Friday, July 25, 2014

budgeting and planning for the winter Homestead

Following is a brief description of the preparation for spending the winter at the homestead. This will be after the work season, from the first of October, to mid May. Everything needed will have to procured before the last charter boat leaves the river for the season.
Enough of the winter supplies will be brought in to get through until the river has frozen, and the snowmobile can be used to haul freight.
I have determined that $1500, will be the bare minimum to provide for me and my three dogs. Any additional will be great, but the $1500 will be my bottom threshold. Bear in mind that I already have some supplies on hand from last winter.
The list, in this post will be a basic list. I'll post a more detailed account of items in the second part to this article.
I have prioritized this way...

1) Dog food.. I calculated 12, 50lb bags, but will buy 14    $420.00

2) Gas and oil (2 cycle, bar/chain/ etc). 65 gallons of gas, 2 gal bar oil and 3 gal 2 cycle.    $375.00

3)Kerosene.... 15 gallons   $75.00

4) Propane... 20 lb cylinders X 3       $55.00

4) Human food.... $400.00 

5) misc hardware and items (batteries, duct tape, and such) $175

Every payday, I immediately delegate where the money will be spent. My first priority is to get the dog food bought as soon as possible. Whatever funds are not required to get me from payday to payday goes towards winter.
As for my low numbers for human food. Most everything I buy is bulk, and I cook very simply as well. there will be salmon and other meat. Actually it is quite doable,  and I expect to actually exceed my winter budget amount.

As of July 25th, I have purchased 5 bags of my dog food and a 20lb bag of rice. That may not seem like much.. It isn't. But it is a start.
I currently have 9 weeks to accomplish my goal before winter starts to set in. Then there is a period of time here in Alaska, referred to as "freeze up". This is when the rivers begin to freeze, and the ice flows prevent the usage of river boats. Usually from The first week in October to late December travel into town is extremely difficult if not impossible, and always quite hazardous.
At least two freight runs of supplies will be hauled up river to get me by, the 2+ months until river travel is possible.
In the next article I'll detail more, the human food and misc supply portion of the list.

Photo of a typical truck load to be taken by boat, to the homestead. This may not look like much, but trust me... it is....

A typical load waiting to go on the boat....

A full and very heavy load to the homestead.. I don't recommend a load like this, and have since downsized my weight limits.