Saving Money By Storing Food Article

Looking back on my list of things that I’ve “meant to blog” for a long time, I found a link I needed to share.  A friend of mine, and longtime follower of this blog, Erin McNew wrote an article for Yahoo’s associated content site about food storage.  I will of course take this chance to tease her for cheating on me, and posting to a different site, especially one that won’t allow for me to repost the content.  However I may tease though, It’s a great article written to explain to people how storing food is a sensible way to save money.  Something that most “preppers” understand, especially people usually interested in this blog.  However oftentimes people who wouldn’t normally figure themselves to be preppers, can still at least get back to some of the basics of previous generations.

Money by AMagill, on Flickr

Looking back on my list of things that I’ve “meant to blog” for a long time, I found a link I needed to share.  A friend of mine, and longtime follower of this blog, Erin McNew wrote an article for Yahoo’s Associated Content site about food storage.  I will of course take this chance to tease her for cheating on me, and posting to a different site, especially one that won’t allow for me to repost the content.  However I may tease though, It’s a great article written to explain to people how storing food is a sensible way to save money.  Something that most “preppers” understand, especially people usually interested in this blog.  However oftentimes people who wouldn’t normally figure themselves to be preppers, can still at least get back to some of the basics of previous generations.

Check out Erin’s article Saving Money by Storing Food for a nice introduction that could be very helpful in getting friends/neighbors/family to think a little more about adding to their food storage plans.

Financial Preparedness – MUST be built in GOOD times!

CashGold-main_FullEveryone knows times are not good and although we’re told they’re getting better – they clearly seem to be getting worse.  I’ve recently had an experience that has severely highlighted financial preparedness for me, I’d like to share the lessons I’ve learned in the hope that others can avoid my current situation – allow me to give you some background:

CashGold-main_FullEveryone knows times are not good and although we’re told they’re getting better – they clearly seem to be getting worse.  I’ve recently had an experience that has severely highlighted financial preparedness for me, I’d like to share the lessons I’ve learned in the hope that others can avoid my current situation – allow me to give you some background:

The company I’ve been working for was financially stable – strong even – several months ago.  We weren’t worried about the economic crunch and were certain we’d move through it.  My wife and I had a financial reserve that we were actively growing, but not aggressively.  Certainly not as aggressively as we could have been.  In fact, we had become fairly complacent in adding to it.  While our long term food storage was fully stocked, we live off our 3 month supply and rotate through it – replenishing monthly or so.

Continue reading “Financial Preparedness – MUST be built in GOOD times!”

Tax Refund Preparedness

We are coming to the time of the year that has become the second Xmas for many Americans.  And I purposely chose to write xmas because it has nothing to do with the real Christmas we should have celebrated so recently.  What I’m talking about is the look people get in their eyes as they get some portion of their taxes back from government.  To many people this is the only surplus of cash they will see during the whole year, and our business world thrives on the swing in spending this influx of cash creates.

We are coming to the time of the year that has become the second Xmas for many Americans.  And I purposely chose to write xmas because it has nothing to do with the real Christmas we should have celebrated so recently.  What I’m talking about is the look people get in their eyes as they get some portion of their taxes back from government.  To many people this is the only surplus of cash they will see during the whole year, and our business world thrives on the swing in spending this influx of cash creates.

So, if you are one of those looking at receiving a check from Uncle Sam in the next month or two, why not put a little more thought in how it can be used for preparing your family for the year ahead?  The following list of ideas might help stimulate your family in a way far better than buying some toy you’ve been looking at recently.  Each of the following is a simple idea, that will later be posts of their own with all the details you’ll want. Continue reading “Tax Refund Preparedness”

Food Prices: Up, Up, and Away!


photo credit: graygoosie

Since most people who know me also know of my passion for all things preparedness, I’m often asked what is a good idea for investing one’s hard-earned money. With $7 trillion (yes, with a ‘T’) of “wealth” having been wiped out recently, people are looking at their 401k results in abject horror. What to do?

Any good investor will tell you that it’s important to diversify, or in other words, not to put all your financial eggs in one basket. For that reason, my advice for the start of a solid investment usually consists of one word: food.

Continue reading “Food Prices: Up, Up, and Away!”

Welcome Back to the Storm

Welcome back, I hope your Christmas was as good as ours.  Now it’s time to get back to the grindstone of life.  I hope the recent focus on the family will keep us all looking at how to keep them safe in what is coming to us all.  With a flailing economy, people will do anything to keep afloat.  You need to make sure you are prepared ahead of time.

stormcloudsbrewingnowmorethaneveryouvegottolivewithinyourmeans

The post where we go all Doom and Gloom

I suspect that most readers of this blog are slightly more intelligent than the average reality show addicted, talking head worshiping American that thinks that everything going on in the world and economy right now is just a hiccup that’ll go away in the spring. You know, the ones that we preppers are pretty sure we’re going to have to fight off from killing us and stealing our preps WTSHTF. But, just in case any of you are slightly towing the line with the popular hero-worshiping of the Socialistic head of the ‘Office of the President Elect’ thinking somehow he’s going to Change anything but his mind, or that somehow he’s going to bring Hope to the country – I bring you this.

I suspect that most readers of this blog are more intelligent than the average reality show addicted, talking head worshiping American that thinks that everything going on in the world and economy right now is just a hiccup that will go away in the spring. You know, the ones that we preppers are pretty sure we’re going to have to fight off from killing us and stealing our preps WTSHTF. But, just in case any of you are slightly toeing the line with the popular hero-worshiping of the Socialistic head of the ‘Office of the President Elect’ thinking somehow he’s going to Change anything but his mind, or that somehow he’s going to bring Hope to the country – I bring you this.

There are very few mainstream articles being published right now that are presenting a realistic top-down view of the entire situation with the economy. The quotes I’m going to present to you here are from mainstream publications but the key point of them is that these are quotes from high level analysts and executives in widely respected financial companies who are remarking that things are bad, very bad and they are going to get much worse.

The following snippets are from this excellent article from Bloomberg:

Continue reading “The post where we go all Doom and Gloom”

Why a Depression today would be worse than in the 1930’s

A while back, I saw this post on SurvivalBlog www.survivalblog.com.

Jim
I run a museum that covers, in part, the Great Depression. In a reply to Steve’s letter about how people may react to a “modern” 1930s type depression, you listed a number of economic, social and cultural differences in America in the two time periods. I might add, or expand on, a few.

In the 1930s, many more people lived on farms or gardened. Even in many towns and cities, it was common to have a garden and raise a few animals including chickens, rabbits, pigeons. An enormous difference, then and now, is that the garden seeds then were “heritage” or open pollinated. That means that a family could save their seed year after year, and always have a crop. That is no longer possible with today’s hybrids. If you save seed now, they, (the hybrids), won’t come back the next year. In a major economic breakdown, there will be little distribution of anything, including seed. No seed, no garden.

In the 1930s, most people had wells or cisterns for water. Today, if the electricity goes off, no more “city” water. Formerly, most people had outhouses. They didn’t need flushing. Today, if you can’t flush, you’ve got a biological lab in your bathroom within three days. In the 1930s, there were more horses, more donkeys, more mass transit and railroads, and more bikes. Today, no gas means no mobility. 80 years ago many more people preserved their own food. It was common for most folks to dry, can, smoke, salt, pickle and cold cellar, food. Today, many people consider food storage a discount card to a restaurant. In the 1930s, most people heated with wood or coal. Now, it’s almost entirely “on demand” gas in a pipe, or electricity. Formerly, most people had treadle sewing machines, grain grinders and meat grinders. Today, nada. In the 1930s, far more people practiced folk medicine and used herbs. If you got cut, sew it yourself. Got sick, chop a chicken and make soup. Today? You’d better have a pill bottle and insurance.

In the 1930s, far more people were church goers. Families tended to live closer to each other. People in general had a more self-reliant attitude. If someone had a problem, they tended to try to solve it themselves. And if they couldn’t, their church family, or own their family, would help them. Society today includes far more people who think the gov’t should, and will, be their caretaker.

It’s my belief, that if today we have a depression, if only as bad as the 1930s Great Depression, that [the societal impact of] such a depression will be many times worse. It’s a somewhat real possibility that, today, in a severe enough crisis, there would be no transport, little food or medicine, no heat, no sanitation, no water and very little cohesion of society.

In the 1930s, people sold apples on street corners, and a popular song was “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” I’m afraid that today, it may be far more common for people to try to take what they can, and consequences be d***ed. A 1930s-type Depression today ? Not pretty.

Jim Fry
Museum of Western Reserve Farms & Equipment

I have to completely agree with everything the museum curator said. Americans are entirely NOT prepared for anything remotely resembling hardship. We have become a nation of debtors and are addicted to debt. We’ve lost the sense of personal accountability and self reliance that characterized Americans for 200 years.

Here in Utah, I am surrounded by people who believe in the principle of self reliance, preparedness, etc. Not everyone is on board with these tenets, but I believe we Utahns are far better prepared than most in other states, particularly those in large cities.

Don’t believe me? How would these people react to a pandemic, food crisis, etc?

Do we even need to wonder if they have any food storage, money, etc. set aside for a rainy day, let alone something far worse?

What are YOU doing to prepare your family? Even if a catastrophic event were to never occur, what is the downside to gardening, food storage, and general self reliance? I know that if I could afford it my family and I would live on a self sufficient family farm. Today I would be running it in maintenance mode, just keeping a bare minimum of animals, produce, etc. However if something were to happen I could ‘flip the switch’ and ramp up to a self sufficient family farm. What I mean by this is that we would be producing enough milk, honey, wool, etc. to supply our own needs and have some to sell or trade for what we can’t or aren’t producing ourselves.

For now this is just a dream. Our little half acre just isn’t big enough. It is already cramped with our garden, chickens, goat and dogs.

What do our readers think about these topics? Am I being to down on our preparedness level as a society? Am I crazy for dreaming about a little family farm? Comments welcome.

One last plug for the great SurvivalBlog:

Celente Predicts Revolution, Food Riots, Tax Rebellions By 2012

I saw this reported on a number of web site, here is one of them.

It seems more and more likely that we have only seen the beginning of the financial chaos that is to come. This goes along with our post last week about the Top 10 Tips To Prepare For A Depression and our post on Why we prep.

Top trend forecaster, renowned for being accurate in the past, says that America will cease to be a developed nation within 4 years, crisis will be “worse than the great depression”.

The man who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and the fall of the Soviet Union is now forecasting revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions – all within four years, while cautioning that putting food on the table will be a more pressing concern than buying Christmas gifts by 2012.

Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute, is renowned for his accuracy in predicting future world and economic events, which will send a chill down your spine considering what he told Fox News this week.

Celente says that by 2012 America will become an undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts

“We’re going to see the end of the retail Christmas….we’re going to see a fundamental shift take place….putting food on the table is going to be more important that putting gifts under the Christmas tree,” said Celente, adding that the situation would be “worse than the great depression”.

“America’s going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for,” said Celente, noting that people’s refusal to acknowledge that America was even in a recession highlights how big a problem denial is in being ready for the true scale of the crisis.

Celente, who successfully predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis, the subprime mortgage collapse and the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar, told UPI in November last year that the following year would be known as “The Panic of 2008,” adding that “giants (would) tumble to their deaths,” which is exactly what we have witnessed with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and others. He also said that the dollar would eventually be devalued by as much as 90 per cent.

The consequence of what we have seen unfold this year would lead to a lowering in living standards, Celente predicted a year ago, which is also being borne out by plummeting retail sales figures.

The prospect of revolution was a concept echoed by a British Ministry of Defence report last year, which predicted that within 30 years, the growing gap between the super rich and the middle class, along with an urban underclass threatening social order would mean, “The world’s middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest,” and that, “The middle classes could become a revolutionary class.”

In a separate recent interview, Celente went further on the subject of revolution in America.

“There will be a revolution in this country,” he said. “It’s not going to come yet, but it’s going to come down the line and we’re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen.”

“The first thing to do is organize with tax revolts. That’s going to be the big one because people can’t afford to pay more school tax, property tax, any kind of tax. You’re going to start seeing those kinds of protests start to develop.”

“It’s going to be very bleak. Very sad. And there is going to be a lot of homeless, the likes of which we have never seen before. Tent cities are already sprouting up around the country and we’re going to see many more.”

“We’re going to start seeing huge areas of vacant real estate and squatters living in them as well. It’s going to be a picture the likes of which Americans are not going to be used to. It’s going to come as a shock and with it, there’s going to be a lot of crime. And the crime is going to be a lot worse than it was before because in the last 1929 Depression, people’s minds weren’t wrecked on all these modern drugs – over-the-counter drugs, or crystal meth or whatever it might be. So, you have a huge underclass of very desperate people with their minds chemically blown beyond anybody’s comprehension.”

The George Washington blog has compiled a list of quotes attesting to Celente’s accuracy as a trend forecaster.

“When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.”
— CNN Headline News

“A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.”
— The Economist

“Gerald Celente has a knack for getting the zeitgeist right.”
— USA Today

“There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.”
– CNBC

“Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.”
— The Wall Street Journal

“Gerald Celente is always ahead of the curve on trends and uncannily on the mark … he’s one of the most accurate forecasters around.”
— The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Cost of Food Storage

I was recently directed to this link via a forum, and knew it was one to share. Among other great resources on his site, this gentleman has done a cost breakdown of purchasing a years food supply for an adult. Haven’t we all seen breakdowns before? What’s so special here?

Well, besides providing a relatively varied amount of food, with precise product lists, he makes sure the overall calories meet the needs of an adult in a moderately stressful situation. This also gives breathing room for possible caloric loss or variations in product levels.

But the best thing of all, each month he has taken the time to compare the cost of purchasing the total package from your local stores. Yes, up to date costs, with trending information.

Some of the highlights of his information:

Calories : Cost

1,107,460 $1,574 One-Year Emergency Food Supply for One Adult

And the really interesting part:

The following retail Cost of a “One-Year Emergency Food Supply” is based on prices as of November 1, 2008.
The total cost of the following one-year emergency food supply increased in price by 13.6% in ten-months from January 9, 2008 to November 1, 2008.
This equates to an annualized 16.3% increase in food price

Yeah, just the cheaper food that he refers to here is up 16.3% this year. Yet more proof of the importance of food storage. Chalk up another reason in Why We Prep.

Costs of creating a one-year food storage

List Universer – Top 10 Tips To Prepare For A Depression

Thanks to List Universe for this Top 10 list to survive the coming Depression. They all appear to be good advice to this prepper. View the original using the link.

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There is a chance that the world could be heading in to a depression, so it seems appropriate to make a list that will come in handy should that eventuate. We all hope that it won’t be the case, but there is no reason at all to not be prepared just in case. Hopefully at least one or two of these tips will be useful to you all.

10
Get To Know Your Neighbors

It is a very good idea to get to know your neighbors well – even in times of a normal economy. Your neighbors can keep an eye on your home while you are away, they can feed the pets, and they can lend you a cup of sugar if you need one! In the event of a depression they can be even more useful – you can create a small community where you can share necessities that one may have and others lack, you can set up patrols (if the situation were so dire as to need it), and you can even have shared meals which can help to keep waste and costs down.

9
Buy Metal

If you have a considerably large amount of money, you will probably want to consider investing some of it in metals – such as gold and silver (though these are already seeing massive price increases). Of course, if you have a fortune you probably already know this, but it doesn’t hurt to remind people. In the event of a collapse of your nation’s currency, you will need a backup – and precious metals have been shown in the past to be an excellent one.

8
Stockpile Drugs

If you regularly take medication, try to stockpile as much as you can. In a depression you may find that you can not afford drugs, or – in a worst case scenario, the drug companies may go under! Additionally, store up bottles of aspirin and other common over-the-counter drugs that we all tend to use from time to time throughout the year. As you use these drugs, be sure to use the ones that are the closest to their expiry date – to prolong the life of the others.

7
Save Money

Right now. Begin saving as much money as you can. Cut down on all of your expenses (except debt repayment) and save every penny. If we end up in a depression, you are going to need it. This is also a good time to start thinking about selling any items in your home that you may not need. If it becomes very likely that a depression is going to hit, sell everything non-essential – that means the TV, DVD player, stereos, etc. I would recommend that you keep your computer (preferably a laptop in case you lose your home and need to move around) as it will come in handy when the depression ends.

6
Get rid of debt

You should try to get rid of as much debt as you can right now. While you can pay your mortgage now, you may not be able to in a month – and as banks are feeling the pinch, they are not going to tolerate even one missed payment. This can obviously lead very easily to you losing your home. If you think the recession now is painful, try suffering it on the streets! This is a tip to help you cope before the depression hits. If you find yourself in an untenable situation and the depression has already arrived, forget this tip and read the bonus item carefully.

5
Move your stocks

If you own stock, it is now a good time to consider the types of companies that are likely to do well in a depression – these are the companies you should move your stocks in to. The companies most likely to survive and profit are dry food manufacturers, diaper and toilet paper manufacturers, and any company making products that are seen as essential to survive. “Comfort” and “sin” stocks like cigarettes, alcohol, etc. are also stocks that do extremely well during bad times as people rely on them to blot out their suffering.

4
Learn a useful trade

Some trades are more in demand during a depression than others. For example, a baker, a handyman, or an electrician should be able to find work during the worst economic downturn, but a change control facilitator may not. Invest in some good old fashioned skills now and not only will it help you survive a depression, it may well be a complete career change for you in the future.

3
Store up Food

Right now you should be hoarding dried and canned foods. Also tablets for purifying water and other nice-to-haves like toilet paper, candles, and batteries. I know this sounds like preparations for a nuclear holocaust, but the effects could be horrifyingly similar. Keep all of your goods in a dry clean area. I would also recommend a book on the basics of cooking, so you can convert your flour to bread and perform other culinary miracles that require nothing processed or pre-packaged. This is a skill that will be invaluable whether we have a depression or not.

2
Relocate or buy an RV

If you think you are in a job that is likely to not be needed during a depression, you should consider relocating to an area that has a lot of wildlife and land. If you lose your house, an investment in an RV now (not on credit!) could be your life-saver. You can drive it to a new town, find a private area where you won’t be disturbed, and park up while the depression rides out. Make sure you find an area where you can rely on plentiful fresh water and animals – which brings us to item one…

1
Buy a Gun

If things get so bad that people begin to steal off each other, this will come in very handy. You can use it to protect your family and belongings, as well as to kill animals for food. And if you really are in dire straits, you can use it to rob someone else! (Okay – I didn’t mean that – we should all try to help each other out – not kill each other). A gun will be most useful in hunting so be sure to buy one that is practical for shooting birds and larger animals. You will also want to buy a book on how to skin, clean, and prepare wild animals for human consumption.

Bonus
Blow your credit cards

Okay – this is going to appear very controversial – but this is about surviving a depression; this is a matter of living or dying. If you are about to go bankrupt, are out of work, and see no hope in the foreseeable future of correcting this situation, use your credit cards right to the limit to put yourself in a better position – whether it be buying food, or moving somewhere you might be able to find work. If we really do enter another great depression, you will have to be prepared to do things you would normally not do in order to ensure the survival of your family and yourself. Under any other circumstances, this would be a very very bad thing to do.