Tag Archives: food storage

Getting Started – Changing from a Grasshopper to an Ant

Many ask the question, “How do I get started?”  Prepping 101 is about giving you ideas to get started.

First thing you will need to do is determine where you are in your life before you start prepping. Have you spent your whole life not prepping?  That’s ok you are the normal average American.  How many years have you spent being unprepared?  Be grateful you have awakened yourself.  It took you many years of being unprepared, it will take years to become prepared.  This is now a lifestyle change, not buying more stuff to put in your basement just in case.

You now have to decide where you are.  Start with determining how much food do you have in your home.  List how many meals you have in your home.  Write it down on a piece of paper.  If you want 30 days worth of food you need to know how many days you have to start with.

Start storing food.  Start copy canning.  When you go to the store to buy corn, buy two cans instead of one.  Put the second one in storage.  Do this until you have 30 days worth of food or whatever amount of food you want in your home.

Start making a documentation book.  One in each car, 0ne in the house

  • List of all the people you may want to get a hold of and all the numbers and addresses for them
  • List of services, these are people you call in case of emergency
    • Tree trimming
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical
    • HVAC
    • Roofing
    • Masonry
    • Carpentry
    • Drywall
  • 3 places you would go and 3 routes to get to each place.  All of the places will be far apart.  Make sure you put the names and phone #’s of each place.  If you choose hotels in an area pick 3-4 hotels in each area.  Print out each place from Google Maps with the 3 different ways to get there.  Put it in your book.

Organize your pantry.  You may realize you have more food than you thought.  Now with your pantry organized it will make your copy canning easier.

If you really feel overwhelmed, go to the store and buy some beans, rice, pasta and sauce.  This will get you immediate sense of relief.  You can do this for less than $50.

Get out of debt.  As you know this is something we preach often around here.  Debt makes you a slave to the lender.  I think getting out of debt is so important you may put some of your preps on hold until you get out of debt.  You could easily store 30-60 days worth of food and cash and then all you do is put your money into getting out of debt.  Making a budget is the easiest way to cut money out.  Make a list of your debts in order from smallest to largest.  Start with the smallest and apply as much money as possible until it is paid off.  Take the payment from the last bill and apply it to the next until they are paid off.

Start cutting expenses.  You can always add them back later if you feel they are needed again.  Cut, cut, cut until you can cut no more and then live like this for 3 months and if you want to add something back, do so.

Understand the commonality of disaster and use it to make your preps easier.  What is the most likely thing to happen?  A personal disaster is the most common.  What will having food mean if you lose your job?  What will having some cash mean if you get sick?  What will life insurance mean if you spouse dies?  If you start planning for the most common things you will be 90%. prepared.  We do not plan for specific threats, we plan for the general disaster to happen.

Realize and OWN your plan. No one will have the same plan as you.  If you have your own plan you will not be able to blame someone else for the failure of their plan.  You will also be the one to reap the success of the plan YOU implemented.

Be prepared to protect yourself.  This means having something both lethal and non lethal.  Get training on how to protect yourself and your family.  You may have to start with pepper spray and some self-defense training.  Becoming armed is an increase in responsibility.  Being armed means you are going to avoid conflict at a greater cost.  When you bring a gun to a fight it automatically becomes a gun fight.  Are you ready for this?

Last is understanding your success depends on you.  The ownership of your goals, plans and objectives is in your hands.  I can help make suggestions but ultimately it depends on you.

Go forward with confidence knowing the future is brighter today than yesterday.  The steps you take today are steps moving you closer to your goal of personal freedom and liberty.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

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Finding the Time to Prep- part 1

Finding the Time to Prep- part 1

If you are new to the preparedness community you may already have the feeling of being overwhelmed.  It never stops.  I have been preparing for a few years and still feel overwhelmed.  I wanted to discuss dome things to help reduce the anxiety which comes form having to many things to prepare for.

I think we as preppers have seen the “light” and somewhat know what is coming our way or we have an inherent sense of these things.  So here are some things to help you relieve some stress.

  • Make a list of all the things you want to do and prioritize.  I know as you look at the list it may appear daunting the amount of things you need to do.  Realize the list you have made is a pie in the sky list.  You will probably not heave either enough time or money to complete everything on the list.  Realize first and foremost it is ok to not get something done.  Every day of your life you have chosen, I repeat CHOSEN, not to do something. If you did everything you would not have anything to do.  I think realizing this helped me the most of all the things I do to reduce anxiety.
  • The things you see as being most important are the ones which will get done.  This is why you have to continually re-prioritize your list.  Things in life come up, you have a baby, your kids move away, you lose your job.  These are all part of life and as things change you will be able to rearrange your list to accommodate these changes.
  • The food you have stored is better than money in the bank.  The food you bought today will be cheaper than the food you purchase in six months.  We are buying food at today’s prices to consume at a later date.  Since food goes up in price we are buying it at a discount.  This capital deferral actually saves us money in the long run.  We no longer HAVE to buy food when we need it, we buy it when it is on sale.  Knowing you do not HAVE to buy food today is a wonderful stress reliever.
  • Look at your preps in incremental steps, especially food storage.  Start with copy canning.  When you go to the store to buy corn, instead of buying one can you buy two.  Put one can on the shelf and the other in storage.  Do this until you have what you want for food storage.  This incremental approach will mitigate any anxiety you may have over acquiring extra food.  Do this with all of your projects.  Break them down into tiny steps you can accomplish.
  • Try to make 2 meals a month out of your food storage.  This will help you identify the areas you are weak.  You will then be able to fill in the holes.  Doing this once or twice a month allows you to slowly identify where you need help.  Thus reducing your anxiety.  This also takes minimal time.
  • Realize you can’t do it all overnight.  Even the tiny ant takes spring, winter, and fall to accumulate enough for winter.  You are just a bigger ant.  Slow methodical accumulation of preps is the best way.  Life continues to change and as you move slowly you will be able to modify your plan to accommodate your familial needs.
  • Preparedness is not just about stuff.  Realize there are things around your house which need to be done.  Are there projects you need to finish?  We have decided to put off some preps this year because we are remodeling our basement.  Having our basement finished will allow us to sell our house and move into one with a lower payment.  We won’t be able to sell our house if the basement is not done.  So remember to put some of those household projects in your list as part of your preps.  A home in need of repair does you no good in an emergency.

Tomorrow we will discuss,

  • Gardening
  • Exercising
  • Building your assets
  • Bug out bags
  • Planning
  • Education

Prepping 101
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Why we Prepare.

There is an old fable from Aesop called the “Ant and the Grasshopper.”

It goes a little like this (I am paraphrasing).

There once was a grasshopper and an ant.  Each were going about their business.  The ant was busily putting away food for he knew winter was coming.  The grasshopper would say to him, ‘Ant, why don’t you play with me, there is much abundance now and winter is not coming for a long time?’

To which the ant would reply, “Grasshopper, of course there is much now, for it is summer and the fields are ready for harvest.  But winter will come soon and you will be left in the cold and have no food.  A ask of you to prepare now while it is not too late.”

Meanwhile, the grasshopper went about his merry way frolicking in the fields and gallivanting about.  The ant was also busy doing what he does, putting away food for the long winter.  Every once in a while the ant would go and play, but soon he realized there was work to be done.

As fall started to approach the night became a little cooler and the food became a little more scarce.  And yet the grasshopper would say to the ant, “Why don’t you come and play a little?  There is still much food available.”  The ant would shake his head and realize the grasshopper was only doing what grasshoppers do.  Meanwhile the ant continued to put away food for the winter.

Soon it was almost winter and very cold outside.  Most of the food had died and the grasshopper was left outside shivering in the cold.  He soon knocked on the ants door and asked if he could have some food.  To which the ant replied, “i am sorry grasshopper, we have prepared all year-long and we only have enough food for ourselves.”  During that night the grasshopper succumbed to the harsh, cold night.  In the morning the ants went outside, scooped the grasshopper up and put him in their food storage.

I have changed the ended to better reflect what real life is like.  All of us ants in the world can not possibly help every grasshopper.  It is up to us to prepare for ourselves and family first and then to try and prepare for others.

The lesson in the fable is those who don’t prepare die.  The grasshopper dies.  We have changed the fable to reflect a more PC culture, not realizing the true nature of the grasshopper.  Be an ant.

I ask you through your actions to show everyone that as an ant you can change for the better.  Your life will become better whether systems break down or not.  Realize no matter what you do, what you do matters.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Are You Preparing for Nothing?

What happens if we do all these preparations and nothing goes wrong?

I am made fun of sometimes for being prepared.  Mostly people will say “Are you one of those survival types?”  NO.  Number one I don’t like the word survivalist, I like being prepared.  There are no tin foil hatters involved with preparedness.  It sounds more prudent. If nothing goes wrong then I am ahead is how I see it.

When you prepare you are ready for what may eventually happen.  Why do you carry a spare tire in your car?  Because the zombies might eat one and then you will have another?  NO.  You carry a spare tire because things happen.  We can’t control everything, but we can prepare for eventuality.  You see being prepared is not something new.

Everyone up until your grandparents stored food.  Why?  They knew this winter would be lean and what if next years harvest was not as big.  Well, what if Chile has a bad harvest?  What if prices go up next year?  They do go up you know.

You see being prepared has many advantages over not being prepared.  If our car blows a tire, we can change it and be on our way.  If we want some peaches in winter we can go downstairs and get some.  When wheat goes from $7 to $11 in a month, we are glad we stored a little extra.  When the water heater breaks, we are glad we have some money in savings.  When our wife dies, we are glad we have life insurance.

Being prepared is not always about zombies.  It is about being prudent.  Anticipating what may happen and what has happened in the past.   We know things go in cycles and we prepare for those things to happen again.  That is why we don’t prepare for events.  We prepare for systems of support to break down.  It is why I focus on the 5 tenets.  Food, water, shelter, energy, sanitation.  These are the systems which may break down.

Realize that being prepared is about being human.  Nothing gives someone more guilt than knowing they could have done something but didn’t.

Remember your preparedness plan is your own.  You are the master of your own destiny.  I am here to give suggestions as I see them.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

 

Reuters Story on Preppers

Here is a story from Reuters about Preppers.

Rather than just post the article I thought I would comment just a bit

“Some are driven by a fear of imminent societal collapse, others are worried about terrorism, and many have a vague concern that an escalating series of natural disasters is leading to some type of environmental cataclysm.”

I don’t know. What about loosing your job. Or maybe the power goes out for a week or more.  We prepare more for the things which are most common not the ones that are least common.

Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck seems to preach preppers’ message when he tells listeners: “It’s never too late to prepare for the end of the world as we know it.”

Yeah, make sure you throw in a little Glenn Beck.  That should stave off the masses and show how crazy these people are.

They even cite James Rawles.  “We could see a cascade of higher interest rates, margin calls, stock market collapses, bank runs, currency revaluations, mass street protests, and riots,” he told Reuters. “The worst-case end result would be a Third World War, mass inflation, currency collapses, and long term power grid failures.”

WOW.  Talk about scare tactics.  While Survivalblog is a very popular site.  It tends to focus on catastrophic topic rather than the day to day things we can do.  I like to focus on the things you can do to get started, since most of us do not have the time or money to buy things like Night goggles, land in rural areas to bug out or multiple years of food.  We are trying to prepare for the most likely not the least likely.

While it is nice of the mainstream media to bring preparing to the forefront.  They once again paint us a fear based crazies that think Mad Max is coming next week.  I think we should realize preparing for life’s bumps in the road is just prudent living.

What do you think?

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Tenet 2- Food

Food prices now are going up at rate higher than inflation.  As preppers we seem to be the topic of the day with the media.  We are often slandered and misaligned.  The media tends to focus mostly on those who store food, and how “crazy” they are.

It is actually one of the best investments going.  Though food prices have fallen in the last year, they are almost double that of 2004.  All commodities have gone up over this time frame with sugar up over 300%.  If your stock portfolio is like mine you did not get those kind of returns.

The key to storing food is to store what you eat and eat what you store.   You were going to eat that peanut butter whether you purchased them all at once or one at a time.   Most of the things in the middle of the store have a shelf life of 3-6 months.  By buying the newly stocked items you are able to extend the shelf life by another few months.   By storing what you eat you actually spend less money.  How  is this?  By buying now what you would buy later you mitigate inflation. Buy 1 years worth of peanut butter now and wait 6 months and see what the price is. I guarantee it is higher. You may then think that you will eventually have to buy more peanut butter. This is correct.  You are trying mitigate inflation not eliminate it.

After you have started to build up your storage, it is time to start using this opportunity to look for opportunity buys. Since you have at least a 90 day supply you will only want to buy when you have a coupon or the item is on sale.   This allows you to notice trends when items go on sale. For instance, most grocery stores have case lot sales in the fall. So that would be the time to stock upon those items.

Next you will want to integrate some long term storage items. These are the items most think of when thinking about “survivalism”. They are wheat, beans , and rice. These are a good long term storage items that should be mixed into our food rotation.   By having some of these items in our rotation we have a large amount of flexibility for a myriad of things which can go wrong.   Also don’t forget to have some other items such as MRE’s on hand for your vehicles and bug out bags.  Freeze dried food is also a good resource to have around for other emergencies.   But be sure you try some first before you buy larger quantities.   Craigslist is full of listings of people who bought too much of something their family did not like.

Next you should be a producer of food.  Start a garden.  Learn to hunt and fish.  Find foraging opportunities in your area.  Hunting, fishing and foraging are more seasonal, but have the advantage of not being on your own land, where you would have to take care of such animals or plants.  You will need to check with your local agencies to be sure when you can harvest.

Gardening is the best direct source of food for your family.  Being a producer allows you to augment your current food storage with fresh items to make it last longer.  You can also use farmers markets to augment your storage.  By buying in season you can get a good deal on beans and put them away for when they are out of season.

Realize there is no silver bullet.  All of these choices present a holistic way to store food.  Learn how to dehydrate, can, pickle, make jerky, ferment, salt, and smoke.  Having more arrows in your quiver is always a good thing.  Realize you may be painted by some as a “survivalist” or “extremist”, but just remember you are only doing what your grandparents or great-grandparents used to do.  Remember the ants?  They stored food and lived while the grasshopper died.  You are not a grasshopper.

Got any other food ideas?

Prepping101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Prepping News

Food

Arab World Grapples with Food Shortage

Economy

The Failure of the Unfree Market– the end of the best 72 years

Hmmmm…. A Crack In The Dam?– The MSM starts to see the light

What happens if we bailout Europe?

NOURIEL ROUBINI on the future.

Greece and US inflation.