Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is It Too Late to Start Prepping?

Daisy Luther, Contributor
Activist Post

A lot of new folks are starting to realize that the outlook in North America is every bit as grim as the reality in European countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and a host of others. When even the corporate media is making dire predictions, the writing is truly on the wall.

If you’re new at this, you might be dipping your toe in the water, reading some survivalist and prepping websites, trying to figure out how to keep your family safe and well-fed in the difficult days ahead . . . and you may also read a host of discouraging comments saying that it’s too late to get started. ”If you aren’t already prepared, there’s no time left,” many experienced preppers are saying dismally. “You’re screwed.”

If you’ve already come upon some difficult times, you may think to yourself, “I’d like to prepare but I barely have enough money to keep a roof over our heads . . . We’re screwed.”

You might be reading these terrible prophecies, rolling pennies to buy milk at the grocery store, and watching the parade of terrible daily events and be ready to give up before you even get started. You may agree, “Yep, it’s too late. I’m screwed.”

The thing is, I’m the eternal optimist, and I don’t believe that it really IS too late. I don’t believe that you are screwed, even if tomorrow is the date of your first stockpile shopping trip! If the stores are open, there’s still time.

While I agree that the situation is dire and that economic doom is getting closer every day, if you’re reading this site and others like it, you’ve taken the first step to preparedness already – just like a 12-Step program for addiction, you have recognized and admitted the problem. This, in and of itself, puts you in the company of an estimated 3 million preppers who are aware that life as we know it today could change in the blink of an eye.

  • This recognition of the need to prepare puts you ahead of “the herd”.
  • This means that you will look at current events differently.
  • This means that you will think critically when presented with information via the media.
  • This means that you will truly weigh the pros and cons of fiat currency that you intend to spend.
  • This means that when you shop, you aren’t just looking to feed your family until the next grocery trip.
Even if you just have a little inkling in the back of your mind that things are not as they ought to be, you have crossed a threshold and you can choose whether you want to step in to awareness or slam the door on that uneasy feeling and go about your life, doing things the way you have always done them.

If you’re still reading, then you may have decided to come on in and join the ranks of the prepared!

While it’s late in the game we aren’t in the last inning just yet – so let’s get started!

The wake-up call for many of us is a downturn in finances. While it’s ideal to begin stocking up while your income is still good, don’t be discouraged if you’ve taken a financial hit. You won’t be able to buy a year’s supply in one marathon shopping trip but you can empower yourself by getting started.

Getting Started

The first step is to take inventory of what you have – you may be surprised to realize that you already have a week or a month of supplies in your pantry. Read “If You Don’t Know What You Have, You Don’t Know What You Need!” for more detailed information on inventorying the items that you already have. (Note: the 52 Weeks to Preparedness section of the website Ready Nutrition contains a wealth of information for the beginning prepper. It’s a budget-friendly approach to getting prepared!)

Once you’ve figured out where you are as far as supplies are concerned, you must figure out a way to finance your prepping endeavors. Your budget may be so tight that you can barely keep the lights on but there is still hope. When you change the way you shop, you’ll soon find that some of the budgetary stress is relieved. But first things first, you have to free up enough money to get started.

You might think that the week after Christmas is a terrible time to get started on something that costs money, but in actuality, you will probably never be in a better position to do so. If your house is anything like mine, you probably have a whole refrigerator full of holiday leftovers – resist the urge to do your normal weekly shopping trip and feed your family leftovers combined with the goods you have in your pantry. Use that money that you would normally spend for groceries and let’s get started!

 No matter how small your budget is, you can begin building security for your family. I am basing these prices on my teeny tiny small-town grocery store, this week. You may be able to get more, based on what’s on sale in your area.

$20 List
2 pound bag of rice
2 pound bag of beans
4 cans of spaghetti sauce
2 cans of peaches in water
1 jar of peanut butter
1 jug of white vinegar
5 gallon jug of water$50 List
everything in the $20 list and
4 boxes of saltine crackers
4 jars of unsweetened applesauce
2 pounds of sugar
5 pounds of flour
1 liter of olive oil
3 cans of green beans
2 boxes of baking soda

$100 List
everything on the $20 list and the $50 list and
1 canister of grated Parmesan cheese
1 canister of baking powder
10 pound bag of potatoes
5 pound bag of onions
5 pound bag of carrots
2 pounds of powdered milk
6 pounds of pasta
5 bags of dried spices of choice
small assortment of treats (candy, chocolate chips, etc – you have $5 to spend on things that make life more pleasant!)

If you’ve read my other articles, you may think these lists are in conflict with the “organic” theme. While I’d certainly love to see everyone give Monsanto the cold shoulder by buying local and organic, it’s just not always feasible, especially when you are just getting started.

I’d rather see people begin to take control by having a supply like the one listed here – something that when combined with the foods in the cupboards might see you through a month of hard times.

What’s more, when you have this little bit of security – this one-month food investment, you can begin to build on this with healthier and more nutritious options. You can start learning how to be more self-sufficient by growing what you can, by learning to preserve food and by buying in bulk.

It’s Not Over – There’s Time

That little voice whispering warnings is telling you something very important – it’s saying that things just aren’t right. Call it instinct, the voice of God, or a premonition – but listen and get prepared. Start right now. Even if you only have 2 weeks’ worth of food and water, that is two weeks that your family will not be hungry or thirsty. After Superstorm Sandy people were complaining that they hadn’t eaten after only two days.

None of us knows how long the dollar will last. We, in North America, will be going the way of Greece – not if, but when. Natural disasters occur, interrupting the flow of commerce and the availability of goods. Jobs are lost, illnesses occur, and storms blow in. If you listen to that little voice telling you to get ready, you will not be standing in line with all of the rowdy crowds waiting for FEMA to dole out whatever they see fit to give.

Take the time we have left and make the most of it. Ignore the naysayers with their discouraging pronouncements that there isn’t enough time. Every single meal you put aside, every book of matches, every candle and every alternative cooking method you invest in, increases the security of your family.

Focus on what you can do – and block out the static of those who say the word “can’t”.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at


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Nemetron 2000 said...

These are trying times that are testing the limits of peoples' hope, but I don't believe in absolutes, so just because someone hasn't prepped doesn't mean they are absolutely screwed, and just because someone has prepped doesn't mean they are absolutely safe.

The situation you find yourself in can change in an instant, and in these uncertain times the ability to adapt will be our greatest ally.

Anonymous said...

Well now! You've invested in this preparation inventory, but now, interest rates have zoomed to 30% and the bank reneges on the mortgage agreement; the landlord raises the rent! You can't pay it. The church is dunning for it's tithe, and the electricity is shut off!

The bank sends some Tony The Ant type to protect it's interests. You protest. Next thing you know, Tony sticks a ball-point pen in your throat, abuses your family, and eats your "preps"!

Or something like that ......

Have a joyous Holiday!

Anonymous said...

Dear "Anonymous"
What happens when Tony the Ant runs into Colt .45 and a man that knows how to use it?

Bruce Hayden said...

If I wanted to tell someone how to 'prep' I would begin by telling them not to read this terrible article. You need lots and lots of water and you want to use little or none of it for have to assume that there is no water, heat, air-conditioning, etc. Drygoods are pushed by many but they use too much water. And sugar????WTF? You shouldn't be eating that crap in normal times....and it makes you thirsty. I could go on but you get my drift.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the pit bull to turn Tony into Soylent Green.

Anonymous said...

Even if the list is ORGANIC, what about radioactive nucleotides that are now, or, as of the Fukishima event present in our foods. And I ditto what Bruce has commented on. For survival lessons please read how people lived 200 years ago, or better yet read about partizan's survival during WWII. One of the most important substances that was valued more then gold is SALT.

Patriot9878\ said...

You should be near a good creek or river and your water problem is solved. You can buy stuff that filers the water to pure. It would be nice if you could grow your own garden and not worry about the grocery store. But you got a long time before you can do that. You should get plenty of vinegar, salt and store the stuff in air tight plastic barrels. You will need things like rubbing alcohol, toothpaste, soap and shampoo. Enough stuff to hold you for a long time. I would shoot for two years worth so that you would not have to get anything at the store. You will be going back to the days of old. Forget about electric you won't be able to get gas to run a generator. You'll want to invest in one of those old hand washing machines. You'll want bandages and you'll want to invest in plenty of clothes like underwear and socks and good boots and rain coats. If you have seeds and vinegar and salt you'll be able to trade that stuff for other goods. You'll want a rain collection system. You should have enough fire wood to get through the Winter. You'll want things like a dart board and ping pong table and badminton set to have shit to do when you are sitting around

Sally Oh said...

Great article, thank you. And great comments. BTW, if you are still paying a mortgage and there is even the slightest chance that you are overpaying, walk away. NOW.

Afshin Nejat said...

Wow, if even late-coming fringe lemmings have a chance, then we can all breathe a big sigh of relief.

I love the looks on people's faces when I shop... It's the priceless expressions I'll remember when the SHTF. No one trying to convince anyone of anything... just someone acting on his own convictions. I think that is the REAL sting of it all. The bottom line is that there are two camps: Lemmings (with wolves on their backs), and Truth-loving Beings who act on their own convictions instead of acting like fish in a school or birds in a flock or sheep in a herd (sorry if I offended any animals by this comparison...).

It's those people with those priceless looks who will become worse than any animal when the SHTF, and I WILL be laughing at you. I watched you sneer and heard you mock, I saw you get drunk every weekend if not every night. I even helped throw together the expensive-as-hell pizzas you ordered, any one of those orders being enough to feed a family for a week... and you paid with credit cards (shame on you...).

Don't come 'round my door, you won't be welcome.

Earl said...

Hi Daisy,
Thank you for writing this. Thank you for your willingness to help those who may not know where to get started do just that.

All the Best,

Anonymous said...

look at west virginia today...should have had a water stockpile already! Ya never know what can happen!

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