It is more important than ever that we become as self sufficient as possible. The predicted economic downturn is now coming to pass. We've got to save at every opportunity and learn to do things that will make us more comfortable and make our lives bearable in the event that the worst of these dire predictions come true.
Ranting about it and being angry has its place, but let us try and do something productive for ourselves and our families while there is still some time left to do so. We do not have to take this on the chin. There are many things we can do to help ourselves and when we are upset we are in a reactionary mode which renders us unable to move forward. We must become action oriented and we must do it right now. Our lives may depend upon it.
There is no way that the average person can store enough food to last a lifetime, though it is very tempting to want to do just that in times like these. However, having as large a food stock as possible, of items that will keep for long periods of time is important. I guess you could stock enough MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) to last for the next 10 years or more, but eating those day in and day out is not a pleasant thought for me. I like to eat and I enjoy my food. I realize that if the poop whacks the windows then we may wish we had some of those MREs, but I personally cannot afford them in huge quantities. Besides, they do have an expiration date on them and if you have loads of them, you must eat them up before they go bad, just like anything else, if you do not, you've wasted a ton of money. I just can't see myself eating a bunch of MREs as long as I have other fresher food available to me. That said, whatever you decide to stock must be watched closely in regard to expiration dates and must be rotated accordingly. At the present time, it is still possible to buy food fairly cheaply if you are careful about your purchases. I do recommend buying at least a few MRE type foods to stash since they do keep for such a long time and are easy to pack if the need to flee arises. Most of what I am going to address in this article is based on what to do if you are staying in your home to weather this potential economic storm and not being on the fly.
Here is where I buy my milk substitute and whole eggs for my stash. It is very important to keep some of these whole eggs on hand because they can be used for baking as well as being scrambled. I ate some scrambled, and like all powdered eggs, they are not like a fresh egg, but they are not bad. They are cheap on their shipping and the price is the best I've found online, and believe me, I scoured the net to find the best deal. It seems that many other places are distributors for them and this is the real place to go to get these items. Most of the items they sell are already packed to last for five years unopened. I use these whole eggs for all my baking needs, so I can save my fresh eggs for breakfasts, etc. I also recommend having some freeze dried fruits on hand in case fresh fruits become scarce. It is important to obtain the nutrients contained in fruits as they are a very important component in supporting our immune system, all the way down to the connective tissues in our gums and teeth.
If we do get down to the wire and are on survival mode with food scarce or too expensive to purchase, it is important to know how to sprout seeds and beans. There are a lot of different types of seeds and beans that can be sprouted and eaten. I suggest that you purchase a nice stock of these sprouting seeds and keep them on hand. These are known as superfoods and are some of the most nutritious plantlife on earth. Sprouting seeds makes it possible to have fresh food at any time in a very short time. There are all kinds of sprouting trays, jars, etc. that you can purchase, but chances are you won't need to spend your money on them if you are around to rinse off the sprouting seeds. This short video shows you how to sprout seeds. Any kind of fresh food could be a beacon of hope and comfort for all of us, if we just take the few minutes to learn to do this and to stock some of these seeds or beans, even lentils may be sprouted.
Taking control of your food involves learning how to garden and grow your own veggies and fruits whenever the season allows. Do not be afraid to try your hand at this, you will probably surprise yourself and those around you with what you are able to produce and put on your table. I grew a very tiny garden this past spring and summer, as a matter of fact, since I am in a very warm zone, I am picking eggplant, okra, sweet banana peppers and Thai long beans to this day. Of course, the production has slowed down some since the peak about a month ago, but it's fresh food on the table sans the pesticides found at the grocers. It doesn't take a very large space to grow a lot of food, I've gone so far as to rip out some of the ornamentals in my yard and use the space to plant edible plants in their place. So, even though it is November and many of you are probably freezing just thinking about going outside, spend a little time online and learn how to grow some food. Every tomato or other vegetable you can produce on your own is one less you have to buy. Growing in pots is a great option and I grew a slew of heirloom tomatoes with only six pots with one plant in each pot. It has kept two people in plenty of tomatoes for many months. We've bought very few vegetables at the grocers since May and it has helped save a lot of money on our grocery bill. Next year, I will be growing more and I hope to be able to have enough to can for winter. Start your seedlings as early as possible for an early producing garden.
Composting is a huge deal. Learn to compost and you will have a great growing medium or supplement for your soil basically for free. This will cut down tremendously on the need to purchase fertilizers. There are many ways to compost without having to purchase an expensive compost bin.
If you know how to can food, you are in a great position to expand your food stock. If you do not know how, buy a canning guide and learn how to do it, there are many used ones available or you can borrow from the library if you have no spare cash to buy one. This is very important knowlege to have during times of trouble. Tomatoes and cucumbers are not all that may be canned. Butter, meats, chili, spaghetti sauce and all kinds of prepared foods can be preserved by you in your home. And you will not be eating all the preservatives and other unknowns that are in the food at the grocery store. Once you have purchased all the necessary items to do your canning, it is cheaper than buying foods premade. The initial outlay for canning supplies is well worth the cost if you have the money to buy them. I suggest making these purchases now if at all possible, because there may come a time when these items are not so easily available as they are at this point in time.
Another thing you must do is stop eating out and blowing your money on convenience foods if you are trying to get a handle on your finances and prepare for hard times ahead. Drinking out is another thing that can quickly add up. Sodas and lattes, even plain old coffee bought premade will consume a lot of your hard earned dollars. A few dollars here and a few dollars there do not seem like much, but when you figure up how much you are spending on these items monthly (be honest now!) and then multiply this times twelve, you will probably shock yourself when you see how much you blow on these kinds of luxuries over the course of one year.
Learn to make substitutions for what you are used to having out. Those exotic coffees can be made at home, put in a thermos and taken to work with you. You might find that you are better at making them than the specialty coffee shops. This only takes a few extra minutes to do and with all the wonderful tasting flavored syrups available, there's no reason not to do this. Unless you're too lazy and would rather pay someone else five dollars for something you can make for a few cents worth of brewed coffee and a tablespoon of syrup and some cream if desired.
We have got to climb out of this madness of thinking we can afford to pay others to do these kinds of things for us. If you want to save money and live well at the same time, it's going to take some effort on your part and some labor, too. This can be done.
One trick to getting a handle on your spending is to annualize what you are spending. Figure it up in terms of a year, not just a day or a week or even a month. This will show you exactly where your weaknesses are and will most likely prompt you to set forth a much better plan for your spending. This goes for everything from snacks to telephone and cable bills.
If you wear glasses or contacts, consider getting laser eye surgery to correct your vision if you can afford it. This will eliminate your need to purchase eyewear. Of course, you will need to do your own research on this procedure and decide if it is for you or not. Laser eye surgery has come a long way and the cost is at its lowest I've ever seen it right now.
Get your teeth fixed and cleaned while (if) you have dental insurance. Take care of any health issues you may have that are correctible now if you have a good heath insurance plan. Take control of your health and if you are diabetic due to being overweight and a poor diet, do what it takes to get off the pharmaceuticals and get in shape so you can get off and stay off the medical grid as much as possible. The same thing goes for high blood pressure due to poor diet and lack of exercise and being overweight.
Arm yourself now. Buy a good 22 rifle (or two or three) and plenty of ammunition. It's still the cheapest around and one of the most reliable and easy to maintain weapons. It can be used for hunting small game and for protection against marauding gangs that are bound to come pouring out of the cities once the food stocks are all gone. Just remember, the person who may want to harm you and your family will not necessarily be wearing gang colors or look threatening in any way. They will probably look just like you and me. Once it gets to that point, trust no one you do not know intimately and do not allow them to come near your home or your family members.
Make sure that you hide your food stocks behind a partitioned wall in your home or in a cache that is not easily detected. It will do you no good to have all this money and time invested in trying to take care of your family and yourself if someone comes along and takes it from you. The same goes for your valuables and your weapons.
I keep a stash of tools that can also be used as weapons to protect myself. Shovels, hoes, rakes, axes, baseball bats, compound bows and machetes are all great things to have around just in case.
Nothing beats a barking dog for an alarm system. Take good care of him and he will take even better care of you. Keep your dog inside the house and do not let him roam outdoors especially at night. Someone who wants to get inside your home will not think twice about poisoning your dog. If you have a good watch dog, your home will be the last one someone is going to want to break into. It's better than alarms that rely on electricity because that can be cut from the outside of the home.
I plan to write more on this subject in my next article for the Corbett Report. In the meantime, please go to The Frugal Zone and download these free e-books. There is an excellent money saving tips book, a recipe book and a book on how to downsize Christmas. There are also ways to earn extra money included, real ways, not phoney baloney internet hype.
I keep hoping that the worst case scenario is not going to happen regarding our economic situation, but it doesn't look good for us. So, let's do all we can to keep our heads above water and try to save ourselves. It's a lot better than doing nothing!
God Bless What's Left Of America
More articles from Dictator Hatert:
What's That Smell?
The Dark Side Of Foreclosure and Economic Stress
More lies about banker bailout