How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Prepping

According to a reader poll taken a couple of years ago 57% of readers have less than six months worth of food in storage, with 20% having less than one month. I have to admit, being more than a little stunned by the results of the poll.

How could such a high percentage of readers, of a survival blog (my blog!), have such small amounts of emergency supplies on hand? After giving it some thought I could only come up with one conclusion – Procrastination.

I’m sure some readers will pitch a fit in disagreement. They will argue that it’s not procrastination on their part but lack of funds. In some cases this maybe correct, but for the most part, it’s just an excuse for putting off what they know needs to be done.

Procrastination is the persistent habit of putting off doing things you need (and want) to do. It’s always easier to put off what needs to be done, instead of actually done it. Or so we thank – excuses come easily as we rationalize our self-defeating acts of procrastination. I used to have the same problem.

Why people procrastinate and what to do about it

There are many reasons why people procrastinate when it comes to prepping, but it usually falls within the criteria given below…

Fear – Fear of failure, fear of not knowing where to begin, fear of making a mistake, fear of wasting money – these are the most common origins of fear, leading to procrastination and lack of action.

The cure is to have a plan. Make a list, know what to store, how much and how to store it. Don’t worry about wasting your money, you need to eat right? All you’re doing is buying what you need in advance. Buy, store, eat and replace.

If you decide to store and use basic foods such as wheat, beans, corn and rice you’ll actually save money, be healthier and possibly live longer…

Negative Self-Talk – Our mind can be our worst enemy, defeating us through negative self-talk even before we begin. Most of the time we do this without knowing it. Using phrases such as “I should” and “I have to” automatically sets objections in our mind. No one likes being forced, even by ourselves.

These phrases make prepping feel impelled, instead of something you want to do, leading to resentment, rebellion and inactivity. Instead of telling yourself, “I should start a food storage program – soon” or “I have to start a food storage program – someday,” tell yourself, “I want to start a food storage program – now” or “I choose to start a food storage program – now.”

By using the right words in our self-talk we can make conscious choices, leading to positive results and a stocked pantry.

Looking to the end result – When you’re starting from the beginning everything seems overwhelming – you have to decide what to store, how much, purchase it and store it, rotate and restock. You worry about space, temperature, light and other considerations. This can be overwhelming.

We all started from the beginning – the important thing is to start. Most of us can’t afford everything we need all at once and none of use can acquire all the skills needed in a day. It takes time. Prepping is like putting a puzzle together: One piece at a time.

Perfectionism – Aside from fear, perfectionism is the main cause of procrastination. We want everything to be perfect – if we can’t have the “best”, we wait until it can be afforded. Unfortunately, for most of us we will never be able to afford those items perceived as being the best, so we do nothing.

It doesn’t matter how much you plan, how hard you work or what you do – your plan will never be perfect. Mine isn’t. Remember; perfection is an idea, not a reality.

Sometimes you need to go with a less than perfect plan – buckets of wheat, beans and corn instead of the latest freeze-dried foods - a single-shot break open shotgun instead of super brand X tactical rifle.

Do what you can – now. If you can upgrade later great, if you can’t you’re still be better prepared than 95% of the population. The important thing is to do it now, while you still can. What are you waiting for – get to it.?

What preparedness project have you been procrastinating on? Are you a procrastinating prepper?

my family survival

Comments

  1. hvaczach says:

    I would say funds are a bit more realistic reason than given credit for. In these times everything costs more than four years ago and most of us make less than we did four years ago as raises have not kept pace with inflation. One tries to do the best he can with what he has, but money is important. I guess being somewhat new to this blog and the prepping lifestyle all together (at least seriously prepping) it is expensive to get started. It is easy to fall into the I need it all now trap, while the sooner the better it takes time to get this stuff done. My worst short cummings on preps are no precious metals, little in way of comm’s, can always use more ammo, and always stocking more food stuffs. With a family of five to feed and a wife as a full time student right now living for today and trying to stock up for the future has to be the way it is. I prep with knowledge aquisition, and working on primitive skills, and trying to teach my young children some of the skills I have picked up. If it is going to be long term survival then they will need to develop these skills as well. These preps are mostly free and repeatable. When money permits then I stock up trying to find the best possible deals.

    • Patriot Dave says:

      hv: I would not worry about PM’s. focus on basics first. beans, bandaids, bullets, and of course water. Just like you are doing. A lot of big ticket items are out of my reach right now too. I do what I can within my ability. God will take care of the rest. Get the kids involved in the skills learning. new games and fun for all.

    • I agree on the money issue. I have around 32k in credit card debt that I am trying to dig my way out from under. Every month it’s a toss up. Do I add extra funds to the debt or add to the preps? Right now it seems the debt is getting most of the extra money cause I gotta have some breathing room.

      • JP in MT says:

        SW:

        With that kind of CC debit I would find someone who has attended a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course. I would put “preps” in your budget as a “must do” item, just like food, water, and shelter. Not a lot, but some. Then finish your budget and stick to it. It will work, not overnight, but it works.

        • Yeah… I’ve been clawing my way out for about a year now. It’s slow going, but it’s going.

          Unlike the feds I can’t print more money and I hate my job so overtime is out of the question. That just leaves trying to find ways to reduce expenses. I was real happy (for a change) when the electric bill came in. It was only $113 and I budget $220 for it. One of the major things I have changed is to disengage the fancy smancy programmable thermostat for the AC. I am now turning on the air when I get home from work and letting it run for a couple of hours then I shut it back down. I may also do that in the mornings when I get up. Thus it’s not running off and on all day while I’m not here or at night. I keep a fan on at night and a ceiling fan on for the kitty during the day. So far it’s only gotten up to 86* in the house during the day. Next months bill will be the true test.

          Once I get the current bill I am working towards paid off then I plan on slowly doubling the insulation in the house buy doing away with my vaulted ceilings and building a new set of exterior walls on the inside of my rooms. Should make a huge difference in my heating and cooling costs.

          • FarmerKin says:

            I have my programmable thermostat come on for a short while in the morning while I’m getting ready for work. Off all day while I’m at work. And then back on about a half hour before I’m due home to cool the house off for my arrival. Works well for me … my bill hovers around the $110 to $120 a month.

            I love autumn when I can turn it off completely and open the windows … Aaaah.

      • t42n24t2 says:

        SW, I had 32K in credit card debt, too. Bankruptcy was suggested, but I raided my 401K and paid it off with a lawyer’s help. So, if Dave Ramsey doesn’t work (and I tried it) and you have the funds, just pay it off. The tax penalty did hurt and there is less for the future, but the relief is worth it.

  2. riverrider says:

    there is another reason, my reason..laziness:) if you can find a cure for that let me know. but then i did the math the other night, we have food for two for at least 5 years. sadly, more will undoubtedly show up and impact that number. i think most folks go on the assumption that the crisis will be over in x months. they can’t see it lasting longer but history sees it differently.

    • JP in MT says:

      RR:

      I understand your dilemma. I have things pretty well squared for the 2 of us, but, especially if we get moved, I expect 10-20. Most of these will be there with skills, but little or no supplies. Still hoping that some “get off the couch” and start putting some stuff up, or better yet, make the commitment to come and preposition it.

    • I agree with you riverrider. Remember, the last depression lasted 12 years.

      Enough food for 12 years is too much for most people to even contemplate, so I always tell people to take it one month, then 3 months, then 6 months, etc.

      Most people have stuff they can cut from their budget – Starbucks, etc. Even with the recent increases, $10 still buys 25 lbs of rice – and I recently picked up a 50 lb bag at cash and carry for $17.56. If nothing else, stock up on rice and learn about edible plants in your immediate area. When you find them, pick extras and dry them out in a warm area – away from direct sunlight, then store them in plastic bags.

      Suggestions for delicious, and some medicinal edible ‘weeds” : Dandelions, lambs quarter, plantain (the weed, not the banana – although if you have the bananas growing in your area…), amaranth/pig weed, chickweed, clevers, purselane, nasturium (a flower), nettle (very nutritious cooked, wear gloves to pick).

      Don’t know what they look like? Look them up. I’m pretty sure none of them have poisonous look alikes.

      Because DH and I are gone alot, and it was very hot at our house, our sweet neighbor went over last Friday, and watered the plants in the yard and green house. While he was there, he picked the weeds one of the raised beds in the greenhouse.

      It was lambs quarters, and he left them in a pile. When we got home on Saturday morning, I found them (they were not yet wilted), brought them in the house, washed them and cooked them up for lunch for DH and I. He was amazed at how wonderful they were (they taste like spinach – but just a little better) and they are a good source of Niacin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

      DH promised not to pull them up anymore, unless harvesting for lunch or dinner.

      • riverrider says:

        wild edibles are a weakness in my skills, which is weird considering how much of my life has been spent in the great outdoors. the “5 years” assumes we’ll be eating only stocked food, but i feel like there will be some foods available here and there to suppliment the menu. i need to find a class, they are hard to find in the east. as a kid i ate some berries that darn near killed me (they never took me to the doctor either) so i’m a little hinky on wild stuff.

      • Michele;
        Nourished Kitchen recently had these in one of there recipes, I had never heard of them before then, and now when you mentioned them. We love spinach, so I guess I will have to look through the weed patch and see if I have any growing.

    • S'wt Tater says:

      We are in the same boat…not 5 years, for two, …have been prepping about 2 yrs,and had roadblock for a while… but we have no clue how many we will have … and each person, who may come has different personal /medical needs.

  3. grandma bear says:

    I feel your pain. When sharing with both family members and friends that they also need to put up at least a small store, they look at me like I am the crazy one!

    They even went as far as to say don’t expect me to take care of that store when you pass on. So I plug along and don’t share any more.

    I guess it is true, you can’t fix stupid!

    • Momma Bear,

      I feel your pain. You can’t teach or help the ignorant either.

      Sirius

      • Sorry,

        Grandma Bear. I actually bowed my head for a few minutes then typed. Sorry for the name mistake.

  4. Mystery Guest says:

    Procrastination.
    I don’t think that is the problem.
    Money is a lot of it. But feel if I can do it those with the same amount as I haven’t got can do it too.
    I think it is more the way we think of life now. In all honesty can you truly imagine our country in a third world condition? Can you imagine no fast food places? Can you imagine no grocery stores? No electricity? And the real kicker, no toilets.
    Can you really imagine being on the run? Can you really imagine being enslaved by your government or the people whom think they are in charge?
    We honestly and truly do not want to prepare to give up our lives as we know them now.
    I personally do not want to live in a third world situation here in my own country that I was born in.
    We have to prepare to live. We have to continue to achieve being off grid and self-sufficient because it is better for us and not them. We have to prep to out do the ones that think we should be clones of each other and the same.
    If you do not prep and think ahead they already have won and they didn’t have to do anything did they?
    But do remember this:
    If you prep—You are free
    If you believe in Christ—He has set you free
    Pick Freedom

    • Son of Liberty says:

      PTL, he whom the Son has set free is free indeed. Thank the Lord for the freedoms we still have, those that we wrest from our overbearing government, and those we just take from them under the specter of arrest on a daily basis.

      I am also grateful for those who prepare themselves to continue to be free, are willing to fight for, or take flight to, a place of freedom (where ever that might be) when things go south.

      May God give us both the wisdom and the guts to do the right thing in every situation, and at all times.

      Blessings,

  5. JP in MT says:

    Good words of advise. I’ll get right on that next week.

  6. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Another reason is lacking a good plan. It is easy to say store what you eat but in general most of us eat things that aren’t easily stored and canned goods may be safe for 3-4 years but some canned foods lose taste or change color/texture over time. We can meat and vegetables and use them during the year. We store wheat, sugar, powdered milk, dehydrated potato, oats, etc. I have purchased a fair amount of freeze dried food mostly in #10 cans but some pouch meal sized as well. If I had to ONLY eat from my stored food I would survive and it wouldn’t be bad but it wouldn’t be the same as I eat daily today. I need a better plan but I procrastinate because I have so much stored I’m not really eager to add more.

    • Mystery Guest says:

      GoneWithTheWind
      If your prepping you have a plan.

    • GoneWithTheWind,
      A couple of things to try.
      First, inventory everything with dates and locations (unless it’s all in one pantry)
      Second, Try keeping a little better track of what you eat, and divide your stores into three sections. Short term, medium term, and long term. Once you know how many cans of peas or peaches you eat on average, work toward having a 2 year supply of them and keep eating them normally but in rotation. The medium term stuff might be the things that will keep a little longer, like sugar, salt, and other items you need to have around and use occasionally. Finally, the long term would be the freeze dried and #10 cans of beans, rice, etc. with the 20+ year storage life.

  7. A lot of people live from paycheck to pay check — maybe it’s poor planning maybe it’s just the economy plus the things life throws at you like child support payments or medical bills. It’s hard for many folks to stock up for a possible future catastrophe when just deciding how best to cover this month’s bills plus and put food on the table this week is a challenge.

    Many of us are married to someone who doesn’t see prepping as all that necessary. If you are married, you probably have had lots of experiences negotiating which “nice to have” purchase to make after this month’s necessities have been bought. In some households buying the sports channel or getting a professional manicure takes a higher priority with the spouse that getting those 10 extra cans of instant milk.

    And a lot of us live in a rental apartment or rental house. Just try moving a year’s worth of bulk food in 5 gallon buckets each time you relocate to a more affordable place. And most rental units don’t have a lot of indoor storage space either.

    I am fortunate to live in a large house that is not a rental and to have enough income to my own to stock up on disaster supplies even without the support of my husband. But I know that many of us are not in this same situation.

    The way I look at it, anyone who has two weeks worth of stored water and a month’s worth of storage food is far better off than the majority of people out there should a natural disaster strike. And that modest amount of preparation is doable for most folks.

    • Mystery Guest says:

      Linda
      I pray each night that those that have a spouse that doesn’t see prepping as a needful thing will see the need and real soon.
      I have said this before I just can’t fathom someone not seeing the need to prep.
      I was (and still am with family) so fortunate that my late husband saw the need to have a full pantry and at the time it wasn’t prepping just what we called “having stuff on hand”.
      Keep it up and don’t give up.

      • Mother Earth says:

        Mystery Guest…prayers are appreciated! My dh makes more than twice what I do and won’t prepare and thinks I’m nuts, nothing bad will happen. Makes me want to go screaming into the night!

        My kids are the same way, they just say they will come to my house since I’m putting stuff up. If it wasn’t for the grand kids, I’d tell them all to take a hike for a while and let them suffer a little.

        • Mrs. K in MO says:

          I am so blessed that my DH has no problem with my “hobby”. He doesn’t help much with the food and hygiene type of supplies but when it comes to the “security hardware”, he’s on top of it! It is sad that couples don’t see eye to eye on the subject.

        • Mother Earth;
          Move over, we can share the bench together! Your children, my siblings……
          I do have a hubby that is with me on the being “self reliant”, try that terminology on you husband and your children.
          You could do what my dad did when we moved out–he told us he ‘broke our plate”. We were to be responsible from that day forward, so try that on your children…….grandchildren are exempt.
          My siblings think the term Prepper is like the show on Nat-geo, nuts with out the shell. Hope things get better for you.

      • Mystery Guest,
        I don’t know where you live, but in our case, living in a rural area, means a minimum of a 12 mile round trip for groceries or even toilet paper, so you tend to keep a supply of everything on hand, since running out of anything means a 12-15 mile round trip, and if it’s during the off hours, then a trip to Wally World is closer to a 40 mile round trip. And that’s all because you ran out of TP in the AM. Better to keep a supply of such things on hand, prepper or not.

  8. Donna in MN says:

    The article that won last months award was “Poor and Prepping” which we found interest as many of us are poor and prepping and weren’t procrastinating. No doubt some may procrastinate, but if I hadn’t procrastinated this month as I was going to buy more supplies but hesitated, my best friend Justus could have died. He came down with antiplasmosis, cancer, and 3 abcessed teeth which cost me over $1,000. I am glad I had that prep money saved. I think this would be in the category of preparedness maintence. He is my guardian shepherd, the biggest honkin German Shepherd you’ll ever see at 33″ at the shoulder and 136 lbs of deep throated bark.. His disease was treated, his cancer tumors removed, and when his back molars were pulled his teeth were cleaned, now strangers at my door can see his pearly whites.

  9. caoimhin says:

    You know I thought it was funds 2 years ago. I made a plan that every week I would add something to my stores. I try to add 1 roll of TP and something else. Amazing what you can do in 52 and then 104 weeks. 1 lb bags of beans and rice, cans of food, spices, canned meat, sugar, flour and more. All spending less than $3 a week. Goals = planning = action steps. You just have to really want to first. Too many people like to be the victim of circumstance so they have something to talk about. For others being part of forums and blogs is like having an adventure book come to life in a small way. It’s fun to play the game, plan the game and talk about the game and never really do anything, anyone remember dungeons and dragons? Life demands we always have both sides of it. Good / Bad, Happy / Sad, Haves / have not, yen / yang, male / female and so on. Playing the game of dooms day prepping makes a lot of people happy, they will often share a good idea and they add interest to the forum. Prepping has a lot of interest but little action. Way too many people took this interest as an opportunity to open a business (store front and on line) related to prepping and survival. About 90% of these businesses are on the verge of closing now. The rest of us shop at China Mart. Time is short prepare now.

  10. Patriot Dave says:

    I am on a tight budget. But, I can’t remember the last time I went to a grocery store and DIDNOT buy a prep. Even if it is just a pound of salt for .60 cents, or a box of matches for .88 cents, or a pound of pasta for .99 cents, a can or bag of beans for less than a buck, or a can of meat for a couple of bucks, etc. Frequent small purchases add up.

    But, I also try to avoid pre-packaged-just-heat-and-serve foods that will chew up your budget real fast. (pun intended) I hardly go to fast food and regular restaurants. I don’t have to have the newest phone or tablet. To a certain degree I think money is an excuse.

    I work with people and their budget and debt problems. It is astounding what people consider a ‘necessity’ while they can’t balance their budget. Granted, they are not even close to being preppers. But I think this mindset is built into all of us. Even me. I have to give some very harsh appearing advice to these folks and they are usually not happy with me or the advice. But as I tell them; We are not the federal government, we can’t print money. We either have to reduce expenses or increase income. Every budget item has to be on the table and subject to being axed if not justified. I have told some people they can’t afford their house -downsize. Others, get rid of that new car. Dump the premium cable/satellite packages, on and on it goes. You would think I was pulling off their finger nails.
    anyway, enough for now.

    • t42n24t2 says:

      Sometimes the truth is hard to take, but you have to be bold and take it. Recovering charge card addict that is now striving to live on cash and no credit here. On behalf of those who never said it, thank you.

    • Mrs. K in MO says:

      Agreed! I get so irritated with some of my friends who gripe about never having enough money but then tell me about their mani/pedi and next hair appointment while checking their state of the art smart phone! Makes me nuts!

  11. t42n24t2 says:

    I do procrastinate. Like Charlie Brown, I can be wishie one moment and washie the next. Not about getting food, water, medical supplies, and such. That can be done. I have been debating about a gun since last September. It’s fear that I will freeze and not fire if needed. Anyone have a cup of courage I could borrow? or some advice?

    • I’ve always heard, a gun is like a parachute, if you ever need one,and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again!

      How’s that for a cup of courage.

      • t42n24t2 says:

        Not bad. Now, is it true that a shotgun is like a point and shoot camera? That is the only weapon my friends tell me I need. I think our esteemed Vice President recommended it. 20 gauge has the lightest kick, right?

        • JP in MT says:

          t42n24t2:

          A 20 ga pump would be a good place to start. Same with a rim fire pistol. Remember, there is no such thing as a “one-shot stop”. If you get one, it was probably an accident.

          Limbsaver brand makes excellent recoil reducing pads. I highly recommend them.

          • t42n24t2 says:

            Thanks again. I will make note of the recoil reducing pads. Just ordered Boston’s Gun Bible, too. M.D. Listed it in his book as a good one to have and study before you go to a gun store.

            • Bam Bam says:

              t42n,

              You might look into taking a gun class at the local range. When I took the basic gun safety course the instructor had different guns for us to try out. That would be a good way to do some “hands on” learning to see what feels right to you. I tried a couple different guns and when I picked up the Glock, I really liked it–it just felt right in my hand.

              • t42n24t2 & Bam Bam,
                As an NRA instructor for more than 20 years, I would make the same recommendation. Check the class ahead of time and ask questions about what guns will be available to handle and to fire on the range. Just recommending any firearm to someone without knowing their circumstances is generally not a good way to do things. Knowledge about your physical size and stamina, where you live, how close are the neighbors, etc., should all be taken into account when choosing a firearm for self defense at home.

        • A shotgun is not exactly like a point and shoot camera, but fairly close. A 12 gauge Mossburg shotgun was my first purchase, and probably the best choice for home protection. Changes are, when you chamber that first round (the sound of that is pretty much universally recognized), most would be attackers will immediately beat feet out of there, and you might not ever have to fire it for protection. If they don’t leave immediately, you know their intention toward you and your family is not good, and can make your own choice from there – just make it fast!

          Yes, a 20 has a lighter kick, but like JP in MT says you can get a recoil reducing pad, or my son got me a new stock that takes the shock out of my 12 gauge – and I LOVE it.

          You can also, hold the shotgun tight by your side and shoot it if the recoil is something you are terribly worried about.

          • Michele,
            “A 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun was my first purchase, and probably the best choice for home protection“.
            I would disagree with this, only from the perspective that you don’t know anything about the person to whom you’re making the recommendation. Their physical size might mean that they would be better off with a youth firearm. There are many recoil reduction systems available that can make shooting the 12 gauge a better experience, my favorite being the Grayco Recoil reducer (http://www.graco-corp.com/). Their location also may indicate a better defensive tool, or at least the ammunition to use. Living on 5+ acres in the country with the nearest neighbor ½ miles away is much different than living in an apartment with 2 sheets of drywall between you and the neighbor.
            I often see people making recommendations without first asking questions, and everyone needs to realize that what works for you in your situation may not always apply to others.

      • Son of Liberty says:

        LOL, Great! Love the saying.

  12. I started reading this blog a few months ago and at the time I didn’t have enough food storage to last a month. By the end of this month I plan to have at least a 3 month supply of food storage on hand and that is with me buying a little bit extra each shopping trip. I have also been a lot more selective of what I buy.

    I would have made it sooner but we have been the sole support of 3 of our granddaughters for the past month. It is surprising how much those little girls can eat! :) If only we could bottle their energy!

    My goal right now is to get my pantry, freezer and other household items completely stocked, then I will focus on the large grain buckets.

    • t42n24t2 says:

      Adding a little at a time works for everyone. Instead of the big buckets I get #10 cans of wheat or buy little bags of beans.

      Your granddaughters just don’t realize yet that they are born with their allotted energy for a lifetime. We realize that about when we get fifty.

      • t42n24t2,
        We’ve settled on the #10 cans also. Less to deal with when you open the container and you don’t have to worry about sealing it back up. Also, if you get a storage failure, you only lose a can of food instead of a bucket.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Brenda,

      It’s good to see our newbies reading and putting up food. You are right–just a couple of things every time you go shopping will add up to months worth of food. Good job.

      • BamBam,
        You and the others in the Pack are an inspiration to me. I have been slowly changing our diet in order to eat what we store. I have to be sneaky on that with DH. :) He says he wants to eat healthier but then he wants everything fried or sweet! lol He finally quit trying to go to the grocery store because I kept telling him that we didn’t need to buy “fake food”! The first time I told him that he just gave me a puzzled look. I told him that if it has just a bunch of chemicals listed as ingredients then it is fake food!

        Oh yeah, I have an abundance of mint and I do not know what to do with it! Suggestions Anyone!? I still have dried mint from last year.

        t42n24t2,
        I have been buying small bags of beans and I have a decent supply of flour (I plan to try my hand at homemade bread soon). Right now I am stocking up on canning jars but by the end of the year I plan to buy a grain mill, dehydrator and food saver.

        • Winomega says:

          Brenda, Mint tea is good, as is mint jelly though I have no idea how to make it.

          • Winomega,
            The mint jelly does sound good. I will have to try to find a recipe. Mint tea is what I dried the mint for last year.
            The mint was planted in a flower bed years ago and is now covering a good bit of the yard. I really don’t mind because when I mow it smells good.

          • S'wt Tater says:

            Use apple Jelly recipe and add about 1 cup of crushed fresh mint leaves when you cook the apples.

            • Sw’t Tater,
              Thanks, I’ve got the info saved!

            • Sw’t Tater,,
              Thank you very much. Sound so simple once you know how, but I’m not sure I’d have known were to begin, other than looking it up on the web.

        • DesertDiva says:

          Brenda,
          Me too, lots of mint! Since I was making tinctures, I made some peppermint too. I didn’t know I now had peppermint extract! I made chocolate mint too. Just chop it up and fill a jar 3/4 full and fill with vodka. Let it steep for a month. I just opened my today and used it cookies. I also dried a ton of it for tea and my first canning project was English Mint Sauce. Yum, mint jelly! I don’t know how to make it either, but need to pull that mint before the grasshoppers eat it all.

          • Desert Diva,
            I can’t believe that I did not thnk of the peppermint extract! I have some vanilla extract started now. As soon as all of this rain stops I will pick some mint and make some! Thanks for the idea. :)

            • DesertDiva says:

              Brenda,
              You are welcome. I get all my BEST ideas from right here…… :)
              How funny, I started the vanilla extract too. Found a place online Beanilla, 25 vanilla beans for $25 and free shipping. They are $14 a piece in the store! That’s a lot of beans so maybe you can share an order with a friend.

              • Desert Diva,
                While I didn’t pay that much for the vanilla beans at the local store, I sure as heck did not get as good a deal as you did. I am saving the info on where to get the beans at now. Thanks again! :)

              • Get your vanilla beans from http://www.MountainRoseHerbs.com.

                They are 1 oz for $7.50 and there are 6-9 whole beans in an oz AND certified organic.

                As much as I buy from them and as often as I recommend them I should get stock in that company!

        • Bam Bam says:

          Brenda,

          Thanks. I have a bread machine and I love it. It takes five minutes to prep a loaf of bread–then you just press a button and an hour and fifteen minutes later, your bread is done.

          • BamBam,
            I thought about getting a bread machine but I really want to buy equipment that does not rely on electric. We hope to be able to get some solar panels by next spring. I do not want to be too dependent on power.
            I want to cut the lines to the power company so bad that I am willing to have fewer devices so that we can do it sooner.

            • Winomega says:

              Brenda, good call on learning to do without a bread machine. I still have one, but they are a pita to clean. Until I stop being lazy, I use a cheap orbital mixer to develop the gluten. (It can’t handle a properly balanced loaf, I still have to knead in about half of the flour, so I’m still in-tune with not measuring.)

              I’ve also played with just letting the dough sit and half-digest the flour, but it takes time and attention. Most of the attention part is actually pulling out a lump of dough to cook everyday and cycling the batch every week, similar to sourdough.

        • dblbrnr says:

          Mint jelly is easy to make and the instructions are in the SureJel package. I used to do it all the time and plan to make mint jelly again when my mint grows some more. Delicious on fresh hot biscuits.

  13. JP in MT says:

    t42n24t2:

    You are doing good to hesitate until you are ready.

    When the time comes though, you need to just get plain mad-dog mean. The people you are going to defend yourself against don’t care about you, won’t consent to your requests or pleas.

    In the mean time, my suggestion is to get one that fits you, comfortable in your hand, then put 500 rounds of ammo through it (5,000 if you choose a rim fire). Then you’ll know. You can make a choice to keep it or not.

  14. I’m sorry, I don’t buy the “too poor to prep” argument from ANYONE! If you’re living pay check to pay check and still getting further behind then it’s time to consider drastic measures to live within your means. Maybe it means you give up the house and move in with family (or living out of your van for awhile like an article I just read about a college kid). Whatever it takes. Once you’ve taken this first step in prepping a 25 lb bag of flour is around $15. Even at minimum wage that’s just two hours labor and it will give you almost a months calories. By the end of the year you have almost 6 months of food storage for one person (don’t argue with me and tell me you’d get tired of eating bread everyday, you’re “poor” remember). I realize this may come off as judgmental but I’ve lived it. It’s not easy but it can be done.

  15. Winomega says:

    Procrastination from lack of energy. I keep buying supplies, and they keep getting used up before the next supply run. Plus I also buy small amounts of stuff that get given away because I don’t want them in rotation.

  16. Hunker-Down says:

    I cant stop reading this blog long enough to start prepping. As soon as someone in the Pack tells me about a new do-dad I need, I just pop over to Amazon and put it on my “wish list”, then back here to continue reading.
    Sure, you hard liners call it procrastinating, but for me, its planning, contemplating and forecasting. These things need serious consideration, like ‘what SHTF scenario can I ignore. The budget demands that I not buy something not needed. And, as a serious prepper, I do have a backup budget. :-)

    FEMA has our back. Right??

  17. Northeastern prepper says:

    Money is a problem but I’ve been on the slow and steady approach
    Prepping is very expensive if I could get everything I needed so I get what I can. Have the same problem the food that we eat everyday is not that storable and the food that I store is not what we eat everyday so it is a challenge to rotate it and my wife is not onboard 100 percent she will store food about six months if we have electric for freezers if not about 3 months worth any more and she’s ready to call it quits and thinks I’m getting crazy and I have guns and she hates it so I can’t let her think I’m crazy with guns around she will have me committed and the tptb will take them from me but I have to stick around for my kids or she would jump on the first bus to camp FEMA idiot with them she says what are u gonna do when that food expires I told her I hope everything expires I will get more and that means nothing happend igot a large duffel bag with wheels on it that u can pull behind you and made my own mre s
    For a month and she thought that was nuts why am I wasting my time and money on such foolish things she said I told her cause if something happens you will be telling me why I didn’t do something about I really hope she is right and iam nuts and teotwawki never happens until then I just keep the slow and steady course and keep prepping
    I hope iam nuts

    • NE-Prepper
      You’re not nuts,
      I’ve said it before, I rather I die and my family laughs at my preps, than my family dies because I didn’t prep.
      I don’t have a lot of big $$ items, but after more than a year of prepping we have more than 6mo of food stored, and I’m trying to get away from frozen. I’ve done this, and packed ourGHBs by buying thing a little at a time.
      And reading here! The WolfPack has passed along great ideas.

      • northeastern prepper;
        First of all you are not nuts. You dw is just afraid that the world she knows might come to an end. In the psychology class that I took years ago the instructor stated that hardest thing for humans being was change. We do not handle change well it goes to mind set.
        You might flat out ask her why she believes that “self-reliance”
        is a waste of time and money? Do not use the term prepper…you will lose right off the starting blocks.

  18. DesertDiva says:

    Ten years ago we were living the high life. I had a great job in mortgage lending and my DH made good money too. Yet, like most people raising a family we were up to our eye balls in debt. Over $25K in credit cards, two loans on the house, cars, blah, blah. Yes, we went on vacations and I had the hair, nails and clothes. We did prepared (somewhat) for Y2K. When nothing happened I donated the food and felt foolish. I wanted to spend the money on our lifestyle. We did take the second out on the house for a “retirement” property in a VERY remote area with an old cabin on it and a lovely creek running though.

    You guessed it, now we live here. Not in the cabin, that’s for the kids when they visit. I had a back surgery that went WAY wrong and was in and out of the hospital for three years. No income and couldn’t afford to stay there. We did sell our house at the top of the market and paid off everything we owned and put a little manufactured home on our property. My husband found a fantastic job an hour away.

    I feel we were already prepping as our Wally World is a 5 hr round trip, which I do twice a month. Costco a 7 hr round trip which I did last week in one day. So I do always stock for at least a month at a time. We buy a side of beef, pig and lamb from a rancher every year and my DH hunts antelope, deer and elk. He is also an amazing gardener.

    I found this website a few months ago and began again. Anyone just starting, please read the first 10 things you need to do RIGHT now. I did and then I did the next 10 things and then I listened to all you very generous folks and have not looked back. Now I am making herbal medicine and home made bread. This city girl, after 8 years, is now a country girl who can ride a quad and shoot. My nails are a mess, $14 hair cuts at Wally World and only a few pairs of jeans, shorts and shirts (donated the suit and heels) and I am in hog heaven. Will not raise hogs but thinking about those chickens. :)

    When I go to the Big City and see my kids and they have no food in the fridge and nothing in the pantry I feel bad. However, you folks are right. No, they don’t make great wages but eat EVERY meal out and buy all sorts of crap they don’t need. They are lazy and don’t want to pick up a $5 chicken and cook it when they can run through a drive through and pay $20. Yes, we do prep for them. At least our son can hunt and shoot.

    There is no entertainment out here, except for a bar and we don’t go. DH can drink a beer at home. We live a simple life that is nothing fancy and are happy to be here. One month at a time and it does add up. I don’t know how much we have or for how long but I know it’s a few months and I just started. (plus the house is tiny!!!) Have those designer purses under the bed (anyone interested?) (joke) need the money for preps and the room for my stock of tp. Keep it up, don’t give up, something is a comin’!

    • Bam Bam says:

      DesertDiva,

      Thanks for sharing your story. I can’t imagine living that far from shopping.

    • Patriot Dave says:

      You go Girl! Keep it up. The good news about being that far from shopping, the zombies will not walk to your place.
      I have read so many posts lately. Someone somewhere said: You have a spare tire in your vehicle, why? in case something happens. You are prepared for a flat tire. But through diligence, you maintain the tires on the road and replace them when needed, so to avoid the disaster of a flat tire. That is two parts of prepping. Try that with the kids.

      • DesertDiva says:

        Bam Bam,
        Thanks for making me feel part of the team. I guess I have been a prepper of sorts for the past 8 years and didn’t know it. Lots of lists help and LOVE my UPS man.

        P.Dave,
        Thanks too. I try, but they laugh at me and say “Remember Y2K?” hahaha The boy has a gun and thinks he can live off the land. Would rather buy a new gun than a new pair of glasses that are needed. No clue!!!
        Those zombies will have a 200 mile walk in any direction through desert to find us. Don’t even have cell phone service.

        What a great place of support. Remember it’s not a contest. Dang, I wish I wouldn’t have sold my water barrel when we moved but did save the kerosene heater. There was a method to my madness.

    • Lauri no e says:

      DesertDiva,

      Great story and thanks for sharing.

    • DesertDiva;
      You are doing just great…it might be miles to the store, but look at what you have. It is yours…..that is the biggest hurdle after all.
      Let us face facts, it is soooo much easier to pickup fast food than cooking at home. Your kids are not the only ones who suffer from that addiction, I see it in our family.

  19. Bam Bam says:

    Hey, M.D., I wonder if it wouldn’t be interesting to conduct a new poll to see if the numbers have improved.

    • Bam Bam,

      Friday… if I don’t forget.

      • Winomega says:

        MD, when you make the poll, could you put a “I have no clue” option? Otherwise I’m going to weigh in at one month.

        • Winomega says:

          Actually, I just found an article that both solves why I don’t know how long my preps will last even without procrastination and why others may have voluntarily rested on 1-6 months of preps.

          http://povertyprepping.blogspot.com/2013/02/preparing-for-what.html

          In my case, flu epidemic is brainless, as is local natural disaster. (I’ll be uncomfortable if I bug in, some degree screwed if my house collapses on top of me, and a calm refugee if I gotta leave.)

          How many here would be willing to pull a Jar-Jar in advent of martial law?

  20. ive book marked this to read later,,,,,,

  21. How to stop procrastinating? Just do it; any preparation is better than no preparation.

    For me, I would say that available funds have the biggest impact on preparedness. I also like to think myself as a perfectionist, at least to the highest level I can attain.

    I figured out on having a 9-month supply of foods based on 3000 calories per day, so if necessary that could be extended to almost 18 months with proper rationing. It took me a little over a year to obtain that level of just food.

    I’m not worried about gear supplies; I had been a scout leader for over 10 years and have enough equipment to supply each member of my family with a complete set for shelter, sleeping, cooking and foul weather.

    I think the area most lacking is water. I believe that is the most important resource, but the storage and weight is the primary detraction from reaching longevity goals. Sure you can have water filtration and treatment, but if there is no access to water readily available you are S.O.L. I use the water blocks and 2-liter water bottles

    I also believe that we can prepare as best we can, but can also lose everything if we have to become mobile since we cannot carry everything, so having items compartmentalized trying to distribute equal amounts of foods and gear into 4 packages for each of the adults in our group. Using the large plastic tubs helps organize these items into groups, and if we do have to move out, just load the tubs into the truck and go for as long / far as we can.

  22. Mrs. K in MO says:

    My biggest problem with prepping is the expensive items. It’s easy to throw a few extra canned goods, (and some extra lead) in the shopping cart every week or filling up empty 2 liter pop bottles with water and storing them. I have accumulated quite a bit in the 6 months that I have been prepping. However I have really been wanting to get a food saver with the jar attachments. Which is going to run me way over $100. That’s where I have a problem, allocating that kind of money, all at once, for prepping. That’s a big chunk of change for me. My solution is to put a few $ (literally) in a secret location every week until I can just go buy it. Another problem is that when one of my kids (or me) needs some cash for whatever, that’s where I go to get it. But I keep trying.
    I do have a suggestion BUY USED! I have found lots of stuff at rummage sales and auctions. Pressure cooker, tools etc. Unfortunately not a food saver yet. All I can say is keep working at it a little at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once.

    • Winomega says:

      Mrs. K in MO

      If you keep dipping into that saving jar, it’s going to be hard to get the foodsaver.

      Try having one jar be a normal emergency fund, like a savings account, and then glue a non-reusable container shut so that you have to destroy it to get to the money, like an IRA.

      • Winomega,
        Now I like that idea. My problem is my DH. He will dip into an emergency fund very quickly. I have to hide funds from him.

    • Schatzie Ohio says:

      I bought a foodsaver at Walmart that can do the jar attachment for about $70 or so just last year.

    • Mrs. K in MO,
      Go to the food saver site and sign up for their emails. You’ll get several per month with their latest offer, sometimes up to 70% off on a unit. I did this and waited until the prices were in my range.

  23. If your thinking about making burial caches and not sure what to use for a container , try a Bear fortress trash can , they are built to be bear proof , screw top lids , very thick plastic ……..ready made . Or you could just use a coffin shell ;)

  24. Winomega says:

    A little off-topic, but…

    Hey, Mama J , could you start a tumblr or something about your clean-eating food preps? There are a few free blogging services, or there are guides on how to get ad-revenue.

    I was going to submit a pack question about clean eating, but I remembered the wheat-allergy question was recent.

  25. Hi Wolfpack.

    Sometime ago I found some info online with a food calculator. However, I found it by accident and have not been able to locate it again. Any suggestions for food calculators. I am doing my best to not procrastinate and knowing where I stand would be very helpful. Thanks in advance!

  26. A rural retreat is out of the question for many so they don’t even look. But remember that guy and his daughter who lived for over a decade out in the california hills? It can be done and a few trips out into the country will show you an abundance of such sites and even old dilapidated and abandoned sheds and houses, that in a pinch could be squatted in. Don’t kid yourself, you will not survive in a major city in an all out SHTF so don’t even plan on it. If the power goes out, you should be out.