with the small stimulus checks last decade. Walmart, Apple, Best Buy would benefit. Banks and retail, mainly.
  8. Do you think the general public would know in advance about this personal bailout check or would it be a surprise event? It'd best to announce and disburse this before the November elections.
  9. Would the government specify that the bailout money could only be used to pay on existing personal debt? And if so, how are debt-free citizens going to benefit from this event? If they did, then debt-free citizens might consider maxing out their credit cards in the days before issuance. I don't think the government would only allow specifying the bailout money for paying debt incurred prior to announcement. More than likely, it would not have strings attached.
  10. Would the public view this event as a good thing or a bad thing for our country? Some would view it as a good thing, some not. But everyone would take the money and spend it. Just like the stimulus checks in the last decade or the current payroll tax reduction.
  11. How would the rest of the world view this event and what would be the international ramifications of their view point? The rest of the world might hate it, but they might also be happy to see a bounce in their earnings since we would have an extra big trade deficit. It really depends on whether we repeatedly do this or not. (This is similar to the question of how many QE episodes can the Fed get away with...)
  12. Would a person be able to refuse to accept/spend the check? And if so, are there ramifications to this refusal? Sure they could just not cash the check. There likely would be no ramifications other than losing out.
  13. Is it possible that this consumer bailout fails to stimulate the economy? If so, how does it go wrong? It would stimulate the economy briefly, just ilke the stimulus checks, Cash for Clunkers, and homebuyer credits did. But pulling all that future demand forward would just result in a one-time high that would lower again. Isn't that the problem with credit bubbles?

Time to go look back at others' answers.

Edit. I guess I'm the only one so far who has answered all the questions.

Poet

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debt

i would pay down debt with 18,500 of the 20 thousand and blow the other 1,500 on a new high performance exhaust system for the wife's SRT8 Challenger.

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What if everyone else gets $X and you don't?

I live on a poverty-level income and have an old student loan in default.  Stimulus payments and tax refunds do not reach my pocket; the Department of Education intercepts them.

Some people will suffer the inflation without getting any stimulus.  How can they cope?

 

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You Have Access To "Stimulus" Already
mitigator wrote:

I live on a poverty-level income and have an old student loan in default.  Stimulus payments and tax refunds do not reach my pocket; the Department of Education intercepts them.

Some people will suffer the inflation without getting any stimulus.  How can they cope?

Mitigator

First of all, since this is your first post, I want be one of the first people here to say, "Welcome!" I hope you find the resources and community here to be useful to you! Have you had a chance to check out the Crash Course?

Now, I do not know of your situation. I do not know what skill set, resources, assets, or other advantages or disadvantages you have. So your mileage may vary. However, if you are at poverty level then perhaps you already have access to the following:

  1. Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP).
  2. Reduced-rate utilities (gas, electricity, phone etc.) for those with low income.
  3. Section 8 Housing allowances.
  4. Food banks.

There, you may already have access to on-going real "stimulus" of various kinds to help you in combating inflation. We here in this thread are only talking about a pretend "stimulus".

Furthermore, you may have noticed that people with debt who responded said they would use a large portion of the "pretend" money received to pay off debt. They consider paying off debt to be their first priority.

So it kind of bothers me that you wrote "Stimulus payments and tax refunds do not reach my pocket; the Department of Education intercepts them."

Wouldn't it make sense to use tax refunds and stimulus checks to pay off debt that you owe? I mean, it's like a moral and financial obligation hanging over your head - wouldn't you want to get rid of that?

Perhaps I am wrong to make assumptions about you, but it seems to me that by your words, you are indicating that you would prefer to get free "stimulus" money from the government, without having it be taken away to pay off student loan debt that you had voluntarily entered into in the course of pursuing and receiving a college education.

Poet

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Yes and no (how's that for wishy washy)

Fair enough, I've just been finding all this very depressing and posted perhaps a bit hastily and curtly.

What I'd love to do is get my student loans out of default, then I wouldn't feel like I "needed" any help.

 (Because once out of default, I could make lower, affordable payments AND pay down the balance faster , due to fees being piled on while in default.)

In the past few years, I've filed for several hundred (approx 700) dollars in tax refunds which never got to me.  They paid down a chunk of the balance but got me no closer to getting out of default.  If I had that $700, I would have applied that sum to monthly payments sufficient to get out of default.  Instead that $700 went toward the debt without getting me out of default, so the fees roll on.  Of course it makes sense to apply stimulus payments and tax refunds to the debt, but I'd like to apply them to the debt in a way that gets my loan out of default (and therefore saves me scarce money in the long run), as opposed to a way that does not get my loan out of default.

My skill set is minimal, and since my student loan is in default going back to school (not for a degree, but for a few specific skill courses) isn't an option, so it's unlikely I'm going to acquire new skills anytime soon.

I checked an online food stamp calculator and it said I don't qualify (the amt of the student loan payment puts me over the limit for eligibility).

Section 8 is hard to get; first you have to enter (and win) a lottery for a limited supply of positions on the (!) waiting list...last local lottery was in 2007 and I was not a winner.  No lottery has been scheduled since and none is anticipated within the next 18 months.

No reduced rate utilities: I rent a room in a crappy, claustrophobic, crowded house with four other people.  Nobody here is above the poverty line, and we all live independently of each other, but for eligibility, everyone's income must be combined and so not eligible.

And maybe I'm just weird about this, but I've never gone to a food bank and so far have avoided them.  I feel unclean enough as it is, and the mere thought of going to a food bank makes me uneasy.

I'd like to go out and make a pile of money (my family saddled me with high expectations which I carry around like an albatross) but I have no marketable skills and don't know where I'd get some.

I'm a pessimist and believe my life is going to get worse and worse, independent of Peak Everything and an imploding dollar.  I like to think I can help others (e.g. promote the Crash Course) but myself, not so much.

 

 

 

 

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Pessimists Can Still Be Proactive
mitigator wrote:

And maybe I'm just weird about this, but I've never gone to a food bank and so far have avoided them.  I feel unclean enough as it is, and the mere thought of going to a food bank makes me uneasy.

I'd like to go out and make a pile of money (my family saddled me with high expectations which I carry around like an albatross) but I have no marketable skills and don't know where I'd get some.

I'm a pessimist and believe my life is going to get worse and worse, independent of Peak Everything and an imploding dollar.  I like to think I can help others (e.g. promote the Crash Course) but myself, not so much.

Mitigator

Okay, yes you got some depressing hurdles here.

Save Money, Deepen Your Pantry
Well, I would start by volunteering a few hours a week at a food bank to see how it works and see the quality of food that arrives. I've volunteered in the past, and what I see is that the food is decent. Some have fruits, vegetables, frozen meats. A lot of the canned goods and dry goods are brand name stuff you would find on a supermarket shelf.

Heck, I know of a family local to me that has often (through their food bank) almost-expired or day-old breads, prepared sandwiches, salads, and bananas donated by the local Trader Joe's. Looked pretty decent and safe and clean. I suspect they eat better than my family does.

Anything that saves you some money that you can use towards paying off debts would be helpful. So also would getting canned goods and dry goods that can deepen your pantry as you rotate things in and out. Y'know, to "mitigate" the effects of a worsening life. :-P

New Skills, Self-Taught
If you have the inclination to learn new skills, then I would suggest learning new skills on your own - using free or cheap resources that are available.

Just as an example, years ago, while still a college student, I taught myself photo editing, graphics design, and HTML, even a little JavaScript (though I pretty much sucked at JavaScript and mainly used free scripts available on-line to power things). All of this can be learned for free via the Web. A lot of companies even offer free trial versions of their software. They do not require the fastest computers, either. I ended up working on a few web sites and doing it part-time through college. The pay wasn't that great, but it sure helped, and it was something I could do in my spare time outside of classes and homework.

Another thing I taught myself was photography. I started out with cheap cameras for years before getting a digital SLR (a Canon 300D a.k.a. Rebel XT that I purchased in 2005, which still sees heavy use and has not been replaced), but I studied through experimentation and reading, and I used my photo editing skills to correct mistakes.  I had impressed my friends enough over the years that I ended up being asked to photograph two weddings by the respective brides-to-be. They were both very happy with the final products.

Another possibility: You may want to ask a local elderly homeowner if they would be willing to teach you to garden, and provide you a small plot and loaner tools in exchange for your labor. Seeds are cheap. My wife and I have a small community garden plot, and our few cabbage, cucumber, and tomato plants - as well as a few other vegetables - are starting to come into their own. It's comforting to know we have some sort of "green thumb" and won't be complete idiots if it ever came to having to set up a larger garden to grow our own food.

Another possibility: Build your own solar oven and your own haybox using designs you've downloaded off the web. Then cook with it. That's going to be my project for the month of June. I believe all it takes is some aluminum foil and cardboard for the former, and some aluminum foil, cardboard, and insulation for the latter. I'll have to test it to see if they can actually and thoroughly cook some veggies or grains, before venturing into anything with meat in a stew.

Poet

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