I write a great deal about both living a minimalist life or “simple living”, and also survival and prepping. The question is do they go hand in hand?
With minimalism I try to keep my material possessions to a minimum, but while being prepared means that I try to maximize those things I will need if forced to live through a tragic event.
They seem to be complete opposites as with one I am saving money and the other I am spending money. So how is it possible to be both? I have asked this question many times each time I make a specific purchase after saving money through a minimalist lifestyle.
I have found the answer in the simple question… What are things worth? Or what is the value I place on the items that I purchase. For example a $23.00 windup emergency radio is worth what I paid for it at the time I purchased it. But with a “lights out situation” it becomes gold. This goes the same for most of my purchases whether it be a flashlight, camping stove or camping heater.
As a prepper I also understand the value of stocking up on food items. There are many folks who elect to to buy those items that are freezes dried and last 50 years. These food items can be found all over the internet. But for me I believe that it best serves me to stock up on those foods that I actually eat most of the time. Things like pasta and rice or canned foods like soups. So purchasing many items in bulk not only makes sense to my prepare mind but also makes sense to my minimalist mind. A well stocked pantry of those items we actually consume fits both area’s.
Purchasing items in bulk means that typically you can find them at a lower price and it also saves many trips to the store over time. This also entertains my minimalist mindset as it allows more time to enjoy life. And in the event of an emergency what are these items worth? Priceless!
Another area of my life where both minimalism and preparedness come into play is my hobby of gardening. Producing my own food is not only fun but it saves a ton of money. Last year I kept a list of vegetables that I grew in the garden and compared the price to what they were selling for at the farmers market. I was able to grow over $3000.00 worth of my own vegetables, although most of them I gave away to family and friends. I ended up cleaning and cutting up many of the peppers and put them in freezer bags and am still using them today. I think “canning” would be another area to learn and practice as it fits into both lifestyles.
Other bulk spending on items like cleaning supplies, bathroom items and personal hygiene also fit into the mold of both worlds. All of this can be accomplished with balance in mind. You don’t want to have 500 tubes of toothpaste on hand, but it is nice to 10.
So, yes minimalism and preparedness to go hand in hand and each nourishes the other. I can be both a prepare and a minimalist.