Prepping for Less


by Terry Blount


According to the US government most people are dealing with a financial
squeeze. Two out of every three citizens are now living from paycheck to
paycheck… that means that two out of every three people who read this
have limited discretionary income to purchase items that would prepare
them for hard times. However, anything you can do now will not be wasted
if you can buy the things you will eventually need. There is no better time
than now because the dollar will NEVER have greater purchasing power.


Last week food at my local Dollar store went up 20%. It would take OVER 18
years (EVEN with compounded interest) for a savings account to gain that
much at the current rate of 1%. I don’t have to tell you that prices will
have risen MANY more times during the next 18 years.  This article is
written to focus on the less expensive things that will be extremely
valuable in a shtf situation.


One idea worth consideration is to give gifts (birthday, Christmas, etc.)
like camping gear, lights and radios, or his and her’s shotguns on an
anniversary. (Now you know why I’m divorced.)
Another idea is to start moving to 12v power and solar energy to prepare
for rising electrical bills (and potential outages.) Anyone living from
paycheck to paycheck may not be able to keep the lights on if their job is
lost or hours cut back or medical expenses come up or car breaks down.
Harbor Freight often has 45 watt solar panels on sale for around $150 and
45 watt are on Amazon for about $100.  The frames on the ones from Amazon
are pretty flimsy but the panels work as good as any. Little steps to
move to 12v will pay off in the long run even if we don’t see hard times.


One more idea is to do what my grandmother did.  She lived through the
great depression.  When she had to buy something like a new can opener
she would buy two.


Top priority for spending….


Ammo – Alive, Barter, Cooking (there is nothing else that has THREE uses
that are extremely valuable… after all… nothing is more important than
defending your life and putting food on your table or a backup for currency.)


Medicine – first extra meds that YOU NEED… like bp and insulin. The
quality of life will diminish and the length of life will be shortened
considerable for those who depend on medicines for ongoing treatment.
Also, one out of every 4 people are taking some kind of psychotic drugs
and when they can’t get them they may not be able to function.)
(Antibiotics and most no-narcotic drugs are available on the internet and
from pet stores without Rx.)


Water bed (Illness and disease become critical during a crisis and if you
can have water to wash and flush your chances of staying healthy greatly
increase.  Even if you never sleep on it, at $50 it’s a valuable
investment for people that do not live near a water supply. Even if water
is not too far, you are safer if you don’t have to go out frequently to
get anything.)


Deep cycle battery (A battery and an inverter can do a lot… just ask
anyone who has lived in a truck or rv.)


Power inverter (Even small ones like 400 watt can help a lot and they are
available for around $25. 3,000 watt inverters are a little over $100)


DC 12v electric blanket (for unknown reason my 120v ac electric blanket
would not run with an inverter… but DC electric blankets will run about
a week off one charge of a 12v battery. That might be better than burning
your furniture to stay warm. It would definitely call LESS attention and
they cost about $25.)


12v light bulbs (these 12v bulbs are about $3 in the RV section of
Walmart… and they will replace bulbs in standard light sockets… so if
the power is out these light bulbs would work off a battery through your
normal electrical system so you could use your normal light switches. If
you are taking care of children or the elderly lights are much easier and
safer than candles, lantern, etc.


Megaphone (You can get one off eBay for $14 and if strangers start
appearing it may be wise to communicate from a distance if they approach.)


Traps (Even in the worse conditions looters aren’t going to catch all
critters… especially birds. A bird trap is only $3 on eBay. Small animal
traps are only $5 from Harbor Freight. A bird in the hand is good in the


FM Radio Transmitter  (If phones and power are out a neighborhood or
community could easily setup communications with a FM radio transmitter.
They already run off 12v dc. Low powered FM transmitters are inexpensive
and even if the grid is down the radio in a car will work. The
signal weakens as distance increases.  The general rule of thumb is it
will take four times the power to double the transmission distance. For
example a broadcast of 6 watts, the transmission range will be 3 miles. At
15 watts, the range increases to 5 miles, at 40 watts to 10 miles and at
100 watts to 15 miles. eBay Prices: 7 watt $30, 15 watt $40, 30 watt $100)
Driveway alerts – Start with a base and a couple sensors for about $50 and
add more sensors for about $20 each if you need them. Neighbors can share
the sensors too. Never underestimate the danger of social unrest. Looters
appear in the absense of law enforcement.


Seeds and fertilizer are essential for long term survival.
Non perishables that are BETTER than money in the bank.
Clothing – good even if you get skinny from malnutrition.


Soap, disinfectant – especially bleach to add to toilets


Toiletries, mouthwash, toothpaste, razors shaving cream


Hardware – nuts and bolts and tools don’t have an expiration date.


Paper plates and other paper products that can be disposed of
when water and cleaning supplies are limited.


Salt, sugar, canned food, peanut butter, etc. – last a long time


Fuel: gas, diesel, propane, firewood – are WAY better than gold


Speaking of gold… no one can tell me why the companies claiming gold is
so much better than paper money …want to trade their gold for MY paper
money. Gold seems to be about as much fiat as paper.


Debt?  Probably won’t matter in a depression since 95% of ALL money is
just zero’s and 1’s on hard drives/… that don’t spin up without
electricity.  Money isn’t important if there is an economic collapse and
most experts warn that the national debt is the most serious threat.


Whoever dies with the most toys wins… even if those toys aren’t paid


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  1. Terry –

    I stay mostly good with this through until the end, but the closing paragraphs and lines… “even if those toys aren’t paid for” send chills up and down my spine.

    Buying toys on debt is irresponsible. It’s one thing to buy a modest house, and a modest car on debt, but to buy toys on credit cards, to put off paying until tomorrow while you play with things today, is why we wind up where so many people are living from paycheck to paycheck.

    Worse yet, you noted all of the talk of impending financial collapse, which if read together with the following sentences, seems to be a suggestion to run up all of the bills because they will magically disappear.

    Sit down, and consider before running up any debt… because a collapse is not a sure thing. People have been talking about a collapse of the fiat economy at least since Carter was in office. I saw items on my BBS in the late 80’s and early 90’s, references in the run-up to Y2K, immediately after 9|11, and many times since.

    With that in mind, stop to reflect as you (every person) are responsible, legally and morally, to make good on your purchases. Yes, we have bankruptcy for those who get into trouble through no fault of their own, but if you purchase something with the knowledge that you cannot make good on the purchases, then you are a liar and a thief.

  2. I’m worried about my husband’s insulin supply. How is he going to stay alive if he can’t get it anymore? My fear is that within a couple of months, he would be dead, and I would maybe even have to bury him. I would then be left completely on my own.

  3. Karen – Have you talked to your doctor about it? Some docs will write longer prescriptions and most insurance companies will allow it if you private pay. Have you read the book “one second after?” – if not you should – there is a little girl in the book who needs insulin and her dad doesnt have enough stocked. Scares the crap outta me. (Sorry Rorke if I’m not allowed to say crap – please feel free to delete if I’m not.)

  4. “Whoever dies with the most toys wins… even if those toys aren’t paid

    For shame! Wow, guess I’m just an old fashioned fuddy duddy. Purchasing an item on credit with the intent of not paying for it is theft compounded by lying inasmuch as the credit agreement includes your promise to pay. I’ve lived in a part of the world where the per capita income was less than $250 annually. Most of the so called poor here are wealthy wealthy wealthy by the world’s standard. As for me, my word is my bond.

    And I was enjoying the article up until the very last.


    • Agreed Panhandle Rancher – society today is filled with the irresponsible and the untrustworthy. I am sure he means well regardless of how I…we….will disagree with him on that final point.

  5. I seem to be in agreement with the others; that I’m in agreement till the last part. It bothers the heck out of me if I have any debt that is other than my mortgage. This mentality I know comes from how my parents lived and paid their bills.

  6. I really appreciate this article. Good common sense stuff. For some people getting things on debt is the only way. Yes, debt is bad, but having nothing is worse. The bankers have stuck it to us for years. Sorry, I don’t have the sympathy some of U do. But work hard to get out of debt and then U will have money to spend.

  7. I interpreted what he said at the end a little differently than the rest of you. He started out talking about living paycheck to paycheck – what I thought he meant was that it might be better to run up a little credit card debt in order to be prepared, than to not have the necessities if/when the time came to need them. Then at least you would be prepared, and at that point you would no longer have to worry about the debt you incurred to get prepared. Still not ideal, but maybe that makes a little sense…

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