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Saturday, December 3, 2011

How To Be Prepared When You’re Dead Broke

Original Article

If you’re broke but breathing, you’re still eating, because you’re not dead. The best first thing that you can do in the predicament of being ‘dead broke’ while wanting to ‘be prepared’, is to adjust your eating / food-purchase habits so that you can acquire a stash of extra cash and/or food. It’ easier than you may think, but it will require some changes to your current diet and behavior.
Like I said, even though you may be broke, the fact is that since you still have a pulse, you are getting your food from somewhere. Be it from assistance or from your own meager earnings, the fact is that you are making choices about what you eat or what foods you purchase. Chances are that you could significantly increase your food-cash-savings or the quantity of food that you’re bringing home by being smart and practical about what you buy or what you choose to bring home.
You may not like it, but you can learn to like it, that is to eat ‘cheap’ foods. For example, back during 2010 I wrote an article titled ‘Cheap Breakfast for Surviving Hard Times‘ in which I described how you could eat a breakfast serving for just 10 cents! If you were to adopt this breakfast for say, 3 months, and if your ‘typical’ breakfast had been costing you $3.00, you would save $260. You can buy a heck of a lot of food preps or supplies for that money, and that’s just using a breakfast substitute!

A few other food-$-saving ideas:
You could switch to a powdered milk alternative and potentially cut your milk costs in half. Lauren wrote an article on this very subject titled ‘The Benefits Of Powdered Milk’. Or how about this, ‘Rice and Beans, A Survival Combination’, another alternative to save money while eating cheap. You should also purchase some of your consumables in bulk quantities to save money, as written about in this article, ‘Costco Survival Food Items’.
DO NOT BUY NAME BRANDS. Buy store brands for often half the price. Pasta is cheap. Peanut Butter is a great value for the calories. Yes, mac-n-cheese. Can you say, Ramen? Look for Sales and buy those products if it’s truly a deal. Just be smart about what you buy. There’s lots of money to be saved.
OK, you get the idea how to find extra $ while eating cheap, so, use the same philosophy to find additional $ in everything that you do. Become frugal and smart with the little bit of money that you do have (we’re assuming in this article that you’re ‘broke’, but we’re also assuming that you’re not homeless and have enough money to function in society). Fin a ‘dollar store’ near you, or a ‘thrift town’ type of store. Buy clothes at the Good Will center instead of Target.

Apart from methods to save and acquire more money (in order to purchase more supplies to ‘be prepared’), even more important is to become mentally prepared. This involves 3 areas of preparedness. Research, Adaptability, and Skills.
Learn. Look, see, hear and think. Look beyond the main stream to develop a better sense of what you are preparing for. Know what you are preparing for. Having knowledge of the risks that face you, puts you a step ahead of the rest and will steer you in the right direction to mitigate those risks.
Having the mind-set to adapt and change to the surrounding conditions is extremely important to beat the pack to a solution. Doing your research will lead towards your adaptability, so long as you take action rather than becoming ‘frozen’ like a deer-in-the-headlights. Think outside of your normal box. Force yourself to do things that are out of your comfort zone or normal routine. Become comfortable with change.
You don’t necessarily need to buy ‘things’ in order to learn skills which support the notion of being prepared. If you know what you are preparing for, you will know which skills that will help you in the event of disaster, especially after having done your research. For example, if you are concerned about your long term ability to obtain food, then learn to garden and preserve your own foods. If you are concerned about the possibility of a larger financial collapse than occurred during 2008/2009-to-present, then closely examine your current ‘job’ to discover if you should learn a new skill or skills in the event that you lose your job. With regards to being prepared and survival preparedness, it’s always a very good thing to know many practical skills or hands-on skills so that you can ‘do it yourself’ when it comes to your home environment.

In summary, if you don’t have much money, you are concerned about the state of the world that you live in, and you want to ‘be prepared’, you can still accomplish many things to put you well ahead of the rest by being frugal and creative about your existing funds and the way that you spend your time each day. After all, you’ve probably heard before that time is money…

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