The Survival Mom » Finances http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:38:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Survival Survey: Shopping & comparing the dollar stores http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-shopping-comparing-dollar-stores/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-survey-shopping-comparing-dollar-stores http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-shopping-comparing-dollar-stores/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 21:30:13 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13168 Dollar stores can be very useful when looking for items for emergency kits and overall preparedness. I’ve scoured the aisles of various dollar stores and left with everything from office supplies to canned foods. Once I was able to stock Read More

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image by www.CourtneyCarmody.com/

image by www.CourtneyCarmody.com/

Dollar stores can be very useful when looking for items for emergency kits and overall preparedness. I’ve scoured the aisles of various dollar stores and left with everything from office supplies to canned foods. Once I was able to stock up on a large quantity of Himalayan pink salt.

We haven’t done a Survival Survey in quite a while (where I ask a question and you answer!), but I’m really interested in your experiences with the various dollar stores around the country. The most widespread seem to be:

  • Dollar Tree
  • Family Dollar
  • Dollar General
  • 99 Cents Only
  • Real Deals Dollar Store

How do these stores compare with each other? Do you have any strategies for shopping at certain stores on certain days? What survival and preparedness products have you found?

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52 Week Savings Plan: March prepping bargains to keep your savings on track http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-march-prepping-bargains-keep-savings-track/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=52-week-savings-plan-march-prepping-bargains-keep-savings-track http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-march-prepping-bargains-keep-savings-track/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12972 If you are on the 52 Week Savings Plan, then you are likely looking for super savings on just about everything you buy! The month of March brings with it opportunities to save on all kinds of items that will Read More

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PicMonkey Collage 52 weeks 2.4If you are on the 52 Week Savings Plan, then you are likely looking for super savings on just about everything you buy!

The month of March brings with it opportunities to save on all kinds of items that will help you become more prepared for everyday disasters and worst case scenarios. Here’s a summary along with some helpful links.

(Be sure to print out this chart to track your savings!)

1.  Frozen foods

When you find these at rock bottom prices, especially if you have accompanying coupons, then buy, buy, buy! March is National Frozen Food Month, and you’ll find coupons in the newspaper as well as in the special Sunday coupon fliers.

Why frozen food? Well, you can stock your freezer with frozen veggies and fruits, in particular, but take that a step further and dehydrate those foods for a much longer shelf life. After all, when the power goes out, just how much meat and frozen foods can you eat in a 48 hour time span?

Dehydrating frozen veggies and fruits is the absolute easiest way to preserve food. Spread the frozen food on a dehydrator tray and push the ‘start’ button. That’s it. The foods have already been washed and chopped for you, so you save on all that prep time. For larger pieces of food, broccoli, for example, cut the large pieces in half before dehydrating.

Store your dried food in canning jars along with an oxygen absorber or vacuum pack the jars using something like a Food Saver. Store the jars in a dark, cool place for the longest possible shelf life.

2.  Winter coats and cold-weather gear

Stores want to get rid of this, you want to buy it at super-low prices for next year. It’s a win-win for everyone! Shop online as well as in local brick-and-mortar stores, and be sure to store your winter purchases somewhere where the clothing will be safe from insects.

Also look for items like snow shovels, hand/foot warmers, and ice scrapers.

3.  Craft supplies

March is National Craft Month, so look for coupons to stores like Michael’s, JoAnne, and Hobby Lobby. You may find products to organize your emergency supplies, plain t-shirts (buy the kids brightly colored ones so they’ll be easy to find in a crowd), yarn and other supplies for crochet and knit, sharpies, supplies to keep kids busy during power outages, and super glue.

4.  St. Patrick’s Day treats

If you love corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes, then this is your month! All these foods can be canned, and both cabbage and potatoes are easily dehydrated.

To can corned beef, you’ll need a pressure canner. Although this gigantic pot looks intimidating, canning expert Diane Devereaux says that canning meat and chicken is the easiest thing to can. Here are two recipes to get you started:

5.  Spring cleaning supplies

Again, watch for coupons and store sales, but for some reason, product manufacturers think that all of us will be spending our beautiful spring days indoors, busily scrubbing and cleaning…stuff.

image by Pink Sherbet PhotographyThat’s not my idea of fun, but you will likely find very good prices on all sorts of cleaning supplies for stocking up. Some to use now and some to set aside as part of your preparedness efforts.

6.  Junk food

March brings with it March Madness and with it, discounts on all sorts of junk food for sports fans. The only effective way to lengthen the shelf life of junk food is to repackage it, either in canning jars using a food vacuum sealer or in jars/mylar pouches with oxygen absorbers.

If your family typically eats junk food and you can find it at super low prices, you might as well stock up, keep it under lock and key, and then use it up over a period of a few months time. As long as it’s stored in a cool, dark location that is free from pests, the food should last at least 6 months.

7.  Easter ham

Follow these instructions for canning ham, so you’ll have it all year long. Go ahead and freeze some as well, but be sure to cut it into meal-size chunks before freezing.

If you can, hold off on buying Easter candy until after Easter. That’s when you’ll be able to scoop up bags of pastel colored M&Ms and boxes of Peeps. Why stock up on candy? They’re comfort foods for a lot of people and can be vacuum sealed for a nice long shelf life.

8.  Produce in season

Continue to think canning and dehydrating while watching for best prices on these foods:

Keep saving your coins and dollars and stay on track with your 52 Week Savings Plan!

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52 Week Savings Plan Revisited http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-revisited/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=52-week-savings-plan-revisited http://thesurvivalmom.com/52-week-savings-plan-revisited/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 18:42:05 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12952 Last year in January I posted this article on a 52 week savings plan. I want to encourage all of you to try it again this year! Even though it’s the second week of February, don’t panic! It’s not too Read More

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Last year in January I posted this article on a 52 week savings plan. I want to encourage all of you to try it again this year! Even though it’s the second week of February, don’t panic! It’s not too late to start! According to the plan, by the last week of January, all you needed to have saved was $15. Add $7 more for the first week of February, and you’re completely caught up until the end of this week when you’ll want to put $8 more aside. If you stick with it, you’ll have $45 saved by the last Saturday of the month and you’ll be off to a great start. After completing the full plan, you’ll have a nice pile of cash ($1378 in all) ready for anything from car emergencies to a small vacation!

52 Week Savings Plan

Don’t worry if you’ve never done much saving before. As I wrote about previously here, you aren’t alone. However, that doesn’t change the importance of saving money. The 52 week savings plan is a great way to get started on saving even if you have very little experience.

So how ’bout it? Will you commit to setting aside some money every week for the next year? Have you ever done this plan or a similar plan in the past? Join the discussion at the SurvivalMom forum!

Download this cool savings chart here.

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Did you know you can’t eat paracord? http://thesurvivalmom.com/know-cant-eat-paracord-precious-metals-giveaway/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=know-cant-eat-paracord-precious-metals-giveaway http://thesurvivalmom.com/know-cant-eat-paracord-precious-metals-giveaway/#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 06:25:18 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12579 One of the most common comments I hear in prepper and survival circles when the topic of buying gold and silver come up is, “Well, you can’t eat gold and silver! I’m stocking up on food!” Storing food is important Read More

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One of the most common comments I hear in prepper and survival circles when the topic of buying gold and silver come up is, “Well, you can’t eat gold and silver! I’m stocking up on food!”

junk silverStoring food is important and is something I’ve often written about. However, you can’t eat paracord, water purifiers, or survival knives, and all these things are accepted without question as survival staples.

I think precious metals should be included as a fundamental staple. Here’s why.

Sooner or later, every culture known has developed their own fiat currency. Even on the isolated tropical island of Yap. Most preppers would view Yap as the perfect bug out location. It has fresh water on the island, there’s a wealth of fish available, as well as plenty of tropical produce. It’s a location where self-sufficiency is a given and what one islander needs, surely another islander has, and the two can barter.

However, many years ago the islanders discovered the need for a fiat currency, and what they resorted to were giant limestone carvings, similar to the shape of a doughnut. The larger the limestone doughnut, the wealthier the individual.

Even with all the fish, tropical produce, and fresh water the island offered, its residents realized they needed something that was universally accepted in trade.

Many preppers and survivalists around the world are counting on a barter system to provide their needs in a SHTF scenario. I’ve written about the limitations of barter here and  here.

In some cases, yes, barter will be a great option for meeting needs and wants. However, what happens when none of your neighbors and friends have what you need or they have it and don’t want to give it up?

Just like the residents of Yap, a currency of some sort will develop sooner or later. Junk silver is an affordable form of a fiat currency that has intrinsic value because the coins are 90% silver, and it very well may become a widely accepted currency in an economic collapse. At that point, the American dollar will have little value.

I talk about junk silver in this podcast, if you’d like to learn more.

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I take 2 weeks off and all hell breaks loose http://thesurvivalmom.com/take-2-weeks-hell-breaks-loose/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=take-2-weeks-hell-breaks-loose http://thesurvivalmom.com/take-2-weeks-hell-breaks-loose/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 10:03:54 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12551 WARNING: This is an editorial, of sorts, and contains some snark. Hi everyone! I’m back. Early in October, I decided I needed to set aside some time to work on a book project (more about that later) and take some Read More

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WARNING: This is an editorial, of sorts, and contains some snark.

Hi everyone! I’m back.

Early in October, I decided I needed to set aside some time to work on a book project (more about that later) and take some time relaxing. Over the past few months, we have worked toward moving our family and all our belongings and animals to Texas, a daunting undertaking with more than a few setbacks.

image by OakleyOriginals

image by OakleyOriginals

The last week, in particular, has been amazing. I’ve been in Park City, Utah, enjoying brisk autumn weather in the company of my kids. Hubby had to work.

My own complicated circumstances, though, pale in comparison with the turmoil our country has endured this month. From wild-eyed EBT users emptying Walmart shelves, to the USDA directing states to stop funding EBT cards and renegade Park Rangers, it’s been a wild month.

If we ever wondered how our fellow citizens, at least some of them, might respond to a truly SHTF scenario, I think we got a really good idea from the Walmart event. In case you weren’t following the news, here’s what went down.

On October 12, customers using EBT cards in 17 states discovered, to their horror, that when they took their carts of food and other products to the cashier, their cards were declined.

Now, I’ve had that happen to me before with my debit card when I wasn’t paying attention to our bank account balance. It’s not fun, and many of these people have truly fallen on hard times. With record numbers of Americans unemployed or underemployed, I’m sure that some of you have had to sign up for government assistance. There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it.

However, there’s another whole group of people who eagerly take dishonest advantage whenever the opportunity presents itself. In Walmart employees were instructed to go ahead and let these shoppers shop. Well, they ransacked the store, filling multiple carts with anything and everything, promising store employees that yes, indeed, their EBT card would cover their purchases once the glitch was fixed.

One woman who swore she had more than enough on her EBT card to cover the $700 worth of merchandise in her carts had only a .49 cent credit.

Here’s the official explanation for lapse of EBT card funds:

“Xerox, which is the vendor for the EBT systems across Oklahoma and other states, experienced a power outage that caused the system to go down.” — Sheree Powell, Director of Communications for Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Hmmmm….

I happen to know that buildings that house banks and other “critical systems”, have engineers available 24/7, so things like this don’t happen. They regularly have drills and multiple back-ups to their back-ups, so I’m highly, highly skeptical of this explanation.

Then just days later came news of the infamous USDA letter. It instructed states to stop transferring EBT funds in November, which would effectively cause millions of families across the country to experience the same scare as those EBT shoppers on October 12. I’ve searched the internet for more details and verification, and the letter is legit. It was referred to in this Utah news report, and I’ve read through it twice.

Just as worrisome is this report from Massachusetts that if the shutdown had continued, the state wouldn’t have been able to continue rent payments to landlords of Section 8 housing.

And if that wasn’t enough, armed Park Rangers blockaded open air monuments, set up barriers so Americans couldn’t even view Mount Rushmore, and then harassed a busload of elderly tourists, refusing them even the opportunity to use a restroom!  Shameful and embarrassing.

What a mess!

So, while I was relaxing and basking in a hot tub, miraculously, the shutdown came to an end and (some) Americans breathed a sigh of relief. But, the budget problem wasn’t solved. Not hardly. As a matter of fact, our government hasn’t even operated on a budget since 2005! There are no constraints, no financial rules to follow, and nothing was solved just because the players in this game arrived at a temporary resolution.

Well, there’s always at least one lesson to be learned in any type of event, so here’s what I learned.

1.  At the first sign of any type of disruption in our banking system, stay away from malls, stores, banks, and, especially, Walmart. If you aren’t prepared to hunker down for the duration, whether it’s a few hours or several weeks, then it’s too late and you’re in trouble. Making an emergency trip to the store to stock up after the fact leaves you wide open as a target. I mean, do you really want to be pushing a full grocery cart through a parking lot when dozens of angry people haven’t been able to access funds, whether by EBT, Visa, or otherwise?

By the way, a “disruption” could be reports of banks limiting their hours, closing early, setting limits on the amount of withdrawals, or a “bank holiday.” All are warning signs that something is seriously wrong and a signal to be as fully prepped as you possibly can be.

2.  Bureaucrats, by nature, are heartless. In a single letter, millions of people were threatened with starvation by the very government that promised to give them the support they needed. In a collapse, expect no help whatsoever from official channels. If some form of help happens to come your way, say “Thank you,” ever so nicely and move on.

3.  If Park Rangers, of all people, can be turned into an armed force, willing to go to the extreme measures we witnessed during the shutdown, then so can all the other various branches of government that we think exist to protect and serve us. After all, we pay their salaries, right?

Public servants, I believe they’re called.

This particular Ranger doesn’t look too thrilled with what he’s been ordered to do, but then he obeys orders after all.

I hope you’re convinced that it’s time to be prepared for a crazier-than-this future.  At the very least, in a corner of your home, begin stashing canned foods, soap, over-the-counter medications, toilet paper, and other necessities. My book, Survival Mom, details how to prepare your home and family.

Another financial crisis is right around the corner. It could be another shutdown scare, Congressional budget battle, stock market crash, bank closures, or a complete collapse of our banking system and economy.

What we don’t know is what the full impact will be. So, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That’s what every Survival Mom and Survival Dad can do.

 

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Leave your child the gift of “buried treasure”, aka junk silver http://thesurvivalmom.com/leave-child-gift-buried-treasure-aka-junk-silver/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=leave-child-gift-buried-treasure-aka-junk-silver http://thesurvivalmom.com/leave-child-gift-buried-treasure-aka-junk-silver/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 19:26:34 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12520 This post sponsored by Provident Metals, an online seller of junk silver and other precious metals. Visit their website to order your own junk silver. Saved junk silver is a buried treasure Every child dreams of finding buried treasure. Heck, Read More

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This post sponsored by Provident Metals, an online seller of junk silver and other precious metals. Visit their website to order your own junk silver.

Saved junk silver is a buried treasure

Every child dreams of finding buried treasure. Heck, adults do too, thus the popularity of the Powerball!

image by FateDenied

image by FateDenied

Last year I read a report from a fellow whose grandpa had left him a jar of quarters and dimes. Definitely something akin to buried treasure.

That’s a nice little gift on its own, but what made it even sweeter was that those coins were all junk silver — minted pre-1965. In other words, that jar was full of 90% real silver! Its true worth was far more valuable than the face value of the coins.

At the time I said, “Wow, what a great gift,” and felt a little envious.

It didn’t occur to me that I could leave the exac same gift for my children, and that’s what I’m doing now.

I have 2 canning jars labeled with both kids names, and every so often I add a few junk silver coins to each jar.

That silver is part of their inheritance. Who knows what its value will be decades from now or how useful it might be as barter currency?

Just 14 years ago on 9/11, silver was $5 an ounce. When I was a kid and my grandparents were around to save silver coins, it was less than a dollar an ounce!

Today an ounce runs more than twenty bucks.

Junk silver is easy to identify and easy to buy

Any American silver coin minted in 1964 or earlier is 90% silver.

The George Washington quarter we use every day was 90% silver until 1965. Same thing with those Roosevelt dimes and the Franklin half dollar.

One reason I personally favor these coins is because they are so identifiable. With a quick glance at the year stamped on the coin, I know right away if it’s junk silver or not, and so will anyone else in a financial transaction.

If you start checking the coins you have in your wallet and pockets, you’ll quickly notice that finding junk silver among them is nearly impossible. They’ve been snatched up by collectors or pulled out of circulation entirely.

Instead, you’ll do better filling that “buried treasure” jar by visiting either coin stores or buying online.

Do check out online precious metals dealers

Provident-MetalsSometimes I buy junk silver from coin stores, but it all too easily slips my mind or I get too busy to make the trip. Also, a few of those stores are in less desirable parts of town and I’m somewhat paranoid walking out of the store with my little bag of silver treasure.

Provident Metals is an online company that specializes in selling precious metals, including junk silver. I noticed their variety of purchase options and  reasonable shipping prices when I placed an order myself.*  Their website is full of great tutorials, including this article about junk silver and its history.

You can ship orders to other addresses, perfect for grandparents wanting to fill their grandkids’ piggy banks with a little something that will hold its value forever.

Don’t be afraid of sticking your toe in the precious metals pool. I was very nervous the first time I went to a coin store with a hundred dollars in hand. At the time it didn’t make sense to hand over a perfectly good hundred dollar bill in exchange for a few coins, but the value of those coins has increased, while $100 buys less and less these days.

Educate your kids and grandkids

Teach your kids about the junk silver you’re collecting. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should they ever take one of those quarters and put it in the gumball machine!

Today’s teens and young adults have personally experienced the downturn of our economy and want more secure futures. If you teach them about precious metals and then give them that jar of junk silver, they will already be ahead of their peers who think silver is just for piercings!

 

*I was VERY happy with Provident Metals ordering and shipping systems. My order for a couple of ounces of junk silver was shipped the same day the order went in.

 

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New VIDEO conference! “Frugal Back-to-School” TONIGHT! http://thesurvivalmom.com/new-video-conference-frugal-back-school-tonight/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-video-conference-frugal-back-school-tonight http://thesurvivalmom.com/new-video-conference-frugal-back-school-tonight/#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 20:20:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12416 There’s something new and very cool in the Survival Mom’s bag ‘o tricks! Beginning tonight, Tuesday, September 3, we are beginning a series of video classes for you. Everyone is invited! Tonight’s Video Vibe is all about beginning the school Read More

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moneyThere’s something new and very cool in the Survival Mom’s bag ‘o tricks! Beginning tonight, Tuesday, September 3, we are beginning a series of video classes for you.

Everyone is invited!

Tonight’s Video Vibe is all about beginning the school year on a budget. How do you save money on school supplies, groceries for packing lunches, clothes, and more? This is the time of year when parents are hit hard with sports fees, the cost of school uniforms, expenses for extracurricular activities, textbooks, and the list goes on and on!

Join our panel of experts, who will share creative ideas for saving money, not just this month but throughout the year!

Donna Miller hosts “Surviving on Shoestrings” and will be talking about ways for families to cope during tight times and timely money-saving tips.

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and the founder of The Dollar Stretcher. This man knows every trick in the book for saving money and establishing a sound financial future for your family.

Scott Fitterman‘s area of expertise is using the internet to track down online bargains. He’s the founder of Coupon Cactus.

I invite you to be a part of this live, fun event!

Here is the link you need to click on, just a few minutes before our start time: http://fuze.me/21163135

To really enjoy the full video interaction, that link will ask if you’d like to download the Fuzebox app. Do it! It’s super quick and will make a lot of difference.

SPACE IS LIMITED!

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: “Buy low, sell high” isn’t always the best advice when it comes to precious metals http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-buy-low-sell-high-isnt-always-the-best-advice-when-it-comes-to-precious-metals/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=instant-survival-tip-buy-low-sell-high-isnt-always-the-best-advice-when-it-comes-to-precious-metals http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-buy-low-sell-high-isnt-always-the-best-advice-when-it-comes-to-precious-metals/#comments Sun, 07 Jul 2013 19:09:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12089 Okay, okay. “Buy low, sell high” is good fundamental advice for everything from buying real estate to stock purchases. However, waiting for that rock bottom price, that lowest possible dip in the price of gold and silver might not be Read More

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courtesy of Owings Metals

courtesy of Owings Metals

Okay, okay. “Buy low, sell high” is good fundamental advice for everything from buying real estate to stock purchases. However, waiting for that rock bottom price, that lowest possible dip in the price of gold and silver might not be the wisest decision.

Here’s why.

When prices dip, as they have been doing over the past several weeks, demand goes up. People like you and me are saying “Wow! Silver hasn’t been this low in years!” and then we start buying. When that happens:

  • the supply can dwindle as we begin buying junk silver, in particular.
  • dealers begin charging a higher premium on anything that is harder to come by and for which there is an increased demand.

Therefore, if you continue waiting to buy junk silver before buying, waiting for that golden moment when you’re convinced it won’t go any lower, you may find that the premium charged outweighs any advantage gained by waiting for that rock bottom price.

(Check out real-time prices for gold and silver.)

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A taste of hyperinflation http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-taste-of-hyperinflation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-taste-of-hyperinflation http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-taste-of-hyperinflation/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2013 21:15:25 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=6689 With gas prices rising AGAIN, I wanted to re-post this article from 2011. The more things change, the more they stay the same! Wheelbarrows full of German marks and stacks of Zimbabwean dollars paint a surreal and absurd picture of Read More

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image by Paolo Camera

With gas prices rising AGAIN, I wanted to re-post this article from 2011. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Wheelbarrows full of German marks and stacks of Zimbabwean dollars paint a surreal and absurd picture of economies gone bad.  It could never happen here in America.  Right?  Well, I think we got a taste of hyperinflation recently when gasoline prices increased on a near-daily basis.  What did it feel like to see the price per gallon increase from the time you drove to work in the morning until you passed that same gas station on the way home from work at five o’clock?  If you were smart, you filled up your tank every time you saw the price dip and maybe even filled an extra gas can at $3.69 a gallon, knowing that tomorrow it would probably cost even more.

Daily price increases of gasoline are bad enough, but imagine trying to survive in a world where prices of virtually every good increases on a daily basis.  During times of hyperinflation, wages do not increase at the same rate as everything else, so a family that is used to spending 10% of its income on food, for example, would find that percentage increasing to 40%, 50% and more.  There would be very little left for paying utility bills, medical expenses, or even tiny luxuries.

History Learning Site describes the effects of hyperinflation on Germans in 1923.

People were paid by the hour and rushed to pass money to loved ones so that it could be spent before its value meant it was worthless.
People had to shop with wheel barrows full of money
Bartering became common – exchanging something for something else but not accepting money for it. Bartering had been common in Medieval times!
Pensioners on fixed incomes suffered as pensions became worthless.
Restaurants did not print menus as by the time food arrived…the price had gone up!
The poor became even poorer and the winter of 1923 meant that many lived in freezing conditions burning furniture to get some heat.
The very rich suffered least because they had sufficient contacts to get food etc. Most of the very rich were land owners and could produce food on their own estates.
The group that suffered a great deal – proportional to their income – was the middle class. Their hard earned savings disappeared overnight. They did not have the wealth or land to fall back on as the rich had. Many middle class families had to sell family heirlooms to survive.”

It’s easy to see these same effects happening here in our country, or in any other whose government follows the disastrous financial recipe of over-spending and printing money (“Quantitative Easing”), resulting in the loss of confidence in the dollar, our fiat currency.

Surviving hyperinflation isn’t easy.  It seems that skyrocketing prices of food and energy have the biggest negative effect on everyday citizens.  It makes sense, therefore, to grow, raise, and preserve your own food as much as possible and to look for ways you and your family could live off the grid as much as possible.  Owning physical gold and silver is wise, as is establishing contacts with a network of like-minded people.  After all, who is more likely to have what you need in a bartering transaction than another prepper?

Most of us don’t own “estates”, but we do have the advantage of learning from history and being smart enough to take proactive steps to protect our families against the devastation of hyperinflation now.  If you didn’t like the taste of hyperinflation we’ve had with our rapidly rising gas prices, the time to take action is now.

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7 Food Wasting Sins! Confessions from a former food waster http://thesurvivalmom.com/7-food-wasting-sins-confessions-from-a-former-food-waster/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-food-wasting-sins-confessions-from-a-former-food-waster http://thesurvivalmom.com/7-food-wasting-sins-confessions-from-a-former-food-waster/#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:57:24 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11010 Guest post by Heather who blogs at Prudent Pantry. I was once a young wife and mother to a toddler. Hard at work learning to be a good wife and mommy. I got to stay at home which meant I Read More

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Guest post by Heather who blogs at Prudent Pantry.

I was once a young wife and mother to a toddler. Hard at work learning to be a good wife and mommy. I got to stay at home which meant I made meals 3x a day for my family. I was a house wife. I had a food budget and yet I found myself calling my husband once or twice a week to pick up meals.

Old inedible foodWhen I went to my Mommy & Baby group I found that several families with double the amount of kids had grocery bills less than mine! How could this be?

Frankly I was confused. I didn’t know where I was going wrong. I had been raised in a variety of settings due to my parent’s divorce and remarriages. We always seemed to be learning to live somewhere new. I was never taught how to actually run a home.

It took time to admit it to myself but I was a food waster. I realized that I was making critical mistakes with our food starting with: what to feed my family: what to buy at the grocery store: how to cook at home: and very importantly how to put away our food.

1-      I was wasting our food money. I am a cookbook hound. I love looking at the yummy recipes in those glossy books and trying to recreate them. That is nice but most call for food that is WAY outside the budget of a college student’s family. Instead of using that money more wisely and stretching it over the full month I was buying high priced items that cut days off how far our food budget would go.

2-      I bought ONLY name brand items. This was a hang over from my upbringing when we could not afford name brand. Deep inside I saw being able to buy name brand as showing the world (or myself) that we had stepped up in the world. Again I was wasting our food money.

3-      Cooking low quality food. I had these lovely highlights of dinners that were great. But in order to get those highlights I had to skimp in other areas. That meant that Monday through Thursday meals were just scrapped together or Hamburger Helper type meals. Not healthy and not yummy. Made it that much easier to call for take-out when faced with day 2 of not so good food.

4-      Cooking too much food for our size family. At the time I had no extra freezer and we really were 2 adults eating with a toddler just nibbling. I tended to cook for a much larger crowd. That meant we tended to overeat, not healthy. Also there was a lot of food leftover. That food would generally go into the fridge and a meal of left overs might come from it but in general it was shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten until it crawled out and pleaded to be put out of its misery.

5-      Chaos is not a good form of organization. As you can tell from the food lost in the fridge my kitchen was in a state of chaos. There was no organization. I had no idea if cans were old or spices were out of date. You just pawed through the shelf in question until you found what you were looking for, or gave up and went out and bought it again. Yeap, back to that wasting the food budget.

6-      Using food to its greatest extent! I never thought to use the turkey bones and pieces leftover from Thanksgiving to make a broth. I didn’t use the ham bone to flavor a pot full of beans. When I was done with the meal immediately in front of me I threw out the rest and cleaned up for the night.

7-      The worst food wasting sin I committed was sheer laziness. There were times when I woke up the next morning and found that I had set last night’s leftovers aside but never put them away.

Acknowledging that I had these blind spots was the first step in correcting them. There is no shame in not having been told how to cook, maintain a home, raise a family, or homestead. Many of us have holes in our skills base. Consider how to run your kitchen, food budget, and food storage as another skill that needs to be worked on. Find a mentor. Search out a great blog or book. You can change from a food waster to a thrifty foodie mom!

 

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