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Episode-2342- Listener Feedback for 12-10-18 — 10 Comments

  1. Hey Jack, I just wanted to add to what Sean had contributed regarding credit. I’ve been in the finance and mortgage industry for the last 15 years and work with a lot of first time home buyers in Alabama. Improving their credit to be able to buy a house is the most common hurdle. The fastest way to improve someone’s scores that I’ve seen (assuming there’s not some major derogatory items, which would take additional time/work), is getting revolving account balances (like credit cards) down to 1% of the limit.

    So on even a secured credit card like an OpenSky visa (no affiliation), you can get the minimum $200 limit and simply use $2 each month for the biggest impact to your scores. Like Sean was saying, if you pay it off it will report $0 balance which will not benefit your scores as much as a 1% balance would. This also minimizes any interest you’d be paying. Keeping your revolving balances below 30% will give you most of this benefit, but 1% balance to limit is the best.

    I’ve seen this increase hit within as little as a few months for someone with virtually no credit, and having to take out a secured card (even over 100 pts increase). Keep in mind everyone’s situation is different and it will depend on how the rest of your credit file looks as to the timeframe and impact this will have.

    For those with NO credit, meaning a mortgage credit pull shows NO scores on any of the 3 bureaus (vs even 1 low score in which case this would not work), there is the ability to do a no score mortgage (FHA program) utilizing “alternative trade lines”.

    Essentially, you have to show 3 additional accounts you have perfect payment history on for the last 12 months (1 or which has to be your monthly rent payment; other 2 could be utility bill; insurance, cable bill, etc). There is a hit to the rate going this route but still better than the hit your take if your scores were low.

    So for those people who do pay their bills on time, just don’t have any (or enough that report to the credit bureaus monthly to get a score) because they don’t like to use credit, etc, this can be a good option to not have to use credit for a period of time simply for the purpose of financing a home. Hope those additional tips help!

  2. Hi Jack, on the freeze dryer thing.  I thought about it a couple years ago, kind of choked on the up-front costs…bought an Excalibur instead (worked for me).  Subsequently I know a guy who bought a FD, and he says it pencils for him, also some intangible value.  His important extra value is he wants to be in control of what their family eats.  I can see this, because I have immediate family that won’t/cant do MSG, has salt restrictions, and also peanut allergies.  In his case, he’s “organic” / pasture fed, local CSA type sourcing his food.

    In his case, he says he runs it about 10 times a month (your running costs are about right); they just make an extra-big batch of whatever they’re making anyway and load up the racks with the surplus.  He’s got a son who’s a long-haul trucker, they give some of this stuff to, keep in his rig in case of stuck, they’re eating what they store, and they figure they were going to spend coin on FD food anyway so might as well make it exactly what they want.

    • My problem with this, “he wants to be in control of what their family eats” is simply who the hell eats freeze dried food all the time?

      • I don’t think anybody wants that…

        Got the impression after he had a comfortable long-term stock, he was going to start a slow rotate, use some for camping/hunting/travelling, do a meal or two a month, do some renting the machine out.   I’m sure he’s experimented with it, he’s had this machine for a small while.

        I do take his point, I had to do some looking to find my source for “absolutely no possibility of peanuts anywhere in the building” FD stuff.  Many, maybe most, food companies put in the “processed in a facility that also processes peanuts” disclaimer on their packaging, probably CYA, but the last thing I’d need if I was subsisting on FD is for my kid to go all peanutty on me.

  3. I totally agree with the economics thing on freeze dryers.  I bought one simply because of the food allergies that our family has.  Made it much easier to do meals for backpacking, BSA trips, etc.  I have now started using it to preserve left overs that we can then use for long term storage stuff.

    • I totally endorse your purchase, and it doesn’t even matter “why” you did it, that why is your own.   I endorse it because you did the math, accept the math and want it anyway.  It is an informed decision.

  4. On Freeze Drying…

    Jack – I purchased a Harvest Right freeze dryer – however, I did not buy new.  I put an IFTTT (If This Than That) for Craigslist -> Gmail ANY listing with Harvest Right or Freeze Dryer and turned it on… didn’t get jack-squat for over a year, maybe 18 mos…then one day I get an alert for a FD for sale… I snapped it up for $1200 and no shipping or taxes…

    So, I would challenge you to re-excel it and see if it pencils at that price.
    And in your next question you talked extensively about dehydrators and maybe buying used ;>)

    I totally agree that occasional use would be silly, utilize the hell out of it if you were to acquire one…

    Also, addressing too much produce at one time… many prepare (slice, etc) and then freeze them on cookie sheets, or better get extra trays for the FD and load them up and stack in freezer – when cycle ends, do any maintenance then pop the new frozen trays into FD – the first step is the FD goes into freezing mode down to around -35 degrees… so anything you pre-freeze shortens the freeze cycle and helps FD achieve its job.  If you have freezer space – you are now maximizing you freezer space and this makes it easier for freezer to do its job and reduce electricity draw.  You can process/prepare more food at the same time then having to do it in stages, getting more efficiency…

    Also, drying time varies… not all cycles are 36 hours… many are 24 hrs… depends on moisture content and sugar content. You can pick your food based on this and be more efficient and get more production… My friend has the same model as I do – he did his own Chicken eggs – had tons of them so he kept his FD cycling 24/7 and he processed them into either scrambled or powdered…. he had tubs full.  Now, he is a hard core prepper.   But he walked me through the steps to do it… He did have it down to a science and was pretty fast at doing the labor steps… He actually had a batch coming out when I came over and we went inside and I watched him vacuum pack the product – only took a couple of minutes.

    Now he’s moved on from eggs and focused on ground beef.  Not sure if he is buying bulk or getting his from ‘his own cows” – but he is only doing cooked ground beef and stockpiling it… he will use it for many meal ingredients – spaghetti, chili, casseroles, tacos, sloppy joes, whatever else it can be used for… it’s lightweight, handy and can be reconstituted in a few minutes.  He has to be getting close to ROI for his personal goal of having “x” number of years of food reliance.

    If you want to accelerate your payback – then do some specialty items and sell them at farmers market – there are folks in my FB group  who are getting premium prices for novel products like Gummy Bears and other candies… sounds weird but people are willing to buy.

    Or start your own FD CSA – get enough subscriptions that you can get money up front and map out your work to provide the subscription…maybe just a month or so during harvest.  (that one just popped into my head right now… may do it myself)

    Or, go to CSAs and ask what surplus they have (they may not be able to utilize/or spoil) offer to FD and sell to their customers like a “Butcher Box add-ons”  You charge a premium as CSA members are wanting fresh, quality, locally grown food – what better way to serve them to say eat fresh now and put FD extras in your pantry for this winter!

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