My husband and I often are asked about why we would need to be prepared more than minimally. We share with people how it has benefited us personally.
When we moved out of the city and into the country, we chose to live away from nosy neighbors and have a place big enough to grow a garden and let our dogs run and bark without someone calling animal control or making a complaint. We wanted to be able to able to control our own lives without having to go through the hoops that cities and HOA’s require you to for gardens and solar and a wind turbine.
To save money, we eliminated one vehicle and I had to get real good at shopping once a week with no way to go to the store if I ran out. We wanted to be better prepared for storms and other crisis as well. The economy had hit bottom and we were worried about what we would do if my husband got laid off. We started buying in bulk, using coupons and shopping “on sale” to build a supply of food and other needed items. This paid off big time when I was stranded for 2 weeks alone during a major ice storm.
I learned what was important and what wasn’t during that storm and when I got a chance to go into town afterwards, I found that the things I needed to pick up were all sold out. It was almost a year before they came back into stock due to seasonal changes in stock, so I learned that you will NOT be able to just run to the store and pick up what you need.
As time went on, prices went up and money got tighter. Many times we have stretched a month by eating what I have stored. My coffee storage has increased in value by 150%! I learned to can and dehydrate what I grew in the garden and as reports came in on tainted salad greens and toxins in juice, we realized that we didn’t have to worry about it because we knew every single thing in our produce and juices, since we grew it and preserved it. We added up the savings from being self-reliant with just a garden and fruit and found we have saved thousands of dollars!
The biggest thing we have found is the convenience factor. After a long tiring day at work, many folks stop at the store to pick up something; we don’t ever have to do that. When unexpected company shows up, I never have to run to the store to grab items and when we are sick, we don’t have to go out and push ourselves in a germ filled store and possibly infect others, because we keep everything we need. When prices go up, we can wait it out. When a big storm is coming, we don’t have to join the crowds at the store for last minute supplies.
Being self-reliant means we have been able to ride out blizzards, hurricanes, power outages, muddy and impassable roads and financial emergencies without worry or discomfort. If something major were to happen, we would not need to wait for our town, county or government to come rescue us or air drop food or take us to shelter. If the economy continues to decline and my husband lost his job, we could make it without falling behind while he searched for another.
For common sense, economics, and convenience reasons, being self-reliant makes sense!
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