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The Price of Prepping

by: cottontop

Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:53:21 PM EST

Prices have gone up on everything. It's getting harder for families to make ends meet. It's tough ecomonic times.

How is this affecting your prepping? Are you cutting back on certain prep items, or prepping in genreal. Have you found yourself dipping into your preps for the sake of saving a few bucks for gas? Has the high prices stopped family members/friends from prepping?


cottontop :: The Price of Prepping
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I encountered an elderly Lady
at the grocery store this past week. We got to talking about the prices going up on everything, and she told me her and her husband were pensioners, and have already had to cut out produce from their grocery bill. After our conversation(with thoughts still lingering of this charming lady), I was left wondering how the high prices would impact prepping.

As for myself, it's getting tougher to squirrel away food, as budget changes have to be re-adjusted to figure in the rising cost of basics, gas, electric, ect. Where I expected to be in the next 2 months, will now take probably an extra 2 months, if the prices keep going up.

However, I firmly believe that if one can stick to the 10$ a week prep budget, we can still stock; it'll just take us longer to aquire of level of comfort with our supplies, and hope that in the meantime, a pandemic doesn't hit.

United we stand: Divided we fall

saving gas by using preps
I find myself dipping into my preps to save a trip to the store- to save gas $. But here's my solution- if I talk myself out of going to the store, I take the amount of gas $ I saved by not going to the store, plus the cost of the item(s) +10% (I figure most things have gone up at least that much since I bought them), out of the gas and food envelopes and put it into a 'preps' jar. It's robbing Peter to pay Paul- a head game I play with myself, but makes sure the $ are there to keep the preps up to the current level. Anything leftover in the food budget and the preps-jar at the end of the month goes to a few extra of something. The catch is- you have to know how much MPG you get- how far it is to the store and what the price of gas is. So if it's 30 miles to the store and back and the car gets 30 MPG and gas is 3.00 a gallon I'd put in $3.00 + the cost of the food +10%. If nothing else, looking at the $ in the jar and thinking of adding to it instead of taking out keeps me from going to the store- where I'd probably do some impulse buying and spend more than I planned.

I was just thinking now though, that every time I/we decide NOT to go out for pizza/grinders,which we usually do on Wed or Thurs night, or sushi (that's expensive) or Italian, either of which we usually do almost every weekend, I should do the same thing. A few weekends of no sushi or Italian should put quite a bit of $ in a jar. Maybe I'll start with last night when I talked myself out of going for grinders and a beer and made leftovers.  OK- new savings plan- I ought to have enough for my Berkey Light in a month!

[ Parent ]

I buy what I need to in order to prep.  If this means no vacation and no new car, so be it.  If it means we don't eat out every week, so be it.

To me, a decrease in the value of the dollars I am paid, resulting in being able to buy less food, is like a spike in the price of drysuits and lifejackets on the Titanic-  It increases the pain but does not change the underlying imperative.

Prudent People Prepare Properly

"better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!"

Definitely having an effect
I was getting discouraged and anxious for a bit.  But, I've decided not to let it be a totally bad thing. 

What I'm doing is:

- making sure I get the most out of my prep rotation schedule.  I continue to improve in this area for many reasons but mostly it is because I hate waste.  Makes me feel guilty.

- making sure I watch the sales flyers as well as actually hunt up possible deals.  This is a good activity at any point.

- making use of my time more wisely.  If I can use my time more wisely it means that I'm not as dependent on others doing the work for me ... as in fast food, convenience items, etc.  I continue to increase the amount of food that I cook from scratch.  This also helps me to rotate my basic preps better. 

- I'm willing to get a sales price on less than perfect produce.  For a while there I was able to get a bunch of bananas for around 25 cents because they were manager's specials.  The bananas were very brown and soft ... but they made great banana bread, etc. 

- I'm willing to forego the "fancy prep equipment" and just make sure I have food and water covered for the moment.  I already have some camping equipment and some PPE.  My desire for solar power will just have to wait.

- I'm making my preps and my regular life redundant to one another.  In other words, I'm not buying anything without an eye to how it could come in handy during an SIP/JAH situation.  I might have to spend a little more ever so often to get something a little more long lasting.  But on the other hand I'm might save some dollars when I come to the conclusion that something really isn't worth buying afterall.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

Kathy, "food for thought"
As usual, you make sense. Making your life and your preps redundant to one other, is probably an attitude we'll most likely start to see. It is good advice. My preps were "for when we had to live the other live." It would make sense to have both work to achieve maxmum benefit for the family.

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
Food storage up, equipment down

  Buying in bulk to save money is making storage easier.

  Buying stuff to try out is more difficult.

  Buying equipment is suffering.

  According to NBC news sale items are to be cloths - not electronic equipment - that is good.

"We need more laws, cameras and such." - an office worker
"Then why do I feel so safe amoungst the Amish?" - my answer

Prepping helps economize
I'd turn your question around for a second, just to say that since I've gotten serious about prepping, I'm having to do a LOT less driving for food shopping. For me (rural location) this saves quite a bit of time and gas. To some extent, buying things in bulk is more economical, too. I see prepping as a "lifestyle" that is more energy-efficient.

Food-wise, I'll continue to stockpile. However, I am hesitating a little on spending for some of the items (like water filter) still on my list. I'm certainly glad I did most of my purchases in the past year or two, if I had to do them now it would be painful.

life style
prepping is definately a lifestyle and after a few years of it I also weigh all my purchases against what they will do for me if TSHTF. (How far will it go, how much fuel to cook it, alternate ways to prepare it) It certainly saves $ and time. In fact, thats my sell point for those family members and friends that I can't convince to prep for emergency. I find out what they want that they can't afford and show them how to save for it by shopping wisely and staying out of the stores. They save the money and I save having to worry about them.
I see the water filter as the most important Large prep item on our list, as the food will do little good if we don't have drinking water. Lots of other stuff we can do without- not water. I don't have a fresh water source close by so if I run out of stored water I'll have to use the rainbarrel water.

[ Parent ]
How I do it
I've just given up my bad habit of buying un-needed stuff, such as on eBay (we're 2 full-time workers, and childless, so we're a bit lucky in that we usually can afford a few "toys" on a regular basis--but we're FAR from well-off). I now prefer to use my money for preps, and think twice about stuff I used to just buy, thinking how many preps I could buy for that amount instead.  When you find a good sale, it's amazing how far a $ will go:  my local Acme store always has those "10 for 10" sales, and a lot of my household preps (foods and hygiene products) are bought then, just about every week, in fact. Some weeks, I can spend $20-30 on this stuff; others, as I only get paid bi-weekly, only $10--but $10 gets a LOT of toothpaste, deodorant, and canned goods for 2 people!

I also save my change each week by dumping the coins in my handbag into a jar.  I usually throw in a buck or 2 of bills, as well.  I save my entire half of the tax refund as part of the emergency (which could include a panic run for preps should TSHTF) fund.

May I also add...
that I gave up expensive hobbies I really was no longer interested in, which also ate up a lot of gas, and took up gardening, so I could grow some of my own food.  This food, having been canned (was off yesterday & today, and had 2 canning "marathons"--I made banana jam, cranberry jam, and lots of applesauce), is part of my preps.  We seldom bought fresh veggies last summer--we had enough of our own.

For Christmas gifts for my co-workers and as some gifts for family, I'm giving some of my nicer canned goods. This will also save money.

I've also been using the fireplace more for heat at night, and burning some boxes and papers.  This enables me to lower the thermostat, as I'm usually the only one here at those times. Another sneaky way to save a bit of $$$!

[ Parent ]
WhiteSwan, you and Kathy
are certainly inspirational!

Thank you for that. I have been wondering how others are coping with the increase in prices, and what they are doing to compensate. And needless to say, when you see kero prices at 3.45$ a gallon, one wonders if prepping will have to slow down, or stop.

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
Thank you, Cottontop!
[blushing] I've never been called THAT before!

Really, I don't do anything special to save money.  I'm sure there are billions of tricks I don't know.  I was surprised when DH last week said that we live "extravagantly"!  By that, he meant I spend a lot of money on home improvements!  I don't think of those as being "bad" expenditures; all of the stuff I've done should increase the value of our older home quite a bit, should we sell it.  Ok, I admit: most were done because I wanted to, and had the money; but I made sure they all would be a positive change to the house.  Apart from that, my only other real expenditure, apart from bills, (and our cats) is for preps. Luckily, I'm cheap!  For example, I do like having sterling silver for my dining room table--but it's almost all 2nd-hand, from yard sales, and eBay.  I find polishing it relaxing, too.  Yet, even though it was cheap, it still looks lovely.  I just try to have cheaper hobbies, too, such as flea-marketing. I also seldom ever buy anything, from canned goods to furniture, for full price.  I only pay full price if I really need something; then mentally slap myself, and tell myself to quit complaining that I had to pay full price! And, I don't think warehouse clubs are always the best place for bargains...

We also use cheap entertainment (DH is still doing historical reenacting, unlike me, though).  Our idea of a really swell Saturday night is dinner somewhere cheap, and then sitting in the local Barnes & Noble cafe (without buying food/drinks), and reading books and magazines for free!  Saturday night dinner out is our biggest extravagance usually; because of DH's work hours, we only get meals together on weekends, and he takes me out as a "thank-you" for cleaning and cooking all week.  (I do try to find coupons for him to use, too.)  I usually only eat a small portion of my meal, as I'm a diabetic, and have to count exchanges, so I sometimes get 4-5 meals out of a huge main dish; that saves money.

And it's so much fun to use junk mail as firewood! ;-)

[ Parent ]
It's inspirational and inspiring
the ideas that come from this place. And you make it sound like fun! LOL!

Seriously, it's getting tight for alot of people, and I'm searching for ways to help out. I have a tendency to have a one track mind, get in a rut doing the same thing, because it works. It might not be the most effecient way to do, and I don't stop to think that there might be a better way to do things. I've learned, that asking what others think is the best way to switch tracks, and be more efficient. Aaah the hive mind.

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
"get in a rut doing the same thing, because it works" - so true! we may become prisioners of our own success, at times
that's why i *love* all the provocative thinking that goes on within the hive mind - i don't see enough of it elsewhere!

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
Right back at you cottontop
One of the greatest things that I've gotten from the flu boards is reinforcement.  Whereas before I may have known that something was likely a good idea and may have implemented it ... my long term implementation was a question.

With the reinforcement and feedback that I get from you and others, it makes me more determined.  I think ... well, I've got one good idea so maybe I have some other good ideas in me.  Let's see what else I can do.  LOL!

My hubby is a good man, but he doesn't always "get it" when it comes to things like this.  What he takes for granted or what shakes his tree isn't always the same for me.  I get a kick out of this prepping stuff ... its not just a necessity, its a way of life and a way of thinking and I get a jazz out of it.  He is more accounting and business related ... he actually like the spread sheet that I worked on.  It wasn't what was on the inventory, it was the inventory itself, if you get my meaning.

So I come to the boards and I get the strokes that pleasure me.  LOL!  And that gives me the oomph to go further or try something new.  I am somewhat self driven in these areas, but it sure is a whole lot nicer to know I can share it with someone(s) that really understand and get it in the same way I do.

Oh brother, have know clue if I'm actually making sense here.  Just ... well ... thanks.  Its much appreciated.  Not just the thanks, but everything that is behind it as well ... like the fact that you took time to say it in the first place and that I'm not just a faceless poster but that you see me as a real person.  [blush]  I'll shut up now.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
Ah, a kindred soul! :-)

I think exactly the same way!  And you make perfect dense to me.

I've always thought prepping a good idea--before, it was only for natural/financia disasters; now, I've added BF to it.  I grew up in a family who thought I was silly for doing this. Mind you, when I was living with my parents, I didn't do extensive prepping.  It was only 2 metal shelving units in the back storage room (keep nicely warm by the furnace near there).  During the winter, I kept staples for us there. Mom wouldn't do it herself.  I started doing this when we had a very bad winter '95-96, I think it was, when the East Coast was bombarded with snowstorm after snowstorm.  We couldn't get out for 5 days at times, and were running out of food, toilet paper, etc. Despite this, would Mom buy extras at the store? Nope!  Yet, I think at this point, we'd had 15 or so storms, and 1 blizzard.  It changed when 1 day, (the day AFTER she had done her weekly shopping), she asked me to pick up some stuff at the store, as a major storm was coming the next day.  I had no choice but to do this after work--JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! :-)  I stood in the "speed" line for at LEAST 45 minutes.  It was then I decided I would prep on my own for the family.  (And she still laughed at me for doing this! This, from a woman who survived a war, with rationing and shortages, and always made me keep a suitcase, with clothing, under my bed, "In case we ever have to leave in the middle of the night".)

Needless to say, we've (my parents/I & now, DH & I) have never gone without prepping.  To me, it's a VERY important part of life, nd a form of insurance. I'm still a bit embarrased to really discuss it with others, apart from here; people think I'm nuts, or part of a weird cult! I have to admit, I used to think certain religions who advocate keeping a year's worth of food were taking it a bit far, but now I understand/.

[ Parent ]
sense, not dense! n/t

[ Parent ]
winter of 95/96
WhiteSwan I remember that winter vividly. It was the year I moved back home to the Cape and met my husband. We had 18 storms that year and it proved out the old wive's tale about the date of the 1st storm telling how many we'd get. I believe Jan 8 & 10 or somewhere around there were the back to back storms and we wound up with over 3 feet after it was all done. Between them I went to look at the condo I wound up buying. The week I moved in in Feb we had a wild nor'easter and the night of March 8th that my husband picked me up for our 1st real date- he picked me up in his plow truck becasue he was on call. We went for chinese and he got called out. The weekend prior he plowed for 40 hrs straight- I remember him calling to ask If I needed anything- was able to say no, but invited him to stop in for hot soup on break- thats when he found out how I stock a pantry. he was very impressed.

I have found that people who went through rationing or the depression go one of two ways with no inbetweens- they either refuse to spend $ on any extra- or they stock up and spend freely. Husband's grandfather makes pennies commit suicide never mind beg for mercy. My dad grew up in rural Nebraska 'so poor they didn't know there was a depression' and as a result- kept a full pantry and a closet full of clothes and more shoes than my stepmum, refused to ever wear denim or duck because it was all they ever had, or go barefoot other than to swim & bathe and spent every penny he ever made. My birthmother was younger than he had been in the depression was the opposite- although she did keep extra food in the house- wouldn't spend $ on anything until absolutely necessary.Till the patches needed patches. I try to hit somewhere inbetween. I'm frugal, but I use the $ I save on other stuff.

[ Parent ]
I'm on a pension and I'm a prepper too!
It's almost a song title if you say it fast three times!!!!

OK the pocket book is hurting now.  I look for items that can be used both in everyday life and as a prep item too.

Food:  I stop looking at meat products all together!  They are too expensive.  I substituted Peanut Butter, and other high protein items instead.  I now use them in every day meals so no one in the family will complain about a change in menus if we go SIP.  We still eat meat; -  but not every day.

Tools, solar products, water filters, etc.  These are high cost toys, I have on our wish list for X-Mas.  If we get one or two items I can put that money aside for other needed items.

Water - I went to my local Milk farm/producer and was able to get 55 gallon drums very cheap.  They are FDA approved and can only be used once by the Milk industry for chemicals.  Saved a lot of money that way.  You can also check your local producer of Coke or Pepsi as they also use a lot of 55 gallon drums for chemicals.

Fresh Veg's - We have a farmers market I go to a that I guy case lot size of things I can can.  So I save a lot there.  Have been canning for two years now but want to expand beyond normal veg's.

I save gas by combining shopping needs from three times a week to once a week on Sunday only.  Less crowds in the AM and stores have restocked shelves on Friday night.

So I have my money stretching about as far as I can.


  No warning - no way to fight - no way to win!  
We need help in our local communities to survive. Remember that quote:    "...No man is an island..."

Our first big prep item...
was a Big Berkey, and additional filters.  We also bought a replacement spigot and repair kit.  We live close to a river, and about 5 miles from one of the great lakes, so we have no worries about drought.  But making sure the water we have is safe to drink if we should have to tap those sources if TSHTF, or even our rain barrel, is more important than anything else. 

We shop sales, and believe in the majority of our food preps being what we usually eat.  So what we have is an extended pantry in our basement, because when something is on sale it makes sense to stock up since it isn't just a prep...it is what we eat regularly.

Another thing that saves money is home canning.  I can a lot of the things we really love, like pork in green chile sauce, salsa, chicken soup and stock, turkey, and a beef/mushroom/onion thing we use by mixing it with a bit of light sour cream and serving over buttered noodles.  If we were able to actually buy any of these things commercially canned, they would be very expensive.  And they wouldn't be made the way we like them anyway!

Thank goodness we are doing ok financially, I know many especially in our area who are struggling to make ends meet.  But just because we have a good income doesn't mean we just spend regardless of cost.  We have money because over the years we have done things in a frugal fashion, and we thought carefully about purchases.  We have a garden every year, because the produce from it is organic and free of any pesticide residues.  Saves us a lot in the stores.  And we can, freeze, or dehydrate the excess. 

If we were allowed to by the city we would have our own poultry, but we can't.  The eggs would be fabulous I am sure, not to mention the birds for eating.Dratted city laws.

I am not supposed to have chickens
but I secretly have 4. I was so worried when we got new neighbors but they came with a one legged rooster so I was safe. :)

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
A one-legged rooster?!?
So there's no chance it'll be chasing the chickens around anytime soon, eh? ;-)

[ Parent ]
He actually gets around
very well  but I don't think my girls have anything to worry about from him.:)

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
That reminds me of a joke about a three legged pig.
A man goes to a farm shop to buy fresh meat from a traceable source. Getting on well with the man, the farmer helps him back to his car with the meat.

On the way, a three legged pig totters up and wags it's tail like a dog. The farmer pats it fondly.

"Why's the pig got three legs?" Asks the man.

"Ah," says the farmer, "it's a grand pig that. Did you know that pig saved my life?"


"Yep. Me and my family were asleep one night when a fire broke out in the kitchen. The pig smelling the smoke rang the doorbell to wake us up. Broke in through the front door. Ran up the stairs. Dragged my kids out of bed and lead us all to safety. He then turned on the faucette with the garden hose and rushed into the kitchen and put out the fire."

"Wow. But how did he lose the leg?"

The farmer smiles condescendingly at the man. "Now, with a special pig like that, you wouldn't go eating it all at once, would you?"

[ Parent ]
pork in green chile sauce/ beef mushroom onion thing
Deborah, may I have the recipes for the pork on green chile sauce- it's one of my favorite things I remember from living in New Mexico but I haven't ever made it myself- and the beef-mushroom-onion thing?
If you will share them, you might want to post them on the canning thread also.

Kathy, I have to make my 3rd batch of Apple Pie Jam next weekend- the family and friends can't get enough of it!!!

[ Parent ]
It is surprisingly easy to make, so easy that I don't really follow an exact recipe.  But here are the basics!

Pork in Green Chile Sauce is made from a boneless pork loin, I buy it when it's on sale...usually about 1.69 a pound or so.  I trim all the fat and the white ligament-ish stuff off (not sure what it is called but you will know it when you see it), then cut the meat into cubes about 1" in size.  Cube size isn't important, you can cut them smaller if you like or bigger.  Brown them in a hot skillet, then fill your jars to about 1" from the top.

Prior to making the pork, I make the sauce and keep it simmering.  You could also keep it warm in a crockpot, I have done that too.  The sauce is made from canned green enchilada sauce.  To the sauce, I add mild green chiles (like Poblano) that have been roasted, peeled, and chopped.  Add some finely chopped onion and minced garlic.  Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.  Taste to see if you want additional ingredients.  I add in cumin and some salt at this point, then taste again.  Cover the pork with the sauce, then process depending on the size of the jars.

The Beef mixture is simple too.  You will need beef(I usually use a potroast type cut, or flank steak), Portobello mushrooms, regular white mushrooms, onion, worcestershire sauce, a good dry sherry (NOT cooking sherry or cooking wine!!!), and Better than bouillon brand mushroom stock concentrate.  I trim the fat from the meat, then cut into pieces about the size of my pinky finger.  The pieces are VERY lightly tossed with a bit of Wondra quick-mixing sauce and gravy flour, usually just a couple of tablespoons or so and shaken in a gallon size ziplock bag.  You just need enough to help them get a nicer browning.  I brown the beef in a very hot pan, in a mix of butter and canola oil.  I want them to get well caramelized, because that adds to the flavor a lot.  Ladle into the jars, I use pints generally, the wide-mouth kind, fill the jar halfway.  Brown your chopped mushrooms next, I cook them the same as the beef, just no flour.  One quarter of the jar full of mushrooms.  Brown the onions, but just to a light gold.  They get the last quarter of the jar filled.  Then to each pint jar, I fill with the stock.  Mix the mushroom base according to the directions on the jar for 2 cups, add 4 TBSP worcestershire, about 1/3 cup sherry, and garlic to taste.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to evaporate the alcohol and concentrate the stock a bit.  Fill the jars to 1" from the top with the stock.  Add a grind of pepper to the top, then process. 

Special note here:  make sure you bring home-canned foods that are not acidic to a boil, and simmer them for 10 minutes before tasting.  It is a safety thing I was always taught.  With the pork, you can eat in several different ways, one really easy one is in tortillas with some shredded cheese.  My daughter likes it over little yukon gold potatoes that are boiled or steamed.  It makes pretty good enchiladas too.  With the beef, I make the sauce thicker with some more of the wondra flour, then add in light sour cream.  Sort of like stroganoff.  If you wanted to make this cheaper, you could use really coarsely ground chili beef, it isn't ground as finely as regular ground beef. Just make sure to drain off the fat as much as possible.

I hope this all made sense, like I said I really don't use a recipe.  I just wing it, and it always comes out good.  If you want, these can be put into freezer bags and frozen if you aren't comfortable with canning.  Especially with meat, you need to be careful.  Good luck!  ^_^ 

[ Parent ]
Yummmm!!!!! Thanks n/t

[ Parent ]
In South America, some people eat guinea pigs.
They're probably quiet enough to not bother neighbors, most of the time.  But from the Wikipedia article, raising them isn't foolproof.

Guinea pig on the menu:

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

I went to have
some ramen noodles in the styrofoam cup tonight. I have several cases of them. I opened it and it was full of moths. I checked the others and even the ones in the case still shrink wrapped with plastic were in the same condition. Out they go. I need to periodically look at everything I guess. Tomorrow I am going to pull everything from the shelves and rearrange while inspecting.

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh yuck! Too bad, mojo! N/T

[ Parent ]
You may find that's natural...
When you buy the new ones, put them in the freezer for a few days, just like flour. Heck, if you can, just leave them in there.
If you have to take them out, wrap them in either Zip-Loc bags, or several layers of that sticky Saran-type plastic wrap...

[ Parent ]
The eggs must
have been in there from the store. Each cup was shrink wrapped in plastic and the case itself was shrinkwrapped in heavy plastic. They take up so much room. I am thinking of putting them on my last minute list. I can fit a lot of food in the room they were taking up in my pantry. I just hate wasting food.

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
Moth prevention
You can get these little moth traps for your pantry, they are scented with moth pheromones and keep them from getting into your stuff.  There are a few different ones, but basically they get rid of all pantry pests, except ants.  But you can buy ant traps too.  ^_^

[ Parent ]
Absolutely everything has gone up
I laugh when economists say "inflation is under 3%"  Yeah, becasue they exclude energy, gas, insurances.  All of those items have skyroocketed for us lately making it harder and harder to buy big ticket prep items.  Even or preps have taken a hit as I've been digging into those to lower our normal food bills.  And I've had to hit up our cash stash on multiple occassions.  Add to that the holidays - I have a hard time justifying not getting things my kids want becasue I need to buy a "fill-in-the-blank."  They are getting some prep-related items (they all need new long johns again for skiing) but they deserve a "normal" Christmas too.  I won't get them as much as maybe I would have in the past, and I'm much more practical about I get - things that will help in we are sipping liek board games, learning books, etc. 

I guess the one "good thing" is that I've gotten much smarter on preps in terms of what we truly need, and I've gotten much better at rotating them so things don't go to waste.  And through this whole process I've just become a much smarter shopper in general.  I'm much more price aware than I used to be and when there is a good deal I snatch it up because I know some can go into our regular pantry and some into our preps.  Before I never would have bought 10 cans of soup at a time when it's on sale at $10 for 10. 

smart shopping
I get the biggest kick out of saving $ shopping these days- A good deal just really floats my boat. Makes me grin. Glad to know it's not just me!

I was always pretty good at shopping- but prepping has really honed my skills. Husband says I should have a business teaching people how to shop. Now-a-days doesn't it just drive you nuts when people can't see why they should buy 10 cans of soup when they are 10/10 (reg 2.49)instead of 1 or 2 cans each week, often paying full price. Oh- it just drives me crazy. My fav example of hammering this point is a friend I had to retrain on shopping. We'd go shopping and Ragu would be on sale 10/10- regularly 2.39. I would have bought 10 or more (if I used that brand) She'd buy 1. the next week she'd buy one but at 1.99 and the week after she'd buy 1 for 2.39. She'd say- why should I buy it if I'm not going to use it this week? OMG grrrrrrrr!!!!! I finally sat her down and did the math with her- on paper. Then she finally 'got it' but she still doesn't take advantage of the price. So now she buys 4 or 5- which is better- but jeeze just buy 10 and save all that $- or spend it on another piece of meat- use it to go to the movies -whatever, just stop wasting it!!!
Sometimes now I can go weeks w/o shopping cause there's nothing I need, or nothing I want that's a good price so I can wait. Then I go and there's hardly room in the car for all the bags. Husband just loves that day!! carrying in all that stuff- but when I show him how much I paid, or rather- didn't pay- for all that- he's pretty happy.
My Dad would have said- when it comes to shopping- 'when I get done pinching a nickle- the indian is riding the buffalo'

There is some neat little tricks here.
cinda, I understand what you are saying about the 10/10 deal. My grocery store has sales like that every week. My latest prep items has been 3-24, 16.9oz cases of bottled water for 10$. For over a month and 1/2, I've been picking up 3 cases every week. I know this sale won't last much longer, so I'm getting it while I can. DH is very impressed at the value. Last week they had Campbell's chunky soups, 10/10, so I picked up the ten, put 4 in the pantry, and the rest went in stock. I just wish they had sales like that on batteries/medical supplies! LOL!

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
not stocking up on sales

I agree with you!  But, I have to confess that sometimes I don't always buy as much as I should, because I simply can't afford to that week, so I have to limit it.  A lot of people do have a 1-track mind with this stuff though, and it's not because of finances--they simply can't let themselves deviate from their shopping list--if they buy 1 extra item on sale, THAT'S a big deviation for them; asking them to buy a lot is asking a lot from them.  My Mom is one of them (see below).  She just won't don't it.  She has x-number of items on her list, and darn it, that's what she came into the store to buy, and that's the way it is.  She has the money; she just can't see the forest for the trees.

We preppers have more flexible thought processes, I think.  We can think outside the box, and see the entire picture.

[ Parent ]
Pinching the pennies
As some folks say, "Pinching a penny until it squeals."  I always say about myself, "I pinch a penny, until it begs for mercy!"

Today is a good exampple of how having my pantry & preps will help.  I woke up with a painful foot/ankle, and am having trouble walking; DH woke up with a headache, vomitting, and no appetite.  We needed to make our weekly WalMart trip for everyday stuff. It doesn't look like we'll be able to today, but I have some extras of the things I need stashed away (I'll replenish them when we can go out).  We won't be hurting (except physically!).

Now, I just have to figure out how I'm gonna cook that roast that he's had in the fridge over 4 days, and has to be cooked very soon!  (And, nobody's going to want to eat it today!)

[ Parent ]
The true luxuries in life
I've always said, wealth is really not having an expensive car, a fur coat, etc., but having enough money and food so know don't really ever have to worry about survival. Give me the peace of mind that comes from having a full pantry and some money saved up any day over having a "luxury" car, etc.  How many people in the world can honestly say that they have an abundant supply of food and staples to tide them over for a long time?  THAT'S being rich!

[ Parent ]
WhiteSwan, that's very true!
This maybe sort of a thread drift, but you can have all the money in the bank, stock market, investments, and be worth millions, but when a pandemic hits, your pantry is empty, your car doesn't have a full tank of gas, you have no heat, no way to cook, no medical supplies, you and your family are sick, how rich are you at that point? Your millions suddenly becomes worthless, and you find yourself looking to the "poor" who did stock, keep a full tank of gas in their car, had a way to cook, and keep warm, you look at them as suddenly "rich." THEY have it all, at that point. Funny how a shift in values does that. We need more shifts in our values. Some serious shifts.

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
Cost of preps
I prep for 4 but there are only 2 of us here.  We are prepped for good 6+ months and we now eat what we prep.  One little trick I think I read on this site has really saved a lot: I check the sells adds and if there is no limit I shop the day or two before the sell ends.  Nine times out of ten they are out of it and I get a rain check for the qty I need or what they will give me (sometimes they can be a little pesky).  Then I wait until I have a good coupon(s) and triple or double coupon day and buy it.  I have been working on preps seriously for almost 2 years and I now know a good deal when I see it. :)

This has all been some work but my weekly food bill has stayed about the same.  I expect it to creep up as we rotate things through.  This past week was bad; a lot of folks were laid off at work.  I think it might get worse before it gets better and all those preps make me feel good knowing we are ready no matter what the emergency might be.

On a positive note:  last weekend we had 8 adults for a dinner party, my challenge to myself: prepare a dinner with out buying anything at the store, use what I had on hand.  Success! (KathyinFL I know you do this all the time but for the 2 of us, cooking for 8 is stress!)  Those folks did not even know they were eating my preps!  The only cheating part was a lady brought 2 peanut butter pies to go with my cupcakes.  I talked to them about prepping and a few of them started thinking about it and asked some good questions.  Very good night!

Cost of not prepping?
  Let me play devils advocate -

  What is the cost of not prepping?

  Those who do not buy in bulk pay more
  Those who shop at 7-11 not wall*mart, cost co etc pay more (there are alot of these folks - scares me!!!)
  Those who do not buy on sale pay full price
  Those who do not buy in bulk make lots of trips and waste time, gas.
  Those who do not buy extra today have to run out to the store when company comes or they find that *was* the last roll of toliet paper.
  Those who do not buy extra today will pay more for it next week at next weeks prices.
  Those who do not buy preps find the shelves empty when snow/flood, etc threatens.
  Those who do not buy and try preps are lost as to what to do when they need to buy preps and find room for them.

  what me worry? I'll eat out --- er right???


spending for the long term
Another aspect to the concern about the economy is to make sure what you buy will help you out in the long run, as well as the short run, regardless of whether TS even HTF. My example is our bedroom curtains--we've just had something flimsy there but I realized that if we put seriously energy-efficient insulating window treatments on that window, we could turn the thermostat down lower at night, saving quite a bit of heating energy. This also makes us more resilient in case of a power outage. So, I'm investing in some fairly pricey window treatments but I think it will be worth it for multiple reasons.

Eventually some windows here will need replacing, and when it gets to that point I will be sure to buy the absolute most energy-efficient ones I can, cost not a factor.

I think of myself as slowly building up a sustainable infrastructure. (I need two or three more years to get there...)

Deborah's Pork in Green Chile Sauce ..... Oh my Goodness...........

This is excellent! Thank you so much for the recipe. I made it last night and had it over rice. Fabulous. Now I have to make a larger batch to can because this is really going to be a treat on a cold snowy night this winter when I've been stuck in slow traffic for 2 hours getting home late. 10 minutes to cook the rice and I'll have supper. I love food that makes you sweat!! I think it should go in the canning diary. Would you mind if I posted it there?

Anyone who likes spicy green chile ought to try this- (recipe is posted above) A 28oz can of Old El Paso green enchilada sauce, 3 medium poblano peppers, 1 medium onion, 5 smallish cloves or garlic (we love garlic) and 2 good sized centercut pork chops, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes - over a good sized helping of rice- made enough for a meal for 2 and a lunch for me.

Being one who likes to cook from scratch I immediately went looking for recipes for green enchilada sauce- I decided that for the price of the ingredients - just the chile  peppers alone are 2.50lb on sale, I'll let OEP make it for me. But - if anyone out there has a good one- I'd still like to try making it.

the grocery game
You may want to check out the website--google Grocery Game.  This lady is able to coordinate sales between grocery chains, discount cards and coupon fliers in the Sunday paper and give you a list of some great prep deals.  On a good day, I can usually cut 40 percent off my grocery bill.  The only problem is other people are catching on to it, so you may find the free items listed gone by the time you get to the store.

No one is prepared for a pandemic that starts tomorrow.

www.citizencorps.gov -- Get involved!


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