Economic collapse. Martial law. Something worse. It's time to start prepping.
It's Time to Start Practicing Eating on the Cheap
When I was in college, then later as a struggling new father and husband, we learned to eat very inexpensively. There were weeks when I could get by on under $10 with Ramen noodles (the Dollar Store often had them at $0.10 a package), cheap fresh veggies (a cucumber was practically a full meal for less than a quarter), and generic packages of processed meat.
It’s a lot harder to do that today with inflation and growing food scarcity, but here’s the thing. If the crap hits the fan in any of an assortment of highly possible ways, many of us will be stuck trying to feed our families without the resources to do so very well.
Eating insufficient amounts of food can harm us physically. But even those who have stored away emergency food or are living lifestyles that allows them to produce their own may find themselves with a different challenge. There can be psychological repercussions from major dietary changes. You or members of your family may find eating beans and rice every day drives you a little bonkers.
I am hopeful that the current trajectory of the nation and the world can be reversed, but I’m not going to sit around and assume it will all end well. Knowing this, we are currently practicing “lean weeks” in which we live off the survival food we have rather than ordering out or getting fresh food from the grocery store.
I discussed this a bit on today’s podcast. I referenced this article by Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper:
Rock-Bottom Meal Plan for Those Weeks When Money Is Tight
Things are tough in America and they’re likely to get tougher. Many of us are forced to reallocate our money from one necessity to another and often, the thing that suffers first is our diets. If times are tight, you might find this article helpful.
It’s a meal plan created from recipes and strategies in my new paperback, What to Eat When You’re Broke. We released this in PDF format recently and readers loved it. We got so many requests to put it in hard copy format that we couldn’t say no! So, it’s available on Amazon now as a paperback.
The recipes in this article are all included in the book, which I’m selling just above cost. I hope you enjoy it, and please, give us a review on Amazon to help more people to see it when they’re searching for a way to feed their family during difficult times.
Flat Broke Meal Plan
This meal plan is per person per week. Multiply it by the number of people in your family. I’ve tried to make it as varied as possible, and there are a few things included that are not the cheapest on the market. They’ve been added for nutrient value.
Obviously, if there are allergies or foods that your family won’t eat, feel free to substitute.
I shouldn’t need to say this, but it’s impossible to write one meal plan that will work for every single reader. If you are vegan, gluten-free, diabetic, suffer from food allergies, eat keto, or strictly follow a particular nutritional lifestyle, this may not work for you.
With that being said, let’s look at our menu! Stars * indicate that the full recipe is available in the book and you might also have your own recipes for these items.
Day 1: Oatmeal with brown sugar and banana
Day 2: Cornbread* with butter and jam
Day 3: Leftover cornbread, sliced and heated with a butter and brown sugar drizzle
Day 4: Peanut butter and crackers, apple
Day 5: Rice cooked with milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon
Day 6: Biscuits and gravy*
Day 7: Scrambled eggs and toast OR homemade pancakes with fruit
Day 1: PB&J, apple
Day 2: Pasta salad with tuna* (or canned chicken)
Day 3: Bean burrito
Day 4: Tomato soup* and crackers
Day 5: Cold peanut butter noodles with shredded cabbage*
Day 6: Tortilla pizzas*
Day 7: Leftovers
Day 1: Beef and vegetable soup* with frybread*
Day 2: Baked beans with mac and cheese (canned and boxed easy meal for busy days)
Day 3: Fried Gnocchi* with canned marinara sauce
Day 4: Crockpot white chicken chili*
Day 5: Pasta with mari
Should You Raise Chickens?
That's it. That's the article. Well, it could be, because IF you have the means and IF you have the space and IF you're physically capable of raising chickens, then you definitely should consider buying and raising them. I was saying this before eggs became so expensive in the United States that people started smuggling them from Mexican supermarkets. Now, it's really a no-brainer. Here are three reasons why...
For a long time I didn't really buy into the notion that fresh eggs were any better than store-bought eggs. Then, I tried some. My aunt raises chickens as does my wife's sister. Both of us had separate opportunities to try actual "farm fresh" eggs that were laid within 24 hours of us eating them by chickens who were raised in backyards. Don't let anyone tell you they are no different from grocery store eggs. It's not even really a comparison. Then, there are the health benefits which I'll leave for you to research, but I've heard farm fresh eggs are simply more nutritious.
Cheaper in the Long Term
Chickens are actually pretty cheap to buy. Building or buying a chicken coop can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars up to however much you want to spend on them. The feed and other regular expenses are rising, though they're not terribly expensive just yet. Compare that to the price of eggs and suddenly it's clear how around one egg per chicken per day can add up in the long-term to tremendous savings.
Indefinite Supply of Protein
Let's call it what how we see it. The powers-that-be are in the process of eliminating and eventually outlawing natural forms of protein that aren't insects. They want us eventually eating lab-grown meats or cricketburgers as our primary source of protein, and by "eventually" I hope everyone understands we're talking about months or years, not decades.
Chickens properly raised and cared for can produce anywhere from three or four eggs per week to an egg per day each. That's 5-8 grams of protein, not to mention other crucial nutrients, produced per chicken per day. Combine that with a freeze-dried protein bucket (promo code "prep2023" for 10% off or "prep2030" for 15% off orders over $777) and you'll have a long-term supply of real protein from real animals instead of relying on the government's mealworm lines.
If you're thinking about buying and raising chickens, you're not alone. According to the article below by Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge, people are becoming more and more interested in the idea...
Egg Crisis Sparks Soaring Interest In Backyard Farms
Covid supply chain snarls turned millions of Americans into "preppers" overnight. The run on toilet paper, food, guns, ammunition, and other essential items for survival pushed millions to consider preparedness for a crisis.
Remember all those old-school preppers? The media used to refer to them as "extreme" and even called them "tin-foil hat conspiracy" folks, but during the shutdowns, those folks were right, and the mainstream media got it wrong.
The next shortage underway is eggs. Readers have seen our notes on supermarkets nationwide running out of eggs. The egg shortage is so severe that last week the US Customs and Border Protection reported that egg smuggling from Mexico erupted.
And why is that? Well, a dozen Grade A eggs in the US have topped $4.25 at supermarkets. In Mexico, a 30 count of eggs is about $3.40.
US egg prices have topped the national average gasoline per gallon price at the pump.
As a result of the egg crisis, internet search trends on Google show Americans are panic searching where to find egg-laying hens for their backyard.
The search trend "where to buy chickens near me" erupted to a near multi-decade high.
"Buy chickens near me" searches explode across the US.
Besides the Covid spike, "how to raise chickens" has spiked to levels not seen in a decade.
Over the last several years, food insecurity has pushed many Americans to create 'little backyard farms'- something their parents or grandp
How to Beat the Amoxicillin Shortage Before it Becomes a Crisis
America is on the path toward a massive Amoxicillin shortage. Anyone who has tried to get it recently either lucked out on the first try or had to search again and again for a pharmacy that could fulfill the prescription. We are on the verge of a full-blown antibiotic crisis and the Biden-Harris regime has it on the backburner. It's not that they don't want to fix it. It's that the United States is so beholden to China for pharmaceuticals that the regime doesn't have an easy fix.
Around 90% of the ingredients used to make drugs like Amoxicillin come from China. This is an ugly situation to be in with a supply chain crisis and tensions rising. Winter is coming. This isn't the time to be short on drugs that can prevent a simple infection from becoming life-threatening.
This is why we started working with a company that ships Amoxicillin and four other antibiotics to telehealth patients. Those who have read my work or heard my shows for the past year or so know that proper preparedness has been one of my biggest pushes and being prepared medically is on the top of the list. One does not have to be a full-blown "doomsday prepper" in a bunker to make common sense choices as negative situations continue to rise in America.
Of all the problems we face as a nation and as a people, this is the one that has the fewest options available for both our government and for individuals. We can debate the insanity of becoming dependent on China some other time. Today, we need to focus on solving the problem, and for individuals that means stocking up on antibiotics that can be stored long-term (use promo code "RUCKER10" for $10 off).
Medical professionals have been ringing the alarm bell of late, but the warnings are getting drowned out by a partnership between government, corporate media, and Big Pharma to focus solely on getting as many people to take the Covid jabs as many times as possible. There's money, power, and access on the line for those who are supposed to be revealing the medical truth and unfortunately for us the Covid jabs are the only priority. According to Prevention:
There’s no clear answer. The ASHP lists out several pharmaceutical companies that have reported amoxicillin shortages and noted that they didn’t provide a reason for the lack of supply.
But amoxicillin has “become restricted in the supply chain due to increased use,” says Stephanie Field, M.B.A., director of pharmacy business services at Corewell Health West. Meaning, demand for the drug has ramped up as a slew of illnesses circulate.
It’s also possible that supply chain issues that have plagued nearly every industry since the pandemic began are at play here, too, says Crystal Tubbs, Pharm.D., associate director of pharmacy services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Shortages in general can be caused by supply/demand issues, shortages of raw materials or other ingredients needed to manufacture the drug, logistics interruptions and/or challenges with manufacturing facilities,” she explains.
According to Red State:
Translation: Big Pharma is too busy counting their billions from the utterly ineffective COVID vaccines they are still pushing to care about mundane drugs that actually work. The problem has become critical, as the Daily Mail notes.
The Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics joined forces to urge the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to declare a Public Health Emergency in order to assist strapped hospitals.
Declaring a state of emergency would allow Secretary Becerra to distribute financial assistance to states, work with companies to produce more treatments and supplies, loosen licencing requirements that will help alleviate healthcare staffing shortages, and expand hospital capacity.
Maybe if it was an issue among illegal immigrants they might care. But I digress.
A sick child’s parents have no patience for muddled supply chain blaming, even as earlie
No Space? No Money? You Should Consider a Micro-Retreat
Editor's Commentary: I know the article below only qualifies as a true "late prepper" article for a handful if our audience, but it's an interesting read nonetheless if only to spark ideas that we can use in our lives. As much as I wish we could all just pick up from where we are, find a secluded homestead with all of the necessary survival gear already set up, and wait out the apocalypse quietly tucked away, that's just not reality for most.
I will be posting more articles with more useful tips and tricks. To be fair, I've been so busy during election season that I haven't had much time to work on my own preps, let alone offer tips. But the election is done so it's time for me to get into it all again, especially considering the election means we're closer now to whatever might make us use our preps.
For those who are actually considering moving to a safer area, it may behoove you to consider one of our newest sponsors and their amazing bunkers. I covered the article below in a short segment on the latest episode of The JD Rucker Show. Below is the article by J.G. Martinez at The Organic Prepper.
Most of us are not exactly farmers and will have a hard time growing or raising what we intend to eat if we just one day decide to start living off our harvests. It is a fact. Hunters and fishers obviously will have an edge after the collapse, but sadly, I am almost sure that in a tribal environment, my social position would not be too high.
That said, maybe joining a tribe after some age won’t be as romantic as it seems. Maybe a better idea, in order to live longer, is to stay low profile and semi-hidden, with only a few close friends and family nearby. At some age, you need some peace.
For many old-school survivalists of times already gone, the proper approach was a complete farm. The amount of work involved with this path is plenty.
The more land you have to take care of, the more problems!
I’ve seen this a few times. Hard-working people who made a few bucks with three or four crops in a row expanded their business by buying another farm somewhere else, and…bang!
With twice the land, their problems multiplied exponentially, and the need for further investment followed.
However, maybe for many of us, the ideal location is not a full-size homestead or a large compound.
A micro-retreat may be the solution.
The word “micro” suggests that something minimal should come to mind. My technical background immediately clicks when I think about anything related to a production facility, and I imagine a highly productive but compact environment.
I have always been fascinated by those overlanders’ custom-built rigs over a Mercedes Unimog chassis. They are compact and space-efficient but comfortable enough for prolonged stays. This is a remarkable example of a well-done micro-habitat.
Also, think about the tiny house movement. Some of those properties are designed for boondocking – living away from civilization and services. (Want to know how to keep your family fed when you have to use a micro-retreat? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to building a 3-layer food storage system.)
A micro-retreat doesn’t have to be a micro-producer.
Depending on your family group, or whatever the flavor of “clan” you may have, you could craft a small place quite productive with proper planning, provided you know your climate and your skill level. You could even disguise it as a “vacation” property. The beauty of this is that nobody has to know that your gun safe is in a hidden portion of the basement in your “hunting cabin.” Or, nobody has to know that those PVC DIY empty shelves in your basement will be to grow microgreens to complement your food supply.
Such planning will make your life easier. There will be less investment to make, you will work smarter and not harder (something that will make your senior years more pleasant!), and generally, it will be much easier to keep your place clean and well-maintain
How to Stockpile Foods With a Long Shelf Life
Editor's Note: We do everything we can to filter through the various opinions when it comes to prepping. There is no universally agreed upon strategy. Everyone must assess their own situation and come up with a plan. All we can do is offer some guidance.
For today's (long overdue) episode of Late Prepper, I referenced the article below by Kevin Hughes at Natural News. As I noted in the show, I don't completely agree with everything that's in the article but it's a good starting point, especially for those who are truly late to the game. Here's Kevin's article...
Stockpiling foods that can last for weeks or years is not just a smart way of beating rising food costs. It can also help you save money and be prepared for emergencies.
In the event of a long power outage, having even a small supply of long-shelf life foods, such as dry goods, canned goods and freeze-dried foods, can make a big difference. You’ll also be grateful to have a little extra food at home when you get sick and can’t go out to buy groceries. Because of inflation and rising food prices, keeping shelf-stable foods is a good investment.
Tips for stocking up on food
Remember to stock up on foods that you actually eat or drink. Don’t stockpile foods that you or your family members are allergic to or won’t touch.
When buying groceries, you should also know the exact quantity of food your family consumes on a regular basis; buy some extra. (Related: 10 Tips for stockpiling food.)
Foods from a supermarket or grocery all have an expiration date, which indicates when a food product will start to taste bad. However, some food products are still safe to eat well past their expiration date.
To determine if you should get rid of an expired food item or not, look for signs that the food has gone bad. Bloated or leaking cans, signs of mold or insect damage and a foul odor are just some warning signs that a product is no longer safe for consumption.
You should also stock up on ingredients that you often use in your recipes, like herbs and spices and canned sauces. If your family likes to drink tea or coffee, stock up on them as well.
Pay attention to the foods you want to stockpile and learn to experiment in the kitchen. Before buying plenty, try cooking with a certain food or product to make sure that you really like its taste and you’ll consume it.
Dry goods like salt, sugar, grains, flour, rice and dried beans can be stored at room temperature. Remember that dry goods are historically crucial food supplies that you need to store in bulk for months or years. To prolong their shelf life, you can store them in Mylar bags or other airtight containers.
Ways to extend the shelf life of foods
There are many ways to extend the shelf life of foods in your stockpile. Here are some tips to follow:
* Store food in a cool, dry place. Be mindful of the temperature; some foods are fine with room temperature while others prefer freezing temperatures.
* Check the humidity in your storage area. Wheat, flour and other dry goods should be stored in a place with little to no moisture in the air. Fresh foods like fruits and vegetables require a specific humidity level to extend the time they can be in storage.
* Fats react with oxygen and easily go rancid, so choose foods with low fat content. These foods will keep for long in storage.
* Consider reducing oxygen in your storage area since oxidation causes food to spoil quickly.
* Use tightly sealed containers to reduce oxidation and make food last longer.
* Store foods away from direct sunlight and in airtight containers.
Foods with a long shelf life
When SHTF, having a stockpile of shelf-stable foods will help you and your family survive.
Here’s a list of the best long-shelf life foods to store:
* Foods that last 25 to 30+ years: White rice, wild rice, rolled oats, corn, buckwheat and red or white winter wheat; legumes like pinto beans, black beans, lentils and peas; waxed cheese; dehydrated fruit slices
22 "Non-Essential" Items to Stock Up on Before Things Get Much Worse
Food, water, shelter, medicine, and ammunition/firearms are five things that are essential for survival in a societal collapse. As the possibility of such a collapse increases seemingly every day, more people have been signing up my Late Prepper Substack. It's telling that just a few weeks ago we struggled to get free subscriptions, but today they come in even if we don't publish anything for several days.
I've neglected to post things here lately simply because I've been busy prepping myself. But a task I've been working on this week prompted me to take the list I made and share it with others. These are the "non-essential" items we're stocking up on now. By putting "non-essential" in quotes, I'm suggesting that yes, we can technically survive without them, but it's a lot easier if you have a good supply of these items.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means. It's just the things that I've logged as items we're stocking up on to make sure we're not caught flatfooted if the crap hits the fan. I made this list based on two criteria — usability and barter value. Some items we can buy cheaply today will be like gold in an end-times scenario.
One does not need to be a "doomsday prepper" living off-grid on a homestead in Montana to recognize the need for these items. Even city- and suburb-dwellers may lose access to such supplies if the system fails. Being ready is extraordinarily important, especially when we look at the trajectory of the nation and the world.
Unscented bleach can literally be a lifesaver as it pertains to making water potable. While we recommend the Alexapure Water Filtration System, a little bit of bleach will do the trick as well. There are many other uses, of course, and perhaps most importantly it's very cheap... for now.
2. Batteries, Chargers
Batteries generally have a 10-year shelf life when unopened. We like rechargeable batteries, especially if you have a solar generator or other sustainable electricity supply.
3. Lighters, Matches, Alternative Fire-Starters
Fire can be the key to survival. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to produce for most people. Learning how to start and build a fire in a pinch is important, but I'm a big fan of stocking up on things that make it easier.
4. Contact Lenses, Glasses
Depending on optical and financial situation, it may behoove you to have a long-term supply of contact lenses. Have multiple glasses is definitely a best-practice. As for bartering and use, having a nice supply of inexpensive reading glasses could come in handy as well.
5. Super Glue
In a crap-hits-the-fan scenario, being able to fix things as they break is going to be extremely important. Glue is helpful.
6. Duct Tape
Like super glue, but for different purposes. I have ongoing shipments of six-packs of duct tape heading to my home every month.
As a lubricant and accelerant, few things are more useful than Vaseline, even without considering the medical benefits. A little Vaseline, a cotton ball, and a stick can make a little torch.
8. Insect Repellent
Call me paranoid, but I'm very concerned about mosquitos and other insects in a post-apocalyptic world. Heck, I'm not crazy about them now. As anyone who has been to Africa knows, mosquito bites can be deadly.
9. Soap, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Hygiene Items
They last a long time (indefinitely?), are extremely important for you health and wellbeing, and can be excellent barter currency if you have enough available. Besides, if things get better it's not like you won't go through your supply eventually.
10. Hand Sanitizer
Personally, I'm not a fan of hand sanitizer. But every list mentions them so I suppose a lot of people like it. Call me old-fashioned by I like soap and water.
11. Tools and Backups, Nails, Screws
Considering we may have to build or repair things in the long term if the crap hits the fan, making sure you have everything you need to accomplish your tasks makes sense. This should NOT be considered a barter item