"Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward." (President Spencer W. Kimball)
A way of life - I love this quote. If you lived frugally and had your storage and skills then when something unfortunate happened you could more calmly handle what life throws at you.
If you think back to the hard times in your life, would having skills and supplies on hand have made a difference? Sometimes we can look to these times to help us prepare. Also, looking to what other people have done can be helpful as well.
I have mentioned before someone telling about an ice storm they went through to our north. The storm took out power for weeks. They were prepared and had a wood burning stove. But as the time went on and there was still no power they had to go find wood as they were using theirs up. It was very dangerous to go find wood as they could hear trees cracking branches under the weight of the ice. The branches were falling all around and we are not talking twigs.
They would go out and turn on the car to hear the radio to see how far away work crews were from them. They had food stocked up and had candles, which she mentioned they put one in a jar at night on the toilet tank so that the kids could see to go to the bathroom and that was after flashlight batteries wore down. For the most part they did okay. They had board games and books. She said the thing that bothered her the most was that the floor could not be vacuumed.
So I remembered this when I went to a yard sale and saw a carpet sweeper for 75 cents. I snatched it up. This was preparing to me, learning from someone else and what they went through. So learn from your bad times and learn from others. Believe me, we have had lots of things going on around the world to learn from and prepare. I may never have an ice storm that takes out power for two weeks but then I might, it has happened here before. But paying 75 cents is a small price to pay to do my floor so it doesn’t drive me nuts.
When hurricanes knock out power for many days we hear of people having block parties and cooking food from their freezers. From this we see it would be good to have food stored in other forms that are not perishable. I know we will never get a hurricane in Iowa but we do get tornadoes. I do have things in the freezer but I also have canned meat, fruit, and veggies. I also have the stuff stored to can the frozen things if needed.
So what I am saying is while none of us can miss having hard times, we can offset the impact. Of course some things cannot be prepared for but then we have ourselves, others, and our skills. Not to mention we can be prepared to help others. Once I read where a lady had a neighbor who when she asked if he was prepared for tornado season he said yes he has his crowbar in the basement she was curious and asked, crowbar? He said if anyone gets hit he would grab it and help his neighbors and if he got hit he could use it to get out.
So again think about your hard times. What would have made them better?
What if you loved loved loved raspberry jam and you could not get any, you just could only have plain toast until things got better? I think you would wish you had some raspberry jam all that while... This is just a tiny example. You could live on the plain toast as long as you stored and had things like pans and ingredients but raspberry jam you would be thinking about…and if you grew raspberries and built your skills to make jam this would enhance your life.
When you go to yard sales or thrift stores think about items that will help you. Instead of buying a knickknack, get a rolling pin or knitting needles or sewing notions. I even have gotten winterizing items, just thinking ahead. Always think, what would I need? Not, what do I want? That is the key.
I have been blessed to buy things at yard sales that have helped us over these many years. Yes, we had to budget for the yard sales but it is amazing what you can find.
When we first moved back to Iowa we had no refrigerator and no stove and two little girls. I had a freezer, a crockpot that sat on a base, a waffle iron, and a microwave for cooking devices. Let me tell you that it was very hard and I had to be creative.
It was hard, I kid you not. The base of the crockpot is like a griddle but tiny for a family of four. I learned how to do desserts in a crockpot.
And I learned to make French toast in the waffle iron. We called them eggy waffles.
Eventually we could get a used refrigerator or a used stove for one hundred dollars. So I decided I would like a stove more than a refrigerator since I could only get one. I then looked in the free flyer which showed yard sales and I saw used refrigerators that were perfect for worm refrigerators that were twenty dollars. We borrowed a truck and stopped at the sale on way to get the stove. They sold me one refrigerator for fifteen dollars. It was very old and we picked up the stove, very old as well. I felt soooo good to get both. We had them for years.
Later I found an electric skillet at a yard sale for two dollars. I saw it and remembered this hard time and thought… I wish I had this then, so I got it even though the thought came to me that I might never be there again. Don’t listen to those voices. I went ahead and got this…
We were able to get a new stove a long while later by then. They changed to electronic ignition which means when the electricity goes so does the oven. I stirred up an angel food cake and went to put it in the oven and that element went out. It was a gas stove. I had recently heard you could bake an angel food cake in an electric skillet. So I got out this pan and baked the cake and yes, it worked, so you never know.
Things I have found helpful…
And many more items that have been very useful. The kerosene lamps I picked up have served us well through many storms.
The long pan with candles in it I use for decoration but is really for storage if we needed light.
I use lots of storage items to decorate with, just think outside the box.
I made this basket to hold emergency candles in.
When things were better for us I stocked more things like sewing supplies, first aide supplies, and food storage, and found things we could use for less money etc. When things weren’t so good we were able to manage better.
Give thought to what you would wish you had gotten if you had no money and if you think that no money never happens, think again. Do the best you can. Prepare for as much as you can