This post is part of a week long cross blog celebration of national preparedness month where we, as blog owners and preppers, answer five interesting and pertinent questions–one per day–and request that you, the reader, provide your own answers as well in the comments section below. Equally important, we request that you visit the other awesome participating blogs as well in order to get to better know the blog owners and their sites. The other participating sites are mostly sites that I highly recommend you visit anyway and include: ApartmentPrepper.com, DoomAndBloom.net, IfItHitsTheFan.com, ModernSurvivalOnline.com, SeasonedCitizenPrepper.com, and The Retreat. Please choose to visit these other sites and give feedback. Thank you.
Wow! That’s a tough question to answer given the myriad of possible options. Sure, we could talk about investing in precious metals, buying junk silver, getting out of the stock market, or avoiding real estate; however, I would suggest that there is only one correct answer that really works for everyone, and that is: food storage.
Yup, food storage. Well, food storage AND a bit of experience to go with it, which I’ll touch on in a bit. Anyway, think about your grocery store bills over the past year or two. I know it hasn’t been going down in price. Packages are getting smaller, you’re getting less and less product even if package sizes stay the same, and yet prices continue to rise. Some truly believe that our food quality is getting worse for a number of reasons. I’ve even seen articles recently stating that food prices are going to significantly increase at the beginning of next year.
I don’t know about you but that’s really going to “put the screws to us” if food prices continue to rise. Because of this fact, I’m looking to seriously increase our bulk food storage and really begin to utilize what we have, you know, as we’re supposed to! At the very least it’s good insurance against any number of scenarios, including inflation and it gives us options. For example, instead of sweating bullets because a loaf of bread is $10 each, we would have the ability to make our own at a fraction of the cost. Of course, the expectation is that we have all of the other ingredients necessary as well as the knowledge of how to do so.
Knowledge is key. It really was but a few years ago that I didn’t even understand some basics about bread making! If it didn’t go in the microwave chances were pretty good I didn’t know how to cook it. Ok, I wasn’t that bad but you get the idea. Now, I can make bread with a variety of ingredients and even just a few (though still following a recipe). I can make rising bread without yeast (which doesn’t store well, by the way) and I understand how to make other breads such as pan-fried “30 second” bread. I can make bread in my sun oven too, which is totally awesome. If I didn’t know how to do this then where would I be? Literally stuck in the bread line along with everyone else who can’t make their own bread.
The point about all this bread-making talk is that I can now see we have options other than the grocery store. I can now see that I don’t need to rely on the grocery store for something as simple as bread any longer. Yes, we do occasionally grind wheat but it’s a pain considering that we can just buy bread or even flour. Regardless, I can say that I have the skills to make bread. Most people in my generation (Gen X) don’t even realize they can make their own food, let alone consider actually doing it. And that’s a shame. It wasn’t that long ago (a generation or two) where families routinely made a majority of their own food. We’ve lost this critical skill.
I’m afraid, however, that we’re going to get a crash-course in it again very soon. And, in order to be ready for it, we need to get ahead of the curve so-to-speak. We need to have not only the basic ingredients to make a majority of our own food, but the tools (e.g., wheat grinder) and the skills to do so. For example, do you have any basic recipes? You might find my Food Storage Recipe Database (Excel file) to be useful as it lists several hundred basic recipes that utilize food storage ingredients. Do you have a wheat grinder? While you can easily spend many hundreds of dollars on a quality grinder (which may be what you want if you’re expecting to grind wheat daily) but even a small grinder would prove quite useful. I recently reviewed the Back to Basics model here. These things will be difficult to come by if times get tough.
As I’ve stated multiple times already, food storage provides you with options. Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast put it best–and I’m paraphrasing quite a bit–that if you have, say 3 months of food storage, but you still have the ability to purchase 75% of your normal food supplies then that 3 months of food storage could extend your food purchasing power to nearly a year at 100% capacity. In other words, your 3 months of food storage would be able to take up the slack and provide the missing 25% for roughly a year. Let that sink in for a moment. Now, consider what 6 months or a full year would do for you.
Back to the original scenario, while everyone around you is suffering because they can only get 75% of what they’re accustomed to (and for some of us that’s not a bad thing) or they’re turning down the heat to just above freezing in order to pay for food, you may not have to. That’s very powerful. Granted, food storage will only get you so far. It WILL run out. But the purpose was never to last forever… just to give you options, and that’s what counts.