Nobody wants to be afraid. Most people wear blinders to threats of natural disaster and civil strife. Pretending everything will be fine and nothing can or will happen to them. You either will live in fear and do what the "Joneses" do or you will PREP. I have FINALLY chosen to prep.
Had you mentioned the word Prepping to me a year ago I would of thought you were nuts and belong in a looney bin. I mean prepping for the end of the world, are you kidding me? what are the odds and why would I prep I mean that's why we have the government right??
WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!
Last November I was an average everyday soccer mom per society. I had 3 kids living at home with all the latest and greatest "things", a loving man (Steve) over seas fighting for our country, a comfortable home and plenty of food to keep my family healthy and happy. Little did I know MY world was about to change. In the blink of an eye our 5 kids from Steve's previous marriage were living with us. WOW 8 kids to feed clothe and care for all while he is over seas. I sat there and cried how ever are we going to survive on 1 income (military at that) why am I not PREPARED for this, how are we going to survive this change they have came with nothing we are starting from scratch with 5 kids. Well at least I have food in my fridge so how bad can it be, I thought no worries if things get really bad we can swallow our pride and get the government to help out, after all they are suppose to help families in emergencies right?
After a few months as a big family I had to start make excuses come dinner that I wasn't hungry, when in fact we just didn't have enough for all of us to eat. Before long the kids were saying they were hungry more and more often even sneaking extra food from lunch lady at school and hording it. My heart shattered cause I was having to be the bad guy and ration what they ate to make sure we had enough till next pay day. Finally I broke and tried for the good Ol' government bail out after all its my kids in need of food, you do what you got to do. Much to my surprise there was NO help to be offered.
Really? Steve has served our country for almost 20 years and you cant help me get food on my table? I sat in the truck and cried, at that moment the thing I thought only crazy folks did came to mind. It wasn't prepping so much as becoming self reliant. I thought the "what if" I had I been more self sufficient and planted a garden vs. buying them. I pondered the thought instead of paying into stocks that may or may not work why not pay myself something that will never be taken away, never lost to a business failure and a GUARANTEED insurance policy of its own after all we all have to eat right.
Ok, so how does a large family barely making it get ahead? Cause they always say once your behind you can never get caught up. Well my friends that is a bunch of horse poop! We did get a little help with our immediate need from one of our local churches that neither of us attended.
Once we started to bounce back I made a promise I would never let my family go hungry again. I did however have little hope that I could stock up food while meeting everyday needs. It was no longer an option though, it was priority. I was now going to be a PREPPER, a self-reliant woman who can support her families food needs for every day to come here on out.
True to the saying "a little goes a long way" and adds up fast. I didn't start with big shopping trips to the store, massive solar oven, or even canning. Nope that all took way more money then I had. I started with the change in my truck and the local dollar store. YUP, the dollar store, and I became pretty close before long. Not everything there is a steal but there's enough to get you started. I started with small goals first was basic survival calories , protein and water. To me that meant rice, beans, tuna, peanut butter and water in every plastic or glass container I had.
We sat down and made a BUG OUT BOOK. One that had everything we needed from all our ID's to laminated maps with every route to all our rally point and our disaster plan. Then came Steve's favorite, the BUG OUT BAGS for 8 kids. I can't get over how much stuff we had here at home that went into them and before long and a few small purchases all from Wal-mart or dollar store, all 8 where done. I think I cried the day all the kids stood in front of me with them on. I was really getting into this. I started counting all the calories I had of food in our emergency-only cabinet and what looked like hardly nothing was quickly a months worth of food for all 10 of us. WOW! A months supply of survival food? That was nothing and it never cut into our monthly budget. We didn't get a raise or a second job we just made our money work harder. Garage sales, going out of business sales and the biggest one yet for me COUPONING!!!! I mean wow what a difference. I cut my household goods bill down to nothing each month and can spend that on extra food to store.
I now have 3 closets and a few book cases through out the house filled with "stuff". Working on a garden, started canning all my tough meats, making all my own jams, teaching my children the important of surviving vs. "give me, give me, give me". They now think outside the box; if they want something they make sure it has multiple purposes and is on a need factor more then an " I want", and that makes my heart happy.
RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH my friends...yes you now have this stock pile of food but can you cook it without power. You don't have the money for a generator so what do you do? You have just a bag of wheat, a can of veggies and bottle of honey what do you make?
I research and write down recipes and survival things to keep in a binder cause in most disasters you won't have internet and need to go back to the old ways. Know what spices work to heal headaches, help with upset stomachs. Not only is it important to keep a good stock of survival, but to know how to use them and prepare foods are just as important. Combine it with your everyday living so when the time comes, everyone feels as it is a normal routine.
The most important thing I've learned from this experience is that you can prep WITHOUT changing your entire life. You don't have to be a weirdo survivalist......you just need to learn how to work smarter, not harder.
J.P. proud Navy wife and busy Mama Bear of 8!! CA
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