A subject that some people have wondered about is the economics of Prepping. I mean, doesn’t it seem like a dumb idea to be spending all sorts of money on stuff we may never use?
My husband and I have given this a great deal of thought, largely because we are fairly low-income and thus have very little discretionary income to divert toward Prepping. Why, then, do we do what we do?
Putting aside the obvious – we believe an economic tsunami is coming our way and feel it’s best to be as prepared as possible – we also believe that Prepping is financially sensible. This may seem counterintuitive, so let me explain. Actually, it’s not “me” who’s explaining a lot of this, but my husband. Much of what follows are his thoughts.
We don’t feel that proper and sensible disaster preparation is ever a financially negative thing to do. Yes of course there are outlays of cash – sometimes large ones – but in the end you have something tangible to show for it. Those “tangibles” may include medical supplies, food, water storage, guns and ammunition, clothing (socks and underwear, winter coats and boots, sewing supplies), metals (gold and silver), rural property, nonhybrid seeds, livestock, etc. Some of these things, properly maintained, will last pretty much forever (i.e. guns, rural property, metals). Some of these things, properly handled, will multiply (i.e. livestock and seeds). And some of these things must be rotated in order to maintain maximum usefulness (i.e. food and certain medicines).
Now tell me, which of these things would be a “bad” investment, especially in light of the uncertainty that now surrounds traditional investments such as stocks, bonds, interest-bearing accounts, etc.? In the last few years, people who had money in the stock market have lost staggering sums of money. But people who invested in “tangibles” have seen their items either increase in value (sometimes drastically, like the more economically-successful souls who could afford gold) or at the very least stay immune to inflationary pressures.
You see what I mean? Even seasoned economists are suggesting that people dump their stocks and invest in tangibles.
Besides, look at it this way. Whatever you buy and store now is thereafter immune to all inflation. That 50 lb. bag of rice you bought for $15 will never have its price jacked to $20, or $25, or $30. Properly stored, rice will last for years and years and years. Rice you buy at today’s prices will not be subject to tomorrow’s inflation. Ever. Tell me why that isn’t a sensible investment.
Same thing with ammo. Same for silver or gold. Same for non-perishable medical supplies. Same for a water-storage tank.
Another thing to consider. When you buy food in order to store it, you often buy in bulk. I can get 50 lbs. of rice for $15 at the wholesale grocer’s in Spokane. But at my local grocery store, a 5 lb. bag of rice might cost me $2.50. Believe me, it’s a whole lot cheaper – dare I say, economically sensible – to buy in bulk.
And it goes without saying that, if the bleep ever hits the fan, these tangibles become priceless.
Another benefit to Prepping is knowledge. How many of your typical non-Preppers have any clue how to make cheese? Butcher a chicken? Can a batch of homemade pizza sauce? Make something using hand tools rather than power tools? Make soap? Wash and dry clothes without electricity?
But those with a Prepper mentality instinctively try to learn how to do things the old-fashioned way. It’s challenging, it’s fun, it’s creative, and it’s another priceless commodity should the bleep ever hit. And if the bleep never hits, we still have the knowledge.
Yet another economic advantage to Prepping is the “green” benefits. Due to our Prepper mentality, we do a lot of things the average “Greenie” is forever nagging people to do anyway. Preppers avoid or have eliminated disposables. They buy in bulk. They use non-electric alternatives whenever possible. Some are off-grid. I mean really, the list of “green” benefits just goes on and on.
But why do we consider our Prepper items as “investments”? Putting aside the inflationary immunity, many of the things we’ve purchased could be re-sold in a heartbeat at a profit. No, I’m not talking about our stored food (though I suppose it could be argued that even those are re-salable), but a lot of other things we’ve invested in have values that are going up. Sometimes rapidly. And nothing we’ve bought – not one single solitary thing – has gone down in value.
Most important, all the things we’ve purchased so far are either in active use or are available for immediate use. Those medical supplies sure can come in handy when we slice open a finger. And darn, I ran out of cornmeal in the pantry – time to crack a bucket and dip in. My reusable feminine hygiene items? Used constantly. My canning jars and reusable lids? Ditto. Our wood stove? It’s our sole source of heat in the winter. Our livestock? Re-salable, renewable, and an excellent source of, um, fertilizer. Rechargeable batteries, mousetraps, oil wicks, clothespins… the list goes on and on. All of these things have saved us money in the long run because they replace disposables, because they are reusable, because they are bought in bulk (thus beating inflation), or because they maintain or gain in value.
I hope this puts to rest the absurd notion that Preppers are fools who are buying a lot of useless stuff. On the contrary, I sleep better at night knowing that if the very worst (we pray) thing that happens is we get snowed in this winter (a frequent occurrence), we don’t need to fret in the slightest.
We are prepared.