What Lies Ahead?

I don’t know about you, but increasingly I am finding that my thoughts are leading me into more of a survival mode.

Ever since the stock market plunged this past September, I have become obsessed with the possibility of another Great Depression.

I’ve been collecting Depression era recipes, you know, the kind that don’t involve a box of mac and cheese and some frozen chicken nuggets; the kind using ingredients straight from the garden.

And I’ve been researching how they used to cook, clean, and maintain their households without the convenience of electricity, only fire for heat.

More and more I’ve been studying self-sufficient living, and I’ve even begun collecting things that I would need if, hopefully if, the worst is yet to come.

My mind is consumed with the question, How would I feed and provide for my family if another Depression were to arise?

How bad is it going to get, and how quickly? These questions plague me. If only I knew. Then I would know how drastically I need to be preparing, and how soon I need to be ready.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not feeling panicked; only vigilant. I am wondering if the Lord has laid this on my heart so that I do prepare.

I don’t want to overreact, yet I don’t want to be idle or naive, full of the idea that our nation is too great to let something so devastating happen again. That would only be foolish.

So, I wonder: What if my husband loses his job? The company he works for is already laying off at the other branches, and they have cut back all working hours to 32/wk trying to avoid further lay-off’s. How much longer can they afford to keep him on?

If he lost his job, how would we manage the bills? What if it gets so bad that we can’t afford power to our house any more? Could we survive? How? What do I need to have to be prepared?

What if we cannot afford to go to the grocery store anymore? How will I feed my kids?

These are not questions that we should be ignoring, or playing down right now. I am not trying to be an alarmist, a “Chicken Little” if you like, but I am raising questions that I think it would be wise to be asking ourselves in a calm and rational manner. What if? How would we manage things?

Do what you want, but I’m asking, and I’m preparing! Here are some things that I am in the process of doing to better prepare for worst case scenario:

  • Starting a garden (My first ever; I’ll let ya know how it goes!)
  • Learning to preserve my produce; canning, drying, freezing…
  • Looking to buy a wood stove to heat my house; one that I could cook on if I needed to.
  • Gathering things I would need to survive w/out power; cast iron cookware, non-electric gadgets, etc.
  • Collecting books with lots of self-sufficient living, how-to advice.
  • Learning to make my own things; clothes, toiletries, materials.
  • Storing 6 months-1 year’s worth of flour, sugar and canned goods.
  • Saving money! We are stashing what we can, just in case! (Always a good practice anyway)

There are still lots of things on my To-Do list; I’ve only just begun. Gathering these things is expensive, so I’m searching the Classifieds every day trying to acquire all that I seek in a frugal way.

I just need to get to a place where I feel confident that if the world went crazy and imploded, I’d still be able to take care of my babies. So, this is my immediate goal.

What about you? Are you worried at all? Are you preparing? Could you manage life as they did in the days of the Great Depression? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

19 thoughts on “What Lies Ahead?”

  1. Wow! I stumbled across your site and have LOVED it! This post in particular caught my eye, as I have felt a very strong urge over the past year to prepare and simplify our lives. Unfortunately my wife feels that by doing all this prepping that I am not trusting God to take care of us. She feels that God will not allow His followers to go through the rough times. I am far from being a Bible scholar and can’t really argue my point other than to say I just feel strongly about it. We live on 5 acres and have a very nice garden, but so far all we’ve put away are peas and she made some pickles. We have a small stocked pond but no other animals (not even a dog). Do any of you have any ideas for getting my wife to open her eyes and get on board? I trust God to provide our needs, but I also believe that God helps those who listen to Him and help themselves.

    • Steve,

      I believe it is incredibly wise of you to want to prepare. The Bible even tells us to “look at the ant”; she stores up her food, and works hard preparing for the winter. There are so many believers who I have spoken with who have just recently begun feeling a strong urge to start storing up food and preparing for rough times. I believe the Lord is trying to protect us by giving us this warning. He warned Noah to prepare for the Flood, and he warned Joseph to store food for the famine. Our God is the same today as He was yesterday, and I truly believe that He is warning His people to begin preparing for hard times. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Yes, we should always trust the Lord, but it doesn’t mean to not do anything and then sit back and see what happens. We put “feet” to our prayers. If He tells us to prepare, and we do nothing, then we are foolish and have already said “no thank you” to His help. Nobody can argue that bad things happen to God’s people. He allows it, for reasons we may never understand. It is naive to believe that just because we call ourselves Christians we have no need to work hard preparing for bad times. I hope that your wife will pray about the wisdom in being prepared. If he called his people to do so back in Biblical days, I don’t understand how it could be seen as having a lack of faith to prepare in the same way today.

      Keep us posted!!

  2. My husband and I have the same feelings you do about being prepared. We have a garden, we can everything. Including meats. We have 73 chickens for eggs and meat. Would love to have other animals but not enough room on our 1 1/2 acres. I encourage every one to be prepared and stay aware of what is really going on with this crazy fanancial world. Good luck.

  3. In the past year, we have purchased a used wood stove, started a garden last summer and we are now planning one for this spring/summer, trying a compost pile, learned to can fruits and vegies, made pasta from scratch for the first time and started storing food, water and first aid supplies. I think the Lord has put preparation on my heart, but I sometimes feel like I’m walking a fine line between preparation and wacko. A friend of mine thinks that if I stockpile supplies I’m not trusting the Lord. Maybe this is what Noah felt like while building the Ark?

  4. I have been learning about self-sufficiency and self-reliance for a few years now. I can tell you that it is encompasses so many different areas and skills but you have to stick with it. Buy books if you can that you can read over and over. Ask your elders, you would be surprised at what they know. Learn everything you can. And when you are stocking up, don’t forget things like toilet paper, pads, tampons, bullets, etc. Those types of things will be huge bartering items. And you might even consider buying and storing clothes that are earth toned and muted so as not to draw attention to yourself. If we enter into a depression, and the chances are high, there are many people in today’s society that will not and have not worked hard and will not be able to feed their families. Don’t be naive in thinking you will automatically be safe. Especially in the big cities. If you can buy some land in the country and get prepared and stocked now is the time to do so. I don’t mean to scare anyone but only to make them aware.

  5. After my post, I thought about something that I wanted to share. Remember to use the PACE system. Primary, Alternate, Contingent, Emergency. Do this for water, food, shelter, heat and light. I have well water, store water, and have a hand pump. I want to get a pump that will pull past my submersible, and pressurize my tank so I can use the faucets. I have food for any situation. I have non-electric, hand-crank blender, grain mill, meat grinder, food processor. I have a propane stove, camp stoves that use other fuels, an Amish kitchen, and in a bind, I can use our wood burner outside or in our barn. We have propane lanterns, kerosene lamps, candles, crank lights, and flashlights. We have our home, tents, and our van if we had to leave. Never count on one system to sustain you!!!!! Always think what could happen. Two is one, and one is none.

  6. I found your website from a link, and am pleased to see this conversation going on here. A year ago, I got a book called MAKING THE BEST OF BASICS from a flea market. I thought I was doing it all right, but quickly found that I had some gaps. I started doing the things in the book. I shared my thoughts with my sister, who also started, then other family members. I have two acres, and we built a raised bed garden last year. I started canning, first fruits and vegetables, then meats, etc. I have no fear now and will can about anything. I buy meats when they are on the best sales, or marked down for quick sale, then can them I did 70 lbs. of turkey on Thanksgiving week, 60 lbs. of ham at Christmas. I can butter and margarine. I also dry meats, especially hamburger and sausage, then condition and pasteurize them before sealing them in jars. I have built up a good storage plan, and have been unemployed for 3 months now. I have found a couple of gaps, but for the most part, we are still fine. My husband thought we were nuts a year ago, and used to say that our kids would benefit from my work, not us. About 6 months ago, he looked me in the eyes, and told me he was wrong, and America was in big trouble. He now helps me can food, shop for bargains, and helps wherever I ask him to. I no longer shop weekly, or even monthly. I don’t shop for something because I need it. I catch the sales, and stock up then. Living this way is smart for many reasons, and it gives us the peace to face whatever happens. I learned finally to plan when God puts it on my heart, and let Him have the rest. For instance, my sister is the battery stocker. She buys them every trip to the store. I am the medical planner, and have many things put away for the medical emergencies. Most of all, everyone reading this can do it. Start buying a box of salt, or bag of rice or beans every trip to the store, then start on something else. I am not Mormon, but they have a great planner that tells you what to buy every week with $5 to get a food storage going. Do It!!! You have to, for your family!!!

  7. the foxfire books can be purchased at amazon.com. they are great for showing how life use to be and maybe to come. everything was grown, handmade, or you did without it. very good books. also, with the same set of books is a book called ‘aunt arie’ by eliot wigginton. it is a true story about arie carpenter and her life in the country and how she made do with what she had, which was very little. i love reading all the foxfire books and highly recommend them.

  8. My husband and I have been talking about starting a small garden, not to rely on for food, but for a few inexpensive extras that we know weren’t exposed to salmonella and dangerous pesticides (although my one attempt at gardening led to a pestilence of green worms that ate all my beautiful cherry tomatoes, so perhaps some pesticide is in order).

    I recommend a series of books under the name Foxfire. They came out in the late ’70s, I think, or maybe the early ’80s. They have all kinds of instructions for “how grandma used to” do a variety of things. I remember chapters on soap-making and stuff like that. Maybe they’re still in a few libraries.

  9. hi –
    i love your blog.
    i work in finance, and you are very very wise to prepare. it is definitely not outside the hhealm of real possibility that a collpase comes to pass. unfortunately, if it does, it will be worse than the great depression.

    keep up the good work! you are so young, i am very impressed.

  10. My son just told me today I worry too much,but thank you ladies for making me not alone in this. I also am trying to prepare. I plan to double my garden and add some berry bushes and nut trees. I’m also looking for things with longer shelf lives and food that only requires water to make such as instant potatoes and gravy packets. And silly it may be,but I am going to keep a stockpile of newspapers rolled into logs because if people can’t afford to heat their homes more may use wood as fuel which may make it hard to get in some areas. I also want to dry food for storage and am also checking into the way things were done long ago. You can make jerky from any kind of meat and if done right it lasts for years. I am like you I am frightened that I may not feed my children and want to make sure that I can. Also did you know that you can make eggs into powdered that stores well? I’m checking into this myself. I would love to hear more on this subject when you have time.

  11. The thing is, this world just can’t go on forever. 🙂 I don’t know if it’ll go now, but in any case, living on less, learning to be simple and to save money where we can is a great thing, and holds a lot of value regardless of what lies ahead.

    For me… I’m getting married in the Spring. We’ll have a little rental, and I’ll get my chance to learn to live on less. I grew up cooking simple, garden food (which doesn’t have to taste any less great than anything else– actually much better! Just takes more time. 🙂 ) so that won’t be so much of an adjustment. Of course, there is always room to learn to do with more simple things ,less extras and make even potatoes several times a week be great and filling and yet delicious.

    I’m going to hang my cloths on a line whenever possible. I’m going to once again, be able to grow a garden. I want to learn to save seeds too- what if i can’t buy more or as many next year? I am going to learn to conserve water (which I *have* to some extent, but this is indeed a weaker area with me. I love water!) and to use less electricity and more natural light and heat.

    And yes… save what we can for those emergencies that are yet to come.

  12. There is an old saying: “It’s a recession when your neighbors are out of work but it’s a depression when you are out of work.”

    I am 60 yrs. old and I have lived through many a recession in my life. I can tell you for sure that this is much more than a recession and definitely headed towards a depression. I saw this coming 15 yrs. ago when financial institutions were allowed to do whatever they wanted to do and handed out many bad loans to people who had no business getting a mortgage, car loan, equity loan, etc. It was bound to eventually effect everyone negatively and you are seeing the fallout now. Who to blame? Blame your congressmen/women and Big Business for what you are having to deal with now.

    Because I knew this was going to happen I made sure my homestead was paid for. Instead ofbuilding a home we bought a single wide mobile home and paid it off quickly. We raise free range chickens, have a huge garden and put up our excess by mostly dehydrating since it requires no electricity to store. We live a very simple life and are not interested in consummerisnm. I make all my own cleaning products, compost, all meals are made from scratch as much as possible, we barter for things we need when possible and the list goes on.

    My husbands business is run from our homestead and is a service business. He also took early retirement with his SS.

    I feel sorry for those who are just now realizing that “sky is falling” and have to deal with mortgages, young children, no savings, and loss of jobs. This is only the beginning of what will be a nightmare for everyone except the very wealthy or those who thought ahead.

    My suggestions: join frugal groups for ideas on how to live as cheaply as possible, cut up your credit cards but leave one for emergencies, give up a vehicle if you are a stay at home mom, if you are in more debt than you can handle then file for bankruptcy…don’t go for the rip-off debt counseling which will just take your money and make you worse off than you already are.

    Other ideas are: rent out a room or two if you have this option, go to the local food bank and or sign up for food stamps as soon as your income ceases so you will have the energy to survive, get rid of extras like satellite tv or cable, sit down and take a close look at your finances and see what you can realistically cut out. The most important payments you have to have money for is your mortgage, utilites, gasoline, car insurance, food….everything else you can live without if you absolutely have to.

    It really is frightening to see everyone just now considering preparedness….

  13. My friend and I were talking about this awhile ago and also agreed that it was the Lord who was telling us to prepare. I have plans for a garden and will be canning, drying, and freezing our food. I hope to get a few chickens for eggs too. I got several people at work involved in couponing and we are having a nonspoken challenge to see who saves the most during the week!

  14. I’ve totally been thinking about the same things and wanting to make a list of things that I can stock up on and survival gear that it independent.

    I’m definitely wanting to get a good garden going this year, and add grapes, blueberries, and maybe some apple trees to the muscadines and pear trees that we have.

    I also am reading the same series as Kama and it really got my gears whirling. I want to find/buy some survivalist or how to do stuff type books, look into canning and buying canning jars while I can, etc.

    I’d love to have a well that had a manual way to access it as a back-up, but I have a feeling that that would definitely be out of my budget, and digging my own in my third trimester is probably not going to happen.

    I do think that it could get pretty bad and also just want to do all I can to have my family prepared.

    Buying gold coin (which we’ve done) is a good way to preserve your cash reserves.

    My husbands job is secure, as his company is doing really well (apparently sewing manufacturers can actually make money because of people like us), but things can certainly change quickly.

    Also learning more about herbs and planting and learning to dry my own medicinal herbs would be very useful.

    Yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot. I’m going to start a notebook soon for all of my lists, etc.

  15. that is exactly where we are right now. in fact I’m moving ten cubic yards of topsoil that I had delivered yesterday into my vegetable garden.

    My husbands job is secure, he is an officer in the military, it isn’t going anywhere. However, if inflation hits money might get very VERY tight.

    Thankfully I know how to garden, I know how to can my own food, I have local sources of eggs (soon to be my own chickens in my own backyard) and milk. I know how to fish and there is a lake only a mile from my house.

  16. I agree. This year my new years resolution to work on starting food storage in our house. We are also working on some emergency prepardess stuff too. I just feel better being prepared!

  17. I’m reading a book now called Last Light by Blackstock (I believe) and it’s kind of like that–no more electricity, cars, etc. Pretty crazy how reliant we are on all of that stuff.

  18. My best friend and I have been talking about this lately too. This year I am doing like you and starting my own garden and trying to put up what I can. I do think we should be prepared. No one’s job is secure right now.


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