Supply Chain Shortages: How to Prep & CREATE Your Own Supply Chains
The supply chain shortages have gotten so real that there’s pretty much no way even the most fervent bury-er-of-one’s-head-in-the-sand can ignore them. A stop at nearly any store in the country shows bare spots on shelves that used to be stocked to the point of overflowing. So, what’s a prepper to do if they want to get ready for things to get even worse?
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Going out on a one-day mega-shopping spree is a lot more difficult and expensive than it once was. However, I have some thoughts about how you can continue to stock up despite these supply chain issues.
If it seems like I’m pushing a strong sense of urgency, that’s because I am. Things really are that bad, and they’re going to continue to devolve.
Look at your budget
First things first, how much money do you have available to spend? You can stock up using just your regular grocery budget by reallocating your funds toward shelf-stable items and bulk purchases while eating inexpensive meals right now to help your grocery dollars go further. (See my complete strategy for that here in this bundle.)
Better yet, if you have some extra money or can make room in your budget, this is the time to splurge. I’ve always recommended buying the healthiest food possible, but at this point, I suggest you focus on calories and balance. Don’t get all carbs – be sure to get fruits, veggies, and protein too. We’re in a situation that you need to look at it this way: do you want organic stuff that lasts a month or conventional stuff to feed your family for six months. That is genuinely the price difference at this point. Hopefully, things calm down, but for now, just fill your pantries.
And this isn’t just about food. We’re facing supply chain shortages of darn near everything.
I rarely recommend buying things on credit, but if ever there was a time to look into financing, this is it. If you have expensive items that will soon need replacement or repair, such as appliances, vehicles, computers, or furniture, the time to get that done is now. The same thing goes for medical, optometric, and dental treatment. Don’t be frivolous, but get what you need.
Think outside the Big Box
You don’t have to get all your stuff brand new from the store. If you need electronics, clothing, or furniture, shop second-hand. Don’t immediately go buy things new.
- Visit thrift stores and yard sales.
- Check out the offerings online on your local Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
- Consider refurbished electronics and appliances.
- Look on eBay.
Before heading straight to Walmart or Amazon for non-food items, take a moment to think of other places you might acquire the same goods for less money.
Who can forget The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020? It looks like we’re headed for another one soon, as stores are already beginning to ration toilet paper. I opted to get my TP via subscription from a company called Who Gives a Crap. You can get it as frequently or infrequently as you wish. During the TP shortage, they did not take on new customers to honor their relationships with existing customers. If this is something you’re considering, I suggest that you do it now while they’re still taking customers. It’s a bit more expensive than store-bought toilet paper, but it’s better than the phonebook pages or these other options.
This is not the only subscription product I use. I also grocery shop via Misfit Market and get a big box delivered to my door weekly. They carry primarily organic produce and meat, as well as pantry items. Often the foods you get are “ugly” and can’t be sold in stores, but they taste just fine. Misfit Market’s prices on most things are at or below local grocery store prices, and the quality is awesome. Customer service is fantastic. When a box of raspberries got squished in my delivery box, or I received a badly dented can, they asked for a photo and immediately issued refunds. They’re extremely easy to deal with. If you are in one of their delivery areas, use this link to get $10 off your first order.
If you spend some time searching online, there are all sorts of businesses that just sell one thing, like razors, feminine hygiene products, vitamins, and more. Subscribe to these now, and you can stock up while potentially ensuring you’re able to get the items when they aren’t available in stores.
Membership stores like Sam’s Club, Bj’s Wholesale, and Costco also maintained a more steady supply than places open to the general public, like Walmart or Target.
Shorten your supply chain
It is beyond time to stop relying on the global supply chain. You need to create your own supply chain. And it needs to be much shorter than the one to which we’ve grown accustomed. Aden’s article about creating free market networks couldn’t have come at a better time.
Locate people nearby with whom you can do business. Not only does this help small farms and mom-n-pop stores stay in business, thus helping your community, but it also helps you to have a better chance at an ongoing supply stream. When I belonged to a homesteading co-op in Northern California, we spent a couple of years acquiring nearly all of our food within 30 miles.
And remember, you’re not only building relationships. You’re building community. There could come a day when these types of exchanges are frowned upon or outright banned. That doesn’t mean they won’t happen, but unless you are an already trusted person, your chances of being able to get honey and eggs from a local beekeeper or farmer go down exponentially.
Work on self-reliance
Finally, you need to work on producing what you can. This might be difficult if you live in a tiny apartment like me, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I got a late start but grew everything I needed for salad right outside on my little patio for the past two months. Now that cooler days are here, I’m drying the rest of the herbs I’ve grown, and I’m growing more. I have greens growing inside. I’m about to try my hand at sprouting seeds and growing microgreens. Indoor gardening is an option for nearly everyone.
You may have more space or even an entire room or property to devote to self-reliance. If so, check out hydroponics, aquaponics, Aerogardens, and get the right seeds for winter gardening in cold frames or greenhouses. And don’t forget foraging, hunting, and fishing as ways to acquire food.
Self-reliance isn’t just about obtaining food, either. It’s about using your skills to repair, mend, or make the things you need. Self-reliance is about learning how to take care of minor injuries or illnesses yourself. Also, it’s about buying a big bucket of wheat or flour and baking from scratch. Learn to maintain a sourdough starter, and you’ll never need to buy yeast again. Buy cloth napkins and bar mop towels, and paper products for those will be a thing of the past.
Get your pantry built before it’s too late
Whatever you do, please pay attention to the crazy things going on. Emergency food supply companies are saying they cannot meet orders anymore. The shelves in stores promise to become more barren as time goes on. Make a plan, acquire what you can, and get prepped.
I am keeping the sale on my Pantry Bundle Plus going for one more day. Until midnight, Oct. 11, 2021, you can get a $115 value for only $39.95. It includes a 12-week interactive course with a bonus lesson, an on-demand water-preparedness webinar, and 3 cookbooks. Check it out here.
While building a pantry is urgent and essential, please note it isn’t an entire plan. You must weigh other factors while getting prepared for the collapse of our supply chain and possibly even our economy. We’re facing a long haul. This isn’t a short-term emergency like a power outage after a natural disaster. It is a potential change to our very way of life, and it will take a lot more than a stockpile to thrive your way through it.
Article posted with permission from Daisy Luther