I'm new to this 'prepping' thing and I'm really trying, so bear with me. My husband dove in head first a few months ago and I hope he would say I've been supportive ...though reluctantly at times on some issues. Stockpiling food and essentials is not a foreign concept to me and I've been an avid believer in the concept at different stages in my adult life. But when I have stockpiled in the past, it was because I was feeding four generations in one household on a meager income. I bought in bulk, grew a lot of what we ate and had a job and a work schedule that accommodated canning and freezing the bounty a couple of times a year. When all this started for us recently, the timing was not so good for us financially.
My husband has been working contract for almost ten years. When the work is there, he earns three times what I do at my state job but there are always some dry spells between contracts. Work generally dries up with no warning at all and we never know if it will be two weeks, two months or a year before the next contract comes along. We adjusted well, living within our means, carrying NO DEBT other than our mortgage and saving for the inevitable dry spells. When he's been working for a month or two and savings is on target, we tend to relax and have a little more fun. But when the dry spells come along, we downshift immediately and become frugal fanatics.
We have a great lifestyle though, a little place in the country with a garden, a few chickens and half a dozen horses right out the back door. There are always projects to be tended to on a place like this for a little while, no work is a welcome break for my husband ...a time when he can catch up on things he's wanted to do, whether maintenance or repair, but not had the time for because of work obligations. But after two months, he tends to get antsy. He's at the antsy stage now so I'm hoping for a new contract to pop for him pretty soon.
In the meantime, we have about two months worth of staples already stashed, including dried beans, rice, spices, canned goods and toiletries. I know we need to have more than two months worth, but it's hard to buy EXTRA groceries when you are trying to be frugal with the monthly budget. So I'm trying to buy smarter.
I found a website this morning that described using 2-liter soft drink bottles as long term storage containers for dry goods such as flour, salt, sugar, etc. I thought 'what a good idea!' So this morning when I stopped at Wal-Mart for my weekly 12-pack of generic Diet Cola (my one vice in life), I compared prices with the 2-liter packaged product. It's the same product but quite a bit less expensive. The 12-pack box of 12-ounce cans costs $2.50 and is equivalent in fluid ounces to two of the 2-liter bottles. But the 2-liter bottles are only 78 cents each ...$1.56 versus $2.50 for the same amount of product. Saving a mere $1.44 per week won't make us rich or ease the crunch much, but I have the added bonus of being able to USE the two liter bottles for my long-term storage goals. Finally, I feel like I'M contributing to our common goal of preparedness.
The website suggested you rinse the bottles thoroughly with hot water, then air dry for several days to make sure NO MOISTURE remains. Use a funnel to put your product into the bottles and use a permanent marker to label the outside. According to the website, flour and salt and sugar will last for years stored this way. I'm eager to find out.
As I said, I am new to prepping and I do want to be PREPARED for hard times ahead. My challenge is to support my husband's goals and ideals about prepping without sacrificing my own principles for life. I'm so grateful to have a husband who is both knowledgeable and capable of fending for us in whatever way is necessary if things get really bad. But, as a woman and a wife and a mother, I also feel that if these are truly the last of the 'good old days' ...the ones our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will never know for themselves, I don't want to squander what we have left of them. If life, our civilization, our country and our freedoms, are going out the window as fast as everyone says, I want to embrace every day we have left. In our culture, in most cultures, men are the providers but women are the nurturers. Men make provision, women make HOMES. I want to make time every day to enjoy the little things because it takes more than food and water and shelter to make a woman feel like she's survived.