How To Prepare For Hard Times Ahead

Hard times – the phrase means something different to everyone. In some countries, wars have created extremely difficult situations for thousands of people, with these difficult times lasting for many years.

People outside American union bank during the Great Depression

For some, hard times are more personal, such as the loss of employment, or even the breakdown of a relationship or marriage.

Regardless of how you view this term, or whether they’re held at a global or personal scale, hard times can cause significant financial and emotional stress.

As you’ve likely witnessed in your own life as well as throughout history, hard times are rarely all that far away.

While it’s not always possible to accurately predict when hard times will strike or how “hard” they will be, it’s safe to say that most people will be affected by hard times at some point or another.

I know the media is telling us that things are looking up. I know they say unemployment numbers are dropping. And we’ve all heard them saying the economy is on the rebound. But frankly, I’m just not convinced.

The thing is, they have to tell us that. If they told us the truth, that we are most likely heading into a much deeper recession, yes maybe even a depression, then panic would sweep across our nation and runs on banks would cause pandemonium.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to prepare for hard times before they even occur.

No matter what the event that causes our hard times, there are certain areas of life that will be affected. There are certain things that we can do that will help us to prepare ourselves. We should look at how we can prepare for hard times to make life a bit easier.

Conduct a Thorough Financial Review

Even though money has a decisive effect on how we live, countless folks struggle to control their finances.

They overspend on things they don’t need, making decisions that feel good in the moment. Then, when hard times hit, money or (to be more precise, a lack of money) will become a problem.

The best way to start reviewing your finances is by making a list showing how much is being spent on various items.

After this list of expenditures is totaled and deducted from your overall income, you should, in a perfect world, have some money leftover. Money that is leftover will allow a savings fund to be created.

An ideal goal would be to create a savings fund that can support spending requirements for a period of five to six months.

Most financial experts refer to this as an emergency fund, and it can help you maintain a level of normalcy should your income be interrupted due to hard times.

After you’ve come up with your list of expenses (and included everything, even all those little dollars here and there that add up over time), you will be able to see if you are spending your money wisely.

It may be necessary to change some spending habits to create a positive cash flow. Always ask if potential purchases are essential.

Some expenditures such as utility bills and home loans cannot be avoided – they must be paid. Unpaid utilities will result in service restrictions. Unpaid home loans will result in foreclosure.

However, that does not mean that they cannot be made cheaper. Look for alternative suppliers at cheaper rates.

See if you can refinance your home or make other budgetary decisions that will leave you with more money in your bank account once all those necessary bills are paid.

Credit card debt can be one of the largest expenses in any person’s outgoings.

Restricting credit, especially on credit cards to essential items, can help to reduce these payments. Consider alternative sources of credit that may prove cheaper with lower interest rates, of course – but above all, try to reduce debt.

Using a credit card isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

If you have the money to pay off the bills at the end of the month, there can in fact be some benefit to using your credit card to pay your bills.

You may be able to rack up rewards points or cash back, helping you save a bit of extra money in the process. It is when you overspend on credit cards that you develop a problem.

You can also get an insurance policy that will protect you if you lose your income. Although this can be expensive, it is worth considering, especially if you are your household’s sole or primary breadwinner and earn a relatively high salary.

Although it is not a good idea to keep large amounts of cash stored in your home, consider what would happen to an emergency fund if banks were out of action. You may find yourself completely out of money if the banks shut down.

Consider what else could be considered a currency if the banking system failed and keep your eggs in many baskets, so to speak, so that you aren’t caught off guard in the event of an emergency.

Menu Planning to Cut Costs

Food is expensive, and is one of the costliest budget items for most families. Despite the high cost of food, a high percentage of food is often thrown away. Food often spoils before it can be eaten.

This happens when food is bought without considering what meals are to be prepared before the next visit to the supermarket.

Creating a menu plan is easy, and can help to reduce waste and costs. This does not have to mean that certain meals have to be prepared on a certain day, but it ensures that enough meals are available until the next store visit.

You can plan out six or seven potential meals for the week, and shuffle around when you eat them – or even buy ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes to reduce food waste.

Cutting out waste and shopping for bargains and discounts will help to keep the food bill lower.

Grow Your Own Food

If meal planning isn’t your thing, there’s another easy way you can save money on food – by growing a vegetable garden.

This will let you reduce your expenditures, while also creating a self-sufficient supply of food if the food supply becomes irregular or unreliable due to hard times at the global scale.

Homegrown vegetables always taste better, are cheaper and are available when needed. A vegetable plot can be any size – even a few containers can be used to grow lettuce and tomatoes.

Hard times could result in stores restricting opening times and rationing foodstuffs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have the skills and resources necessary to grow your own food at home.

Growing food is easy, though it takes time to be able to grow with confidence. However, the rewards make the learning process worthwhile.

Save Your Own Seeds

It is difficult to say how long hard times will last. While starting a garden is a good way to ensure that you provide for your family for the next year or so, learning how to save and store seeds is even better, since you’ll be provided for in many years to come. Some seeds remain viable for decades!

Starting to grow food is easy when seeds are readily available in the local store. However, if this source of seeds is not available, food production will stop. The easiest way to combat this is to learn how to collect and save seeds.

It is easy to learn the skills needed as they are not particularly complicated. However, each plant does have particular techniques that must be followed to ensure success.

Learn to Preserve Food

Growing food and store discounts offer the ability to preserve food for later use.

Various preservation techniques will help to preserve different types of food so that you can have a supply even when the ground is covered in snow and ice and the garden plot has been rendered more or less useless.

Canning, dehydrating, and smoking are all great techniques that will help to keep food for longer.

These techniques do demand a certain level of skill and some low-cost equipment, however, learning to preserve food is worthwhile.

I have not included freezing on this list for a reason – although it’s a reliable food storage method, it relies on power. If power is lost, the food will all be wasted.

While it can certainly serve as a supplement to your other preservation techniques, it shouldn’t be relied on in isolation to help you get through hard times.

Build Your Food Storage

Fresh food has a relatively short shelf life. Food preservation techniques offer the ability to create a store cupboard to hold long shelf life foods.

t is so important that you have a good amount of food on hand. I would suggest building up a year’s worth of food supplies; canned fruits and veggies, grains (wheat, rice, sugar), beans, pasta, powdered milk, water, etc.

This is a great way to prepare for hyperinflation or economic crises, job loss, or other disasters. I’d even go so far as to say that it is more important that you have a food storage built up than a large savings account.

If hyperinflation were to set in, those digits you see in your bank account will not be worth one dime. Food would be a more valuable asset than worthless paper. And if you were to lose your job, food would be one less thing you’d have to worry about spending money on.

Dried foods that are must-haves in any pantry:

  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Flour
  • Sugar

These are all excellent items to store as they last for a long time – and can be used in a variety of ways. If income or food stores restrict the ability to buy food, a well-stocked store cupboard will help to reduce the impact of hard times.

Build a Root Cellar

A root cellar is a homemade DIY store that uses the natural properties of the earth to keep food in an edible condition for longer.

By “burying” food underground, food will stay cool much longer, even in warm climates. On the flip side, a root cellar can also prevent food from freezing outdoors in cold climates.

It takes some planning and hard work to build and maintain a root cellar – however, the ability to be able to store food without using power for in certain cases up to a year is beneficial and will certainly help during hard times.

Consider Keeping Animals

Of course, location and space are massive factors when you are considering keeping any kind of animal. Large numbers of animals are not necessary, however, chickens can supply eggs and meat, and a goat can supply milk and cheese.

Valuable food products to have available in hard times and raising livestock can help ensure that you always have sources of protein and fat available.

Practice Your Cooking Skills

Being able to cook food from scratch is something that everyone should develop for everyday life.

During food shortages, this skill will be essential to be able to support a health fulfilling diet. In certain circumstances, these skills may become a factor in survival.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

It is often said that we are what we eat – and there is definitely an element of truth to this. Our body needs a balance of varied foods to allow it to function to the best of its ability.

Sometimes it is forgotten that for superior brain and body functioning, you need certain vitamins and minerals.

When times are hard, we will need to be physically strong.

There could be many physical tasks that will require strength – you might be accustomed to flipping a switch for your heating and cooling needs now, but in hard times, you may find yourself chopping many loads of firewood to stay warm.

It’s not just the body that will need to remain strong, but the brain, too – clear and rational thought will also be needed to tackle whatever challenges may arise.

Learning how food affects the body and mind is important knowledge that is essential in everyday life and crucial for survival in hard times.

Exercise

Developing an exercise regime also helps to keep our bodies healthy and our minds alert. Exercise can prevent and protect against a variety of diseases, too.

As we have said during hard times life could be more physically demanding, so it is best to prepare for that by ensuring a good level of physical fitness.

Perform a Health Check

Regular medical checkups and tests can help to spot the warning signs of illness that could dramatically (and negatively) affect your life during hard times.

Not all illnesses should be considered permanent or inevitable. Some health conditions can be eradicated by a change of eating habits, diet, or lifestyle.

Reducing medical conditions and nixing your need for expensive medications (that will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to find, during hard times) can only help.

Learn to Relax and Meditate

There’s no question about it – life can be stressful. Hard times are certainly high up there on the list of potential stressors!

Being forced to deal with unusual situations like these that are far from the norm requires clear thinking. Generally, most problems, even those that seem severe, can be dealt with and overcome by using a mind that can clearly and rationally focus.

Learning to develop relaxation techniques will help to bring the best mindset into play when needed. The mind needs to relax just as much as the body.

Focus on Positives

Unfortunately, not everything can be controlled. In any situation or crisis, it is important to focus on what can be controlled, what can be done, and how to best react.

Time spent dwelling on negative situations or things that cannot be controlled is wasted time – and could make hard times even more difficult.

Concentrating on the positives and the things that can be changed will help to make hard times more bearable. You might practice doing this now by fostering a more optimistic mindset and expressing gratitude whenever possible.

Learn To Make Herbal Remedies

There are all kinds of simple over-the-counter medications that may not fit into a restricted budget during hard times. Some medications may not be as readily available.

A headache finds us reaching for a painkiller, an insect bite sees us reaching for an antiseptic cream. Believe it or not, though, these are not necessary. There are all kinds of plants growing in the wild that can help alleviate simple ailments.

Often, simple and ancient remedies are just as effective as commercial ones – plus, they are readily available and free. Free is a wonderful word when times are hard.

Not only that, but many of these offer relief without a long list of side effects (something that’s all too common when you reach for a chemical-based medication).

Check Medication Supplies

Unfortunately, not all conditions can be treated with natural remedies. Ensuring a sufficient stock of any essential medications will help to reduce the possibility of running out.

Checking for an adequate supply of first-aid materials is also useful. Simple bandages and antiseptics are essential to stockpile in every survival bag, or anywhere else around the house.

Check Your Vision and Update to Your Glasses

Vision is so important in everyday life – and it is especially important when times are hard. Having regular eyesight checks and updating your glasses helps to protect this important ability.

Buy a spare pair just in case one pair is damaged or lost. A pair of ready readers are also handy for emergencies.

(While you’re at it, be sure to visit your dentist too.)

Learn First Aid Techniques

Accidents and injuries can happen at any time, anywhere. The potential for injury is more probable during hard times, when unfamiliar tasks that would not normally be considered could become essential.

Small injuries can become life-threatening if not treated correctly and in time. A little first aid knowledge can help to protect the family unit and keep them all healthy and safe.

Homemade Detergents and Personal Products

Washing detergents and personal care products can prove to be quite expensive, especially when money is tight due to hard times.

When visiting the store with limited funds, there can often be a choice between food for the table and cleaning products. Almost always, the food is going to win.

However, cleaning products aren’t things you should go without in any situation. Even during hard times, it is essential to maintain personal cleanliness – it can help keep you and your family healthy, after all.

It is possible and relatively easy to create these products at home. Some ingredients will need to be bought while others can be made or are found growing naturally in the woods.

Taking the time to learn the relevant skillset, and knowing more about how to source the correct ingredients will prove to be highly beneficial in normal times – and absolutely essential in tough times.

Learn to Make Your Own Clothes

There could be situations where hard times last for a long period of time – and that might result in normal supply chains being interrupted for longer than we might like. In the case of extremely hard times, life may become completely different.

Designer suits may no longer be relevant and in the absence of a supply of suitable clothes, the only way may be to craft what is needed.

While this skill will no doubt develop over some time, a little preparation beforehand would be beneficial.

Service Your Vehicles and Other Equipment

It is easy to stretch service due dates, especially when money is tight. It does not seem to be a priority at the time, however, when hard times are around the corner, vehicles and equipment become more important.

In difficult times, the possibility of vehicles or equipment failing can only lead to further hardship and stress.

The servicing of vehicles and equipment should be treated as a priority, and kept up to date. One way to help with servicing is to learn to undertake the basics.

Check Workshops for Equipment

Hard times may necessitate undertaking countless different repairs, rebuilding, and repurposing tasks to be undertaken. These undertakings may require different or extra tools rather than those that are normally kept.

It will pay to think out of the box to create a comprehensive collection of tools. The same applies to fixture fittings and other items such as:

  • Torches
  • Batteries
  • Rope
  • Tie Wraps
  • Tarps
  • Rope

Do not forget to stock plenty of duct tape! This is an item that will solve most DIY problems when all else fails.

It is also a sound idea to learn how to use and maintain any new equipment you purchase.

Learn New DIY Skills

Hard times could see many people having to fend more for themselves, rather than calling a tradesman to work for them. Many people do have practical skills as they do not need them.

Many local courses are available to learn skills such as carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work.

These are all skills that could prove useful should hard times hit you and your family.

Fuel for Vehicles and Equipment

Fuel rationing and massive price increases have all been seen during hard times in the past. There is no reason why this could not happen again – in fact, it’s one of the most commonly seen indications of hard times to come.

Keeping vehicles full of fuel and storing safely a small extra quantity in storage can be the difference between being mobile or not.

Alternative Power Supplies

It seems that the world is going all-electric. Electric cars are now mainstream, and electric home heating is moving towards the norm in several countries. Relying on one power source could be a massive problem in a long-term crisis, when gas and energy prices may very well skyrocket.

There are alternatives such as solar or wind generators that can be integrated into a grid supply. This has the benefit of reducing monthly utility bills, and can supply supplemental power should the regular grid go down in an emergency.

Generators are also an effective choice for backup power sources during short-term problems. Wood burners are also a valuable heat source that can often be fueled with locally sourced wood.

Wood needs to be seasoned to make it burn efficiently so prepare a good wood store ahead of time (at least six to twelve months in advance) that will be ready for hard times.

Alternative Water Sources

Water supplies are becoming problematic in several areas of the world. Climate change, alongside growing demands of water for urban communities and agricultural practices, has caused domestic water supplies to become increasingly fragile.

Consider alternative water sources such as rainwater harvesting and using grey water. This is certainly worthwhile because if water is a problem now, in hard times supplies could be even more limited (or nonexistent) entirely.

Investigate the practicality and local legislation to consider what options are available in your area.

Check Weapons

Sounds hard core, but if things do get bad you will need to be able to defend yourself and your family, and hunt for food. Ammo is getting more and more expensive. It would be nice to have a good stockpile of it.

It’s a good idea to stock up on weapons of various types. In addition to buying these items, learning how to keep them and use them safely is also essential.

Hunting is an effective way of adding to a food supply – a food supply that may become restricted in long-term disaster scenarios.

However, weapons need ammunition. During hard times, supplies could be interrupted or prices might increase. Ensure that an adequate supply is stored or source the equipment necessary for making ammunition for yourself.

While you’re at it, a good hunting knife and fishing rod would be very useful too!

Learn to Live Without Electricity

Think about how you would live day to day without power or heat and A/C. Cast iron cookware for cooking over a fire, a clothes line, solar panels, hand well pump, non-electric appliances, a wood stove… you get the idea.

Consider Buying Silver

Do you guys realize that the Federal Reserve is pumping money into our system at an unprecedented rate? We have never in our history done anything like this before. Do you know what happens when money is printed over and over and over with nothing to back it?

People, this is NOT GOOD.

If our currency loses it’s value, how will we buy or sell? Yes, bartering would make a huge comeback!

Again, what if that paper money you have is suddenly worth nothing? Changing some of your savings into silver bullion is definitely something to consider. Don’t think hyperinflation could happen?

Do a little research into every case of hyperinflation in other countries. You’ll see it’s for real, and we are doing exactly the same things that brought it about in every other instance. If we don’t do something to stop this out of control spending, I don’t see how we can avoid an economic collapse.

I like the idea of using silver coins because they are much more affordable than gold, and would be more spendable due to their smaller values.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you turn all of your cash into silver coins, but I do believe it would be wise to have some on hand for emergencies. You can buy it at local coin and jewelry stores, or order online.

Learn Self-Defense

Hard times seem to be a signal for the masses to riot and loot anything that they want. Some of that looted property could, unfortunately, be your own possessions or supplies.

Learning self-defense is an effective way of protecting your family and possessions – and for providing the necessary peace of mind. Many types of self-defense can be learned that allow responses to be escalated in case of a more serious threat.

Conduct a Home Security Audit

Everyone likes to feel safe in their own home, which is why doors and windows are locked and perimeters are often fenced and gated.

It is easy to call 911 for help when someone invades private spaces now – however, during hard times help may not be available.

A security audit will show any areas of weakness that unwanted guests may exploit.

There are countless hi-tech connected security solutions available in today’s market.

However, reduced power may make physical solutions more appropriate. It’s a good idea to have security systems in place regardless of what happens.

Develop a Community

During severely difficult times, it is tempting to build a high wall and hide out inside.

However, not everyone is a threat, and indeed, a group of like-minded individuals with a variety of skills that can tackle most problems becomes an attractive proposition.

Start today, and begin to build a network. Contact people nearby, and talk with them about your survival plans. Developing a community takes time, since trust and confidence are not always instant.

Learn How to Barter

In situations where commercial activities are restricted or are even halted, it will be necessary to trade with others for supplies. Someone with plenty of carrots may want to trade them for some lettuce.

This is just an example, of course – virtually any product could be traded. This skill will ensure that any trade achieves good value.

Plan for Alternate Living Quarters – Just in Case

What would happen if an unforeseen event made it difficult to live at home? Wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes – all happen regularly in some areas.

Ask friends and relatives that live in different locations if they can help you out if this kind of situation were to arise.

In case of a total breakdown in society, it may be necessary to move to a place of safety. Many preppers have an alternative location that is ready to go just for this situation. Although this may appear a step too far or too extreme, for many, it is worth thinking about.

Develop an Emergency Plan

This is perhaps one of the most important steps you should take when preparing for hard times. Anticipate what might happen in various scenarios. This will help you to create an effective plan of action.

It is, perhaps, a good idea to have several plans in place. This will enable a flexible response for as many situations as possible.

Prepare an Emergency Survival Kit

Some hard times may be created by natural events such as tornadoes or wildfires. Often, the best course of action in these events is evacuation. An emergency kit that is ready to go at a moment’s notice could save valuable time – or even your life.

Contact Local Emergency Response Teams

Most areas have local community emergency response teams. Contact or even join the local team. They have planned responses for many emergencies, and they are happy to help with training, advice, and support.

These resources available from the team will help to prepare your emergency plan. Their information and experience would help greatly if hard times arise.

Consider Pets and other Animals

When it is necessary to evacuate from a location, remember that pets and livestock that rely on people will certainly experience hardships if they are left behind – so be sure to include them in your planning.

Watch for the Warning Signs

Watching the news channels regularly will help to spot the early signals that hard times are approaching:

  • Extreme weather
  • Stock market crashes
  • Large companies closing or relocating
  • Social unrest
  • Supply chain shortages

These are all indicators that hard times may be around the corner. Foreign news can also supply vital information since events that affect one country will often affect others.

The signals may not always translate into hard times – but it is best to be prepared since the next signal very well could.

Learn From History

There is no golden rule that says once hard times have been experienced once and you have recovered, that everything in the future will be fine. In fact, it seems that hard times operate in more of a cyclical fashion.

After experiencing hard times, investigate what happened. It’s fantastic if all the plans worked. If they don’t, change what is necessary to make the next hard times easier.

Closing Thoughts

A glance at any history book can confirm that a significant portion of the population will experience hard times – and will experience them often. If this is the case, just about everyone could benefit by preparing for the hard times ahead.

Many of us are, perhaps, a bit reluctant to do some or most of these things. We do not know when it will happen, who it will affect, and how severe these hard times will be.

A local company closing could cause hard times for 20 people for three months, while a breakdown in society or war can affect millions for countless years.

There are, however, several areas in our lives that we can review. Bringing about changes to that will certainly help our everyday life. These changes will most definitely make life easier in the event of hard times as well.

The level of changes that are needed is difficult to quantify unless the severity of the hard times is known.

Take self-defense as an example. In everyday life, being competent at self-defense inspires confidence.

For someone who loses employment for several months, this ability may not be called upon despite going through difficult time. However, in the situation where a complete breakdown of society occurs, it these skills will become critical.

So, asking what would happen in different scenarios or levels of hard times is essential.

Some preparation can be scaled to meet different levels of threat that arise when situations escalate.

The ways presented in this article to prep for tough times should serve as a starting point to ensure that coping with hard times is possible. They focus on areas that will provide the necessary attitude, skills, and equipment to survive.

Have any other suggestions on how to prepare for hard times ahead?

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52 thoughts on “How To Prepare For Hard Times Ahead”

  1. Wanted to tell you a few things .I am so worried about a few people out there.We live on 2.5 acres with a large 5 acre pond which is our water sorce.We have peach trees,pear trees,apple trees,plum trees.A black berry orchard,strawberry orchard,cotabba trees for worms to fish. We raise rabbits(started out with two does and one buck).We raise nigeran goats .they are wonderful, for milk and making ice cream and cheese. We have two large gardens which we dehydrate everything.when and if we have no electricity we have a genarator but if we show run out of gas we have a couple solar panels which you can get at tool harbor if you have one where you live.
    We hunt venison and make jerky with some and hamburger,sausage.mostly dehydrate to put in jars.then with the other we pressure cook it.there are many ways to put up food.its an art and so much fun when you have others to do it with.makes you proud you did this for family and friends.
    all of you have somany ideas you have given me.so i wanted to share with you.As for you .22 well the home land security had baught all the .22 so bows and arrows ,shotguns,slingshots.hope some of this will get you to thinking more on planting trees,gardens,coldframes.Wish ya’ll luck and enjoy each day ,put the burden on the shoulders of God ,he will get ya through.

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  2. let me say all of you have taught this old woman a thing or two.i have lived on a homestead for years and i’m still learning.reading all i have from all of you has taught me a few things.so please keep it up .thank s to all of you

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  3. Kendra, on your reply to Cassandra, I hate to be alarmist, but want to rethink that advice. I don’t know how bad things might get or how quickly, but city living can inherently be a hazard in such a situation. Sometimes it’s not enough to be able to cook something on a balcony grill. Sometimes it would be prudent to have a “plan B” to “get out of dodge”.

    I would suggest to Cassandra that she read of Fernando “FerFal” Aguirre of The Modern Survivalist, and Selco of SHTF School –both of them actually LIVED through long term collapse/survival situations. (FerFal in Argentina, and Selco in the Balkan.) On most blogs and forums, what you get is a lot of ideas. But these guys just tell you straight up what actually happened.

    FerFal’s Site: http://www.themodernsurvivalist.com/

    I would suggest starting on this page…
    http://www.themodernsurvivalist.com/archives/category/disaster-preparedness/economic-crisis-world-wide

    If you do a Google search, FerFal has multiple youtube videos and wrote a book in 2009, “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving The Economic Collapse”.

    Selco: http://shtfschool.com/

    By the way, great topic! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  4. Hi Kendra! Just found your blog last night & am enjoying reading. I agree with your preparedness lifestyle. Thanks for the encouragment.

    I was just looking at my son’s shoes this morning and realized STURDY FOOTWEAR has been under the radar on my prepping.

    I will be on the lookout for affordable, quality shoes to have on hand in case of emergency.

    Thanks again for all the info on your blog!

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  5. so with the Garden and living with out electricity, any sugestions for someone living in an apartment with an electic stove and no fireplace? moving is not an option

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  6. I have also been trying to prep for hard times. The price of food is getting up there. I’ve been storing up food, blankets, sheets. I was making my own quilts but if the power went down I couldn’t run my sewing machine so the ones that I have would last me a long time. I use cast iron to cook with. It works great over a fire. I’m going to have a hand pump for water put in as soon as possible. I don’t have a years supply of food yet but I plan on having a garden that will give me enough food to make it for several months. I’m pressure canning meets. I do have some cans from the store but I can’t handle the salt and sugar.

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  7. The old copy of Joy of cooking I have has a section for skinning a squirrel. It can be applied to just about any animal.

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  8. I’ve been thinking along the same lines for quite a while. We live in a small apartment, but fortunatly it comes with a good sized storage unit. My biggest thing in food storage is dehydrating, because the results take very little storage space, and quite frankly, I’m afraid of home canning. I know, I’m a wimp, but there it is. Lately a local grocery store has had some outstanding sales on fresh produce, and I’ve been keeping the dehydrator going full time, and in fact am thinking about investing in another one. Right now roma tomatoes are 50 cents a pound, and I’ve been buying tons and dehydrating. I also am stocking up on canned foods, firewood, toilet paper, etc. My husband is disabled now, and I’m a lousy shot and never have been able to catch a fish in my life, so I’m trying to get stocked up on canned and dried meats. The only firearm we have is a .22 pistol that I plan to get bullets for, for self protection, and will buy a rifle and bullets for hunting if it ever comes to that. Right now our grocery also has Smithfield hams for $1 a pound, Plan on buying several and drying them. Thank God our apartment has a fireplace, winter in Wyoming can get pretty cold and if the power went out we would be in real trouble without it.
    One thing I’ve noticed on here is no one seems to have mentioned their pets. (or maybe I missed it) I am also stocking up on fish food and birdfeed, along with taking old quilts to make cage covers for the birds to keep the cages as warm as possible in case of a power outage.
    One other thing important to us is to make sure that we always have a good amount of my husbands meds, at least a three months supply. I’ve also been studying homeopathic medicine (which surprisingly our doctor quite approves of, believing that natural is always better if possible)and working on stocking up on the ingredients for them. going to spend part of the summer clearing the junk out of the storage unit and putting in shelves for food, and will also keep excess firewood down there.

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  9. I love this post. There are so many that are feeling this same shift going on with the world. It has been so interesting to see how many others in the world can sense and are aware of what is going on.

    Besides having an extra supply of food, I have bought books on learning how to make things out of milk like cheese and buttermilk. I also purchased a book on how to build a root cellar, use and store items in it. Because we need somewhere that all of our food will keep without electricity. And I also have been learning alternative ways to keep me and my family healthy. When medical insurance runs out and we cannot afford to go to the doctors anymore, who will we rely on? What will we do? We need to continue to educate ourselves.

    I also am purchasing heirloom seeds and learning how to harvest my own seeds. There may come a time when we cannot purchase seeds from the store anymore.

    Again, I love what everyone here posted is doing, and I am cheering all of you on too.

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  10. I’ve also felt this strong calling/push to be prepared… and after watching Glenn Beck and researching food storage I happened upon a video on YouTube by a gal ‘dehydrate2store’ that really inspired me to go the bit further toward my goal. When she explained that by dehydrating her foods and using them in her daily cooking she was actually saving money because she was buying frozen foods when they were on sale, and processing all of her garden veggies as they are harvested or buying bulk from Costco, Sams or a farmer’s market. I was sold on it when I saw her just open up a package of frozen hash browns, blueberries and corn and spread them on the trays and pop them in the dehydrator…NO BOILING, peeling or pre-processing needed! After they’re dried… you can put them in a quart Mason jar w/oxy pac and… DONE! or instead of using the glass jars you can use a Foodsaver w/oxy pac and store these along with your bucket items for really long term storage. When processed this way, the price of your long term storage goes way down compared to buying from the online food storage sites. I now have 18 months of food storage for myself, elderly mother and my two daughters! The next project is a small coop of hens for eggs.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas and inspiring others to take the ‘next’ step… you know the saying about how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

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  11. I love your article. Our family agrees with everything you have to say. This is great information and very important that it’s out there for the public to read. We are in the process of transitioning to an off-the-grid lifestyle, and have been applying all of these areas to our life for several months now. thank you so much!! Blessings, Blessings, Blessings!!!

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  12. I wanted to add for those who may be reading the comments that do live in the city or suburbs and read M_V’s post. I have also been following another “prepper” on youtube (YankeePrepper)- He has much to offer on this subject including how to survive in the city if something disastrous does go down. I would highly recommend it to anyone, regardless of location. He points out advantages and disadvantages to each type of locale with the main point being you should stay where you are most comfortable and knowledgeable of the area. i.e. a city person shouldn’t just have a cabin in the woods expecting no one else to eventually flee their direction. He cites the human ability to smell wood burning, and things cooking from miles away. Not encouraging unless you have a number of armed families staying in your shelter or nearby. More importantly Yankee prepper has a christian mindset which is what I consider to be the only healthy view to take while doing your prepping!

    Jen
    Norman,OK

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  13. I agree, to some point, with the commenter above re: Dave Ramsey. His instructions to get out of debt are great but his perspective on the economy is that it is going to turn around.

    Crown’s is that it probably won’t. I have felt for awhile that Ramsey has the wrong perspective on this and while we can’t know his motives, he sure is making a lot of money w/ his radio programs, books and Oprah appearances. I am mostly concerned that he does not seem to “get it” about how bad things are.

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  14. Oh, how similar you and I seem to be! 🙂
    I couldn’t agree more with your post. Well said! 🙂

    We are prepared for whatever comes. I have faith that God is always in control. 🙂

    Thank you for bringing awareness to others! *I watch Glenn Beck too!*

    Enjoy your week!
    Warmly,
    Katy 🙂

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  15. Today I used my vacuum sealer for flour, salt, bisquick & oatmeal. We also bought sugar, beans, rice, vinegar, and a bunch of first aide items and put it all tubs to store in the spare bedroom. With the way things are going lately, I am thinking an economic collapse. We are a family of 6, and this has been on my mind a lot lately! Thank you for all the info you have shared with us 🙂

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  16. This is a subject that is discussed daily in our household. Food, fishing supplies, & ammo have become high priority to us. We live in the country, so there’s plenty of small game to feed us, plus there’s a river & a large lake within 1/2 mile from our house. As far as the gun issue goes, if you live in the country, a 22 & a shotgun should be the very least you should have. They will be important for home security, but the biggest benefit is that you can shoot small & large game in order to put food on the table. FYI, rabbit, is the best meat I’ve ever eaten, just remember to only kill them in the months that have an r to avoid the seasonal worms they get in warm weather.

    Our first aid supplies, medicenes, cleaning items, & hygiene items are added to weekly. I crochet & sew some, so I’ve also been stocking up on yarn & fabric at garage sales. Something that you didn’t mention that we’ve been stocking up on are: socks, underwear, bras, lamp oil, oil & blades for the chain saws, 55 gallon drums for trash burning or storing gasoline, candles, food grade drums from our local Coke distributor, & batteries. We’ve also been considering stocking up on whiskey for bartering or disinfecting wounds. Actually we’ve been thinking alot about things that we could store that could be bartered with, that list is growing by leaps & bounds. My 15 yr old son has even started building coon & rabbit traps from scrap lumber. We have 3 coondogs they hunt with, so this is something we will use regardless of whether it ever becomes a necessity or not.

    The cost of tires is rapidly increasing as well, so an extra set of tires, even if they’re good used ones, would be a good idea.

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  17. I tracked back to this post today on my blog…hope more will be helped by spreading the word concerning these times and what we need to be doing. THANKS for this awesome write up.

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  18. One thing I have thought of, is have stuff to keep the kids occupied. Craft projects, books, cross word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, board games, etc. I know they aren’t as necessary as food, but bored children are very unhappy children. Could even stock up on batteries for those electronic gadgets! Plus, some fun snack surprises…chocolate, cake mixes, gummy snacks, etc. Not necessary, but a good treat!

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  19. I whole heartedly agree with your post. I was just looking at a page on youtube about hyperinflation. If you put National Inflation Association into the youtube search, you should be able to see all the videos they put out about hyperinflation and what is happening to our dollar.
    For ourselves, we’re playing catch up since we just bought our home in July of this year.

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  20. boy, you’re really on the ball. we’re working on our food storage. water is what we really need, though. thanks for the tips.

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  21. Anna, about the DR money-making idea. I don’t understand why it would matter if he made money off of giving financial advice. You would want to get paid for working a job, would you not? What is the difference if his job is to give you financial advice or whether his job is to sell cars? What I’m trying to convey here is that there are services, and there are commodities to pay for those services. In this case, the commodity used happens to be similar to the service. That is simply free market economics. Not dishonest business dealings. I hope all of this makes sense! And Kendra, thanks for the great post!

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  22. I love this post and, as you already know, totally agree!! ;D Keep up the good work! We have to continue to share and hope that someone might learn something who would otherwise be uninformed!!!! ;D Sara

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  23. Thanks for your post, Kendra. It is good to find like-minded people…our friends and family think we’re crazy:( I’d just like to add the importance of having a “country retreat” for those who don’t already live on one. We live smack dab in the middle of a small city. We have a double lot with a large garden, rabbits and hopefully soon some fruit trees/bushes.We are building a well-stocked pantry and getting educated on self-sufficiency/forgotten skills. That being said, if things get really bad down the road we don’t want to be here! Yes, we will be prepared with a well-stocked pantry AND guns/ammo. But we also know that if things get really bad, eventually SOME others that were less-prepared will notice we aren’t suffering like they are and try to take what we have. Due to the volume of people in our area, we could only defend ourselves and our property for so long. This may sound like a doomsday-scenario, but my husband and I are praying that God will provide the resources for us to buy some land in a less-populated area. Again, this if advice for extreme circumstances but it’s good to have an emergency plan in place. Plus, we would LOVE to have more room for goats, wheat, etc!

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  24. @anna

    Is it a sin to make money by teaching people what their parents should have taught them? Come on. Dave Ramsey has every right to make money like you do as long as he works hard at it and doesn’t deceive people. I don’t think charging for services is wrong. He gives out more free advice every day than most people do their whole lives.

    And Crown isn’t all free. Oh my goodness they sell stuff! https://www.crown.org/

    @Kendra
    Good post. I’ve been trying to prep for the last few months but have little to show for it. Our money is already worthless overseas and in comparison to gold. I believe I saw on survivalblog that January wholesale inflation rose 1.4% which would be close to 17% if it keeps up for the rest of the year.

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  25. I’m new here, but have been reading prepping websites for a while and doing some myself. I thought I’d add my 2 cents worth…

    First, I agree we should be more prepared than we are. We’ve become a sad representation of our early forefathers that first came to America and eventually settled the west. But, spiritually, they developed a mindset over time of being “self-sufficient”. There is a danger in prepping so much that you begin to rely on your self and your stored goods. On the other hand, we wouldn’t think twice about adding to a savings account, but many of the same people think is it silly to store some extra food supplies, paper goods, tools, etc. Not being reasonably prepared is the really silly thing. Doesn’t the Bible call a person similar to this a fool? (I need to find the right verse.)

    Second, we need to store some for ourselves AND others, much like Joseph did prior to the famine that affected much of the middle east during his time in Egypt. God had him prepare for Egypt, but also for others – including His people. When disaster strikes, people are much more ready to hear about Jesus. It is an opportunity we should be prepared for (in season and out).

    Finally, the more you prep, the more you realize you can’t cover all your bases. God designed us to live in community. It is impossible to be 100% prepared. Be ready for some give and take. Getting to know your neighbors and working together could mean the difference in whether your family survives or not. Skills will be even more valuable than goods stored. I don’t hear many preppers talk about learning to garden YEAR ROUND. This is one skill I’m most interested in and will be blogging about over the next year as I attempt to keep my garden going through the year. Again, you can’t store ALL YOU’LL EVER NEED. Think long term and start learning.

    Okay, I know I did another “guest post”. This is such a hot blog topic since the recession started. But, it’s a good thing – it’s getting people thinking. Thanks for letting me ramble.

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  26. Colleen,

    You may have more room to stockpile in your “small urban apartment” than you think. What about under the beds (crowd out the dust bunnies and monsters under the children’s beds!), the closet floors and at the sides, behind and maybe even under the sofa (you can get a lot of tuna cans under a couch!) Just don’t forget what you have stored where (write it on a 3×5 card and post it in your spice cabinet) and rotate it into use.

    Proverbs 31:27

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  27. There’s not much we can do to stockpile, etc. with our family’s situation in a small urban apartment. But we do keep praying and standing up for what we believe in. I do see a lot of hope as people stand together to change what’s going wrong. (We live in Massachusetts!)

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  28. Anna ~ Fwiw, my husband and I didn’t pay a dime for any of DR’s advice. I checked out books from the library, hung out online (we were already paying for internet regardless), and listened to him on the radio. 🙂

    I also seem to have the saying “God helps those that help themselves” in my head a fair amount of the time. Just because I *could* buy cases of canned pears from the grocery store doesn’t mean I should, especially when I can get some for free from a neighbor down the street who doesn’t harvest from their trees. Plus it’s fun (to me) being prepared and being able to help friends when they come across a rough patch. That always makes me feel good.

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  29. Hi Kendra,

    I agree with most of your comments, although I am not as fearful of the bottem falling out. I didn’t expect things to be back to “normal” (whatever that is these days!) for a long, long time, so I am not disappointed (LOL!) We’ve talked about this at church quite a bit, and my concern is that we as a nation are trying to “fix it”, trying to get back to what was, rather than reinventing ourselves.

    Anyhow, back to your suggestions…. the one thing I don’t agree with is stocking up on guns and ammo, unless you are a hunter. If God is in control, what do I have to fear?

    Now if I can just get this horrible clay soil ammended so something will actually grow! Right now it’s raining, and there are puddles on the ground everywhere! If it weren’t for raised beds last year, everything would have drowned. As it was, the raised beds looked like little islands at times. Really awful!

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    • Debbie in PA,

      I hear ya, but I have to disagree about the gun thing. Yes, we should trust in God for all things, but I think we should also put “feet to our prayers” and be proactive. We can pray, “Lord, please give me a job.” But if we don’t go out and look for one, we probably won’t have much success. The Lord protects us, yes, but he also gives people free will, which means that bad people still do bad things to good people. God doesn’t like it, he hates it, but he allows it. I think owning a gun for protection is like “putting feet to your prayers”.

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  30. Another good post Kendra. Dave Ramsey has said in his Financial Peace program that he is “getting paid to tell people what they already know.” When we went through the course it cost us $62 for all the materials, which we can use again if we want to and go through the course with no additional cost.

    Haiti is a good example of why we should be prepared, don’t be dependent on anyone else, it didn’t take long for the folks there to start looting and rioting did it. I read somewhere the Haiti is almost totally dependent, if not 100% dependent on outside resources.

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  31. Not Ramsey. What is with christians and Ramsey? He’s MAKING MONEY off ‘getting you out of debt’ with common sense. That’s dishonest business dealings.

    Go to http://www.crown.org. It’s his predecessor’s site – Larry Burkett – the tools are all FREE. Ramsey isn’t helping people, he’s helping himself. Someone who gets rich off mere advice isn’t a good man… someone who gives freely is. Thank heavens Solomon didn’t charge for Proverbs, or Moses for his qualm-settling!

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  32. If you heat with wood, it is a good idea to have at least two years worth of wood. This could save your life. You can be warm and cook with wood heat. Also stock pile matchs, soap, canning jar lids…….a few clothes in the next larger size for the kids. Many more but that is all for now. Barbara

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  33. I would also encourage everyone to find another family or group of families that feel the same way and use each other for ideas and motivation. This mindset is not the norm and you will get a lot of odd looks and possibly even rejection. But if you can find just one other person, it makes things a bit easier. I am still looking, but this blog definitely helps.
    Thanks Kendra

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  34. While I agree with your blog post 200% and we also agree that God is in control and we need to be closer in our walk than ever before. Having said that I would like we also believe He expects us to prepare and heed his warnings, to that we’ll add that some of the items on this list are NOT going to be easy to come by and it is ONLY going to get WORSE as time passes.
    For instance; silver or Precious metals, ammo and reloading supplies, OP seeds and skills/ success for beginners, etc….
    #1.Store water, in food grade plastic jugs( we re-use vinegar jugs for this, do NOT use milk jugs as they being to deteriorate quickly and you’ll have a mess.

    #2.food storage, food prices are already hyperinflating and WILL continue to do so. My suggestion first of all is to; buy what you eat and eat what you store. Buying in bulk, we typically buy all of our basic pantry items( flour, sugar, honey, molasses, baking powder and soda, herbs spices, etc….) Sore these items in food grade plastic buckets, the herbs, spices and baking soda and powder we keep in the freezer( NOT a frost free, as over time this will freezer burn your items) Shop sales and then buy items in case lots, speak to the store manager and see if they’ll give you a break if you order in case lots, doesn’t hurt to ask.
    #3. Get our of debt! pay off credit cards and destroy them, learn to live within your means. Begin saving and regulate yourself to buy only NEEDED items and pay cash.
    #4 Gardening; get your seeds ordered NOW! If at all possible go to your library and look into books on seed saving, study them hard! Now buy ONLY OP( Open Pollinated seeds) making sure to buy enough for two seasons, just in case you have crop failure. Growing and preserving you own foods will help with your food budget as well as provide more nutritional foods and outdoor exercise for your family.
    #5. Guns and ammo; this is one of those you are going to have trouble with at this point. buying a gun isn’t a problem, it’s the ammo or items needed if you plan to reload your own ammo. Most stores are limiting sales of ammo and items needed for reloading. We just went this weekend to check on some items for reloading and out of 5 stores only one had one of the items we were looking for. Once you get a gun, you’d better practice using it, don’t just think you’ll know. Handguns are very different than rifles and do more target practice to become proficient.
    #6 Heat, wood is best but propane, fuel oil, etc… and source of light when power fails. Candles are easy to find, but dangerous as a fire hazard. We have candle lanterns with glass bulbs surrounding them as an added precaution. Lanterns, oil, wicks and spare parts work well( kerosene smokes, but there is a alternative called “Klean Heat” that works well and doesn’t smoke or smell)LED lanterns, now more available, give lots of light and if you have a recharger( solar or 12v)and rechargeable batteries, they are handy.
    #7 Precious metals; personally I don’t think they are the answer, JMO. I think if you’re looking for an investment food items, items to barter with( TP, soap, cigarettes(if you smoke),tools, knowledge, etc….) I do however think that paper money is going to be worthless too, so advise you exchange it for coinage, if you can find silver that is a good layman’s currency but if you can’t afford it or find it( it is in short supply, if you want it quickly, most mints have a 4-6 week wait) Why not go to your bank and get bricks of quarters, dimes and nickels and yes they come in a box that looks like a brick. A brick of nickels is I believe $100 and they weigh a lot! If times get tough you want to be able to use coins to exchange and who would give a silver dollar that you paid $19+ for in exchange for $1, same goes for gold, unless it is only as an investment, meant to protect your assets. Even at that you’ll have to watch this market, just like stocks.
    #8. Books and learned skills are not only gong to invaluable to you but they are great items to barter with if needed. There are loads of great site where you can learn and get advise about these lost skills. Not to toot our own horn, but we are doing a tutorial this week on How to butcher, process, cut, wrap pigs, render fat into lard, make sausage and we’ll share three tried and true loose sausage recipes. Another good site is http://www.pioneerliving.net loads of great info, a web magazine, message board, etc… BTW I’m “Homesteader” over there, say hello!
    There is so much more you can do to prepare, just sit and think over all areas of your day to day life. Try going a weekend, OFF GRID, that will help you to cover any areas forgotten.

    Sorry this has turned into a book, but it is an important topic to me!
    I didn’t mean to hijack your blog either, just trying to help.

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    • Kelle-

      Thanks so much for doing a “guest post”, LOL! Just kidding. I do appreciate all of your advice… good stuff! I’m very interested in your butchering series, as that will be in our future very soon, so I can’t wait to check that out. I appreciate your “two cents” worth. It’s good to find like-minded people 🙂

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  35. …I just wanted to add to my previous comment, regarding what you said, Kendra about gathering books and knowledge…That is so true–there may be a time when we can’t just get on the internet or have access to a library to be able to learn how to do things. It’s a good idea to be learning now, or at the very least to have the books that tell you how and the supplies you’ll need.

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  36. Wow, Kendra, my husband and I could have written this post! These issues are the exact same things we’ve been discussing at our house lately, and every item on your list are things we’re either doing or planning to do, or trying to learn more about as the possibility of hyperinflation sounds more and more likely. Kind of a scary thought to think that the money we have now could suddenly be worth very little. We especially are working toward making living without electricity a goal. I think so many people would especially be unprepared for this with our society so used to being dependent on electricity and electric appliances today for heating and cooking needs. We also discuss these same things with another couple that we are friends with. It’s nice to know there are other people out there who are seeing the same signs and feeling the need to be prepared for whatever may happen.

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  37. Knowledge. Don’t be afraid to learn stuff, like skinning a squirrel, or learning to use a firearm. Or at least having resources to be able to conquer those if/when the time comes.

    But I totally, completely agree with #2. And #6. Both from experience.
    Getting out of consumer debt (although we still have student loans and the mortgage, boo), awesomeness, and better for trimming the budget once those albatrosses are gone.
    Being unemployed and not having to freak out how to feed a family of 5, soon to be 6.

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  38. Great post. I totally agree with your post. I think scary things are coming. Our state’s unemployment is higher than it has ever been. Jobs are disappearing left and right. I am planning a huge garden this year. I’m hoping to find somebody to let me raise some broiler chickens with them.

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