Today I’d like to talk about speed and urgency with prepping. I absolutely feel that it is of utmost importance to take the time and money to get prepared immediately.
This week, I went about my business as usual, reading on forums and blogs and I came across a topic that I had contributed to that had caught on with people. It’s about the rising cost of supplies. I thought it was just me and my sugar, but people apparently do a quarterly check on their supplies. While going through their stuff, they noticed the difference in pricing. A couple of people noticed that their pet food hadn’t increased, but they noted that the amount in the bag had decreased!
Prices (on average) have gone up 20%!! That doesn’t seem like much when you go from 50 cents to 60 cents, but consider that we NEVER get that percentage in our savings.
My husband has decided that we are not going to save money. Sure, we’ll keep a small amount set by for an emergency, but no more saving. The savings will be in our preps. All of our cash will be utilized in this way. If it’s going to be something we need, will make our life work better now and in the future, we will get it. No more thinking we’ll wait till the price comes down…If I could save 20% of our income, it might, just might cover the increase in the price of food! Forget that! I’ll buy my food now, making careful choices and using coupons and get the most out of that money possible.
Food is the ultimate insurance! You can always eat it, always barter it, or even sell it to someone. It generally cost less today than it will next week. If you know what you are doing, it won’t go bad. Best of all, it can save your life. You have fire insurance (which we have never needed in our lives), you have house insurance in case someone slips and falls (which we have never needed in our lives), you have car insurance (I’ve never had to use it, but I know others who have), you have health insurance (it’s late September and we just used up our deductable). Now I have my food…I use it every day, it’s saved my life in the past, and it’s worth more now than when I bought it!
So, how am I going to place my priorities with food? First and foremost, I store what we eat and eat what we store, that means that I just buy more of what I do now. However, any extra money, goes mainly into what I can not and will never be able to, produce myself. I know I will not be growing my own wheat, sugar, coffee and some fruits. I know that chances are that I’m not going to be producing oils, cheese and peanut butter. I can keep sugar, wheat, honey and salt for 20-30 years without much effort, so I’ll keep adding more of those things. Oils is a tough one for me…can’t figure it out, but I will. In the meantime, I’ll stock as much as I can for however long they have as a shelf life. I can get cheese powder, butter powder and peanut butter powder. They might not be the same as what I want, but they will provide the same nutrients and some of the flavor of those products. So, as I can, I get a #10 can of them to stick way back on the prep shelf. Meat is always an issue, as the canned stuff just isn’t the same as pulling some out of the fridge or even the freezer, but you do the best you can. When all else fails, go with what canned meat will give you the most protein, like Salmon.
This is called “layering” your preps. You have your daily stuff, your own long term storage stuff (wheat and sugar) and then you have some “just in case” stuff. A case of MRE’s may not seem like much and seem expensive, but if you are in an emergency situation, it will still be good and valuable food. I put the bulk into the everyday stuff (even though “everyday” may mean a years worth), then I put a lot into my own long term, believing that I may not be able to have them in the distant future. However, I still use this stuff daily…making bread, using sugar etc..
How much should you spend on your food preps? That’s something that is up to you. I know that once you get past a certain level, say 3 months, you can almost double your purchases without noticing it. How? Because you aren’t subject to buying 1)stuff you don’t need 2)going to the store without a “plan” and 3)buying without a product being on sale or without a coupon. I spend the exact same that I did before I was this serious about my food preps and I get more. I now only need to go in the grocer for 1) an exceptional sale and 2) once a month. Of course, we do cheat and stop and get creamer for the coffee, occasional cold cuts and a loaf of bread of rolls (when I don’t feel like baking). Not bad. We spend about $500 a month on our groceries, and this includes things like shampoos, laundry soap, toilet paper, and all of that kind of thing. I could probably go without getting the laundry soap and make my own, but I’m still thinking on that.
I do supplement that occasionally with purchases from the Internet. I go to sites that sell long term food storage items and will pick up #10 cans of dried foods. So far we have, dried banana chips,potato flakes,dried milk, TVP (textured vegetable protein-yum! but it could come in handy and no one will notice when it’s in a casserole)butter powder and cheese powder. If pushed, I can feed 8 of us for about a year. The idea is to have enough food to get from a garden season to the next year with products we grow ourselves. I prepare for a long term emergency, but I know that the most likely scenario will be a short term (up to 2 weeks)loss of power due to a bad storm. It doesn’t matter if you are prepared.
Will I haul out the TVP for that, no, but then I didn’t ever use my home insurance either, but I might some day. Will that butter powder do me any good in the short term? Maybe, while I’m cozy in my house during a storm, I could make cookies and buttered popcorn to go with my hot cocoa. I’d rather have my family comfortable and full of good homey foods that to have to go to a hotel and eat Wendy’s for two weeks. God(s) forbid that the whole electric grid goes down for a long time! I could barter some of that yummy TVP for a couple of rabbits and have live protein if things got real bad, if not, we’ll eat it ourselves.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is for you to plan. Plan and do it NOW. Time is running short economically. I’m still in shock that there has been a 20% increase in prices and I didn’t know it. Do you know, did you notice, or did you just keep going to the store each week and wonder how the money goes so fast? Imagine if your rent or house payment went up 20%! Inflation is here and it’s not going anywhere but up!
As always, I welcome comments and contributions to this discussion!