Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Food shortage does not mean a starvation event anymore than having seven cents short of a dollar means someone is penniless.
The “doomsday” people and “conspiracy theorists” are spreading fear again. I don’t mean the regular save for a rainy day preppers. The one’s I’m talking about are the hard core – talk for an hour with a panic tone voice – preppers with links to prepper supplies which you can purchase. Mainly they talk about massive food shortages and grid down loss of power forever. Forever? Yes, its called TEOTWAWKI. If you don’t know already it stands for “the end of the world as we know it”. Now seriously, if you think about it, isn’t that what the pandemic has already done? Didn’t the pandemic change our world forever? We need Fauci Ouchies and masks and have high prices requiring back to basics type living not seen for about 50 or 75 years.
The fear peddlers are causing people to ransack store shelves leaving them nearly empty. The fodder used for spreading the fear and panic is several things including the drought and fires out west along with the backlog of ships waiting to be unloaded. Currently the doomsday preppers are using the prediction of record cold and snow this winter coupled with a short supply of fuel to heat our homes as a way to create panic and higher sales volume. Videos of empty store shelves fill the social media sites.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in keeping a nicely stocked pantry but I sure don’t expect it to last me 20 or 30 years and I don’t believe we are about to suffer a complete loss of power either. I’m absolutely not going out to build a hidden underground bunker or hiding a army’s worth of ammunition to protect it.
As Franklin D Roosevelt said: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. That’s just as true today as it was back when he said it. Stop listening to all the panic hype and keep your life realistic. Let calmness see you through any troubling times ahead. If you feel the need to read or watch youtube about prepping at least choose the people who talk of prepping to match the seasons and living life frugally.
Don’t people realize “a shortage” of something has never meant an extension event or a complete disappearance? All it means is there will be less than the usual amount. For example if I hear there is going to be a 10 percent shortage of apples this year it’s nothing to panic about. Ten percent is only 10 apples less than 100. On the other hand if I hear that there will be 99% fewer apples I may grab a few extra for canning. But; I’m NOT going to hoard apples because I also know in a few months apples will ripen again. I can switch to some other fruit for a few months. People during WW1, WW2 and the depression knew about shortages and managed to do just fine with less. Grandma Mama taught me to make do with what I have.
My own personal opinion is that knowledge is far more valuable than all the 30 year stockpile pantries put together. When a person has the knowledge to stretch a few little ingredients into several meals then that’s true wealth. When a person has the knowledge to recognize wild edible foods and where to find them that’s also true wealth. I see no need to hide 30 years worth of food in a bunker and then worry about protecting it when I know there’s an abundance of wild food growing all around us. People today call them weeds but people in the depression and during both world wars knew how to recognize “wild edibles” to put on the table. Like the honey mushrooms growing in my backyard in the photo above. Most children learned how to recognize wild food growing along fence rows or on the banks of creeks and rivers. Women in western states learned to home can tumbleweed to feed the family while women in the Eastern mountains learned to dry wild mushrooms and ramps for winter. Native Americans made bread and medicines and even coffee from acorns.
Sure, everyone agrees living costs and food prices are getting higher as they always will. Can you remember a time when costs actually came down? No matter what excuse given, living costs are never going to go back down again. Well hmm, sometimes a price will appear a few cents lower but if you investigate you’ll find a trick in there someplace. If you haven’t heard its called short sizing. Short sizing has the appearance of the same product at the same price when actually it’s less for the same price.
Yes, I was disappointed but I won’t starve without those greens. So, please stop listening to the panic and fear promoters. Learn to live within your means by figuring out how to make do with what you have.
Be frugal and stay warm everyone.