If you have ten dollars in your pocket and no food in your refrigerator you might be tempted to run to Burger King and order from the value meal menu. For ten dollars you can make: baked chicken, which is usually less than $5 a pound; corn, a can will be around $1; rice, a small pack will be about $2 maximum, and maybe have left overs for the next days’ lunch. This meal may not look as appealing as something served at a five star restaurant and definitely takes time to prepare but it is a lot healthier than fast food and actually saves money in the long run. It is all about planning your meals and thinking about the consequences of your actions.
A few of my northern neighbors recently went into panic mode because of an upcoming tropical storm that had the potential of becoming a hurricane. They were doing what I constantly warn people about not doing which is the direct result of not being prepared for emergencies: they were trying to get the funds together to purchase emergency supplies. Last minute preparations are a budget buster.
The fact that you have very little, if any, money set aside for emergencies is the very reason why you should be preparing for emergencies in advance, a.k.a. prepping. Unfortunately, many people have an “I deserve this now” mindset and sacrifice future needs for current wants. Once upon a time people made sure the basics were taken care of before splurging on things like: vacations, new clothes, deserts, manicures, pedicures, and so forth.
When grocery shopping, there is very little difference in most shoppers other than where their funds come from- either a pay check or a government assistance check. People with jobs like to spurge on prepackaged foods which may seem cheaper but because they are single serving sized are actually more expensive. Those who receive government assistance do not fully appreciate the need to buy extra and save it, because they have a survive today mentality. When a store advertises “Buy One-Get One Free” it is an opportunity for everyone to stock up. Non-perishables are just that- items that have a long shelf life and therefore will not go bad, perish. They are always on sale.
The grocery store near me often has Lipton Tea bags on sale- buy one get one free. Each box has one hundred tea bags. I prefer Earl Grey tea and rarely drink Lipton’s. I purchase the Tea, it is something that will get used eventually and if I want something hot or cold to drink I can make tea. That is how you have to think about shopping: What are the benefits of this purchase.
It is not that you are to poor to be a Prepper because rich people do not prepare either. Many people just don’t want to think about a possible emergency, they will put it off for another day.
When my husband told me that there might be a hurricane coming our way neither one of us were concerned. We have plenty of non-perishable items and the things that are perishable we can cook in our propane and charcoal grill or our fireplace, before they would go bad. We have more than enough water for the two of us with some to share, We also have alternative lighting and a way to charge the cell phones in case the electricity goes out. We are ready because I did little things here and there, purchasing canned goods and other things when I went shopping that were on sale. Fortunately, for us, the storm went north towards my friends home. Had it come, the only thing my husband would have done was top off the gas tanks in both cars.
Something is always on sale. If you live in an area where there are harsh winters you know that winter is coming. Start buying “stuck home because of the snow” supplies little by little as things go on sale now. You can even purchase the ingredients to make your own junk food so that when everyone else is running to the store you are baking cookies, popping corn or reading a good book.
If you can afford a Big Mac you can afford to stock up on food.