Letter Re: Survival on a Budget

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2005

Dear Mr. Rawles,
I really enjoy your blog and novel "Patriots". I am someone who is on a tight budget, yet as made some progress in get myself prepared for tough times.
I have found the best approach is small, but constant movement toward my goal. Take food storage, for example. I began by purchasing a few extra canned goods (>$20 worth) at the grocery store during my weekly shopping, and just kept repeating. Over time, I have built-up a food reserve that could sustain my household for several months. I make sure all of the items in my reserve have a shelf life one-year or longer by rotating them into my everyday use, and replacing them (a very convenient and painless process.) As for items that cannot be bought piecemeal, I've simply done the best I am able to do with the money I have. I may not be able to afford a $1600 M1A, but I am able to afford a $300 Winchester 1300 riot shotgun, and lets face it -- a good gun in hand beats a great gun on lay-away, any day.
I guess that's it. Have a good evening, and keep up the good work! Best Wishes, - James K., People's Republik of Kalifornia

JWR Replies: Your progress is commendable! I wish that more Americans bought canned food like you do. Just be sure to mark the date purchased on each can with a fine point permanent marker. (Such as a "Sharpie" pen.) A "deep larder" is something that you can rely on for disasters (natural or man made) or even just a lay-off at work.

For the benefit of any newbie readers: Always place the most recently bought cans at the back of your pantry shelves.

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