November 19, 2014

Doomsday Preppers…Fact or Fiction?

Feb21

It’s true. I admit it. I was intrigued.

Have any of you had the jaw dropping opportunity to watch an episode or two of that reality show, Doomsday Preppers? When it first came out, I set my DVR to tape every episode and the first two captured my attention.

I mean imagine a women who could feed a gourmet meal to a huge group of people, using just the foods she had stock piled, all the while having her guests completely impressed with how delicious everything was, yet they had no clue until after she told them that half of the items were dehydrated or “prepped,”  yes, that women is my hero.

After that,  it got a bit crazy, but I admit, I rallied some of my closest friends and we dove into discussion.

All over the United States,  groups of people  have taken the skills and gifts so typically taught during our “Little House on the Prairie” era to completely crazy, new levels, as seen on that show, yet there’s a larger community that sees what’s happening around the world with natural disasters or economic difficulties and thinks,  “Hmm…I’d love to be more self sustaining.”

You see, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

One of those deep down, I only share with my good friends since they know I am a normal, not a fanatical girl, kind of secrets.  I have a tiny, itty bit of a Prepper in side of me.  Let’s make sure we are on the same page. I am not the stereotypical “Prepare for Doomsday, Zombie Apocalypse, Hunker down in a bunker because a Solar Flares might hit and wipe out life as we know it”, kind of prepper,  but more the “I want to be more self sustaining. My husband works in finances and sees our dollar slowly collapsing” kind of prepper.

Before you think I’ve lost my mind, those tendencies have been in me for awhile, and if you’ve read between some of my posts, you’ve seen it. (Read Enough is Enough or Stockpiling 101)

I spent the weekend away with some girl friends and this topic tends to make it’s way to the surface over the course of three solid days with me. I’d like to think that I just give people something to think about such as where does your food and water supply come from on a daily basis, and if disaster hit, would you be fine?

In NC, we have hurricane and ice storms that often leave us without power and basic emergency preparedness is something every one should know, but  how long is your family able to be self sustaining? Can I learn to garden and live more efficiently off the land or purchase from farmers who do and can things myself? (I have yet to acquire that skill, but want too.)

My niece works in downtown Manhattan. She shared about the complete devastation from the hurricane, but she was more concerned about how many acted after just a few days. Complete panic and anarchy. She mentioned the stuff that wasn’t shown on the news, but I also know that many areas bonded together and supported one another. The problem is you never know how people will respond until tragedy hits.

Since my husband works for a international company, one of his daily tasks is tracking how the American dollar is doing on a global level. Frankly, you know it’s not doing too well if you follow the financial news at all. Many unbiased economists see huge inflation coming and for most of us, we’ve already felt the beginning steps of that at the stores. I just want to be a bit prepared now, just “in case,” and if nothing happens, that is wonderful, since I’ll use it all anyhow.

I think everyone should have at least a three month supply of food and basic items in case of an emergency. (I am personally working on a bit longer period of time that that, but not all think that’s necessary.) Now, I am not meaning feed your family gourmet for that time, but I am encouraging friends to stock up enough so that if an emergency hits, like what has happened in many floods recently, families wouldn’t have to go into a complete and utter panic mode. When you have prepared, you don’t have to panic. My desire is that we’ll never, ever have to use anything we’ve stock piled. In fact, I only buy things that I already use, so I am continually rotating out my dried oats and black beans for new ones, since I use them on a regular bases. I have a few boxes of specialty cans that have a 30 year self life for dry ingredients and I am not touching those.

I’m often met with, ” I don’t have room to stock pile,” but it may be as simple as a few Rubbermaid containers under ones bed filled with rice, beans, canned goods, dried milk, dehydrated veggies, water, batteries, candles etc.

It’s just about having a plan, even if it’s a small one, just start somewhere.

One of the reasons I am convinced you can’t go wrong with being prepared is one never know about their own financial future. My father owned his own business and we were quite well off during my middle school and high school years, but due to many unforeseen circumstances, we ended up losing everything. Everything!

Guess what? My parents had a large stock pile of food and thankfully, we ended up using every little bit of that. It got us through some very difficult times and were able to do much of it without burdening others or needing to ask for handouts. The same thing occurred for our family when my husband went through a year of  unemployment just three years ago. We lived off much of my stockpile due to preparing ahead of disaster hitting us.  People might chuckle, but having seen the benefit of emergency preparedness, I’d never do anything different.

My girl friends and I gather a few times a year to talk about our prepping. Our families represent doctors, CFO’s, government officials, teachers, entrepreneurs, and a host of other occupations.  It’s not just a bunch of radical, fringe reality show people, but just regular folks desiring to stretch ourselves a bit and challenging ourselves to think outside the box.

(And for a chuckle – I Walked onto the Set of I Love Lucy: bulk food storage)

So Doomsday Prepper: Fact or Fiction?

That crazy, reality show is definitely aired for ratings, but I’d love to serve you all a gourmet meal with my stock pile. :)

Do you have any questions? Do you have any prepping tendencies or am I alone with my confession.

 


Comments

  1. I think it is being prudent. My husband has an ‘extra’ paycheck coming up in the next month and I am hoping to use it to do some stockpiling myself.

    [Reply]

  2. I feel the same exact way and am so glad you posted this. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    [Reply]

  3. I am a stockpiler. People come and see my room (it is supposed to be a formal dining room it only has shelves for my stockpile) and people think I am nuts. I have quite a bit of Oats, wheat berries, sugar, flour, baking stuff…Growing up we lived in the country and had pigs and chickens, but since we were in the country you didn’t just run to the store for a qt of milk. My mom shopped it seemed like once every 2 weeks. So we had to have a stockpile, not to mention it was upstate NY and we had quite a bit of snow. I love to give people stuff out of my stockpile that is getting close to date or I just have too much of. I think being prepared is worth it. Though I do wonder what if we had a tornado and everything was completely wiped out (my house)…my stockpile is worth nothing then.

    [Reply]

  4. I love your idea of stockpiling beans and rice and other non-perishables. Food and gas prices are so volatile (mostly in a bad way) and I want to be more self-sufficient. We pay for our water, so it’s too expensive to do a garden. We’re military, so I can’t see buying land for a few years and investing all that time and energy into something we have to walk away from. But we see other families doing beehives, chickens, fish farming, water purification, canning, etc., and I’m so jealous. Can’t wait for our time. I’m a born-again Christian, and I believe that God knows and controls the future. But I also think it’s my job and responsibility to be prepared. We also believe in personal protection, so we try and keep that on hand too. You’re not weird or paranoid; you’re smart and trying to be prepared. Maybe if more people were like you, they wouldn’t have lost their homes or be digging out of insane debt. Prepared for the unexpected, and you will turn a crisis into an inconvenience instead of a disaster.

    [Reply]

  5. I am totally on board with prepping. I stockpile every week with normal things we eat when they are rock-bottom. I work for the government and, as you know, we haven’t had a budget in several years. When that started, I began to get worried and starting following your blog and others for tips on stockpiling and couponing. I have food, but also first aid supplies, gardening tools/supplies and off-grid type cooking supplies.

    Read “One Second After” and “Alas, Babylon”. Those books will scare you to death about not being prepared for a disaster and being totally dependent on electricity, but the information is invaluable. We go camping now, which is a just a preparation for living without electricity for me. I never thought about how dependent I actually was, but now I look at every thrift store for supplies on the cheap that don’t require electricity. Our electric grid is outdated and in bad need of repairs/updates. We are on a slippery slope in this country and could slide right into a very bad place.

    [Reply]

    Beth Reply:

    @Allison, We were without electricity for ten days after Hurricane Sandy. It made us see how dependent on electricity we really are and just how bad a shape the system is.

    [Reply]

  6. I’m what I call “Prepper Light”. We live in Mo. and between, ice storms, floods, & tornados it is common to loose power for a week or more at a time. I also love canning, and I’m really trying to feed my family less processed stuff so I’ve been getting more that way in the past couple of years. I have been slowly stocking up on bottled water for drinking as well. If we lose power, we don’t have running water so that is a concern. We could use a generator, but I would rather not have to do that for most things.

    I am also concerned about the food prices as well as energy prices going up. For that reason I try to have a garden every year even though I HATE to garden. I also have a grill that I can use wood on to cook with outside, and we heat with a wood stove so in cold weather we can use that for somethings.

    I’m really hoping this year won’t be as dry as the last 2 so my garden can do well. I love canning, but I would also like to dry some of our foods as well.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Ha ha – Love that! Prepper Light. Or in comparison to Doomsday Prepper, I’m half a Prepper. ;)

    [Reply]

  7. I’m definitely on the same page. Living in Florida, and having experienced six major hurricanes, I’ve learned to be prepared. I’ve never had to wait for the government to provide water, food, etc. because we were prepared.

    Aside from hurricanes, your points about the state of the economy are signs of the times. It is very wise to be ready in more ways than food.

    Many believers say, “oh, G-d will take care of us.” They forget that the Word teaches us to be prepared. It is just common sense. Remember how Joseph’s dream led him to stockpile grain ahead of the famine?

    Thank you for this post. It is a word to the wise.

    Blessings to you and yours,

    Gail

    [Reply]

  8. First, let me say I am not an extreme couponer by any means. My three boys like to say otherwise. They always make fun of me because I’m cutting coupons. That said, I do have a plastic Rubbermaid cabinet in my basement that I try to keep full of canned goods. And, in my kitchen I have at least 20 boxes of cereal that I have gotten for free or under $1. My husband complains about the cereal because he doesn’t think we need that much. He calls me a cereal hoarder. I do now give away cereal if I notice they are close to expiring or notice my family is not eating them.

    I recently threw out 4 jars of peanut butter that had expired. Luckily, I got them real cheap but it does seem wasteful to just toss and replace. I started to stockpile the pb when everyone said last year pb was going to skyrocket (which never really happened). So I’m working on trying to balance my stockpile without the stuff expiring first.

    I try to stockpile these items for some of the exact reasons you mention. I grew up poor. My Dad was always being laid off in the 1980s. I don’t want my boys to ever know what it is like go hungry (like I did as a child) if we ever get hit with a huge financial crisis. So that’s my main reason for my “doomsday” stockpile. What I should be stockpiling, however, are paper goods like toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. But I just don’t have room to store those. Those to me are essentials that would be awful to run out of and not be able to afford or have access (and, yes, this was often a reality for me growing up, too).

    [Reply]

    KimH Reply:

    @Joy, Just an FYI.. just because the date on many items have come & gone doenst mean its bad. Some dates are sell by dates that the US gvmt make producers use as liability precaution and others are best by and the products slowly start losing vitamins or other factors, but it doesnt mean its bad.

    [Reply]

  9. Bobbi Woodruff says:

    God gave Daniel the wisdom to stockpile in time of plenty for times of want

    [Reply]

  10. By the way, I love the picture you used for this post. I want to build something like that for our use since we don’t have a cellar or basement. It would also be good for a storm shelter. The only think slowing me down is that I would have to do it myself. My husband works long hours & then comes home to farm into the night. I don’t want to add to his load even a little. I have seen a couple of post that give stem by stem directions, but I’m still not sure I have the knowledge (or strength). However the interest is really growing in me so I may have to dive in at some point.

    [Reply]

  11. Nope, you’re not alone. I have a downstairs pantry thats pretty well stocked full with all sorts of things.. consumables as well as non-consumables. Ive always picking up extras here & there. It started out with coupon stockpiling and then somehow I stumbled onto some Latter Day Saints blogs and how it made sense to stockpile for unexpected emergencies. How thankful I am for that. I was laid off in November and didnt get any unemployment until last week.. Its a good thing I had some $$ socked away. My huge upright freezer stays well stocked as well. I buy when the price is low, whether we need it or not.

    If you have an LDS cannery near, you might want to check out their prices & products for stockpiling options. I have one on the other side of Cleveland and I havent been there yet, but I plan to do so in the near future.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    I can’t believe I didn’t reference that visit in my post. Yes, while I am not Mormon, I appreciate their preparedness mentality.

    You’ll get a chuckle out of this - http://beautyandbedlam.com/bulk-food-storage/

    [Reply]

    Leah S. Reply:

    @KimH,
    The two LDS canneries that are within an hour and a half of me do not let non-Church members use their facilities. Any alternative suggestions?

    [Reply]

    KimH Reply:

    @Leah S., Wow.. I’ve never heard anyone say that before, and I’ve known loads of non-LDS folks who’ve gone to them. I spent quite a long time talking to a lady at the one across town myself.

    You might call your local LDS church and find out if you can contact the person who does the ordering for their ward. That was suggested to me from a co-worker who is LDS. Or, if you know someone who is LDS, ask them to go with you.

    Hope this helps.

    [Reply]

    Leah S. Reply:

    @KimH,
    Thanks, I’ll try calling next week once I’ve kicked this cold and don’t sound like a frog! I can’t recall meeting anyone LDS since the 4th grade, so that’s out. I won’t give up! I’ll find an affordable source eventually to satisfy my need to be prepared for unexpected emergencies!

    Jen Reply:

    Yes, with the one that I’ve gone too, since there is such a huge demand right now, they only let you go if you know a member. It didn’t used to be that way. WE used to be able to go when ever we wanted. Now, we just called and there is a three month wait. Yikes…that’s telling.

    [Reply]

    The Prudent Homemaker Reply:

    @Leah S., Not sure where you are, Leah, but I have taken people with me to can plenty of times before who are not LDS :) We have assigned times to go per congregation, and I was always glad to have help canning!

    [Reply]

  12. You are speaking my love language! I am not a doomsday prepper, I like to consider myself a planner!!!

    As far as inflation…I spent $112 dollars to fill my gas tank yesterday (albeit, barring any long trips I will drive off that tank for a month) and we have some of the lowest gas prices in the country! It is here and it is coming silently (bizarrely silently if you ask me!!!) down the tracks faster and faster and our lifestyles will not be untouched.

    Signed, Not a Prepper but a Planner!

    [Reply]

  13. The funny thing is stockpiling was so normal for my grandparents time. I remember my Grandma’s basement in Wisconsin, she had two huge chest freezers, they were always filled with meat from my great-uncle’s cattle farm, whole chickens and produce from her garden she froze every summer. She had canned tomatoes from her garden, homemade grape juice from her grapes and so on. She also had a big bookshelf she used to store canned goods. I never thought about it then, but recently reading on how to maximize my family’s budget this is so often brought up. It truly is going back to the basics that my grandparents already knew. I remember thinking it was cool she always had cans of olives, a fave of mine :) I am so ready to learn to do things this way, but seem to be stuck in the I’m overwhelmed with life and don’t know where to start mode….I’m trying to take baby steps to declutter my life and make my family’s better….

    [Reply]

    KimH Reply:

    @Kim C., Im with you.. both sets of my grandparents lived this way as well and I’ve never thought it was unusual in the least to put food by.. Your comment shuttled me into the past, walking into one of my grandmothers pantries.. It was long and narrow but it was filled wall to wall with jars of canned food, pots, kettles and cans and cans of store-bought food.

    [Reply]

    Kim C. Reply:

    @KimH, Isn’t funny how you can still see the place, I played store for hours with all her canned food and her button collection was my money :) She also had a ringer washer for years that we helped her with…I loved her house and am still sad it is no longer in our family….

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Oh, that is so what I want as well, but sometimes my laziness gets in the way of my ideas. ;)

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    I think we need to start our own group, “Overwhelmed with life, but please dear grandmothers, teach us your wonderful old ways” group. I am taking baby steps as well, and canning is something I definitely want to tackle (but I keep talking and not doing that.)

    [Reply]

    KimH Reply:

    @Jen, Once you learn to can some things, you’ll never go back. Have you ever eaten canned meat? Heaven. pork, chicken, roast, venison? Yum! Talk about 10 minute dinners. :) Toss the juice from a quart of canned pork cubes, a little beef bouillon if needed, corn starch, salt & pepper to make a gravy and toss your pork cubes in to heat up.. and make a quick salad or veggie side and whahlah, you have a fine meal in minutes.

    Im very thankful that I watched my grandmother many years ago do all the farm-wife kind of things to do and was able to have her around when I started doing them myself.. My mom did a few of them, like making jams and fruit leathers when I was kid but that was about it.

    [Reply]

    Gayle Reply:

    Yes, canned meat is so easy and good. We canned shredded chicken and beef tips. It is more tasty canned as well.

  14. I agree wholeheartedly! I love this post! I really don’t have friends who stock pile. I stockpile as much as I can with sales/coupons. We live in a tiny house so I have canned goods in unusual places. We are looking at buying a larger home and I’m ecstatic to have more room for my stockpile!

    [Reply]

  15. I think too many people need to learn wisdom and prudence in this area. Too many have a welfare mentality and depend on others to help them with the day-to-day when a financial crisis or emergency strikes.

    In the Bible E-V-E-RY-O-N-E stockpiled over a 6 year period; in the 7th year, they planted NO CROPS AT ALL. They lived off of their stockpile, while they let the land rest. They, and the land, had a year’s vacation from farming.

    How many among us can AFFORD to stop working every 7th year, and take a sabbatical every 7 years? That’s essentially what they did in their agrarian society.

    I am not a Mormon, but when I was in my young 20s, I learned the Mormon way. When young couples were first starting out in their apt, they were told to put a card table in the basement or use a closet (or other space), and stockpile a year. This is part of how they are raised, that everyone should have a year’s worth of food, shampoo, water, bath soap, etc. in their own home, and they start it when they move into their first home or apartment. When you need shampoo, buy two. When you need peanut butter, buy two. I was amazed by this concept. How practical! How wise!

    Ever since then, I’ve stockpiled one way or another, and use extreme couponing methods before doing so was cool, to stock up my pantry, AND TO GIVE TO HOMELESS SHELTERS, COMMUNITY FOOD BANKS, AND CHURCH FOOD PANTRIES. I may now be eating fresh from scratch food, and one-ingredient-label food, but there are many all around us who NEED hamburger helper and all the rest. And when you can get it for free or for pennies on the dollar, what a marvelous way that is to MULTIPLY YOUR GIVING DOLLAR. I may not be able to multiply fish and loaves, but I CAN extreme coupon. “When I was hungry, you fed Me.” Matthew 25:35.

    Prepping is for me, but the doomsday mentality is not for me. But there is alot you can learn from them that can significantly help yourself in times of disaster, such as keeping water purification tablets on hand. Doomsday prepping? Eat the fish and leave the bones.

    During my recent wilderness of extended unemployment for several years, I did not have to buy ANY shampoo, deodorant, and many other things such as pasta. It was taken care of – NOT A CONCERN. It wasn’t “doomsday” per se, but it was definitely a survival crisis and definitely an extended emergency. I hope no one else has to experience first hand, what a huge relief that is when you are battling to get back into the workforce as a middle-aged or older person. Anything that is already taken care of in the area of practical needs, anything that is already a relief, helps sooooo much with the heavy pyschological burden of being able to keep the faith and get your life back on track. It is invaluable.

    So for myself, and for others, I will never stop stockpiling.

    “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Absolutely, Carol – thanks for your wise, wise words and for sharing your experience. Loved reading every little bit.

    [Reply]

  16. No you are not alone. While I would love to say that my wife and I are moderate preppers, we do have what some would say is overkill. Now mind you we are not one of those people who have 40 guns or 20,000 rounds of ammo (we do not have a single gun). Now granted since we were broken into once and other houses in the area have been two and three times I have stocked up on various bladed weapons since I am better with them than a gun. But getting back to the stockpiling, we grow our own veggies and have about 1 years worth of them canned. On meats and bread making supplies as well as other foods we have about enough to feed us and our brother inlaw for about a year and a half.

    Our goal is not to prepare for any apocalypse, but to be more self sufficient and to save money back to get totally off of the grid. It is also my intention of making sure that we are safe, as when we were broken into I was in a deep sleep due to my meds. They took a laptop that was about 3 feet from me. Being on a cpap machine had I of woke up who knows what would have happened. Now if I wake up at least I can get to a machete to make sure that they remember that the house is protected and know that the house is no longer an easy target.

    [Reply]

  17. I am totally with you. About 20 years ago, my husband was off work for weeks due to a hernia and the subsequent surgery. I was a stay-at-home mom with our first born infant. We had no food stockpiled. no extra money and no way to pay bills. It was a huge eye opener. I grew up in a family that grew and canned their own food. I started out with that. Once i made it known that I was looking for canning jars, they appeared out of nowhere. People were happy to give them away, because they didn’t want to do that hard work again since they could just go to the store and get what they wanted. People would call me when their apple tree or grapevines needed picked. People would show up with sacks of tomatoes, zucchini, etc. I was happy to accept it all. Many times over the last 20 years, our stockpile has saved us. We now have a farm and raise our own chickens and goats, but the cost of feed is getting so high. We are going to have to make some tough decisions this year. The record breaking drought and record breaking high temperatures have wreaked havoc on gardening and land for animal grazing. I haven’t had a single thing to can for several years now. It makes me a little nervous, but we will make it. I have lots of grains stored and have been trying to stock up on grocery store purchased canned items (although I would rather not have the BPA in my canned goods). This is necessary because my home canned foods are beginning to run low. I used to show people my larder as I was so proud of all the work I did to can up all that stuff. One day, I showed a friend and she told me that was hording. It really hurt my feelings and now I don’t show anyone. It may be better that way, anyway, as if anything ever happened to our economy or country, those people who know I have food stored might come here thinking “Oh, they have lots of food and will feed us.” I wouldn’t turn anyone away, but I couldn’t possibly feed everyone who knows I have a stockpile. These are important things to consider.

    [Reply]

    KimH Reply:

    @Julie, One of my girlfriends just made that comment a couple days ago after being down in my basement pantry.. She said, “Oh well I know where I can do in a doomsday situation and be able to eat.” I laughed & said “yeah, you & the other thousand other people who know I have food down here.. Its a scary thought..

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    My friends always joke about that too and I say, “Oh no, I am giving you fair warning. ;)” Of course, I would want to help, but if they know in advance, it doesn’t hurt to prepare a bit.

    [Reply]

  18. I’m a prepper light, building a stockpile of things we regularly use from sales and coupons. Last year it came in handy. Doomsday no, but just as unexpected…Breast Cancer. Within 6 weeks of my annual mammogram, I was recovering from a mastectomy and a surgical complication that left me without the use of my right arm for two months. My friends, family, and church were very supportive. But as I got better, I was able to conserve my energy by pulling supplies from my stockpile for most items instead of big trips to the grocery store. I didn’t mind asking people to pick up fresh dairy and produce, but almost everything else it was a quick visit to my extended pantry and freezer. For a good 6 months my stockpile was a lifesaver. I’m well on the road to recovery now, but as I’m regaining my energy, one of my goals is to rebuild my stockpile. You never know how, when, or why preparation can come in handy.

    [Reply]

  19. We don’t but I would like to be more prepared than we are. I’ve shown my husband the dried food good forever food systems (including shelving) and suggested getting some a little at a time but he didn’t go for it. He got a generator and wiring-to–the-house kit but they sit there, unattached with all this gasoline in our garage. I don’t think you’re a crazy lady, or on the fringe. It’s funny, one man my husband worked with who is now his best friend is the head of emergency preparedness in his town and hubs used to talk about him like he was crazy.

    [Reply]

  20. No you are not alone! I don’t share with many people we are around, but we are stocking up for emergencies as well. At first my hubby just went along with my stocking up ideas. Now he’s right there with me. As a matter of fact we are looking into a whole house generator and will probably have one within the next few months. I’ve taken up canning and dehydrating and am planning to go from a 4×4 “practice” garden, to at least two 4×8 or larger raised bed gardens.

    Also looking into some of those #10 cans of foods and am curious about the meals in a jar that one of the company’s show on their blog.

    We too are concerned more about the economy than some of the other doomsday ideas.

    As far as the show, I watch it as well. I definitely think some is staged for ratings, but it is entertaining and somewhat informative.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    We have a generator, but know that is only good for a small emergency. We have an outdoor shed and are actually looking into putting solar panels on the roof, so that we will be able to run the generator from there (since Gas will keep going up). We also have a freezer our there and my hubby thinks that we could actually run the whole freezer off the solar panels. Now that would be awesome and such a money saver, even without emergency.

    [Reply]

    The Prudent Homemaker Reply:

    @Jen, Love the solar panels on the shed roof idea! Excellent!

    [Reply]

  21. I don’t want to build anything for the sake of doomsday, but I live in Tennessee and we have had some really severe weather (tornadoes, etc) around here the last few years. Because of that, I do want to build an emergency supply of non-perishables and toiletries, but haven’t made much progress yet. I used to do serious couponing and at that time, we had a lot of bottles/boxes of stuff around. But I stopped couponing (no time), and we’ve used it up. Now our stockpile is looking pretty slim. I should probably work on that. :)

    [Reply]

  22. I too am a prepper light. My new focus is on stockpiling information: how to use plants as first aid, what wild plants are edible, how to can various goods, etc.

    Also, I live at the Jersey Shore in an area hard hit by hurricane Sandy. Our experience was different than your neice’s. Our neighbors and town really rallied together to help those who lost everything. People shared and helped and it was pretty great to see.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Yes, I know that so many of the areas were wonderful in supporting each other like that. She assumes it was the because of location and people not being committed to the area (renters etc) in how they treated their apartment. I’ll change that so it’s not an overachieving phrase. So sorry.

    [Reply]

    Beth Reply:

    @Jen, I didn’t mean for you to change anything :) I know some areas had very bad experiences, I just wanted to share a good one.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Don’t worry. I didn’t take it that way, but just realized that I need to point out the good as well. :)

  23. I’m working on stockpiling a little at a time – I had a much better stockpile before we sold our house and moved into the rental 6 months ago. Hopefully I will be able to start up again after we move into our “new to us” home next month. Also, I hope to do a small garden and living on a lake – maybe the hubs will be able to catch some fish for us to put in the freezer. (We did purchase a freezer a couple of months ago and I am slowly filling it up. We also have a small generator and a self contained camper that we could move into IF we lost electricity. We are talking about installing a gas stove in the new house, but not only would that require buying a new stove it would also require installing a gas line into the house and having a gas tank put on the property. We’re not sure we should do all that. Thanks for posting.
    Hugs-
    I’m a Little Prepper, too!

    [Reply]

  24. I just feel lost in where to start. We are missionaries with a VERY tight budget, so the idea of anything extra for the future causes worry. What does this all look like? What does the dollar collapsing even look like?

    [Reply]

    KimH Reply:

    @Narah, Narah, can you manage to pick up one extra item when you’re shopping? A bag of rice or beans? A can of condensed milk? A can or packet of tuna? Just start small.. add to it when you can.

    I understand if its not possible since I lived that way for much of 10 years of my adult life. I was awash in stress and anxiety.. but I did manage to grow a garden doe most of the years and freeze or can much of my produce and that helped tremendously.

    Also, consider getting to know wild plant foods, whats edible, whats not. What is medicine in nature. God did after all did provide everything in life that we need to survive & thrive.

    And last but not least.. Have faith that God will provide..

    [Reply]

  25. Canning is not magic. Go for it. As for living like our grandmothers… I think they would be appalled to hear us say that, really. It was a hard life not too long ago, and no doubt they would think us foolish and naive to want to go back to it. That said, there is comfort in self-sufficiency. My (farmer) husband and I were commenting the other day about how few people really know how to do anything anymore– build anything, sew, garden, work on cars, etc. These kinds of things can be forgotten, after all. We only “discovered” how to make concrete in the late 18th century, although the Romans used it, and it was just forgotten. How many things did our forbears do as a matter of course that are not being passed down?

    Also? I kept reading “I’m a Pepper” instead of “Prepper”. Brainwashed by advertising much? Geez.

    [Reply]

    KimH Reply:

    @Kristina, haha.. I used to be a Pepper too. ;)

    I agree completely with you regarding our grandmothers horror to hear us say we want to live like they did. My grandmother who was born about a hundred years ago once told me that I was insane when I told her that I would love to go back to living on the land and being self sufficient. All I saw of the back the land movement of the 60s & 70s was the idealistic romantic side.. not the drudgery, the starvation, and the hardships it entailed.
    Sometime around 1985-95, there was a historic wagon trail event where many people did a ride in wagons from the east coast of the US to the west coast.. (cant find it to reference) but I asked my grandmother if she wanted to go to the nearby highway where they would be traveling to see them pass thru. She reacted quite strongly saying “Why on earth would I want to see something like that?” and I replied because it was neat & a part of history. She scoffed and told me about her early life, coming from Missouri, to Oklahoma then finally to Texas in an old wagon. She said there wasnt anything neat about it. It was difficult, miserable, and it killed many. She totally loved every modern convenience and wasnt ashamed to admit it.. Now that im in my 50s, I’ve come over to her side. As much as I love having the knowledge To be pretty self sufficient.. I love every modern convenience I have available to me. :)

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    I’m a Pepper, you’re a Pepper, would you like to be a pepper too.” ;) Total brainwashed, I am.

    [Reply]

    The Prudent Homemaker Reply:

    @Jen, That’s funny!

    [Reply]

  26. Well what you said makes sense to me and my wife, though she didn’t read it, I did. We started Prepping, but we call it regular living, a few years back. I left one job from an injury and went on my second job, real estate. I made good there too but in 2009 I got sick, cancer. We are farm/country people, so we always have kept a Pantry, and then some, lol. Money got tight with medical expenses, but we never went hungry. We had all our loans paid so we didn’t worry there either, just the regular bills, and that was bad enough. After a heart attack in 2005 we thought it would be best to get out of debt, so we did.

    We’ve been able to make sure over the years that 4 families didn’t go hungry with some of our preps. These days we haven’t as much money, so we use it wisely. By stocking it allows my wife and I to buy only when something is on sale and we have coupons., and we’re talking we can probably wait most of what we use out. We grow and preserve a lot of our food, including cattle. I cheat and buy a hog. Doomsday doesn’t have to be a national or world wide disaster, it can feel that way from a personal tragedy. We keep a 21×13 ft Pantry stocked and probably that much more all over the house. 3 Freezers and we’re adding a canning room this year. We have enough for us and to share with a few for a few years. Prepping saves money and can help people you care about in times of trouble. You ain’t nuts and we ain’t either, just prepared.

    [Reply]

Trackbacks

  1. [...] loved the post from Beauty and Bedlam where she talks about living off of her food storage while her husband went through a year of [...]

  2. […] searching Pinterest (a pass time that I adore) I came across the following post about prepping: http://beautyandbedlam.com/doomsday-prepper/ Prepping in the US can come across as very over the top – but there are elements that appeal […]

Share Your Thoughts

*

Current ye@r *