Posts by — Juliette Smith

Cheapest places to live in America
by JULIETTE SMITH on FEBRUARY 2, 2014 - 2 Comments in land

mapcheapConsider this: a T-bone steak from a Manhattan grocer averages $15.52. In Harlingen, Texas, the cheapest place to live in America, the same steak goes for $8.34.

If you are going off the grid, or even if you are already off the grid and wanting to trade down to somewhere more affordable – this article is for you.

There are numerous dimensions to measure cost of living, and most places that score low on some measures score high on others. The most obvious is property; more sophisticated is the ratio of earnings to property. Then there is the cost of a basket of household products

We followed the AARP (association of retired people) whose magazine based their list on the price of property, and the taxes levied on state benefits such as pension and social security: (more…)

Cheapest places to live in UK and London
by JULIETTE SMITH on FEBRUARY 2, 2014 - 0 Comments in land

Property price is usually the defining factor in UK cost of living. Belfast is probably the cheapest city in the UK. Here’s a link to start you off with.

If it was me, I’d be looking at a place that is a combination of lowest crime with lowest house prices. No good having cheap booze and then you’re in hospital the next day all screwed over or your place has been ransacked.

Other than that if price is the only consideration – areas in Lancashire are good.

Price range for cheap would be a terraced house or flat for around £10k – £30k. Exclude holiday homes or caravans (more…)

…. and some of the world’s cheapest places to live
by JULIETTE SMITH on FEBRUARY 2, 2014 - 4 Comments in land
Cheap and cheerful

Cheap and cheerful


Kiev, Ukraine

As Eastern Europe’s crucial center for industrial, educational, scientific and cultural development; Kiev boasts of a diverse means of economic sustenance since it doesn’t depend on just one industry. Although it is a middle income city and poverty is evident in other parts of the country; Kiev virtually has nonexistent slums which is pretty good for such an inexpensive place to live.

Bogota, Colombia

Bogotá is the most populous city in Colombia with 7.3m inhabitants as of 2010. Because of its numerous universities and libraries, Bogota became known as “The Athens of South America”. (more…)

Nebraska, Omaha – land prices surge
by JULIETTE SMITH on MAY 23, 2012 - 0 Comments in land

Huge demand from new prepping movement

Thinking of going off the grid in Omaha or Nebraska? Think again. Despite the recession, prices paid for farmland in Middle America have gained more than 20 percent two years in a row, for the first time in more than 30 years,

And those rapid gains may intensify in 2012 even if farm income levels off as a new generation of Preppers secure their future against economic and social collapse. (more…)

Doomsday business is booming
by JULIETTE SMITH on MARCH 9, 2012 - 7 Comments in urban

Dry food supplies are a more rational response

Reality TV shows and emergency shelters, books and supplies of freeze-dried food. Whether or not you believe in the Mayan prophecy, Peak Oil or Global flooding, there is big money being made out of the coming collapse.

From society’s wealthiest and powerful Wall Streeters to rural bug-out types, people are preparing for the worst, and sparing no expense on elaborate underground shelters, buying years’ worth of non-perishable foods and stockpiling fuel and ammunition. Some have embraced the term “preppers,” although precisely what they are preparing for varies. (more…)

A preparedness shopping list
by JULIETTE SMITH on FEBRUARY 12, 2012 - 11 Comments in off-grid-101

Preppers help the canned goods industry

The US Department of Homeland Security recommends every home have, at the bare minimum, these supplies. The reference to a period of three days can be altered depending on what kind of emergency you are anticipating:

Water (1 gallon per person per day)

Nonperishable food for three days

Can opener

Battery-powered weather radio with tone alert (more…)

The Roundhouse at Druidstone
by JULIETTE SMITH on OCTOBER 2, 2011 - 0 Comments in off-grid-101

Warm in the coldest weather

This extraordinary little house was built around 1910 as a Croquet Pavilion by Harold Fowler, an International champion. It has now been renovated as an off-grid holiday cottage, usually by the week.

A local specialist in environmentally sustainable construction, Julian Bishop, was commissioned to design an eco-cottage.  The brief asked that the visual profile and footprint remain as unchanged as possible, allowing the building to maintain, but not increase its position in the landscape.  The materials were environmentally sustainable: energy to come from natural sources and water to be collected from the roof.   The craftsmen involved were locally based and committed environmentally.   The result was that materials used have less environmental impact and are less toxic.  (more…)

Gov. loans for off-grid power
by JULIETTE SMITH on APRIL 14, 2009 - 6 Comments in energy

Small beginnings
There has been a rush of government announcements for loans to bring off-grid power to both rural and urban areas.

The Department of Agriculture has issued two schemes and the Public Health and Welfare section of the United States code calls for the Energy Secretary to favor projects which include “designing a local distributed energy system that incorporates renewable hydrogen production, off- grid electricity production….in industrial or commercial service.” (more…)

Bullies on the grid
by JULIETTE SMITH on JUNE 3, 2008 - 0 Comments in community
Ripped-off Britain

The top six British energy companies are “failing to compete” and some are stockpiling cheap North Sea gas in summer so they can sell it back at twice the price in the winter months.

As a result prices are rising faster in Britain than almost anywhere in Western Europe. Many of the companies holding British gas consumers to ransom are foreign suppliers rationing the country’s own gas, and the reason they can get away with it is that the same companies were never ordered to build large strategic gas storage supplies within the UK. (more…)

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