Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.
Local college newsrag had an article on saving money while grocery shopping. Their reporter (journalism student, actually) went to a half-dozen supermarkets around town and compared the prices on particular items. Hands down, the winner in about 90% of the cases was WalMart. In some cases the difference in prices was over 100%.
Some people give WalMart a ration of crap because they pay their people poorly, don’t offer benefits, eat babies, and kick puppies. I genuinely don’t care. If you work at WalMart and feel you’re getting a raw deal, go work somewhere else. Me paying an extra $3/# on chicken to their competitor isn’t going to help me or them.
Anyway, it was good to see that what I’ve suspected all along was right – I have been shopping at the cheapest place in town. Money saved means more food on the shelves, more fuel in the tank, more money in the safe, more ammo in the bunker. I’m not ashamed to say that I try to save as much money as I can on purchases.
I continue to watch the market like everyone else. There seems to be no middle ground on this one…people either see this as the beginning of the end or they see it as being overblown by a media that feeds on panic and alarm. As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Is it the end of the world? Objectively, no. Subjectively, maybe. Me and the girlfriend will probably be just fine. We don’t have a lot of money in the market, our debt load is quite manageable, we have plenty of everything we need, and we don’t live a life of expensive frivolity. For us, this isn’t the end of the world…if anything, its confirmation that we’ve made some smart lifestyle choices. There may be a stretch or two where we’ll gripe about heating costs or food prices, but we should come out on top.
The fella that spent too much on his house, owns a $45,000 truck, has two kids and a stay at home mom, $25k in credit card debt and just got laid off? He’s screwed. Its TEOTWAWKI for him in a big way. Stand clear of him ‘cause when he goes he’s gonna go hard and he’s gonna go loud.
If I were a gambling man, a betting man, an opportunistic man, a visionary man, a calculating man….I might think that this is the time to buy into the market and sit on the acquisitions for a few years. After all, we buy stuff when its on sale, right? Think of this as the big after-holiday sale you normally see at the mall. Wanna buy some GE, Ford, IBM, Sears, FedEx and DuPont? Might be the time. Certainly gold and silver have been acting…odd.
No one seems to have any real quantity of precious metal (PM) on hand. Demand is high, supply is, apparently, low…so the prices….don’t go up? That’s not the economic theory Ive known. And yet…the prices of PM’s continue to NOT reflect the current economic situation. Go figure. If you’ve ever wanted to sink a few bucks into the stuff, now might be the time…assuming you can find some.
Right now, I’m sinking money into the basics.
Food – stuff the girlfriend and I eat that normally keeps for quite a while. Canned and jarred food. Dried mixes and food. Meat for the freezer when its on sale. Canning supplies. Toiletries.
Fuel – Gas continues to drop. Cheapest Ive seen here in town is $3.23/regular. I’ve another two fuel cans to fill. When that’s done I’ll feel satisfied in our potential to have mobility if needed and electricity if we ever get a generator. Winter is coming and we still have plenty of kerosene for the heaters and lamps..the result of seizing a buying opportunity about five years ago.
Ammo and guns – even if the economy were perfect right now, Id still do this. Its an election year. Guns, mags, ammo in that order. (Because the guns get banned first, then the magazines for those guns to cripple the existing supply of them, and the ammo is usually last) Plus ammo prices have done nothing but increase. Dollar-cost-average it out and buy a couple boxes a week.
Money – Yeah, its devaluing as we speak. Then it stops devaluing and goes up. Then the fed dumps a few billion in new money into the market and it devalues some more. But its still handy to have, so I try to stick what I can in a corner of the gun safe. If I had enough to spare, Id dump some of it into silver. There is absolutely no logical reason I can think of to keep it in the bank. None whatsoever. I’ll trade 1.25% interest (at an official 4% inflation rate) against 24-hour/7-day ‘bank holiday’ proof access.
Wanna know a secret? This is stuff you should do anyway even if the economy were roaring like a freight train on the golden tracks to prosperity. Especially then…when the cost of preparing is more easily borne. Keep debt to an absolute minimum, live within your means, stick something away for a rainy day, prepare for a rough patch…stick with that program and you’ll probably never know a true crisis.
I’m minding my own business, when the girlfriend tells me were outta salt. Salt? Yes, salt. The white crystally stuff we sprinkle on eggs…salt. Well, its just as easy to buy a 25# bag of the stuff as it is to buy a 1# cardboard container of it. Soooooo….picked up 25# at CostCo, broke it down into 5# servings, filled five vaccuum sealer bags with it and sealed it up. Labelled and dated ‘em, slapped a label and GammaSeal on a new 5-gallon bucket, put it all together and it now rests in the bunker with the sugar, corn, wheat, rice, eggs, etc. that are all bulk packaged. Given the rather cheap price of salt, it doesnt make sense to not have alrge quantity of it around…its uses include the usual seasonings, scouring, making saline solutions, preserving meat, use as a dentrifice, etc, etc. “Alas Babylon” goes into it at some length…and if youre in a warm climate where you can work up a hellacious sweat in the summer youre definitely gonna want to have some salt laid back. So….we now have a decent supply of the stuff.
This is how you run out of storage space………