I normally try to stay pretty upbeat on here...even when Red the Psychotic Rooster has been trying to kill me, or the goats get out and I chase them around the neighborhood or when I am confronted by an invasion of mice.
But right now, nothing is upbeat about the US (or even the world's) economy.
The stock market is tanking. Not just the US stock market but the financial markets around the world.
The drought and heat wave experienced by "American's Bread Basket" (and Meat Department) this year (and that is still continuing) will cause ripple effects that will end up on your grocery store receipt.
*Prepping* and Food Storage are no longer things that the *nutball* down the street does.
Food Storage is no longer a case of buying one 50 pound bag of rice and one 25 pound bag of pinto beans and calling it done.
*Prepping* for First Aid is not buying a cute little box of Hello Kitty band aids and tossing it into the trunk of your car or under the bathroom sink to be forgotten.
Being Prepared has taken on a whole new meaning these days.
If you are prepared, congratulations. Now, stock up some more.
If you aren't prepared, bust your butt to get prepared.
No money, you say?
Look around your house.How many useless electronic gizmos do you have that you rarely use? Sell them. Craigslist, the classifieds, pawn shops, ebay.
Everyone in the family has an IPOD? Sell all but one or two and share, dammit!
Switch to cheaper cell phone plans and, if you have older cells that you no longer use, sell them.
Those diamond ear studs that you got for your fifth anniversary 4 years ago that you have worn only a dozen times ? Sell them. Buy CZ, no one can really tell the difference anyway.
Four different video game systems with a slew of games for each? Sell the games that no one plays or rarely plays. Keep only one or two of the systems and sell the others. SHARE the ones you have left. You might consider waiting until near Christmas or a birthday and take all your rarely played games to a game store and exchange them for store credit to get the new game your kid so desperately desires.
Expensive sports equipment or musical instruments that no one ever uses and just gathers dust and takes up space in the attic or garage? Sell it NOW.
Two car family with the latest cars and the high payments/insurance to go with them?
Check the Bluebook value and see if you can sell one (or both) for a profit. Pay them off and buy a less expensive used car (have a mechanic check it out first). You say you NEED two cars because both of you work (for couples). Sit down and break down the costs of having a job. Travel/commuting expenses, meals, wardrobe, daycare, etc. A lot of folks that do a full breakdown find out it actually costs them to work. They are paying to go to a job! If that's the case, quit the job and find something else to do, preferably working out of the home.
If you ABSOLUTELY have to have two vehicles, then get situated with two used vehicles OR use the profit from selling one vehicle to pay off the other and go find a decent *beater* for one of you to drive.
Pack your lunches for work and no more eating out. Cook at home.
Use coupons for special *nights out* with your spouse or kids.
Have a lot of name brand high end clothes and shoes that the kids (or you) have outgrown? (If you are reading this and have 4 dozen pairs of shoes bought within the last year...there's no damn hope for you, but I advise you to sell most of them.)
Sell on ebay or find a consignment shop that will pay cash so you don't have to wait for your used item to catch someones eye. Launder the clothes first or have them dry cleaned (if needed) or just clean them up the best you can if you can't afford the dry cleaning. Clean and polish the shoes or handbags.Sell them.
Find anything and everything around your house that is outgrown, useless, redundant, etc and SELL THEM!
(and no...you cannot include spouse or children in those categories, lol!)
Junk Silver and/or Gold (depends on your budget.)
Seeds (for Gardening)
You can find hundreds of sites that give you a food and/or caloric breakdown of what you need Google "Food Storage for one person" to start..Read some of those sites. Always remember to get foods that you and your family will actually eat. Five #10 cans of hominy will do you no damn good if no one in the family will eat them! Try to get at least 3 months of basic food for each family member. (Don't forget your pets!)
Get a GOOD first aid kit. Always have 30 to 90 days worth of prescribed medications on hand, especially if it is a chronic, on going health problem. Take a CPR course and a Red Cross first aid course or two.
First, a basic shotgun for home defense. Second, a hunting rifle for...duh, hunting. It can also be used for self defense if need be. Third, a handgun for personal defense, if you need one. I am not going to suggest calibers.What I will suggest is that you invest an afternoon or evening at a shooting range that has rental guns to try out. Find out what you can handle.Ask other gun owners for advice.Do NOT go out and buy the shiniest gun with all the bells and whistles. Find out what suits you FIRST! Shop around. Look at pawn shops.In Craigslist. At gunbroker.com. When you find *your* gun at the price that is agreeable to you and buy it, PRACTICE! Cheaper to blow through a hundred rounds to get adept and accurate with a weapon than to have no clue how to accurately hit a target when your life depends on it.
Try to have at least some junk silver (old coins with high silver content) stashed away. If the dollar collapses, it may be the only currency worth anything. If you have the cash, a few gold coins. Right now the precious metals market is going through the roof, I know. Still, better to have some precious metals and have them lose value if the economy stabilizes, than to not have any at all if the dollar does crash or is devalued.
Seeds and Tools
Non-GMO seeds and Heirloom seeds and the tools to garden with. Tools to get firewood with. Tools to do home repairs with. Learn to garden and learn to use tools properly.
This is the best I can advise right now. I feel that so many of us out here have been screaming the same message for years, but were ignored or dismissed as *kooks*. If you never listened before...please do so now.
Check out the blogs I read...Bacon and Eggs, Rural Revolution, Krazo Acres...all of them have been trying to get the same message across for so long.
I hope you guys out there are finally listening now.