One of the biggest changes for me being a prepper is how much my mental outlook has changed the last few years. After I got sick had no money, job and spending almost 7 months being totally dependent on my parents made me feel like a failure. At 40 + years old I became like a child and I while I had stuff I didn’t own anything as well as not having any backup plan! I was a good little consumer going into debt and playing the game.
After my SSD started I could start getting a few extra cans of food and start filling my freezer. Paying off my parents a few little debts that were leftover. I also had to learn how to deal with this disability and there was a lot of things I would never do again physically. It was very hard to accept at times and I dealt with a lot of frustration with the physical limitations. I can’t say I was angry and I never asked God “Why me?’ I figured a good question folks should ask is “Why not you?” Throughout the Bible some of the people God loves are given the hardest of all test. I’m not saying God loves me the best, but I feel I got off pretty light compared to Abraham, Moses, Job, Jesus and quite a lot of the Apostles.
To get back to my point of prepping. I started off with the attitude that having enough food for month was a good idea. I’m disabled I may not be able to shop by myself and I could accept some one driving me to the grocery store and helping me shop once or twice a month and I wanted to buy stuff I wanted to eat and not what my Mom thought I should eat! So I just just started get a few extra items and then my body gained a little strength was able to drive and shop all by myself and it was thrilling in it’s freedom!
Well now this is about 2009 and the entire economy is imploding and I get concerned about the state of the economy! I did see the housing bubble but I missed how it would start affecting the banks and the markets. As thing progressed I found out how incredibly ignorant I was about the markets and what would I do if it all collapsed like Paulson said “With tanks on Main St.” It looked bad so I started looking on the Web for folks that had an Economic collapse and found ferfal in Argentina. He had a great essay on the the collapse of Argentina that was real and what he did or would have changed if he knew it was coming. I then became a prepper and started searching the web for info and what I needed to do in a collapse!
So I started looking at getting stuff. I’m still in consumer mode and good gosh almighty over $4,000.00 for a years worth of Freeze dried food for 1 person, that provide 2000 calories per day? I’m on disability and don’t have food stamps if the Online store accepted them and does the food contain gold and or silver? Way to expensive for me, that’s over $330.00 per month for one person, you ain’t eating prime rib or lobster and you still need water. I needed a different answer.
From my Blogroll you can see I found a lot of folks that did things a different way. By focusing on basic ingredients (Staples) buying in bulk, storing it yourself and learning to cook, bake, preserve and grow a garden. Now $20.00 a month will buy 50 pounds flour or grains and I learned to cook and bake bread and pasta. 50 pounds of white rice and all kinds of beans will make a complete protien and you get about 500 servings per bag. Hey, that’s under $100.00 and if I can’t shop that is almost 10 months worth of lunch and dinners and biscuits or a loaf bread. I like these foods and I can cook as well as bake, but I started getting cookbooks to add spices, oils and herbs to do some ethnic meals to change things up with these simple ingredients. Add seeds or go to the farmers market and buy veggies in season to can. After getting about 6 months of the basics bought up, including a 12 gauge shotgun for a little security. I realized I had bought stuff again like a good little consumer and while 6 months of food or baking from scratch sounds kind of impressive. It gets you out of panic mode and you can start shopping for what you will need for the future via sales only.
For me I started thinking in seasonal sales and fit my shopping to what was cheap this shopping list. I seldom need anything when I shop. When I get down to just 36 rolls of toilet paper it’s critical. I know I will need more and start hunting the sales, I won’t run out for a few months but Toliet paper and paper towels are often a “Loss Leader” to get you in the store and you can pick up great buys. Being prepared gives you time to hunt for bargains. For me I no longer shop for what I need this month. I shop only the loss leaders I can store and will need 6-60 months from today.
I don’t know about other folks, but for me having six months of of basic foods/staples, cleaning supplies, extra soap from the laundry to the dishes, TP, paper towels, deodorant, shampoo, pads, toothpaste, toothbrushes and all the things we use daily. Let me think, adapt and move to the next stage of preparing.
There is no finish line for me, because this is a new way of life. I don’t want a collapse, because the other side will be nasty. Surviving is not my goal any more, its a new mindset. I want folks to wake up and I want to make a nice little spot for myself, family and neighbors to live as they wish and just leave them alone to do what they want as they are good people! If there is a problem we will talk and work it out. If I don’t like it I can move and if they don’t like it they can move! Or we can get all pissy and try and use the law to make other do as we wish.