Hyperinflation preparednessSubmitted by Prometheus on Sat, 04/16/2011 - 03:07
I'm new to this site, but I'm a C4L supporter and wrote in Dr. Paul in 2008. Like some (or most) of you, I've been concerned about the events of the last several years, and have recently begun building my personal plan to deal with the coming storm. Luckily, my fiancee has been very supportive, and we're moving along quickly.
First off, I want to disclose that in my view, we are in a near-term potential collapse of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, and it is my estimation that this will place us in a situation in which rationing (at the least) or even an outright state of nature are possible. That being said, I am not really concerned about the long-term political ramifications of my purchases at this time. That means, in plain terms, that I do and will purchase any product from the least expensive vendor, and do not pay a premium to support any particular group or vendor. It's nice to help your local church or whatever, but I am more concerned about feeding my family as well as possible for as long as possible, and if that means big-box stores, then it is what it is.
I am writing this because I am not the only person I know who is making these preparations, and I am concerned about the average consensus of what constitutes a good plan when it comes to food storage and liquid capital preservation. This may be more or less of a problem on this forum, but I have invested a great deal of time and thought into this issue, and would like to share. Some of you may be my neighbors, and desperate, starving neighbors are the last thing in the world I want to see.
I have taken a three-prong approach to the coming crisis. The first has been in action for over a decade- tools, tools, tools. They've always been easy to explain, and in the good times, I've made a little money on them as well. I have a good selection of both hand and power tools, all of the highest quality, and I know how to use them all well. Included in that list of productive items is a functioning blacksmithing shop- for those of you who are not aware, blacksmithing is still alive and well as a hobby, and quite frankly, it's a fun time with a group of genuinely good folks. Google ABANA if you are interested in such things. No matter what happens, things will break and require fixing- and if you run out of goods to trade, services are a great fall back position.
The second and third are more recent, and as I have only modest capital, they are likely not quite as impressive as some of you reading this. I am posting to help people who may not have $2000 to invest in food and precious metals right this minute, but can do a little at a time.
Secondary preparation is food prep, our country's newest hobby, it would seem. I have had some concerns about this, as everyone else I know is solely focused on building giant castles of flour, even when they do not know how to make bread. I have three kids to feed, and they're not going to be terribly thrilled or healthy when subsisting on a diet composed of nothing but lentils and poorly made tortillas.
So, I have a list- and it's already been purchased and stored. I tried to bear in mind actual nutritional requirements, barter value, and sensible storage life-spans. My budget was $500 cash, and I managed to get quite a lot for those dollars- here is the list.
Sam's Club (Forget the Chinese, and think about your kids.)
75 lbs Baker's and Chef's Bread Flour -- $23.88
2 lbs Fleishman's instant dry yeast -- $4.68
10 lbs Krusteeze Pancake Mix -- $6.98
2000 ct box of individual sugar packs -- $11.63
3 Cans Folder's coffee -- $37.38
2 Spray cans cooking spray -- $5.98
6lb can Crisco -- $7.88
8 40 oz jars JiF peanut butter -- $31.92
2 45 oz Famous Dave's BBQ sauce -- $5.98
3 15 oz jars Alfredo sauce -- $6.17
2 64oz bottles Mrs. Buttersworth syrup-- $6.68
5lbs clover honey -- $11.35
4 32 oz jars Smucker's jam -- $5.42
12 boxes Macaroni & Cheese -- $8.48
5 lbs Egg noodles -- $5.98
3 pantry packs spag. noodles (18 lbs) -- $14.94
2 cartons Idahoan instant potatoes -- $10.96
16 Cans sweet corn -- $11.16
16 Cans sweet peas -- $10.96
8 Cans Hormel Chili -- $6.98
10 Cans Chicken Breast -- $19.96
20 Cans Tuna Fish -- $12.58
8 Cans Pear Halves in light syrup -- $9.98
8 Cans Peaches in light syrup -- $9.98
8oz Lemon Pepper -- $3.48
33oz Garlic Salt -- $6.48
24 lbs Iodized Salt -- $5.88
36 oz Black Pepper -- $11.76
10 oz Dried Oregano -- $5.96
82.5oz Lemonade mix -- $5.98
Pre-sweetened KoolAid (makes 36 qts) -- $5.98
140 .5L bottles of water -- $15.92
500 ct 10" x 12" sheets tinfoil -- $9.28
18" x 3000 feet plastic wrap -- $15.98
1 gallon Dawn Dish soap -- $9.98
172 Oz. All Laundry Soap -- $10.98
4 Gallons Bleach -- $5.88
326 pc 1st Aid kit -- $19.98
8 32 oz. bottles hydrogen peroxide -- $6.96
6 500 ct Ibuprofen (3000 ct total) -- $26.58
WalMart (Yeah, I know, but at $4/gal gas, I didn't want to drive further)
Hunts Spagetti Sauce, 16 cans -- 13.44
Dry Milk (10 packs makes 2.5 gal.) -- 8.82
All told, under $500. I wrote this up off the original list, which I deviated from (but only slightly- I added some lemon juice extract and a few other small things), so my total is no longer %100 accurate, and I'm not going to post that.
Some notes on this: Whenever possible, I bought single-serve packs. This is good for "small change" (toss in a handful of sugar packets on a barter trade, for example) and does not expose the entire stock to air when opened. I don't know about you, but I simply can't eat 10 pounds of whatever because it came in a can that size, and I'm not banking on refrigeration for leftovers. I can eat a normal can of peaches without wasting them, and the remaining cans can be saved, unopened, for later.
I also bought things we normally used, and tried to mind sensible ratios. We actually make homemade bread now, and I know that 2 lbs of yeast will raise 75lbs of flour nicely. The plan is to continue to grocery shop as normal, and rotate stock as we buy new items. It makes no sense to store stuff you don't understand for years until you have to throw it out because it went bad.
Also, note the spices and the sugars. You might be able to live on flour, rice and lentils, but do you really want to? Health-wise, a ton of wheat might keep you from starving, but it won't prevent scurvy or goiters. And, the neighbors have all the flour in the world as well- do you intend to trade a cup of flour for a cup of flour? I'll bet a solid pot of coffee on the right day is worth a big sack of flour. Sugar on the neighbor kids' birthdays might buy you a gallon or two of gas, if it's around. And after a few months of bland tortillas, imagine the value of being able to flavor your meal a bit with some nice herbs or lemon pepper.
The third leg of my paranoid tripod is silver. 90% US-minted silver coins, to be exact. Gold is nice, but I don't generally purchase anything worth a big hunk of gold on a daily basis- twenty or thirty bucks seems like a far more useful amount of cash for a single transaction. It's easy to understand, and commonly available from coin shops and ebay. I know how to spend a silver dime, not so much when it comes to a gold double-eagle- who is going to make change for that when I'm looking for a can of beans and a gallon of milk? It's too bad Silver is in such a boom right now- that'll be nice if everything magically straightens out, but it's a shame when I'm looking to it as an alternate form of cash, and not an investment. Buy on the dips, if you can manage it.
What I'm going to point out here is that I am emphatically *not* stockpiling stores of guns. I have a very nice 30-30 lever action with some boxes of ammo- that's it. Let's face it, if I have to use it on people, the game is just over. I can hold off a bad guy or two with what I've got, and my rifle is great for hunting fresh meat (I do love some nice venison, and even a squirrel or two in a pinch) but there's no realistic way that I'm going to hold off a hungry mob or an aggressive military force single-handedly- and you won't either. Let's all try to hold off on shooting the neighbors when the SHTF, please. I'm not a pacifist, but neither do I want to see a new dark age in the US with rule by the guy with the biggest arsenal. I'd much rather reorganize and rebuild- Mad Max was a fun movie, but I don't want to live there.
The last thing I'm doing isn't open to most folks, but I'll toss it out anyhow, just in case. I've been a machinist for about 18 years, and that puts me in a nice position to produce some useful durable goods. My current project is a Stirling engine that is ultimately going to be attached to a commutator from a scrapped generator. The nice thing about a Stirling is that any heat source will power it, and it can be reversed so that if mechanical energy is put into the engine, it will generate extreme (down to -10K) cold. Even if you can live without it, it'd be a really nice thing to be able make a little ice on demand on a hot summer day. A useful little toy to have, and if anyone else here has the skills and tools to make one, I have a full set of Solidworks 3d models that I'd be willing to consider sharing.
Anyhow, that's my $.10 (in silver, of course.) Take what you can use, and discard the rest.
Good luck, folks!