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Where do you draw the line between prudent and overprepared/underprepared? - Page 3

post #41 of 87
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post #42 of 87
Everytime a thread like this comes up, people talk about growing their own food, making their own clothes and living in a house out in the country...um, I happen to like city life and my apt. What about people who don't have a home or can't (or just don't) grow food?

Honestly,I don't want to live the way people did in the "good old days." I didn't think those days were so good.

I think, yes, society has gotten a little nutso with all the entertainment, media, STUFF and food that isn't really food. But I don't want to go backwards. Ya know?

So to answer the OP, I don't stockpile.
post #43 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraBoo View Post
Everytime a thread like this comes up, people talk about growing their own food, making their own clothes and living in a house out in the country...um, I happen to like city life and my apt. What about people who don't have a home or can't (or just don't) grow food?

Honestly,I don't want to live the way people did in the "good old days." I didn't think those days were so good.

I think, yes, society has gotten a little nutso with all the entertainment, media, STUFF and food that isn't really food. But I don't want to go backwards. Ya know?

So to answer the OP, I don't stockpile.
Very few people want to "go backwards". But what I see happening is that as gasoline prices increase, it will become prohibitively expensive to buy products that are manufactured/grown/produced outside of one's general geographical area. By stocking up and learning how to do it yourself, it means that in this situation, your quality of life doesn't change. I do have to admit that there is a certain level of satisfaction knowing that the skirt my dd is wearing was put together lovingly by my own hands, or that the meal we are eating was grown by the sweat of my own brow. It also matters GREATLY to me that I know what is going into our bodies. I'd rather use the foods that *I* put up because I know exactly what went into them. The "good" of the old days is that the foods and products were manufactured before petroleum. The less dependent a person is on petroleum, the better off they will be in the future.
post #44 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian View Post
I heard it from the author of "Crazy sexy cancer" on Oprah the other day and it really rang true for me. I get what you're saying about being prepared and I will prepare a little bit but I'm working at not stressing about things that I cannot control.
You can really get the Law of Attraction working while preparing! It's not focusing on the doom and gloom, but all the good things you are doing to make life comfortable and attracting those things to you.

But I like to do that now to be prepared rather than trusting it all will be ok if/when it happens.

AA said:
Quote:
Also some people are currently choosing to turn dollars into useful goods--whether that is a wood stove, gardening tools, food storage, etc. .
I also have chosen to sacrifice some of our savings to spend towards preparedness - food storage, upgrading the house, tools/items etc.
post #45 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraBoo View Post

Honestly,I don't want to live the way people did in the "good old days." I didn't think those days were so good.

I think, yes, society has gotten a little nutso with all the entertainment, media, STUFF and food that isn't really food. But I don't want to go backwards. Ya know?

So to answer the OP, I don't stockpile.
That's a logical fallacy. Just because you don't want it to happen, and you're not prepared for it to happen, doesn't mean it won't happen.
post #46 of 87
I didn't say it wouldn't happen. I think we just do not know. Full stop. Also, I don't want to garden and have chickens and spin cloth. Full stop. I like my leisure time!
post #47 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraBoo View Post
I didn't say it wouldn't happen. I think we just do not know.
Some of us have a pretty good idea.
post #48 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraBoo View Post
I didn't say it wouldn't happen. I think we just do not know. Full stop. Also, I don't want to garden and have chickens and spin cloth. Full stop. I like my leisure time!
I think I can speak for even the most serious of preppers when I say that *nobody* wants any turmoil that would MAKE us use our preps. But it is a form of insurance. You don't want to imagine that your partner will die young and leave you raising babies on your own, but most people buy insurance to protect themselves against that eventuality. If you don't buy insurance, then life will be very, very tough if you lose your partner.

Likewise, becoming prepared means that *IF* it happens, you are not going to be like those who have not prepared. During the Great Depression, the people that had it the hardest were the city-dwellers. People on farms didn't have a lot of cash, but they had full bellies while people in the cities starved to death.

The important part of "stocking up" is to do so with items you already use. If you don't eat rice, don't stock up on it. If you do it properly, it is not a waste of money, but actually *saves* you money. Who here in F&F doesn't want to save a few bucks? When you don't stock up, you are forced to make a purchase at a time when that item is not on sale. By stocking up when items are on sale, you save money. Likewise, learning to sew, you can save money by making your own alterations, converting one clothing item to another, or another size. By having a garden, you not only save money, but you are not affected by situations such as this salmonella outbreak. I will eat tomatoes all summer and not have to worry if I'm poisoning my family. By knowing how to bake, when others are paying $6/loaf, you can quickly throw together a healthy loaf for under $1. Stocking up is a hedge against the future. It is a good investment.

I don't expect to change your mind. I'm mostly stating these obvious thing for people who might be on the fence about it. You remind me a lot of my sister. I've been telling her for years that if she just plans a little bit ahead, it could save her money and might even save her headaches if the economy really tanks. She loves her leisure, too. During our last conversation about this I told her again that she needs to start planning further ahead than one week. "Oh, we'll just come live with you if we have to." I told her point blank that I would not take care of her. "You wouldn't take care of your own sister?" It told her that I was taking care of her now, pointing out the obvious.
post #49 of 87
I think we could all run around after velochic with big : signs! She knows what she's talking about!!

I do it for peace of mind. I've been prepping for years, not because something bad was coming to my knowledge, but as a type of insurance. It has helped in the past. DH had an accident at work and wasn't able to work for quite a while. While he got worker's comp, it wasn't enough and our preparedness saved the day and we weren't even making the concentrated effort we are today.

Accidents happen, economies sink (or crash), people get fired, truckers go on strike, gas goes up, the list goes on and on. I live somewhere were mostly everything needs to be shipped and I fully expect prices to keep skyrocketing until, oh, I don't know when things will settle down. Maybe they won't. I know that I need to do this and I have just been driven by an inner fire to prepare as much as possible. If you are prudently preparing, there is no such thing as overpreparing. We will use everything we have stashed away. One can always use money stashed away, especially if it is working in your favor in a high interest account.

It's not gloom and doom; it's facing reality. Our world is changing and we need to adapt and part of adapting is preparing.
post #50 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde View Post
I think we could all run around after velochic with big : signs! She knows what she's talking about!!
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Velochic, I obviously agree with you on these things. But I currently don't know how to sew or can. : (We do have a garden.)

I know the obvious answer is "learn," but HOW is my question? I've thought about buying a sewing machine or a pressure cooker, but the catch-22 is, those sound like wasted purchases if they will just gather dust because I don't know how to use them.

So I guess my question is........if I bought some books or just read the manuals, would it be easy to teach myself?
post #51 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
So I guess my question is........if I bought some books or just read the manuals, would it be easy to teach myself?
Yes, yes and yes. We're self-taught canners (hot water bath and pressure). I taught myself to bake bread. I learned sewing through osmosis (my mom sews) BUT, I'm a self-taught knitter and a pretty good one at that.

If I can learn knitting by myself, you can learn sewing by yourself.

I borrowed books from the library before purchasing actual equipment/materials/gear.

I asked for money for my birthday one year and bought a pressure canner with it. A lot of those purchases I wouldn't make out of our regular budget so I specifically ask for it as present.
post #52 of 87
It's not necessarily about preparing for some future event. It can also be about being prepared. Period.

The victims of the 500-year flood in the midwest who had a "stockpile" of food and water in the house are most likely in a much better positions than the ones didn't.

All the stores were closed, all the roads leading into several towns were closed, power was out, the water will likely not be potable for several more weeks.

For people who were evacuated from their home, they would have lost their investment.

However, the large majority of the people were not evacuated. They couldn't go anywhere, and they had to remain home. No drinking water, no power, no way out and no stores open.
post #53 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraBoo View Post
So to answer the OP, I don't stockpile.
yeah that, except highly valued skills, money, and fabrics. Fabrics b/c I like to sew. and human relationships. During a LE situation, I don't know dental procedures, but still want dental care.

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
During the Great Depression, the people that had it the hardest were the city-dwellers. People on farms didn't have a lot of cash, but they had full bellies while people in the cities starved to death.
... By having a garden, you not only save money, but you are not affected by situations such as this salmonella outbreak. I will eat tomatoes all summer and not have to worry if I'm poisoning my family. By knowing how to bake, when others are paying $6/loaf, you can quickly throw together a healthy loaf for under $1. Stocking up is a hedge against the future. It is a good investment.
The Dust Bowl? Ever read the Grapes of Wrath or Of Mice and Men? Some of the hardest hit folks during the Great Depression were farmers, esp. tenant farmers and migrant workers. Hundreds of thousands of people migrated b/c their land was not tillable.

And yes, they did migrate to places like CA. But if water is going to be an even more scarce resource, as many scientists predict exhaustion of US and Canadian aquifers, how will you water your plants? CA constantly has water shortages which means no watering plants, lawns, pools, etc.

For a WOHM like me, time is very much money. I don't know of any loaf that you can just throw together. Even banana bread, takes 15 min to mix and another 45 to bake. I've been meaning to "throw" some brioche; 24 eggs + 2 lbs of organic butter sitting in my frig for 2 weeks now.

If someone had the luxury of time, it might be cost effective. Plus, since I earn a living, I feel very strongly about supporting local farmers, bakers, etc in their making a living. That whole relationship thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde View Post
If you are prudently preparing, there is no such thing as overpreparing. We will use everything we have stashed away. One can always use money stashed away, especially if it is working in your favor in a high interest account.
That means you have a generator for when the power goes out? And an energy source for that generator? how much did the generator cost, how much space does it take to store? and if you had to evacuate, you'd have an efficient means to transport your stash?

The largest pantry in the world would not, and did not help: the Jews of Axis countries or Eastern Europe, Katrina victims, tsunami vistims, Myanmar refugees,
people who lost their homes in the Sichuan earthquake, inhabitants of recent tornado and flood zones of the Midwest who had to evacutate their homes, etc.

So for us, we don't draw a line. Instead, constantly filter all the information you can get. Don't believe there is one good "line" for a particular people, in a particular place. Certain skills are easy to attain and, if easy to attain, why not? library books, cheap courses at your local community college. Hard to attain skills and highly valued skills are even better to have. And currency to move and resettle has been shown in history to be very useful. The ability to be quickly mobile, i.e. flee. Will it in the future? don't know.
post #54 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
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I know the obvious answer is "learn," but HOW is my question? I've thought about buying a sewing machine or a pressure cooker, but the catch-22 is, those sound like wasted purchases if they will just gather dust because I don't know how to use them.

So I guess my question is........if I bought some books or just read the manuals, would it be easy to teach myself?
I hope this means you are thinking of starting to learn now. These things have a learning curve, and trying to learn how to do everything at once would be daunting. Every year we do better at canning and gardening. I'm improving at sewing (really simple stuff), and I've let my knitting lapse. I think having people help teach you is good, but books (and online videos) can usually get you by.
post #55 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
but HOW is my question? I've thought about buying a sewing machine or a pressure cooker
So I guess my question is........if I bought some books or just read the manuals, would it be easy to teach myself?
...

I taught myself how to can a few years ago. I only just bought a pressure canner this year - you can do water bath canning with high acid foods...fruits, tomatoes (usually adding lemon juice to make sure it's acid enough), pickled foods, etc. Really, the bare minimum you would need are jars and a large pot with a lid.

For low-acid foods (veggies, meats, etc.) you *would* need a pressure cooker to do so safely. I said it in another post, but the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving will take you step by step through. You can probably get it through your library to take a look at and see if it's something you'd be interested in learning to do.

As for sewing, I taught myself when I was 16. My mom did a lot of sewing, and one day I decided I wanted to use one of her old patterns (from the 70s) to make myself a dress...and I did. She helped me learn how to put in the zipper, but didn't do it for me (yes, it took about three tries to get it correct). You can start with easy patterns and work your way up (I ended up having to make my own bridesmaid's dress a few years ago, and I was ever so grateful I knew how to do so). And, yes, there have been times where I've screwed up ridiculously (I swear I'm spatially dyslexic or something...reversing and right side/wrong side mess me up if I'm not VERY careful). I taught myself to quilt, and then honed my skills by taking a free "mid-level" course on base.

Baking bread and stuff like that - get a good cookbook (try out your library's collection - what I like may not be what you like, as far as cooking/baking) or try some online recipes. I've done tons of bread recipes, and now have a few that I regularly turn to because 1) they are healthy 2) they are fairly easy and 3) they utilize ingredients I generally have on hand.
post #56 of 87
Well, P.S. of course I've read all of John Steinbeck's books. They are, however a focused work of fiction. The dust bowl affected only about 100 million acres of land. The Dust Bowl actually affected a small percentage of the farming population and since then, we've learned our lesson to not rape the land. Almost my entire family were farmers in the midwest during the Great Depression. It saved their hides! You are using an isolated event of our ignorant past to try to make your point about the future. I'm sorry, but it doesn't work that way. We'll have a whole different set of variables to deal with if we enter another depression. While during the Great Depression the systematic peeling off of the top soil & drought led to hardship for many, today it's probably the immense burden of debt that leads to hardship. We're also much more dependent on cheap fuel, that is no longer cheap, and that simple fact is a huge factor that wasn't present 75 years ago. What the pasts teaches us is not to expect the same series of events, but rather how to prepare ourselves for ANY series of events.

Your examples of stockpiling not helping during catastrophes is a little erroneous, don't you think? You've mentioned countries and times when/where people haven't the means to stockpile. Therefore it was never an issue. For Katrina victims and the flood victims, you have it backward. I personally know two people who were preppers and Katrina didn't effect them like those who waited for FEMA. It was the government who dropped the ball, not the preppers. And yes, most of us do have the means to bug out with what we have and have generators (ours cost only $250) to protect our frozen assets. The bulk of my preparation is not for climatic catastrophe (although I do for that as well)... it's economic catastrophe. When I was a child, this prepping helped us through MANY hard times. I believe it will again.

Being a WOHM I can hear the frustration in your post that you have neither the time nor energy to work on being prepared. I don't know what the solution is. But I believe that there will be a time within the next 5 years when, for example farmers markets are gone (because the farmers are using all they grow for their own families) and that gasoline prices will soar to the point that buying bananas will be a luxury and not an entitlement.

And bread making is dead easy (and very fast once you know what you are doing) even though it's not the most enjoyable thing in the world for me. I like having that skill in case I ever NEED it. That's what most prepping is about... "just in case".

I hope you've found your comfort level. I have and as the economy slows I'll feel even better.

Good luck!
post #57 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Well, P.S. of course I've read all of John Steinbeck's books. They are, however a focused work of fiction. The dust bowl affected only about 100 million acres of land. The Dust Bowl actually affected a small percentage of the farming population and since then, we've learned our lesson to not rape the land. Almost my entire family were farmers in the midwest during the Great Depression. ....Your examples of stockpiling not helping during catastrophes is a little erroneous, don't you think? You've mentioned countries and times when/where people haven't the means to stockpile. Therefore it was never an issue.
100,000,000 acres of land is alot.
2.5 million people moving is alot. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl.

The Sichuan, tsunami, and Katrina areas are not all poverty. You can go to Phuket and stay in $1000/night resorts. There were plenty of rich Jews. Their relatives are still fighting in European courts for the return of vast sums of money and artwork.
And if you read my post, you'll see I don't dispute having home ec skills. I love sewing, I garden, and can cook about anything. Bread making is easy, esp if you use a KitchenAid like me, but it still takes time.

My point, and promise I'll stop repeating myself, is that "line" drawn is different for everyone, and for different places. What works for me, doesn't necessarily work for others. And there's no need for me to be militaristic, or downright condescending, to others who don't agree with me. We don't plan on the gov't bailing us out... and neither do we not plan on sharing. I hope I never reach the point where my heart is that mean.
post #58 of 87
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Originally Posted by p.s View Post
... and neither do we not plan on sharing. I hope I never reach the point where my heart is that mean.
People prepare for their own families... not for the masses who have ignored them for years. It may sound harsh to you, but when it comes to feeding people who wouldn't listen or feeding my family, I'm going to feed my family. I'd be more than happy to prepare for people like my sister... I've offered it, even. She just needs to send me the money and I'll make sure her family has some reserves, too. Unfortunately, she thinks she should be able to blow her money on her "leisure" and that we should spend our money to make their futures secure. Sorry... it doesn't work that way. If I told dd that she couldn't be in gymnastics because we have to buy extra groceries for my sister since she's not listening to me, I suppose that is nicer? (And this sister's husband is a firefighter... you'd think *he'd* listen. No, he has to have the whole decked out Wii set up that constantly puts them deeper into debt. )

Lines also have to be drawn about how much you'll help people who won't listen.
post #59 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
People prepare for their own families... not for the masses who have ignored them for years. It may sound harsh to you, but when it comes to feeding people who wouldn't listen or feeding my family, I'm going to feed my family. ... If I told dd that she couldn't be in gymnastics because we have to buy extra groceries for my sister since she's not listening to me, I suppose that is nicer?

Lines also have to be drawn about how much you'll help people who won't listen.
I prepare for my family, and yet.... in the back of my mind, and my accounts, I prepare for those IL's that aren't as frugal as we are. Different strokes for different folks.

To me it has nothing to do with being nice, or gymnastics or what. I live my life that way I am convicted to. There are plenty of stories of sharing during the holocaust, or any other crises worth documenting, to motivate me to live according to how I believe.

How I live and conduct my family has nothing to do with how any other family on MDC chooses to live. So I plan, I prepare, and I hope that in that day, I can share.
That's it.
I don't expect it to make sense, or be nice, or whatever... to anyone else. I don't care if no one else in the world adopts my view, or approves. This is how I want my heart to be.
post #60 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Lines also have to be drawn about how much you'll help people who won't listen.
My mother is an infinitely generous person, no... heart would be a better word for her. Every human life and mind who has encountered her is blown away by her kindness (except me; she is very strict with me).

My mother always taught me (in essence):
He is you.
You are he.
They are you. And you are they. We are all humanity. We are all human.

If I'm down to my last meal, and I die a day, or month earlier b/c I share it, to me, that's an honorable way to die.
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