Thursday, May 31, 2012

Surprise! The moment you prepared for...

Image Credit:  taliesin

It wasn't the big one. It wasn't a biological threat. It wasn't Armageddon or the Apocalypse. It wasn't Zombies or anarchy or any of the above.

It may have been a personal crisis in the home.

In our case the emergency was a job change. This entailed weeks of laying aside foods and home goods for the routine changes we were to endure. By setting up the right supplies, we can get through the financial switch. We have had to adjust to a new schedule and a new set of policies and an adjustment in the paycheck temporarily .

By having foods and goods in the home and fortifying our sudden extreme swing in budgeting we are able to make ends meet and supply our family's nutritional needs without much of a sacrifice.

We will be able to have 3 square meals a day through the food supplies already here in the home. This is a good thing, too, for rotating out product that waits for times like this. We prefer to use our stock on a regular basis. This insures our food is always good quality. We can then use the cash we would have spent on fancy meals on other things more pressing.

Other scenarios for preparedness that isn't a global disaster is having the family bread winner take ill or need a hospitalization. There may have been a death in the family or maybe a major expense has arisen that needs to be tended to like a vehicle that needs major repair. In these situations having a few weeks to a few months of supplies in your home eases the tensions and can help facilitate the healing that needs to take place for the finances to get back to normal. Eating right and eating well supplies much needed physical as well as mental strengthening.

Things don't always have to be a civil disaster to be a crisis. Preparedness and survival are a day to day thing for some families. Think ahead. Live frugal. Store extra nutritional support for your family when ever possible. By adding a few extras to the pantry and pinching pennies in this manner you are not only saving for peace of mind, you are spending less on fuel to and from the market and you are spending less time there as well something we could all use a little more of! We know we get a little spoiled with the fast food convenience in our society and that's ok sometimes. 

Plan a frugal month or two. Set a goal to exist off of your food storage supply and test out your abilities to make this as balanced an experience as possible. When you involve the family in an experiment like this use the money you saved for an activity at the end of the month. This conditions you and your family to the foods you have set aside. By consuming these products you can better plan for a future when you really need to have this supply and stock accordingly.

The best reason to do this is to know what your family will REALLY eat!

Make it fun. It doesn't have to be all beans and gruel!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Container Gardening

Tomatoes and Lavender 2012
Gardening in small spaces is as simple as keeping a regular watering schedule. The maintenance level is low. Clean up is easy and if you decide you want to rearrange the area all you have to do is move the pot.

I have kept a container garden active for over 3 years now and really enjoy this hobby. Gardening is part of my preparedness planning and I am actively seeking out ways to make it more attractive and produce better. This year I added more herbs to my pots and am happy with the results I am getting. The tomatoes are producing and I am getting flowers on the peppers and the eggplant as well. This year I did not plant cucumbers but I may do just that when mid summer reaches us as the cucs tend to produce better in the fall.

The garden is not only a source of food stuff it is a nice place to relax and meditate. The area to me is soothing and helps me get back into a slower pace as I tend to it's light needs. The heaviest task that it needs is in the beginning of spring when I need to either replace soil or replant the pots. It's a healthy activity with fun results. The feeling of watching the plants produce their product is fun. The moment you actually can pluck and eat a fresh grown item makes the work very rewarding!

For Gallery and More info see: Container Gardening on

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crisis Planning - Frugal Living

Preparedness and Financial Crisis

How preparedness can help us be ready for a financial crisis.

Image Credit: jdurham 
A job change some 30 days ago still has me in crisis mode. It has been a few weeks since I had a predictable income and I have been able to work through this situation because I set a plan in action. 

I thought out what I needed for about a month to save on expenses. I planned out the month of supplying my home with the needed paper goods like toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, ect, and the goods I regularly use in the bath and kitchen areas. Together with the food set aside in freezer, cans, and freeze-dried forms this period of little or no income has been easier to endure.

This situation is also a seasonal occurrences as I work in an industry that has a good income for about 5 months out of the year during the convention season and then drops to very small paychecks by the end of the year. I have to be prepared to weather these changes in my income. If I don't save against these lean times I am stressed over paying my bills and supporting my family. Saving money and putting aside the foods and goods we live on is my investment in our money season.

Tackle this situation long before it comes across your home's threshold by stocking up on household necessities now. Take a home inventory. Predict your family's use of health and hygiene items, foods and water supply. Putting a crisis mode plan in force long before it becomes your nightmare can be a major comfort in a time you need to worry about something other than spending those couple of dollars on things you could have had stocked ahead of time.

My crisis involved spending cash on certificates, uniforms, materials, supplies, and tools for a new job. With the burden of home stock already set in place, I have been able to make the necessary purchases I needed for my new job requirements and am still able to have a comfortable home. I don't need to worry about my shopping budget week to week at this time because it is already in my stock.

I will replenish the depleted goods in my stock as my income starts flowing back a little at a time. After the basic bills are paid, restocking my pantry and storage deficits comes into play. With about $20 a week over the next few weeks I can be back into my 30 day plan easily and prepare to extend the 30 day plan to 60 days. The only thing holding me back is space at this time.

My next crisis plan? Moving to a new home by the beginning of the year. Frugal living is a way to battle financial crisis gracefully. When we plan ahead in a time of plenty, the lean times can be met with few sacrifices.

Preparedness and other frugal living tips and articles: 

updated 07/16/2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Barely Making It

Image Credit: cohdra
This may not apply to everyone out there but I am sure there are some that can relate to this situation. Budgeting gets tight. You are barely making it. You have moved either to a new location or a new job and things get piled up faster than you can sort them out and here you are in a new environment. The money you had set aside in the planning isn't stretching as far as you would have like it to and you are stuck. It's a temporary situation but it's a crisis none the less. Let's call this scenario the budge crunch cyclone. It truly can be a disaster if you let the situation pull your energy down.

Plan ahead in more than financial terms. Like you would stash money in a savings account to cover about 3 months of bills before you move on to your new life situation, set aside a store of foods that would cover that same period of time. It may not be 5 star cuisine but a full stomach in stressful times can make a world of difference when you are trying to figure out if you can make ends meet.

I constantly forget I have another check coming in and stress out about half way through the month about ALL the bills I have to pay. They get paid and I have a little left over. Every month I do have a budget amount of $25 per week for survival preparedness foods and items that I don't want to run out of if I have to lay low for a few weeks. This works for me.

Survival food storage is more than just sitting on a huge pile of cans and wheat and not using it. It's about applying frugal life styles to a disruption in our routines now and then.

I am emerging from a budget cyclone myself at the moment. I changed jobs recently and am currently waiting for things to get back to normal. Meals these days consist of what I have in the freezer and what I have in canned goods. Survival storage may not be dinner at a upscale restaurant but it can be gold in the event you are facing tough choices. I can spend what I have to on things I need to start my new job and keep current in my monthly expenses.

I am ok today. I have planned for events like this and, hey, it's not even Armegedon, yet!

More on foods to store:

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Food Storage and Emergency Planning Helps in Small Crisis

What incidents would require a need for using food storage or survival skills? 

Employment Change

A change in employment has me relying on my emergency planning skills, food storage, and supplies. My budget has played out by the skin of its teeth as I switch jobs and have to reinvest some of that income for the transition. This is not a crisis in which I have to go without power, water, shelter. I will not need an alternative source for cooking or leave my home. It is one that has seriously disrupted my routines and taken me out of my comfort zone. The adjustments to new work, surroundings, and people have me circling my resource wagon so to speak. 

I will have to allocate funds for my change in employment status and keep a tight rein for the next few weeks.  I have to adapt to my new surroundings, adjust to a new time schedule, and reroute my meal planning for a bit. Conserving monies is important until the first paycheck arrives. 

Image Credit: earl53
I rely on the back up I placed in my food pantry so that I can be prepared for any financial output. The money coming in has to be sliced thin at this moment until it is actively replenished. My attitude has to remain positive even though this isn't a tornado or hurricane or earthquake, it is still a scary situation that has left me a bit unnerved. The comfort is there knowing I have something to fall back on until life returns to a normal pace once more.

Medical Crisis

I think back to the time I faced a major surgery. I was in a frightening situation. I would be unable to work for at least two months. My income came to a screeching halt. The certainty of laying in a recovery bed for weeks was a daunting thought. I was very sick. I scarcely wrapped my head around the fact that a  hysterectomy was necessary to help me get better. I would have to rely on my food storage to recuperate and support my nutritional needs because I would be bed bound for at least ten days. I would be in severe pain from the surgery and the medication would make it difficult for me to drive. It would be an unwise decision to leave the comfort of my room for anything other than a short trip to bathroom or kitchen.

The supplies in my pantry allowed me to eat, tend to my incision and medical needs, and be comfortable in the few weeks I was down and recuperating. The buffer a bit of food storage and supplies offered was a worry I did not have to feed. I had small applesauce cups, crackers, soups, and cereals to eat. I could crack open a can of beef stew or make a quick noodle dish for nourishment. 

Be Ready, Be Stocked Up

The pantry should contain at least two months of supplies. Ideally, a food storage plan should cover one and a half to two years of supply for the individual and family members. Store the things you will eat. Explore ways to dry store, freeze, can, and bottle edible goods. Set aside a budget for this monthly. A good food storage can be built off of $50 a month. Take inventory at least every six months to see what needs to be rotated and what supplies are running thin. Make it a habit to store personal items, hygiene products, and a bulk of first aid supplies. The more you set aside, the more comfortable the recovery. 

More by this author:

Survival Foods Requirements