Generation Cedar

Well, it looks quite inevitable that we are about to embark on hard times economically. And for this petted, spoiled country of ours (generalizations, gals, not talking about you!), not given to self-sacrifice, it will be interesting at best.

I am not given easily to discouragement…there’s a little part of me, underneath the uncertainty, that is kind of “giddy” over the positive change that will likely accompany our “downturn”. (How’s that for a calm kind of word?)

I see all sorts of opportunities–not only for survival, but for the church to step up and shine. I see people returning to what’s really important in life once they’ve had their superficial props knocked out from under them….once they are forced to step off their super-speed merry-go-rounds and depend on each other for companionship.

I am hopeful for these reasons and more. Concerned, yes. And I keep quoting my life verse–“Be anxious for nothing…” And I believe that God holds His own in the palm of His hand.

And gives them time for preparing. I thought I’d list some basic preparedness strategies and ask you all to list any you have.

Of course since no one can predict how mild or severe our economy will turn, it’s difficult to know how much to prepare. But, I’d rather err on too many buckets of oats and find creative ways to use them later 😉

I assume that many of you already practice resourcefulness. I’m guessing I have quite a few frugal readers! I would encourage you to scrutinize your “consumable usage” even more closely. Being frugal involves a state of mind–stretching things as far as they’ll go, reusing and repairing before you buy, and generally being mindful of using as little of everything as you can.

These are the things that will naturally happen in an economic crisis…it’s a little easier if you’re already accustomed to it!

1. Begin stocking your pantry with bulk essentials that are well-stored. We are stocking up on things like: wheat berries, oats, dried beans, salt, etc.

2. Think through items that might be difficult to get and stock those (for me, this includes prescription meds for thyroid.)

3. Try to get into a position to produce as much of your own food as possible. I’ve heard of substantial gardens being grown in tiny plots in the city. Buying laying hens, a milk cow, goats–any farm items will be valuable commodities, both for your family and as bartering chips.

4. Invest in items like a wood stove, generator, water purifier, etc.

5. Study natural remedies and get familiar with herbs and their uses.

6. Be sure you have guns and plenty of ammunition.

7. Try to develop a “community” within your neighborhood. You’ve all heard the community soup story told of the Great Depression?

8. If you owe on your home, don’t panic. I’m no expert, but I’ve read that usually if you are forced to foreclose, a buyer will turn around and rent your home back to you for half the price you were paying. Chances are you’ll be able to buy it back when the recession is over. I could be totally wrong about this…anybody have insight?

9. Try to save up some cash. This should probably be at the top of the list, I’m just writing as I think 😉

10. “Luxury items” such as chocolate (I would consider this a necessity), coffee and such make nice trading items in a depression.

Your suggestions?

Remember, “my God shall supply all your needs according to your riches in glory.”

Trivia from The Great Depression:

  • Many of the hardest hit during the Depression ate “Hoover soup”. Hoover soup was going into a restaurant and placing an order. While the waitress was gone, the patron would dump everything on the table into his water (ketchup was usually the main ingredient, as well as salt and pepper). He gulped it down and then “changed his mind” about ordering. (I guess this was while everyone was still honest enough to not steal the food. Nowadays, I suppose most would eat and run.)
  • Only about 1/3 of the population suffered hard. Another 1/3 maintained a comparable standard of living, and the other 1/3 thrived with money to invest in all the cheap deals.

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31 Responses

  1. I have been meaning to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your blog. You have a very strong blog name and I love it.

    Thank you so much for being such a great encourager.
    -Carmen

  2. I’m not in the US but our government is also predicting a recession. It’s hard to know sometimes though how much is ‘truth’ and how much just plain scaremongering (and we have an election coming up and the state of the nation’s economy always makes for a good political debate). Thanks for the tips. I’ll keep them in mind.

  3. I love these ideas. I need a few more. I have been learning for the past 7 months how faithful God is to provide as Hubby has been without a job that long. Thank you for being a Titus 2 woman. You are always so encouraging.
    Blessings!

  4. Thank you for the tips!!!

    I would be one of your frugal readers, and actually consider it a “hobby”. 🙂

    Two of the best frugal websites that I know of out there:

    http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com

    http://www.livingonadime.com

    These 2 websites go beyond the coupon clipping fad and get down to the scratch business.

    A couple book suggestions:
    Miserly Moms or
    Frugal Families …
    either of these books by Jonnie McCoy;

    The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn (this one is worth every penny you spend on it)

    Mommy Reg,
    we just got out of that same situation ourselves after struggling for 2 yrs. The company my husband worked for shut down.
    I wouldn’t trade those 2 years for the world because we learned how to not only live below our means but how to truly be content. The only debt we incurred was a few doctor bills but they are slowly being paid off. The Lord is faithful!

  5. I have kiddos on special diets (food allergies), multiple supplements & vitamins (me too), & a expensive treatments for their various health & autism issues. Isolation, even from other believers, is part of the life as well. Everything is too expensive; I can just get what we need at the moment. I can't even comprehend how to get prepared with all that in mind!

    He says not to worry but put faith in Him, & He knows what we need, so I'm going to really have to do that (but I have to say I've been really uptight lately)…maybe lift up families like ours in prayer? We need the prayers anyway. Thanks.

  6. We are very ‘stocked up’ already. I grew up on a farm so it’s simply the way I’m comfortable living. I could feed us 6mo to a year. 🙂

    I LOVE HERBS! I started taking Biberry and for the first time, I don’t have spider veins in my legs. Seeing as this is my third pg inside three years, that’s a biggie. It’s pricey, though.

    Actually, my husband will have his conceal-carry permit soon. He recently bought me both my ‘deam guns’ a 30-30 rifle (a good deer gun for a lady) and a double-barrel shotgun. I ADORE my shotgun! It’s a good ‘varmit’ gun, essp for skunks, and it’s almost as tall as I am. I call it my Intimadator. 😛 We have other guns as well – they are useful tools.

    Cash, check.

    I think we’re pretty set. We aren’t in the country where we want to be, but smack-dab in the middle of a “college” town with a frequent rotation of renter neighbors. But we are able to live well, well within our means.

    Bring on the hard times! 🙂

    Ashley
    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

  7. Those are all good tips. Especially the one about establishing “community”.

    My father was born in 1915, and was a teenager during the Great Depression. He lived in New York City in a tenement house, he and his widowed mother, and remembers being evicted from their apartment and their furniture being put out on the sidewalk (just like you see in pictures in history books) because they couldn’t pay the rent.

    People in cities were hit hard, because there was no place to grow your own food, etc.

    He said, though, that people helped each other out. That’s heart-warming.

    He used to say that today’s spoiled Americans would probably riot if there were another depression, because we are used to getting handouts. Hope that doesn’t happen…

  8. Thanks for all the great suggestions! We’re already stocking up on canned goods – I’ll have to remind hubby to stock up on ammo…

    Depending on who ends up in office, we may need a whole lot more guns and ammo than before!

  9. Stock up on guns and ammo, really? I was sent this link by another reader and am pretty amazed at the knee jerk reactions. I am all for being prepared, but this is a bit much to be thinking about just yet. Just my opinion.

  10. Anon,

    Well, prepare the way you want. But for us personally, to be able to hunt for our own food in the case of a shortage is pretty comforting. And I won’t talk about what the crime rate will look like if things get very bad.

  11. That’s a lot of foresight you have there. Maybe you can tell me what’s going to happen February 21st 2022?

  12. Read the ultimate dooms-day novel from the 1950’s “Alas Babylon” by Pat Frank. It had a cult following back in the ’50’s. You can get used copies in thrift shops, and maybe you can find it in a library. It is not about economic disaster, but about what would happen in the U.S. were “nuked” (we were all afraid of the atom bomb in those days), but the results could be much the same if the economy got bad enough. It was a cool story about how people learned to survive. I think you’d like it. It’s scary, though. (It is a clean book — no sex or bad words.)

  13. Honestly, I take issue with your post on a whole, but especially with the stock up guns and ammo line. It’s not going to turn into armageddon outside. Things will never be as bad as the Great Depression. At this day and age with our technology and all of our resources it’s hard to suggest to anyone that what we are going through now would lead us into something akin to the Great Depression. No one knows exactly what’s going to happen, and in the time of the actual Great Depression I believe your tips would have been useful, but now, at this point in time, I believe that patience is a virtue as always and you will see that what we go through will not be anything like it was back then. Will it be worse than what we are used to, probably, but nowhere near as bad as that and certainly not as bad to suggest that we should all go out and begin to stockpile weapons.

  14. Anon,

    Knee-Jerk reaction? I don’t think that is what we are doing at all. My Husband is in Law Enforcement, and I can tell you that they have been getting prepared for acts of terrorism, violence, and increasing crime.

    We should be prepared in the event of any emergency, but our current situation does necessitate even greater preparedness. Nobody is screaming that the sky is falling, but in the event of (fill in the blank) I want to be able to help not only my family, but others in need. I think it is just common sense.

  15. Gosh, I just don’t understand why someone would have problems with a post like this. Helping people to be prepared for ANY problem coming down the pike, is a great service and something we should all be thanking Kelly for.

    What’s the harm in having an extra supply of non-perishable staples. If we find ourselves past this downturn without needing to use it, then we can have a big party using our beans and canned veggies for soups and celebrate.

    It seems like those who never see the need for preparedness, are the first in the line for the government handouts after something bad happens. I prefer to be prepared and able to care for my family on our own. I beleive that’s the responsibility of all families, to provide for themselves (with God’s help and blessings of course).

    No one is hurt by being prepared. So what’s the problem with it?

  16. Your list is informative, but I have problems with #6 regarding guns and ammunition. That really bothers me, especially coming from someone like yourself. I didn’t realize that you were a violent person or believed in violence. I mean, you didn’t say one gun, but GUNS as if you are recommending people to store-up a closet full or firearms in their house. I can see how question #6 can result in a knee jerk reaction.

    Oh, one more thing. You also recommended people to be frugal on their spending habits. Then why on your blog are you advertising for people to buy your lotion and soap products? It seems a bit contradictory, or maybe it’s okay to “break the rules” of being frugal as long as they buy products from you? Do you really care about other people’s families, or just your own?

    -Lilly

  17. Lilly,

    Owning gunS does not make one violent.

    My husband owns more than one gun, and I would think that most people know that you cannot use the same type of gun or ammunition to shoot a dove than you would a buck.

    My husband is certainly not violent (he is a sweetheart and my hero!). We never fight and he never raises his voice at me. He is a PROVIDER for our family.

    And nit-picking and trying to stir up negative feelings on this blog is getting really old… especially when you start attacking Kelly’s character.

  18. Lilly,

    LOL! Both you’re comments were entertaining-thanks! I’m not even going to respond to them.

    I will say, though, that I think you’ll fit right in to this full-blown socialist world we’re about to vote on.

  19. Ladies, I think taking the high road and not responding is more appropriate than ad-hominems. We let ourselves and our Lord down when we call names.

  20. I do take issue with this post. I think that as Christians we have an awesome opportunity to show our faith and security in Christ by being calm and confident that God has not only our country but the world in his palm.

    Not that we shouldn’t be prepared but why be more prepared now than at other times? This current economic situation doesn not change the fact that their are dying people in this world. How much better could we respresent our savior if we stocked up on essentials all of the time to give to those who have less than we have.

    As for the gun issue. I personally do not want guns in my home and I am thankful that my husband doesn’t enjoy hunting. A faltering economy is not going to convince me to allow firearms in my home. I will be a vegetarian first. However, if you want to hunt your own meat that is fine by me. My issue was with you comment to Anon about the crime. Would you shoot somebody who was hungry and stealing food or was stealing your computer to sell for food? Wouldn’t Christ rather we have our doors be open to sharing with the less prepared than having us guard our wordly possesions with firearms?

    Just my 2 cents.

  21. Calamity Jane,

    I don’t intend to “guard my wordly possessions” for possessions’ sake; I am neither being an alarmist, nor am I advocating violence.

    My post speaks nothing more of trusting God and being wisely prepared.

    But there are economic conditions, the likes of which we have never experienced, that IF THEY occur, will leave us possibly faced with protecting the lives of our children–not just our possessions.

    Allow thieves to break in my home? Uh, no. Open my home to feed those in need? Already preparing for that.

  22. TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WERE “BOTHERED” by her post

    Good grief! Leave her alone! Kelly has the right to bare (spll?) arms as it is a consititutional “right.” And you have the right to NOT! So let her prepare how she feels is best fit and you prepare how you feel is best fit and just drop it. She didn’t sin and she was just giving some helpful tips. If they don’t help you, then don’t use them. But you don’t have to get all up in arms (literally) because you disagree.

    Jessica in Peru!

  23. My husband and I are old enough to remember the race riots of the 1960’s. Tensions were high and people were angry. My husband remembers that every sporting-goods store was completely sold out of guns and ammunition.
    I don’t think it is wrong to protect your family. This is not the same as shooting hungry people who are looking for food.
    Please read Alas Babylon, by Pat Frank. It is a fiction novel from the ’50’s about what would happen if we were bombed, and the ensuing chaos. That could happen, too, as well as our country’s present economic crisis. I was amazed at the resourcefulness of the fictious characters.
    I don’t think that we are forbidden, as Christians, to defend ourselves, and our families, with guns, if necessary.
    Yes, we can let people take our goods, but what do you do if drug-crazed individuals are breaking into your home, killing people to get money or things to hock to be able to buy more drugs?

  24. Back to the subject at hand…

    Kelly, I totally agree with your list! We have been stocking up around here as well, in all of those areas, including ammo:)

    I have been reading a few different blogs of people who are convinced that this coming economic crisis is what is talked of in Revelations, and that we are only a few years away from Rapture. I would love to read your thoughts on this.

    Thanks!
    Ashley

  25. I hope that everyone realizes that the way we vote in less than a month will be very decisive about the world we will be thrown in. If everyone continues to stick their head in the sand and say that it doesn’t matter if Obama is elected or not we will really understand what losing our freedoms are all about. Come on folks–vote for the one person who actually fought to keep America free. You do realize that if Obama gets in you will not be able to homeschool your children—in fact the state will have full control of your children, land, ect. Just read up on socialism. It is not pretty. This election is SO important.

  26. Oh, maybe another tip: if you live in a cold-weather climate, you may want to get a SAFE wood-burning stove and stock up on wood to burn, should fuel become scarce or too expensive. Also, warm clothing (glean from yard sales) and blankets.

    A cool book I read back in the
    ’70’s about frugal living is “Possum Living”. I forget the female author’s name. Ok, it was just a little “over the top” (I don’t want to eat “kitties that have been killed by cars”) but it was entertaining, to say the least. Try Amazon.com.

  27. Me, again. I find this subject fascinating. A magazine my husband and I like is “Mother Earth News”. You can buy it just about anywhere magazines are sold, or subscribe. It is a “back to nature — do it yourself” type of magazine. It is not a Christian magazine, but I think that people who read this blog will like it anyway. It is clean.

  28. Civilla, I used to get that magazine and loved it. I liked all of the homestead articles the best. One could go to the library to see copies.

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