Part of the 30 Days of Preparedness Round Robin with the Prepared Bloggers Network
You may have wondered if you should put a few things aside, just in case. You don’t know exactly what the “just in case” situation might be but you have a feeling things are just not right. Your gut instinct is saying things are different. Perhaps this is a time to begin planning a life of self-sufficiency.
Something to Think About
Today, as I was loading some groceries into my car, I thought, I am only making fajitas and I had to go to the store. What shape would you be in if you had to visit a store for your next meal’s supplies and the store wasn’t there anymore? It really made me think. We are preparing and living the life of self-sufficiency to the best of our current ability but we are NOT 100% there yet.
How Do You Begin?
You may not have a lot of space or a lot of money. Believe me, you are not alone, but it can be done. The biggest step is the one you are thinking about. Just make a committed decision to begin. Once you start you will add on to your plan on a consistent basis and you will begin to gain a sense of security knowing you are better prepared than you were.
The whole process of being prepared is a mindset. Our grandparents often didn’t have a choice, they had to prepare and store provisions in order to survive. The process becomes a way of life.
Questions To Ask Yourself
- Is your family supportive?
- What types of situations do you feel may be an issue?
- Do you have environmental factors that could alter your life?
- Do you plan to stay at home or if you need to leave (called bugging out), do you have a place to go?
- What is your preference, to stay at home or leave?
- Will you prepare for both staying or leaving? (This is highly recommended since disasters may not give you a choice.)
- Do you just want to live a more self-sufficiency lifestyle to get out of the rat race?
There is really a fine line between the term of being prepared, sometimes referred to as being a “prepper” and living a self-sufficient life. To me, both terms mean you want to have more control of your own well-being and to provide a more secure future for your family. It is a type of self-made life insurance. The “premiums” for this insurance consist of back-up supplies in case of job loss or disasters both natural and man-made.
To Live a Life of Self-Sufficiency You Will Need to Commit to a Few Things
- Make a plan – Bring everyone on board with a family plan. In the beginning, start with all the resources you currently have such as extra food & water, tools, and skill sets. Next make a list of what you feel you need to add to your resources. This will be an evolving list. You will discover, as you move forward, you need other items you have not yet considered. Take it slow and don’t get yourself stressed out. This journey to self-sufficiency is a process and you will take it at a pace that works for you.
- Frugal living – Learn and practice fugal living. This will allow you to gather the different tools of the lifestyle of self-sufficiency. Frugal living does not mean you will become a “cheapskate”. It simply means you will find great bargains, spend your money wisely, and be able to afford your new life more comfortably with the money you are no longer wasting. Instead of throwing your hard earned wages around, you will begin to buy the items that can sustain you in good times and bad.
- Pay off debt – By living below your means you can get rid of high credit card debt and not dread getting the mail. Life will become less stressful. You will start paying cash instead of with plastic. You won’t be going out as often but when you do you will experience a more enjoyable meal. It will be a treat and it won’t be adding to your debt. Learn to enjoy life free of encumbrances. You will pay down your debt including credit cards, loans, and even your mortgage. Just think how liberating life would be without debt. As you pay off one debt use that money to add to the next debt you want to pay down. You will see your debt decrease faster and pay less interest.
- Cook from scratch – By cooking from scratch you make your food go much further. You can plant a garden and use your own non-GMO veggies. You can shop at fruit markets rather than supermarkets and get less expensive vegetables and fruit. You can make larger meals, freeze one and eat one. If you have the land and desire, you can raise your own meat. This is not for everyone. You can buy in bulk and learn to can vegetables, fruits, and meat. You will be amazed at how simple the process really is. The investment is your time and a few pieces of specialized equipment. You can also dehydrate and freeze foods grown or purchased in bulk.
- Grow gardens – You can plant an herb garden and a few vegetables to start. These will even grow in apartments. Any step you take will be one closer to being self-sufficient. The decision as to how self-sufficient you want to be is a personal decision. The main thing is to begin and expand to the level of independence you desire.
- Bake your own bread – This is a great money saver and is not as difficult as you might think. It requires just a few ingredients and very few tools. You can bake a loaf of nutritious bread for well under a dollar. Compare that to over three dollars a loaf for bread purchased at the supermarket which comes with additives you probably don’t want in your body.
- Eliminate gym memberships – Once you start to live a self-sufficient lifestyle you will be more active and you won’t need a gym.
- Make your health/beauty and cleaning products – This only requires a few ingredients such as white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, washing soda, Castile soap, coconut oil, and essential oils. Not only will you save a TON of money, the products will not contain unwanted chemicals.
- Learn to do it yourself – You probably have a few skills that will allow you to do some repairs or tasks that others hire out to professionals. Practice your skills and learn new ones.
The knowledge of self-reliant living has been lost by many people over the years. I have great admiration for the Amish. They have prospered and continued a lifestyle of long ago. In a break-down of society, they will be the fortunate ones who know how to maintain their lives. We can all learn a great deal by studying their ways of living.
Our grandparents learned how difficult life could be without money during the depression and many other times throughout history. They learned how to live with the basics, and we can, too. I never ever want to find myself in a position where food is scarce or non-existent. By working towards self-sufficiency and living a simple life there will be more money to store food and other supplies. Money spent on long term food which can last 25 years can be purchased at today’s prices. This is a better investment than most other ways of earning interest. We all know food expenses are only going to rise as the days go by. Growing your own food will give you an additional way to get non-GMO/organic food that you want for your family at a fraction of the cost. Not only will you save money, eat healthier food, you will have great satisfaction. There is nothing that is more satisfying than biting into a fresh piece of produce right out of the garden.
Start Your New Way of Living…Slowly
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take a small amount of money and start purchasing a few things each pay period. In the beginning there may not be a lot of money because you will be working on your plan to pay down debt. Time really does seem to slip away and in this case it is a good thing. Your slow and steady approach will get your debt paid and you will be able to start providing food and supply back-ups for a time when they might not be available. It will surprise you how much you can do in a fairly small amount of time. Take one day at a time and always keep thinking how much better life will be, you will be free and more secure no matter what life has in store.
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September is National Preparedness Month and The Prepared Bloggers are at it again!
It’s safe to say that our ultimate goal is to help you have an emergency kit, a family plan, and the knowledge to garden, preserve your harvest and use useful herbs every day – without spending a ton of money to do it. Luckily that’s obtainable for every family and a journey we would love to help you with.
This year we have posts about food storage, 72-hour Kits & Bug Out Bags, and every aspect of preparedness, from water storage to cooking off grid. You’ll also find many ideas to help you be more self-reliant. Look for information on the big giveaway we’ve put together for later in the month.
Be sure to visit our sites and learn as much as you can about being prepared. We’ll be using the hashtag #30DaysOfPrep for these and many other ideas throughout the month of September, so join in the conversation and make 2015 the year you become prepared.