There was a time when prepping was about doing things that other people didn’t quite understand for reasons that seemed virtually implausible. The world has seen so much in the last 3 years that our society is rapidly morphing from, “you are crazy to be prepping,” into “You’re crazy if you aren’t prepping.”
Everyone felt the effects of the pandemic and now everyone is feeling the effects of this economic crisis. 2023 has been one of the ugliest years in recent memory from a cost living perspective. It would be one thing if prices were increasing alone but the quality of service and product is also overwhelmingly declining.
Listen, Pfizer is making 3.5 billion dollars in budget cuts from a plan that was proposed in October. If Pfizer, the most successful drug dealer in the world, is struggling then it’s getting really bad.
Americans are realizing that the JOBS reports have virtually nothing to do with quality of life. Our government is content with you working a terrible job and being broke so long as they can count you as a “job’” in their report to make us all feel better about being broke and watching our nation crumble.
Inflation Sticker Shock
Incredible data has been collected by the World Economic Forum on the subject of US inflation. I know. I know what the WEF has been cooking up but their take on inflation is as bleak as it should be.
For that reason I am citing this article that shows inflations effect on 20 different items and services in the US.
Here are the ones that are hitting Americans hardest…
- School Lunches up 254%
- Fuel Oil up 66%
- Eggs up 49%
- Butter/Margarine up 35%
- Flour up 34%
- Coffee up 14%
It’s one thing to have prices rising but what about incomes? The consumer has little choice in the matter when it comes to paying for things like heating oil but if wages are keeping up or at least revving up then it can go a long way.
Unfortunately, that is just not the case.
The US Census Bureau tells us that the median household income, after taxes, has dropped 8.8% from 2021 to 2022. This is not what we need out of wages at a time when inflation is surging.
It now takes nearly 41% of the median household’s monthly income to afford the payments on a median-priced home, according to research from Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). The last time housing payments cost that much was in 1984. (Source)
The average person’s dollar is not doing what it used to, and we also have less dollars to work with! For the people who are making decent money with some savings, this equates to a tightening of the belt across the board.
For those who were barely scraping by in 2021, this means a new kind of life is taking shape. This could be the difference between getting groceries every two weeks or visiting a food bank to keep your family fed. American food bank usage has increased around 60% in 2023! (Source)
No matter what is reported about GDP or Job Growth, if the Food Bank lines are around the block, then our economy is not working for the people. Another sure sign of this is the rise in “hardship” withdrawals from 401ks. These are costly withdrawals that are taxed coming and going.
The Future of Cheap Fuel
One of the things that could pull us out of this economic nightmare would be cheap fuel. The cost of fuel impacts every level of goods and services. Everything that ships must account for fuel cost. We know that America has the capacity to be completely energy independent.
However, cheap fuel has no future in our nation. American’s all over the nation need to buckle up for things like regulated usage of power and higher power bills. That is the last thing we need right now.
The Biden administration has made it clear that coal burning power plants are public enemy number one.
In 2022 coal fired plants were responsible for 1/5 of the nation’s electricity generation.
How exactly do we go about replacing that?
What’s Your Path Back to Stability?
Lately, it feels like nothing is stable underfoot. Trust in our fellow man and our institutions is at an all time low. This means it is up to us to establish trust and stability.
Truthfully, it has always been the responsibility of the people. We were just duped by the government into believing they would “handle it” for us. Handle it they have…
Let’s look at some ways to combat this crushing economic nightmare we simply cannot wake up from.
More of Life Off Grid
Electricity and powerful internet have changed so much but we do not need these things to control every aspect of our lives.
The more we can learn to do off grid, the more time we spend off grid, the more off grid options we build on our property, the less affected we will be by the current economic crisis.
No Grid Survival Projects is the Bible for achieving what I call an on grid/off grid balance. This book offers step by step instructions for over 70 off grid projects.
Learn to Cook
One of the fastest ways to financial ruin is to try and keep up with the rising costs of eating out nightly or for multiple meals a day.
I took my two children to Chipotle the other day for lunch. I spent nearly $30 on two entrees that were made up primarily of rice and meat.
To put that into context, you can buy a 50lb bag of long grain rice for $20!
Learning how to cook from scratch, at home, will not ensure that you always eat at home, but it will give you the ability to forgo eating out on a regular basis.
You can spend $200 on a week of groceries and eat well. Or you can spend that in two nights of dinner for two with drinks.
Buy and Store Food in Bulk
Buying in bulk always saves money. It’s moments like these where long-term food storage can really come in handy. Things like flour, sugar, rice, beans, and pasta can be put away in bulk for much cheaper than you get them at a supermarket.
You might also crack some buckets of food storage open on a tough week to save money. It’s a lot better than taking a 401k hardship withdrawal.
You can buy field corn at most feed stores for around $10 for 50lbs! This can be ground into cornmeal to make things like cornbread and grits. It’s time to think outside the box.
In times like these it is important to have people. People can help you and numbers always count when it comes to protection as the world becomes more and more uncertain. The good news, these days, is that everyone knows things are crazy and prepping is more of an aspiration than a punchline.
It’s true that a lot of economic issues are just out of the hands of the common man or woman. Let’s be honest, we cannot stop congress from spending money. They are going to spend the US dollar into oblivion (they already have) and the debt will continue to rise and rise.
That said, this is not 1930. We do have lots of options, freedom and, for now, resources. There has never been a better time to get prepared. Moreover, there has never been a better time to gather up a group of people who would like to be prepared.
Surviving an economic downturn requires a LOCAL focus. The people and businesses who produce things locally are the ones to make inroads with now. Local farmers markets are your ticket to locally produced food that can fill the gaps in your own homestead or food storage plans.
If we look to the government to reduce inflation, increase GDP, and bring job numbers up then times are only going to get harder. Get locally minded and start growing food, producing energy, and standing on your own two feet.
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