A Minimalist Prepper

IMG_0151I 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.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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24 Responses to A Minimalist Prepper

  1. Kim Smyth says:

    Wow, is that really your garage? You have already stockpiled quite a bit! Good for you!

  2. But, if it is all processed food????

  3. @fitone says:

    Great information. I would love to start a garden.

  4. New Journey says:

    good post….we do what your doing…just buy in bulk our canned good we eat from and the dry pasta, and beans are always on hand….don’t forget to add garbage bags to your list of ER back ups….they work for many things…especially if the bathroom is unavailable, we were taught to put in toilet put seat down use it and then bag it…the hospital I worked at had huge amount of boxes with heavy duty plastic bags for ER situations…with so many patients that is one thing we all have in common, elimination….sounds gross but it certainly better than the alternative…glad the ground quit shaking in Portland…LOL .kat

  5. Jade Olive Sage says:

    I have what is called an overflow closet as I live in an apartment. I too buy in bulk and put things away just in case an emergency arises. I am not the kind of gal who purchases four rolls of toilet tissue.

    When this area was hit with a hurricane a few years ago, I learned a few things about being prepared. I now have the emergency crank radio, a battery operated lantern, plenty of batteries, flashlights, candles, large matches, water, some can food and I stocked up on heavy duty manual can openers and several other items. I have more than one portable cell phone charger and I check them at least once a month to make sure they remain charged. I even have one that can be charged by sunlight. I have tested it by sitting it on my windowsill and during a day at the beach.
    Thank you for sharing. I am learning so much and I am starting to not feel so much like an odd shaped object.

  6. Jade Olive Sage says:

    Thank you to the person who mentioned having an abundance of trash bags on hand. I am not sure how all the systems in the apartment building that I live in work. What I can say is that when the hurricane hit this area a few years ago we lost electric power. I believe this prevented the toilet system from working properly. I was carting water from a trickling fire hydrant up several flights of stairs in a dark stairwell because more water was needed to flush the toilet as it could not flush on its own. So thank you for mentioning the trash bags. I will add them to my overflow closet.

  7. Helen says:

    Yes, the bags are a good idea. Our toilet froze one winter and it wasn’t remotely pleasant!

    Turning to the subject of canning, that’s a great way to preserve your own. You know exactly what’s gone in, it’s fun and tasty – and there’s always something in the cupboard 🙂

  8. Wrestling with the question everyday of minimalist preparation, I appreciate your perspective.

  9. dorannrule says:

    Great post. I am now aiming for 10 tubes of toothpaste! 😊

  10. pamkellstrom says:

    U re Right! I do this to.

  11. Lori Carlson says:

    I prefer buying items that I eat all of the time too. The trick to this is remembering to rotate your stock, keeping the longest date to the back and using things up before their date runs out. This was the one thing I had a hard time getting through to my ex-husband who considered himself something of a prepper. We lost tons of stuff because he didn’t rotate stock.

  12. Reblogged this on the zen of living smaller and commented:
    Here’s one person’s view of living smaller and his philosophy about it.
    Everyone is motivated to live smaller for different reasons…I really like the thought that he has put into his.

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